...because home doesn't happen overnight.
04.30.10 / Signs, Signs…

I pass this every week on my way into town.  I finally worked up the nerve to stop my car and take a picture.

 I think there should be a disclaimer reading “oh, wait, except for the shady house across the street”.

Handy Hubby, you deserve a wonderful day because…

*you’re pretty hot with a power tool in your hand and sawdust in your hair

*you’re a hands-on Dada

*you put up with the left-handed, right-brained girl that I am

*you do a very impressive Old Spice “Man On a Horse” impression

*you laugh out loud at movies

*you look (and sound) like Darth Vader when you go to bed with your CPAP, chin strap and face mask in place

*you let me tweak our house

*you shoo me out of the house when I need some “me time”

*you married a bad cook

*you (jokingly) suggest blogging about your *@!? every time I’m in need of a post idea

*you can recite The Humpty Dance word for word

*you like to see others happy

*you drive the same truck you drove 10 years ago

*you took me to the nearest hospital when I was in labor with Everett (instead of getting on the interstate to drive to the hospital where we had prepaid for our delivery…you would have been delivering a baby on the highway)

*you have a serious problem when it comes to accidentally hoarding all sets of keys to our house/vehicles… frequently leaving me stranded with 2 kids and no method of transportation to get to work

*you look kinda scary in a mullet wig

*you still tell me I’m cute

*you build some sweet stuff with Knex

*you swim like a rock

*you bought me a URL for my birthday

*you make the boys color handmade cards for me

*you never say “NO!” (but sometimes release a heavy sigh)

*you teach our boys all the mechanical ins-and-outs of every Caterpillar machine there is

*you have the dreamiest blue eyes (and passed them on to Layne) 

*you make pancakes on Saturday mornings

*you pack lunches

*you encourage me to try things out of my comfort zone (i.e., HTML coding)

*you can dirty up a bathroom sink better than both our kids combined

*you never met a pie you didn’t like

*you don’t get mad at me for painting or putting holes in our walls

*you know to leave me alone when I’m grumpy

*you nearly passed out at the podiatrist

*you wear wrinkled, non-ironed clothes and don’t complain about ‘em

*you’re the reason I get to see these 2 lil’ boys play and smile every day


Happy Birthday!  Love you.

During winter, we painted our builder oak kitchen cabinets white.  


Then we started stashing cash to upgrade the countertops.  Then…I hit a road blockThen…once we finally had enough money saved for new counters…I froze.  I couldn’t make a decision.  Granite?  If so, honed or polished?  Concrete?  If so, try to DIY it?  Soapstone?  Oh, wait, we don’t have enough money for soapstone.  So, what did I do?  I waited it out.  I perused images of all my favorite kitchens searching for inspiration.  Hoping a common thread would jump out at me.  It took a while (I have plenty of dream kitchen pics to inspire confuse me) but I finally made a decision.  Finally.  


Notice a trend?  Yup.  Butcher block islands with natural stone perimeter countertops.  Eureka!  Handy Hubby and I decided on a granite perimeter with a wood-topped island.  It seems as though I have a thing for mixing materials in the kitchen.  We’re going with the polished granite after drooling over the honed finish but disliking its porous nature.  We put down a 50% deposit on the granite last week and still need to choose our slab.  But by June, we should have new countertops!  The even better news is that since we saved up enough cash we were able to “bargain” and get a great deal. 

We’re thinking the butcher block island top will come from IKEA.  They have killer prices on their wood counters.


In the meantime, Handy Hubby and his woodworking friend are whipping up a small, inexpensive extension for the island.  Can’t wait?  Me neither. 

Photo credits: 1) Rachel @ girl learning along the way 2) Decor Pad 3) AZCentral 4) HGTV‘s Style Sheet

This is the boring builder vanity in the kid/guest bathroom that came with our house.

I’d always wanted to change the look and function of it.  (See how the doors open?  One opens into the bathroom doorway while the other opens into the toilet area.) 

95% of the time, the bathroom is for our 2 little boys but it serves guests too.  It needs to be practical for day-to-day kid living but not so childish that my kids can’t grow with it, or worse yet, our guests feel like they’re in a kiddie bathroom.  The following images inspired me to freshen up our vanity.

This master bathroom comes from HGTV’s Dream Home 2010 (which I briefly toured here).  I like the vanity’s color and modern hardware.

This sweet DIY vanity makeover hails from none other than Desire to Inspire‘s Kim.  I like the way she removed the old vanity doors and added a fabric curtain.  Cute and simple.

I devised a plan to remove the vanity doors then paint and add hardware along with a fun curtain in place of the cumbersome doors.

After finding scrap (i.e. FREE) fabric in my finally organized craft closet, I decided on Behr’s Promenade (mixed in Lowe’s Olympic no-VOC semigloss) for the paint color.  Next, I emptied the vanity and removed the doors and false drawers.

Then I wooed Handy Hubby into helping me cut out the small board that previously stopped the vanity doors from swinging in.  (I wasn’t having much luck with my hammer and crowbar.)  Not sure that a circular saw was the most appropriate tool for the job but it worked!

I used some wood putty to fill in the screw holes where the doors had been attached and also to touch up some scuffs left by the circular saw.

Then it was Prime Time.  I taped off the vanity to keep the walls and floor relatively safe from my paint job.  We still had plenty of oil-based primer left over from painting our kitchen cabinets.  I just brought it up from the basement and rolled on 1 coat.

After 2 coats of paint and the addition of 2 5″ IKEA VINNA handles,  the vanity was really shaping up.  I made a simple fabric curtain and hung it from a tension rod.  (Here’s how I made a similar curtain for my laundry room.) 

And just to prove that I do work with my boys around, here’s a pic Layne took of me re-attaching the toilet paper holder to the side of the vanity. 

But now for some prettier pictures.  This is the builder vanity’s after shot…

Even though the drawers don’t open (yeah, they’re those fake ones that you pull, pull, PULL on but never get open), the sleek metal handles were necessary in giving the vanity a more polished look.  Emptying out the vanity for its makeover was an excuse to organize it too.  I was able to make room for the trash can and toddler toilet seat under the sink.  The toilet seat hangs from a 3M hook on the inside of the vanity.  (Previously, it hung on the outside of the vanity next to the toilet.)

Fortunately, our boys aren’t long soakers.  They’re usually all business in the bathroom.  That means we don’t have a slew of bath toys.  Other than lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a few other toiletries, the bathroom vanity is pretty sparse.  Which I like.  I did add a wooden step stool to aid our newly pottying 2-year-old in washing his hands.  I can easily relocate it to the tub at bathtime to save my back.

And for the sake of a good ol’ before-and-after…


This tweak was so inexpensive.  All I had to buy was a quart of no-VOC paint ($10) and 2 drawer handles ($8).  That set me back less than $20!!!  Not bad.  Not bad at all.