2013 Home Goals

Do you make New Year's Resolutions?  Not me!!

Look, my reality is, I'm a busy mom raising four kids, trying to balance a full time job with my family and my home life.  I've got great support with The Builder, but the reality is, we really wing it some weeks.  My days of well organized chaos (aka, when I was a stay at home and could plan better!) have been gone for some time, and as much as I would LOVE to go back to simpler times, it isn't an option for us in the immediate or near future.  So I have to work with what we have!  And I have no complaints about that.

Now that being said, my home is sanctuary.  I need it to be comfortable and inviting.  When The Builder and I were dating, he lived in an apartment.  With no color on the walls, a stack of tires in his bedroom for a night stand and a Craftsman tool box in his living room for...an entertainment center?  Who knows, he and his roommate didn't even have a TV, let alone a sofa.  My place was the polar opposite.  I can't even move boxes into my living space without curtains up!  Thankfully, The Builder quickly grew to appreciate my need for color and completed rooms. He readily admits he could never go back to bachelorhood when it comes to having a home decorated.

Since we plan to be in this house for at least another 18 mos., in lieu of New Years resolutions, I'm making 2013 Home Goals!  If I was really organized, they'd be listed month by month...but I'm not. So here we go, in no particular order:
  1. The Laundry Room - surprisingly enough, this room is driving me CRAZY for months now.  I still need to pick up the counter top at Ikea for the folding counter, have The Builder complete the storage for the laundry hampers, hang the artwork, and put a shelf for storage.  
2.  The Entryway - another area that frustrates me quickly in my house!  I'm lucky that it's open flows into the main portion of the house, but my kids have a terrible habit of dropping their things as soon as they walk in the door - not good for clutter control.  There's a coat closet directly off the front door, but I Have the hardest time getting my kids to actually USE it - yes, even though they don't have to take more than two steps.  I have this crazy idea that if I offer them a little more storage, they might use it...I know, probably delusional, but maybe if they could hang their backpacks on a hook and dump their shoes in a cubby it would keep me from being horrified when I open the door at night...
When you walk in the front door, to the left is the stairwell, similar to the one in the photo here.  I love the photo's and the monogram inspiration.  My wall is shorter in the stairwell, but I think I could make this work for my area.  

The storage bench is a project for The Builder!  He'll have to do some small modifications to meet our needs so that it will hold four hooks for our kids, but it's an easy fix.  The bench lid lifts up so I can toss store their shoes by the front door.  Of course if I ever move, I'm in trouble - this is the only house we've lived in that could accommodate a piece of furniture like.  But I'm not planning on moving again if I can help it, so he's going to humor me and build it!

3.  My Master Bedroom - there are lots of things I love about my master bedroom!  The nightstands The Builder made for us.  The wrought iron scrolled headboard I bought several years ago.  The curtains with the pop of color in them, and the duvet cover.  But there are still a few things missing...things I keep meaning to get to them...sigh...but again, it's another incomplete project.  So it's on my list to complete - before summer!
1 - the satin pillow.  I don't know exactly how I'm going to duplicate it, but I have the fabric, so I just need to try!  2 - the dresser.  This is another project for The Builder!  I don't have nearly enough drawer space and we could use the baskets to store our small collection of non-cartoon DVD's!  3 - another throw pillow.  It's just crazy I haven't completed the two throw pillows because I bought the fabrics months ago.  I also want to put a pretty tufted club chair in my bedroom - ideally, this one:
Source: overstock.com via Elona on Pinterest

I love the tufting and the size.  I have two corner windows and I hope think it would be a cozy spot to sit and read in the afternoons (ha ha, like I don't think I actually have the time to do that, but it sounds lovely!)  The chair is a bit pricey, but it's one of those things I think would be a good investment.  So I'm saving my pennies, lol, and maybe I an order it by Christmas!

There are several more small projects that need to be done - the artwork for the hall bathroom and for the powder room downstairs (I'm seeing a common thread with artwork being needed for multiple rooms - note to self...) and I haven't even tackled the sun room!  But the sun room isn't something I'm ready to even think about tackling in the beginning of winter. Of course winter will be mostly over by the end of February here in Houston, lol...

PS - No year in reviews either - I figure if you really want to go back to a project that I did this year, you'll pin it on Pinterest!!  I seriously don't know what I did before Pinterest when it comes to saving all my favorite "stuff"!

It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas...

I got some more Christmas decorating done this weekend!  The kitchen has been calling my name since last weekend (when I intended to get it done) but I had a few things I wanted to do.  Last Christmas, I was short a strand of garland of poinsettias - not a huge deal, but since I knew I was short, I made sure to pick up a strand of them on Black Friday.  

Then there were these wreaths.  I knew I wanted a little something "extra" in the kitchen.  I saw some wreaths hanging on ribbon on a pinterest, and that was my intent...and I probably will  do that...when I get some more command adhesive strips! So for now, because I wanted to show them, here they are on the knobs.  And I actually like how they look, but they'll drive The Builder insane having to take them off and on every time he wants to open a cabinet.  I can't have that.  I'm loving the poinsettia.  The black and white goes really well with my kitchen.  I am thinking about adding a little red garland to this, but we'll see.  I think next time I take a photo that our cereal dispenser is in, I'll make sure it's full too, lol.

