So… I’m back? Maybe…

I can honestly tell you that I didn’t think I would ever write another blog post… and I was fine with it. For 5 of the past 6 months, I didn’t miss it. I was burnt out. But many times, I’ve found myself wondering if y’all were still out there. I wondered what y’all were doing and about your projects and who’s preggo and who’s getting married. I didn’t miss my blog as much, but I missed yours. Then, in the past two weeks, I’ve found myself subconsciously writing blog posts in my head and wanting to show you what we’re working on. So I’m back, sorta kinda…

At the moment, it feels easier to tell you about the things that I don’t know, like…

  • I don’t know how often I’ll post. My goal is once a week, but definitely not as often as I was before. Hopefully, limiting the posts will allow me to keep this as a fun hobby and keep quality posts. I do not have enough time or material to do quality posts three times a week.
  • I don’t know what I’ll write about. It could be the same or Life on Mars with recipes, projects, room reveals and DIY. But buyer beware, it could also be a lot of ADORABLE baby pics and all that comes with it (diapers, baby food, the color of his last spitup… it’s all fair game).

See? I just can’t help myself.

  • I don’t know what the future of this blog looks like in the immediate or long-term. I’m not putting pressure on myself with any expectations.
  • and I usually don’t know what day of the week it is.

Here’s what I do know…

  • I know my priorities. I am a full-time wife and mother, part-time, at-home employee and sometime blogger. I intend to remember that this time around. I got things a little backwards before.
  • I know I am doing what I have always been called to do. Being a mother just fits. I’ve never been happier, more content and more at peace with my day-to-day life.

So, that’s basically where we are and what’s up. Here’s what I know is coming up on the blog in the next few weeks… The nursery reveal! How many times have I promised that? Well, it’s actually finished and that only happened last week even though Jack is almost 6 months old. I am going to be 31 in a couple of weeks and I’m not overly excited about it. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve come to terms with being 30, so 31 is a real wake-up call. But with birthdays comes presents and I’m pumped about two of my presents. I’ll tell you more soon.

I hope you’re still out there. What’s new? What have I missed in your life? Fill me in…

Best. Reveal. Ever.

Sorry for the long vacation. We had a pretty major change of plans and our little bundle of joy made his (yes, I was right all along and we had a perfect little boy) appearance 3 weeks early. So I’ve been very happily distracted from anything non-baby related this week with this adorable little face:

Jack Kilgo
January 28, 2013 at 2:30pm
5 lbs, 13 oz
19.5 inches long
He’s named after his father, grandfather and great grandfather, but we’re calling him Jack. I have lots more pictures, but I have to get up the willpower to tear myself away from the real thing long enough to edit and post them. So for now, this will have to do.
Praise the Lord for this perfect and precious gift that He’s chosen to give to John and I. My prayer now is that we will be parents that are worthy of this incredible child.
“For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27

2013 Home Goals

So remember how I’ve been promising preggo pictures? Remember how I was going to take bi-weekly pictures of the entire pregnancy? Remember how I haven’t taken a picture of myself since week 17? Yeah, I remember that too. It was a nice goal. It didn’t happen.

These goals are not like that goal in that I actually intend to follow through on them.

1. NURSERY!

This is top goal because there’s this looming deadline to have it finished. Technically, that deadline is February 18th. However, since I’d really rather not be hanging the curtains as I go into labor, I plan on having this finished by January 31st. The picture above is the BEFORE picture. it doesn’t look like this right now. It’s well on it’s way to being adorable. Here’s where we stand right now:

  • Remove painted wallpaper boarder and fix walls
  • Paint ceiling, walls, trim and closet doors
  • Add bookshelf, crib, dresser and glider
  • Reupholster ottoman
  • Add tree/branch/animal decals
  • Replace ceiling fan
  • Hang curtains
  • Hang pictures
  • Make cross-stich sampler (this will make sense later, I promise)
2. Entryway/Upstairs Hallway

I don’t even have a picture of the entryway, but I really hate the color. Plus, I’m hoping to look under the nasty carpet and reveal beautiful hardwood treads… then I’ll wake up from my fantasy.

3. Living Room to Dining Room Transition

This is the second major goal of the year. I will be moving the Dining Room into the current Living Room:

It’s bigger, it’s brighter and it’s the first room you see in our house, so I don’t want it to be wasted space. We’re going to make the current dining room into a downstairs play/crafting area.

