Operation Paws for home Adoptee | Finnagan Turns Three

Our tiny little Operation Paws for Homes rescue who we claimed as ours on 3/16/2014 turns Three today! Seriously how can it be that our 85 pound marmaduke is three years old!

– Loves his peanut butter kong

– Loves to antagonize his brother

-LOVES his human 8month old sister

– Lives for good treats

-Thinks you should pet him 24/7

– thinks he is a tiny little lap dog

– chases everything out of the back yard with his brother

– they are a team and I love them and our life with them

Our little toy I promise was NOT eaten by our big loof.

Gender Neutral Baby Nursery DIY | REVEAL

Gender Neutral Baby Nursery DIY reveal! In this past post here I put all the links to purchases and DIY projects, along with paint colors, so if you have any questions please let me know.

We have been using the nursery for almost 4 months, Baby Girl Gilfrich arrived on May 4, 2016, I think the nursery is working just how we planned! I really love the space, and how we use it, honestly we could sit in the chair, lay on the floor, and play in her room all day if we wanted to.  The mobile is baby girls favorite thing to chat to as it blows in the wind of her fan and air unit, it really was the best DIY last minute project the nursery needed.



Kentucky Derby | What to Wear

Kentucky Derby week is here, and if you are in a panic on what to wear, I have the places you should stop!

Ladies and Gents for a unique one of a kind look should always shop local! There would be no chance of another lady having your hat or fascinator if you went local. There are many shops to choose from in Louisville, Kentucky, but I have to say I am partially bias to two. One is in Southern Indiana, so yes you have to cross that big ole river!

I may not be home for the Derby this year, but I will be celebrating from Maryland, because a girl from Kentucky will forever yell for horses as they run quickly around the track. One of these years I will get my act together and throw a party! All that said for now, let’s just talk about the outfits!  You are required to don your most amazing southern look, so break out the seersucker, white, hats, lily, stripes, and monograms. Match your honey, and either go to the best party in town, sit at your tv, or if you are a lucky one head on over to Churchill Downs for the running of the Roses!

If I was headed to the Derby on Saturday, I would have done my shopping for myself at Dress and Dwell in Southern Indiana, New Albany to be exact. Their fab dresses, fascinators, clutches and Jewelry is just the one stop shop any lady needs for their Derby outfit!

Dress and Dwell

credit for images above: Dress and Dwell

Then Gents please dust off that khaki or seersucker suit, and tie to match your lady, and head over to Clayton and Crume to get one of their fabulous belts!  Clay of Clayton and Crume is a youth from back in my youth advisor days, and I actually baby sat he and his siblings when they were much younger!

credit: Clayton and Crume

Well that is it! Like I said I know there are million other amazing local shops to choose from, but I hope these two suggestions give you a little something to think about when shopping last minute this week for Derby! If you don’t live in Louisville, Kentucky and still want to look fabulous this saturday both these shops are online! Please go give them some love and shop for your best looks!

*these are my opinions and I was in no way swayed to provide this post, I just LOVE both these shops and wanted share them on my blog during Derby week*

[…] Lillies). It is also the day you get off school, work, life and get dressed up in your best spring outfit, and large hat! Or throw a I am not at work, because it is Oaks Day party at home! The Oaks Post time is at […]

Gender Neutral Baby Nursery DIY | All the details

Gender Neutral Baby Nursery DIY for #babygilfrich2016 is finally finished, or at least I am saying it is for now! We are now focused on the baby’s arrival and less on organization or what else we need! Thankfully with two baby showers (1 in Indiana and 1 in Maryland) we received most of our baby essentials and picked up the last few afterwards, i.e. the carseat! Now that we have everything home, our bags are packed and we are just waiting, I have time to share with you what we did in the baby’s room.

First we started in January with the turn of the new year PURGING! We purged every room in the house. We had to purge the nursery because it was the old office and the new office upstairs has less storage space so to get that room ready we had to bring less stuff upstairs. I think we took a total of 10 trash bags full of stuff to goodwill, 3 pieces of furniture and other items to Habitat, and a big load of everything else to the dump. It felt great to get rid of stuff at the turn of the new year, even though we missed the tax break cutoff :) Here is a peek at the pre-nursery LOVELY (i kid) green and off white trim. With a peek of what we had to deal with when preparing the closet as well.


My decision making abilities while pregnant for this nursery weren’t the greatest so after purging it took us a good month of paint pots and swatches on the wall to make a decision on the color of the room, the new open closet system we wanted to use, the recliner, and crib. Since we don’t know the sex of our lil babe on the way, we wanted to stick with grey’s and whites with POPS of color as Dan kept putting it.  I think we did alright you can be the judge!

