It’s been a while…

I thought because I wasn’t crying anymore that I had moved on….of course it wasn’t that simple.  Tears are only one symptom of grief.  Lately, I have been unfocused, unmotivated, and generally a sloth.  I found out yesterday that I have a vitamin D deficiency so hopefully when that is straightened out, the fatigue part will get better.  But the ache in my soul is still there.  The disappointment lingers.  That’s why I haven’t been writing.  It’s not that things haven’t been happening.

We spent Memorial Day at the lake with friends.  Here is a video of Lynne coaxing me to jump off the dock.

My super sweet neighbor Trudy brought me flowers from her lovely yard.

We painted our bedroom walls and trim.  It’s not ready to share, but here’s a sneak peek (mid-process shot):

We went to Dillon to celebrate my beautiful niece’s 8th birthday and made snow cones.

We went to see Lion King at the Peace Center.  I couldn’t take pictures but this video captures how completely spectacular it was better than my camera ever could.  The music, costumes, scenery, and atmosphere made it an unforgettable experience.  The first few minutes alone were worth every penny (and it was a BUNCH of pennies) we spent on the tickets.

Despite all of the great things that have been happening lately, there is a numbness in my heart that makes it hard to live in the moment and truly be present for the memories being created.  I hope that changes soon.  I have a beautiful life and I want to suck out every bit of its marrow.

Categories: family, home, life | Leave a comment

Dining Overload

I know I’ve had several posts related to my dining room lately but Thrifty Decor Chick is having a dining room party over at her blog so I need to consolidate my dining room posts into one convenient location because I don’t want to miss it!  Plus, I’ve added a few accessories since the last time you stopped by!

The plant is new and so are the IKEA vases.  I wanted to put some fresh flowers in there, but unfortunately we are in between blooms at our house and I didn’t feel like getting out to buy some.  So there.

You may recall from this post that I put peacock paper in to brighten up the hutch.

And my two lovelies in the corner.

And in the final corner:

I added some lemons for a little color and a cute little pitcher from Ikea to the Baker’s rack.  To see what this room looked like before, click on over to this post.  And for your viewing pleasure, check out some amazing dining rooms over at this party:

Show Us Your House

Categories: home | Leave a comment

Goonies never say die

This post is motivated by:

Here is my Pinterest inspiration:

sayings in the stairs


Flippin amazing, right?  Although I’ve seen these stairs featured on a ton of websites, I could not find a legitimate source.  Frustrating.  Most of the features link Pinterest as the source.  Of course, while this  amazing picture was my inspiration, it is also quite a bit above my skill level, so I dumbed it down put my own spin on it.

Now the world is doing everything it can to keep me from finishing this project and posting it.  First it was finding suitable words to paint.  That took about 6 months.  Next I decided to use paint markers instead of paint/paintbrush for better control.  The day the markers arrived in the mail, we took my mom to the ER and I spent most of the next week and a half at the hospital with her.  Of course, when we finally came home, I was very much behind on just about everything at home so I took an hour here and there to put some elbow grease into it.  And tonight, when I planned to do the post, I instead got bogged down meticulously gathering up my tax documents.

But I cannot be delayed any longer.  Here is the before:

If you have never been to our house, our setup is a little unique.  You actually walk in on the second floor, which is the main floor.  Then you can go downstairs to the man cave, craft room/bedroom, and laundry room.  Because of this setup, I felt it was okay to get a little whimsical on the stairs–because you can only see them from the mancave.   There’s not much I hate more in the world than carpeted stairs.  They pick up so much dirt and are impossible to clean.  This carpet actually came up a year ago. That’s how long I’ve been eyeing those red stairs.

The wood up under there was pretty banged up and pieced together, so good thing I wanted to paint.

They actually stayed bare for a couple of months, sadly.  Don’t worry, we did leave the handrail up until we were ready to paint.

Originally, the mancave was a light blue.  We wanted something warmer, so we went with a burnt orange, but we didn’t want the orange to continue all the way up the stairs onto the wall. So we taped off a line at the bottom of the stairs where the orange would end and we painted the remaining light blue wall a neutral white.  Here is my handsome being his usual weird self while puttying and sanding the wall.  We later covered the line that separated the two colors with some molding.

