Wednesday, May 28, 2014

That Bathroom Update...

*Jedi hand wave* "This is not the reveal you've been waiting for."

I would love to act like this is a preconceived teaser to get you all hot and bothered over our guest bathroom. Unfortunately, this is more of an apology and an explanation to why a simple update is taking so long. I had no intention of doing a preview since this was supposed to be a quick and easy job. It's still easy, just not so quick.

I told you a week and a half ago that I was tackling our guest bathroom. The good news is everything is coming along nicely. The bad news is there's a minor hiccup: the cabinet hardware. I decided to switch out our dark, ORB knobs with light, brighter glass and nickel pulls. Unfortunately, our drill is currently protesting. It looks like me on a treadmill: barely moving and wishing it were anywhere else.

Before you cry yourself to sleep (I know, my bathroom makeover is the shining beacon of your day) there is a way to stay up-to-date pre-reveal. I've been sharing updates on my Instagram; if you're not following, you need to be. 

I hope you like navy blue as much as I do. Either way, I hope to have this drill sitch fixed by this weekend. Fingers crossed.

Some Sad News of the Avian Variety

Throughout this spring, I have been sharing the story of a family of birds that made their nest on our front door's wreath There was lots of anticipation, excitement, and speculation. We even named the little eggs, literally counting them before they hatched.

Then things slowed down. The parent birds visited the nest less frequently, then not at all. Hoping that I had just missed sightings for days, then weeks, we left the eggs alone. I even googled what variety of bird it may have been and how long it would take for the eggs to hatch. Eventually, I became more comfortable admitting our eggs were never hatching. I'm not sure what stage of grieving this it, but in my experience the bird-grief scale is different from the human one.

We made plans to bury our little nest, complete with the five eggs, in our yard. I became quite attached to the little guys and figured it was a courtesy I'd give to any of our other pets and it's the least I could do. It was also the only method of disposing of a nest full of eggs that didn't make me tear up. When the time came to bury the nest, we discovered it to be completely empty.

Burying it was no longer necessary, but I still laid the nest to rest under a tree in our yard. It's in the same pine needle it was built of and eventually it will resemble the haphazard needles more and a nest less.

Easter, Bunny, Twitter, Mama's Boy, and Ugly Duckling
Early Spring 2014 - Late Spring 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Tale of Two Planters

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was the age of two ceramic planters getting blown over by the wind repeatedly and how their owner became a master of super gluing stuff back together.

I for one did not believe that an average wind would be enough to knock over heavy pottery with a low center of gravity. I would still be skeptical if it had not happened to me on three separate occasions.

The aforementioned planters are the ones selected to hold our topiaries by the door; the topiaries are there to prevent peeping Toms from the sidewalk being able to see into our living room. You've seen them before:

Maybe only one of them looks broken, but they've both been broken at least once.

That's its best side.

This story has several morals:
  • Never underestimate Mother Nature. She ain't playing around.
  • Never underestimate Gorilla Glue. Each time a planter broke, it had new fissures; the old glued ones were holding strong.
  • The key to rebuilding something that has broken into a million pieces is washi tape.
  • You will cut yourself. 
Last and most importantly:
  •  Fill the planter with something heavy. We chose pea gravel after longer than I care to admit. Since adding the extra weight, these bad boys haven't gone anywhere.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Now Go, Get Yo Caulk On

We've been in our casa for a little over eight months and, as to be expected, our house is showing some signs of settling. The nail pops don't bother me, the superficial crack in the bedroom just needs some spackle, and the creaking in the closet floor has almost stopped entirely. The one thing I couldn't stand was the cracks along our stairs. Simple enough fix, just a little caulk, not anything worth sweating. But it did take a day and made a noticeable difference, so it's worth mentioning.

We're not going to do a play by play here, I'm just so excited to not look at the gap along the baseboards anymore. I get that you're probably not. But it was on my list, so you owe me this, loyal reader. In any event, I'll make this snappy.

This is just as exciting as it all sounds.


I know you can barely see it there, but I share ShyLeo pics at every (rare) opportunity.


The whole thing still needs a coat of paint, but since the walls also need to be painted I figure I'll save that for another day.

It truly is all about the little things.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DIY Frosted Back Door

I'm gonna try not to make any Frozen references. Or laugh at how dirty that title is.

While we scrambled to get blinds installed within the first few weeks months, we have left our perfectly clear eight-foot back door uncovered until...yesterday. We moved into our house in October of last year, which means our neighbors have been getting an unwarranted eye-full for approximately eight months now.

Behind all that glare are several neighbors in very close quarters.

I wasn't too bothered leaving it exposed as I rarely do embarassing/inappropriate things on our first floor. Other than still being in my pajamas mid-afternoon. My husband had the perfectly valid thought that while we might not being doing anything our neighbors shouldn't see, they shouldn't see anything without us knowing. Fair enough.

Bravely, I decided to DIY a frosted glass back door. After a little Google/Pinterest searching I decided the spray paint route was the easiest way to go. Most people do some sort of interesting design: trellises, chevron, medallions, you name it. I am much lazier than most people and decided the best choice for our privacy concerns was a simple, unadorned style. The only special touch I included was two stripes, one at Boone's eye-level and one for the cats, so I can watch them watch me when we come home.

