Around the House, July 2014

For the skimmers, please check out the question mid-post in bold! I need paint color help!

Yesterday I mentioned we’re doing a photo book for the adoption so The Boy (how else do I refer to him since I can’t use his name? A nickname, anyone?) can become familiar with us and our home.  As I was going around the house snapping some photos, I realized there have been a few changes around the house I haven’t shown you yet. I suppose none of it is enough for one post on its own, but this will be a nice compilation of the latest changes around the house.

First, when we were expecting the other adoption to happen in May, we did a switcheroo with Lexi’s room with the tree house bed and the playroom.  We FINALLY got rid of most of the girls’ toys (hallelujah!) and were able to condense the remaining American Girl (etc, etc) stuff to just the closet in the playroom.

My mom found a dollhouse bunk bed on Craigslist that Lexi fell in love with. The
best heating and air conditioning minneapolis convinced her to make the playroom into her room and leave the tree house bed for The Boy.

It’s an extremely small room so it’s hard to photograph, but here’s the playroom now as Lexi’s room:



The room clearly isn’t done as she’s still settling in.

So, her old room is now becoming cleared out for The Boy.  He’ll get the cool tree house bed!  How awesome is it that we have that ready for him?


I still have a bit of cleaning out to do.  I already removed the pink birds.  You can see them above the window in Lexi’s new room. I think I may just take the whole tree down.



Also, the angels at the top of the bookcase need a new home as well as other paraphernalia that Lexi has in there still.



And finally, that mirror seems a bit feminine. I was thinking a mirror with rope around it would be a good fit.

So, here’s the big debate in our house. Is the blue wall too much of a feminine blue? (And please, that is not an invitation to give me a lecture about reinforcing gender stereotypes, okay?  Okay. I mean, I did have my daughter in a blue room with tree house bed which isn’t traditionally feminine.  Anyway. Okay.) 

Scott and Emma think it’s too girly, but Lexi and I are ok with it.  Should we repaint the walls?  What color would you do? I was thinking some type of khaki/olive-y green color might be nice if we did. Scott was thinking just maybe a different shade of blue.



So, moving on to the rest of the house, I finally replaced our 15 year old ficus trees in the living room. 



I replaced them with some IKEA shelving.  I shopped the house for some vases, plants and books and voila.



Hi, Bella!

Also, I finally splurged and bought a huge map from IKEA for our bedroom. 


I’ve wanted one since seeing Tsh’s in her house last October.  It really is a perfect fit.  I love it so much.  Sometimes I just like staring at it and really soaking it in. That’s nerdy, right?  Yeah.

And finally, I moved the pictures that were previously there…



…and put them over by the fireplace.



Scott just loved me when he had to hang those.

So, that’s our house for now.  It seems like it’s always fluid, always changing.  I think Lexi has now lived in each of the 3 original bedrooms.  But I love that we make the space we have work, thanks to Jose Real Estate.  We could easily fill up a few more hundred more square feet in another house, but we love our location and who wants the hassle of moving? Not me!

And just for fun, here’s a picture from Palm Beach last year I’m thinking of including in the album.


I think we could fit The Boy on there too, don’t you?


Don’t forget to chime in with what color we should paint his room!

Polka Dots and Coronata Stars

A year and a half ago, I saw this polka dot wall at The Nester’s place.  A year ago, I saw the coronata stars in her laundry room and fell in love.  Clearly, I move fast when I think I might like something *ahem* because I finally bought some polka dots and coronata star of my own last month from WallsNeedLove.

The Nester put the coronata stars in the smallest room of her house.  I chose the ceiling of our toilet room in the master bedroom first, because it’s the smallest of our home and second, because it’s one of the few ceilings without popcorn.





Maybe it isn’t very master bedroom-ish, I don’t know.  What I can tell you is they make me happy every morning.

They’re gold and shimmery. I like that they’re hidden in a small part of our house that rarely anyone else sees. It’s like a hidden star display just for us.


As for the polka dots, even though our house isn’t very polka-dot-ish, I couldn’t say no.

I chose the entry way to display them in a starburst pattern.





Again, they make me happy.  They shimmer when the light hits them. It’s especially pretty when it’s mostly dark in the house and a lone ray of light hits them just right.  I love walking down the hall and seeing the burst.  I told Lexi it’s like someone had a handful of glitter and threw it down our wall.

