Condo Living – Master Bedroom

Oh hi, it’s been a while…but fear not, I have plenty of projects to share from our new home in Colorado!

I’m excited to share my most recent project (completed today)- building a bed for our “master” bedroom.  A tiny bit of background for the inspiration for this project first…and, as always, feel free to just skim the pictures, the project is more impressive than my writing skills.  So to the inspiration- one of the hardest things about moving from Oklahoma to Colorado was the drastic home downsize we’ve gone through (our condo is less than half the size of our OKC house).  Our master bedroom is probably 9ft x 11ft which is so so so tiny!  I think the only time I had a room smaller than this was when I was in the dorms freshman year of college, and my possessions were quite limited at the time.  Whenever we first moved into our place we set up our lovely king bed set that we had in OKC and it took up the ENTIRE room, we made it work, but we were keeping a lot of our clothing in the guest bedroom dresser which is not ideal whenever we actually had guests.IMG_0585 And here’s our closet.  I feel like we’ve been in this situation before…IMG_0623So you get the idea… two people, tiny room, tiny closet…we needed more storage.  In order to save myself the blood, sweat, and tears of building a bed, I first searched online for a possible solution for our bedroom storage.  I found some affordable options, but typically affordable isn’t really that cute, and after all the work we did with the rest of the condo, I wanted to have a bedroom I was proud to show off too.  So I thought I might splurge on something from West Elm or Pottery Barn…I browsed a little bit, but realized what they had wouldn’t maximize the storage potential for our room, so spending the money on something that didn’t completely solve our problem wasn’t the best route.  Which meant off to Home Depot I went.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do, and started off with the materials I needed for framing the bed.  Here’s a quick photo summary of the framing-IMG_1676IMG_1681IMG_1685IMG_6079IMG_6081Wow- if you’re thinking that looks like a heavy bed, you’re right…it’s not going anywhere.  Oh, I guess now would be a good time to say that my plan for the bed is to have under bed storage, night stands, and above bed storage.  So essentially storage in every place possible.  And all that storage means lots of box building.  Thanks to Bart for helping me with this, and several other parts of the project — some jobs just aren’t made for one person, and I’m thankful that he gave me his time a few hours on his weekends!IMG_6101Do you notice the tarp between the truck and 4Runner?  I set it up for shade and then ended up not using it because there wasn’t enough room.  I tried.IMG_6107IMG_6104IMG_6102So.  Much.  Fun.
But really, these boxes are what hold all of our shit stuff that we need storage for…so boxes we make, and boxes we now have.  Our nightstand boxes are about 24 wide by 10 deep and our under bed boxes (4 total) are 30 wide by 24 deep which is soooo amazing.  And I absolutely suck at installing drawers on tracks…so I made them the old fashioned way with wooden tracks and used a “pressure sensitive tape using Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMW) film with an aggressive permanent acrylic adhesive. The UHMW film provides an excellent low friction, non-stick surface in many ways similar to PTFE. The film has a very high tensile strength and is very tough and abrasion resistant.” which makes the drawers glide smoothly and saves my sanity!

Along with building something practical, comes making something pretty…so after all the framing and boxing and moving of outlets- it’s time to beautify!IMG_6087Bart called in his dad for help when we were doing the headboard, which was a lot of fun…and I’m not kidding.  We were all measuring and cutting and nailing and working really well together to make this lovely herringbone headboard.IMG_6095Well that looks just as good as I envisioned it.  For anyone who’s curious, this is a “barnwood” purchased from Home Depot, it came just as you see it, and was great for this project.IMG_6114I know I took some more during photos…but between family photo shoots and this project, I have no idea what happened to them, but here’s how things came along.IMG_0702Last on my list is to finish the sides of the headboard and build upper cabinet doors.

Did I mention we don’t have a garage?  So I set up shop and build things out in the alley… it works out just fine. IMG_0575IMG_0584IMG_0578I really love the way these doors came out.  All that’s left is to put on the doors and pulls and it’s over!IMG_0579I’m probably not actually totally finished with the project, but I’m finished for now.  I should probably paint the interior of the cabinets, but I want to enjoy our summer and for now, everything is functional.IMG_0606Our poor bed…I probably should have moved the mattress, but what can you do?IMG_0614IMG_0602That’s better.  Wow.  I mean, I can’t believe this is OUR BED!  It’s a lot of wood- but I love it, and I love the storage, and I’m just now realizing I never mentioned that we downsized from a king bed to a queen bed.  So there’s a significant amount of floor space we didn’t have before, and should we want or need more storage, there’s room under the window for a dresser too!IMG_0618Naturally the first one in our household to enjoy the final product was our precious princess, sugar bear, Heidi! IMG_0629Olaf took a peek at the bed too…as usual, he was unimpressed.IMG_0697Thanks for checking out our bed!  Here are the plans if you want to build your own…IMG_0612Something like that–I’m not much of a sketch planner, more of a visualize, measure, cut, and nail type of gal ;)

Laundry Room

Whenever it comes to getting stuff done around the house, in the month of January I get more done than the other 11 months combined…which it makes it secretly my favorite month of the year- I think other photographers hibernate during this time, which maybe I will do next year.  Anyway, last January I tackled finishing the kitchen and also finished our master bathroom (which I have yet to finish painting the doors, so it hasn’t made it’s blog debut yet).

So, as soon as the holidays were over, I got right to work on the laundry room.  Whenever we were in the very early stages of remodeling our house we moved the access door from the garage to the backside of the kitchen (see below)…I’m all about a practical layout.

Because we wanted to move the door, we had to take out the original built in cabinets pictured below.  We fortunately saved the doors from it and amazingly they were the PERFECT fit for the new little cabinets I made in the laundry room (more to come on that later). IMG_6206.jpgSo now the cabinets above are gone and the entrance to the laundry room is where the right side of where they used to be.  And all that extra floor space is in the kitchen, there’s a little walkway going back into the laundry room.

Now that you’re caught up on the logistics of the laundry room, here are the before pictures. IMG_8252IMG_8253You wanted the real before picture, right? Okay- here it is…IMG_8251But really, truly and honestly…this is the before picture.  Which made doing laundry quite the hazardous chore, clearly it was time for an intervention. IMG_8249We’ve all been here, right?  The cabinet doors you can see weren’t actually always in the laundry room, I just brought those in to start envisioning the space before starting the project.  And none of those are actually the doors I ended up using.

One of the major factors with the laundry room had to do with the utilities also being in there.  The hot water tank and the return air vent both had miscellaneous parts going up into the attic making it impossible to seal off that portion of the ceiling in the room.  So the solution was to build a utility closet so we could regulate the temperature in the room. IMG_8254That’s a start.  I am actually really proud of myself for this because I didn’t need ANY assistance with the framing.  In the past we have borrowed my dad’s framing gun and giant compressor, and then with other projects in this house we just used a drill and long screws which is probably the most awful thing you could ever do to yourself…just use a nail gun, you won’t regret it!  We occasionally rent tools and I was debating renting a framing nail gun for this little framing job…but after weighing out the costs and likelyhood that I’d end up framing something in the future, I ended up getting a late Christmas present and now we own a cordless battery operated framing gun, it is AWESOME!  I feel like this may be like owning a truck and all of a sudden everybody will be asking to borrow it ;) IMG_8262Then there was the drywall, which once again, I had a life changing experience with!  I hung all the sheetrock by myself and only needed help from Bart moving one piece into the closet because the angle was really difficult for maneuvering.  The secret to hanging sheetrock by myself was these little babies-IMG_9949SELF DRILL DRYWALL SCREWS?!?!  Gah, for real, if you have ever hung sheetrock you know how frustrating it can be.  The first time we hung sheetrock 6 years ago we used nails which result in smashed thumbs, bent nails, and holes bigger than you intended in your sheetrock.  Then we discovered drywall screws and dealt with the the drill slipping and puncturing the wall or torqued wrists whenever you hit the stud, it was not fun.  This time however, it was like the walls were made of butter- I don’t think I ever said (or thought) a single curse word whenever I was hanging the sheetrock…and I am a changed woman for it.IMG_8308IMG_8310A closet!  Yay!  Oh yeah, and I tiled.  Whenever we first started remodeling our house I found this pennytile on sale for $1 a square foot and they had 30 square feet of it.  It’s been sitting in our laundry room for the past year and a half (under the grocery bag, behind the mop bucket, to the left of the mops and brooms…)IMG_8302Seriously, a total steal!  I had actually intended on painting the floors in the laundry room because I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this room that no one would ever see, but by not tiling under the cabinet or in the utility closet I was able to make it work, so now we have a fun floor!  It was really nice too because I was able to lay the tile at night and not worry about the noise of using a wet saw because the little tiles could just pop off if you needed to reduce the size.

In this space below I wanted to build a simple little cabinet for miscellaneous storage and then also include a little counter top and hanging rack for laundry straight from the dryer.  I drew my ideal cabinet which included standard 36 inch tall counter tops and then 28 inches for hanging room and I was going to use the left over space for upper cabinets.  I went to the garage to search for old cabinet doors to see if my vision would work.  I honestly couldn’t have been any more shocked to figure out that the doors saved from the former built in were PERFECT.  I said it before, but seriously, I had wanted to reuse the doors to keep the same feel from the kitchen and the measurements on these doors were made for this space!  My framing for the closet was based on the placement of the water tank and location of studs in the wall, so it was certainly divine intervention that these doors worked! IMG_9951.jpgSo let’s get to work, certainly this lumber will make a lovely cabinet. IMG_8653

IMG_8661I really love the beadboard backspash in our kitchen, so I thought it would be a great look for the laundry room as well, especially since there will be a 2 1/2 feet of space between the upper and lower cabinets. IMG_8664Puppy break!  Heidi loved keeping me company and learning how to use power tools…this is one of the bajillion reasons why we knew she was the perfect fit for our family.IMG_8669IMG_8672IMG_9399IMG_9402Woah, I feel like a lot just happened really fast…I didn’t think to take pictures of what kind of became the most impressive part about this built in.  The scallops on the sides are gorgeous- all I have is my original sketch of them.  I then freehand penciled the design and cut it with a jigsaw.  After that I used a router for a little extra detail.  They were inspired by the woodwork on the original built-in.IMG_9953I chose a soft seaglass green for the cabinets, it adds just the right about of color to the room. IMG_9410So paint the cabinet doors, make the drawers (because I threw away the original ones thinking I’d never use them), and voila! IMG_9880Wait, is it finished?!  I originally thought so and then realized I didn’t change the hinges on the utility room door…I possibly took a several “final” photos that I had to redo because of that minor detail that only the most critical eye would have noticed.IMG_9939Much better, and some beautifully staged hanging clothes to demonstrate the wonders of the hanging rack.  And this pretty little flower bucket from Steinmart, I’m not into fake flowers, but whenever I saw these I stopped in my tracks and grabbed one!IMG_9927So I guess it’s done!IMG_9885IMG_9937IMG_9931And this light makes me so happy!  It was priced at $80 as “overstock” whenever I purchased it, I love how it completes the room!IMG_9884.jpg

