December 14, 2015

DIY Christmas Card Display

Over the past few Christmases, we've received quite a few love Christmas cards and photos from friends and family and yet have had no place to display them. 

They ended up in a stack on the counter, I believe. That's no way to enjoy them.

So, this year, I wanted to come up with an easy place to display the cards. So, using materials I already had on hand, I created a little clothesline that could hang the photos up along the front windows of our house.

We used to have our Christmas tree in this front room, but we moved it to the living room this year. So, it's nice to have some extra decoration in this room now. 

Very few materials were needed. I used red twine and taped the ends on top of the window molding. I used mini clothespins I had purchased at Target this year. And then I hung the Christmas cards!

To add a little extra fun, I printed and cut out letters to form the word "J O Y" - I found these on Pinterest. 

I just love easy little Christmas projects like this. It took about 5 minutes and is fun to see every day!

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December 9, 2015

DIY Felt Christmas Tree

I'm over at Incredible Infant today sharing the details on how to make this baby-friendly felt Christmas tree!

I made it shortly after Thanksgiving and my babies have been playing with it daily - a big distraction from the REAL tree full of breakable ornaments!

To make one for yourself, see the DIY instructions here!

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June 19, 2015

How to Create a Stylish Nursery Without Lifting a Paintbrush!

My dear friend, Heather, invited me to write a guest post for her website Incredible Infant! I was so honored, and of course, I had to oblige.

I'm covering the topic of  nursery design and how to create a stylish nursery without painting the room!

See my tips and some inspiring nursery design boards by clicking here. Enjoy!

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May 20, 2015

Bathroom Remodel - Part 3: The Final Results

This is my third and final post on our bathroom remodel! If you missed my first post with the before photos, click here. If you missed my second post with the remodel process, click here.

Just for the record, we did keep to our $1500 budget!

As a reminder, here is where we started...

... and now I welcome you to our brand new bathroom!!!

Plank Walls

To say I'm in love is an understatement. As I mentioned in my first post, this was actually completed 2 years ago, and I can say today that I walk in every morning and still love it. Maybe living in an ugly, unfinished bathroom for 3 years has that effect!

Every finish we chose was just perfect for us and this house. And knowing that we didn't break the bank on this project makes it even more satisfying.

That $50 floor I went out-on-a-limb to buy? Perfection. Not every bathroom could handle this bold pattern - It just works in here.

The new bead board ceiling is fab. Such an easy way to cover up the old plaster. The ceilings feel higher and the room feels larger with it running horizontally. We plan to continue the same bead board ceiling in the hallway outside the bathroom (a future DIY project).

Even though I wasn't a big fan of the style of the old vanities, we saved so much money reusing them and painting them white. A bonus is that we knew they would fit perfectly in this space as we liked the layout and didn't want to have to worry about measuring new vanities to fit.

I purchased the hardware at Menard's. It was fairly inexpensive. I opted for hardware with a little more feminine detail than I would normally lean towards. This helps balance the very straight lines on the vanities, which lack any detail. So, the knobs and handles dress them up a bit.

The mirrors were a Target purchase. We hung one mirror vertically with a double light above it. We hung the other mirror horizontally with a triple light above it. This makes each mirror look proportional to the size of the vanity it hangs above as the vanity with the sink is wider. The lights were purchased Lowe's. Again, I opted for a lights with some curves and details, like the cabinet hardware.

Mirrors and Light fixtures

Below is the toilet we bought when we first moved into the house. Bye, bye wall heater that was sitting next to the toilet. An outlet takes its place with a night light (remember I was pregnant at this time and needed late night potty breaks). Extra hand towels and rolls of T.P. are in the basket on top of the toilet tank.

I used the shelf above the toilet to add some decorative elements to the bathroom along with q-tips and cotton balls that anyone could easily access if needed. 

The print is of the Camden Lighthouse in Maine and I purchased it while visiting Camden. The sea urchins, sand dollars, and star fish were also all purchased for just a few dollars in Camden. 

