Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A cute little something

Sometime life throws a little wrench in your wheel. I had to take a few days off after an unexpected house guest came to stay with us for a few days. I didn't want to be in demolition mode with people coming in and out of the house so I had to take a few days off. I am promising to make it up to you though with a fun freebie. I saw a sign on a blog that I fell in love with. I am terrible and didn't want to pay the $30 to have it made and sent to me so I got on photoshop and made my own. I love certain songs and this one was perfect for our little family. I used photoshop to create this
A trip to Office max and $1.25 later I had an 11x14 print. 
A $7 frame from Michael's (put my 50% off one item to good use)
and viola! My new wall art. 
I have big plans for this part of the stairs once we get them completed and painted. $8.25 and I have a great 16x20 big piece of wall art for my next project. I am in love! I can't wait to get he stairs done and get my stair wall idea pulled together. 
I wasn't loving the colors and since we already know the wall and stair color we are using I went on a late night painting binge. Here are the colors I used
Isn't this soooo much better? I love the colors and the clean/calmness of it. 
So what about this freebie??? 
If you email me at and put Our house in the subject line I will send you a file to print your own 11x14 print. How does that sound? Need a different color that isn't green or a different number of kids? 
(if I don't get a ton of requests) in your email put the color you would like the WITH 3 KIDS line to be and if it isn't the number 3 let me know and I can adjust that. I can't change the writing color that is the rest of the print just the WITH KIDS line. Yay!!!! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

The downstairs hallway

Today's little project was painting the hallway and ripping out the old baseboards. Here is the before baseboards. Aren't they pretty (beat up that is) I removed them by popping a flat head screwdriver behind them, a tap from a hammer and a little arm strength. I will do a how to soon on that.
After with clean paint! I love the color now that I have a giant chunk of the house painted with it. It looks dark in some areas and lighter in others. 
Ali tried to tackle baseboards without any help and we will just say that Shawn and I will be working together to finish them soon:) You get a general idea of what the final look will be once they are done. I got the angles right but I used the old baseboards as a guide and they were the wrong size. The good thing is they were to big so it will be a matter of trimming them a bit and using a brad gun to attach them. I am great with saws and all power tools but I have never used a brad gun. I want Shawn to show me before I try to use it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Laundry closet redo

I already organized the laundry room but I was tired of the peeling boarder. Off it came. Replace the contractors white with clean white and add the tan color we chose to the walls. Our laundry room gets really dark so I added a $6 plus in light to the wall and took out the old nail hooks and replaced them with $1 bronze hooks to hang things on. Clean and organized. We did order new laundry room doors since our old ones are now shutters but they won't be here for another 10 days. I am so happy with the clean look. Love it! Total for the project $9. We had the paint already and I had the vinyl from my spice jars back in January. Isn't it nice? Tomorrow I am painting the hall and getting all the white trim on the doors finished off. I am hoping to have this little section of the house done very soon. 
Bye bye boarder. 
Get rid of the hanging rod where clothes go and NEVER leave
Added vinyl signs to the wall and soap jar. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Those darn stairs again.

I spent a chunk of last night getting another section of the stairs prepped and ready for the journey or carpet to wood! I don't mind doing it a little at a time and I am glad I did it this way vs. 4 hours of sitting on my knees.
We took a piece of scrap wood and laid it down to get a better idea of the color we are going to do. We like it but I think we want a little more red brown for the actual color we are going to use on the final project. We have also decided that we are for sure going to use the wainscoting on the front of the stairs. Here is a picture of the painted farm style stairs with the molding painted a crisp white and the wall the color we are thinking of using, a light tan that in the halls and less sunny spots shows more dark. What do you think?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My new bathroom faucet

I have a new bathroom faucet and I love it! Here is the after. Isn't it pretty? Tell me that isn't a total farmhouse sink. Now for my fun story on how I got my fun new sink. 
Here is my before sink. Nothing wrong with it except that I doesn't match any of the bronzed stuff we are adding to the rest of the room. I knew that I wanted an oiled bronze sink but they are expensive. I have been keeping my eye out on craigslist and ebay but nothing. 
I love Lowes and HomeDepot because they have an end cap typically in the back of the store with scratch and dent items. I looked at 3 stores and on the 4th store I found not only the color that I wanted but the exact faucet I wanted. With a price tag of $159.00 there was no way I was paying full price. I found one that had a scratch that had been marked to $119.00 still a little to much for me. I found the head of the department and asked if he could tell me if all the pieces were there. He dug around and said it was in fact missing a bolt. He told me he would give me the faucet for $40 because it was scratched and missing a part. heck ya! 
We walked over to the bolts and nuts and after a bit of not finding one I asked him if he could put in on hold for me while I researched if it was a special bolt. He put it on hold and I went about my day. I talked to my husband who said we should be able to find a bolt or something to make it work. I went back to the store to buy my faucet. 
When I found the guy that was holding the faucet for me he said that he had looked more after I left and still couldn't find the bolt. He said that since he thought I would have to special order the bolt from the comapny and because it had been on clearance since Sept. 5th that he just wanted it gone and would give me the faucet for $20. He walked me to the front to ring me up and after tax he gave me the faucet for $14. I got a $159.00 faucet for $14 because I was super nice and looked for a manager to talk with. I was so excited. 
I took the faucet home and showed my husband. As we were looking for a bolt or way to jimmy rig it to work we looked through the box at the other parts and tucked under the cardboard flap at the bottom was the special bolt that we thought the set was missing. Happy Birthday to me! You know I got right to work on getting that bad boy installed. There are a few scratches on the sink but nothing huge and I am thinking of trying automotive paint to cover the scratch. That being said here is how I put in the sink. 

