Wednesday, July 31, 2013

checking in

It has been a while since I posted.  First my parents came in and we were ridiculously busy with working on the house (more on that eventually).  Then Thursday afternoon we got the call that Kyle's grandmother passed away.

So we had to cut the weekend with my parents short and fly in to KY for a funeral.  Thankful that we had already moved plans with friends to the next weekend, and that Kyle already had this past weekend off work so he really only needed to request one extra day off for travel. Even more thankful that his program was extremely understanding and immediately told him to do whatever he needed to do and just make sure to come back home safe.  (Have I mentioned lately how much I love his program?)

I am glad we made it in for the funeral (thanks to some family members).  It was great to celebrate her life and see some family again.  I feel pretty exhausted though from the past week so I'm taking it easy and slowly painting the baby room this week.

Despite cutting things short, we got a TON done while my parents were here.

  • laundry room cabinet replaced
  • laundry hookups and outlets moved
  • folding table installed
  • coffee bar completed
  • baby room cleaned out
  • main gutter problems fixed
  • display frames built for baby room
  • trees trimmed
  • yard mowed and weed-eated
  • fan replaced in living room
  • light installed in spare bedroom
  • blind installed on last window in living room
  • flag hung on front of house
Yeah... we were busy.  I hope my parents feel like they got to have a little fun while they were here.  We didn't completely plan on getting all of that done.  I promise to slowly get some updated pictures up so you all can see the changes.

In the meantime, I finally started a hobby that I had been hoping to begin now that I have a ton of time on my hands.  Bread making.  Last week I tried my hand at french bread (that needs to be tried wasn't that great), and dinner rolls (AMAZING).  Last night I made a loaf of some Country Crust Bread, a recipe that my friend Amy had recommended on her blog a while back.  (Thanks Amy).  I hope to never buy bread again.  This stuff was awesome.

mouth watering yet?  

Thursday, July 25, 2013

thankful thursday : a truckload

This Thursday I am thankful for:

A truckload of stuff.  Because it can only mean one thing!!!

(Addie wouldn't get on the couch)

Actually it means more than that but I love getting to see my parent's dogs... We won't be getting one anytime soon (sad face) so I soak in the Aussie love while they are here.  

It really also means that my parents are here of course... which means projects on the house are going to get done!  I have promised mom that we won't ONLY work while they are here.  I want them to have some fun and explore too!  Can't wait to see what all we squeeze into the next few days!

I'm linking up with Julia at BlackTagDiaries this week.  Happy Thankful Thursday!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

how I made my house smile

In case you missed yesterday's post, let me fill you in.  I painted my door blue.  And it was a lot of fun. So this is the post about how I went :

The red door was a piece of work.  The seller painted it in a hurry... and then closed it.  So along the edges I was dealing with this:

So I busted out the sander that my grandfather sent down here with my grandmother last week.  Some people recommended sanding the whole door  down if the paint is glossy at all, so I went ahead and lightly roughed up the existing paint all over the door.

While removing some of the old paint, I discovered that not only did they paint the door with the hardware on, but they also spray painted the hardware while attached to the door before painting the door red.  I took off all of the hardware before I painted.  I wanted a little cleaner look than what they had left me with.

So everything came off with a little wiggling and pushing and went into cardboard.

Before spray painting everything, I also sanded everything by hand then wiped the dust off.  It gives the paint a better (less slick) surface to grab onto. Something the last person didn't do to the handle... after only being painted a few months it was already scratching off.

I used Rust-Oleum for the hardware paint job which gave a great fine mist with an easier to deal with trigger style handle than the Krylon had.  I made several swipes with the spray on each object, waiting a few minutes between coats.  Thin coats and constant  movement helped eliminate pooling or dripping.

I painted the hardware in-between coats of paint.  I used "Sherry Petersik's method" of starting with the raised panel accents, the panel frames, and then going in the direction of the wood on the major parts of the door.  Like Sherry, I also used a 2in angled brush to do the whole thing.  You can also use a foam roller, but I love the control in the edges I have with the brush and am more comfortable using it for the whole thing than switching.  Less clean up too.

With how dark the door was, I did 2 good coats of the Valspar Duramax paint, letting it dry for about 2 hours between coats.  It could have been less time in-between but I chose to eat lunch and spray hardware and an owl :).

I think after I finished the layers (sorry I forgot to do a in-progress shot...) I waited about 2 more hours before I put the hardware on and another 2 hours before I closed the door.

