One Room Challenge–Week 3

It’s Week Tres of the One Room Challenge and gosh, I was hoping to be able to write a post all about how we fixed the drawers of this dresser:IMG_9121(If you need a refresher, there’s a whole post about it and it’s surrounding disappointment here.)

BUT, when I went to Home Depot early this week to buy supplies, I walked out of the store with zero anything because the things I needed to fix the drawers cost more than double what I thought they were going to cost and I’m just not ready to invest that much in this dresser.

HOWEVER, I did go to Lowe’s yesterday and there I found what I needed at the price I wanted and so HOPEFULLY, we can work on the dresser this weekend and I can maybe squeeze in a post about it next week.  *fingers crossed*

Until then, I’ve got to have something to show for the third week so how about a little glimpse at the little gallery wall I hung this week?

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The full gallery wall monty will of course be available in the week six reveal.  :)

.           .           .

To make up for my lack this week, there are two hundred plus bloggers knocking out room makeovers over at the One Room Challenge website.  Go get yer fill.

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Watercolor Diamond Wall–DIY

When Anthony first walked into the kids room and saw the diamond accent wall I had just painted hours earlier, his first comment was “Did the kids paint that?”…with a smirk of course because HE KNEW I had an accent wall planned.  I ‘ha ha’ed and showed him my inspiration pic:il_570xN.1500597129_kvvp(Triangle Murals wallpaper from Anewall Decor on Etsy)

And then we had a little discussion on abstract art and how popular it is these days and how that’s awesome for people like me who like to diy stuff like watercolor, diamond accent walls because it totally fits into that category and allows my quick paint job to pass as bonified art and/or maybe wallpaper.  ;)

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Bonified art that anyone could do.  Anyone.  With not a lot of time.

(I know, their faces say it all.  Ironically, I snapped these right before I laid them down for their afternoon siesta and apparently the camera aimed at them was a fun distraction from that fact.)

Here’s how:

One Room Challenge–Week 2

Week 2 of the ORC is here and, amazingly, I’m right on schedule (all the thanks to the two chicklets who have been taking awesome naps)!  My goal was to get the kids room painted before the week was over and bada bing, bada

BOOM!  Here’s what their room looks like right now!

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Yep, week 2 also saw me, not only painting their room but “bedazzling” their wall with diamonds.

I CANNOT WAIT to show you how those diamonds came to be and I will in my next post (pssst…it’s CHEAP & EASY!), but before I could even get to that fun part, I had to cover up the tan walls.  If you’ve ever painted a kids room before while it was being inhabited by said kids, you know, it’s muy inconvenient.  To get to the walls you have to completely upheave their room – move beds, dressers, whatever else they use on the daily.  For us, that meant moving the furniture from one side of the room to the middle one day and the other side the next day.  It also meant moving the kids into the play room and our room to sleep for a few nights.  (This is why, if I get the chance to paint before we move into our next house, whenever that is, I WILL.)

Swing Arm Lamps

Once upon a time we were having dinner with some friends and one of these friends asked me if I had any use for a pair of lamps she didn’t need anymore.  She had seen what I had done with some hand-me-down lamps before and thought maybe I could work wonders on these.  But before I could even get a word in, Anthony piped up with a resounding “NO”. 

So maybe at the time, we had too many lamps.  I was going through this cycle, which really wasn’t a big cycle, of rehabbing a couple of lamps, finding more lamps to rehab, and listing the former ones.  So sometimes we really had a bunch of ununsed lamps sitting in our house because some were awaiting a little love and some were awaiting a new owner.  And I was totally ok with it. 

Anthony though, well, he was not.  Understandable.

Why do you care?  Well because one day during those lamp-hoarding days I was walking through Goodwill with all (three at the time) of the kids and what did I spot?  These:

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They were marked at $8 for the pair.  Argh, I had to have them.  But I resisted the temptation because I love my husband so much.  But then those lamps haunted me and the headboard was a dream waiting to happen and I thought they might look so great with that headboard and so…I went back to Goodwill the next day, bought them, and immediately stuffed them under our bed when Anthony wasn’t looking.

And they stayed there for the next couple of years.

Doh.

One Room Challenge–Week 1

Oops, I did it again…

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(Thank you Britney.  While I couldn’t give you role-model status, you will forever be a part of my teenage years.)

I signed up for the One Room Challenge!

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My brain is still not sure why my fingers signed up BUT, we're going to go with the flow over here and cross another room off of our to-do list.  The great thing about the ORC is it provides LOTS of motivation! 

