18. Powder Room Remodel Before and After

It’s done! It is literally the only room in the house that is finished. This tiny powder room makes me feel so happy! Sometimes I go in there just to shut the door, sit on the lid and enjoy the completeness. I bet I’m not the only one who does this, haha.

I wish I had more “before” photos. However, the space is so small, there really wasn’t much to look at. There was almond paint from floor to ceiling. Extremely outdated. We literally gutted the entire space. Laminate tile and trim were ripped out. Toilet, sink, towel rack, switch and plug plate covers and the hideous, four bulb, wall light as well. We continued the same Pergo flooring from the main floor into the little bathroom. I painted over the almond ceiling with a fresh white and covered the walls in Sherwin Williams Navy Blue. It was a little scary but I was adamant on bold navy for a small powder room. I freaking love it!! My second favorite thing about the room is the window mirror from Hobby Lobby. It replaced the huge, trim-less mirror that was screwed into the wall before. It was so basic I couldn’t stand it.

I found the wall sconce online but it was ridiculously over priced at $250. Kent did more research and found the exact same ones on Build.com for about $90. WIN!

I love the nautical navy and white theme. I could go nuts with it but I don’t want to crowd the space with too many decorations. If I add another item it will have to just scream at me that it was meant for the tiny room. And I highly recommend the Waterlogue app, it’s worth the $4. I took one of the pictures from our anniversary photo shoot and made it look like a water-color with a few taps, then had it printed at Walgreens.

With the pristine pedestal sink increasing the space in the room, I still needed storage. I found the wall cabinet on Amazon for $58. I originally saw it on Wayfair for much more. I personalized it by swapping out the basic faux glass knobs with distressed iron knobs from Hobby Lobby. A simple upgrade for less than $10.

I couldn’t be happier with the results of this one!

17. Easy Oil Recipes for Beauty and Bugs

Oily recipes are back for this weeks post! Our powder room is almost done, I’ll be giving that silly chandelier from my last post another try soon but today I’m happy to share essential oil recipes I’m tickled with.

The first recipe was prompted by a spur of the moment adventure. Which are always the best. We took an amazing trip over Labor Day weekend through Utah and added 3 stamps to our National Park Passport book. Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon and Arches National Park all in 3 days! It was rather crazy. Actually WE are rather crazy. We love road tripping together. I still cannot believe I took these photos with the new little Canon camera that Kent gave me for my birthday! No filters!


I spent two nights packing as efficiently as possible for camping. For instance I was so pleased with myself when I sprayed my body mist from Bath and Body Works into a small roller bottle in order to avoid packing the whole 8 oz bottle. I’ll definitely be doing this in the future to pack light on plane trips!

In addition to the condensing body spray, I made my first essential oil, chemical free bug spray! It smells splendid (perhaps I didn’t need to bring perfume at all, haha) and it works! Kent liked it too which is a bonus, he always disliked the generic store brand bug sprays. Pin this post to your Pinterest board and try the recipe out bellow for yourself.

Next up, I’ve been collecting essential oil recipes for hair care and growth. My hair is fine, the ends tend to split and it’s always been a slow process whenever I want to grow it out longer.

These two recipes smell lovely and are restoring my hair. I’m more apt to use the spray daily because my hair already gets oily quickly on its own. I’ll be using the serum bellow less frequently, mostly before bed on specific places on my hairline where I have weak little baby-hairs that are struggling to commit.

The recommended 2 applications a day is ideal if you’re truly trying to stimulate hair follicles and grow new hair.

Lastly, I’ve probably mentioned I’m a nail biter. It’s a stress habit I’ve been battling since middle school. Part of my issue is that my nails are thin and brittle. Any growth quickly gets snagged, and my perfectionism wants to tear, bite or trim them all down to the same length. More than one round of plastic nails and glue result in my nail beds crinkling at the base which is ugly and takes weeks to grow out. So I’m turning to oils again and applying this roller bottle solution!

Enjoy!

16. #FAIL

I had before pictures of my lovely chandelier make-over, edited and uploaded, including all the stages of progression. With the new fancy light bulbs purchased yesterday, all there was left to do was apply the final top coat of spray paint before assembling and installing it in our dining area. Then I would experience thrills of delight as I photographed it to share.

Sounds perfect, right? What could go wrong? Crafting and general DIY shenanigans never fail! Hahahaha. Ha. Fluffy nope.

