The Stairwell Is Painted!…Well, Almost.

I know it’s kind of unconventional to share after photos of a project that isn’t really done, BUT  a.) I’m so dang close to being done b.) I don’t know exactly when I will get it done and c.) I may break my neck in the process of trying to finish it, so I figure I better just share it now.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you don’t, you should), then you already know that I started painting the stairwell a few weeks ago. It is the last area of unpainted paneling in the whole house, so I’m really excited to be done with it…you know, almost. I was super unmotivated to get started on it though, because I knew it was going to be a tricky project. I’ve painted a stairwell before in our previous house. It was a pain….and it was nowhere near as steep as this stairwell, so I was really dreading it. I consulted Brian about it and he borrowed a ladder for me and helped me devise a plan to at least get me started. I knew once I got started, I would be heavily motivated to finish.

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In case you are wondering why we don’t just remove the paneling, our house is 100 years old and the plaster that is behind the paneling is cracked and marked and would be awful to look at and super expensive to fix. So we are keeping it up, and I have to say, I don’t hate it. I quite like the texture it adds, even if it is kind of a pain to paint.

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We used Brian’s dad’s extension ladder, which extends and also folds over into an A-frame ladder. I used it both ways to make my way up the stairs. It was terrifying in some places. I have no problem with heights, but I do have a problem with being at the top of a very tall ladder and it moving on me. So I got as high, and reached as far as I could, but there is still one spot that I can’t quite reach where the ceiling and wall meet above the first few stairs. I can’t get close enough to it without setting the ladder on the actual stairs and I need something that we can put under one half of the ladder to make up the difference in height from the stair that the other half of the ladder sits on…does that make any sense?? So we have a plan, but it sounds super scary and sketchy, so I don’t want to share it just yet until I live to tell the story!

 

So in the meantime, here are some almost after pics. I decided to go with a neutral color, since I have no plans to EVER paint this area again. I used Valspar’s Smoked Oyster which is the same color as in the kid’s playroom. It’s kind of a warm grey beige (greige?). I love how it works with the dark wood trim, but still adds some contrast. It goes with everything so I think we can live with it for a long time…We have to, because I’m not painting in here again…did I mention that already?!

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I love this next picture because I have been DYING to get some sort of window treatment hung on this window along the stairs, but could never reach it. See how much light comes through that window?! It would make the second floor a sauna in the summertime, and I can’t tell you how many birds die because they try to fly through that thing! I’m so excited to have blinds on there and I can actually reach the cord to adjust them, so it has been really awesome the last few weeks with them up.

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If you are wondering if we are living with a giant ladder on our stairs still, the answer is yes. Yes we are. It’s there just taunting me at this point.

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So there you have it! An almost after post. I’m loving how much brighter and less busy the walls feel. I feel like the beautiful wood trim is really highlighted now, where as before it sort of got lost with the pattern of the paneling. I still have to switch out the switch plates and need to add some artwork to the walls, maybe, I can’t make up my mind so I’m living with it pretty bare until I decide. Say a little prayer for me while I finish up this last spot, would ya?!

 

 

 

Magnolia

So unless you live under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of Chip and Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper. I’m a fan. Obviously they are big into the whole modern farmhouse vibe and so am I. So when Brian had a work trip in San Antonio, TX he easily talked me into going with him (and our littles) by promising me a stop in Waco to see the Magnolia Silos. And trust me, I earned the stop by being stuck in a hotel for a week with two kids under the age of three….

Waco is about an eight hour drive for us, so we left in the evening and drove as far as we could so the kids could sleep for most of the drive. We stopped at a hotel about an hour outside of Waco so we could wake up and only have a little bit of a drive and get to the silos right after they opened. I HIGHLY suggest getting there when they open or soon after on a weekday. It was already busy, but there were still plenty of free parking spaces left and while the store and bakery were bustling with lots of people, we didn’t have to stand in line or anything.

I follow the Magnolia store on Instagram so I was prepared for everything to be beautiful, and it was. As someone who worked in retail for half of their life, I fully appreciated all the work that goes into setting displays and watching people rearrange and touch all of your hard work. I can also sympathize with all of the refolding of t-shirts that must go on in that place! The store was really clean and open and if there was something you wanted to look at but couldn’t because there was a crowd in the way, it was usually in another place or two. Things were a little pricey in my opinion, it was priced a lot like Anthropologie or West Elm. I got a t-shirt $28 and a couple candles for $26 a pop.

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We also stopped into the bakery, which is so, so tiny. It looked so much bigger on t.v.! It was worth the stop though, Brian and I both got a warmed, cheddar, bacon and chive biscuit….heavenly. I NEED that recipe in my life. I’m really kicking myself for not getting some cupcakes to go. It’s one of my biggest regrets.

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The kids’ favorite spot was the large, faux grass yard. I loved it too. It was a great way for the kids to run out some energy before we had to get back in the car and drive to San Antonio. I loved the fake grass because it looked nice and kept the kids clean…I am now wishing our lawn was fake grass. There were bins full of balls and outdoor games, but we didn’t even need them, Hollis ran laps while Bo took some wobbly steps.