Poinsettia garland also went up on the candelabra.  This is one of the new bows I posted about on Facebook as well.  I bought a bow maker years ago and went crazy making bows for the holidays...because I could.  And I've been using them over and over ever since.  But apparently you can only re-fluff them so many times before they just don't look right anymore.  Oops.  Last year I didn't even put them out.  Ironically, I buy new ribbon every year with the intent of updating the bows, so I had quite the stockpile when I sat down this afternoon!  The room you see behind the window is the sun room.  We have a major makeover planned in the spring so that we can use the space (the dog tore all the screens and they have to be replaced first) but next year, I plan to extend Christmas decorating there as well.  Is it bad that I'm planning it already....

Here's a close up of the bow.  This is the same ribbon I plan to hang the small wreaths on.  I absolutely love polka dots.  Love them!  And the colors go perfectly in my kitchen.  I thought the bow added a little more to the garland.  I'm definitely a "more is more" type of girl when it comes to Christmas!  Apparently some people see that as too commercial.  But I LOVE Christmas.  And if I can fill every room with the spirit of Christmas, then that's what I'll do!!  Every year I buy or make a few more things for Christmas.  I have boxes and boxes of Christmas decor.  They make me smile looking at them all year, anticipating putting them up.  Yes, I'm the crazy Christmas woman, lol...

My bistro area.  Some more poinsettia garland.  I love how this looks in here.  I didn't have the wrought iron curtain rod last year that curved around the bay window (The Builder put it up in the spring for me!) and the garland was difficult to hang last year.  Command adhesive strips work great on walls that are fairly smooth.  My aren't even close to being smooth (side note, I seriously hate heavy texture and if I ever buy this house, I plan to knock down after last piece of texture one wall at a time!!) so the hooks don't stay up well.  You can see one of the nutcrackers I painted black last year.  I see that Target has a great set of white nutcrackers available this year.  Clearly they pay attention to Pinterest too and how popular these were last year!  I'm very happy with my black ones.  I have several of these all over my kitchen.  With my white cabinets and neutral colored counter tops, I don't think white would look as good.

Finally, here's a close up of one of one of the black nutcrackers.  This is the medium sized one.  I also have a larger one in the corner of the kitchen and two small ones on the bakers rack.  I'm not 100% happy with how they're placed at the moment so I'll be moving them around the kitchen until they're jusssst right.  I'll post more photo's once I determine where they really need to be.

Still up to complete for decorating is my entry way and dining room. There are a few things up in the dining room, but nothing worth posting about yet. The powder room also got a Christmas update but I haven't had time to get photo's yet.  Maybe tomorrow!

Book Review - The Handbuilt Home

Not my normal post today, but I wanted to share with you a book that arrived this week that was written by my favorite builder, Ana White.  I've had The Builder use or modify several of her plans now, and they are always well written and accurate.  If you've ever downloaded plans online before, or bought a woodworking magazine because of a project, you may know that this is a rarity in the woodworking world.  My dad (the original builder!!) has an extensive catalog of woodworking magazines and books and very rarely, was he ever able to complete a project as written.  That might not be a problem if you're experienced like him (or The Builder!) but for the average person wanting to complete the project they see in the photo, its extremely irritating.

Source: ana-white.com via Elona on Pinterest

This is the book we're talking about today.  I don't know where to begin on all the projects from it that I want to do!!!  So let's break this down by chapter.  I love that she did the chapters based on the room the projects were for.  The first two chapters are for beginners, going over where to start and what tools you should have (and none of the super expensive, tools-you-will-not-have are in this book) as well as some great tips.  My dad has been a woodworker for years and I was always in the garage with him, but there were a few pointers that I found to be useful! The next chapters cover projects for The Entryway, The Family Room, The Dining Room, The Kitchen & Bath, Office & Craft Space (finally someone recognizes the importance of craft space, not necessarily a room!!), Bedrooms, Children's Room, and Outdoor Furnishings.

The projects are broken down step by step.  There is a scale for difficulty and cost so you know what to expect before you start. She also provides you with not only a tools and materials list, but a cut list as well.  Many big box home improvement stores Home Depot/Lowes will do the cuts for you if you have a cut list.  That's not usually an issue with The Builder, but for someone just starting, this is a great tool so you don't have to hope and pray that your math skills aren't a little rusty!  Not only are there step by step line drawings for each project, but she's asked blog builders from all over to build the actual project and there is a beautiful color photo of the completed project (and I LOVE that she gave credit to the person who built the project!!!).  

