Fireplace Makeover! And some shelves...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hello, hello!

Today I wanted to share our fireplace makeover. Although I think we might like to add more to it in the future, I am REALLY loving what it looks like right now. 

If you'll remember, we started out with this...

And then we put in new floors, painted the walls, and the trim and came to this...

I was still SO bothered with how dark the brick was, so one day I just started painting it with white primer. Bryan and I talked about how else we could change it without spending too much, and about a week and $40 later, we came up with this:

(We're going to pretend the the floors aren't dirty, okay?)

I am seriously loving it! 

After some debate, I've decided to go a bit more vintage/coastal with this house since I tend to buy home accessories and art (especially seasonal decor) that lean toward those styles. That decision is what led us to move forward with painted brick and a bit more rustic looking mantle.

I used Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (75%) for the color and we bought plain pine boards at Home Depot and stained them with (what else) Danish Oil. We also finally added quarter round to the base of the fireplace.

I still need to caulk and paint the trim on the sides (we tried to remove it completely but the brick doesn't even meet that wall so that was a no go!), but after that I will be done with this thing!

I also had a bit of fun last week and moved my Ikea shelves that we originally had in the craft room to the living room. Kind of shocked Bryan with that one when he came home from work, but I think he likes it. I thought it would be a good way to display our books and some extra decor, and most importantly, to hide of all of Parker's toys!

(Five points if you can spot the two-year-old TJ Maxx price tag that I have never taken off and the tipped over wreath--I'm obviously not that observant when I take pictures.)

This has truly made nightly clean-ups SO much easier since I don't have to sneak in Parker's room and put away his toys (or stuff them in a corner for the next day). ;)

I still have a couple of more things to do in the living room before I'm happy with it (for the moment, anyway). We finally hung curtains a few weeks ago but I still need to hem and iron them. I also ordered blinds and am anxiously awaiting getting them in the mail, AND I need to paint the back door and touch up all the trim...and hang artwork. (and, and, and...)

Also, if I were to pull back the lens on these photos, you would see that our living room is currently home to our kitchen cabinets which I am halfway through painting. I would be done, but stinky weather has put me on hold for now...darn. 

Cannot wait to share more! We are moving, moving, moving.

We also took this kid to the pumpkin patch tonight.

He's my favorite crazy car-loving boy on the planet!

Have a great week!

Movie Night Gift and a Popcorn Recipe

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Today I thought I would share our gift for a 'Favorite Things' couples shower that we went to last weekend. The invitation instructed us to think of something that we truly loved or was a favorite item of ours--like a favorite kitchen gadget, favorite restaurant gift card, favorite type of food, etc., and give it as a gift to the bride and groom-to-be. I thought it was a really cute idea!

Bryan and I are big-time homebodies and love to spend our evenings watching movies and eating popcorn. We have a favorite homemade popcorn recipe that I make ALL the time, so I thought it would be cute to turn this favorite date night of ours into a gift.

First, I made a recipe card and attached it to a bag of popcorn kernels. I originally got the recipe from The Nourishing Home (great site!)--but since we like a lot more fat and salt (shame), I have revised it quite a bit and have a few techniques of my own to prevent it from burning :). 

We are total popcorn snobs, but this popcorn is AH-mazing and really does taste like it's from a movie theater! It's super easy and quick to make too, which is a plus. We haven't used bagged popcorn since we first started using this recipe (which is really saying something).

I bought most of the ingredients (with the exception of butter sticks) and put them all in a giant popcorn bowl. I couldn't find one that was really cute and inexpensive, so I settled for a plain black plastic one.

I also got a Red Box gift card online, printed it, and stuck it in there with everything else. (5 movies for $6 or something crazy cheap like that!)

After everything was assembled, I topped the whole thing off with some tissue paper (Target) and managed to make a cute little leopard print bow using some wrapping paper and hot glue. 

Of course, a lot of people like movies and popcorn so there were different variations of a movie night gift...including an actual popcorn machine. HA! I'm not kidding, though. :) 

For anyone who may want to print this recipe card, all you have to do is click here to download. You can thank me later. After you've eaten the entire bowl in 20 minutes.