Here are the stairs all painted and purty (the handrail got painted black too).  We used porch and floor paint, but it definitely is not mean to stand up to the wear and tear of stairs, so it definitely needs to be sealed with a protective coat.

Don’t mind the unfinished gallery wall.

And drum roll please…..here’s how it looks now that I’ve pinterized it:



























We don’t take ourselves too seriously around here, so it’s a quote from the movie Hook, a movie that Day loves.  Sidenote:  We have an age old debate going on over here about which movie is better, Hook or The Goonies.  Feel free to weigh in, but I know that Goonies never say die.



























The paint marker wasn’t paint-like as I thought it would be, so it actually looks more like chalk, which is okay with me.  Kind of a vintage-y feel.  In hindsight, since there weren’t enough words to cover each step, I wish I would have started one step lower.  But hey, I’m not about to redo it any time soon, and I still like it a whole lot.

And up close:



























And a little before/after action:

I’m linking up here for the Pinterest Challenge:

Young House Love

Bower Power

Hi Sugarplum

The Great Indoors




I’m also linking up here:

Home Stories A to Z

Categories: home | 10 Comments

Asheville and Roosters

Usually, when my birthday comes around, I’m like a little kid and I want there to be trumpets and confetti and a parade in my honor.  I must be “maturing,” though, because this year I wanted my birthday to be very low-key, which I found out is impossible.  All I really wanted was to take a day trip to Asheville and check out some cool thrift/antique/art stores.  Instead it went down like this:

Feb. 2, Davison’s parents come into town and take me out to eat at my fave Greenville restaurant–Adam’s Bistro.  It was delicious!

Feb. 4, Lynnie and Johnny B convince me to get out of the house and celebrate, so we go get Mexican food and come back to the house to play cards.  Lesson:  Throwing up in the bathroom of a Mexican restaurant is not fun.  But playing Shanghai Rummy afterward is.

Feb. 11-13, We drive to Dillon to have a joint bday celebration (half my family is born in February), complete with shopping trip with Nichole and “surprise party” given by my 7 year old niece Raylin.

Feb. 18, Mom, Lynne and I make our trip to Asheville and shop til we drop…almost literally.  Whew, tiring but fun.

Feb. 24-26, Davison’s family (parents, sis, bro-in-law, dogs-in-law)  is coming to visit so they can celebrate with me as well.

All this to say, I’m extremely blessed with people who love me, but I’m also worn out!  And March is looking just as busy.

And because no one wants to see a post with just a bunch of words in it, here are some pics from my new fave place, The Screen Door in Asheville.  It’s a big warehouse where vendors have individual booths and sell furniture, art, home decor, etc.  Very cool.  I didn’t end up buying anything, but I did get soooo inspired by the amazing work so I’m hoping to convert this inspiration into my own home projects in the near future.

How many things do I love about the “room” above?  For starters, the end table, the couch, and the lamp behind the couch, but the white lamp, the stumps, and the pillows are also great.

How cool are these animal silhouettes?  The cow out of reclaimed wood and the other is made out of buttons!!

A U.S. map made out of fabric swatches and one out of salvaged wood pieces.

Loving every single one of these light fixtures, the metal dogs and goats, and the big letters too.

More metal art..can’t decide if I like the faces or the iron skillet turkey best.

The couch, the desk, the trunk, the two-fabric combo chair….I’m drooling.

Are you inspired?   We also went to a few other places, one being the Antique Tobacco Barn.  Most of the inventory there was waaaay out of my price range, but this $6 rooster did catch my eye.

I painted him yellow.  And here he is now.

Thanks to this hilarious but profanity laced post by the Bloggess, I decided he needed a name.   And so his name is Fred Armisen because every time I look at him, I think of this craziness.  Here’s Fred in his new home:

I put him next to the chalkboard wall so I can draw speech bubbles coming from his beak.  Obviously.

