Small Laundry Room Tiling and Make Over

DIY Tiling Laundry Room 

A follower recently gave me a (very gentle) reminder that I never posted the laundry room reveal. Consider this me giving you a look as well as a laundry room tile DIY from someone who had no idea what they were doing.

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Before of the Laundry Room

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Removable Subway Tile Wallpaper // Ikea Kallax Shelf // Woven Basket // Tabletop Ironing board // Globe Sconce

If you are thinking to yourself, the before and the after look very similar (especially that blue shirt), you would be correct. The before is actually the “middle step” of our laundry room; a simple fix that was done just to carry us through to the “renovation”. The before of the laundry room is an excellent and simple “apartment fix”.

With removable wallpaper, an Ikea Kallax shelf propped on a ledge that once held a wire shelf, and a sconce, this laundry room was an easy fix until the renovation to come and would have been a great stopping point if we never decided to do anything else in here.

The Redo Process

Remove the “Removable wallpaper”

I was really excited about this step because I have always wanted to know if removable wallpaper actually came down without ruining the walls. Clean walls after would make removable wallpaper a renters dream. Plot spoiler: Not.

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These grainy stills give you some idea of what the wall looked like after I removed the wallpaper. The removable wallpaper was not so removable. It shredded the paint that was on the wall. In the wallpaper’s defense, the paint felt incredibly low quality. There was no base coat beneath it and it felt a bit like nail polish when you fail to put a base coat and a top coat, if that makes any sense at all. Whoever painted our house must have done it quickly and inexpensively in an effort to get the house on the market. But consider this your warning if you have ever desired to do removable wallpaper.

I removed all the wallpaper, the shelf, the ledge and the machines and got to work.

Tiling the Wall

Now for why you more than likely came here. I tiled this wall in one afternoon and grouted it the next. As someone who has never tried tiling but has done some diy work before, I found it to be two hammers on a five hammer scale after reading many blogs and watching many videos late at night.

Shopping List 

Bucket(s)

Safety Glasses

Pencil

Level

Rags aka T-shirts

Caulk gun

Caulk

Sponges

American Olean Gloss Subway Tile

Grout Float

11 in flooring trowel

Snap Cutter

Tile Cutter

Grout Maximizer Additive

1/8in White Plastic Spacers

Type 1 Mastic

Sanded Powder Grout– For spacers 1/8in-5/8in

Drill Attachment Spiral Mixing Arm

Tiling the Wall

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Before beginning, it’s best to think through what pattern you want. I wanted the traditional pattern so I buttered the wall with the premixed mortar along the base board. Then I placed a tile in the first position and went all the way across. If you look at the bottom row, you can see spacers placed between the starting row and the base board. I inserted those after doing the first row to make sure that there was a proper amount of space between the first row all the way across.  If you ever watch any tiling videos (which I highly recommend) they say spread the mortar like peanut butter on the back of the tile and the wall then press the tile straight on to the wall so you don’t smear the pattern the trowel made.

After doing the first row, I smeared enough mortar on the wall to do two rows. For the second row, I placed one half a tile that I cut using the tile cutter (unseen) into the first position to begin the staggering pattern. After going all the way across, I did the third row. I made sure with each row that the row was level horizontally but also vertically by making sure the vertical rows were aligned.

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I went up the entire wall avoiding obstacles like plugs. I stopped halfway up the wall to scrape out the grout lines and prep the wall for the closets I planned to put in the laundry closet.

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From this photo, you can see that around the plug, I completely left this area open. I planned to go back in with a single tile that I used a wet saw with to complete the hole.

You can also see if you look in between the empty grout lines that mortar got in. I used a metal nail file and a screw driver to scrape that out.

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For end pieces. I measured the space for the finishing tile by placing a loose tile next to a row. I made a mark on the tile where the tile in the wall end and then used the tile cutter to cut there. Then I could use the long piece to match up to this row and the short piece to place in the row above.

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Once I reached a certain height on the wall, I installed these unfinished wall cabinets by finding the studs and drilling a screw into the top and bottom of the cabinet. If you look closely in the below cabinet you could probably see the screw. A better way to do it (in a less stressed and exhausted hindsight) would be to place the screw right below the shelf so its less visible. Without boring you with the nitty gritty details, I installed this cabinet by myself by screwing a 2×4 to the wall at the height that would be below the cabinet. I then rested the cabinet on it as a brace so I could screw it into the wall. And you can also see the whole from that screw below the cabinet in the below photo..

