Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Patch

My husband thought up that title. He thinks he’s pretty clever.

In our kitchen, we used to have a fluorescent light in the middle of the ceiling. You can find out what I think about fluorescent lighting here.

Once again, I’m wishing I would have taken some before pictures when we first moved in. But with my lack of patience and all…it didn’t happen. I will share more of the big overall changes we did in our kitchen coming up soon.

But first, we removed the fluorescent light and put in a ceiling mounted light right after moving in. That recently got relocated when we put in recessed lighting. This is what it has looked like for quite awhile-


I actually kind of got used to the hole. But I figured it might be a deterrent for potential homebuyers looking at our house……just maybe.

So we bought some 4’x4’ drywall at Menards here in town. They have scrap pieces that are outside by the lumberyard for only $1 each. Can’t beat that.

We cut a square to fit the hole.


And I just happened to have some drywall screws laying around. (I actually did).


I didn’t get pictures of this step (got a little anxious) but I screwed right through the drywall and into the wood that was there.

Then we used some self-adhesive drywall tape on the cracks-


And some of this stuff-


Spread on with this thing-


And this is what we got-


So we sanded it with one of these- (once it was dry)


And it still wasn’t quite right. So we did another coat of joint compound and sanded it again when it was dry. Then painted!


You can definitely tell there used to be a hole there. I’m not sure how to get a completely perfect look. But we aren’t looking for perfection. It looks waaaaayy better than it did! And we did it for pretty cheap.

Bubbye hole. I can honestly say I don’t miss it.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quarter Round & Birthday Wishes

We did not have any quarter round moulding down in either of our hallways. What is quarter round molding you ask? It is this-


and it is used to help your baseboards have that finished look.

In our back hallway, previous owners had laid carpet over the original hardwood floors.(what were they thinking?!) The owners before us ripped up the carpet, but didn’t do a very complete job of it. There was still some carpet fibers stuck to the trim. The paint was peeling in places and there was old glue everywhere.


So I bought some quarter round moulding, measured the walls, cut it, nailed it down, caulked and painted. We went from this-


to this-


(sorry, I think there is some dust on my lensSad smile)

Much better, right? It just makes it look so much more polished. The 45 degree cuts were a little tricky, but matched up for the most part.

Another project done, check!

Yesterday was my little tough guy’s birthday. He is the rough and tumble boy of the group. Loves to get dirty, wrestle, and be just plain rambunxious!

We had fun this weekend celebrating with family.


Happy Birthday Noah Dean!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fireplace Finale

Does anybody else have spring fever around here or is it just me? This has been the warmest January in Michigan I can ever remember. We are meant to be going tubing this weekend. With what snow?!

I’m having thoughts of this-DSCN2644

and this-


and this-


and anxious for spring break.


So, I finally finished that troublesome fireplace. Went to Menards (or as my youngest, JJ, calls it- Nards) and picked up this stuff-


The consistency was much easier to spread and so much better to work with. I used a 2 inch putty knife and my fingers. Let me warn you- this stuff dries out the skin like nobody’s business. Here it is all finished-


Two other projects are already completed- meet me back here next week to here about them.

Anybody else out there come down with an early case of spring fever?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Closet Door Rescue

In our master bedroom we have pretty nice closets. I have my own and my husband, Scott, has his own. Scott’s closet is closest to the door of our bedroom.

Over two years ago, Scott was playing with our boys and running around the house one afternoon. He came running into our bedroom and turned the corner sharply, only to run into his open closet door. Which, of course, caused it to split and fall right off the track. It sounded horrible and I knew it couldn’t be good.

He thought it was garbage and was even talking about replacing the doors. I said I would try to fix it…..so it sat in our garage. And his closet continued to look like this-


It drove me nuts. But I wasn’t sure how to go about fixing it. Something had to be done.


With our recent decision to put our house up for sale- it was time.

I grabbed some of this


and applied it along the crack.



I got our drill and put a drill bit in it that had a countersink attachment. (sorry, forgot to take a picture of that)I drilled a hole and then used a 2 inch screw to close the gap of the crack…okay, that sounded weird.


Almost as good as new. It is at least back in our bedroom and hiding Scott’s stacks of clothes. He really is quite the clothes horse.


Got a few more projects in the works.

Then- on to cleaning and de-cluttering.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Door Handle Discount

I painted the outsides of our front doors a couple of months ago.

From this-


(see the painters tape? almost forgot before photo)

To this-


As you can see, I spray-painted my door handles at the same time. I followed the same steps Young House Love used. But my results were less than ideal. I’m sure it was something I did and not their tutorial. My brass handles were very shiny and newer. I tried to rough them up a bit, but these were the results.


Every time we used them they looked worse. It was more than a little annoying.

Last week I was at Menards getting supplies for all the projects I have planned. When I ran across these-


They were $25 each! On clearance because they are going to be discontinued. And lucky me- I found 2 with the same code! (which means you can use the same key for both). But I needed 3. There was two more with different codes on each. A Menards associate said he could change the locks on the third so they could all match. How exciting is that?!