Categories: crafts, home, life | 1 Comment

Peacock Pretties

For once, I am following through like I said I would.  I told you this weekend that I had plans for the hutch, and little did you know that I had this pretty peacock paper from Paper Source already waiting to be used.  I used it to line the back of the hutch since it was so dark in there.  I could have used spray adhesive, but I didn’t have any so I just used double-sided tape.  Resourceful?  Lazy?  Judge me all you want, but I have a pretty peacock feather lined hutch and what do you have?  Don’t answer that because you probably put my hutch to shame.  Anyway, most of you have probably grown impatient and skipped ahead to the pictures, but for those of you who haven’t, here she goes:

The hutch was scored a while back on Craigslist for $100.  I know some of y’all find these jaw-dropping deals out there, but I waited around for 6 months stalking Craigslist before “splurging” on this one.  $100 is still a pretty good deal if I say so myself, considering that it had already been painted and the hardware updated.  Here’s a peek inside, without the glare:

And here’s a closeup of the pretty, pretty paper:

I love the gold flecks in there, since I’m planning to make gold more of an element in that room.  The paper was $5 per 20″ by 28″ sheet.  It took four sheets, which I was able to match up nicely in a pretty much invisible seam down the middle.  I also have some decent sized scraps leftover so I can use those for some future project.

So for $20 (plus shipping but I also bought some additional pretty paper), here’s my before and after:

Categories: crafts, home | 1 Comment

I only speak the truth.

So I came inside today after getting home from work and realized my chalkboard still said this:

Please note that the Christmas lights had in fact been erased and seasonal decor put away, but the “baby it’s cold outside” remained, and it’s just not true.  It’s been sunny and in/around the 60s lately.  In fact, these beauties are already blooming in the front yard:

Even if winter does decide to make a comeback, I needed something less depressing on my board.   I don’t really decorate for Valentines day so behold my Herculean effort at trying to get into the commercialized spirit:

Taaadaaa!  Not worth a taadaa?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.  To make up for it, I will leave you with a picture of the whole wall, so you can see the type of things that actually get said out loud at our house. Oh, if these walls could talk.

Yep.  That just happened.  One minute–a deep discussion about politics and poverty, the next–potty humor.  I like to call that “well-rounded.”

Categories: home, life | Leave a comment

Teal Trance: My New Dining Room!

So here is my starting point:

(Ignore the boxes in the corner.)

The red dining room was one of the very few rooms we have not painted in the almost two years we have lived in the house.  Most poeple loved it and complimented us on it, and it tied the rooms together nicely because we have a red sofa in the living room and a red buffet/sideboard and stools in the kitchen.  Yet it bugged me.  When it had originally been painted, it really needed an extra coat, but I’m guessing the painters had already done at least two coats and just couldn’t take it anymore.  I’ve been there.  But there were areas that didn’t look fully covered and I often thought the red looked garish and cheap.

And then came my obsession with peacock blue/teal.  I loved it; I wanted to take a bath in it.  Most of all I wanted to eat fancy dinners in my dining room surrounded in a sea of it.  Okay, we don’t really do fancy dinners, but we do play poker and occasionally eat meals in there when the extended family visits.  Anyway, with my husband’s always gracious blessing to paint yet another room,  we began to cover those intense red walls.  We decided to do white on the bottom.  We did two coats of primer on the bottom to cover up the red.  I thought one coat of white paint would do the trick, but of course, I always underestimate how much paint i will need.  After two coats of primer and two coats of paint, the wall under the chair rail was a crisp white.  I loved it.

On the top, I used my tinted primer trick (from here) and poured some paint into the primer.  We probably put more paint than we needed in there, which caused us to run out later, but I’ll get to that in a second.  Here it is after a coat of primer:

Mom said it looked like denim, and Day said, “Don’t tell her that, then she’ll want to leave it like this.”  Because who doesn’t want denim walls?  Does my hubs even know me?  The only denim I own is blue jeans.  Is this how he really sees me?

Here is our beloved dining room after one coat of paint:

After two coats of paint:

And again the golden rule of paint:  it’s always going to require one more coat of paint than you think.  And we were out of paint.  Booooo.  After a few days of building up enough motivation to finish the fight, we bought another can and finally knocked it out.  The paint is Olympic No VOC matched to Behr Tropical Skies, in case you were curious.  It is definitely more teal (a little bit of green tint) than my camera is letting on.  Here it is after 3 obnoxious coats:

And here is the finished product.  May I present my new teal dining room:

Cue angels singing.  I have some plans for that hutch coming soon.

And for that little corner table.