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After finishing up the wall, I realized I had some extra space below the cabinets and scored these little pieces to fill the gap. They came in a pack of 12 and fit nicely in this area. After letting the wall dry overnight, I followed the direction on the grout package to a T and smeared this wall. You can see the pattern that I used to fill the wall by the smears. For the small tight spaces, I used the caulk that I purchased which was the same brand and therefore color as the grout. Most major grout brands sell this caulk. Jackpot!

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It look about five buckets of clean water, two sponges and two cut up college t-shirts to smear the haze off the wall. I started with a piece of cut t-shirt to rub off the excess, then a sponge filled with warm water. And another sponge of warm water. Then another sponge. Seeing a pattern here? Followed by another cut up t-shirt. ED192CF8-367B-4FB7-918C-FF3C9B127913F90406F3-17BA-4930-88F4-00755EC664C4

Until finally the wall was clean. If you look at this photo, you can see there are still gaps around the outlets that I still hadn’t solved by cutting out a piece of tile with a wet saw. In case you are wondering, those are still like that. I have been sooooo busy since Christmas (when this project was done) that I have yet to complete this. I will I promise! It looks a bit unfinished like this.

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I painted the walls a hydrangea blue-purple that changes color with the light and patched up the wall where the previous shelf once lived.

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The middle section of the all looks a bit wonky, but its level in person. I checked while loading these photos because I didn’t realize quite how strange the angle looked.

Styling The Laundry Closet

We specialize in hanging a ton of our clothing so we knew we needed both a hanging rack and shelves. We brought in the same tension rod that we had before because by this point we were beat and some Ikea hangers that we picked up one weekend.  We also put it two pieces of unfinished polar as shelves. We left them unfinished and unstained because we quite liked the way they looked with the hangers and the wicker baskets.

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The Reveal

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The laundry area got a few more tweaks for functionality like hooks for the stool, tap lights under the cabinets (that’s what that glow is) and something to hold brooms and mops on the other wall. As you can see in the photo above, I need to go back and correct that rogue tile around the outlet. Overall, I am happy with the project and would certainly tile again. Just not in the near future. Except for that little gap. I’ll tile that. Also, feel free to ask any question that I was way to vague on in the posts 🙂

Guest Room’s Final Form

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If you’ve been following along on Instagram then you know I’ve finally finished the thorn in my side; our downstairs guest room. Our guest rooms have gone through various uses from housing younger sisters, short term roommates to finally being devoted to actual guests. As our friends begin to mature and some of them marry off, we wanted our guest room to be an adult oasis. Several people weighed in on Instagram saying they loved the first iteration of the room, especially the white Ikea bed against the navy wall, and we did too but it no longer served it’s purpose or felt like us. This one feels more like we do now- romantic, refined with just the right bit of whimsy. Anyway, all that to say, we are finally happy with our guest room and happy to share it, and what sources we can, with you. Sources are sprinkled throughout the post. Below is the “before” shot by the way. I like to think of it as “another version” of the room instead.9296b2f2-dcce-483f-87c4-febf672cfb75

And now, back to the after, what we are all here for anyway.

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Desk (Habitat for Humanity store) (similar) // blue boxes // stripe vase (old) (similar)// Thrifted desk chair (similar) // Rug // Hummingbird print // square ginger jar // Remnant leaf fabric // frames

I purchased this stunning “Hummingbird” print from Janet Hill Studios as something to add to the cart when I bought a bunch of other prints. When she arrived it was love at first sight and she became the design inspiration to pull together all the mixed portions of the room. I even toted a photo of her to the store to color match paint and fabrics in this room to match sure everything was shaped around her. The photo below is from an Instastory where I allowed a vote between the Valspar colors, “Malted Milk”, “Romance” and “Crystal Pink”. Hubby and I fell in love with Malted Milk while Insta fam fell in love with Romance. We ignored and went with our gut and feel great about it.

