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What’s Next?

So I’ve been on this motivational kick this passed couple weeks on continuing work on my house.  We are finally able to get some major work done that we’ve been needing to do and so now I have a bee in my bonnet to get all the stuff checked off my list that I’ve been wanting to do.  


Yesterday we bought my old fashioned screen door!  I’m so excited and hubby will probably put it up tomorrow.


The roofing company is coming by tomorrow to secure the contract and the construction of our new roof will commence by the end of the week!  Hear that?  New roof by the holidays (and rainy season!)


Once the new roof is in place, the carriage garage door will be ordered.  We have a couple of companies coming out this week to give us a price quote.


Then, the part I’m MOST excited about and I’m really, really hoping it doesn’t have to wait until spring, but our new exterior paint!!  With the new roof, garage door, AND paint, it’s going to look like a completely different house!  Good bye blue house with purple trim!


Some of the other things I’m wanting to do in the semi near/near future:


  • Fix the fireplace and make it workable, but until then sew a cute little curtain to hide the ugly gaping hole.
  • Replace downstairs flooring in kitchen, fireplace room, craft room, and living room.
  • Tile craft room bathroom.
  • Paint the inside of the front door.
  • Get all the curtains completed downstairs.
Other projects I know I want to do but haven’t figured out exactly what to do yet.
  • Refinish kitchen cabinets.  I’d really love to do a very light, washed out blue on them, but I’m not sure if I’m brave enough.  I’m not sure it will go with our retro chunky tile with blue grout, but in all honesty, I love that chunky tile and blue grout and no, I will change it to granite.  What is with the obsession with granite?  I look on pinterest and google images and every kitchen looks exactly the same!
  • Remove wallpaper in kitchen.
  • Remove upper cabinet in kitchen and replace with antique looking wired lights.
  • Do “something” in the laundry room.
  • Add a mantle on top of my fireplace.
So there you have it.  I’m sure I’ll add to this list and I really hope I can start crossing stuff off as we go!  Expect to revisit this list often!


Sami AKA My first experience with “chalk” paint

I’ve been wanting to try chalk paint for awhile, but like many others, I’m afraid of the price.  So I found a link on Pinterest to make my own chalk paint.  So I went and bought the stuff I needed.  I had the perfect piece that I had a very specific look I wanted to try.


Quart of Behr paint in >insert color here<

Plaster of Paris

Sanding paper

Minwax Finisher’s Wax

Minwax stain in dark walnut

Here is Sami before:

ImageShe was lovely.  Nothing wrong with her at all, except for the missing drawer.  Good shape, lots of potential.

I started with a light sanding.  With chalk paint, you’re supposed to be able to not sand, but I read that many people do a light sanding so I did.  

To mix the chalk paint, use 1 part plaster of paris, 2 parts paint, and 1 tbls water.  Mix the plaster of paris with water till smooth, then mix the paint.  The paint goes a long way and I ended up having to throw a bit of it out because I mixed more than I needed.

It makes it sort of thicker, but really I didn’t notice that much of a difference.  I painted it on using a brush.  It was a bit streakier than it was supposed to be, being “chalk” paint but I read that it would dry smooth.  It took two coats.

I let it dry 24 hours and it was still pretty streaky.  Next I transferred the lettering using a trick I learned here.




 After letting the letters dry, I sanded down the edges to distress.  I added a bit of the finishing wax, but there really wasn’t a difference.  I think the wax was too light.  So I used the Dark Walnut stain and did a light coat over the top of the paint, then wiped off excess.  Afterwards, I tried to use the wax again and it just wiped off the stain, so no wax for Sami.

After adding and painting the shelf in the top, Sami is pretty much done. I think she looks super cute.


My “chalk” paint verdict:  I’m not sure what the difference is between my concoction and real chalk paint, but to me, I didn’t do anything differently than if I used regular paint.  The lines from the brush were still there.  There weren’t any less steps.  In fact, there were more, since I had to mix the plaster of paris, then mix it with the paint.  