And a close up of the walls that hold two of my favorite Christmas presents, mentioned here.

And of course, you need a before and after comparison.

Better, no?

I’m in looooooove.  Thanks for stopping by!

teal dining room

red dining room

Categories: home | 2 Comments

Shower Redo- From Scary to Serene

Remember a while back when I showed you this picture?

Well we finally demolished our old master shower.  It had bugged the bejeezus out of me since day 1 of living in our house.  It was your basic square porcelain tile, which would have been fine (but boring) if it would have been in good shape.  Let’s just say I would have rather spent the money on something more fun than a shower that only my husband and I see.  But we had no choice and I’m about to show you why.  (Note: I’m kind of embarassed to put this picture out in the online world, but since it no longer exists, I guess that is a little redeeming.)

Every time I stepped in this thing, I felt like I was back at Bates House, my freshman co-ed dorm.  Those showers were so disgusting you had to wear flip flops.  Now, I try to use non-toxic chemicals when I clean, but I made an exception for this bad boy.  I’m talking toothbrush, straight bleach.  You could barely notice a difference after over an hour of scrubbing.  It’s hard to tell in this picture, but in many places between the tiles, the grout had completely worn through.  I began to worry about compromising the walls behind the tile with moisture.

Since Day and I know nothing about tiling a shower, we called in for reinforcements.  I called my bro-in-law who had recently redone his guest bathroom and asked if he could come visit and help.  He is a DIY junkie (like me except with tools and actual know-how) and offered graciously to help during the Thanksgiving visit.  I already told you I had the best in-laws in the world, right?

Now let’s talk a little about the tile I picked out.  After some pinterest searching, I had been lusting after the big rectangle tiles.  I think they look more modern, and since our bathroom floor tile (not pictured but picture green quatrefoil tile reminiscent of the 1970s)  is more on the vintage side, I thought it might be a good choice to keep our bathroom from looking too dated.  They were somewhat of a splurge, but after my experience with trying unsuccessfully to clean grout on the previous shower tile, I wanted as little of it as possible in my new shower.

The tiles were supposed to arrive on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  I ordered them from a local tile shop and called them on Weds afternoon when I had not heard from them.  They told me they did not know why, but the tiles were not on the delivery truck, and due to the holiday would not arrive prior to the following week.  Panicked, I explained that my relatives were coming in town to help the next day and the tiles would do me no good next week.  She said she would see what she could do and call me back.  Hubs and I went to Home Depot and Lowes to find a suitable replacement.  Neither store carried the rectangle tiles or had anything with a modern but neutral look.  Luckily, the tile lady called me back and told me that some relatives of the owner were coming to Greenville from Florida for Thanskgiving and they would stop by the manufacturer (in Georgia) and pick up my tiles. The owner would deliver them to my house on Thanksgiving morning.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Isn’t that amazing?  I’d like to think that this is an example of the benefits of supporting local businesses over big box stores.  If we would have special ordered something from Lowe’s or HD, as much as I love those stores, there is no way they would have gone to that much trouble to make sure the shipment got to me on time.

So anyway, prior to his arrival, Zeph talked to me about the demo part and I told him Day and I would attempt to have that done before he got there so he could get straight to the technical stuff.  I watched some videos and demo looked simple enough.  A little tap tap tap with a flat bar and the tiles pop off like butter.  So we tapped tapped tapped and got a big fat wake up call.

No, mold wasn’t our wake up call (Thank God!).  Those black marks were from the flat bar.  Our dilemma was that behind the tiles was cement backerboard, which meant those tiles were not going to detach and we risked doing damage to the wood frame if we tried to pry the whole shebang loose.  So much for getting a headstart.  We waited for the expert.

Zeph was able to cut just above the tile, which made the whole thing much easier to pry loose.  At first they were taking the big chunks of debris through the house, but then they realized they could drop them out the window.

Since Day, his father, and Zeph were doing most of the work, I only got to stick my head in for a few minutes at a time.  Hey, somebody had to do the hosting since the rest of the family was staying with us as well!  Here are some pictures I got when the guys were outside mixing or cutting.

