Nursery Schooled

Now that I have four kids, there are a lot of things I wish I could go back and tell myself when we had our first child.

One of them is: don’t waste any time or money on a diaper genie. Gross. A diaper genie, if you don’t know, is a little apparatus for disposing of dirty diapers. Only you don’t really dispose of them until it gets full and you have like 40 diapers sealed and stuffed inside. I dutifully used the diaper genie all throughout my firstborn child’s diaperhood and then finally wised up to how nasty the whole thing was.

Another one is: don’t waste money on a beautiful crib set. Blanket, sheets, crib bumper, skirt, the whole bit. I understand the appeal. There are so many super cute sets out there, and you want your baby’s crib to be 100% adorable. Here’s the thing. Your baby will DESTROY it. He will poop, peep, barf, drool, stomp, jump, and chew on it. By the time your kid is 10 months old, it will look like you’ve been keeping a billy goat in there.

Another thing I’d like to tell my new-mom self it this: “Look hun. Just because you are young and broke doesn’t mean you and your baby have to settle for particle-board furniture you found in the clearance aisle of a going-out-of-business K-mart. Head on down to the thrift-store, pick up some solid wood furniture, and PAINT IT!”


But Tara was already hip to this fact that I wish I knew 13 years ago. She saved big on her nursery furniture by using this old set that her husband still had from his childhood. It didn’t quite fit into her ‘white, gray, and pink’ motif, but …

White Nursery Furniture Before


White Nursery Furniture

… that’s what paint is for! Stylish, sweet and sentimental, and perfect for a new baby girl.  See it at Spot of Tea Designs.


Do you have any advice you’d love to go back and give yourself? Tell me tell me!

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Play on.

Some people are lucky enough to have ‘play rooms’ in their homes. It’s a great idea in theory. Keep all the toys and games and books in one place! The kids will adore it! They’ll play in there non-stop, then neatly put everything away in its color-coded bin when they’re done!

Reality … not so much. Most of the play rooms I’ve seen are more aptly described as an ankle-deep toy stew of Barbie shoes and broken crayons, where moms are quick to close the door, and kids hardly ever venture in.

But those dreamy play rooms of our dreams really do exist. I have proof. Behold:


Pink and White Play Room 1

Pink and White Play Room Before 1

Is this real life? Is this just fantasy?

No, it really is real life, and it belongs to Jennifer at Dear Lillie.


Pink and White Play Room

Pink and White Play Room Before

A few weeks ago we gazed lustfully at her kitchen and dining room makeover, and I joked about moving in, but now I’m wondering if she would be cool with just adopting me.

I promise I’ll just stay up here playing the tiny pink piano, not bothering a soul. Think about it Jennifer.

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Changing Up

If Hell had a changing table, this would be it.  Or perhaps if a condemned gas station had a changing table, this would be it.  Which is still better than a gas station with NO changing table, can I get an amen? Who enjoys changing a poopy baby on your lap while you yourself are also sitting on a toilet because there are no other options? NO ONE.

I’m just guessing. This has definitely never happened to me.

But enough of that! Who wants to think about that? Also no one. But don’t worry, as soon as you see the after you will completely forget all this poopy diaper talk.


Chest Turned Aqua Bench Before


Chest Turned Aqua Bench

Oh yeah. That’s just about the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen. It’s worthy of a scroll-up scroll-down scroll-up scroll-down. From Brooke at Start at Home.


Want to see another project that features the old dead shell of a dresser turned into something else entirely that is also so cute that you squeal aloud and cause people nearby to glance suddenly at you with alarm?

Perfect! Then I have the project for you.

White and Pink Wardrobe Before

White and Pink Wardrobe

Alicia created this adorable wardrobe after discovering the skeleton of a chest on the side of the road.  After a few alterations, she put it to work storing her daughter’s princess dresses, shoes, and accessories.  It is definitely fit for a princess now!

See more from Alicia at Bohojo Designs.

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Getting Gamey

Happy Friday! And to make it as happy as possible, here are a few fun and colorful kid-friendly makeovers just for you and your lucky little eyeballs. Share them with the kids in your life. And their eyeballs.

Will I ever get tired of seeing entertainment centers turned into kid kitchens? Answer: NO. That was one of the very first things I shared waaaaaay back when this blog began, and they still delight me today! And I’m sure they delight the kids and stuff too.

This one is from Better After reader Lindsay who found this solid oak piece for free on Craigslist, prettied it up and sold it to a family with tons of little kids. Everybody wins! Except maybe that person who gave it away for free on Craigslist and would probably kick themselves if they could see it now. Sorry dude.


White Play Kitchen Before


White Play Kitchen


Alicia’s three-year-old son used one of these stools every time he went to his great grandma’s house, and that fills me with nostalgia, because my grandma had a stool just like this too.

Alicia wanted one for her house – it’s perfect for kids in between high chairs and regular chairs – and found this torn up one online.  Just a little paint and fabric and it now it looks so good it will probably still be chugging along when Alicia is a great grandma herself.

See it on her page Drunk on Junk.

Chevron and Floral High Chair Before


Chevron and Floral High Chair

And lastly, here we have a picnic table perfect for serving up not much more than a splinter buffet.  Yeowch. I would have probably taken a match or a monster truck to this thing, but Krista had less destructive plans, and turned it into a game table!

Yahtzee Game Table Before

Yahtzee Game Table

That’s an old door that she refinished and affixed to the top, with a Sorry! game board and Yahtzee score sheets immortalized inside it in epoxy. What a fun idea! Way better than that Pinterest idea going around “Yard Yahtzee,” where you make oversized dice out of giant wood cubes and then throw them across the yard to play the game.

They look absolutely adorable, but I’d only last two rolls before my biceps would seize. Same thing with “Life-Size Jenga.” Someone is going to lose a foot playing that game, mark my words.

See more from Krista on her blog The Dabbling Crafter.

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