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Bed (vintage) // Delft chandelier (vintage craigslist)(similar) // DIY Pheasant pillows// Harry Potter Letter Pillow // Scallop duvet set // Ticking Stripe Duvet Set // Stripe throw (old) (similar)// Ottoman // Young Woman with Peonies print and frame // Tassel lights // White Sconce // Cord hide // Wall color // Wall mirror//

I wish you could have seen me in the store when I purchased these ottoman. Talk about sparks joy. Marie Kondo anyone? I pretty much had a fit  about the bug pillow fabric that I passed on, come to light in a pretty little stool with “X” legs. I threw the display in the cart and my friendly neighbor Red Shirt went to pull its twin from the back. I considered taking them back to the store but the cream mirror tied them together nicely, if I must say so myself. I won’t even lacquer the mirror a funky color like I originally planned. And speaking of bugs, I found these cutie little bee clips at Ikea and had a similar fit of joy. Nothing, and I mean nothing, seems to make me as happy as little bugs.

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I wish I could offer you guys better sources but between lucky thrift finds and things we’ve had over a decade like the cane chair. This is the best I can do. A happy happy decorating to all of you and thanks for sticking around long enough for me to finally get this post out.

 

New Stuff in Our Living Room

Our home is coming along. If anyone saw our home they would assume I’m the only one who lives here since it looks like me; very Kate Spade meets J. Crew meets Anthropologie meets world’s dopest thrift store ever. But friends who know my husband well can spot his intertwined aesthetic from a mile away. He is single handledly responsible for all of the big pieces that have come into our home since I would never spend the amount of money he spends on nice things.

As we buy and return (and buy again) here are the things that have made the cut in our home lately. For the most part, it’s all found it’s home in our living room. We just want to get the downstairs of our home complete at this point. Also, it turns out that I really really like animals. I promise I’ll stop after this room.

Living Room

Serena and Lilly Awning Stripe Pillows | Pottery Barn Teen Snow Cat Fur Throw| Paper Mache Springbok Bust| Paper Mache Rhino Bust| Multiple Kate Spade lamps (Homegoods)| World Market Blush Kendall Sofa| World Market Camel Print| World Market Giraffe PrintWorld Market Giraffe Print| Target Woven Tassel Lumbar Pillow| Target Striped Throw Blanket| Kate Spade Dotted Pillow (Marshalls)

Affordable Pink Sofas Under $1000

We’ve been on the hunt for the perfect pink sofa. Ideally, a velvety blush sofa fit for a small space but not a loveseat would be ideal. Anthropologie has a few worth drooling over but I don’t want to pay more than $1000 and figure someone else may not want to as well. So here are nine pink sofas options for less than $1000.

FullSizeRender (37)Novogratz Brittany Sofa $219.99

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Novogratz Vintage Tufted Sleeper Sofa $299

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Salley Tuxedo Sofa $979.99

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Pottery Barn Kids Pale Pink Luella Settee $519

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Pottery Barn Kids Bright Pink Luella Settee $454

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World Market Marian Loveseat $349.99

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Sofus Mid-century Modern Sofa $665.99

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Goodale Mid-century Modern Sofa $750.99

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World Market’s Blush Kendall Sofa $699.99

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Depuy Apartment Loveseat $559.99

Wander Lust

It’s the very end of  vacation season and I, unfortunately have gone nowhere exciting this season. Fear not though. I’m saving all of my vacation for some wonderful trips later on this year. Definitely keep an eye out for more about those as we get closer.

To quell my #FOMO (fear of missing out) at other’s travel photos, I keep an eye on this little corner in our room that is travel focused.

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The little pictures in the corner are from Ikea and the little map pillow was a Home Goods impulse buy that I have zero regrets about. Either way, the little corner helps ground me and remind me that our day is coming.

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Here are some other cutie pie travel paraphernalia that falls along the same vein as the pillow, and with the world wide release of Harry Potter in the Cursed Child -all hail J. K.Rowling- I’ve got Europe (read: London) goodies on the brain.

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What are some of your favorite travel knick knacks or décor?

Back to School Bedding

So school starts in T-minus three weeks and if you still haven’t chosen bedding or you’ve chosen a set that you aren’t quite sure about now, you’re in luck. Bedding is the foundation of a dorm room so it’s important to get it right (even if it doesn’t happen on the first try).

With the exception of technology like a new laptop or even a car, bedding is the most money you will spend for your room. The world is an exciting place for preppy bedding because when I started school, none of the preppiest lines even sold it.

