09/ 10/ 16

Things to Do With Your Newborn in the Fall

It’s not a secret, I haven’t stayed home much since having the baby. I’ve been enjoying this season and sharing it with baby Wave. From festivals to the smells of the season she’s been well cultured the past few weeks.

We hit up the the pumpkin patch and snapped a family photo. 

We’ve visited the local orchard and picked up a few apples and some cider. I’m not a pumpkin spice fan but give me apple cider any day, hot or cold!

We’ve hit up several festivals like the Ozark Craft Fair, Apple Butter Making Days and Farm Fest. These are all local to our area.

We got to hang with some hairy cows. 

But this is how we spent most of the time at all these festivals. 

We’ve decorated the shouse for the fall season, I’ve already managed to kill a few mums so nothing new there. Aren’t they supposed to be hearty?

I also snuck in small Fall baking. 

Soon I will be back to work so I’m enjoying my favorite time of year with my favorite kid while I can. 

Waverlee and I have played around with some fall pictures too.

What do you enjoy most about this season?

Gymboree Sale On Now!

16/ 07/ 16

Farmhouse Style 

Since the nursery is pretty much complete now, I’ve been nesting in all the other areas of the house. From organizing junk drawers to purging my Pinterest boards (everybody does that right?) I’m trying to stay busy and prepare for baby. Freezer meals, washing baby things and redecorating. 

I redid my photo clip board recently and replaced it with some hooks to hang hats, coats,etc. I moved the Magnolia Market sign above it and felt like it tied in well near our staircase. 


Since I moved the Magnolia sign I replaced it with this Grocery sign painted on tin. I also used an egg gathering basket to update the light fixture. An Edison bulb adds a finishing touch and a soft glow. 


A very inexpensive window frame from the flea market and my cotton wreath add a nice touch to our “entry area”. 

My front porch has been bugging me for awhile. I saw a similar project on…you guessed it…Pinterest. So I bought a pack of wainscoting from Lowes and glued them together to make a sign. 

I got it painted with some chalk paint and used vinyl scraps and cut the word stencils on my Silhouette machine. 

Some black paint later and lots of maneuvering. 

It’s all done and hanging on my front porch. 

Last I wanted to put a chalkboard behind our barn door so I bought a cheap piece of particle board and added chalkboard paint. 

Countdown to baby is in full swing around here!

01/ 05/ 15

A Few Stairs Closer: Staining the Staircase at the Shouse

Happy May! Joel and I spent a few evenings  sanding all the plaster and gunk off of our stairs to prepare them to be stained. Since it will be easy to stain now, and change them later, this was the best option for us.

There was so much dust. We each had a sander and as I completed 2.5 stairs, I looked down feeling accomplished and Joel had made it through about 6. He finished the project out while I walked around and “cleaned” up stuff. Here is a shot of what the stairs looked like before sanding.

Here is an after shot of a much cleaner stair.

Joel requested that we stain them a lighter color than the trim, and he picked out Miniwax Gunstock. I liked the lighter color because it kept the wood close to it’s natural color but helped make everything look smooth. It turned out to be a darker color but we like it just the same.

Joel spent a few evenings using rags to rub in the stain.

Once the stain was dry and to our liking, I used my Silhouette machine to cut out some stencils for the stairs.

I then painted the stencils using some Anne Sloan Old White I had left over from our cabinets.

After the paint dried from a few coats, I peeled off the vinyl and “Chapman Est. 2015” officially personalized the house.

We finished off the staircase with protective coating. We will see how long they are “Kali proof”

21/ 04/ 15

Laundry Room

We’ve been busy at the Chapman shouse this past week. We kicked off the weekend by celebrating the union of one of our favorite ARMY couples. Saturday I attended our first bridal shower. We are so thankful to Joel’s side of the family for helping us “stock our pantry”! We have propane and food now, no more excuses for me not to cook.

We had company over Saturday night and then winded down from all our partying by staining our stairs Sunday after church (well, Joel stained and I observed 🙂 The stairs turned out really nice and I am excited to have that completed. (Stairs reveal post soon.)

