Highchair Makeover- Part 2

Thanks for all your design opinions on social media for this makeover. I decided to go green with a stained tray, but I used a very brown, almost distressed looking stain and a lighter green than the kelly in the inspiration photo.

Here is the used Graco highchair before:


My sister-in-law Holly recommended I use Fusion Paint. It’s called mineral paint, kinda like chalk paint, but needs minimal prep and no waxing is required.

I really liked working with it, and you can’t beat the price for specialty paint.

The color options are beautiful!


Click here for the Fusion Paint website.  wp-1474060970772.jpg

Disassembled, thanks to my husband.


After one coat.


Sanding, sanding and more sanding. It look quite a while to get that faux cherry finish off of the tray.


For the tray I went with a brown stain with no red in it. It took about four coats to get it good and dark. But I love the finished product. I do plan to seal the tray with a kid-safe food-safe sealer.



The tray finish didn’t turn out perfectly, but I am kinda glad it didn’t because then when Parker bangs on it with a fork and sippy cup I won’t be worried about the finish :)

All done and put back together! img_20160916_171625.jpgimg_20160916_171549.jpgimg_20160916_171355.jpg

Highchair Makeover- Part 1


I scored a used Graco highchair on one of those local yard sale Facebook pages. The highchair is super sturdy and sound, but the finish is rough looking/not my style.

So I need help picking a new finish. What would you do?

Green paint with stained top.

Painted with place setting.

Painted with “dipped” legs.

Navy paint with distressing.

Or a blue stain similar to the TV stand I refinished a few years ago.





final 1

My sleep deprived brain needs some assistance on this makeover!

The Ultimate Dark Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

Since having a baby, I have been craving chocolate and oats. The first two weeks I was home from the hospital I am pretty sure I survived on Quaker Oats chocolate chip granola bars.

And since then I have made chocolate chip oatmeal banana bread and a couple batches of no-bake cookies (so much for getting the baby weight off quickly).

Anyway this is my favorite version of no-bakes. It is delicious! I use old fashion oats instead of the instant kind for a lot more fiber. And the coconut oil in place of the butter makes it a much healthier version.

The Ultimate No-Bake Cookies

makes 16

  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 heaping tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup half and half or whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups old fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup Nutella or similar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • optional: handful of chopped nuts, peanuts or almonds

In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cocoa, oil, and half and half to a rapid boil for 60 seconds. Remove from heat and add the oats, coconut, nut butters and vanilla. Combine thoroughly.

Place spoonfuls onto wax paper using an ice cream scoop and let cool completely.

Tip: Melt the coconut oil in a liquid measuring cup before adding it to the recipe. Then use the same cup to measure out the nut butters. The butters will slide right out of the cup when it time to add them to the sugar mixture.


Month One of Mommyhood and Postpartum Survival

I can’t believe we have had Parker for a month already. He wowed us at his first month check-up by being at the top of the charts for weight, height, and head circumference. He is going to be a big boy. His feeding schedule averages every 2.5 hours during the day; and thankfully, he sleeps like a champ at night (we are working on nap times :).

My recovery after labor and delivery took a lot longer than I expected. But I am happy that I finally am feeling stronger and more like my old self, sort of. If my old self was sleep deprived and more saggy than normal.:) Although I have been told I won’t completely feel normal again until after I am done breastfeeding. I plan to go back to work in September part time again. I have 4 decorating projects already lined up. I am really looking forward to having something to keep my mind busy and creative. I like being a mom, but I really NEED a creative outlet.

There are a few things that I wanted to share that have really made my life easier and more enjoyable these past few weeks.

Washable Memory Foam Body Pillow– My husband bought me one of these for Christmas. I used it during my pregnancy. But I have also found that I LOVE it now too. I use it to prop myself up in bed when I hold the baby, and it also helps elevate me during the night if I have engorgement (TMI?) pain. I have never been a huge fan of body pillows, but this one made me a convert. I really do LOVE it.

Glamourmom Nursing Tank – I have purchased numerous nursing tanks, and this one is the best! I actually purchased it at the breastfeeding center at my pediatrican’s office. The tanks are not cheap, but they are super high quality. If you purchase through their outlet online you can get them 50% off.

Playtex Nursing Bra– My favorite nursing bras have been several that I purchased from Soma a few months back. But like most good products…they discontinued the style I liked. But this style by Playtex is my 2nd favorite, and it is much more budget friendly.


Yummy breakfast– This may seem like a dumb survival tip, but especially when we were still doing the every 2 hr feedings all night, knowing that there was something good to eat for breakfast really helped my mental state. Several sweet people brought me breakfast stuff, and I made a couple loaves of my favorite banana bread (I just use regular chocolate chips). 


