Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pirate Chest Birthday Cake

Did you  know that we have a pirate in our family?  Well, we do.  Our 3 year old thinks he IS a pirate.  He wears a pirate hat EVERY DAY!  He cries when he has to take it to go to places where pirate hats are unacceptable like bed or church.  We read pirate books and sing pirate songs and watch pirate movies.  He even speaks in pirate.

And of course we have all kinds of pirate things to wear:

So when this little pirate turned 3, the choice of a birthday cake was easy.

As always I turned to Family Fun for my cake ideas and found THIS.

And I turned around and made this:

I think it turned out really cute. BUT I'll have you know that chocolate gold coins are impossible to find around here! And when I did finally find them in the bulk section at the 4th store I went to--they were THE MOST EXPENSIVE CANDY THEY SOLD!!! $9.99/lb!!! Its a good thing I found some gold rolo candy to make up the bulk of the gold and then interspersed a few gold coins here and there--cause they were not cheap or thrifty people! But I love my pirate--and so I bought them anyways.

I changed up from the instructions for the strapping on the chest--they have you using fruit by the foot which I didn't like the looks of--so I melted a few kraft carmels and rolled them out and cut them to look like leather straps.   

Then I used colored sixlets for the studs. If I were to do this again, I think I would use whoppers or something brown so it would look more authentic and less colorful.

But our little pirate LOVED his cake and that is all that matters.

And I just have to take a moment and tease my hubby (because sometimes he sneakily reads my blog) that once again he has cut off my head in every single picture he took of the birthday party.  Its a good thing I know he loves me or a girl might get a complex of so many years of being headless in all the pictures he takes.  And that is why, my friends, that I am the picture taker in our family.   :o)

Happy Birthday to my little pirate!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kids Bathroom Sneak Peek

We have been up to a fun project in our kids bathroom.  I can't wait till it is all finished and I can show you the finished product.  But for now I am going to give you a little sneak peek!

So lets remember where we started. 
This is the bathroom before we bought the house:

I loved the size of the bathroom when we bought it--but I HATED the shower doors.  My husband, however, liked them.  So they stayed for about a month.  And I hated every second of them.  I hated cleaning the bathroom with them in, I hated bathing the kids with them in.  I just plain HATED THEM!!!  But my hubby thought they were great.  Right up until I asked HIM to bath the boys one Sunday morning before church.  Apparently he learned that bathing two boys with annoying shower doors was not all it was cracked up to be!  And I am happy to report that those shower doors were dismantled and taken down the very next day!  YIPPEE!!

So here we are with the shower doors removed and the painting started.  (And darn my camera isn't showing the colors very true.  Just know it is a green shade of AWESOME!)

But we have MUCH more to show you.  Hopefully in the next couple of days! 

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And the Obnoxious Kitchen Cabinets come DOWN!!

So our kitchen was built with these amazing set of cabinets right in the middle of our breakfast bar area.

Awesome right?  Wrong!
(oh--this picture was taken right before we started tearing up the floors so the oven had already started to be pulled out.)

I know this was a really popular thing to do back in the day--but really?!  While they were installing these babies--didn't someone think "WOW these are really going to block the view of the whole rest of the room, and get in the way of people trying to talk to each other as they sit at the bar, and people will probably bonk their heads on the corners of these GIGANTIC cabinets all the time!  Maybe the room would be better without them?"

Well, whether someone thought that or not--our kitchen was still sporting these fab cabs.

The view was especially bad from the other side.  It was just a big ol' wall of wood:

We had always planned to take them down but we had planned on building our enormous pantry first and then we would take these suckers out.  Well, we haven't even started on our pantry project--but I just couldn't handle looking at the cabinets for ONE MORE DAY.

One morning, without any notice to my husband, I called some friends over to help us rip them out!  We normally would have tackled a job like this by ourselves, but these puppies were heavy!  So in came our wonderful friends to help.

And here they are supporting everything while my hubby unscrewed the cabinets--and I... um, well someone had to take pictures to document the momentous occasion!

And Viola!  They were out and the place looked a thousand times better and BIGGER!!!

The ceiling and wall needs some repair and patching (and since we are installing a Jennaire down draft oven--we won't need an over head hood anymore).  

And currently we are shopping for some small pendant lights to hang over the bar for some extra lighting and flare.

But for now--the view is MUCH better. 

And the good news is that I was able to find places for all the things in the cabinet even without my new pantry (which by the way will be installed in the corner on the right where the kitchen desk used to be and where the garbage currently is now.)  So when I finally do get my pantry I will have SPACE GALORE!!

It makes me giddy just thinking about it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

I Love You Ross!

No--my husbands name is not Ross.  And its OK--cause at this moment even he is in love with Ross!  Why do you ask?  Because the other day when I was shopping at ROSS for one of the only times in my life (but will certainly not be the last) I found this:

Now let me back up--I had wanted a LARGE clock to hang in our family room--but DARN THOSE THINGS ARE EXPENSIVE!!  Even the ones at walmart were about $80!  Too rich for my blood.  So I had found a medium sized one at Fred Meyer for $30 and I had a $10 off coupon thing--so I could rationalize spending $20 on a new clock. 

So this is what I had for a couple weeks.

It was cute--but to be honest--I was still disappointed as it wasn't the big clock I had envisioned on that wall.  But I had resigned myself to the fact that I would never be willing to shell out the cash for a bigger one.  I was just going to have to learn to live with this one. 

So when I happened to find this one at Ross--I about fainted at the price!!!

YES--THAT SAYS $4.99 PEOPLE!!! (And as I walked thru Ross carrying my massive clock everyone stopped and asked me where I got it and how much it was.  And then they all died--just like I did--when I told them how much it was!  Even the Ross checker did a double take when the price rang up and then told me that I just got a really good deal!  Like I didn't already know!!!)

