Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Knock, Knock, Knocking on our doors

In our 1960's house, we have the el-cheapo hollow core doors.  They are plain and most of them are still in their light wood-stained finish.  A few of them had been painted an off-white color but not any longer.  Or I guess I should say that a few of them are no longer that way.  One day this summer, PB and I set out to change them.  We decided to take half of them and add some decorative trim and then paint them black.  Here's a quick before picture of what they looked like:

Doors to Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom

Plain jane and just not very attractive.  All the doors in our house look like this.  BORING and SOOOO dated!  My sweet PB took off a couple of vacation days to help me with this "little" project and let me tell you this was no vacation! 

First, we had to remove the doors and remove all the hardware. 

I labeled each doors' hardware in individual grocery bags so that we wouldn't have a hard time getting them back on after we painted them.  This is a very important step!  We have learned the hard way that these hinges do not always fit the same when it comes to putting them back on different doors. 

We set up our saw horses under our carport and got to work sanding them and PB made a makeshift work bench out of his truck's tailgate.  We don't have a fancy miter saw but PB's miter box worked just fine with the trim we picked out at Lowe's. 

We measured (several times) and then cut our trim, taped it in place, and then tacked it down with the nail gun.  That thing was a life saver!  If you don't have one, I highly recommend getting one for any of your home improvement projects! 
Our next steps were caulking around the trim and then priming the doors.  Since I wanted them black, I decided to prime them gray first so that the black paint would cover a little easier.  This process was very time consuming.  I set up an area in our backyard to spray the doors with my stepdad's paint sprayer and then set up a drying area under the carport.  I didn't want to take any chances with any leaves or rain getting on them. 

I should note that during the painting process we had several rain delays and had to bring all the doors inside because it got so windy and the rain was blowing all the way under our carport.  And because of my frustration with Mother Nature I completely forgot to take pictures of them while getting painted with the black paint. 
It took 1 coat of gray primer and 2 coats of black satin paint.  For. Each. Door.  So with the 5 doors that we painted it ended up taking way longer than I anticipated. That's why I am calling this our "little" door painting project.  It really wasn't hard it was just time consuming.  Poor PB and his precious vacation time!  He's a trooper though and does whatever I ask him to! 
After drying time and reattaching all the hardware to each door, we were finally able to hang the doors back in their places and could admire all our hard work!  We were both thrilled with how much better the doors look! 
Door to Master Bedroom and Master Bathroom
 Door leading to laundry/mud room
Door to coat closet in foyer 
Now, I'm ready to get knocking on the remaining 9 doors in our home and get them looking awesome like these 5 do.  Looks like PB may get to use a few more vacation days!  I am sure he'll be more than thrilled.  ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013


PB had a sweet, sweet grandmother who we called "Ma."  She was a good Christian lady who loved everyone she came in contact with.  This past October she passed away.  She left behind a legacy of love to all who knew her.  Our girl says that she someday hopes to be the kind of grandmother that Ma was to all of us.  I think that is pretty much the best compliment ever!   I hope to be that kind of grandmother, too, someday.

PB's dad and uncle have had the task of cleaning out Ma's home and get it ready to sell.  It has been filled with all of Ma's Earthly treasures for over 60 years!  Nowadays, it seems odd to hear of someone living in one place for so long but I guess that is the way it was for her generation.  As they were cleaning out everything and sorting through all of her things, we were able to inherit two pieces of her furniture.  I love   things that have meaning behind them in our home and now I can say that I have two of Ma's special pieces.  PB's grandfather, Pa, even built one of them.  I love that!

This is the cabinet Pa built!  

This piece sat in Ma's hallway and her telephone sat on top of it along with her phone book and address book.  It was filled with all kinds of books and mementos from Ma and Pa's past.  It even has a pen holder built right into the top.  For now, I have placed it in our little sitting room that sits between our dining room and kitchen.  It fits perfectly on this little space of wall.   

The other piece that we were given is a little metal cabinet that sat in Ma's kitchen.  It held her microwave oven on top and she used the inside as a little pantry.  It now sits proudly in the corner of our kitchen.

I love having Ma's hand-me-downs and hope that maybe some day one of the children might want to have them in their home as well.  These two pieces are sweet reminders of Ma in our home.

Do you have any family hand-me-downs that are extra special to you?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bulletin Board to Jewelry Hanger

I have been on the lookout for cute ways to display a few of my favorite necklaces for a while now.  I've shopped around thinking I could just buy one that I liked but never found one that would work with my decor and my budget.  Well, after pinning about 5 or 6 that I really liked, I came up with my own solution for a jewelry holder.  And it was almost free!

