Thursday, January 31, 2013

The end is near and Baby Girl is almost here!

Initially I was supposed to do those cute chalkboard updates for my bump pics, but that lasted two whole weeks. Instagram updates were faster and easier – my style during pregnancy. I love having this and want to get it developed as a picture collage – so cute for Baby Girl’s scrapbook! (yeah like that’s ever happening, if I don’t have one for my first child I can’t expect myself to do it for my second). #ohwell

PBJstories pregnancy timeline
I can’t believe it. I’m finally to the end! 

I always thought those woman that said I miss being pregnant were CRAZY… but in a sense I think I get it a little now.  I had a rough start to this pregnancy.  I was so sick up until 24 weeks and NEEDED Zofran every 8 hours religiously.  I had every “pregnant with a girl symptom” in the book. I was emotional, I got acne, I was super sick,  I got heart burn, I craved tons of sweets and chocolate. 
I also got dozens of leg cramps every night, had the vivid weird dreams, and hourly pee breaks all night.

(Me – just about every night)
toe cramps
It was 100% opposite from my first pregnancy. And I think that’s what I’m going to miss.  I think it’s hysterical (now that I’m to the end) that a little baby girl growing inside me could COMPLETELY change me as a person.
This little sweetheart has made me eat more Caramel Milky Ways than I could count, she had me eating dark chocolate dipped in vanilla frosting straight from the can. (I had to throw it away in order to stop eating it… and even that barely stopped me).  She even got me to eat spicier food than I normally can.  I see it as a big forecast to the future… I believe she’ll be changing me in more ways than I can count as she continues to grow.

Jackson has been the love of my life for the last four years, and it almost scares me to think of someone else coming into our lives to share that love.  Except I know my love will continue to grow more than I even thought possible. I cannot wait to see Jackson as a big brother. I cannot wait to see my husband be the father to his daughter. I cannot wait to see what this beautiful little girl will look like. 

I keep trying to imagine where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing when I first realize I’m actually in early labor.  I woke up with contractions at about 5am three days before J’s due date and wasn’t really sure if I was in labor, or just hopeful.  I eased into the labor fairly easy as I was able to get a full nights rest before the big day and slowly just let the contractions get closer as I walked, napped and took baths all day.

This time I keep picturing things like me being at Lowe’s and having my water break. Or headed to the store to pick out my final can of frosting and keeling over from contraction pain (the braxton hicks have been PAINFUL this time around).
Who knows how it’ll happen, I just hope it happens sooner than later! And on that note I thought it’d be fun to do a little PB&J reader poll of when Baby Girl will grace us with her presence!
When do you think???


Also, I hope to be sharing Baby Girl’s nursery soon so stay tuned for that too!!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And the winner is....!


We want to give a big HUGE THANK YOU to all of our AMAZING sponsors for our New Year, New Home, Big Room MakeOver Giveaway!  Thank you so much for making this giveaway possible!! These are all amazing companies who we as bloggers LOVE working with!

 Please take a moment to visit these great companies:

And now...for the moment we've all been waiting for...the WINNERS!
Winner of the #1 Room MakeOver Giveaway Prize Package valued at $1,519 is:
Jenni Wilson Heath who likes Someday Crafts on Facebook
Winner of the #2 Room MakeOver Giveaway Prize Package valued at $1,508 is:
Jaimee Dart Ulmer who likes How to Nest for Less on Facebook
CONGRATULATIONS!  You have 48 hours to contact me (Ashley) at simplydesigning@gmail.com in order to claim your prize or a new winner will be picked. I also want to thank all the FABULOUS women who worked so hard to put this great giveaway on!  We would love it if you took a moment to follow us!



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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our Kitchen Makeover–small changes make a big impact!

PBJstories.com Kitchen Makeover

I am SO excited to finally be sharing this with you guys!!!!

This isn’t some HUGE before and after reveal as our “before” kitchen was still pretty good.  It was just cookie cutter, “fine” and didn’t really have our personality in it yet.  However just with any of the projects we do for this home, our goals are to turn it from a “house” into our “home”.  We know we’ll be leaving soon so I didn’t want to invest a lot of money and time into the kitchen and make it into my dream kitchen only to turn around and sell it within a year.
Instead we planned out the easiest ways to give a kitchen personality and a new life, and executed it in about one weekend!

