Lemonade. And muriatic acid.

Hey. So I pretty much fell off the internet for a few months there.

I mean, like ALL the internets.

Sometimes it’s like everything is fine and normal and then an event happens and suddenly it becomes a time to for deep self reflection and big kid decisions, and it sucks and it’s really hard, but also really important.

I wasn’t capable of focusing on external relationships, and I’m really sorry that I wasn’t available to support my blog friends for a while. I have a lot of blog posts to read.

I wasn’t really capable of doing much at all – especially projects around the house.

So when I received my modernica planter in the mail and the ceramic was severely broken, I kind of shrugged. I did send an email to the shop that I purchased it from, and they were super helpful and sent me out a new one (it took 2 months for that) and told me I could keep the broken one. I didn’t have much energy for it more than that though. It sat broken in the box that whole 2 months.

Anyways, I want to feel better and more like myself, so I fixed that motherfuckin’ broken planter.

OMG. AM I THE PLANTER?!

Mind. Explodes.

I bought some gorilla glue and did not read the instructions where it states to wet the surfaces and that it expands. I blame my internet provider for that one – I was on the phone with customer service trying to troubleshoot my broken internet while I glued it back together.

Whoops. It spread everywhere.dsc_1621-2dsc_1623-2

I used a putty knife and razor blades to scrape off the excess and then used sandpaper to rough up the rest of the surface and then wiped it down with some TSP.

The next part can be done for any basic terracotta planter for a quick change. I was inspired by this planter from CB2 – but not the price.

I picked up some Henry’s feather finish from Home Depot and mixed up a small amount and spread it on the planter with a joint knife, and it looked like a disaster initially.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

Ew.

It took 3 coats to smooth it all out – I just used my hands around the lip of the planter.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

After giving it time to dry, I used 80 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper on my orbital sander to smooth any bumps. After sanding, I cleaned the dust off with TSP and then hosed it off. 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

I had read on the internet about using muriatic acid to etch concrete. Since I had a bottle available (what? doesn’t everyone?) I figured that I would try it. I mixed it up 3:1 water to acid and sprayed it on with a little hand sprayer. It bubbled and then I washed it off with some baking soda/water mixture and then hosed it all down. It didn’t really do anything as far as the variation in the color? I guess it’s mostly to prep the surface for sealers. Which, I chose not to bother doing and left it raw.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

And fixed planter! That snake plant is so much happier in a bigger planter. It was giving me major stank face for a while there.'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish' 'DIY concrete planter' 'feather finish'

I finally got my dining room fixture up. It took 6 months, and that’s a long story for another post.'triple seven home'

This week has been pits of despair after the election, but I hope to continue to come back. I’ve missed you.

 

 

What I’m on: July 2016

Making: Currently, nothing. I just finished the moulding in the dining room, my hands are feeling restless and my anxiety is rising. I should take up whittling and carve my own egg and dart.

Cooking: Chocolate chip cookies. You guys, the recipe on the back of the milk chocolate Ghirardelli chocolate chips is so good. I use this ungodly expensive organic local butter (it’s like $8 and super high fat) but they are delicious.

Drinking: As much cheap pinot grigio that I can get my greedy little hands on, per the ush. I wish that I could pretend that I was classy, but, I’m not. I like my $4 bottles of wine. When my husband brought home a $6 bottle once, I almost slapped it out of his hands on principle.

Reading: I just finished The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, it has a lot more of a religious theme than I usually read, but it was a very interesting take on the traditional love story.

Wanting: Art for the dining room! I saw this piece from Minted and I loved the colors used.

Enjoying: Sitting poolside with a book. Ya’ll. I can sit down on a bench and read while my daughter continues her never ending search for another family to join while enjoying the wading pool. It’s awesome and life is much improved.

Listening: Bishop Briggs – I am looking forward to a full album. It’s so soulful, but bangs.

Needing: These plates and cutlery from CB2 to fulfill all my dining room dreams of a perfectly set table and food that is bountiful and cooks itself.

Wearing: As little clothing as is societally acceptable, tbh. We’ve had a heat wave in MN (high 90s) and it has been HOT for us. I don’t have a/c in my house and had to scramble to install the two little window units that we haven’t used in a couple of years. I was sweating BEHIND MY KNEES.

Watching: I just finished season 1 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Musicals aren’t really my thing, but the songs are ridiculous enough that it works.

Bookmarking: This post by Mary at ilikeitlovely – I did not know you could paint upholstery with chalk paint (in fact, I’ve never actually used chalk paint. The $30 paint brushes kind of offend my sensibilities.) The pink chairs in my living room are looking a little worse for wear and there is no money for re-upholstering them right now. So I think I might give them a coat of paint and wax and see how that works out. I need another project, anyways.