My favorite bed sets for college are printed and not white. While I love a gorgeous monogrammed white and navy set as much as the next preppy girl, I can tell you from first hand experience that you are going to use your bed as your sofa for Netflix, your desk for studying when you get tired of the real desk, the table for your pizza hut box and the counselors couch for your weepy roommate. In the best case scenario, your bedding should be able to hide all of the evidence of that and what stains can’t be hidden, should be able to be washed out without having to make a dry clean run.

Duvet covers are actually great for this. they’re like a pillow case for your comforter; where you can pull them off and just toss them in the wash. If you are set on the white sheet sets (I get it, I love them in spite of the impracticality) then go for the duvet.

The bedroom set on my guest room bed is actually a perfect color palette for a college girls dorm room. My husband and I set our guest room up with that in mind since we each have a sister in college nearby and our guest room has belonged to them in the past.

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The Kate Spade comforter set is just like the one on in our master bedroom. It was a great deal and while impractical in white and green, at least it’s washable. It’s paired with a no longer available set of chevron polka dot sheets from the French Bull line at Target.

Here are a few sheet sets that are both lovely and practical and set the tone for a great fall semester.

Whim Collection by Martha Stewart is actually one of my favorite brands. With whimsical prints and just down right cute ways to match them, how could anyone resist this line? Even better, right now, they are having some great deals.

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How cute are the camel sheets and other assorted animal prints? All of these could be paired with any bedding you’ve already purchased. In college there is zero shame in having at least two or three sets of sheets. You don’t want to be the girl who spills something on her bed and then has to wait for the washer while you’d rather be squeezing in a run before studying for that exam.

It’s totally okay to mix from multiple companies. I would absolutely pair the dotty black Whim sheets with the rugby stripe comforter from Target like in my guest room.

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If you’re looking for something in the Lilly Pulitzer print family. Look no further than Etsy.

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Lilly Pulitzer from Have Faith Boutiques on Etsy has a number of beautiful duvet covers based on Lilly Pulitzer prints. You can have the monogram customized for your own personal preferences including the shape of the name plates. They also do shower curtains, towels, yoga mats, etc.

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For a little less print, Pottery barn has this amazing ribbon duvet in multiple colors. It’s one of my favorites because with the lack of print, you can do high impact printed sheets and pillows.

These are some of my favorite sheet ideas. If you’ve already purchased some, tell me about them! What did you buy?

More Kate for My Money

If you’re following along, then you’ve already seen my DIY Kate Spade Downing desk for our bedroom. Since I’m Kate-sessed (that’s short hand for Kate Spade Obsessed), I’m further integrating the ‘classic with a wink’ into our space. And doing so without spending too much money because I’m flighty. In two months, I may not love my choices so the less spent, the better.

As luck would have it, we went to Marshall’s and scored this gorgeous gray polka dot comforter set for only $59.00. It was marked down for whatever reason, a reason which I did not argue with.

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Our room has always been some play on gray, white and yellow so this set fit perfectly with our space. Our old comforter was a darker quilt and it really weighed the room down since it doesn’t get much light. This new comforter is light and airy and puffy.

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It looks a little odd seeing my side of the bed without my little old orange nightstand but I’m still loving my desk and Hubby’s nightstand is holding down the fort.

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How cute is that lamp? I can’t believe they sell something that interesting for children.

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We center our summer décor in the room around this adorable seagull pillow that we picked up last year. It combines all the wacky colors we love and gives the bed an extra touch of whimsy.

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Our room has come so far since we first moved in a year ago. Only thing left is new curtains. Dare I hunt for Kate Spade ones? Anyway, what’s your local Marshall’s carry that pleasantly surprised you?

Comforter Set| Sheet Set| Pillow Sold Out Similar Similar but cuter| Desk High Low| Lamps Fox  Pineapple

Kate Spade Downing Desk Alike

I am head over heels in love with the Kate Spade Downing desk but at a whopping $3,095, I wasn’t in love with the price.

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I scoured the Internet and fell in love with this simple diy version of the desk from Mark Montano and needed to make it. I took a weekend and voila, in three hours it was complete.  We purchased the Alex desk from Ikea and the hardware from Home Depot online. In store had only rounded edge hardware instead of sharp edge hardware. It seemed to visually make all of the difference at least to me. If you’d like to create your own version of the desk, these are all the supplies you need.

