Monday, April 21, 2014

Skipper....My New Love...

Because I have absolutely nothing else going on in my life, I decided to change the color of my living room. For almost 3 years now, the walls have been a light Robin's egg blue.  Feast your eyes...





Not the worst color in the world by any means, but it was really starting to feel very cold and bland.  So off to Home Depot I went in search of a warmer, cozier feeling.  And I found Behr's Skipper!


Isn't it gorgeous?  Mellow and soft, like a big paint-y hug.  :)  So I promptly purchased a gallon and sped home to paint.  Oh wait.  I chose the largest room in the house to paint.  The room that is connected to a staircase.  With 16 foot ceilings at one point.  And before we paint, we need to paint trim.  And doors.  And replace door handles.  Ugh.  Do you see where this is going??  

So about a month later and a lot me taking pics of Adam looking like this...


(Poor guy.  He is the absolute best.)

And here is the finished product...



(*My dogs come running every time I take pics of the house.  Can you spot their ears in the above pic??)



(*It's incredibly impossible to take a decent pic of a wall of mirrors!)

Doesn't that feel a lot more huggy?  I think so.  :)  

You may notice a few decor changes - I got a new rug and some new-to-me chairs.  The rug was a Target buy (I saved $30 with my Cartwheel!!)  It is pretty neutral, which allows me to keep my crazy but lovable curtains and also to play with different prints of pillows.  The yellow chairs are a Craigslist find.  My old chairs went to live in Adam's office.  I felt like family therapy sessions would be more comfy - and legit - if the family wasn't seated on crazy mismatched office chairs.  I really didn't want to buy new chairs (why are they SO expensive?!?), but wanted something colorful.  Preferably yellow.  So imagine how over the moon I was when I saw the listing - a pair of vintage yellow chairs for $100!  SOLD!!!  They are just what I've been looking for and I love them.  

So because everyone knows I love a good makeover, here's the living room the first time we walked through the house and the same view today...


Thick, but matted yellow-y carpet, wallpaper everywhere, super heavy drapes that let in zero natural light...I don't miss these things one bit!


And just look at how much more defined my mirrors are with the darker color!  The white trim really pops too!


So there you have it.  How we have changed this house (once again!) for next to nothing.  I will never stop shouting from the rooftops "PAINT IS YOUR BEST FRIEND!"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

That I time I quit my blog for 6 months...

I am back.  And ready to get back to blogging.  The break wasn't planned in any way, but life just kind of got in the way of blogging.  A lot has happened in the last 6 months.  I started a new position that has had me working 6 days a week for several months, due to busy season and a completely new computer system launching in conjunction with the opening of the Affordable Care Act's Marketplace.  (If you are not aware, I work in health insurance, so that sentence will probably make more sense now.)  :)  
Adam also lost his job right around the time of my last post.  I won't go into all the details, but he is in the social work field, which is largely controlled by contracts.  Because of this, social workers have a high turnover in employment.  They kind of have to follow the contracts around.  His company held a huge contract for foster care in Kansas.  Even though he didn't directly work in foster care, there was a massive trickle down and his position, along with many others at his facility, were cut.  He was able to find employment very quickly, though!  He was only jobless for 3 weeks and ended up finding a great job (on Craiglist of all places!!) providing therapy in the juvenile justice system.  We are excited that he is working with this population - not only because of the great support and guidance he is able to provide teen boys at a vital point in their lives, but also because he is already making more money than he previously was and the facility he is with is not contracted.  So his job is much more secure!  
The kids are also keeping me very busy!  Second grade brings an increase in homework and memory work.  (Of course third grade is well known as "hell year" at Haven's school, so I'm sure next year I'll be looking back fondly on the amount of work she currently does!)  Maelie is going to Mom's Day Out one day a week and enjoying her last moments of free time before she starts Kindergarten in the fall.  How is that possible?!?

We have still been busy around the house with projects, but less so due to busy season.  So let's take a look at some of the things we have been doing...

The most exciting progress in the last couple of months has been the completion of our master bedroom.  We have finally crossed off the last 3 projects!  I bought this headboard waaaay back in July of 2012 at ReStore for $15...


The wood was VERY 1970's, but it was really heavy and solid and I loved the curves!  It sat forever in our garage, pleading with me to do something with it every time I parked my car.  So (almost a year later!) I finally made some chalk paint using regular latex and plaster of paris.  After a few coats, I sealed it with Annie Sloan's chalk paint wax and here is what she looked like!  


I think it looks totally cute in our room.