Feeling: Like this summer is going by so quickly. I am enjoying it so thoroughly, and I think this has been the best summer so far with the kids (fewer tears and petty squabbles than ever before!), but I am sad that it’s almost over and then back to the school grind.

 

What I’m on: June 2016

I found Molly from Awfully Big Adventure blog from the Spring 2016 ORC and I think she’s charming as all get out.

I stole this (unabashedly) post topic/template from her. I likely will not sound as interesting as her though.

Making: A credenza for my dining room – Well. Rather, I have the intention to.
Cooking: Sautéing fresh spinach in olive oil and minced garlic. I will never get over how much spinach shrinks when cooked. It’s like magic.
Drinking: Newman’s Own lemonade – I love lemonade. I may or may not routinely select which restaurant to patron based on their lemonade. I throw a splash of sparkling water in there if I’m feeling fancy.
Reading: I just finished In a dark, dark wood by Ruth Ware – it was a good read and subtly suspenseful. I’ll most def get her next book.
Wanting: The Gleaming Primrose mirror from Anthropology for my front room
Enjoying: Watching t-ball practice from the sidelines. Ya’ll, it’s a disaster out there. There are two kids that will run across the field, knocking over all their teammates and then squabble over the ball. Ain’t no teamwork out there with those 5 year olds.
Loving: The sunshine! It’s been an uncommonly cold and rainy couple of months here in Minnesota.
Listening: Niykee Heaton radio on Pandora
Needing: This Modernica planter stand – I got a new fiddle fig and I need a stand for it. My cat peed relentlessly in the pot of my last one and it lost leaves until my mom rescued it.
Smelling: Hair products – I’m not used to being fragrant. Since going platinum, I’ve had to deep condition my hair regularly. More maintenance than my hair has ever received in life.
Wearing: A crop top! With high waisted jeans or shorts. – I got pregnant with my daughter at 23 and have since struggled with what ‘appropriate’ attire is. This year, I’ve decided it’s ok to be a mom and show some tummy.
Watching: Southland – I haven’t had cable in 5 years, so I’m always way behind everyone else and have to wait for it to come on Netflix or Hulu
Bookmarking: blanking on this one.
Feeling: Pleased with how quickly my main level gets tidied these days – It used to be pure chaos and disorganization. It made no sense to clean at all. I still can’t find the damned tape when I need to wrap a present though. hjgjkghjfhj.

March

You know when you have an idea in your head and maybe you even have the items in your possession or favorited on your etsy profile for like EVER and then someone else puts it on the interwebs first? Then you’re left there with a bottle of wine and questioning ‘what is life?’ and ‘if I didn’t put it on Instagram, did it even exist?’

And you’re probs burning up with jealousy because they have angelic lighting and perfect pictures. And perfect houses. And perfect hair.

Then you go: DAFUQ am I ugly crying over? I got some motherfucking curtains, yo. Then you dab at your ‘prom just got ruined’ raccoon eyes with your beautiful drapes.

No? Only me?

Cool.

That’s right. I finally sent my pink linen to be sewn into wonderful french pleated drapes and I ordered beautiful lucite and brass curtain rods to hang them on. IMG_1124

I’m feeling pretty good about that. Good enough to finally paint the second coat of Farrow and Ball Down Pipe on the walls in my dining room in preparation. Those walls have been waiting 1 1/2 years for that, bee tee dub.

The trim was painted out in the eggshell finish. And am I the only one that thinks the F&B paint smells like damp dirt?

MY WALLPAPER WAS INSTALLED. It is more amazing than pictures can portray. I love, love, love it. ellie cashman dark floral wallpaperBetter pictures when I can figure out how to take better pictures of such a small room.

The door is prepped and painted, but scheduling the handyman (whom I quite like), has been a lot of phone tag. Or…. It’s the fact that I gave that task to the husband and he’s like way lower on the neuroticism scale than me.

I bleached my dark brown hair blonde. Like, really blonde. It’s not house related, but it’s about me and this is my blog sooooooo it counts. I have to go back for another session to lighten it a little bit more. It’s most def an adjustment and people were not lyin’ about the maintenance. I am maybe the laziest when it comes to my hair, I can hardly be bothered to brush it, as in I hardly DO brush it.

See the concentration it takes for me to take a selfie? I might have had a mini aneurism.

I had said that I was planning on giving my daughter a newly designed room. These Roman shades showed up in the mail today!img_3937

 

I mean, they didn’t just “show up”, it took lots of money and weeks for shipment and then customs gave me a hella hard time to get them through. I had to fill out this crazy detailed form, like I’m some sort of textile expert. I am not, if you were wondering.