This will be a gradual project. First up… popcorn removal and getting an electrician to install an overhead light. The full list is:

  • Popcorn removal
  • Add overhead lighting
  • Replace dining room table
  • Replace carpet with hardwoods
  • Add chunkier crown molding
  • Paint walls, ceiling and trim
  • Add buffet

4. Outside

There are some big projects I’d like to tackle outside, but I’d be happy if I just painted the shutters and changed out some plants.

I know, I know… you’re thinking,” Only 4 projects, are you sick or something? You completed 6 rooms this year!” Not exactly, I’m pregnant and figure life is going to be pretty interesting over the next 12 months and I might want to give myself a little leeway. With that said, I am not going to be posting 3 times a week for the near future. I will be posting 1-2 times. I love my blog and I don’t want it to become a burden so that I just quit. Plus, I have priorities like my new family, my job and retaining my sanity (hopefully), so those will take precedence.

Review: Mr. Beams LED Light

OK, I know. I feel off the face of the earth again and I’m probably going to do it again in the next few weeks. However, I wanted to get this post in before I disappear into babyhood.

In November, I was contacted to review Mr. Beams LED Wireless Motion Sensing Lights. Long name for a nifty little product. We didn’t need it under the counters (John was planning on doing a big under cabinet lighting project as part of my Christmas project… more on that in a later post). However, we had the darkest pantry… I’m talking you can’t see anything in there.

Seriously, I’ve been known to pull out a flashlight to look around in there. So when I had the change to review these lights, I jumped at it.

They were SUPER easy to install (maybe 5 minutes) and made an immediately difference:


(Please don’t judge the state of my pantry. It’s crazy messy and on my to-do list for this year. We’ll call these real life pictures.)

Now, before I reviewed these, I wanted to live with them for a bit. I had bought some inexpensive wireless lights a few months back and they died in about 3 weeks. Now, to be honest, I never remembered to turn them off, but still. Not an effective solution.

So when I saw that these were motion sensing, I thought it might be the solution. They are awesome! They immediately come on when I open the pantry and turn off after 20 seconds of no motion. They have been one of my favorite practical solutions for the kitchen and I highly recommend them. Amazon actually has them on sale right now for $24 for 2, so if you have a couple of dark spots in your house, you should definitely look into these!

2012 Resolution Check

So in 2012, I set three types of goals for myself: Blog, Personal and Home. So I’m going to do the same thing for 2013. But first, let’s check in on the 2012 goals and see how I measured up.

BLOG Resolutions for 2012:

  1. Hit 350 followers by my 1 year blogiversary in April. – Check!
  2. Start having guest bloggers – Check… kinda. I had a few and then stopped.
  3. Hit 500 followers by 2013. – Check! Currently sitting at 577 Feedburner subscribers, 60 Linky Followers and 226 Facebook likes.
  4. Most importantly, I’d like to stop comparing my blog to other blogs. I want this to be a creative outlet for me, not a job. – Yeah, this one’s a work in progress.

Personal Resolutions for 2012:

  1. Stop biting my nails. – Check! I’ve now gone 2 1/2 months without biting. Yay!

Home Resolutions for 2013:

  1. Rooms I’d like to update:
    • Master Bedroom
    • Guest Room
    • Entry way

We didn’t get the Entryway, but we did add the Mudroom (again), finished the Kitchen, Guest Bath, Master Bath and started on the Nursery.

  1. We have a lot of work to do outside including but not limited to:
    • removing some trees in the backyard – I talked John out of this one for now Smile
    • replacing our fence – Check!
    • adding some privacy trees – nope, that’s back on the list for this year
    • adding a garden – Ditto.
    • painting the shutters – Ditto.
    • adding 2 columns to the front of the house – Check!
    • painting the front door (again) – nope
    • reseeding the lawn (again) – Check!

Overall, I am totally happy with what we accomplished in 2012! It was a busy year, but my house is a million times more in order than it was in 2011. Almost the whole downstairs is done. We have the Living Room left and that’s definitely on the list for this year, along with the Entry way.

Favorite Projects of 2012

Sorry for the long hiatus. My attention hasn’t really been on blogging or projects lately and I hate posting “filler,” if you know what I mean.

Can you believe it’s the end of 2012? I feel like I was just writing this post for 2011 (check it out HERE if you’re interested).

#10 – Upholstered Valance

Upholstered Valance Tutorial
I love this valance. It pulled the entire room together (see the room down on #6). For those of you who are wondering, the valance has stayed in place this time.

#9 – Spray Painted Striped Curtains

How to Spray Paint FabricHow to Spray Paint Fabric
This is one of those projects that I kind of made up as I went along and it worked out! For the record, the Guest Bedroom Makeover is probably #11 on my list and should you want to check it out, you can do that HERE.

