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Domestic Imperfection: August 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Nesting Kicks In

I'm 32 weeks now and the nesting instinct has finally kicked in. I feel the need to complete the nursery, and complete it NOW.  Elijah and the new baby will be sharing a room, so I don't have to set up a nursery from scratch, though that might actually be easier. Elijah's room never really got finished...we moved into this house when he was six months old and never did much with the nursery. Here are pictures of what it looks like at this very moment.

Wall you see when you first walk in - crib, baby clothes I've started organizing, and the infant seat stuffed in the corner.

reading/used to be nursing corner.
Classy cinderblock bookshelf and my childhood radio (not plugged in because there is no outlet anywhere near)
Diaper changing area

.....and back to the crib and window.

It's not horrible, but its not great either. I have a long list of things I want to get done before baby number two arrives. Here it is in no particular order...

  • Sand and paint chair and ottoman
  • Reupholster chair and ottoman
  • Make and hang book slings
  • Make and hang shelf
  • Move Elijah's crib and name letters
  • Buy and assemble new crib
  • Make star decor
  • Make new baby name letters
  • Paint closet
  • Sort and organize baby clothes
  • Remove closet door
  • Buy/make and hang closet curtain
  • Make growth charts
  • Buy another dresser for closet
  • Organize closet
  • New cloth diaper set-up

Now that my to-do list is out there for the world to see, I actually have to do it! Some of it won't get done before the baby arrives...the gender is a surprise, so it will just have to wait. Hopefully I can get the rest done...I'm due October 22, so a little under two months. That should be more than enough time, except for the fact that I'm tired, uncomfortable and already have an (oh so busy) 17 month old boy to chase around. That's what the husband if for right? We also are in the middle of a kitchen we're going to be busy little bees for awhile! I just bought the fabric for the book slings and chair earlier today, so here is a sneak peak :)


(Book Sling)


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stenciled Toy Box

For a very long time now we have needed a toy box. Our current "tiny toy basket" just wasn't working for us anymore. I could show you a picture of it all stuffed neatly in there, but lets face it ... 90% of the time, this is what our toy situation looks like.

The first step to building a toy box was to nag proposition the husband to do all the manly labor. I gave him the dimensions and my best "helpless pregnant woman" look and to work he went. That helpless pregnant look is priceless.

As you can see, doing work at our casa isn't the easiest - we don't have a garage. There are  plans to build one eventually, though it's going to have to wait awhile since they cost money and all. Fortunately for you we are now accepting donations.

Once all the pieces were cut we quickly realized that there was no way our kid was going to be able to reach his toys.

Of course, if he can't reach his toys than he can't make a mess....but no, no that would be cruel. We decided to cut a hunk out of the front to make things more accessible.

Next I primed...with Kilz...cause its awesome.

then assembled...

Then I painted the inside white and the outside with a reject kitchen color (mixed with white).

Forgot to take a picture of that step. Oops.

I really wanted to stencil the outside and used the template found here. I've heard for awhile now that a Honey Nut Cheerios box makes a great stencil, and  it's true...I just don't think Chex or Fruity Pebbles would have been the same.

Here it is all stenciled onto the toy box (I know its a little hard to see).

And here I am painting it. I couldn't imagine doing a whole room like I've seen some people do - it would take FOREVER. As I was painting I was thinking how horrible it looked, like a five year old painted it. Turns out that's okay, and when you back up, it looks awesome. Thank goodness.

The last step was to paint and attach the letters. I had a free sample of bright yellow laying around, so I decided to use that.

And here, my friends, is my masterpiece. I love's sooo much easier to keep the living room picked up when the toys don't fall out of the toy box on their own. Plus, its beautiful  : )

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The BEST Homemade Play Dough

I've done it, I've found the perfect play dough recipe. The other times I've tried to make play dough it turned out too gritty, too slimy, or too dry. This one is smooth, moldable, and stores great. Here is what you will need...

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
food coloring

First, mix together flour, salt, tartar and oil.

Next, add the water and mix well.

Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring the entire time. Play dough will start to form a clump like this. When you can't stir anymore, its done.

Now kneed your play dough for a few minutes, working in the food coloring.  Hint: don't do what I did and make a little "bowl" for the will just come shooting out like a gusher halfway through kneading. Just squirt some over the top and work it in like a normal person.


I actually made this play dough a few weeks ago and have just been storing it in ziplock bags. It stores great and every time we use it....well, it feels like the first time...(haha, Foreigner anyone?).

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Apartment Therapy Feature!

Last night I got home late and went to check how the 'ol blog did for the day. Turns out there was a HUGE, totally not normal, what the heck happened spike in the amount of people on my page. A little bit of investigating lead me to this....a feature on Apartment Therapy! What?! How the heck did a big website like that find my little dumpster rocker? And how the heck do they not need your permission before featuring you?  I guess once you publish something, you give permission. Whatever, it was a nice surprise! Also, most of the comments are really nice (I wasn't quite sure what to expect)!

