Creating a Whimsical Nursery

I love a good DIY project to add personality or character to our home, but with my traditional and eclectic (I was Grand Millennial before it was cool) design style I’ve never thought someone would ask for my help decorating in any shape, form or fashion.

This especially includes one of my daughters asking for help, because all three of them lean towards rustic and farmhouse style which just baffles me to no end.

Then, came a baby announcement. MacKenzie Grace and her hubby are expecting our first grandbaby in October and let me tell you, we are over the moon excited! After they found out a sweet little girl is headed our way, Gracie immediately hit up Pinterest for some fabulous inspiration which led her to tip toe out of her comfort zone.

She asked my for help.

The room that has become the nursery was their office/catch-all room. It was the room which had been stressing Gracie out with its purple accent wall, sloppy baseboards. random mounted deer head and furniture that didn’t match itself. With little Mariah on the way the problem of the extra room has been solved and we have finished all we can until after her baby showers. So, what have we done?

First, I let her and Michael clean the room out (my cleaning up after kids days are over). Many of the things in the space were leftovers from before they were married and didn’t fit into “their” home. These items they donated, sold and packed up what they didn’t need, or finally found a permanent space for them in their home.

BEFORE
The poang chair is getting new life so that it matches the nursery

After the great clean up they headed to Lowes to pour over paint samples. It was not surprising that they went very neutral and chose Valspar’s Swiss coffee for the walls. This was Michael’s first venture in painting, and he did a great job prepping the room. He patched holes and taped the trim and all so we could hit the walls and get them finished in one weekend. We had chosen a paint and primer in one, hoping to make the paint process go a little quicker, as well as give better coverage over stained walls; especially that purple wall! While the plain walls covered nicely, it took three coats to get that purple covered!

After the walls were dry we took the carpet shampooer and went over the floors twice, to make sure they carpets were clean and refreshed. Gracie took care of ordering the nursery furniture (Delta Children) from Target which we assembled the following weekend. I painted a bookcase with a similar color to the crib and dresser and we placed everything where they wanted it to go. Then we let the room set several weeks, just to make sure the first steps were successful.

This is where Gracie surprised me.

She decided that a wallpaper mural/accent wall was just what the nursery needed. Now me? As old-fashioned as it may be, I love a beautifully patterned wallpaper; but my GenZ daughter?!?!…

My heart did little fluttery flip-flops with joy!

Today’s wallpaper comes in every look you can imagine, from classic, neutral or minimalistic to bohemian, farmhouse and artsy. Digital printing has given way to huge changes helping make wallpaper relevant again in today’s design trends. There are so many great color palettes available and pattern size is giving way to bold and vibrant rooms. I didn’t expect her to go all English Country, which would have given me great joy, but I was so excited to see her playfully whimsical choice: a pattern she picked from Photowall called Summertime.

Photowall is one of these fabulous new companies that is producing gorgeous digital wallpapers to fit every taste and style. It was so simple to order. Michael measured the wall that we were planning to cover with the mural. I went on to the Photowall website and entered those dimensions, adding a couple of inches for margin of error and contractor design flaws. We chose the premium paper with an extra matte finish. Photowall’s paper does not fade in sunlight, is scrape resistant, antireflective and suitable for cleaning products. It’s also environmentally friendly. All these things are important when putting together a child’s room. After we placed the order it was only a week and I had the product in my hands! Such a great turnaround time! Everything was going great.

Except I have never hung wallpaper in my life.

We called in the reserves.

Nana (my momma).

And we now had three generations bringing this nursery to life!

The wallpaper came with paste to mix, so all we needed were just a couple of supplies. We put plastic down over the carpet to keep paste from getting on the rug, purchased a 5 gallon bucket, a couple of paint brushes (choose high quality so you don’t have bristles in your paste; we used Purdy), a large sponge for smoothing out wrinkles and wiping off paste, and a sharp razor blade.

Now when I say wallpaper has changed, I wasn’t kidding. Photowall prints the wall paper to the specific measurements and numbers the strips in the order you should hang them on the wall. It arrived in one roll and we cut the strips and laid them in numerical order. We painted the paste directly on the wall and hung each sheet, perfectly coordinated to line right up. When the paper was all in place I took the razor blade and trimmed the excess from the bottom and corner. My mother was floored at how easy it was and I was shocked that I could have hung my first wallpaper without her expertise.

From prep to cleanup was two hours.

I absolutely adore the colors in this whimsical print! It almost looks painted on the wall and not wallpapered!

And just like that, we have the beginnings of a sweet nursery for a precious arrival.

Because every proper southern girl is raised a football fan.

From start to finish, the whole process of pulling this space together was fairly easy. This includes the ordering of and hanging the wallpaper! In fact the most difficult part of my Photowall experience was choosing the design (fun fact … you can upload a personal picture & have it made into wallpaper), and Gracie handled that! I will definitely use this company again when I’m ready for another room upgrade!

And now we all patiently wait until October …

If you are looking to upgrade a space in your home, take advantage of 25% off and use my code ohfiddledeedee25 at checkout for your own Photowall makeover!

FYI I was given the wallpaper mural in return for a review, but the opinions I shared are mine and I will definitely be using Photowall in my home again!