I tried them in a symmetrical pattern, similar to The Nester’s, and also the raining pattern featured on their site, but that table is centered with the hallway and not the wall so it made them both look off.

The starburst pattern certainly is different, but it’s unique and fits the off-centered table and mirror nicely.

Applying them was as easy as peeling and sticking.  I did cut them from the sheet first before peeling and taped them up with painter’s tape so I could arrange them first.  You have to be careful peeling the backing off the stars so you don’t tear the points but overall, it really couldn’t have been easier.  Scott didn’t even help on this one.

Each room was only $12 and the stickers are completely removable. What’s not to love?

Maybe your Walls Need Love? Pin one of the pictures for later?


This post is not sponsored. It just makes me happy.  I did mention that, right?

Create Your Own Punch List and Make Yourself Happy

I was reminded of a strange phenomenon this weekend and I wondered if you’ve seen it too.

My sister is in the midst of selling her house here in town.  She’s lived in her townhouse for, I don’t know, 10 years or something.  She’s had a lot of work done to the house over those years—new carpet and  new kitchen cabinets and what not.  She’s been given a few punch list items from the realtor before she puts it on the market.  She’s been working on them this past week to get them done—caulk the stairwell, pressure wash the porch, move a table from the hall to the living room. 

One task she had to do is put some pictures in a collage frame she had in her bedroom.  She’d hung the frame long ago but had never taken the time to put pictures in it.  She filled it full of pictures of her dogs.  She remarked to my mom, “Why didn’t I do that a long time ago, I could have enjoyed it all this time?”

She’s not the only punch-list bearing mover I’ve heard say something like that.  Our friends were moving last fall and put a frame around their mirror in their bathroom.  They remarked the same thing to us, “Why did we finally take the time to do that when we’re moving when we could have been enjoying it all this time?”

It’s a strange phenomenon, isn’t it?  We are willing to live with the small stuff undone—for years—only to finally fix them for someone else.

I realize many times there are budget limitations. Sure, our hardwoods could probably be replaced at this point, but I don’t care to spend a few thousand dollars on it right now. 

Sometimes there are time restrictions.  I know mostly I’m just trying to keep up with the laundry and the blasted dust and dog hair lying on everything.  Who has time for the non-urgent stuff?

Most of the time money and time stop us, but I’d bet there are things around our house we could stop and do if we’d only first think of it and second, actually do.

After thinking on this this weekend, my mom suggested I finally add some artwork to some frames in Emma’s room.  They’ve been hanging in her room empty since we remodeled after the water leak last year.  My plan was to create beautiful customized artwork, each frame spelling out a letter in her name.  But I could never get around to it.

I batted around paying someone to paint four pieces of artwork, but I could never bring myself to pay for it.  When Mom finally suggested I should put her artwork in it, I was all in. 




It wasn’t exactly what I envisioned, but we sure could enjoy it in the meantime. It was so much better than IKEA’s standard insert hung neatly 4 times over.  And really, I just love walking by and seeing her artwork in her room instead of mine.

Turns out it cost me zero dollars and 15 minutes.

While we’re in here, I don’t think I’ve shown you how her office space on the opposite wall evolved since finishing her crate bookcase.



She just loves her school clock (IKEA).  And as you can see, I still have one more thing on my list in there—add a 4th frame.  I actually bought it and primed the frame and then it rained on it outside while it was drying and I had to trash it.

You could consider acting as your own realtor even if you’re not moving.  Go through each room and write down a punch list of things that need done.  Here are a few of mine that I can think of off the top of my head:

  • Put shoe molding down in the kitchen
  • Finish the crown molding in the kitchen
  • Touch up the paint in the office
  • Glue down the threshold molding to the bathroom
  • Fix the weather stripping thingie in the shower
  • Put Emma’s toilet paper holder back up
  • Hang the picture in Emma’s bathroom
  • Pressure wash the front of the house
  • Pressure wash the picnic tables

As you can see, even these things will take very little money and very little time.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think of these things when we have a few minutes of downtime. A written punch list would certainly help.

I guess my point in all this is we should do some of these little things for ourselves as we can instead of waiting until we move.  Really, what sense does it make not to if budget and time allow? <- asking myself

Have you found this phenomenon to be true?  Tell me—what are a few things off the top of your head you could do?