I had an old bulletin board that I no longer used and it was just collecting dust in a pile of stuff.  I was afraid to get rid of it for fear that I might need it again one day.  Good thing I didn't haul it off to Goodwill!  I decided to re-purpose it into becoming my jewelry holder.  I broke out some ORB (oil rubbed bronze) spray paint and got busy.

Before ORB...plain old bulletin board.  

And...after ORB!

I knew I was going to use some scrap gray and off-white chevron fabric that I had left over from another project so I didn't have to be careful about getting the ORB on the cork part of the bulletin board.  I just measured and cut the fabric to the size I needed and glued the fabric right over the cork.  

It looked a little plain so I headed out to Hobby Lobby and bought some trim to finish off the edges.  This trim cost less than $3.00 and was just what I was looking for!  

I used hot glue to keep the trim in place.  It was looking good, so far, but I couldn't decide what I wanted to use to hang my jewelry from.  Several of my inspiration pictures used cabinet knobs to hang the jewelry from and I had several old knobs in my stash to use but wasn't sure this was what I wanted to do.  So...I put this project on the back burner while I thought it out.  About two or three weeks later I found another picture on Pinterest of a jewelry holder almost identical to mine.  Except the girl used the fabric and covered the entire bulletin board, frame and all.  She also used plain old push pins to hang her jewelry from.  I loved this idea since I was hesitant to make a permanent decision to use the knobs.  That would require holes in the fabric and I was not loving that I would be locked into the placement of the knobs.  So I went out and bought a box of clear push pins.  Oh, I also decided to use cup hooks along the bottom for more hanging space. I sprayed the hooks with more ORB spray paint, as well.  PB drilled holes in the bottom of the frame so that I could screw in the cup hooks easily.  Thanks Honey!  :)  

My finished jewelry holder!

I had empty wall space on my side of our bathroom vanity and have been on the look out for something to hang in this space.  But now my new chevron jewelry holder hangs there and it looks great.  Not too bad for an almost free jewelry hanger and new wall art in one!

Linking up with Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays!  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Chaos

There is only a few days remaining in January and I'm still wondering what happened to our Christmas holiday.  This year the kids only got out for a total of 12 days for a Christmas break and it felt like it was much shorter than that. Part of me wants to blame our flu-like bug that my daughter and I suffered through for almost two weeks during the early part of December.  It made life a little out of sorts for much longer than that and my Christmas decorating and shopping suffered a little because of it.  Plus, I had a killer cough that made childbirth feel like eating ice cream.  It's hard to shop when you are doubled over grabbing at your sternum when trying to decide which color blouse to buy for your mother. 

Even with the rush that came with Christmas we had a wonderful time. PB was off work almost the entire time that the kids were out of school and we love having him around the house.  He just makes it more fun for all of us. 

We kicked off our Christmas fun by making a Gingerbread house one night.  Our boy requested that we do this.  He reminded me that we didn't make one last year and that I told him that we would make one this year.  He has such a good memory!  It was a challenge to keep the children from arguing the whole time but they were able to get it completed without too much refereeing. 

 The boy gets a little frustrated by his sister's tendency to take over! 

It turned out pretty cute and what really matters is that they were happy with the results! 

One bonus to this Christmas was that I was able to cross an item off my bucket list.  We went on a Horse and Carriage Ride!  I have always wanted to do this and it certainly was wonderful.  The weather was just chilly enough and all the Christmas lights adorning Downtown Montgomery made it extra special.

The owner of the company was sweet to offer to take our picture for us.  And he didn't do too bad a job!  Way to go Mr. Horse and Carriage man!  :)  The boy pretended not to like the carriage ride but I knew better than that.  He had a good time but our girl LOVED it!  She has decided she wants to do this for her 13th birthday.  December birthdays are hard to plan for but I think this will be a perfect birthday evening for her and a few of her closest friends! 

Even PB thought it was a lot of fun and he's pretty tough to please this time of year.  I like to tease him and call him THE GRINCH because he's not always the jolliest person at Christmas.  ;) 

The carriage ride was about a 20 minute loop through the downtown streets and went straight up Dexter Avenue where we had this view of our State Capitol.  It was so pretty! 

After the carriage ride was over we walked over to a little Italian restaurant and had pizza for dinner.  The restaurant is in a newly refurbished area of downtown and is so pretty with all the trees lit with twinkling lights for Christmas. 

After our yummy pizza dinner we headed back out into the cold winter air and decided to go look at more Christmas lights. 

We ended up at the Capitol to admire its huge Christmas tree up close!  We got out and walked around and realized just how big that tree was.  It was a beautiful sight! 

After our pre-Christmas fun was over we had to get ready for our marathon of family Christmas get-togethers!  We switched things up this year by doing my Dad and Stepmom's house first.  We had a Christmas Eve breakfast and my-not-so-little Airman brother was able to be home for Christmas and it was totally complete when my little sister got off work just in time for us to be able to have everyone there.  PawPaw is an expert pancake maker and put his skills to work as soon as we got there.  We ate our yummy breakfast and opened gifts with them and had a fun time!