Here is the drywall installed.  Next, Zeph and the boys starting mixing the thinset and placing the tiles.  Once Zeph needed to cut some of the 12 x 24 tiles, we hit another roadblock.  His tile saw was made for 12 by 12 tiles.  It would only cut about 4 inches down the middle of the tile before the arm of the saw blocked it from going further.  We thought we were going to go spend extra money on a larger tile saw (and we were already over budget with having to replace the drywall due to the cement backerboard fiasco).  So Zeph cut 4 inches down one way, and 4 inches down the other way, leaving 4 inches in the middle.  He then scored the remaining 4 inches and tried to snap it in half on the corner of our brick patio.  It worked!  It wasn’t a perfect cut, but it made the tile 12 x 12 so that Zeph could use his tile saw to make more accurate cuts.

Here’s the man himself, putting up the tiles.  He used a board at the bottom to make sure the tiles were level, in case our bathtub was not quite level.

Although he had to leave before the tub surround was completely done, he finished all of the complicated stuff and left us with grouting and putting on the new fixtures.  Davison’s dad helped us with the grouting.  I actually like grouting.  We used very small spacers (1/16) so it was pretty easy.

Then we had to caulk.  You would think that we would have been done in no time, but I’m here to tell you that we’re not so good at finishing projects.  We went almost six weeks without a shower.  Well, not without a shower at all, just without our master shower. I’m not a fan of caulk.  The tinted one the tile shop gave us worked fine.  But we were worried we wouldn’t have enough so we used white caulk from HD around the top of the tub.  And that stuff was not forgiving.  We still haven’t gotten all of it off where we got excess on the tiles and it wouldn’t come off.  But since there’s no telling how long it might be until we take on a process that tedious, I’m going to show you my new shower/tub surround anyway.  Luckily, my mother scrubbed the tub for us or we might still be using the guest bath.

Sorry for the weird shadows and poor lighting.  It’s completely awkward trying to get pictures in that bathroom.  Unfortunately my husband is a pragmatist and he wouldn’t let me replace the plastic showerhead with something pretty. The caulk in the corner isn’t as dark as it looks in the picture.  Here’s a closeup of the tile.

I adore it.  It’s got so many different shades of tan and gray. I feel like I’m at a spa instead of in the movie Psycho.  So here’s a final before and after for comparison purposes:

And after:

Ahhhhhh, happy showering yall!

Categories: home | Leave a comment

More of the man-cave…

I’ve already shown you the fireplace makeover, but how has the rest of the man-cave changed since we moved in?  Here are some shots of how the place looked on the day of our inspection, with the previous owner’s decor:
This is what you see when you first come down the stairs:
This is the view if you are standing at the fireplace.  It’s a VERY long room.  As you can see, the previous owners were using it as a place to watch TV, an office with desk and computer, and a kid’s play and homework area, plus a piano!  And I can’t blame them–that’s a lot of space!

You might not be able to tell but the room has beautiful dentil molding.  In my opinion, because the wall color was so light, the molding wasn’t really noticeable.  We wanted to go darker and wanted to make the room feel more cozy and masculine.  Also, we thought it would be neat to show our team spirit.  It was bold, but hey it’s just paint, so we went ORANGE! 

I had already shown you the fireplace.  We also put up some bamboo shades.  In the corner (I call it a reading nook, although it’s not really nook-esque.), There’s a hand-me-down end table that is pretty badly damaged and needs a facelift.  I just cover it up with pottery barn magazines and a globe for now. The recliner is also a hand-me-down.

The couch, loveseat, and coffee table are furniture we brought from our old apartment.  The two end tables were cheapos off of craigslist but they were in such bad shape that no amount of sanding and paint can revive them.  But they are going to stay put for now because we have bigger fish to fry.  The two lamps are ikea, and the painting is from World Market.  It’s a jazz scene and I gave it to my baby on our first Christmas together.

 Here’s the man cave electronic setup because man caves are apparently all about technology.  Hubs has his beloved TV, surround sound, Xbox, and Wii.  I added the mirrors from IKEA.

Remember those wood paneling built-ins above?  I’ll refresh your memory:

They had to go.  My FIL and hubs took out the fluorescent light and changed out the black outlet for a white one.  Hubs and I painted away.  Wood paneling is not that fun to paint either.  Better than brick though.  I also spray painted the brass handles with some ORB paint.  Right now, it’s a bunch of random knick-knacks, but hopefully it will start looking more cohesive soon.

