Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Five Favorites (Volume 4)

I’m having a bit of writer’s block today…of course there are so many things that are my favorites but difficult to narrow it down.  :)  Linking up to Moxie Wife for her Five Favorites!  ETA:  I posted this a week ago, but then discovered Hallie was not having a Five Favorites link-up that week!  So, I am linking up this week!  Apologies to the one person who may have read it already!  :)
This pretty much wowed me.

How cool is that??  I could picture that with a child’s name in a nursery, or just as it is.  Such an unexpected and bold accent! 
gymboree easter outfit boys
Easter is almost here!  I have two little boys and I think it is so hard to find cute dressy stuff for them.  I think little girls are so much easier to dress for a special occasion.  I found this and I liked the outfits a lot!  I am not the sort to drop much money on a special occasion outfit though, so I will be using some items that I got from thrifting and perhaps make some of these:
Here is an easy tutorial for making your own bow ties.  I’ve used this tutorial before and it is super easy, even if you have minimal sewing skills.  They are so cute on toddler boys!  (And older ones I’m sure, but I just have experience with toddler and infant ones! )
This skirt from Shabby Apple.  And, of course, that backdrop.  :)
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How neat would it be to be a personal shopper?  This woman had a great idea to be a personal shopper for…a thrift store!  Read how she turned a love of thrifting into a full time job here.  I would totally love to do this!  Except I would shop for home decor.  Maybe when the kids grow up!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to make old paneling look like drywall




We’ve all probably seen the paneling that was popular in the 60s and 70s…the big sheets of paneling with fake “grooves” in them that can be any number of wood-like colors (or not!).  We were lucky enough to have five rooms in our house with this type of paneling in it.  (And I say lucky very sarcastically.)  I painted right over the paneling in three of those rooms but of course you can still see the grooves in the paneling and while that doesn’t look bad, it still looks like paneling.  And maybe you want your wall to look like drywall but aren’t able to tear it all down and put in drywall right now!  That was what happened to me a few years ago. 

Before we completely gutted the kitchen I had an interim solution for the existing paneling:  I filled in those fake grooves and painted right over that.  And guess what, it worked great!  You had to look very closely to realize that it wasn’t plaster or drywall.  (And really, who would come to your house and scrutinize it so carefully?)

Back before I was going to do this, I was looking around on the web trying to find out if others had done this and how it had held up.  I found numerous how-tos for painting the paneling, but nothing really for smoothing out the paneling.  I thought maybe others might benefit from my experience with this.  Keep in mind, my paneling may have been different than what you have and maybe we are less or more hard on our walls.  If your paneling is not firmly attached to the wall behind it the results may not be as good.  But, this is what worked for me!

Here is what I used for this project:

  • Stain blocking primer
  • Joint compound (I used Sheetrock All Purpose Joint Compound)
  • Sanding blocks
  • Drywall trowel or knife

I started by priming all the grooves with a regular latex primer.  (I think I used Zinzzer stain blocking primer.)  Stain blocking is important because of the wood behind it.  I know I didn’t want the stain on my paneled walls seeping through my new paint job!  I used primer on the grooves first because I had read that it would help to adhere the joint compound (aka drywall mud in our house) to the paneling. I didn’t want any drywall mud cracking and popping out of the groove so I wanted to try anything that might help minimize that.   I really don’t know if this made a huge difference, but this is what I did and it worked well so I’m including this step. 

You can see this step here:

IMG_5746 (Sorry for the horrible quality photo, but this is the best picture I have of this from way back when I did it.)

You can see it is pretty simple.  Just paint the grooves, because you will have to prime everything again after you fill the grooves with drywall mud. 

Next, take the drywall trowel and smooth drywall mud down the groove from top to bottom.  I usually took a couple of passes diagonally too just to make sure the mud is pressed firmly in the groove and uniform.  I went over the whole wall like this, only filling in the grooves. 

Then, I waited a day until the drywall mud was dry.  I took the sanding block and sanded down the areas that I had applied the drywall mud to until the filled groove was flush with the surface of the paneling.  (Basically I just sanded until I was hitting the paneling on either side of the groove so everything was smooth.)  There were a few places that were too low due to the drywall mud shrinking so I had to go over those places with mud again and let dry and sand again too. 

I wiped the walls down with a damp rag to remove all the drywall dust, then I primed the whole wall.  After that was dry, I painted with regular paint.  And voila!  It looked like drywall! 


In the two+ years we lived with our “drywall” paneled walls, we have had no complaints.  No compound popping out of the grooves, no cracking, nothing.  It worked great!  We did finally gut the kitchen and completely remodel but not because of the walls.  I actually did this on our entryway too at the same time and those walls are still going strong today.  You would never know they were paneling.  Here is a picture of that wall tonight:


If you have a paneled wall that you don’t like and you aren’t able to put in drywall right now, try this!  A few days’ work, and your wall will look 100 times better. 

