Wrangling The Chaos

If you are sitting there thinking, ‘man, I sure wish this lady would do another closet post’, well then you’re in luck because that is exactly what this is. Although this closet is for much more important things than clothes. MUCH more important…..It’s for toys.

I know I’ve said this before, but we are super lucky to have the amount of closets we have in this old house. And especially lucky of the size of the closets. When we first moved in, these closets saved my sanity. I was able to stuff them with totes and boxes and pretend that everything was unpacked and in its proper place. Now that we have lived here for a while, things are (slowly) finding their permanent home and my closets are freeing up!

This particular closet is right under the staircase. It was the coat closet when the original front door was in this room. That door is now a window, and we have a coat closet next to the door that we use regularly. Lately, this closet has been used as a catch-all for the most random things. It has been housing our coolers, the vacuum cleaner, a couple of totes that still need homes, and the most random toys that I don’t want out all the time. (I apologize for these terrible photos, but there is only one bare bulb light in the closet and without it, the closet is pitch black!)IMG_2633IMG_2636 IMG_2639 I FINALLY got around to going through things in there and was left with a nearly empty closet. I decided the best use for this closet would be to house all of the toys that are overflow from the playroom or toys that Hollis can’t be trusted with, without supervision (ie. paint, markers, playdoh, etc.). It sits right across the hall from the playroom. My plan is to remove the clothes rod and make that whole wall shelves. It’s hard to tell from the pics, but that side is 24″ deep and 38″ wide. So I can easily fit some nice 16″ deep shelves in there. And since the door is petite, I have room to utilize the space across from it with some 10″ deep shelves.

IMG_2647In order to get my 10″ shelves in, I had to remove part of the existing wood coat racks so that I can get a shelf bracket on the left side. I also needed it removed, to add new cleats for my 16″ deep shelves.IMG_2648I just made my cut and pried off the unwanted section. IMG_2649Now I had room for my brackets and my cleats….after some patch work, of course. IMG_2644I used 1″x2″ for my cleats to hold my shelves. This is a really simple and cheap way to add shelving. Just cut them the depth and width of your shelves for them to rest on. I used wood boards for my shelves, but you could use MDF or sheets of plywood too.

IMG_2652 I used a 1″x 4″ and a 1″x12″ to make a 1″x16″shelf and cut them to the size I needed.  Next, I painted all the wood and shelves white. I patched all the holes and cracks and got out the paint. I usually do all white closets, but I wanted to add a little color on the walls since this closet is really for the kiddos.  IMG_2658IMG_2654I ended up putting back some of the wall hooks, because they are handy for hanging bags and they stay out of sight behind the door when it’s open.

IMG_2667 IMG_2666It is so nice to find a home for these toys that have been floating around the living room and playroom. Hollis loves going in there and picking out toys. It’s funny how if they are out, under her nose, she could care less about them, but put them in a closet out of sight and mind, and she suddenly has a new-found love for them!


You Spin Me Right Round

When we started our (ongoing) kitchen renovation, I really wanted to replace the fluorescent light and ceiling fan. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the budget at the time. It’s still not really in the budget, but that turned out to be a good thing. I was sure I wanted to replace the ceiling fan with a cute light fixture or maybe chandelier of some sort. Now that we have lived in the space for a while, I’m really glad I didn’t get rid of the ceiling fan. Turns out I use that puppy on a daily basis.

See, there is no vent in our kitchen. So the space gets HOT when I’m baking or cooking. And….sometimes kind of smoky when I get out of control or distracted. That fan has saved our lungs from smoke inhalation a few times. So while I’ve added a vent to my list of things to add to our renovation, I’ve also embraced the ceiling fan.

You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com While I like the function of this guy, I’m not so much a fan of his appearance. I could get a new one, but like I said, it’s not really in the budget right now and this one works perfectly well. I hate to get rid of something that’s still in great working condition. BUT….dude needs a makeover.

You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com I actually don’t hate the antiqued brass. (I know I’m probably the only one.) The problem is, all of the other metal finishes in our kitchen are brushed nickel, so it really feels out of place. And as much as I LOVE gold, I could do without the gold detail on the fan blades.

You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com I turned off the breaker and started to dismantle everything. I get intimidated when it comes to changing anything electrical, then once I do it, I remember how simple it is and wonder why the heck I waited so long. This was really just a matter of disconnecting two wires, one white and one black. It also helped that I didn’t have to remove the motor, just the cover. (Check out the dust on those blades. Sexy.) You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com Once I got everything down, I gave it all a good cleaning with a multi-purpose cleaner. This step took an embarrassingly long time. There was more than just a layer of dust, it also had a nice layer of grime that I’m sure only comes from living in the kitchen. After cleaning, I sanded the blades and started spray painting the metal surfaces.

