Home is Where the Hearth Is ...Almost?

I know it seems I've jumped off of Blog Earth, and thanks to some faithful readers, I haven't so I'll let you in on some stuff we've been up to around here!

I put up door casings in the kitchen, finally.  The drywall was scuffed, chipped, even chewed in one spot (by a member of the family I won't mention.)  I cheated and used a fancy trim on the top that looks like a header, but this was the easiest option.  I stole this idea from a site and cannot remember where I found it, sorry to the genius that did it first, but hey, at least I'm admitting it wasn't my idea :) More on that later.

We, the spouse and I, decided that we'd love to put a fireplace in the family room.  This project has been on the back burner for 8 years and we now have guts to tackle it! 

Like all good ideas, I perused Pinterest and started a Board of what I like...here,
I Pinned this and wanted to have it similar..

This was just an idea, maybe a little more casual, since it is the family room.

Now, there are a million tutorials on redoing an existing fireplace, not so much when you want a tutorial on how to put in a fireplace.  So I drew a picture.

 Enter the father-in-law, to install the gas insert.  

After that, we decided to pay to have the framing and drywall done, because I'm not feeling brave enough for that and the spouse, well, never mind.  (His idea of DIY is paying someone to DIFY, do it for you!)  That's okay, at least he's man enough to admit that he has no interest in even attempting these projects, he'd rather have it done right.  

Now we have this...

I want it to look like my inspiration photo, sort of, and have a lot of work to do now!
Tile choices and wood trim, but I am getting this done in time for Santa!

Industrial Farmhouse in the 'Burbs

Who doesn't love Fixer Upper on HGTV?
I love Chip and Joanna and secretly covet their profession, but I love, love, love her style. I've always been drawn to that crazy mix of furniture and accents, "whatever you love, you use" type of decor. Now, it's an acceptable style, proving to the spouse that I'm not crazy! 



I get that for some strange people, they don't even like her style, but I can't get enough.  Then reality sets in and I realize that I don't live in a renovated farmhouse in Texas, but a suburban cookie-cutter in Jersey.  (It's okay, I've been there and it's hot, like super hot, in August).
I did decide, however, to add a touch of this Industrial Farmhouse Decor to my house.

 I'm calling it Farmindustriaburb-house. 
(Whatever, my kids liked it).

The first order of business was to get rid of the ginormous pub table that ate up half of my kitchen and all of the view of what little bit of a yard we actually do have to see.  

So I busted out the farmhouse table we had in the playroom that was collecting crap, and decided to paint it and distress it.   This table actually has sentimental value, to me anyway-it was our first-ever table that we bought when we got married! Cute right?  

Next, I had to get my hands on some of those metal chairs. Now I like them enough, but not enough to spend $300 on each chair.   I found a perfectly priced set at Overstock.com and lucky for me they came in a four pack.

Last up, I opted for a bench that can seat 3 small butts and be pushed completely under the table to create more space.  I found a frugal but nice bench online.  

I painted the legs of the table black because it goes with what we already have in the kitchen, and then I distressed it with sandpaper on random edges.  (let's face it, with five kids it will be distressed on it's own). 

I did the same to the bench because it had perfect paint on the legs.  

The surfaces of the bench and table are different and I really don't care, because Joanna wouldn't.

Thanks for looking!

When To Say When?

A few months ago I purchased a lovely, vintage Thomasville Bali Hai Desk that I wanted to refinish.  I decided on painting it red after seeing a transformation at nattybydesign.com.  She used enamel paint and to achieve a lovely, shiny red on a Bali Hai Dresser.  

Here's how my desk turned out:  

and here's what it looked like before... 

Here's my steps:

1. Lazy girl here decided to skip the mineral spirits.  
2.  sand down the desk
3.  clean it
4.  paint it with three coats of the red paint (this took 4 days)
5.  restore the hardware like this

The Rust-oleum Protective Enamel was not fun to work with but it did leave a gorgeous mirror-like gloss on my desk.  No top coat required!  I would recommend this paint, but definitely apply it outdoors- it is oil-based and stinks!   

I had great plans for to use this beauty in the catch-all room of ours.  It was originally going to be a "mom only" room, but I realized that's an oxymoron in my home ;)  
But in the end, I wasn't thrilled with the desk in there anyway.  I currently have it in my family room and it is pretty, just useless.  (The girl child uses it as a craft table).  I've listed it for sale on Craigslist after I reluctantly admitted that there's just too much going on in there.  

Oh well, I'm learning to say "when."

A Cut Above

I have no attachment to Coco Chanel, but this quote couldn't be more true.  My five year old is living proof.  A few weeks ago, she proceeded to lob off all of her 5 years of curly growth, in 3 snips.   Did I mention her dad's a barber?  Maybe it's in her genes? After an initial (week) of shock, and a lecture about how "we don't use sharp scissors without a grown up," I have come to love her hair and honestly can't remember what she looked like before.  It has changed her appearance drastically, in a good way.  Her eyes look huge and her smile brighter, she just looks so tidy (which, if you've spent any time with a five-year-old girl with long hair, you'll know that's hard to come by. They always look disheveled and dare I say, messy?  hey, it's my blog)  Anyway, we love it.

 But more important, is the way she feels and her reaction to the change.  This kid has a new sense of "freedom"  it seems.  She doesn't care who stares at her, who makes comments positive or negative, she loves the new her.  I'm loving the new her!  The first day after the cut, I saw her walk by a mirror and give herself a little smirk, as if saying to herself "You Rock."  It was not only the cutest thing to witness, but the moment I realized this little person has her own confident personality and and I am proud of it.  She  understands that you don't need hair, or anything else, to make you beautiful, it's inside and let me tell you, boy is it ever shining out of her! 

And despite the classmate who teased her with a little chant about "wearing a wig" (that little girl's mother must be so proud,)  my daughter has started a little trend and two of her friends have begged their mothers for the same cut...so far one gave in.  

So I'm loving these moments, I know these are going to be stories we share one day with a strong, truly beautiful woman that we will have raised!  

She really has changed her life, with one hair cut.

Custom Window Panels for Cheap

I've been going back and forth with changing out my color scheme in the living and dining rooms, but since I am blooming where I'm planted and everything, I should make the most of what I have right? 
I found these lovelies at The Country Door for less than $20 each.  They are sheer and look like a linen panel, but most importantly, they carry the colors of the living room into the dining room (the pic looks red, but they are that rust orange- which is hard to find in "Summer" textiles). 

 Sounds great right? But they were too short.  I love 9 ft ceilings but it's hard to find 120" length drapes that I want. 

 I decided to take a chance and order an extra panel to sew onto the bottom of the shorties.  I planned to use some type of trim at the seam to conceal where they are connected. But once I finished sewing and hung them, it's hard to tell where the seam even is, so I left them.  
My technique?  I hung the too short panels on the existing rod and measured from the bottom of the panel to the floor. I then sewed the length needed onto each panel.  This way they are exactly the right length.  (I won't divulge how many times I have re-hung a rod because I wasn't happy with where the panel fell once it was hung!) 

Easy and for only $30 !