...because home doesn't happen overnight.
07.12.14 / Made Me Smile

nature walk

At the beginning of the summer, the kids and I made a pact to hit up as many parks as possible before school was back in session. We’ve hit up over a dozen so far and it has been so much fun! I’ve been giving the kids free rein on deciding where we end up with the only stipulation being no parking / admission fees. We’ve discovered creeks, bridges, stone stairways, swimming holes and the ideal picnic site. Sometimes I daydream of living somewhere more scenic, more exotic but our recent nature walks have brought on a new appreciation for this place we call home.

A few smile-worthy links from around the web…

*…and now I want to explore more of Weird Ohio.

*Hollywood takes on Cincinnati.

*Captain Pizza.

portable treehouse

*A portable, suspended treehouse.

*Ikea ranked “highest in customer satisfaction with kitchen cabinets” in J.D. Power study. (You can see how Ikea stands up to other brands here.)

*Love this look.

*Gray-green in the kitchen is hot right now.

Have a wonderful weekend! Maybe squeeze in a nature walk.

images: 1) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 2) Tentsile

06.23.14 / DIY Bullseye Art

Things are moving right along in the boys’ bedroom.

Currently, this lil’ corner of their room is a new family favorite. Layne requested the reading chair. I added a vintage ottoman and dresser (off to the side) for added comfort and storage, respectively. With the major furniture pieces in place, I’ve turned my attention to accessories and art. Ever since Apartment Therapy featured this home tour, I’ve been itching to DIY some bullseye art and this corner seemed like the perfect place for it.

glidden DIY

With the help of Glidden® paint, I was able to pull it off. Here’s what I did:

bullseye DIY

1 – I used a square canvas (found in my attic) and two quarts of Glidden paint in blue-grey and fire engine red. First, I painted the entire canvas a warm white that I already had on had. This step is the secret to achieving nice smooth curves in the final product so don’t skip it! (You can easily touch up stray brushstrokes with the white paint later on.) I let the white paint dry completely.

2 – I found the center of the canvas then used a pencil to trace a large pot lid right in the center. This would later become the inner curve of the outermost bullseye ring. I determined how thick I wanted my outer ring then cut a length of string accordingly and tied one end to my pencil and the other end to the handle of the pot lid. Holding the lid in place, I carefully drew a larger circle around the pot lid. I had my outer bullseye ring.

3 – For the inner bullseye, I traced around a small glass container in the center of the canvas.

4 – My pencil lines were faint which made them easy to edit and also easy to paint over.

5 – Working from the center out, I painted the canvas using foam brushes and a steady hand. I gave the center bullseye and outer ring two coats of paint each. After the paint dried for 30-60 minutes, I went back with the white paint used in step #1 to touch up any brushstrokes that inevitably made their way out of the lines.

DIY bullseye art via House*Tweaking

I decided to frame the canvas with inexpensive wood trim. I left the wood unfinished for a casual look. I think the thin frame is the perfect touch!

DIY bullseye art via House*Tweaking

Glidden paint made it easy to finally turn my inspiration into reality. The boys LOVE the bullseye art! They keep telling me how cool it is. I think the bullseye is a great symbol to use in a boy’s room without feeling too theme-y. What do you think?

FYI – Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Glidden paint through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write about Glidden paint, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

Progress in the kid / guest bathroom is slow-going.

kid bath progress

Steve started tiling the back wall. It’s proved to be a challenge. The wall is wonky and there’s a window and Steve’s a perfectionist soooo…it’s taking a while but we’ll get there. The other walls shouldn’t be as tricky.

Since it looks like we’re going to be sharing one bathroom for a little longer, I decided to do something I’ve been meaning to for a while.

slow closing potty lid 1

I replaced the flimsy plastic toilet seat and lid in the master bathroom. It changed my life.

The toilet came with the house. We decided to keep it. (We actually wanted to keep the toilet in the kid / guest bath, too, but it was accidentally broken during a renovation mishap. Oops.) I’ll never forget the looks of passersby as I was cleaning the toilet in the front yard…with a garden hose…while eight months pregnant. THE HORROR.

Anyway.

I went to Home Depot and had way too much fun playing with all the toilet seats. It’s almost embarrassing how many special features there are. You know, considering some places in the world don’t even have proper sewage systems. But it didn’t stop me from wanting all. the. features. Built-in potty seat? Yes. Removable and easy-to-clean? Yessssss. Whisper-soft and slow-closing? GIVE IT TO ME.