Toilet Room Redo

So when we first saw our house, we were told it had termites due to some rotting wood in the small commode room, off the master bathroom.  We even has a report that says that.  However, once we were able to further inspect, we found that the rotting was due to a leaky toilet and none other than water damage.  Whew!

Here is what the baseboard looked like when we first looked at it.


Isn’t it lovely?  Here are more pictures of this bathroom.

Image Image

So one of the things we were worried about was not being able to pass the inspection to get our FHA loan.  These “termites” were the reason the last seller wasn’t able to get financed and fell out of Escrow.  So our sweet real estate agent came in on his own time and “fixed” the baseboard to cover up the damage.  I didn’t get a picture of that, but honestly, it didn’t look much better.  The baseboard didn’t fit and was just sort of sitting up there.

I knew this project wouldn’t be a big deal so we spent about $12 on new baseboarding and that was an easy fix.


I’m not sure if you notice the big hole above the baseboard, but there is one on the other wall too, and it comes out of my cabinet in the other side of the bathroom where they had cable TV hooked up.  In their bathroom!

So I really wanted something unique and fun and “vintage,” since that is the look I am trying to go for in my new, old home.  So I found this really cool look on Pinterest and I thought it would be easy to recreate it.  I figured I’d either love it or hate it, but first I needed a really pretty, frilly color to go on the walls.  I stuck with blue, since most of our house is that color.

Here is the original Pinterest picture:


I have a ton of paint, all colors.  So I took the Navy blue I used in my son’s room and mixed a dab here, and a dab here into some white until I got the look I was going for.  In all honesty, it’s a bit darker than I envisioned, but I still love it.


And here is the final project!


Yes, that is an old pallet on my wall.  My first thought to tone down all the wood was to white wash it, but I really like it the way it is.  It took hubby about a day and a half to cut and attach the wood.  I think some frilly accessories, and a new light fixture (I just have a globe light in there now), will make a ton of difference too.

Here are the accessories I decided on.  The frame had glass and a picture of a lighthouse in it.  I got it at a yardsale for $1.  The wreath and ribbon I had!


Overall, project cost about $12 for the baseboard.  Everything else, we had.  It took about 3 days total, start to finish.


This blog was written for the Pintester Movement.  To see more information about this movement, please visit


Craft Disaster

So my craft room is a mess.  It has become our “catch-all” for all the stuff that has not yet found a home in my house.  I still have things that need to be put in storage, that hubby is dilly dallying on and I have a lot of stuff I’m thinking we probably won’t keep, then I have a few shelves and things that still need to go on the wall.

(Insert picture here)


So far, I love how my craft corner in that room is coming along.  I have a cabinet that the previous owners left behind that I think will work really well.  I also have a little cubby/organizer thing I found in the treasure hunt that I”m sure will serve a great purpose and I have lots and lots of drawers.  Then I have a small, round table that will be perfect for crafting on.  Problem is, nothing is organized.  Today I went looking for my small roller and couldn’t find it.  I know I have one, I saw it when I was unpacking.

What I really need to do is dedicate a day to work on this project alone, to organize my thoughts about the room and what purpose it is going to serve.

On a side note, we used the gift cards my mom got me for Christmas and bought two really great mirrors to replace the medicine cabinets in the master bathroom.  One is up and it is already amazing!  Pictures and blog to follow!

From Indoors to Out

Since the interior of the house is pretty much done (liveable) for now, we’ve been working on clearing out the yards, getting them prepped for spring planting and just hoping for a front that doesn’t scream FORECLOSURE!  So we’ve been raking up the endless debris, pebbles, enough stepping stones to get us across the Pacific Ocean and about an 80 foot pile of leaves if they were all raked on top of each other.

Gryph and I dug up and moved all of the stepping stones to create a path through our garden.


Then today, I raked up the pebbles, and took out the border lining the stone garden and the flower bed.  We are going to extend the grass into that area, for the dogs.