Scratched on the handle. Nothing I can't fix. Plus are they really that noticeable? 
Since the faucet didn't come with directions on how to install it I started my project by checking out my favorite site, youtube. I typed in the type of faucet I bought and wrote install and this video popped up. it explained exactly how to take out the old one and install the new one. How cool is that? The fun part of the project was fitting my not size 2 body in this hole.
Anyways 40 min. and a neck kink later and here is my pretty new sink in action. I follow the video and it wasn't super easy but it was pretty easy. Definitely better to install it myself vs. paying a minimum of $150 for a plumber to install it. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Dryer repair made easy

Last week I put a load of clothes in my dryer and it started making the most annoying noise in the world. I posted a video above so you can hear it and understand why my kids wouldn't let me do laundry when they were home. It honestly was so loud I got a headache and couldn't do laundry while I was home either. I went outside and you could hear the screeching 3 houses away. 
I am a little nutty when it comes to fixing things. I find screws and take them apart without a thought. I think my husband thinks I am nuts when he comes home from work to this.
I called a few repair guys and got an estimate of $150 to $200 depending on what the problem was. I got the guy to go into a little detail about how long the repair would take and as he explained what the problem was he told me the parts that would need to be replaced. I love when repair guys go into detail because if you listen you will know the part name and be able to do what I did. I looked up where the part was and sure enough it looked like this. This is supposed to have 2 glides on each side and not be cracked. Mine was cracked and all 4 glides were gone. 

I when onto  I typed the part names into the search box so I knew exactly what I needed. I also looked on youtube for videos of other people fixing the problem. I found this one that was the exact problem and the lady explained exactly how to fix it. I followed her directions and voila! 

My dryer is all fixed. The best part is all the parts I needed with shipping were $32!!!! I saved $150 ish dollars by taking 15 minutes to do it myself. Now I am off to do some much needed laundry!

Ask and you shall recieve

One of my loyal readers (Hi, Auntie Pam) mentioned that she would like to be able to subscribe to my blog and have my posts emailed to her email address. Well, if you look on the right sidebar there is now an option to follow me and one to subscribe. Each time I post a new project or post on the blog an email with that post will be sent to your email address. No need to stalk the blog waiting for Ali's next project. it will let you know when I post.  You can enter your email address or use another platform to sign up. No spam or other junk will be send, just my awesome posts!
Thanks everyone!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Curb appeal

Before                                                                After
With the purchase of new interior doors came the idea to replace our laundry bifold doors. They were broken anyways so why not get new ones to match the new doors. I had them sitting in my garage and decided they would make perfect shutters for the front of the house. Here is the before. We had one shutter set already up but it looks a little out of place. 
Bifold door. One cut on the chop saw and a perfect shutter. 
A little white paint on the old ones. 4 screws in each shutter and a whole new look for the front of the house. We had to buy a drill bit to screw into the house but for $2.50 I love it! What do you think?

Saturday, February 18, 2012


We get terrible winds where we live. We decided to add bark to our front yard about 5 years ago. With our wild winds it blew all over the place and the color faded in only a few months. We found a cool bark that was made of old tires. The tires are painted brown and are fade resistant. Great for the environment and it lasts a long time. We bought a bad each time we won't to lowes until today when we were finally done. The bark is $8 a bag and it took us about 12 bags to complete it. It took us about 6 months to buy it slowly and we love the end product. The best part is we will need a bag here and there to fill in holes but we shouldn't have to replace all of it for 5 years. Bark lasts about 6 months at most.
Have a great saturday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