I ended up with this tricked out seat + lid. Installation was super easy. Gross but super easy. Once I had removed the disgusting bolts holding the old seat in place I couldn’t get the new clean one installed fast enough. It took me all of 10 minutes. And that was with a toddler “helping” me. The new seat and lid are made of molded wood so it’s sturdier than the cheap plastic we had before. Our toilet is round and the new seat is about ½” too long but it doesn’t seem to affect its function.

slow-closing potty lid 2

There’s a built-in potty seat which Mabrey has already claimed. I really like this feature since we don’t have room for a separate training potty. The potty seat is removable so when we’re past the potty-training phase we can take it off. A magnet holds the smaller potty seat to the lid when non-toddler derrière use the toilet. The potty seat is plastic – not wood.

Another awesome feature is the soft-closing mechanism which keeps the lid and seat from slamming shut. Everett graciously demonstrates this toilet *magic* here. I love this feature. When the boys use the bathroom during the night or early in the morning while Steve and I are sleeping, I’m not jolted awake by the sound of the toilet seat slamming anymore. It’s the equivalent of hanging blackout shades in an infant’s room. Anything for five more minutes of sleep! Between our soft-closing kitchen cabinets & drawers, bathroom vanity and now toilet, I’m going to be slamming all the things at every house I visit.

potty lid unlock

In case I need to remove the seat + lid for cleaning purposes (from the looks of our old toilet seat bolts apparently I need to), the entire piece can be unlocked from the bolts and lifted off.

slow closing potty lid 3

In summary, maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but you can teach an old toilet new tricks.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

clubhouse exterior 1

I’m fixing up the clubhouse my dad built for my siblings and me over twenty years ago. Fortunately, it’s structurally sound so it just needs some TLC and a few fun additions to bring it to life. My kids like visiting the clubhouse as-is but I know it could be improved after so many years of neglect / unuse. After talking with my boys, we all agree that it should function as a “hangout” – a place to unplug, relax, read, picnic, take in the views and maybe even spend the night. Here’s what we came up with…

 

clubhouse

 

1 – Benjamin Moore Super White To create a clean slate, we’re going to paint the interior white. (And, yes, the boys are going to help paint!)

clubhouse interior 3

I do like how the clubhouse has aged over time so I think we’re going to leave the “ceiling” (the underside of the roof) unpainted to retain a weathered look. I’d like to frame the views through the windows so we may leave the window frames au natural, too.

2 – Hazelwood folding bed The boys want a place to sit / sleep so we’re bringing in a pair of metal folding beds to flank the window seen above. Carrying and lifting full-size furniture up to the clubhouse isn’t really an option. I think we should be able to hoist these up over the porch with the help of a rope and pulley. I’ll remove them and store them elsewhere (probably in my dad’s barn) during colder months.

3 – EKBY wall shelf To keep as much floor space clear as possible we’re forgoing any tables. Instead, we’ll hang a single shelf under the window in between the two folding beds. The clubhouse isn’t wired for electricity so a pair of solar-powered table lamps will provide artificial light.

4 – mosquito net canopy The mosquito situation in Ohio is verrrrry pesky (i.e., itchy) in summertime. Bugs aren’t that bad during the day but when the sun sets, watch out. The clubhouse doesn’t have windows or a door to close at night so we’ll hang a net canopy over each folding bed to prevent bug bites.

5 – army blanket I keep picturing the clubhouse as a camping or army bunk so army drab seems fitting.

6 – hanging hammock chair There used to be a pair of swings hanging from the clubhouse. One remains but the chains are rusted and the seat is cracked. We’ll remove it and hang a pair of hammock chairs instead. The boys are so excited about these!

7 – black & white pillow Totally unnecessary but I like pillows. I’m not spending any money on throw pillows for a clubhouse so I’ll just borrow two of these from the boys’ bedroom.

8 – SailorBags soft cooler Layne wants a mini-fridge for the clubhouse (the kid lives to eat) but I reminded him that there is no electric. So he said we should get a generator. (Like I said, he lives to eat.) I got him a cooler. #roughingit

I have a few other surprises in store for the clubhouse but if I told you then they wouldn’t be surprises. I’d really like to paint or stain the exterior, too, but I need to discuss that with my dad. (He’s the one who would have to look at it everyday). In the meantime, the boys and I will work on getting the interior cleaned up, painted and sleepover-ready. We’re working with Wayfair on this project and are super happy that they are just as excited about the clubhouse as we are. The kids and I will be away for a few weeks in June visiting family so, hopefully, the reveal will go live late June or early July. I’m really grateful for being able to share the clubhouse and this experience with my kids and you. I hope it inspires you in some way!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking