Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bathroom Refresh

We love our house, we really do.  Hence the reason we bought it, obviously!  But every house comes with it's own challenges, and the one that we struggle with is storage.  There just aren't any closets for....stuff!  I know, I know....if you haven't used it recently, toss it, right?  I don't mean superfluous stuff, I mean the stuff we use day to day.  We have one, tiny coat closet by the front door, and nothing by door for the garage...

As you can see.  That forward facing door is to the garage, the left doorway goes into the basement where the kids sleep (relax, it's finished!), and the door on the right is for the half bath and laundry room.  I don't even have wall space close by for hooks and anything!
I knew in the fall that because of this storage issue, I would be dealing with jackets thrown over the back of the couch (the next nearest flat surface)...and that's been exactly the case...much to my chagrin.  I hemmed and hawed over how to find a solution to this, and Kristoffer and I *finally* decided on using the empty wall space in our half bath for hooks.  I had only hesitated because I was worried I would catch my hip on those hooks, ouch!  I got over it.

So here is that empty wall in our half bath.  It was all completely white to begin with, kind of a nice blank slate in my opinion.
 A closer look at it's white plainness...

I wanted to put up some board and batten, just to try it out and see how I liked it, so here's the boards in place.  It was actually super easy to do...really.  The only part we struggled with was finding those blasted studs.  And you can see there are two sample colors on the wall.

And here is the wall TODAY!!  Wohoo!!  I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out, in my mind, it's gorgeous, and I love the way the board and batten makes it look and feel.
I know the pictures are big, I can't help it.  We bought some black/iron colored tri hooks at Home Depot and hung the center one lower...obviously since there was an outlet in the way, but also, so Owen could reach his own hook.
The pictures belonged to Trine, Kristoffer's mom, she is always getting rid of the best stuff, and I am always graciously willing to take it off her hands!
And the hooks.  We used a new board on the bottom, but ended up putting the baseboard on top of that one, we just liked the way it popped out and made it look finished.
A view from the opposite side, standing in the laundry room.
We atill have a few things we'd like to  do with this bathroom: replace the 500 year old toilet, new vanity, and new floors.  Those things are going to require some extra fundage, so we're holding off for later.
 The sink/toilet side.  I am so happy to have somewhere to put jackets and backpacks now, this storage solution makes my inner crazy-organized mama smile. 
Ooooh, and take a look at this!  This is the stone backsplash we bought last night that we're putting in the kitchen!  It's so pretty, and I'm so excited!!
 See my ripped off backsplash I've had all winter long.  Blaaaaaaahh!  Hopefully we can figure out how to do it, neither of us have put one in before.  So, I'm hoping next weekend we can get most of it done!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Family Life

Day to day life is pretty boring for us around here, but we try to make the most of it.  This is Owen...playing with daddy, in a game called "Fight the Pillow".  Owen stands on the bed with his wooden sword, and daddy throws the pillows at Owen.  Owen then fights them off, all the while with his chin stuck way out in defiant determination.  He's actually quite good, considering how hard Kristoffer throws those pillows!
 Ahh, my son...
 My boys are hilarious.
This is a a box.  The other Sunday, I pulled into our garage after church, and there was the little snake on the floor...I had crunched the back half of his tail.  Kristoffer swept it into a box, and I was ready to toss it in the trash, but in case you didn't know, my husband has a soft spot for snakes.  He owned a few snakes in college.  Yeah.  We have a temporary snake now.  I'm not thrilled about it.  I don't hate snakes, but you's a snake, and I don't exactly want one in my house.  So in the spring when it's warmer, we will take it far away and set it free.
 The other week, it was sunny and bright with blue skies, and I needed to get some fresh air, so we walked to the park across the street for a few laps and to play at the play ground.  Owen was being a stinker and didn't want to walk, Marin was thrilled to be outside though.
 There's my cutie girl, such a sweetheart.
 I went to my favorite bargain store, and they had these fresh, amazing, CHEAP strawberries.  YUM, they were so good, I miss berries.  Spring, come soon!!
These two ended up at the dentist because Owen fell in the bathtub and chipped his front tooth.  Just a little chip, but we are headed back tomorrow so they can sand down his tooth.  Aye-yai-yai.
 Seriously, cutest dentist office ever. 
 The hallways are decorated like a little street, each doorway being it's own store, like this little gas station...
 ...and post office....
 ....a barber shop.
 Marin's a pro, poor thing.  She showed Owen the ropes.  Poor Marin has more cavities, I feel bad for my girl, her teeth are so not strong.  So she'll be going back next week.  Owen's check-up, minus the chip was ship shape, no cavities for him!  My wallet is heaving a sigh of relief for that one.
My little sweetie getting all her Valentine's ready for school.  She chose two kinds, Doc McStuffins and Sofia the First, and we stapled a package of M&M's to each one.  She wrote her name so neatly on each Valentine, such a big girl.
 My boy helped mama make his birthday cake.  He, of course, got to lick the beater.
 My hubby is such a catch, he buys me flowers and it makes me melt every time.  I know flowers die, but there is nothing like fresh flowers from the man of your dreams, eh?  Kristoffer ended up buying me flowers twice last week for two different reasons, and I loved arranging them into my scant collection of vases.
 My hubby, he even found our wedding color roses for Valentine's Day, which he reminded me are *very* hard to find!
 And he always bring me a dark chocolate bar, and the cards with the best stuff in them!
These two crazies ended up joining us for our V-Day dinner...unexpectedly.  There was a little hiccup with the babysitter, so the joined us for Famous Daves BBQ.
 My sweet kids, they really were so good.  Mama was struggling until she got some food, that's usually the way I roll anyway, I hadn't had a big lunch since I knew we were going out for dinner, so my brain was not functioning properly
 You might be able to see...I'm wearing lipstick!  Boom.  Shockin' y'all, huh?!  I love they way it looks, but I am just that kind of girl where it bugs me to even wear bracelets for too long because I can feel them on me, same thing with rings, belts, any jewelry, lots of makeup.  BUT, it's fun to get all dressed up and look pretty!
I'll have to post more on Owen's birthday party later.  This is his construction cake.  By far, the messiest cake I've *ever* made, but just what it was supposed to be.  Owen was enamored.  He kept staring at it.  He loved it. 
More to come!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