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There were also big swing sets at the far edge of the lawn, but we didn’t get on them. I was impressed with how clean and tidy everything was. I can only imagine how full this lawn in on the weekends!

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There were also a couple of rows of food trucks and tons of picnic tables and places to sit. We would’ve loved to try some of them, but we were there too early. Next time, maybe. Although, I could just live on biscuits every time I go and be perfectly happy about it. They also had tours you could take that would drive you by some of the housed the Gaines’ have done. We didn’t have time for anything like that, but it would’ve been fun to see them.

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Brian even ran into someone he knew there, because of course he did, he knows everybody. We couldn’t leave without taking the obligatory picture out in front of the Magnolia sign. The employees were spread out all over the place and were all very friendly. There were a few outside the store that offered to take your picture for free, which I gladly obliged since there are only about six pictures of all four of us together in the universe. I don’t even care that we aren’t all looking at the camera….All in all, it was a good trip and I’m glad we had the opportunity to do it, and I would do it again anytime!

Musical Chairs

I inherited a pair of chairs from Brian’s aunt. I liked them immediately, they are very sturdy and well-made. They have been used in almost every room of our house, but never really had a permanent spot. They’ve been used in our bedroom, Hollis’s room, the office, the hallway, and most currently, our living room. I love that they are light and easy to move around if we have company and need an extra chair, or two, and they are actually really comfortable.

What I don’t love about them, is that they are purple. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE purple. I just don’t have a lot of purple décor happening in our home, so they stick out like a sore thumb. They are bent wood chairs with purple vinyl on the back and seat. I have never repurposed vinyl chairs before, so this is new (scary) territory for me.

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I didn’t have a solid plan when I first began this transformation. As you can see in these pics, I tried gray spray paint first, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I also saw some people that spray painted vinyl on Pinterest. I tried that too. Not a fan of the final look for this particular project so I nixed that too.

I had to bite the bullet and remove the vinyl seat and back, which I was really nervous about because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get them back on.  It took A LOT of work to get the backs off. Like I said, they are very well made chairs, but after a couple hours of staple removing, I got them off. Luckily, the seats came off easily with just a few screws.

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I finally decided on black for the frame. I like black. It’s simple. It’s classic. And lord knows I always have it on hand because I use it on everything.

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Next, it was time to cover the vinyl seats. I chose a simple, tan and black Gingham fabric. I just cut them to fit the seat, then used a spray adhesive to glue the fabric to the vinyl and keep it from shifting. Then I finished it off by stapling the fabric to the underside of the seat.

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As you can see, I didn’t put the back on the seat….mostly because I tore it up too much while trying to remove it, but also because I really like the way it looks without. I did wrap a little twine around the back just to tie in the tan from the fabric and to add a little interest.

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I think they turned out pretty good for my first vinyl chair makeover. I definitely have a newfound appreciation for people who do upholstery. Right now this pair is sitting in our living room until we get a loveseat or something else for this spot. I already have the chairs next spots (I will have to split them up) picked out for when we do get something. They are much easier to place around the house now that they  fit in with our décor!

A Tale of Two Night Stands

I remember finding our night stands on Craigslist when I was pregnant with Hollis. In fact, we picked them up in Springfield, MO on the way home from our babymoon. And the previous owners who we bought them from, were a lovely young couple that we ended up chatting with in their living room for like half an hour. It was love at first sight, they were the perfect height and they had a huge drawer to hold all of our crap. They also had a very mid-century modern vibe that we liked. The only thing we didn’t love was that they had a thin, pale wood veneer that we weren’t crazy about. We easily fixed that with a few coats of charcoal gray spray paint. Of course this was all before I started blogging, so I have no before photos!

Since purchasing these beloved night stands, we have moved to the farm and purchased a new bed. Luckily our nightstands are still the perfect size and height, but the dark gray paint is starting to chip and look worn. And since painting our master bedroom a dark navy (which I still LOVE), the dark gray night stands just sort of disappear into the darkness of the walls.

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I knew I wanted to lighten them up and I wanted to add a little modern farmhouse feel to them while I was at it. The furniture in our bedroom is pretty modern, but since the rest of our house is a little more rustic, I wanted to blend the two together so it makes a little more sense. I had some leftover peel and stick tile from Hollis’ ceiling and thought it would add the perfect amount of ‘rustic’ to the night stands. It also adds a little more durability to the top, I mean it’s made to walk on so it should hold up well, right?! We’ll see.

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I bought some drawer pulls too, but haven’t attached them yet. My only worry about adding the peel and stick tiles to the drawer front, is that it may start to peel away on the sides where we pull the drawers back to open them. I’m going to give them a little time to see if we really need the drawer pulls or not, I really like the look without them, but time will tell if they are practical or not.

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I was a little worried Brian wouldn’t like them, because I made these over while he was away on a business trip…I always seem to make over furniture while he is gone! I think it’s a subconscious thing to keep him from telling me my ideas are totally nuts…Luckily he really liked this makeover (wipes beads of sweat off forehead).

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I just love how they turned out! They pop off that dark wall so much better now and they just feel clean and fresh….almost like brand new night stands.