So I have a couple of projects that are getting move onto The Builders list for me:
  • Project 12 - Hutch - I need  this for my dining room.  I have one that is too small and I'd love to move it into the kitchen  for storage for my baking supplies, but I'm not about to store my good china in the land of no return garage.  This project also requires Project 3 - Console Table, to complete it, but I like that I can do them in stages for affordability.  Also, because they're two pieces, they'll move easier if ever move again (not that I have any desire to do that ever again!)
  • Project 5 - Lego Coffee Table - yes, that's what it says.  And you know why?  Because the top has a removable panel.  OMG, where was this when my boys were smaller and I wanted to pick up Lego's quickly before I went to bed so I wouldn't kill myself stepping on one in the dark?!  While I admit to not having much a need for one for Lego's now, being able to put away my plethora of magazines as well as store remote controls easily has definite appeal!
  • Project 14- Step Stool - so I made a step stool in my first woodworking class in Jr. High.  I got a 92 on it, and to this day, we still use it.  Woodworking isn't offered in Middle School here, and I would love The Builder to work with each of our kids to complete one.  Then they would have something special to share with their kids one day.
  • Project 15 - Wall Storage - So I have this spot above my bathtub in our master bedroom that has been screaming for storage once I saw this photo:
Source: bhg.com via Elona on Pinterest

Project 15 is smaller, but I would be able to take it with me if we ever moved (yikes, I said those words again - I swear, I'm not moving!!!).  Also, it would allow for more storage of all my...stuff.  I'm a girl.  I have stuff. 
  • Project 19 - Project Table - Oh. My.  LOVE this one.  No clue where I'd put it, but I definitely want it!
  • Project 24 - oh, this one I don't need The Builder to build for me because HE ALREADY DID!  I love these bedside tables and they are the perfect size!!  
  • Project 33 - Picnic Table - I've wanted one forever.  My parents still have the redwood picnic table that was my grandparents.  We spent many a summer evening at that table having dinner, after dad had barbecued something wonderful.  These days the big box stores sell cheap ones that the benches are attached to.  Not what I want.  I want this one to go in my sun room so that my family can spend lazy summer evenings together too. :)
I really can not say enough good things about this book.  While I could have easily used similar plans on her web site (they're all free!) to do some of these projects, I really feel it's important to support such a talented builder and designer.  I feel this book is an excellent investment and more than worth what I paid for it!

PS - Ana White was here in Houston today, literally 5 minutes from my work!!  I'm SO sad I had outstanding obligations that prevented me from being able to go and have her sign my book... :(

Catching Up

This time of year is always crazy busy for me.  You'd think with the kids back in school, I would have a little more free time.  Let me clear up that misconception!  School activities definitely take some creative schedule coordinating when you have four kids!

But today The Builder is working and I'm fairly certain I can squeeze in one or two small projects while I attempt to conquer Mt. Washmore (aka, laundry for a family of 6!)  Here are two of my inspirations:

I love apothecary jars!!  I could have them multiple rooms, but since I have boys, and things "accidently" get broken fairly easy, I've limited them to the kitchen...

And the slightly more ambitious project:

I have everything I need for the wreath! I love that it's different than anything I've hung on my door before.  I think I'm going to need a second storage box for my fall decor after this year...

My other goal is to finish the table runner I started two weeks ago.  Yep, super ambitious if you could actually see the size of Mt. Washmore...

Fall Ideas

Fall starts on Saturday.  And while it's not terribly cool here in the Lone Star State, it's almost 20 degrees cooler than it was two weeks ago.  Sometimes you just have to be thankful for the little things!

So I've been contemplating my fall decorating, which I plan to do this weekend.  Here's a quick recap of how it looked here.  I've made SO many changes to this room.  The sofa's been moved.  We added a media cabinet.  And some color.  All good changes.  But I'm thinking about to work these in with my existing decor.  Because admittedly, after spending the last month buying new Christmas ornaments (more on that in another post!), I'm feeling more than a little thrifty at the thought of having to invest a significant amount more  in fall decor.  Particularly since some of my ooh's and ahh's are way more than what I spend even if I had the money.  Case in point, take a look at this (and forgive the overly wide photo, but I wanted you to actually be able to see the runner!):
Source: horchow.com via Elona on Pinterest
So pretty, right?!  So are the prices.  The 17x72 table runner is $190.  The place mats are $170 each!  So I was surfing some of my favorite blogs (that you can always scroll through as well, just click on the links on the right side of the page) and came across this post
The ruffle on this runner really reminds me of the one on the Horchow site.  And while I would want mine finished and not colorful, lol, it was a great inspiration for me to do what I do best sometimes - copy!!  So that's what my goal is this weekend.  I know I can make this table runner for a fraction of the cost.  But I'll be skipping the place mats.  Totally impractical for my family.  I think this is going to look great in my dining room!

Here's a peak at pumpkin I found that I had to have.  I did purchase it, but it was on sale at Hobby Lobby, and it really matches my living room well!  This is a glass pumpkin, and more than likely, it's going to go in my new media cabinet (and looking at this fireplace really makes me want to paint the mantle the same white I used on my media cabinet...since it's a rental though, I guess I'll refrain...)  You can also see the white cord keeper in the background.  Ahem.  Another project that's not quite done.  The Builder has promised to have it painted the same color as the wall by Christmas so that it will blend into the wall.  While I'm sure you'll still technically be able to see it, it's still way better than all the chords that were dangling down from behind the TV.  So I'll take the lesser of the two evils.