Wedding planning is in full swing around here. Last night we held a “meeting of the minds” gathering at the shouse to hammer out last minute details. I have been neglecting my laundry and Joel’s, however I really love our laundry room area. It makes laundry a little more bearable.

Joel and I decided to upgrade from the washer and dryer we had. I think I went through 4 used washer/dryer sets in college. When you live with girls with lots of hair, I think it must be really hard on washers and dryers. We splurged for the front load washer and dryer and I love them. Our cabinet guy, Matt (Integrity Woodworks in Crane, MO) made us a custom pedestal for the washer and dryer set so they set off the ground a bit and provided extra storage below.

There is a divider that keeps things from falling too far back behind the washer and dryer. I found the baskets at Lowes. They hold detergent, my iron and other odds and ends. The pink light fixture in the laundry room came out of my great-great grandmothers home. My grandma thinks it’s at least 75 years old. I feel pretty honored to now give it life in our new home.

On the opposite side of the washer and dryer, we had custom shelving put in to hold all of our small appliances. The metal baskets were snagged from my parent’s shop. I think they look much nicer holding our snacks and mixes than the PVC elbows they were originally used for. My Dad about choked when I told him people pay $20 a piece in flea markets for old pool locker baskets.

We also have a toilet beside the shelves and the door that leads out to the gargage. I love being able to put things on top of our washer. The downside to having such tall appliances is, functional shelves above are hard to reach. I bought a board and some brackets at Lowe’s and made a shelf out them to add some decor on the walls above the washer and dryer.

We have really enjoyed having company these last few weeks. The layout of our laundry/pantry/extra bathroom area really turned out to be a nice floor plan. A special shout out to one of our most frequent guests, who turns 11 today. We are constantly entertained by having Blake in our lives.

13/ 04/ 15

I Love You to the Fridge and Back

It’s been a whirlwind around the shouse. Joel moved everything in the house on one Saturday with the help of his family and friends. I guess I picked a good weekend to pick up a hospital shift. 🙂 However, I moved almost everything on my own in the fall when he was still out saving the world, so it evens out. I came home that evening and got to work decorating with the help of my mom.

I had great plans to keep decorating the following evening, but a hospital patient shared the stomach bug with me and it just didn’t happen. Kali has been really comfy in the new place though.

I finally felt back in commission and the rest of the week was spent organizing, moving things, hanging things, cleaning (so much dust still) and just coming to the realization that we had officially built a house. People say that if you can survive building a house, your marriage will last right?

Just reflecting on the last year, it’s been a ride. This time last year Joel landed in Afghanistan, then I graduated from graduate school, planned a wedding and started two new jobs. Joel came home later in the fall, we began building our home and here we are. Whew. I sent off paperwork for my official SLP-CCC title last week. It’s a pretty big deal! With a new home and deployment under our belt, we are really really ready to live together and enjoy life in this new season.

My kitchen is my favorite place in our house. My mother is a fantastic decorator. I remember her dragging me to flea markets as a little girl. In my teens I went through an Audrey Hepburn, 60s era phase. It’s probably why I love everything about Mad Men to this day. I’ve mellowed on the “funky avocado color and wanting a bathtub turned couch” passion, but you can still see pieces of that love in my kitchen. Mostly through the bright colors of my Fiestaware.

Fiestaware is my fine china. The shelves holding all of my dishes originally were natural colored and this weekend I removed the shelves. I taped them off trying to be really careful around the trim.

I painted them the same color as the upper cabinets. It took an hour and a half to tape, paint two coats, dry and get everything back together. Another win for chalk paint.

Mostly now when I flea market or junk I’m looking for something that came from a farmhouse or that looks rustic.

I’ve become really snobbing when I junk because I don’t want to pay for something that I could make myself. These curtains were a flour sack originally. I paid $3 to turn them into cafe curtains. I love that they are a piece of Missouri. They also say Walker on them, which is the last name of family friends. I thought this was a nice omen for the house. The sign above the barn door was purchased at a store near Jamesport, Missouri. It’s funky and diner like and I love that it’s finally in it’s permanent home and place of calling.

The barn door in our kitchen is one of my favorite things in the whole house. I purchased the kit from Amazon for $60.

