Scotchgard

This stuff is amazing!! After purchasing our living room rug back in June, and knowing how much traffic it would see- we knew we needed to protect it! I used fabric Scotchgard on our white throw pillows and so far so good as stains go!

So I decided it was time to test out the rug kind! Instead of locking in all the dirt that I knew was already in there I started by vacuuming...
This Dyson amazes me by how much it picks up. It's the easiest thing to clean (brushes/filter) and emptying the canister is effortless!

On to steam cleaning... I did this as we were walking out the door to dinner. 
Once again I am amazed how much this got up! Although quite disgusting the next picture shows just what I mean...
Our rug didn't *look* dirty, and our dog is mostly an indoor dog (and we wipe her paws whenever she comes in). So this is just day in, day out dirt! Gross. 

This is the product we used. It covered our entire area rug, and 2 door mats that we cleaned at the same time. We took the rugs outside and sprayed them/let them dry per the directions on the can! After they dried there was NO SMELL once we brought them in. I am thrilled that spills/stains will bead up with this. The can recommends re-doing this every 6 months which is about as often as I steam clean my rugs!! 

I wasn't paid or perked to write this- just love me a product that works (and I love my house being clean!)!!

Josh's Office part 2

We are in the final stages of getting Josh's office completely set! It feels so good to get pictures and meaningful things up on the walls and on shelves.

Here is where we left off. Pillows and chairs were coming along nicely, but NOTHING was on the walls. It worked out perfectly since this little human growing inside of me will soon be on the outside and taking up space in our old office. His/her new nursery contained all the "man stuff" and was able to go to his office at the church. He loves that he gets to sit with all this stuff all day, and I am thrilled that it is out of my house (said in the nicest, sweetest way possible). :)

The reason I wanted a DSLR camera was to be able to take pictures like this and blow them up as I felt necessary! This is Sadie-dog in her unedited brown (many think she's black- but she's really brown) glory! This is another example of a faux canvas from wally!

This picture is hanging between the 2 windows and sits directly over his head everyday. As you look right this is the wall you see. It's the perfect place for his degree and professional learning certificates.
This next wall is directly over the couch. There was a huge blank wall over the couch and this wall is no where near complete. It will be a work in progress as we add more pictures to this wall. I love the Icelandic clock. Pretty cool right?
The wall over his table and chairs holds a hand painted picture from his sister. (Isn't she an amazing artist??). There is also more space for more pictures.
This wall is the same wall as the one above- just toward the right more. It houses some of his military accomplishments and some "boy wolf stuff".
The last wall I had to tackle was the wall over his counter. This again hold more military things as well as a "very appropriate for his job" canvas.
He absolutely loves his new space. And it's amazing how much more homey it feels! 

101 update

As a new year approaches,  it's the perfect time to update my 101 list. Sometimes I do this twice in a month, other times I don't look at this list for 6 months. It really all depends and it's really rewarding to go through and see what all has been accomplished!

#14- We just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and the traditional gift to give each other is something made out of wood. I thought it would be awesome to carve our names into a tree. I am the least outdoors-y person I know, so actually carving it would be waaaaay above my skill level... so I turned to Etsy. There was a seller who sells her personal pictures and can photoshop anything into a tree. I had her "carve" our names and wedding date into the tree. I love it and it was the perfect gift this year. (BTW Josh got me a handmade ornament made completely out of wood). So sweet.
Also here's a huge shout out to faux canvases! I am usually not a fan of the walmart photo center- I've found it's really hit or miss with the quality of photos. But they do these awesome faux canvases that are made out of cardboard and photo paper but that give the illusion of a real canvas! For 1/4 of the price of a real canvas it is totally worth it in my book!

Here's my handmade wood ornament:

#33- Complete a Beth Moore Study. We went through Deuteronomy the Law of Love. She is such an amazing teacher and I never thought I could learn so much from an OT book in the Bible!

#47- Finish his room. I finished Luke's room this past summer. I love it and couldn't be happier!

#66-Set up a family calendar. We finally got our phones synced together. Whenever I add an appointment or important date Josh can see it in his phone, and vise versa. So easy!

#70- Make matching Christmas stockings. Done!

#79- ORB all the doorknobs in the house. Goodbye gold/brassy ugliness!

The best part of a list is marking things off! 

It's a....

Now that we've had our gender reveal party we are ready to announce... IT'S A GIRL!! Daddy will be getting his little girl!! We couldn't be happier and it has been REALLY hard to contain our excitement these past 3 weeks! Emberly Grace will be here around May 15th-17th. Emberly is a name I've always loved and I've seen it in a handful of baby books. Josh loved it and refused to talk about any other names. Grace is my middle name- and the name of the lady who first introduced my mom to church (her parents did not attend). I think her name is perfect for what she did (showed my mom the "grace" of our Savior)!
A week ago we celebrated little man's 3rd birthday. We didn't have a party but still made it a special and memorable day!! He had been sick with a fever and congestion the Friday and Saturday before, but he woke up Sunday (his birthday) totally well and roaring to go! We sent muffins and fruit to his Sunday School class (which he told me was a huge hit). For lunch I ran by the drive through and picked up his favorite meal- a happy meal with happy juice. 
The one thing he said he wanted was either a monster truck or a school bus. 
As he opened his present he was THRILLED that he got "a monster truck!!". He walked around the whole afternoon saying "I got my monster truck, I got my monster truck!."
I think that sweet smile with ketchup all over his face says it all!