Here’s a few before shots – and as usual my before shots aren’t “prettied” up… they’re our live in style… how it looks day in and day out.  PBJstories.com kitchen before
PBJstories.com kitchen before Do you see that refrigerator?! That’s a family-inspired refrigerator Open-mouthed smile

PBJstories.com kitchen before
As you can see, great backbones.  Nice tall cherry cabinets, vinyl countertops that aren’t terrible, and pretty good appliances.  When we moved in dishwasher, stove/oven, microwave and sink were all “contractor grade” appliances.  The sink especially was nothing special. The dishwasher was loud and having an open floor plan that was kind of a drag, but we just ran it at night (actually quite dangerous to do).  What prompted our kitchen makeover was when our dishwasher broke and we had someone come give us a quote to fix it, $250 to fix it… he kindly told us that the style of dishwasher that I was, was only about $200.  SO, dishwasher shopping we went.  Once we got a pretty new shiny QUIET dishwasher… the rest of the "non” upgraded kitchen seemed bland and started my itch to start a few other upgrades.

Here’s our pretty AFTER:
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PBJstories.com kitchen reveal
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PBJstories.com kitchen reveal
PBJstories.com kitchen reveal
Did you see all the changes?! Here’s a quick checklist of what we did:
Added beautiful backsplash (Leonia Silver Glazed Porcelain Tile from Lowe’s)
Upgraded the sink (Moen Lancelot Drop In Sink)
Upgraded the faucet (Moen Kleo Faucet in Spot Resistant Stainless Steel)
Changed out the recessed lighting above the island to jaw-dropping pendant lights (Globe Industrial Lights from Shades of Light)
Changed out the recessed light above the sink for dramatic semi-flush light (Modern Semi Flush Ceiling light from Shades of Light)
Cleaned Smile

Here’s a few detail shots:

PBJstories.com Moen sink
We took out our old sink and basic kitchen faucet, and upgraded to these beautiful set from Moen.  The faucet is Kleo model from Moen in their spot resistant stainless steel.  It’s PERFECT.  I loveeee the  pull down hose, and the subtle detail in the handle.  The finish is perfect for messy hands as it doesn’t show fingerprints. 

PBJstories.com backsplash detail
I picked out this backsplash almost the DAY Lowe’s placed it on their shelves.  I tried pulling it up online when I got home after picking it out and couldn’t find it anywhere.  After asking during my next trip they told me they literally just placed it on their shelves and won’t be “launched” for a few months still… that’s just how much I loved it instantly! 

PBJstories.com backsplash detail
Finding a backsplash that worked with the color of countertops and cherry wood was actually a big challenge.  If you Google Cherry wood cabinet kitchens you’ll see the color scheme that’s typically done is this creme /yellow stone colored backsplash that I wasn’t crazy about.  I LOVED how the silver backsplash plays off the stainless steel appliances, and lights… really brings in a modern feel into the kitchen.

PBJstories.com - Shades of Light Pendant Lights
Now for these lights!  How BEAUTIFUL are these!!!???? I saw these online a long time ago and loved their shape, their color and their appearance.  Then after seeing them in person as the Shades of Light local store I knew they’d be PERFECT for our island.

PBJstories.com - Shades of Light Pendant Lights
By the way do you see the melting pot of paint colors from this angle? – A challenge!
PBJstories.com - Shades of Light
The light above the sink was a bit of a challenge to find the “perfect” one.  I shopped online for weeks and couldn’t find one that fit.  Until… once again, Shades of Light to the rescue!  I went into their store with two specific lights in mind that I saw online, but seeing them in person, once again they didn’t seem right.  Then I saw this one and barely even checked the price tag, I just knew it was finally the one that was going to tie the whole kitchen together.
The last change we did was paint the walls.  I have Emily from Decor Chick for the easiest decision of my life… One early morning I was doing my morning blog read and read her post about the PERFECT greige color she made.  I instantly knew it was going to be the perfect color for our kitchen blending our entryway, living room and kitchen colors together. And I was right, so a big thank YOU to her!

A big huge thank you to Moen and my sponsor Shades of Light for helping contribute to our kitchen makeover.  While some of the products were received from them, they were top on our list to pick out ourselves.  They’re the perfect additions for our kitchen makeover!

Linking up this reveal to a few of my favorite parties:

Craft o Maniac
House of Hempworths
The Shabby Creek Cottage
 
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Epic News: A $3000 New Year New Home Giveaway!!!

I am here guys! I am here and though I have been quiet lately - I am here ready to scream this exciting news from my rooftop! 
I am bouncing off the walls excited to announce this New Year New Home Room Makeover Giveaway! I'm honored to have teamed together with this amazing group of ladies, and all these awesome companies to bring all this spectacularness to YOU!

New Year, New Home: $3,000+ ROOM MAKEOVER GIVEAWAY!
The prize package is huge (over $3,000!!) and includes everything you will need to update a room in your home!  (Or spread the love out and update a few items in a few different rooms...your choice really!)  In any case, it's huge, and fabulous and I can't wait to see who wins!!
It was SO HUGE we decided to split it into 2 Prize Packages! 
Enter to win once, and have a chance at winning one of 2 prize packages!