Since they have shown up right before the spring One Room Challenge is starting, I think I’m going to do my daughter’s bedroom for it! Yay! Crazy! Exciting! Kind of regretting committing to it on the internet!

So far I am excelling at my goal in spending lots and lots of money on textiles for the house.

2015/2016 and all the feels

Happy new year, all!

I have taken quite the break from projects and blogging. My husband tells me it’s ok, but I’m mostly wracked with guilt and drinking wine. I guess I’ve also been enjoying the fruits of my labors in this house. But, guiltily and tipsy.

Since the sun is shining, it seemed like a good time to review the past year and form a plan for this new year.

The past year of blogging helped my motivation and projects tremendously. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to the visitors and the kind comments.

I’ve said it before, but I began this blog because I had started 1002454212445 demo projects and my house was in complete upheaval. My anxiety level was on 11 and nothing felt in control. It was a terrible time. Until recently, I did not realize just how much I was mentally affected by clutter and debris.

This past year has lifted a huge weight off my soul.

I didn’t get to A LOT on my list – the kitchen. LOLZ! I didn’t do one single thing to finish it up. It is still without a finished ceiling and a tiny little sink.

Basically, I (apparently) said ‘screw it’ to my own list and focused on my pretty much everything NOT on it. So – let’s forget that list even existed. Next year, you might have to pretend this post never happened, either.

One of the first things I finished last year was the work on my front room. Since it is BAM in yo’ face when you walk in, this was ginormous. It involved skim coating, sanding foreverrrrrrrr, painting, painting, painting.

lucite chandelier

I made a functional walk in pantry! The room got some serious TLC with skim coating, paint and built in shelving. I adore the beautiful custom copper light. I am still collecting jars from ikea to hoard dry goods in there, and will do an updated post some day.008

Judge away, internet. Judge away.

built in book shelves ikea sektion cabinets ikea built in benjamin moore cumulus cloud valspar aspire paint lucent lightshop

I finally re-painted my porch (getting rid of the colors that made me scowl when I came through the porch door, or pulled up to the house in the car) and the windows.behr cracked pepper ; benjamin moore black tar ; painted aluminum storm windows

Most importantly, I participated in the One Room Challenge Fall 2015 and transformed my living room. It was so stressful, so much work and so AWESOME. I can’t wait to do it again.west elm marble topped pedestal coffee table ; safavieh casablanca rug ; blue velvet couch

The ugly couch got reupholstered, bright white paint, organization and now I love spending time in that room.

The project that came out of nowhere, was the tiny vestibule. After moving the existing wooden door to the exterior, ordering the wallpaper and door, both have been sitting and waiting – mocking me relentlessly.

SO.

2016. What up?

This year is about the continuation of finishing.

The vestibule. Yes, it is an obvious one.

I have primed the door and stripped the lacquer off the brass hinges (which took almost literally forever. LITERALLY.) I have to schedule a time for the handyman to come out and hang it. When that is done, the wallpaper will get hung, as well (I have nightmares of putting the wallpaper up first and an unwieldy wooden door crashing into it during installation and fucking it up. Shudders.)

Textiles.

IMG_3428.jpg
Farrow and Ball Down Pipe and pink

I have been holding on to yards and yards (like, so many yards) of pink linen to be made into drapes for the dining room. I don’t sew, and having custom drapes made isn’t exactly free – so it’s been low on the list with all the other shit going on.

Black out roman shades for the living room. I LOVE the look of the bright, and airy windows with the white curtains, but, we have a plasma TV (the husband picked it out and it does poorly with glare). I am not going to find a budget for a new TV, I’m going to find a budget for new shades. I have some fabric samples on order, I want to keep it visually light still.

For video gaming related reasons, I have gotten the thumbs up from the husband to spend an unreasonable amount of money on window dressings. Don’t tell him that I don’t actually need his blessing for that.

Besides buying some new chairs earlier this year, the dining room hasn’t gotten much attention. In addition to the pink drapes, the dining room should get a rug. I don’t want anything too precious because 5 year olds eat in the room regularly. I pop on to ebay every now and then see if any fit the bill (which is old, pale color scheme and cheap), not so far.

f039845e-003b-4b36-86b9-4942d1fa3dc9_600
I borrowed the picture from Overstock – and apparently it’s “white”

The chairs are American Atelier Banks side chair. Great for kids.

I would love to buy a new chandelier for the dining room. I have my heart set on this one:m_SR5017HAB-NP(1)

My hearts goes all pitter patter.

Oh, and as always. Finish up the moulding in there.

The porch! After painting it, I started working on the living room project and the porch became my work shop. Whoops.

