The Kitchen (Still A Work In Progress)

It occurred to me yesterday, that there was never really going to be a “good” time to take pictures of the kitchen. Its not finished and I have no idea when (or if) I will ever consider it finished. The overhead lighting that we have is really terrible, so I opted to take some of these pictures with them off. I’m sorry if they turned out a little dark. There isn’t much natural light that comes directly into the kitchen, but the adjoining rooms let a pretty good amount filter in. Its really much lighter in person. And its rarely ever this clean and tidy. Since I was cleaning anyway, I figured now was as good a time as any to go ahead and snap some pictures of the final unfinished product…

(Crazy yellow glow courtesy of my desk lamp)

Two custom pantry doors to replace the 6 others that didn’t match the rest of the cabinetry.

My mini home office corner. Eventually I would like some shelving over the desk
to house my cookbooks and other office supplies.

The new breakfast bar.

The view from the front door/ living room.

Things that are still on my “to tackle” list:
Replace the too-shallow kitchen sink, broken garbage disposal and hideous sink fixtures…

Purchase or DIY a pendant light for over the sink…

Replace the fluorescent lighting with a lighted ceiling fan…
(It gets really hot in the kitchen while cooking.)


Kitchen Progress

Our kitchen renovation has gone rather slowly due to me not being able to help as much as I would like, or would normally be able to, and of course, the fact that we both have to work. I’ve been snapping pictures as we’ve been slowly making progress and I’m happy to say that we’re almost finished! Here’s how its all panned out…
First, Patrick removed all the cabinet doors so he could start sanding them to be painted… 

I emptied the pantry out and taped it off…

I sanded it with a palm sander (which almost killed me) and then added 3 coats of Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White…

I ended up putting all the cabinet doors back up because it was going to be a while before Patrick was actually able to sand and paint the doors. (I couldn’t stand how messy the kitchen looked with all of our junk showing.)

After sanding and painting the pantry, and having to spend the whole Sunday after to recover, I decided that sanding and painting the rest of the kitchen cabinets was not a project I could handle. I left it up to the professionals.
Cue Susan and Creed Hoyle, some awesome family members of Patrick’s, who have gone above and beyond to help Patrick finish our kitchen renovation. Had they not stepped in, I’m not sure if we would have continued with our project. I was ready to give up!
Once again, Patrick removed all the cabinet doors and took them to be sanded and painted. Our kitchen looked like a disaster area for a while and we had to keep a baby gate up to keep a certain little mister away from the exposed garbage disposal switch and cleaning products…

One of Patrick’s plans for the house, was to create a breakfast bar between the kitchen ansd living room to open up the space. One day, I left for work and the pine wall in the kitchen looked like this:

When I came home, it looked like this:

I wasn’t very excited about the idea of cutting a huge hole in the main load bearing wall of our house, but after I saw the result, I knew it was totally worth it! (Don’t worry, they properly installed a header to bear the extra weight. The proof is in the picture above.)
Patrick emptied the cabinets and sanded them to prep for paint. Since the cabinets were being sprayed, pieces of cardboard were put in place to keep the insides of the cabinets from getting painted.

Stay tuned for more coming soon!

29 Weeks: A Name & Nursery Progress

Weight: 129 lbs. When I went for my visit last Friday, I had only gained 1 pound. Yippee! I hope I’m not jinxing myself. Who am I kidding? I’m sure I’ll make up for it before my next visit.
Waist Line: approximately 37″ 
Signs & Symptoms: Low Iron, backaches and sciatica (a pain in my rump, literally).
Looking Forward To: having the nursery painted!
Other News: We finally decided on a name! Mason Eli Scott.
I’m pretty excited to have that checked of my list.

Here is the nursery with the backs of the bookcase painted. Paw Paw color matched Valspar’s Sea Spray to Benjamin Moore paint. Isn’t it lovely? The bookcase will be Benjamin Moore’s Snowfall White. For the walls we’re using Benjamin Moore’s Natura (no VOC) paint in Dove Wing. Hopefully I’ll have new pictures soon. We’re in the process of painting the bookcase and Patrick picked up the rest of the paint today.

Work In Progress: The Nursery

I’ve reached my third trimester. Already? And panic is starting to set in. Mainly becuase this is what the nursery looks like:

For quite some time, I’ve been pinning ideas for the nursery. Since we found out Baby S was a little boy, I’ve been ready to start working in there, but haven’t quite found the motivation I was looking for. I guess the ticking time bomb around my waist is motivation enough. Baby S will be here before we know it and I still have lots of other projects outside of the nursery that also need to be completed before his arrival.

