DIY faux wainscoting

We’ve been in the new house for two months now and I’m finally ready to share a project!
When we moved in, the house was a complete blank slate, which was nice,
but also very intimidating. Our first priority was Kenley’s room,
because we wanted her to feel comfortable and help the transition.

This is how it looked the day we closed on the house.



We knew we wanted to do this room very similar to her old room,
but with the chair rail already there, we weren’t sure how to go about it.
I really love wainscoting, but that would have required us to take off the chair rail,
and the base board, and it was going to be a pretty penny,  not to mention, time consuming.
We didn’t have energy to tackle that project, in the midst of moving & running after a one year old.

Instead, I came across this tutorial from The Idea Room and thought we could definitely pull it off.

We purchased the 5/8 x 1-1/4 x 8 edging at Lowe’s and went with the poplar & red oak finish because it was cheaper.
We were planning on painting it the same color as the wall, so it didn’t matter either way.


We liked how the boxes looked in the tutorial we found and decided to stick with their dimensions.
The boxes have 4 inches all the way around them; from the chair rail, the base board, the wall, and the next box.
Once we knew how much space, we measured each wall to determine how many boxes we will need.


I’m a visual learner, so I had to draw it out to get the gist of what we were doing.
Don’t look too closely, I’m sure there are some mistakes; and yes, I had to write out what 31 minus 8 was…
measure twice and cut once, right?

Once we started cutting the 8 foot long pieces of edging,
we realized we probably could have done it more efficiently,
to get the most out of each piece, but we didn’t so we just kept going.


As Greg was cutting the pieces, and Kenley was napping,
I thought it would be a good idea to start spray painting each piece.
At this point, Greg had already painted Kenley’s room white below the chair rail,
so my big idea was to just spray paint each piece and put them on the white wall.
That didn’t last very long.
I quickly became annoyed and decided to paint them once they were on the wall,
with actual paint and a paintbrush. It was so much easier.


Once they were all cut and half of them were painted, Greg started nailing them to the wall with a nail gun.
After he was done, I started painting them. Just for good measure, we did two coats of paint the whole way around.
We left it “almost done” for a while, so let’s fast forward through the holidays…
Once we came back to it, Greg caulked any of the open spaces around the wood and the nail holes.
It probably would have been best if we reversed the process and caulked before we painted,
but we started this project on Thanksgiving, the day after we moved in, so we really didn’t think about it.



Overall, I love how it looks!
It’s so much better than just a plain white wall below the chair rail.

my weekend in photos

friday night, we had wonderful friends over for dinner & i didn’t take one picture. fail.


his & hers coffee, gearing up for a big saturday


this girl turned one year old!


kenley says, it’s your birthday!


family photo


kenley came back from kyler’s party to balloons and this card.
she’s so excited to be a flower girl this fall!


kenley was happy to wake up from her nap to find the hoosiers winning.
she proudly sported her iu dress at church today.


her favorite pastime, playing in the dvds.


we had a busy weekend and definitely don’t have the pictures to show for it.
how was your weekend??

bebe shower

As promised, I wanted to share some photos from the beautiful baby shower in Cali last weekend.











Thank you to Mary Beth & Kirby for throwing such a great shower for Mandy and sweet baby L!
Thank you to Chris for taking care of your bedridden wife + four more girls for the weekend,
for allowing us to snuggle & eat dinner in your bed, and for making us Kilroy’s bread sticks at 9am!

It was such a fun trip and we cannot wait to meet baby L!

my [long] weekend in photos

this week has been crazy. kenley and either greg or i have been home since tuesday
because the little nugget had RSV and an ear infection. boo.
so it was hard to remember when the weekend actually began,
throw in a holiday and forget about it. i have no idea what day it is.


we spent a lot of time doing this and watching mickey mouse clubhouse,
trying to keep her sitting still for 8-10 minutes.


it worked out well that a sweet friend brought her personalized minnie ears!


welcome to florida in the winter, one day our wagon ride looked like this.


and the next day it looked like this. significant drop in temperatures.
we headed out to take some pictures to celebrate 15 months!