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Plan For Our Kitchen

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hi, everyone! I had to take a little break this past week (and a half) because things were just super crazy! We got home from Colorado last week only to leave a couple of days later for Amarillo...and have somehow managed to keep up with all of our normal activities as well. We also have four showers, two birthday parties, and numerous Halloween activities to go to this it's been really busy but really fun. Anyways...I'm back for the moment...and I'm going to write some about our kitchen today!

One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can usually sort out some of the craziness in my head when I write out a post. So, please excuse the explosion of my thoughts regarding our kitchen in this post. It really does help ;).

Our kitchen is probably the room in our house that I dream about more than any other, and it's easy to see why when you know that it looked like this when we moved in...

Ahhhhhhhh!!! It's like a horror movie. I know! I know. But really, the room has such  potential. Seriously, I am so excited about it, I can't stand it. It opens up to the dining room with the huge bay window that I have shown you before, so it has a lot of natural light. It also has a great layout, and, like everything else in the house, is very basic and bare so is pretty much a blank slate. The only things we've done since these pictures were taken is paint the walls and put in wood floors. I've attempted to accessorize, but it doesn't do too much good in this situation ;).

The cabinets are total crap (shallow, no shelving, literally falling off the hinges), so we want to replace them. The original plan was to gut everything sometime next really...everything, and put in some kitchen cabinets from Ikea. I've read great things about them, and have seen them in real life and love the look. I'm thinking the Lidingo system in white. 

We also wanted to build them up to the ceiling to look custom with some pretty crown moulding, put in a new sink, hardware, frame out the fridge, new backsplash, new counters, put in a stainless stove and dishwasher, build a custom vent hood, put in new lighting...the works.

Then we looked at our bank account and laughed really hard. ;)

So that plan has recently become the "in a few years when we've save enough" plan. And by a few years, I'm guessing more than 2 or 3. In the meantime though, I CANNOT live in this ugly kitchen anymore. We were trying to be frugal and just deal with it, but I just can't. I need pretty things for my sanity day after day. It's a creative drain to live in a house where everything is bare and white. SO, we have begun brainstorming a new plan...which is to paint the existing cabinets, maybe add some crown to the tops, add some open shelving, change out the lighting, build a small vent hood, add hardware, and possibly add a new faucet.

I've sketched this and researched this SO many times and now I am pretty pumped! I just bought this paint sprayer, and am planning to start sanding the cabinets and painting sometime in the next month or so. I think we are painting them in Benjamin Moore Paper Mache. 

Here is some of my general inspiration for this makeover:

Can you tell that I want to do open shelving? ;) And that's not even all of the's only just the tip of the iceburg. I have a zillion other kitchen pins on Pinterest.

I love these black nantucket pulls for our drawers.

And something simple like these black knobs for our lower cabinets.

And these knobs from Anthro for the 3 upper cabinets we're planning to leave up.

We will do open shelving on almost the entire wall above the sink (but will leave the uppers on either side of the stove). I want to do natural looking shelves, not painted or anything (we'll probably stain them with danish oil), and I want to use pretty brackets similar to these, also from Anthropologie. (I would like something black though, I think.) 

We are planning to leave the open shelving even when we gut the rest of the kitchen, so I'm willing to invest a bit more in that. Cannot wait to get them styled!

I'm not positive if we'll do a backsplash right now, since I would hate to rip it up when we gut the kitchen down the road, but if we need to we'll probably just throw some beadboard up, since it's timeless and cheap. 

I can't wait for a new faucet (and would LOVE a new farmhouse sink too, but we're trying to save money...), but I love this one from Ikea:

(We need a single-hole faucet to fit our current sink or else I would go with something more elaborate.)

For the vent hood, I'm trying to coax Bryan is building something like the one in this picture...(a mini version)

He acts like he's not excited...but I know he's secretly looking forward to it :)

So there's that. I need to end this novel of a post now, but I'm excited to get started! (Along with the zillion other projects we have halfway started, haha!) Also, I painted the fireplace last week! Well, just primed it. But I'm hoping to get it completely done by the end of the weekend. And I finally got curtains for the living room! I am excited to share those as well.

