Friday, October 28, 2016

Featured Friday

It's finally Friday and the weatherman says there's rain on the horizon - sounds like my kinda weekend! #bringonthecozy

On the home front, we’ve been quite busy…per usual. Softball season is finally winding down and I can’t say that I’m not looking forward to having my week nights back! In not so fun home related news – our water heater took a dump. I came home one evening to water pouring like Niagra falls off the edge of our deck. After a few panic filled minutes, I finally figured out that the water was coming from inside the laundry room. The culprit? Our ageing water heater. Luckily the leak was rather slow and the overflow pan kept what leaking water there was, from flooding our entire house. In even BETTER luck…the water heater was covered under our home warranty so it was replaced rather expeditiously for very little out of pocket. #thankgodforsmallmiracles #andhotwater
Other fun things this week:

I've been a huge fan of Sarah's work and her home for years - how could you not? When she recently posted about some updates she made to her family room I zeroed in on that back wall of built-ins. Can you believe those are Ikea cabinets?! Installing some built-ins along our 25 ft living room wall is the next major project on our to-do list and this is exactly the look we have in mind!

Target’s Fall Collection is hitting shelves and there’s just so much good stuff. But you already knew that, didn’t you? It’s hard to go to Target for cat food and not spend 8 million dollars! And what’s even better? Target is having a big sale on home items until 10/29 and if you use the code FALLHOME you’ll get an additional 10% off! I might just pull the trigger on that stool for the nursery. Other things I’m loving too:
tribal pillow / geometric art / gold frame / large vase / small vase
The return of The Walking Dead just made Sunday nights so. much. better. minus the fact that my favorite character just got the bat! Did anyone else cry inside a little too? No? Just me? Must be those pregnancy hormones! When I stumbled across this article, I couldn’t help but laugh.
Did you catch a glimpse of Brittany’s shared nursery / toddler room? I DIE! We’re planning to add wallpaper to the crib wall of our own nursery too – but a little snafoo with the samples have us falling a bit behind. Thankfully the samples should arrive tonight and then let the choosing commence! But that bold floral wallpaper has me all goo-goo-ga-ga.

Shortly after moving in S and I locked ourselves out of the house one rainy night with not even a cell phone. Luckily we had given my Mom a key to the house a few days prior but we didn't have any way to contact her to come rescue us. We didn't know a single person in our neighborhood so without many options at our disposal, we knocked on our neighbor's door and awkwardly introduced ourselves and then embarrassingly explained how we had locked ourselves out and needed to use their phone. Pretty please. They couldn't have been more gracious. At some point during the exchange they both introduced themselves to us - a nice couple about our age with an adorably fluffy white dog named Donatella. The next morning I wrote up a thank you card and popped a Starbucks card inside to thank them for their trouble but when I went to address the card, I couldn't for the life of me remember the wife's name! It's been almost 8 months and I still have no idea what her name is and I feel so bad! Short of peaking in their mail box to see who their mail is addressed to, I'm embarrassed to ask. So embarrassed, I even Googled ways to find out how to ask for someone's name you've forgotten. Just in case you're in a similar situation, there's an entire wikihow article that might help you (and me) out!

Happy Friday, friends!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Featured Friday

Things are moving quickly around here. For once! This pregnancy has really lit a fire under us to tie up all those loose renovation ends and that nesting instinct has really kicked in and I really just want to feel settled before this babe arrives. Whatever it takes, right?

Those nagging details that needed to be finished are finally…let me repeat…FINALLY getting done and I couldn’t be happier. This past weekend, a majority of the baseboards went in…the living room, entry, hallway, sunroom, and part of the nursery are all done (more on this soon). All the door trim that has been up for what feels like forever, finally got a few coats of paint, and that weird blank space we intentionally left between the top of the living room walls and the ceiling finally got painted too.
Our original plan has always been to add crown molding to this room so we left that blank space to save us time painting knowing that it’d be covered by the crown. Except its 7 months later and we still haven’t gotten around to installing the crown molding (or purchase it) and the room just hasn’t felt “finished” ever since.
With all these unfinished rooms (aka – ALL OF THEM) I started feeling very anxious and overwhelmed knowing that this little one would be here in a few short months and my ability to help out and lend a hand was slowly dwindling. Luckily, S and my parents jumped in and really knocked it out of the park last weekend and I’m feeling so much more relaxed and less overwhelmed because of it. Love you all. Mean it.
I even made a meager attempt to fall-ify our front porch as demonstrated by this horrible cell phone pic:
Other fun things this week:
Have you SEEN this kitchen remodel?! After several years of intentional waiting and careful planning, the blogging duo at YHL completely gutted and reconfigured their kitchen for a result that not only fits their lifestyle but is beautiful too. And that island – all the heart eyed emojis for that beast!