So, the room we are going to tackle is…

Our Kitchen in Print

I love writing this blog.  I love coming up with things and showing you how to achieve the same look/end product for less.  All of that requires lots of pictures tossed out into the interwebs of our nest.  While it’s great fun to get to see our house on a screen on the www, it’s EVEN MORE fun to see it on paper…magazine paper that is!!!!!! 

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A few months ago I was contacted by This Old House magazine.  Katelin, the writer of their Budget Redo column, wanted to know if they could feature the kitchen in their October issue and golly gee, I said “of course”!  So, if you’re a subscriber (you can subscribe online too!), check out page 30!

I thought the kitchen’s debut in this month’s This Old House would be a great opportunity to check in on it and let you know how everything is holding up five months later (read the original reveal post here)!  How are things holding up to the test of time?  Well, most things look like they were done yesterday, a few not.


Interchangeable Framed Art–DIY

I probably should put some quotes around “framed” up there because I might be stretching the definition in this post but I’ll let you be the judge. 

I’ve had some VIPieces stored away that I’ve been wanting to hang over my desk area and so, when I finished the multi-purpose room, I finally got around to doing that.  Two of those things are matching wood frames that my friend Jesse gave me a couple of years ago.  When she gave them to me, they were a pretty turquoise and I think I had them hanging in Sebastian’s room that way for a little bit but then they got moved to our old master bathroom with a fresh coat of white paint and now they are above my desk and capable of quick switcheroos whenever the heart calls.  I know I have the cardboard backing they came with somewhere but they’ve never had glass in them so they really were begging to be something slightly different than the regular old frame.  As it turns out, a spotted wallpaper wall was just what they needed to shine. 

One is holding the Productivity Prayer from Lindsay Letters that she offered as a free download a couple of weeks ago.

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Mine printed more gray than black and I’m not sure if it’s because she made it like that or if it’s because I’m running out of ink but I love it and it’s the perfect thing to have hanging over a work area. 
 
If you’ve read my post on loving allllll the people, you’ve already seen this one:
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Wallpaper and a Box

Ahhh!  I’m so behind over here.  The thing is, I have been flying through projects in this little house in the past few weeks but, since I’ve been spending all of my free time painting and patching and hammering, there’s been no time leftover to fill you in in writing on the blog.  Bear with me.  I WILL get you all caught up.

(Pssst, the One Room Challenge starts in a little over a week and guess what?  Yep.  Yours truly signed up to do that whole, crazy six weeks again.  Needless to say, there will never be a lack of content on Bean In Love.)

Last post we left off with a multi-purpose room reveal.  You might’ve noticed the spots on the recessed wall.  1) They are all part of this great stuff I’ve come to know and love called removable wallpaper.  2) The entire accent wall only cost me about 20 beans!

Long story short, one day I walked into our local Target, which is going through a pretty major renovation, and saw an entire end cap full of clearance wallpaper!  I snagged two of these rolls of Devine wallpaper*…

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The Multi-Purpose Room Reveal

It’s always awkward for me to take something from my heart, write it down, and hit publish…and then go on to post about something in a whole ‘nother arena, say superficial decorating, next time.  I feel like there needs to be a better transition but I don’t know how swing that so in we jump from heart to home again.  :)

I’ve actually spent almost every moment of free-time the last two days concocting a whole entire post on the multi-purpose room but last night, when I had reached 3000 words detailing only one half of the room, I made the intelligent decision to close my laptop and start anew this morning.  I’d lost myself just reading through what I’d written and I have no doubt I’d have lost you too in the absurd amount of details in that novel.  Sometimes I get carried away.  So, I’ll keep this short and come back later with more.

“Wait, back up.”

“What the heck is a multi-purpose room?”  Good question.  Did I make that kind of a room up?  Maybe.  I haven’t googled it to see if it’s a real thing yet.  I’ve talked about this before but this little house has two living rooms.  One, I suppose is more of a formal living room and one is more of a den.  Well, we don’t need two living rooms – we only have one television and one couch and they both fit great in one room.  But, we do need an office space, a sewing space, and a homeschool/kids’ coloring space.  So, we’ve spun the formal living room on it’s side to create, you’ve got it, a multi-purpose room.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Here’s what that space looked like before we moved in:

IMG_6822From 1:00 pm on it’s the brightest room in the house and, therefore, had lots of potential to be something fun and happy.  Since we spend a good amount of time in this room on the daily, that fun and happy status was really important. 


