5 Tips to Help Transform Mommy & Daddy’s Bedroom into a Couple’s Retreat

The “oops I peed in mommy & daddy’s bed” potty training years are over!   There are no more midnight feedings. No more spare diapers, wipes, and Butt Paste on the nightstand. No more rolling over in bed and popping open a Sippy cup lid filled with day old milk.  No more stray Cheerios lingering between the sheets.  No more co-sleeping, except for the occasional “I had a bad dream” or “scary thunderstorm” visitors in the middle of the night. And, truth-be-told, as a mom I actually found myself longing for a “scary thunderstorms” and/or a bad dream because in those moments I was able to reclaim a small morsel of the past.  I thought I was suffering from a serve case of Post-Preschooler Depression. But what was actually happening was I didn’t reclaim my/our space as a couple, what is mommy & daddy’s room without the infant, toddler, preschooler necessities sprawled about? It was time to reclaim our space as a couple. Thus, when my husband went on a business trip for a week I seized the opportunity to take back our space and redecorated our bedroom as an early Anniversary gift for us. And it has been the BEST gift we have ever given ourselves! We now like to go to bed when the kids do, our bedroom has become our own little couple’s retreat, our little oasis.  I highly recommend every couple do the same! Don’t know where to start? No worries, I got ya covered, love.

Ribbet collage_beforeandafter

5 Tips to Help Transform Mommy & Daddy’s Bedroom into a Couple’s Retreat:

1. Inspiration– Don’t just hit up Home Goods and purchase the first comforter, drapes, etc. you see! Do a bit of research. This is often the step that takes the longest but most definitely should not be skipped! Determine what color, design style, and, possibly even designer, that inspires. My inspiration color was blue. I am literally obsessed with all things blue lately. To help you decide on a color I recommend you read up on the psychological effects of color (http://www.color-wheel-pro.com/color-meaning.html  ).brandcolors “Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven. Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect” thus making it a great selection for a bedroom.  Now that you know your color/colors it’s time to decide on a design style.  Here is a site that does a great job defining the different styles, http://www.dwellcandy.com/interior-design-styles-2/.  The design style I favor is Mid-Century Modern and I find myself really drawn to the designer, Johnathan Adler’s work. Here are a couple examples of his projects. sample_adler

2sample_adler

Once you have determined your colors and style it is time to move onto the next step.

 

2. List– This one is super simple but is the step most people forget, make a list of all the things that drive you insane about the current status of your bedroom. Then indicate how you can rectify said irritation.

My list included:

  • Lack of privacy-need to get drapes
  • Lighting is bad- need more light
  • Comforter is torn (thanks to our puppy) – need a new comforter
  • Only have one set of sheets-need a new set of sheets
  • Can’t see entire outfit when getting ready- need a full-length mirror
  • Husband comes in late and tosses clothes on floor- get chair to place clothes on

3. Shop– I like to peruse all my options first. Thus, I hit up Home Goods, Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s, & JCPenney (all are within a 5 mile radius of one another in Toledo, score!) and each is within my budget constraints. What to look for: Look for items that not only represent the design style and color you wish to implement but also keep in mind the elements & principles of design. Elements of Design: point, line, shape, form, space, color, and texture. Design Principles: balance, proportion, perspective, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, rhythm, variety, harmony, and unity. maddybday_bedroom 111

bedroom_2If you keep these in mind when shopping and purchasing items for your bedroom you will have a cohesive design. Note the textures in this image of our bedroom, the shag rug, plastic & woodgrain on the chair, reflective mirror, distressed/weather appearance on the frame of the mirror, each assist in providing a unified aesthetic appearance.maddybday_bedroom 089

maddybday_bedroom 091

Also, note the patterns on the quilt and comforter, shapes and line of all the pillows, and the use of positive and negative space provides a visually appealing design. maddybday_bedroom 125Also, I totally hit the jackpot, when I walked into JCPenney’s guess whose bedding line was there and on sale? Johnathan Adler’s!!!  Lastly, note the undertone of the circle shape and the added texture found on the trim of the drapes and the lamp. Ribbet collage_designelementsThe key is to remember the elements and principles of design when shopping, don’t allow one to dominate your space, balance is key.

