Man Cave Update 2

Wow. What a December. Talk about a blurry, flurry of activity at home, at work, at other people's homes. Non stop big doins.
Hope you had a super duper Christmas. We spent time with family, ate way tooooo much and enjoyed a little snow too. I am very blessed.

Last I posted I showed the latest on the man cave.

It's been crazy trying to get more done. I am happy to say I redid the floor. I had to take half of it up and put it all back together again, but it looks great. We painted (Hubs and I together). I usually do all the painting, but it was a great help with him this time around.

I've been working on the stair shelves for the last couple of weekends and they are now ready for paint. PHEW. It was a long haul. We decided on just two shelves for books and stuff and a space below for Hubs guitar and music goods.

I had a real hard time figuring out how to box in the poles, but considering the wavy gravy-ness of everything, they turned out pretty good.

On to caulk and paint. Enjoy your New Years Eve....I'm off to dinner.


Man Cave Update

Home stretch now baby.
Almost ready for primer.
Wall heater installed.
Switched up some electrical placement.
Taped wall seams.
Spackled. Twice.
Impatiently waiting.
Grunting at the floor I have to pull up.
Know that it's next on my to do list.

Heading to bed so I don't have to face it tonight.
Dreaming about what kind of shelves to build under the stairs.


Laundry Room- Drywall

The boys around here were movin'. They covered some serious ground this weekend. The place is still a wreck, but I love seeing the room come together.
Laundry is 95% hooked up. What a job that was to move all the plumbing, venting, electric. Worth every penny though. I ran out to Lowe's twice to get recessed boxes for all the connections just because I am silly like that. You can't even see them behind the monster machines stacked tall.

The man cave has drywall, rough electric and is ready for taping tomorrow. Messy job, glad I am not doing it. Hubs is bartering work and I can sit back and watch someone else do it. Don't worry, I have a royal pain of a job ahead of me. The floor. I figured out today that I have to talk half the floor up first. The planks interlock on all sides, so they can't just be pieced in. Oh well.

The blue tape on the walls is my way of seeing if the TV placement is correct. The box on the left is for a wall heater. Since we use our wood stove to heat our home, the furnace rarely comes on. The wall heater takes the chill off the basement when Hubs is down there.

We'll see how the next phase goes.


Laundry Room- Worse Before Better

It always gets worse before it gets better with construction type projects.
The dust, the dirt, the decisions to be made.
I have to say, tearing down one itty bitty wall makes all the difference.

Washer and dryer are moved out awaiting their new home. I can't believe I don't have one piece of laundry at the moment to wash...give that a day.

Here is the wall my machines are going to be installed on. The doorway will be flipped to the opposite side. Washer and dryer will remain stacked, but now I'll have room for cabinets and a folding table. I am in love with the idea of an actual folding table to stack clean clothes. It's the little things, ya know.

Here is a view from the man cave side. A 2 foot wall came down in front of the stairs and the wall in back is going to be pushed back about 4-5 feet. Hubs gains about 100 sq. feet. Enough for a couch, chair and TV. Perfect.

I have dreams for under the stairs...built in shelves. I need to find some more inspiration photos so if you have, do share. I need vision.

This week the plumber friend is hooking up my washer/dryer and completing our gas conversion. At the same time another friend is stopping by to help frame up the new walls.

I'll keep you posted.


Laundry Room - Makeover #2

Hold on to your hats. Nothing stays the same around here. One thing leads to another and I am getting a new laundry room.

We are converting to natural gas and all the big appliances need to be converted by a professional. Hubs, with his mind ever going and negotiating skills prime, decided he wants to gain some extra man cave space. Out will come the washer and dryer and the wall on the right will go back as close to the furnace as we can allow.

It doesn't look like much, but this will gain some space for Hubs to hang his big screen and allow for built in storage under the stairs. He has tons of books and I'm all about the storage.

In the end, I'll get a more spacious laundry room. Doorways will flip and my washer and dryer will be moved.We just need to figure out the best place to run the new pipes, ducting and electrical.

The whole place is a mess right now and I have tons of pictures to take. I'll share, I promise, but right now I am fighting a head cold and am off for some rest. I'm getting my dust mask ready!

Here are some dreamy inspiration photos from Houzz.com


Office - Craft Room

I really like having one space to do it all. To blog, to surf the Web, to sew, to read, to craft. So I bought another table and moved all my sewing and craft stuff from the basement upstairs to my office.

Kmart had a sale for Veteran's Day and I was able to get the same dining table I bought a year or maybe two years ago. Ship to Store is a great feature. Buy online and by magic you just walk in a pick it up.

I have one table for "office" type work. Hubs conducts his business type duties here.
The metal file cabinets are from Target and many moons old. They creek, get stuck and are rather dull. One day I'll find another solution.

