Another Day Off

Let me start by promising I won’t mention our water situation today.

You’re welcome!

Instead, I thought we might discuss the SNOW situation.

Y’all.

My boys have been to school for a total of three days since December 19th, and one of those days was a two-hour delay. (Not that I’m complaining, because I have enjoyed everyday with my boys, but because of the days missed, the kids now have to go to school until the end of May.)

We have 3-4 inches of snow on the ground. We had a snow day (and have another one tomorrow!). Earlier today, my neighbor, Jamie texted to ask if Stevie and Alex would like to come out and go sledding with her kids. She also promised hot chocolate. It sounded better than sitting in the house one. more. minute, so I threw some cookie dough in the oven because COOKIES!

The kids had a great time!

Earlier in the day, I also spent some time organizing some problem areas around this joint.

The area under our sink looked like this several weeks ago.

After repairing a leaky water pipe and adding a tension rod, it now looks like this.

I am sure I heard violins when I stepped back to take a look at this newly organized space.

I was so impressed with the big difference the little change made, I decided to organize the area under my bathroom sink, too. Unfortunately I didn’t get any before pictures.

Rest assured, it was a hot-mess.

Just look at this wonderfulness…

Extra make-up – aisle 1.

This next one is travel size and first-aid items, among other things.

And this last one is full of all of the crazy amount of little tubes of toothpaste and toothbrushes we get from the dentist, along with extra toothbrushes for visitors who might visit and forget theirs.

This little three-drawer organizer works so well in this space. I love it!

My Mudroom Is Finished!

There is always a project in progress up in here. For instance, we are in the planning stages of a new back deck. Not because we want a larger one, or a better one, rather, because the boards are rotting and I am fearful that one of us will end up in the back yard when we fall through a board.

The project that we (and by we, I mostly mean McDaddy because he does 90% of the work) most recently completed is my new mudroom. I actually contribute by researching and pinning ideas to my Pinterest board and my challenging McDaddy when he says something like, “that would be tough to do” because I am a firm believer that while it might be tough, tough does not equal impossible.

Thankfully, I am married to a guy who can do just about anything.

Back in October, I wrote a post called “Designing My Mudroom” and shared pictures of the wall unit that my dad built for the new room. When I wrote my 2013 Year in Review, it dawned on me that I never showcased the FINISHED PRODUCT.

Every time I enter the new mudroom, I squeal, because y’all, it is just beautiful. This is the wall unit that my dad built for the room.

Isn’t it fabulous?

[Note: This is the wall unit before the new foam flooring was installed.]

We ordered foam flooring almost two years ago and it has sat – in boxes – in the hallway until weeks ago when we were ready to install it.  The foam flooring comes in puzzle pieces, and as always, the boys were eager to help their dad install it.

It took McDaddy and his assistants approximately six hours to install the foam flooring and this is a pretty big room.

This is the before:

And, THIS is the after:

It looks like wood flooring, but it is actually foam. (Oh, and I have no idea why the striped wallpaper looks psychedelic.) It feels like you are walking on a sponge.

This picture was taken just before the floor was finished in front of the closet door.

To install a foam floor, you just measure and put the pieces together like a puzzle.

Just look at this laundry area.

Y’all, I swear I hear The Hallelujah Chorus every time I step into this room. I really wish I would’ve taken a picture of this room before we started any of the work. (I probably have a picture somewhere but I can’t find it. You should trust me when I tell you that it was a hot, cluttered mess.)

Another plus of this nice, big room with a foam floor is that our boys use it as a basketball court.

Thanks to Pinterest (I’m sure McDaddy just rolled his eyes!) I discovered a great tip for metal / wire shelving. I went to Lowe’s and purchased eight of these adhesive tiles. I removed the backing and attached them to the bottom shelf. Six of the tiles fit perfectly on this bottom shelf.

Cue the violins.

I love, love, love this new room and I appreciate all the work that McDaddy and MyDaddy did to make it beautiful!

For more great mudroom ideas, visit my Pinterest Board “Designing My Mudroom.”

Tip Junkie Handmade Projects

Falling Into Christmas

Last time we spoke, I was scurrying around preparing for Thanksgiving. Truthfully, I was scurrying around getting cabinets cleaned out because now that I have a fancy new wall-unit in my mud-room, I have plenty-o-space to store all of my serving dishes and serving baskets, which is fabulous because yay for LOTS OF EXTRA SPACE!