Hallway

I have finally eliminated all the brassy knobs in our house! My eyes are so relieved and every bit of trouble that we went through (I'll explain later) to get them to this point was was totally worth it!

We sprayed the knobs (both sides), hinges, and the part that goes around the "tongue" that stays on the door. When I started this whole project way back when, I also sprayed the kick plate (that mounts on the trim). After so many door closings it does wear off. So for the second half of this project we decided to purchase Oil Rubbed Bronze kick plates. They were $2.50 for 2. We never expected this quick cheap fix to cause such a headache.

I took all the hardware for one door and then sprayed it making sure I didn't mix up anything. I even tried to keep up with the top hinge, middle hinge, and bottom hinge (although sometimes I know I mixed them up). I stuck the pointy pieces in a cardboard box, labeled the box with which door it went with and took it all outside. At the peak of this project I had hardware for 4 doors outside. It just makes it easier to spray it all at once! I did 3-4 thin coats of ORB until all the gold was gone. It was a beautiful day but the temperatures dipped at night so I carried the boxes inside so the knobs could cure for 2-3 days. This is when the headache begins...

I began reattaching the knobs (easy) and the hinges to the doors (easy). When Josh got home we mounted the doors back on the trim and screwed in the hinges to the trim (still easy). As we went to actually close the doors we realized that this wasn't as easy as pulling everything off and putting it back on. Most of the doors wouldn't close, and the ones that did wouldn't latch. Wahhh wahhhhhhh. Josh spent 2 hours (1 hour one night and another the next day) figuring them out, sanding down doors/trim, and chiseling out a new area for the kick plate so the door would actually close properly.

Like I said in the beginning, it was a headache, but TOTALLY worth the end results. I promised him I wouldn't touch another door in this house ;)
And in case anyone is counting- here is the number breakdown...
Doors/knobs- 10
Hinges- 30
Hinge Screws- 89: for some reason a screw to a hinge on Luke's door never made it back.

Next came painting the trim and hallway! Door knobs lead to trim. Trim leads to paint. So it was a conglomerate project that just kept moving forward.

I bought a bunch of Martha Stewart paint when Home Depot was clearing it out last spring. I was able to snag a gallon for $12 (almost half the price of other paint brands). While I was there I had the paint mixed to "Gray Horse" by Benjamin Moore. I knew I loved it the second I painted our master bath and I quickly decided that it would eventually be our "whole house color".

Before painting, the hallway needed some serious prep. When I put up the collages and made sure everything was hung properly sometimes I would accidentally put 2-4 unneeded holes in the wall as I tried to find the perfect placement. I went through and circled all the holes I needed to keep (seeing as I was going to hang the collages up the exact same way) and spackled the unnecessary holes.
One area that needed some major TLC was the hallway light switch right outside our master bedroom. I'm not quite sure what happened there and as I was spackling I really couldn't figure it out- but it needed to be covered regardless!
It took 3 coats of spackle and sanding in-between each coat to completely cover it up. The results were seamless! (ummm ick- that cover needs a good cleaning!)
There were also some markings on the wall that needed to be covered- like the "middle" point.
Once all the holes and random chunks in the wall were spackled, dried, and sanded, I primed each spot with Kilz. This is CRITICAL for a perfect finish. Once the Kilz dried I felt each patch to double check that all I felt was primer and not spackle.
All the floor trim got a new coat of gloss white and all the door trim got new coats. I can't believe how fresh trim brightens everything!

Also there were a few places that had white trim where the paneling came to a corner that our previous owners painted white. I wanted it to blend in more with the wall color so I painted those pieces gray.
Before:
After:
There was one spot right at the corner to the kitchen that had a piece of trim, 2-3 inches of wall space and another piece of trim.
I decided to paint it all glossy white to give it a more seamless look. I didn't really follow any rules- I more just went with what felt and looked right. I feel like it looks almost like a chunky column as opposed to trim, wall, trim.

Cutting in took the most time, and since we have paneling, it took even more time. I try to do one coat with the brush down each crack in the paneling, that way when we go through and roll with a paint roller, it gets 2 good coats in there.
Rolling was the fastest, easiest, most rewarding part. It took all of an hour to complete once all the prep work had been done.

My plan worked perfectly and all the holes that needed to be patched covered perfectly and the holes that needed to stay (so I could see where to rehang my collages) showed perfectly through the paint. I rehung each frame one by one until it was all put back together!
Have I mentioned I LOVE this color?? and I can't wait until the rest of the living/dining room can feel the love (most likely in the few days after Christmas). Gray horse is the perfect mix of gray. It looks greenish in some light, blue in other and just a plain gray with a black base in other light. It's perfect!

