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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"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Little Monster Birthday Bash

Our little Piglet Turned 1!!!!

We had a silly monster themed party with some good friends and family to celebrate the occasion. We had a nacho bar for the grown ups and  hotdogs and crackers for our more refined guests' palates. We devoured some monster cupcakes and adorable monster cookie favors created by the amazing Candyland Sweets here in Conroe. Then we headed out into some God sent sunshine onto the waterslide...and amazingly my fearless Piglet LOVED it. Mommy and Daddy loved the professionalism and price of Texas Jump Rentals. We will use them again for sure.
We had such a wonderful time.

{My DIY Birthday Bunting made from scrap book paper and sticker letters...took me one evening after bed time}
{Silly Monster Drink Station: Scotch tape and google eyes+ dry erase marker}
 {Silly Monster Table (I ordered the framed print from Etsy)}
 {The circle placemats are from the dollar store :) }
{A little hotdog and cracker lunch}

 {Happy Cake-face}
{Fearless- and before I get parent hatemail: we only took him half way up and gently slid down...with three men- his Daddy, his Uncle and his Grandfather waiting at the bottom to catch just in case I slipped after our .2 mile per hour descent... :)}
One of the best days ever.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pickles and a Piglet

Well, I took my first stab at homemade pickles this weekend! It was pretty easy. Now, before we get too excited, I have no idea if they taste good because we have to wait three days, but they look pretty in their jars, no?  I used a simple dill pickle recipe I found online, then tweeked it somewhat and kinda made it my own thing. I'll let you know how they taste- if they turn out yummy I will share the recipe. If they turn out bad, let's just pretend this never happened. Most pickle recipes I found online were for refrigerator pickles, not hot process pickles. I wanted to hot process mine so they would have a shelf life, so I kind of just combined a refrigerator recipe and basic canning methods, then added my own spices and sorta winged the rest. You know me...I fly by the seat of my pickle pants.

These pickles are extra special because not only did we make them ourselves, they were grown by my Dad! Yep he grew everyone one of these cucumbers in his garden. He already has another batch ready for me to turn into some bread and butter pickles...can't wait to try those.

We have been super busy around our place with building our barn, which has taken longer than we expected, but is finally nearing the end. I will post pictures of it when it is is a labor of love, and has been labored on intensively by the Hubs (most) my dad (alot) myself (some) and the occasional help from good friends who stop by and lend a hand...and a nail gun. Otherwise we have been charging through summer: working, taking care of constantly sick children, getting Piglet set up for a ear tube surgery at the end of the month :( . The usual.

If you can believe it, that little Piglet is going to 1 year old on Wednesday...ONE! When did this happen!? I feel like just yesterday I was giving birth to  him...nope that was a year ago. At this time last year I was a 17 months pregnant (not really) and walking laps around my parking lot at work every opportunity I got. (My doctor told me walking would make him come faster) We all know how that went....

He is the one walking now, like a little top heavy T-Rex. He has teeth, lots of them, and talks a little, calls me Momma, squeels in excitement for his "Dada", gives hi-fives, flirts with every woman we encounter, and pretty much has captured every single space in my heart. My God, in one year, 365 days, we went from this:
{3 days post partum, first day home...dear Lord, I look tired}

To now this:

{Look at that belly...LOOK AT IT! The cuteness is devastating}

This little skinny legged Squish...

Is now our little farmer
I have blinked, and year has gone by. I have blinked and my baby is now a toddler. No more baby. I shop in the toddler section now. It is such a cliche and said again and again, because it is true: They grow up so fast. Time is flying by, FLYING. I will blink twice more and will be blogging his first day of school.
Stay tuned for an EPIC first birthday is gonna be MONSTEROUS!!!!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Get A Haircut and Get a Real Job

Summer is starting TODAY!!
The kids are out of school, and I begin the countdown to PLEASE GOD WHEN DO THEY GO BACK!?

A few updates on us and our slice of heaven:

This Little Dude got his first Haircut. He was so excited!

He also started daycare....holy SICK ALL THE TIME!
 Thus this face:

{Mom, staying home from work...again...with a sick child. Please tell me how this daycare thing is helpful? I spend more time out of work with a sick child than he is AT daycare to pick up germs.Oh and I still pay for the days he isn't there..I am in the wrong business}

Sissy got herself a real job for the summer...waitressing at a local restaurant near our house. Hello grown up summer! Job, car, responsibility, freedom.

Monkey is hanging out with a special nanny all summer who comes to our house and watches him there in his own element. We are excited...and very very poor.

And finally:
Cry it out update: I feel like I shouldn't tell you this. You know there are certain things in life that are so amazing and wonderful that you fear if you talk or brag about them they will ~poof~ disappear into thin air?  OK, if I do tell you this, I am going to have to kill you. (Just kidding...but seriously though...pretend you never saw me type this) For whatever magical alignment of the stars....Piglet has started sleeping through the night.....
Through no fault of our own. We tried crying it out, we tried everything under the sun. Nothing worked, nothing! Until I took him to the doctor and she told me he STILL had an ear infection after three rounds of antibiotics. She gave me another round, and a tiny bottle of ear pain drops. He gets them every night before bed...and now...he sleeps. I feel like I won the lottery. OK, now this post will self destruct in! click close now before your computer blows up in your face!