Gift ideas for 2 year olds

23 Nov

It’s that wonderful, albeit stressful, time of year again. Time to find gifts for our loved ones, ones that they will hopefully use and enjoy. I’ve been gathering gift ideas for our 21 month old daughter, Kate, so I thought I would share them to help anyone who needs ideas for 1.5-2 year olds.

Here are a few things that we plan to get our almost 2-year old daughter this year:

  1. Rody Horse. Kate gravitates to this bouncy horse toy everytime she see it at someone’s house. We’ve bought this as gifts for some other friends and family members and it is always a hit. It comes in a bunch of colors but I like the teal one best.
  2. 51k4mZ2geML._SL1010_Play Tool Set. Kate is always interested in all of the various projects we have going on around the house and wants to help, so I think a tool set like this Black & Decker one would be perfect. Girls can be handy too.
  3. 91LG66BOJyL._SL1500_Learning Tower. Cooking while trying to entertain a toddler can be a challenge so we’d love to get Kate a learning tower so she can be a part of the action. Amazon sells this one, which I heard will be $50 off for Black Friday. Though I think we will probably build our own using Ana White’s plan. There’s also a popular Ikea hack using an Ikea step stool, which looks so simple but it doesn’t fold flat like the Ana White one does.
  4. 716VY5TmfVL._SL1500_Bilibo. This thing is one of the most talked about toys on the internet. Kids can use it to rock in, spin in, hide under, sit on, tote with, and peek through. I think this could entertain Kate for years to come.
  5. 71hT84ez3VL._SL1500_3-in-1 scooter. Kate loves ride-on toys and bikes. At daycare they say she is a bit of a daredevil on the bikes, lol. I think she would love this scooter toy that adjusts as they get older.
  6. 61o97+BFaiL._SX522_Bath toy spout. This bath toy looks like a lot of fun and Kate hasn’t gotten any new bath toys since she was a baby so I think it is time to spice things up.
  7. 4122VpR61hL-2Toy Broom & Dustpan. Kate loves to try and help us clean and will try and push a gigantic shop broom. This inexpensive toy broom set should be a hit.
  8. 61lVMZ58skL._SL1500_Play teepee. Our big project for the winter is to convert our den into a play room for Kate. I think this teepee from Land of Nod would work perfectly in there to give her a little private escape to read and what not.
  9. a-teepee-to-call-your-own-gold-metallicChrismas PJs and a book. I started a tradition last year where she gets Christmas PJs and a Christmas story on Christmas Eve to wear and read the night before Christmas. Then she has cute PJs on the next morning when she opens her presents and I take a million photos. These Christmas PJs from Old Navy are cute and festive, and for a book I’m thinking The Polar Express. Last year it was How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
  10. cn10159213Elf of the Shelf. Not so much a gift, but we just purchased an Elf of the Shelf to do with Kate this year. I’m looking forward to having fun putting the elf in funny places each night after she goes to bed. Pinterest has some hilarious ideas. I also didn’t realize the elf came in different genders and eye colors so of course we got the brown eyed girl one. elf on shelf

Lastly, if you are like me and do 90% of your shopping online, you should definitely sign up for Ebates if you haven’t already. It’s a site that gives you a percentage back on every online purchase you make. Almost every major retailer is on there. And you don’t have to remember to shop through Ebates if you install the plug in so it pops up every time you visit a retailer that offers an Ebates reward. I signed up a couple months ago and already have earned over $50 in cash back. They send you a check every quarter. So simple.

Happy shopping everyone!

Income Property Reveal

1 Oct

We’re officially landlords! We put the finishing touches on our rental property this week and have tenants moving in today. We are SO pleased with how the home turned out and thankfully had an easy time finding good tenants.

Here is a before look at the front exterior of the home:


And now it looks like this:

IMG_5535 resized

Admittedly, not much of a transformation, but we did rip out all the overgrown bushes and plant some boxwoods and other plants. We also replaced the light over the front door, had a new screen door custom built, and stained the front door.

IMG_5536 resized

The home desperately needs an exterior paint job, which is on our radar for next year.

The back yard was also very overgrown and there was a hole in the garage roof.


After replacing the garage roof and ripping out those bushes, it looks like this:


Moving inside is where the big transformation happened. The kitchen looked like this before:


And now after new stainless steel appliances, cabinets, granite countertops, arabesque tile backsplash, new hardwood floors, paint (Analytical Gray by Sherwin Williams), lighting and more:


Here’s the other side of the kitchen.