I moved my revamped metal table to house the sewing and crafting gear. I love the blue in the room. I was throwing out a stack of old maps and fished them out of the garbage. They line the shelves. If I like them, I might Mod Podge them on or I was thinking of maybe laminating them for easy removal.

My second table is for crafting, sewing, having fun. I LOVE the amount of space. The jar has all my ribbon. Magazines for taking a moment and getting inspiration. My iPad just because I love this little thing. Frames found roadside and sprayed with a fun blue. Assorted books for reference.

Now mind you I am a piler. I love making piles. So give this room a week and there will be piles of stuff everywhere.

The closet got a cleaning up. A big garbage bag later and this is what I did.

All of Hubs business stuff is up top and to the side neatly organized. I bought the file boxes at Staples and this is where we store the once in a while files. One day I'll be brave enough to store it electronically and on CDs. I have a thing for paper. The red boxes have either supplies, assorted cards, or photos. The photos take up two boxes and need some organizational love.

The closet doors I installed many moons ago too. I know they can be cheesy, but I love how it opens up the room. Any don't mirrors have a touch of glam? :)

I'd like a rug, larger lamp, new chairs and an inspiration board for the wall. Winter project.
Have a great, fun, go get it done type of weekend!


Sewing Table Redo

I can't believe I don't have a before picture. What happened? I was so excited to find time to paint this baby that before I knew, shocker, gasp, there is no before picture.

I found this sewing table on the side of the road this past summer. Picture stained walnut color all nicked up.

A 2 minute sanding with my orbital, 2 coats of latex white primer, one coat of Brandywine Cream by Ben Moore and one coat of watered down White Dove by Ben...this is what I have.
I sanded well in between coats. The last sanding almost taking off the white completely. A real distressing party happened to0. My plan is to rub some Miniwax Paste Wax to seal it up.

What I am so excited about is that I now have freed up counter space and created Pet Central. An out of the way place to fashionably store the pet food. Hubs even thought it was great. No more cluttered counter.

I'm still deciding if I am going to reuse the handle or get a new snazzy one.

P.S. The red comforter looked like a sad, bright, red tomato across the king bed. It is going back. Still on the hunt

I'm linking up to Cottage Instincts. Such great stuff already there.



Decorating: Bedroom

Do you decorate your bedroom for the holidays?
I am this year.
I've been eyeing this Pottery Barn set for weeks, but ya know, I'm on a budget.

Source: Potterybarn.com

This afternoon I breezed into Marshall's. Yes, breezed. That is how I shop in that store.
Fast and furious. Eyes scanning. No time for standing still otherwise I walk out with too much stuff.

After a quick run down the tablecloth aisle looking for another 90" round for Fall, I quickly went down the two bedding aisles. I said to myself that I should really be in Homegoods for bedding, but what they hey.

Then right there with a big fat red sticker was a red alternative down KING comforter with two shams for a mere $25 bucks. While it's not plaid, I know I can jazz it up with some throw pillows and crisp sheets. I grabbed it and ran to the checkout.

I'll let you know if this turns out to be the steal of the month or a boo hoo buy.
If the comforter makes the cut, I'll be sharing my winter ready bedroom style.

You scored any deals lately that you just can't contain yourself over?


Fall Decorating- Use what you got

I have found over the years that I put less and less stuff out for the holidays.
I have given a lot of things away and tend to decorate with less.
One of my favorite ways to add color and texture during the holidays is to use flowers.
Well, I'm on a strict budget this month, so what to do?
Use what you got.

I was on a mission and walked straight to the backyard.
Used my trusty shears and cut a few stalks of tall grass.

What about you? Any tips for using what you got to decorate?
P. S. What do you think about painting the front door black? The side that faces in.
OOOH, love what others are doing.


Travel: Traverse City, MI

Our last leg of our Michigan trip a few weeks back included stopping overnight in Traverse City. We enjoyed shopping downtown, tasting lots of dried cherries and catching the fall colors on our ride to Sleeping Bear Dunes.

The views were AMAZING inside this park. I think we were there on the best, most perfect day ever.

This is my Grandma and I. Do we look alike? She is my mother's mom. A very strong lady. I love the tissue in her hand too...that will be me one day.

These are the crazy dunes. They go straight DOWN. I was freaked out. I did run around with my shoes and socks off in the sand trying to capture the views.

Do you see these people? They stumbled down the dune and then had to CRAWL back up. One super fit guy said it took him 25 heart pounding minutes to come back up. No thanks. I watched. I thought Hubs was going to do it, but I think he just had lunch on his mind.


How do you clean?

