Friday, August 21, 2015

The Clean Table Club

Happy Friday! I'm so glad it's the weekend! It's going to be a fun one full of birthday parties and family time!

I hear people talk all the time about how much good it does them to make their bed every day. They say it makes their entire house feel neat and clean and helps them feel accomplished. Are you in the made bed club, too?

I was in the made bed club at our old house, because our bedroom was right off the living room and garage entrance, so I passed it a million times a day. However, in our current home, our room is tucked away and never seen, so I've totally slacked on the bed making. #confessions

BUT, there is one thing that I always do that gives me that freshly made bed feeling--I pretty up the dining room table. I try super hard to keep it cleared off and decorated. I keep the decor really simple because we eat at this table three times a day and I don't like having to take decorations off and on. But, keeping it neat and pretty helps me feel like at least one room in the house is clean!

I'm always playing with different centerpieces and am slightly obsessed with table runners. I love that I can leave a table runner on all the time without us getting food all over it and I can spray/wipe the table down without moving the decor.

I've used a variety of things for centerpieces from pretty sea glass jugs, a woven fruit basket, a pitcher of flowers, etc. I recently found this woven tray at Target and absolutely LOVE how it looks on the table combined with a pitcher of flowers! Bonus points for being able to toss in the salt and pepper shakers and extra napkins!

I may not be able to make it into the made bed club, but that's ok. I'll just start my own clean table club and our membership cards will be way cooler. ;)

Do you have any household tasks that you must do to keep your house feeling clean? Ya know... besides actually cleaning? Ha! What are your favorite table centerpieces?

To see more centerpieces, check out my project gallery! This fall one and this Christmas one are some of my favorite super simple ones! I can't wait to get to put them out in the coming months!

Linking up to Remodelaholic and many other awesome blogs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Playroom Progress: Organized Cabinets

Hope you all had a great weekend! I spent the weekend at the lake with a couple of my favorite friends and it was mar-vel-ous! Huge thanks to my hubby for staying home with the kids so I could get away!

I'm inching across the finish line in the playroom and am so excited about my latest project! When we first moved into this house 3 years ago, we put a bunch of random things into the playroom built-in cabinets, intending to organize it at some point when we got settled. Well, that some point apparently never came, because here's what it looked like until last week.

Scary, right?! Even with the doors closed, you could tell there was chaos lurking behind the frosted glass...

I finally got up the gusto to get a handle on the crazy and emptied it all out. I purged A TON and only kept what we really use and need. Ready to see what it looks like now?

Way, way, waaaaay, better!

As you can see, I moved the shelf up to accommodate inexpensive square storage bins that I picked up at Target. I used the square bins to store paints, Play-Doh, household tools (our garage is detached, so we keep a small set of tools in the house for easy access), and household items like batteries and the pencil sharpener.

I labeled the bins with chalkboard labels that I found in the Target dollar spot. Aren't they cute?! A total steal!

On the top shelf, I reused some plastic storage bins I had on hand to store our user manuals, my acrylic and oil paints, and my craft paints.

To keep the clear bins from looking messy, I slid a piece of cute scrapbook paper in the front, then popped on the lid. I finished off the bins with chalkboard labels.

So much neater! I love how the turquoise bins pick up the turquoise accents around the room!

Gotta love a good before and after!

Next time you see the playroom on the blog, it will be for the grand reveal! Hooray!

Linking up to Remodelaholic and many other awesome blogs!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Keep Bleeding, Keep Keep Bleeding Not love. Is that song stuck in your head now? It's certainly stuck in mine. ;)

Let's have a little chat. I started this blog to document our home adventures. I try to keep it sunny over here on the blog, but life isn't sunshine and roses all the time, right? So, let's chat about the not so pretty side of our home adventures, shall we?

Back when we first looked at our home mere hours after it went on the market, we fell for it hard. I mean, you really can't beat the curb appeal and natural light this house offers and the location is stellar. There were, of course, some cons like the fact that the house has small bedrooms, a small-ish kitchen with no pantry, and a hill for a backyard. But, the pros far outweighed the cons and we put in an offer while we were still touring the house.

