Phase 1 of the Big Girl Room

We have finally cleaned out the guest room and started setting it up to be DJ’s “Big Girl Room”. She still isn’t crawling out of her crib but she is tall enough to get her leg up on the side. This room is a lot bigger and quieter. Since her nursery was painted teal, J wanted to give her something more girly this time and so we went for the pink on the walls. Pink does seem to be her favorite color these days so hopefully it works out well.


Because my parents come to visit us a lot, this room will still probably be used as a guest room. Plus, I love that she will be able to have sleep overs with friends really easily!

The two bed frames are actually bunk beds so when she gets a little older we will probably bunk them. For now, the rail around the top bed will serve great to help for transitioning!

Here is where we are at for phase 1:
– Paint walls light shade of pink
– Buy white bed frames
– Buy bedding
– Arrange furniture

Still needed for phase 2:


– Paint knobs on both dressers
– Wall art
– clean out closet
– toy and clothes storage


We are all itching for spring around here.  It has been a late winter but now its March and still cold.  I was cleaning out a spaghetti squash the other week and thought hmm, I wonder if I could plant these things.  Not even sure how to go about it, a quick google search told me to wash the seeds and put them in a baggie to see if they would germinate (sprout).  Sure enough, almost all of my little seeds had a few sprouts in just a couple of days.

Last weekend I dragged DJ out front and told her we were going to dig in the dirt and plant seeds.  She wasn’t too sure what it was all about.  She tried to help dig a hole but got frustrated with the dirt on her hands.  But, once I had a good trench dug, she was more than happy to help drop the seeds in one by one.  She had even more fun with the next step which was watering the seeds.  Every day since, we come home and she shouts “Seeds Seeds” and wants to water them!

And look at what popped up this week, our little seeds!


She loves to stand on the patio and pour the water onto the little sprouts.  At some point we will have to go through a biology lesson teaching her that now they are technically plants and no longer “Seeds Seeds”.


We are finally enjoying some warmer weather and hope that we have had our last cold snap!  Bring on the Spring!


Baby proofing the fireplace

Now that DJ is crawling all over the place and pulling up, we knew it was time to tackle the baby proofing.  The smaller stuff was easy to do including plug outlet covers and locking the cabinets.  We did have one unfortunate lamp that was pulled over so cords are now tied and tucked away.  However, we still had one looming thing to baby proof.  Our giant brick hearth on the fireplace.

I knew pretty early on that I didn’t want to mess with options from the store like little foam bumpers that cover the edge.  I didn’t think they would stay on well and didn’t think they would really protect from scratches and bumps on the sides and top of the brick.

So, we came up with a DIY idea.  We built a frame out of some cheap wood and covered in foam and fabric.  It really wasn’t that hard although a bit more expensive then we anticipated (we didn’t really feel like we had a choice so we just built it without thinking about budget before hand).

First, we built the frame in the garage based on some measurements.  We had to account for a small cutout in the top for the actual fireplace.


Sorry, J wouldn’t stop working for a picture so its blurry!


Here is the frame once its almost done on the fireplace.  We added a few more supports on the top just so it helped keep its shape.






After the frame was done we took some rough measurements and went to the store to get some foam (I think we got 1″ foam) and some fabric that was on clearance (3 yards I think).   We stapled the foam to the frame which was hard because the foam was so thick but just enough to hold it in place under the fabric.  We covered the top, front, and sides with foam.   After that, we laid out the fabric on the foam and then I hand sewed a side panel on either side.  Its not the prettiest thing but it certainly does its job!

Brick Fireplace hearth covered with foam and fabric

Overall, I think we spent about $100 on this, but I did find other similar options that were thousands of dollars so we feel it was well spent.  It adds more seating to our room and we don’t have to worry at all with DJ crawls over and pulls up!

My bathroom is almost done

We made some MAJOR progress last weekend even though it meant being locked up in the bathroom for almost 2 days.

Here is the process as it has gone down:

  1. J removed wall paper and most of the backing – 2 half days (after work in the evenings)
  2. Scrape/Scrub the glue off the walls – 2 half days
  3. Longest trip to Lowes ever to pick out medicine cabinet and other supplies – half day (Saturday morning)
  4. J patched holes in the walls (where the ceramic bars used to be) with drywall – half day (including Saturday overnight drying time)
  5. Apply primer with texture – Half day (Sunday morning)
  6. Apply paint and put bathroom back together – Half Day (Sunday afternoon)

Finally Sunday night we were ready to use the bathroom again!  Unfortunately we had used the old plastic shower curtain as a drop cloth so we had to make a Walmart run for a new liner before we could shower!