Daniel has been working on cleaning up the trash, yard waste, and debris.  So far, it’s taken several dumps to the community clean up neighborhoods, several weeks of filling our trash cans and our neighbors, and now several trips to my aunt’s house, where the community cleanup is currently headed.

And there is still more!  I can’t believe all the crap they had back there!  We dug up the HUGE dead bush in the front yard.  Underneath there are about a half dozen boulders, and a tree stump.  As my friend suggested, I think I’m just going to leave it and put a pot on it.  I am not up to digging up a tree stump.

I found this picture on the internet today.  This is what the house looked like when we put our offer on it, back in September, 2012.

ImageThen I found this picture.  This is what it looked like when it was first put on the market.  I don’t even know when that was, but by looking at the picture, you can tell it had been awhile.


Isn’t it cute?  It will look that great, or better in another month or so.

Oh my aching….everything!!!

So this is the first time in what feels like forever that I am taking a break long enough to write.  We have made leaps and bounds with this house.  For the most part, the interior is done.  There are still a few stray items lying around, and the office is still a big mess, but overall, everything is unpacked or in storage.  We are extremely fortunate to have a ton of attic space so all of our plastic storage tubs ended up up there!  So here, are some pictures of the living room.


So far, I love this room.  It feels very formal to me, so I never sit in it.  Notice the big empty space on the wall?  I’m holding out for a specific clock.  Around my birthday, Winco had these huge, awesome clocks and I kept waiting till the “right” time and lo and behold, I missed my window and now they are gone.

Just to remind you, this was the before picture of this room.


Here is the fireplace:




The story with this fireplace is interesting.  It had this hideous wood burning insert, well, inserted into it.  I wanted it removed so we could have an old fashioned fire in the brick fireplace.  Notice all the wires draped all around?  Those are from the insert!  So we pulled it out and BEHOLD! It’s a gas fireplace.  So, you might be able to tell from the top picture that it’s still not useable and has this ugly metal “thing” in it.  It will have to be switched out as funds allow, but with summer coming up shortly, I’m not too worried about it.

The glass windows on the side came from my grandmother, when she passed away.  I love them.  The stars are temporarily there.  I got those second hand for $10, and my little chest was my toy box when I was a kid that I refinished about 20 years ago.

More Befores/Afters:

101_0097  100_9811



Remember my cabinet I refinished?  Here it is!  I love it and it works as the perfect hiding place for all our junk!

So I have some garden pictures that I’ll be posting in the next few days.  I’ll let you rest for now, as will I.



We’ve been in our house for a week today. We have been EXTREMELY busy getting things unpacked. I can’t believe how much stuff we have! It’s finally starting to feel like home. We are starting to slowly get stuff put out and up on the walls. Hopefully, they start slowing down soon, but I doubt it. Today we began the yards!

The Process

Day 1:  We got our key Saturday, March 16 and decided to hold off on any work until the next day.  Instead, we ran around, doing some shopping, buying much needed supplies for the house.  The work ahead was extremely overwhelming.  We decided that Sunday would be the day we began to do prep work for paint to begin on Monday.  Little did we know that prep work would take two days.

Day 2:  Sunday.  We finished church and lunch and ended up getting a late start since Daniel has to work at 3pm. My mom set to work in the kitchen, cleaning and scrubbing the grime off and out of the oven.  Years of accumulated grime took my mom an entire day to clean out.  We took off light plate covers, light fixtures, vacuumed baseboards, cleaned walls that weren’t going to be painted.  the guys fixed leak after leak.  Everything leaked, from every single toilet to a water filter hose in the front yard, to the front faucet, to the bath tub faucets.  Everything.  The upstairs bathroom was the worst, where the toilet looked like someone had pooped in it and there was no water to wash it down so it sat and dried for almost a year.

