Sunday, February 28, 2010

Laundry Room Redo

When we bought our house over two years ago, we painted every room except our office, my closet (which are both off of our bedroom), and our laundry room. The laundry room is how we enter the house from the garage and where everyone else comes in when they come over.... so it's been killing me to see it so "gross". The walls were stark white and the trim was in terrible need of a fresh coat of paint, too. The curtain that was hanging in the window above the sink was the curtain that was hanging here when we moved in. I hated that curtain, but never did anything about it. I still can't believe I never took it down. The things that were hanging on the wall were also all here before we moved in... I just plopped our stuff on the counters and called it "done" where this one room was concerned. The room was so obviously neglected. Finally, I decided it was time to get it in gear and start some home projects. I am a firm believer that we will never regret one minute, one dollar, or one drop of sweat that we spend fixing up our house. Our latest project is proof of that. I still can't believe how great the cabinets turned out. I love it.

Our house has tons of cabinets. The plus is that we have so much storage space. The negative is that they are all the 1970's faux wood laminate.

Oh man, oh man. There is no love lost between me and these laminate cabinets. It will be a happy day when we can replace them! It will also be a day in the very far-off future. Lots of cabinets mean lots of $$$$ and I can only imagine the tens of thousands of dollars it will cost to replace them all when the time comes. For now, I could just learn to live with them, I know. But as I was thinking about it one day, I felt like there had to be an affordable way to give them a face lift and help me love them. And after this makeover, love them, I do!

I started off by painting the room. Then it was time for the cabinet facelift....

For the cabinets, we decided to add some trim around the front for a raised panel feel. First, we removed the doors. We started off with pieces of 7-foot composite wood trim from Lowes. Each piece of trim was around $6.00. After we measured the doors, we cut our pieces with a 45 degree angle using the miter saw. We nailed them onto the cabinet doors using a nail gun and 3/4 inch brad nails. We filled the nail holes and any other places where our corners might not have met up perfectly with spackling. Next it was a coat of primer (the original oil-based Kiltz is what we used) and two coats of paint using a mini-foam roller. While the doors were drying I went inside and put a coat of primer on the cabinet bases and also two coats of paint. When everything was dry, we reinstalled the cabinet doors and DW installed the new hardware. The total amount of time spent on the cabinet redo was around 5 hours. The cost of the trim was right at $100.00, and since we used paint we already had, this was all we had to buy! I think it's a small, small price compared to results!

FINALLY, here's the before and afters:
I hope my pictures will stay in order.... I'm not going to go through and label them all "before" and "after"... You'll be able to tell the befores from the afters, I'm sure! (at least I hope! Ha... if it's brown cabinets & white walls, its BEFORE!!)

We also added a decorative wood piece (from Lowe's) above the sink. This was attached using wood glue, and cost us less than $7.00.

I can't believe how it has brightened up the whole room and what a more modern feel it's given the cabinets. I REALLY want to do our kitchen cabinets, and the cabinets and built-ins in our living room next! (There are LOTS of those though, so it will be a little more pricey, but I am hoping for some Lowe's gift-cards for my birthday in May! Hint! Hint!, parents!)

I also attempted my first Nester, window "mistreatments" in the laundry room.

$7.00 worth of fabric, a seam using my hot glue gun, and some upholstery tacks and I had two curtains!

I can't believe I hadn't tried this before... SO easy and I think they're great...
I also had an idea for the door.


It already had a square space on the bottom half that I thought would make a great chalk-board surface for AB. So, a couple coats of chalkboard paint and I hung a tiny watering can to hold her chalk beside it... it's been a hit for sure! She loves it!

I just love going in the laundry room now. I love that it's the first bright, cheery room that greets us (and back-door guests) when we come in the house. I am so happy that I didn't decide to just continue "living with" the old laundry room and cabinets. I can't wait to tackle another room! (DW is cringing, I am sure!)


Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'll never forget my first day of junior college at the L-tri-C...
Carrie and I had planned our schedules to be exactly the same our first semester and our 8:00 Tuesday morning class was "College & Life Skills" (I don't remember the exact name of the class, but it was one of the best classes of my entire college experience). Sharon Warner, our darling professor (who was also one of the best teachers of my entire college experience), stood before the class (of about 30 people) and began that first class by saying out loud as she wrote it on the chalkboard, "Change is Inevitable."

