Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spatastic. Beachy. Fabulous.

What a gorgeous weekend we are having here in NWA.  Alli spent the morning at the Woodland Junior High dance clinic and Ryan and I got to drive around and lust after houses in our favorite area in town, the Washington-Willow historic district.  There are some gorgeous redone houses here and then quite a few that need some TLC and about $150k to get them whipped into shape.  Obviously, we love oogling the former but we're super interested in the latter.  I'm convinced we will have one of these to call Chateau Lowe one day.

Hello, gorgeous - 347 N. Washington
Then we ran by Home Depot, where they asked us where Alli was.  Wow.  We need to diversify our weekend visits, don't we?  No, I liked it.  It was like Cheers, "where everybody knows your name."  Or like I was famous.  Either way, good with it.

But enough small talk.  I bet you can tell from the title of this post that I'm not here to discuss future houses or how famous I am.  It's time to stop teasing.  Master bath reveal time.  

I wish I had done a better job with before pics.  But you should know, this is the fourth color of the master bath.  It's been builder tan, hot pink, and dark green.  Apparently I like to paint.  The newest color is called Sanctuary by Behr in their Ultra collection.  I do not like finishes other than flat, but they have one called Flat Enamel that is very scrubable and that I've used in all of the rooms in the house.  We've been very pleased with it.  Not even enough sheen as Eggshell, and all of the durability.

So in the first shot, you can see those cabinets we redid and added hardware to.  Gor.  Geous.  What a difference.  We've also removed a large vase that blocked half of the mirror and a picture frame and replaced it with these more spa-themed pieces.  I'll give you a close-up on those in a bit.  This pic is a great representation of the paint color.  It's a very soft green.  Have I said lately how much I love the hardware?  Wow.

In this shot you can see my (finally) treated window.  These cafe-length curtains were $14 at Target - remind me why I didn't do this earlier?  Also, you can see my towel solution.  When we moved in, we didn't have a single towel rack in our master bath!  I guess we were supposed to throw them over the shower, which we did for a while, but then I came up with this great solution - a coat rack from Home Depot.

And here's the drama you've been waiting for - the full length shower curtain.  That's 95" of pure spatastic-ness.  Yes, we do have shower doors, but they are so ugly and I hate staring at them.  So I put this extra tall shower curtain over them to hide the eyesore without losing the functionality.  We also updated the shower head in here, going from builder grade to something a bit nicer - nothing special, just prettier and a better stream of water - from Home Depot for $16.  I highly recommend this bathmat from Bed Bath and Beyond.  It's super soft and cushy.  We got the soft blue to bring some of the master bedroom color in and make the two rooms feel more cohesive - a theme you're sure to hear a lot of as we redo the rest of the house.

And here's your close-up of the pieces on the counter.  Rolled white towels in a basket from Target and some green and blue Irish Spring soap in a glass from TJ Maxx.  Coral also from TJ.  Thanks for not letting me down. 

So that's pretty much that. I think the only things left that we'd really like to do are framing in the mirror (that kit should be ordered in the next week or so), getting artwork around the towel rack area,  and grabbing some big soft white towels to replace our aging set.  But I just couldn't make you wait any longer!

And we Lowes are in love.  I often exclaim "Spahhhhh" when I walk in, which I am sure Ryan is sick of.  And I keep expecting to open the window and hear the ocean.  Mr. Lowe is deglossing the cabinets in Alli's bathroom right now, so expect a guest bath reveal in the next few weeks!

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you all have as beautiful weather as we do today! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Steven and Lauren: A Short History

Well, I'm one purchase away from declaring the master bathroom done.  Scream at Ryan to let me go buy one more measly thing, and then you'll get to see it.  Until then...

I have to tell you I'm now addicted to American Idol.  I've never really been a huge Idol person.  I've always watched the auditions for a little humor and then moved on with my life.  And then...

Image via  And no, I'm not kidding, it's a real site.

Oh yes.  My longtime one-sided love interest joined the show.  Gawd.  Please excuse me while I drool.  Is there anything hotter than a grungy, androgynous mega-rockstar?  Eyeliner?  Leopard print?  Leather?  Count me in.

I've been an Aerosmith fan since I was far too young to be one.  My dad had the red Greatest Hits album in his truck and I listened to Sweet Emotion and Walk This Way like it was my job.  However, at thirteen, I picked up the Nine Lives album, saw this man on the back cover, and never looked back.

Image found here
Oh how I love me some Steven Tyler.  And I don't mean love him like you do - like oh he's so great, blah blah.  I mean LOVE.  Like watched Wayne's World 2 more than I care to admit just to see him in 2 minutes of it. Like buy every song he's ever done backup vocals in on iTunes.  Like he has a place of honor in my closet in the form of a framed picture.  Like considered spending $1200 for a backstage pass to meet him.  

We've had our rough patches.  His recent fall from the stage and subsequent rehab stay did not sit well with me.  I even stopped listening to Aerosmith for a few months.  But I think it's safe to say it's back on.