Maine holds a special place in both Joey's and my hearts, and I love having a piece of it represented here. 

Below you can see the simple square trim that Joey created around the window and door. If we build a house someday, this is the type of trim it will have (I love Craftsman style!).

He did the same thing around this built-in cabinet. I've mentioned it before, but this house is just loaded with built-in storage. One of the big selling points for me! 

We put a hook, on the wall next to the door for hanging towels. I love the look of this 3 prong hook (from Target, I believe). We later added a hook rail to the back of the bathroom door as well (sorry, not pictured, but you can see it here). So, there are plenty of places to hang a bath towel.

A hook by the shower is another MUST for me. I want to easily grab my towel before I step out of the shower!!! If you couldn't already tell, I'm hooked on hooks!

The shower curtain and matching towels were purchased from Target several years prior to this. The whole bathroom scheme was based around their colors!

I did get new shower curtain hooks, a towel bar, and a toilet paper holder from Target as well. All inexpensive, but take the look of the bathroom up a notch.

Below you can see the new outlets. Yay for electricity! Well, the outlet on the left wall was already there, but Joey updated it. The outlets in the window-wall and vanity are new (and were my idea). I need more places to plug in a blow dryer, curling iron etc! Plus, if Joey uses an electric shaver, it makes sense to have an outlet by the sink. Extra outlets are big selling points too!

One more look of the before and after!

I realize this bathroom "look" isn't for everyone. We all have different tastes and styles, but hopefully, you can see that doing a "new" bathroom on a small-ish budget IS possible with some DIY work, smart thinking, and focusing on what will get you the best bang for your buck!

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May 12, 2015

Bathroom Remodel - Part 2: The Process

I'm back with the second part of this bathroom makeover reveal. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.

Today, I'll show you a few in-process pictures so that you can see how the bathroom evolved over the course of a few weeks and the order in which we went about things.

Joey started by removing all the trim in the bathroom, removing the sink-less vanity (on the left below), and ripping out the drywall on the far exterior wall.

As I mentioned previously, we were planning to replace that window with a new double-hung window and we needed to remove the built-in heater that was installed, and on top of that, I asked for an electrical outlet to be added to that wall (more outlets are always better). It just made the most sense to demo it, add the new stuff, and screw in brand new drywall. And a bonus is that we could make sure that exterior wall was properly insulated for energy-saving purposes.

Next up was the ceiling. I made the design decision to go with beadboard over the whole ceiling. My inspiration was found here on Pinterest.

This was an inexpensive way to cover up the old, peeling plaster and not have to rip the whole ceiling down. I also asked Joey to add a bathroom fan/vent, which the bathroom was previously lacking. Cutting a hole in the ceiling was no big deal since we were covering it all up anyway. He was able to go into our attic to run the new electrical wiring for the fan.

The chalk lines on the ceiling were just for Joey to make sure he was installing the bead board in a level-to-the-eye way.

I opted for running the bead board horizontally - as to make the bathroom appear wider. He had this part done in no time. Then he finished it off by filling the nail holes, caulking any seams, and then painting the whole thing with 2 coats of white paint. Lastly, he put some simple square white trim around the top of the wall to act as crown molding and cover the tiny gap between the ceiling and the wall. You'll see it in some of the pictures below.

Next up came the walls ... In my last post, I left you hanging with some indecision on what to do with the terrible drywall that was left after peeling off the wallpaper. I pinned and pinned and pinned many images on Pinterest showing rooms with planked (also known as shiplap) walls, and decided that would be my solution.

This was my inspiration pin - complete with full tutorial on their blog. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

I initially was going to paint the walls white like the picture above shows, but ultimately decided against it. I bought the paint for this bathroom when we first bought the house (3 years prior) and opted for keeping my originally choice, which coordinated with my shower curtain and bath towels - Tawny Green by Waverly (found at Lowe's).

Joey started by painting the drywall with one coat of paint. This was to ensure that any space between the wall planks didn't show up as "white" to the eye. It would make the cracks virtually disappear.