I've had the cleaning bug lately. The deep clean one. Get into the nooks and crannies and suck the dirt right out. I admit I am a clutter bug too. I blame it on my husband, but it's all me. I put stuff in piles until it about topples over. I am trying to get better. Trying to ensure everything in my home, well has a home. I've done good at getting rid of a lot of useless stuff, but I need to work on putting things away.

This is what I am trying out this week.
  • load and empty dishwasher daily (why do two people have so many dishes? Yes, two.)
  • wipe down kitchen counters and keep the sink clean before bed
  • use a big basket to corral all the crap that shows up during the week to keep it off the kitchen table
  • fold laundry and once a week iron what needs to be and put the rest away
So far so good. I can use some work sorting through the basket. It found its way upstairs to be sorted and has sat there for 3 days.

I am also trying to streamline my cleaning routine. I am hoping by focusing on small tasks every day, I won't have to do a marathon clean session. Last night I deep cleaned my entire downstairs. It's not that big, but it took me 3 hours. Boy did the house smell fresh and clean and I smiled when I was done. I said to myself maybe I can do 15 minute spurts throughout the week to keep it up.

I grew up in a house that was super clean...a clean freak mom. I don't know where she found the time to do it. I am not that obsessive though. I allow shoes in the house, people over and my husband to cook dinner. I want my home lived in, but now I need to find the happy medium of keeping it clean and living life.

Do you clean daily? Do you have a schedule, like bathrooms on Mondays, floors on Wednesdays, etc?


Travel: Mackinac Island, MI # 2

I fell in love with the scenery and the charming homes on Mackinac Island.
I am a huge sucker for old homes with lots of wood.

This private home had these amazing views.

This cemetery is home to unknown soldiers.

Perfect spot for a picnic.


Travel: Mackinac Island, MI

Amazing. Beautiful. Peaceful.
I spent the last week with my Grandmother and Husband touring Michigan.
We covered a lot of ground in a few days, but what a step back in time Mackinac Island was.

The weather was perfect, truly perfect.
We drove up from the Detroit area and took the 1pm ferry from Mackinac City to Mackinac Island.
Boy, can that ferry boat move. 16 minutes flat.

As soon as we landed, you felt like you were somewhere else.
No cars, only horses or bikes to transport you.

We stayed at a nice place called Mission Point.
The views were spectacular.

A little shopping, some sightseeing and a dinner, we rested up for another on the go day.


Happy Birthday

I celebrated a milestone birthday this weekend.
Can't believe it.
Feels a little strange because it's such a middle of the road birthday.
I still feel 21. or 16 even.
I was always that girl who wanted to grow up.
Become an adult.
Make decisions.
It's not all that it's cracked up to be.

Aren't these the prettiest flowers?
My dad brought them over for me.
On a cloudy day like today, they've decided to perk up and smile.

Enjoy your Monday!


Color Coordinated Closet

On a whim a few weeks ago, I took everything out of my side of the closet.
Yep, I have exactly half of our master bedroom closet. Over the years, I've done some serious down sizing and was able to simplify to this teeny tiny closet (oh and one dresser).

I had organized in the usual fashion, pants on the bottom row, tops on top row.
Imagine my surprise when I put everything back color coordinated.

OH MY, I have a lot of black clothes.
I quickly text someone near and dear to me.
'Cause I am always analyzing things.

"I have a lot of black clothes....What do you think it means?"
"Maybe you think you are fat."

I laughed and laughed some more.
Don't all of us women think we are fat...even if we are not.
We are always criticizing our less than perfect bodies...this is a little pudgy, this is a little saggy.

So I quickly went shopping and bought more happy colors...blue, purple and pink...oh and some grey, cause grey really isn't black right?


Old Movie: American in Paris

I love old movies, especially those with dancing scenes.
I've started to rent some from my local library and watch them while I use the treadmill. Passes the time and I smile while exercising.

This is a great dancing scene from the movie American in Paris with Gene Kelly.
My love for tap dancing is even greater now.


Travel Planning: Michigan


I am planning a trip to visit family in Michigan. We have a few days in the to tour around and see the sights. On the agenda is the Detroit, Traverse City and Mackinac areas.

I've been doing a lot of research, but thought how fun would it be to see if you've all been and what your memories/tips and tricks are for the area.


Taking Time

I've realized that I need time to completely relax.
No projects.

So I'll be sitting here:

Swimming in this:

And enjoying the view for the next couple of weeks.

Then bring on Fall!


Gizmo Gadget Question


I am seriously thinking about getting an iPad
(pooling some B-day gift money to help offset the $).

Curious if my friends out there have one and what do you think of it?

I don't own a personal laptop, as I have a good old trusty Mac tower, but Hubs and I do take day and weekend trips here and there. It would be nice to "connect" on the road.