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A Roman Shade for the Kitchen (in which I plan to DIY but get suckered by a sale)

I really did plan to DIY this one, I promise. I purchased fabric and everything…back in May. Whoops.

But then I stumbled on this FANTASTIC sale at Lowes on blinds and ended up just purchasing a woven shade…and, let’s be honest–this probably looks better than anything I could sew up. :)

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Doesn’t that shade look nice? It’s a bit hard to see the color since my photography skills=zero and: snow.

Anyway, the shade originally was $35 but was on clearance for $7. (Regret: I spent $8 on fabric for the project when I planned to DIY it….bummer!)

You can also see that I wrapped the cord of the pendant light in fabric. It makes it look less spindly and more textural, so that’s a win in my book.

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Below you can see the color better–its a shade lighter than the dark color of our floors. I hung the shade about 6″ above the window, which makes the window (and ceilings) look taller.

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If you need window shades/blinds, RUN to your local Lowes and check out the clearance–both the Grand Rapids Lowes and the Holland Lowes had a great selection in my neck of the woods (especially for windows smaller than 36″ wide).

The moral of the story: if you procrastinate long enough on a project, something better could come along. But by then it may be too late to return your initial purchase, so…the call is yours. :)

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Pompom Garland and Mantle Discussion

This is going to get very complicated and technical…hold on to your hat.

(#opposite. Your hat is in no danger whatsoever).

I made a pompom garland for our mantle!

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I used the fork method to make the pompoms and used up all of my green yarn.

Remember what this room looked like when we moved in and once we painted and updated the floors? floor before and after 1

Now things are looking a bit more home-y.

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We plan to replace the tile and rebuild the wood mantle. I think I’ll also spraypaint those gold strips on the black surround when we do that….but we’re trying to focus on one project at a time. It’s a difficult limitation, but our sanity is worth it. Though there is a part of me that just wants to do all of the things all of the time…

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Cancun or Bust

One obvious clarification–this is not a house-related post. But if I don’t document our vacation here, these pictures will be lost in the depths of my computer, so….you’re stuck with them.

We headed to Cancun for the last week of October. It was swell.

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We booked the all-inclusive resort through LuxuryLink (get $50 off at that link). So far we’re 3-for-3 with bookings through LuxuryLink–all have been great experiences.

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The bathroom: HUGE.

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Cancun had daylight savings time a week before we did, so our bodies were 2 hours ahead of what we were used to. So we’d get up every day at 5:30, order room service, and eat it on the balcony.P1030619

The hardest thing we had to do each day was deciding which of the resort restaurants to go to for meals. It was rough.

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This is what the bulk of our schedule looked like. We were very busy.

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Another hard decision–whether to swim in the infinity pool or Gulf of Mexico?

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The pool usually won that toss-up. I discovered I have an irrational (or not?) fear of jellyfish. For the record, I did go in once or twice–my first time swimming in an ocean!

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We alternated our reading locations between the cabanas and the hammocks.

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This was the first (of hopefully many) international vacations Kenny an I will take!

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Half Bathroom: Plotting, Planning, and Sledgehammer Swinging

Just kidding about the sledgehammer swinging…so don’t get your hopes up. I just needed a third gerund. But there was demolition, so read on!

Our half bath has been on the hit list from day one. We temporarily switched out the light fixture, painted the walls, and redid the mirror, but now it’s time for the real stuff.

The plan:

  • new flooring (oh yeah, we just redid that 6 months ago too…)–we want to replace the laminate with tile
  • new vanity, sink, faucet
  • new mirror. I’m hoping to do something super sweet but will need  a professional’s help, so we’ll see about that.
  • same light, since it’s less than 6 months old
  • same toilet…20 years old and going strong!
  • new wall treatment: We’re thinking board and batten up 2/3s of the wall, with a stenciled design on top of that
  • new crown molding (DAD! I need you!)

But first comes demo. I cleaned out the cluttered cabinet and assessed the situation.

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First I had to remove that tile backsplash (chisel/hammer).

Then I disconnected the hot/cold water and waste line, and I removed the sink, faucet, and countertop, which were just sitting on the vanity cabinet.

Next I had to remove some trim pieces and screws to remove the vanity from the wall. I also had to cut larger holes in the bottom of the vanity around the plumbing, but I tried to do this carefully since we were giving the vanity to a friend.

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After I did that, the vanity cabinet lifted right out. Super simple! I did this all myself before Kenny came home from work.

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We also removed the toilet. We’re pros…we’ve removed this toilet once before when we initially laid the laminate flooring.

Unfortunately, the backplash left the wall looking a little ragged (we’d predicted this, but hoped for better). So I’m learning drywall repair 101.

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On deck: the flooring! Neither Kenny nor I have tiled anything before, so this may be an adventure. Oh, and did I mention that our budget is $1000? I *think* we can do it, but it will be close!

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The Last Outside Work Before We Go Into Hibernation

Since October=end of fall/beginning of winter, we were racing against the clock to finish up some exterior work on the house. We painted the trim brown, and the last painting task we had on our agenda was to paint the garage door.

Our garage door is wood, not metal, so I felt fairly confident diving right in. We used the same semi-gloss exterior paint we used for the rest of the trim and I got to work.

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Covering up the last of the fleshy pink was super satisfying.

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I rolled as much of the door that I could, and then I began the slow process of putting up the garage door a foot, stopping it, painting the then-exposed crack, and crawling up a ladder in the garage to paint the edges of the door.

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And…I still have yet to snap a final picture, and since the leaves have all fallen and it is now about -20 degrees out, that may not happen until spring… We’re currently busy packing on the pounds in anticipation of our impending hibernation.

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