Home Sweat Home: French Doors

More doors! This is starting to get ridiculous.

These doors lead out to our Large and In Charge deck. Actually, scratch that. Only one door opens – the one on the left is a pseudo door. Hence, the reason for only one handle.

My goodness these doors took me a long time to redo. Let’s rewind and show you what they looked like on our inspection day:

There’s Moo! He was a nice dog. That light fixture, on the other hand, is NOT NICE.

Here’s a semi-recent shot from when the wall was going up (and those hideous curtains had come down!):

I should have taken a close up but as you can see, the trim was painted a yucky tan and the edge of the trim was painted blue. Why blue you ask? Well, our adjacent kitchen cabinets are hiding a deep dark secret. They USED to be blue too. If you dare to look underneath the cabinets (I would never recommend getting that close), you’d notice where the previous homeowners just got lazy and left the blue unpainted when they redid the cabinets a gummy caramel. Anyway, what better way to make the kitchen feel more cohesive than to paint a thin strip of blue around the french doors?

I thought it was gross.

I painted all of the trim (both the tan and the blue strip) a beautiful crisp white. YESSIR. I posted a crummy picture/sneak peek a little while back when showing off Amelie’s subpar birthday decorations:

Now the doors have a nice chunky white frame. Painting the trim took FOREVER. It took at least five coats of paint and my perfectionist alter ego wants to do one more. In hindsight, I should have used a primer. Before I could even dive into painting, the caulk gun and I had another date and I also had to fill in holes left from the creepy palm tree drapery that hung there before. What I’m trying to get at is these doors had like a hundred steps between the caulking, hole-filling, painting, more painting and cleanup. A hundred steps, I tell ya!

The doors themselves were the same mauve that was littered throughout the house. You guessed it, I painted them Zinc by Martha Stewart to match the interior doors I’ve already painted. If you notice, there was another strip of blue trim on the inside of the doors around the window. I debated painting them white then black but in the end, it got painted Zinc as well.

Here are some dark After photos!

An aside: If I had any due diligence, I would wait until later to take pictures so I could have the afternoon sun for back lightening. But Amelie is awake in the afternoon. I can’t get anything done when she’s awake so these dark morning photos will have to suffice. I’m sorry about that.

Please ignore the toothpastey paint patches on the walls. I got sick of painting the doors one morning and pulled out one of my many paint samples and went to town. Turns out, it’s not a good color choice and at least now I know that.

Next up, finish painting the trim in the kitchen around the pantry door and garage door (as noted in this crazy photo):

THEN I CAN TACKLE THE WALLPAPER. I’m so super excited for that day!

My Amelie

It’s hard to know where to start when I can’t really remember where we left off. My days are sincerely blurring together!

Age: 12 1/2 months

Just in the past week, Amelie has been feisty. She’s more demanding and when she doesn’t get what she wants (which is hard for us to tell since most of the time I don’t think she knows what she wants), she’ll get frustrated and throw something or swat at us. It’s not overly pleasant! It peaked starting Thursday (my birthday, of course) and lasted throughout the weekend (along with crappy naps). Today, she seems more like herself. Considering her moody Mom, I guess everyone is entitled to a few irritable days.

New talents: She’s been taking independent steps every day! It’s usually three at a time before she realizes she’s not holding onto anything and then she immediately sits down.

She’s been mimicking us too; it reminds me how much she notices and how closely she is watching us. For example, Hubs caught a cold and was blowing his nose so Amelie took his Kleenex and “blew” hers too.

She’s been pointing at everything. Mostly, I think she points just to point because it gets our attention: “Oh, are you pointing at the tree outside? It’s a pretty big tree.” The point moves. “Oh are you pointing at the dried up noodle on the floor? That’s icky.” The point moves. “Now you are pointing out the window. Do you see the neighbor dog?” Over and over again.

Oh and the dancing. UGH, IT’S THE CUTEST THING EVER:

The Book Nook

It’s true, I really can read!

I finished a book during Amelie’s first year of life. I am so impressed with myself.

THE BOOK: Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

My feeble thoughts: Little Miss CeeCee Honeycutt is a smart girl navigating a very confusing home. Her mentally ill Mom is a mess (although CeeCee loves her fiercely) and her overwhelmed Dad finds every opportunity to avoid dealing with either of them, leaving CeeCee in charge. CeeCee’s already strange world gets flipped upside down when her Mom dies tragically and her Dad ships her south to stay with relatives. Into CeeCee’s life shuffles warmth, love, stability, colorful characters, and adventure. This is a sweet, funny, short novel. To me, I found parallels between this and The Help but it’s far from the same book. I really liked CeeCee and her story.

Grade: B+

Would I recommend it to a stranger on the bus (trying to make his way home)? If you are in the mood for an easy, feel-good read, then yes, absolutely.

What I am reading now: Stones from The River by Ursula Hegi. Admittedly I spend more time flipping through Instagram than I do reading, but I’m hoping to start reading more during my evenings before bed.