**Disclaimer, I feel like the lines in the tile are a bit dramatic in pictures, I promise that in person the tile looks much more seamless!

Some side by sides for you-

And for you curious folks, the utility closet, and perhaps something more curious than youself…IMG_9906You can see the drain pipe from the water heater is really inconveniently located, but what can you do.  Oh, also if you look really close, you will notice a blue bag with words on it that don’t belong to the typical furry friends you see around our house.IMG_9905Wait, what?  Okay, so during this project I found out we had a little friend living under our house trying to keep warm during the cold winter months, so I’d like to introduce you to the first pet we adopted this year- Luis.  (and try to ignore those exposed wires that say dangerous with a skull and cross bones, I know I do).IMG_9907Hi Kitty kitty, I feed him every morning and he waits for me to leave before crawling out from under the house- I think it’s love.IMG_9923Thanks for stopping by, I’ll try and paint the master bathroom doors soon and share that as well!

Kitchen- First stop on our home tour!

Oh hi there- blog much lately?  I’m pretty sure that’s what wordpress thought whenever I logged in today ;)  I know most of you are here to just look at before/after pictures…so just scroll past the novel I wrote, I at least know my Nana will read it.

So here we are, one year later, in our first home in OKC.  If you know us (or even kind of know us because you see my pictures on social media), then you know that we haven’t been the type to really settle down in one house.  We really loved our previous home in Norman, but we really felt like our life was in OKC, so once again we were on the move!  Since we weren’t working against any type of deadline to find a home, we took our time with the search.  We had an idea of the general location we wanted to live, so started casually looking at houses in the fall of 2013.  Technology is unbelievably helpful when house hunting, it’s so easy to determine if a home has potential just by looking at pictures on a website.  One afternoon I was spending a laid back day with a friend in OKC and ended up browsing on zillow to check out what houses were for sale close to hers.  I saw there was one 4 minutes away and contacted my realtor to see if we could look at it.  She heard back immediately and I was able to look at the house that afternoon.  Having looked at the house by myself, I told Bart that I thought it could be “the one” and wanted him to come see it ASAP.  Not surprisingly, he was not as enthusiastic about the house as I was.  It was overpriced and was in need of MAJOR updating, so he wanted to keep looking.  However, I felt the house had great potential for updates and if we put in an offer that account for the investment we would make updating the house, that it could all work out in our favor.  So we pursued the house, and surprisingly our low ball offer was countered and then accepted and on June 3, 2014 we once again became new home owners!

So beginning June 4 we were in our demolition clothes and went to work tearing out floors, knocking down walls, scraping off hideous texture, and hoping that the end was near soon ;)  We had some great crews come in and do some of the hard work for us- Dog Days Heat & Air put in a completely new AC system for us (moved the vents from the floors to the ceiling.  Old World Floors laid GORGEOUS hardwood floors throughout our house, and a kind, hard working man named Wayne brought in a crew to replace our windows.  These guys all came out the first week after closing and got everything situated for us so we could really begin putting the house together after tearing it apart!  It’s funny that 3-4 days of demolition then equates to probably 50x the amount of time to rebuild!  We painted, put in new baseboards, closed walls, opened walls, completely redid TWO bathrooms…I mean, we were basically nuts for everything we took on.  We finished as much as we could in June and July and moved into our home the second week of August whenever we sold our house in Norman.

Anyway, I’ll try and save some of the story for posts about other rooms, so as promised, here’s the kitchen!

