Search This Blog

Friday, September 30, 2016

Fall has arrived

Oh my very favorite time of year is here. Fall.

Fall in Texas can be hit or miss. Some years it is blazing hot until November, other years we get a little more cool mornings and clear skies. This year seems to be one of those blessed years. Tomorrow is October 1st, and this morning, it was 52 degrees at my house. The Piglet needed a jacket! Huzah! This weekend we will throw open the windows and enjoy this gorgeous fall weather God has blessed us with.

We have a few little fall decorations up around the place. My squashy pumpkins adorn the gorgeous table the hubs built for me.  I don't do too much decorating, we like to keep everything simple and pretty clutter free, but a few pumpkin displays....I can't help myself. My little helper had to assist with this decorating. He is our little shadow. And whether it is helping me in the kitchen, or helping the Hubs drive the tractor, he is always right there, "helping..." ;) When he helped me decorate with these pumpkins his "all boy" nature came through. After we set them just so and stood back to admire our work he exclaimed "Now, we crush with a Monster Truck!" I talked him out of this quickly...
The Helper....Pretty sure bare little toes on the counter is a health code violation....

As a little fall present I thought I would share a few more inside pictures of the new place!
Try to bear in mind that the kitchen, when we moved in was two toned yellow and barn red.  
It took 3 tries for me to be happy with the color in the kitchen and dining room. So. Much. Paint.

Here is to a weekend at home full of mowing with tractors, tending fall gardens, making apple jam, and drinking 2 pots of coffee on the porch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A peak inside the Master Roost

As promised, I wanted to give you a peak inside the new Henhouse.  I thought we would start with our little roost, the master bedroom and bathroom. I think this room, by far, was the room that offended my eyes the most. I didn't even unpack all the boxes before I painted this bathroom. I just couldn't stand it.  The bedroom is painted a nice caramel cream color. It is warm and cozy, and I didn't mind continuing that color into the master bath.  The master bath opens right up into the bedroom. There is no door. So this offensive lime green and royal blue room glowed in at me every morning. I painted it on day 3.

The Before .....
And After.....
 The Hubs built the mirror frame.  I love it. It really helped add some character to that giant wall mirror held up with plastic clips. The frame is held on with command picture hanging strips directly on the glass. It is solid as a rock.  (Look it up on Pinterest, there are a million tutorials.)

The bedroom was this color to begin with, so we stuck with it. It is warm and cozy. A drastic contrast to the former electric blue and green.

 See no door. Green and blue had to go.

(Side note- notice the little pallet to the right of our bed. That is where the Piglet choice. He has his own room, and his own bed, but he is at an age where sleeping in his own room scares the crap out of him.  For a long time we would get him to sleep, gently and carefully carry him into his bed and tuck him in. Only for blood curdling screams to ensue a few hours later as he came running hysterically through the dark house and into our bed. Then came the hour long job of getting him consoled, and convinced all the "spookies" were locked outside, and it was ok. We tried nightlights, we tried a white noise machine, we tried different curtains that didn't "blow in the wind and look spooky" Nothing worked. And a 3 year old in your bed is no fun. He kicks, and flops, and no one gets any sleep.  So, as a compromise, I stopped letting him in our bed and let him make a little pallet on the floor next to me for a few nights, and it kinda stuck. I used to fold up the blankets every morning and vow he would sleep in his bed the next night.  And now, I have just resigned myself to it; this is the only place he will sleep. Meh well, eventually he will sleep in his room, but for now, it is a compromise I am fine with. He is happy and feels safe and secure sleeping down there. And we all get a good night's sleep.

Happy Hump Day! See ya soon with a glimpse at the heart of our home, the kitchen and living room.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A New Hen House

The old Hen House, in all her fall glory

So, it has been over a year since I last blogged. And I have really been missing it. Missing the friends it made for me,  missing an outlet to share my projects and random thoughts. Kind of like an old friend you haven't seen in a really long time, and just lost touch with...where do you start? My work responsibilities changed dramatically in the last year or so, and blogging just wasn't really an option. But now, I am finding myself missing it so much, I am going to find time for it.