These pillows must be mine! I’ll start saving my pennies now.

I’ve been patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for this soup to come back on the menu all year long and it’s finally here! I’ll be eating this no less than 3 times a week from now until it disappears again.

When I mentioned the elusive glider search in last week's Featured Friday post, I failed to mention that I'm also in search of the perfect ottoman to accompany it. I don't want anything too matchy-matchy so when I saw Claire's gender neutral shared kids' room and those stools/ottomans at the end of the bed, I about died. The best part?! They're under $100 and currently on sale. #targetdoesitagain. Don't they always?

Halloween is just around the corner and a big part of me wishes our house was put together enough to host our first ever party in the new house. Oh, well...maybe next year. This post from Julia over at Chris Loves Julia has me dreaming of a ceiling filled with floating candles. So dreamy! Totally speaks to my inner Harry Potter nerd.

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Whole House To-Do List: UPDATED

Hey guys!

Remember way back in March when I shared our first whole house to-do list? Basically it was a way for my overactive brain to keep track of all we still needed/wanted to do in one organized place. Plus, who doesn't love crossing things off a to-do list for an instant "maybe you haven't been binge watching Netflix as much as you thought" little pick-me-up?! 

After running down all we've accomplished (or lack thereof) in our first 6 months of homeownership, today I wanted to drop back in with a good ole updated list for you. Plus...with baby on the way, I've been getting rather anxious and overwhelmed with all we still need to accomplish before SHE (helloooo awesome gender reveal...#NOT) makes her grand entrance. 

Being that this is a living, breathing list, and we've lived here a while and are a bit more clear-headed about what we need/want - I've streamlined it a bit...added/removed to/from it here and there...and threw in some progress shots while I was at it.

Let's dive right in, shall we?

Whole House
  • Remove tile / carpet and replace with flooring everywhere
  • Install new crown molding
  • Trim out all doors and windows
  • Install new baseboards
  • New hardware throughout
  • Paint! And paint some more!
  • Create storage for coats, jackets, bags - hooks?
  • Add board & batten? Picture frame trim/molding
  • Paint interior of front door & add decorative trim
  • Add art
  • Find flush mount light fixture (and install)
  • Find vintage (ish) runner
  • Create "drop zone" at end of entry
  • Find larger mirror for "drop zone" area
                                                                          Living Room 

  • DIY / have cabinet built to house TV - add electrical for TV/media components
  • Style built-in
  • Get black/white rug professionally cleaned
  • Find 9x12 rug to layer under current rug
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Install in-ceiling audio speakers
  • Sell old coffee table / buy new coffee table
  • Bring in additional seating
  • Bring in additional lighting
  • Add art above couch
  • Case out opening on the right
  • Close off door on the left
Dining Room
  • Replace chandelier - buy or DIY
  • Relocate junction box for chandelier
  • Remove vertical blinds
  • Install curtains + bamboo shades
  • Rug or no rug? (we chose to rug, but I'm not sure)
  • Find head chairs
  • Replace original aluminum window

  • Remove upper cabinets along the stove wall (Phase 1)
  • Paint cabinetry (Phase 1)
  • Add hardware (Phase 1)
  • Find a vintage rug (Phase 1)
  • Add a bamboo shade (Phase 1)
  • Pimp out pantry (Phase 1)
  • Replace counter tops (Phase 2)
  • Remove prep sink (Phase 2)
  • Add pot filler (Phase 2)
  • Custom vent hood (Phase 2)
  • Tile stove wall (Phase 2)
  • Install open shelving (Phase 2)
  • Buy all new appliances (Phase 2)
Master Bedroom

  • Sell old headboard / buy new
  • Refinish nightstands / add different legs
  • Close off 2nd doorway
  • Reconfigure closet
  • Remove mirrored closet doors / add full height doors (DIY?)
  • Install curtains + bamboo shades
  • Find rug (vintage?)
  • Dresser?
  • TV or no TV?
  • Add additional recessed lighting / overhead lighting
  • Widen current double door entry
  • Update slab double doors
Master Bath

