Thursday, April 9, 2015

Tearin' It Down

I'm back with another house update that I completed.  This one was not really one I had planned but now that it is finished everything looks so much better.

First, let me just tell you that when it comes to this house my parents crack me up on what they want to get done.  My dad said "leave this wall alone and it'll be fine" but my mom said "sure go ahead and tear down that wallpaper."  That was enough for me!  Literally the moment I hung up with my mom I went straight over to the wall and grabbed a piece of wallpaper and ripped it off.  There was no going back then. 

When my parents bought this house years ago it had wallpaper everywhere.  My parents eventually took it all down except for this one wall in the entryway.  Don't know why they didn't finish this wall.  Maybe they were just tired of ripping and tearing and painting. 

Here's a look at the before.  Old grandma wallpaper and brass chandelier that works but all the bulbs are burned out on. 

When I said I grabbed a huge piece of wallpaper I meant it.  This is where I started.  I figured I could grab an edge of the wallpaper under the light switch.  So that's what I did.  Within 20 minutes this was the mess I had created. 

I started out using the tried and true method of using fabric softener mixed with water in a spray bottle.  It worked but it was just sooooo slow.  We ended up using a steamer to get the rest of the wallpaper off.

These walls were weird.  Up high over the arch there is texture.  The wall on the left of the window had a little texture and the wall on the right had no texture.  I had to make it all even and look like this was always supposed to look this way.  I bought a can of the knockdown texture and started spraying.

I hadn't ever done texture before so I was a little nervous.  But you can't really mess up texture so it's easy to figure out and get a system down. 

Once all the texture was dry I started painting these walls to match the rest of the living room walls.  While I was in paint mode I went ahead and painted the trim around the door and windows and baseboards.

Oh and I painted the front door too!

This whole thing took about 2 weeks to complete.  It took longer than I had hoped but that happens when you're interrupted by kids 500 times.

A look at the before:

And after:

You can see Matt took down the old dust catcher chandelier and put up a recessed light.  The living room has recessed lights so now it all matches.

Outside before:

Outside after:

We replaced the door knob, knocker, and kick plate.  Doesn't this look so much better?!?  The fun summer doormat is from Hobby Lobby.

The paint color is Chelsea Gray from Benjamin Moore. 

Tip: If don't need a full gallon of paint go to Sherwin Williams and get a sample size of paint.  It's cheap (like $5) and you get a good amount of paint in Satin finish.  I painted the door with one sample can of paint in Chelsea Gray.  You can also use Sherwin Williams coupons for their sample sizes too.  There is usually a 30% off coupon on their website.

I'm almost finished with the boys room update so I'll be back next week with that reveal.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sassy Brassy

I love accessories!  I love all the fun things you can do with them.  Put them on bookshelves, end tables, night stands.  The possibilities are endless.  When I'm out at thrift stores I really have to control myself because I might just turn into a hoader.  Especially when it comes to brass accessories. 

I don't mean brass like the old outdated light fixtures or doorknobs.  I mean like real brass.  You can always tell real brass if the item is heavy.  The fake stuff will be light and not weigh as much.  So while I was out recently I have found some really great brass accessories. 

While I don't have a place for them yet, someday I will.  And I won't care if brass is not in style anymore because I'll always love it. 

Check out the examples I found on the quick Pinterest search.

So what did I find?  Take a look.
 I LOVE this vase.  On the bottom says it was made in India.  The intricate details on this vase are just beautiful.  It was dirty when I bought it from Salvation Army but I polished it to look new again.  I really can't stop looking at it because it's so pretty. 

 This tree was just funky and unique.  The brass is in perfect condition and so I didn't have to do anything to it. 

Back during Christmas I found this cute little reindeer at Salvation Army.  There was a red bow on the reindeer but I took it off.  Sidenote...this reindeer has been sitting on my microwave since Christmas.  Colten has recently discovered it and now carries it around singing "Jingle Bells". 

So what I'll do with these I don't really know yet but I'm just glad I found them.

I hope you find some awesome treasures too.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Kitchen Is Finished (Almost)

Who's ready for summer??  My goodness I sure am!  It's March and there is snow on the ground here and I just find the whole thing ridiculous.  Bring on the flip flops and warm weather already.

