September 17, 2012

Pirate Party Ahoy!!

Wow that was a busy weekend. I'm in shock that it is Monday already. I worked at my kid's school's clothing resale Friday and Saturday among other things. But the main attraction of the weekend was Lainey's pirate birthday party on Sunday afternoon. 

I made the kids costumes for the party and was planning on using them again for Halloween, but Casey has other plans excited as he was to be a pirate when three of your friends decide to be ninjas from Ninjago how do you not agree to be the fourth one?? I have decided to be understanding and just buy the kid a blue sweatsuit and call him Jay ;)

But for the party we had the cutest scariest pirates of the sea!!

For the snacks I browsed Pinterest and Google images for inspiration and ideas.

We had fruit salad in a watermelon ship. (A big thank you to Scott for making my sails and flag!)

My mom in law told me about these. I don't know where she heard about them or saw them because I couldn't find anything like them on the net! They're ho-ho's with m&m's made to look like little treasure chests. And from the way they were gobbled up in minutes I take it they were pretty yummy :)

For the cake I attempted making marshmallow fondant for the first time. Making it went well but the rolling out process took a few tries and my fondant started to dry out. I'll definitely try making it again, I thought it tasted great. I didn't take a whole bunch of pictures I realized after looking through my downloads, but I really enjoyed the day and have some video of it too :)

Here's the birthday girl with one of her gifts...

She may love pirates but she's still a princes at heart.

While getting ready for the party amidst a bunch of other crazy chores we cleaned out the garage. It needed it. Bad. Scott started without me so I only got a picture of it emptied and swept out for my before.

As beautiful as that is all of this stuff has to now go back in there some how....


We played a game of Tetris with all my furniture and somehow left enough room for me to park my car when it snows!! Scott's Jeep gets to park in there every day....but it also has a hole in the roof so I guess I can see why ;)

Ahhhhh. After all the cleaning we've been doing lately I feel like I can finally breathe. I spent a few hours in there painting today with some Smashing Pumpkins on and it was awesome :)

September 11, 2012

Antibes Green Antique Chest

Hey guys! I'm on a roll this week. 
Three posts in three days? Crazy.

I accumulated a lot of furniture last spring, most of which was given to me or found during the town's "spring cleaning" week. So the garage filled up and then stayed that way all summer. Lucky for me we have a 2 1/2 car garage that is also 2 cars deep. Unlucky for my husband it's also his man cave and discarded furniture isn't really that fun to be surrounded by. So I'm on a mission to get some makeovers done pronto. 

If you follow me on facebook you saw that I did a major clean up in my office/workspace yesterday morning. A clean space is a lot more inspiring than a cluttered mess, not to mention it was so messy I didn't have any room to work!

Oh how I love looking at that before and after shot! I still need to clean and organize that closet and some of the drawers, but at least I can breathe in there now.

So anyways, let's get to the antique chest! I picked it up on the side of the road during Elmhurst's spring cleaning week. During this week residents are allowed to throw out pretty much whatever they want and the garbage company will take it. So I like to think of my garbage picking as helping out my garbage men ;)

Here is how I found it:

That bag on top had 10 knobs in it and was inside the top drawer. I'm pretty sure they figured this was never going to make it into the garbage truck! There are so many people cruising looking for great finds that week it can feel a bit competetive!

The whole thing had been stripped down to bare wood but there were some major dings in some places so I didn't think staining it was a good idea. Instead I wanted to paint it in a fun color and then bring out the imperfections with dark wax. I was hoping to go for a rustic, fun, farmhouse look :)

I ended up buying new knobs after all. When I realized there were 10 knobs and only 4 drawers I knew they must not have been original anyways. I'm sure I'll come across another piece that they'll look great with eventually! 

For the drawers and the top I put on one coat of jacobean colored stain and then white washed over it a day later. They were all sealed with clear wax and then the body of the dresser got a coat of dark wax.

It feels good to be back!!

I've decided I'd like to try selling my furniture myself for awhile and see how it goes. I will be adding a tab to my blog under the header with furniture that is for sale. If you live in the suburbs of Chicago take a look and if you're interested in anything you can contact me at my email address listed in my contacts tab. 

Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me guys!!

Sharing at:
Miss Mustard Seed
Primitive & Proper
Knick of Time
Two Yellow Birds Decor

September 10, 2012

Our Summer Flip

I finally have some after pictures to show today! It's been at least 3 months since I actually showed a finished project around here!

If you missed all of my before pictures of our rental property you can see them here.

After editing all of my pictures this morning I realized I don't have any pictures of the house from the outside, oops. It's an all brick story and a half cape cod. There's 3 bedrooms, 2 on the main floor and 1 in the half finished attic. We could have lived there for a long time except there's no basement, something us midwesterners like to have! 