I’m sipping on disappointment while I type from my couch. Eeyore’s raincloud growling above my head so to speak. I told you at the start of this blog that I’m not the King Midas of crafting, gold, the perfect touch and what not. I’m just bummed it had to be true this time around. What went wrong you might ask? Trying to be thrifty is what went wrong. Note to self: always be willing to splurge on brand new spray paint. What I mean is, don’t cut corners or pinch the pennies on the final touches that will seal your masterpiece for ages. “Treat Yo Self” with a little extra insurance by going and buying the right stuff now and then.

Basically, when I needed the top coat to seal the beautifully repainted chandelier, my husband, being the helpful man he is, reminded me we definitely have a can of sealer in an unpacked box downstairs. Don’t worry about going out and buying more, he said. Kent dug through boxes for me and pulled out a set of Rust-Oleum “Never Wet” Sealing Top Coat that I had used on an outdoor bird feeder a while back. Hesitantly, I asked if it would really work for my indoor chandelier and he reassured me it would look just like any other top coat. It would be fine, he said. I shrugged and went with it. It would be fine, I thought. Maybe another lesson here is that I’m too trusting.

After applying the Step One layer of the top coat duo, I let it dry. All good so far. My days had been a smidge crammed. I had been working on the project here and there over the course of the past few days when I got a chance. I couldn’t wait to finally get this baby up on the ceiling and see the result! Not to mention, finally hiding the taped up electrical cords that have been hanging out of my kitchen ceiling like old spaghetti, while guests have come and gone. I digress. The point is, I applied the final Step Two of the top coat. As I began spraying I quickly noticed a frosty sheen like you might see on something freeze-dried or on the edge of an object that you applied too much super glue to. I held my breath hoping it was just the drying process. Nope. No amount of shaking the can would make a difference or spraying from a greater distance. It was still leaving a white sheen with inconsistent splotches of dried top coat on each branch of the chandelier.

I’m an optimist. Or I just hang on to denial by my finger nails until there’s no point. With an uneasy feeling in my gut I thought, “maybe this will be one of those happy accidents and it will give it an aged effect.” Fluffy fat nope. Twenty minutes later, I poked simmering chicken around in a pan for dinner and accepted defeat. I wanted to cry. It’s a little silly, really. It’s just a chandelier I got for free from a friend. But on the other hand it was a home decor project that I had been squeezing in time for in order to make our home more lovely. You get me. It was a crappy few minutes.

When my husband got home he felt terrible that he had steered me wrong and tried offering all the helpful solutions he could think of. Which included scrolling through my Pinterest boards pointing at anything that looked like it could be made in 10 minutes which I could try to make into a blog post before bed. He instructed me not to listen to his craft advice again. It’s not 100% his fault. I just needed to stew in my moody thoughts for a bit, pretending it was the end of the world and grieving the waisted time. Kent offered to take the chandelier to work and sand blast the layers off so I can try again later. Crossing fingers that doesn’t end in disaster. Ha. I’ll let you know.

And then he said I should just blog about the truth. Yay! No, that’s not really what I thought at first. Let’s be real. #%$&@! or some sarcastic thought ran through my mind briefly and then I realized he was right. The internet does not need more false perfection. Nothing else leads us to unrealistic expectations like comparing ourselves to other’s polished and seemingly flawless achievements. I don’t want to be that person. We all have a skeleton in the closet at one time or another. Or at least loads of unfolded laundry which we shove in the nearest closet and piles of mail we cram in random drawers when last-minute guests come by. No one is Barbie. Actually even Barbie has her own problems too and we all know what they are. Haha.

I admit, I tried first to hastily finish another half finished project. It would not have turned out the way I want it to. A late night just in an effort to meet a personal New Years blogging resolution just isn’t worth it. I’m a finisher. I hate not completing what I set out to do. It’s also perfectionism. In reality it gets in my way more than it helps me in life. I’m working on that. And one of the steps to making my weakness work as my strength is by putting it in it’s place and knowing when to roll with the punches. The real resolution is to be real about it. 