Find the Good


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A couple of weeks ago I was scrolling through Instagram while I waited for the kids to fall asleep.  I started following the news station near my sister’s place last year during hurricane season just to see the damage pictures they posted and haven’t unfollowed yet for no reason other than I haven’t thought about it.  Well, usually I’d just scroll right past a post like this on that news station’s feed but something made me stop.  And usually I’d remind myself not to read comments on things like this because there are bound to be some negative Nancy’s in the crowd, but I did.  And it was horrifying and eye-opening.


Dresser + Runner

I’m popping in here quick-like to ask you a quick question.  Do you own a dresser that’s not looking so hot on top?  Maybe one-to-many perspiring drinks have been set atop it or maybe your kid forgot they’re only supposed to color on paper or maybe you bought it as a project piece (my hand goes up) and then life gotcha?  That all happens and someday you’ll get around to making things right but today is not that day, right?

Well, that project piece of mine has been painted a thousand ways, brought back to her old glory, and sits gleaming in our living room…in my brain.  In reality though…

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Whomever dropped this off at the thrift store, I’m going to assume, had cookies and milk every night before bed.  Why?  Isn’t it obvious?  While they ate their cookies right next to their dresser, their glistening cup of milk sat on that dresser, was emptied and still sat ‘til morning when it was carried to the sink and readied for the next night.  We all have our routines, right?

Where We Eat

Rooms are starting to flow a whole lot better around here and I feel like it’s just added a greater sense of (superficial) peace when we’re constantly moving from room to room…which we do A LOT.  Of course that sounds ridiculous and you can’t really gleen peace from a house, right?  Or maybe you can?  Who knows.  Either way, I might be crazy but here’s the old view into the dining room from the “new” kitchen:

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It’s like there was an invisible line at the doorway in which all the fun stopped and all the boring started.

But now, NOW it’s one continuous space where decor harmony flows in, out, and all around:IMG_9161

White walls did the dining room good.  I painted them the same Pure White (Sherwin Williams) as the walls in the kitchen which was key in getting this pretty choppy room layout to feel, well, not quite so choppy.  Maybe cohesive is the word I’m looking for…

Here’s a better view of the whole dining room taken before we moved in:IMG_6821

Old, heavy curtains, tan walls, and all.

And here’s what we’re currently working with:

Two-Toned Walls

I know I told you I was working on our dining room/multi-purpose room and really, I can’t wait to show you the progress but I’m still waiting on fabric for one more curtain panel to reach our doorstep and so I’m just going to slide in with a quick distraction!

Surprise!  I’ve already moved onto sprucing up another room – the play room!  This house is a three bedroom/two bath and right now, the kids are all sharing a room (it’s been awesome!) and so we’ve designated the third bedroom as a play room.  We’ve got a functioning office space (which we really needed) in our multi-purpose room so, since we didn’t need a space for that, one room to corral all the kids toy’s in seemed like a great idea!  And it has been!  The only place we keep toys is in this room vs. a little bit here and there like in our old house.  And as happens with kids around, messes get made, toys get strewn, but the great part about having a toy room is that the mess is usually contained to that one room…usually.  ;)

Here’s what the third bedroom now dubbed play room looked like right before we moved in:  IMG_6833

Just like the rest of the house, it was covered in tan.

Here’s what it looked like after we moved in:IMG_8062
And here’s what it looks like at this very moment:

Living Room Tour

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about why I really enjoy decorating our home.  I’ve always found a good bit of fun in decorating – my mom decorated my room when I was younger based off of one of my favorite characters, Minnie Mouse, but I didn’t really play a starring role in the whole process.  She bought everything and was really good at styling and so she did it all and I lived with it for several years.  I tweaked things here and there though, nothing major, but what I really loved is that feeling when it was spotless.  Don’t get me wrong, I was very good at leaving my clothes scattered on the floor for days/weeks and clutter on my dressers and desk but I thoroughly enjoyed decluttering and placing the 3957 pillows I had on my bed perfectly once in that blue moon.

Fast forward to college when I really got to take decorating my own dorm room by the reins and went all out.  I spent $70 of my own, hard-earned money on a comforter I had to have at Linen’s and Things (now defunct) and made sure any other accessories I bought for the room coordinated. 