Having decided on a design, I set about taping off the two stripes and the surrounding areas to protect from the overspray.

Then it was go time.

Now for the hint that no-one told me: frosting spray is crazy dusty. All the overspray was just dust. Dust. Everywhere. Remember, we live with a Golden Retriever so we don't shy away from dirt. But the kitchen, living room, even Boo's kennel ended up under a heavy coat of dust. I had to barricade him farther back so he wouldn't be breathing it all in:

Home boy could have bust through that with literally zero effort, but he didn't. Further evidence that he is Ferdinand the Bull.

One coat into frosting is a pretty scary place. The spray was super blotchy and my inner voice kept screaming this is permanent!

I calmed myself thinking, it's only the first coat, it's bound to get better with a second or third. But it didn't.

At that point I started googling, but no one offered tips on how to a fix streaky frosted glass door. I thought it would be great to sand it even (like normal spray paint) but didn't want to damage the glass worse than I already had.

Since the surface seemed kind of chalky, I knew there had to be a way to remove some of the excess. After it was dry, I took an old towel and, in a circular motion, buffed it smooth. That was the key. I did another coat, let it dry, and buffed again. Much better than the first coats.

It's kinda hard to see straight on during the day. Basically it looks that over exposed in real life. On purpose.

Luckily, the stripes came our perfectly.

From the outside, it's still a smidge blotchy. I imagine it's because from the other side you're mainly seeing the undercoat and the spraying agent.

The door is at it's best at night; it captures light and almost glows.

One unexpected downside is the tree in our backyard has a creepy shadow I had never seen before. Now, I'll see it every night until we move several years from now.

Overall, I'm very happy with how this came out. I think it looks really special and gives us a bit of character that our neighbors don't have.

Monday, May 12, 2014

DIY Week 2014

It's been no secret that I've been a little negligent around here lately, mainly because I've been so stinkin' busy. But that sucks for you as much as it sucks for me since this blog is a major source of stress relief for me. Like a punching bag with an audience.

Luckily, I've got a week off of work and I plan on devoting some major time to blogging. Some long-time readers may remember I committed myself to a DIY Week last year whilst on a staycation. This year I plan to do something similar, but it will be a little more home-improvement oriented than last year's list.

On the itinerary:
Plus there's the bonus activity of maybe getting my hands dirty with a little yard work. And finishing off House of Cards. #FrankUnderwoodismyspiritanimal

To get things started, I'll show you the big update to our back porch which is also our jumping off point for this week.

This is the most exciting exterior development thus far: the addition of two chairs to our patio. We definitely want to have space for at least four people to sit under our covered patio, but since it's a smaller area and we need to walk through it on the reg we decided on two permanent chairs (form + function) and a few stacking chairs that we can store in the garage when we're not using them (function only).

That bright green urn you barely see is a Joss & Main spoil that was originally part of a pair for the front porch. One arrived broken and the remaining one is a terrible acid green color (not the "turquoise" it was described as). Thankfully, Joss & Main refunded the value for both and now I have one free urn that is a paint job away from being awesome.

As is, the chairs look onto our side yard which is perfect for getting my lazy on while playing with the dog (AKA sitting down to Chuck-It) or as a comfy place to watch my hunka-hunka-husband mow the lawn. What I most look forward to is being able to read out here during a thunder storm.

Well I've got quite the to-do list so I'm going to get back to it; I'll be here sharing my progress everyday.

Friday, May 2, 2014

I Guess Y'all Wanna See the Master?

I will not label this as any sort of reveal. Think of it more as a sneak peak. We don't have the bedding picked out yet, we haven't painted the nightstands, we don't have a new dresser. But here ya go.

On the docket:

We're looking for some bedding that is light, but not white (we did solid white in the guest room). So far it's looking pretty similar since we have white sheets and bed skirt. Currently our duvet is duvet-less (hopefully that's why it looks so yellow) and our euros have no sort of sham.

The nightstands will be getting a new coat of paint. While I adore the rustic wood, our headboard's chrome nailheads look a little too glam next to the weathered wood. Since nailheads aren't easy to revamp and nightstands are, the decision to paint was a no-brainer. Plus, in this room, the brighter the better. (I also need new lamp shades as these are close-but-no-cigar to our headboard.)

We'll be getting a new dresser; our current fair is going to the guest room and in here we'll pick something new and fresh and much lighter in color. This piece is months away (the backyard is coming first...).

Eventually we'll be doing all sorts of general decorating, like adding some art and finishing off the sitting area in the space that would be to the right of these pics. Pat's already declared that no "sitting area" will be prioritized over any other projects. Because "anywhere with a chair is a 'sitting area.'"

Also, I'm not even exagerrating to say Atticus forced me make the bed around him. He didn't even flinch as I straightened the comforter and pulled him from the edge of the bed  to the center. He was along for the ride as long as I didn't touch his pink blanket.

Homeboy is serious about that pink blanket.