Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Making a house a home

Slowly, slowly, I'm working on making our house our own & putting my own touches on things.  When you have a strict budget, things don't necessarily happen as quickly as you'd like!  BUT, the house isn't going anywhere, so I need to keep patient & enjoy the small changes.

We'll start with my laundry room.  I call it MY laundry room vs. OUR laundry room because who are we kidding, I'm the only one who spends time in that room other than the pets who also share it with me.  When we first closed on our house, I told Mike I wanted to paint the laundry room Parakeet Green by Sherwin Williams and he had enough nerve to try & deter me!!  Yeah, that didn't fly because it's now the cheerful green hue I so wanted!

Stella, our Chihuahua sleeps in here at night & both dogs stay closed in while we're at work.  The cats eat on the counter as you can see Casper demonstrating, otherwise Dempsey would gobble up their food.  The litter box is also hidden beyond the dryer.

Mike got the actual room that was designated as a home office, so I call the laundry room my office.  It's very functional & since our old house had no laundry room, but a closet instead, I am loving this!  I have a counter to do my folding & a shelf to hang clean clothes or line-dried clothes.

We have room for a storage shelf but eventually I want to install a utility tub in this space since 50% of the kids clothes are stained & need scrubbing.

Last week I found this cute picture at Hobby Lobby which was perfect for the space.  If you're ever shopping at Hobby Lobby be SURE to print out their 40% off coupon before you go.  I ended up spending about $20 on this & it's really high quality.

I also ended up picking up this picture for the kid's play room at Hobby Lobby, also using a 40% off coupon.  You can't use more than one coupon at a time & it can only be applied to one item, so I went back the next day.  Pinterest has been my latest obsession since there are so many creative ideas out there.  My mind is constantly churning with ideas!

Since we've moved into the house, Mike's "office" has been nothing but a junk pit dumping zone. I refuse to have a junk room in our house, so last week I tackled this room & got it completely organized & I'm happy to say it's officially a functioning office!!  

It's the first room off the front door so it's really nice to have the double doors open instead of hiding a disaster.  It makes the house seem a lot more open now.

Since it's Mike's office he's making it into a Chicago sport's themed room & he's also thrown in some of his own sports pictures!  With Labor Day weekend coming up, I have a bunch of small projects for us to work on.  As much as I love doing home projects, Mike does not!  That's why my Wednesdays are so very busy..  speaking of, time for me to run!  Hope you're all having a great week!

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

My baby goes to preschool!

Yesterday morning my baby boy started pre-k and I can hardly believe it!

Not too long ago he was under seven pounds & could fit into the crook of my neck.

Before I know it, he'll be towering over me!  Cameron has been going to daycare since he was four months old, but starting pre-k (or VPK for voluntary pre-k, as we call it in Florida) is still a big deal to me.  Daycare was an optional thing, but now that he's in VPK he has to go from 9:30-12:30 everyday which includes Wednesdays.  Wednesday has been our special day together for the past year & a half and I can cry thinking that I'll have to spend the morning away from him tomorrow.  I know I'll keep busy & pick him up right at 12:30, but to me it's a very big milestone.  Next year when he starts kindergarten, he'll be gone an entire day!!  Sniff, sniff.  But then I'll have my special day with Reese.

I'm holding on to these precious years!  He still loves to cuddle with me, watch movies on his little Lightning McQueen couch with his sister & even wear a sleeper to bed since he sees Reese wearing one!

 Speaking of Reese, I had to snap this picture of her wearing her brother's PJs over her own which she demanded.  She put the pants on herself & asked me to help her with the shirt.  As I type this, she's sleeping in the next room wearing this get-up.. she is such a nut!  I had the audacity to not pick her up at the exact moment she asked, hence the waterworks.

And one of her besties, Taylor dealt with her wrath on Sunday since Reese didn't like that she was sharing Mike's lap.  She kept yelling, "No Tay Tay!  My Daddy!"  I reassured sweet Tay that one day (hopefully soon) Reese would be a more gentle, patient girl!  It's amazing how quickly these years are whizzing by... they're crazy, but I'm loving them!