#8 – Sofa Table

Sofa Table
It may not look like much to you, but this table has improved my life:
Sofa Table
It provides a warmth and a “completeness” to this room that it was lacking before. Plus, now that I’m way preggo , the coffee table (and my drink) feels very far away when I’m curled up in that corner seat.

#7 – Antique Silver Leaf Frame

Antiqued Silver Leaf Frame
I picked this picture up from a flea market in Asheville over the summer.A little spray paint, a little silver leaf and a little glaze gave me this beautiful antiqued finish on the frame. Honestly, the picture looks so much better because the frame is pretty!

Antiqued Silver Leaf Frame

#6 – Master Bathroom Makeover

Master Bathroom MakeoverMaster Bathroom Makeover
Don’t you love how much difference some paint can make? I mean really… that’s ALL that changed in this room. It’s a much brighter, happier place to wake up to and get ready in the morning.

#5 – Mudroom

Laundry Room Makeover
Yeah, I’m basically the luckiest girl in the world. My husband is so incredible and I’m so blessed. He put so much work into this room and I LOVE it. It was important to me to have a pretty laundry room because that door at the end is our half bath and the only bathroom on the first floor, so all of our guests come through here. Now I don’t have to cringe when they walk through. (For more proof that my husband is pretty much incredible, see #2).

#4 – Burlap Wreath

Burlap Wreath
This was my favorite kind of project. Quick, simple, cheap and turned out great! I left this wreath on my door from May through November and just changed out the accessories.

It also doesn’t hurt that this is my most pinned, most viewed post ever with over 61,000 pageviews. That’s triple any other post. Crazy and thanks to everyone who pinned it!

#3 – Striped Bathroom

Striped Bathroom MakeoverStriped Bathroom Makeover
This is another one of those before and after’s that are just amazing all because of some paint. I love this bathroom now. It just makes me happy, which is great since I’ll be using it A LOT more in the coming years.

#2 – Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash

Butcherblock Countertops
Let’s just step back and remember where this kitchen started:

Butcherblock Countertops
The picture on the left is our kitchen when we moved in. On the right is after removing upper cabinets and painting. We never changed the layout to save money and I’m so glad.

Butcherblock Countertops
By far, this kitchen makeover has made the biggest difference in the way I feel about my house. I love cooking in this kitchen. Plus, every time I wipe the counters, I remember what a gift and labor of love this was from my husband. He worked so hard and did such an incredible job. I am so grateful for him.

#1 – Nursery
 

So, the nursery isn’t finished and I don’t have any pictures to show you, but it’s coming along perfectly. I love that room. More than the project itself, this is my favorite project because what (or rather who) it represents. The Nursury represents all that is to come in 2013. 2012 has been an incredible year and I’m actually overwhelmed as I think of how much better 2013 will be. The Lord has so abundantly blessed me and He’s about to bless me in a completely new way.

I’ll be back in the New Year with regular posts and updates. I PROMISE I’ll bring you a bump picture, which hasn’t happened since 17 weeks (how is that 15 weeks ago???), a 2013 project list and regular updates. Have a wonderful, safe New Year!

Crafts of Christmas Past

I know… where have I been? I don’t know… time is getting away from me. Christmas is busy around our family and at work and I just haven’t had time to craft, blog, take pictures, etc. My goal for the month is not to stress myself out with that stuff. I just want to enjoy this month, so I’m probably only going to be posting about once/week until after the new year.

Plus, I’m feeling a little uninspired and most of my craftiness is going into the nursery anyway. So since about half of you weren’t around this time last year, I thought I’d show you some of the crafting I did last year and claim it for this year too. Plus when I started looking back, I did enough crafting last year for both years.

Vintage Ornament Wreath
Christmas Crafts

By far, my favorite is my Vintage Ornament Wreath that I made with my Mom. She has had one of these wreaths for years and it’s always been my favorite decoration of hers and now I have one at my house. Check out the tutorial HERE.

Ribbon Card Holder
Christmas Crafts

Next is the least crafty but definitely a fun decoration. I used $2 worth of ribbons, 3M strips and mini-cloths pins to display my Christmas cards. I love to display the Christmas cards we receive but I never had a great way to do it before and I don’t have the wall space for one of those huge holders. This is perfect and doesn’t take up much wall space.

Silver Pinecone Wreath

This is a “semi-homemade” craft. I bought a basic pinecone wreath at HomeDepot for $20, spray painted it silver and then coated it in glitter. I liked it so much that I left it up through Julylast year. #ChristmasinJuly I think I can get away with February since it’s very wintery, but I’m pretty sure it’s not a July decoration.

