DIY, decorating, and navigating through life as a newlywed.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

I love weddings! Drinks all around!

Thank you, Captain Jack Sparrow, for such a wonderful way to express my love of weddings.

Why am I expressing my love of weddings?  Sure, it's wedding season, but I don't have any weddings to go to this summer.  Last night, my best friend got engaged!!  I'm so excited for her!

So of course I wanted to buy her an engagement present, but not just something generic.  When I got engaged (4 years ago... holy cow...), I received a lot of engagement presents and cards from close friends and family, but a lot of the things that I got weren't very useful to me.  I appreciated all of the bridal magazines and flowers; they were very nice gestures.  But when thinking of what to get my bestie for an engagement present, I thought to myself, "What would have been useful to me when I got engaged?" 

The answer: a wedding planner.  Yeah, couldn't afford a real human, but a binder that was already organized/personalized would've been great.  I ended up shoving a lot of my wedding stuff into a manilla folder.  I know, not the more organized way to go, but I didn't want to shell out $30-$40 on a pre-made wedding planning binder, nor did I want to take the time to put together a binder of my own.  I just wanted to get to the planning!

So I decided to make Betsy, my best friend, a personalized wedding planning binder.  I'm not sure what colors she'll pick for her wedding colors, but I picked the blues and purples based on our I-want-my-wedding-to-look-like-this conversations we've had since the seventh grade, as well as her wedding Pinterest board.  If she doesn't pick these colors, I still think they're classy and bridal, so I'm crossing my fingers that the colors will be okay.  Hopefully she likes it!

Since they haven't set a date yet (come on, they've only
been engaged for a day), I put "Summer 2014" and
I'll print off a new one for her when they set
a wedding date!

I labeled tabs with all of the categories that I probably would've used
had I made my own binder four years ago for my own wedding.

I created a monthly calendar from now until August 2014 and put them
into the binder.  On the left side, I put notes about things to get
done during that month. 

I picked up three Post-It pockets to hold receipts.  I put them on the "Bride,"
"Reception," and "Vendor" tabs.

Finally, I picked up one big plastic envelope that I placed in the
back of the binder to hold some of the bigger papers and
receipts Betsy might want to hold on to.

I hope that she'll like it and find it useful in the wedding planning process!  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Entertainment Center

Remember that freebie hutch bottom that I posted about the other day?  Well it's done! 

After two coats of Behr Antique White and a little distressing, I now have a wonderful new entertainment stand that eliminates all of the ugly cords hanging out of our monstrous TV and numerous game systems.

Here it was before:

And here she is now:

I sprayed the handles with oil rubbed bronze.  Much better.

I'm thinking of getting a skinny woven basket or something to go on one side of the X-Box to hold remotes.

I am so in love with the end result!  This is probably my favorite piece that I've done.  It's even prettier in person, I promise.  I don't know why, but this picture doesn't really do it justice.

And as a reminder, here is our old TV stand: 

Can you say, "Bachelor Pad" when you see this?
So much better!  The stand is actually BIGGER than the TV...

So what do you think?  An improvement?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fab Freebie

Check out this amazing dresser that I got... for free!  That's right.  

I've been hunting for something like this for a long time, probably close to a year.  But everything I found until yesterday was going for between $75-$100 and I just wasn't prepared to pay that.  
Then I scored this baby at my church rummage sale.  

What am I going to do with this fabulously solid and well-built piece, you ask?  I'm going to turn it into a TV stand that doesn't show all of the stupid game system cords all of the time, like my current TV stand.
Here are a few inspiration photos (via pinterest) that I'm drooling over:

I love the color on this one!!

So as you see, I have a ton of inspiration, but haven't quite decided on a direction yet.  Part of me wants to do a color, while part of me wants to go white or gray.  I'm not sure what would look best in my space.  

What color do you think would work?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hello, Blogland! It's been a while!

What's up, readers!?  I know, it's been FOREVER since I've posted anything.  Life has been insane.  Here's what you've missed:

  1. Our floors--you know, those ones we started installing in March--were a nightmare.  A flippin' nightmare (more on that later).
  2. I got a new job!  After three years of looking, I finally landed a teaching job close to home!  I loved my old school, but working an hour from home just wasn't feasible, especially with wanting a family in the future and $4.00 per gallon gas prices.  
  3. Along the lines of getting a new job, I had to wrap up my last few months at my previous school with a bang!  I guess that meant not spending hardly any time at hom the entire month of May.
  4. The broskie graduated.  Yep.  We had that graduation party, along with one in Wisconsin, to help set up.
So, there's what's been going on with my life in a nutshell, a really little nutshell.  Now, back to those nightmare floors...