I would call the bathroom “done” except for a two things.  First, the fixture set that took an hour to pick out at Lowes was out of stock.  We have to go to the other store to get that.  Second, there are a few spots that need some touch ups.

So…. Here is the picture of the bathroom.  I’m sorry I don’t really know how to take a good picture with the light on, so here is my best shot:

We ended up keeping the mirror, vanity, toilet and tub as is.

We replaced the old medicine cabinet….

With a nice new mirrored front one from Lowes.  It cost $30 so it wasn’t the nicest one they had, but its a much bigger improvement.

We also replaced the old light fixture from an old bar style

to this one from Lowes (as you can see, we hung it with the light going up):

And eventually….. we will get this towel bar set:

Surprise from the husband

So the other night I called J to let him know I was on my way home from work. He surprised me when he said “boy, do I have a mess for you when you get home”. Obviously being in the third trimester working full time the last thing I wanted to do was come home to any sort of mess.

When I got home J wasn’t in the living room/kitchen so I headed to the bedroom. He wasn’t on the bed, but I was surprised to see the light on in my bathroom (he has a separate bathroom and really never goes in mine). As I opened the door this is what I found.


Yup, that is my bathroom with all the wallpaper removed.  (The picture was taken with my new iPhone with the instagram app).

Do you remember the what my lovely bathroom looked like before? Let me see if I can find a picture.


Ok, this is a REALLY bad picture (pre-DSLR).  But you get the idea.  The color is way off here, you can see the color a bit better in this post.  The walls themselves weren’t so bad, the border was just really outdated.  The medicine cabinet and all the towel bars were a bit odd as well.

So anyways, we will be scrubbing wallpaper glue off the walls this weekend, patching the dry wall from the holes and hopefully next week J can start painting.

Spray Paint Knobs

Another quick home update project for us!

After falling in love with the new knobs in the kitchen and what a wonderful transformation it made, I wanted to continue with the other knobs in the three bathrooms. I couldn’t find the knobs at Target again for the rain check price so I decided to try something new. I had heard about an oil rubbed metal finish spray paint and since I had 22 extra knobs laying around I decided to give it a try!

Here is what I started out with:


I had an old box lid, some type of screwdriver or something (to poke holes), the spray paint, and the knobs.

This specifically is the spray paint I used. I found it at WalMart for like $3 a can.


I flipped the box lid upright and started poking holes in the top so the knobs could stand up correctly.


From the underside of the box I pushed the screws in:


Then pulled the screws through so they poked out on the top:


Finally, I screwed the 6 ugly knobs onto the screws so they would stand up on their own on the box.


And finally, with a quick coat of spray paint they turned out like this. I didn’t even do two coats !


I was really happy with the dark finish but the flecks of gold in them. Honestly they are almost the exact same color as the ones I bought from Target! They look glossy here but they were still wet at this point. When they dried they are more of a “matte” finish.

Here is my bathroom before with the six creme colored ugly knobs:


another view:


Please ignore the ugly purple wallpaper, thats for another project!

And lastly, here is the final product!



As you can see its “almost” identical to the new knobs I put in the kitchen. The shape of these still dates the set but for $4 for as many knobs as I can paint versus $2 per knob this seems like a good compromise! I am actually so pleased with the color that I have been wondering what else I can spray with it. We have some really ugly brass door knobs…. hmmm….

Easy House Number Project

Currently the house number on our mailbox for our house is simply some of the white stickers with plain black numbers.  It doesn’t look bad, just basic, boring, etc.

Here is the before picture:


So I have been wanting to spruce this up some but needed a cheap way to do it. From the store I got the following supplies:


The board plaque I got from WalMart for $6. The numbers were purchased from Lowes for about $1 each, and the spray paint was left over from another project but its just the cheap $1 brand.

After I spray painted the board white (sorry no pictures, it was windy and I didn’t want to spray the camera!), I spaced out the numbers by eye and nailed them down with my basic small hammer.


Here is how the board turned out with the numbers nailed on.


And finally, here is how it turned out on the mailbox! I’m not sure why but the one number isn’t showing up great in photos.


After taking this picture, I realized there is another ugly sign on the other side of the mailbox. Guess I have to make another one of these!

Hardwood Floor Installation Part I

J and I found a great sale on the hardwood floors that we loved at Lumber Liquidators. Problem was, we were told the floor must be installed glued down. In order to glue down a click-lock hardwood floor, the concrete slab must be almost perfect. Since we had no idea what our foundation looked like under the vinyl and berber carpet we figured it would be a good idea to pull it up and see what we had. We had made the decision to replace the baseboards so that made pulling everything up much simpler.

