25.06.2017

Our 70s Dream House


I have a lot of requests for more house stuff so I thought I could start posting a little about it! I'm giving a little backstory on how we got to this house, so if real estate/house hunting is uninteresting, scroll down to all the before photos!

We LOVED our last house...it still holds a special place in our hearts. There wasn't a day I didn't walk up the stairs in that house and think how incredibly lucky we were to live there. It was a great house but after a 4 years we knew it wasn't our forever home.  (Side note: our dear friends bought it so we still get to see it.  And we bought it from a friend so I love that the friend tradition continues!)

We had a few things we were looking for in a long term home. We definitely wanted a garage! Our last two houses were both over 100 years old so neither had a garage. After 8 years without one, we thought it was time to stop scraping ice off of our cars every morning! We also really wanted a master bedroom/bathroom. In our last house, the kids' bathroom and 2 of the bedrooms were actually larger than the "master". We were hoping to upgrade to a king bed. And the main thing we really wanted was to get off of a busy street. Our last 2 homes were actually right across the street from each other, so they were on the same busy road. While our backyard made up for the busy street, we wanted to feel comfortable sending the kids out to ride bikes and visit friends.

Other considerations were a good sized backyard, since we were coming from a house with a larger yard, 4-5 bedrooms, room to entertain and something that spoke to us and had character like our last homes.

We started looking in February of 2016. There was a cool house with an indoor pool that we considered briefly and that jumpstarted the search more seriously. If you've been through the process you know it can be long and difficult...and this definitely was for us. I spent every day obsessively looking at the MLS listings and texting with our realtor, Aaron Oldham (@thehomescoop). I have to plug Aaron, not just because he is our good friend, because he really goes above and beyond for every client! He made the whole process so great and was instrumental in getting us our house. He also has an incredible eye for design/remodeling and has great ideas.

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

Living room from the first house we put an offer on

In August, I decided to look at a for sale by owner house that had been on the market for awhile. It had a good sized backyard and had some character. After taking Adam through it, we saw it's potential and made an offer. Unfortunately after stringing us along, we found out they had an offer put in weeks before ours, from someone who was trying to move by their mother. Can I plug having an agent? That whole experience was terribly annoying, all because they were not agents and definitely did NOT know what they were doing.

Vaulted living room from the second house

Vaulted living room from the second house we put an offer on

I spent the next 2 months thinking we would NEVER find anything else and that we had missed THE ONE. Ha, looking back I can't even imagine being in that house. In October, another one finally popped up that we were interested in. It had these amazing decks with an incredible view and a great living/entertaining space. We made an offer against several other offers and it was accepted! It was going to take some finagling to get it to work though. A side porch was going to need to be converted into a mudroom and office and then a storage room was going to be storage/guest room/exercise room. And then we got a bid for the yard...it was sloped down the mountainside. To level it out and make it useable, it was going to be at least 100k. Yikes!! And then the biggest blow came...it appraised for 100k LESS than our offer and their list price. We were also able to find out that this same thing had happened a few months prior and the deal had fallen through. The sellers were unwilling to budge and wanted us to still pay what we had originally offered.

In the midst of this ordeal, a house popped up on the market.  I looked at it on the MLS for a week, over and over again.  It was more than we were initially planning on spending and larger than we were looking to buy, but I kept going back to the photos.  It looked incredible!  So we went to look at it "for fun". Adam says this was just like when I wanted to go look at puppies "for fun" and we came home with a puppy.  Ha!  Of course, we both fell in love with the house.  Again, there were multiple offers and Aaron (@thehomescoop) was instrumental in getting us the house without overspending.  Our offer was accepted and the appraisal came back above our offer price!  Hallelujah!  It had everything we were looking for and more.  The yard is large and feels incredibly private, it's on a quiet street, has plenty of bedrooms and entertaining space and has so much character!

The original owners had built the house and lived there for 30+ years and then both passed away.  The house feels so special to us.  We are only the second family to have lived in it!  It has amazing bones and was well taken care of...it just needed a little updating!  It is definitely our 70s dream house and we keep pinching ourselves that it's ours.  I can't wait to share all the before/afters, hopefully in the next few weeks!

Entryway

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Formal Living Room/My Office

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Kitchen

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Kitchen looking into the family room. 

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Kitchen. Above the kitchen is a play loft

 

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Master Bedroom and the coolest fireplace

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"Japanese Spa" Master bath

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Adam's Office

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Laundry Room

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Family Room

 

25.11.2016

Unique Holiday Gifts


I've been wanting to put together a list of some of my favorite gift ideas for a little while.  I like to try and think of outside of the box gifts for the holidays and birthdays. These are all unique gifts that I've either received or given as a gift and are things we have loved.

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Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

 

FOR A MOM

  1. All white dishes from Replay Recycled.  I did a whole post about my undying love for these kids dishes.  And while it may not be the most glamorous gift to give a mom, I promise she will love the sanity.  If you know someone with toddlers, one color dishes are a must have.  We've had ours for a full year and the quality is excellent.
  2. My mother-in-law gifted me a few meals from Terra's Kitchen for my birthday this year.  Everything is pre-chopped and ready to cook in 20 minutes or less.  We loved trying new meals and I loved not having to think about our dinner once a week!  There are lots of these services, this is just the one I've used.
  3. I've been using Chatbooks for a few years and we love them.  We have them displayed all around our house.  I've given them to grandparents, to my friends after a girls trip and most recently, a gift card to my sister who just had a baby.  They're the perfect keepsake and the holiday editions this year are beautiful.

FOR A LONG-LASTING KID GIFT

  1. I can't vouch for this new redesigned version of the Toy mail Talkies, but we had the first version and loved it!  Adam travels a lot and our family is spread all over the US.  Friends and family (of your choosing) can download the free app and can send messages to your child and vice versa.  There's a whole lot more with the new version (alarms, reminders, etc.) but we've loved sending messages, especially in funny voices.  They are doing 30% off today (Black Friday) which makes them a killer deal.
  2. There was a whole year where a Magazine Subscription was the only gift we gave to our friends and family all year.  There are lots of subscriptions (National Geographic Kids is another great one) but I love the selection from Cricket Media.  They have magazines for all ages.  So far we've done BabyBug, LadyBug, and Click.  It's fun for kids to get mail and if after a few readings you're done with them, you can recycle them and it frees up space.
  3. We've had our Micro Scooters for about 3 years now.  And while they've been beat up quite a bit, they are still holding strong.  I would say these are probably our most used toy of all time.  Collier started on one when he was 20 months and Rilo still uses hers at almost 7, so the age range is really broad.

 

FOR THE BUDDING ARTIST

  1. Rilo was gifted a few Blank Hardcover Books and we've since gifted them to our friends too. She has one fully completed story and I think it's one of my favorite things to read.  I love seeing her creative mind at work and having her handwriting and illustrations at each age shown in a book.
  2. I've loved these Step by Step Drawing Books since I was a kid.  In fact, when Adam and I were dating, I would use them to write dorky love notes while he was away during the summer.  Everyone feels like an artist with these!
  3. These Blank Board Books are similar to the other books but every page is a hard page.  These are fun for kids to give to younger siblings or to make for a baby/young toddler.  Say Yes has a great tutorial for making a "Baby's First Words" book  here.

Do you have any unique gifts you like to give or that you've received?  I'm always trying to add more to my list!

 

This post contains affiliate links of things I really love.

22.11.2016

Cozy with Posey Party


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Posey turned 1 in October but #4thchildproblems + a busy October meant we had her party a month later.  Arden has been calling Posey "Cozy" since she was born (and honestly we call her that about 80% of the time too), so a "Cozy with Posey" theme seemed perfect!

As a designer, my pride and joy of parties is creating a fun invite.  Unfortunately this year things got away from me and I wasn't able to send them out in time.  So I did the next best thing and made a little video to text out.  I love the way this turned out!  I always feel like one year olds don't really need anything as far as gifts go, so for each of my kids' first birthdays I've asked for a donation, related to the party theme.  This year I asked for old/new coats, hats, gloves, etc...anything to help the less fortunate get cozy this winter too.  It's one of my favorite traditions and I'm thankful my friends go along with it.

