Thursday, February 28, 2013

Burning thoughts of desire...

I've had only one thought on my mind for about a week and a half now.

It's like a flame of desire eating away at me.

It's something Steve originally brought up to me; I wasn't feeling it then....but....I am now because at a party two weeks ago I saw this...

I want a fire pit and I want it now! But, what do you do when you can't jump on a project right away? You turn to Pinterest! I hunted around and I was surprised that I wasn't as blown away as I usually am when I turn to Pinterest for ideas. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing because I learned quickly what I didn't like.

Here is what I found that I liked.

This one caught my eye because it's low to ground and I like the stone. What I don't care for is the fact that it's a circle. I prefer a square fire pit. It's different and feels just a little more classy (well, in my head at least).

On to the next inspiration.

Again, this one is a circle and taller than the last but I pinned it because of the stone color. It's really pretty but it looks like it'll be more expensive than the previous fire pit. The gravel surrounding the pit is also nice, it dresses it up a little more.

Fire pit #3

The pit in this picture is very similar to the first Pinterest find but it doesn't have the wedges which I didn't even like in the first place. It's also low to the ground, so that's a plus!

One thing I know I don't want that I kept seeing on Pinterest is to have a metal bowl or something inside. From experience, these don't last very long because the bottoms rust out. Plus, I don't think they are as attractive. The pictures I pinned from Pinterest all are without a metal dish but the picture of the square pit at the beginning of the post has one.

So, to wrap it up, this is what I want in a fire pit:
  • Square shape
  • Low to the ground
  • Gravel surrounding the edge (and on the inside)
  • No metal dish on the inside

Now let's see how long it takes me to jump on this and actually put it together.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Family Room and Posting

Well, it's been a while since I've posted and I've come realize that I can't keep a regularly scheduled Saturday post. My weekends are just too unpredictable (sorry sis). I do like the idea of three posts a week though and I also seem to be doing fine with Tuesdays and Thursdays, which means that the third post will happen randomly sometime during the week. Surprise!!

Today I am going to continue the house tour but before I do how about a project update? On President's Day I began painting the front door yellow. For weeks I had different samples taped to the door and I learned quickly which one was my favorite, Valspar Gold Tone. So off to Lowes I went, picked up a quart of paint and a gallon of primer and set to work. I finished the inside of the door that day but not the outside...the door was a dark red after all. I did, however, finish the outside this past weekend. It took one coat of primer and five...FIVE coats of yellow paint. In hindsight, I should have primed more but I was anxious to see the end result. I am not showing the final reveal yet because I am still trying to paint the horrible red frame around the out side of the door. Can you picture it? Yellow door, red frame? Horrendous. Just to remind of what it looked like originally, here is a picture:

Ok, now on to the family room portion of this post.


This is the man cave/gaming room/family room. When Steve and I watch movies, we like to watch them in here because it gets the darkest out of all the rooms. Steve also likes to play his games in here while I watch my shows in the living room.

Steve picked out the paint color since this is mainly his domain. At first, he picked out a more vibrant burnt orange but it was too electric looking. Seriously, it looked like someone plugged it in so he went back and chose a more muted burnt orange.Similar to the living room, I love how it compliments the wood tones in the room. Plus I just love color. It makes me happy.

The furniture was all second hand too. His grandmother gave him the chair (practically brand new). The couch he picked up at a garage sale for $100. It's not real leather but it's in excellent condition, and he stuck a leather scented car freshener in the cushions to make it smell like leather. Sneaky little devil. The two large bookcases were also handed down by his grandma and the TV stand is the bar that was originally bought to go in the living room.

The layout that you see now was not the original layout of the room when we first moved in. At first, Steve set it up like this:

But, a good friend of his came down one weekend to visit and convinced him to rearrange the room which is how we got the layout we currently have. Thanks Trey! It was kind of funny to see two guys in there moving around the furniture and discussing layout ideas. I love how it looks now. But, I didn't mind the old layout it just wasn't always the most comfortable when we were watching TV. Another reason I love the new layout is because while I'm sitting on the couch I can reach behind me put my dishes in the sink.

Well, that's the family room! Stay tuned for more on Thursday.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Gray Outlook

Let's talk about the living room.

Like I've mentioned previously, I read a lot of blogs before we actually purchased a house. I was obsessed. I had to know what everything was going to look like, and one of the things I noticed I was drawn to was gray walls. I love the look of gray walls because they can go with any kind of style. It looks beautiful against the natural woods but still allows my modern curtains to pop.