001002So we took down the entire left side of this wall (It was load bearing and all…minor oversight, but we fixed it!) and also expanded it a bit on the right.  Oh, and we also added the little bar top, it’s nice to have a divider between the dining room and kitchen, but to still have a nice open feeling whenever you walk in the house.  I look at this after picture and think “Oh wow, that’s crazy…did we really buy a house that looked like that?”  From the golden parquet floors to the turquoise countertops- it’s kind of unreal to me that we really did this!004One thing I will give this house credit for, is that it was kept in impeccable condition…we actually lived with the kitchen like this until December/January whenever we had our new countertops installed.  Our countertops are amazing we knew we wanted a light refreshing look to our kitchen and had looked many times at natural stone selection and felt like any of the durable ones were too dark/brown and knew we didn’t want marble because I’m a little messier than marble gives you grace for.  So we gave up on natural stone and decided to check out quartz.  We had quartz countertops in Norman and they’re basically indestructible (unless you use them to pop lids off beer bottles…I won’t name names).  From what we had seen in quartz before it was like all these little flecks of stone/glass, and that wasn’t exactly the look we were going for.  Fortunately the master quartz makers had been hard at work formulating new designs for countertops and came out with some that look more like natural stone…and specifically, white marble yay!  So that’s what we have now- and a big thank you to TNL for the beautiful installation! 005So look at that (and ignore the fact that we used trash bags for curtains)!  Beautiful countertops and we’re finally ready to find a paint color for the cabinets and put up our backsplash!  There are so many options for back-spash tile…it’s overwhelming.  And despite the options, there was not a single one that really stood out to me.  I had seen a couple of houses on houzz that had bead-board back-splashes.  I always liked them.  I think the look is so simple, and cozy, and charming…and totally customizable to the color you want!  So we decided to go with the bead-board knowing if we ended up not liking it that we could replace the back-spash in the future and we didn’t spend $12 a square foot on glass tile we ended up thowing in the trash.  Thanks to my dad and his wife for our Christmas gift card to Lowes that completely covered the cost of our back splash and then some!006Holy moly, that’s our kitchen.  As you can tell, we pushed the wall to the left back.  There had been a little built in china cabinet/buffet behind there and the space was totally wasted…so we took advantage of getting a little more square footage in the kitchen.  Since we pushed the wall back we decided to extend the counter top to the left of the dishwasher.  We put in a built in trash bin that I love (especially with dogs in the house).  So then we were left with the problem of what to put above it because now it didn’t feel balanced…we considered extending the cabinet (because who doesn’t need more cabinet space in their kitchen), but to furr down the ceiling and then continue the same ledge above the cabinet and this and that and all the things that make a remodel hard…we decided to build some fun little shelves.018025Oh look at us!  Since we weren’t going nuts working on a dozen different projects at once, we decided to take some pictures of ourselves working! 020022023024027These shelves were pretty simple to put together and I think finish off that space in the kitchen just right…and yes, we have to keep our dog treats on the top shelf so they don’t get into them ;)

Speaking of dogs…here comes a cameo from Olaf!011014It wasn’t in our original plan, but we switched places with the refrigerator and oven.  I think it’s nice to have the stove and oven so close to one another for cooking meals, and also whenever we opened the fridge the light switch would turn on an off because the door hit it, so it was kind of a nuisance.  Anyway, since we switched places the oven didn’t fill up the same amount of space as the fridge, so we knew we needed to become creative again.  We had a measly 6 inches of space in width, and 26 inches in depth…so it was kind of a strange problem to have.  Our immediate thought was to put in another cookie sheet cabinet, so we did that on the bottom- but 3 additional seemed kind of wasteful because we kind of didn’t even need the second one to begin with.  And one day genius struck…I don’t remember if it was me or Bart…but whenever you’re married you share credit for ideas, so I’ll say it was the both of us!  We made a pull out spice rack!  We have sooo many spices that we rarely use and a lazy Susan can only hold so much, so this was the perfect solution to tuck away all of our little spices and leave our spice cabinet open to what we use on a daily basis and we never have to hunt for anything.  I think we have a great amount of cabinet space, but we really don’t have a lot of drawer space, so we also made a little utensil rack so they’re neatly tucked away too! 028030032033034

Phew- almost through the kitchen tour…now you know why it’s taken me so long to begin sharing our new house! 007008009As much as I wanted to preserve the original cabinetry, whenever we decided to swap the oven and refrigerator we decided we had to say goodbye.  It was better starting from scratch since the oven we put in was a double and not a single, but I would have made it work, I was very determined!


I had hoped to use cabinet doors from the former cabinets, but none of them worked, so we ended up ordering new cabinet doors online to put around the fridge to make a nice big pantry on the left (no longer a tool cabinet).  The door style isn’t an exact match (though I’m sure if I wasn’t “over it” I could have found a local carpenter to replicate them), but they’re the a relatively similar style, the same color and on a different wall, so hopefully my secret is safe with you ;)016Okay- so I guess that’s it, I’m going to have to take a nap after thinking about all the hard work we did.  And just in case you haven’t had enough- here are a few close up of little accessories in our kitchen that I love….038Tea kettle kitchen towel from Anthropologie, I bought it on clearance this spring so they don’t have it in stock anymore, but they always have fun kitchen towels!037B&S mugs are from Anthro too, they have black monogramed mugs year round and the gold ones for the holidays!  The super cute “I Woof You” mug is from Home Goods- That’s also where the rest of my kitchen towels came from you see on the lower oven and dish washer. 041And wouldn’t you know this adorable ring holder is from Anthropologie too?  Luckily it’s one of their signature items I think they’ve had in stock for years- it’s a steal at $8! 039Oh how I love this calendar!  Bart’s sister in Atlanta had one that I saw last December, so I jotted it on my Christmas list just before Santa came ;)  Thanks Melissa!  These calendars are really cool because after the months are over the back side of the calendar has a template so you can reuse the pretty paper in creative ways.  And OH MY GOSH- I just took a sneak peek online at the 2016 calendar and for February they have LLAMAS and it’s a leap year!!!  I cannot think of a better way to end this post than with that news :)))