If you recall, way back in March, over my Spring Break to be exact, we decided to start installing laminate hardwoods by ourselves.  3/4 of the project went awesome.  We were putting those babies down without a hitch.  Then, we had to go pick up the second batch of floor that we had ordered when we bought Home Depot out of all of their stock of our selected flooring, Hampton Bay's Enderbury Hickory laminate.

All of the boards in our second batch of flooring were crap.  The tongue and groove sections literally disintegrated when clicking together.  So we called HD and told them the issue.  They said to tear up what we had laid of the second batch, bring it back, and get a new batch.  

So we did.  Same result.  

By this point, my Spring Break was long gone.  We returned the exchanged flooring to HD, where they double checked the tongue and grooves to make sure it wasn't our fault that the boards were breaking.  It wasn't.  The boards broke with the "professionals" too.

At this point, HD, whose customer service was really amazing throughout this whole process, told us that we could now go home, tear up all of the flooring we'd laid, and exchange it for a new product.  So we did.  Because we didn't want a crap product laid down and looking pretty, only to break in a year or less.

HD upgraded us to their highest quality laminate, the Pergo XP Highland Hickory, for the same price we paid for the original laminate, which was about a dollar less per square foot. They they gave us half-off of an install because, honestly, at this point I was completely exhausted and just wanted the floor done.  It was a week and a half after my Spring Break.  

So, a week and a half later, the pros from HD came and installed our new laminate in, like, four hours!  It was beautiful and totally worth the $400 we paid them to install not to have to do it ourselves.   

Here you have it, after months of waiting, our new floor!

I also repainted the walls a peacock blue!

The tile we laid was the only thing that ended up being a total
DIY project.

Pardon all of my classroom junk chilling by my craft nook.  It
will all find a new home in my new school!

We also bought a beautiful new futon from Furniture Row.  Yes,
beautiful and futon can be used together.  Trust me,
this baby is nice.

So there it is.  It isn't 100% put together yet, but that's a summer task.  May was insane.  I promise.  

Stay tuned for more downstairs room updates, as well as what I'm going to do to this bad boy:

I'll give you a hint: It's something for the downstairs.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

New Floors!

We bit the bullet today and, using the hubby's big bonus for the year, bought new flooring for our downstairs bonus room.  I am so excited to see this room turn into something functional in the next week or so!

We started with a whole lot of stained, icky berber carpeting with a really thin, wimpy carpet pad.  Between myself, the hubs, and two good friends, we got all of the molding pulled off and the carpeting pulled up in about an hour.

Even Zeke wanted to help us tear up the house!

Hey, mom, what are you doing to my house?

When all of the carpet was torn up, a lovely surprise was revealed... a gigantic crack in the concrete. 

But, hey, no worries.  We can fix that.  

So we started to lay down the tile around the door to our walk-out patio.  This will be so nice to have, since the dog does an awesome job dragging mud and gunk from the outside into our house.  The carpet in that spot was disgusting.  We will grout tomorrow.

There you have it: our progress so far.  Not bad for day one, I think, especially since it only took about 3.5 hours to accomplish.  The agenda for tomorrow includes grouting the tile and laying down the underlayment for the 13 boxes of laminate flooring.

Our goal is to have this all done by Friday, so hopefully that can be a reality!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Wreath

I know, I know.  Spring?  Sure... the calendar might say it's Spring, but the calendar is wrong.  I mean, it's been no higher than 36 since Wednesday when Spring supposedly started.  And yeah, I might be on "Spring" Break, but we're supposed to get snow on Sunday night, and the weekly high is projected at 45.  

But I want Spring, dammit.  So I made me a Spring wreath.  Maybe the weather will take a hint from my cutesy burlap wreath and decide to shape up.

Stay tuned... we are buying flooring tomorrow.  My Spring Break job is to put laminate flooring downstairs all by myself. Eek! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Window Upgrade

I impulse bought new curtain panels today.  The hubs doesn't know yet.  It was a serious impulse buy, but they were just perfect!  They were exactly what I had in mind when we bought the place, but we needed a quick fix for the windows so I bought something cheap.  

And we still had the cheap, brown panels nearly three years later.  Until today, that is.  I picked up these new babies at Target for $20 each.  After seeing them in my space, it was worth every penny.  Hopefully the hubs will understand.



Ah, much better!

I'd say it's a huge improvement.  It's sort of hard to tell due to the sun shining through them, but the panels are just about the same blue as my kitchen.  Perfect!