It is the only piece of furniture in our room that is painted.  Our old headboard was an antique oak Craftsman style piece that my parents bought us for our engagement present.  It is beautiful and we loved it, but it was time for a change after 12 years.  :)  The new headboard is shorter, but I love the visual interest it brings to our room.

And because everyone loves a side-by-side...


Isn't that nice?  

I also found a great place to corral our pillows at night...


Our dogs have an adorable habit of laying on any pillow that hits the floor.  And while I love my dogs only slightly less than my kids, constantly picking dog hair off my decorative pillows is not how I like to spend my free time.  I found this great paint dipped basket on clearance at TJ Maxx for $10!  It is modern, the pattern gives a nod to the chevron going on in the room and it is large enough to hold all 4 throw pillows from our bed plus a throw.  Win!

We also finally got another TV.  Our 32" had been in our family room, sitting on our mantle for a long time.  But the size was a bit small for that large of a room.  We upgraded to a larger TV downstairs and moved this one upstairs to our room.  Now my antlers finally look at home above the TV.  


We also bought a couple of Chromecasts...


It's a device made by Google that basically turns your TV into a smart TV.  It plugs into an HDMI port on the back of your TV, you download the casting app on your smartphone and - voila! - you can watch YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus and more on your TV, using your phone as the remote.  (This is not a paid advert, btw. I'm just crazy about this little thing!)  They are super affordable at $35 and have really changed the way we watch TV.  We have been kicking around the idea of getting rid of cable for a while and this little device has helped us think that we could really do without it!  

So that's just a few of the things that have happened around the house in the last 6 months.  Over the next couple of posts, I hope to have everything caught up.  Have you had any big changes around your house lately?  Have you purchased a Chromecast?  I would love to hear what you think about it!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Insta-Friday...

I've been slacking on blogging again.  But Insta-Friday makes me post.  :)  I have some MAJOR kitchen changes coming up this weekend, so check back for those.  But let's see what I've been up to lately...

Mae has had exactly 1 soccer game in her 4 year old life.  But that is about to change!  She did well, at least she was following the ball.  It was kind of strange to not see her dominating, like we completely expected.  I think she was still trying to figure out why all those other kids were there.  I'm sure she's going to do awesome this weekend, though.  She's fun to watch!


Speaking of my 4 year old dominating...


Every stinking time we play Hello Kitty bingo, she wins.  It's crazy.  Completely doesn't make sense.  Especially since she is not paying attention half of the time.

The girls think they are sneaky.  Like "I can steal Daddy's phone and play games and run down his battery and he will never ever notice" sneaky.


Not.

The actually did find a couple of good hiding boxes this week, though...


After the 100th time running into a wall, I finally banished them to the downstairs family room.  It's carpeted.  Less bruising.

We spent Labor Day at Adam's parent's house and happened to work in a quick trip to Crown Center.  And when in Crown Center, you must partake of the over-priced, greasy and unimpressive food that is Fritz's...


BUT A TRAIN BRINGS YOUR FOOD TO YOUR TABLE.  Totally worth it.

I visited my favorite thrift store on Labor Day for their crazy 50% sale and locked eyes with this spindly legged guy...


That's my guy.  Out of all of the mascots, 1912 has a very special spot in my heart.  I picked him up for a mere $2.50, a fraction of what I found it online for!  It will look perfect in Adam's office.  Unless I keep it. 

Doing my usual link-up at


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Ladies & Gents...we have flooring!

It took me forever to choose my flooring for the kitchen remodel.  And I feel like it took even longer to actually get ready to install it.  This weekend was the perfect time!  Here yet again is a pic of the original kitchen...


I know.  Amazing, right?  Ugh.

The flooring - which we think was installed sometime in the late 80's-early 90's - was hideous.  I'm thinking it was that old based on the mint green laminate countertops and the age of our fridge.  You really didn't notice how ugly the floor in the old kitchen was, but once we painted the cabinets off white, the floor looked really dingy and gross.  The color just didn't go.  
It took me forever, but I finally decided on a vinyl tile product in a grey slate color.  My sister had used the same type of product in her kitchen and entryway and was really happy with the results.  I chose the 12" x 24" size to mimic the shape of the subway tiles.  The result is amazing!


Isn't that great??  I am over the moon in love with the floor!  We really don't have much more to do before we are finished.  Here's our To Do List:
Install floor trim, shoe molding and trim on upper cabinets 
Finish building the island
Purchase new bar stools
Install new lighting over the bar and recessed lighting
Install new transition strips between tile and hardwoods
And eventually:
Replace the dishwasher and fridge with updated, more energy efficient stainless steel models

We should be able to have everything except for the appliance completed in the next couple of weeks.  So exciting!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Insta-Friday...