Where to begin: I will start with our biggest change in our lives and go from there.

We sold the old Hen House.
Can you believe it?

Yep. Sold it, in less than one day. It went on the market on a Saturday. Our first showing was that afternoon, and they made an offer. All of the love and hard work we had poured into the old Hen House had really paid off. I thought I would be so sad to see her go. So many memories were made there. So many projects, and hours of labor and love.

But I was way too busy freaking out to be sad because.... well, we had NO WHERE in mind to move to! So we asked our fabulous realtor to help us find a place quick! We spent the next few weeks  touring houses in our area that met our requirements. Easy enough:  Enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, and lots of property. Well, it wasn't that easy. And me being me, was freaking out at the fact that we were set to close on our other house and still didn't have a place to move. "We are going to be homeless for Christmas!" I said every day.  The Hubs assured me we wouldn't and God had a plan for us. We saw some very, um, interesting places to say the least.  I could write a whole post on the crazy houses we toured; from a log cabin with a crooked and sloping second floor, to a huge house that had shimmering metallic rose wallpaper and yards and yards of bright teal carpet.

Then our realtor, Ms. Joan, who we came to love, and think of as a friend, sent me a link to a listing of a house I had seen before. It had met our property requirements and house size, but my first response to it was NOPE! The paint colors, outside and in were, horrendous. But by now, I was desperate, and I had a moment of clarity. "Paint is the easiest and cheapest thing in a house to fix. Look at the bones" I told myself. I loved the land, I loved the layout, I loved the floors and fixtures. It was just the paint. So I showed the Hubs that night. I gave him the same pep talk I gave myself. "Ignore the paint" I said. Together,  we scrolled through a listing on a house that sat amongst rolling pasture land. It had a barn, and chicken coop. It had a fence, and a long winding driveway. It was perfect, well except that is was painted orange-ish tan with bright red  trim on the outside, and on the inside: hot pink, lime green, teal, royal blue, bright red, yellow, grey, light pink, and a complete Dallas Cowboys painted room. Yes, all those paint colors were in this house. Just, well, not my cup of tea. I prefer a calming space when I come home. And going to the bathroom in a tiny toilet room the color of a green highlighter was not my idea of calming.

Anyway, Ms. Joan took us on a walk through. It was perfect. We loved the land. We loved the gorgeous views from every window in the house. We loved that the only neighbors we had were cows, donkeys, horses and pasture land. We made an offer, they accepted, and closed on both houses the week before Thanksgiving.

Photo from the listing...

Fast forward to now: We have been here almost a year. As fall approaches, I realize we have been in our dream home for almost a year now and I can't believe it.

I have spent so much time painting this house, I am practically a pro.

We went with a dark grey and white for the outside, much more my subdued style.
I love this picture, Piglet is riding his bike up the driveway. It is pretty much the view of our driveway every single evening.

We had the outside painted by a professional, I was not up to that daunting task. Now almost every single wall inside and outside of this house has been painted. And we love this place.

Welcome to the New Hen House
Come sit a spell
We added the stained decking to the front porch.  It was crumbling concrete before. I love to sit out on the front porch in the evenings. There is a gorgeous view of the sunset. And we have a hawk and an owl that hunt in the trees at dusk.

View from the front porch

View facing North
We started a little orchard in the back . We planted an apple tree, peach tree, and pecan tree.

The Barn
It even came with a chicken coop. Our girls love it.
This little lady came with the house. The former owners moved 'not too far' up the street. When we closed, they warned us that she refused to come with them, and kept making her way back to the old house. After several attempts at returning her to her owners, we asked if she could just stay, and they agreed. No one asked her if she wanted to move! She is a good cat. She was officially named Mittens, but the boys call her "cat."

I thought I would be sad to leave the old hen house, but God had such an amazing new home in store for us, that we have never looked back. We have made so many amazing memories here already.
Daddy's Little Shadow

S'mores for Fourth of July
This is my happy place. This is where my boys can run, and play, and get dirty, and we are so blessed by this place.