That passion for decorating still stands but I’m finding that I’m enjoying the process a little less than I did before.  I don’t think it’s that it’s just not as fun anymore though.  I think it’s kids.  Haha!  I decorated my entire dorm room in two whole days, ceiling to floor, and now it takes me weeks to get one room done.  Kids.  The satisfaction of decorating for me is more in the end result than the process anyway so when that end result is akin to the tiniest light in the longest tunnel, it feels overwhelming at times.  BUT, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I know that’s cliche but it’s truth.  These four chicklets have given me more satisfaction than the final reveal of a million decorated rooms.  :)

On the same note, my reasons for making our spaces pretty have changed a lot.  Whereas before I just wanted a pretty dorm room/first-home-before-kids to come home to, now changing up spaces breaks up the monotony that my life can sometimes be.  I’m a big routine kinda gal.  Growing up I would have said I leaned more towards the unplanned/spontaneous side of life but I think having twins pulled me full circle to the other side.  No routines/structure when you have newborn/toddler twins = lots of stress.  I can’t say that’s a fact but I can tell you that the days where we at least tried (even if we failed a little) to stick to our routine were a heck of a lot easier than days where we completely disregarded it.  And so, structured and rigid I’ve become and that I’m guessing I’ll stay until we’ve got four independent children running around vs. the current dependent ones.  The routine-based life is wonderful and I thrive in it but it can get boring day after day after day after day.  So, adding some new pillow covers here or slapping up a new paint color there, spending naptime making something to hang there or building this to fill this space brings a much-needed surprise visit to that routine and a happier mom makes me.

With all of that, we’re switching gears!  Strap yourselves in for a living room tour! 

I took this before we moved in and started tweaking things:

IMG_6830Covering up the one and only window in the room were some heavy, light-blocking curtains and it looked like there was an eruption of tan everywhere.

I couldn’t get those curtains down fast enough!  Let there be allll the light there can be, I say!  Here’s where painting the walls white and adding in our furniture has us so far:

Yarn Art

Last, but not the least tweak in the living room, and over in that back door corner is a little yarn art.  I’ve seen these made on Pinterest a hundred times but took a notes from Andrea at Harlow & Thistle to make my very own. 

For a little bit, I struggled with what to hang on that door.  Since it got painted white and kind of blends in with the wall, which is great, I still liked the idea of adding some sort of wreath or hanging decor.  It had to be fairly simple and I didn’t want anything floral.  I didn’t want to add any holes to the door so it also had to be something light enough to hang from one of these magnetic hooks*.

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I know you can find this tutorial a thousand times over elsewhere, but hey, “Here I go again on my own...” 

Body Spray to Floating Vase

Within in the past several years, our family has become an avid recycling family.  Reading statistics relating to plastic waste plus facts on rates of decomposition plus knowing our kids will inherit our waste as a nation and world have made moved us to try our best to not contribute to the throw-away society we’ve created.  We recycle every single piece of plastic (paper and everything else…) we possibly can after we use them and, when I remember, I try to use reusable shopping bags.  Every little bit helps, right?  :)

So, when I came up with a solution to fill that little piece of empty wall space above our security system keypad and next to the new, framed picture of Christ that involved recycling something used and that was FREE (in that I didn’t have to go out and buy anything), I counted myself in.

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Over the years, I’ve accumulated quite a few bottles of body spray from here and there. 

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After I emptied one recently, I realized it had a ton of decor potential…more than it had just sitting in our recycling bin.

Drumroll please…

Happy Corner

Let me introduce you to my new favorite corner of this little house.diy yarn art
It doesn’t really look like much but it’s my favorite because it’s chock full of fun diy’s I’ve been knocking out over the past couple of weeks.  Still on the list is a hook system (just like this one) that I want to get up on that empty wall to the right of the door.  Hopefully that will happen before school rolls in this fall so we have a place to park backpacks.  :)

To jog your memory, here’s what that corner looked like just after we moved in:

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We desperately needed a place to store shoes since this is the door we use most often and so we bought Ikea’s Mackapar, hacked it, and still love it.  I finally got around to painting the living room last month too.  Goodbye tan!  With all of the orangey-wood trim and lack of light during the majority of the day, white was the clear winner.  We went with Pure White by Sherwin-Williams.  The door was in a sad state; dinged and stained.  It was begging for a new coat of paint.IMG_8223


Quite a Distressing Situation

We’ve been storing all of Gianna’s clothes in two drawers of Anthony’s dresser and two fabric boxes in the kids closet and, the older she grows, the bigger her clothes are getting, and the more that that’s just not working.  We had room leftover galore when we were talking newborn clothes but lately I’ve been just digging and storing excess stuff in a large tupperware bin…in the kids room.  Not efficient and definitely not pretty.