One thing we noticed while touring the house, though, was that while it was not ancient, it was hitting the age where the major systems needed to be replaced. The windows, roof, water heaters, and most of the AC units/furnaces were original to the home circa 1998. We knew that these things would likely start breaking in the next 5 years, so we braced ourselves for the inevitable storm of expenses. And that's where we are today... In the storm of expenses with a tornado sucking the money right out of our wallet.

So, here's the not so glamorous home projects we've been doing the past several months. I haven't blogged them in real-time because they are a total snooze fest! But, this is part of the journey, so I'm giving them to you today!

First, two windows rotted. They were wood and were not looking too hot when we first bought the house. We held off as long as we could, but finally had to buckle down and replace them with new vinyl windows. Holy cow, windows are SO expensive!

Funny story... I may have chased down the window installer in the driveway as she was hauling out the old windows and asked her to keep them. Thankfully, she understood my crazy and handed them over, even offering ideas for what to do with them. Ha, love it!

Cute, right? And "free"! 

Next thing to go was the main hot water heater. It was so bad that even turned on the hottest setting, we couldn't make it through a shower without running out of hot water. We also noticed that the gas pipe was corroding, so we went ahead and got it replaced. Warm showers abound! Yay!
Our dishwasher has given us trouble for a couple years now, but thankfully it was operational enough to use. The top rack brackets broke 2 years ago and the repair man saved us major bucks by securing the rack with heavy duty zip ties. Now why didn't we think of that?! Then the rinse aid compartment broke shortly after that, so we constantly had cups drying on the counter since they weren't drying in the dishwasher. Drying dishes by hand? Ain't nobody got time for that.

But, then a few weeks ago, the dishwasher started stalling out in the middle of the cycle. The repairman was out THREE times and changed three parts to no avail. It was decided that the control panel was bad ($$$$), so we finally put a stop to the madness and bought a new dishwasher. Cha-ching. That one hurt, because the dishwasher was not old at all and should not have had so many troubles! Do yourself a favor and don't buy a Samsung! Our new Whirlpool dishwasher came today and after a month of hand washing dishes, I kissed it and declared it my new best friend. ;)

And you thought I was kidding... 

Think I'm done? I wish! In the midst of the dishwasher troubles, our downstairs AC unit started making loud noises and working really hard. Then, it started working so hard that the floor was vibrating when it was on. Yeah, not good. Turns out, the blower fan went out and needed to be replaced. Our AC and furnace share the same blower fan and it happened to be located inside the furnace. The furnace was original to the home in and was already 5+ years past what they normally last. Instead of dumping hundreds of dollars into fixing it just for it to die soon, we replaced the furnace. It felt very strange to be replacing a furnace in 100 degree heat! But, now our AC works like a dream and is so quiet!

Oh yes, and our garage door opener went out. We've just lived without it for a while, but as soon as we can find time, we are going to try to tackle replacing that ourselves. Wish us luck!

Whew, that's a long, depressing list, huh? In a way, it's relieving to get some of this stuff done. We've been living with the knowledge that these things would break soon, so it's nice to get some of it off our minds. BUT, I'm just praying nothing else goes out for a while! Enough is enough!

I'll be back next week with more fun posts than pictures of water heaters and furnaces. Ha! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

5 Minute Fix: Dipping Bowls

Hey, Friends! I'm popping in to share a quick decor fix I completely recently. We've been up to our necks in building projects, so it was so nice to be able to accomplish something short and easy. Not all projects have to be intense and complicated, right?!

I was walking through Target recently and spotted an assortment of adorable Threshold dipping bowls. The colors and patterns were all spot on and were loudly calling my name. Too bad I'm on a Low Fodmap diet, or I'd use them for a ginormous bowl of ranch. :) But, since that can't happen, I knew they'd be great bowls to use around the house!

I picked up this blue one to set on top of the shoe cabinet. I originally thought we'd store our keys in it, but after I found this cute $2 succulent at Home Depot, I changed my mind and made it into a planter. All I did was pop the plant out of the container and replant it in the bowl.