Day 2:  We still weren’t ready to pain in the morning.  More cleaning and prepping and I started to paint edges.  that’s my job.  I always do the edging.  I like it, since I can plant myself in one area and just do it.  Daniel did the rolling.  the ceilings are so high that the painting proved to be a real challenge, especially since we were doing the ceiling too, a different color.  Most of the lower painting in the main floors were done.  We had also cleaned off the front porch, cut some trees that had been rubbing on the house.  This was the day that we noticed some visual changes.

Day 3: Tuesday.  More painting and painting, and painting.  I’ve never done so much painting in my life.  The mini blinds still hung in the back yard waiting to be cleaned.  The days were long, about 10 hours for me, and then came home and worked in the old house.

Day 4:  Wednesday.  We are tired. We are sore.  We are cranky.  We are still painting.  It feels like most of it is over but we still have a long way to go .  Floors are clean, bathrooms are clean.  We are having to buy a lot of different supplies, as so many things are broken.  Dishwasher doesn’t work.  My dad came over to help fix the leaky toilets.

Day 5: Thursday.  Painting is mostly done.  With the exception of a few touch ups and a recoat that I absolutely refuse to do!  I am so over painting.  We ran out of paint for the  master bedroom and had to start over with a different color.  I wasn’t buying more paint and we hadn’t gotten too far anyway.

Day 6: Friday.  I had to work in the morning so Daniel finished painting the ceiling and the bedroom.  By the time I got there, it was my ojb to clean the carpets and get ready to move in.  Daniel wanted to to start moving stuff over Saturday. I was able to finish all of the upstairs but couldn’t do the downstairs.  I needed to vacuum the carpets before shampoooing and Daniel had forgotten the vacuum.  So after Daniel left, wmy mom and I finished putting light covers on, and cleaned and hung blinds.  Most of the blinds are broken so that will have to be a near project to do, replace all the blinds.

Day 7: Saturday.  We were totally not ready to be moved in.  I worked till 11am and by the time I got to the house, my dad and Daniel had hung light fisxtures and wer working on the water leaks.  So they had the water turned off.  I couldn’t shampoo carpets with no water so I left and we went to get lunch.  By the time lunch was over, I could use the water and was able to get the carpets cleaned.  The downstairs bedroom and living room weren’t too bad. The fireplace room, where the bonfire happened, was a bit more stubborn.  And by “a bit”, I mean I had to go over them about four times to remotely lighten the stains.  Overall, I think they turned out amazing, considering what they looked like before.  So as of today, we are move in ready.  I also started scrubbing the kitchen grout and was so excited to realize that it is coming clean so easily and they are a lovely blue! I got the grout about half finished.  Tomorrow, I will go and take some pictures, but mostly taking tomorrow off, due to a prior engagement.  Monday will be moving day!

Thank you, God AKA: Day 1


It’s OVER!!!! O-V-E-R!!! We closed, we got our key and commenced day 1. But first, let me tell you the story.

We were told we HAD to fund by 11:00am on Friday morning. If we did not fund by that time, we would have to file for another extension which the seller could deny. I had to work all day on Friday, which meant I did not have access to a phone or text message for most of the work day. We got a call Thursday afternoon that said we would for sure fund by 10am Friday. Friday morning, by the time I had to work at 10:30, we still had no word if we had funded or not. I got done with my first session at noon and my text message that my husband sent out at 10:35, said that we would be funded within the half hour. No one would answer their phone at lunch time. I had to go back into a session at 1:30 and we still had no word if we had funded. By the time I got out of my 1:30 session, we had funded and recorded. I did not find out until almost 3pm that we were in the clear. Talk about an exhausting, stressful day!!! My last session of the day took forever, I was ready to go home and sleep!

Saturday morning we got up early and got our key. We spent the day running around, buying paint, picking up cleaning supplies, etc.

Today we spent most of the time cleaning, and prepping for paint. We found many repairs that need to be done (no surprises there.) Just the short time we’ve been there, we’ve made a lot of progress. I’ll try to remember to take pictures tomorrow.