Friday Tidbits

The big kitchen cabinet redo got me hankerin’ to update our gross mishmash of kitchen towels. We’ve got a wide assortment – all different colors, a few bath hand towels and some holiday ones. But they all have one thing in common: they are worn out!

And then, this happened. It’s like Target crawled INSIDE MY MIND:

Clearance! And coordinating!

You can tell some of the cabinets, like this one, could use a solid round of caulking. One day? Maybe never?

I do need to update our washcloths too but those weren’t on clearance. I wish they’d make gray ones! The little basket that houses them is from the Target dollar section. I go nuts there.

Even though I have the one-in-one-out rule, I haven’t gotten rid of the old towels just yet. I’m going to replace my stash of rags in the upstairs linen closet with the towels that are still somewhat decent.

I’ll cringe the first time Hubs wipes Amelie’s ketchup face with one of these but I do accept that kitchen towels are meant to be used.

Next up, kitchen rugs…

Happy Friday! We are supposed to get loads of snow!

Friday Tidbits

Hey, we all made it to the end of the week! Weeee!

*falls asleep into my English muffin*

I’m sleepy but look at who I got to snuggle with until the wee hours this morning – he’s almost 6 weeks old. He is so scrumptious!

A friend recently came over to help with my two kids. I very much enjoyed her company and it was such nice way to spend the morning. When she left, she genuinely and generously offered “Please let me know if I there is any way I can help now that you have a new baby!”

I started thinking about what I really needed help with. Laundry? Dishes? Cleaning? Yes, yes and yes. And although I did ask a friend to chip away at our kitchen wallpaper last spring (a decidedly brutal task), I don’t feel comfortable asking for cleaning/cooking help while I’ll sit back and feed the baby.

And then I thought of it. I want to go to Target kid free so I can take my time and TOUCH ALL OF THE THINGS.

Wouldn’t that be nice? With a nursing newborn and a busy toddler, that’s a pipe dream for now…

(thank you for sending this along, Mary!)

Friday Tidbits

Not one of you asked how I came up with Amelie’s brilliant construction worker costume for Halloween but I’m the self indulgent type so I figured I’d tell you anyway.

It all began this summer when I was at Michaels and scored butterfly wings on super clearance for like a dollar. “Perfect!”, I thought to myself. “Amelie will go as the most painfully uncreative thing ever, a butterfly. And I don’t hardly have to use one brain cell to put this costume together. I’m the best mother of all time!” I figured I could pair any assortment of her mostly pink and purple attire with the wings and strap them on her back with string or something. Easy!

Later on in the summer, I was at a consignment shop and found an adorable pink leotard with a skirt. You’d think I had completely buried my Minnesotan/Alaskan roots because I decided she would wear only the leotard with the butterfly wings in LATE OCTOBER…making Amelie the most beautiful/generic butterfly-fairy-ballerina combo in the whole wide world.

As Halloween approached, I dug out those wings and started brainstorming how to tie them onto Amelie without it looking too hacked. I thought about fishing wire and pipe cleaners and pink string and ribbon, but it was all a little meh. Then three important things happened.

I made the mistake of showing Amelie the wings one morning and she immediately ripped out one of the antennas on the poor thing. Then, our little tug-of-war over the wings shook the bejeweled butterfly bodice loose. Besides being dumb looking, Amelie showed no interest after the initial maiming and I made the cunning realization that she would probably hate having this thing tied to her back. The next important thing. I got real about the leotard. Even though Colorado can actually be quite hot in October, it is at least chilly in the evening when little pumpkins in costume would normally be trick-or-treating. This Halloween was looking to be no exception. She could not just wear a leotard. Lastly, we were invited to a birthday party the weekend before Halloween. In Amelie’s birthday party treat bag was a plastic construction worker hat. And…BINGO! My brain cell had an idea.

I went to Facebook to see if anyone in the mommy’s group that I’m in had a construction vest we could borrow. Surely someone would and would be gracious enough to lend it to me so last minute!? The replies I got were “No but good luck. I’m sure you could make one yourself, it would be so easy!” WHAA? Halloween was approaching too quickly, I was very pregnant with little time and even less patience, crafts in crunch-time NEVER WORK, oh and I don’t sew, I only hot glue gun things.

Then I found this tutorial online.

I went to Michaels and bought 4 pieces of felt and orange glitter ribbon to mimic “reflective tape” all for a whopping $2.30. I followed the directions on the tutorial (loosely because I’m lazy) and glued it together with my glue gun. I had black satin straps from an old bridesmaid dress in my craft bin so I glued those on as “piping”.

I did pull out a needle and thread to attach the shoulder pieces to the back and did an admirably crummy job of it. I could barely believe it but this project took no time, no stress, no cuss words and I thought it turned out to be the cutest thing ever! Say you agree!

I’ve already patted my own back to excess but I welcome any extra accolades you may have to offer. Also, my sincerest apologies for stomping on the month of Christmas with wordy Halloween goober. Happy Friday?

Friday Tidbits

Whoa, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on a Friday, eh? I’ve been meaning to but you know how good intentions slip away into darkness sometimes. This is post is going to be chalk full of random. Are you ready?

Remember my old Raves & Faves feature? I’ve decided to nix them. I found them difficult to pull together, I was always months behind and I felt like they were kind of boring to read (whereas the rest of my blog material is totally stellar). But since I’ve come across some amazing music this summer, I wanted to share: this gorgeous ballad by super singer Sam Smith (oh when the choir joins in…), this funny funky song by the talented Meghan Trainor, and Sia, who gives me chills with her vocals. Click through for some musical awesomeness.