Then, there was the annual day-before Thanksgiving prep day with my parents where they spend the day in our kitchen cooking and I spend the day in my kitchen keeping the dishes and kitchen cleaned up.

In other words, the only turkey I prepared on Thanksgiving was this one.

He turned out so cute. I didn’t even want to cut into it.

My dad made the chipped-beef cheese ball. I used a Slim-Jim for the neck. I hot-glued the candy corn nose onto the Slim Jim, and I also hot-glued the M&Ms to the Slim Jim. Lastly, I used a Sharpie to draw the pupils on.

CHIPPED BEEF CHEESE BALL

2 pkgs. chipped beef (found in the lunchmeat section)

2 (8 oz.) packages of softened cream cheese

1 tsp. Worchester sauce.

1/2 cup chopped onion (more if you don’t mind onion breath)

Combine all ingredients, form into a ball and refrigerate.

Our Thanksgiving was wonderfully low-key. I decided weeks ago that for the first time in as many years as I can remember, I was not going out to shop on Thanksgiving evening or even on black Friday. There was no stress to get out at a decent hour. There was no worry about getting *the* item. I just stayed home, relaxed, and *might* have asked begged McDaddy to start getting my Christmas décor down despite his “no Christmas décor until after Thanksgiving rule.” To my surprise, he did agree to get two Snowman totes down from the loft.

I am always so happy to change out fall for Christmas.

And just for the record, these three Christmas scents are FAB-U-LOUS!!! I wash my hands several times a day just so that my hands will smell yummy!

On Friday, I hit the ground running, excited to get my Christmas stuff out, especially since (after years of searching) I found a snowman tree-topper at Cracker Barrel.

I know!

I went crazy when I saw this one sitting atop a tree in Cracker Barrel, especially since I had spent the past two weeks searching online and Pinterest to find one.

I had to ditch the gold beads I have used for the past ten or so years for the red/lime green ribbon-like stuff they had on display there. I know it sounds absurd, but I absolutely love sitting in the dark looking at a lighted Christmas tree, especially now that all of my gift-wrap matches the red/lime-green theme on my tree.

Be still my beating OCD heart.

This looks even more fabulous in person than it does right here.

And of course, my ornaments are so very special to me. I even added a couple of Longaberger tree-trimming baskets this year.

While it is true that I HATE snow, I happen to LOVE snowmen.

In fact, most of my Christmas décor (and for the record, I don’t ever use the term, décor… I would use the term decorations, instead) is snowmen.

Even in our bathroom.

My goodness, I love the holidays and everything that goes along with them.

Except.

I hope these next nine days C-R-E-E-P by because HOLY COW Y’ALL, FORTY.

Have a great week, folks.

As for me? I’ll be busy running Santa’s Workshop at Alex’s school trying to enjoy what’s left of my thirties.

Designing My Mudroom

For more than a year, McDaddy and I have been making plans to turn our fifth bedroom into a mudroom. The room is off of the garage, but when we moved into our home, there was no door connecting the room to the garage because apparently the people who owned the house before us were crazy people who didn’t feel a need for the garage to be accessible from inside the house.

It took about fourteen minutes after closing on our home for McDaddy to decide that the first project up in here would be to cut a hole in the basement wall and put a door in.

And that’s precisely what he did.

So, the fifth bedroom – as it was listed on the house description – became a fifth bedroom with garage access. In addition to the room being more useful (because now McDaddy could get to the basement bathroom from the garage) the room became a catch-all because aside from walking through the room from the garage, we rarely spent any amount time in there.

Then, I started spending time on Pinterest.

And I saw all these beautiful mudrooms.

And the proverbial wheels started turning.

And like I do every time I get a wild hair up my you-know-what I began my mudroom campaign talking to McDaddy about turning the big, handy room off of the garage into a mudroom.

I started a Pinterest board called Designing My Mudroom and I started pinning like a crazy person.

Have I mentioned how much I love Pinterest?

Soon after that, I asked my dad if it would be possible to build a wall-unit and I showed him several pictures of units I pinned to my DMM Board, and explained how I’d like more shelves because OH MY WORD WE HAVE LOTS OF JUNK.