 

I enlisted Mt. Vista Catering to take care of the food so I wouldn't have to.  They make THE BEST food...I say that, not in any sponsored way, but merely because I'm obsessed with everything they make.  They have a rotating menu of daily lunches and also cater events.  We did an Heirloom Tomato Soup, Butternut Squash Soup, French Dip Sandwich and Caprese Sandwich.  For the kids, they had little brown boxes with a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup and the cutest tiniest apple you've ever seen (pictured below).  I was apparently too busy eating the amazing food to take any pictures.

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I also had a little hot chocolate station.  I don't want to go as far as saying a hot chocolate bar because I really wanted to make this simple for myself.  I set up 4 hot chocolate flavors to choose from, some Pirouettes and cute hot chocolate cups.

Of course, I can't forget the cake.  Dolce Bella by Erin knocks it out of the park every time!  I asked her for a s'mores cake and boy did she deliver.  Fudge cake, layered with chocolate ganache, toasted marshmallow buttercream, chunks of toasted graham crackers, topped with chocolate sauce and toasted meringue!

 

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Happy 1st birthday, Posey Bea!

28.07.2016

Posey’s Birth Story


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A little back story before I start this birth story.  With baby #4 we decided to have a surprise baby and not find out what we were having.  My original due date was Sept. 30 but as we all know by now I don't have my babies on time!

This birth story actually begins 2 weeks before Posey was born.  In a crazed nesting phase, I decided to have our carpets cleaned in preparation for the baby.  The carpet cleaner came and began working on the main floor.  We were upstairs getting ready to go to a little music class my friend hosts.  Arden cried for me to carry her downstairs...you can probably see where this is going.  I slung her on my hip and headed down. The stairs were wet from cleaning and when my wet foot hit the wood floor at the bottom of the stairs, my feet slipped out from under me and Arden and I landed hard on the floor.  Arden was fine and I was ok, albeit a little sore.  So a little stunned, I hobbled out to the car.  I buckled everyone in and sat down in the front seat.  Which was when I noticed a big wet spot on my pants.  I spent a few minutes figuring out what sort of liquid it was, as any woman who has been 38 weeks pregnant can likely relate to.

I realized I should probably go in to my midwives to be checked and have the baby checked.  When I got there they determined that it was indeed amniotic fluid but baby was doing fine.  My water never breaks until I'm pushing so this was a shocking turn of events.  We decided to try to naturally get my labor going. I was 38 weeks and was ok to have a baby any day.  I tried a few herbs and a balloon catheter overnight to see if we could get contractions going.  I went in the next morning with not a single contraction happening, but the catheter had dilated me to a 5.  So I spent the rest of the day trying to get labor started. After a day filled with a million different crazy attempts (I can't even begin to detail all of them), it seemed clear that my body was not ready to have a baby.  I went back in that evening to discuss our options.  At that point we realized that despite that first little bit of fluid, I had not leaked a single drop of fluid since then.  My bag was still intact and baby's heartbeat was strong.  It turns out there can be a small pocket of water in between the outer and inner bags of water and that was what most likely leaked after the fall. So with some monitoring of my temperature and the baby's heartbeat, we decided to let things happen on their own.

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I know and expect to go past my due date but I went from thinking I had to have a baby that day, back to waiting again.  And man was that rough.  I became so incredibly impatient, which is not normally my nature.  I spent my days walking and waiting to meet this surprise baby.  My due date came and went and I was still very pregnant.  By this time my Mom needed to buy a ticket to come out.  She had a week window that she could come help me with the new baby so she booked a ticket to arrive at lunch time on Oct. 5.  This put some added pressure on me because I obviously wanted to have a baby while she was visiting so that I'd have help that first week.  So the night of the 4th I decided to try to get labor going one more time.  I pumped a little bit and started having some contractions.  Nothing painful or consistent but this was progress!

I had a Non-Stress Test in the morning (since I was a week overdue) to make sure everything was ok with the baby.  Everything was great with the NST but my midwives did say that the baby was still posterior (meaning she was head down but facing my belly button), which isn't the ideal position.  After doing some research, I'm convinced she was posterior because of the fall.  She was in the right position all the way until I fell. I read that a fall can sometimes put a little kink and cause them to move.

