Ikea Dollhouse Makeover

For our daughter's birthday I gave this sweet little Ikea house a makeover. Our daughter has been showing signs that she might be ready for a big girl dollhouse. But with our limited space and not feeling completely sure how much she will truly play with one, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on it. 

I have had my eyes and heart set on the Hearth and Hand dollhouse. But until we are certain that this will be a much loved toy, for now this inexpensive and not too big dollhouse from Ikea was perfect!

For the interior walls I found this cute scrapbook paper that included shiplap walls and white subway tile! The buffalo check and floral wallpaper made for perfect accents.

I used modpodge to glue it on and then brushed on a layer over the scrapbook paper. The paper did bubble up initially but after drying it laid flat. 

A few corners have curled up a few times. But so far I have been able to glue it back on. It is going on four months now and has been holding up well besides that.

I used our small collection of matchbox mice to stage it for her birthday. She also likes to use Little People to play with it. If it proves to be a fun toy for her I will look into getting her some furniture.




Yard Updates And A New Playhouse

We have been making some little updates to our yard as each season passes by. Whether it be an intentional design change by me or a fallen tree from a storm, the ebb and flow of the change in seasons has us continuing to enjoy and grow with our yard.

Last summer, on a whim, I told Brent how much the stairway plants drove me crazy. They were always growing into the stairs making it hard to carry a baby and all the things. It looked okay initially but the upkeep and deterrence grew frustrating. So right then and there, while I was holding our one month old, he started pulling them out. It was immediate gratification at its best!

An hour or so later we had wide open stairs and a view!

Now that the shrubs were gone, we now had two sections full of dirt and rock. Our hope is that the side on the left will fill in with grass (so far it is getting plenty of green weeds at least!). And on the right I wanted to fill it in with plants I could transplant from around the yard. I started with a few large ferns and other evergreen plants to fill in the majority of the space. Then I hoped that the spring and summer plants would fill in as they grow.

By the fall we still had quite a bit of dirt, but things were looking hopeful. I also painted our front door white adding to the curb appeal (though a curb that no one sees as it faces away from the road!).

It really opened up the view from our front patio and the view we can see from the kitchen.

Now a year later, we lost the small tree that was in the middle of the grass during a storm and things have started to grow in around the stairs. This is how it looks now.

 

Here is a closer up photo that we took for our son's baby book of us in front of the house where he was born. Brent had offered to mow the lawn before we took the photo but we were nearing naptime and I didn't want to bother. Now I wish I would have let him! But regardless, you can see how it is starting to get more green!

Some other little updates we have made is that I added this simple garden and border next to our green house. Since we don't have a garage, it is a storage space for us. Adding a few ferns and plants from around the property makes this see through shed a little nicer!

We also had a heavy cement table on our back patio that never got used. Brent recently moved it up into the garden for me. Now it is a focal point in the yard, allowing for more place space down below for the little ones.

Our biggest addition this spring was purchasing this Kid Kraft playhouse from Costco. I really liked the one they had last year so we decided to go for it this season as our kids are at a great age to enjoy it this summer. They seem to have some version of this at Costco each year, so keep your eye out if you are interested in a cute white one like this!

The kids loved helping put together the playhouse. Brent is definitely the more patient one when it comes to letting the kids help with grown up tasks! It ended up taking us about four hours to put together. Think Ikea type work and directions! I laid out all the pieces which were numbered so that Brent could follow the instructions more quickly. We lucked out and it was a beautiful day. Probably the warmest we have had all spring. Hoping for some sunnier days to come.

It was well worth all the work! It has been a hit all season long.

The playhouse is to the right of our house. We've spent the majority of our time playing on the other side of the house (and where you would see pictures). So having a reason to better use our entire yard has been nice.

Since we are now spending the majority of our time outside on the opposite side of the yard, I wanted to move things around to better serve us in this season. I decided to move our patio furniture on to the porch and move all the toys down closer to the playhouse. That way we could sit on the comfortable furniture on the porch and watch the kids play. Plus with the rain and never ending dropping pine needles, this keeps our cushions dry and clean.

I brought over our sand table and styled it with an umbrella and chairs. It now feels like an intentional outdoor space with different zones for playing and relaxing.

We have already enjoyed a few meals outdoors and it has been so much fun to take our afternoons outdoors. I am learning as we live here in the Pacific Northwest that I can rearrange our yard for the spring and summer and then put things back once winter comes around. Certain things need shelter from the weather at different parts of the year so being flexible with how we use our outdoor things will serve us better in each season. 

I often want things to be permanent but then realize that life and seasons are always changing. What worked last year may not work this year. So by being open to spending a few hours tweaking things, I can enjoy our home even more as we enjoy the ever changing seasons of life.



Our Daughter's Magical Sparkly Third Birthday

In February our sweet girl turned three! She sure is growing up quickly. We had a special day full of pink, sparkly stars, and magical moments with our much loved girl.

The main decoration for the party was this balloon and crepe paper backdrop that I pretty much made in the dark! Brent was working from home at the time so we were down a room come naptime. So the baby was sleeping in the dining room with the white noise blasting through our home speakers. So I put together all the crepe paper in the dark while the baby slept!

It was pretty simple to make though a bit time consuming. I placed a line of string on our mantel and then glued on strips of crepe paper. I trimmed the length as I went to get the look I wanted. Once the first layer of crepe paper was glued on I just glued more pieces on top until it was full enough.

This mini glue container with brush was a life saver! My son used these at preschool and so we had to get some for home! I could easily paint on a little glue so that it didn't drip all over the place. We now use these as well whenever my kids use glue for crafts.

Her gift from us was an Ikea dollhouse that I dressed up with a little paint and scrapbook paper.

I bought a premade unicorn decorating kit from our local grocery store (they often have them at Safeway or Haggen) and decorated them for the party. We weren't really going for a unicorn theme but I would say it was definitely unicorn inspired!

A happy day for our happy girl!