House Project: Gallery Wall

So, remember back when I mentioned I wanted to do a gallery wall in our formal living/dining room?  I had decided that this front are you see here was just missing something, and it bugged me!

 There are so many windows in our house (which we LOVE!), but the front rooms just puzzled me until I realized what I was missing...a focal point.  There isn't a fireplace in the front living room (there is one the family room), and there wasn't even room for a faux fireplace...and there isn't even room for a piano, which bums me out a bunch (another story for another time!).
 So I decided that the perfect idea was for a gallery wall on this tall, long wall that both rooms shared.  Something to tie the rooms together, draw your eye to the nice tall ceiling, and create some texture, and most importantly, a focal point.
 So this winter, I've been collecting frames from DI, for super cheap.  Seriously, they have great frames for next to nothing.  And as a side note, we ditched that bright blue carpet a few months ago and installed some *gorgeous* laminate flooring, looks fab.
Here at the beginning.  I traced the frames onto some brown paper (just bought a roll at Home Depot for like, five bucks), and numbered the frames and the corresponding template.  Then I started with the big pieces.  I had three larger pieces that I needed to anchor the rest of the smaller pieces:  the large horizontal rectangle on the left, the clock shape in the middle, and the "L" om the right.  Then I started to fill in the spaces with my larger frames and medium frames, then the smaller ones.  I liked to make sure I didn't have a long row of just big frames, so I broke them up with a grouping of smaller frames.  This took the longest, just to get it all right, and some parts fell together really nicely, other sections I had to get down from the ladder and see what I didn't like.  My hubby actually helped quite a bit with this part....although he claims he doesn't know 2 cents about decorating, he actually did help.
 After fine tuning and adjusting the templates for the last time, I went ahead and hammered a nail right through the template to be sure the frame went exactly where I wanted it. 
 I didn't even have to finish hanging all the frames to be in love with it.  I was *smitten* after the 4th frame.
 I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out.  It is exactly what this room needed, focus, texture, warmth, it brought it all!
Sorry, lighting at night is not flattering at all.  There are just a few frames I plan to paint and re-hang, then I'll fill most of the frames with new prints, but for the most part, it's pretty much done!  And again, pardon the lighting.
 There are a few pieces that I did purchase new:  This big "L", the teal bird, and the clock (in this picture), and I purchased one medium and two small frames as well...all from Hobby Lobby.  The other 18 or so frames are from DI.
 The two stacked fancy frames are from Hobby Lobby.
 LOVE that we also have a clock in the front room.
 Marin absolutely loved the wall, her favorite part is the teal bird.  Love my cutie girl.
So there you have it!  So happy to be pretty much mostly done with this project, and happy to have it turn out the way I was hoping.  Hopefully I'll have another little project to be sharing with you soon: a little bathroom wall makeover with storage.