Christmas Stockings

I am a procrastinator... atleast I admit it. Making Christmas stocking has been on my to-do list since Summer. Actually I started brainstorming my Summer to do list in the Spring... so it's something I've wanted to accomplish for a while.

I wanted our little family to have matching stockings. See when you get married the first thing you want to do during the Christmas season is to buy matching stockings. Only problem? Then you have kids, and you can't find stockings to match the originals. Then you're not sure how many kids you'll have... so it was just a dilemma all around.

We've lived with mis-matched stockings for 5 years. And I'm over it. I couldn't imagine spending another Christmas with mis-matched stockings. Silly? a little.

I started on Pinterest getting ideas. This is the best tutorial I found. Most tutorials I found used interfacing or some sort of padded layer between the outside and inside layer. I really didn't want to make this any more difficult than it should have been which is why I loved this tutorial. I used my mom's baby stocking (which was ruined from moisture) as the template- just to throw a little meaning into the project.

The only change I made was instead of doing an entire layer on the inside, I cut it smaller (see picture) simply because I didn't have enough fabric for a double layer stocking.
Once I made one I could have made 100. It was super easy after I got the first one together. I actually did one with scrap fabric just to make sure I didn't mess up on my good fabric because I wasn't sure that I would have enough. I wanted to make 5 since there are 3 of us now, I'm pregnant, and we don't want more than 3 kids. We have a doggie stocking too for Sadie-girl.
I love that none are exactly the same but they all coordinate. Also to make this project a smidge easier instead of sewing a loop of fabric for the holder, I stitched on a ribbon with a button to hold it in place. Ick sorry about the bad focus.
Next came the actual holder. We don't have a fire place. Santa uses a magic key to get into our house. I grabbed a scrap board we had in our wood pile sitting in our wood pile and stained it with a walnut stain. (the stain was left over from our table make-over). Staining was 100xs easier than 2-3 coats of paint. I stained one evening and it dried over night. I grabbed 3 2-packs of oil rubbed bronze hooks from walmart (they were less than $3 each) and attached them to the dried board. 
Next came the fun part. Vinyl! Here was my inspiration from Pinterest for the holder.
I couldn't "claim" the saying since it obviously come from "The Night Before Christmas" but I also couldn't clain the idea- so there it is!

I have one thing left to do on this project before I can call it done. Instead of embroidering our names, I am going to use the Silhouette heat transfer kit to put our names. It'll look like vinyl on the stockings, but it will be permanent like the silkscreen on a t-shirt. Hurry Amazon prime!

The Laundry Room: Finished and Complete!

I think this room was the fastest room to come together in this house. I thought and thought about this room for a while, so when it came time to actually get to work I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Just for old time's sake, here is what we started with:
Over the course of a few months a few changes took place; the most impacting being the paint color. Dark color plus small room magically made the whole room feel bigger!
The cubbies went from this:
To this:
I never officially did a post about the cubbies but we:
1. put a coat of primer and paint
2. sanded (actually dremeled) the plastic bins so the sides didn't scrape off the paint
3. added the cute labels. The templates came from teacherspayteachers.com (freebies of course) and I worked with them in powerpoint and attached them with  clothes pins (fitting right?)

The coat hanger went from raw wood to a gorgeous "sun" yellow-
And I added a mirror (the one from my childhood home/bathroom) and quote above the diaper bag hook. The mirror started out a brassy gold color.
Our key ring holders are custom made with the Silhouette:
and the door/ceiling/trim got a coat of glossy white paint.

The rug came from IKEA (I looked high and low for a creamy yellow rug- one dark enough to not get crazy dirty but one light enough to still pull in the mirror and coat rack). I settled on green because it gorgeously ties in the curtains! At $4.99 I couldn't pass it up (and it vacuums/stays in place perfectly!).
Speaking of curtain... here's her story- and her close up:
There was alot of wasted space over the storage cabinet. This cabinet is GOLD to us since we don't have a utility closet or pantry (or garage). It stores everything from laundry soap to our car washing supplies. I added 3 baskets in the dead space on top to store some extra supplies. They were purchased at walmart.com and they are the same bins that are in the cubbies mentioned earlier. I bought these in a light brown shade and spray painted them. I challenge ANYONE to use Rustoleum's Painter's touch spray paint. Krylon has nothing on this stuff!! The Rustoleum paint runs around $7 but you seriously get what you pay for! This color is "key lime". I had to order it of amazon. 
The canvas is DIYed. It was an inspiration I shared about here. I sorta wish there was another canvas to make it feel larger (that was Josh's only complaint from the whole room) but it was hanging wonky with the electrical box. Also it's hung with velcro on command strips for easy access into the electrical box. About 2 hours after it was up we blew the breaker and I had to go flip it back on :)
Also is the color on the canvas familiar? 
Yup it's the door color!

And vinegar, DIY fabric softner, and laundry soap are stored on top of the dryer. I picked up the glass bottles and holding container at IKEA. They were out of the wall mounted rods that this is designed to hang on so I will grab those next time I'm there. For now it will sit on the dryer. Of course I dressed it up with my Silhouette!
And this room is DONE! I absolutely love coming home everyday and this room being the first place that welcomes me!

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