Monday, November 28, 2011

Something Old, Becomes Something New

Friday, November 25 marked 5 years of marriage to Poppa Bear. I will avoid getting all sappy and just say I am a very, very lucky woman.

One thing that makes me lucky is that my hubby will spend part of our anniversary (the part when the Baby Bear was napping) to paint chairs with me. Apparently the traditional anniversary gift at five years IS wood, so maybe we were on to something.

I had been wanting a round or oval pedestal table for the dining area and happened on one for about $100 on Craigslist. The table was a little smaller than I had originally been looking for, but I was smitten with the chairs and their lovely geometric swirled backs. I could see potential. Here's the semi blurry photo from the Craigslist ad (without the leaf in the table):

I decided to paint the chairs and the base white and refinish the top with a darker, less orangey stain to complement the cabinets in the adjacent kitchen. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures during the process, but we used a liquid deglosser instead of sanding down the chairs due to the intricate chair back detail. I highly recommend using the deglosser outdoors and wearing a mask, this stuff is definitely not VOC free! Then we spray painted them with Rustoleum in semi-gloss white.

I sanded down the table top by hand all by myself during naptime on Saturday. By Saturday evening I thought I would never be able to move my arms again. I really should have asked for an electric sander for an anniversary gift! I used a combination of Provincial and Jacobean stains from Minwax for a nice, rustic look since there were already some dings and scratches. A couple coats of Semi-gloss Minwax Polycrylic low VOC topcoat on everything will help protect it from wear & tear (aka Baby Bear).

I did some distressing on the chairs and pedestal to give it a more casual, cottagey feel...

...and because, well, this is gonna happen anyway.

Buzz Lightyear make an appearance to kindly request that I put down the camera and play with him.

Not really. It was more like that finger pointing at me and him saying, "No more Mama!" while trying to push the camera away from my face...
But I happily complied because, like I said above, I am a lucky woman and 5 years can go by in the blink of an eye so I'd better not take these boys for granted.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Check out my Drawers!

Don't worry, I'm not planning on showing my undies on the blog or anything. Although if you engage in the same hobby we do, there's a pretty good chance they are posted on the internet for all to see already.

But this post isn't about dancing, it's about drawers. Drawers, silverware, and organizing the two.

We started out with two drawers to the right of the oven that each held a plastic silverware tray, along with some other items because the drawers weren't big enough to hold both units in one.

On the left side of the oven is a deeper drawer that held our cloth napkins, dish towels, and silicone oven mitts.

I purchased three of these cutlery caddys for about $3 each to corral our silverware vertically in the deeper drawer, along with repurposing two metal cups to hold the baby bear's smaller forks and spoons. I kept the dish towels in the back of this drawer.

Now one of the drawers on the right holds the oven mitts, the cloth napkins, and the little cardboard box holds the Baby Bear's Pura Sippy accessories.

The other drawer is pretty much empty for now, except for our cake server set from our wedding and a couple placemats that I just washed. (So we practically gained a whole drawer by making the switch.)

Some of our silverware is stored in other places in the Kitchen as well. For instance I keep a stash of teaspoons in a jar at the little coffee station next to the fridge. I use these frequently for filling my Ekobrew cup in the morning, and stirring my cocoa at night.

I also recently got this silver tray from Ikea and have been keeping it out on the dining table with our table settings all laid out for the next meal.

It's become habit to make sure and set everything out each night after dinner so that the next time we go to eat we have everything we need to set the table right there.

s for those plastic trays... well if you have ever been around toddler boys, you probably know at least one of the engines that live on the island of Sodor by name. Those trays are a great way to corral the Baby Bear's ever growing collection of "Chugga Chugga Choo Choos" (as he calls them), Hot Wheels, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse characters.

Since he plays with them all the time right now, they are easily accessible at the top of the storage trunk in the Living Room.

Who doesn't love a free solution to help keep the overwhelming toys at bay!

There are still so many things on my "To Do" list, and with the Holidays coming up I am feeling the pressure to get some things done before my Mom comes to visit for Christmas. Since I'm only working two days next week, I'm hoping to be super productive over the extra long weekend.

How about you, any plans to get stuff done around the house before the Holidays, or are you looking forward to just relaxing and doing nothing? (I'm hoping to fit a little bit of that in too!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Let's just pretend it's Wednesday

Well, Last week's Pinterest Challenge came and went and I never got around to writing this until now...

So without further ado, here are the inspiration "pins":

Here are the "Before's":

Nothing horrible, but could be better, right?

Enter these guys, namely the same Contact Paper I used on this project, and a magical thing I discovered on, where else, Pinterest... Chalkboard Contact Paper!