You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com Luckily, the back side of the fan blades still had the nice wood grain pattern without the not-so-nice gold detail, so I flipped them over and used that side instead. I used a poly stain to go over my blades, it took about five coats to get the dark shade that I wanted. If you’ve never used a poly stain, I highly recommend it! It is very forgiving and easy to use. My only regret is that I didn’t get a satin finish, I already had this gloss finish on hand so I used it, but if you don’t want a glossy finish, just get the satin.

You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com After everything was dry, I started to put it all back together. I changed out the glass light covers too which really made it feel a lot less outdated. You Spin Me Right Round // thegoldbrickroad.com Isn’t it SO MUCH BETTER?! I seriously wish I hadn’t waited so long to do this project. Not bad for a super cheap project. I did have to buy those light shades for about $4 a pop, but it was totally worth it. Now I’m on the hunt for more light fixtures to re-do!

Time To Bake (Sugar Cookies)

I know this is really a diy/design blog, so it may be weird to see recipes on here. BUT sometimes I stumble upon a recipe that is so awesome that I just have to share it!

Right now while I’m pregnant, food is kind of all I have. I can’t enjoy my wine, fit into cute clothes, ride roller coasters, sleep on my stomach….or sleep much period these days, so yeah, food is pretty much it right now.

I love sugar cookies, but I am VERY picky about them. They must be soft-ish, have the right amount of almond extract, and be equally delicious with our without icing on them. I have perused Pinterest time and time again for the perfect sugar cookie recipe and last year I finally found it here! I will let you go to the Love Grows Wild blog for the recipe because she has a lot of good pictures and info on there.

IMG_2560The genius part of this recipe is rolling out the dough BEFORE you put it in the fridge to chill. Duh! Why have I never done that before?!
It’s so easy to cut out and work with after it’s been in the fridge for a bit. I usually wait about 30 min. or so. IMG_2565I got 20 cookies out of this batch. My pumpkin cookie cutter is fairly large, it’s like a cookie and a half….the perfect size if you ask me. I baked half of them and layered the rest between parchment paper in an air-tight container to freeze for later. I love having cookies ready to bake when we have company coming or when a craving strikes. (They only take about 8 min. to bake.)IMG_2568IMG_2573There is just something about Fall that makes me want to get my booty in the kitchen and bake!  Here is the full recipe once again from Love Grows Wild. Her pictures are a whole lot prettier than mine, but hopefully mine taste just as good!



We’re Having A….

We're Having A...//thegoldbrickroad.comJust a quick little update to let you know that our little pumpkin is a BOY!!! We are so excited. It just feels right. I am so glad I went with my gut and painted over the pink nursery. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a boy! Mama and baby are doing good thus far. He’s definitely a mover and a shaker just like his big sis. I can’t wait to start picking out little boy clothes. Now we just have to agree on a name for the little guy…

What I NEED From Target….Right Now

Once again, Target is kind of killing it right now with their home decor. Plaid is super in right now, and I have to admit, I’m pretty into it. Sadly, I haven’t owned anything plaid since like middle school so I have a lot of catching up to do. I want to take it slow though and just add in a few plaid things here and there. Here’s my faves for Fall!

Target Home Fall 2015 Edition target home fall 2015

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11

1.& 2.  I am super picky when it comes to throw pillows. I love colors and prints   that transcend seasons and that I can shuffle around the house in different rooms to shake things up. I love both of these!

3. & 4. I can’t remember the last time I bought a candle holder. Now is the time. This copper candelabra and black and gold holder are inspiring me to break out some taper candles asap!

5. This throw would be an easy way to add some plaid into our lives and add to our throw collection. Win win.

6. Need a place to stash all those throws? Or some wood for the fire place? Or just about anything else? This pretty copper bin is perfect.

7. Like throw pillows, I like to play musical chairs with my accent rugs too.

8. Plaid napkins. Napkins are such an easy way to change up your usual table setting without investing a bunch of money. And plaid can be layered with lots of different patterns or just to jazz up a solid place setting.

9. & 10. I only have one casual, everyday dinnerware set and then our fancy, schmancy china. I would love to incorporate some fun pieces like these to mix and match with the dinnerware we already have to shake things up and make it feel like we have a lot more options.

11. Flatware. Flatware is the one thing I really regret not registering for when we got married. We thought about it, but never found anything we really loved. Now it seems like everywhere I turn, I see flatware I would register for IMMEDIATELY! Target alone has several sets I would love to bring home including this cool matte black set.