When the temperature is more cooperative, I plan on clearing it out (again) and putting some chairs and an outdoor dining area together.

Even though I would way rather buy the new chandelier with the money (team pretty vs. practical), we are going to buy a niceeeeee dishwasher. My husband has nothing but contempt for the GE one that came with the house, and since that asshole dishwasher just sprung a leak…. a new one is first on the list.

Last, but probably the most important, is giving my 5 year old a brand spankin’ new big girl bedroom. That will likely be the biggest project I start, as it includes drywall removal and plaster repair. She doesn’t know it’s going to happen yet, and I am really looking forward to it. All she wants is to invite her friends over, and I want to give that to her. The past couple of years have not been conducive to play dates here, with all the power tools and all. She has been incredibly patient and understanding with the delay, and she really deserves it.

That means doing something with the ‘playroom’. I use that term very loosely, because at the moment it’s a small bedroom with all her shit shoved in there. Toy purgatory.

Fingers crossed that if I set the workload bar low – I’ll totes be able to finish it?

I bought a fancy camera, still no idea how to use it and so far the USB cord seems to be faulty. I haven’t actually been able to transfer any photos from it. I’m going to go ahead and blame the lack of posting on the camera.

Cheers to the new year!

Winter blues

It’s been a several weeks since I posted anything.

Firstly, Merry Christmas! I hope it was a wonderful time with food, family, and drink.

After the ORC living room challenge, I was so happy and invigorated. Then tired, and wanted to take a week off. Then that week turned into another and so forth until I am here in a major FUNK.

Cripes. Could I get anymore self pitying?! The answer is yes, probably.

I feel ok with being mediocre at self pitying.

The struggle is real though, right? It seems like most blogs on home renovation are ever steadfast in their positive outlooks and cranking those projects out tirelessly.

I don’t seem to be that person, and then I feel guilty about it. Like I let someone down.

This blog has been so helpful and you readers are such a blessing. I want to be real about it though. Sometimes I get tired. Sometimes the decisions on a million little insignificant (to the general public) details gets wearing. Sometimes the financial aspect gets overwhelming. Most times my house isn’t clean enough for pretty pictures. A lot of times, I would rather be netflixing.

Point is, I want to get over this funk.

Writing this out has already been cathartic and I am ready to get back to projects for the new year.

Thank you for your company at my pity party.

 

One Year

 

It has been a year since my first post on this blog. 

Although I don’t post everything in my life, or that regularly; and I haven’t become a famous Internet sensation, I cannot begin to explain how amazingly helpful it has been. 

Here’s to many more projects getting finished. 

Personal-ish

I started destroying renovating my house as a form of controlling some aspect of my life when my general anxieties grew too much. I was with a toddler most of my spare time, and home ridden (naps and bedtime, etc.), when I wasn’t working Monday-Friday.

It initially had an adverse affect. I started so many projects, without finishing anything, that my anxiety mounted and there was so much chaos at home and I didn’t have control over that, either.

Starting this blog has been so incredibly helpful for me. I can enjoy working on projects around the house again. I get a sense of satisfaction from finishing a task, and sharing on here. I hope to share information that may be helpful to other people, also.

But part of that enjoyment is not rushing the process, not to stress to have everything perfectly done and styled – for a blog post. ‘Cause that ain’t real life, yo. At least, not mine.

My day to day is waking up at 5:45am and work (sometimes at home and sometimes at the office) until about 3:00. My husband usually leaves for his job around the time I get home, and then it’s my shift with the 4-year-old until her bedtime at 7:30, and I suppose adult supervision at home after 7:30. We worked out that schedule to minimize daycare, since she is in preschool only 3 hours a day. My sweet guy is the one with Ry in the morning. He takes her to school and picks her up, feeds her lunch and gets her ready for nap. He is a father and launderer extraordinaire. I adore him.

But he does not care about this house stuff even a little bit.  Which means that I get to make most of the aesthetic and budget decisions, but I also have to do all the work. We are definitely not that adorable husband/wife duo, she paints and he does the carpentry. Nope. One woman show in this house.

I get that though, and I’m thankful that he’s supportive of my crazy.

My pictures (and house!) will never be perfect. I  think that I would like to get a better camera some time.  Although at the moment it’s like, camera or new dining room light? Such is life.

I am working on accepting that this is a long process, although that is hard for me and I want it all shiny and done yesterday.

All of this is a too wordy, and not very well written, way to say that I don’t necessarily get a lot of work done on the house, all the time. A lot of times after 7:30pm I only want to sit on the couch with wine and watch Netflix. By the way, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix is freaking hilarious. Netflix better pump out some more episodes soon.

Wow. If you made it this far, gold star!

For the visitors of my blog, regular or not, I really do value it.