Now for the "After"!

Much better! Now we have a much more interesting, yet renter friendly, backsplash. I had been planning on doing this for a while and had put test pieces up before we moved in. Since it's been over a month and they lasted fine I went ahead and did the whole area on this side, as well as above the sink on the other side of the kitchen. For the jars I just did a Google image search for "label template" to find one I liked, and traced it onto the back of the contact paper to cut out.

I also have a bonus Pinterest inspired Before & After to share with you. Here is the original "pin":

My version was just done in Powerpoint and printed on standard paper.

Here it is on the picture ledges in the Living Room, which still need a lot of work and are acting as a catch all for a lot of random frames.

Thanks Sherry & Katie for motivating me to get more done, again!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Pirate's Room for Me (or rather, for the Baby Bear)

While anticipating the arrival of our Baby Bear, we put in a lot of work creating a cozy little nursery to welcome our boy. (I apologize in advance for all the nightime pictures in this post, I obviously can't always wait until morning to snap photos.)

Now that we have moved, we are taking the opportunity to make his room a little more like a "big boy" room. It will probably be of no surprise that we are giving him a Pirate Room. :)
Here's what it looked like when we moved in...

...and here is how it looks after I finally finished the curtains the other night:

The room is still very much unfinished. The "sail" above the bed needs to be painted and styled. The white shelves need to be mounted on the wall, and numerous other things need to be checked off my To Do list, but getting the curtains up does help to make it feel a bit more "moved in".

I made the curtains out of a drop cloth from Home Depot and a sheet set I got on clearance at Target. I split the drop cloth in half and then made a border from the striped flat sheet. The border is 4 inches on the side and 12 inches at the bottom.

I cut the borders twice as thick as I needed, then just folded them in half and sewed them to the drop cloths. Then I measured how long they needed to be, folded them over at the top, and clipped on the curtain hooks.

I love the nubby texture of the drop cloths contrasting with the crisp stripes!

I have another project in the works for this little corner. I'm hoping to have it finished by next Wednesday for the Pinterest Challenge but I will give you a hint by pointing out the ceiling hook in the top of the picture. ;)

Here is another peek at more details in the room.

How cute is this bedding from Olive Kids... (Thanks Nana!)

But my new favorite detail for the Baby Bear's room is the project that Poppa Bear did the other night. We had this white clock hanging in the nursery before.

Simple, effective, but nothing too fancy.
Poppa Bear came home from work with these little stickers he made...

...and did this:

He was so excited to "DIY" something that I made sure that he took these pictures along the way. :)

I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it in the Baby Bear's new Pirate Room. Now to get working on the rest of that To Do list!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Bucket List Update

I posted our Fall Bucket List in this post, and since we've checked off a few items I thought I'd share an update. Here's what we've done so far...

*Go to a Pumpkin Patch:
This weekend we actually went to two different pumpkin patches. On Saturday we took the Fillmore & Western Railway to their private pumpkin patch. Baby Bear loves choo choos (trains) and munkas (pumpkins) right now, so he was in heaven! It was great to ride the train, and I have a whole posts worth of pictures to edit and share, but the "pumpkin patch" was more like pumpkins lined up for sale.

Then on Sunday we visited a local pumpkin patch that was a more traditional large field full of pumpkins... Baby Bear kept gasping in awe and yelling, "Munkas!" while running all through the patch.

*Go on a hayride:
While at the pumpkin patch we also got to feed a goat...

play scarecrows...

ride in a wheelbarrow...

 and go on a hayride!

*Have a photoshoot in a leaf pile:
Who doesn't love crunching fall leaves!? He is such an active little guy now it's hard to get a picture of his face these days.

* Go on two dates:
I'm happy to say we've already checked this one off the list, even though I thought it would be hard to accomplish with our busy schedules.
While visiting friends one night in Santa Barbara we had the opportunity to leave the kids home with an aunt while we went on a double date. It is always a treat to go out to dinner with adults!
We also were lucky enough to have our niece stay with the Baby Bear while we attended the wedding of two friends at Union Station in Los Angeles. It was a great night; hanging out with good friends, celebrating love and commitment, having a few drinks, dancing, and doing it all in a beautiful vintage setting.

How cute is the happy couple out on the dance floor! (I stole this picture from Facebook. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures that night. It may have something to do with the fact that Papa Bear drove and they had an open bar...) ;)

Well, that's about it for now. So far Fall has been living up to all my expectations and I know it will only get better this weekend. Halloween promises to give us lots of opportunities to check off a few more items on our list.

What fun items have you checked off on your Fall Bucket List so far?