Here is the room before we cleaned it out. Wasn’t she a beauty? (Um, no.) We moved the computer into the kitchen and Alston was using this room as a library of sorts to play with his books and puzzles.

I already have really nice Pottery Barn bedding from Alston’s Beatrix Potter nursery way back when. (See Alston’s nursery here.) Although, I’ve pretty much decided not to use it again. I know I want to use this antique dresser that my mom is letting me borrow. I think its the perfect size to put a changing pad on top and I love the clean lines and rustic feel. It will also provide some much needed storage space in a room with a tiny closet. She also has a baby bed in a similar wood finish that I may or may not paint.

As of right now, I’m donning my painting gear (my pajamas) and I’m about to tackle that bookcase. I would like to make some kind of progress in there today. Patrick has been working quite a bit and is working today, so I’m going to be managing this little painting project alone. I may see if I can enlist the help of Paw Paw to come sand the bookcases for me. 

 Here is my nursery to-do list:
  • paint the back of the built-ins blue
  • sand built-ins and shelves
  • paint built-ins and shelves
  • bring in baby bed and dresser
  • choose wall color
  • paint walls and trim
  • buy curtain rods and hang curtains
    organize closet
  • get baby stuff out of storage
  • wash and organize
  • unpack and clean car seat and swing
  • fill shelves
  • finish pennant bunting 

Man Cave Mini Makeover

About a week or so ago, Patrick gave the Man Cave a much needed facelift. While making room for Baby S, we decided to swap out the green hide-a-bed chair for a futon that Patrick’s mom wasn’t using at her house. We sent the chair back with the bed we took out of the nursery. Now we have much better seating and somewhere for guests to sleep. (Can we say ‘two birds’?) Patrick also added a fresh coat of paint on the walls and cleaned the carpets. The new color, while very similar to the last, is less “swamp mud brown” and more “khaki”, as Patrick put it.


I’m still waiting to pick up a new curtain rod to hang the curtains, but it looks 10 times better already. I picked up the perfect pair of dark green thrift store curtains for $7. They are thick enough to block out the light, which is perfect for movie watching, but also keeps the room nice and cool. (The back part of the house doesn’t have central heat and air run to it yet. Surprisingly, it stays pretty cool in the summer by just running the ceiling fan and fairly warm in the winter. For nights when it gets really cold there’s a natural gas wall heater in the mancave and an electric wall heater in the second bath.)

(This is probably the truest image of the new color – it reads less green than the previous one.)

This Weekend

Friday night I came home to a spotless house.
The floors were swept, the dishes were washed and put away, the laundry was clean and folded and I was happy. Originally, my weekend plans consisted of basic household chores – I wanted everything in order before we skip town next weekend. Luckily, for me, it was all finished by the time I got home. So instead of having to mess with the mundane, I had some free time to tackle some much needed organizational projects around the house. (Alston went and spent Saturday with Mimi & Paw Paw Alan.)

I managed to relocate all the leftovers that were hanging around in the nursery. The built-ins are prepped and ready for paint…

I cleaned out and reorganized the mancave closet, so I would have room to everything out of the nursery closet into mancave. (Patrick wanted to put up a little bit of a fight about having to share his space.)

I cleaned out my desk and reorganized all of our home office-y stuff…


I threw a bunch of stuff away and have a box ready to be donated.


I really wish the thrift store was open on Sundays, because I would drop off my donation and pick up an old scrabble game. I really want to make these:

I’m probably going to make this instead before the day is over…

And work some more on this little project…

(Image from Etsy)

Work in Progress: The Kitchen

Way back when, I decided on a color for the kitchen. And just last week, I finally ordered the paint.

Friday night I came home and started cutting in the edges of the big wall. Then needed to take a break to order some tasty Mexican food for dinner and watch a movie on the couch… painting could wait until Saturday. Around 1am, I woke and noticed that Patrick was still awake, so I decided to go see why he wasn’t in bed. I smelled paint when I walked into the living room, so I mosied on through to the kitchen. Much to my surprise, he had painted the whole kitchen while I was snoozing. (Gotta love that husband of mine!) Saturday, I did some touch-up painting and fiddled in the kitchen most of the day…cleaning and reorganizing and whatnot.

The color is much more gray than I had imagined. The paint sample that I picked up a while back had more brown in it, but I’m still pretty satisfied with the results. It looks a million times better than the red that it was before. Don’t you agree? Its so much brighter!