Here is what the prize packages includes:
New Year, New Home:  Epic Room Makeover Prize Packages 
Valued at over $3,000!!

Linen and Oak:  $60 gift card
Linen and Oak offers meticulously hand crafted home decor and pillows to help make your home beautiful.
Lowe's:  $100 gift card
Lowe's offers everything you need to tackle your home improvement projects all in one place.
Cost Plus World Market: $50 gift card
Unique, authentic and affordable home decor and furniture.
Expressions Vinyl: $40 gift card
Your one-stop shop for all your vinyl and vinyl cutting machine needs at amazingly low prices.
Jacquard Products:  $100 gift card
Jacquard Products in the leading manufacturer of artist quality textiles, mixed media and and craft products.
Wallpaper for Windows:  $100 gift card
Wallpaper for Windows offers a wide variety of decorative, frosted and privacy window films to enhance the beauty and privacy of your home.
DownEast Home:  $50 gift card
DownEast Home provides stylish and inexpensive home decor items that are sure to make your space into a warm and inviting home.
Giani Countertops:  Granite counter top paint, $70 kit value
Granite paint to upgrade your counter tops to fabulous in just a few short hours.
Lamps Plus:  $500 gift card
Lamps Plus has the largest selection of functional and decorative lighting, home accessories and furniture and has been providing great services nationwide for over 30 years.
Rod Works:  $50 gift card
Renew your home with amazing home decor accessories available in store or online.
Cutting Edge Stencils:  one stencil, up to $50 value
Cutting Edge Stencils offers stylish reusable stencils that are easy and affordable to work with - Great for Beginners
Scentsy (Mary Kilber):  White Heirloom Warmer and Luna wax, $35 value
Safe Wickless Flameless Decorative Candles, smokeless and soot free ~ with Scentsy's wickless candle bars and electric warmers, you can enjoy all the sensory delights of scented candles without the dangers of an open flame.
Shaped Expressions:  $50 gift card
Shaped Expressions offers fancy 'funk'tional picture frames in many shapes and sizes, both painted and unpainted to enhance the beauty of your home.
Poppy and Pinecone:  (2) 8"x10" art prints, $44 value
Poppy and Pinecones offers original art prints for your home at great prices.
DecoArt:  $220 value
DecoArt offers fabulous acrylic paint for artists, crafters and home decorators.
ClosetMaid:  $300 gift card plus design services
ClosetMaid is a worldwide leader in home organization offering design and amazing systems for use in bedrooms, kitchens, family rooms, laundry rooms etc!
Payless Decor:  $200 gift card
Payless Decor offers a great selection of window coverings from blinds, to shades and draperies at great prices.
Signs by Andrea:  customized family rules subway digital art, $9 value
Hand-crafted personalized signs for your home and family.
Cost Plus World Market: $50 gift card
Unique, authentic and affordable home decor and furniture.
Expressions Vinyl: $40 gift card
Your one-stop shop for all your vinyl and vinyl cutting machine needs at amazingly low prices.
Flor Carpet Tiles:  $200 gift card
Earth-aware consumers can create inspired living spaces through their own, unique composition of FLOR carpet design squares which provide the freedom and flexibility to create striking rug designs of any size or shape for every lifestyle. 
Royal Design Studio: $100 gift card
Extraordinary stencils for inspired home decor.
Orange Blossom Frames:  $100 gift card
Orange Blossom Shop is a one stop shop for fun and chunky frames, vinyl lettering, digital prints and party supplies.
U-Stripe It & Designs: $40 kit value 
U-Stripe It's kit allows you to paint stripes, plaids and other patterns with ease and simplicity.
Design Dazzle Shop: $100 gift card
Design Dazzle Shop has great products for your kids spaces and fabulous party supplies!  (shop opening soon)
Girl in Air:  giant 24x36 Cedar Plank United States Map, $75 value
Etsy and local shop selling handmade home decor, stamped jewelry, hand painted signs and also a retailer for the Silhouette and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
HomeGoods:  $100 gift card
HomeGoods is a store where savvy shoppers can discover a world of spectacular home products at great prices.
Poppy and Pinecone:  (2) 8"x10" art prints, $44 value
Poppy and Pinecones offers original art prints for your home at great prices.
Lowe's:  $150 gift card
Lowe's offers everything you need to tackle your home improvement projects all in one place.


So who wants to WIN!?!?
Giveaway Details
There is just ONE simple step to enter to win the Giveaway... 
(3 steps if you want some killer bonus entries!)
1) Comment on this blog post and tell me which room you would makeover if you won!  Then fill out the coordinating mandatory Rafflecopter entry below.  Easy peasy.

2) For tons of extra entries, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter entry form to Follow us ALL on Pinterest!