Yet, before I actually put the room together I created a mood board. Why? Because I was buying a bunch of random things at thrift stores without giving it much thought and I wasn't sure if it was all going to work together.
The top right corner was the inspiration for this room and how I decided to put it all together. So, I created a gray background, took pictures of the items I already bought (the couch, the chair, the vase, the picture frames, the bar/vanity) and added things that I thought would compliment. I thought it would look good to put distressed white floating shelves above the bar, add a yellow lamp, some yellow curtains, and a rug. 

Is this how it actually turned out? No, but it's close. 
I ended up putting the china cabinet in the living room (it matches with the bar), moved the bar into the family room as a TV stand, replace the yellow lamp with a black one, and I am currently without a rug. Yet, even though it is not the same as my mood board it accomplished what I wanted it to do; it allowed me to see that even though I was buying things randomly, it was still all coordinating together nicely. 

As far as my purchases go, I would say 75% of the items in the room are from a thrift store or garage sale of some sort. I'm awkwardly proud of these purchases because they were a steal. Take the green chair for example. It is from Goodwill but made by Baer's. The tag on the bottom of the chair said it was shipped from the Baer's factory two days before I bought it at Goodwill. What does this mean? It was brand new and it only cost me about $130! The only items I did not buy second hand are the picture frames, the TV stand, the curtains (although, those were DIY), the little side table, the pillows, and the gray throw on the couch. 

Yet, putting this room together wasn't as easy as I'm making it sound at the moment. We hit a bump in the road when it came to painting. I bought two different gray paints and put swatches up on the wall and decided on Valspar Polished Silver. So I drove down to Lowes and bought a gallon. That is where I made the mistake. I ended up needing two gallons so I went back and picked up another but when I got  back to the house my mom noticed the label looked different. So we called Lowes and asked them about it and they told us that the formula was exactly the same just logo was different. 

Well....guess again.

If you look closely on the left near the arch and up at the top of the wall you can see the new gray.

They did change the formula and the new gallon of Valspar Polished Silver was significantly lighter than the first gallon. I was bummed. I preferred the first gallon, I like the darker gray much better than the light but I was all out (and so was Lowes) so my only choice was to repaint over everything with the new gallon. We got the majority of the walls repainted but the wall with the china cabinet has some spots that you can still see if you were looking very closely.

However, there is a silver lining in all of this. Lowes has a color satisfaction guarantee and I took advantage of it. I painted the two colors on a paper plate and brought that in along with the two empty paint cans and they gave me a full refund. I painted my living room for free!!! Can't beat that!

The lesson I learned in all of this is to take home improvement one step at a time and see where things lead. They may seem bleak at first but things will turn around and the sun will still shine.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Hidden Target Treasures

Have you ever gone into a store for one specific item and walked out with an armful of completely unrelated items? Well, that's what I did this past weekend. 
I stopped at Target to pick up a highlighting kit for my hair, which they didn't even have, and came out with seven other items tallying $60+. But I'm so happy about it!!

Allow me to explain myself. Every time I go to Target I stop in their kitchen clearance section to see if they have any items on my "Kitchen Needs" list and more often than not I find a great item for super cheap. So, after striking out in the hair section I meander over and find the cute little woven basket you see in the top left corner, and I think to myself "Hey! This could make a great centerpiece!" Since I see so many Pinterest projects using Starbuck's Frappacino bottles I have been saving them for a while and I think they would fit perfectly in the four slots.

My next find was on the shelf right below and it's a Thomas O'Brien wooden tray. Not sure what I'll use it for but I couldn't pass it up. (Note: It is not normally my habit to purchase something without knowing how it can be used but my gut told me to get it and my gut has a 98.2% accuracy rate).

I then wander over to the organization clearance section because I'm also keeping my eye out for linen cubby boxes or something to help me organize my closet. I didn't find any but I did find a gray trash can which I thought would work well in my new office. After all, the Publix plastic bag that currently resides in there is looking a little worn.

Next, I look to my left and spot this cool looking piece of wood, so I head over and discover a worn, wooden, floating picture frame designed to look like an old window. Score!! This was my most expensive purchase but I couldn't believe I found this. It was a repackage and no damage at all. As I walked through the store with this in my cart I received so many compliments on it, it was like I made it my self. 

Now, I felt like I was on a roll at this point and decided to look in all the other clearance sections in the store (minus clothes....I hate clothes shopping) which is how I happened upon the three pillows. I felt like I hit the jackpot because just two days earlier as I was laying on our couch with the worst migraine ever, I thought to myself "This couch needs some pillows, it's kind of blah". Well whatdaya know....someone must have agreed with me because I was drawn straight to them.