Here are a couple of other pictures I've pinned on Pinterest that I'm using for inspiration:

I'm really looking forward to setting up my living and dining room for Fall!

The Media Cabinet

We got rid of our particle board media cabinet after we moved out of our apartment that we had rented when we first moved here.  I had originally bought it at Target when it was on sale, and we'd had it for about 5 years.  It wasn't in horrible shape, but it was black, and didn't fit the 36" TV we had purchased afterwards.  The house we were moving into had no space for it and the only place for the huge TV was the fireplace hearth (not my first choice since it mean we couldn't use it!). Then we upgraded to a flat screen TV that went above the fireplace, and since the room was really overcrowded with my large sectional sofa, we didn't even contemplate another media cabinet

When we move to this house last year, the TV went back above the fireplace because it made the most sense.  But I've been really tired of cords and junk surrounding my fireplace.  Also, there is no storage in the living room.  So we started looking at media cabinets to store the electronics and our 'stuff'.  I saw this media cabinet at Pottery Barn and knew it was what I was looking for:

Pretty, right?  Well, it should be.  Just the tower is $949!!  Don't forget the $75 shipping and sales tax - 8.25%  in my county.  Add insult to injury, I realistically need 2 of the towers.  My calculator puts that at $2204.60 for the total cost.  YIKES!

Of course, I knew The Builder could make it for a fraction of the cost.  And to seal the deal, Ana White came out with the plans for it!!  How could we not make this?
Source: ana-white.com via Elona on Pinterest

The total cost of my supplies was $190 - for TWO!!.  That's the lumber, hardware, supplies and paint.  We used oak plywood, which technically wasn't necessary because we're painting ours.  I would have adored to have stained it to let the beautiful wood grain come through, but my sofa is large and brown and it swallows up the room. It wouldn't have saved us much to have downgraded either.  We chose a high gloss so it will clean easily.  I have no doubt it will get much use from our little people and so it needed to be a kid friendly finish.  The Euro hinges that the plans suggested are great.  I didn't want a lot of hardware showing.  The handles are something I found at Pier 1 last spring (when we first started talking about building a media cabinet) and are absolutely perfect for this room.

A few tips we discovered:  Home Depot has better prices on Euro hinges than Lowe's - Lowe's sold them per piece at the same cost we bought a pair for at Home Depot.  However, Lowe's had better quality lumber for some of the sizes we needed.  I'm lucky enough to have both stores nearby.  Also, we wanted to combine the two towers into one media cabinet.  Since our TV is mounted to the wall, there was no need for the other media piece and I felt two separate towers would look funny side by side.  Thankfully, The Builder is...well, the builder!!  So he was able to easily modify Ana's plans to join the two together.  He also put in vents in the back so the electronics can breath and not overheat.  We've had this problem in the past with the other media cabinet we used.

I love how this turned out!  There's one more shelf that needs to go in, and of course, accessories, but I think it turned out just beautiful!

Pillows, Pillows, and More Pillows

Throw pillows that is!  This weekend The Builder got started on our new media cabinet (which is almost done!) for our living room and I knew that the pillows I bought last year to go on the sofa were all wrong for the room.  I think they became wrong the minute I put up the aqua drapes I got at Ikea.  The pillows themselves are only about a year old and it good condition.  I really didn't want to have to go out and try to find pillows to coordinate.  First of all, throw pillows are EXPENSIVE!  Seriously, retailers have a very high opinion of throw pillows when they run $30+ for a single pillow (and why are the ones I always really like closer to the $45 price?!).  The original 3 came from Garden Ridge last year for about $15 a piece, which is about where I top out for throw pillows.  So this go around, I decided to make pillow covers in fabric of my choosing.  I also like the idea of being able to to unzip them and throw them in the laundry when they start getting dingy.  And with kids, this is a common occurrence in my house.  I inserted invisible zippers to make them easy to pull off and throw in the laundry.  I also decided to mix up the fabrics a little bit.  The fabric was on sale at fabric.com which was an added bonus.  I bought a yard of each and had enough to do two 16 inch throw pillows in the floral fabric and one of geometric print for the large pillows.  I estimate the large pillow was close to 20 inches.  If you look at the picture at the top of the page, you can see the piping I inserted on all the pillows.  I almost left it off.  I didn't have any on hand when I started sewing up the pillows on Sunday, and it started pouring rain Saturday afternoon.  I don't like driving out in the rain with all the crazy people, so I seriously debated leaving the piping off.  Ultimately, I was also short a large zipper for the geometric print, which necessitated a trip to Joann's and thus I bought the piping too.  Yes, I could have just made coordinating piping, but it's one of those tedious projects that I really don't like to do.  I'm happy with the purchased piping and The Builder likes it too.  I'm actually thinking I would like several more throw pillows on the sofa, but I didn't buy extra fabric, so I'll have to give that some thought.  I could do solid pillows.  But that would be later on down the road.  Right now I'm happy with this just as it is.