Christmas CraftsChristmas Crafts
This hangs in my powder room and I always have a candle lit in there. I love how it sparkles in the candlelight. Check out the tutorial HERE (even though I basically told you how to do it).

NOEL Pottery Barn Knock-Off
Christmas Crafts

This is a great decoration for a bookshelf or as “filler.” The only thing I wish I’d done differently is use chunkier letters and to put some kind of wooden piece on the back to act as a stand. I might add that this year. Maybe that can be my craftiness for the year? Pathetic, I know.

There you go! Hope you get a little inspiration out of my recycled Christmas crafts.

Our Christmas Tour

I can’t believe how late I’m posting this! I’ve head our Christmas decorations up since the end of November, but I haven’t had time to post about them. I know by now you are all a little over seeing everyone’s Christmas decorations, but you’re getting it anyway. So get ready for a photo-filled post.

Family Room

Christmas Decorations
I’ve become very sentimental about my Christmas decorations. Many of them have a deeper meaning to me. The wreath is just like one that my Mom has hung at our house for years and I’ve always loved it.
Christmas Decorations
Plus we made mine together last year. The Santa is part of my Dad’s collection that he’s had for a long time and last year, he gave this one to me. Each is handmade and hand-painted. They are all truly beautiful.

Christmas Decorations
And Rudolf is one that my Dede (my maternal grandfather) made years ago. He passed away 9 years ago and it reminds me of him every time I see it.

Christmas Decorations
Christmas Decorations

This Santa picture is new this year. I found him at HomeGoods for $12 and I just love him. He’s so jolly. Plus he’s covered in glitter, so that’s always a bonus for me.









Entry Way
Christmas Decorations
I found the preserved boxwood wreath this year and knew it would look perfect over the mirror. I love the little touch of green. Sorry about the quality of the picture. For whatever reason, I can not take a decent picture in my entry way. The lighting in here is terrible (I plan to correct that one day).

Dining Room

Christmas Decorations
Christmas Decorations
I didn’t spend a dime on my table this year. The centerpiece is scraps from the tree, berries from my yard and leftover ornaments arranged in my dough bowl. Everything else, I already had.

if you look closely, you can see our Christmas tree in the background of the photo on the left, but here’s the full version:

Christmas Decorations
He’s fat and fall and about as tall as we could go (notice how the star literally touches the ceiling), but I LOVE this tree. He’s perfect.

Merry Christmas!

Coffee Table Makeover

Whew! We had a crazy busy weekend. I need another weekend to recuperate. If we could just turn back the clock to Friday, that would be great OR move up the clock to next Friday, either way works great for me. I’m TOTALLY flexible.

Remember this beauty that I bought from the Habitat ReStore? Here’s the BEFORE:

Coffee Table Makeover
I had this picture from RED HEN HOME as my inspiration:

Coffee Table Makeover
They had similar lines, but I wanted to go with a lighter top. So here’s the AFTER (not completely dry because I’m too impatient):

Coffee Table Makeover
I looked for a while for the right table. I scoured Craigslist for weeks. Little did I know that the right table was in our local ReStore. As soon as I saw it, I knew that it was “THE ONE.” I loved the legs:

Coffee Table MakeoverPlus it was solid wood and kinda rustic. Plus I was trying to find one for under $50. At $40 this one fit the bill. On the other side, it had some damage on the top that wasn’t really working for me.

Coffee Table Makeover
Nothing a little sanding couldn’t take care of. There’s something about clean raw wood that I LOVE. It’s full of possibilities.

Coffee Table Makeover
Notice that I didn’t sand down the legs. I had some Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations products leftover from refinishing the cabinets (see that post HERE). I find that sanding legs takes forever because you have to do it all by hand to get around all those curves. The beauty of Rustoleum’s product is that is comes with a deglosser that takes off the finish and preps it to put on the bond coat. After deglossing, it was ready for the Bond coat (aka paint).

Coffee Table Makeover
This product goes on very thin. It took 3 coats to get it well covered. Then I distressed it with some sanding. Basically, you can’t mess up distressing. I mean, you’re intentionally messing it up, so how do you mess up messing something up?

TIP: think about where the item would naturally show wear: on the edges and on the parts that get a lot of touching. Don’t only sand those areas though. It looks silly when something is heavily distressed on some surfaces and then freshly painted everywhere else. Make sure to sand everything a little and other places a lot.

