Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Decor

I was really excited to decorate for Christmas this year. It's our first Christmas in our new house, and we didn't decorate the apartment last year. I had forgotten that I had really pared down and purged a lot of our decor when we were planning to move into a two bedroom apartment, so I didn't have much to work with this year.
The mantle in the family room. 

I didn't have any filler for the apothocary jars, so I improvised with extra ornaments and glittery bulbs. I had seen a project for glittery Christmas bulbs on Pinterest, but I ended up  finding a glittery bulb garland at Christmas Tree Shop for $1.  I cut the bulbs off and stuck them in the jar.

The large canvas was another DIY project. The frame came from Hobby Lobby and will love on the mantle year round. I snagged it for $17 during a half off sale. The art is a plain canvas with vinyl wall words that I picked up on clearance two  years ago. Simple and cheap!

I love my tree. I deck it out in red and gold each year.  The more glitter, sparkle, and shine, the better! There are a few sentimental ornaments scattered in, though. Do you see the Mickey bulb from our Disney vacation?

This ornament was a wedding gift from a friend.

 Adam's first ornament. His nursery was done in a vintage airplane theme, so this one seemed fitting for him. 
I was happy to see my box of childhood ornaments wasn't lost in the shuffle during the move. They have a lot of sentimental value to me. That said...

What is up with this elf? He isn't as snazzy as his new Elf on the Shelf pals. He kind of looks a little crazy and I'm not entirely certain he won't try to harm me in my sleep tonight. Vintage can be scary.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kitchen Progress

 You may remember this is what our kitchen looked like when we first purchased the house. I had always wanted white cabinets, and the glass fronts were an extra little bonus.

And an eat in area large enough to allow for the table of my dreams? Perfect! But the kitchen lacked a little something. It was dull. The painted over wallpaper border irritated me. The lack of color was depressing. If there was a room in this house where I could use a bold punch of color, the kitchen was it for sure.

POW. Hello yellow.
Days and days of peeling off wallpaper and sanding and agonizing over the perfect color were totally worth it.

New cabinet hardware was actually the first update. I liked the clean classic lines of the traditional knobs and drawer pulls, and the oil rubbed bronze finish really pops off of the white. I worried about finding a color that would showcase our collection of Fiestaware instead of competing with it, and I think the yellow was a great choice.

The dining area needed a splash of color, so I made the curtain panels to frame out the large window. The fabric was a bold print, and so not safe at all. I LOVE IT! It really makes the space ours.

The kitchen table and chairs were a birthday gift, purchased shortly after we moved in. I had lusted for this set for years, but it never would have fit in our old house. I'm thrilled that it fits so perfectly in this space. It even expands and can seat four more chairs comfortably in this space.

There is still a good bit of work to do, but this is a start. I love walking into the kitchen in the morning when the sun is streaming through the windows. It's such a bright, vibrant space now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thrifty Finds

A few weeks ago I met up with my pal Julie to visit the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market. Julie is the talent behind Steph's Jewels. She creates fabulous one of a kind pieces from vintage jewelry that are just to die for.
See? Gorgeous! Julie was visiting the flea market to pick up a few items to transform into more fabulous works of art. I tagged along to be a bad influence and make her buy more than she needed see what fabulous things she would find.

I had no intention of buying anything, but I couldn't resist picking up a few little beauties.

I fell in love with the little bird. He's cast iron and his chippy paint finish is beautiful. He's painted almost the exact same color as our family room. I had to have him. I passed him by the first time, but I knew I would regret leaving without him. $10 later and he was mine.

The safety pins were a fun little discovery. I picked up the first one after Julie pointed it out to me. It was $2. Sure, why not? I was sure I'd figure out something to do with it. A few tables later we discovered more large safety pins, including one with the same markings as mine. It was priced for $50! There were a few more that weren't as pricey, so I picked up two more for $5 total. I think I want to frame them.

After Julie and I parted ways at the flea market, I hopped over to my favorite antique mall. I picked up the old blue Ball canning jars for $3 and $4 each. I'm not quite sure what to do with them just yet, but I couldn't resist bringing them home with me.

I  did manage to leave without these saucy lamps. They were HUGE- and pricey at $175 for the pair. They were awesome (and scary!) but way out of the budget for something that, um, unique.

Monday, October 24, 2011

My little assistant.

I have been working on the kitchen. It seems like a never ending project. I was pleasantly surprised and very, very happy to discover that the wallpaper border came off cleanly and easily. WHEW. Choosing a paint color has proven to be a little more challenging. None of the samples on the wall seemed quite right.
Adam was intrigued when he saw me painting little samples on the wall. What three year old wouldn't be? The little jars were oh so cute and even had paint brushes built into the lids. That's probably the most awesome thing ever in a three year old kid's opinion. Knowing he'd be interested, I stashed the samples in the garage and didn't think twice about them.