Here's the living room and dining room combo.

I used furniture from my living room and some pieces that were waiting to get sold to stage the place. Meanwhile my house is feeling a little sad with lots of furniture and decorations missing :(

I wish I could have put an area rug and some curtains in to soften the rooms but money and time were running out fast!

These rooms were completely repainted. From the ceiling, crown molding, walls, and trim down to the baseboards, fireplace and mantel. 

Here's the new bathroom in all it's glory :)

The bathroom of course took longer than expected. Things like cutting the tile that the shower handle went directly through would take an hour.

We'd drop the kids off with Scott's parents, run to the house with high hopes of getting tons done and leave having only tiled one shower wall. You can see how this might start to wear on you after a month or two!!

The kitchen had much less work to do. A hand me down fridge, new stove, new off the shelf countertops and spray painted knobs really perked the room up! And of course paint from top to bottom.

I wish we had done that when we lived there!! Keeping white laminate counter tops clean was no fun!

Then there was work to do in the upstairs bedroom. The drywall on the pitched ceilings had only been nailed in at whatever time it had been finished so it was slowly sagging and cracking at the joints. Scott went around adding screws everywhere and then patched and mudded it all. That was a messy job :( That sad face is for Scott because I didn't go near that room while he was working on it!

That room was once Lainey's nursery and it was adorable!!

The other two bedrooms just got paint and some new light fixtures.  I would have loved to stage all of the bedrooms but I just didn't have enough furniture for that!

We're hoping to sell soon, 
paying 2 mortgages isn't as fun as you'd think ;)

September 9, 2012

The Summer's Work

Hey, hey, hey! Fall is here and I'm finally getting my life back in order!! I wanted to get back into the swing of things by giving you an update on my summer.

So our rental property became vacant in June and after painting the whole place from top to bottom we decided to do a little more work and put it on the market. The rooms needing the most work were the bathroom and the kitchen. We started by gutting the bathroom almost completely to the studs. 

With so much going on getting before pictures just didn't happen. The walls were covered in white ceramic square tiles that were looking very old and dingy. The shower walls had white subway tiles that were moldy and popping off the wall and the casing around the window was deteriorating badly. It was time to gut.

After tearing everything out we went on a major trip to Home Depot and bought almost everything needed to put it back together. With no plan and no time we actually pulled together a great looking bathroom in the end :)

Our other headache, ahem I mean project, was the kitchen. Again, no actual before shots. Just during.

These were taken after already painting the walls. They were covered in grease....covered. Did you see the side of that stove?? The bathroom's problems were just inevitable after years of use, but this kitchen was just the result of someone not caring enough to clean for 3 years.

The hardest part is this is the first home Scott and I bought and lived in together. We had both our babies here and our wonderful old St. Bernard, Max. We made great memories and lovingly took care of the place and renting it to people who pretty much trash it is heart wrenching. But such is life and it was time to get over it.

The kitchen was to get new high definition laminate counter tops, some "new" hardware for the cabinets (spray paint is my friend), and some new appliances. 

I found an ah-mazing Kitchen Aid counter depth refrigerator on Craigslist and decided it was to live in my house. So began the great refrigerator swap of 2012. We drove over a half an hour to pick it up and then back home to drop it off at our house. Then our current refrigerator went to live at the rental house.

The white refrigerator at the rental house then came back to our house to live in our garage. Then our old garage refrigerator went to the curb and was picked up by junkers in mere minutes. After all that work Scott went back to the rental house to work for a couple of hours and I sat back and stared at (LOVED) my new refrigerator that was still sitting in my driveway waiting to come inside. Then I went in the house to imagine it in my kitchen and noticed something...

How tall was this new fridge?? Oh dear. Oh no, no, no, no, no. Measuring, running outside and measuring, then measuring some more and more and more. That top cabinet was in the way. I was short by 2 inches. And Scott was going to be home soon. Stomach ache.

After some sweet talking and begging and convincing Scott decided to rip out the cabinet. He loves me, he really loves me :)

It came out so cleanly and without much muscle. Finally something went well!

We will build a cabinet box for display purposes at some point but I promised Scott he had at least a year to do it. This was part of the convincing I talked about earlier ;)

Meanwhile the rest of my house looked like this the whole summer.

And there were other important things going on in the midst of it all...

(7th birthday)

(5th birthday)

(family vacation)

The rental house has been on the market for 3 weeks now. The kids have gone back to school and life is finally getting back to normal. Having time to cook a family dinner or play games in the evening is something we won't be taking for granted for a very, very long time. 

Tomorrow I will post all of the afters!!