Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Showers

I've taken the flannel sheets off our bed in hopes that we are officially done with freezing temps.  I'm going to plant some things this week and it's risky, but a risk well worth taking because I'm sick of pink tomatoes at the grocery store and I need bees and butterflies and gardens in my life as soon as possible.  I think I've finally taken some decent pictures of the bathroom to post!  It's only like 3 months later, but hey, better late than never? :).

Note the amount of crap gathered not only on the window sill, but the toilet tank. Speaking of toilets, I couldn't even close the lid for the picture? Geez. This was one of the last days of mint green. I was done. 

Not the greatest light balance in this picture, but you get the idea. It looks SO MUCH BETTER. 
 The old bathroom lacked space for just about everything. My makeup and hairbrush and curling irons have drawers to live in now! I love it. Oh and that sink? You can lay the hair dryer on it without it falling into the sink or onto the floor. The tile on the floor isn't coming up and has a little variety to the pattern so when I lose, say, half my hair after brushing it (don't worry, I have enough for 10 humans), it doesn't show up so much if I don't sweep it up every. single. day. Everything is square or rectangle. The towel rack, the toilet paper holder, the sink, the fixtures, the soap dispenser etc...  Don wouldn't let me get the square tank toilet because it wasn't a very good toilet, but I've made my peace with that decision since the new toilet is amazing. Who knew there were so many choices when it came to toilets? Not me.

I don't miss anything about this picture. Wait maybe the... nope. Nothing. 

You can't really tell, but the vanity and the medicine cabinet are espresso, not black. The paint we used is called Studio Taupe by Behr and my sister is obsessed with it. It makes me happy because it reminds me of chocolate milk or Weimaraners. 
The tub is gone.  The one million pound tub is gone.  So is that so-stained-not-even-pinterest-can-cure grout. So are the 7 bottles of various shampoo and conditioner with a tiny bit left in each. 

Let's talk about this shower.  Do you know how easy it is to wash dogs now? I know that shouldn't be a top priority, but it is. They run, but they can't jump through glass like they could with a shower curtain. You can't get to a corner where that sprayer won't reach either. I have cleaner dogs now.  I imagine it would work for crazy toddlers as well ;). That big square rain-like shower head up there is awesome.  I wanted one of those, and Don wanted something that had better water pressure. He found this one by Delta,  and it is the best of both worlds. If you want a great shower and you're in the neighborhood, come on by... unless you're creepy, then forget it! hehe. You can choose the main shower head, the sprayer, or both. If you have the sprayer on, it's pretty much like a main shower head for short people. The grey tile in the shower matches the grey tile on the floor. I think Don did an excellent job at design... I wonder if it has something to do with being an engineer or if it's contradictory to being an engineer. The things I wonder about.

So that's the bathroom. I like it. Moving on! It's definitely Spring (Other than that random hard freeze a few nights ago) and flowers and trees are beautiful!

This house has ridiculous curb appeal. It's SO CUTE. It makes my house look like a shack. I'm not sure what that flag is doing there, but unless it's for a good cause, it should probably go because it's messing up the wonderfulness of this porch. ;) 

I made a welcome mat for the front door.  Don saw it online and wanted it.  I found the blank floor mat at Goodwill for I don't know... let's say 79 cents (when things are 79 cents a pound, it's hard to determine how much they cost without actually weighing them).  I made stencils and painted it on. You're welcome husband.

This is the side of my house.  We're going to ignore the empty box, and look at what came in the box! See the garden arch? I got it at Aldi for 29.99.  I looked at Goodwill and everywhere else for the past year and couldn't find one, and I freaked out when this one popped up in the Aldi ad. Originally I thought I'd have to build one, but this was better.  It's gorgeous, and it's only going to be prettier when it's covered in moon flower vines. It's about a foot in the neighbor's yard, but he didn't care. He never comes over to this side of his house and I mow that strip of grass for him in the summer anyway. Deal.