Have a great day!! Thanks for reading through the mess of my head.

Favorites From September

Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone! It's snowing right now in Highlands Ranch. Yes. I'm actually loving it, although I always hated snow when I lived here, haha. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose. Today I'm sharing my favorites from around the web for the month of September!

{1}This kitchen makeover from one of my favorite blogs is just amazing in every way. I am still astonished that most of it was done with paint!

{2} I love all of the natural elements in these vintage fall mantels. Great blog too!

{3} I have a Christmas version of this stove top potpourri that I love, but I am excited to try out the fall version.

{4}  This adorable bow-themed birthday makes me kind of wish I had a little girl to copy it for.

{5} Here's a great blog for kiddo activities and I really want to do this glow-in-the-dark bath water.

{6} I'm going to make some of these zinc letters for the laundry room.

{7} We went to H&M the other day and I want to go back and get these comfy pants.

What links are you loving from the past few weeks? Have a great weekend!

Fall Home Tour

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Happy fall, once again! I thought I would post the rest of our fall decorations today. Hope you like them as much as I do!

In hindsight, I should have taken these front patio pictures in better light, but it is what it is and I'm a bit lazy, so excuse the over-exposed photos :).

I love our patio this year, for the most part. My mom gave me this wreath last year (she made it way back when) and I added a few feathers. It has the prettiest grapevine. I also love my pumpkin display this year! There isn't much room on the patio for a big production or anything, but a few pumpkins, some moss, and a grapevine garland seemed to be enough for the space. 

I also spray painted some old lanterns that I had and put some little wooden pumpkins in them for an extra touch. (I think I got those at JoAnn on super clearance a few years ago.) I'm still debating on how happy I am with the green color. It may get changed to gray before Christmas. 

Out of necessity, I decided to just decorate a couple of areas in our house since most of it is pretty bare (like 90% of it). The first is the entry way, which I posted about here

I spray painted those little plastic pumpkins gray and white. They are from Wal-Mart and I bought them on clearance last year. I love the wheat bundle best! I'm a bit obsessed with wheat.

 Okay, this doesn't actually stay on our dining table all the time, but I had extra decorations so I stuck them here and thought it was pretty. I SO wish I had curtains, blinds, and other decor in here! Curse you, money and expensive furnishings. ;)

(Sorry, this picture is super blurry looking...)

I'm keeping the little dome and cake plate set-up on there at all times. I got the dome at a garage sale this past weekend. I've decided that garage sale-ing is my new hobby (among a thousand others that I don't make time for). I love it!

Here is a little console in the corner of our living room. I really just added the faux pumpkin and those pears. I still need to spray paint that pumpkin, haha. (Wal-Mart clearance)

Aaaaaaand I may have changed the fireplace. I couldn't help it. The other looked so dark and really traditional so I attempted to simplify and brighten it up. (Can you tell that the darkness of this fireplace is driving me nuts?) I also took the orange pumpkins out and moved them to the patio. I have a real issue with any bright colors being in my house. This quirk annoys me, but again, I just can't help myself!

I like this mantel a LOT more. All of the mercury glass balls are from TJ Maxx or Crate and Barrel (wedding gifts).

I really, really, really wish that the leaves were turning in Lubbock but they aren't I just clipped a branch from a crate myrtle in our yard and called it good. I got the little tree stump at a garage sale for 25 cents. I love it.  

Oh, and we are in Colorado this week! I always forget how beautiful it is here in the fall. My family lives in Highlands Ranch, which is seriously like the perfect little bubble of a suburb. Being here always makes me weirdly nostalgic, because I tend to forget about it when I'm in Texas. It's nice that nothing seems to change when you go still listen to the same radio stations, your mom still cooks the same meals, and you kind of get to revert to being a kid again :).

Anyways....that was a weird little side note, haha. Have a wonderful day!