Jeweled Flats

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This post has nothing to do with our house but rather it’s the tale of how one of my favorite necklaces found a new meaning in life.

I bought this necklace at Ann Taylor on major clearance shortly after Everly was born.  I loved it and was actually excited to wear it when I returned to work after maternity leave…sounds silly I know…but, hey, it’s the small things.

I wore the necklace once and then a jewel fell out.  Let me do the math for you…it’s been nearly THREE YEARS.  I lived in a place of denial regarding the necklace.  For a while I decided I would just repair it…after all I had been the buyer for an online bridal store in college and dealt with jewelry  like this daily (random, right?? I did their buying and their accounting).  So, I figured it wouldn’t be that hard to find the extra stone and paint it to match.   Riiiggggghhhhtttttt. I got right around to that as you can tell.

Then I went through a phase of thinking I could conceal it’s loss.

Y’all.  I would wear the necklace and then wear a shirt with a collar or a blazer and tell myself as long as it stayed hidden no one would notice.  As I’m typing this I’m laughing at myself because I don’t even think I actually paid $10 for the necklace.  For some reason, I’m just attached to it.

I’d like to be able to say this is the only time I’ve attached myself to a jeweled item.  I once had a pair of jeweled flats that I wore until they were FALLING APART. Things went way past unprofessional.  So I decided I would buy a new pair of plain flats, pry the jewels off the old flats and then glue them on the new shoes.

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That works beautifully for a while and then one day one side of the jewels fell off.  I obviously had a breakdown somewhere in my process of attaching those.  Anyways…

Yesterday in the closet I looked at my necklace and I looked at my shoes and all of a sudden I realized I could make myself a new pair of shoes.  I split everything apart using tin snips.

Maybe I’ve been watching too much Doc McStuffins or maybe all the broken toys in Toy Story finally got to me….but I decided to give these couple things one last go round before I finally have to part with them.

My favorite part ended up being the little embellishment I put on the backs of the shoes.

I feel pretty great about it 🙂  Have you ever done anything like this? Or do you have some broken or messed up things you refuse to part with because you “might” fix it one day?   Tell me I’m not alone here!

Painting the Foundation

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Happy Friday everyone!  I have FINALLY finished painting the most visible side and front of the house from brown to charcoal!  And also three cheers for  almost totally pulling out that overgrown bush tree AGAIN (this is the last time, we swear).

Before: 

After: 

We are so excited to build up some landscaping and start letting our house look a little more lived in cared for!

This paint is a Howard custom as we started out with a Sherwin Williams color called Sea Otter but Blake thought it was still too brown so we mixed black until we found a shade we liked.  I then painted a thin piece of wood with our test pot and had it color matched.

We still have another side to do but it’s not as visible so I’m not in as huge of a rush….maybe next week (The back of the house is actually white and it’s going to stay white because it’s under the porch and already dark enough).

SKETCHY: 

Someone who lived here before us actually painted all the basement windows a dark red from the inside so I’m going to work next to correct that look.

We totally understand the need for privacy but the red needs to go….I think it makes the house look scary.  I’m going to try and remove the paint so I can repaint from the inside.  If I can’t get the paint off I actually may have to paint from the outside….the goal would be to repaint the trim white so things look nice and clean and give the illusion that the windows are operable but the lights are off! Still have a little scraping  to do on this one below from the other side of the house.

So that’s where we are now (notice from the last post we finally got those second floor shutters up! Still a ways to go but it’s felt so great to make some strides in fixing up the outside of the house!  I’m hoping to get some planters out on the new wing walls this weekend and finish brainstorming a game plan for what to do to the right of the door.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Big girl room reveal!

Here we are a week from the due date of our second baby and we’ve FINALLY moved our first into her new digs!  The following went down in this room: ceiling repair, lighting change, new paint.  Other than those things we were really just shuffling furniture around…it’s hard to believe the room all came together with only a handful of purchases!

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Here we were testing paint colors and clearing the room out…pre ceiling fix, pre ceiling fan swap, mid curtain trial run!

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Then we moved it all in!

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We just shared about the china cabinet turned armoire in this post.  Beside it we have a laundry basket that actually holds stuffed animals and blankets (it makes for a quick clean up!).  The chair is from TJ Maxx years ago and the booksellers table is Ballard Designs which was previously in her nursery (we got it second hand and I tried to find a similar link but it’s sold out..boo!).  Curtains are pillowfort for Target. Rug is by At Home. Peg board letters are from Hobby Lobby…those are no longer sold and we got ours when they were something like 90% off!! These could (fairly easily) be made with a pegboard panel from Lowe’s (no more than $5), some paint, and a jig saw.