Hope that helps!


Friday, March 22, 2013

Getting ready for Easter


I’ve been thinking the past few days about getting ready for Easter. 

Notice that I’ve just been thinking about it, instead of actually getting ready.  I’m good at that.

(I did actually do a tiny bit of decorating today.  I surprised myself!)

My husband and I had a little “date” last Saturday morning and went to World Market and Trader Joe’s to load up on Easter treats for the kids (and adults too!).  It was fun to find some new treats to try out and some old favorites (such as the TJ’s jelly beans!  Love those (and I really dislike regular jelly beans…I know, I’m weird). 


I’ve been thinking about what kinds of food to make.  I saw a recipe for Coconut Cream Pie a couple of weeks ago and thought that looked divine.  I’m a big fan of coconut but I have never tried it in a cream pie so I’m really hoping I have time to make that.  We don’t do a lot of sweets in Lent so of course by the time Easter rolls around anything with sugar looks pretty good.  If anyone has a particular coconut cream pie recipe they could recommend I’m all ears!

Speaking of ears…

Vintage Stock Image Brown Rabbit Bunny Easter


I keep seeing these darling old-fashioned Easter prints and wonder where I could put them up in my house.  So far I have not decided…I’m thinking I should probably hurry up with that decision making process.  (In case you are looking for something similar, this one is from The Graphics Fairy…she has lots more, all free!)

I’m attempting to make a floofy skirt for our 5 year old for Easter.  I wanted to make a pettiskirt but all the tutorials I found sounded way to involved, plus I already had the fabric (chiffon) and I did not have enough to make the layers and layers of ruffles.  Hopefully I can figure something out! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Five Favorites (Vol. 3)

Joining Moxie Wife for her Five Favorites Link-up…
Corned Beef Hash
Yum, yum, yum.  I don’t really care for corned beef all that much, but this is amazing.  I don’t put as much horseradish as it calls for (and I don’t normally even like horseradish but it adds a wonderful flavor here) but otherwise I make it like it says.  Big thumbs up from the hubby and whole family.  Next year we’re not even cooking up the corned beef for it’s own meal first.  We’re cooking it just for this!!
Make Your Own Word Find Chalkboard
I thought this was a super cute idea!  I don’t even have any chalkboard paint in my house, but I do like how it looks and it would be fun for older kids.  Ok, ok, adults too!
Sweetness overload.  Do not go to this blog if you don’t like kids, cuteness, babies, or a good laugh.  Do not blame me if you die of Adorableness Overload (it’s a Real Thing). 

Colorburst Lip Gloss
My husband got me two of these (Crystal Lilac and Rosepearl) a while back after I left a blog open on the computer and he saw that I had been reading about these.  I don’t even recall what blog it was and I didn’t even recall reading about these when he gave them to me, but regardless of how and when he/we found out about this lip gloss, it is great!  It doesn’t feel icky on the lips and it moisturizes nicely.  I am not a lipstick gal (at least not yet…but I wasn’t a nail polish girl either until recently) so this gives me just a little hint of color and shine but isn’t too in-your-face.  (He’s a keeper!)
A 5 year old who likes to do crafts just like her mom.  She is still not quite to that age that she can do things by herself so it can be a bit frustrating/challenging for both of us, but it will be a fun thing for us to do together when she is older so I suppose we should start now!  I found a bunny in one of her coloring books for her to cut out and trace on scrapbook paper, then cut out again.  I did one (mine is above) and hers is coming along nicely:
We’ll see where and how they end up.  :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kitchen Renovation Reveal

This has been a looonng time in the works.  It was almost a year ago that we started destructing in the kitchen in order to renovate!  Better late than never, I say.  In defense, it has been finished for about 6 months, and taking pictures of our efforts wasn’t a top priority in the months after our six-month-old baby’s birth.  (Imagine that!)
We poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into this renovation.  I have to say, I love it!  It makes me happy to be in the kitchen, which I think is what you should feel when you are in a room in your home. 
To refresh anyone’s memory (including my own), a before:
And then, because it is fun, a before with reasons why we were remodeling (in case you had any doubts as to our rationale):
And now, an after (from the same viewpoint):

And now I’m just going to throw in a few of my favorite shots from around the kitchen..  We worked soooo hard on this and finished just in the nick of time about a week before our youngest was born.  It was a grueling remodel, but I am so happy with how it turned out. 


