Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Finishing what you started

So with less than 11 weeks until the arrival of baby Bryan, I'm feeling the pressure to get his room listo pronto! So far...his room looks like this. Half storage, half percent baby zen. But, before I could start on Bryan's room - I decided I had to finish Claire's room first. Long story short - we updated her crib (yes it is a toddler bed now and yes, she rocks it like a big girl), put together some DIY super cheap wall art, and most importantly did some organizing/consolidating/ donating of toys to her baby brother. Here's a few pics of her new big girl room. Enjoy! :)

Claire decided since it was her room - she needed to have her picture up too. :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dining room switcheroo...

So here's an update on our dining room. As some of you know, we've overhauled a lot of the original floor plan to our house, including the kitchen, living room, dining room, master suite, etc. All that to say, in our before pics - this space was more or less a corner with a chair. It took some vision, but the project is finally finished. We built new wainscoting last weekend to give the space a little uniqueness. It is a part of our "great room" now - so it needed a little style of it's own. Hope you enjoy!
So here was the original space. Before this room was the dining room on one end (now the living room) and a seating area on this end (now the dining room). I know it's a little confusing. That door to the left is the front door to the house, so I wanted this space to really set the tone for the house. As much as I loved these original hardwood floors, when we expanded this room to include the kitchen, the hardwood ran into concrete slab. I knew trying to harmonize two different floor types would make these spaces feel disjointed, so we installed a floating laminate floor over both spaces. The bonus is that it's super puppy and baby friendly and doesn't have a single scratch yet!


So for the most part this project was minimal. The flooring was part of our kitchen budget and the rug we repurposed from the living room of our old apartment. We went with mismatched chairs (super budget friendly) and painted them all the same color. The wainscoting should have cost us about $235, but we dug through the garage for leftover supplies from other projects to return and whoola...$42. I built and installed the wainscoting on a Friday, and the Chris puttied and painted over the weekend. I love that it was such a simple project. I have a feeling it might find it's way into a few more spaces in our house. :)

So our centerpiece still needs a little work. I just threw together a few items from the rest of the house to give the table a little warmth.

Here's a sneak peak of our living room.....shhhh.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I know you've been holding your breath....

Here they finally are. The finished master bathroom photos. It was a lot of work, but we're so happy with how everything turned out!! Our budget was $5,000 and we came in at $4,920. We completely gutted the space, meaning walls to the studs and floors to the foundation. We added all new fixtures, ran new electricity and completely overhauled the existing plumbing. My favorite parts of the space would be the quartz countertop, backsplash and our amazing rain shower head! Hope you love the pictures, meanwhile, we've been busy on other projects - so expect more updates soon! 

 Just so you don't have to flip back, here's a couple of before pictures:

Here's the after:

So as you know we finished the whole project without hiring any professional help! This vanity is a custom-built that my mom made in her shop! Can you say mother of the year award. The hardware and lighting are from, and the rest of this space is brought to you by Lowe's and Home depot.

These wood blinds were $26 at Home Depot, and they made such a huge difference!! The shelves are simple little additions from Target. Cute, but I wouldn't put my library on them!! I bet Ikea ones would be stronger. :)

You can see a little of the shower curtain here which I made form Dwell Studio fabric. We added a curved shower rod which makes our shower feel huge!

Our "rain" shower head from Delta! This was one our splurges, but it is amazing! Also the handle for the shower head holds it temperature setting which means no more guessing where it should go - just turn on the pressure and you're done!
Thanks to all our friends and family that helped with inspiration, lending a paintbrush and much needed encouragement when the project became a little overwhelming!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tile Scheme

So I picked out the tile for the bathroom. It was Fabrique - blanc linen by Daltile. They are large tiles 12 X 24 and I found three local places that could order them for me. The best price of the three charged $5.60 a square foot with an $80 shipping charge. That came to about $375. I found the tile online for $3.99/sq ft, but the website charged a $199 freight charge to deliver it. Which came to about $390.52. Let me just say, neither of these numbers were in the budget.