And view from the dining room.


Here was the dining room before:


And now after new paint (Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore), crown molding, lighting, hardwood floors, baseboards, and more:


The other side of the dining room looking into the living room used to look like this:


And now:


Into the living room, it used to look like this:


We updated the fireplace, added sconces (from Home Depot), an overhead drum light, and continued the paint, crown, baseboards and new floors.


For the fireplace, we replaced the paneling with new drywall, painted the brick white, stained the mantle, and updated the tile on the hearth.


The other side of the living room looked like this.


And now:


I just love all the arches throughout the home.

Here’s a before & after of the hallway leading to the bathroom and bedrooms:

hallway Coolidge

The bathroom looked like this before:


And now after adding a subway tiled shower, refinishing the bathtub, adding a new black vanity (from Home Depot), toilet, lighting, beadboard, and more:


We were able to save the vintage floor tile, which fits the home perfectly. Here’s a look at the other side of the bathroom.


The two bedrooms looked like this before:


And now with new ceiling fans, paint, baseboards and hardwood floors:



Upstairs used to be unfinished:


We made it into a 3rd bedroom or bonus space by adding new lighting, HVAC, carpet, paint (Gray Owl as well), baseboards, and more.




It is a huge space and nearly doubles the square footage of the home.





Here’s a look at the stairs before & after:

Coolidge stairs

We absolutely loved bringing this old home back to life and look forward to having this income property for many, many years to come.

Guest Bath Makeover

10 Sep

While we were renovating our new master bathroom, we decided to do the guest bathroom (our former master bathroom) at the same time. This has been mostly done since May, but we finally got around to hanging the shelves and putting the finishing touches on it.

Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:

Master Bathroom

Shortly after moving in, we gave it a little facelift with paint, a new vanity and some shelves. The shower stopped working though, so it wasn’t even functional.


And here it is now:

IMG_5533We did white subway tiles in the shower, and marble hex tile in the niche and on the shower floor.



We installed beadboard wainscoting across the lower half of the wall and painted the rest of the walls Lazy Gray by Sherwin Williams. The vanity is from Home Depot, lighting from Lighting Direct, and the Starburst mirror, shelves and most accessories are from Target.


The floor tile is a vintage-looking white octagon tile with dark gray grout.


Here’s the other side of the room. The chrome towel hook is this one from Home Depot which matches the faucet, hand towel holder and toilet paper holder. The shower doors were off the shelf from Home Depot. IMG_5530

That concludes the tour. We hope our guests enjoy having their own “en suite” bathroom!

Coming up I’ll be sharing our new master bathroom/bedroom/closet and the finished rental property.

Update on the Rental

15 Jul

There has been lots of progress on the rental property over the past three weeks and one major setback. I’ll get to that.

Starting out front, we ripped out all of the overgrown bushes, planted boxwoods and day lilies and laid mulch. The plants are still small but should grow in nicely to cover the foundation.


The back looks totally different with the bushes ripped out. The yard almost doubled in size. We laid grass seed so it will just be all lawn back here. The neighbor is going to continue his fence so that will be nice too. The garage roof is new as well. It had huge holes in it.


Moving inside is where our big setback occurred. It broke our hearts (and pocketbook), but we had to replace all of the hardwood floors due to pet odor/stains from the previous owner. We learned from neighbors that the previous owner had 30 cats! We had to replace all of the baseboards throughout the house as well. But it had to be done, and now no smell!

Here are the new red oak floors in the living room and dining room. Ben is finishing up the baseboards in here and then the walls and trim will get painted and floors stained.


Here is one of the bedrooms with the new baseboards installed. We went with a chunky baseboard to keep with the style of the home.


In the bathroom we ran the plumbing to add an overhead shower (it was only a bathtub before), installed new chrome fixtures, and tiled the shower with white subway tile, a black rope pencil tile and dark gray grout.


Upstairs looks totally different! We added new electrical and HVAC, framing, drywall and a primer coat of paint. It’s going to be a really nice space up there.



This week kitchen cabinets are going in and painting continues. With having to replace the floors and baseboards, our Aug 1 deadline is shot. But we’ve had more than a dozen calls and stop bys from people interested, so we shouldn’t have a problem renting regardless of the school year.

In case you missed the before tour, you can see all the before photos here.

%d bloggers like this: