grace's nursery

The room of endless DIY's and love is complete! I'm so excited to have finished this little space. Just like the big kids' shared room, the whole idea behind the abode was to make it gender neutral. I wanted both rooms to be interchangeable between Carter, Kota and baby Grace - who knows when big brother Carter will demand to have his own area to grow up in and likewise with the girls (they may request a shared room at any point!). The last thing I wanted was a design nightmare if Carter gets sick of sharing with his little sister and would have to move into the smaller of the two rooms: this one, the one that was previously painted BRIGHT PINK!

Anyway, there were so many DIY aspects here - from the horizontal striped paint to bring the place back from the intense pink we had painted when we first moved in in October of 2014 (my thought then was that every little girl needed a pink room at one point in her life. It's an American must-have!), to the amazingly large dresser I refinished, to that amaze-balls sphere chandelier, all the way down to refinishing that humongous, furniture-for-giants, Craigslist purchased, old school, rock star of a rocking chair. I'll of course document what we did on each of those points, but for right now I'm just stoked to have finished it up! Wooooo! 
Like I said, DIY's in here will be documented, but I have to say the one I'm most proud of is this sphere hanging light! OH EM GEE.

big kids' room: sad green to DIY makeover

This project is an all time favorite of mine because not only did it come out BOSS, but it totally got our mojo flowin' for several other DIY's - you know, confidence is a big deal when moving forward with decorating your home DIY style. It's huge!

So when we first moved in, I thought I'd be a cool mom and let Carter PICK the color he wanted to paint his room - just a 4 year old boy getting to PICK HIS OWN WALL COLOR. Great idea, Nicole! Anyway, he chose the greeniest green on planet earth which made HIM super happy, but not so much mama (especially because his room is visible from the main living area!!!! Cute mommy/son moment but...).

farmhouse kitchen table turned headboard

So... when Chad and I were were planning out how we were going to actually LIVE in our sweet little home, the first thing on our minds was that we SO didn't need the dumb formal living room - I mean, who did we think we were? Grown ups or something? People who would say words like, "No-no kids! Out of this room - don't touch ANYTHING!" So not us. Instead of such ridiculousness, we decided to make what would have been the formal living room into a "formal" dining space - having a place to eat with family and friends sounded a lot cooler to us than the alternative.

Thus brought us to our IKEA hack farmhouse table DIY taken from this tutorial. Here she is in December of 2014, albeit under horrific photography...

...But then... I kind of wanted a separate living space in addition to our very-much-used family room as the months went on. That room was originally built for humans to hang out in on a regular basis! At most we would eat with our family and friends 1 time per week - the other days that room was just an empty box with a large farmhouse table in it. Totally unusable. Also, I wanted a place to hang out without the kids when we DID have people over.

entertainment center project phase 2 - shiplap!

Shiplapping this gloriousness was phase 2 in our "entertainment center/fireplace/mantle" area project since 2014. We originally freshened up the old, very depressing oak to a pretty white in tandem with our extensive kitchen project, but I was never quite satisfied. The whole area just seemed so busy to me - it wasn't bad by any means, but it just wasn't relaxing to the eye, ya know?

So here was the area from the very beginning (for us) in October of 2014 when we closed on the ol' home (built in 1995 - not exactly old!) and right after the original paint job:
*HORRIFIC photography - if you could call it that ;)

entertainment center "freshening up" phase 1

*Photography... not so great ;) what can ya do? This phase of the entertainment center project was done before I cared about photo quality - haha!

I call this "phase 1" of the entertainment center project because we've actually DIY'd even MORE to this space since 2014, a project which ended up being so extensive it deserves it's own post. Straight up!

So we DIY'd this beast in tandem with our kitchen, given their proximity. As mentioned, el kitcheno was executed during the first few weeks of homeownership, so all of this was put behind us in October of 2014, but it's still one of my favorite projects to date because it really shows the importance of PAINT, COLOR, and how that had major bearings on our MOODS!
The center went from a depressing, dark hole of oak nothingness >>> less eye offensive white.

Every last bit of this area of the house was "rehabbed" (rehabbed! That's what I'm calling this area, it was SO BAD before!) the same way we did the kitchen.
^^^The caption underneath this Instagram picture was "Only 59 more of those little notches to go, but who's counting?" HAHA! 

diy farmhouse kitchen table

Well folks, nice crap is expensive. You want a cute little tabletop to feed family and friends when they come over? Okay, that will be $2,500!!!!!!! Oh, a complimentary bench to go with your good taste? An extra $500!!!! WHAT THE HECK. Not exactly cohesive with two people who just want to keep it simple and not file for bankruptcy. He he he he ho ho ho ho. No but really, things are way too expensive out there. 