He apparently did have second thoughts. He seized his opportunity one afternoon while I was momentarily distracted. Any parent knows that it is amazing what a toddler can destroy accomplish in just a few short minutes. I walked into the family room to discover him painting my freshly painted end tables.
"Oh no. Oh no no no. Adam, what have you done? Oh no no no no no. Stop. Stop. Stop!"
"Don't worry, Mom! Don't worry!"

At the time, I felt like crying. Later on, it was a little more funny. How could I stay angry when he looked so proud?

Lesson learned. Lock  child in a cage  up all paints to prevent these kind of incidents from occurring.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Safari Bathroom Makeover

Remember this bathroom? We were both appalled when we saw it. Someone even commented that the former tenants must have wanted bathing to feel like an adventure. We vowed that it would be the first room we tackled.

Technically, it was. I never would have imagined such a small space might have so many challenges. I arrogantly thought the ceramic towel bar and toilet paper holder would be no match for me. I'd successfully removed them in our last home. I thought it would just take a few taps with a rubber mallet and a bit of spackle, and I'd be set to paint.

I thought wrong. It turns out they were embedded in the wall, and removing them left holes that needed to be patched. To add insult to my injured ego, the wallpaper border refused to budge. 

I was determined to win the battle. No way could I stand to look at those pawprints on the wall any longer.
I think it turned out pretty okay! This is Adam's bathroom, but it will also serve as the bathroom house guests use as well.  I wanted a space that was fun without being too juvenile. I think I achieved it.

Since it is primarily a child's bathroom, I wanted it to be child friendly. The coat hooks are mounted at a lower height than a traditional towel bar would be, making it easier for my little guy to hang up a towel. I created the artwork to coordinate with the shower curtain. It's fun, but it's easy to change as he grows older.

It feels great to cross this one off my list!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The New Sewing Room

Remember this little room?

It's the bonus room over the garage. The shape is a little awkward, kind of like a Tetris puzzle piece.

It has the potential to be a fifth bedroom if we add a closet. It's just the three of us, and we don't really need a fifth bedroom. So, it was decided that this room would be my workspace. Ready to see?

Here she is in all her glory! This is my favorite room in the house. I do have to give my husband credit. He patiently installed the counters and many, many shelves.
This is the view from the doorway. The desk to your left is my sewing station. The desk you see straight ahead is my cutting station.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest pinning inspiration photos. I knew I wanted a lovely shade of aqua on the walls. I chose Behr Tropical Pool for the walls. The counters were created with stock cabinetry and countertops from a big box hardware store.

I choose these drawer pulls from Anthropologie. I had to have them, and they were worth the splurge!

Lots of shelving went up in this room. It's a somewhat small space, so vertical storage was a must.

Canvas bins on the wall opposite the cutting counter hold various bits and pieces to projects in progress.

As I mentioned, this room doesn't have a closet. I knew I wanted open shelving for my fabrics, but I also knew that I needed to protect them from fading. I created a makeshift closet area using a tension rod typically used for bathtubs. I used two blue shower curtains (cheaper than buying the fabric I needed, believe it or not!) and sewed a strip of fabric to the bottom of each panel to give me the length I needed. And behind the curtain?

My fabric stash, in all her glory. Flannels and printed quilt fabrics are stored on the shelves. Interfacing and heavier fabrics are stored in the large tubs. To the left of the fabric stash are my completed items ready to be shipped to new owners. These shelves span 8 ft across and run floor to ceiling. 

And that's my new space, in a nutshell. It's somewhat more compact than I had hoped for when we were house hunting, but the layout and storage options make up for the size. It's for sure my favorite room in our home.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oh, hail no!

We had a little storm roll through last night. By little, I mean somewhat large with the threat of a tornado.  Adam and I camped out in the closet under the stairs for a bit and waited for the storm to pass. Luckily, we only had hail.

However, that was where our luck ran out. The hail was quite large and did a fair amount of damage. All of our window screens look as though Freddie Krueger tried to claw his way in. The screens probably saved our windows from far worse damage, like this one: 
And this one. The transom has a hole in the lower right hand corner.


Still, it isn't anything our insurance can't handle, and unlike may others this spring in Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma and across the midwest, we're fortunate to still have a place to call home.

Here's hoping this crappy weather comes to an end soon. Rain, I'm over you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Drip. Drip. Drip.

That's the sound that came from the family room whenever someone took a shower in the master bathroom.

Fortunately, plumbing issues are covered under our home warranty.

Turns out, it wasn't a plumbing issue, but a home maintenance issue. The caulking in the shower was so old and grody that it had cracked and separated where the tile meets the shower pan. This left an exposed gap that just happened to be right in line with the stream of water coming from the shower head.

$120 later, we have a hole in our ceiling, all for a problem that could have been prevented with $5 worth of caulking.

