Friday, April 29, 2011

Living Room Update

We realized we haven't put many living room updates up since we have moved in, a big reason is that we are still working on a lot of things and it isn't quite what we want it to be yet.  So today we wanted to share with you what we have going on in our living/family room now.  It's bare minimum but at least we have the toy situation under control.

So here are a couple of before photos - everything in our house was painted the same ugly beige color, trim and all (unless it was wood paneling).  The first thing we have worked on is painting the trim white and the walls a nice neutral color - Tattered Sail by Olympic (now one of my favorite colors).  One of the things we really like about this room is the chair rail molding and wide window trim.  It really adds so much character to a pretty boring room.

We also have added new bamboo roman shades, still waiting to add some soft billowy curtains though.  All of our furniture are things we already owned.  

Under all of the carpet lies hardwood floors, one day down the road we will be pulling up all the carpet to refinish the floors.  Right now, it's kind of nice having carpet while Silas is crawling.

We also want to purchase a rug and throw pillows for the sofas to brighten them up.  I'm always a fan of those beautiful white couches you see in all of the magazines but that just wasn't practical with a baby, a black furry dog and teenagers visiting often, so we went for sturdy leather ones that would last a while.  They might not be as shabby chic as white ones but we like them and they are holding up well.

Everyone always thinks these glass cup holders are ashtrays - I want to replace them too since I'm tired of answering that question every time someone comes over.  We also don't have any kind of console for our TV and things, we are using this antique piece right now and we actually kind of like it.  We may or may not change that in the future, I happen to really like antiques so I will push for it.

Well, that's it, our living/family room.  I love how it is wide open to the kitchen and how cozy it feels.  We will continue to post updates as we work on little things here and there.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Storage Wars

Nothing I can do about these,  I think the swing is on the outs though
King Silas and his toys have unleashed an all out battle against our house.  This is one of many battles currently waging.  King Silas also has begun a war with our dog Chatham - of course he is currently winning - he approaches and she retreats, just one tail pull has Chatham in hiding (I know, that's not a lot different than before).  But, back to the toy battle, we not only have large toy items like swings and saucers to decorate our rooms with we now have an abundance of baby toy items scattered throughout each room.  It's not that I don't like his toys, I know he enjoys them and that makes me happy, it's that I don't want his toys to rule our house anymore, it's just not their kingdom.

When we moved we chose to put a fun storage shelf in our family/living room for things like toys and such but it just wasn't quite functional for the job I had given it.  So I set out on a search for ammo (aka baskets) against all the toy mess.  I already have baskets serving as toy containment in his room but the toy mayhem was spreading throughout the house now and I just didn't have enough to do the job.

This little shelf just wasn't working
Cute little basket of toys in Silas' room
Secret bag of toys tucked under his crib, along with some blankets

The fun little shelf was bought at our area flea market a few years back and it's very shabby chic oddly shaped and oddly sized so finding baskets that would work posed a difficult find.  Justin gave me the measurements and I went on my way, forgetting my tape measure behind - luckily Homegoods provides little paper rulers so that saved me.  I was able to find a few that would work after much debating and the outcome is much better.  I have now dominated the baby toys and won the battle.  I'm sure they will regroup and begin to grow in numbers and strike again, but hopefully I will be ready for them the next time and meet them head on.

Much Better, Serving it's purpose nicely now

Toys are behaving, nicely tucked away

Also managed to get the little blanket in there
Let's face it, those toys will never stay neatly in those baskets, at least I can dream.

This past Sunday we celebrated the greatest event ever to occur in our history, the resurrection of Christ.  Our pastor gave a very awesome message on the significance of the empty tomb and what it means for us.  One of those messages was that of peace.  For some reason having peace in our lives can sometimes be somewhat of a struggle. We battle our fears, sins, pride, we even battle with God. We fear that God is holding all of our missteps and mistakes against us, when in reality our sins were taken care of by the blood of Christ on the cross and through his resurrection peace was made between us and Him.  When we put our faith in the living Lord, Jesus, we have peace - eternally with God.  Our God desires for us to live a life of peace, not in fear, in sin, in hesitation but a life lived knowing that God is our savior, guide, father, comfort, healer, sustainer, peace maker. Don't live you life in battle against God, find peace in the resurrection instead.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philipians 4:7

 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in himand through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.  Colossians 1:19-20

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Progress Makes Perfect

Some of our bathroom booty
Yesterday we shared with you a few items we purchased over the weekend for our main bathroom in our new house.  Today, we wanted to share with you the actual progress we are making in there.   We had big dreams of getting everything accomplished over the weekend but we just didn't quite have enough time in the day night to get there.  King Silas had his own agenda in mind and we were happy to oblige (you only get a small amount of time with them this age you know?) It was all we could do to get the bathroom back in a working order so we could take showers for church Sunday morning so we didn't walk into Easter service stinky and covered in paint - although I think a lot of people would have found that amusing.  So pretty much in standard with the rest of our house we will eventually be replacing everything in this room for the bathroom remodel.  We are starting with some easy less expensive things first and plan on working our way up as we go. It's amazing what a few changes will do to a room, just some paint will work wonders and then add some textile goodness and you are starting to really see progress.