I didn't just finish the throw pillows though, I also made another pillow for our bed.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure I like it :-/  This is the Euro Pillow sham I made for our bed.  I love the quilted fabric and how it turned out.  I'm not thrilled with the color.  It's more of a yellow based white than a grey based white.  None of the white toned fabrics in the bedroom have a yellow tone to them, so I'm not sure this really works.  I'm going to finish the other pillows that go on the bed (I seem to be having a pillow fetish for our bed these days!) before I make my final decision.  I have the pillow form and fabric to make one more, and this one wasn't difficult by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm not sure it's worth the time if it really won't work in this room.  I'm working on my Vera Wang pillow inspiration next.  This was a $45 pillow that was sold at Kohl's.  That was the sale price.  Seriously, WHO buys a throw pillow on sale at that price?!  I have the pillow form already.  The fabric was $6 from fabric.com (I really got my money's worth on that fabric order!).  I bought the coordinating felt at Joann's for 34 cents.  Altogether, my copy cat pillow will cost $7.  When it's ready, I'll let you be the judge!

Ok, sneak peak of the media cabinet The Builder has been working on this weekend!


So this weekend, I finally worked on our master bedroom!!  It's not, by any stretch of the imagination, done.  But I'm at about the half way point at the end of this weekend.  When you consider none of it was in place when the weekend started, this is good progress.

In the photo to the left, you can see the rugs that I got from Overstock.com.  As I mentioned, I'm thrilled with these rugs.  They're cushy when you step out of bed in the morning.  In the winter, I won't be stepping on icy cold floors either.  The rugs anchor nicely on each side of the bed and I really like the pattern.  

Can you see the owl on my chest of drawers?!  I LOVE this owl!  He was a treasure that was staring at me in a store window as I was waiting in a drive through line for lunch one day.  I'm not quite done with the floral arrangement that he's holding, so I'll save that for another day, but he's really darling.  

This photo is a little dark, but you can see the correlation between the bed and the TV.  The Builder and I love to watch TV in bed.  Our kids love to come pile in bed with us to watch TV.  It was the reason we upgraded to the king size recently.  There is a large blank space to the left of the TV that we haven't decided what to do with yet.  Currently, my luggage and extra pillows are sitting in the space.  Yeah, so I need to think about that space.  You might be noticing the...TV console...under the TV.  I use that word loosely.  It's a small TV stand that's stacked on top of a box and covered with a black curtain.  It houses are U-verse box, DVD player, a Wii, and the few DVD's we own that are not cartoons, lol.  We have it mounted to the wall and that's where it will be staying (because U-verse will charge me a fortune to move it!).  The Builder has a set of plans to make a real console.  But we have other building projects to complete first.  Ultimately, I'd like it done by Christmas.  We shall see.  Oh, and the fountain.  LOVE the fountain.  Hate that it's copper now and doesn't match.  I'm thinking about how to re-work that.  Our goal is to have a reading nook there, so the fountain may be headed back into the sun room.  But that's a project for next summer, so I'm not even ready to think that far ahead yet!

Ah.  Something I'm really please with.  This pillow.  The pillow form and fabric are from Ikea.  You may or may not be aware that you can get throw pillows dirt cheap at Ikea.  I swear I think I only paid $4 each for each pillow form. They were down in the curtain and fabric section at my Ikea.  They're listed as cushions but they're not something I would think of as cushy enough to want to sit on.  I bought the fabric my drapes are made of, which they sell by the yard.  This was a simple 20" square that I added a 5/8 seam allowance. I bought a yard of the fabric and I've only done the one cushion so far. I still have plenty for a second if I choose.  I did put a zipper on my pillow cover because I wanted to be able to launder it easily.  If you're not comfortable with inserting a zipper into your pillow cover, you could really skip it without issue.  I have cats and I get a lot of cat hair in my bedroom, so I wanted to be able to launder them regularly.  

So that's it for this weekend.  I still have more to do in the room and I have all the 'stuff' to do it, I just need to find the time!  The throw pillows look wimpy on the bed right now.  I still have several more to make including the pretty purple satin pillow.  I also have the crushed satin bed skirt to make (again, super easy project!) and I need to paint the bases on the lamp.  Right now they're a brushed bronze.  I love that finish, I really do.  Except nothing is my bedroom is a brushed bronze now .  It needs to be a brushed nickel to match all the other fixtures in the room.  A coat of spray paint should fix that and will be an easy fix.  I have a feeling that the room won't really looked finished to me until The Builder gets the TV console done.  But we have a big project coming up in the living room over Labor Day weekend, and I can't plan anything else until that one is done!

The Home Stretch

So.  I got a box of fabric in this week (and if you know me, this is really nothing new, but keep reading) and it has the fabrics for my throw pillows.  And my bed skirt.  I am THRILLED.  Seeing all the fabrics together, along with the duvet that is now on my bed and the curtains has me chomping at the bit to get the room DONE. Take a look at some of these divine pillows I grabbed from my Pinterest board:
Source: kohls.com via Elona on Pinterest
Isn't it lovely?!  This one I plan to duplicate exactly.  I just need to stop at Joann's to get some felt (what those circles look like they are made from to me).  Hmm, or Hobby Lobby, which is right next door to my work...isn't that a scary thought!  And now that I look at it, maybe it's actually linen circles...but those would unravel easily...have to give this one a little more thought.  But, I have the gray fabric and this pillow cover itself will be simple to duplicate (and it won't cost $45!!!!) I'm making them all removable for ease of laundering.

