Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Our 1515Home Bathrooms

I love home decor. I love design. I like mixing colors and filling spaces. I wish I had studied it more in college. When we bought our last home, it was less than a year old. Everything was new and fresh and it wasn't smart for me to change things just because they weren't my style at the time. So, I hadn't embarked on a home renovation before. 

This time around, the house was about 20 years old and I could personalize it. So, we set a budget and I started pinning, meeting with contractors, and visiting Home Depot, Lowe's, granite yards, and other stores to develop my game plan. 

Let's start with our work in the bathrooms!

I've always loved vintage white hexagon tile. After shopping around, it was half price at Floor & Decor than it was many other places. It fits my style and with dark grout makes upkeep easier. So, within 24 hours of owning the home, Vinny was laying tile and removing the linoleum. We went with a medium grey/dark blue grout color. 

 We put it in both bathrooms and our laundry room. This tile is just what I wanted, but I will give warning. It isn't perfect and with tiny little tiles and contrasting grout, it can't be.

If you ever replace tile in the bathroom, know they have to remove the toilet and then reset it. Because the cost of resetting the toilet was already built into the tile cost we were paying, we went ahead and bought new toilets. It just made sense.

The next simple thing we did to update the bathrooms was changing out the light bulb covers. I had done this in my old home and love the impact it makes. I prefer clear glass seeded covers to the frosted ones most light fixtures come with. I actually hate frosted glass anywhere! At $4 per cover, these are super reasonable. We changed out the glass in both bathrooms and kept the brushed silver fixtures.

We had the entire house painted- all walls, trim and doors. The entire home, minus Abby's rooms, are Agreeable Grey by Sherwin Williams. I love the color- very soft grey that works well with browns and beige also. I was torn between two colors and in the end picked it because it is the #1 SW color. I knew it had to be good if everyone else loved it, too.

Another thing I don't like in most homes is the basic screwed in mirror. It is so easy to remove and replace with a framed mirror and makes such a custom statement. I replaced all three mirrors in our bathrooms for under $150. Abby's mirror is Moen and was on Amazon for less than Home Depot and Lowe's.

Her bathroom is soft and simple with grey walls, peach towels, and this white ruffled shower curtain from Amazon. I love that is works now and isn't childish so she can grow with it.

In our master bathroom, I decided to play with a little color. Everything else is really neutral. I think neutral colors help a small space feel less crowded. But, in our bathroom I wanted something special, so we used Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue chalk paint on the cabinets. I sealed them with a water based poly and they look great!

We kept the silver faucets in here and added matching knobs on the new blue cabinets. Our master isn't big, but it is pretty!

I knew I wanted a frame less mirror and the prices on Pottery Barn and other sites were killing me. So, I was patient and found just what I wanted at Kirklands. I never go in there but it was next to Home Goods so I walked in after striking out there. These were just what I wanted and only $40 each.

Down the road, I'd love to replace this cabinet top with new sinks, but for now, it is working.

Finally, we added grey towels and a dark blue ticking stripe shower curtain. We didn't have a shower curtain in the old house, so it was fun to shop around!

We lost a lot of square footage in our bathrooms. We gave up a powder room and our master bath is now smaller than our guest bath was, however, we have made the space we have functional and pretty so it works for us. It isn't fancy, but it is farmhouse!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Our Big Move

I haven't blogged in a long time for a lot of reasons, but I can't say I have a domestic blog and never mention the fact that I moved and renovated a new home last month. I also can't tell the story of my move without telling a little background.

We bought our house in 2008. I worked full time and we were about to start IVF with the idea that twins were highly likely. We were in our early 30s and did what everyone around us did- we moved up. We went from our "starter home" to our dream home which was about $75K more. It had 4 bedrooms, a formal dining room for entertaining, soaring ceilings, and great schools. We had our daughter 9 months later and then 2 years later I began working part time so I could be home with her.

Over time we became the definition of house poor. My income had lessened and the value and mortgage on our house slowly increased. My husband's income has a commission component and some months was less than expected. Combine that with my "need" to decorate and fill this big house and we moved in the wrong direction financially.

In the fall, we started getting serious about our budget and my husband took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. In February, I ran lots of numbers and we decided to sell our house. We wanted a smaller home, a smaller mortgage, and to pay off debt with some of our home equity. We prayed. We consulted. We prayed. We researched. And, God literally opened every day in His perfect timing that led us to this home.

