LIFE AROUND THE TABLE WITH TODDLERS

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I've always dreamed of a giant, handmade table to gather around. I kind of figured it was beyond our capacity at this stage in life to make one, so I just ordered one from cheap online retailer. The deal seemed too good to be true. And it was - it was only for the legs even though the listing said otherwise. The company was great about it and refunded us and said, just keep them, they're too heavy and not worth shipping back.

So here we were with two solid, chunky, modern farmhouse table legs. Since half the work was already, done, adding the top was doable and in Daniel's wheelhouse. He used four 2x4s to connect the legs since they were at an angle, and then added five 10ft pieces of wood to the top, and we now have a completely custom, long and wide, modern farmhouse table for under $100.

I love it and it's my very favorite piece of furniture we own, but I don't think you need a 10 ft custom farmhouse table to gather people within your home. It's not really about the table, or even the house. It's about making the time and the space for people to feel heard and seen and known and loved. Use whatever you have and whatever you've been given. An old picnic blanket works just fine.

I think most people who have toddlers would agree that dinnertime and two year olds doesn't always (ever?) look like calm conversation and time to connect. It is mostly utilitarian - here's food for you, and you, and you, can everyone just sit together for two minutes without screaming or asking for more or to get down, and if you're lucky a, "How was your day?" and enough time to hear the answer. Relaxing, it is not.

But it's important. And when there is something that I know is good for my family and will set the tone for years to come, I try everything in my power to make it happen. These things help me make dinner time happen for my family: the long term perspective, simple meals, wine, and... a grocery delivery service. I am trying out Shipt, and I'm learning that when our plate feels too full (literally here), to take something off it. There are kind, wonderful people who want to do your grocery shopping for you. Shipt just launched in Seattle with Target, and you can shop from your couch and have it delivered to your house within an hour. There is an annual membership fee, but after that, shipping is free over $35. Anything that makes getting my family together around a table easier in this season of life with a toddler is a win for me. The time together is worth it.

Shared in partnership with Shipt.

NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALE PICS

It's that time of year! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is such a huge deal here in the Pacific Northwest. The headquarters, corporate office, and generations of loyal shoppers make this kind of on the same level as seeing Santa at Christmas. It's just a thing here. It's open to cardholders now, and to the public on July 20th. Each year I grab some Zella leggings ($35 down from $54) and I always love seeing other people's recommendations, so I'm sharing some finds today. 90% of these are on sale, but I'm including a few pieces that aren't, but that I have and love and get asked about (like the Dansko clogs or Madewell shorts). Also to note: some pieces have already sold out, but sometimes they will restock throughout the sale. I picked all women's/baby/kid/maternity items. Enjoy!

 

 

MODERN FARMHOUSE PLAYSET DIY

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A playset has been on my wish list for a while now, but even the ones at Costco run about $1,000, so when our friends were giving away their well loved set for free, we jumped on the opportunity. Getting it was probably the hardest part. Daniel spent a couple days dissembling it into a few main pieces with our friends, and then rented a huge u-haul truck to transport it still mostly in tact.

When we reassembled it it looked like this:

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The bones were in great shape but the stain was peeling in lots of places. We pressure washed it and transformed it with paint in one afternoon.

This paint sprayer is one of my favorite tools for big DIY projects. We used it previously to spray all the doors in our house, and if we ever do walls again, I'd use this instead of rolling. It makes big project go so incredibly fast. They are pricey, but you might be able to rent one or borrow one.

It has a bit of a learning curve - there is a lot of paint loading, getting the air out, priming the pump, and troubleshooting throughout. But it really is a game changer for a project like this one.

We used two gallons of Behr Exterior Satin paint in Simply White by Benjamin Moore and a quart of the black. I can't remember the name of the black but I think it's something standard by Behr.

We debated priming but decided to just go for it without it. This is a playhouse, not Pinterest. It doesn't need to be perfect and we really wanted this project to go as fast as possible since we were racing against the weather and naptime. We just sprayed white paint all over the interior and exterior, on the already assembled play set (we did remove the swings, door, and rock climbing holds - on the back, not pictured).  It didn't matter than some paint got on the grass because it will grow and get mowed, and the slide we kept yellow and I didn't care about the over spray there. We only did one coat of white and it took almost exactly two gallons for interior and exterior. Once that was dry Daniel hand painted the roof in black and I did the windows with a small brush.

This playset is literally the playset of my dreams and I can't believe we got it for free. The total cost for us was about $72 - just the cost of paint. While not very much money, the difference it makes it absolutely incredible. Hopefully this inspires someone to scour Craigslist and OfferUp to find a great deal and then refinish it inexpensively. The hours of outside play and entertainment this has already provided has been well worth it. And the summer is only just beginning.

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Trey likes to come up to this window and pretend play. He'll ask me, "Mama order a coffee? Mama order a taco?" Yes please to both.

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So happy with this! We're calling it Trey's second birthday gift - just a few weeks early. This will be a gift that literally keeps on giving.