  • Complete master bath resurfacing - new floors, paint, vanity, tile...etc.
  • Install new light fixture
  • Install new toilet
  • Replace original aluminum window
  • Add shower door
  • Install open shelving
  • Remove towel bars - install hooks instead
  • Update all slab doors in this area
 Bedroom #2: Little Lady
  • Update slab door
  • Update closet doors / reconfigure current closet system
  • Paint inside of closet a fun color
  • Install curtains + bamboo shade (roller shade?)
  • DIY floating shelves opposite of bed wall
  • Hanging chair maybe?
  • Add overhead lighting
  • Buy daybed? Refinish bed in storage?
  • New bedding, rug, etc... (inspiration here)
  • Bring in a fun accent color
 Bedroom # 3: The Nursery
  • Update slab door
  • Purchase / install French doors for large opening
  • Remove mirrored closet doors / install (DIY?) full height doors?
  • Reconfigure current closet system
  • Paint inside of closets a fun color
  • Add overhead lighting
 Guest Bath
  • Update slab door
  • Install new toilet
  • Complete guest bath "resurfacing" - new floors, tile, vanity
  • Purchase new vanity - install
  • Remove old tub insert - install new
  • Purchase new mirror
  • Remove medicine cabinet
  • New lighting
  • Remove towel bars - install hooks instead
Hallway between Bedrooms 2 & 3
  • Replace old electrical panel
  • Update thermostat
  • Purchase / install flush mount fixture
  • Find runner (vintage?)
  • Add a gallery wall of pictures to hallway?
  • Wood wrap beams
  • Replace faulty windows
  • Create a workstation / desk area
  • Fill with plants
  • Add additional overhead lighting
Laundry Closet
  • Replace water heater
  • Stack washer/dryer
  • DIY counter top for folding/sorting
  • Add hanging rod
  • New cabinets - or reuse kitchen uppers
  • Create a place for the kitty litter

  • DIY wrap around couch
  • Purchase BBQ
  • Install astro turf
  • Buy new patio furniture

So much still to do but looking back on these pictures, makes me realize just how far we've come in less than a year. New floors, new windows, bigger, better already feels like a whole new house! Don't you agree?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Featured Friday

Not only do I love decorating but I love reading about it too. At this stage in my pregnancy I’m finding myself restless and anxious…waking up in the middle of the night and unable to fall back asleep. Thankfully the internet is my friend and soothes me back to sleep but it also means I’m scouring the web at all hours of the day and night and I always seem to stumble upon stuff too good not to share.

Other fun things this week:
This year S and I are trying to live a healthier lifestyle and have chosen a few “food groups” to give up. So far we’ve given up fried foods, desserts, burgers, and pizza. Except maybe that one time I got stuck in traffic for over 2 hours and ordered a pizza on the way home…but who can blame a hungry pregnant lady? No one said I was perfect. So when I ran across this Jalapeno Popper Pizza, I about cried because it looks so delicious…AND I CAN’T HAVE IT!

Mail…the bane of my existence! I swear millions of trees are being killed by the second with the amount of unwanted junk mail that shows up in my mailbox I remember my grandpa telling me before he passed how he used to mail the junk mail back in those no postage required envelopes…now that’s an idea! So when Dana shared her method for corralling all the paper that crosses her threshold, I was all ears.

S thinks the new baby needs a new puppy (specifically a bulldog) so now I get videos like this. On.the.daily. He sure is making it hard to say no! As if we really need one more thing to take care of…  
A modern take on the traditional shower curtain rod has my heart all a flutter.

It’s my favorite time of year! The One Room Challenge is underway and every year I kick myself for not joining in on the fun as a Guest Participant. Maybe next year - I’m looking at you bathroom! But until then...keep up with all the ORC excitement here!
With baby on the way that means I’m laser focused on getting the nursery started and finding the perfect glider where I know many nights will be spent. If only I had a million dollars I’d gladly hand over my wad of cash on one of these beauts here, here, and here.
We’re currently transitioning from wood hangers to these flocked, no-slip wonders and I’m amazed by how much space we’ve saved in our not-so-big closets. More space = time to go shopping, right?

