Saturday, August 15, 2015

An Unexpected Kitchen Renovation

I mentioned in my last post that I went away for a weekend to visit one of my very best friends, Lauren.  She and her husband are getting ready to undergo a renovation to their beautiful 800 square foot cottage in Orlando, FL (follow their journey at Lauren's blog, This Little House).  I vaguely remember saying to her that it was really fortunate that they were doing this reno now, before they have kids, because I would HATE to do a reno while juggling a family (particularily a toddler).  Famous. Last. Words. 
I then came home to my moldy mess. LOL. 
Since we were having to tear out a lot of our kitchen anyway, we decided to do some updates that we had previously planned for next year.  It wasn't really that we hated the look of our kitchen before, but that it just didn't feel like our style.  Also, please excuse the crazy countertops in the below pic.  That was from the time of baby bottles, aka cluttered counters.
A "before" pic of the kitchen, from last Christmas to be exact :)
In our kitchen, we painted the cream colored cabinets a bright white.  
Our kitchen "after"
We then changed the old light green walls to Paper Craft, a cream color by Sherwin Williams.  
My goal here was to brighten up the kitchen and make it feel larger, since we don't have an open floorplan, and the kitchen is kind of separate from all the other rooms.  Previously, we had a short granite backsplash, but I have wanted a tiled backsplash for a long time.  To me, tiles are so much more functional, because you can easily wipe off any splashes from the sink or stove, rather than having to deal with splotches on your painted wall.  I chose a white subway tile with a charcoal grout.  I am SO happy with the way it turned out.  Our kitchen feels light and airy, and the backsplash gives our kitchen an upgraded, "finished" look.  
I still have a couple of things to do, like changing out the hardware on the drawers, but I'm pretty pleased with the result so far.  What do you think?
Stay tuned for posts about our DIY open shelving in the breakfast nook and chalkboard wall!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Update and a Big Thanks!

About 3 1/2 weeks ago, I came home from a wonderful weekend in Orlando, FL, to a HORRIBLE smell in my kitchen.  To make a long story short, this is what happened:

-smelled horrible smell
-thought maybe it was a dead squirrel in the wall (gross, I know, but we have a creek and we do have a lot of critters running around our property)
-called Pest Guy
-Pest Guy traced smell and...... WABAAM! Problem spotted.  The wall behind our stove was soaking wet and moldy.  Apparently we had a slow leak that was in just the right place to go unnoticed.  

Our kitchen during the demo process.

View from the living room.  We had 6 fans, a Hepa filter, and a dehumidifier going constantly for over a week.

All of this resulted in many weeks of living out of our bedrooms and playroom, since we lost the use of our kitchen, dining room, and living room once we found the issue.
I am happy to say that we are now mold free, and our house is back to normal.  Thank GOODNESS, because this clean freak was literally losing her mind!!! We also made a few decorative changes along the way that I am excited to share with you very soon!

This was a really stressful time for us as a family, but we were so lucky to have so many people that helped us out during our time of need!  We want to express our sincere thanks to all the people who brought us meals, welcomed us into their homes, and helped us with childcare.  We love you guys!!!

Parker did enjoy getting to eat breakfast at Bojangles once or twice (ish)!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Evolution of a Patio

Our house is currently in total disarray due to a water leak and mold issue (wahhhh!), so I thought 
that I would post about the one area of our house that actually looks decent right now.... our patio!  

Our patio: Circa 2013

We have been working on making improvements to our patio since we moved in our house over 4 years ago.  The first thing we did was to double the size of the concrete slab to give us room for both a seating area and a dining table.  I'm especially glad that we did that now that we have Parker, because now it is big enough for his swimming pool and/or water table too.

Most of our patio furniture was a mix of antique finds and hand-me-downs from my mom.

I found these vintage chairs at Metrolina Flea Market.  I sanded them down and painted them a sunny yellow.

Our Patio: Circa 2014

Last summer, we installed a wooden pole in one of the corners and hung cafe lights.   I originally tried tying the lights to a shepherd's hook, like in the pic below, but the lights were too low for my tall husband to walk under.  The pole looks a lot better than the hook did, but it was a good temporary solution until we installed the pole.

I planted plants in an old washtub, also found at Metrolina.

Making the Final Changes!