  And let's not forget about this darling pillow I found on Etsy: 
Source: etsy.com via Elona on Pinterest
  I was originally going to buy it because I love to support Etsy and independent vendors, but I really think the purple is the wrong shade for my room :(  It has more gray undertones than what I'm looking for.  All my purples have more of a blue undertone in my room.  I think I can duplicate this pillow.  I have a luscious, purple satin fabric I got in my shipment from fabric.com that I can use, it will just take some figuring out that pretty twist in the center that might be a bit challenging.

I would love to say I will be completing these updates this weekend.  I would really love to say that.  But I won't.  I'm going to the ASG Conference here in Houston this weekend (hooray!!!) and I have to get the rest of the shopping done for my kids for back to school.  We have a free sales tax weekend here in TX this weekend, and I will happily take the savings on the backpacks and additional items the kids still need for school :)  My goal though is to be completely done by the end of Labor Day Weekend....D.O.N.E.


So, I currently have 3.5 projects going, NONE of them done, and all driving me crazy.

My guest bathroom.  My goal was to have it done last month.  I finally got the frames up and the wall sconces and am VERY happy about this.  However, there is no artwork in the frames and the sconces are lacking candles.  I also need a rug around the toilet to help cut down on the hollow sound of the small room. Ugh.

The second unfinished room is my laundry room.  This one has a lot of work left to do.  We had another leak in the upstairs bathroom and the ceiling seam split again.  Double ugh!  So that has to be patched and fixed (at least we don't need all new drywall this time!).  We were meaning to buy a longer dryer cord so that we could put a longer folding counter in there.  This was necessitated last week when a power surge fried my outlet and dryer chord.  That is done (because a family of six can not go without a dryer!) but we haven't actually moved the stacked units over yet.  Which means we can't put up the counter our build the sorting units that are going underneath.  There's also no artwork or storage of any type in there right now. Sigh....

Then there's my master bedroom.  I'm actually making progress in this room!  
This is not the best photo of this rug.  In person it's lighter and very plush. It was exactly what I was looking for in my bedroom!  The entire downstairs of my home is tile.  In winter, that tile is very cold to step out onto in the morning.  It also means you track any dust or crumbs into the bed if you don't scrub your feet before you get into bed.  GROSS!  I looked at options for a big rug to go under the entire bed.  But a rug that large is expensive.  I bought two runners to go on each side of the bed and they work really well.  Ironically I saw this same idea on some show on HGTV, so I knew I was on the right track. :)  They were on sale at overstock.com this week and free shipping.  I had to get them!

Then there is my bedding.  I posted several options a few weeks ago, and I was pretty sure I was going to go with the ruffled looking option.  I've been debating going with a deep eggplant color, like the original inspiration.  But after looking at my room, and my dark furniture, I was concerned the room would end up looking too dark.  So my thought was the lighter, ruffled looking version (that was a fraction of the cost!) was going to be the best option.  I was hesitant though because the last comforter I bought online, while beautiful, was not at all soft!  The other night I was on ebay looking for something else when I came across a Vera Wang duvet cover.  It was lovely, and had one bid that seemed ridiculously low.  I checked Macy's web site.  I know what this duvet cover is selling for.  And this one is less than the one on the Walmart web site.  So I bid, expecting to be outbid instantly.  Surprisingly I wasn't!  And I ended up winning!  This is the only piece of bedding I'm going with from this collection.  I can't afford to buy any pieces from Macy's (seriously, this duvet retails for over $300 with NO shams, bed skirt, or anything else!) but I found some great pieces that will coordinate beautifully and I am beyond thrilled.  Then there are the accessories I scored at Marshall's on Friday!!  So serious headway in the room this week.  All that is left is the media consul (which has to be built), the duvet itself (can we say hello Ikea?) and throw pillows.  Lots of pretty throw pillows...

So I'm sure you're wondering what the .5 is in the 3.5 number.  That would be my master bathroom!  The Builder and I discussed that because the two rooms have no door or diver, they should flow into one another.  I already have the art pieces, but the shower curtain, towels, and some accessories, don't really coordinate with the new room colors.  I found these eggplant colored towels at World Market today and they are perfect!
Eggplant Towels
Casbah Towels
Again, the photo color is slightly off.  They're darker in person, like the eggplant color in the curtains in my bedroom.  And then I found these coordinating printed towels and I knew it would tie in perfectly with the artwork and decor I already have in the bathroom, as well as tie the two rooms together color wise.  But again, I'm not finished .  I found some fabulous curtains, but they weren't in my budget this week and I can only hope they'll still be there in two weeks when I figure my budget can afford them.  And I'm torn on the rugs.  The same tile that is in my bedroom is also in my bathroom (and kitchen, dining room, family room, etc.) and you really have to have rugs down when you get out of the shower or bath - which are are on opposite sides of the bathroom.  So do I go with black, which is practical, grey, which would add some contrast, or pull the eggplant color into the rugs as well?  Decisions decisions.  Here's what I ultimately chose for the shower curtain, which I think works much better with all the black and white decor.  I love the sparkle!  Plus it ties in the grey and the black and white.  I think the contrast in texture with the velour towels and sequins in the shower curtains works too.  Or I just watch to many design shows, lol...  Since this wasn't a room I set out to really change and it's part of the master bedroom, I'm counting it as half a room!