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So with random contractions still happening but very inconsistently, they sent me home to try and get the baby to rotate.  Please imagine a 41 week pregnant lady with her knees on the sofa and her arms resting on the floor, inverted.  Yeah, I looked like a nut.  I spent a few hours hanging out in these weird positions.

My Mom arrived just as I started to have consistent contractions, around 1pm.  I was finally in labor!  But I could tell that I wasn't making progress.  My last 2 labors have been very quick (Collier was 4 hours and Arden was 2 hours) and so contractions have been very intense and purposeful.  These ones felt weak and I knew that the baby was not descending at all. I could still feel the baby up in my ribs.  I bounced on the exercise ball for a little, tried a few more positions to get the baby to rotate and then went on a walk with Adam around 5pm.

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At the beginning of the walk we were walking leisurely and chatting.  But about 10 minutes into the walk things started to intensify.  I was no longer able to talk or walk through the contractions.  I stopped every few feet to rest on Adam and breathe through the wave.  When we returned home we got our bags together, left my Mom with our kids and headed to the birth center.  I wasn't feeling like I was having a baby any time soon but I almost waited too long with Collier (I had him 10 minutes after walking into the birth center) so I always feel better about being there sooner rather than later.

We walked into the birth center around 6:20pm and said hi and laughed with the midwives.  By this time, we had a lot of running jokes about me almost having a baby, trying everything in the world, being dilated to a 7 and then having to wait 2 more weeks after all of that.  So everyone was so excited that this was finally happening!  We did a quick check and everything was great with the baby, minus the posterior position.  This was most likely why this labor was so much slower than my previous 2 labors.  They gave me a peanut shaped exercise ball to help the baby turn.  I laid on the bed and threw my right leg over the peanut.  Again, a funny position for a lady in labor but I was willing to try anything.  I focused on breathing through my contractions and relaxing my whole body, while laying on a bed in a strange position.  I normally like to labor standing up, with my hands resting on something, slightly hunched over.  This was a big departure from my comfortable labor zone.

The contractions were every 1-2 minutes and lasting almost a minute.  As each contraction passed, I had so many thoughts running in my head.  My first thought was that I felt bad that the midwives were just hanging out, waiting for me (which is funny because obviously that's what they're there for) but I'm used to coming to the birth center and quickly having a baby.  My second thought was that this was taking way longer than either of my last 2 labors and I certainly didn't want to spend all night, lying on a bed in a strange position, trying to keep my usual calm.  My body handles contractions really well but I was feeling like I was having to work extra hard to stay in my zone this time.

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When my midwife came in to check on me I asked what we could do to speed things up.  It had been almost an hour since I first came in.  She checked the baby's heartbeat and felt to see what position the baby was in.  She could tell the baby had turned and was anterior!  Hallelujah!  She was about to check to see how dilated I was when I decided I needed to pee.  So she walked with me into the bathroom with Adam following behind.  I sat down and started to pee when all of a sudden my water broke (more like exploded) and the baby started crowning.  Everything was happening so quickly I had NO idea what to do.  I sat there stunned.

"Can I get in the tub?" I asked.  (I had Collier and Arden in the jetted tub and loved it).

"There's no time for that!  Stand up RIGHT NOW!" my midwife exclaimed.

So I stood up quickly and if we are being honest, the baby fell out.  I know.  I KNOW!!  Guess that's baby #4 for you?! I thank all the heavens that my midwife obviously knew what was happening because I was NOT expecting that AT ALL.  She caught the baby and pulled her up to me and said "Here, hold your baby!".  At this point, Adam, who had been massaging my shoulders behind me, was totally confused.  All I did was stand up and now she's saying to hold a baby?!  He peered over my shoulder in complete shock!

"What is it?!  A boy or a girl?"

And after 9 months, we had a girl!  I honestly had been saying it was a girl all along.  Collier's pregnancy was much different than my girl pregnancies so I felt pretty confident I knew what we were having.  But to finally meet her?  It was such a fun surprise that I can't recommend enough!