Coffee Table Makeover
The Cabinet Transformations comes with a glaze. I didn’t use it at all on the cabinets, but I did want to use it on this. It helps give the whole thing a slightly older look. If you don’t have glaze hanging around, it’s easy to make. It’s 4 parts liquid glaze (from any hardware or paint store) and 1 part paint. Completely cover the painted surface:

Coffee Table Makeover
Then wipe it off using a rag or cheesecloth. Wipe off as much or as little as you want. I wipe off almost all of it and then do a second coat later if I want to darken it.

Coffee Table Makeover
After two coats:

Coffee Table Makeover
On to the top. I wanted a light wood color. I’m a BIG fan of Wood Conditioner before using stain. Just the wood conditioner took it from this:

DSCF0995
to this:

DSCF0996
Big difference huh? The Wood Conditioner gets into the grain and helps the stain absorb evenly. Just wipe it on, let it sit 5-15 minutes and wipe off the excess. Make sure you do it within 2 hours of applying stain, but you can apply stain immediately after wiping off the excess. Then I did three coats of MinWax’s Oak Stain and Polyurethane. This is the final product:

Coffee Table Makeover

Coffee Table Makeover
I love it! It’s the right mix of lightness, rustic farmhouse quality and a little touch of nature. What do you think?

Dining Room Progress

I’m in the middle of about 16 dining room projects right now:
Dining Room

PROJECT LIST:

    1. Paint walls – STARTS TONIGHT!
    2. Paint trim
    3. Paint ceiling
    4. Install wainscoting – half way
    5. Update chandelier
    6. Remove popcorn
    7. Paint ceiling – half way
    8. Purchase 2x upholstered chairs for table ends

It’s called Cinnamon Spice. It’s actually a pretty great compromise since he wanted red and I wanted burnt orange.

My mom is amazing and she helped me finally gain some vision for the room this weekend. We found the curtains at World Market (where else?) and from there the room is practically decorating itself.

We finally decided on a wall color… and just like John asked (see HERE for post)… it is BOLD. We’re pulling the rusty red color out of the curtains (which is kinda hard to see in that picture). It’s called Cinnamon Stone and it’s the perfect compromise for us. It’s right between the red he wanted and the burnt orange I wanted.

However, before all that fun can happen, we had to take down the popcorn. I was seriously dreading this. It’s what I call a“CLEANING THE TOILET” project. NO ONE one will notice that you do it, but EVERYONE will notice if you don’t. Other tasks in this category:
puttying, laundry, paint touch ups, I’m sure you can think of others…

On the upside, I think it was the first project in the new house that has been EASIER than I expected. It practically fell off the ceiling!


Here’s what you need:Spray Bottle of water
Large Putty knife or something to scrape with
Carpet protector
Drop Cloths
Sand paper

1. By far the most important part of this process is prep. It’s extremely messy. I don’t love my carpet but I don’t want to destroy it either. We bought carpet protectors from Home Depot. We used THIS ONE. Make sure the entire carpet is covered. This stuff was a pain to put down. Like working with sticky Saran Wrap.

DSCF1081
2. I used canvas drop cloths under the areas that I was working on. Then I could pick them up and funnel some (but definitely not all) of the mess into a trash can.

3. Spray the first section of popcorn with water. You want it to get damp, not socking wet. If you get it too wet, then it can cause problems on the drywall underneath. It should start to buckle a little like this after a minute or two:

DSCF1083
Once that starts, use the putty knife to get underneath. This part is so easy. This much was done in about 5 minutes:

DSCF1085
2. You’ll have to work a little harder on the spots that were puttied like nail holes and the dry wall seams. Using the water spray really helps on these spots. The popcorn sticks to the putty much more than the drywall. You’ll be sanding these areas at the end so don’t worry about getting it completely smooth.

DSCF1087
Like my rainbow walls? That’s the myriad of paint colors that I tried out. There are more on the opposite wall.

Here’s the beginnings of the mess. See how it comes off in chunks?

DSCF1088
After about 2 hours, the entire room was done (but not sanded):

DSCF1093
3. If you have crown moulding, the popcorn will go under it so you have to work at the edges to make sure it doesn’t look like this:

DSCF1123
The caulk from the edge of the crown moulding really grabs onto the popcorn. I used the edge of my putty knife to cut through the caulk and then remove the remaining popcorn. Sand along these edges well to remove any smaller pieces that didn’t come off.

DSCF1124
4. Sand over each spot that has putty on it. You don’t want to skip this step because it really helps to smooth out the ceiling. Plus, you’ll fine lots of spots that still have some popcorn on them. The sanding took me another hour.

Total time: 3 hours! I was pretty happy with that since I really thought it was going to take me the whole weekend. Then prime the ceiling and that’s it! You’re ready to paint.

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