If I had any sense, I would have taken a picture of the drawing my dad made based on the description I gave him, because it was impressive. 

Soon after deciding to remodel the room, we started to shop for flooring. We settled on wood-grain foam flooring, and ordered it soon after that. That flooring is in boxes in our basement and I can’t tell you how excited I am to get the floor installed. But that’s another story for another day.

Anyway.

My dad’s friend, Frank has a workshop. The two of them spent several days working to get the wood cut and prepared.

 

And you can imagine my excitement as I watched the wall unit starting to come together.

That’s Frank on the left and my Daddy on the right.

And here’s my daddy attaching the hooks that will eventually hold our jackets. (HI DAD!)

Now.

Do you see all that fancy chair rail on top of the unit?

That was all my dad. I assumed that it would just be a flat board on top because it is so close to the ceiling. I never dreamed he would make it so fancy, but OH MY HEAVENLY DAY, I LOVE IT!

Nor did I have any idea that he and Frank would make the shelves on the sides adjustable, BUT SWEET HALLELUJAH I LOVE OPTIONS!

You can imagine my excitement when I walked into the room to see this.

I plan to use scrapbook stickers to put our names on each of our shoe bins. Additionally, I have asked my friend Jill to make a denim cushion for the area just above the shoe bins. And as bad as I straight-up HATE to wait, I. MUST. WAIT. because Jill is busy making a Halloween costume for her daughter.

And speaking of WAITING.

I won’t be waiting long before telling McDaddy to GET THESE FRIGGIN’ JEEP TIRES OUT OF THE ROOM, so we can clear out the room and get the new flooring down.

I’ll share the pictures just as soon as we get the floor done.

Stay tuned….

Decorating For Fall

It’s hard to welcome Fall with open arms when it’s 90-some degrees every other day. I am waiting patiently to cook up a crock-pot of chili or a big ol bucket of vegetable soup on a cold, crisp day.

Although I’ve been burning Pumpkin Cupcake and Pumpkin Pecan Waffle candles for more than a month, it has taken me a little longer to get all of my fall décor in order. I have moved this stuff around for weeks (because I am an indecisive crazy person) but as of today, I think I’ve got it all where I want it.

I am most excited about my front porch.

though I have no idea what is up with my front door. (Shadows maybe?) Let the record reflect that I have kept the mum alive for an entire week

I study Pinterest to get porch ideas but mine never quite turns out like anything I see on there.

I picked up this cute little bench at a primitive shop earlier this week.

The lady at the shop suggested I coat the bench with polyurethane to protect it from the elements.

I plan to do that this weekend.

This guy hangs out on the other side of the door.

And here’s a close-up of my front door (and also one of my favorite fall décor pieces).

Unfortunately I forgot about this little fella when I repainted my front door. Leave it to me to paint my door the same color as his shirt. Kinda makes me think I should have left it sage green.

Have I mentioned that I just love fall?

Moving inside, my dining-room table is plain and simple. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with Longaberger.

I just love it!

Our great room includes our living room, dining room and kitchen. The living room portion is all decked out for fall. The basket shown in the middle of the table is a Longaberger cake basket. I purchased the pumpkin lid during a trip to Dresden a couple of years ago. It makes me smile. (They also had a snowman lid which I did not buy. That does NOT make me smile because every year when I get the pumpkin lid out for fall, I think about the snowman one too!)

I picked up the smaller items at Big Lots and Crafts 2000.

Our living room features a large bay window. I decorate it for every season.

I picked up the sunflower bowl at Big Lots one day last week. They have a really nice line of fall décor and I just love it! (I typically place assorted size boxes in the window and then throw a table-cloth or sheet on top of the boxes.) The wooden picture on the right is actually one of our church bulletins decoupaged onto a wooden square. I love that one of the ladies from our church taught us how to do that at a ladies retreat a few years back.

The coffee table falls victim to movement pretty frequently because the boys sometimes sit on the table when they play the Wii, or use the table for a race track for their cars. (I am a firm believer that scratches only add to the personality of a coffee table and there will come a day when I will look back on the table and long for another CARS race around its perimeter.)

I’ve been toying with the idea of moving these three glass cylinders to the coffee table. The only problem is that they are tall and I feel like they distract from the television which sits directly in front of the coffee table.