Next up on the blog is lighting, laundry and the front porch.

30/ 03/ 15

Paint and a Little IKEA part 2

Another week has passed and there are new additions to the shouse. The paint is officially completed. Joel and I spent two, three, four days painting each room in our house. I had never painted textured walls before. Can’t really say it’s something that I would like to do again. Ever. It is complete though. We used a total of 3 colors on the house.

The grey color in our kitchen/pantry/laundry area is Notre Dame by Valspar. I was a little worried when it dried because it looked a little blue, but with the kitchen cabinets dry and everything I’m really happy with it.

The sink in our kitchen is another IKEA purchase. It’s giving some plumbing fits, but it appears they are resolved with a little silicone and I am loving it. I hope I won’t regret only one having one sink basin, however it seemed to be the best fit for our tiny space. We put a sink off the garage so GI Joel could clean up without tracking into the house. (That’s the plan anyways 🙂 This is also an IKEA purchase. $20!

The rest of the interior is Timber Dust by Valspar. I think once we get flooring in and everything put together, The two colors will compliment each other. I like how there is a separate feel between the two colors to help divide the living room and kitchen space.

The upstairs is all Timber Dust. We picked a lot of brushed bronze fixtures and I think they look nice against the paint. This vanity was my desk/TV stand through college. There were newspapers in it advertising the original animated Disney Peter Pan. Kimberling City Plumbing did all of our plumbing and graciously cut a spot in this vanity for a sink. I’m really excited that I get a new use out of it in our new home. I made a curtain to hang below to cover up the pipes when we get the trim and everything back on it. It will make a nice storage space.

The garage was painted Lynhurst Timber which you can’t see from this picture but it’s a darker tan. This will probably be my last decision I will get to make in the garage, as GI Joel puts it, I get to park there and the rest is his space. I get to decorate the house, so I’m not complaining. Like grief, painting has stages. Stage 1: I’m going to feel so accomplished when this is done. Stage 2: My arm is getting tired but it’s only going to take one coat to do this so I’m good. I can paint a straight line. (except for those few many spots on the ceiling). Two-three coats later… Stage 3: God, if you heard that four-letter word in my head, sorry. Stage 4: Phone call to my mom, “Hey what’s Roger Fred’s number?” (a.k.a. fantastic painter) We really didn’t do that bad of a job, however I am putting my DIY crown down when it comes to painting walls. Martha would be so disappointed. Thanks Roger for fixing my flaws. My OCD tendencies thank you.

25/ 03/ 15

Cabinets, Chalkpaint and Countertops

Spring Break is over, but I’m grateful that Spring weather is sticking around. GI Joel and I got a lot accomplished at the shouse this last week. Walls are painted, with the exception of some trim issues. This post is dedicated to cabinets though.

My cabinets arrived and I got started on Thursday morning. Here’s my short review on Anne Sloan Chalkpaint. It’s not chalkboard paint, it just dries with a chalky finish. It’s wonderful. You don’t have to sand or prime. My cabinets had a protective coating on them. No sweat, I painted right over it. The downside is, it’s expensive, it runs about 35 dollars a quart. However, I painted three thin coats on my lower cabinets and it only took one can, and I have a third left of the can I used on my upper cabinets. So…you get a lot for your buck. There is another option if you just don’t want to spend that money. You can buy calcium carbonate powder (amazon.com) and mix your own with regular latex paint. I’ve done it and have been happy with my results, but I decided to stick with name brand for my cabinets.

I used a 2in trim brush with a really short handle to paint the cabinets. That’s my preference because I can manipulate the brush really easily. Below is a picture of the first coat. This is where a first time Chalkpaint user is doubting their decision. It really is a paint anyone can use. You just have to trust it and wait for the magic.

Pretty excited about this spot. Our fridge will obviously go in the hole and the cabinets on the left pull out to be part of our pantry space.

So here is coat number two. See, it’s coming together. It’s paint magic. The brush strokes will soon be gone and smooth chalky finish with replace them. I used the color French Linen on the lower cabinets and Old White on my upper cabinets. At this point the cabinet shop came up to add trim to the cabinets so I took a few hour break. Chalkpaint dries really fast. I started the second coat as soon as I finished the first.