Here's a picture of the couch with the pillows:
As for the picture frame, I was thinking of hanging it in the dining room somewhere on either of the two walls you see below. I'm leaning towards the white wall since the gray wall is shared with the living room gallery wall and it might look too busy.

I'm leaning towards the white wall since the gray wall is shared with the living room gallery wall and it might look too busy. What do you think? Below is a picture of the wall as a whole.

The best part about this story are the prices, here's the breakdown:

Trash can - $17.99 got it for $4.56 (who would even pay full price for that? Ouch...)
Woven Utensil Caddy - $15 got it for $5.24
Wooden Tray - $16 got it for $4.73
Window Frame - $34.99 got it for $24.51
Pillow (each) - $14.99 got it for $7.48

Add in my Red Card discount and a Mountain Dew (I was still battling the headache) and my total came to $64.12! If you add together all the regular prices it would have come to over $120. This has to be my most successful target trip I've ever had even if I didn't get what I was originally looking for.

So, what's the lesson in all this? Be patient and shop the clearance aisles continually. If you are hunting for something on clearance you won't find it. Instead, make a list of things that you hope to have one day, or keep track of spots in your house that you know "need" something but aren't sure what . This way, when you are shopping these aisles and you see something you like and works for something that's on your list then pick it up.

P.S. I'm still working on my home tour page. I bet you're dying to see to see the after photos.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope you are feeling loved, I know I am!

Instead of showing you updates on the house I decided to give you a little gift...the gift of love (go ahead and say it "Awwwww"). I made a few Valentine's prints on Photoshop that I wanted to share with you today. I've played on Photoshop a lot over the past three years but I've never actually made an art print, let alone made one from scratch. They are simple but I have to start somewhere right?

They are formatted as 4x6 prints and you can download them below:
I hung the teal print up on my gallery wall in the living room; I think it's really cute. I put the other two prints on the fridge and besides these I have no other Valentine's directions up. Looks like I have a lot of progress to make for next year.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Antsy Ideas

There are a lot of things I've been learning about making a house a home but it has become clear to me that I am not the only one. These guys have been learning a lot too.
If you can't tell they're ants...annoying, little black ants and they're EVERYWHERE! I wish I were exaggerating. I wake up in the morning, go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, and bam, there they are crawling all over the wall next to my sink. I walk over to the toilet and there they are again getting all cozy with the toilet. I saunter to the laundry room to feed the animals and now I'm no longer surprised to see them on the floor making their way along the baseboards. One even crawled across my computer screen while I was typing a post the other day.

I have spread all kinds of ant stuff in attempts to ward them off but it's pointless because I've found their real home which threw me into a pit of hopeless despair. They were living (correction...still living) in the garden amongst the roots and the rocks and there are thousands of them. Again, I wish I were exaggerating. After some research, I learned that they like to live in the roots and rocks because it's moist and cool. How do you kill them? Not sure yet, but as soon as I figure it out I'll let you know. This has become my personal mission.

I tried to take a picture of the roots but they are so tiny the ants didn't show up. This is the best shot I could get of them crawling along the outside wall.

On a different note, I have a bare wooden table sitting in my dining that is calling out for a centerpiece. I'm leaning towards something like this which I found on Pintrest.

We have wood stumps currently in the back yard from a pine tree that we recently had cut down and I also have bunch of mason jars of varied sizes. I'm not a fan of the empty look though so I'll need to do something with them on the inside, but I'm only at the brainstorm phase at this point. Please! Offer me your suggestions in the comments.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Zebras in the house!

I know, I know, it's only been a week and I'm already off my post schedule. I told you I'd try so I'm posting today and will post again tomorrow. Tomorrow's post will be about the killer ants, but for now, let's talk zebras!

My mom and I have a little baking business on the side. We do it for fun and use the profit to further expand our tools and restock ingredients. We specialize in cupcakes but we've been branching out into cakes too. Anyways, this weekend we had an order for a sweet sixteen cake. The client loves the color purple, silver, and zebra patterns!!
Well, what do you think? We made a custom cake stand for it too but I didn't get a good picture of it. The picture of the cake isn't the greatest either because I only had my phone on hand.

Making this cake was a lot of fun and extra funky!

On another note, I am in the process of putting together the house tour page so keep checking back.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beautifying the Outside

Is beautify even a word? You know, I'm an English teacher and I still had to look it up; I don't want to look like a fool after all. 