I love this little end table display (but I HATE candy corn!)

And if you haven’t tried a pumpkin candle from Bath and Body, I suggest you get your tail end over there right now! (In the interest of full disclosure, I am not being compensated to say anything about B&B candles. It just so happens they are my favorite candles and they smell yummy!)

That’s fall around here, y’all!

Decorating My Bathroom

As much time as I spend on Pinterest looking at decorating tips, I should have a degree in interior design by now. If I had my way, I’d have one of the decorators from my favorite Amish shop make a little visit here to help me get this place in order. When we redecorated our family room downstairs, a couple of decorator friends came over, went through my house gathering baskets and candles and other stuff from upstairs and they took it all downstairs and placed every single thing in a perfect place. I would love it if they would come over every three months or so and just change things up. I still smile every time I go down there.

I made a trip to Target, Home Goods and Pier One a few weeks ago in search of some things to put above my kitchen cabinets, after doing some um, Pinterest research on decorating above kitchen cabinets. No matter how much greenery I look at, I just can’t imagine making it work in my own kitchen. Ultimately, I just ended up pulling some baskets from my family room and changing some things around.

But anyway, back to The Pinterest. If one is not careful, visiting Pinterest could be a depressing place. But then there are other times I look at pins on there and think, maybe my place doesn’t look so bad after all.

The last time we were shopping in the Amish Country, I decided I needed less stuff to sit around and more stuff to sit stuff on. So, in addition to some stuff to sit around I bought a shelf that I just knew would look perfect in my bathroom. I also bought a great strand of rain-droplet lights that are on a timer. Then, I brought all the items home, stuffed them in my closet, and left for two weeks. I spent a good amount of time searching for things like primitive decorating, decorating a shelf, and placing items on a shelf.

When we arrived home, I couldn’t wait to start redecorating the bathroom. The only problem was, I needed McDaddy to hang the shelf. Of course I had to wait until he moved cars and 4-wheelers and straightened up the garage, and washed a car, but he finally did it!

Here’s a picture of my bathroom PRE-SHELF. (I have no idea why it looks like a smoke-filled room.)

And here’s a [really bad] pic of the bathroom, post NEW SHELF round one.

I say round one, because Lord have mercy, I moved about fifty items on and off of that thing before settling on NEW SHELF pic round 4,127.

After I settled on these items, I got out my little rain-drop light set to add to the berries on the top shelf. As luck would have it, I somehow picked up a set of lights that don’t work. So, I have to mail the lights back to Berlin, Ohio with a copy of my receipt, a note explaining that they don’t work and on top of that I have to PAY POSTAGE to send them back. And for someone who wants everything RIGHTNOW! this situation aggravates me.

Oh, and I think it’s worth mentioning that the candle that you see on the right hand side of the shelf is a battery-powered candle that is also on a timer. It makes me so happy that I don’t have to climb over into my bathtub every time I want the candle on.

Oh, and also, one of the best “finds” I’ve found lately, is that little bouquet of flowers in the basket in the upper left hand corner of the picture. I found them at Michael’s and literally just dropped them into the basket. They match my bathroom perfectly and that makes my OCD smile.

What I Learned This Week

I spent most of the day in the bathroom.

Don’t you just love a blog post that starts off like that?

Before you gag, I suppose I should clarify that I spent most of the day in the bathroom cleaning.

My stupid bladder has decided to go and show itself, and if you’ve never had a stupid bladder infection, you should count your blessings. I bet I peed 417 times, today. My Doctor prescribed an antibiotic and it got better for several days. Today though? Back with a friggin’ vengeance. I decided I might as well just hang out in there to save myself some trouble.

It isn’t often that the urge to purge hits.

So when it does, my best bet is to take advantage OF THE SITUATION and get rid of the clutter and the nonsense.

I dumped the contents of one Longaberger basket out in the hallway. There are no less than fifteen little tubes of toothpaste, approximately ten toothbrushes, and ten or eleven little things of floss, an ace bandage, a candle, four rolls of scotch tape, chap stick, various medicines, some matches, an assortment of screws, and a partridge in a pear tree.

As much as I love my Longaberger basket collection, it aggravates me that I have stuff stuck everywhere.