Well, I have finally finished the kitchen updates.  At least I have finished my parts.  I say that because the kitchen still has maroon countertops.  When we move out of this house my parents are going to update the countertops with one of those kits and put in a new sink.  It's best to wait until we are no longer in the house so the countertops do not get messed up and they'll look new for when they sell the house. 

So for now just imagine the countertops white with gray mixed in there.  Let's start with the ugly before pictures.

I had already started painting when I remembered to take a before picture.  These are real wood cabinets.  Not the cheap builder grade cabinets.  After years of use they were just gross and dirty. 

The cabinets above the stove have always been in the way when trying to carry on a conversation with someone sitting at the bar.  You would have to bend down to see them and talk.  It was just annoying and weird. 

After much convincing and begging to my mom she finally let us take down the cabinets above the stove.  Our plan was to take the cabinet on the far left and move it beside the cabinet on the far right. 

This is the view from the other side of the cabinets.  See how they were just blocking everything off.  Piece by piece we tore down the cabinets.

Holy wow!  What a difference it made by taking the cabinets down.  Yes, we lost a little bit of cabinet space but it is worth it for the openness it gives to this small kitchen.

Are you ready for the after pictures?

Now all the light from the bay window shines in and you can speak to someone without bending down to look at them. 

I painted all the upper cabinets just plain ol' regular white.  The bottom cabinets are painted in Light French Gray from Sherwin Williams.  I also painted the window ledge white to match the cabinets.  I will paint the wood in front of the bar stools but that will be done shortly before we move as well.  I don't want the boys kicking and scratching up the paint. 

Did you notice the lighting was different too?  We took the bronze light fixture in the center of the kitchen and moved it to another spot in the house.  The brass light fixture over the sink was turned into a recessed light and we added more recessed lights over the bar and in the kitchen area.  Now there's 7 lights in this area instead of just 2. 

To save money I spray pained all the knobs and handles brushed nickel on the cabinets.  I had planned on painting the hinges as well but they were beyond gross so we replaced them all.

That about does it for this room.  Now on to the next project.  We still need to paint all the doors and trim, paint bathroom cabinets in both bathrooms, paint the walls in the boys room, and paint the mantel around the fireplace. 

I better get busy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A "New" Way to Store Spices

Well hello friends!  It has been quite some time since I did a post about anything.  I miss doing regular posts but I just don't have time currently with Autumn being so small.  But I did manage to do a very easy and simple update that I thought I would share.

Now, I'm sure we've all looked on Pinterest for spice storage ideas.  There's only about a million ideas out there.  So I'm going to make it a million and one. 

I've tried a few different things over the years when it comes to spice racks and storage.  In our last house I had Ikea spice racks mounted on the inside of our pantry door.  I loved the storage that way.  I used the plastic Gerber baby food containers to put the spices in. 

After doing the storage that way I noticed really quickly the spices would spill out of the bottom of the containers.  I didn't lay the containers flat on the racks but instead propped them up so I could see the label on the lid.  It didn't spill much but it was enough to be annoying but I just lived with it.

Now that Autumn is big enough to get baby food I'm going through jars pretty quickly.  I give her the Beech Nut brand baby food.  I love the jars the food comes in.  They're the perfect size for spices and the same amount of jars fit on the Ikea racks. 

So after I finish a jar I take the label off and wash the jar.  The label sometimes leaves a residue but it's not anything that Goo Be Gone can't fix. 

Then I spray painted the lid just whatever color I had on hand.

Yesterday I bought myself a label maker so what better way to test it out than by making labels for my spice jars.

Isn't that cute?!?  The jars are 4.25 ounces in size.  Beech Nut does have other jars but they're short and squatty.  I like these better because they are taller and just look nicer. 

If you're in the market for spice jars go buy some baby food even if you don't have a baby.  These are about $.80 each at Walmart.  That's a pretty good price for spice jars.  I've seen the same size for much more on other sites.

That's it!  I hope I have revolutionized your spice storage world. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

When I find something that I really like, no matter if it is food, a DIY trick, or a thrift shop, I like to share it with others.  That way they can enjoy it too.

I have a recipe for beef stew that has been my go to recipe for a few years now.  It is quick and easy so what's not to love?  It only takes a few ingredients and a few minutes to throw everything in the crock pot.