 

And Just Like That He’s One…

 

That big ‘ol meany, Father Time came and switched out my tiny infant for a big one year old…so rude.

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I can’t believe an entire year has passed since my little Bo was born. I remember the day vividly and it honestly feels like yesterday. The last few months I’ve been noticing just how much he’s starting to look and act more like a little boy and less like a baby. Then this week he got sick (just yucky cold stuff) and he is so cuddly and clingy and just wants me to hold him and rock him, and I can’t help but soak every second of it in even though he feels so huge in my arms now.

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We celebrated last weekend and I’m so glad we did, because he was just starting to get sick then and wasn’t feeling as awful as he is right now. I am also super glad I thought to take his pics last week because he definitely wouldn’t feel up to it now. We went with a ‘manly’ outdoor theme. It felt fitting since he was a lumberjack for Halloween and he is just all boy in every way. His first words after ‘dada’ and ‘mama’ were ‘vroom-vroom’. He loves tractors and cars, working with his tools, and getting into everything. He is also a bottomless pit when it comes to food…the eating never ends.

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We kept things simple and just ordered pizza for the party. My mom made Bowen a little bear cake which was perfect for my baby bear. She also set out snacks like, teddy grahams, gummy worms and moose droppings (aka Twix). We had the party at Gigi’s (my grandma) house. Gigi is home recovering from knee surgery so we wanted to bring the party to her. It was very casual and relaxing with just family hanging out and chatting.

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After watching my mom make this bear cake with fur, I’m dying to see what other animal cakes we can make. Give me all the animal cakes!…just give me all the cake.

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My dad also helped out and made this adorable lumberjack photo board. It turned out so cute and was a lot of fun. I have also decided my brother Shaun, looks like the ultimate hipster lumberjack with his black rimmed glasses. bobirthday

While I’m sad my baby isn’t so babyish anymore, I am really amazed at how much he has grown and changed into my sweet little boy. He is walking and climbing and learning new things every day. It makes me so happy to see that look of determination on his face as he toddles around the room making a mess of everything in his path. Happy birthday my little Bozilla!

 

 

Bo’s Colorful Farmhouse Bedroom

I am finally sharing Bowen’s nursery! As you know, he has been sharing a room with his big sis since he was about three months old. Now he finally has a space to call his own. I’ve said before that I planned on the two of them sharing until Bo was ready for a big boy bed and keeping his room as a designated guest room, but when do kids ever do what you plan?! We decided it was the right time for him to have his own space to sleep and play and it has been working out nicely…during the day. The kid naps like a CHAMP in his crib. Nighttime is a whole other story. (He thinks he needs to sleep next to mom.)

Disclaimer: I apologize for the crazy variation of green in these pics. A photographer, I am not! The Kelly green looks so great in person, but trying to photograph it has been a nightmare. The three North, South, and East facing windows are also challenging to photograph around. I may end up painting this room after all!!

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I moved the trundle-bed that was in Hollis’ room in here. Obviously Bowen isn’t ready to use it, but it’s so nice to have for guests (the trundle pops up and turns into either two twin beds, or one king size bed). It has also been super handy for having a cozy place to nurse him, or read books, or even change his clothes and diapers. I really wanted a black and white buffalo check duvet, but found this gray and white one at Target for such a good price and decided to snag it! I love how classic and neutral it is, so we can use it for a long time even if we change things up.

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It was fun to plan a space with just him in mind and not having to take into account his sister or anyone else. I’m so used to designing ‘girly’ spaces for Hollis, so it was a lot of fun to make things more ‘boyish’ for Bo. I tried to avoid too much of a theme, and just used the already green walls as a starting off point. Brian has a good collection of tractors and farm toys from when he was little and they are just too cool not to use in the room.

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For the most part the kids play downstairs in their playroom, but since our house is two stories, it’s nice for them to each have a place upstairs to play and keep busy when I need to be upstairs cleaning or doing projects. The old school Shirt Tales toy box is also Brian’s from his childhood.

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I’m still tweaking a few things here and there. I am on the hunt for some wire baskets to hang on the wall for book storage. I’m also getting some ideas for how to layout his closet which needs a makeover asap. As you can see, there is not a lot of room for a dresser currently, so I’m trying incorporate one into his closet.

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So far little man seems pretty pleased with his new room. Now if we can just get him to sleep in it at night…

Ice Storm

 

A little bit of a different post today since Mother Nature has halted some of my projects. We were hit with an ice storm Sunday and Monday. Our power was out for about 14 hours, which was a pain, but could have been much, much worse considering there are still thousands around us who still have no power yet.

I was hoping for snow. Like a real snow, not the light dusting stuff we keep getting.  Hollis has yet to be able to really play in the snow and she DYING to do so. She talks about snow angles and building a snowman on the regular around here. But no such luck this time around, just a bunch of ice and falling limbs.

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I took about a hundred pics, because what else do you do when your power is out so long?! Today the sky is clear and blue, and the sun is shining bright. All the ice has melted into nice muddy puddles. Can’t wait for everything to dry out so I can get back to my projects!…and also pick up about a million tree limbs.