So I came up with a scheme to score some tile. On the Daltile website, you can order a full-size sample of whatever tile you want for $7.95. Same price for any tile they have. Since my tiles are essentially 2 square feet each, I only need 20. Budget in 20% breakage, and I really needed 24. 24 tiles at 7.95 each comes to $190.80. This number rocked. So I started ordering sample tiles. They only let you order one at a time, so I had to order 3 or 4 a day several hours a part to keep them from catching on. At one point they called me to make sure I wanted to order 4 of the same sample, but I just said yes. And they said cool. Today I received the last of my tiles; each came in it's own giant box, which I have piled up in my garage. All in all, the plan went awesome. I saved $200 on tile and didn't even have to leave the house to do it. :)

Here's a swatch of my beautiful new tile:

Bathroom update.

Wow. There's so much to tell, I'm not sure where to start. Last weekend we tore out the last speck of pink from the bathroom! YAY! No more pink tub, no more pink tile, no more pink sinks or walls or countertops! :) Now it's just concrete. No much prettier, but not pink. In addition to the demolition, we've installed the new bathtub and built a wall to divide the new bedroom from the kitchen. I'm so excited to be past the demo stage and on to the creative stage. Almost everything for the new bathroom has been purchased and we should come in under our budget of $4,500. We spent our Sunday afternoon this week rebuilding the copper piping for the tub and shower. Chris is on board for anything that involves a blowtorch, and this involved a lot of it. The next step is to level the bathroom floor with leveling cement, install the shower backing, install the vanity, drywall, and then lay some tile. We're out of town this weekend for a wedding, so progress will have to pick up next week. I've posted some pics for everyone and I seriously hope you enjoy them!

P.S. if anyone wants to burn some cals or learn some mad skills feel free to drop by anytime! :) Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Halloween Costume for Claire.

So I decided to make a Halloween costume for Claire this year instead of buying one. I was planning on sewing some grand costume, when I saw this idea on Martha Stewart. All it took was a white onsie, some coffee filters and a glue gun to put together. Then I added a couple of little touches with some ribbon and fabric. All in all...I think she's going to be the cutest angel ever! We'll have to get a better pic for later, but you get the idea for now. I think I'm going to make matching wings for the dogs, so stay tuned. On a completely unrelated note. If you live in Nacogdoches and feel like dropping by my house to take a couple swings at my bathroom with the sledge hammer...feel free. The excitement of demolition is waning and my back is killing me. :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dating...from out to up. A work in progress.

So....the projects have been plentiful and the number of things on my half-done list seems to be growing in the wrong direction. I get nervous to update the blog when a project is only partially done, but as a good friend reminded me, it's the process that makes it interesting. So..let's catch up.

Project(s) completed:

Reupholstering the headboard for what will be the guest bedroom (as is currently our bedroom). You've seen this dwell studio fabric before on a post I wrote. Loving it every bit as much now as I did then. :)

This is Claire's room. The giraffe has yet to go up on the wall, but progress has been made. You can see a close-up here of the fabric I used to make the curtains. Pretty in pink.

Project(s) in progress:

First an update on that old mantle I bought off of craigslist. It has been stripped, sanded, primed and painted. We still have to do the tile inlay to make it look legit.

I decided to embrace my impulsiveness and love of painting and move outside the house to the banister on the front porch. Which I painted white...and then black. And then decided I hated it. But I thought maybe I could save it by painting the door black too. It got a little better....but not great. We drove by a house that had their window trim painted to match their front door, so I started to paint our window trim black and then decided I really hated that. I'm thinking black shutters might tie it all in. Or maybe just scrap it all and find another color, but stay tuned. Our house could be a rainbow before this is all done, in which case we will be handing out skittles for Halloween.