Oh, and just in case you missed it, my guest bedroom was also featured on Better After the other day.

Pre blog, I just did my projects for myself. I have to admit, it feels pretty darn good to have other people enjoy and appreciate them too :)  I also wanted thank you all for your sweet comments. I may not get a chance to respond to everyone, but I do read and appreciate all you kind words and encouragement!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let The Renovations Begin!

This past weekend we started our kitchen renovation with the most fun part...painting cabinets! (Thats sarcasm, by the way).  Despite that fact that painting cabinets is sucky, I was stoked to get started. So here is a photo bomb post covering the process. It mostly consists of  a SUPER messy kitchen, me looking less than awesome, and my husbands back. And now that I have you all on the edge of your seat, lets begin.

Saturday morning - bright and early - the destruction begins. We started out by removing the drawers and doors, sanding, and priming. Elijah began the day by stuffing screws into the back of the oven.

Next we have photos of me painting. I also realize that this is the first time I've posted a picture of myself on this blog, and I can't have the first picture you see of me be a paint covered, no make-up, crazy hair disaster. First impressions are very important after all. So here is a good picture of me before I post all the terrible ones.

and now back to business...

Oh, and something else most of you didn't know...I'm pregnant. Significantly pregnant. I'm 30 weeks on the nose in these pics.

Here is the grey/blue slowly going on. We used Sherwin Williams Duration paint (in satin) and I was super impressed. It was really thin and didn't show brushstrokes, but also covered really well. I only had to do one coat of primer and two coats of paint. It dried super quick too.

but still, I spent allllll dayyyy painting.

We also bought new hinges. The old ones were a dirty brass and covered in this nasty clear resign. Of course, the new hinges used different holes, so rehanging doors took awhile.

That was was about 16 hours long.  Doing a kitchen remodel while working the toddler rodeo (while pregnant) makes for a very long day.

Sunday we started in on the upper cabinets. A while back I posted our inspiration photo for our upper cabinets. I wanted them to be ceiling height, but didn't want to spend the money for new ones. I also really like the look of open shelving, but an entire kitchen of open shelves just isn't practical. Hmmm, what to do? And then I came across this photo, and I was sold. We could use our current cabinets, add a lower shelf...custom look, minimal expense. Perfect.

While on the topic of inspiration photos, here is the photo that made me fall in love with the idea of stormy blue lowers.

Sunday morning our kitchen looked like this...
(I warned you about all the messy kitchen pics!)

Adam and his dad started removing the upper cabinets...this was way easier than I thought it would be. Did you know that a cabinet is literally just held on by four screws?

Elijah watched the destruction over a bowl of oatmeal...eaten with his hands, of course.

Here is the kitchen without any upper cabinets. I actually really liked the feel of this - if only that was a wall of windows...

There are the cabinets...waiting for me...

Once sanded and primed, they go right back up...

Way up. The small gap left at the top will eventually be covered with molding.

Then I did something totally unexpected...
That's right, I started painting. 

You may be wondering if I am wearing the same clothes two days in  a row. Why yes, yes I am. They're my painting clothes, I was painting. I'm not one of those people that can paint in nice clothes and come out of it unscathed. I'm messy. Normal people, take my husband for example, paint in regular clothes and then when they get a little drip somewhere they have to stop what they're doing, go get a rag, blah blah blah. ME? I wipe the drip up with my hand, wipe it on my clothes and keep going. Genius.

We also decided to raise the microwave so that the bottom will be even with the floating shelves. It only went up like two inches, so we can still reach it, no worries.

Let's not forget about the boy. Someone had to be on toddler is Uncle Taylor rockin some peek-a-boo.

This is what what we looked like Sunday evening. We couldn't hang the doors yet because I was still painting them. The white wasn't nearly as good to me as the blue was. It took five coats on those babies to have them look decent. That's five on each side, so it felt like ten. I didn't finish until yesterday (Tuesday) night. 

This is what it looks like Wednesday morning! Not an after picture by any means, but a huge improvement nonetheless.

Above the microwave we are going to do bead board and open shelving. 

There are two missing drawers because that cabinet is a sink base cabinet, which means the drawers were fake. Why? I have no cutting corners I guess. Anyway, we're in the process of making drawers. Also, none of the lower cabinets had shelves (no pics, sorry) and everything has precariously balanced since we moved in. Now we have nice!

I'm not going to paint where the cabinets used to be - that will all eventually be covered up by bead board. I can't show you a picture of the other side of the kitchen, that's where I had to push all the mess so that I could take pictures of this side :)

And that's where were at! I'm really loving the grey/blue lowers, I think it gonna look great once its all pulled together. Isn't it amazing that a coat of paint (well, a lot of coats of paint) can take crappy old cabinets to sleek and modern?

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