DIY: Oversized Ruler for the Hallway

I decided a few weeks back I was tired of loving stuff on Pinterest and wanted to love them in my house instead of on my boards.

Ever since I saw this oversized ruler on Pinterest, I’ve been in love.

I love stained wood and I love numbers and lines and it reminds me of old wooden rulers.  Such a little thing to make me so happy every time I saw the picture.  I don’t know why I waited so long, but I finally had Scott help me do one of my own last week for our hallway.




Isn’t she grand?

When we added on to the house and extended our hall, the builder suggested we make the corner angled.  It created a kind of weird tiny little wall but it turns out it’s a perfect fit for an oversized ruler.

It makes me so a happy every time I walk by.

Of course, the kids immediately wanted to measure their height.






And, of course, Bella had to be measured too!


In order to make it, Scott bought a 6’ piece of finished wood.  I stained it with one coat of the same stain we used on Lexi’s treehouse bed—English Chestnut by Miniwax.

For the numbers, I haven’t yet sprung for a Silhouette Cameo to make my own. I found an Etsy shop LittleAcornsByRo that sells the vinyl numbers and lines separately. 

It turned out easier than I thought to apply because the lines come in 1 foot sections.  You just have to line up the edge of the vinyl with the edge of the board and press them down.  The numbers come separately and we just eyeballed where we wanted them.  I should mention that Scott worked at a sign shop right out of high school so he’s sort of an expert at installing this kind of thing for me.  I left the OCD measuring and applying up to him.

I realized after the fact that some of the rulers/growth charts apply the numbers sideward so it looks like an actual ruler.  I’m not sure which I would have chosen if I’d have thought about it.  I think either way works.

The tutorials I’ve seen say to add a hook to the back of it for hanging, but Scott screwed the board directly into the wall in all the corners.

We’re guesstimating we have about an hour of work (including the trip to Lowe’s) and $30 (even including shipment of they vinyl) in it. They retail for about $60, both on etsy and in some local shops here. Considering there’s about a zillion ways you could customize this for yourself, I’d say it’s a good Pinterest project to tackle.

The great news for you is LittleAcornsByRo has a 20% New Year’s discount that ends TODAY.  If you’re thinking at all about doing this, grab your decals now!  Use the code NEWYEAR20. I don’t get anything from referring you, but tell them I sent you anyway!


So tell me, why do you think we wait so long on actually doing Pinterest projects?  What project could you do this weekend?

Thrifty Updates Around the House

Alright, we’ve made a few tiny changes around the house the past few weeks and they are making me so happy.  If we were in a room right now, you’d see me clapping my hands in glee.  I just clapped a little in between typing this just for feeling.

The great part is all of these are thrifty changes.


First, in our foyer, we picked up a key wall ornament at an antique shop in Summerville, SC last weekend (near Charleston).  They had it marked for $14 but a part of it was starting to come apart so I got Scott to ask for a better deal and we got it for $12. 

We hung it by the front door and while it seems kind of random in the picture, it’s like a hidden little treasure you see right as you walk out the door and it’s fun.



Next, in our guest bathroom, I made two small changes. First, I bought a hanging soap dish at a shop in Summerville.  They have the CUTEST little downtown shopping area.  I actually don’t think the dispenser is antique, it’s just made to look like it.  I don’t care though, it’s the cutest little thing and it makes me happy to see it. However, it’s probably the least thrifty items of the bunch at $10.




Also in there, I bought a shelf for 25 cents at a yard sale.  Previously, just the picture was above the toilet.  I lowered the picture and added the shelf with some items I had on the bathroom counter and in the living room. Often shelves are hung below a picture but I think it works like this.  It’s sort of like crown molding for the picture. 




In our bedroom, I added the wall art on the side wall of our fireplace.  These pieces were hanging in our living room/kitchen where we tore the wall down and made a bar. The black balances out the darker furniture on the right side of the room and it really gives the room another layer that I love.  Still not done in there but I liked this step, especially since it was free!




In the toilet room of our master bathroom, I added this wall art that my friend passed on to me at a yard sale for free.  I’ve had them for a year and we just now got around to hanging them.



So, all of those changes for just $22.25!  Not bad!


And while we’re at it, we finished the stairs on the treehouse in Lexi’s room.  It really finishes it off and we’re loving it!



Challenge: find something in your house you can reuse in another room!