So, for the past couple of months I’ve been keeping an eye out online for a tall dresser that could fit in the kids room to house her things and then some.  Mid-century dressers are some of my favorite things and so I’ve been looking with that aesthetic in mind and coming up short.  The few that I’ve found had either been sold right before I messaged the owner or the owner just never messaged me back.  Well last weekend, my luck changed and I found one.  It didn’t really fit into the mid-century category but I loved the thick molding detail on the doors and the drawers themselves were simple enough that I flew in with a $50 offer (down from the $75 asking price) and they were sold. 

Here’s the picture from the listing:IMG_8283
The listing noted that the piece was solid wood and that all of the drawers “worked properly”.  I could tell it had been painted from the listing and the paint job didn’t look that bad via pictures so, if anything, I figured it might need a touch-up or I could totally go a different color with it.  Either way, it was painted white and with the addition of some new hardware, I hoped we could as least live with it as-is until I get around to making over the kids’ room.

Well, when I showed up to pick up the dresser, the owner had all of the drawers extracted and set by the door (which I thought was great since I figured we’d have to do that anyway to make it easier to carry).  At first glance of it, I could tell the owner used a semi-gloss or gloss paint and so I knew at that moment that I’d be repainting.  I also noticed that the paint job was really poorly done – there were brush strokes everywhere and it looked like maybe some spray painting mishaps.  But, like I said, I had already prepped myself for a possible repainting so that didn’t scare me away.  When we went to lift the dresser, the owner said he’d carry the lower side (we carried it horizontally) since it was heavier.  At the time I was like “Dude, the top is clearly the heaviest part with these doors that weigh a ton…” but I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t really worried about not being able to carry it.  (Four babies over the years has given me quite the biceps.  Ha!)  We got it outside and slid it into the back of my van and I remember seeing that the underside of the dresser, the side he was closest to carrying the dresser, was pretty beat up.  Immediately after he saw me looking at the bottom, he distracted me by stepping in front of it and telling me it would be helpful if I got into the back seat and pulled.  And ok, this is me adding a little bit of assumption in saying he distracted me because maybe he was really in a hurry to get this thing gone (even though after he talked my ear off) but it all happened in the matter of a few seconds and dawned on me afterwards.  I thought about it the entire drive home (ten minutes) and really, I wasn’t too deterred by the state of the bottom of the dresser – I mean, it still stands perfectly and is sturdy and the bottom isn’t seen whatsoever.  But then I got home.  And we pulled the dresser out of the van and into the car port.  And I noticed a few things I hadn’t before because I didn’t take the time to really look it over.  First of all, it wasn’t “solid wood”.  Argh.  The sides of the dresser and drawers are all particle board…not the cheap kind but still, not wood.  There were a couple of screws – one in the top of the dresser and one on the bottom trim on the same side – that were definitely not meant to be there.  Also, one of the “properly working” drawers was missing an entire track so that it literally just falls out of the dresser if you pull it out more than six inches.  I was annoyed.  Annoyed with shady sellers and annoyed with myself for not taking the time to look over the dresser better before I pulled the trigger.

Either way, it was now ours, I was happy I didn’t pay the $75 asking price (I wished I would’ve offered more like $30), and something fun and unexpected happened after I cleaned it out (there was so much dirt and dust in the drawer slots!) and sanded it down.  It was somewhat of a redemption for the whole situation.


All You Need is…

L O V E…and a little bit of white paint.  Maybe and maybe not but with all of the orangey-wood trim in this casa, I don’t know what else to go for and I’m playing it safe! 

I do know, however, that it has been so great shaking up the living room to take it from the heavily curtained, brown, brown, brown before:IMG_6831


to an in-progress and better after:IMG_8282


10 Minute Ceiling Fan Upgrade

Upward and onward folks!  After we had the kitchen all spruced, both the surrounding living room and dining rooms really made it feel out of place.  It looked fantastic, they…well, not so much.  Things are changing though, starting with the living room.  I painted it a few weeks ago and started tweaking with decor and I’ll share all of the details soon but first, tilt your heads to the sky…ok, not really…just keep reading.

The ceiling fan in the living room of this little house is the saddest one in the whole place.  The metal parts are shiny gold and their days of gleam and glam are gone (lit and fig) as rust and rough spots have nestled right in.  We’re not going to replace the ceiling fan in a house we’re renting though so I made a couple of quick changes to it last week to make it way more appealing and it only took me about 10 minutes and five bucks.