we took advantage of an extra weekend day with no plans and tackled some projects.
we said so long to our island counter top and sold it on craigslist in less than 12 hours.
i should give you a sneak peak of the new one… but i’m not. stay tuned!


big thumbs up to chic-fil-a for these awesome place mats.


we headed out for a run and stopped to get frozen yogurt halfway through.


i spent a good chunk of saturday washing, ironing, measuring, hemming, and hanging curtains x 4.


i’m sure you noticed here that we have a lot of shelves to fill,
so we picked up these two cute little guys.
slowly we’ll get there.


we had our 15 month check up today and a follow up for her appointment earlier this week.
for someone who hates the doctor, she did a-ok.


since she got two shots, she got her first publix cookie, it sure was  yummy.


how was your weekend? did you enjoy your day off today?

15 Months!

Kenley is 15 months old! This is another milestone that I feel is so much older than last month.
Call me crazy, because I am, but saying 15 months versus 14 months just seems so different.


Her vocabulary is really taking off, but we can also start to see that she is understanding more.
She can respond to simple commands and even answer questions from time to time.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have really tried to make a list of her words:

Mama & dada
Hi, hello & bye (complete with waving)
Yes & no (complete with head shaking)
Apple & nana
Cheese (shees) & cracker
Milk (mostly in sign language and makes the “m” sound)
More (with sign language)
Please & thank you
Cat (at) & dog
Kyler (loooooves talking about her friend)
Fish (sheesh) & turtle (teetle)
Ball (and a variation of football)


Over Christmas break, she would say no after everything. Everything.
It was more like “nooooooo?” and it really was adorable.
Even more adorable now that it has passed.

If you ask if she wants to go upstairs, she will immediately go to the gate
and start shaking it. Upstairs is where the toys are, so it’s super fun.
If you ask if she wants to go bye bye or in the wagon,
she will go straight to the garage door.
One of the fun things is that she will go to her high chair or to the pantry,
when she is hungry or would like a snack.
Sometimes she’ll say cracker or cheese, but usually it’s just “more”.

She can climb the stairs all the way to the top,
in addition to climbing on and off the furniture:
couch, chairs, ottoman, etc.
She is also running,
and is really in to walking backwards, too.


She loves putting things in drawers and cabinets.
One of her Christmas presents was a little craft table that has two drawers,
and each time we are playing, she will hide puzzle pieces in the drawers.
Downstairs, she will put remotes and toys inside the TV cabinets,
you know, just saving them for later.

She’s also a big fan of peak-a-boo, under the blanket.
She will hide, then it’s your turn. Then it’s “more” several more times.
Greg even caught her sitting up, with a blanket over her head during nap time the other day.


If you ask what a duck or cow says, she will answer correctly,
mostly thanks to one of our favorite books “Moo, Ba, La La La”.
She LOVES her ducky right now. She will quack at any sight of a duck.
The other day in the car she kept saying something that resembled E-I-E-I-O,
so we have been singing Old McDonald a lot lately, especially with her farm animal puzzle.

Kenley got a new potty for Christmas, with the hopes that she will sit on it before bath time.
She is typically so excited for bath time that she doesn’t want anything to do with the potty.
Being so excited for bath time means she can get her leg almost all the way over the tub,
which is very scary for mama. She is very eager to get in there, to say the least.


Thanks to her Grandpa, she learned how to unlock an iPod and an iPhone over Christmas.

Happy 15 months Kenley Dee!


Update from our doctor’s appointment:

22 pounds 8 ounces – 50th percentile
31 3/4 inches – 90th percentile

She’s grown 2 1/2 inches in three months!

my weekend in photos


my weekend started very early friday morning, 4:30am est to be exact.
i headed to the other orange county for a quick trip and stopped over in houston on the way.


we requested to take the scenic route from the airport up the pacific coast highway.
you can see why. absolutely breathtaking.


i had to get my first in and out burger and fries, animal style.
delicious, i tell ya.


the hoosiers played at 9am in cali. 9am. how amazing is that?
we (the girls) watched the game, snuggled up on the couch in our pjs, eating kilroy’s breadsticks.
it was perfect.


that afternoon we celebrated our dear friend mandy and baby l.
many more pictures to come.


mbk and kirby threw the beautiful shower, it was perfect in every way.


meanwhile, greg and the nugget were home watching football.