Red Dirt Dogs

This is probably going to be my only blog post where my words far outweigh my pictures, but it’s about pictures…so hopefully that balances things out.
This past summer I feel like my season in life changed quicker than one has ever changed before.  Without getting sidetracked talking about working in the temporary animal shelter after the Moore tornado or how much fostering dogs has impacted my life (which I may get around to making a post about in the future), I’ll just say that my love for animals has gone from simply wanting to pet everyone’s dogs to wanting to help homeless dogs in any way possible.
If I were competing in a talent show I would be a total dud, (or just comedic relief) because I’m not a singer, dancer, or musician or anything entertaining.  However I am incredibly grateful for the talents I do have and that they are able to make a change for the better.  I’ve recently learned a lot about the impact volunteering makes.  Whether it’s with animals, senior citizens, or underprivileged children- there is something everyone is slightly interested in and definitely a way you can be a part of making.  I feel like I used to be slightly interested in helping animals, but didn’t really make an effort to be involved which made me feel like there was no need for me.  But as soon as I dipped my feet in the waters of volunteering for animal rescue I dove right in and have been doing as much as I can since.  If you’re even slightly inspired/curious- I strongly encourage you to find a way to get involved with whatever pulls at your heart strings.
In July I started taking pictures every week at the Moore Animal Shelter.  I would spend a couple of hours getting good pictures of their adoptable dogs so they could post them online and showcase the cuties they had at the shelter.  A few of my American Humane Association friends occasionally posted on my facebook wall with links to pages photographers had made that had awesome pictures of shelter pets saying they thought of me when they saw these pages.  My personal favorite and major source of inspiration is Landfill Dogs, simply stunning pictures.  Anytime someone would share a link like this I always thought “this is cool, but definitely not what I’m doing.  All I’m doing is taking a few basic pictures of dogs.”  Then all at once this idea came to me of how I could hopefully make a bigger impact with the pictures I take and I immediately began dreaming up Red Dirt Dogs.
A couple of months ago I was chatting with one of my clients and fellow animal lover/rescuer about how I fostered and helped animals in need, completely forgetting to mention I take pictures at the shelter.  He then told me the most valuable thing I could do for an animal is take a good picture of it which had never really been something I thought of before.  There are so many different areas of animal rescue and I want to do them all, but many of the needs they have are easily met with basic love and skill.  Even though I want to do literally everything I can to help dogs, I’ve learned that getting quality pictures of dogs out for the public to see is the best use of the time I have to give.
So have started a new project that will hopefully be successful in helping get the faces of homeless dogs out for others to see and share.  I am currently taking pictures at the OKC and Moore animal shelters, and my ultimate goal is to begin visiting all the shelters in the OKC metro on a weekly/bi-monthly basis to get pictures of their adoptable dogs.  I have set up a facebook page up that will be updated several times a week with new dogs in the area that are available for adoption.  I’m also working on a website that I absolutely love that will hopefully be another good resource for those who don’t use facebook.  My hope is that having a good headshot showcasing these beautiful pups will encourage other people to share the photos of the dogs who catch their attention, and help them find their way straight into their forever homes.
I’m so excited about this and thank everyone for their encouragement and support so far :)  Below is Jade who is my current shelter love, you can read more about her on the Red Dirt Dogs facebook page.
162046 Jade

Guest Bathroom Make Over

This past Spring I managed to paint my office and the guest bedroom in a matter of a few days.  This left the guest bathroom to be the only part of the house I still thought lacked desire.  I was kind of on a painting spree and thought maybe I’d paint the bathroom and give it a little facelift.  I bought a sample of a paint color “Colonial Blue” it’s exactly the color you’re imagining (or at least I thought the name fit it perfectly) I was certain I’d really like and painted a big oval on the bathroom wall to see how it looked.  I really liked the color, but the blue in contrast to the grey in our hallway didn’t  look good together :(  It was  the beginning of May whenever I painted that oval and before I knew it the whole summer was gone and the second week of August was here- and that oval was such a familiar sight I thought it might just stay that way.

My sister and I were at Hobby Lobby one day last week and I saw this little shelf/basket/hanger thing and I thought it looked like something Bart would really like (it’s hard to decorate a home whenever you’re married because you typically have to get somewhat gender neutral decor).  So I took a picture, got it husband approved and brought it home- meaning it was time to figure out what to do with the oval.  After finishing the master bathroom remodel– I was pretty over bathroom projects, so looking back I’m pretty surprised I even attempted to paint the bathroom anyway.  With no inspiration I went into the garage and dug through all the paint cans left behind by the previous owner.  I found the one labeled “hallway/bathroom?”  There were about 5 different cans of a yellow/dijon mustard/beige paint and I hoped that this one was indeed for the bathroom.  I opened the can and the paint was literally as thick as mud…kind of a problem.  So I went to Sherwin Williams with my paint and tried to get a quart of the same color…however a quart of paint cost $23!  I couldn’t imagine spending that much money on a touch up!  Fortunately, the paint guy there said that the paint I had would still work for a touch up.  So I got a paint stirrer from him and headed home to cover up my oval.Bathroom BeforeSo can you tell where my oval was?  This old paint was obviously not going to do the trick.  I was also trying to do as minimal work as possible since it is likely Bart and I will be moving within the next year to wherever he is going to medical school (the school is not a secret, we just won’t know until early next year where he gets accepted).  If this were a more long term house I would retile the shower, probably the floor and vanity…oh gosh, that sounds almost like a complete remodel, so that’s why I had to keep it simple and only paint.  BTW- if anyone knows where I can find some of the vintage white and pink tile I would at least like to fix this. IMG_0276