And this is where the true demolition began. In order to paint and install all the planks, most everything else in the bathroom had to be removed. Toilet removed. Sink and vanity removed. Floor ripped out. Light fixtures gone. The only thing that was still usable was the shower. Thankfully, we could use the half bath on the first floor for toilet and sink purposes.

Note: As an about-to-give-birth pregnant lady, waddling up and down the stairs at 2am to use the restroom was not fun. ;)

Below you can see the beginning of some of the planks being nailed to the wall. All the planks were primed prior to install. Some planks Joey also painted the final wall color in advance if we thought a bottom edge of the plank should also be painted to prevent it from appearing as bare wood when you looked "up" at the wall or if it would be a tricky spot to paint (like against the trim).

This also allowed Joey to get one of our new light fixtures up so that we could use the shower in non-daylight hours. And it makes for working in the later evening hours easier.

At the same time Joey was working on the walls, he worked on the flooring. When we ripped up the old tile, it was apparent that it was not really installed properly and what was underneath would need to be totally replaced. This, plus the cost of new floor tile, would put us totally over our $1500 budget. Womp. Womp.

I tried not to cry myself to sleep as my dream of a beautifully tiled floor was ripped out from under me, and I was forced to go with the second best option - linoleum. The word "Linoleum" sounded kind of old and ugly and out of touch with today's homes. But I had to make it work.

I went shopping around at a few local stores and ended up finding what we purchased at Lowe's. What I picked out made me really nervous. It was kind of a bold choice - outside of my comfort zone. And I kept asking myself "Could I actually pull this off in this little bathroom?"

What forced me to take the leap of faith was the price - it was on clearance and what we needed to cover our floor was only $50.00!!! 50 bucks is nothing for a bathroom floor. I figured, even if I hated it in the end, it could easily be swapped out for different flooring because it only cost us $50.00!!!

So, Joey put down new plywood and covered it with "floor leveler" to make the floor level (duh) and then installed the linoleum over that.

Yes, it's a checkered floor pattern - Charcoal Gray and a Carrera Marble-looking white - laid so the pattern sits diagonally in the space. 

After seeing it all cut out, I was still nervous, but held my breath until a bunch of it was covered back up with the vanities and toilet re-installed.

Joey brought one of the unfinished vanities back into the bathroom for me to better visualize the look. This made a big difference. I could suddenly see myself liking the "vintage" look of the floor. It fit the overall style of our house well. Whew. I think it's a keeper.

Side note: I've been told by many, many people that they thought it was real tile until feeling it. And I actually like the feel of linoleum on my feet better than tile - it's softer and not so cold (especially with our winters).

With the flooring finished, Joey then completed all the painting of the walls, and installed and painted new trim around the (new) window, door, and built-in cabinet.

Next up came the vanities, counters and sink. To stay within our budget, we had to use the old vanities, but I opted to have them painted white for a crisp, clean feel. Paint transforms old to new!

One area we did spend some money on was new quartz counters. We used quartz in our kitchen remodel and LOVE it. It's also something that's nice to have when it comes to re-sale value (not that we're planning to sell anytime soon). We went to a local shop and picked out a quartz slab on the fly. I went with charcoal gray to add contrast to the white cabinets and to coordinate with the charcoal gray checks in the floor. Lucky me, they matched beautifully.

We went with a simple rounded edge and a small back splash to keep water from getting to those wood planks. A new sink was included with the counter. We also added a new faucet and new hardware.

Getting the vanities, sink, and toilet re-installed made this pregnant lady very happy!

The final big step of finishing the bathroom was the old, ugly tub and shower. Since replacing the tub and all the tile wasn't an option, we decided to have it all glazed white. We got some quotes and it came in around $400, I believe. Well worth it.

The whole thing looked brand new. It took about 24-48 hours to have it painted and let the paint cure. So, we were without a shower for that time period. Thankfully, we have kind friends who let me take a shower at their place for one day. We also put in a new shower head, faucet, and drain.