Until I get home and realize there is handles for left-handed doors and handles for right-handed doors. Two of the three I got were handles for left-handed doors. Sad smile

But for $25- I made it work!


Select few will know I put a Left-handed handle on a Right-handed door. Well…..besides all of you.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chia Pet Herb Garden & a Sneak Peek

We all know it, right? Cha-Cha-Cha Chia.
After Christmas I went shopping for Christmas clearance stuff. I found this Chia Pet set in with the clearance items.
So, for $8 I am growing some herbs. The set came with 6 packages of herbs, but only 3 pots. I am loving this. In the pots I have basil, cilantro, and parsley. It couldn't have been any easier. You just soak the Chia sod in water, plop it into the pot, and dump the seeds on top!
They are doing great!
They said for white stuff to appear on top is a good sign. It also suggested to put a plastic bag over the top of each to help growth and then keep them some place warm- like on top of the fridge. It’s like my own little terrarium.

I can’t wait to use them in some recipes!

Here’s your sneak peek! I’m not sure I should do this, but this is the house we are REALLY interested in.
As things progress, I will show more!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Drawer organizing & Oven cleaning

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was pretty good. I had a fairly productive Saturday, but fell a little short on Sunday. Plus I have a problem with evaluating how long it takes to do a project. It’s a little unrealistic to think I can tackle my whole to-do list in a weekend.
But here are some things I did do:
This was my junk drawer (which hasn’t been organized since moving in almost 6 years ago) before-
Yes- all of the stuff on the counter came from inside the drawer.
It was a little hard to open.
And here it is now after a little purging and organizing-
I also had a VERY dirty stove and microwave. I’ve had a lot of spillage while baking these past holidays. So, lots of crud on the bottom. I tried to clean my oven with the self-clean function on the dial a couple of weeks ago. That. was. a. big. mistake. Cleaning it was not fun. Let’s just say my boys and I had to evacuate the place because the smoke was too thick. Never again, never again.
Here’s some pictures to show the grime and grit.
I just used some good ole’ trusty 409 cleaner and combined it with the Magic Eraser. Not sure if that was a good idea- but it did the job. Also, I put some lemon water in a bowl inside the microwave for 5 minutes and just wiped out the inside. Easy peasy.
No amount of cleaner or elbow grease was touching those drip pans. Sorry you had to see that. Disgusting, I know. So I tossed them in the garbage. I went to the store and picked up 4 new ones for under $10. Well worth it! My stove looks brand new.
Hopefully, more house projects to come!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fireplace Makeover

We have a 1950’s ranch set amongst a neighborhood of similarly built homes. Previous owners of our house enclosed the space between our house and garage. Before, it was probably just a patio.
The only heat source in this room is a built-in gas fireplace. Let me tell you- this room was U.G.L.Y. when we first moved in. Burgundy trim everywhere, cream walls, burgundy carpet, and the fireplace was horrendous. I’m not sure what these people were thinking- it had ceramic, shiny, burgundy tiles surrounding it. Like the kind you find in a bathroom….of a really ugly house. Then it was trimmed in brassy gold trim. I wish I had taken a picture. But patience is not a virtue of mine. I wish it was. I have a problem with having ugly things in my house. They drive me crazy and usually rip them out without much of a plan.
So that is what I did to my ugly fireplace. Then I went to Lowes and looked at their house exterior products. I found some stones I liked that are used on the outside of homes and ordered a box of them.
I talked to a guy at Lowes and he told me how to prep my walls for the stones. I needed a bag of cement and had to put up a cement board of some type and then a wire mesh so the cement would have something to grip on to. Cement, cement, cement- say it a few more times!
Then I just started slapping the cement on to the back of the stones and arranging them around the fireplace. It looked 100 percent better than it had before- but not perfect.
The problem with any project we (my husband is usually dragged unwillingly into my projects) do is the actual completion of it. Those last little details or final steps. We/I have a problem with that. I guess we/I kind of run out of steam towards the end of projects.
So, here I am, trying to finish those details to get our house ready to sell. I found a mantel-type thing at one of my favorite stores here in town. It’s called Cottage Corner. Love it!
I found some stone squares at out local home improvement store in the outdoor section. I just set them in front of the fireplace. I need to notch out the corners so they fit snugly against the wall and then glue them down....somehow.
The last step- I bought a grout bag and mixed up some more cement to fill in the cracks around the stones.
This did not go so well......
I couldn't get the consistency of the cement quite right. It was either too soupy or it would be too thick to even come out the tip of the bag. I was a little, um......frustrated, to say the least. Back to the drawing board. I wanted to have a completed picture for you, but things don't always go as planned :(
I'm going to visit the local home improvement store this weekend to see if I can find something that will work. Hopefully I will post a completed project on Monday.

Also to come- Door handle discount, Quarter round nail down and Patch the hole.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beautiful 1 Year Old

We recently had a birthday party for my niece, Adelaide. Her mom, Anne, went all out for the party; it was so cute. Anne is from Australia. In Australia they call ladybugs- ladybirds. That was the theme of the party. We had lots of fun.
Love you Adelaide!!