Let me be clear when I say I am not a fan of change. It's never been an easy thing for me. But if I've learned anything in this life of mine about change, it's that Mrs. Warner was right, and "it is inevitable"---

A couple weeks ago, we knew some change was going to happen around our house. Not serious change, but still change... (Big change or little change, either one still ruffles my feathers...)

DW's truck (which he bought after our 2nd date, 8 years ago), was starting to give him some trouble. He bought it brand new and in the 8 years and over one hundred thousand miles he's put on it, it's never needed more than an oil change, so we knew things were probably fixing to start tearing up. That's simply what happens...things get old, things tear up....they change.....
After weighing our options, we felt it best to go ahead and trade it in.

That was exciting, at first. I mean, who doesn't love the new car smell?

After a few days of looking and dealing, we found a truck that was the color and had everything DW wanted in it and decided to buy it.

Last Friday when he came home for lunch, DW said that it would be ready to pick up around 3:00 that day. Since we're always up for a field trip, Annabelle and I planned to go, too.

As he headed back to the office after lunch, I watched his truck go down the driveway. Then it hit me. It wasn't exciting anymore. Things were about to change.... and I don't like change...

That afternoon, on the way to get the new truck, I asked him if we couldn't just keep that one to ride around the farm or in the woods in... How could we just get rid of it???

That was the truck that with the exception of our first two dates, all our other ones were in.
That was the truck that my parents' dog, Rex, used to jump in, slide down the side and scratch, every time Devin would come over for dinner....we were too new into our relationship for him to dare say anything bad about the family dog, so he'd just grit his teeth and cringe every time Rex would jump in...ha...

That was the truck that we drove to my Granny's house on Christmas Eve to show her my engagement ring! In the glove box of that truck, the very day we got engaged, is where I put the box that my engagement ring came in, and it stayed there until last Friday when we cleaned the truck out.

That truck was what we drove away from our wedding in, and we are quite certain the new owners will find birdseed in occsionally, just like we have, for the past, almost 7 years.

I sat RIGHT THERE in my wedding dress!

That was the truck that, in our first year of marriage, I backed into the bumper...TWICE. (we had it fixed...both times....)
My boy rode in and "drove"

that truck.
My girl rode in
and "drove" that truck.

We'd been so many miles in it together (128,000, to be exact). We'd been through so much together in it. HOW could we just get rid of it?

Then I guess, like all change, we just have to roll with it. The papers were signed, we handed over our keys and they handed us the new keys. It was done. Change.

It could have been that the new car smell had gotten to me, but when we pulled in our driveway last Friday afternoon, I felt better about the change. We had lots of great times in that old truck, but it wasn't the truck that made it special... it was the people.

So now, we've got some miles to log and some memories to make before this one feels like "ours"....the car seat is strapped in and ready!

And to tell the truth, I never even really liked the color of the old truck... I've told DW before that had we been dating longer when he got it, I would have given him my opinion then. Thankfully, I didn't think after 2 dates that I had a say in what color his new truck should be. Ha!

So there it is... change.... you can resist it, you can not like it, but sooner or later, it's going to happen.... in the words of Sharon Warner, "Change is Inevitable." And this one turned out to be great... DW's loving his new truck... especially the remote start since it will be in the low 30's tomorrow morning!!!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"Baby Wears (Aunt Lauren's) Prada"... ~amw~

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Jingle Belle...

This afternoon, when AB and I were spending some time cleaning her room (which means I was folding her laundry in her room while she tried her hardest to drag out every thing from every drawer she has), she started digging in her jewelery armoire. Sometimes I love opening the top just to see her sweet little bracelets and such. Today, as I took a minute to do just that, I saw something that she'd not worn yet! It was her "JingleBell" anklet!

For her first Christmas, AB's best friend, Allie Claire gave her a jingle anklet. The card attached said, "a jingle for Belle".... The anklet is so cute and is made for babies who are just starting to walk. They love hearing the jingle when they move their feet.

Annabelle was no exception. She loved the bells! And I loved knowing right where she was headed by the sound of them!

She's seriously on the go these days! We are completely blown away with how well she has started walking in the past day or two. She decided she was ready and now there's no stopping her! She still has the wobbly little legs and I just love it....except for the fact that she's growing up WAY TOO FAST.

She's even back to thinking that she can take her hairbows out, now that she can walk!