With the shower makeover complete, the last steps in finishing the bathroom were all the details ... paint touch up, hanging new mirrors, decorating, and organizing. The best parts!

See the final results in my next post...

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May 8, 2015

Bathroom Remodel - Part 1: The Before

Guess what, folks?

It's been TWO YEARS since I told you we were going to begin our Full Bath Makeover in hopes of having it done by the time our first baby was born.

Well, Joey worked furiously and we did get it 90% completed by Jeremiah's birth on March 1, 2013. And then some of the remaining finishing touches were finished in the summer of 2013. BUT I NEVER BLOGGED ABOUT IT!

Motherhood took over. Suddenly, feeding my baby and changing diapers and doing the full time stay-at-home-mom thing was top priority (as it should be) and I never took the time to share this little story with you.

But I'm back in what will be a 3-part series - so as to not overload you with too many photos at once - of our full bathroom makeover. This won't go into a lot of detail on the "how-to" part of this DIY process. Joey worked on it in the evenings after work, mostly, and it was hit-or-miss as to what I actually caught on camera, but hopefully you'll get a good idea of what was involved and of course, the finished results.

To remind you what this bathroom looked like when we first toured this house prior to purchasing it (in May 2010), here's what I captured on my phone at the time...

As we started the home renovation process in 2010, I thought that this bath would be on the top of the list in rooms we wanted to transform first. I was so wrong.

The first week we owned the house, I ripped down the floral wall paper that covered the walls and ceiling, took off the outlet covers, started removing the light fixtures, did a quick coat of primer on that pink ceiling, and then the whole thing came to a screeching halt as other rooms took priority.

So, she sat like this for 3 years.

The only thing added to the space at the very beginning was a brand new toilet (I refused to use the one the previous homeowners left).

Fast forward 3 years... We have a good chunk of the inside of our house remodeled. This was the only "big" project that was left. I was pregnant and ready to birth our first baby and quit my job (bye, bye extra income) and we knew it was time!

After all, I just couldn't bathe my perfect and beautiful new baby boy in that ugly, disgusting bathtub!!! (hormones speaking here)

Having collected many, many ideas on Pinterest, I had to make quick decisions on what would stay in the bathroom and what would go. I wanted to gut this whole thing and start over, but Joey gave me a budget ... and it was only about $1500! For a whole Bathroom!

That is pennies when you want to buy new vanities, countertops, sink, tub, tile, light fixtures, faucet etc etc etc.....

After hemming and hawing (and begging for more money and being denied more money), here's what I decided HAD TO CHANGE:

THE WALLS - the drywall was never finished properly and completely ruined when we peeled off the wallpaper that had been glued on top of it. Also, the wall with the window had a built-in heater that was unsafe for baby fingers (and maybe a fire hazard) and that needed to be removed.

OLD COUNTERTOPS AND SINK - there's just no way to "fix" these. Below is a sink-less "vanity" that I debated whether or not to even keep, but ultimately decided to keep it for storage and the extra counter space and mirror. The vanity with the sink is opposite it.

ALL THE TILE - the floor was going to be ripped up and something had to be done with the shower tile, but it was not in the budget to replace it. I could have used up all $1500 on just tile alone. So, what to do.... Hmmmm....

THE CEILING - while the original plaster walls had been replaced with drywall at some point in this bathroom's life, the ceiling was still the original plaster. And it was in bad shape.

THE LIGHT FIXTURES AND HARDWARE - all were old and ugly and would be easy to replace. The light above the sink-less vanity need to be raised up to match the height of the light above the sink. That would allow us to raise the mirror height too so that you can see yourself when standing.

We also decided to replace the trim around the window and door and all the baseboards to fit the craftsman style look that we've used in other areas of the house. The window itself was also replaced (we're slowly working on replacing many windows throughout the house).

Now, this means that pretty much everything else would stay. The budget-busting tub, shower tile, and vanities would need a major facelift. And what to do with the walls and ceiling?

Well, that's what comes next....

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