We bought the brown futon because we frequently have multiple out of town guests and wanted more than one bed for guests to sleep.  I hate the pillows, but I’m looking forward to making covers in some fun patterns!  As you can see, we kept the trusty piano.  We asked that it be included with the house.  I hope to paint it black, but hubs isn’t so sure.  I know he’ll love it though.  As you can see, he added his drums and guitar.  One of the main things we were looking for in a house was a place where hubs could play his drums and not bother the neighbors…that was not possible in an apartment.  You may be able to tell we have a music theme going on.  Most of the art is musical in nature, plus we have some musician figurines on the built ins. 

I’ll show some more of the details of this room later, but I wanted to give you a peek. Continuing with my accountability list, here is what I’d eventually like to do this room.

Short term:
1.  Get new end tables that are more interesting (still must be practical according to hubby’s rules).
2.  Make new pillows for futon and maybe even get/make a futon cover–I’m not that big of a fan of microfiber.
3. paint piano black.
4. makeover entry way table (not pictured) or buy something new.
5. makeover table in nook
6. recover chair
7.  Find something to put on the wall over the entry way table.

Long term:
Eventually, I’d like to get more neutral furniture and tone down the paint color (medium gray?) in the man cave.  I also definitely want to tear up the carpet, but I haven’t figured out what kind of floors I want…..something masculine yet still kid-friendly.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the man cave!  Usually, you can hear my hunk-o’-love playing piano or drums, or people playing rock band or rapping, or things exploding when hubs is on the xbox.

Categories: home | Leave a comment

A little Christmas cheer

A tour of the house in all of its Christmas glory.  The fact that 90% of the gifts I’m giving this year are DIY projects meant that my time to focus on decorations was kept to a minimum.  I’m going to do my best next year to cut out the consumerism that detracts from the holidays and focus more on making memories. 🙂
Here is our tree.  As much as I’d like it to be beautiful and white and classic, this tree is a more accurate depiction of our family.  We are a bold colors, crazy ornaments, beautiful mess of a family.

 If you look closely, you might be able to spot some of our wacky but sentimental ornaments.  Hubs and I get one for each other every year.  My favorite is the Wonder Woman outfit near the top.  I’ll have to share pics of some of my other faves sometime.

Since the living room is already turquoise and red, I try to stick with a simple red motif in there to avoid getting too clashy.

 This picture looks terrible because it was taken at night, but I love my table settings.  The jewel tone green chargers from World Market (post Christmas sale) are my fave.  It would be great if I could find something cute to sit on each of the plates—maybe just  a simple red ornament?–to take it up a notch.

This baker’s rack came into my dining room when my mom moved in, and I’m excited about having an extra space to decorate!  Maybe next year I’ll do more with it.

My favorite part!  I bought this frame from goodwill to put on my mantel, but it was too tall.  I like it here.  I drew string lights around the border for a more festive look.  Because of the red and green already going on, it’s pretty easy to turn my kitchen into a Christmas exhibit.

 Close up of my new frame!  And notice the quote by my husband that says, “I’m not even sure pears really exist.”  Yep, never know what is going to come out of that kid’s mouth.

In the mancave, of course we have our Clemson tree.  We have begun accumulating quite a bit of ornaments, mostly thanks to my mom, who also let us borrow her stocking, and her scarf to use a tree skirt.

And finally, my mantel.  A bit underwhelming, but I was trying to go for a more natural, yet still festive approach.  I may still tweak it, even though Christmas is only a few days away.  Originally, I wanted several mirrors propped up behind everything and overlapping, but unfortunately, the thrift stores weren’t cooperating and I didn’t have time to dilly dally.

And a final closer view. I’m going to attempt to link this up with some other blogs:
The Nester: http://www.thenester.com/2011/12/2011-christmas-tour-of-homes-2.html
House of Hepworths:  http://www.houseofhepworths.com/2011/12/21/hookin-up-with-hoh-80/

We’ll see how that goes–I’ve never done it before.  I’m supposed to add buttons but I haven’t figured that out yet!  Blogging rookie!

 Merry Christmas, everyone, and to all a good night!

Categories: home | 2 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.