Happy Friday, friends!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Reveal: The Entry...well, sorta

Yesterday’s post brought everyone up to speed with all the renovation progress we’ve made over the last 6 months that we’ve lived here. Phase 1 is nearing completion and now it’s time for the fun stuff! Today I want to dive right in and share a little more about the updates we made to the entry – the first official space that received an update and the hardest working area of our home! Tackling this space first really helped keep our life in check even when the rest of the house was a destruction zone those first few months.

Progress on the entry was fast and furious in the beginning but then it was the little finishing details that I got hung up on. I mentioned in this post about the trouble I had finding the perfect rug, but not only did the rug hold me up, but so did the art, and the accessories too.

I like to take my time with any space and let it evolve so instead of feeling pressured to have it “finished” before I revealed it to you, I’ve decided to share where we’re at today (because it’s come a long way already) and when we finally nail those last few details, I’ll share those with you too.

Aside from wanting to bring a little order and organization to all the chaos around us, this space really lacked any sort of interest.  Honestly? It was by far my least favorite space of the entire house…and if you’ve seen my howdy-doody kitchen…that’s saying a lot.

First thing we did was convert the dated can light for this pretty flush mount all with the help of this $20 conversion kit! See all my favorite flush mount fixtures rounded up here.

We planked the walls on both sides about 3/4 of the way up to bring in some much needed interest. How we did it, and what we learned along the way will be coming to you in a post all its own. One of the quickest (and least expensive ways) to make your house look and feel more expensive than it actually is, is to add things like beefed up baseboards, trim, or moldings like we did here.

I wanted to make the interior part of our front door a focal point so using the same molding we used on all our interior flat paneled doors (tutorial coming soon), I created 2 boxes instead of 1 big box to make this door just a little different from all the rest, but still in the same vein.

I originally painted the door a navy blue, which if you follow me on Instagram, you saw the beginnings of here, but with the navy door, the space started feeling a little beachy/coastal and while I love that look in other people’s homes, it isn’t the right fit for ours.

I had a quart of black (or what I think is black) "oops" paint on hand and 2 coats later, we were back on track. Can't go wrong with black and white!

The new hardware we installed is just different enough without disappearing completely into the black door. We upgraded the hardware on the front door when we up upgraded the hardware throughout the rest of the house and chose the Schlage Century in oil rubbed bronze from Door Hardware 4 Less online. After locking ourselves out of the house twice (yes…twice!) in the first month we lived here, this was a must have on our to-do list.

Without a typical coat closet we needed a space to hang hats, jackets, and bags. These coat hooks I found at Lowe’s fit the bill and look expensive without being expensive.

To finish off the space, I added a bold red rug, for the perfect pop of color amongst all the neutral finishes. After weeks and weeks (literally) of searching, I pulled the trigger on this stunner from this Ebay seller. It isn’t antique or one-of-a-kind but who would know the difference? And for about $100, the price couldn’t be more perfect.

Here's a side by side comparison of how far this space has come:

So much better, right?!

We’ve still got a lot to do here…mainly add in some art opposite the hooks and finish off the drop zone/mail station at the end of the entry. Here's a small sneak peak at the drop zone at the end of the entry:

As we fine tune this space and add in those final accessories, I’ll update you as things progress but I hope you enjoy what we’ve done so far!  

Monday, September 19, 2016

A 6 Month Check In + House Progress

September marks 6 months in the new house. In many ways it feels like we’ve lived here forever…we’ve settled into a nice routine and the house is basically liveable…but the construction tools in every nook and cranny and the constant layer of demo dust somewhere in some room, reminds me that we’re still not there. We’re close. But no cigar.

I feel like it’s taken us every last bit of these last 6 months to be at a place where I can finally say that the end is near…or at least for Phase 1 it is. In all honesty…there are times when I feel like we’ve come so far but then I see what other bloggers are doing in the same time frame and I get so discouraged that we haven’t accomplished a whole lot more. The comparison game is no joke.

Instead of letting it get me down, I have to remember that we both work full time outside the home and house related projects are essentially non-existent during the week. It’s hard enough to get dinner on the table (or ordered) at a decent hour with softball season in full swing around here while trying to maintain a respectful noise level in the evening so as not to upset all our neighbors. Throw in an exhausted pregnant lady (me) and you can bet that I’m either in bed or have fallen asleep on the couch by 8 pm. So over the last 6 months, we’ve been weekend warriors - just tackling what we can, when we can - and while 6 months is a long time to get a whole lot done, we’re moving a little slower over here and I’m OK with that.