Adapted from

1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup Light Zesty Italian Dressing
1/4 barbecue sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 lb boneless beef chuck for stew
2 cans sliced new potatoes
1-2 cans sliced carrots
1 large onion, cut into chunks (optional)
2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp. flour
3 tbsp. water

Mix broth, dressing, barbecue sauce and oregano in slow cooker.  Add all remaining ingredients except flour and water; toss to coat.  Cover with lid.  Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours).

Transfer meat and vegetables to serving bowl with slotted spoon; cover with foil.  Set aside.

Mix flour and water until well blended.  Stir into juices in slow cooker; cover.  Cook on high for 15 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.  Spoon over meat and vegetables.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Baby Girl Bedding

Hey friends!  We have a baby girl in the family!  We're beyond thrilled that we have our little angel with us now.  Autumn is perfect and she's so relaxed.  I'm a smitten mom and I just can't stop loving on her.

I promised I would be back with the info on the bedding I used for Autumn's crib.  With each boy we've used different bedding sets.  Finally, I have found the perfect one. 

In the past we've bought bedding sets from Target, Walmart, and Ebay.  I've never really been satisfied with the crib bumpers.  They are flimsy and as soon as baby can stand up they get stepped on and bent all funky.

So I went to etsy and I found a company that makes beautiful bedding.  Now, I will say they are a bit pricey for everything.  That's why I only purchased the crib bumper.  You can sign up for their emails or follow the company on Facebook.  They do regular 15% or 20% off sales.

The bumper is so soft and it comes with very thick padding.  It will not be easily bent when Autumn is able to stand up.



I purchased the sheet from Target.  It's the Circo Knit Dot Fitted Crib Sheet in pink.  I paid $9.99 for it.

Carousel Designs also sells the fabric for the bedding by the yard.  I purchased 1 yard of the same fabric that the bumper is made of to make the blanket.  The pink lace I purchased from Hobby Lobby while on sale.  The two pinks aren't exact matches but I don't care.  My mom has a friend that sewed everything together for me.  On the website Carousel Designs sells a crib blanket for $59.  For the fabric and lace I paid around $30. 

Finally, the crib skirt.  I made this myself.  I totally spaced it and forgot that I could have purchased the same silver/gray fabric that's on the bumper ties from Carousel Designs. The fabric I purchased is from Hancock Fabric.  I followed the tutorial provided by View Along The Way.  It only took me 4 days to figure this skirt out and sew it.  But I'm not a seamstress so no shocker there it took so long.

Total for everything I would guess I paid about $160-$170.  That's a pretty good savings by looking elsewhere for the individual pieces. 

This is beautiful for my beautiful little princess.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tales From the Crib

Happy Thursday!  I hope everyone is having a great week.  Last week school started again so I only have 2 kids at home.  At least for now.  Baby girl will be here very soon! 

I thought since baby girl will be here before we know it I would share the details on the crib makeover that I finally completed. 

We bought this crib almost 7 years ago off Craigslist when I was pregnant with Levi.  Back then I had a love of cherry wood cribs and dressers.  My taste was totally different then.  After seeing this crib white I wish I would have painted this sooner.  Oh well!

Since this is our last baby I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a new white crib so I figured I could just spray paint this for a lot less.  After 3 boys sleeping in this crib there were a lot of teeth marks, scratches, and scuffs but I didn't care.


I wasn't about to sand this whole thing down so I saved myself the trouble and bought 5 cans of the oil based primer.  It worked perfectly.

I sprayed all the pieces down on one side then I let them sit for a few days.  Once the side I had painted was cured I flipped the pieces over and did the same thing.  I did lightly sand down any rough spots from the primer in between coats on each side. 

I made another trip to Lowes and picked up another 5 cans of spray paint by Valspar in just plain white with a Satin finish.  Then I went back to work painting.  When everything was painted all white I sealed it off with Valspar Clear Gloss Sealer in the can.   

Overall, painting the crib took about a week.  It is not perfect but ask me if I care!  I spent around $50-$60 on all the spray paint which is cheaper than a new crib. 

I'll be back soon with the details on the bedding that I used and how I made the crib skirt.  Yeah, I busted out my sewing machine for that one.