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Toddler bed was second hand, nightstand is vintage Stanley furniture, mirror was a thrift store find, quilt rack was my grandmothers.  Chandelier was a thrift store find spray painted white.  Crib was actually mine from 1986.  It’s a drop rail crib which is not something that could even be sold these days but we feel fine about it! In fact, once Everly starts climbing out being able to lower the rail will make me feel safer.  Art is woodland doodles by me in some clearance Hobby Lobby frames (gotta love that 90% off aisle!).  Everything in the room is hung a little higher than usual just to keep it out of reach of tiny hands.  I’ve read once they move to a toddler bed you have to treat the whole room as if it’s the crib so they can’t get hurt if they decide to play in the middle of the night…

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A burp cloth made by The Plum Poppy I just couldn’t stand to pack away yet!

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Wreath was a thrift store find but it’s actually from Target. (Holy cow when I went to find that link I realized it was $20!! I paid $3) Bear artwork is also Pillowfort for Target.

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So there you have it! One more room of the house checked off the list!  (And one leaky roof FINALLY stopped!)

 

 

Painted china cabinet turned “closet”: before and after

Remember that time we scooped up a china cabinet in a thrift store and turned it into a timeless armoire for our little girl’s room? Dedication to this project was certainly not for the faint of heart but in the end it’s got us all heart throbs over here!

before-and-after

We tried using a paint sprayer one night after we put Everly to bed.  Picture us under our car port around 10pm trying to get over the learning curve of a paint sprayer while a storm is blowing up outside.  Our work lamps attracting every moth within a 5 mile radius and the moths dive bombing the gooey globs of paint we had managed to squirt all over the cabinet.  YALL. …we went backwards on progress that night.  We ditched the sprayer all together and went for the good old fashioned roller and 2 inch brush method.  We used a liquid sander on everything, two coats of kilz primer, one GALLON of paint (I used latex….I know it’s frowned upon but here’s the deal–we happened to have this color, unopened in our basement….a gallon of chalk paint would have been way out of budget–, and finally a matte varnish to seal the whole thing.  I lost track of the time this took but let’s give it at least a month right? Of doing a little bit of what we could here and there.  I have no idea what it would take if you tried to work straight through…in fact that’s a little scary to think about…

Enough about the nitty gritty, let’s just look at pretty pictures right?

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The intention of this piece was to be a “closet” option for Everly’s big girl room as the closet that this room shares with the next room is TINY (another post on that update later!)  To accomplish this we removed one of the shelves and installed a rod to hang some of her clothes from.

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There is certainly no shortage of storage options!

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The bottom is filled with pajamas, baskets of socks, shirts, pants….

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…a silverware drawer turned little girl accessory storage!

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I wasn’t sure about adding back in the wire panels but I think they help maintain a vintage feel

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…because why wouldn’t you use a $3 cake stand you found on clearance as a shoe stand??

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I love having room for the clothes we need to but I also love having room for some of my childhood things that would otherwise be packed away in a box in an attic somewhere!

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For worried mothers (like mine) it is anchored to the wall.  I guess I will use this space to type a little PSA to large furniture lovers, please anchor your pieces to the walls!! Five minutes of research on furniture and tv child fatalities will have you ordering anchors on amazon prime in no time. These accidents are much more common than you think and they are SO preventable!  This is what we have used personally and have been happy with.  You install them and then slide the furniture back and it’s truly not even visible from the side.

I’ll be back with some full room reveal pictures in the next post!

Mock Apple Pie

 

Friends of the world wide web… I’ve discovered a secret and I so want to share it with you!

We have a garden and my husband has a serious green thumb.  We accidentally missed this zucchini in our last pick and the thing grew to giant proportions.

A giant zucchini is going to be a littler firmer than your standard size because it’s just grown past its prime. I hadn’t heard of making an apple pie with zucchini (instead of apples) until my mom saw a friend post about having a huge zucchini and making the pie. I did a little bit of research and while it’s common and a known thing I don’t think it’s  THAT common. It’s something I would probably file under weird… But here I was, with a GIANT zucchini and some time of my hands (nap time, that is).

ingredients

I’ve listed out the ingredients I used below and also the steps I took.  Veteran pie makers seemed indifferent about leaving the seeds in vs. cutting them out but I figured I would take them out given this was our first tasting.   It was pretty unreal how much the sliced zucchini looked like sliced apples!!