Nutella Swirled Peanut Butter Banana Bread- Sally’s Baking Addiction

Binge Watch TV series– My sister Annie gave me this tip. Binge TV shows during those early weeks when you are just in survival mode (mentally and physically)…but only the funny shows. And boy was she right. I tried watching one drama series, and it put me over the edge. My anxiety went through the roof. So watch the funny shows. Keep things as light as possible. Laughing is good for the soul, especially when you just pushed a baby out of your body.

Parker’s Birth Story

I can’t believe I am a mom to a 2 week old already!

Time has flown by (except during those 3 am feedings:).

I apologize in advance for how long this post is. And thank you for all the kind words on social media about the baby’s nursery post last week.

Back in November when I found out I was pregnant, I had only two wishes in regards to the baby’s birth: have a daytime birth and a safe delivery. I decided early that I was not (and could not) be a control freak about the birth. I had already tried to be a control freak about becoming pregnant…and of course it didn’t go at all like I planned. It took us a lot longer to get pregnant that I ever expected which lead to all kinds of anxiety and self-induced stress that was again compounded as so many people were asking when we were going to have a baby.

Tuesday, July 5th my husband and I had a leisurely lunch, and then we headed to my regular weekly OB appointment; I was 37 weeks pregnant. My blood pressure had been high most of my pregnancy so when the nurse told me the number on the cuff I thought nothing of it. Ignorance truly is bliss.

After reviewing my history, my OB suggested I go straight to the hospital for testing. So we jumped in the car and headed over to the hospital, only a 5 minute drive.

After checking in, someone handed me a hospital gown and said “Get into bed.” My husband and I were slightly confused because I thought “tests” would involve some blood work and we would be good to go. They took my blood pressure again. It read 175/100. I had never been hospitalized before. So just the hospital stay alone completely freaked me out.

I really felt great for the first time in the whole 9 months I had been pregnant. The physical therapy I undergone recently had basically fixed all the debilitating hip and sciatica pain I had been dealing with for 7 months. So we really were in shock that it seemed as if I would be staying in the hospital for a while.

After some clarification from the OB on-call we learned I would be in the hospital for at least 24 hours, and that there was a 50% chance I would be induced in the next few days. The doctor in the OB office had failed to mention that I had initial signs of pre-eclampsia which is why I needed further tests.

We called and texted family and close friends to let them know what was going on. My sister graciously picked up my dog. Joe ran home to get clothes and toiletries for both of us.

After the 24 hour testing they determined I had both pregnancy-induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia. My doctor immediately scheduled me to be induced at 5am the following morning.

To prep me for induction, my nurse immediately administered Cervidil which was the most painful things I experienced in the whole process of being induced. I won’t lie. I cried. I could not help it. Ugh, it was rough. Although I am not sure if it was harder on me actually being pain or my husband watching me be in pain.:)

We tried to get a goodnight’s sleep knowing that the 7th would most likely be a very long day. But if you have ever tried to get a goodnight’s sleep in a hospital you know it is next to impossible. And about midnight the Cervidil start to kick-in, and my body actually started having small contractions on its own.

5am came quickly. I took a shower and got back in bed. By about 5:30 my nurse started the Pitocin. My doctor broke my water within about an hour because I was only 1 cm dilated. At first it was easy going, but after about two hours on Pitocin I was in such intense back labor I could barely breath. Joe stood next to me and watched the monitor. I would ask him when the contraction peaked because then I knew the pain would not get any worse, and somehow it made it easier to get through them. I was trying to be tough, but after about another half hour I told the nurse I had to have some pain mediation. I could barely catch my breath to even get the words out because I was not getting any breaks between the contractions. Pitocin is nuts!

After about 15 minutes my nurse came back with medicine that basically put me in a labor coma. I don’t remember much of the next two hours or so. But thankfully I labored to 4 cm and was approved to get an epidural.

I can only imagine the scene I created as I was still in a slightly comatose state, trying to sit on the side of the bed, talk to my husband, and receive an epidural. I don’t remember anything that I said other than. “Wow that didn’t hurt at all.”

I climbed back in bed expecting to be relieved of all the labor pains. Unfortunately, that was not the case. My back labor intensified. And continued until I was fully dilated. I don’t blame the sweet guys who administrated the epidural. I truly think the severe pain from pinched nerves that I experienced during pregnancy had something to do with the pain medicine working in only certain parts of my body. In the meantime I learned my dad was in the waiting room. I gave permission for him to come into labor and delivery. He prayed with us for safety during the delivery.