More stair prep

The hubby liked the wood on the stairs!!! I decided that even if I can't complete the stair project yet I could do all the prep work. I spend about an hour today doing the stairs up to the landing. I learned that I need to wear gloves after stabbing and scratching me hands to death. I got all the way to the landing and plan to get a little more done this weekend. I am laying the carpet back down over the stairs to avoid splinters on feet or having to look at the grossness. I am thinking I will have them all stripped of a million nails and ready for wood not to long after we complete the doors. Now I just have to save up to buy the other doors and we will be good to go. A little at a time and I will have my dream house in a few years. The idea of doing it all ourselves and having it the style we love it super awesome feeling.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


These are my stairs. Isn't the carpet yummy? Don't you just want to lay on it? Ha! I have wanted to redo the stairs for a bit but didn't know what to do, where to start or the cost involved. I mentioned to my oh so trusting of my DIY skills hubby what I was thinking and his response was "ok"! Oh dear Lord that is permission in my book. While I don't want to rip the house apart when we are supposed to be finishing doors and painting some stuff I decided to play it safe and see what was under the carpet to get my game plan going. So here is the before pic. 

Here are a few inspiration pictures that I like. A few I love and little ideas from all of them I would like to add. 
LOVE! Not my house style but I love this one. 

Love the wainscoting on the front of the step. I think it would tie in with our new doors and the
trim we have in our bedroom and bathroom downstairs. 

A before and after with a painted stair and banister

Love the tan paint with the white. Farm feeling but light and would match our floors 

I started by pulling up the corner of the carpet with a screwdriver and lifting the carpet one stair worth. 

Once the carpet was lifted up it exposed the pad and tack strip. I pulled the pad off and it left a ton of staples to be removed. I used a pair of pliers to take those buggers out. I pulled out the tacking strip by lifting it up with a flat head screwdriver. Watch out because those things are death on a stick. 
This is what I was left with once I took everything apart. Not the shape I was hoping for but we will make it work. A really good vacuum job and we were ready to experiment. This is what I came up with and it isn't permanent at all but just to see if I like the wood stair look. I am thinking instead of wood for the step using paint to get that old farmhouse feel I love like in some of the inspiration pictures.  If we do go with the wood we will stain it to match the floor and apply polyurethane to each step. I am really leaning towards the wainscoting for the front of each step. You get the feel of what it will end up like from one step. I love it! Best part is I can lay the carpet back down and tuck it at the bottom until we are really ready to do the stairs. At least I know what I want and how much work we are getting into. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Choosing a paint color for your home is really hard. I love the green we have in our house but after some thought have decided that to have my entire interior paint green would be a little over kill. I decided with some suggestions from the hubby that a pretty tan would be nice.
My main problem with tans and browns is that they can be really dark and feel dingy. I need a tan that is light and bright because I have a ton of area to cover. This tan will be my hallway downstairs and this entire area of upstairs, the stair case and all the odd angles that I hate about my house. The paint now is the original 1989 color that the builders painted on the walls. It is an off white color and with years of boys in the house is now dingy, finger printed and I have even cleaned some of it down to the drywall. Eventually (in 20 years or so) we are going to replace the stair rail. The wood splinters your hand if you grab the first 4 inches or so at the bottom. We are also adding thick white base boards to the whole house (eventually) as well as a white frame around all of the windows. Why am I telling you this? Well, it needs to look good with lots of white accents.
the great expanse
As you know I hate to pay full price for anything. I went down to a local fancy paint store and found colors I liked. I took my 25 samples home and hung the paper chips on the wall. I eliminated them a few at a time based on the light in the room and time of day. I got it down to 4 colors that I liked and headed to Lowes. Lowes can match ANY color. They had the Benjamin Moore colors I liked in their computer and were able to match the sample perfectly. Lowes also sells sample containers for $2. For $2 you get 8 oz and can try a large area of paint and see if you truly love it on your walls and not a 1 1/2 piece of paper. So why did I not just buy from the first store? A gallon of paint at Lowes is $18 to $22 while a the fancy store it is $30 to $40 for the same thing. If I am going to have to buy as much paint as I think I am my trick could save over $100. 
Here are the 4 paints being considered. I tried to a picture of the samples on my wall but camera and light make it really hard to see the true color so here they are in someone else's house. 
Number 1 Manchester tan- Warms up the walls and replaces white. slight green undertone 
 You will find this color used all over in the pottery barn catalog.

Manchester tan

Number 2 Hush. a neutral tan

Number 3 - Bleeker beige Falls in between beige and taupe .  Most popular wall colours found in newly built houses and show homes along with Greenbrier Beige. Sophisticated with a slight gray undertone. 

added an extra picture because I want to live here. Isn't this house pretty?
Number 4 - Shaker beige This color is part of the Historic Color collection from Benjamin Moore most popular palette.   

I think I have a favorite. What about you? I love to hear from you guys!