We chose to use a closet maid system from home depot. My only two request were that 1.) it looked nice front facing and 2.) was white. I think this was the best decision for the great price that we got it at without going crazy overboard. We chose to take the closet doors off also for two reasons.  They were total crap and needed to be replaced, but we are using Dan’s childhood dresser (made over see later in the post) as the changing table in the closet. I think it will work out great! Here is a peek at the closet made system.

On to the paint color, we ended up going with Distant Grey (color by Benjamin Moore) but we had it color matched at Home Depot in BEHR paint. It is truly a distant grey and only against Bright White (which is our trim color in BEHR) does it have some color in it. These two colors made the Nursery so bright and spacious, just what we were looking for. Don’t you love it on the walls! Ok photos don’t quite do it justice from my phone! Apologies.


With those two things decided for the nursery, we moved on to the crib and recliner, and I didn’t realize there were sooooooo many pieces to choose from AI YI YI! We ended up choosing a dark grey crib with a sea glass fabric recliner, both from Buy Buy Baby. The crib is the Munire Wyndham in Ash Grey and the recliner is the Little Castle Treasure Recliner in Seaglass Mist (they do not stock these recliners for online purchase found a similar one on the little castle website so you can find it at Buy Buy Baby, it was sitting on the floor in Navy Blue with White cording).  I should say we chose a recliner over a glider because of the space we have in our very small nursery. We still wanted to be able to kick up our feet while feeding baby, reading or just sleeping for comfort! I know plenty of people that love the glider ottoman option so pick what fits in your nursery. Warning though: The crib and recliner can take up to 8-14 weeks for shipment so make your decisions early!  Disclaimer: once you receive your recliner you won’t ever want to get back out of the chair EVER, and neither will your lap sitting dog.


From here on out after the big decisions were done, it was now carpet cleaning time, and DIY decorating time. There were many other things on our list. Cradle cover, Mobile making, bookshelves, ordering the touch lamp, re-finishing dan’s dresser, and the list goes on. I will try to share with you most of this. If you see something peeking in the corner of a photo and I didn’t mention it please hollar at me!

I think the next big thing we conquered in the nursery was the dresser. You can see it in the above photos it was in decent shape just needed a facelift. Mom and I did a bit of research on chalk paint, and where to buy (apparently only LOWES) sells the quart size and can tint to a million colors or close to it. We chose to use Valspar brand of Chalk paint after a bit of research and chose a DEEP navy blue as the color, specifically indigo cloth. We did decide to prime the dresser first with a grey primer, and finished the dresser after the navy with a cream wax for a bit of protection. The dresser is only being used as a changing table so we don’t expect much wear and tear. I choose to finish the front with some brushed nickel dresser pulls (they are from home depot but I don’t see them on their website anymore). I think it turned out very nicely and with the changing pad on top eventually it will be a fun place to change baby.


The cradle we will be using as our bassinet, and mostly in the living room in the early weeks after the baby is born. It was passed on to me from my cousin, and is quite the special family heirloom from my side of the family.  It is the Stagg family cradle, and my aunts think that it was the cradle that my great great grandmother Stagg slept in which would make it about 100 years old if not older. My great uncle did some refurbishing on it, and my cousins have used it for their kids. We brought it back to Maryland, and with steady hands pieced it back together with the 2 screws and hooks that it has with it.  The mattress is not 100 years old promise! It is just a foam core with fuzz surrounding it. I removed the plastic covering and will be using an Aden and Anais swaddle (perfect size) pinned to the mattress, with a lap pad on top for accidents. We don’t plan to use the cradle for longer than 2 months as I don’t know if it should hold much weight. We will use it mainly for precious newborn photos and sentimental-ness and then pass it on.  AND YES … before you say anything I know the baby can’t sleep in there with the pillows and stuffed animals!


Next up in the DIY department was making the bookshelves to go above the side table/bookshelf that we already have next to the recliner (purchased at IKEA here).


We found this tutorial on pinterest of all places and though easy, cheap and quick so off to home depot we went with our list.

You’ll need: Depending what you already have this project could cost $10-20 total.

1. 1 – 1 × 2’s in the length of your choice we bought 8′ pieces (I bought enough to make 3 – 3 foot ledges)
2. 2 – 1 × 3’s in the length of your choice we bought 8′ pieces (I bought enough to make 3 – 3 foot ledges)
3. Circular Saw (we own one)
4. Drill to pre-drill the screw holes
5. sand paper to saw down the wood putty
6. Screws
7. Paint (we used 3 “POPS” of color in a red, coral and navy blue)
8. Paint brush
9. Wood putty
10. Level

You can finish this project in 1 day but we cut things one night, put them together another night, then waited for my mom to come into town to paint and hang them.  We chose to hang them at a staggered space over the lower bookshelf because we have a HUGE hump in our wall (thank you old houses) to the right, and we wanted space to stand some of the tallest books on them as well. We also are keeping the books with jackets up there and all the crawling baby friendly books on the lower shelf (i.e. board books and other books with out jackets).