By 3pm my nurse said I was ready to push. Mentally and physically exhausted I asked her, “How long does the pushing take?” She said well for 1st babies it can take 3 hours. I determined right then this pushing stuff was not going to take 3 hours. I could not take the back labor any longer. Unfortunately, Parker was face up, and he got stuck on my pelvic bone for a while. And I worked so hard at pushing I actually gagged from over-exertion.

After about an hour, my OB came in and said, “Let’s get this baby out.”

Three pushes later I felt the head, then the shoulders, and finally the hips being pushed out. The feeling was euphoric. I was so happy to be done! My husband cried, and I was still in shock that I had just birthed a baby out of my body. And that I had survived an induction with a slightly failed epidural.

Shortly after they took Parker to be cleaned up, I heard a flop on the floor and the surgical tech said, “Whoops.” Ladies and gentleman, they dropped the placenta and all the other stuff that goes with it all over the floor of the labor and delivery room. Talk about gross :) Thankfully I didn’t see it, and they got it all cleaned up right before my parents came into see the new baby and pray with us again over our new arrival.

We asked for no other visitors for a few hours while we recovered from the long day. And secretly I just wanted to eat all the sushi I could get my hands on. Joe ran to our favorite sushi place and picked up a feast for us to eat in our hospital room. Then at 7:30 my stepsons, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and great grandparents starting showing up to see the new baby. 


I am so so thankful for my husband who literally did not leave my side all day during the induction. During our entire hospital stay my sisters/sister-in-law were such a great help bringing us meals and stuff from home . And I am indebted to all the great nurses (especially the night nurses) and lactation consultants assigned to me. They were so patient with all my questions and concerns.


Finally on July 9th, we were released from the hospital with our new baby. We were SO happy to be home in our own bed. Parker is a great eater and sleeper. And we are blessed with such a great support system with lots of willing and available arms to hold the baby. :)

While being induced was not my first choice for having a baby, my doctors told me I would not have been able to deliver vaginally if I had gone full term. The baby would have simply been too big. So I was grateful not to have a Cesarean. 

Many nights since we have been home I have laid in bed(when I should have been sleeping) listening to my husband and baby breathing and cried in thankfulness for all the good gifts I have been given.


Baby Beagle’s Nursery Complete!

Well the baby is here. My due date was this weekend, and Parker is already over a week old.

I will be writing his birth story soon, but I wanted to share his little nursery with you all.

I spent very little on this room. Almost everything I pulled from other rooms in the house.

Most of the framed wall art was painted by my husband and stepsons in grade school.

The crib was purchased second hand for $60. Curtains are from Target.

And the details on the wall treatment that my mom painted is in this post.

But the star of the show is the yard sale rocker I purchased for $40 about a year ago.


My sweet husband took it apart, refinished it and then we sent it off to the upholsterer.




We love how it turned out. And it is so comfortable because they retied the springs and added lots of new padding!

Here is the rest of the nursery.



My Baby Party and Giveaway Winners

My sweet family and friends threw me a great baby shower a few weeks ago.

We had a blast! It is always fun to get together with so many people I have known all my life.

All the ladies in the first photo made the shower possible.

And it is always fun to spend time with friends from high school.

The food was scrumptious, the flowers were gorgeous, and the cookies were as cute as they could be.

I am so blessed with a wonderful support group.

This pregnancy has felt so long and yet so short with all the life changes going on, but I am 36 weeks pregnant so the end is near (hopefully)!

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Baby Beagle’s Nursery Walls

So I am still not quite done with the nursery. Blame it on 3rd trimester exhaustion. But in case you were worried I did have enough energy to make it to the nail salon yesterday to get a spa pedicure after my 8am OB appointment. But we Mom did manage to get the nursery walls painted on Monday.

Anyway about the walls, I had been throwing around the idea of doing something geometric above the crib. But I was having a hard time nailing down exactly what I wanted. #pregnancybrain

So while we were at the beach last week with my parents my mom showed me a pinterest post on mountains in a boy nursery, and it got the wheels turning.


We actually ended up combining a few ideas we saw online and then put our own twist on them.

Full credit for this project goes to my mom. After I picked the colors, I just sat on a stool and watched her do the whole thing.






Photo creds to my sister Nancee Lee b/c apparently I have reached an all new kind of lazy and can’t take my own pics. :)

Living Room Lamp Project

Well we are slowly getting settled into our new home.
I am trying not to spend much on new things we may “need” since we did just buy a house and we are having a baby and all:)
But I did need a couple lamps for the living room b/c there is no ceiling fixture in that room.
Enter these two yard sale lamps from a few years ago.



Add a little spray paint and some simple white shades.



And tada! Huge pop of color for super cheap!


Now I am just on the hunt for two matching end tables!