I'm so happy with how this project turned out and glad I chose to paint the inside knobs as well.

One last look of my happy door :

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

my house is smiling

...and I am too.

It was a running joke while we were house hunting that (probably) 9 of the 11 houses we looked at had red doors.  So it is not strange that the house we picked had a red door.

Now don't get me wrong in the next little bit.  I am not a red door hater.  Some houses look great with them; some get the shade of red right.  But my house did not.  It was a weird orange tinted red and it was painted badly.  You could see all of the brush strokes going in all the wrong directions.

It had to go.  And of course it only took me thinking it, and John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove doing it at the same time, to push me over the edge.  You probably saw their "The Door Is The Smile Of The House" post not too long ago (thus the name of this post).  Of course their choice of color influenced mine as well, though I really did give green a chance.

One last look at the red door.

It took a couple days to finally decide on a paint color.  We had to narrow it down.

"holy paint samples batman" indeed (-Julia)
After a few hours of having them hanging there, it dawned on me that it is a bad idea to look at them all on top of the color I am trying to get rid of.  So I downsized some of the darker ones and put them on the trim next to the brick, since that is what they need to look good next to.

The list got even shorter once Kyle got home.  He took one look and said "blue".  I agreed.  I tried so hard to give green a chance, but I was just really in love with the blues.

The list got shorter and shorter over the next 24 hours as I realized some of them were just too "beachy" or greyish next to the ashy red brick.  I wanted something that would pop.  Something that would say "there are definitely new owners in this house".  I checked our street.  Yup... all white or red doors.

I wanted something brighter and Kyle wanted something darker, but I did put up both of our favorites in the final list.

Top to bottom:
Valspar "Smokey Blue", "Betsy Ross House Blue", "Aqua Dance", "trade secret", "ocean front".

I ended up making the final decision.  Basically 5 minutes before we left for church, I looked at them one last time, ruled out Smokey, Aqua, or Ocean because they were a little darker and dull than I really wanted, and threw out Trade because it was pretty ashy with the brick.  So we went to church, then stopped by Lowes and bought a quart of "Betsy Ross House Blue".  The hardware on the outside had been spray painted and needed a little better coating, so I picked up some more of that, and decided I would also spray the ugly brass inside the door the same Rubbed Oil Bronze.

The Duramax cost a little more than I had planned on ($18 vs $14... no biggie), but the Lowe's paint man highly recommended this thickest version of Valspar's paint+primer since I was painting on top of a red door.  It did NOT disappoint.  This stuff was fantastic.

So most of my Friday, some spray paint mishaps, 2 coats of paint, and half a greek pizza later, I had a smiling blue door.  And I am in love.

So for less than $30, I have a new door!  For my first completely solo project, I think this has turned out really well.  Finally I have accomplished a big (to me) DIY project... I can't wait for the next one!

Tomorrow I will give more details on how I changed my red door to blue.

Now... can someone tell me how to fix this little issue?  Those spindles don't move...

Monday, July 22, 2013

last week : visits

Last week my aunt brought my grandmother down for a few days.  It was a busy, exhausting week.  They got here right before Kyle got home on Monday evening with some West Ky BBQ.  South Carolina thinks they know BBQ... and they do a decent job of it... but nothing beats West Ky pulled pork.  Specifically Knoth's BBQ.  My grandmother delivered 2 pounds of it to SC just for me :).  

Tuesday I took them downtown to see Reedy Falls Park.  They loved it!  It was pretty toasty out there even at 10am, but we took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a pretty good walk.  

Our walk was followed by a yummy lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe.  This place recently branched into downtown Greenville.  I have been hearing its praises sung for weeks here and finally got to try it.  Though I probably would order something different next time, I could sit and eat their homemade biscuits all day long.  SO. GOOD.  And Julie and Nana loved it!

The rest of the day was spent checking out a couple of antique/consignment shops around our community.  We pretty much decided on a dresser that day for the baby room!  SCORE.
imagine knobs instead of the girly pulls, and navy instead of teal.  this sucker was a great price that my grandmother talked down even more, an antique, and extremely sturdy.  great find.
Wednesday began... I tried to start mowing the lawn while they hit some more antique shops in the southern part of the county after swinging by to pick up the dresser.  Neither of us were very successful.  The lawnmower stopped on me (later figured out it was stopped up with damp grass), and they couldn't find the antique store they wanted to get to (my aunt wouldn't use a GPS).  So they came back and picked me up for lunch.  I eventually found the antique shop, which turned out to be a great stop where we scored the owl that I painted red, and an old Donald Duck comic book for the baby room.  