The one you've all been waiting for.....the sofa. I just want you to know reupholstering has become a dirty word to me. Please don't use it in my presence. Of all the projects I have tackled in my life from changing the alternator in our car to ripping off someone's roof....this one takes the cake, and for the moment it has the best of me. The sofa is a cushion and a half shy of being finished, and after realizing I sewed the last cushion backwards, I've decided to take a few days and come back to it. But I will leave you with a progress pic as long as the next time you see me you don't ask me how it's going.

Last but not least, I know you're expecting to hear an update on the blue bathroom, but we have decided it would make more sense to tackle the pink bathroom first. And thank God, because that much pink is giving me a headache. So...yesterday we officially started demolition. We're taking it slow because I'm pretty sure Chris would have a heart attack if I started smashing everything with a sledge hammer. Yesterday we shut off the plumbing to the bathroom and removed the sinks. If you know anyone who wants some retro pink sinks they are sitting in our garage and they are yours. Keep checking back for updates, and thanks for reading. I love getting to write this blog for everyone!!


Friday, September 2, 2011

Budgeting: DIY pest control and Toygaroo

So. New house = new budget and my tasks today were to find some new toys for Claire and figure out how much pest control costs (we've never had to pay for it before). So step 1 was calling Orkin, Terminex, and a local place....basically the only services I've ever heard of, and it didn't take long for me to realize pest control is stinkin' expensive. Too expensive; if you know me at know I have a HUGE fear of bugs, but there's nothing like a budget gap to help you overcome your fears so.....I googled until I found I called their 800 number and talked for about 30 minutes to a man who I'm pretty sure lives only to kill insects. 40 dollars later I should have enough poison on the way to last me a year. :) That was the easy part. Actually doing the pest control....well, I'll let you know how it goes.

The next task for the day was some new toys for Claire. There are about a million toys to choose from and before I knew it my shopping cart was over $100. At which point I emptied it and decided to try a different Someone once told me this was the Netflix of toys. Let me just say this site is A-mazing! You pay a monthly subscription price and you rent toys. Your child plays with the toy, gets bored with the toy and you send it back. Your house is never filled with old toys your child doesn't even play with anymore. And, these are top of the line toys. Baby Einstein, Fisher Price...some of these toys retail for over $60. Money I will never have to spend. So thank you For less than $30/month, my child will always have new toys and my house will never be a museum of lost toys. I have a feeling Woody and Buzz Lightyear would be proud. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Officially homeowners...

Closing day came and went and we are officially home-owners! Settling in has had its challenges, but waking up in the morning and walking around my GIANT house (not just feels GIANT) is sooo fun! We've been here about a week and we have installed our in-ground electric fence for the pups, come up with some sort of sprinkler system to water the lawn and painted one room. And for those of you on the edge of your seat...the sofa is almost reupholstered! A couple more cushions to go and the project will be complete. (I know you can't wait for pictures). This week I've also started watching a baby boy while his mom goes to school. He and Claire are becoming besties, and no worries because in my GIANT house there is room for all of us! Tonight we will be painting mucho of the casa and tomorrow we have our first dinner guests. There are so many fun projects I can't wait to start, but first I have to get through.....all the boring stuff - like unpacking boxes and doing laundry. Boo. So the next person that tells me its too hot outside to do cardio will have to come unpack with me (inside). I can give you an amazing workout!

The fantasy football draft was last night. Yes, I plan fantasy football - with Chris, of course. We did absolutely no prep for the draft until the day of, at which point Claire decided to completely change her personality and become the fussiest baby in the world until precisely twenty minutes after the draft was over. Our house was so chaotic...for all I know we drafted 10 quarterbacks and 5 kickers. I should probably log on and check on that. Until next time, thanks for reading and I'm serious....if you need some cardio.....I can hook. you. up! Peace.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