Say that four times real fast.

Anyway, today was the day to clean the joint up.

I scrubbed, dusted, washed, wiped, peed, purged, swiped, peed. rearranged, sprayed, swept, peed, and mopped.

After three or four hours (and about 371 texts between me and my friend, Missy) my bathroom was a lot cleaner than it was when I started. As I cleaned and admired my bathroom (I know it sounds crazy, but our bathroom is beautiful!) it dawned on me how yucky it looked when we bought the house.

For starters, it had dark green carpet with nail polish stains.

And most of the “wood” was nasty and yucky.

Here’s what it looked like when we bought it.

Sadly, the dark green carpet is so dark you can’t even see it.

And let us not forget about the leaky tub.

Do you see the puff thing hanging from the faucet? The previous owners had a washcloth hanging there when we did the walk through and again when the inspector inspected the place. As it turns out, there was a crack in the tub. The first time we used the tub (to wash the window screens) water leaked out of the tub and leaked from the dropped ceiling in the basement.

Add that to the nasty, dull wood around the tub and before you know it, you’ve spent a small fortune repairing and remodeling the entire room.

But, just have a look.

For starters, McDaddy replaced the nasty dark green carpet with ceramic tile (with special thanks to a DIY You Tube video).

Next, we replaced the wood platform that held the sink with a custom vanity cabinet with LOTS of storage space. After shopping (and then SAVING) for a custom double bowl sink, we finally ordered one from sLowes. (You can read about that experience, here. As is often the case around here, be prepared for a big, windy tale.) We were dismayed to discover that the previous goof-balls owners decided it was perfectly acceptable to stop the wall-paper at the top of the wood platform. That meant there was approximately a four-inch gap between the end of the wallpaper and the top of the countertop.

Y’all.

You can’t know how much of an aggravation that was.

Because of that, McDaddy had to install a “backsplash” above the countertop to HIDE that mess. It turned out beautifully, but it was a headache. Next, we purchased fancy faucets which I ABSOLUTELY ADORE.

I told you the bathroom was beautiful!

Once that was finished – or maybe we did the bathtub first, I can’t remember, now – McDaddy and I shopped for a garden tub. We opted not to purchase one with jets, so when I bathe McDaddy blows into the water with a straw to create a jet-stream in the tub.

Only not really.

Because our new tub was taller than the old tub, it was necessary for McDaddy to build the “platform” up before he could tile it. Then, we found some super cheap perfect tile, and McDaddy worked his fingers to the bone to install it.

And just look how it turned out…

I love our bathroom! And I like it a whole lot better when it’s clean!

That’s what I learned this week

Now, what did YOU learn?

To join in on the What I Learned This Week carnival, simply follow these steps.

1. Any time this week, publish your What I Learned This Week post on your blog and link to this post.

2. Link up with the Mr. Linky form down below. Please put the link to your POST, not the front page of your blog.

3. Then visit the other participants and see what they learned this week.

Alrightythen. Ready, Set, GO!



Primed. And Ready.

Well, the last time I checked in here my head was full of snot. My head is a lot better, but the runny nose just keeps hanging on. And now, on top of the runny nose and snot, I am high on paint fumes.

We are smack-dab in the middle of a room remodel. Basically, we are converting a “wreck-room” into a mud-room. It’s been a work in progress, and tonight I had the bright idea to throw a coat of primer on a wall that had to be cut out, fixed, dry-walled, plastered, sanded, and then primed. Not the best idea I’ve had in a while.

As it turns out, the primer was oil-based, which is code for big-fat mess.

Mess on my hands. Mess on my arms. Mess on the paint-brush. Mess on the roller. And now, a big mess all over my bath-tub because that’s where genius decided to clean the brush and roller before throwing in the towel and tossing that mess in the trash. Which is also why my arms (and hands and fingernails) are splattered with small white impossible-to-remove oily spots.

I’ve been scrubbing from finger-tip to elbow with lava soap. Lava soap is straight-up nasty, in case you were wondering. Most of all, it stinks. If by chance you are the CEO of lava soap and you’ve happened upon my blog today, may I suggest that you consider offering a scented version of your soap. Coconut, or sugar cookie, perhaps?

