Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day and a Stripe Project

Holy Memorial Day weekend!  Three days off was just what I needed toooo.....get some stuff done around the house. I know, I should have just headed to the beach like the rest of you but with summer upon us and bbq season in full effect the weekends are booking up over here I needed my house to be in tip top shape.
So on the list of things we got accomplished...{in bullet points}
*Painted chalk board wall in Aidan's room
*Added eraser ledge for him
*Framed and hung some of his artwork
*Painted an old FREE chandelier and hung it in his room
*Cut and hung crown moulding in his room
*Built shelving in his closet
*Organized his closet and dresser
*Fixed the sagging book shelf in his room
*Cut and hung crown in our bathroom
*Painted stripes in the hallway
*Cut and hung crown in hallway
*Purchased new cushions for outdoor furniture
*Pruned my rose bushes and hydrangeas
*Bought the paint to touch up the living room
*Cleaned the entire house four times from the mess we kept creating!

And some where in there we managed to spend a whole lot of time with Aidan and even take in a movie.  See what I could do with one more day on the weekends? 

I don't even know what I want to show you first!!! Since I posted a picture of the hallway on Facebook I guess I'll start with that and give you a little info on how we did this just in case you are in the mood for a project!  

My love affair with my Valspar Cowboy Boots finally came to an end this weekend.  I love the brown but it was time for a change. 

Here are the before pictures:   {beware of picture over load}

 And this is what we did...once we had figured it out after 3 tries.

We measured 12 inch stripes all the way around the room.  Then we took our laser level {that I would NEVER buy, it was a hand me down and they are almost worthless, which is why I think we got it.} to make straight lines to put up the tape,  in hind sight we should have painted the whole wall the lighter color first but...shoulda woulda coulda. So, then we taped the OUTSIDE of every other stripe.  We painted those stripes, waited for them to dry, taped for the next set and painted those.  Because there are lots of small walls in this room and we were working late with tired brains, it took us about 2 hours to tape this off. 

We had help painting.

Ready for some BEFORE AND AFTERS?

 I am in love. 

 Thanks to my hubby for all his help this weekend. It was a labor of love for sure.  Around here we like to call projects like this "marriage building exercises." Haha!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Leopard Nails

My two favorite things.  The color purple and leopard print!!! I was in desperate need of a new nail polish and I have been dying to try out the leopard stick on nail strips by Sally Hansen but I could never find the ones I wanted. UNTIL TONIGHT. I was in Target and they had one box of the leopard left. I grabbed them and just finished applying them.  They are super easy to put on and look really fun. I didn't want to do my whole hand because that's a little much for me. I stuck to my ring finger on both hands.  I love how they turned out. I just painted my other fingers Lucky, Lucky Lavender by OPI.

Fun right? 

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aidan's Messenger Bag

Aidan is always carrying his toys with him everywhere we go.  Recently he started carrying them in a reusable grocery bag.  It worked but it wasn't very cute.  He has a backpack but if he wants to access it, well you know the deal, he has to take it off to get in to it.  I started scouring the Internet for a bag that was suitable for a little boy and now that I have some experience, let me tell you there are enough bags out there for girls but not many at all that are masculine enough for our little guy.  I had almost given up hope when I was reading one of my usual blogs the other day This Little Miggy Stayed Home and she had posted some cute new things she had made with a new striped fabric she had picked up. I saw the messenger bag she had made for kids and immediately hit the link to her etsy site and purchased it.   3 days later it was on my doorstep and the rest is history.

Adam calls it his "boy purse", my parents think it's the coolest thing and Aidan is constantly coming up with new reasons why he needs to carry his bag around.  I think it's just what he needed.  It's the perfect size for him, it just so happens to be lined in orange which is Aidan's favorite color and the Velcro is easy enough for him to maneuver himself.  We are all happy.  Well except maybe Adam because he does really think I bought our son a purse. 

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cell Phone Photos from The Weekend

Lately it seems like my favorite thing to do is capture pictures on my phone.  It is so much easier than running and grabbing the camera.  Plus now that I have this fun little photo app, it makes it interesting.