I thought today I would give you a little glimpse at the outside of the Hen House, and follow up with an interior tour with befores and afters  later this week!

It is great to be back blogging. I have missed you all!
Happy Monday

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Time to Air the Dirty Laundry

The Hubs has been out of town all week for work, and I tend to do better with the time alone when I have a project. So, at the last minute, I decided to work on our laundry room this week to pass my time. 

Slowly but surely we are moving through our house and systematically redoing most of the spaces and finishes in our home. We are making this place ours and making it beautiful. So far, we have redone our floors, painted and redecorated the boys' shared room, glass  painted some tile in our kitchen, painted our front door, built a barn, replaced parts of our fence, replaced and stained our rotting front proch posts, replaced our rotting mailbox, and replaced some very dated and ugly light fixtures and hardware through out the house. 

I had no plan for the laundry room, it just seemed like a good little project I could complete on my own while the Hubs was gone. I knew I would only be able to work on it in the evenings after all the kiddos went to bed. That is the time the loneliness hits me, and I was glad to have a project. 

My friend Leilani over at Keeping up with Mrs. Smith is currently working on redoing her laundry room. Bless her heart, hers is a much bigger undertaking than mine. But her post did inspire me to tackle this room I most often just preferred to keep the door closed on.

Now, I suck at remembering to take before pictures. I ALWAYS forget. I get so excited that half way through my work I think "Crap!!! I didn't take a before shot!" This time was no exception. The best you get is two blurry crap pictures I took after we laid our new vinyl plank flooring. Sorry.... 

 This room was this lovely shade of yellow when we moved in. My blurry crap pictures don't do it much justice.  I would compare it to the homey shade of a school bus, or a two lane road stripe. Plus I believe the people who lived here before us REALLY used this as a utility room. The walls were covered with scratches and black streaks and blemishes. 

So are you ready for the reveal.....drumroll...........

 Tada! I used 'Olympic Paint and Primer in ONE' in Ocean Breeze with a satin finish. It took way more paint than I anticipated. In addition to choosing a lovely shade I can only guess was called ode to school zone sign, the previous painters decided to add a sand texture to the yellow. It SUCKED to paint over. It drank the paint in, and required tons of elbow grease. I actually got blisters from having to push so hard on my roller. 

I love love love the color and how it turned out, but the real fun was in the details for me. The basket above the shelves holds spare linens and is the old laundry basket from the before pictures. It was a little too small for our needs..again refer to crappy blurry pictures.. see overflow. 
 Faith is our dog's name. She is new to our family. We adopted her at the animal shelter a few weeks ago. I'll post more on her later. She is awesome. She loves the kids, and lets the baby poke and pull at her and ride her like a horse. We went in the shelter and told them we wanted a small weenie dog. We came home with her instead...she's a 50 lb doberman with the heart and tolerance of a saint.... 
The large laundry basket is from Ross. A bargain at 8.99! The runner covers some nasty marks and scratches on the top of the dryer. We bought the dryer used from some girl in a Houston alley. Yeah... I know.. weird. The topiary I had from many many moons ago. Same story for my chalk board bucket that holds our laundry tabs. I think I got in the Target dollar bins like 4 years ago. The little soup can is actually a table decoration from my wedding to the Hubs. It held silverware at our shabby chic "burlap and lace"wedding. It literally is an old soup can I tied pretty stuff to. I loved it so much I kept it and use it to hold spare change and junk that comes out in the legos and important sticks and rocks #momoflittleboysproblems

My ironing board is now hanging. Which is awesome because it has whacked me in the hip countless times or flat fallen on my head if not propped juuust right. My iron fits nicely in the cabinets, so instead I used that space to hold our spare grocery bag stash box. Old sturdy box, cut a hole, cover with pretty paper, reinforce with packing tape to prevent tears, done. I made the ironing board cover myself because pretty ones are EXPENSIVE. I used jersey fabric in grey and used my original cover as a template. No sew glue plus elastic...done.  