As soon as we get the cabinets painted white, I think that will make a huge difference as well. Since the walls turned out to be grayer than I had anticipated, I’m now trying to figure out what color the countertops need to be. It will probably be a while before Patrick gets around to making them, but my mind won’t rest until I finally decide what color they will be. The hubs is going to make me a few samples so I can set them in place  and see which color looks best (after we get the cabinets painted, of course).
Since taking these pictures, I have ordered the paint for the cabinets and Patrick has taken the doors down to sand and spray them. I can’t wait to say goodbye to that natural wood finish and hello to some beautiful crisp white cabinets!

Before & After: The Dining Room

Here is a picture of the dining room before we moved in. Don’t you love the barbie flesh-colored walls?
Patrick gave them a nice coat (or two) of Martha Stewart’s Toasted Marshmallow. We brought in the furniture and hung a few things on the walls. I still felt like it was missing something… 

…so, I brought in some fun accessories to give the dining room a fresh summery feel.

I topped the table with an oversized heiloom doilley and vintage cigar boxes. I also added some wire serving stands that I picked up at Walmart for only $4.50 each.

In the windows facing the back deck, I placed a few antique cobalt glass bottles. I found these treasures in my grandfather’s barn.

Before & After: The ManCave Bathroom

The best part about pregnancy? (Besides the beautiful baby that you work so hard to create.) It is definitely nesting…the instinctive urge you have to rip apart, deep scrub and reorganize every nook and cranny of your house.

Saturday, while making my way to the laundry room, I passed through the eyesore of our house: the second bathroom. Everyday I have to walk through and every day it makes me cringe. So yesterday, I was officially fed up. I decided to give it a good scrub. About 45 minutes in, I was ripping wallpaper off the walls. You can’t tell from the pictures, but the far right wall was covered in a lovely shimmery palm tree print paper, circa 1979, perhaps? Besides the terrible wallpaper that was peeling and ripped in places, there was also a lovely wallpaper border on the other three dingy, dirty walls. I can’t fail to mention the disgusting sliding door on the shower, ancient ripped padded toilet seat, plastic-framed recessed light fixture and medicine cabinet (spaced too closely together) and white wicker toilet paper holder (I guess to complement the tropical themed wallpaper). Obviously there was nothing about this bathroom that said “paradise”.

I googled online and found a super easy and effective way to remove wallpaper. I mixed equal parts fabric softener and water into a spray bottle and soaked the walls. The top shimmery layer came off first. The yellowed to brown paper backing and glue was left, so I saturated that and scrapped it off with a plastic spackle spatula. It came off so easily and was so gratifying watching the wallpaper roll off in strips with such little effort. I was expecting it to be much worse. I replaced the toilet seat and took down the shower door by myself. Sometime after lunch, my wonderful husband joined in to help remove the rest of the wallpaper and prep and paint* the walls. By the end of the night we had turned the tropical paradise nightmare into a nice little bathroom that we would actually allow our guests to use. (*My OB doctor says its okay to paint while pregnant as long as you are in a well ventilated space. We had the windows and doors open and a fan circulating the air the whole time we painted.)


I am so pleased with the results! No more embarrassing second bathroom! Now I can take people on a full house tour without worrying about having to skip the dreaded second bath. The best part? We did it all in one day! And did I mention that while I was in renovation mode in the bathroom, Patrick was rocking it in the front yard? (More pics of that to come later.)

Project Breakdown

Wallpaper removal – cheap fabric softener in a spray bottle I already owned $1
Paint – Baby Fawn by Ben Moore left over from living room FREE
Shower Curtain – bought at a consignment sale $4
Rug- I already owned FREE
Mirror over toilet –  one of two purchased at same consignment sale $3.50
Light Fixture – Home Depot $9
Toilet Seat – Home Depot $9

Total Project Cost: Somewhere around $20

The Painted Brick, Part IV

 Patrick and I weren’t too crazy about the dated brick ranch when we first saw it. He actually vetoed this house the very first time we drove by it. A couple of months later, after a long and exhausting search, we finally came to an agreement tat the outside could easily be helped. We decided that a fresh coat of paint would probably do the trick, which I talked about here. We got serious about updating the exterior of the house and I began to narrow down paint choices here. Finally, I bought a few samples and decided on a color here.
Once we matched the color to a Benjamin Moore color, I ordered the paint and then we waited for time and weather to permit. Tuesday, Patrick surprised me by painting the front of the house. I have to say, a little landscaping and a coat of paint can go a long way!
Our little rick ranch is looking pretty cute these days. I get so excited every time I pull up into our driveway.

I would love to add some fun house numbers on the column on the left.

I love how well the house color coordinates with the color of the shop.
We’ve still got some work to do, but I am beyond thrilled with the way things are turning out.