I stayed home from work on Friday and Aidan and I spent most of the day with our feet up watching movies because I was really feeling terrible. I am so lucky that while he is so active and would never turn down the opportunity to run outside and play, he knows when I am down and out and is willing to just climb in to my lap and snuggle for the afternoon.  He also refills my water in the bathroom sink and checks my forehead ever 5 minutes to make sure I don't have a "beaver".

Adam showed up Friday night with this bike strapped to the top of his car.  Leave it up to my hubby to find a vintage tricycle on the side of the road.
It actually is pretty cute. I have no clue where we are going to store it or how much we will actually use it but it looks cool.  The basket on the back is perfect for trips to the farmers market!  Maybe when Aidan can keep up better on his bike we will take a ride over there just so we can show it off.  It's in great shape!

Saturday I was still under the weather but needed some fresh air.  
Our friend Mike picked Aidan up to take him to a birthday party so Adam and I had an entire afternoon to ourselves. We hardly knew what to do.  Adam was very patient and ran me all over the place to get some stuff for Aidan's upcoming birthday party and then we headed over to the driving range later that day.
As little interest I had in going, it actually was perfect. There are huge wood rocking chairs under cover to sit  and the place was dead so I even hit a few balls {in a long sundress}. I'm proud to announce I am a better "putter" than my husband.  If mini golf was taken seriously, I might be a force to reckon with.  Just sayin'.

Saturday night we grilled out with our friends Mike, Chelsea and Ryland.  Once we made it home, I put Aidan to bed and got to work on his invites.  They had to go out on Monday.  These pictures are a little fuzzy but they turned out so cute! I had Aidan pose in his Spiderman mask and make it look like he was shooting a web. Truth be told, he was so grumpy when we did it, I was happy he had to wear the mask to hide his real emotion.  I added the little "Aidan's Turning 4" to the picture in Picnik and edited it a little bit.  I sent it to Wolf Camera via Internet and picked it up the next day. 
I used Modge Podge to glue the picture to one side of the card stock and on the other side, I cut and glued this spider web scrapbook paper and then on top of that glued the party information.   The invite says "Aidan's Turning Four and We're Spinning a Web of Fun.  Please help us celebrate with our little Super Hero."   Adam picked out the silver envelopes and I had big plans to address them all in red and blue paint pens but the envelopes had a weird finish on them and it was bleeding.  I finished them off by sealing them with Spiderman stickers. From Aidan's collection of course.  Shhhh. He doesn't know.

Today is Aidan's last day of school.  I am being uber emotional about it.  He is another year closer to Kindergarten and a whole slew of feelings come with that.  I won't go in to all of that here.  I wanted to do something small for his teachers and the director of his program. I was room mom this year so I got the pleasure of working with them all closely on a few projects and grew to appreciate them more than I ever thought possible. I was writing out their Thank You notes tonight and started crying thinking about how wonderful they have been to Aidan this year. It was such a blessing to get them as teachers.  We love Ms. Courtney, Ms. Karin and Ms. Celeste!

For Christmas we went all out and bought them monogrammed picnic coolers, mani/pedi gift cards, stationery and some other fun stuff.  I was kind of at a loss as to what to get them for the end of the year gifts.  I decided on some summery shower gels,lotion  and lip gloss from Bath and Body Works.  Typically I am not in to that type of stuff for gifts but I put to together the gift bags of stuff my self and they turned out adorable.
Today is also Ms. Courtney's birthday so Aidan wanted to do something nice for her. I know some of the moms were going to buy her flowers and I thought that was a sweet gesture. I of course had to put my own spin on it. Aidan and I painted a pot with Aidan's hand prints and painted Happy Birthday around the rim.  I planted some purple petunia's in the pot. This way she can put them outside and they will last a little bit longer than a bunch of cut flowers.  I bought these little garden stakes in the $1 bin at Target and had no clue what I was ever going to do with them. I painted this one with some chalk board paint {you know I love that stuff} and just wrote Love, Aidan on it.  I think it's fun and cute and personal.  