Here’s the sad thing before:

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You can’t really see the rust spots in the picture but you will be able to when we get a little closer later.  On top of those, the blades had some really awesome, gold, scrolly designs on them, typical of older fan blades and those glass shades…doozy’s.  The way they flared out at the ends really injected me with a dose of motivation to whip this thing into shape asap.


PRK Surgery: My Experience

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Hey there!  Even though we’ve got a much-changed living room over here, I’m going to sideline home progress and DIYs for a hot second to discuss PRK – the eye surgery I had a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve read and heard several bad experiences with PRK in the past few months.  For one, an Instagrammer I follow had it done and wrote about her horrible experience.  Then I read a bunch of the comments on her post and a lot of them were similar experiences.  I also reached out to an aquaintance right after I found out I’d have to have PRK vs. Lasik and was told that “the first few days [after PRK] were excruciating pain”.  Eep.  That all made me a little nervous.  Just a little though.  I really have thee best doctor in the whole world and in him I placed all of my trust.  In the end, I was glad to read and hear how hard of a recovery it can be because I was fully prepped for the worst on the day of my surgery.  However, in saying that, I made sure not to go out seeking stories because I knew my horse might bolt if I did that and I’d be stuck with glasses forever thanks to that pesky little thing we all know as FEAR. 

If you were born with perfect vision like my lucky husband, good for you.  You have literally saved thousands of dollars.  I’m praying hard our kids got his good vision genes.

Then there’s me.  I’ve been in glasses/contacts since fourth grade.  At the time, I was dying and wishing and hoping for a pair of glasses.  I thought they were the COOLEST!  (WHAT WAS I THINKING?!)  My vision wasn’t horrible and I could see the wipe board at school but I remember telling my mom I really needed to get my vision checked because things were “kinda” blurry.  She took me to an optometrist and he told her my eyes weren’t really that bad and that I could probably get away without glasses but if it made me feel like I could see better, he’d give me that super low prescription I needed.  Did I ruin my vision forever by begging for them?  I don’t know.  Either way, fast forward lots and lots of year to when I ran out of contacts last December.  If you are a wearer, you know that they can be expensive.  I was blessed with an astigmatism on top of my poor vision so I have to wear special contacts that cost even more.  Yay!  It costs me about $200-250 a year to wear contacts.  I prefer them whole-heartedly over glasses because I hate feeling like I’m looking through glass at all you people like you’re an animal at the zoo.  I know it sounds dumb but I really just hate the barrier.  And I hate how they slide down my nose all day long and knock my kids in the face when I’m going in for a cuddle.  And on a superficial note, I hate when I get all dressed up for something and then I get to top off my rad outfit with…glasses.  Fantastic.  Anyway, I digress.  I ran out of contacts and luck had it that we had just paid off a bunch of loans.  So my next thought was, well, I could buy another years worth of contacts or I could put that money towards surgery.  That’s the great thing about getting your vision corrected btw, you’re going to spend the money either way whether it’s on doctors’ visits (mine were $150 a pop) or on glasses/contacts so why not just spend the money to fix your eyes, right? 


DIY Spice Rack

Let’s spice things up around here, huh?  Literally.  We’re diving into spice rack details today.  I keep calling our new spice rack a ‘rack’ but really, I should be calling them spice shelves.

My entire, home-owning existence, I’ve always stored our spices in an upper cabinet right next to the stove.  It was habit and because, usually, I was at the stove when I needed them so it just made sense.  In this little rental though, we only have one, quite narrow upper cabinet next to the stove and it’s stocked full of other things that I usually keep near the stove – large salt and pepper refill containers, corn starch, cocoa powder…basically all of our cooking and baking dry ingredients.  There’s zero room for spices.  So into a basket on top of the microwave on the opposite wall they went.  Not ideal.  Therefore, putting up this pair of spice shelves was gloriously satisfying.  For one, I can see all of our spices without having to move any around and two, they’re within arms reach when I need them.   

Another really great thing about these spice shelves is that you only need a handful of easily attainable and easy to use supplies to build them.  I still haven’t mastered using any of our big power tools so Anthony is always holding those reigns during any of our building projects, but this one I did all by myself.  It’s that easy.  Here’s what I used:

diy spice shelves

DIY Pendant Light from A Vase

Alrighty.  There are only two more things to write about in our “new” kitchen and then I’m done talking about it.  Promise!  I’m ready to move on to the next room too!  Today though?  Lighting.  Specifically, the ceiling fan and the new pendant over the sink.