A happy smorgasboard of color:

I’m writing a post about the specific details of our kitchen but here are a few quick ones.
  • We gutted the entire kitchen to the studs (you can see that here)
  • We had an “in-between kitchen” for about 2 years (we tiled the floor and painted the paneled walls right away and then waited a couple of years before completely remodeling)
  • We would have loved to change the layout significantly but couldn’t due to major plumbing in walls and the location of the powder room right off the kitchen (which we were not willing to sacrifice!)
  • We did most of the work ourselves except for some wiring by our electrician brother-in-law, some of the drywall installation by my carpenter dad and brother, and cabinet retrofitting by my carpenter brother.
  • We went green and re-used cabinets from my in-laws kitchen remodel
  • It took about 4.5 months
  • It cost under $2500 (yay!)
I love it.  It is my favorite room in the house. 
Did I say I loved it???
One more quick picture to finish…
This sits on the windowsill in our kitchen.  All of this wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for this man.    Thank you honey for all your hard work! 
(And I love that we found Josh wine!)
If you  have any questions about the process you can ask in the comments or email me and I would be happy to answer them.

Linking to Thrifty Decor Chick, That DIY Party(the DIY Showoff), Sugar Bee Crafts, Get Your Craft On, Hooked on Houses

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Five Favorites Volume 2

Joining Moxie Wife for her Five Favorites link-up…
Alstroemeria.  Especially Trader Joe’s cheap alstroemeria.  Just what is needed for these dreary March days with dingy melting snow, puddles of ice, and temperatures fluctuating between hopeful and downright disappointing.  Bonus:  they last forever so I can enjoy this late winter pick-me-up for quite a while!
A four year old who vacuums. 
The entire carpeted area!!  And she does it really well!  Can I get a yeah and a woooh?!!  Anyone who has little kids knows how HUGE this is.  Couch and bon-bons, here I come!  (j/k of course, as anyone who has little kids knows!!)  She does it every week! 
Please don’t be jealous.  Or try to kidnap her for your own carpeted areas.
wwwyh post
I’m loving this series that Emily is doing over on her blog about how to work with areas in the home that are challenging and cannot be changed right now for various reasons.  She has great practical and budget-friendly ideas..I’m especially liking her post on long, narrow living rooms (raises hand here).  I’m sure we’d all love to wave a magic wand and change a few things around in our home, but budget and time, etc. don’t allow. 
And her cute twins are adorable!
This tablescape is just too pretty.  Wouldn’t this be a lovely Easter dinner table?  Of course, at our house I’m not sure it would last long with a 2 year old around, but a girl can dream, right? 
Sleep.  I know, very lame, but it is a perennial favorite for me so I’m adding it.  A certain cute 6 month old is going through a phase of waking multiple times a night and it is starting to get old.  Hopefully he’ll get that tooth/decide nighttime is not for partying/realize he likes sleep as much as I do soon.  I really can’t complain though as he has been a wonderful sleeper since birth. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Five Favorites


I have never done a link party before, but I was inspired to join one by one of my favorite blog reads, Moxie Wife.  Listing some of my current favorite things can’t be that hard can it?  No, not difficult at all. 
Here you go!
sugar daddy
I have worn nail polish on my fingernails probably twice in my life, and immediately removed it because I thought it looked awful.  I decided to try it again with something very subtle, and love this one!  It gives a shine and just a hint of color and looks great so far.  I’m sure it won’t last long (especially grouting tile in the next few days!) but it was a nice little pick-me-up for a Sunday in March.
DSC_7362 (424x640)
Since I’ve had tile on the brain a lot lately, I was blown away by this gorgeous backsplash that the talented Marian installed in her kitchen.  Beautiful!!!
 Kids say the craziest things.  My two year old thought he was giving me a compliment yesterday when he told me:  “You’re the biggest mommy in the whole world!!”
Cottage Café of Largo
4.  A good cup of tea.
I have not always been a fan of tea.  I grew up drinking herbal tea when I was feeling under the weather, but didn’t have much use for it otherwise.  Then I spent a couple years in Ireland in my early 20s and grew to like the black tea they drink like water there.  Now I make myself a cup of tea at least a couple times a week year-round.  If I’m happy—tea.  If I’m sad—tea.  If I just need a little down time—tea.  I usually drink Irish Breakfast tea but really almost any kind of tea will do.  I like mine with 3 cubes of sugar and a little cream.  (In case I ever meet any of you in real life and you offer me tea.)
5.  My 6-month-old baby.  He is my chubbiest and happiest at this age.  He first giggled on my birthday at almost 2 months old.  He has a mop of hair that his older sister loves to style with bows and barrettes.  Wow how time flies!

Tiling the bathroom shower

No comments:
We have progressed into the tiling phase of our bathroom renovation.  And when I say we, I mean mostly my husband and my father-in-law (I did a little cement-board prep and then I focused on keeping everyone fed while the surround was magically tiled—after doing the tiled backsplash in the kitchen I was more than happy to have tiling elves do this part!). 
While the tile itself is nothing to write home about (I picked out 3X6 subway tile and was going to run them vertically rather than horizontally, then decided the extra $40 was not worth it with this particular project and got 4” square tile instead), it is a vast improvement over what was there before.  (Leaking blue plastic tile.)We plan to put this house on the market in the spring and who knows if the future owner will even like subway tile (though I can’t imagine that!!!). 
It is so nice to see things moving right along!  And so nice to have help with a project like this.