When we got home, Julie graciously offered to finish mowing the backyard.  And finished moments before we had a huge storm hit.  I ended up cooking a good home-cooked meal of grilled porkchops, baked potatoes, squash, green beans and cornbread. 

Thursday morning, we were up bright and early again to drive up to Asheville, NC to tour the Biltmore.  Neither my aunt or I had ever been there so my grandmother wanted to make sure we got to see it.  This place was huge.  

The Biltmore is a French chateau mansion that was built for the Vanderbuilt family and opened in 1895.  The estate spans 125,000 acres of North Carolina territory that was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the same man that designed Central Park).  The home has 250 rooms including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 63 fireplaces, and a gym, bowling alley, and swimming pool in the basement.
We toured the house first followed by a small portion of the gardens.

We still had a little time left in Asheville before I needed to head back home, so we went to a recommended antique shop down there.  The massive Antique Tobacco Barn.  While it was an incredibly neat place to go, it is not the place to go when you are pregnant, exhausted from walking all day, and it is 90+ degrees outside.  This place is actually an old barn.  No air conditioning.  And it is MASSIVE and piled with stuff.  None of us found anything we had to have, but it was a really cool place to visit... just best toured in the fall. :)  

So with that final stop, I said goodbye to my family and hit the road to see Kyle before he had to be in bed.  But not without indulging in a craving I have been avoiding for weeks.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

pregnancy : bump update

It got bigger.  Don't let the 23 week picture fool you... It didn't shrink... just the way the shirt is laying/shape of the bump that day.  

He is pretty active in there and getting stronger.  

I can't wait to really get started on his room soon.  The paint is bought, and we found a dresser this last week while my grandmother and aunt were in.  It needs a little painting done to it as well as the cabinet that we are turning into a changing table.  So those will be tackled soon as well.  Excited to finally get some DIY updates done around here!  

Hope you all are enjoying your weekends!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

sometimes all you need... a shiny new coat of paint.

This owl bank was found at an antique shop about 15 minutes from our house.  My aunt bought it for me to put in the baby room.  I think he looks quite handsome in glossy cherry red.  I did learn though that for any other type of project... not to buy Krylon spray paint... it came out in a more drippy spray than a fine mist.  But for this... the cheaper stuff was fine.  

Happy weekend folks!  Looking forward to sharing a few more DIY projects and updates this week!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

registering is frustrating

Its hard to register for some things when you know what ISNT in the store.  So this is my own online registry.  Stuff I would love to have but don't really expect to get.  So soak in the cuteness.

Boppy cover : I have a bare Boppy, and it needs a cover.  Unfortunately, I'm not thrilled with anything in the stores.  I mean... I will get something if I have to, but these are really just so much cuter!

TheButtercupBoutique- Etsy $32
Lanukas- Etsy $32
DesignsbyChristyS-Etsy $30
Pacifier clip : I never even saw these in either store.

TheSugarButtonShop- Etsy $6

TheSwinkyBinky- Etsy $5.50

Wall Decoration : there are no owls in baby stores for boys.  Only pink owls and one creepy looking lime green one.  This one is completely customizable with about 30 different colors for each part.  (Disclaimer:  this is NOT our baby's future name).

JustTheFrosting- Etsy $34
Bedding : A crib skirt seems to be pretty hard to find on its own... Just something simple would suffice.

BabyCribSkirts- Etsy $33
 Unique clothing : things I have seen other parents put their babies in that I am in love with.  
baby leg warmers
Sweet Caroline Crafts- Etsy $8
funny hats
callyfindlay- Etsy $14
Keeping with the vintage theme :
how cute would this be framed on the wall?
PastOnPaper- Etsy $14
this is our home now too
amykristineprints- Etsy $12
I'm sure there are plenty of things that I'm not thinking of that I have seen around... but these are the things I couldn't really find in the stores.

Monday, July 15, 2013

weekend replay : exploring

Friday was a heavenly day.  I got up early, made an unsuccessful trip to a yard sale (who puts on Craigslist that there are vintage toys but only has fishing equipment?) followed by a very successful trip to a local coffee shop in the town up the road.  (The highway close to our house is long...and there are 3 small towns in quick succession along it).  I had been meaning to try Fix espresso down the street, but because of the yard sale being up the street, I found a different one.  So I grabbed my library book on gardening and my notebook and ordered a latte with roasted marshmallow syrup at Stomping Grounds.