I loved shopping for new things for our bathroom, starting with a new shower curtain rod, new shower curtain rings and a new shower curtain.

I was on a mission to find things that were priced right and also something that I loved.  Many times in my life I have purchased something just because it was on sale, when I really didn't love it.  So I made sure I did not impulse buy but waited until I found something that I truly loved -plus was a great price - it takes more time and patience but totally worth it in the end.  Here's a  round up on the cost with this upgrade:  
Curtain Rod - Target $12.99
White Fabric Shower Curtain - Homegoods $9 (on sale, originally $22) 
Patterned Fabric Shower Liner - Homegoods $12.99
Shower Curtain Hooks - Homegoods $5.99

I was very adamant about finding a fabric shower liner for our home after reading so many warnings and reports about the old tried and true vinyl polyvinyl chloride (PVC plastic) shower curtains.  There is a lot of info about how harmful to the air those bad boys can be, off gassing voc's and such.  If you are interested you can read the report from CHEJ.  You will be happy to know that many retail stores have caught wind of this as well and are offering a lot more fabric shower liner varieties as well as zero PVC ones.  The one I found was not only affordable but cute and all I have to do is wash it when it starts getting yucky and it will be good to go - just makes sense.

Quick Before

And After, looking all Misty Lake green and bright

We found this awesome curtain for our window and just had to have it.  This window is actually pretty small - we did buy a curtain rod for it and realized when we got home that it was too small, so the towel stays for now until we find something that fits.  I just like showing how we roll around here, very far from perfection.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bathroom Weekend and Mini Rant

With all of the spare time we have we like to fill it with home improvements, this weekend it was filled with bathroom home improvements.  Honestly, we were able to go shopping for the bathroom and get it painted - pretty good considering everything else going on.  So here is a little round-up of some of the things you will be able to find in our bathroom pretty soon.

Just a quick glimpse of what state our main bathroom is in now (looking very beigeriffic, yes that's a word) ...

A soothing green/gray paint is now on our walls, we chose Misty Lake in Olympic Premium no VOC.  I remember this weekend how much I hate painting bathrooms.  In general, I love to paint, I've enjoyed almost every part of our house painting so far (with the exception of knotty pine).  Leading up to painting this bathroom I tried to convince myself it wouldn't be that bad but I was just fooling myself.  The room is not large, that's not the issue - it's the little nooks and crannies, corners and edges that hide and reveal themselves while you're painting.  I really think I deserve a medal for the acrobatics and contortions I performed while getting this room painted.  Craziness.  But, it's now finished and looks wonderful so I will live.  Only one more bathroom to go. Ok, finished with my rant now, you can put away your small violins.

We are going with a brushed nickel finish for all of our hardware and such like this hand towel ring (not the exact one we bought but very close).

We have a leaky shower head so we will be replacing it with this Moen Nurture 3 cycle one.  It's supposed to use less water and not sacrifice on water pressure - we will see.

We scored with our faucet purchase with this delta faucet - on sale at Lowes!  It was actually our favorite so we were pumped.

We still have dreams of installing a new granite tile floor and purchasing a new sink/cabinet.  The little finishes we purchased over the weekend will work wonders for now.  Stay tuned for more bathroom updates this week and also a few other updates that we were able to squeeze in.  Have a great week everyone!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Little Details

So continuing on with Silas' nursery this week, I wanted to share a few little items from his room that really make it special and personal.  I am a lover of all things handmade so I was thrilled when so many talented people showered us with beautiful handmade items and have given Silas something he can cherish for a long time.  I also made a few Etsy purchases along the way that added extra personality and uniqueness to his room (if you don't know about Etsy you can read about it here).  

One of the biggest issues I had when decorating was choosing bedding for his crib.  I just didn't like the matchy-matchy crib in a bag sets and everything seemed either too cheesy or girly.  So my mom and I started searching for something different and ended up choosing a little handmade quilt made by Etsy artist Clevelandgirlie and it is perfect.  Her detail and workmanship is so lovely.  I love that it is something that Silas will have forever and it's not too babyish so he can use it for a while.

One of my favorite items is a little handmade crotchet cat that one of our sweet students made for Silas.  She surprised us with it at our baby shower and I just fell in love with it.  She is so talented.  My niece has already requested one for herself because she thinks it's the coolest thing ever, she reminds me of this every time I see her.