Our old picnic table practically fell apart after years of use, so we got a new one and painted it a pretty blue.

Don't let this picture fool you, I did most of the painting-he just jumped in at the end there to finish it off ;)

Our Patio Today!

 Finally, we picked out an outdoor sectional to replace the old metal loveseat.  My favorite thing about the sofa is that each of the five pieces can separate so that you can move them around and change their look.  We have a lot more seating, and it is SO comfortable.

I love that we have plenty of space for Parker to play outside.  He is a big fan of his water table!

We also love to use the patio in the evenings, after Parker goes to sleep.  It is so peaceful and comfy! 

Outdoor Sectional found at Lowe's
Picnic table and plants purchased at our local Lowe's
Picnic table paint color: Benjamin Moore's Wythe Blue, mixed at Lowe's
Outdoor Turquoise/Coral Medallion Pillows and Room Essentials Outdoor Turquoise Stripe Pillows similar here
Yellow Chair paint color- Krylon's Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint: Bright Idea in Gloss, (Walmart, I think)
Yellow chairs- Metrolina Flea Market
White lanterns- Pottery Barn
Cafe lights- Target

I am so happy with how our outdoor space turned out! It feels like we added a whole new room onto our house.  

What changes have you made to your outdoor spaces this summer?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Stitch Fix Review #4

Oh my goodness!  This fix was a HOME RUN!  I requested "comfy" pieces and I also asked my stylist to include a gray sweater that would work for multiple seasons.  Below is the note that she sent me.  Isn't she the sweetest?!

Some quick facts about Stitch Fix:

-The styling fee is $20 per fix.  The $20 is deducted from the price of any item(s) that you purchase in that fix.
-You can specify your price range for the items that you receive.  You can also specify how often you want to receive a fix.
-You will receive 5 items that are hand-picked for you by your stylist, using the style profile that you will fill out upon signing up.  You can decide to purchase them all, just a few items, or to send them all back if you don't want to keep any of them.
-You have 3 business days to choose what you want to keep and send back what you don't like.  They give you a prepaid shipping envelope that you can just pop in your mailbox (so easy!).
-If you choose to keep all 5 items, you get 25% off your entire order.
-You can earn $25 in credit for every friend that uses your link to schedule their fix.  Its a win-win!

My Fix:

Sweet Rain Toledo V Neck Blouse

I loved the bright colors and the arrow pattern on this blouse.  It is easy to dress up or down, and I have worn it a lot already.  I love how forgiving it is around my waist, and it is longer in the back, so it can be worn with leggings.
Verdict: Kept

Gentle Fawn Daytona Open Front Cardigan

This sweater.  Oh my. First of all, it is SO soft and comfy.  It has POCKETS! AND a hood! WHATTTT?! I know.  It's amazing.  I want to live in it.  In fact, I think I will ;)  Another thing that I really like about it is that it is thin enough to wear on a cooler summer day, yet warm enough to wear through the fall.
Verdict: Kept

Loveappella Leanne Maxi Skirt

I asked my stylist for a cobalt blue maxi skirt and she sent me a great one.  The fabric is very soft and it is so comfortable that I can wear it around the house.  As a Stay-at-Home-Mom, I really appreciate clothing that is both cute and can be worn to play on the floor with Parker.
Verdict: Kept

Market & Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee

There are many things that made this shirt a keeper.  First of all, it is long in the back and can be worn with leggings.  Second, it is thick enough that I don't need to wear a cami under it, but the fabric is breathable.  I wore it on the 4th of July and I felt very comfortable in it.  Third, the cut feels so forgiving.  It is not too tight, or too loose.  It is a winner!
Verdict: Kept

Skies are Blue Enna Short

When I first saw these shorts in my fix, I thought that they were adorable, but I wasn't sure how they would look on me.  I knew that I would have to wear them with a shirt that could be tucked in, since they had the big bow on the front, and to be honest, that intimidated my post-baby self.  Then, I tried them on with some other things that I had in my closet, and I decided that they would be worth the risk.  This is yet another reason why I have love Stitch Fix.  They encourage me to step outside my comfort zone.  Also, I can try on all the clothes with things that are already in my closet to make sure I am making a smart purchase.
Verdict: Kept

So.... what do you think?  What is your favorite item from this fix?

Want to give it a try?  To get your fix, click here!