I was a little worried that he was too kooky and off the wall to translate well to national TV on a mostly pop music, family-friendly show.  But early reviews are in, and the public seems to appreciate him.  You can't deny how insanely talented he is.  The man has music in his bones.  His father was actually a classical musician, and in the early days of Aerosmith, he tuned all of the instruments and gave his bandmates lessons on their instruments.  (Source - the Aerosmith autobiography, Walk This Way, which I've read about 5 times).

I so enjoy watching him truly appreciate the music on Idol.  It's refreshing that they finally have a true blue musician critiquing people.  You can tell he feels the music.  I could go on about the man, but I've probably already told you more than you ever want to know.  I am going to put one more pic in though.  Because it's my blog and I can if I want.

Judge if you must. Stone. Cold. Fox.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Busy Bees

Oh, readers, I have been so busy this weekend and it's only halfway over!  All three of you are going to be so impressed with everything I have done when I finally reveal it to you.  My good man and I (I'm going to use that more, Kaci.) have been painting and shopping our little tushes off.  And I heard you laugh when I called our tushes "little."  Poor Alli doesn't stand a chance.

I digress.  We have been hustling and bustling to get our master bathroom spa-tastic!  We've added curtains (how I hate an untreated window and this one has been untreated for over 3 years now), ordered the extra tall shower curtain, added some great counter top decor, and painted, painted, painted.

I'm not ready just yet to reveal it, but rest assured, as soon as I get that shower curtain in, I will post a beautiful reveal.  And since I know you can't wait for a peek...

You kids know I love me some Behr paint from Home Depot.  My parents, who themselves love to paint and repaint rooms, have used Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams in the past, but they will be the first to tell you that Behr is superior in durability and coverage.  I'll give you more deets on the paint color when I do the big reveal.

In other news, we got over 4" of snow this week - Alli and I spent Thursday and Friday home because school was out.  She and Landry had an awesome time (Cash was there, he just hates snow).

Sorry to be such a tease, but I think without the shower curtain, I'll be cheating you.  Have a great rest of your weekend (I know I will, I'm done painting and it's only Saturday night!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dear TJ Maxx,

While I can't seem to find your cheap discounted, chic clothes that all of my friends seem to have, I salute you.  For approximately every fourth time I darken your door, you give me affordable, adorable home decor.  I can ignore how finicky you are, how you sometimes don't have anything but ugly, old, broken junk.  Because you quite surprise me at least once a month.
Recycled glass jugs - $15 each at TJ
Wowza.  These things were $15 apiece, and I bet at any other store (including you, Target, my fickle friend) these babies would have been $30+ apiece.  I got those about 2 months ago to flank my fireplace and I am quite happy.  Last night, I swung by TJ to study some decor for the new master bath makeover, and low and behold...
$10 at TJ.  Not kidding.
A white ceramic artichoke?  Must.  Have.  I snatched this bad boy up and hugged it to my chest as we finished perusing the aisles.  Good grief I love artichokes, and I love white accessories.  He's now sitting on the side board in our dining nook, gleaming.  Ryan questioned me buying him - Mr. I-like-one-room-done-before-I-move-to-another.  "If it doesn't go in the master bath, why are we even buying it??"   My husband does not understand how shopping at TJ Maxx works.  When you find a gem like this, you have to leap on it.  Next time you go, it'll just be a giant motorcycle statue.

Anyone else get some good TJ swag lately?  Or maybe you're one of my friends who can find their elusive, trendy clothes?  Jealous.

Edited "cheap" to "discounted" to please the masses.  No need to offend one of my readers who is obviously an excellent TJ Maxx clothing shopper!  Maybe she will reveal herself and take me to teach me how she does it?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Master Bathroom Bliss

Let's say you just finished a very strenuous fall and winter.  You traveled a ton, both professionally and personally, you had a houseful of beloved and boisterous family nearly every weekend, and even though you owned it, Christmas exhausted you.  What do you do on your very first weekend at home with no visitors and nowhere to be?

Well, if you're me, you get a project.  There's something so satisfying about finally being able to focus on the house again.  I love this little abode and I love improving it every chance I get.  It didn't exactly scream anything but "builder-grade new construction!" when we moved in, so I love tweaking it and making it personal.

Tuesday night I went to Jo Ann's and picked out some awesome fabric for new pillows.  My friend Lindsey is quite the sewer, and she so generously agreed to make me some pillows for our previously bachelor pad-like couches.  I realize you haven't seen much but glimpses of the new living room, and I have to apologize.  I'm in the process of tweaking it still and I think you deserve only the best.  So you'll have to wait a little longer for the tour.  But feast your eyes on my new pillows!

Aren't those fabulous?  I am so lucky to have such a talented and willing best friend!  And yes, all pillows must pass the "pet snuggle test."  Don't tell Ryan that Landry was on the couch.  I can't wait to show you guys the living room once it all comes together.

But is that ever enough for me?  No, of course not.  I always need another project  Lindsey turned me on to another blog called Centsational Girl and I stumbled across this post.  What a dramatic makeover!  And if you remember anything about the bathrooms at my house, you'll remember I have builder-grade fake oak looking cabinets with nooooo hardware.  That doesn't exactly scream zen spa does it?