Baby gear assembly extraordinaires. @cel779

celeste and i went to work after the shower assembling lots of baby gear for our bedridden friend.
we had entirely too much fun.


while i spent the day traveling across time zones, kenley was home being cute.


it was a very quick trip across the country, but it was worth every minute.
i had a great time with the girls and showering mandy with love.

how was your weekend?

hello 2013

As we rang in the new year, I found myself revisiting my New Year goals from this time last year.
I decided then that they were goals, because I don’t like resolutions.
I quickly realized what a different place we are in and how much has changed in just one short year.
The memories of returning to work after maternity leave flooded back to me,
and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief that in this new year, I don’t feel that stress.
The year wasn’t always easy, but to see where we are now, I can safely say, we survived.
A year ago we were still in uncharted territory learning to be Kenley’s parents,
to understand what it means to be working parents, and yet, still be a married couple.

The reason I wanted to look back was to see just how we did with our new year goals.
as well as look forward to 2013 to see what we want to accomplish.

For a quick look back:

(1.) I have gotten back to my pre-pregnancy body (and then some) by running a half marathon,
and mostly by breastfeeding for over 11 months.
I didn’t share much about that journey because I wasn’t sure how to do that (maybe next time?),
but one of the biggest goals of last year was to have Kenley on breast milk for at least a year,
and we most definitely succeeded and it was most definitely a family effort.

(2.) We have also grown our blog over the past year.
I say we because, even though I may do most of the updating, it is really a family effort.
There are many, many nights that Greg was on dinner & dishes duty (for example) so I could sit down to write.
A lot of people ask, how do you do it all? and the answer is that I don’t! Not by any sense of the word.
We have a great system down and I couldn’t do 99% of the stuff I do without his support.
We’ve done a good job of documenting Kenley through her first year & beyond
and our goal is continue to do that, as well as keep friends & family up to speed on our ever-changing girl.
It is definitely fun looking back through posts of the last year and seeing what all we did!

(3.) We did a lot of great updates and projects in our old home,
and I don’t think either of us would have thought that we would be living in a completely different house
at the start of this new year, but we feel really good about how we left our first home,
Kenley’s first home (tear), for the new owners.
And we actually completed some Pinterest projects! Always a good thing.

(4.) I still feel that our church-going habits are a work-in-progress.
There are ups and downs through the year. We will get on a roll with attending,
then have a couple busy weekends in a row and not be able to go.
Finding our place in our church will continue to be a goal for us this coming year.

(5.) I think I deserve a huge pat on the back really learning to let things go.
Having a child has totally helped me be more “go with the flow”
and really not stress out over things that are out of our control.

Looking forward:

(1. ) First and foremost, this year, there will be more Greg and Kendra time.
I’m not sure how that is going to look yet, but it is a priority.
It may just be ‘no technology Tuesdays’ or date nights in, or even date nights out (gasp!),
but something’s going to give. We love being Kenley’s parents more than anything in the world,
but we need to pay more attention to intentionally being husband and wife.

(2.) Now that we have found our house, we need to transform it into our home.
I am very excited about the (forever long) to-do list that we have,
but it will be fun slowly making this new house our own.
Sort of along those lines, I want to also learn more about sewing.
I got a new sewing machine for Christmas (!!) so I am determined to use it properly.
I am planning to make (at least) a quilt this year.

(3.) I need to stop relying on my iPhone to take all my photos this year.
I’ve become way too dependent on it and I have a nice camera that I need to use.
I also have a new lens that I need to learn to use, so there is no time like the present.
Remember (over six months ago) when I gave you Michael & Karolina’s sneak peek?
Yes, I realize, I still need to blog about their session and how much fun it was.
Hopefully, I’ll have a few more to share this year, who knows?
At the very least, I need to start using my camera more,
and while I’m at it, I could stand to get in a few more pictures too.

(4.) Church will still be a goal for us this year.
I understand there will be Sundays that we just don’t make it to church,
but I would like to take advantage of our church podcast service
and still worship, even if it’s not in person.
I don’t want this to be a cop out. I want it to be a secondary option for worshiping.