My goal is to have the master bedroom and bathroom put together by the end of the month.  Stay tuned!

Quick Fix

Oh, look at that!!!  Apparently I backed up my HTML coding!  YEAH ME!  Now I get to spend my weekend on more important things, like finishing some projects so I can post them!!! :)

Under Construction

My Blog that is :(  Blogger has had some update is the best guess I have and I've lost my customized template.  So, you get this ugly mess until I can sit down this weekend and figure it out.  Super fun...

Master Bedroom Dilema

When last we spoke of my master bedroom, the new King sized bed had been installed, and can I just say, it is amazingly comfortable.**Total side note here:  if you are contemplating a new bed, I can highly, highly recommend the iComfort series by Sealy.  It isn't cheap, but it is worth every penny, and all my lower back pain was gone after sleeping a week in this bed!!

So as I mentioned, we upgraded from a Queen to a King sized bed, which means all new bedding.  As you may recall, the master bedroom was primarily done.  We had bedding, drapes, furniture, even the art work.  So you would think I'd just find a similar comforter and bedding and be done, right? 

You would think wrong...

Ikea Curtains - the wall color isn't really this dark!
That was the original goal.  I even posted about it before the bed arrived.  But I found a pair of drapes at Ikea that I absolutely love.  They go with everything in the room, but change the total look of the room.  So if we're changing the look, lets make some other changes, right?  So the bed has been moved, the television has been moved (and mounted to the wall, yeah!) and all the furniture has been re-arranged.   And now I'm looking for the right duvet cover.  THAT is proving to be my Achilles heal.  In my head, I know what I want.  My color palette has changed to mocha (think froth on coffee!) grey, black, white, and plum.  I know the mocha color sounds off, but it's in the drapes and it's the color of my room, so it ends up working really well.  So I want a grey duvet and plum accent pillows.  But the shade of grey can't be too dark or too light.  It has to be just right .  Because too dark and the room looks heavy.  Too light and it will show every spot known to mankind (I'm sort of sympathizing with Goldilocks at this point...).  And I want a plum arm chair for the window, so the duvet has to be grey.  I've been to all my favorite haunts to look for the right duvet cover, but I haven't found it...yet.  But I will persevere!  

Here are some of the options that I'm considering.  The Inspiration is a beautiful plum colored duvet that I found at Bed Bath & Beyond.  However the price is WAY out of my budget(side note, who spends over $500 on bedding?!) and I think it's...too plum for my room.  

I really think I'm leaning towards option 1. This one I found online, so I can't touch it or feel it, but this time if I don't like it, I'll just send it back!  It's also a quarter of the cost of the one from BB&B, so it's a double bonus!  But the other two options are pretty too.  I just need to figure out what's going to look best with the curtains.

The New Bed

It has arrived.  The delivery men and The Builder set it up.  I have to say, no remorse as the old bed was carted out the door and put on the curb.  Now I'm working on updating my design board on Pinterest...!

Master Bedroom....Again

Today, The Builder and I went out and spent an obscene amount of money purchasing a new bed.  Why are beds SO expensive?!

The back story - We've been married 15 years this coming September, and our current bed is...15 years old this August!  He bought it for me as a wedding gift (I had a cheap double mattress with no box spring while we were dating which he refused to even contemplate sleeping on once we got married.  He had a queen sized waterbed that was not an option...) a month before we got married, and it's been our bed ever since.  About three years ago, we started realizing the bed wasn't quite as comfortable as it was when we bought it.  We were getting ready for The Move from California to Texas, and I was concerned that we would end up sleeping on the floor for a year if we didn't move our bed (The Move ate up all our savings!!) with us.  So it went in the moving truck.

You may or may not know, we've now moved three times in three years.  That was not the plan.  Including the move from CA, that stupid bed has been moved four times.  And it ways a TON!  To add insult to injury, neither of us sleep well on it anymore.  I realized this past week I can't even make it through the night without waking up.  So we started looking at beds.  My goal was to not buy one until we get back from vacation next month.  With this being Memorial Day weekend, beds are all on sale.  Don't ask me why.  I have no clue.  So with sales ad's in hand, we started researching beds.  And somehow we ended up buying one and it's being delivered on Monday.  HOORAY!!!


We upgraded to a King size bed.  Do you know what that means?  Not only did I spend an obscene amount of money but now I have to upgrade ALL our bed linens.  Including my comforter set. 