My fancy pretty hook for dog leashes and the likes.  A flare for the  dramatics.

So that is it!! That is how I spent my week with no Hubs. How is your week going?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Floor It Baby!

Well, we move on to project #2 of our "love the one you are with" house remodel and re-did our kitchen floors. Here is a little Before and After indulgence for your viewing pleasure:

{This is the original vinyl sheet flooring that came with the house when we moved in. I have always hated it. Is peeling at the thresholds, is scratched and chipped in places and has a strange texture to it that HOLDS dirt and grime no matter how much I scrub.}
Drum roll....

This is our DIY Smart Core vinyl plank floating floor. It turned out beautiful and was actually easier than I anticipated. After a few minor issues with one stupid tiny wall near our refrigerator it was smooth sailing.
We used Smart Core Vinyl Plank flooring in Epic Oak. We opted for this after doing lots and lots of research on the best type of flooring for our situation.
a. It is a kitchen...lots of water, and messes and food
b. we have children...lots of fluids and messes and food
c. We have an older pier and beam house that shifts and moves ALOT depending on weather and seasons. We literally had a window crack in it's frame last winter when our house shifted and put pressure on it.
d. We wanted something durable and low maintenance that was something we could install ourselves, and not break the bank.
So we opted for the Smart Core Vinyl Plank Wood flooring in Epic Oak from Lowe's. It wasn't the cheapest option in vinyl plank flooring, but it was still reasonable and within our budget. As we searched for the one we liked best, we opened boxes in the store, felt the planks, scratched it with our fingernail, and picked at the edges to see if there was peeling or separation. We were very discerning.  It is a "floating floor" in that it does not get glued down! All you do is install it directly over your current floor, even the old vinyl! Yep!!! I was sold.
Our prep work included taking all children to school/ daycare, taking out all the furniture and piling it in the living room,  removing our quarter round toe kick trim with a crowbar thingy, thoroughly cleaning the yucky old sheet vinyl so there was nothing to make unevenness in the new planks and that was it! We opened several boxes and mixed them together- also a great suggestion from the box directions, as to mix up the patterns and colors, as each plank/batch is a bit different and you want the different patterns and grains of the wood to be mixed through out your floor.
We used 1/4 inch spacers around the walls per the directions on the box, that will also help with the flexing and shifting of our old pier and beam.
It went really quickly once we got past the refrigerator area and all the cuts. The Hubs used his chop saw to cut the boards.  We used a rubber mallet to seat each board thoroughly after snapping it into the latch system of the previous board. It goes together just like a puzzle! It took us about 8 hours from prep to finish.

We have had it about a month now. So far, we love it. It is quiet, durable, and cleans very easily. It looks beautiful and really changed the look of our entire home.
Next on the to-do...painting the trim we ripped up and then put back down (Doesn't look half bad though right?..we (And when I say we I mean the Hubs) were pretty careful) painting the walls in the kitchen/dining/living room. Redoing our master bathroom, and a deck. Whew.. But...two projects down!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Boys Room

The Monkey and the Piglet are going to share a room. After many long hours of planning, replanning; decisions, redecision, undecisions, bad decisions, good decisions, and a barn: the boys are going to share a room. I discuss in a little more detail our journey to this point here. From "let's build on an addition! to let's just finish this damn barn! to ugh let's just sell this place!, to let's just stay here and love the one we are with...."

First project on the agenda in staying in the house we are in was finishing this damn barn. Other than one piece of trim on the bottom right side and a latch for the is done
Yes is finally done

The Barn from Mordor:
{Oh it looks quaint and peaceful, with the sun setting behind it and chickens clucking softly next to it...don't be is the devil}

My next project was moving the boys into a room together. The Piglet is a toddler now, he is still sleeping in our room.  I've discussed before how my fear is any prolonged sleeping in the room with your parents will turn you into Norman Bates. Plus, ya know, we are kinda ready to have our room back. He can talk now, and holler at me at night. "No No Milk Mama!" at 3am is as much fun as it sounds.  The plan was to move the Piglet into the room last week. But then he came down with a 104 fever and welp: nope, he stayed right where he was, 4 feet from my side. So we are going to try again this week now that he is feeling better. As of today, though, his crib is still in our room. So the pictures don't include his bed. Oh but he loves playing in his big boy room!!!