So that about wraps up our weekend.  In cell phone photos. 
Can't wait to show you some more of my DIY projects I have been working on!!!
Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

More Living Room

 Thank You all so much for the nice words on the living room!  It has definetely been a labor of love and there is still a lot more to go but I can't believe how different it looks. 

Just to show you how much this house has changed, this is a picture standing in the same spot 3 years ago. 
{This is the best picture I could find sorry!}

Big difference huh?

To answer a few quick questions...
The rug, coffee table, sofa and pillows are all Pottery Barn.  Everything was bought on sale!
The jute rug is really soft. I was nervous buying a natural fiber rug with all the time Aidan spends on the floor playing but I was pleasantly surprised at the feel.  I did not buy a new sofa just new slipcovers.  There are still two pieces to the sofa we are not using. It was just too much for the space. 

The dining room table is the Parson's Expandable Dining Table from West Elm.  Our dining chairs are
Ikea.  We ultimately decided on them because if something happens to one of the covers its $35 for a new one.  They are seriously comfortable.  I have considered {some of you might think I am crazy} having Adam screw two chairs together to create benches on both sides instead of 4 seperate chairs.

The large window that is leaning against the wall was abonded on the porch of my girlfriend Christine's former apartment.  She gave me persmission to liberate it. It sat in my attic for 3 years before making it's home where it is now. 

I have no idea what the name of the fabric is that I want to use on the chair.  I bought it at Mary Jo's in Gastonia and I want to say it was around $17 a yard.  I used it somewhere else {post coming soon} and the print is even more beautiful in person.  

What is that hanging in our doorway? Hahaha. This cracked me up.  It is Adam's pull up bar.  I am so used to it now I didn't think twice about taking it down.  He uses it everyday otherwise I would take it down. 

And lastly...what else could I possibly do with this room?  Haha.  
Just some little things.  I mentioned in the post,  the chandelier and Crate and Barrel china cabinet.  
I also am changing all of our blinds from the faux wood to bamboo roman shade blinds.  Like these:
For an exotic designer touch, you will want the stylish bamboo roman shades for your window treatments.
 I really want to take full advantage of the new windows and get as much natural light in this room as possible during the day and I think these are the perfect.

I ordered some topiaries for the left and right of our TV.  The ones I ordered from Ballard Designs are actually cone shaped not this version.  I'm not a huge fan of artificial florals but they are growing on me.  I needed something else to add height to my mantle besides another candle stick. 

Angel Vine Topiary

I am crushing on these lumbar pillows for our dining chairs. It is still up in the air wether or not they will be purchased.

 Circle Monogram Pillow Cover / Light Tan Woven Fabric / 10x18

 So that's it. There you have it.  Livnig room progress. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whats On My Heart Fridays

I linking up with Casey for "What's on Your Heart Friday's"...


It's almost 1am as I am typing this. I am going on day 5 of being sick with this sinus/head cold thing.  I hate being sick.  I feel terrible.  For some reason being sick brings up so much insecurity for me.  Weird right?  I am a pretty needy person as it is but being sick really brings it out of me.  Last night I cried myself to sleep.  I felt worthless. My house is a disaster right now.  I was in full on project mode this weekend and then this cold hit me like a ton of bricks.  Adam has offered to clean but I am so particular I've just asked him to leave it alone until I can get to it.  I feel like I am letting people down at work. So far I've worked a day and a half this week.  Being sick makes me feel like I am unravelling. I can barely get myself out of bed most days and I find myself apologizing to Adam for looking so rough.  Aidan's birthday party is 3 weeks away and I have yet to send out an invite.  As a matter of fact, I haven't even bought them yet.  What's with not being organized with such a huge event coming up so soon? It's this stupid cold.  It has thrown such a wrench in my week and it has me questioning my ability to do so much when I really should just be resting.  I'm not used to having to slow down and just rest.  Sweet Aidan and Adam have tried so hard to take good care of me.  This afternoon I was laying in bed and Aidan wanted to snuggle with me.  I was apologizing over and over for not having my usual peppy-ness to be the fun mommy he is used to.  Luckily, I think he's forgiven me.  But really that is the worst, feeling like I am not being the best mom I can be because I am sick right now. 
So, that's what's on my heart. I need to feel better.  Soon.

