Saturday, June 29, 2013

Remodelaholic Feature

Hey guys! I hope your weekend is great! I'm popping in with a rare Saturday post to let you know something I am super excited about -today the mudroom floor is being featured over at Remodelaholic! You check it out here!

Monday, June 24, 2013


Totally a word. 

I made a little more progress in knocking the pink/mauve out of the kitchen over the weekend.  When last we looked, I had painted the countertops, but the backsplash was still less than appealing. 
The pink stuff is some sort of a laminate sheet, and in places it actually runs behind some of the cabinets, so short of tearing all of that down (which we just aren't ready to do), we had to find a temporary solution to the pink.   We thought about doing a paintable wallpaper like we did in the last house, but we weren't sure that it would really stick to this pink stuff, so we went a different route...
Chalkboard paint! It was quick, easy, and it is a fun place to leave little messages.  Matt particularly likes that I wrote "good morning, sunshine!" next to the coffee, because dude?  I am SO not a morning person. 
I like that it helps hide the fan above the stove.
 That thing is old, but functional, so it is nice for it to kind of blend in to the background.  When the ultimate critic(Jack) woke up, I asked him if he liked it.  His reply?  "It's ok.  I wanted white."

Well then.  I guess 3/4 approval is all we can ask for 'round here. 

Here is a little side-by-side action so you can see that AT LAST the pink is really gone!
It looks much less "crazy cat lady" to me now, you know? 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


**This is my 1000th post.   I feel like that deserves a mention!**

We are moving back out into the mudroom for this post, sorry to bounce around so much, but that is how I do stuff around the ol' casa.  So the mudroom there are two doors.  One leads in from the outside, and one then leads into the kitchen.  For the visual learners...
Pretty simple.  So you can see, the doors are in relatively rough shape.  They are solid doors, but they have seen their fair share of wear and tear.  I actually kinda liked the black and white thing that was going on with the doors (they were the same) but the above picture illustrates the damage to the outside door.  The bottom had been exposed to a lot of water (because the wheelchair ramp held it up again the door) so it was rotted at the bottom.  We replaced that one (that is a different post though).  

The door to the kitchen on the other hand, was completely fine, just a little dingy.   I wanted to give it a fresh look to go with the rest of the mudroom, so I headed out and checked out some paint chips.

 Let me tell you...this was a tough one to narrow down! In the end I went with 'Sauna' by Allen+Roth for Valspar, because it didn't have a purple undertones that a lot of the blues seemed to have.  I picked up a quart of exterior paint in semi-gloss. And now...

It doesn't scream at you, but it is a nice fresh color in there! (Oh, don't mind the stuff on the dry sink, it kind of landed there and it looking a little more country than I would like) There are still one or two things we want to wrap up out here - like removing the now defunct dryer vent - but it is nice to have a room almost finished! 

And for the sake of seeing how far we have come...
Have I mentioned how much I love to see before and afters?  I really do. 

Sidenote: I get asked pretty frequently if the floor gets dirty quickly, and I'm not sure how to answer.  I guess so?  That is the point of the mudroom though - to keep the dirt from coming into the house.  It is an easy surface to clean, I just sweep and then use a spray-mop on any muddy spots. 

Linking up @ Southern Lovely

Monday, June 17, 2013

Painting the Countertops

With a title like that it is hard to tell what this post could possibly be about huh?  What can I say, I like to keep you guessing!  Our kitchen has pink countertops.  I have mentioned it a time or two, but until recently I didn't bother doing anything about it.  Here is a true before picture. 
Pink counters, pink blinds, old was pretty stellar.  Needless to say, the carpet was the first thing to go.  We ripped that out as soon as we could, and continued the laminate flooring from the living room into the kitchen as well.  Aside from that, we weren't ready for a full kitchen reno, which is what this will need, so we just left it at that. 

UNTIL...I just couldn't take it anymore.  Haha, I am home with the boys all day - and eventually the pink started to give me an eye twitch.  AND THEN! I happened upon a clearance cache of Rustoleum Countertop Transformations paint.  The color is Cobblestone, which I might not have picked if there were more options, but for $5?  I'm good with Cobblestone!

The paint needs a few days to cure, so I did this on Thursday night before we left for a short camping trip - that way no one was tempted to rush it and start using the counters before the paint had cured.  I gave the counters a good scrubbing, then a light sanding with fine paper.  After that, and two coats of paint (which is SUPER fumey by the watch that if you don't have good ventilation)...we were left with this...
Yes, the backsplash is still pink, one step at a time people!! Overall I am really happy with the result, especially for a $5 can of paint.  This is obviously not a permanent solution to the kitchen, at some day in the distant future we want to completely replace almost everything...but still! It is a step in the right direction!The color turned out to be a little more grey than the can implied, but I actually prefer it to the picture on the can.  Go figure.
The finish of the paint dried very smooth and glossy - it is a think paint, so it sort of smoothed itself as it dried.  You can see in the above picture, however, that if your counter top has a flaw (in this case the seam is warped in the corner) it will definitely still show. 