After whining around on the Facebook, several of my friends gave some suggestions on how to get the big-fat-oil-based-mess off of my hands. None of the suggestions sounded even remotely pleasant.

  • Ether
  • Motor Oil
  • Lestoil
  • Gasoline
  • Simple Green
  • WD 40

Gasoline? Really?

People really wash their hands in gasoline?

Or ether?

Um, I suppose I better just be thankful for the nasty lava soap and be done with it. OH, and you can write this down, too… I will never again EVER dabble in the big-fat-oil-based primer nonsense. Thankfully, the wall is ready for honest-to-goodness NORMAL paint. I plan to paint the wall tomorrow.

For now though, I’m off to scrub my hands.

Again.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

A Little Sit-uation

If you’re a regular visitor ’round these parts, you know that I spent about four weeks of my life shopping for living room furniture. I shopped frantically and often. I went a little crazier crazy.

We purchased our previous furniture immediately after moving into our home eight years ago. When I first saw it on the showroom floor, it jumped out at me and I loved it from that very first second. It was country and comfortable wrapped in one big fluffy package. It saw us through two babies, four weeks of bed-rest, Stevie falling off of it and passing out, lots of puke/poop episodes, and it has served as a bed for Stevie as he often wakes up to find himself sleeping on it, and I couldn’t tell you the number of 3 am nursing sessions that included me watching reruns of “The Cosby Show.” You could say that me and this couch has been through a lot.

Please say hello to our old couch.

It was an exciting day in our neighborhood because lookie here…

Two really nice fellas delivered our new furniture today.

Feast your eyes on this beauty.

 It’s sapphire blue and it all reclines. And, I should tell you that the pillows that you see are the pillows from our old couch. Our new pillows will match my beautiful country rocker which is not here yet.

Here’s the view from my big, blue, bloggychair.

I am tickled and it works for me!

I’ll be even more thrilled  when my country rocker makes its way to our doorstep to replace my big, blue, bloggy chair.

Visit THAT family for more Works For Me Wednesday posts.

A Man And His Hoe

McDaddy decided some time ago that we needed to do something about the parking situation at our house.

We have a garage at the bottom of a sloped driveway, and a single parking place in front of our house beside the road. That means any time one of us happens to be going out, we might have to move vehicles around before leaving if we need to take a vehicle that happens to be in back of the driveway or in the garage.

Our parking spot on the road looks like this.

That just so happens to be the same truck I backed into the neighbor’s mailbox. See, I told you it was long.

Eventually, McDaddy would like a parking place large enough for four vehicles OR our camper and one car. Last Saturday, McDaddy invited a friend of ours over to assist with the parking situation. Josh showed up early Saturday morning and as one might guess with a title ‘A Man And His Hoe,’ he was not alone.

Meet Josh.

And his hoe.

What?

What did you think I was referring to?

Within a few hours, Josh and his hoe did this.

As one might imagine, our boys were in their glory.

They assessed,

The measured,

They watched intently,

They worked,

And they even drew up their own plans as they assessed the job site.

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering the 91 inch. thing is the dirt pile.

Stevie and Alex are actually down in the hole.

I wasn’t the least bit surprised when McDaddy suggested he might drive the heap upon the large dirt pile to get a picture.

McDaddy did what he could do to assist Josh with the excavation.

But, I bet if you asked McDaddy he would tell you that he’d love nothing more than to play with Josh’s hoe now that all of the work is done.

It’s probably safe to say that McDaddy was a tad bit jealous of Josh and his hoe because just look at that beauty. 

Stevie was pretty fond of the hoe, too.

What is it about a man and a hoe, anyway?

I had a hard time deciding on a title for this post. For your entertainment, I thought it might be fun to share some of the ones I considered,

  • Gettin’ down and dirty with a hoe.
  • Hoes ain’t so bad after all.
  • McDaddy and the hoe.
  • McDaddy, his friend, and the hoe.
  • Knock, knock. Hoe’s there?  (Because I have a seven year that constantly tells jokes)
  • There’s a hoe at my house.
  • Welcoming the hoe
  • Get that hoe out of here.
  • A fun hoe.
  • Spending the day with a hoe.
  • Hey hoe, whatcha’ doin?

I’m telling you people, the list could go on and on.

And since I know lots of you are laughing at the possibilities, I’d love to hear your suggestions, too.