This bowl perfectly matches our bedroom, so I picked it up to store my hair ties and eye cream (which I forget to use every single night... low maintenance girl problems. Ha!). It looks so cute on my nightstand and corrals the clutter nicely.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy and seriously only took me 5 minutes! What simple decor fixes have you done recently? I'd love to hear about them!

Savvy Southern StyleRemodelaholic, and many other awesome bloggers!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Painted Interior Door Inspiration & Poll

Hi, Friends! Are you guys on Periscope? I was a bit skeptical at first, but I'll admit, I'm hooked! I love watching my favorite bloggers pop in from time to time!

I posted a quick video on my Periscope (@littlebitshome) yesterday showing you the inside of our front door. It's pathetic. Old, dinged up white paint and a $4 temporary shade that I guess should be called permanent considering it's been on the door for three years! Yes, it's taken me that long to figure out what to do with the door! Ha!

Here's what I'm thinking-- Paint...That...Door!!! But, I can't decide on a color for the life of me. I've considered black, charcoal, yellow, blue, green, and gray. A friend added beige to that list to tie in with the design on the blue chair in the living room. I love the idea of picking up the warm neutral, but wish I could magically make my door weathered wood instead of painting it beige. Where's my magic fairy wand when I need it?

Aside from replacing the door with wood (spoiler alert--it's out of the budget), I've narrowed it down to three choices-- leave it white and add color with a cute shade, paint it gray, or paint it blue. I gravitated toward those choices because the front door is sandwiched between the living room and dining room which are heavily decorated in gray/green/blue/ivory. Here's a look at the nearby living spaces. 

Entry Way

Dining Room--will be painting this a lighter, grayer shade of green soon!

Living Room

Here's some of my inspiration. Please vote at the bottom for your favorite option! Or, write in a different option in the comments! I can't wait to hear what you guys think!



Ok, now VOTE! :) 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Living Room Built-In Reveal

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay, our living room built-in is finished! I am absolutely giddy about it and have been dying to show it to you! If you missed it, catch up on the first part of the built-in story here.

I've gotta say, my husband rocked this build! I described to him how I wanted the built-in to look, showed him pictures of the different aspects I was thinking of, and drew sketches of the parts that lived only in my imagination. Somehow, he took all of that and made me exactly what I had envisioned! He even added his own touches to make the cord storage more efficient. So thankful for my awesome hubby!

One of my goals for the built-in was to balance out this wall in the living room. We have an oversized fireplace with planking in the middle and a tall window on one side, so I wanted to add something the same height and width as the window on the other side. The built-ins give us that balance I was seeking!

The addition of crown moulding, trim, and baseboards makes the built in look more complete and like it should have always been here. It just belongs!

I am a simplistic decorator and don't like clutter, but I did want just a couple shelves for pretty things. I love the homey feel the shelves give the living room. I'm already dreaming about how to decorate them in the fall!

We mounted the TV to the built-in using a full motion swiveling bracket. This enables us to angle the TV toward the far side of the sectional if desired. Such a great feature! We use this function every night!

 Here's the view from the corner of the sectional with the TV swiveled out.

The bottom cabinets perfectly houses our components, cords, and electronic gear. I'll do an entire post on the storage aspect when I finish organizing everything!

And these knobs. Oh, these knobs! They are my very favorite part of the built-in! They're like the cherry on top of a delicious sundae!

This project took us three weeks to complete between the construction time and the time it took me to do all the painting and finishing, but it was entirely worth it! It makes our whole living room and adds so much needed storage. Best part? No more TV on my fireplace! What's that? The Hallelujah Chorus playing in the back ground?! Ha!

This was definitely our biggest and most complicated build. We didn't have building plans for it, so Jeremy literally figured it out as he went. We learned a lot, like how to make cabinet doors and how to cut outside crown moulding corners. I'll share some of those details in the coming weeks!

And just for fun, a little before and after action for you! The living room has come a long way in the past 3 years!

What is your biggest project? Did you love the end result?

Linking up with Savvy Southern Style, Remodelaholic, and many other awesome bloggers!
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