To get a tart apple flavoring I splashed the slices in some lemon juice…I didn’t measure….just used it until I felt like I had covered all the slices.  I also sprinkled on some sugar and let all of that sit while I prepped the other steps (listed below).  Once everything was ready I just put in the pie pan and let the oven do the rest!

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The house smelled heavenly (is it Fall yet?) and the result was a pie that tastes identical to apple pie. Just like everyone else promised–if you didn’t know apples weren’t used you would never assume anything was different!

Now, unfortunately this hasn’t created a healthy pie because all you’ve done is replace a fruit with a vegetable and then still covered it in sugar. But, it is a great way to utilize the veggies coming from the garden until apple season is truly upon us!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (or around that) of sliced zucchini
  • 2 pie crusts
  • 1 stick of butter (melted)–this is 1/2 a cup
  • lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup regular super
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 3 tbs of flour
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions: 

  1. Set out your pie crusts according to instructions (unless making from scratch).  I think most boxes recommend they sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  3. Wash and peel your zucchini.  I sliced into quarters long way and then cut out the seedy center to get an arch shape like an apple slice.
  4. Put your sliced zucchini in a bowl and cover with lemon juice.  Can also sprinkle a few pinches of sugar and give a good shake or stir. Sit these aside. Melt your butter down (I microwaved but you can do it in a saucepan on the stove) and add in the 3 tbs of flour.  Once blended, add in the sugars, vanilla, and water.  Let this simmer until you’ve prepped your pie dish.  The consistency looks like melted caramel.
  5. Put a pie crust into your dish and mash around all edges.  I put a little flour under mine but I don’t think that’s really necessary.
  6. Back to the slices you sat aside-now sprinkle your cinnamon and nutmeg all over them until covered evenly.  I am not the biggest fan of nutmeg so I didn’t use much but I think for these two spices you just adjust up or down depending on your tastes.
  7. Pour all the slices into the pie dish and take the sauce from the stove top and pour almost all of it into the dish making sure to cover the slices well.  Leave just a small amount in the pot to coat the top pie crust with.
  8. Layer on your top pie crust and prick several times with a fork.  Brush the remaining sauce onto the crust and spread evenly.
  9. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 345 for another 35 minutes.
  10. Can be served with ice cream! (Who would have thought zucchini would make you crave a cold scoop of ice cream???)

 

DIY Frosted Coffee

Have you had the new-ish Chick-Fil-A frosted coffee? It was supposed to be limited time only but they announced last week it’s going to be a permanent addition to the menu. This is both a) the best news ever and b) enabling me. Enabling me to frequently consume a glorified milkshake while pretending it’s a cup of coffee and also to spend money at a fast food restaurant way more frequently than is fiscally responsible to do.

 announcement

So, upon their announcement I decided to try a DIY version at home. While it’s still really the same ingredients I can at least control the sugar and flavoring that is likely added to their version. Here is the nutrition facts per their website. 38 grams of sugar in a small is sorta killin’ my vibe.

nutrition

 So, I got a little pint of regular old vanilla ice cream. I used about 3 small scoops of this. A serving of this is 1/2 a cup which is almost exactly what I used. 160 calories and 18 grams of sugar. While we should just call this what it is, a dessert, at least it’s better right? Right.

I added the ice cream to 6oz of cold brew coffee I made a couple days ago and blended for like 3 total seconds using our bullet. Don’t overdue this or you’ll lose the milkshake consistency.

 I topped it off with a little whip cream…lets be honest…just to fill out the glass for the picture. It doesn’t need it but if whipped cream is your thing then go for it!

done

 Consume in the sun to cool off with an economical and somewhat healthier version of your beloved frosted coffee!

enjoy

 Side note: we cold brew our coffee with the Primula glass system from Amazon and love it. You can cold brew with a filter and a mason jar really but this comes with a reusable filter and just having everything made to go together makes it easier. [[cold brewing just means you let coffee grounds soak in cold water for 24-48 hours–nothing special]]. Cold brew also has significantly less acid which is overall healthier for you and helps prevent the dreaded coffee breath.  What you make will also last for weeks in the fridge vs. that one hot cup you keep microwaving all day and pretending like it still tastes fine.