LUZIA: A Cirque du Soleil Show

I remember as a little girl attending the Ringling Brothers Circus at the Omni in Atlanta each year.  As we would leave the show we always stopped somewhere totally child-friendly for dinner (a playground was usually involved in this stop) where my siblings and I would proceed to play on the playground as if it were our 3-ring circus.  We would create a tightrope of the thin bars making up the equipment, swing from monkey  bars as if they were trapeze bars, and flip around as if we were stars of the show.

I thought those days of imagination were far behind me, but Cirque du Soleil has carried me back in time, bringing back that little girl staring in amazement and wonder at the acts happening before me.  Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA is enchanting, captivating, thrilling, and so much more than the trapeze artists of my childhood ever were.  Cirque completely takes me back to those  days of wonder from my childhood, except I would NEVER attempt many of the astonishing acts these performers did!

All I could do was sit wide-eyed and clap with childlike excitement and joy as each act was complete!

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Due to popular demand, Cirque du Soleil is extending performances two weeks so that the show will now conclude on November 19, 2017, to the previously announced Atlanta engagement.

You must attend this show if you can manage! 

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I was able to take in this delightfully-imaginative and visually-stunning production LUZIA, a waking dream of Mexico on Thursday and was completely mesmerized from beginning to end of the show.

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LUZIA takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light (“luz” in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. With a surrealistic series of grand visual surprises and breathtaking acrobatic performances, LUZIA cleverly brings to the stage multiple places, faces and sounds of Mexico taken from both tradition and modernity.

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Luzia uses water, multiple settings, fantasy, colorful costuming, music and of course acrobatics to tell the story.  This artistic journey will take you from an old movie set to the desert to a smokey dance hall using imagery representing the culture, history and mythology of Mexico from the past to the present.

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To add to the beauty of this production, LUZIA incorporates the element of rain into its performance, a first for a Cirque du Soleil production.  There are 17 different acts, and many of them involve the use of water, from a pool in the specially made stage to falling rain.

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As performers acted out the story I am sure that I held my breath and stayed on the edge of my seat. I have never seen anything like it!

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After the show I was able to take a backstage tour and learned several interesting things. First, the music is live, performed by six musicians playing a variety of instruments.  Sometimes you would see them on-stage, but they also played from backstage.  There is also one beautiful soloist singing in Spanish.

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1,585 gallons of water used during the performance are recycled for the entire duration of a stay in a given city.  This water is filtered and disinfected for the health and well-being of the performers throughout and after the show. The stage floor has 94,657 holes through which the water drains into a 3,500-litre basin hidden underneath.  It is coated with a special textured surface to protect the performers in the dry acts.

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There are over 800 colorful costumes involved in this production.  Each piece is custom made for each performer personally and they also have a spare for everyone, meaning that this production travels with over 1,600 costumes!  Every costume is cleaned after the performance and readied for the next show.

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The puppets are made from a special foam, then painted its realistic appearance.  They take multiple people both inside and out to operate.

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The artists perform in 8-10 shows a week, which means they must be in top condition.  They have physical therapists that travel with them as well as gym equipment for training.  Performers are on a year contract, but may extend for many years as long as they feel they are physically able to perform.

Many are involved in making the show spectacular and memorable.  A total 115 people from 25 countries are part of the touring cast and crew of LUZIA.

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The 44 artists alone come from 19 different nationalities: Belarus, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Guinea, Italy, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Spain, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia and Venezuela.

There are more than 40 different job titles on site, including Electrician, Head of Tents, IT Specialist, Sales & Customer Experience Supervisor, Publicist and Plumber.

LUZIA travels via 65 trailer trucks carrying close to 2,000 tons of equipment.

You can find Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA under the Big Top at Atlanta’s Atlantic Station until November 19th!  It’s completely worth checking out for a local date night, one-day trip or making it an overnight get-away!

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Have You Forgotten?

 

It’s not something that we talk about daily, but I do know that not one day passes that I don’t think about the events of September 11, 2001.  My husband was working out of town, Samantha had just been dropped off at school.  I was watching the Today Show getting getting MacKenzie ready for prek when on live television the second plane hit the towers.

So many lives were changed forever as was our ideal world.

 

The fears, grief, complete helplessness, prayerfulness, closeness with friends and family, love, pride and unity; all emotions that were experienced within hours of these horrific events.  We were nation that turned to God and leaned on each other.  Our nation had not been this united since World War II.
Wow, so much as changed in eleven years.  As elections are approaching, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if most of our country even remember those dark days, weeks, and even those who are still hurting now.  We are not a country who turns to God or even a country united.
It is good to remember these dark hours.  We need to be reminded how fragile life is, how our time is only a gift.  We need to appreciate those in our lives and care for strangers around us.  We need to carry the spirit of the heroes from 9/11 in our own lives as we live them; A spirit of relying on God, giving, hope, love for our brothers, and lack of fear because we are no longer serving ourselves, but serving those we come into contact everyday.

 

 

My younger children don’t really remember that day, but we talk about it.  I want them to know that there are real fears in this world and heroes much more worthy of our worship than the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo.  I want them to know that God needs to be apart of their daily lives, and I want them to know that there are evil people in this world.
 Have you forgotten?
I will NEVER forget.