When we decided to devote what probably was meant to be the formal living room into a full on dining room (UPDATE: that area has been changed back into a formal living room haha!), we knew a large table was needed. The idea of having an awesome, big space for tons and tons of people to come over and enjoy good food seemed more awesome than two separate sitting areas, even though I do sort of want an additional space away from the kiddos sometimes when friends visit (she says after everything is said and done). After deciding that we certainly were not okay with spending our childrens' college tuitions on a table and chairs, we got to scouring Pinterest. Chad, the self proclaimed hater of all things country and everything that falls under the category of "farm," actually was totally excited to build a farmhouse table! I think our kitchen makeover was a confidence booster - we were rarin' to go. We found an awesome tutorial and went to work. 

kitchen makeover - what a difference!

Our first DIY of the new house HAD to be the kitchen. It was a total cave! Words can't even describe how funky it felt to be in the original - when we first went to look at the house, I didn't even really walk into it. I had no idea what the sink looked like or anything else. I just sort of glanced over in the general direction and decided that I wouldn't enter the black hole that was where one would prepare food. I had to look at the listing online to remind myself what the heck the thing looked like! All I could remember was feeling hellish while in it's presence. Anyhoo, I can wholeheartedly say that tackling this thing head on was the right move - it was so mentally and physically exhausting to get done, we would have been miserable if we tried to do it after moving in.

december 2014: our house, our home, OURS!

As mentioned, this is an old school post from way back in the day. It's from T4M and I wanted to record it because it has to do with that "home inspiration journey" I'm holding so dear right now. Yay!

*I'm fully aware of the "import" method of bringing over posts from another blog, but I just wanted to record these house-heavy posts from T4M this way. A bit more hands on-y, ya know?

**Photography on these posts... well, what photography? ;)

***THIS IS REALLY WHERE I WANT MINI HOUSE MIGHTY HEARTS TO BEGIN! It was published in December of 2014, but we closed escrow in October - recording the event took me awhile.
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The culmination of our crazy obsession with buying a home came to fruition exactly 2 months and 2 days ago! We are so incredibly freaking thrilled to be in this home of ours. It has been a massive thought in our household for months and months and months - maybe even was pushing the "years" territory. During the middle months of this year, we really got serious. We made the decision to take the leap and move out of Orange County, something we had been wrestling with for a verrrrrrry long time. Back in 2013 and the beginning of '14, there was even a small chunk of time where we were seriously considering Denver, and even more seriously Austin, Texas! Based on my reaction from moving 40 minutes away from my family, I can wholeheartedly say that I'm glad we didn't remove ourselves an entire airplane ride away from them!

what's in a name?

Well, I've got that creative itch again, so what's a gal to do? Create a blog! It's a necessary outlet, I've surmised. But here's the thing: I've been recording the life of my sweet family since 2010 over on Three's 4 Me - something I'm still very much in love with after all 6 years! At that time, I had a 7 month old baby and was just looking for some "productive me time" - direct words from that very first post. So awesome! But anyhoo, now I feel like I want to write in a more poignant way regarding the things I've come to be passionate about, as opposed to my life journaling found over on la originalle blog. I'm not even sure when I'll tell friends, family or the few followers that are left over at T4M that I started this one! Who knows! I JUST NEED A CREATIVE OUTLET DARNIT!

But anyway, one of the points of this here blog is to record what Chad and I have done/been doing on our very first owned home. We've had several rentals, but this - THIS IS OUR FIRST HOME HOME. It's a big deal (to us)!!!! Over years of renting, one could say finding our "style" didn't exactly come easily - sometimes when I rake through T4M's archives I just sit there laughing at how (sometimes) horrific our living spaces were. But hey, that's okay! It's a fun journey, and it IS quite the journey, ain't it? (Currently: still on the ride.)

SO WHAT DOES MINI HOUSE, MIGHTY HEARTS MEAN? Well, this very first home owned by little ol' us is kind of miniature - not that I'm complaining! I love her small size. She's a darling. Every inch of her 1,350 square feet is treasured. Inside this mini house of ours lives what I like to think of as our mighty hearts - Chad (hubby man), Mama Nicole (me), Carter (six year old man child), Kota (4 year old pumpkin pie) and last but certainly not least, Grace (right now she's doing flips and turns in my tummy - so precious). 

So yay! I can't wait to organize and record the things Chad and I have done in this current sweet house of ours (some posts will be in hindsight as we've been here for almost two years, but I truly feel like we have just RECENTLY found our stride, so that will be fun writing out). It will be fun! I'm excited!

Here was the very first post involving our home from Three's 4 Me (brought over to mini house, mighty hearts).