And I use half decaf grounds and half regular (or all decaf) while pregnant for a lower caffeine treat. My friend Kelly and I branded this decaf iced coffee “Ice Ice, Baby”. Logo and all, it’s probably something I should actually brand instead of putting on the internet for someone else to take to Shark Tank but hey, gotta pick what I spend my time doing wisely…like DIYing my favorite fast food beverages…

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Getting Creative to save Cents

When you have a structure that’s made of concrete and steel it can be tricky to figure out how to attach, well… really anything. We knew we wanted to do the string lights but it took some creativity to figure out how to attach 2 points of contact on the yard side of the patio without being a pro welder. And attach an additional 3 contact points on the house side without touching the house (don’t want the wind slamming glass bulbs into the house….and I guess…lightning rod?) or having the bulbs drag the shingles.

light plan

This whole thing actually started the same day our patio was poured. Blake and I were having ourselves a celebratory wine picnic on the patio that night and we noticed some random wires sticking out the side of the house (not your average house). I don’t know if it was the wine or what but we remembered there was also a switch inside the house we never figured out what went to. Without saying a word we looked at each other and parted ways….Blake to get the voltage meter and me to the switch. “On the count of 3!”   aaannnndddd…..we had electricity running to the patio this whole time and didn’t know. What a LUCKY surprise! Blake extended the wires up through some conduit and attached an outdoor outlet to the house to plug our lights into.  Anyways, back to the DIY how to.

We went on a couple (what we call) scouting missions to Lowes looking for materials and pricing the project out of hanging the lights. Our phones are so full of different hardware and their various prices we could almost run an independent Lowes website. If you’ve ever wondered what the photocloud of someone renovating a house looks like…it’s this:

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Anyways, Blake devised the following plan:

We would attach 8ft. poles metal conduit poles to our existing rails using hose clamps. The hose clamps were rated for the specific weight and pull we thought we would have and we used 3 on each pole for extra security. For the middle portion of the house side we actually cabled them into the side of the house just using a really basic clip (again, high weight rated).   If I had it my way they would have hung below the window but we couldn’t let them drag the shingles.

On each pole Blake used a clip to attach the lights to another longer piece of metal we simply dropped down into the pole. We didn’t secure it at all but gravity and the pull to the sides keep it in place.

So the total cost of lighting this whole shebang was $180.94 which I consider a steal to have taken care of all the lighting for our patio.

The only thing we wish we had done was use a stronger metal pole. Ours have bent pretty seriously and it’s just because we used the cheapest materials (however, still rust proof). The stronger material we’ll probably upgrade to one day cost $14.50 each. The poles we have wouldn’t break they just let the lights swag a little….which, who doesn’t like a little swag on their patio??

Speaking of cheap materials (ya’ll, paving a patio and adding a hottub will leave you approximately 5 cents in the bank to finish said patio).   We HAD to add a gate for obvious reasons. We still don’t have a railing on the stairs but at least we have a gate, right? Right.

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Blake attached a wooden frame to the existing steel railing like so:

He built the frame of the gate itself like any other gate kit would have you do. We wanted the gate to have the same modern feel as the whole structure so we decided to keep that flow. Blake drilled out placeholders for rods to be placed in.  We didn’t have it in the budget to buy stainless steel for this project and we also didn’t have time to wait. We actually used PVC pipe and sprayed it with metallic spray paint to mimic the silver of the other railing. Now, up close can you tell something is different? Yes. But from far away we have a darn good fake if I do say so myself. Especially when the sun hits it all (see photo above)…it’s pretty much all blinding anyway.

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The latch system we purchased is one of those self-closing ones because with young kids you just can’t take the chance of someone forgetting to latch the gate back…so it’s spring loaded.

It’s our plan to stain that frame the same color we opt for on the wooden accent (trex board) we’ll be adding to the all the rest of the handrail. This should really help the whole thing look less like a prison and look a little softer/still modern.

Progress my friends, progress.

We still need to:

  • Add railing to the stairs
  • Fix the surface of the stairs
  • Add trex accent to the handrail of all railing
  • Figure out some privacy screens for the sides
  • Replace guest bedroom window with a French door for two points of access (and one closer to the bathroom)
  • Need to talk about some awnings
  • The whole underside of the structure needs to be sanded and painted (UGHHHH)

That list was daunting to even type. Might be a while before we are working on all this again! The inside of the house is calling 🙂