 Up early for Christmas Eve breakfast!  

    Paw Paw was getting ready to serve pancakes!

Chris was excited about getting Christmas lights!  (That's wasn't really his present but I was having a box shortage at my house this year!)  

 Our girl loves Belle and Belle obviously loves her too!

 Someone got a little emotional about one of her gifts!
 It was a ONE DIRECTION calendar!   Yes!

Having fun watching funny you tube videos!  Doesn't everyone celebrate this way?  :)  

We headed back home with just enough time for me to make my favorite Christmas dessert...red velvet cake!  I tried a new recipe this year for this yummy cake.  I found it on Pinterest and let me tell you it. is. delicious.  It is my new official red velvet cake recipe.  

 Doesn't it look delicious?  

I had to finish wrapping a few presents after I finished baking my masterpiece of a cake and was able to get all my wrapped gifts under the tree.  Whew!  It was good to be done with everything just in time to go to our next family gathering.  

Our "official" family Christmas photo!  

It was time to load the car with presents for all our family at PB's parents house.  This gathering is extra fun for the children because there are 6 cousins to play with that are all pretty close in age. It can get a little crazy  but everyone is always glad to see each other.  

 Mimi and Papa with all the grandchildren!

Wow...everyone is smiling at the same time!  Bonus Christmas photo!  

We always have lots of food and lots of presents at Mimi and Papa's house.  Everyone watches each other open every gift and it makes for a rather interesting but long afternoon/evening.  It's especially hard to wait when you are 9 years old and you have to be patient while watching every one else open their gifts.  

The boy was really glad when it was his turn to open up a gift and he received this...a new Lego set!  

He didn't waste any time in putting it together!  He went to a corner of the kitchen and got to work! 

After we opened up all the gifts and said our "Merry Christmases" to all our family we had to head back home to get ready for Santa Claus!  Our girl was a little sad to get her elf and reindeer ready to go back to the North Pole with Santa but she was so thoughtful to send a treat back with them.  

 Chocolate and nuts...Emerson and Chestnut's favorite foods!  

She even left Santa a note that he could keep the straw in his milk cup.  :)

Everyone got tucked into bed and quickly drifted off to sleep even with the anticipation of Christmas morning.  We actually slept in for a change.  It was almost 7:00 when the boy walked quietly into the kitchen to ask about waking up his sister so they could see what Santa had brought them!  


 Santa came!  

 More Legos! 

 A new curling iron!  

Our girl with her baby dog, Polly!  

As soon as they inspected their new things from Santa we got busy with opening our gifts to each other.  Every year since our girl was born, PB has received a new coffee mug with pictures of the children on it.  It has become a Christmas tradition for us.  

 The best gift PB has ever bought me (without me picking it out first)!  ;)

 Our girl didn't waste any time painting her nails with her new nail products!  Thank you Santa!  

PB had to explain to Polly that she didn't get a gift because of an incident with blow pops the week before.  She devoured 6 of them while I was out running errands one day and made a huge mess all over our family room.  I was not a happy camper that day!  So Polly got her Christmas present a little early this year.  :)  

We had to quickly get ready for our final Christmas gathering at my mom and stepdad's house.  We loaded up the remaining presents and headed back to Montgomery for more Christmas fun!  It is usually extra crazy at their house with aunts, uncles, cousins, and even dogs.  Polly got to go enjoy Christmas day with us all!  

This year we were blessed to have a new member of our family with us.  Brooks is my cousins little boy and he is the most precious.  With his big blue eyes and perfect round cheeks that are impossible not to want to kiss over and over...he's adorable!  

Sweet cousins all together! Our two kiddos plus Brooks, Emily, and Doodle

We ate an insane amount of delicious food and then opened more and more gifts!  Everyone buys everyone a gift and it gets crazy with wrapping paper flying around and ribbons being tossed all over the place.  We are very blessed with a family who loves us and spoils us so much!  

 Brooks like his new Penguin and wanted to "kiss" it!  

What a mouth!  She was so happy to get a new Kindle!  

 Somebody got new underwear!  

Grandmama opening her new calendar from us!

We had a nice Christmas full of fun, family, and lots of food!  I am already thinking ahead to how I'm going to try to be more prepared this next year so that I don't feel quite so rushed just in case another bug decides to invite itself into our home.  But for now we are settling back into the routine of our "normal for us" life.  For us that means school and homework and dance and cub scouts along with all the other things that make up our daily lives.  As much as I love Christmas and the fun it brings us, I am glad to be back to our regular every day schedules.  Are you back in the routine yet or are you experiencing a Christmas hangover?