Okay- so back to the paint situation.  The oval removal was obviously not a success.  Plus the new shelf thing I bought had a light color piece of wood on it and I thought it blended in with the wall color too much.  Luckily I was able to convinced Bart to come shower curtain shopping and then paint color shopping so I could begin my weekend project.  Oh yeah, so the reason why I liked the shelf/hanger thing?  Because I absolutely did not like this.IMG_0265Aesthetically, not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  But functionally…not so much.  It was on the back of the door between the powder room and the bathroom and the towels always fell on the ground and it also stuck out a good 4-5 inches right at eye level…just not good placement.  So I took it down. IMG_0268Oh Crap…did not expect that to happen, guess we had mutual feelings of dislike for one another.

It’s kind of weird to me to not really have a “during” picture, but all I did was paint and decorate- so here it is! Bathroom Before/AfterI’m slightly obsessed.  It’s really amazing what a good paint color can do to give a room more appeal.  The contrast of the paint against the vanity tile is one of my favorite elements and I didn’t even consider it when selecting the color! Bathroom Before/AfterIf you missed it above, here’s my little “patch” for the hole in the door.  I found a several potential items to hang and paint over at Hobby Lobby, but this one covered the hole best without making too much of a statement.  It was maybe a bronze/antique looking ceramic piece, but I caulked it to the door and painted it in hopes that no one would ever know there is a hole behind it.IMG_0295I wasn’t even sure if this facelift would be blog worthy, so I didn’t take a before picture of the actual bathroom, but here’s the after.  We got our shower curtain at Target.  The previous one was  a white waffle fabric curtain.  IMG_0292Less is more right?  Do I have to fill each of those baskets?  I don’t know what I’d put in them… I considered putting breath mints in the jar on the shelf though ;)IMG_0287

For anyone interested- here’s where the goods came from.  I got the shelf and birds at Hobby Lobby (if you turn the birds around they’re more ornate and have little silver gemstones on them, but I prefer the simple look).  The little jar is from Ross and I really like it!  Towels are from Target.  The patterned ones are from last year and I couldn’t find any more than what I have, but they still have the coral ones.IMG_0285Oh yes- and the question I get asked the most is what this little guy is…IMG_0298

The thought crossed my mind to pull it out and patch the hole since the medicine cabinet is right above it…but then after my mishap with removing the door hanger I decided to leave it be.  Plus I also I love that it shows the era the house was built.  IMG_0299It’s a toothbrush holder!

I don’t know what I’ll start doing now that practically the entire house has been redone.  I should probably work on landscaping, but I’ll be honest and let you know now that is very unlikely.  But Bart does have a pumpkin patch growing in the back yard right now :)

Easter with Nana and Grandpa

This weekend my sister and I made the trek down to Waco to spend Easter with family.  My dad’s parents live in the country outside of Waco and have lived in this house for about 37 years, so it’s the only place I’ve ever known to be their home.  I remember whenever we were kids and would go to visit them my dad would let us “drive” the truck down the driveway which you can only see about 1/4 of in this picture…we thought we were awesome ;)
9K8A18309K8A18009K8A1809My sweet Nana and Grandpa!  We took our pictures in front of their Mountain Laurel bush which is beautiful and stays green all winter! 9K8A18149K8A1821The wall of family pictures- Bottom right is a picture of my brother and Me 26 years ago!9K8A1859This was our breakfast of choice.  I love donuts.  Really love them.  I crave them all the time but am mostly able to resist- unless they are piled high on a plate in front of me- then I eat three or five…no one’s counting right?9K8A1848Nana cutting the donuts in half so no one fights over who gets what.9K8A1851

Betsey and Grandpa chatting while Nana slaves over preparing our breakfast ;)

Chatting with Grandpa

I love this picture.  It is exactly how I will always remember all my visits to Nana and Grandpa’s house.  We spent time hearing stories about arrowheads that Grandpa has found, strange occurrences with wild animals outside their back door, and looking at old family pictures while learning about the genealogy that Nana has discovered about our ancestors.9K8A1880 I forgot to snap a picture of the pans outside with water and food for the birds.  But Nana and Grandpa are avid bird watchers.  They have a gorgeous back yard that attracts all sorts of fun feathered friends :)  I took a picture of a Killdeer nest that is in the middle of their driveway.  The momma flew away before I could photograph her, but I love that they nest on the ground!
9K8A1836A couple of months ago my dad got Nana an iphone.  She went from only having a cell phone for emergencies (no text or pictures) to a smart phone…biiiig changes in her life.  Whenever we (my sister wants credit for this, but I’ll still say we) asked her if she checked her email on her phone she said “Oh, no…I don’t have internet on my phone”  Let’s just say there’s a lot about her phone she doesn’t know.  So I’m hoping that after a little mentor session that she is reading this blog from her phone :)9K8A1882Not that I love saying goodbye, but this vision is forever engrained in my memory.  Love you both!9K8A1884Lastly, and certainly most impressively- I present to you Precious Barbara, whom I might possibly have never pet in my life.  I remember Nana and Grandpa having a cat when I was growing up, but whenever you’re young everything blends together and you don’t know one animal from another- so over the years I kind of assumed that they had had several cats in my lifetime-all of whom did not want me to play with them so I never really learned their names.  Well, last year whenever I was visiting I found out that Nana and Grandpa had not been getting new cats over the years and that little miss Barbara had just turned 26 years old!!  Close your mouth, I know it’s crazy!  Well, today is her birthday and she’s 27!  I almost wonder if it’s just their long running April’s Fools joke ;)  Happy Birthday Barbara!!