*in the above photo on the right you can see the touch lamp we found at Lamps Plus on the internet*

A few last minute things that were in the works in my brain and Dan’s, we just needed the expertise of my Mom and sister when they were in town were the mobile, and hanging some art on the walls.

My sister brought back about 5 years ago some original Babar book pages printed in french for our nursery whenever we had one, and I got them framed at Hobby Lobby. Dan and I wanted to add another of our favorite stories to the storybook corner, we found some original Winnie the Pooh book pages at this great shop on Etsy and put them opposite Babar, using frames from Target. 


My mom found the cross stitched Peter Rabbit family my grandmother stitched for me when I was a baby, so we broke that down into 6 smaller frames from Michaels. *You can see the original taken apart in the raw wood photo from the bookshelves*


You have seen the Word DREAM peeking in a couple photos. My sister found those letters at an antique store. We have been joking about the other words we can change it to as our baby grows bigger. Read, Madre, Mead, Dear, and the list goes on.


Lastly the Mobile. I wanted to make a mobile to hang over the crib something to look at other than the fan and the window. I found this one from Young House Love that they did for their son when he was born, and I thought it would be a perfect way to bring in more color to the room and not to expensive to dispose of when our babe is to old to have it hanging there. I found two decent sticks in our back yard for hanging, my sister used her magical cricut machine to cut all the many circles, and I found the paper at Michaels. The hardest part was finding the paper pack I wanted. I finally found a full ream of rainbow colors, and dan chose the colors of the sky for the mobile: Blues, yellows, oranges, grey, etc.  With the help of everyone Mom, sister, Dan and I we glued, hung, and cut the mobile for the nursery. We chose to hang the mobile with fishing line from 4 white hooks in the ceiling. I am in love and you can find me some nights just watching it sway in the wind of the fan from the recliner.


Well for now that is it! A sneak peek at all the happenings that went on in the nursery to get it put together before baby came home! I hope we have a couple sunny days before the baby’s arrival so I can get some finished nursery photos for you that aren’t from my phone! It really has turned into a place I want to sit all day and enjoy! On top of that it makes me want to re-do my bedroom! Till then enjoy all the links and ideas for your baby’s nursery!

[…] Neutral Baby Nursery DIY reveal! In this past post here I put all the links to purchases and DIY projects, along with paint colors, so if you have any […]

Kentucky Derby Festival | 2016

Kentucky Derby Festival starts tomorrow at home! If you don’t know what this means, well it is 2 weeks before the Kentucky Derby and we celebrate every minute of it!

This time of year is one of the times, that I tend to miss home more than others!  Growing up as kids in Kentuckiana made the festival so much fun!

The 3rd Saturday in April rain or shine, the festival starts with an AirShow and Fireworks.  Many years as teenagers my parents, with my sister and I, and our friends, would brave the millions of people at Thunder over Louisville trying to find the best spot on the great lawn for viewing the air show and fireworks all day.

The 4th Saturday in April, I can remember many mornings that my parents woke my sister and I up at 5:30, 6 am to go to to the Hot Air Balloon Race. When they would pack us in the car, eat krispy kreme doughnuts, and follow the balloons from the Bowman Field to the “X” to see who would get closest throwing the seed bag.

Then the first saturday in May my grandparents would arrive for the races. Mom and dad would head to the track on friday (we had off school) for Oaks Day. Then saturday (Derby Day), mom and dad would ride their bikes to the track to watch the celebrities roll in. Grandma, my sister, and I were in charge of getting Grandpa to the track for the long day of racing! These memories are just a piece of my childhood growing up in Louisville, KY/ Southern Indiana. That I hope to introduce to the new baby in the family soon!

Just recently while cleaning out a box and looking for something I found all my  Pegasus Pins that the Easter bunny would leave in our baskets each year.  Every year hoping we would receive the Gold pin (that meant prizes).  You need the pins for entry into different things during the festival!  Some of the events included the chow wagon, balloon race, parade balloon viewing! Most of us probably just bought to collect over the years!

Here are the ones I found! I think the oldest is 1985!

Kentucky Derby Festival

above image: my pin collection

below image: 2016 pin image from the Kentucky Derby Festival page

Hope you enjoy the Kentucky Derby Festival if you live in the Louisville, KY area!




[…] Well this week is partly why :) If there was 2 weeks out of the year that I am most homesick the Kentucky Derby Festival is it!  Friday is Oaks Day at home!  The Pink out day at Churchill Downs (*side note – […]

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