4. Assemble– Most items you purchase for a bedroom are straightforward. You know how to place sheets, comforter, pillow shams, etc. on a bed and how to assemble a light fixture (don’t forget the light bulbs), place a mirror, etc. But the HUGEST mistake people make is hanging drapery. Most people hang it too tight to the window frame and not high enough. Please, please take the time to hang drapery correctly; it is a matter of good vs bad design. Here is a great illustration of what to and not to do when hanging drapery. hang curtains

5. Maintenance– Take a few moments to soak in the beauty, post a few pics to Instagram, etc. but don’t get too comfortable yet. The last step is just as important, and again, this step is one that individuals totally bypass while basking in the glory that is their new space. Maintenance is vital. How are you going to maintain this new, fresh, gorgeous space? And yes, dusting, vacuuming, and laundering are going to be important but in order to truly preserve the space rules and boundaries must be implemented.

Our rules for Mom & Dad’s Bedroom Retreat include:

  1. No fur-members allowed- I thought this one would be more difficult for me to uphold but I must be honest kicking the dog out of our room has led to many sleep filled nights and rest filled mornings. Also, I have found that I don’t have to vacuum/sweep or dust as frequently.
  2. No more watching Netflix in Mom & Dad’s bedroom- kiddos used to watch a show upstairs while we had “date night” downstairs, those days have passed.
  3. Ask permission before entering Mom & Dad’s Bedroom- this is something we are working on in general throughout the house. Knocking on doors and waiting for the person to answer, not entering someone’s room when they aren’t there, basically respect and privacy.

Disclaimer: There is a chance that you will adore your new kid-free oasis, couple retreat bedroom so much that you might find your family expanding by two tiny feet. Lol!

Marriage is Divine: Year Nine!

On this date 9 years ago my husband and I stood before our friends, family, Priest, and God and proclaimed our love, trust, bond, and commitment to one another in Holy Matrimony.  I remember walking down the aisle with such joy in my heart.  I had made a considerable amount of important decisions in my life but when I said “Yes, I will marry you” that was by far the most important! Two years and much planning later, I walked down that aisle stood before everyone and confidently proclaimed “I do”.

9 years later and I still do. Our marriage has grown and evolved over time and with each life altering event we learn more about one another.  Of course the most life altering events, the birth of our children, which has greatly transformed each of us, it is precious to see the amazing father my husband has become.  But everyday can bring about a new challenge or even path in the journey called Holy Matrimony.  So I collated a few tips that I feel are helpful to remember when entering or maintaining a marriage.

  • I am a work in progress. I am not perfect, I am human.
  • My spouse is not perfect, he is human too.  “I would rather live with his dirty socks on the floor and computer bag by the front door than live without him”.
  • Love and value each other and not “stuff”.
  • If you are wrong, mistaken, or did not follow through on a promise admit it, own it! Apologize, rectify, and most importantly, move on! (I like this scene in the Lion King ….It’s in the past! Clip below)

 

  • Always remember the golden rule: Treat your spouse how you would like to be treated.
  • Think before you speak.  Is what you are about to say valid in the long run or are you simply experiencing a moment of frustration? How is what you are about to say going to influence your spouse’s day?
  • The silent treatment is more harmful than helpful.
  • You can’t give your spouse the responsibility to make you happy. Genuine happiness can only come from you. That being said…..
  • Things will not always go your way or how you envisioned them unfolding. When this occurs you have options; this is where that wise saying comes into play, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react”.
  • Money will come and money will go but the memories will last a lifetime.
  • Always kiss each other goodbye and end a phone conversation with “I love you”.
  • Value and love your spouse not “stuff” or materials. Obviously you need to maintain your livelihood but at what cost?  Is a large home, fancy car, designer clothes, etc. worth both of you working late and never seeing each other?  
  • Unplug and shut off screens when speaking with your spouse, give your spouse your undivided attention. Isn’t that why you got married?
  • It is called Holy Matrimony for a reason.  Here comes another valuable saying, “The family that prays together stays together”.  And trust me, in marriage there is a lot of praying!

Marriage is tough at times and those who say otherwise are not being truthful.  However it is also one of the most amazing journeys. It is comforting to know that I have a witness, partner, lover, and friend to share this journey with and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In honor of the past 9 years I had hoped to put something together that included just my husband and me, but apparently our life didn’t officially start until we had children (or at least we didn’t actually purchase a camera until we had children). So without further ado….a dedications to me and you…..

Have any valuable lessons or tips to share about marriage? Maybe a story to share?

