Vehicles And Cars Themed Birthday Party


Our son turned three this summer and we celebrated with a vehicles themed birthday party. He loves all things cars so we put together a colorful little gathering using mostly toys we already had.


My main vision was to use his train tracks as a car track that would loop around the cupcake table. It turned out so fun! I was very pleased with how this simple idea turned out. I used all the colorful cars that we had and purchased one additional set from Carter's.


The colorful hanging pom poms are from Target and they are currently being used in the kid's bedrooms. They are very cute and inexpensive.


I also added a few accessories from our train set, including trees and street signs. The paper cupcake banner toppers and candles were also found at Target.


I started baking from my favorite east coast bakery's cookbook - Georgetown Cupcakes (The Cupcake Diaries). The cupcakes were delicious and I also got new large pipe tips to make the frosting look like they do at bakeries.


We did a simple spread - picked up pizza, put together a few bagged salads, fruit, and a favorite Dorito dip.


We blew up a bunch a balloons that instantly made the house feel like a party!


My brother and his family had been visiting the whole week so my goal was to have simple setup I could do the day before so we could focus on spending time with our family and getting out to sight see. The little decor ended up being perfect and ultimately having cousins to play and celebrate with was the true gift this year!


We got him a balance bike for his birthday and he had plenty of other gifts to open sent from our family back in California.


Our sweet neighbors also joined us for the celebration. 


It was a very special day for our very special boy. We love him so much and keep on being reminded that he truly doesn't need much to feel celebrated and loved. Another simple yet festive party for the books.

Our Virginia Home: Staged To Sell


When we went to put our house on the market our realtor gave us some advice on how to stage the home to sell. Here are the photos of our finished staged to sell home. We did a bit of rearranging and a lot of purging and this was the result!


The basement pretty much stayed the same since it was already put together as a space for our out of town guests to stay. It was nice to have one large chunk of our home already taken care of.


We had been using the original dining room as our living room and the other living space as an office. Our realtor advised us to put the formal dining room back in and switch the living room.


We ended up liking how everything looked and started to wonder what would it might have been like to actually live this way. But after a few days we realized that we were using our home in a way that was most effective for our day to day living. I really believe that you should make your home work for you. So while a formal dining room may sell a house better, it doesn't necessarily mean you need to have one if you never use it!


I apologize these photos are out of order...but life is crazy right now. I am not going to reorder them. :)

My husband re-stained the back deck.


More photos of the formal dining room.


We added a smaller living space to the extension of our kitchen. It did end up being pretty cozy to have a couch next to our son's train/activity table. I found that he actually seemed to play better independently when I was so much closer to him while in the kitchen.


We did have a bunch of stuff that we put in our trailer to store - like our son's larger toys (kitchen and work bench).


While our goal was to make our house feel bigger to potential buyers, it actually inspired us to be creative in how we will live in our smaller next home. I think we were now using less of our house because we now had two dining areas, yet still room to spread out and be together.


We used my desk as our in kitchen dining table. I finally repainted the top and it looks so much better! Sometimes it is crazy life circumstances that get you to follow through with a project. My future Washington self will be so pleased this table finally got a fresh coat of paint!


We used two of our three piece sectional for the living room. This room that was my office is just a little too small for our large sectional which is why we ended up converting the original dining room.


We switched out some of the mirrors and light fixtures we added to this house with the ones that were originally here.


Flowers in pots and simple deck decor making the space open for ideas.


The kids rooms stayed mostly the same but we took out a few personal things and all the curtains.


The master bedroom got tidied. We took out most of the things sitting on surfaces for a more simplified space. I suppose no one wants to see my ear plugs and eye mask sitting out!


I really worked on our closet to make it feel less cluttered and full. I donated a bunch of things we weren't wearing. And it was such a good reminder on living with less. I enjoy our tidy closet so much more. I really want to embrace this idea of making room to enjoy the space.


Overall we were pretty happy with how everything turned out. Our realtor was very pleased and complimentary which made my wannabe interior designer self feel very proud. But taking down all our family photos and pulling out a lot of the warmth does feel like I sucked the life out of it.

I actually think the home looks better in person than it does in these photos. But with the goal of our home feeling more open and spacious, I think we achieved it. I just really think a personal home feels more welcoming.


For the exterior of the house, Brent worked super hard at power washing the house, cleaning up the weeds, mowing, pruning, and whatever else. The outside of our house hasn't looked this good since we first moved in! We were reminded of how beautiful it is and why we were so drawn to it from the beginning.


This house is pretty much our dream home. It makes me feel slightly ill to be leaving it. I know that our next home will be lovely and really I all I need in life is my sweet family. But man, for a house loving person, it has been very hard to accept we are leaving this beautiful home.


While we didn't add as much to this home as we did to our last, I think we still have a lot of pride for what we have given to it. A door on the shed, a variety of new plants, and updated white interior paint. We leave a little bit of ourselves behind with this home.


So long gorgeous Virginia home. You have been very good to us. The home we started this new life as parents in. And the place where we brought our daughter home. A very growing and stretching season. One we will not forget or ever take for granted.

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