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up to lately…

I just read several of my friends blogs and got convicted or whatever you want to call it that I had been slacking in posting yet again.  I’ve been busy but we all know that’s a lame excuse.  We’ve been in the middle of “Being a Homeowner” this week.  Our 3.5 week old fridge died suddenly, and the repair man couldn’t bring it back to life…so we’ve been living out of a cooler and searching for a new one. The first one was from Sears Outlet, and after having it die in less than a month, I was still too scarred to try another one and risk it breaking after the return period.  We found this one at Home Depot:

New Fridge...

Since the last that bit the dust was a Maytag, and Maytags, Whirlpools, Amanas and a few others are all owned by the same company, I decided to stay away from all of those for a few years, just until I could forget the mess.  This LG has gotten great reviews and I like the fridge being on top.

As for recent projects around the house?  I’m working on several posts that have to do with DIY projects and I have a project I’m working on in the house that I can’t wait to get finished.  It includes Chevron.  Please be excited. 🙂


Decor 101: Decor Friendly Storage Solution – Dog Food Storage

A few weeks after Matt and I married we decided we needed to add to our family, and instead of going the baby route so early on and to stick to the five three year plan for starting our family, we got a sweet little puppy from one of my co-workers. A black border collie mix, whom we named Piper, who was quite the entertainer and we loved having her around.  However, after a few months we felt she might need a “day” companion to keep her company, at which point we decided to adopt dear Peyton, a yellow lab mix (he looks like a miniature yellow lab with a permanent puppy face).  To feed two dogs that are both roughly 37 lbs requires buying dog food in larger quantities than one can fit in a kitchen cupboard.  I faced a dilemma, how to store food attractively AND safely.  We live in the south and although we haven’t had a problem with roaches since the first few weeks of living here (the house was unoccupied for over 6 months), they are quite common down here and they just so happen to love dog food.  I wanted to make sure the food was protected from roaches, obviously because I didn’t want them in my dogs food, and I didn’t want them in the house (ew gross….) – I could live the rest of my life and never see one again.  After the first one we saw we had the house treated and the only ones I’ve seen since have been dead ones around the perimeter of my house.

We considered our storage options.

1.) Trash Can with a Lid Approach.  Doable, wouldn’t look completely out of place but where to put it?  We have one trash can in the only spot one will fit (we tried putting one under the sink and it did not work, it got filled up far too fast and just did not work for us).

2.) Rubbermaid Container.  Most inexpensive.  Best seal.  But…BUT… by far the most unattractive.

3.) Decorative Chest lined with plastic.  Most expensive.  Adequate seal.  Far more attractive and who doesn’t love the idea of hiding something so stinky and atrocious in something pretty?

While we were paying off our (really mine…I brought 17K in school loans to the marriage) debt and following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover we were really watching our money and silly as this may seem, but the trash can was even out of our budget unless I had been able to score one at a garage sale for a great price.  We ended up going with the highly “glamorous” Rubbermaid container that sat in a corner of the dining room.  Blah. Blah. Blah.  So unattractive.

But then about 10-12 months after paying off our debt (Yippeee!) I found these beautiful wicker/”banana leaf” chests at Target, on sale, for $37.99 a pop.

Image From "Banana Leaf Trunk"

If we ever don’t have dogs in the future (what a sad day that would be) we could use these for something else.  They are modular and easy to move.  And although they didn’t come lined with plastic, a trip to Home Depot’s paint isle and snagging a heavy plastic painter drop cloth would do the trick.

What I love the most about them is that they add some texture to the living room and no one would ever guess that we have dog food stored within.  Although we were initially afraid one of the dogs would discover they could eat through the wicker to the food…they never have.  We’ve had them for over a year now and they are one of my favorite storage solutions that are decor friendly and don’t ruin the over all look of our home!

Two Banana Leaf Storage Cubes/Benches

I’m always looking for creative solutions like this to help keep my house looking pretty but not losing the functionality that I need in such a small house!

Home Improvement: Master Bathroom Updates

Before Miles was born, I confess, I used a step-ladder.  It was only three steps high, and I was only 20ish weeks pregnant, but I used it none the less.  Miles turned out fine and I didn’t fall, I was super careful in our super tiny master bath.

Our Master bath, as I think I’ve mentioned before, is crazy small, so small that when we first looked at the house my initial reaction was, “Where’s the shower? There’s no bath tub or shower in the Master bath?!” and then I peeked behind the door to see that the door to the bathroom, when open, hides the shower from view…but it’s that small!

So its taken some time, but I’m almost done finishing up what I started in there before Miles was born.  The crown molding needed the nail holes filled and painted, as did the quarter round.  I wanted a new shower curtain and I couldn’t stand the ugly poly-oak vanity (topped with an equally despised white laminate countertop…ugh…).

Here’s a before to refresh your memory:

Master Bath Before 1

Master Bath Before 2

Stripping the wallpaper!!! Took FOREVER.  We tried DIF, the wallpaper claw, newspaper…finally…a little hand steamer did the trick.

Wallpaper goes bye bye....

After hours of patching, sanding, priming, scraping….and all of those fun DIY things….we finally had a half new bath.  Here’s what we did:

1.) Laid new peel and stick tile.

2.) Installed quarter round

3.) Removed wallpaper

4.) Removed popcorn ceiling

5.) Installed Crown Moulding

6.) Painted walls and trim

7.) Painted vanity

8.) Switched to an Ikea circular Mirror to add new dimension to a boxy room

9.) New Shower Curtain

So here are some shots of the bathroom today:

Crown Moulding

New crown moulding installed and a nice smooth ceiling.

Towel Hooks & Little Ledge Shelf

Love these yard sale finds that add so much personality to the space!