Friday Tidbits

Progress, no matter how boring, is progress so I thought I’d show you today what I’ve been up to. As you recall, we tore out the railing between the kitchen and den and put up a new wall. A few weeks ago, I showed you the wall finished and painted, albeit with craptasticly shadowy pictures.

As it would be, every wall has two sides. Although you may have assumed I was done, I just now finished the back side. To jog your memory, a Before:

And a crooked After:

I gave it a few coats of primer, caulked and painted it (Ashes by Behr) to match the rest of the den. Then I transformed the wood trim into a pretty, pretty white. Although very anticlimactic, it’s done. And Done feels nicer than Not Done.

But, do you spy what I spy?

There are more railings to paint. And seeing how the ones I painted earlier not only have a few chips already (SAD DAY) but two baby gates drilled into them as well, it’s not a project I’m really looking forward to.

Please excuse the fact that we’ve shoved everything that doesn’t have a home into that corner. I’m trying to envision beautifully organized cabinetry but the orangey stairs are sucking the inspiration right out of me.

I’ll gather up my mojo soon enough but first, happy Friday!


Friday Tidbits

I was hoping to have a DIY update for you but my progress is cyclical. One week, I’m able to hammer away during each nap and the next week, I end up spending all of my spare time trying to catch up on laundry and computer stuff. This week was a laundry and computer catch up week.

I do have a crafty decoration to share from Amelie’s birthday party. Now, I don’t pretend to have any sort of talent when it comes to hosting amazing parties paired with clever decorations. On the other hand, these two blogs put together beautiful tablescapes and throw such creative parties:

But since it’s a fun way to spend a few naps, I got my craft on for Amelie’s celebration.

A few weeks back, I whipped up a fringe garland for St. Patty’s day and thought the craft was too cute (and too easy) not to make another one for Amelie’s pink party. I spotted a fringe garland while I was at Target picking up party supplies so it looks like they are becoming quite popular. Mine was free since I had all of the tissue paper and curling ribbon on hand. I used this tutorial from Pinterest. Here it is (as well as a sneak peek of the project I am currently in working on- painting the french doors):

(Oh hai there, hideous wallpaper. Why do you have to be like that?)

Admittedly some of the fringes ended up kinda ratty but I still think the garland turned out sweet overall. It livened up our otherwise nutty kitchen. You can’t tell from here but I used pink washi tape (from the dollar section at Target) to dress up the stems of each fringe.

I also attempted a centerpiece/drink station. Of course, Amelie’s baby Nike Cortezes made an appearance! It looked a little different for her actual party – but I did my best to recreate it:

I lined the tray (quite poorly if you were to look close) with clearance wrapping paper from Target and wrapped up a few summer clothes that I had bought for Amelie, not intending them to be a birthday present but rather to fill out the tray.

The polka dot bucket was an Easter gift years ago that I hung onto just in case I had a baby girl! I had bought two more pink buckets that I was going to fill with annuals (that I would plant later outside) but then decided what I had was already enough. And paper straws make everything adorable, right?

I swagged (swug?) some balloons in the living room and called it a day!

Update: I removed the dark photo of the living room because even my low standards were offended. 

Nothing like mediocre decorations and even worse pictures to send you into the weekend, huh?


My Amelie

Age: 1 year and 1 week! She’s (almost) 20lbs of awesomesauce!

Her birthday was last Friday and we celebrated with a doctor’s appointment and 5 shots (poor baby!), plus time with Grandma since I had to coach at a track meet all afternoon and Hubs was out of town for a conference. Bummer, huh?

To make up for it, this past weekend we hosted a little birthday party. I decorated the house (with loads of pink, of course!) and picked up three helium balloons for Amelie to bat around and enjoy:

Although she looks curious, she was quite terrified of them! A total fail.

What was a success? One of our friends brought Amelie a singing birthday card – that was a hit! And once she warmed up to the idea, she thoroughly enjoyed her first cupcake!

Hubs and I were pretty whipped for the party on Sunday afternoon. Like I mentioned earlier, I had a track meet almost all day Friday and then was up by 4.50am for an all day Saturday meet. It’s so fun to spend my weekends at the track but it’s still very tiring work. Saturday night, Amelie was acting funny and up 5-6 times! She’s not a very consistent sleeper – we have a few nights a week like this. When she does sleep “well” – she usually wakes twice at 11pm and 5.30am. Sometimes she puts herself back to sleep, sometimes she needs comforting. She’s my needy lady, always has been. It makes for sleepy parents though.

The doctor gave her the clear to switch from formula to whole milk – yay! Amelie had no problem with the switch. She’s also allowed to eat anything but she still only has one tooth so we are trying to figure out how to give her a well balance meal that doesn’t take too much serious chewing. She loves sharing breakfast with Dad in the morning and he pretends to ignore the milk and soggy chunks that she drools back into the bowl:

She’s been quite physical this week – back to her climbing on everything and wrestling with Dad. It’s funny how last week she was big into books and quiet time. She also took TWO steps to Grandma!

Other talents to mention: dancing (!!!), waving with twirly wrists, scooting backwards on her tummy, putting caps back on things (or attempting), “putting on” her socks. She’s busy!

I need to sign off but…my adorable view from last Friday morning’s walk:

Birthday toesies!