 I painted the walls with Valspar "Feldspar" satin (say that 5 times fast) It is a blueish grey and we love how it turned out. The "BROTHERS" letters I purchased at Hobby Lobby as raw chip board letters. They were 1/2 off that week so they were .99 cents each. I painted them with regular old craft paint in colors I thought complimented the rug on the floor (from Target's kids collection) I like the weight of the chip board letters, very lightweight and smooth, they finish very nicely. I added little robot stickers to the letters after they were dry, the boys love them. The reading "nook" in the corner includes two leather ottomans my mom had at a garage sale and a red wire book rack from Hobby Lobby. Again, wait until things go on half off, they rotate weekly. So worth it. The larger ottoman opens up and houses some large wooden puzzles and some shape matching games.

I wanted a place to display the boys' art work. I created this chalk board out of a cheap framed chalk board form the craft store with a raw unfinished frame. I painted it with the same craft paint as the letters. I affixed some twine across the top with hot glue and covered the attachments with pre-made wooden robots. Stick on some clothes pins and Presto! The white letters are just stickers I had on hand. I put it up high for now. The Piglet likes to rip paper currently and eat now it is out of reach. When he gets older I hope to move it down so they can write and play on the chalk board and choose their own display art.
The bedding I purchased at Target. I had found some robot sheets from Land of Nod I fell in love with...but um...I haven't won the lottery recently and am so not cool enough to have sponsored posts; so 100$ sheets are out for a 7 and 1 year old. I found some cute robot sheets in the baby section at Target. But they only had this pattern as a crib sheet. So...I bought two crib sheets. One for the Piglet's crib and I used the other to sew into a pillow sham for the Monkey's big bed. I just cut the elastic off and used the square of fabric for a pillow sham. I will use the robot sheet as a crib sheet for Piglet until we transfer him to a big boy bed, then cut it up and make him a matching pillow too. Since his bed is not yet in the room, this is a just a sample of their bedding side by side for your viewing pleasure. Their quilts were clearance items at Target I snagged for $19 each.

{The Piglet is thrilled to be playing with all the big boy toys}
Toy storage is always an issue in a kid's room, but imagine combining two kids worth of toys into one room that is very small. Oh and did I mention they have very giving was tough. I had to be brutal, and let a lot of toys go that they had either outgrown or were too dangerous to have around the Piglet (ie- small parts-choking hazards.) Honestly. I purged their toys one night while they slept...they haven't seemed to even notice.
This wood piece used to be our old TV stand. I re purposed it as a "toy holder" years ago. I use baskets and buckets and it works well. The blue chevron tubs are from Lowe's home storage department.  I would love to "style" this room with a lovely lamp and some stylish accents on this shared nightstand...but let's be real people. This is a kids' room, for a 1 year old and a 7 year old. I could put that stuff on there for about 2 seconds to take a picture of it...only if I locked them out of the room for the process. Then it would be trashed. I scoured the Internets for ideas for this room and saw so many pictures of children's bedrooms with stylish accents on their little shelves (like a real old rusty boat prop and anchor in one nautical themed room...uh nope) but that is not real life.  And my little Monkey is autistic, and those Cars that are all lined up on that night stand with a Pumpkin lording over them..they are REQUIRED to be there right next to him as he sleeps...or he won't. They are carefully selected and arranged and WE know all of them by name, and God forbid one gets left out in the car or the barn-Rastacarian must be rescued before bed.

The boys have matching banners over their beds. The Piglet's is from his birthday party. I liked it so much I kept it for over his crib. The Monkey wanted one too, so I made him one out of scrapbook paper and ribbon.
The next project in our "love the one you're with" house....redoing the kitchen floor. It is hideous. We are thinking vinyl plank wood. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Were you Raised in a barn? Why yes, yes I was...