I sent said link to the mister and much to my surprise, he was on board.  We spent a lunch at Home Depot (heaven) armed with Kate's instructions, but then we stumbled across this kit by my friends at Rustoleum.  See, I trust Rustoleum.  They are makers of my right hand man, spray paint.  So we read about it, discussed with our paint professional, and took home this kit big enough to do our bathroom and Alli's if we so desired (and we do).  All we had to do was select dark or light (dark for us) and then pick the color we wanted off of the 20 or so on the box (we chose Espresso).  We grabbed some simple, chic hardware, and waited impatiently to get home and give this kit a try.

I was extremely nervous, but Ryan figured hey, what could make those cabinets look worse?  I love him.  He jumped right in with....

     Step 1:  Remove Cabinet Doors/Drawers and De-Gloss
Using the provided liquid gel and brilo-like pads, Ryan scrubbed our cabinet doors, drawers, and frames down.  Then you let it sit for 1 hour (or 10 hours if it's Friday night and you fall asleep on the couch).

     Step 2:  Apply Tint Base (2 coats, 2-3 hours between coats)

Enter yours truly with the painting expertise.  All you have to do is paint with the grain of the "wood."  It was as simple as it sounds, thanks to the instructional DVD included in the kit.  We're still on step 2 - I have two coats on the frames, drawers, and backs of the doors, so I still have to do the front of the doors before we move on to optional (but we are doing it!) Step 3: Glaze and mandatory Step 4: Top Coat.  But  I really think it is looking good and I can't wait to see the finished result.  Stay tuned.  And for interested parties, that is my organized sink on the right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am going to do something I never EVER do.  I am going to whine.

I think I am coming down with a cold!!  I am so sad about this.  If you know me at all, you know I absolutely hate sickness.  It's pulling teeth to get me to admit when it's coming on.  However, there's something about this scratchy throat and constant sneezing that I simply can't deny.

Ryan and I have some huge, fun plans for the house this weekend.  And here I am, feeling like crap.  A logical person who can admit when they are sick would go to bed right now.  And yet I can't tear myself away from my 9 loyal readers long enough to go get a good night's sleep!

So I'm going to try right now to do the right thing and go crawl into bed and get some zzzzs.  Unless there's a Project Runway marathon or a new Glee I need to watch.  What?  It's not like I'm sick.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get 'Er Done

The mister and I have been joking that our new year didn't start until Monday due to my extensive travel the first week of 2011.  And then it snowed, so we decided Tuesday was the actual first day.  Our overall theme for this year is debateable.  He prefers "Make it Happen" and I like "Check it Off" so we've settled on this, paying homage to our Ferndale roots:  "Get 'Er Done." Tagline:  "Life is too short to sit around!"

In the spirit of "Get 'Er Done 2011", here are a few of our goals:
  • Cook more.  A bit of a new spin on "Lose Weight."  We both have the lbs to lose, but it's awfully cold (to the tune of -1 degree tonight) to be going for a run.  We'd really like not to join a gym and get locked into any monthly fees.  And in our humble abode, there's not room for a treadmill.  So until it thaws out a little bit, a good way to lose a few is to count the calories and eat out less.  Therefore, we are trying to be much better about cooking more.  Don't get it twisted, it's not all going to be Racheal Ray-style - your girl would get burned out in a week!  It's ok to mix up some macaroni or have a sandwich a few nights too.  I tell myself.
  • Save more.  In anticipation of new, exciting, big things in the next few years, we'd like to be a bit more financially responsible.  That means a few less Coach purses and shoes and a little more budgeting.  Sad face.  I am excited for the challenge of continuing to decorate our little house (a lifelong project, I'm learning) on a tighter budget.  I might need to go antiquing again!  Joy!  Don't tell my mom I said that.  But look for a lot more spray paint projects and brags about deals.  Not my forte, but definitely a growth opportunity.

New entry table - everything done on the cheap!

  • Do more.  There's no time like the present to accomplish what you want!  I don't mind relaxing and enjoying life a bit, but I do know I spend way too much time sitting on my backside.  And if I think I do, you know I think Ryan is 100x worse (whether he is or not).  We are trying to accomplish everything we want to in this house (and our lives for that matter) as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.  I'm keeping a list of house upgrades and decor I'd like to change as well as a to-do list for things like air conditioning inspection, car tag renewal, etc. to help us allocate time and money well.  Maybe my house list will eliminate some of my tendency to impulse buy?  Time will tell.  This goal isn't just about the house, either.  It includes things like putting down our cell phones and playing Monopoly with Alli, going for family walks on nice days, and, per goal 1, cooking.

Sgt. Lowe installing a plastic bag holder to free up a drawer

So there you have it.  A few non-resolutions for "Get 'Er Done 2011."  No promises I will keep you updated on them.  It wasn't on the list.

I'll bet you noticed the new picture on the entry table.  I invented that today on the fly at Hobby Lobby.  The frame was the perfect size for the table, but I hate tiny pictures.  So I snagged some scrapbook paper and the bedazzled "L" for a personalized touch.  Love.  Total cost:  $4 for frame, $0.30 for paper, $1.50 for "L" for a total of $5.80.  In your face, goal #2.