One Year Anniversary!

Yesterday we celebrated (or rather I gave myself a high-five) our one year anniversary in our current house!  Anyone who’s known Bart and I for a while can attest to the fact that we’re notorious house hoppers!  Since getting married in August 2009 (getting close to 4 years)- we have moved FOUR times!  I’ll give you the run down-

House  1- Rental in Norman- Occupied approximately 11 months (this time includes the 6 weeks we officially owned our first home, but were doing a bit of work on before we moved in)

House 2- Our first home in Norman- Occupied approximately 12 months (however we were already under contract with another house in Edmond about 3 months before we moved out)

House 3- Edmond house- Occupied approximately 9 months (we’re obviously setting a bad trend here)

House 4- Norman (again)- OCCUPIED A FULL YEAR!!!

We obviously have some commitment issues on where we want to live, but it feels like a huge accomplishment to be settled into our home and not be on the market to move again!  In honor of our one year anniversary here I decided to share the transformation our house has taken in the past year!

This house doesn’t qualify for the classification “fixer upper” (even though I have a soft spot for them)- but Bart and I agreed that there were a few things that could be improved upon to make it more suitable to our taste.  The very first thing I did whenever we had the keys to the house was add a little more privacy to the master bedroom.  One of the previous owners added a sunroom onto the house that then connected to both the living room and the master bedroom (both of which originally had access to the back yard).  We knew we wanted to close off this point of access to the master bedroom (don’t worry, there is another entrance to it!) and Bart had the genius idea to put in a bookshelf. I love that they left the exposed brick as part of the room and the bookshelf is perfect since there are other built-ins in the house.  1 first project This is the view from our bedroom.  I forgot to take a before picture because I was so focused on the bookshelf aspect of it, so be imaginative that there were glass doors there! 2bedroom nookSo that project was complete within the first 5 days of having the title- It was a requirement to complete it so that there was no construction in the master bedroom while we were sleeping in there (little did we know that there was a time consuming bathroom project in the future!)

While were still excited and in 100% “go getter” mode- we built a new mantle.  I had already decided this was going to happen- but I was just going to do it whenever I had the time…then Bart said “I think I want to build a new mantle” and I quickly responded “Great!  I know exactly how I want to build it”  We then discussed how Bart wanted it built so that the TV cables could go through the mantle and back to the bookcase so that we could hide the wires and everything worked out beautifully!  Oh- and this was a super frustrating project for us to be working on (probably because we didn’t have a nail gun) but it was a two-man job so we made it happen.workerThe best part was while we were about to go crazy working on it our sweet neighbor from across the street brought us a warm loaf of banana nut bread and puppy chow.  We immediately took a break- ate some sweets- and came back with positive attitudes and completed the project!

3fireplace This isn’t the most exciting before/after…but do you know how hard it is to paint a room this size that still has a washer and dryer in it?!?  Purple purple, happy wife = laundry queen :)4laundryI was mainly just bored and decided to frame out the windows in the sun room.  It still needs a little help with decoration, but I thought it helped make it fit in more with the rest of the house.  We left the shades off to make it a legit sun room (or really because I didn’t like the color of them and custom shades are expensive!)5sunroomI had to get several opinions before Bart approved this next project- This is what you see when you walk in the front door (check out that bomb mantle!).  If you’ve never been to our house, the living/dining area is very open- it used to be 3 different rooms and they took down the walls and made it one big room.  So whenever the walls were still there, this doorway was how you accessed the living room- but with the walls gone it became just a random doorway.  So after probably a week of polling everyone who walked through our door and trying to convince Bart that we should close off this space, he finally conceded (mainly because I told him that he could put in a wood wall there)!6entrywayIt’s great and we now have a more defined entry space for our home.  Oh- and this is from one of my first blog posts!  So if you want a little more detail you can check it out here! (ha- I just reread that post and I obviously remember the ordeal very accurately because I wrote pretty much the same thing!)

The entry way project happened in June/July (it seems so long ago) so I’m surprised that the next project to share is the bathroom  since it has only recently been completed-I started it in August and officially finished it in February!  I feel like I’ve already spilled my guts as much as is acceptable with that project, so if you want to know all about it,  you can read that post!
7editIMG_03538editIMG_0354 My personal goal with my most recent project was to have it finished before my first wedding of the season because I didn’t want for it to take months to complete whenever I knew it could be done in a matter of a week or two.  Mission accomplished!9armoireI am currently on hold from doing any other projects until Bart takes the MCAT and applies (and gets accepted) to medical school.  My hope is to stay in this house throughout his schooling- mainly because I’ve got lots of visions for future projects ;)  In case you didn’t get your fill, there are a few other little projects you can read about here!