So overall, I'm very happy with the house right now, and I know that it's only going to get better as things start growing and I get the flower box and garden in. Sigh. I've missed you warm weather!  Monkey feels the same way.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Baseball and Kickball and SPRING!

Spring is here! It was opening day today and the Cards won so that was a good start to the season :). We had a spring warm up tournament for kickball on Sunday and I realized that I'm majorly out of shape and I should probably work on that.  I planted some more flower seeds and I'm getting sick of buying pale tomatoes at the store and Oscar is sick of me making him wear his Russian hat so no more snow, Missouri! You hear me? No Mo Snow.

Since my nephews and nieces have been on spring break, and friends with kids are wanting to get out due to nice weather,  I've been to the Magic House, The Zoo, The Science Center, and The Butterfly House in the last month. All I'm missing is the City Museum!  So I went a little crazy over butterflies and stole my sister's camera and took some pictures. The butterfly dome was really warm which was nice on a cold day and it also made me want to plant a bunch more plants for the butterflies (and bees as an added bonus). 

Our bedroom walls are dark blue so I've been wanting to lighten up the furniture in our room. I finally got around to painting the nightstands and I'll do the larger pieces when it gets a little warmer outside.

I also painted a tray. I don't know what I'm going to do with said tray, but I needed to paint a bee on something because I've been obsessed with bees lately and it was inevitable. 

Before: Eww Gross! 

After: Super Cute. I want to eat it it's so cute. 
The bathroom is done. I should really clean it up, make it sparkle, and take pictures. I'll do that later this week.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Furniture & Bagels

We had an 82 degree day. It was glorious. I wore a dress (that that, March!) and flats and I think I was warm for the first time in months. I planted some things so they will be ready when the threat of frost has passed (will it ever happen??).   Now, when winter rears its ugly, never leaving head, it's going to be super rough.  That's okay. I think everyone needed some warmth and we dabbled in it all week. So here is what I've been up to...

In anticipation of the fairies moving in to my mom's yard, I constructed a door. I used big popsicles sticks, Elmer's glue, little popsicle sticks, and a push pin. I took some stain and just brushed it on with a foam brush.  By the time this summer is over, I'm probably going to be an expert fairy contractor.

I went to Rural King and followed the yellow chick footprints to the bins of chicks!! So cute. Don was worried because he knew where I was going and what was awaiting me when I got there.  I was good, and I did not buy one chicken or eight.

I only bought like 5 packets of seeds this year. This one caught my eye and I can only hope that the flowers look exactly like this because I will be in lurrrvve.

I went to JoAnn's fabrics and perused all the material.  When I go into JoAnn's, I look at the clock and I'm almost always in there for over an hour. I don't know what happens. My eyeballs can't help but feasting on all the prints. I took pictures of the ones that tickled my fancy.  I really need to improve my sewing skills so I have some sort of excuse to buy more fabric. As of now, I will just continue enjoy without owning. 

I did buy this one. It was a fat quarter and I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but I couldn't leave it behind:

I also bought some fish fabric for a project that I actually completed.   I'm not sure what this thing is called. At first I was going to make a raised dog bed for Monkey, but I decided she wasn't interested and moved on to a new plan.  It's a little ottoman.  At least that's what I'm calling it. 

After it was completed, guess who decided that she wanted to try it out? What. A. Punk. She was quite happy with herself... see her blur of a tail wagging?   Maybe I'll make a cushion for the rocking chair with the leftover fabric and they'll match.

I love making bread - more specifically, I love eating bread. I'm sort of bad at allowing enough time to let dough rise and still have enough time to bake it before dinner.  I've wanted to make bagels for a long time now and I finally got around to it today. They were surprisingly easy to make, and so chewy and delicious.  I made bagel bites for dinner. Well, they really weren't bites as much as just bagel pizzas. Much more than a bite... probably like 5 or 6 bites. Either way, they were devour-able and I look forward to having a bagel for breakfast. I'm going to have to try pretzels next.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Attracting Bees To Your Yard

I love bees. When I was a kid, my brother and I would go around and catch them in glass jars with holes in the lid.  If you got two bees in your jar, you were pretty awesome, but three bees? That's expert bee catching right there. I'm not sure why we started catching bees, but it was probably our daytime alternative to lightning bugs. There was also a definite thrill with catching bees that lightning bugs just couldn't offer. I can only remember getting stung a couple of times, but that was when I was out running in the clover barefoot. We always let our bees go after we caught them, or more specifically, we opened the lid and ran like hell.