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Paint till you drop!

Before we moved into our house, we did a ton of painting between all the bedrooms, the laundry room, two bathrooms, a few random walls, our den & the bonus room, but we still had parts of the "meat" of our house to paint.  When I say meat, I mean the living room, dining room & family room which is basically what most people end up seeing when they come over.  The colors aren't at all a problem since they're very neutral, but the issue is that the previous owners were screw happy & left no less than thirty huge screws in the wall with no touch-up color.

They're kind of hard to see in the picture above, but trust me, they're there!  Slowly but surely we've been pulling them out & re-painting.  I'm trying to keep my colors in check since I have a tendency to go overboard with various colors.  I used the color Eiffel Tower by Porter Paints which is a tan/gray color.

I got out of work a couple hours early yesterday & hit the ground running, basically painting from 2:30-8:30 at night.

We're also saving to replace the hideous brass entryway light that's currently there as well as install a light above the kitchen table since the previous owners took theirs when they moved.

Initially I was only going to paint the entryway, but when I had more than a half gallon of paint leftover as well as a couple of hours to spare before the kids got home, I decided to paint another area of the house on a whim.

I painted the area you walk into off the laundry room, kitchen & garage since it was really banged up from moving & at the spur of the moment, I also painted the once-white/filthy garage door.  When it comes to painting, I'm very laid back about things... it can always be re-painted!  And finally, I painted a section of the wall with leftover chalkboard paint.  I was a busy girl!!

I want to make an organizational center on the chalkboard wall to keep the kids organized as they start school.

Parts of this system from Pottery Barn are my inspiration, but I'll be shopping at discount stores since I have champagne tastes on a beer budget!

I'd also like to install a glass doorknob coat rack to keep backpacks organized.  This particular one is from Etsy.  I have so many ideas constantly running through my head, so it feels good to get things going!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I positively love this video Reese took of herself two weeks ago!  If ever I'm feeling a bit low, I just listen to this & it immediately makes me smile.  My favorite part is her rendition of the, "now I know my ABC's, next time won't you sing with me!"  I hadn't even realized that she new the alphabet until a few days before this... they learn so much at daycare!

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Playroom makeover: The chalkboard!

We've continued to work on transforming our formal dining room into the kid's playroom (as you'll see in this post) & the latest project has been getting the chalkboard done.  Initially I wanted to just paint a square on the wall with chalkboard paint & put a frame around it.  As I wandered around Home Depot looking for ideas, I called my dad, "the framing guy."  Since my dad owns a photo framing shop, I knew he'd have a solution & I was right!  We decided to paint something called gator board which is a rigid, foam board that can be used for mounting photos, with chalkboard paint & frame that.

I'm very thankful for my dad who totally made this project happen!  Not only did he handle all the materials, but he painted, delivered & installed it on our wall.  I'm a lucky gal!

After 3 days I "conditioned" the board by rubbing it with a flat side of chalk so the first thing we wrote on the board wouldn't be permanent.  After seven days, I was able to wipe the conditioning chalk with a damp cloth & start creating masterpieces!  The kids had a mini vacation at Grandma & Grandpa's last week, so they came home to this message on their new chalkboard.

Here's what it looks like after a few days worth of use; I think I'm enjoying it more than the kids!

We swung by IKEA to pick up these hanging storage buckets to put alongside the board to hold the chalk, eraser or other craft items the kids might eventually use.  As they get older, we'll change things accordingly... Lord knows I'm not going to put markers in the bucket now or it'll end up all over the walls!

We also grabbed these wooden spice racks from IKEA, spray painted them gray & mounted them to the wall to be used as bookshelves.

I love maximizing wall space to keep storage areas as clutter free as possible.  Next on my list for the playroom is a craft table.

This is an inspiration, but I'd like something a little smaller/shorter & less kitchen table looking.  I'll probably end up refinishing a table I find at a thrift shop.  Slowly but surely, the playroom is getting there!

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