PINTEREST is becoming a household name and many amazing bloggers can be found on it!  It is a great way to discover amazing DIY's, crafts, recipes and more etc. and ALL of these fabulous bloggers are must-follows in the world of Pinterest!  They all pin (almost) daily and are constantly discovering new and incredible things! If you follow them, you'll be able to discover fabulous things too!  Who wouldn't want to follow these amazing ladies!?!?!  

3) For even more bonus entries, follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter entry form to Follow us ALL on Facebook!

We have pulled together an amazing group of bloggers and you'll be able to keep up on the latest trends, DIY, Craft and other fabulous ideas by following us all on Facebook!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We'd love for you to follow our blogs too: Cherished BlissDesign DazzleDesign Dining & DiapersHow to Nest for LessLolly JaneMine for the MakingPB&J StoriesProject InspireSand and SisalSAS InteriorsSimply DesigningSomeday CraftsTwo Twenty One 

GOOD LUCK!


*Winning entries will be verified.  This giveaway is in no way affiliated, administered or endorsed by Facebook or Pinterest.  No information will be disclosed to Facebook or Pinterest by entering this giveaway.  No purchase necessary to win.  Odds of winning are based on number of entrants.  Winner for each prize package will be chosen randomly through Rafflecopter.  Prize packages will be awarded to two different people.  Winner will be announced within 72 hours of giveaway closure on this blog post and winner will need to respond within 48 hours of announcement / email to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen.  Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a US citizen with a US mailing address in order to win.  Winner is responsible for paying any necessary taxes on winnings.  All prizes will be mailed  / emailed / fulfilled by the sponsor and the blog owners involved are not held responsible if the prize is not fulfilled.  A list of winners may be requested after the giveaway has ended.  Please email me with any questions or to obtain additional information at: simplydesigning@gmail.com

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 A New Year–Time for me to say hi!

Have you been wondering where I am?  Did I disappear with the New Year?  Goodness my to do lists have been unmanageable and unfortunately it’s been way too long since I’ve been able to sit and write!

Here’s my biggest issue that puts breaks in-between my blog writing – I get caught up in writing about the perfect project from start to finish.  I worry “update” posts will bore you and that’s not why you’re here.  You’re here to see project reveals, and how to’s.   I mean that is what started my entire blog.  So, as finishing projects have become far and few between … so have my blog posts as I worry I have nothing interesting for my readers to read. 
Yet, the blogs that I read on a daily basis are filled with “update” posts… check out this project “A” I’m working on, here’s a couple thoughts I had for today, check out this bloggers awesomeness that I saw that you may not have… All these type of posts I love reading on other blogs, but I worry – you won’t find those interesting on mine.  Well, this my friends… this is my blogging resolution.
I’m obviously off to a rough start, but I’m about to go through a big life changing event and know the toll it’s going to take on me.  Baby Girl is due in three weeks and I know the change having two kids will have on our life.  I won’t be doing any major DIY projects for a while, I won’t be getting enough sleep to keep my eyes open longer than 5 minutes to write a blog post, I’ll be covered in baby vomit and diapers more than paint and sawdust. I’m okay with that (deep breathe, I think I’m okay with that)… but I don’t want to lose my connection to the blog, and to you guys.  So, I want to re-find my voice here, find a “new” structure how to connect with you guys without having tons of tutorials and project reveals.

I hope you find the connection between us to be better, I hope that you find my little updates and posts in between the fun project reveals to be entertaining and amusing, rather than boring and uneventful as I fear.

I hope that we can stay connected over the next few months as I find new balance in the PB&J household bringing in our sweet Baby Girl.  By the way – people have been asking since our pregnancy announcement if I’ll be changing the name of PB&Jstories. I don’t believe I will be, PB&Jstories started with our little family of three, and though it’s growing I think Baby Girl fits under the “stories” category”.  I don’t want to lose the name of my blog and company quite yet.  I haven’t found something that I feel fits for us, so until then we’ll continue to be PB&J + Baby Girl Smile

Speaking of Baby Girls – I recently made a new sign that I’ll be listing in my Etsy shop upon returning from maternity leave.  I’ll be temporarily closing the doors to PB&Jcreations Etsy Shop just for a maternity leave so I can truly rest and be the best mother to our two kids and try to recoup.

It’s one of my bigger signs 24”x24” and done in a rustic peach color with soft white writing, and of course lightly distressed.

Let her sleep PBJcreations
PBJcreations let her sleep
My shop will be open for another two weeks so if you’re interested in this sign before it’s listed, just email me or contact me via my shop!

Well, I’d REALLY love to know what you’re thoughts are on my blog PBJstories.com.  If you’d take the time to leave some feedback, let me know that you’re still here with me and willing to handle the slight structure change of my writing, I’d appreciate it from the bottom of my heart! I appreciate each and every one of my readers and and thankful to have you here to share everything, even my pointless rants, with Winking smile
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