Here’s a shot of the kitchen sink area with the header still up, hiding the simple, little light fixture behind:IMG_7312
Once we took that header down, even though I didn’t really mind the existing light, it wasn’t substantial enough to fill in that space.IMG_7348


So, we bought this pendant light kit* in antique brass and used a thrifted vase to make a new pendant.

How to “HIDE” A Dishwasher

This is a post all about a white elephant.  Not the Christmas party kind and not the circus kind.  It’s the kind in a room.  A kitchen actually.  And did I mention it wasn’t an elephant at all but a dishwasher?!  No?  Let me tell you all about it.

Our landlord so kindly installed a new dishwasher in this little house for us before we moved because we are first-world, spoiled peeps who can’t not have a machine that does the dirty work for us while we wrangle four kids post-dinner.  *eyeroll*

So awesome, right?  Right.  So, now we’ve got one and we’re SO thankful because, as you probably know, it really does make life just a little easier.  Well, I got a few comments on how great the dishwasher looks painted after the big kitchen reveal and those words were music to my ears because that’s what I wanted everyone to think.  But, listen.  I am not inconsiderate enough to think I should go and paint a dishwasher that isn’t technically mine.  But I really hated how it stuck out of our pretty green cabinets like a rowdy toddler at Mass.
  IMG_8042I sent the above picture to my sister right after I finished “tiling”.


The Big (Little) Kitchen Reveal!!!

Well, this has been FUN, hasn’t it?  Taking our little rental kitchen from what it was to what it is really had me going…for six whole weeks.  I’ve never gotten an entire room finished in six weeks!  It’s kind of a big deal.  And you know what else is kind of a big deal?

OUR KITCHEN!

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Subway Tile Wallpaper


ORC
It’s week FOUR of the One Room Challenge and that means that I’ve been working solely on this kitchen for five whole weeks.  Maybe that doesn’t sound crazy to you but I’m a jumper – I jump from room to room with projects and never spend more than a week or two in one so this is kind of a big deal for me.  While it feels so good to have an entire room almost finished, I have to admit, I’ve been feeling a little antsy and am excited to move into other rooms.  One more week…

One more week for me and for all of the other featured designers and guest participants.  I’m really excited to see all of those final reveals!  I have a date with an ice cream bowl and a studying husband to sit and browse one night next week!  :D

This week in our kitchen, I brought the boring backplash to life.  When I say “backsplash” what I really mean was a four-inch countertop lip and a painted wall.

IMG_7897This was taken in the midst of painting upper cabinets a few weeks ago.

Here we are today:

Five Favorites

Workout edition…

Which is comical since this mom is NO workout guru…not even close.  For the first year of my kids’ lives while I’m breastfeeding, any semi-intense cardio makes my milk supply drop like it’s hot so I get my arms toned by lifting babies and my legs toned by walking to the toilet after I hear “ALLL DONE MAMA!!” a thousand times.  My grandma gave me a step-counter and it’s still buried in my nightstand which is still full of stuff I put in there to move BUT before we moved, I wore it during a few average, stay-at-home mornings and no joke, I was up to 3600 steps by noon…in my own, small house.  Who needs a gym?  ;)

Anyway, I thought it’d be fun to write about something other than our mini-kitchen reno that’s going on at the moment so why not a Five Faves post?  It’s been awhile and I’m due to share some stuff I’ve come across that I genuinely like.

So…


DIY Pot Rack from Towel Bars

You say pot, I say rack…

pot…

pot…

YES!  That’s it!  Let’s get excited over here!  We are the proud owners of a neeeewwww pot rack!

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Having a pot rack hanging on our kitchen wall wasn’t something either of us has ever desired.  But then enter small kitchen, very little lower cabinet space and oh, looky here, a big empty wall.emptywall

One Room Challenge–Week 3

Hey hey!  It’s week T H R E E of theORC
and over here, things are looking UP!!  No really, they are.  I got all of the upper cabinets painted this week and, oh my, it is CRAZY how much more light bounces through what I already thought was a fairly bright kitchen!

Check this out:IMG_7417


And then take a look at the same area pre-move:IMG_6824
The Almighty said it best with “Let there be light!”  Have you ever gone white in the kitchen (or any room really) and experienced the added light?  It’s great, right? 

I’ve written a few posts on how I paint cabinets in the past and time around the paint can wasn’t much different in the way of technique but I did use a new-to-us paint than I have in the past and got a little smarter as far as set-up goes.


One Room Challenge!!!