19. Refinished Chandelier … Finally

About a month ago I was almost ready to post my upcycled chandelier project. But sadly, failure struck when it was ruined by using the wrong finishing spray. See previous post titled #FAIL. It’s done! *deep sigh of relief*

Luckily, my husband was able to sand blast it all off so I could start from scratch again. He says that sand blasting the spray paint and the original layer down to the true bones of the light actually made the final results even better with fewer imperfections and bumps. Perhaps he’s right. I’m just so happy to have this over with and a light in my dining area that I don’t want to think about the hiccup in the process anymore. Ya feel me?

Here is the specimen before. I got it from a friend when she was redecorating a new house. I saved it for a long time because I just knew it could have a second life someday! Updating outdated pieces of furniture and decor is my favorite type of project.

Step one: take the entire chandelier apart. Save the install hardware and use painter’s tape to protect all cords, wires and plugs. I also wrapped the white candle light covers and covered the tops with tape so the light bulb sockets would be protected. Ditched the old lamp shades and reused one of them for a previous upcycle craft.

Step two: sand and clean. Because we had our mishap and had to sand blast all the layers off, I didn’t take a picture of that part. If you’re doing a similar project at home, hopefully you will avoid that and do what I intended first. Which is to use a fine to medium sand paper to roughen up the original surface paint of the chandelier. Then use a damp clothe to wipe down the dust before spraying starts.

Step three: protect your work space! Be sure to cover your area with plastic, newspaper or a drop cloth. I wish I had a better set up to hang the chandelier while spraying. If you can hang it and keep your surroundings protected while spraying, do it! It will be much easier since the light must be sprayed from all angles.

Also choose a day when there isn’t wind. I got stubborn (ok, maybe impatient too) and did it when there was a slight breeze. I was finding spray paint on my person for a day or two!

Step four: I’m really happy with the color I chose at Home Depot, Midnight Blue Spray Paint + Primer by Rust-Oleum. Check all angles for full coverage and touch up missing spots. Read the instructions on the can and be sure each coat dries before continuing.

Step five: Choose a basic clear coat of Rust-Oleum varnish. I picked matte over gloss. I cannot stress this enough: do not use old cans of spray paint from previous projects whose purpose you are not 100% sure of. Again, see previous post, #FAIL.

Step six: once top coat is dry, carefully remove all painters tape, free the wires and put your chandelier back together.

Step seven: hang that beauty up and screw the light bulbs in place!

Note: in the photos below I had not properly threaded the cord through the chain in my hasty excitement to get the light up. It has to be re-hung, shortened and centered anyways when we get our dining table soon which was passed down to me from my Grama Arlene.

You get the idea. I’m relieved it’s finally done. And relieved my choice of navy blue turned out so well.

Shout out to my husband who hung the chandelier late at night! I was too excited to get it up and the timing was its own mini #FAIL. He had to alter the hardware unexpectedly in order to get it up and in the process, the drill majorly ripped into the skin on his finger at the joint. So. much. blood. Naturally, I felt terrible even though I didn’t cause it. I felt responsible. I cried. It was a whole ordeal. I bought him the Christmas Beer Advent Calendar at Costco as a present the very next day. It was like the man version of buying him flowers.

I can’t say any other project has been such a hassle. Fortunately, it looks like it was worth it!

15. Popular DIY’s on Pinterest

A handful of large craft projects are lined up for our new home that I can’t wait to share with you. Carving out the time to do them is the biggest challenge. From furniture distressing, cozy couch blankets and chandelier make overs, each takes extra planning. Stay tuned next month!

In the middle of hectic summer fun, BBQ’s, hosting and soaking up as much sun as possible; I squeezed in a little quiet time to craft. Usually late at night, which means I drag myself out of bed for work in the morning. Oh well, as I said, crafting is my air.

Each of these crafts on their own didn’t seem entirely blog worthy. But together these simple crafts accomplished some needed quiet space that I’ve been missing. I spent a little time doing a few silly projects that have been crowding my social media accounts over 2017. Slime and painted rocks! You’re probably thinking “Slime? Really? That’s so over done.” You’re right. I saw glitter glue at Target in the back to school sales and I can’t resist glitter. So I gave it a shot. It took 3 minutes. I probably won’t do it again until I have kids but it was kinda fun! I added jasmine essential oil to make it smell good for a little added therapy and because … well, why the heck not?

I’ll be honest though, as I promised at when I started this blog… I messed up the goo the first time around. Embarrassing, right? It’s three ingredient slime! Six year olds make these how-to’s on Darby Smart, lol. Look, I got the ratios wrong and added too much baking soda and contact solution. I just want you to know everybody messes up. Hahaha. Moving on. It was therapeutic!