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At this point I'm bleeding a ton, in part because I always bleed a lot and also likely because it happened so incredibly fast.  So I just sit down on the bathroom floor so they can asses the situation.  Meanwhile Adam and I are dying laughing.  Did I really just almost have a baby on the toilet?  Did she really just fall out?  I admit I was on my after birth high but man was it so funny.  And really, I giggle a little every time I think about it.  So my very first picture with Posey is me on the bathroom floor (pictured below), but not pictured in the background is what looks like some sort of crime scene.  Ha.  What a story!

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My guess is that because I was laying down the whole time I couldn't really tell how intense things were getting because I wasn't feeling any pressure.  And then when I suddenly stood up, everything came together so quickly.

We moved to the bed and got to know our little baby girl.  We checked her out head to toe and laughed a lot more.  She nursed right away and wanted to nurse often.  She was happy and healthy and we were smitten.  After going back and forth on her name (this was the first time we went in with 2 name options), we finally settled on Posey Bea.  Bea after a few Beatrice and Beatrix members of Adam's family line.  We left a few hours later to go snuggle in our bed and to surprise the kids with their new baby sister in the morning!

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Posey Bea Webb
Oct. 5, 2015
8lbs. 8oz.
20.5 inches
7:39pm

21.04.2016

Rilo’s Wildcat Party


I'm not sure how it happened, but Rilo Jane turned six this year!  After much debate on a party theme, she decided on a Wildcat party.  I went crazy with patterns but kept the colors black, white and green so it didn't get too busy.

For the main table, I cut out green leaves from oversized paper I picked up at Joanns.  I hot glued it to some twine and hung it on hooks.  You can see that below.  I honestly cut and glued all of this 10 min before the party started.  It was so simple but looks so great in photos!

I saw a beautiful ombre green and gold cake and asked my girl Erin of Dolce Bella by Erin to create something similar.  I also asked if she could add some flair to the inside.  Check out the cheetah spots!  If you are in Utah, Erin is your girl for cakes and treats.  Really, truly the best cake I've ever eaten and her decorating skills are incredible!

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I wish I would've grabbed a photo of all my kids, but everyone had on some sort of wildcat apparel.  Love this little two year old tiger!

And the happiest birthday babe!  She danced to Taylor Swift with her friends, colored wildcats, ate cake and opened presents.  Nothing too elaborate, but it was everything to her!

 

Invitations/Muslin Bags: Collected (me)

Plates, Napkins, Balloons: Shop Sweet Lulu

Cake: Dolce Bella By Erin

Royal Icing Sugar Cookie Tutorial: The Alison Show

 

20.04.2016

The New Collected Website


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Hi! Hello! Welcome!  The new site is finally here.  I won't tell you how long I've been working on this (we're talking a few kids ago...eek!). My personal projects end up getting put on pause but I'm glad to have finally pushed through.  I really wanted a portfolio to show some of my recent work plus a little more info on my process and pricing.  I also wanted to keep this blog section because I find I often have more that I want to share than what can fit in a little square.  Check it out!

If you have a project you'd like to work on, send me an email: bri@collectedblog.com! xo

 

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01.12.2015

FREE Christmas iPhone Wallpaper 2015


Pretty soon there will be a shiny new site, but for now we'll have to manage on here. I've been doing a phone wallpaper for the last 3 years so it seemed a shame to miss it this year just because this site is so old and sad. 🙂

Download and save to your camera roll and then set as your phone wallpaper. You can see the previous ones here, here and here.

Collected iPhone Wallpaper 2015

02.12.2014

Free Christmas Card


Here's a custom Christmas card I did for our friends two years ago. If you haven't decided on cards yet, here's your chance to snag a free one! If you have Photoshop, this should be a snap. If you don't, download the .jpg file and you can insert your photo using Word or a free photo editing program. After you've inserted your photo, you'll need to include your name. I used the typeface "Oil Can" from Lost Type, which is a pay-what-you-want website.

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02.12.2014

Holiday iPhone Wallpaper


I hope you're able to make good use of this free download!  The first one is a phone wallpaper.  I designed a very similar one 2 years ago (you can find it here) and so I made a sister design to go with it.

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Simply click the download link, save the image to your phone and go to Settings>Wallpaper.

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