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I laid down the drop cloth and put the pre-built desk on it. After attaching the hardware, I simply dabbed the slightly imperfect spots with the daubers. I made sure to cut the edges of the daubers as instructed since Kate Spade’s circles are never perfect. I also painted the legs with a small brush. Unlike the linked diy project, I made sure to seal the desk with a few coats of high gloss top coat. The surface of the desk is so very slick that I am positive the spots would be gone in a week.

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I’ve been using it as a very long nightstand since I often find myself bringing work. I am still settling on a chair. I have a chippedale chair currently but I’m highly considering a lucite or acrylic chair. No matter what chair I end up with, I couldn’t be happier with the results as I saved myself $2,900.

With a Pop of Yellow

I am tragically into spring cleaning and organizing right now. I have been deconstructing our home  with an editing eye deciding which items need to be painted, ebayed, donated or trashed. Slowly but surely, its resulting in a space that feels more like me (cough, us. Sorry, honey).

The very first place in our home that needed a revamp was our front hall.  The first wall you see when you enter has been blank since we moved here a little over a year ago. I have been swearing profusely that I would hang something, only to put it off.*Sheepish face*

Queue some very special illustrations from a very special lady. A high school friend and talented artist Allison Rich whipped up some drawings from our wedding photography. The results are absolutely gorgeous and one of a kind.

The four illustrations at the bottom are from Allison. I sent her a few of our favorite photos from our wedding and about two weeks later these little guys showed up at our front door. They are fun, graphic and bring just the right amount of color to a truly neutral wall.
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Honestly, look how stinking cute Allison made us look in a all of these drawings. Her drawings remind me of the best parts of my childhood like reading Roald Dahl books under the covers in elementary school and always having the heaviest backpack because I needed to carry all my favorite books and the giant pencil case.
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I love these so much and I could not be happier with her beautiful work. Now if I could just get the framing right then we’d really be in business.  You can find Allison and her work at…
Allisonrich.art@gmail.com
instagram @ citymousespeaks
www.allisonrichart.com

A Semester in the Life

It has been a while, aye? My blog, which is currently under construction, has gotten a slight face lift and a new name. I wanted my internet presence to be cohesive so I changed the name of the blog from Southern Ethnic to PrepFord Wife, my tumblr name, especially because over the years my blog has moved from the topic of me being a northern implant. Cute pun though right? Thanks, to the almost-hubby for coming up with it.

Anyway, I took a semester long break from social media (facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr/blogger) for spiritual reasons which I will explain at a later date. For now though, here is my life over the last semester in photographs. I will more than likely do a post per day about each photo.

August

 

 

Sure, I got a new planner but I also began the last year of my master’s and got a new job on retail. It’s where all my money went anyway. Oh and that watch, my new found dedication to time management.
I also started a new role as an intern at the local Health Department. I have interned in a health department before but this time, I had a different focus.
I gained my other sister. This (far left) is my beautiful sister in law to be and she too is a Campbell student now! The one in the middle is my biological sister who was became a CU student in 2011. Surprise, Campbell family.
September
I started working out faithfully. I am not necessarily on a mission to lose weight but to be a healthier version of myself. I don’t have a regime, I do the one above on occasion. I am just moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
Sirius Black grew. Darn near overnight. Look at that guy. He’s huge. Ain’t he a stinker though? Precious baby.
October
The lumberjack and I spent our anniversary at a possible wedding venue. We were suppose to get married privately this October but decided against it in favor of an actual wedding. Surprise! So next October, me and the boo are gonna get hitched. I’m a perfectionist so I need that time to plan. Don’t judge me. Stay tuned for updates about this shindig.
November
Ze Shanster had a birthday. Happy Birthday Shanster.
Gasp. All of the Ellis-Ford progeny, at least the ones who matter, are in the same place at once. Had to catch that one on camera. Far right, the one who you probably don’t recognize from other post, is the Ellis brother. He is a marine and is usually stationed away from us.
Janelle Monae concert! ‘Nuff said.
We had our engagement shoot. Obviously this handsome couple is not us but we are going to publish an entirely separate post with our photos. I promise; they are worth the wait.
December
December marks the end of the semester and the beginning of winter break which means our little lovelies are traveling back to their actual parents and we are now empty-nesters for a little while. I’m super gonna miss the little buggers.
Pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain. This picture is actually a peak at the inside of our little house. I have slowly but surely been pimping it out. Again, another post for another day.
Stay tuned, I fully intend to spend the next two weeks or so catching you up on my/our lives and the semester.