Pity Project

Sometimes our lives are so busy with keeping kids alive and thriving that we don't have time to take on or even complete any in-progress bigger house projects...like right now.  Although I will admit that there are a hefty amount times when I really have to convince myself to vacuum/cook/wash when what I really want to do is paint something.  When the imprudent thing is to project big, that's when I start to get antsy and seek out little ten minute projects I can do to satisfy that hunger.  This is one of them.  We'll call it a pity project.  :)

A couple of months ago, our coffee maker broke.  If you're anything like us, you love your morning coffee.  It's a routine; a ritual even.  For us, it's about the taste and feel of those moments when you can sip in peace in the morning before everyone wakes up (until they do and you're still sipping, just not in peace).  Maybe it's a little bit about that slight jolt caffeine gives you to start your day too.  So when our coffee maker breaks, well, uh-oh.  Chaos.  Shame too because it was so cute.

Ok, ok, there's really no chaos that follows a broken coffee maker.  It's really just a small thorn in the side.  We weren't left completely hanging though because we have a french press* we pull out once in awhile and it got pulled out daily until we got a replacement.  But there is nothing like the simplicity of an automatic maker, right?  But french press coffee just tastes so much better.  I know.  I've heard.  I drink my creamer with a side of coffee though so I really couldn't tell you the difference.  Anthony however, the black coffee drinker, will tell you that's true.  That's why we splurged a little bit this time around (we usually go for the $17 maker at Walmart or Target) and bought ourselves this coffee maker*.  I found it on Amazon awhile ago and saved it to one of our lists.  It has a shower sprayer, which we've heard is the best way to brew and a reusable filter which doesn't steal all of the oils in the grounds.  (Our friends run a coffee shop and I learned a ton about coffee this past summer talking with them!)  Well, when I went to buy, the red option was the cheapest (as compared to the white* that we really wanted) and there was a one like-new, on Amazon Warehouse for $35.  I jumped on it because I knew that I could probably either deal with the red for a lower price or remedy it.  Enter this pity project.

Here's our month-old maker:  

Except now it looks like this:

Frame a Builder-Grade Mirror - DIY

I'm no Chelsea, but I'm going to write up how I built a frame to trim out the mirror in the kids' bathroom.  It was a pretty simple project that I was way more intimidated than I needed to be about.  I wanted to do it all by myself without any help from Anthony and huzzah (or is it phew...), I did just that!  So, I'll just say it, "If I can do it, you can do it!"

I'm also no pro interior photographer so I apologize that the mirror trim is enveloped in a ton of light from the plethora of light bulbs we've got on our vintage fixture up there but you can still see it, right?

Here's what the same mirror looked like a couple of weeks earlier (along with the same toddler in a different mood):

Builder grade, big, and boring.  You might've seen them.  You might even have them in your own house!  If you do, follow along closely.

I wanted to trim this thing out and I wanted a simple, thin frame.  I looked into companies that specialize in making custom mirror frames (and was even very tempted to write them asking for a sponsored post, I'll admit it).  But the price tag to frame out our mirror started at over $178 for a slim frame and I knew I could probably make one myself for a whole lot less.  (Spoiler alert:  I was right.)

Spotted: Goodwill

The four-year old and I made a quick trip into a local Goodwill here while out running errands last week and we found some STUFF.  I hadn't planned on going in and taking pictures to show you the treasures because I haven't had much luck finding things at thrift stores recently but after I spotted a few great things, I thought "why not?"  (If you're reading and you're local to the Mobile area, these were all seen at the Goodwill in Semmes.)  

I know it might be disheartening to you for me to show you what I found here - things you can't buy there since they're here, but my whole point of these "Spotted" posts is to show you what potential lies in those little (and big) things laying around inside thrift stores around the world.  You just have to open up your mind a tad and picture those things somewhere besides on a thrift store shelf surrounded by a random assortments of objects.

I didn't take notes on the prices of what I saw but everything was under $5, with the exception of the lamps.

It took a fair amount of back-and-forth mind conversation to convince myself I didn't need this wallpaper:

(I was juggling things in my hands so I struggled getting a good picture of the whole roll.)  If it were the modern peel & stick kind, I would've pounced.  But, having torn loads and loads of wallpaper off the walls in this house within the last year, I'm still raw about the idea and so pasted wallpaper isn't on my list of things I would like right now.  However, this pretty roll that mimicked a beautiful blue sky with wispy white clouds would look dreamy on the ceiling in a kids' room, inside a closet, on an accent wall, just anywhere.

Kids' Bathroom Reveal!

Are you ready for this reveal?  I feel like I've mentioned "we're making progress in the bathroom" one too many times and probably deserve all of the eye rolls for taking so dang long to finish it.  The last we left off, I told you I was trying to find a cheap solution to frame out the builder-grade mirror.  The good news is, I found it.  The bad news is, we didn't get every single thing done we had set out to do in this bathroom according to our inspiration board.  I'll explain in a minute.  More goods news though - we only spent $112 on this whole makeover.  Folks, get ready to feast your eyes on a major difference in aethetics brought to you by a relatively small amount of cash.


Like many of the other rooms in this house, this one was wallpaper laden.  Luckily, and probably with the help of bathroom humidity, the paper in this room peeled off pretty easily once we had started.  For months it sat with bare drywall as we worked on other rooms in the house (however, we did seal the drywall in close proximity to the shower to protect those walls from H2O).

Eventually we removed all of ceramic towel rods and those big metal support bars, leaving us to fill in a whole lot of holes.  

We also replaced the light bulbs to get rid of that orangey glow.  If we were into fake tans, that wouldn't be the fake tan we were looking for.


Scrubba, Scrubba

 I can see the finish line of this little, Phase 1 bathroom makeover...I can see it.  Here's where we left off:

Freshly painted walls that gave us a nice, blank slate.  As much as I'd love to post another updated picture, I have to keep you in suspense.  ;)  Instead, let's get sidetracked and let's move our gaze from those sparkling walls to that floor.  I can't say they're sparkling.  You can't tell from the above photo but if you look closer...

No sparkle in sight.  Not only do they not gleam, but they look like they haven't been cleaned in months...even though they have.  The grout is stained and those spots that look like dirt on the tile are actually bits of wax sealer.  When we first moved in, I took a scrub mop and some bleach and went over the floors quick just so I felt comfortable letting our kids walk on them barefoot.  They were probably "cleaned" before the house was put on the market even though it really didn't look clean thanks to the stained grout but you know, nothing is clean enough until you do it yourself.  Anyone else feel like that?  Just me?  Okey dokey.  Well, they must have sealed the floors after that "cleaning" and whatever sealer they used came right off in clumps when I started scrubbing with bleach.  I picked up the majority of it while I scrubbed, but assumed I could just keep scrubbing and brush the rest up after the floors dried.  WRONG.  That wax dried and stuck and it was going to take another big scrub to get it back up and off.  At the time, we were also knee deep neck high in scraping popcorn ceilings so scrubbing the floor a second time quickly sank to the bottom of the priority list.  But at least they were sanitary, right?