Anyways--about the clock.  Even though it was beautiful as it was--it wasn't exactly the colors I wanted--but I knew that I had a can of ORB at home that would do the trick!

The awesome part too was that when I got it home and took it out of the box, I found that the clock part is made to come out easily from the metal surround--much like a piece of glass comes out of a picture frame. 

So I didn't even have to tape off anything!  I just popped out the clock and gave it a little coat of paint!



And sitting pretty on my wall: 


Mid Before:


Now THAT is what I had imagined the wall to look like!  And I accomplished it for only $4.99!   And I get to return the other clock and get back my $30!!

I think it really does a great job balancing out the room.

Thank you Ross!  I promise I will be back very soon--and if you could arrange to have the perfect curtains for my bedroom there next time for super cheap--that would be great!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spray Paint Helps the Family Room Along

OK, if you have read my blog before or know me at all, you know that I LOVE SPRAY PAINT!

And of course with a new house I have found a plethora of things that are crying out for a spray paint makeover.  Today I will show you a couple of the MANY I have already undertaken.

When we moved in the family room had this lovely white and gold ceiling fan:

Well--no--I didn't spray paint THAT ceiling fan.  Instead I found another fan at our local Re-Store for super cheap.  It was PERFECT except it had light wood fan blades (which I somehow forgot to get a picture of!  Darn it when that happens!)  They were almost the color of my table--UNTIL they got a shot of brown spray paint.

Much better!

The other thing in this room that was SCREAMING at me from the moment I saw it was this GOLD/BRASS TRIM on the FIREPLACE!  

I couldn't wait to spray those babies up!  

So that's just what I did. 

Those pieces come out super easy (especially when you have your hubby take them out for you).

And after a couple coats of this awesome stuff:

Bye bye brass!

Ahhh.  Much better.
(Except we obviously still have some work to do on this bad boy!  But still--what an improvement!)

I think those two little transformations really make a big impact on the room.  And I guess it also helped that we have changed just about everything else in the room as well!

BEFORE (with Previous Owners Furnishings):


And of course this is not a TRUE after picture yet--as the fireplace is still in a state of demolition and none of the base board trim had been painted white and put back on, and the mantel and windowsills still need a coat of white paint...but at this moment this is where the room stands and I am pretty darn happy with it! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm Back AND with Hardwood Floors!

I can't believe how time has flown by!!  I am sorry it has been SO LONG since I last posted.  The whole process of buying and closing on our new house was EXTREMELY LONG and PAINFUL--with many unexpected twists and turns.  But we did finally close on and move into our new home and have been spending EVERY WAKING MOMENT since--fixing it up and making it ours!

Remember what it looked like? 

It has been such an adventure!  We have already tackled so many projects in this house and yet still have SO MANY more to tackle.  Many of the projects we knew we wanted to do when we bought the house--and then there have been some that were unexpected--like having to replace carpets that we thought were in great condition--but actually were SATURATED in EVERY SINGLE CORNER WITH CAT PEE!!!  And having to replace LOTS of sets of window blinds because they weren't functional.  And having to paint EVERY SQUARE INCH of the ENTIRE HOUSE because the previous home owners had a love affair with sponge painting and the rooms that weren't sponge painted were painted super poorly with what looked like 1/2 a coat of coverage (AND they were the sloppiest and messiest painters EVER!!!  There were drips and dribbles of paint all over all the trim work and everything!!)  Oh well. 

So I have TONS of projects to show you!  Some are finished and some are in the in-between stages.  So in no particular order--I am just going to start posting about all the random things we have done and are doing in our new house.  YIPPEE!!!

So today we will start in the kitchen, dining and family room. 
This is what we started with:

Then came the DEMO. 
Out with the Lino.

Out with the carpet.

And can I just ask--has anyone else out there ever ripped out lino before?  Are ALL THOSE BILLIONS OF LITTLE STAPLES REALLY NECESSARY?!!  It took me HOURS to pound all those suckers down!!

Here is the front room full of our new HARDWOOD FLOORS!!!  And minus the carpet that we thought would be staying.  But SURPRISE--the previous owners used these two rooms as their cat rooms.  Enough said.  Out with this carpet too.

Aren't these hardwoods beautiful even when its just sitting there in a pile?

Then our great friend and neighbor laid the flooring for us--and he managed to escape without me taking a picture of this momentous occasion!  Darn it!

But don't they look great?

Next we started experimenting with the stain color--behind the fridge so we could cover it up if necessary.

And we got the color we were looking for.  A warm brownish red tone.  Not too dark but not too light.

Then we started painting before he finished off the floor because once he started finishing them we couldn't be on them for several days and then it was move in time.  So here we are painting until the wee hours of night.

This next picture is just to document the AWESOME paint roller that our painter let us borrow.  We hired out the job of painting our two story entry way and the painter ended up being the nicest guy in the world and let us borrow his MAMMOTH roller and tray.  THIS BABY WAS THE BEST!!!  It is twice the size of a regular roller and cut our painting time in half--which was wonderful since we were painting most of our house with the same color--we were able to use it for the whole house!  Love that thing.

And then the floors were finished and we moved in.  And I didn't take a picture of them in all of their naked glory.  But here they are with all our stuff moved in... and toys on the floor (apparently).

And can I just say how much I LOVE HARDWOOD FLOORS!!  They were worth all of the hassle!  I think they will even look better when we finish off the kitchen and all the trim in WHITE.  But one thing at a time!
I will be back with more very soon!  Thanks for sticking around!
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