Goodness, what a week!  Wall demolition, wedding anniversary, birthday and lots and lots of family time!  Here's the photos to prove...

Adam started his vacation bright and early last Friday morning by taking out the wall between the kitchen and dining room.  But first, our little artists had to leave their marks...


This is so going to backfire on me on day, I'm sure.

My Mom brought over a treasure this week...


My oldest sister's globe from when we were kids.  It's a *smidge* out of date...but I think it's rad!

Sunday was our 12th wedding anniversary.  My parents took the girls for a few hours, so we had a most romantic lunch at Olive Garden.  Afterwards, we went to the library and checked out big people books!  Exciting!!  Even better, we then went to a coffee shop and sat and read for several hours.  It was heavenly.  I know it doesn't sound like a very romantic celebration, but honestly it was so nice to get out of the sheetrock dust and craziness of the house for a while!  Anyway, so I checked out Tina Fey's book...


and laughed a lot.  Seriously funny stuff.  I highly recommend.  Especially at a quiet coffeehouse.

I have a rather old recipe box...


Last week, Maelie called it my "Treasure Chest".  Completely adorable!

On Monday, we started to play around with the island placement in the kitchen...


It's really starting to look like it's supposed to!  (Except for that floor.  Ew.)

Speaking of the floor, my niece came by on my birthday to help with floor removal...


isn't that a nice present?  She ended up hanging out with us for the rest of the day.  We all went to the KU Natural History Museum and was met by a very angry bear...



Adorbs.

Later that evening, I celebrated my birthday by attending enrollment at Haven's school.  Boo.  But I snapped a quick pic of her classroom...


And had a complete freak-out that my little baby is going to spend her entire 2nd grade year in the same classroom that I had 7th grade math.  Insane.

On Wednesday, we headed towards Manhattan (the Little Apple!) to see what the Flint Hills Discovery Center had to offer.  And it was really fun!




 I said no to some puppet friends.  Even ones that didn't have a "mudder"...


It was back to work for Adam and I today.  BOO!  But we had lots of great family time this last week.  Coming up this week - kitchen flooring!  HOORAY!!

I'm linking up with Life Rearranged...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Insta-Friday...

Perhaps the shortest Insta yet.  I'm really not sure where this week went!

I started out the weekend by hitting up the vintage sales in the West Bottoms in KC.  I hadn't been in a few months, and my friend Amanda (with whom I share a birthday!) and I thought it would be a good birthday activity.  Even though it was a little hot and muggy out, it was still a good 20 degrees cooler than this time last year.  I scored this sweet green necklace...


The day was full of all sorts of surprises!  I bumped into my friend Kem from Chronicles of a Sweet Tooth at Bella Patina, 3 old friends from our church in Lee's Summit at Restoration Emporium and was even recognized by a couple of fellow alums from college days while shopping at Good Ju Ju!  

On Sunday, I threw some chicken in the crock pot along with some Asian-y ingredients and - voila! - got this...


It was SO good!  I will be making it again!

Our bedroom has been in progress for over a year now.  The only 2 things left on to do list was getting a leaner mirror and a flat screen TV.  This week, I marked one of those off the list!


My former unit at work gave me a gift card for a going away present and I used it to get this mirror I've had my eye on for a while.  Hooray!

I think this is the record for the shortest Insta-Friday ever!  And no pics of the kids either!  I'm linking up to Life Rearranged.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Living Room Before & After...

I was looking back through some pictures on my laptop last week and found some pics from the day we closed on the house that I had forgotten about.  And I about gagged from the grossness.  Old yellowed and matted carpet, draperies so thick and complicated the house was incredibly dark in the middle of the day, 7 different wallpaper patterns in 9 rooms.  Hideous.  So what's a girl to do with icky pics such as these?  Immediately upload them to Facebook and write a blog post about them.  :)

But seriously, it's been almost 2 years since I have shared any pics of my living room.  And with some fairly recent additions, I feel like the room is finally done.  So let's start with the befores...




And here's where we are at right now...(my apologies for the 8 pm cell phone pics!)





I should obviously re-do these pics sometime in the daylight with my real camera, I realize.  But really - how much better does this room look?  Removing the carpet really helped remove the "old lady" smell the house had going on.  I still need a few things to completely finish the room.  I would like a piece of art to go next to the armoire.  But for the most part, it's done!