Drop Cloth Shower Curtain

While we considered adding a curtain that popped with color, due to the fact this curtain typically gets hidden by the door, I rather liked how much it blends with the wall color and I’m hoping to use some accessories (to come in the next few weeks) to add pop and personality to the space.

Here’s the bottom of the curtain (tutorial to come!):

Bottom of Shower Curtain

And finally, a look at the vanity with the new hardware and a new coat of paint (which needs a little touch up at the bottom after a bad tape job (oops).

Master Bath Vanity

A deep Espresso Brown – love the added color it brings and can I say that I don’t miss the porcelain knobs one bit!!!

Now I just need to add some finishing touches and I’ll be ready to show you my final results!  But I can’t believe what these simple changes have done to make this such a different space.

Home Improvement: Office to Nursery….Before

Here’s what the nursery looked like when we moved in.

I know…doesn’t show much…but the ONLY picture we have before we did anything to this room.

It then had a life for a short while as an office…for about two wonderful years 🙂

Then we found out we were pregnant… oops 🙂

And then I pulled out the paint swatch I had been holding on to for forever….

We had just removed the popcorn ceiling!

and here she is all painted! Behr

Its a vintage blue…grey and green undertones.

So that’s a little before and after….

Next up….artwork and accessories!


So again, I’ve been MIA…in a bad way.  Well…I do have a pretty good excuse this time, but it doesn’t mean I’m less horrified with myself over quite how MIA I’ve been.  I can’t tell you how many times I want to post something…and then I don’t out of sheer exhaustion (yes…that’s a hint).  The hubby will occasionally comment, “Oh, you mean the blog you used to update?”  Ouch.  But he’s right.  I apparently stink at balancing more than one thing in my life.

But….I have been busy…

Busy preparing for a little man that’s due for arrival later this year.

But I will TRY to post more often.  I have been busy after all….getting projects done.

So I’m hoping this little post will be just the right amount of encouragement to start posting again.  I do have a lot to show you after all…I mean…a few months pass and I really have gotten quite a bit done.

So – no more excuses from me.

Friday’s Favorite: THE Furminator…

Once upon a time we decided to get a little puppy.  That said puppy grew into a dog.  We then bought another dog for said dog to be said dog’s friend.  Two dogs + Rain + Carolina Clay = stained carpet no matter how many times I wiped those paws.  So we got rid of carpet, put in laminate floors…and thought that are pet problems were gone. Not.  Now the story takes a twist when we discovered just how much our dogs shed. Yes, they shed. A lot.  Whats worse is we were brilliant in picking a black dog and a yellow dogs…so no matter what surface or choice of clothing we make/have….you can tell we have pets.  You can see the hair about 15 minutes after I sweep and mop.  Sigh.  I love dogs…but not the extras.  So it was time to call in reinforcements…there was only one thing I could think of that would do the drink….THE Furminator!  Wow is it expensive…like, I wouldn’t spend that much on my own hair brushes, but desperate times call for desperate measures.  Brushing the dogs with the Furminator has really helped take the shedding down a notch, and not to gross you out, but take a look what this thing takes off of my 38 lb border collie mix! 

So, that’s why today, the Furminator is my Friday Favorite. Because less hair on my dogs, means less on my floor.

To do…or not to do….

Last week I made a list of things I wanted to do to the house before the end of the year.  As of Sunday we’ve officially been in our “Home Sweet Home” for Two years. I can’t believe how quickly its gone…especially considering we haven’t done a whole lot to it since, outside of floors, the bathroom and such….so I knew it was time for a list.  I love lists…they make me feel accomplished when I actually get something done.  Is there not so much satisfaction in crossing something off the list? 

Well, here’s what I came with up….


*Strip Wallpaper


* Paint/Sand Cabinets

* New Hardware

* New Counter Top

*New Quarter Round

*New Flooring


*New Sink (I want a farmer’s sink like you would not believe….too bad they run about $150 and up, even at Ikea…)

*Spray paint my rusting fridge 😦

*Subway Tile Backsplash

*Placemat/tray for dogs



*Paint Bins

*Paint Shelf

* Buy Clear Jars and Scoops


*Roof needs fixed 😦

*Heater Repair

*Clean Gutters

*Strip ceiling of popcorn, paint over them

Master Bathroom:

* Strip Wallpaper

*Paint Walls

* Paint Vanity OR find something on craigslist and convert to uber awesome vanity

*New Hardware

*New Quarter Round

*New Tile

Living Room:

*Build window seat

*Clean curtains

* Make/Buy Pillows for windowseat

* Baskets for Windowseat

* Paint Living room/Dining Room

*Find awesome Potterybarn couches or set of conversation chairs (not gonna happen, but I can dream!)


*Raised Garden

* Wildflower Bed

*Finish off space under deck into something other than a gross mud pit.


* Clean out front closet

* Clean out Filing system

* Clean out Office Closet

* Clean out Linen Closet

* Clean out Guest Closet

* Move some things to Attic

*Create easier to use financial system

* Organize Recipes

* Paint Campbell on Bulletin Board

Dining Room:

* Find/Make Buffet

* Make dining room table

* Move some kitchen stuff to buffet.

* Paint Chandelier

And there’s more, but I want to reveal that in my second round a little later. But I know this is ambitious…but I was encouraged when I managed to put new tile in the Master Bath, put in my wildflower garden, paint the chandelier, organize my laundry “room”, painted the shelf in the laundry room, and painted the bins.  I have to finish between 1.5-2 of these a week in order to get them all done by the end of the year.  No small task but I’m definitely up to the challenge.  Some of them will require outside help….some will be easy and I will get them done on a weeknight…others will be a great weekend project.  But I’m excited to have some goals laid out so that I can actually get to where I want to be with the house!

Stay tuned for pictures of this weekends projects!

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