ORC


You’ll never know how excited I was when I found out that the One Room Challenge just started on April 4th!  If you don’t know what that is, check it out here.  Basically, you take on a room (entirely redo, refresh, remodel, whatever have ya) and you get six weeks to do it.  I’ve always seen it come up on Instagram and other blogs but I’ve been always the spectator and never the participant.  Not this year though!  I’ll be linking up and following along with other guest participants here

I’ve got until May 10th to take our kitchen from old to gold-winning and ironically, I started ripping down the wallpaper in our kitchen a week before I found out the challenge was happening so I’m right on time.  But *gulp* I’ll need every single one of those six weeks since I’m on a serious budget and I don’t have the luxury to just go out and buy what I need.  I’ve got to find it secondhand, on clearance, or on mega-sale…you know how I do.  Oh yeah, and I have four little kids running around. 

You might be wondering why I’m tackling a kitchen in a rental house.  Why waste time, energy, and money on something you’ll be leaving in a year or two?  Valid question.  Answer?  Because I love doing this stuff.  As a stay-at-home mom, daily life can get a little monotonous.  It’s a beautiful life and I’d have none other, but getting out my paint brush and planning decor is the equivalent to going out and getting my hair or nails done for me.  It’s self-care – getting to expand my diaper-changing and feeding horizons to project beauty onto the space that I’m changing diapers and feeding in.  I think it’s important to love the space you’re living in too so spending a little bit of money to make that happen here is well worth it, in my opinion. 

With that, here are the plans for the kitchen:
-take down the wallpaper
-paint the walls
-paint the cabinets and replace the hardware
-make a pendant to replace the light over the sink
-redo the fan shade
-repaint the rug (maybe?)
-hang a pot rack
-hang a spice rack over the stove
-install some sort of backsplash

The budget:  $150
Total spent so far:  $18

Here’s the a picture of the kitchen I ran in and took one day before we moved in: IMG_6823 Too bad I didn’t think to actually step farther into the kitchen to get a picture.


Ikea Mackapar Hack

I’m baaaaack!!  But still not unpacked.  Ack.  It’s ok though because we’ve done a hack and hung a rack.  So hopefully you’ll give me a little slack. 

Ok, ok, I’ll stop before you feel like you wanna whack me.  ;)  The girls and I have been doing rhyming in homeschool…

Ahem…

We have a situation.  Our back door is our most used door and therefore, where we keep all of our most-used shoes…haphazardly (usually) set on this little shelf (previously a bookshelf in Sebastian’s old room).IMG_7269

It looked a mess because it was kind of a mess.  Our closets are small and lack space for lots of shoes plus I like the idea of shoes being near a door for easy access so this was our situation.  I feel like entry ways should always be clean and uncluttered since they’re the first things you walk into when you come home.  They could make or break a mood, ya know?  When ours is cluttered and messy, it really makes me happy to be home.  So inviting.  Like, welcome home to your peaceful abode…ooh!  Watch out for that little shoe!  *trip and an ankle twist*  Ok, so maybe I’m being a little too dramatic but really, first impressions do count, right?  That can somehow apply here.

Anyway, the wall next to the door was begging to be a functional one so we had to come up with something.Image-1 (4)

Slow Moooovin’

Well hey there!  *she waves*

I wish I was popping in today to show you our latest and possibly greatest diy feat of all time but N O.  That idea is laughable at the moment.

What’s also laughable AND cryable is this moving-in thing we still have happening over here.  I never imagined it would take me this long to get us unpacked and settled but yet, here we are, still not settled and still not completely unpacked.  All of that is due to the fact that we moved from a bigger house to a smaller house and I’m still trying to figure out what actually has a place here and what we need to bid adieu.  It’s been quite the experience, one that’s perfect to go through during Lent, lemme tell ya.

Doors ‘O Color

Well, I guess the fact that this post is up is proof that we survived our move.  Hi.  Yep.  We’re alive and living in another house.  But what it’s not proof of is the fact that moving after you’re already moved with kids once is NOT easier.  We are still living amongst boxes (being almost a week into the actual move) and let me tell you, that is hard…for me.  I thrive in organized environments (even if they’re a little messy), where everything has a place.  Clutter drives me crazy (unless it’s out of sight…hello all those extra picture frames I stockpile in an extra closet…that drives Anthony crazy…hehe).  Anyway, while I’m busy doing the box + razor blade dance, let me divert your attention from our chaotic, unorganized casa to Crystal’s beautiful house:corg