At least I have the world's best snuggler in bed with me.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Board & Batten

In February I went to Massachusetts to visit my girlfriend Natalie and Adam made a promise to me that our little board and batten project would be done when I got home.  Well, that didn't happen.  In Adam's defense it wasn't his fault. We had to special order the MDF that we used and it had come in the wrong size.  Whoops.  So about a month ago, we finally finished it! And it looks AMAZING.  Best decision I ever made in this room.  Since we had taken the wall down between the living and dining room I was feeling like we needed something to bring it all together.  It just didn't feel cozy enough for me.  Everyone knows I love cozy.  Here are some pictures from the process.

By the way, that is not Adam. That is our friend Kelly.  He is a carpenter and was nice enough to come help us Adam.
Aidan wanted to help as well.

I don't have a close up picture right now, but as far as the cutting went, the most difficult part was cutting it out to fit perfectly on top of the existing base board.

Actually cutting the wood and nailing it to the wall only took about 5 hours once we got all the wood here.{we ended up having to buy from 6 different Lowe's}

The worst part was once it was up, it all had to be caulked, then sanded in areas and painted.  Adam and I originally talked about hiring someone to do all of this but once Kelly left Friday night, we were really anxious to see the finished project so we put Aidan to bed and stayed up until 6am working on it until it was finished.

I really have to Thank Adam so much for executing this idea for me. I am pretty creative and can do a lot of things on my own but using the saw and nail gun are not my thing.  I couldn't have done it without him and he worked so hard to get it done and we both love it.

See? Doesn't it look awesome?

That is my Nana's chair I have been talking about. I am finally making the slip cover! Although it's not going really well so I may just have it reupholstered in this fabric.  That is the most comfortable wing back chair and it has a lot of memories for me so I'm glad we can keep it in this room.  

I also finally decided on this chandelier and will FINALLY be ordering this cabinet for the far wall.  Took long enough didn't it? I knew I wanted to get all this finished before bringing such a big piece in.

 A before shot.  The living room was depressing me at this point.
I did not realize how dark it was before. 

I still have a long way to go until I am finished with the room
and at a place where I am totally happy with it.  I am waiting to get some more things hung up and I am so ready for the chair to be done.   The pillows on my sofa are the covers I
typically put on the sofa in the colder months but my mother is borrowing my pillow covers that I use this time of year to stage her house for sale right now.  So red works.

Board and Batten Info:

I took some tips from this tutorial . We used an 8" board for the horizontal "board".  We cut it and nailed it up first.  It is hung 65" from the floor.  Next we cut the wood {mdf}for the "ledge" .  We used the same size wood there as we did for the "battens" which is 2 1/2".  It is sold in 10' sections and you have to special order it.  Once that was cut we nailed it on top of the board.  Voila a ledge was born. 

Next up, we measured all the way around the room to determine how many battens we were going to need to cut.  We spaced ours 12" apart. In some spots we had to do 11" because we needed them to be centered.  You will figure that out as you go along.  i.e. You want your battens centered under your windows.  Sometimes this means adjustments. 

We bought a tiny piece of the moulding that sits on our baseboard at Lowe's so that we could trace the shape on to the bottom of the battens making it easier to cut so it would fit perfectly on the baseboard.  We used a jig saw for that.  We nailed them all up and that was it! Pretty simple.  I say it was simple but I have to tell the truth. I DID NOTHING.  I just watched and micro managed which was annoying.  They guys did an awesome job.  The total cost of the project for wood, mdf, finish nails, caulk {we used 6 tubes}, and the paint we spent around $350.  If you use real wood it is going to cost you double if not more.  We chose the MDF because when you paint it, you can't tell the difference.  We used wood on the top because we couldn't find a piece of MDF in that width.

Sorry this post got a little bit long.  If you want to try this at your house and want to ask some questions we are more than happy to help.  Just ask!

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