Fall. Oh my goodness how I love the fall. The pumpkins, the warm drinks, boot weather, the smell of cinnamon and caramel. It’s the very best. Remember the tree that I wanted cut down in our backyard but was talked out of it by Erik the Arborist?

Thankfully I have some sense to listen to professionals. Look at it now:

And way back during this blog’s beginnings, I spray painted two faux pumpkins white. I discovered them in the Halloween bin while cleaning out the guest bath linen closet and now I’ve officially “decorated” for fall. It’s not much but I love seeing them displayed on our kitchen table. Plus, it’ll be easy to put away come Christmas time.

I’m not trying to skip too quickly past fall because it’s my favorite time of year, but getting organized for the holidays since I am due mid-Dec has been buzzing around my brain. I’m brainstorming Christmas cards, decorations and gifts and trying to strategize a plan to get it done all well in advance. I need to start being more efficient with my evenings because nap time melts away into an endless cycle of laundry and cleanup-after-meals type of tasks and I feel like I can’t make any head way. No matter what your circumstances, it doesn’t hurt to give the holidays some forward thought. Here are two helpful posts on just that:

But before I gather up too much Christmas cheer, I have to work on Amelie’s Halloween costume. It’s the farthest thing from creative or elaborate. In fact, it’s probably perfect because I imagine she’ll wear the thing for about 26 seconds. I better have the camera ready!

Happy Friday everyone!

 

Friday Tidbits

Like I mentioned yesterday, I have a knack for fleeting inspiration/non-existent motivation/lack of focus/innate laziness. Whatever you want to call it. Even though I have about a hundred little half-started projects that could use finishing, I decide to…

PAINT ONE CABINET IN THE KITCHEN.

I just pulled the trigger one night (and then stayed up too late getting worked up about painting everything white within reach as well as scraping the popcorn ceilings off and couldn’t fall sleep until midnight which cratered the rest of my week). Now, it’s only the first coat but hey, isn’t it just so pretty?

So, here’s the thing. I knew that painting these cabinets might make my eyes twitch. When they were painted previously (first blue, then “caramel”) they were done poorly. There are drips. Bumps. Chips. You probably already noticed that in this post. Even the shelves were painted IN so I can’t remove them! Trying to paint over a crappy paint job is hard on me. I’ve been agonizing over every last imperfection but our whole house is like this from the walls to the floors to the trim to the Everything. I’ve taken a step back to look at the bigger picture. Eventually, we’d like to replace all of these cabinets. Painting them white is a temporary solution. I pray they last a while until we save up the funds for a major kitchen update (although I’m terrified they’ll chip immediately like my beloved black railings).

But, I figure white drippy cabinets with a few chips is better than what we have going on right now. So, here we go!

A side note. When I was cleaning out the garage for our flop of a garage sale, I came across cans of ancient dried up paint. I’m a sucker for paint names so I brushed off the grime to see. Turns out, the kitchen cabinets were painted “Leather Satchel” by Valspar.

Yuck, huh?

 

Friday Tidbits

Whoa! Surprise, I’m posting today. I’ll let you catch your breath before we move on.

When I last checked in with you all, I had painted the kitchen. In true Candace form, I haven’t done anything since (including vacuuming up bits of dried up wallpaper still lingering on the top of the cabinets). Buuut, I started a new project instead!

I started painting the guest bathroom.

My MIL had bought a handful of Sherwin Williams paint samples (they are really big samples) in her journey to find the right color for her own place and sent her cast offs to my house. Yay for free paint and thanks to her good choosing, they are gorgeous colors. The color is Sea Salt and the name delights me. It’s actually pretty similar to Gray Owl (much to Hub’s chagrin…”more gray??”), but more I would consider it more of a light muted blue than gray. Regardless, it’s a big improvement over the ugly beige that we’ve been living with for over a year.

Since I have a knack for not finishing projects, who is to say when I’ll be able to show you this finished project. I’ll keep plugging away though.

Maybe sometime soon, I’ll muster up the courage to start on those gross kitchen cabinets…wish me luck!

 

Friday Tidbits

It’s goooone!

You guys, the kitchen wallpaper is finally gone. Can you believe it? I barely do!

Let’s jog your memory with a Before:

As well as a different angle:

AND BOOM!

My dear friend Tai came out for a visit and spent her hard earned vacation scraping wallpaper with me. I don’t deserve her!

It took us three days since we were working around naps and sightseeing. It would have taken me a century to do by myself!

Helpful tools:

  • Spray bottle for water
  • metal putty knives
  • rags to soak up the excess water
  • and this gadget MamaP lent me moons ago:

This tool gently scores the wallpaper so the water can soak in and loosen the glue. It sped up the project considerably. I have textured walls so I wasn’t too worked up over any scratches it may cause and I plan to sand down the walls before painting anyway.

More After pictures? Ok then.

So much better, right?

One last shot:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Tai! You rock my face off. Happy Friday!

 

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

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?

 

Friday Tidbits

Better late than never (like last week), right?

A friend pinned this on Pinterest and I thought it was worth sharing. That second to last paragraph gets me all sniffley! Considering Amelie’s naps went straight into the toilet today, this was a nice read to reset.

Speaking of littles, here’s mine enjoying herself at the local children’s museum earlier this week:

I want to smooch her constantly. She’d prefer I didn’t. Happy Friday!