 First I must apologize. I violated the first rule of blogging...consistency. I've been on vacation for the past week and as many of you reminded me...I was not blogging. Colorado was a-mazing. So beautiful, so cold...I almost forgot the misery of Texas heat. I was actually inspired to wake up this morning and go for a walk. 30 seconds in, I realized I wasn't in Colorado anymore and fifteen minutes later I called it quits. Yesterday, I decided to tackle a project that has long since intimated the crap out of me...reupholstering. Now most people would start with something a chair cushion, or for the really brave maybe even a chair itself. What did I start with??? our sofa. I made the mistake of reading an article on-line that made this sound like an afternoon project you could do with a glass of wine in your hand. Let me just say. It's not. So I've entitled this blog entry deupholstering. Because that is as far as I have made it. 48 hours and about 20 million staples removed later, all of the fabric is off my couch (see photo below). Did I mention my right hand is throbbing and shaped like a claw? For anyone who ever thought reupholstery was over priced....I promise, those people work for every penny of it. However, worth it or not we do not have said pennies, therefore I am tackling this on my own. I got a little packing crazy before we left for va-ca and I have nothing to do until Friday when we close on our house. That being said, I'm sure I can whip this couch together by then. Stay tuned, and next time you see me look out for the claw.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Blue bathroom...

okay so the blue bathroom is going to be a total rehaul. Everything is going. The only thing staying is the built in cabinets which will get new hardware and a coat of paint. I strongly believe bathrooms should be neutral. They should be clean, relaxing and simple, and in this case...budget friendly. :) Below are some pics of the bathroom as is and some of my ideas for the reno. Whether it will go according to plan remains to be seen, but I hope you enjoy the process along with me. and by you I mean the two people that actually read my blog. :) Thank you!!

So this is the current state of the bathroom. For the people out there who think that color-themed bathrooms are the grooviest thing in the world, I applaud you. I think they are groovy other people's houses. ;) So here are some sketches I drew of the new layout. The header above the tub is coming out, but other than that it's much the same.

now for the fun part. Inspiration pictures. :)

I'm torn between this tile floor and something a little more metallic, dark and modern. I think this might help preserve the "charm" of the original bathroom. Pros and cons either way. The white subway tile in this pic will be the main component of the tub/shower with new fixtures and a drop in bathtub. I love this sink console, but finding one in my pricerange has been a little tricky. We might have to get creative on that one. :) I found this great light fixture at schoolhouse electric. It comes in a darker shade that I think will be perfect around the mirror here. I won't bore you with all the details, these are just a few of my favs. Have I mentioned I'm a little obsessed with black and white? I think in this case less is more. The bathroom itself is small enough that clean lines and a simple color palette are going to go a long way. I can't wait to get in there and start the demo. Say a prayer and if you know anyone who wants a blue toilet...I can hook them up fo sho.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A place for Claire.

...guess who's lost 3 pounds! :) ME! Now I just need to do that again times ten. I've been thinking about the nursery in the new house and I'm slightly obsessed with wallpaper. But...I know I have commitment issues when it comes to color. One day I'm in love with it, the next I just want a white wall. Not to mention the fact that wallpaper is pricy, and very taste specific. So instead, I'm thinking one of two options. 1) Just make one (maybe more) wallpaper decals to brighten up the room (see photo below) or 2) Stencil on some faux wallpaper (cost $30 vs $250). Opinions please!!

Favorite option for Claire's Room

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keep breathing...

So things are starting to get a little stressful. Our apartment is filled with boxes (most of which are only half-packed because I can't decide what I might need in the next 2 weeks), it's been a struggle to get Claire on a feeding routine not to mention my own new feeding routine....which is basically telling myself NO all day long. Etsy orders are piling up and our weekend trip to my parent's house was the opposite of peace and relaxation.

It's moments like these when I dive into a dunkin' donuts cup of coffee (don't hate) and attempt a moment of perspective. As crazy as life is, we are finally getting our first home and it's only a couple weeks away (which I know - feels like an eternity). We have a sweet baby girl who makes me laugh - I don't know - a million times a day. Life is o-kay. And I haven't even mentioned my awesomesauce husband who is freakin hot. So. Nuff said. Stress is for dummies.