My Amelie

Amelie is zooming up on her first birthday and Hubs and I are still married! Go us!

I have a lot to catch you up on: Two weeks ago, Amelie got her first cold and first tooth. It’s a sharp little thing! We are lucky it’s taken this long for both to happen but man, a sick baby is miserable. She was our happy girl during the day but the nighttime was hard on all of us. We spent a lot of time in the rocking chair snuggling. I tried to stop freaking out about how much we were getting up and just enjoy sitting in the dark comforting her.

We weren’t stingy with the Benadryl and Tylenol. Anything to help her sleep. Last week after she got over her cold, we had to sleep train again. It was far from fun. We let her cry for 7 minutes and then check on her and start gradually increasing the time in between checks. It’s not a whimper cry either. It’s a full-fledged snot flinging sweaty scream. It’s so unpleasant. One time it took her almost 2 1/2 hours to go to sleep. It wiped us all out.

This week? She’s been going down like a dream for the most part. It’s a rollercoaster.

New talents: clapping (!!!), can go from sitting to standing without assistance, pushes her cart while walking behind it, and kinda saying “Dada”! She was super chatty but has quieted down recently.

Just this week, she is really into books. BIG TIME. She points and grunts and sometimes gives kisses. In one of her books, a baby is crying and she offered him her nuk! AWWW.

We are planning a party for the birthday girl this weekend. I have a decorations (pink everything) to detract from our half painted kitchen. Think it’ll work?

Amelie has been screaming for over 15 minutes and looks like she’s skipping her morning nap today. Doesn’t she realize how much I need these naps?

Home Sweat Home: The Kitchen

Since I blabbed on and on about the island, I figured I should get you up to speed on what else has been going on in the kitchen as of late.

As a reminder, The Beginning:

Besides the island, there hasn’t been any earth shattering progress. But it’s starting to take shape…

GREEN: Progress.

RED: Still to address.

Sorry, this photo might make your eyes water.

Both doors have been painted and the trim is in progress. I’m annoyed that the fridge overlaps the trim on the garage door but Hubs did some investigating and we can get a smaller depth fridge that won’t look so ill-fitting. Replacing the appliances is probably a ways out for our budget, but at least it’s good to know. The overlap bothered me so much that I was considering tearing down the fridge wall and expanding the kitchen out. That’s seemed hard though. And scary.

Back to the updates. I replaced the brass hinges on the pantry door and updated the island, of course. Besides a a few new outlet covers, that’s where we are for now. For “phase 1″ the cabinets need to be painted, the pantry fixed up, the light fixtures replaced, as well as the kitchen window since it has a big crack in it (and 30 years worth of goober caked inside).  Oh and those awful countertops…

I’m brainstorming a countertop intervention.  A few ideas from YoungHouseLove has got my creaky wheels spinning.:

  • I love me some concrete countertops and this is my top choice, although I’m not sure if it’ll work with the grouted granite squares?
  • Another thought is painting the grout, since that’s the grossest part. It’s maroon and the granite is gray/mauve/pink. A nasty combo, indeedy. But is the grout paint food safe? I have more research to do.

Phase 2 (a long time from now), I’d like to replace the all of the cabinets, countertops, appliances and of course, rid ourselves of that cat door…

Friday Tidbits

Another home update for you to jump start your weekend! Stellar news, I’m sure.

This project has been in the “mostly done” category for a while now. Way back when I was working on this door, I figured if I already had the primer out I might as well get primer happy with everything else in sight. So, I attacked the kitchen island.

Let’s back up and let me remind you of how we started:

It’s doesn’t look so bad from here but trust me, it was an eye sore. It was greasy and grimy. The countertop was resting on top of the island with shards of shims and a gap so wide, I could stick a knife through it and it’d fall into the cupboard on the other side.

Here it is with a good cleaning and first coat of primer (sorry for the nighttime pics):

The underside:

See what I mean about the gap between the countertop and the island? And the splintered shims that were keeping everything “level” (on the right above the outlets)?

Even though I liked the texture of the paneling on the island – it was also shoddy. One of the panels was starting to pull off:

And the island itself was feebly connected to the wall on the side:

The round hole is from TV cabling the previous homeowners had. They had that cabling snaked through every room. They must have really loved TV. Anyway, I should try to patch it but I haven’t yet.

Moving on.

I pumped so much caulk in this thing. I caulked and caulked and caulked. (I hate that word, by the way. It’s so awkward.)

After caulking and another coat of primer, it was looking hopeful. I debated on what color to paint it. Something bright? Something moody? Black? White? But in the end, I just used paint I already had on hand: Gray Owl by Ben Moore (the same color as the living room). I also updated the outlet cover and *of course* I had to use an oversized one because they had cut the original hole too big. It’s always something!

So much better! As with everything, this project births another: the countertops and wood edging. I have a few things I’ve been brainstorming to pretty them up but for now, they are kind of half primed. I’ll be sure to keep you posted…

That was more than a tidbit, I admit! You deserved a beefy post since I’ve been MIA lately. Enjoy the weekend. Any projects on the list?