I should be saying 'oops'.  But honestly, after almost a year with our comforter, we have lost all love for it because it is SO scratchy!  I bought it online so we didn't get to "feel" the set prior to purchasing it.  I've purchased other comforters over the years online without issue.  This one, while it looks great, simply doesn't work for us.  We only have it on the bed when company is coming over or I'm taking photo's for something.  Otherwise it's wadded folded up in the corner.  Because we're a family who loves to pile on the bed, watch TV, tickle fights, even cuddle!  Thus the reason for the King size bed, and now, the new bedding!

Ideally, I'll find something that will work perfectly with what I already have.  That's the goal...

A Tale of Two Rooms

Bathroom Decor
In the beginning there was a house.  It was a good house.  It had lovely tile, a large kitchen, and a open concept style that made it feel spacious.  All the rooms had good paint colors and it had an updated look even thought it was over 10 years old.

Every room that is, except the guest bathroom and the laundry room.  These two sad little rooms had not been updated.  They had their plain, off white walls and builders grade cabinets.  The bathroom had the original faucet fixture, even though the other two bathrooms had been updated and modernized.  The laundry room was small and dark, with an 80's fluorescent light box and a plain shelf for storage.  And while both rooms had the lovely tile, that was the only thing that been upgraded.

Then there was a family.  A fairly large family by today's standards.  They liked the house and the size was an improvement from where they had been living, and they quickly moved in.  They loved many of the features in the house.  They did not, however, love the guest bath or the laundry room.  And being a fairly large family, they knew both rooms would get used frequently.  So the bathroom upstairs sprang a leak, causing the ceiling in the laundry room to need a repair, they decided to do a "minor" update with a little paint too.  And maybe a new faucet.  And maybe a new light fixture.

Of course, it wasn't that simple...

What we budgeted for:
Paint - $34
Light Fixture for the Laundry Rm - $50
Bathroom Faucet - $30
Ceiling tape to repair the Laundry Rm. ceiling - $6
1 sheet of drywall to patch the broken ceiling - $10
Total = $131

What we also spent:
Mud to redo the bathroom wall - free (we already had it)
lumber for the mirror and frames - $18
new mirror to replace the mirror that was cut to the wrong size - $25
mis. hardware to put frames together - $12
Unfinished Laundry Room!
new soap dispenser - $9
toilet paper holder - $6
new counter top for laundry room - $40
frame work for laundry room $20
built in shelving for laundry room - $20
art work for bathroom - $8
bathroom sconces - $18
decorative items - $ 20
Sub Total - $196
Grand Total = $327

So now these sad little rooms will have an update.  And for $163.50 a room, even though it was more than we originally budgeted for, I still think we did a good job!


Confession # 1 - My guest bathroom still isn't don't.  It's the bane of my existence now.  The faucet is in, the frames for the mirror and the art work are done, and the decorative shelf is done.  But The Builder had a glass mishap.  He cut the mirror the wrong size.  You know how the shoemakers kids always went barefoot?  Yep, the Glaziers wife can never get a mirror hung.  Mirrors are almost a bad word for me anymore...

Confessions # 2 - I'm crazy about glass.  I love the stuff.  I think it must have something to do with being a Glaziers daughter, sister, aunt, and wife (in case you aren't following, my dad, brother, nephew, and hubby are all Glaziers).  So when I go into home decor stores like Home Goods, I'm almost always instantly drawn to the menagerie of glass items.  Look how pretty they are!  Yes, I could have taken them all home and probably found a place...eventually...for them.  I'm such a fan of glass, I've even convince friends to join in my silent obsession (my best friend M reads this and she is the owner of a Clarity Trio set which she readily admits she never uses and bought on whim when at a candle party with me, oops!  Sorry M!) when I find really good deals that I don't need.  Anyway, tonight I didn't go for any of these lovely tall pieces.  In fact, I actually picked something low profile and simple in the glassware section tonight.  But more on that later

Sea Turtle
Confession # 3 - I'm still not 100% sure on how I'm styling the guest bathroom.  I keep changing my mind on what it should look like.  I've officially ruled out red.  I like the pale blue walls with the silver, white, and natural tones.  Unfortunately, I think the red pops of color, even in small doses, would be too much in this small space.  I found these beautiful (non-glass!) pieces tonight too, that I really love.  I'm really leaning towards the seahorse.  He's made from driftwood, and I think it's an absolutely beautiful piece.  I need to measure the base to make sure he'll fit on the shelf The Builder made last weekend (yes, he was really really busy with building projects for me, thus the reason we aren't actually done with the powder room).  I had no idea this was something I was looking for until saw it.  There's a matching sea turtle too (which reminds me of my best friend, who has one for each of her children tattooed on her back, which I love the meaning behind!) but I think it's too big for my bathroom.  Isn't it pretty though?!  But I really think he'll be staying at the store...

Confession # 4 - Well, I don't actually have one.  But here's a sneak peak at what I bought tonight.  It's going on top of my toilet, just like you see it here.  Simple.  Clean.  Perfect.