Now that I've hung up my bee catching hat, I have to get my bee watching fix some other way. When I first started gardening, I didn't have a whole lot of bees. I still managed to pick a pretty good crop of tomatoes, but over the years, I've increased the number and types of bees in my yard, and the amount of tomatoes that grow (if the squirrels don't get them first!). Every year, I increase the number of bees (and butterflies!) by planting different colors and types of flowers. I find myself leaning towards planting flowers that are specifically known for attracting bees, but bees have excellent color vision so the more variety of colors you plant, the more the bees will take notice.

When I added a bird bath, it also increased the number of bees in the yard. If you have a bird bath, add rocks to make little islands so the bees can safely get water without drowning. Remember, without the bees we'd all starve to death! Okay, so that is my interpretation of the situation, but I doubt that it's that far off.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The New Living Room!

Recently, we re-did our bathroom and our floors in the hall and living room.  The nasty carpet is finally gone! Putting in the wood floors was hard work.  We started around 6:30 in the morning and got done about 7:30 at night and that didn't include all the time removing all the furniture out of the room.  Have you ever gone without a couch for a week? It's the WORST.  Whenever I think about how miserable I was without a couch, I feel pretty guilty because there are people without homes let alone couches. I just wandered around the house aimlessly at night trying to find a comfy place to sit, and guess what? There isn't one. I did get a lot of stuff done without a comfy place to sit. 

I'm the queen of forgetting to take before pictures and this time was no exception.  I went through all my pictures trying to find a suitable "before" picture and I found one, but you'll have to excuse the Christmas decor :). 

We put in new baseboards which had to be painted white, and I painted the mantle white.  I also painted the little cove wood white. The floors and our walls are dark so we needed a little contrast.  We removed the popcorn ceiling which was easier than I thought it would be, and maybe even sort of fun. Here is a video of me scraping a little bit. 

Here is the room in its ET state: 

Here is the mess that scraping the ceiling caused: 

This tile had to come up. Thankfully, it wasn't too painstaking to remove, and it had a few screws and nails that had to come up that remained after I got everything torn up. 

I wanted to re-stain the fireplace and take it from the original orangey color to a darker color, but in the end, that would have just been too dark. I still stripped and sanded the wood, but I probably could have gotten away with less since I ended up painting.  You can see the coves better in this picture.  Someday, I'm going to find the perfect entertainment center to go on the left that won't be so tall and block that cool space. 

We took up this old tile in the hall and in the hall closets. Man, I know trends come and go, but what were they thinking? 
 Here's Don getting ready for the next row to be nailed down.

It was weird having a large empty room for a day. It almost made me want to get out the roller blades ;). 

Now, all that is left to do is to paint the hutch (in the first pictures on the left) either black or white because I can't make up my mind (which one should I do?!) , put in some hooks for jackets, and maybe put some more stuff on the walls.

The floors have been in for more than a month now and I can't believe the amount of dirt that comes in on a daily basis. It's the same amount of dirt that was coming in before only now there is no carpet to absorb it.  Although I love the smooshy feel of carpet under my feet,  I'm slightly disgusted with carpet in general at the moment (or at least our old carpet). The floors take a lot of work to keep clean, but I'd say it's definitely worth it so far. Ask me in a year and it might change hehe. As soon as Don finishes up the last couple of things in the bathroom, I'll post about that as well. 


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I'm pretty much your average human being, minus the 2.5 children. I do have 7 nieces and nephews.