Lastly- my favorite picture of the dogs at our house (they were standing on a stack of fence panels)!


Built in Armoire

If there is one thing older houses are known for- it’s a lack of closet space (right?)  Whenever we first looked at our house one of the only negatives was that there wasn’t very much closet space in the master bedroom.  After living in a brand new house with an obnoxiously big closet cutting down our closet space to 1/6 of what it had been wasn’t fun.  I crammed my clothes as closely together as possible and hung all my dresses in another closet.

In case you need a little illustration of what I’m talking about- here’s our Edmond closet. 08 And then our current closetIMG_3407 Just a bit of difference in capacity ;)  So while I was working on the bathroom remodel I had tons of tools and supplies lining the wall under the window in our bedroom.  Since this project took several months to complete, I got used to not having the extra floor space in that part of the room.  Then whenever I made the door for the bathroom I cleaned up the space for a picture and began to think that the floor space was awkward on that side of the room…which of course got my creative wheels turning on what could be done with this space.  Our next door neighbors have a nearly identical floor plan to our house and after seeing that their bedroom had an extra closet in the corner I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  So I patiently waited until the right moment to propose the idea to Bart…remember that the bathroom looked like this for a bit longer than I had originally planned.  IMG_0851 So whenever I finally asked Bart what he thought of my new idea, I had to include in my proposal that I would not begin this project until the bathroom was complete.  So once the bathroom was fully functional, toilet, sink, shower- I began my new project.  Ha- I posted this picture to instagram because I went to get caulk for to finish the shower and while in the store I mentally calculated how much wood I would need to get started on my new project. Screen shot 2013-02-21 at 6.46.24 PMNow I’ll stop explaining everything and show you what you came here for!IMG_1862IMG_1865IMG_1869IMG_3385IMG_3402 It turned out just how I wanted!  And my clothes are happy :)  Here’s another angle- the right side is 4 inches wider than the left, but the window wasn’t centered in the bedroom so I couldn’t help it.  But I’m obsessed- let me know if you want me to hang something of yours, I’ve got room!IMG_3399 On my “to do list- eventually” is making (or more likely having someone else make) a cushion for the window…but until then Oscar is quite pleased with my temporary solution.IMG_3390IMG_3396

Bathroom Remodel- FINISHED!!!

To say I’m excited to finally be finished with the bathroom remodel doesn’t even come close to describing how I feel.  I feel about twenty different emotions now that this project is officially over, but just know that I AM DONE!  WOOHOO!!!

I wish I knew where the piece of paper that I wrote my original to do list was…but it said something like this:

Sunday- Gut bathroom, put up sheet rock, mud and texture walls

Monday- Prime and paint walls, tile floors, tile shower

Tuesday- Grout floor and shower

Ummm…seriously, I thought I was superwoman!!  Thanks to Bart and Olaf I did cross the first thing off my to list in one day!editIMG_0592editIMG_0593editIMG_0584editIMG_0609editIMG_0608So that was the easy part.  Next came moving the wiring to the opposite side of the bathroom, putting up cement board in the shower, sheetrock, mud, texture, primer, paint, tile, trim…deep breath, building a vanity, tiling the vanity counter, tiling the shower floor-walls-and ceiling.  Needless to say- this project did not last 1 week as I predicted.  I definitely learned my lesson not to start a project during the middle of my busiest time of the year.  Just in case you need a better idea of my s-l-o-w progress, I made a few other posts about this remodel POST 1  POST 2 POST 3

Now that I’m done with my abbreviated version of how long this project took- here are my before after pictures!!editIMG_0353editIMG_0354My original sketch IMG_0854 Final result!editIMG_3141

What Have I Been Doing?

I figure after a month of blog neglect I would make a little post before another month with no word from me!  So, in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing- the answer is work!  I thought things would start to dwindle down after my last wedding October 20th, but I was so wrong!  I’ve had a whopping 30 photo shoots in the past two months (I didn’t realize it was that many until I went back through my calendar)  With photography consuming my life I pretty much did nothing else…little cleaning (you should see my desk!), little laundry, little cooking- I’ve basically dropped the domestic ball this fall.  However, I’ve got a pretty awesome husband who stepped up and made life pretty easy on me by picking up my slack around the house.  The best part about it- he’s found a cook book that he’s totally in to and he’s been trying out recipes over the past couple of weeks!  So my post today is dedicated to the one thing I have not been doing- cooking!

At Thanksgiving Dinner with church BC found out about this cook book- America’s Test Kitchen.  It is written by a bunch of chefs who test several different recipes of one specific dish and come up with the best recipe possible.  And it is GOOD!  So one night when I was at a photo shoot, he surprised me by cooking dinner while I was gone!  Chicken Teriyaki- yum…it’s his favorite so far.  Last Wednesday he made Shrimp Pad Thai and I got to capture few pictures while he whipped together dinner!IMG_1818IMG_1825Still a total novice with the video feature on my camera- but I love the way Bart wiggles while cooking!

The final product!  Sooo good!  Bart said it didn’t really taste like Pad Thai, but I thought it was delish :)
IMG_1834And lastly- our favorite kitchen assistant!IMG_1830