We got our official fantasy football invite today (thanks Mr. Garth). I know I am probably the only wife in the world excited about fantasy football, but WHY?! It's sooooo much fun. Chris and I are already planning our draft picks, so you better watch out A Ballstars. It's goin' down on the south side. what.

My project today for the new house was fence ideas. Wood or electric? Keep in mind we've got two pups and a budget the size of this [ ]. Literally, if it doesn't fit between those two brackets - it's too expensive. If anyone has some ideas let me know. Meanwhile I'll be in the kitchen eating my dinner, which is also this size [ ] so that someday my hips will also be this size [ ] too. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guest bedroom inspiration

With the move looming, my mind is going crazy these days with design ideas. I was watching project runway tonight and I fell in love with one of the girls rooms at Atlas. I'm thinking future master bedroom design. I love the vintage yellow (who doesn't?) paired with a darker neutral on the walls. Right off the bat I knew I recognized the fabric. It took me about 30 minutes to track down where I'd seen it before. Dwell Studio. 2 yards of fabric should do it for my future home made upholstered headboard. I already have the lamp, white duvet cover and white curtains. A chic mirror and a couple cans of paint and I will have officially snagged this look. I seriously can't wait!

This has been a week of housing inspiration. First stop Holley C's casa where vintage meets inspiration. She has such vision for spaces full of potential. She finds the perfect balance of comfort and class, and everywhere I went I felt at home. Yesterday I found my way over to Holly H's house for a quick visit with Claire. I've got to say I loved everything about her design. From the countertops to the tile to the paint color, Holly's inspiration is one with my own. So many of our friends seem to be moving into new houses or doing major renovations on their current house. I am so excited to jump on that bandwagon and see what the Cagle's come up with for our new pad, and by Cagle's I mean me and my mother-in-law. Chris has only two opinions, "I hate it," and "it's okay." But I prefer to think of his apathy as full confidence and blind trust in my taste and opinions. :) Thank you honey!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

on becoming a proper housewife

As a housewife under construction, I thought it might be helpful to set some goals. When I googled how to be a good housewife, I found this...

ADVANCE: How to be a Good Wife

HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal--on time. This is a way to let him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned with his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home, and having a good meal ready is part of the warm welcome that is needed.

PREPARE YOURSELF: Take fifteen minutes to rest so that you will be refreshed when he arrives. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Greet him with a smile.

CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER: Make one last trip though the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up children's books and toys, papers, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you lift too.

PREPARE THE CHILDREN: If they are small, wash their hands and faces and comb their hair. They are his little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

MINIMIZE ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Encourage the children to be quiet.

SOME "DO NOT'S": Don't greet him with problems and complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through that day.

MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.

LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.

MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he doesn't take you to dinner or to other entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to unwind and relax.


....of course I already do all these things. ;) Right.

I've been offered a job as a nanny for one of my friends when she goes back to school this fall. I'm really going to have to step up my game if I'm going to renovate our new house and care for two pups and two kids at the same time. I think there might be a little less peace and order for my husband to relax in. Sorry, Chris. We've started packing. We're about 50 boxes in and looking around my house you wouldn't think we'd packed anything. It looks exactly the same. Where did all this stuff come from? I'm glad we're moving to a bigger house because we have definitely outgrown this one. Speaking of the new house. We are headed over there for one last look later today. I'll post some pics for everyone to see.