Silas' artwork was another Etsy purchase we made from artist  She was so sweet to purchase from and included several free items and a kind note (I love the little personal touches you get when purchasing from an etsy artist!) I have had so many compliments and queries about his little artwork.  It's the cutest little thing.  I love how simple and sweet it is.

An animal baseball team...let's just call this perfection.

Ok, the next thing was a huge surprise for both Justin and I.  This rocking horse was made by another Silas who is the grandfather of two sweet students of ours.  This is so special to us and I know it will be special to Silas one day as well and I can't wait to tell him that another Silas made it for him, how sweet!

Another talented and sweet friend at church made the most awesome painted letters for us.  She is such a great artist and is always sharing her talents with others and for the church.  I love looking at all of the little details in her painting and I can just picture Silas discovering all of the little details in her work one day too.

Finally, the last thing is Silas' bible.  It's not handmade but it was written for him by our creator (the most talented and creative being ever) and it's the most precious thing we could have given him.  This was our first Christmas present to him and more than anything I can't wait to see him reading it.  

I hope you enjoyed taking a closer peek into our little house and Silas' nursery.  The little details are what truly make your house your home.  Now it's your turn, comment and share with us some of your favorite little details that you love about your home.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trash to Treasure Dresser

This is the story of our son's dresser.  Once upon a time, when Justin and I got married we had no furniture so many wonderful people gave us junk pieces that they were going to throw away.  My Dad even reclaimed our sofa from the side of the road (it was actually really nice and you would have never known it was once trash).  Thinking back, I think the only furniture items we purchased for our first apartment was a recliner and a mattress - not too bad.  One of the many pieces we received was a dresser - it was half painted, dinged up and had ugly old handles.  I remember being very excited to redo this dresser and I worked very hard and gave it a lovely new coat of white paint (and spray painted handles).  Over the years the dresser served us well and I used it as somewhat of a crafting outlet as I re-painted it several times.  Somehow, some way the dresser made it's way back to it's original state - half painted and dinged with ugly handles.  How did we neglect it so?  In our previous house we did not have a dresser for Silas, we were using an antique cabinet we had but we knew we wanted one for him when we moved.  I thought about several options - all of which included a purchase until I remembered our old junky dresser.  I was so excited because this meant no money would have to be spent, I was not excited however over the condition the dresser was in.  Last weekend I finally got around to showing this dresser some love and it is ready to make it's blog debut, looking all shiny and new - woohoo! (I just can't help myself, I must rhyme when I get the chance).  So here are my steps for the updated dresser - I must add that everything I used to remodel this dresser was something I already had from a previous project so this was a totally free redo!

Before Shot

1.  First step was to putty in all the unwanted holes (I'm a fast learner)

2.  After the putty was dry (actually it never dried bc I Justin bought some kind of weird putty, but it worked all the same) It was sanded and cleaned to remove all of the dustiness.
3.  Next I just used a roller to paint the body and drawers of the dresser and a smaller brush to paint over the smaller details - I did two coats altogether

Yes, I will confess that I never use a drop cloth while painting - I know, I'm living on the wild side.

4.  I decided to add some color so I used some left over paint from the wall color and applied it with a edging brush and I also used a little paint from the gallon I bought for the bathroom that I haven't gotten to yet - this time I used a small sponge brush since I was painting a small area.  I just free-handed the painting, no tape.

5.  After all of the painting was finished I still felt like it needed a bit more so I pulled out some letters I had painted before he was born for his room and hot glued those babies on.

6.  The last thing was the glass knobs that I had stolen from another dresser that we had previously gotten rid of - so free, free, free

After Shot

I really love this little dresser now and it is so much fun giving junky pieces new life and purpose.  For some reason this trash to treasure remake reminds me of the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15 (it's a stretch but bare with me) -    
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

You see, there is rejoicing over us when we find our salvation in God, when we discover his grace and forgiveness and repent.  Just like the tiny coin that was lost and found was such a treasure to the woman, we are precious treasures to be found in Christ.  I want to leave you with one of my favorite song lyrics from a song by Andrew Peterson and I pray that everyone today will know the joy that is found in Christ when we are made into a new creation - His treasure. 

So I find that all this time
Beneath the surface, I could shine
Like all the gold a king and queen could measure
See, even just a penny is a treasure

Linking Up Here:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nursery Sneak Peek

We devoted this past weekend to our precious baby's room.  It's all painted - trim and walls, pictures are hung, dresser is painted and toys are in place.  We still have blinds and curtains to do but we are happy with our progress.  Silas said he was very happy too.  Here are a few pictures until we get the room totally ready.

Tomorrow I'll be showing the dresser overhaul so stay tuned for that!