9th Wedding Anniversary gift, toilet!?!

As many of you know our house is on the market. And while we haven’t received an offer, we would even settle for an insulting offer, we are hopeful.  Last weekend we prepared for an open house.  I have to admit we almost have this showing/open house thing down to a science. When preparing for an open house or a showing a symphony of emotions tends to accompany the process and it goes a little something like this:

Mommy and daddy are so excited, HOPE fills the house. Soon ANXIETY shows its ugly face and mommy starts yelling about toys on the floor, dirty clothes shoved under beds, the food on the trim, walls, and ceiling, oh, the crayon marks strategically placed 18” above the floor, and last but not least, the gosh darn toilet that is a graffiti of pee, rust, and mildew (daddy usually disappears around this time, off on doggy doodoo duty). The mood slowly lifts and ENTHUSIASM builds as the house becomes cleaner and cleaner. Then, like a big drum (my symphonic vocabulary really stinks, I should have taken orchestra, big drum, how expressive!) bang!!!! PANIC sets in! Panic because it is time to poke the cat with a broom in order to get her out from underneath the bed and into her cat carrier.  Panic because it is time to hurry up and make the cookies that take 10 minutes, in five. Panic because you can’t remember where you put the car keys and you still have a bunch of crap to throw in the car. And then, like the end of a beautiful piece of music all is PEACEFUL and quiet again as the car keys are found, everyone is buckled into their seats (often with more crap piled on top of their laps) and you drive away PRAYING the entire time that God sends the person meant to purchase the house TODAY, please!

Thanks to my amazing husband (and my parents, they took the kiddos all day) preparing for our Open House this past Sunday was beautiful.  Our symphony of emotions was lacking in the anxiety portion because he got me, us, the whole family really, but I just like to think me, because he knows the struggles, the frustration, the long sleepless nights (this might be a bit of a stretch but there were a few stomach flu filled nights and lots of morning sickness, make that all day sicknesses when pregnant with the kiddos) I had with the toilet, so he got A NEW TOILET!!

The newest addition to our family/household

In honor of our 9th wedding anniversary (coming up in April) he splurged and purchased a brand new toilet!! He really does love me. All you moms can agree that nothing says honey I love you like a brand spanking new toilet. This is why we are declaring year 9 of marriage as the Year of the Toilet.

Look, no pee, no rust, no mildew…..it is graffiti free!

He really does love me!

I never really understood the purpose behind all the anniversary gifts. Like the first Anniversary, Year 1 is paper. Is that so you can write your condolences to each other?

Year 2 is cotton or straw? What? Is that because the little lady destroyed clothing while doing the wash and in an effort to keep the marriage afloat you purchase new cotton clothing and perhaps new sheets. Are we sleeping on straw mattresses anymore? What is the deal with the straw? You could make a scarecrow to scare away the marriage demons?

Year 4 is leather. Now this one I totally agree with and in fact we did purchase a leather couch for our 4th year of marriage or maybe that was our 3? It kind of felt like a 4th, that was the year we had our first child that was one long crazy year, so crazy it felt like two years.

Year 5 is wood. One website states a wooden cabin or a walk in the woods. Really!?! After 5 years what better way to express your love than a walk in the woods. Please, you can do that any gosh darn day. Or maybe your husband is not one to go for a walk in the woods.  In which case if you find yourself walking in the woods with your husband on your 5th Anniversary you might have cause for alarm, leave a trail for the authorities.

Year 6 is iron.  No joke, one website states the following…. 6th wedding anniversary is iron. Not the steam iron variety, domestic appliances are not a romantic gift, ever! This iron is the heavy black metal, maybe a new gate, or a fun candlestick. Nothing says I love you baby better than his and hers side of the house divided by an iron gate no less.

Apparently we weren’t to far off with the 9 th Anniversary, it is pottery.  Well, we did get something porcelain!

Us 9 years ago

These date back hundreds of years and are supposed to be a lovely romantic gesture but I think it is time to update them; it is time to get with the modern-day necessities.  Hello, we have indoor plumbing now and toilet is nowhere on the list even after all the crap you have been through during the past 9 years (the years that often include building a family, those are some crazy years; you see stuff that you can’t take back (childbirth and your husband peacefully sleeping while you get up a third time in one night with the baby)). Thus, we are officially declaring Anniversary 9, or Year 9 of marriage, as toilet, who is with us?