Archive for October, 2012

October 7, 2012

Lila’s Play Kitchen

So I can’t even begin this post without doing two things.  First, I need to give credit to Young House Love, if you havent read this blog, it’s an incredibly talented couple who are pros at redo-redesign and create some pretty awesome things.  I was a total copy-cat on this project, but am proud of doing it and think they would be too 🙂  Second, if I could shout it from the roof top I would, but I have to say THANKS to my step dad Jimmy for helping me make this little goal a reality…he was super thoughtful and really enjoyed helping me make this for Lila! So much so in fact that if you are interested in getting one of these little numbers for your own little chef…he has been on the hunt for materials and is ready to mass produce or customize one to someone’s liking!

So let me back up and say that we spend a TON of time in the kitchen and I really wanted  to get Lila her own little kitchen where she could be the boss and cook up some yummy creations.  I knew I wanted something decor friendly and would fit in our kitchen or ion a small space.  I’m all for primary colors and characters but if there is a possibility it would be a permanent fixture in a common area, I wanted it to fit 🙂 More than decor, I wanted it to be well made, sturdy and preferably made of wood for longevity.  Unfortunately, when I started hunting all I could find where giant plastic monstrosities that wouldn’t quite fit in our 1924 space or more appropriately sized crazy expensive wood kitchens (and none that didn’t either scream girl or primary colors).  Now, maybe I was naive, but if you haven’t shopped for a play kitchen lately go ahead and do it and see if you are as shocked as I was.  I don’t know what I expected but I seriously didn’t expect a kitchen for A CHILD to cost $200+.  Some of the wood options were close to $500 for all the necessary kitchen pieces!  Luckily my blog reading paid off and I decided I wasn’t going to settle…I was going tackle making exactly what I wanted and attempt to come in under the budget I had for a purchased one.  This is what the finished product looks like:


This which started out as this:

Not the original but close….


Yep that’s right, we took an over-the-fridge cabinet and with a few adjustments we made a play kitchen! Complete with towel rack,  oven rack, real working light inside the oven, hooks for utensils and a “working” faucet, sink and oven knobs! We chose to not build in stove burners so Lila could have ample counter space but I made her one using a trivet and a round of wood.  Once we added a toaster pots/pans and some play food, it really came together!   I even used a shimmer finish on the counter and backsplash so it could have some sparkle 🙂 Unfortunately, we forgot to take step-by-step  pictures,so I just included some in progress and in use pictures so show some of the details and of course to show the chef in action!


She is making me toast and egg…its her specialty 🙂   All in all, I ended up spending what I would have spent to buy something already constructed, but this is completely sturdy, and completely what I want so I think this is a real bargain…it took about 3 weekends (having to work at nap time to make sure someone didn’t get a sneak peek!) and was worth every hour!

So there it is…..We are cooking up a storm here at the Ratcliff house and now Lila can get in on the action!!

Much Love – Christy

October 6, 2012

The 2nd Birthday Party

Pinterest inspiration – made by Meme!

Last weekend was Lila’s 2nd Birthday party and it was so. much. fun.  I seriously enjoy the whole party planning process and although it can be a bit daunting and stressful (who will come, will it rain, will there be enough food, will she have a meltdown….) when party day actually arrives, none of the things you worry about rarely matter (even if some of those overblown fears become reality).  Case in point, it did rain (a lot) and I wasnt super impressed with my food (a lazy bug hit me and I didn’t make most of it which is typically my favorite part).  BUT, Lila had the best time and it was seriously so awesome to see a house full of friends and family.  The fact that it was a miserable day weather and traffic wise made me even more grateful people battled mother nature to help us celebrate!   When everyone left it looked like a tornado had blown through…number one key that you had a successful party! 

Lila was so different this year…last year she was timid and a bit confused by all the people…this year she ran around the house in charge and let everyone know “this is my turf”! She told everyone hello and goodbye, got to run and play with all her friends and ate her fill of cake and cookies 🙂 A successful day be her standards I’m sure!

I started thinking of what I wanted to do for Lila’s 2nd birthday party about 6 months ago.  My mom had very sweetly requested that IF Lila just happened to be into Sesame Street IF she could make the same Big Bird cake she made both Casey and I for our 2nd Birthdays….Well, I being the sappy individual I am couldn’t say no, so the theme was set.  Lila’s favorite character by far is “melmo” (Elmo) so he made it on the invites and her dress (both Etsy).    For everything else I decided to go super simple and a quick search of pinterest lead me to tons of super cute craft ideas for the party and food set-up.  A quick trip (or two or three) to Hobby Lobby, a few nights of crafting and some help from my mom and I was super happy with the personal touches I was able to incorporate into her party.  I’ve picture dumped some of my favorites (both details and just pics) from her actual birthday and party day for your viewing pleasure! 


Be back soon with another post about Lila’s play kitchen 🙂 

Much Love – Christy

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