By now, everybody knows how to make slime in their sleep from watching the homemade clips on Facebook, Pinterest, Darby and Instagram. I admit, I watch them all because there’s something satisfying about it. Here’s mine:

 

​Then there’s my new favorite. I swear my Pinterest is over run with painted rock inspirations. Primarily Mandala dot style. Click here for the exact pin I used to follow along for my first try. I want to make a bunch more like these ones here by Elspeth McLean. I plan to scatter them outside our front stoop mixed in with all the regular rocks along the walkway.

This was the perfect summer evening activity. It reminded me painting sea shells for the garden as a child. I have a distinct memory of sitting at our family dining table as a kid, painting sea shells we collected at Grama and Papa’s beach house. Warm summer breezes came in through the patio door and my brothers and I were eating banana popsicles like nobody’s business.

I have a soft spot for crafts that remind me of sweet memories.

14. Living Room Makeover 

Here are the first before and after photos from our townhouse renovation! We still have ongoing projects but our living room is the first place that feels complete. It’s my cool, blue and white oasis. I wanted a calm, spa like environment and I’m tickled pink with the results!

The bland brown covering the walls blended in with the fireplace in a most unattractive way. The color Sky High by Sherwin Williams contrasts so well against the stone, I was surprised how much I actually like the fireplace now. It’s amazing what paint color can change.


We also scraped the popcorn ceiling clean and re-textured it. The messiest job in renovating but 110% worth it! The laminate was also removed and we put in new Pergo flooring from Home Depot.

There isn’t a coat closet by the front door or anywhere on the main floor. I searched for a solution and found this coat and shoe organizer on Overstock.com. The rest of our winter things are in the guest room closet and can be traded out as needed.

I love the lighting in this room.

Meeko seems to approve.

13. Hand Lettering on Wood


First, a little announcement:

In high school I painted my bedroom aqua with coral and peach accents before it was the popular style. It’s been over 6 years since I slept in my favorite bedroom ever, with many apartments and rentals which I was limited in decorating. But now that my husband and I own our first townhouse, I can paint the walls whatever I want! Bring on the aqua paint! This new bedroom is now truly my favorite and I’m having a blast decorating it 🐚

I had a wall sticker in our second appartment that said “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” 💋 It’s never stopped being a policy in our marriage, so it was naturally the best quote to use for the small wall art project I did last week. Hand lettering on wood was a little bit of a challenge but with a few tricks it turns out better than I had hoped! 
​Can’t wait to finish up the rest of the room so I can show you!

12. Upcycled Wine Glass Lampshade

I loved doing this simple craft in an evening. It’s the type of DIY project you can easily do with friends for a girls night. Grab a pack of mis-matched wine glasses from the second-hand store near you, a bag of tea lights, embellishments and mini lamp shades or thick craft paper. Or a slightly chipped wine glass from your cabinet is ideal too!

There’s two ways to do this

  1. I happen to have a chandelier that I will be giving a face lift to soon for our kitchen remodel and it has a handful of tiny lamp shades that I don’t want on it. The lampshades are the perfect size and such good quality that I’ll be able to use one of them outside on my little porch. I’m also thrilled about this because it seems a little safer than using a paper shade. For this style, you can leave the lampshade as is or embellish with glitter and mod podge glue. Or perhaps ribbon and lace. 
  2. If you can’t find a tiny lampshade, here is a link to the pattern for cutting sturdy craft paper into a lampshade. Very simple. Just be sure to not leave the candle unattended when burning with this paper shade. The shade will have the glass between it and the flame but I still wouldn’t trust leaving it burning in another room. An LED tea light would be perfect. Know that the paper wont hold up long-term on a porch but this version is a nice temporary idea for a tea party. With the paper version, you’ll just need a glue gun to adhere the edges together. Rubber stamps or other embellishments can be added too. 

​I’m loving getting settled in our first real home. We’ve already had lots of family come visit and it’s already been filled with laughter and love. My sister Kara brought me porch lights and fashionable outdoor pillows as house warming gifts! I especially love the peacock one featured bellow, she knows me so well.

Cozy porches are a sort of tradition in our family and I can’t wait to spend more time out there this summer.

11. Quick DIY Makeup Remover

We have officially been living in our new home for two weeks! Lots of hands helped us move in just in time before we had Kent’s brother and sister-in-law come to visit for Memorial Day weekend. We had a lot of fun with them even though the house still has a handful of projects to finish. I’m in another scurry to get more done before my sister and her family come to visit us next week.

Even though we have all this going on, it’s been a mercy that I’ve naturally had little things to share on my blog every two weeks. This is my eleventh post since my New Years Ambition and I’m so thrilled it’s still going! Taking a few minutes to blog now and then is a nice break from thinking about the renovation.

Once we’re settled and unpacked, I cannot wait to get into bigger craft projects I’ve been dying to do for home decor in the new place. And of course I’ll post about it here!

For now, here is my Essential Oil Makeup Remover recipe I’ve been using for a while. It’s been in my notes to share it and since I ran out of makeup remover during our move, I had to make more last night. It truly works!

​​​There’s a lot of recipe variations on Pinterest and this is a conglomeration I’ve enjoyed with my Young Living Essential Oils. I chose Frankincense for its anti-aging benefits and Tea Tree for the anticeptic like qualities and skin repair. They are absolutely my favorite oils for my face! I first started using Tea Tree oil when a piercing technician recommended it for healing skin and scars. It definitely soothes better than anything else I’ve used for skin damages. Frankincense is my number one oil above all others. If I was lost on a desert island and could only choose one oil or form of medicine, Frankincense would be it. It’s basically a Jack of all trades in the essential oil world, with healing properties for burns and cuts, immune system strength as well as a natural pain-killer for headaches. I also use it with Thieves oil to cure sore throats. It has over 20 uses, there’s a reason it’s been valuable for centuries! As I jokingly tell my husband “If it was good enough for baby Jesus, it’s good enough for us.”

A tip on the makeup remover; my skin is natural to dry so the two tablespoons of coconut oil work nicely. You can use other oils like almond or pure virgin olive oil. If your skin is combination to oily, use only one tablespoon of coconut oil. Or substitute it for a half a teaspoon of un-scented, liquid Castile soap.

In place of distilled water, boiled water is fine, just make sure it cools before applying it to your face!

I only make enough for one month because the pads must be replaced in four weeks. Fortunately, it’s easy to whip up in a mater of seconds.

Hope you enjoy!

10. Gifts for Him

I’ve been on a gift basket kick for a while and I’m excited to give you some ideas for the guys in your life! The items listed below are just suggestions to get you going on a theme.

A few ideas you can include based on his individual interest are:

  • coffee beans
  • cool mug or travel mug
  • his favorite beverage
  • shooters and a bartenders guide
  • workman’s hand salve
  • meat rubs and grilling accessories
  • shaving creams and neat toiletries
  • ear-buds
  • travel size battery bank or other phone gadgets
  • beef jerky, snacks or candies

Hopefully this list will kickstart a theme for the person you have in mind. Another one is a movie night kit with a DVD, popcorn bags and candy.

Here is the small package I put together for my Father in law based on just a few handy tools.

In This Kit:

  • Small crate – I got mine for $3.97 as an add-on to my Amazon cart but you can also find these at any craft store and use a coupon
  • Chalkboard paint and any brush
  • Chalk pen
  • Tissue paper
  • Workman’s socks – my husband can order Snap-On socks through work and loves the brand. Carhartt has good pairs as well
  • 10 in 1 Credit Card Survival Tool – I’ve seen these all-in-one survival tools that fit in a wallet, pocket etc and thought they are nifty. I picked the Guardman on Amazon
  • Sugru Mouldable Glue – Have you seen this stuff? It’s so cool! There’s a host of YouTube videos on life hacks for ways to use it
  • Clear wrapping paper and scissors
  • Small elastic or rubber band

Tips:

Paint one side of the crate slats with chalkboard paint. Let dry and paint a second coat. Once paint has completely dried, write your message or receivers name on the black slats.

As always, remove any visible price tags first or use a sharpie to black it out.

Un-package things like socks from awkward packaging. Line crate with tissue paper. Arrange gifts by height, short items in front and tall or large items in back. Display any tiny items on top for best visibility.

Cut large sheet of clear wrapping paper. Gather all the edges up and secure with a small elastic hair tie or rubber band.

I’m sure he’ll love it!