I know, I know. The blog, I haven't written in 2 months. I am officially that girl you went on an awesome date with, who was so into you, then didn't call you for 2 months.  And now... some tipsy Saturday night is like "Hey cutie, What's Up!?" Like nothing ever happened. Excuse me long lost girl....your stuff is already in a box on the porch
Sorry about that. So um it was me not you...

But no seriously, I have just been so busy....

Jeez this really does sound like I am trying to get you to take me back.  So will my blog date again? You will, you forgive me! Ok, well let's catch up then.

So, it has been crazy town at our place for what seems like forever, but in reality it has been since about June. In June, the Hubs and I had an awesome idea. "Hey our house is WAAAAY too small, so...instead of looking for a new house, let's buy this too small one from the owners (we were renting) and add an awesome master suite onto it. Problem solved. **I know, as I type that out, it sounds like it is destined for failure...maybe I should have written a blog post from the beginning...(that kids is what we call foreshadowing)  So our grand plan included buying our house from our landlord. This option had been discussed since day one, and we love our house, and the location and the country setting, so we were all: "ok!" We bought it for a good price.  Step two was to build a barn in the back of our property to house all of the animal feed we have and all of the items that currently reside in our garage (lawn mowers, tools, etc) Once those items could take up residence in our newly constructed barn, we could use our large, two car garage space as a master suite. Of course we would need to make several modifications, including air conditioning, plumbing, windows, etc, but that was the plan.  We gave our selves two weeks in June to complete the barn....
Last weekend we were still working on it. Yeah...I know...

 {The Barn as it sits now. You like my fancy stylizing with the giant Sonic cup?..nice touch I know}

It is finally coming together and looks just how we hoped, but it took more like 4 months, not 2 weeks. That was our first underestimation. (Our plan is to eventually move the chicken coop back further on our property, but for now, it is kinda ugly, and right next to our new barn, but hey, they were there first.

It still needs doors and a ramp and some trim work, but otherwise it is pretty well complete. We built every single stick of it ourselves, every shingle, every nail. Well us and some wonderful friends and family who spent many hours out there sweating with us.

So with the barn coming to a state of readiness to accept it's new lawnmower occupants, we set about finding contractors to build our dream room. (Our original plan was to do the bedroom additon ourselves.  After seeing what it took to build the barn- BAHAHAHA (Maniacal laugh) we decided HELL NO. And had agreed in order to keep our sanity, and to maybe move into our room before the Piglet graduates college, we should hire someone.

So we took bids. Insert more maniacal laughter here. All of the bids were for HALF THE COST OF OUR ENTIRE HOUSE. Yes you read that correctly. To finish out an already existing structure on our home, add lighting, a/c, bathroom, it would have cost 1/2 the purchase price of our entire home and land. Um no. So dream bedroom swirls down the toilet that never was installed. Oh and  Barn and your thousands of hours of build were all for nothing. (But I  do like it though, and am still happy we did it. Now we can maybe use our garage for normal people stuff like parking our cars, not housing hay bails and animal feed....we really did need a barn.)

So after many late nights, and many changed decisions about financing and selling our house, and back and forth. We decided to just stay where we are for now. We are going to try putting the boys in a shared room together. (Get the toddler out of OUR room) We are apprehensive about this though. The Monkey has autism, and doesn't grasp many concepts a typical 7 year old you can't let your baby brother out of his crib, or don't give him tiny toys, etc. But we are hopeful and are going to try it out cautiously. We have bought a really good night vision camera monitor, and will keep Piglet in his crib for safety for a while longer.

We are currently in the process of redecorating their room in to a new shared space, and I am having a blast with it. I can't wait to show you the finished product. That, I promise, is coming soon. (No really, I will call you in the morning this time ;) )

So for now, we are going to focus our efforts, time, and money on fixing up the house we do have. We have goals of adding a deck, and redoing our floors and bathroom. One room at a time. For now, the boys' room is almost complete.

And of course, they cannot get enough of "playing in the barn"