(5.) Have fun!
Life is short and it’s moving very quickly.
We’re going to enjoy the ride.


What are your new year goals?

How will your 2013 look?

goodbye 2012

I’m already starting off the year slightly behind,
but without further ado, here is how our 2012 looked.


I headed back to work after maternity leave and Kenley started day care,
which made weekends even more special.
We became a wee bit more official (in our eyes) and started blogging from our new domain.
I finally shared my chalkboard bottles.
Kenley’s nursey was featured on Apartment Therapy, which is more special now that this was her first room.
Alicia was able to visit after her conference that was in town.
We met miss Kyler Nicole for the first time!



My mom and I met Miranda Lambert!
Kenley was baptized at Summit Church.
We were able to see David, Jodi, Gavin, Maddie & Landon while they were visiting Disney.
I shared our first must have list of baby items.
I also shared the ribbon wreath I made for Kenley’s baptism, one of our most viewed posts this year.



I first put it out there that I wanted to run a half marathon.
We went to the Braves v. Yankees spring training game at Disney.
Completed our framed mirrors after many trips to Lowe’s.
Grandma and Grandpa visited for spring break & I headed to Tampa for NIRSA.



We celebrated Easter.
Kenley had her first food… peas!
Lindsey and I threw a surprise shower for Sally and baby Margot!
We participated in the Central Florida March of Dimes 5K for Jack’s Pack.


Kenley got her first tooth.
Greg and I went to the Magic vs. Pacers playoff game at Amway Center.
I left my job (and long commute) at Stetson, and started a new job back at UCF.
I shared the second part of our must have list of baby gear.
Greg, Michael & my dad surprised my mom and I for Mother’s Day.
We spent Memorial Day at Grammy’s house and went swimming.



We spent the weekend at the beach with the family.
We met miss Margot Claire for the first time!
Kenley started crawling and pulling herself up within weeks of each other.
Greg celebrated his first Father’s Day and we made a fun gift for him.
Greg also headed up to AC to see the boys, Metallica, and the Phillies vs. Rays



We headed up to Indiana for summer vacation, you can read about it here, here, and here.
While we were there, we celebrated the 4th of July & our 4th anniversary.
We went to the Rays vs. Red Sox game in St. Pete with the Campbell & Peña families.
We met Mr. Jackson for the first time!
I registered for the OUC Orlando Half Marathon.



I shared the last part of our must have list for baby gear.
Grandpa Larry came to visit for a long weekend.
Kenley took three baby steps!


Melissa was in town for Labor Day weekend!
Kenley and I headed up to Indiana for Meg’s baby shower.
Ashley & Britton got married!
I went to the Brad Paisley concert in Tampa.



Kenley was officially walking.
Greg and I celebrated our birthdays.
We finished Kenley’s weekly photo project.
Kenley turned one and we celebrated at her first birthday party!
We put in an offer on our new house and it was accepted!
Kenley was an adorable strawberry for Halloween.



We put our house on the market, sold our house, and moved into our new house.
I participated in 30 Days of Thankful, you can see it here, here, and here.


I ran my first half marathon!
I participated in A Pinterest Christmas with several other ladies.
Melissa came to visit.
We celebrated an early Christmas with the family at the beach.
We closed and turned the keys over to the new owners of our old house.
Then, we headed up to Indiana to celebrate Christmas.
We spent the rest of the year working on the house and getting ready for the new year.


2012 was a good year for us, we’re anxious to see what lies ahead in 2013.

You can see 2011 in review here.

my weekend in photos

my weekend in photos is back in 2013, but i will apologize in advance
for the lame post ahead… we had a very non-eventful weekend.


i worked the national flag football tournament on campus


friday night was not so delightful. rainy and cold.
alex reliving her glory days at the turf fields.


saturday turned out to be so much better.


lots and lots of flag football.


evening drink. grapefruit or blood orange?
still up for debate.


awesome staff on a foggy morning.


kenley taking in some flag football.


enjoying taking some couch time.
not a good day for football in the gilbertson household.


like i said, lack of excitement and lack of photos this weekend.
how was your first weekend in 2013?