I realize now that I didn’t really blog about what our initial thoughts and plans were for this first phase of our renovation journey, other than posting this monster long to-do list, but I think a lot of that had to do with just being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff we wanted to do, what we envisioned for this house, our time / budget constraints, and not knowing where to start or what to do first.

Today I thought it would be fun to look back on the last 6 months and recap what we started and where we are today, but first…a little bit about our Phase 1 wish list and how much money we had to work with.

After the sale of our house we were left with a small amount of money (about 15k) to put towards the renovations and immediately had to decide what was most important to us and how to stretch the money we had as far as it would go. We knew that we wanted to upgrade the kitchen and both bathrooms but felt that we could do a lot of “whole-house updates” with the money we had rather than pouring that money into a single room...because we all know how quickly 15k can go in a kitchen renovation. We figured that the kitchen and bathrooms would benefit from some easy to-do aesthetic changes and could hold off for a full scale reno, down the line.

In the end, we decided to spend our money by…

Removing all the tile / old carpeting in the whole house: 

And replacing it with new laminate flooring (about 1500 sq ft in total): 

We replaced both toilets with these Kohler beauties (because other people’s butts = gross):

We painted / are in the process of painting the entire house (walls, trim, moldings, doors, etc.):

We closed off a doorway for better flow and visual sight lines in the living room:

And widened our master bedroom entry while we were at it:

We added interest to all our plain/boring flat paneled doors with decorative molding:

We installed new oil rubbed bronze hardware throughout:

And beefed up all the trim and baseboards (still to come) throughout the house:

We created a faux cased opening:

Gave the entry way a much needed update with lots of added interest (more on this soon):

Added a new entry way light fixture:

The front door hardware got upgraded too and the inside got a molding treatment of its own:

Replaced an outdated ceiling fan:

And treated ourselves to a life-changing robot vacuum:

In boring news, we upgraded the thermostat and our main electrical panel after a fire hazard was noted on our home inspection report:

And the biggest expense of them all…these bad boys (3 sets of sliding doors) were replaced just this past weekend due to the foggy glass you see in the picture below:

So what didn’t get accomplished / won’t get accomplished during this phase of renovations that we had hoped would get accomplished?

1.      Reconfigure / expand the master bedroom closet

2.      Add semi-custom wall of built-ins in the living room

Why? Simply put…we ran out of / are running out of money. Aside from the ceiling fan and the robot vacuum, everything else mentioned above, including the master bedroom closet reconfig and built-ins were in the initial plan and budgeted for. What we didn’t know, and/or realize going in was how much replacing those window were going to cost. Not having ever replaced windows before, after some preliminary Internet research and some rough estimates, we budgeted almost half our budget. In the end, the quote came back several thousands higher than we anticipated mainly due to some additional work that was discovered and had to be done during install because the previous set of window were installed incorrectly. How they passed inspection the first time around is beyond me. What a crappy way to spend a bunch of money! But in renovations, these kind of set-backs are par for the course. To course correct, we took a step back and re-evaluated our list half way through and cut the above 2 line items out of the itinerary to get us back on track financially.

Going forward, we’ll modify our plans for the custom built-ins and will most likely go the pre-fab/DIY route to achieve our end goal down the road but it’ll be on a much smaller budget. As for the closet…I’m waffling back and forth on what I want to do / what can be done so it’s probably good we didn’t go full steam ahead with the initial plans anyways until there's a solid plan in place.

All in all, I feel like we’ve accomplished a lot, albeit at a much slower pace. I do want to mention that everything we’ve done up to this point has been paid for by us and done by us (plus help from my Dad too – hey Pops!). Some bloggers are fortunate enough to work with great brands and have formed amazing partnerships to afford them some really awesome perks, kickbacks, products, etc…but this little blog hasn’t reached that status, nor do I know how to go about soliciting such awesome incentives. Plus it’s important to me that you all know that I’m trying to be as honest and transparent about how we’re doing things around here both physically and financially.

Anyways! That brings you up to speed with everything we've managed to accomplish over the last 6 months we've lived in the new house. I have a lot of post coming for a lot of the projects you saw above for the first time so be on the lookout for those! First up tomorrow...the long awaited entry reveal!