our first project will be to tackle our pink and blue bathrooms respectively. I will send pics of them later. I know you can't wait. :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

if i had a glee t-shirt, it would read "fat"

so life has been all about overcoming obstacles lately and the latest one I want to tackle is a little scary. drum roll weight. i was super nervous to write about wanting to loose weight in my blog (my stomach is kind of sick even now), because (omg) that would be admitting i'm fat. then it occured to me. it's kind of obvious. it's not like some state secret that i'm not a size 6. i have struggled with my weight my whole life. it's soooo frustrating and i know i'm not alone. it seems like 2 out of 3 people i know have the same issue. i go through periods of eating great, working out and loosing weight, then i slip back into bad habits - don't care for a while and then have nights like tonight where i just want to lock up my fridge and not eat for 3 weeks.'s so frustrating. i need some motivation to trim down and i just can't seem to catch the right wave of positive thinking, but alas i am going to put on my big girl pants (literally), suck it up and try again. SO if you see me - ask me how it's going. PLEASE. and if you see me with a cookie - throw it on the ground and stomp on it. then i will know you are really my friend.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

we are officially a one-car family. it's a little scary, but we wanted the equity out of our current cars to pay off debt without sinking ourselves with a scary new monthly payment.

mission accomplished. we have a new volkswagen tiguan, an extra 6 digits in the bank and the task of learning how to share a car. chris has a really bad habit of leaving loose change laying around everywhere. litterally - all over the car, the house, other people's houses. i think if we added up all the discarded change he would have accumulated in the past 30 years we could retire. or should i say - he could retire. i've already "retired".

i do; however, own a little shop on i started it on a whim just to see if i could make a little extra cash, but it has become a full-blown side business. i mostly sell digital art and burp cloths. i've had seven orders this week which reminds me.... i really need to get sewing.

as for monday's pizza night. a-mazing. homemade crust - not as hard as it sounds. i think everyone reading this should pick one of their favorite dishes and google a home-made recipe and make it tonight. we seriously need to rediscover the art of cooking. speaking of food - Claire is starting solids this week. claire is our 4-month old. i think friday night will be the big reveal beans. pretty lame if you ask me. i think your first food ever should be something amazing like steak or cheesecake or a cake pop. our pediatrician has assured me that's not how it works....... so green beans it is! as long as she doesn't eat them in the new car.

Monday, July 18, 2011

lately i've been using this website called it is awesome! it takes a little while to set up, but once you get your recipes plugged in, you can plan your meals for the week and it compiles your grocery list for you. love love love. right now i'm making birthday cake pops (thanks Britt) like the ones at Starbucks (minus the $2.50). hope they turn out yummy!

the mantle is going well, we have our first coat of paint on and it's already looking fly (yes, with it).

...i've been thinking a lot about god today. i think this is the first time in my life that i've truly known the meaning and the power of rest. god has been immeasurably good to our family. he continues to bless us beyond what we ask for and in ways we don't even know how to ask. crazy right?

stay tuned. i'm making an emeril lagasse pizza recipe tonight. never made a pizza crust before and i'm making it for the first time for my in-laws. what was I thinking? :) if the recipe rocks like i know it's going to i'll post it for everyone. or if you sign up for i can send it to you there! have a great day everyone. and if you have any tips for homemade pizza hit me up.


Friday, July 15, 2011

so. we're getting ready to move into our first house! all 5 of us (2 dogs included). i know our pups abby and archie will love having a yard and chris and i will love having a house of our very own. claire is only 4 months old...and lets be honest - she won't know the diff. we are T-35 days to moving and we have a lot to do.

yesterday i bought a faux mantle off of craigslist for $30 and i spent the last hour of daylight today trying to strip the 900 layers of paint off that came with it. i got through about 3. this half-way finished project is chillin in my driveway where i hope no one steals it tonight. somebody say a prayer. :)

Getting Started

my situation: a career-minded 24 year-old turned mother of 1 (claire) and housewife of 1 (chris)
my ambition: to be passionate. to love people. to ultimately redefine growing up.

this blog is a little bit of everything. i'm hoping to inspire myself as much if not more than anyone who might read along. i have a lot to say and mistakes to make, but i'm a risk-taker and i'm puttin my chips on the table.