Home ownership is glamorous!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


The house did not come with a fridge. This wasn't really a big deal to us. In fact, we were pretty excited to buy our own. We were both excited to buy a cool new appliance (pun intended!) until we realized how underwhelming it really was. We checked out several different stores, but nothing really stood out as being THE fridge.

We were going to commit to a closeout model at Best Buy, but it would take a week to be delivered. I didn't love that fridge enough to wait that long, so we stopped at Sears. There it was- the one. The fridge of my dreams. What made it the fridge of my dreams?


 It's  an interior water dispenser. I didn't want a through the door water or ice dispenser. I could just picture Adam making a huge mess. This tiny little button sold it for me.

The space inside is wonderful! 
We're already loving the french door functionality. I don't think I could ever go back to a conventional fridge again!

We also went to a few garage sales in our new neighborhood and snagged a few things for Adam. He's loving the new train table we picked up for $20. We also bought an outdoor playhouse that looks practically new for just $20. He's loving all the space he has to spread out and play now. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


We're homeowners again. Closing was uneventful and as smooth as could be.

We've been busy.

The wallpaper borders are coming down.
The mirror in the mini wheat room has been removed.
Paint has been purchased.
Cabinet hardware in the kitchen is halfway replaced.

We've discovered a few quirks, too.
Adam's room smells like a cat litter box.
The dishwasher doesn't drain.
And the bathtub in our bathroom leaks through the family room ceiling.

It's been an interesting few days around here, but it's already starting to feel like home.

Friday, April 29, 2011

14 days til closing.

In honor of that little bitty number, 14 things I am looking forward to, in no particular order.

1. A garage to park in. No more dashing to the car in the rain, scraping ice or snow, or trolling for a place to park.

2. A water softener. The house came with one, but it didn't work when we had the inspection. The sellers replaced it, so we have a new softener waiting for us. I am super excited! The water here is really hard.

3. A huge closet to fill with clothes and shoes.

4. Glass front cabinets. I can not wait to unpack all the Fiesta that has been in storage for the past year.

5. A patio! It was one of those things we never got around to adding to the old house, and I'm excited to have one waiting for use to use. First things first... Roundup and a power wash.

6. A yard where Adam can play. Little boys need space to run free.

7. Adam will be able to walk to school eventually. There's a little access trail one street over that leads to the elementary and high school buildings.

8. A wood burning fireplace. There's something about the crackling of logs on a cold winter night that just feels cozy.

9. Huge windows. Lots of natural light.

10. A soaking tub. We may not use it often, but at least it's there when I'm ready for it.

11. Space. Lots and lots of space to spread out.

12. We didn't have a lazy susan in the last place. Silly thing to be excited over! I'm looking forward to the pullouts in the lower cabinets. It was something I really liked about our old home.

13. Quiet... as quiet as it can be with a three year old, that is. No neighbors above to deal with at 3 am.

14. Having a place that is OURS. We picked it together, and we'll make it beautiful together. It doesn't get much better than that!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The tour continues

Onto the second floor!
Master Bedroom
I liked the double doors leading into the master bedroom. It was a nice touch.
I am not really a fan of the color and wallpaper boarder. It's an easy fix, but I really hate painting. I'm not very good at it. Overall, the bedroom is the smallest of the three houses we looked at. It's an okay size and we shouldn't have much trouble arranging the furniture.

I wasn't expecting to find a pocket door leading to the master bathroom. It's a little noisy, so I'm hoping a bit of WD-40 will take care of it.

And speaking of the master bathroom... I am in love.

 It has a soaking tub! We didn't have one in our old house. Just a boring old shower stall.
 There's one sink with extra counter space..
And and identical one next to it! I really like this set up so much better than a double vanity. There's more than enough counter space for each of us.
 The closet doors inbetween the two vanities. Aren't they cute? I want to fling them open every morning and pretend to be fancy.

The new closet puts our old one to shame. I'm looking forward to eventually putting in organizers and making the most of this space. I think I may need to go shopping to fill it up.

Bedroom #2
I've affectionately dubbed it the Frosted Mini Wheat room. Yes, that is a mirror on the wall. This will be my husband's home office.

Bedroom #3
This will be Adam's room. It's the largest of the secondary bedrooms and has a walk-in closet. It looks small in photographs because I'm a terrible photographer.

Bedroom #4
The smallest bedroom and at the furthest end of the hall. This will be the guest room. It'll still comfortably hold a double or queen size bed.

Guest Bath
Once I got over the inital shock the decor gave me, I liked this bathroom. It's a very nice size with lots of counterspace and storage. It'll be getting a makeover ASAP though. My husband calls it a stripper's dream  bathroom.

The second floor also has a large linen closet and a laundry room. I'm excited to have the laundry on the same floor as the bedrooms. It just makes sense!

I saved the best part for last.

Bonus Room

This is the bonus room over the garage. It's a bit of an awkward shape, but I have big plans for it to become my dream sewing room.

And that sums up the grand tour!