Here are some shots of the upper cabinets between coats.

I got the lower cabinets completed in one day. I painted the upper cabinets and waxed the lowers the same day and then I spent about an hour another day to finish up the wax completely.

I used the Anne Sloan clear wax for the cabinets. It’s easy to apply (wax on, wax off). I put it on in a circular motion and then rub it in with a towel. It’s also pricey, but I think I used about an ice cream scoop full out of my can. I also splurged for a real wax brush for this project. I normally use a stencil brush from Hobby Lobby because you can get one for a couple of dollars, but they aren’t very wide and take a little extra elbow grease. Hobby Lobby sells wax brushes now and you can use their 40% coupon. Anne Sloan sells hers for around $50! Yikes. Couldn’t bring myself to do that. So, Hobby Lobby it was. The bigger brush saved me a lot of time and they clean easy.

So here is my bad shot of the finished cabinets with hardware. We are getting electric this week so I hopefully won’t have to beat the sun anymore.

I came home to countertops, plumbing and lights! Woo hoo!

The shouse is looking like a house!

16/ 03/ 15

Sheetrock and Mud

We are quickly making progress at the shouse. It’s very exciting to see our building turn closer to a our home everyday. 
We now have sheet rock up on our walls. No more bare boards! 
We can hopefully put the snow behind us. It’s raining a lot, but I can handle that better than the snow. 
I’m very excited to be able to park in the garage soon. Ten weeks to be exact! 
While mudding and texturing was happening at the shouse…
My grandmother hand addressed all of our wedding invitations and they were sent out. Check! It’s been a very productive spring break. 
Kali has been less productive. 

I’ve managed to get bridal portraits done as well as (with lots of help) paint our house. 

More pictures of painted walls soon. 

04/ 03/ 15

Love Your Guts

Our house has guts! I admit, this hasn’t been the most exciting part of the shouse journey, until I realized how fast it got done. 

I was expecting it to take a long time, but we had plumbing, electric and installation  in two weeks. We also have our heating system. Guts are done. 
Snow days are a blessing/curse. Thanks to the snow I got to pick out paint, remaining light fixtures and odds and ends. Hopefully, the snow doesn’t halt sheet rocking. We will see. Ice tomorrow, sunny and 60 next week. MO. 

If in fact the walls are done by the weekend, you can find me at the house painting. It’s conveniently drill weekend(way to get out of that one GI Joel) so I’m taking volunteers at this time. No…but really. 

I will be patiently waiting for walls the next few days, being really over the weather and dreaming of my future beige and gray walls. 

19/ 02/ 15

IKEA in my Home: Part 1

As mentioned, part 1 of how I am using IKEA in the shouse is here. I love the IKEA experience and the prices, however, it’s not all rustic decor that I want to incorporate into the new house. Some things just need a little altering.

It’s been really cold here, and we’ve been out of school thanks to the snow. I’ve enjoyed all the free time to work on extra projects, including this one.

I have been pondering what kind of rugs and textiles to use in the new home because we plan on using vinyl flooring throughout the shouse and we still want some warmth on our feet. In our bedroom, I didn’t think a big area rug would work, which is where this project comes into play.

During our last trip to IKEA, the sheepskin rugs were on a sale so I picked up two. They are extremely soft and I wanted something light to add to our room.

Materials needed: IKEA sheepskin rugs x2 Scissors Waxed thread for leather Leather needle Needle nose pliers (optional but useful)

I started by lining the two rugs together. The way they are cut, there are two straight edges making this really easy.

Thread the needle like any other. They are very large and after about ten stitches my fingers were not happy. Enter pliers, you can use them to pull the thread through.

I made a simple stitch all the way down. Simple.

Now we have a fresh looking runner for the end of our bed or in front of the dresser.

About Me

Welcome to Miss Morgan Aliana! I'm Morgan, Mom to Waverlee and Wife to Joel. I'm a speech therapist, hobby farmer and lifestyle blogger. Follow our adventures here, be inspired and join the caravan.

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