It was the home of a friend that hadn't hit the market yet. It was a 3 bedroom with an office and cost less than we paid for our home in 2008. It had good bones, an amazing backyard, and is within a mile of lots of our friends. It feeds into the only school we wanted outside of our own. It needed cosmetic upgrades only. It was an answered prayer. And after an offer, it was ours. 

Suddenly we had a new home and a current home that needed to be sold. We got our house ready and it sold in 2 days above asking. The timeline was perfect for us and we were really moving. God had lined it all up and our obedience led to financial freedom and a home renovation. I was somehow going to save money every month, pay off debt, and get to renovate a home. It seemed too good to be true!

We are now in our new home and almost all renovations are completed. We are happy with our decision and haven't looked back. I always looked at the nice neighborhood next to ours as the next step and God has really changed my heart. I see those big homes and see work and upkeep now. 

We are loving our backyard full of big trees and the shade they provide. We are loving the cozy feel a smaller home gives us. We are loving thinking about our money going toward trips to Disney World, Hawaii, and Africa. 

We are loving the "second backyard" as Abby calls it. The field behind our home is open and the perfect spot for flying kites, hitting baseballs and watching fireworks!

Over the next few weeks I will share more of the inside. I have always loved farmhouse style and it is so popular right now that I have so many options! We've done paint, flooring, lighting, doors, fixtures, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, fireplace and more!

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Desktop Calendar

Happy July! This is always one of my favorite months of the year- summer is in full swing, vacation Bible school, 4th of July, my wedding anniversary, and lots of watermelon eating. Have a great month!

To enjoy this desktop calendar all month long, simply right click on it and save. Then open it and make it your desktop background.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Worldly Summer: Antarctica

The second place in the world Abby wanted to study was Antarctica. So, while it has been 90 degrees here in Texas, we've had fun with cold things inside!

We made a snow globe and decided to let our little friend Olaf live inside. You can see directions here. It really is simple- glue a toy on the lid, fill with water and glitter, screw on the lid, and shake!

The next thing we made was snow! It only took two ingredients and a few minutes to make a big mess, I mean big fun times! Abby's littlest pet shop enjoyed throwing snow, sliding in the snow and burying each other. The directions are here.... just note, it takes a few minutes to set. It felt like shaving cream for a while and then suddenly was more "snow" like. 

We also watched Happy Feet this week and learned a lot about penguins, sea lions, whales and the environment. Such a cute movie!

The library was our trusty friend and we found lots of books on Antarctica and learned about weather, climate, researchers, animals, ice, snow, and even how the Earth and the Sun rotate.

Since there are not people living in Antarctica, our food had to be a little more creative. We made two types of COLD ice cream this week.

Pineapple Whip was delicious and super healthy. We will make this again for sure! I like that it is only 3 clean ingredients and tastes like sweet whipped pineapples.

 Finally, we pulled out my Perfect Pops cookbook and molds and Abby picked Cookies and Cream popsicles. We enjoyed those to conclude our cold study of Antarctica!

It really has been fun and easy to travel the world this summer. I know I am enjoying having some easy activities during the day when swimming and iPad time are done.

To see more of our summer, click here or check out all my World Summer pins here. Next up, we are studying the parts of the world Jesus visited!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Worldly Summer: Mexico

There is a little bit of a homeschool Mom in me, so this summer we are going around the world with my daughter who will enter 1st grade next year. She picked the countries she wanted to study (with a little help from my husband and I) and we've come up with food, crafts, books, movies, and more to study the culture of the people there. We are planning to do this over 7 weeks of the summer when we don't have other big things planned like VBS or vacation. I'll share craft ideas and recipes as we go!

Hola! We visited Mexico for our first world summer stop! 

We studied the beaches of Mexico- Cancun, Cozumel and Cabo and made this fun beach craft with playdoh, salt dough, and a paper plate. See details here

We are keeping this really simple so we checked out books from the library to learn more about the country, climate, people, and history and bought a fun Dora book that helps teach simple Spanish words. It had pull tabs and Abby really enjoyed it. She made us laugh with her deep voice for crab!


We did math with Mexican coins, sampled Mexican candies from the local convenient store, enjoyed Mangonada, and Pioneer Woman's Tres Leches cake. 

I pinned lots of ideas here if you want to preview our summer! This week, we are studying Antarctica! Brr! :)

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