Master Bath
{Above: BEFORE}

{Above: DURING}

{Above: AFTER}

{Above: AFTER}

Steps to making the master bathroom more human-scale, less hobbit-scale (note the sloping ceiling), and also tying the two vanities together:

  • Installed beadboard to lower half of walls
  • Painted the walls a creamy white; trim, ceiling, and beadboard pure white
  • Painted the vanities pure white
  • Removed rectangular mirror, hung framed round one
  • Used shades of white and some brown in pictures and decor to unify the space
  • Used a large creamy wool rug to soften and unify the room
When we moved in, I hated this room. The walls and ceiling were a light pink, the ceiling hung low in part of it, and the vanities were oddly-placed. I really enjoy this space now. To me, it is calm and tranquil. I'm glad my landlord lets us make changes to this house.
Horsin' Around
There's something about shirtless Summer days...

...and schedule-less calendars...

...and that enormous amount of children's energy...

...that makes for some danged fun times around these parts.


Cabinets: Natural or White?
Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

So we are renting this house that is for sale and we just had a showing. I asked the realtor if the potential buyer liked or disliked the white cabinets and she said she preferred the natural oak to the white. So my question is: What would you prefer? As a buyer, I might prefer the natural oak just so I could do what I wanted to the cabinets. I just assumed this was an improvement to paint the cabinets, but maybe I was mistaken? Your thoughts....
Mother by Day, Painter by Night
Remember how I wanted to add a little more "depth" to my plain white kitchen cabinets? Well, using this tutorial from my sister Whitney I worked away on these babies last night while my kids sawed logs. (Above: the cabinets after I'd wiped the stain on, but before I'd wiped it off with paint thinner).
And, today: a more distressed, older-looking cabinet. We still have to put up the rest of the cabinet hardware, but I really like the way they turned out. I used Minwax Dark Walnut stain, wiping it on with an old sock, then went back over it with a sock dipped in paint thinner.

I hung pictures, curtains and some plates yesterday and it was so fun. This is the fun part of getting settled. More pictures to come!


One of Those Dog Days of Summer

You know you're in for it when halfway through the day your kids have already broken two dishes, you've been interrupted by very loud, intense crying while on the phone with customer service reps, and your husband leaves you for a week of job training. Does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with Summer?


Saturday's Project
(Front of our house BEFORE)

(Front of our house AFTER)

Now our house feels a little further from the road and has a little more curb appeal. More pictures of projects to come.


Mid-Project: Kitchen

BEFORE: Horrible orange walls, sparse lighting, plain stock oak cabinets

MID-PROJECT: Painted white cabinets, 3 can lights added, walls painted creamy white

I love how much more clean it feels, but it still feels a little too sterile. I plan on giving the cabinets some depth with some brown stain or even acrylic paint (hot tip from my Mom). I'm still getting an 80's vibe from the countertops, but maybe we can convince the landlord to let us get new ones (these are poorly installed, have bubbles and chips in them)?

At any rate, I really like the direction my kitchen is headed. I'll post pictures of the finished kitchen when I get it done. In the meantime, just be glad you're not running 6 miles uphill like I will be doing tomorrow. A few of my sisters and aunts are running the Sawtooth Relay from beautiful Stanley to Ketchum, Idaho. Wish me luck and have a great weekend whatever your plans are!



Today I just want to get back in bed. Travis started work, leaving me alone with four kids for three days. It was so fun having him home, working on house projects together. I knew it wouldn't last, but it's still sad to see him go.

I've made my to-do list and I hope to get up the gumption to work on it. We spent a long time eating our breakfast of granola, Jiffy blueberry muffins, milk and grapefruit. Henry had bananas and rice cereal. The kids have friends over and are watching Toy Story 3. I still have lots more painting to do, but don't think I'll get around to it until the kidlets are in bed. I will post pictures of my finished kitchen when I get the pile of dishes in the sink done and the clean dishes put away.

If you're wondering what our town is like, here's an excerpt from my weekly letter to my family:

I've learned some interesting things about the culture here. I've met some women with interesting names, including DeRonda and Tootie. The local paper lists everyone who breaks the law, including those who hunt without a tag or get a speeding ticket. The local radio station has a special segment at 12:45 PM, like the radio version of Craigslist, where they announce anything from "Items Wanted" to "Needing a Ride." Oh, and they announce birthdays too. The fire station sounds the fire engine siren at high noon everyday. Everyone knows everyone and it is like Mayberry, only with deer antlers everywhere. Kids go to school 4 days a week, to save the district money. Some men wear Wranglers and cowboy hats to church. Testimony meeting today was interesting, with members sharing funny personal stories. I went in to check on our mail delivery and the postmaster knew how many mail pieces we'd gotten that day and said the postal carrier was impressed with how Travis built the holder for the mailbox. The customer service here is unparalleled. If there is a form to fill out, the person does it for me. If I buy something, they load it in the car without even saying a word. It is like night and day from the talk-on-the-cell-phone-while-waiting-on-customers kind of customer service in Cleveland. I could get used to this.


Yes, I'm Still Painting

I had a hard time falling asleep last night because I was worried that I'd ruined my kitchen cabinets. In my rush to get this project done so I can move on to more exciting things, I didn't sand or prime my cabinets before painting. So I was worried that because I was also painting with latex paint (which isn't as hard as enamel or an oil-based paint) that my cabinets were going to show every scratch and ding. Well, after a talk with my Mom today, who eased my troubled mind (she knows paint), I think it's going to be okay. I may be touching up my cabinets every month or two though, which I guess is fine considering I should've started this project right by sanding and priming. I'll let you know how my cabinets hold up... In the meantime, I am enjoying the color: white. I am in love with white lately.


Today I'm...

...painting the cabinets white. Looks like these early 2000's stock Home Depot cabinets are going to get a new 'do. Stay tuned for more pictures.


His Mother's Son...

...for back in my teenage days, I slept in a hotel bathtub overnight. Oh, the discomfort!


Slow, but Steady

Yesterday's Living Room

Today's Living Room

Do you see what's different?
We're getting there, painting one room at a time...