So far, it is great.  Easy to wipe down, and much easier on the eyes!
Posting a before/progress picture like that always cracks me up.  I think of before and afters as these amazing transformations, but in reality it's just one little step at a time around here! I figure it will be fun for me to look back on these when it is all said and done. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Girlie Gift

Being a mom of two boys, most of my kid related crafts have a definite boy spin. BUT I am very blessed to have three beautiful nieces, so when their birthdays roll around, I love to try my hand at making something a little more girlie. Gemma turned two in May, and I knew that she loves taking care of her dolls and stuffed animals, so I rolled with that idea.

 I found this sweet little picnic basket on Etsy (tt is very small, which was perfect for teeny little Gemma!).  I loved that it had a handle, so she could carry it around the house if she felt like doing so.
 I sewed a tiny little pillow and "mattress", and then tucked in an itty bitty baby doll (this was the first time I have bought a doll!), along with two little changes of clothing.
 For a blanket I used a vintage handkerchief.  I did sew a larger doll quilt (the pink and purple one in the pics) for her to use in her doll cradle, but I doubted my sewing skills could handle a quilt this small!  I was so excited to give her her gift, and she did like it...
...but in the end...she mostly LOVED these little beaded sandals we got her!
How cute is that picture?

I loved trying my hand at a girlie gift, and I am looking forward to whipping up some more little treasures!  Also? 
SUCH a cute party!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hand-me-down Furniture

Psst...the winner has been chosen! Meg M. - you should have an email from me!

About a week or so ago I was at my sister's house, and I jokingly told her that one day I was going to sneak over and steal her dry sink.  She laughed and said "Ya want it?".  They moved recently and didn't really have room for it, so she wanted to find it a new home.

I am sure you can imagine what my response was! Needless to say, I jumped on that opportunity, and now our mudroom is sporting a beautiful hand-me-down dry sink.
I love the way the wood tone looks against the whites and grays out there, it is nice to have a natural finish in there.
And those little white knobs? They might be my favorite part! One is missing, but I say that just gives it character. 

Do you have any hand-me-down pieces that you love?

*After I posted I got a few comments from family, reminding me of the history of this piece.  I neglected to mention, but this is originally from our Meme and Poppa's (my step-mom's parents) house, and I think it is so awesome to have little stories to go with it.  Like my sister Ashley's comment below "they used to hide tic-tacs in there!".  How cute is that?!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Living in Chaos

You know the little saying "home wasn't built in a day"?  I say that to myself a lot.  I love our little home. A LOT.  But there is also a lot of work that needs to be done here. 

Currently, our living room is at a standstill because my allergies have gone completely haywire and we can't sand down the skimcoat that Matt and our friend Daryl put up without putting me into a full out allergy attack.

Our kitchen has mauve countertops, knotty pine cabinets, and three different wall colors (and one wall actually stripped down to studs). 
You never got to see this beaut yet did you?  This was before we actually moved, but it is more or less the same now...just slightly cleaner :)
The bathroom? More mauve countertops, vinyl sticky tile floors, and one coat of primer only on the walls and ceiling. 

And yet?  I don't think I have ever felt more "at home" than I do right now.  I won't pretend that seeing unfinished projects everywhere I look doesn't grate on my nerves - IT DOES, but I also have the privilege to get to DO those projects in the first place. 

When we first moved in, we were given a piece of advice from someone who had renovated their home while they lived in it (with little boys to boot!), and that was to have at least ONE mostly finished room that you can retreat to when you are overwhelmed.  For us - that meant doing our bedroom first.  
(Okay, technically we did the boys room first, but you know what I mean right?). Sure, it isn't perfect, we would like to replace the acoustic tiles on the ceiling one day, but for now a fresh coat of paint will do the trick. It is great to be able to go in there at the end of the day, lay down, and feel comfortable in a room that we love.

I have also found that it helps me to sprinkle high impact projects in there with the less glamorous but totally necessary stuff.  For example, the skim coat - it doesn't look impressive, but it HAS to be done.  On the other hand, the mudroom? 
Painting the floor did not HAVE to be done, but it made SUCH a huge difference and made us really feel like we were making progress. Plus it gives us a boost every time we come through the door.

I've found that it is really just about my attitude.  If I remember how far we have come (there used to be carpet in the bathroom!), I find myself feeling grateful for this chance to make our house into our home.  On the other hand - if I start grousing about the time it takes to get anything "done" I find myself getting very snippy with both Matt and the boys, and yeah...that's not fun for anyone. 

Have you ever lived in a house while renovating it?  Do you have any sage advice to share?  I love to hear it!

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