Down the road was a nice fabric store where a nice older woman directed me around the corner to a really cool little antique shop.  I'm thinking about returning for this... maybe it could be a unique display shelf for the baby room?

Antiquing was followed by a trip to Lowe's.  Because I really hate my front door and needed paint samples.  

Kyle got home around 6:30 that evening and we just enjoyed each other's company. Caught up on some shows, and went to bed at the same time for the first time in weeks. 

So that he doesn't get too much off his sleep schedule on his weekend off, we went to bed about 10 and up by 7:30 (so he still "slept in" (more sleep than normal), but without the sleeping the day away part).  And we were at Target across town by 9 to start the registering process.  Thats right.  Kyle's first day off and I drug him to the baby aisles.  Thought it would be quick and simple... done by noon.  HA!  Target was quick and easy, then we hit Babies-R-Us.  And had to take a lunch break (at Del's Twisted Kitchen... SO GOOD).  And then spent another 2 hours at Babies-R-Us.  Poor Kyle.  It wasn't my fault though... we were both caught up on the stroller/car seat decision.  I think we took all of them off the shelf and collapsed and snapped and adjusted... and still never completely picked anything.  Eventually we just had to call it a day.  At least we got some snazzy "freebies" and coupons out of it.

However, I can't just let things rest.  I obsess.  So I let Kyle have some time to do some online gaming with my brother, and I went back to Target.  And browsed.  And walked.  And didn't really add much of anything to our list.

Sunday was pancakes and church and Mexican food at Corona's and groceries and enjoying Kyle's last day off for 12 days.  

It was a full weekend, and despite extremely crappy weather on both days, I think it was a good weekend.  Today, my aunt and grandmother are en route to visit for several days.  Hopefully there will be a little productivity around the house and I can squeeze out some of my aunt's luck for finding amazing deals on cool old stuff while they are here.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

the first break

image source
Enjoy ya'll's weekend.  I know I will enjoy mine!  Kyle has been working really hard for the past 12 days (14-16 hours at a time).  We are both looking forward to some quality time.

In a few more hours, he gets the whole weekend off!  And we are both so excited!  I promised to only ask him to do one thing to the house... only because I'm not allowed to climb on a ladder, otherwise our gutters would have been cleaned weeks ago.

So I will see you all next week!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

room by room : masters

It has been a while... like I said before... I have issues finishing things.  But here is the last installment of the room-by-room series (before changes).  The only room left is the baby room... nothing exciting there though, it is a completely clean slate; same wood floors, one window with the same blinds, same beige walls and the same tiny closet with folding doors.  So I will just share that room once we finish, or at least get to really working on it.  

the bedroom: 

from the doorway
other side of the room
The bedspread is temporary, we got rid of the one we have had since we were married.  It was beige and black and it is time to add some color and lighten things up.   The lampshades will also need to be replaced since Zoe has poked holes in them very badly over the years.
Soon I will probably put our photos back on the wall, and am actively looking for a new comforter.  I would prefer a duvet for easy cleaning, but we do not have an insert (pretty expensive).  Also curtains for each of the windows in the room would be nice eventually.  I still have no idea what color scheme we will go with, so this room is very much in transition.  We did add the blinds as soon as we moved in.
the bath:

We brought this shower curtain and the striped rug with us from Louisville.  It is a bit narrow of a bathroom but it is fine for us. 
Main changes in here are to fix the light (the cover wont stay up for some reason), frost the window (everyone could see us if it weren't for the trees...even so we are careful about how we look in front of the window haha), and there is a built in (like recedes into the wall built in) cabinet that has no doors on it to hide all of our stuff.  While I would love to just get rid of the whole thing, it would be a lot easier to just put doors on it.

So that is the end of the initial house tour.  We have made a few changes around the place, but most of the rest are being held up by my lack of desire to finish unpacking, or waiting to get some help.  Other than repainting a few rooms (I think I have a color picked for the kitchen and baby room), my top priorities right now are to buy a rug for the living room (which will decide the way I decorate everything else in that space), find an old dresser for the baby room, and the bedspread for our bedroom.  

Miss the rest of this series?  Thats ok, here they are:

Thanks for stopping by, I will try to be a little better about posting now that this mental block is out of the way!