Look at that face, she's so proud of herself....holding that hairbow way up high! No ma'am... we're not having that!!! Ha...


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Guess Who's Coming to Breakfast....

Annabelle is very much like her big brother and "needs a minute" when she wakes up in the mornings (ironically, they got that from THEIR mother...I am definitely not 'sunshine & smiles' when I first wake up, but if you'll just "give me a minute" I will be---or at least I'll be close to it! Ha).

Our morning routine usually goes like this:

When little miss wakes up, she lays in her crib and "talks" to her "lambies", turns on her "tv" (her crib toy...) and takes a few minutes to get ready to start her day. Once she's ready to get up, she'll stand up and hold on to the side of her bed and "yell" for me. Most mornings we sit and rock for a little bit in the big pink chair in her room.

Typically, she'll leave everything either in her crib or in the chair when we head to the kitchen for breakfast. This morning, she had other plans. When we got up from rocking, she grabbed her big teddy bear and wrapped herself around him. She had bear under one arm and her "silky" under the other. I told her we'd better leave the bear in the chair, which made her squeeze him tighter and turn her head to the side and do the "no" sound... I don't know how to put the "no" sound into words, but it's kind of like a squeal and is accompanied by the 'stink eye', a nose crinkle and a toss of the head. It's pretty dang cute, I'll tell ya... I am not sure how cute it will be when she's 15, though.

Needless to say, as I carried her into the kitchen, she carried the bear. When I sat her in her highchair, she sat Bear in the high chair beside her.

Bear made for good company. He was sure easy to please, as was sweet baby girl, who was so proud of herself for "taking care" of Bear!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine Treats & The Herlong Mansion

On Friday, Annabelle and I made some Valentine treats.

Later that afternoon, when we'd finished and she'd had a good nap, my momma picked her up so she could spend the night with her & Pop.

That night DW & I were going over to the Herlong Mansion in Micanopy.
The mansion was built in 1845 and the original house was a pine "Cracker-style" house. The house was later bought by a young couple, the Herlongs. In 1910, the outside of the house was bricked and the columns were added to give it a "Southern colonial" feel. In the 1980's the house was turned into a bed & breakfast. It was recently featured in Southern Living magazine, so you may have seen it there!

My Father-in-law had invited us, along with DW's brothers and our sisters-in-law to join them for a night there. He'd made reservations for everyone a room and then once we got there, he told us where each of us would be staying.

All of the rooms were super nice, and DW and I scored the "Herlong Suite."

Our room (along with Adam & Lauren's) opened up onto the 2nd floor porch. If we had a 2 story house, a 2nd floor porch would be on my want list!

Speaking of my want-list.... I am in love with this "bed-swing" on the porch. I'd seen these before, and after swinging on it, I think I have DW convinced that we NEED one our front porch! I took detailed pictures of this beauty so that my Dad can make me one! My Mom & I do that EVERYWHERE....we fall for something then utter the all-familiar phrase, "Daddy could build that!" So this is definitely added to the want-list!

A couple more porch-pictures...

Me & My Valentine

My SIL, Lauren, & Me

After we all settled in our rooms, we went back downstairs and took over the dining room. No one else was in there, so we made ourselves right at home, moved the tables around and had some snacks. If there's anything we do when we're all together it's eat. We had also packed some games, and had a mad competition of Scattagories. We played teams and laughed our heads off. I hope we didn't disturb anyone there who were trying to have a nice romantic evening!

We've been on lots of "family vacations" and trips together, and it seems no matter where we go, there's always something funny (to us, so that could be questionable to others) that we come across. The Herlong was no exception. My personal favorite was this framed picture of one of the Herlongs in the hallway outside mine and DW's room.
The moment I saw it, I thought the man looked familiar. Then it hit me.... It's the FONZ!

Outside of Adam & Lauren's room, was a very extensive collection of walking canes. Every kind of cane you could imagine. Everything from a native American themed one to a hand carved rooster, to this bad boy....

Yep, it's a rattle snake head. There are hardly words... Ha!

Of course there was some beautiful antique furniture in the house and even some of the Herlong families' things... it was neat to see some of those...

The next morning we had breakfast together before taking a few pics and heading back home.
Here's the crew after breakfast...
It was a nice little Valentine treat from DW's Daddy and we all had a fun time.