Obviously the carpet in the living room pulled up very easily. There were a few spots the carpet nails had slightly damaged the slab but easily could be patched. The problem was the sheet vinyl that had been glued down. After a full day, J had only a very small portion of the kitchen pulled up. With a small chisel we worked to chip away but it wasn’t working. The next day J went to Lowes and got some adhesive remover which didn’t help much. Finally they decided to rent a hammer drill with a scraping bit to get the sheet vinyl and glue backing up. This was still a loud, messy and long process, but after about 3 days the floor was clean! During this time we had to move all our furniture out onto our back porch (enclosed sunroom) and live in our bedroom.

Here is J on the machine finishing up in the pantry.

This is what the mess looked like, those shavings are actually the glue that was on the back of the sheet vinyl.


We lived like this for about a week while we got things cleaned up and finalized our decision to purchase the wood. J looked at our slab and realized there was so slope to it and we were a bit nervous with the thought of gluing something back down after all the mess we had just dealt with. After a little bit more research and a call to the Shaw Flooring manufacturers, we found out that the Ventura flooring could be installed floating. That sealed the deal for us! It would make installation much easier (just glue the joints) and if we ever needed to replace a section or replace all of it, we wouldn’t have to go through that demolition again! Unfortunately, we had to let the new wood sit indoors for about a week before we could lay it. That meant another week without furniture!

On a the Saturday morning before I went to Seattle, J and I started laying out the underlayment (moisture barrier and padding) and his dad came over to help us with the installation!

Silly us, we laid about half of the padding down before we realized it was upside down!


After flipping it over and duct taping the seams, we were about ready to go!

The white boxes back there is the 800 square feet of flooring!

While J and his dad were figuring out the pattern, I worked on laying out the boards so that we mixed up the boxes and they could select the boards they wanted to use. Any board I was not happy with I set aside to be returned or used in a corner as scrap.


And as soon as they got the pattern figured out, we started seeing some progress!


At this point, I left for Seattle!!! Part II coming soon!

Kitchen Update: New cabinet knobs

Now that we have some awesome hardwood floors in our house (read about it here), everything else in the house is really standing out.

Our kitchen is not in bad shape but it is really dated. The worst part about this is the cabinets and their knobs. I would describe them as cream ceramic sphere pulls. They really stood out against the wood as you can see up close here:


And when you walked into the kitchen, as my mom said, “All you notice are the knobs”.


There are 26 knobs in our kitchen. That seems like SO many because I don’t think we have a large kitchen but all the drawers and cabinets add up. We also have double upper cabinets which really increases the number of knobs.


In this picture you can also see the old curtain and the dated scroll board that hangs over our kitchen sink. That is another project I am hoping to tackle soon!

While my parents were here, I ran up to Target with them to grab some Starbucks (they are seriously addicted) and we found these knobs on sale. At $1.50 each this was a great price and they felt like great quality.

Target Knobs

(They are here on Target’s site)

So for $55 I got the knobs I needed and we went home with our cappy’s (aka cappuccino) and started installing. They don’t match the hinges on the doors completely, but I think they are about as close as we will get!


The complete picture looks much better and from a distance you really don’t notice the hinge/knob color difference.


I love the way they look and I don’t see cream knobs as I walk in the kitchen anymore!

New front yard patio

Follow up to the parent’s visit post here.

This past weekend with my parents was great. The ended up only staying Friday night and left around 7:30 pm on Saturday evening. Just over a 24 hour trip! Everything I said would happen of course did but it still was a great trip.

Saturday my dad was hoping to help us with a “project” so we started on some yard work. We have a large bed along our walkway to our front door that needed to be landscaped. The problem with this bed is that in the fall it is always full of leaves from the two giant oak trees that are right outside the house. The leaves combined with the shade and weird soil balance makes it very hard to get anything to grow there. After a little talking, we decided to put in a small patio!

The first step was to clean out the weeds and extra plants. This wasn’t too hard to do. We then worked to draw out lines of how big we thought the patio should be. We wanted it just large enough to fit two chairs and a small table.


We ran to Lowes and bought these 16″ pavers with an embossed brick like pattern in them. The large size made the patio easy to lay and helped with the stability. I loved the off white color that was very neutral and will help hide dirt. They were $4 each and I used a 10% off coupon.

J and my dad started working on compacting the dirt and making sure everything was level.



In about 2 hours the guys had the dirt compacted and the patio laid out. We cleaned off the dirt and it was ready for use!



I think it really helps warm up the front of the house. We are going to look for some white chairs to go with the trim of the house. Thanks Mom and Dad!