Anyways, as you can tell, the topic of this post is about the outside. This past weekend my boyfriend and I worked on landscaping the front yard. Steve (the BF) actually did a lot of the grunt work a week beforehand. I got home from work and the front garden area was all weeded and the rocks were dug up. Yup, you heard me right, rocks, and lots of them.
There they are, well, one pile at least. Right now they are just sitting on the edge of our property. These rocks are a pain in the rear and I feel like they are never ending.

The next step was to go shopping! Normally, I'm not a shopper...I HATE it! But when it comes to the house, I LOVE it. Steve and I went to Home Depot and bought one pink rose bush, two pink bougainvillea shrubs, one pink azalea shrub, and seven decorative grasses called Cordyline. Our goal was to get plants that had heart and could survive through any hardness that was thrown at them. Did we do it? Beats me but I'll let you know when I find out. As for now, they are getting water every day; that's a start, right?
Above is the finished product, and I can't wait for them to fill out. The lighting isn't great because I'm not able to get a picture of them till at least 3:30. This weekend, I'll have to try and take a better one earlier in the day with some close ups on the plants.

I don't have a great before picture (when we did this I wasn't blogging). Below is the best picture I could find. 
It's a little far away but you can see there were some unevenly spaced bushes that were there before our transformation. We ended up transplanting them to the side of the house, which is the next step on our outside project list. It's not pretty right now. See for yourself.
Ewww, gross. Shield your eyes and turn away. I hate looking over here but I can't wait to make it pretty like the front.

Stay tuned for more. Next up, maybe I'll talk about the ants that are haunting my dreams thanks to our landscape project.

P.S. It's my goal to post every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Let's see if I can stick to it. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Well, here it first post. I created this blog over a week ago but couldn't sit down to actually write a post; not because I didn't have time (my Pinterest account would prove otherwise) but because I was intimated. I have been reading blogs for quite some time now and I LOVE them, and for some reason that scared me a little. But, here I am, thanks to my sis! Love you sis! The whole reason I wanted to start a blog in the first place was because we have been doing all these cool things to the house and I just want to shout it from the rooftops to the world!

Anyways, let's get some back story. My boyfriend and I live together in a foreclosure that we purchased back in August 2012. It was quite a roller coaster to get it (perhaps to be told in a later post) but we are so happy; this house was really meant to be. It's nothing large but it's almost exactly was we were looking for. Want a look? We'll start with the before pictures of what it looked like the day we closed.

The living room:
This is the view of when you first walk in. Straight ahead is the entryway to the kitchen and hallway. There is a weird little mirror thing that I would like to get rid of one day but for now it stays. Mostly because I use it the morning to see a whole view of my outfit for work. Then again, that doesn't really matter because I usually don't match anyways.
The next picture is what you see when turn to the right (I'd create a layout but my new computer currently doesn't have Photoshop on it). This is the living room/dining room. I like how they are open yet still separated by the angles of the wall. One day we'd like to put in laminate but the bank just laid new carpeting so we will keep that until they are worn and gross.

Family Room:
In the picture of the dining room above you'll notice an archway, this leads to the family room. I was so excited to see that this house had a family room. I honestly didn't think we'd find one in our price range. Bonus! It has a sliding glass door (french doors one day?). And it also has a pass through that leads to the kitchen, which is really great for when we are too lazy to put our dishes away because the sink is right below it. This room is used as the man cave/gaming room/nerdville.

 Guest side of the house:
Not much special at this side, so I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

One thing I love about the kitchen is the set up. It has a TON of cabinet space (there are still at least two empty cabinets). It has a pull out drawer for the trash cans. It is enclosed (part of my wish list) yet still feels open because the walls don't go all the way up to the ceiling. The pictures may make it look small but it really is rather spacious.

Master Bedroom/Bath:
The bedroom his huge (for my standards anyway) and it has two walk in closets. My wishlist only had one decent sized closet on it so I was pretty giddy when I saw two. 

As for the master bath, it has a very nice walk in shower and no tub. This was not a big deal for us because neither of us take baths, but the guest bath has one for any future (and I mean distant future) little ones. There are two sinks (score!) and a toilet that leaks from the seat's bolt (I know, weird).

Wrap Up:
Well, that's a quick brief tour of the house. If you haven't noticed, it's beige and boring, really very boring. I looked at it as a blank slate. We have/had the opportunity to really start fresh and we felt no responsibility to keep anything (except for the brand new carpet, I mean come on, it's brand new carpet). We've already made a lot of changes that I will show in some future posts...there's so much I want to talk about! For example, the living room paint debacle, the mystery toilet leak, and the zombie in our living room. 

Even though we've already done a lot we still have a lot more left to do. I hope you enjoy!

P.S. My name's Sarah, nice to meet you!!
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