Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bathroom Before and After, Part 3

Well today is the big reveal!
6 weeks later I have a space I am proud of.
And I finished almost everything on my list.
Of course we decorators know a room is never truly finished, right?
Without further ado:
Here it is.

 May I remind you of the before?
Makes me cringe!  Memory begone!

I added lots of feminine details.  Bathrooms are a good place to go a little crazy.

 It's way too late!  Lots of work, but so worth it.
Time for a quick cup of tea and I'm off to bed!
What do you think?

Live today beautifully.  :)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bathroom Before and After, Part 2

$3 silk flowers from Superstore!

 Time for on update on my bathroom makeover.
 This week was a productive one.
I made a simple shade to cover the window:

And I organized and beautified the inside of the cabinets:

I also got a start on accessorizing.  I love these fauxtastic blossoms I found at Superstore.

I like how it is all coming together!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bathroom Before and After, Part 1 (The One Room Challenge)

Bathroom Before
Linda over at My Crafty Home Life has organized a cool thing called The One Room Challenge.  It's where twenty bloggers -- DIY and design people -- each take a room and give it makeover in 6 weeks.  Every Wednesday they report on their progress.  Although I'm not part of the 20 bloggers who have been invited to the party, I thought it would be fun to play along. Lord knows I have lots of rooms that need makeovers!  And lots of projects that need to be finished up.  Like my bathroom.  I figured something like the One Room Challenge might be just what I need to keep me motivated and on track.   Coincidentally I decided to tackle this long overdue project and came across Linda's blog on the exact day the One Room Challenge (O.R.C.) began three weeks ago.  It must be fate!
 This is what the bathroom looked like at square one.  (August of 2011.)  In this photo the old toilet has been removed and I have googled a tutorial on how to install a new one.  Thank God it worked!  Before installing the new toilet, I painted the wall behind it, because I swear, I am never doing that job again.  Not that it was so hard, just really really gross.  While I am at it I slap a quick coat of paint over the walls, not even taking time to properly edge or anything.  I can do that later.  Or so I think.

 Bathroom after 1 coat of paint and a new toilet.  And some pillowcases hung in the window.  Much prettier, no?

Better, but not nearly done.  It occurs to me that I hate that light fixture.  Always have.  And the one light socket doesn't work anyway.  So Down It Goes.  I didn't know there was a huge hole in the drywall hiding behind the old light fixture that will now have to be repaired.

What about that mirror?  That ugly 80's mirror.  I wonder how it's attached?  I slide my putty knife behind it to see.  Correct.  Glued to wall within an inch of its' life.  What's that?  I cracked it?  OOPS!     Down It Comes.  (But not without taking half the wall with it!)

That week I had a positive pregnancy test.  And I got horribly sick.   As in throwing up every day for 9 months.  Somehow I never found the gumption for another 1.5 years to tackle the rest of the project.  So there it sat, being an annoying ugly embarrassment of a bathroom.

Until now.

Bathroom progress. 

 I started by sanding off all the little bumps and cracks on the ceiling that the previous painters had ignored.  (Gotta love these old rentals.)  I continued by giving the ceiling 2 coats of kitchen and bath paint (as opposed to regular ceiling paint, because their is no vent fan in this old bathroom.)  Then on to painting the cabinets white.  Patching the drywall.  Basically re-plastering the entire wall.

By the way, I came up with a great way of patching a large hole in drywall with out having to take it  back to the stud.   I slid 3 paint stir sticks behind the wall, attached with construction adhesive and let it dry before inserting a templated piece of drywall into the opening.  Worked like a charm!

To date, I have finished painting the ceiling, walls, cabinets and trim, and installed the light fixture.
I still need to:
  • put new contact paper on the interior shelves
  • organize/ declutter the cupboards
  • re-grout the back splash
  • silicone the sink
  • possibly replace faucet with one from Habitat Restore
  • silicone tub and shower
  • level toilet and silicone around base
  • replace shower curtain with longer one
  • make shade for window
  • zshush (decorate) the room
And that, my friends, is why we need six weeks to complete a room makeover, even if it's just a lil' 'ol bathroom.  Especially if we are trying to do this in our "spare time" between the demands of motherhood, work, school, etc.  My over-optimistic self initially thought I could whip this baby off in a day or two.  (That's how I get into so much trouble, LOL!)

My plan was to do this for less than $400.
Spent so far:
  • toilet $100
  • light fixture $10  (from Value Village)
  • wall paint  $40
  • trim and cabinet paint -- left over from another project
  • ceiling paint -- left over from a class assignment
  • glass knobs $50
  • misc. supplies -- Dap, grout, drywall mud, tools, brushes and rollers -- around $100 (many of these can be reused for other projects)
  • window treatment $20 (I'm sewing it out of a sheet set I found at HomeSense)
  • current mirror, shower curtain, accessories, already owned
Wow, already at $320.  On my wish list are a new shower curtain, mirror, accessories, towels.  Yikes!  I will either have to increase the budget (won't DH be happy) or get really creative. :)
Thanks for following along on my little adventures in Makeoverland!  I think the final result will be so pretty.  Until next time,

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Best Ever Banana Bread Recipe and bonus Orchid DIY

 I've always wanted to make the perfect banana bread.  You know, the one that is good enough to bring over to your new (prettier, richer) neighbor.  Or the one you'd feed the Queen were she to pop by for a spot of tea.  (Because she does that.  LOL.  Growing up, this threat of random visits from Her Royal Highness was always hanging over my head.  "You wouldn't serve that to the Queen would you?  What if the Queen needed to use your bathroom?  How would you set the table if the Queen was coming for dinner?"  You'll be relieved to know that in spite of everything I still turned out OK.  And I can set a mean table -- the knife and spoon on the right, the glass above, the fork on the left, atop a napkin.  I am eternally grateful for my etiquette training as it has spared me some social embarrassment when throwing dinner parties and will, I am sure, save my bacon the next time the Queen drops in.

Anyhoo, this banana bread is soooo good -- crunchy on the outside, oh so tender and slightly gooey on the inside.  Especially if served warm, with lots of butter, while the chocolate is still all melt-y.  The spices are optional.  It's good either way.  Do add the walnuts, unless you or your neighbors are allergic.  It makes for such a satisfying chew.
The inspiration for this loaf came from a recipe I found on the smitten kitchen.  (I wanted to make a banana bread without butter because I was running low so I googled "banana bread with oil" and this came up.  It's made with coconut oil, which is especially healthy.)  Some serious (and quite wonderful) tweaks were added by yours truly.

 I made a HUGE batch because 
  1.   I had so many squishy bananas.
  2.  I wanted extra to put in the freezer.  (I used my silicone mini loaf pans from Epicure & got 8 loaves out of this batch.)
 Here's the recipe:

Banana Bread
  • 9 over-ripe bananas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1cup coconut oil, liquified
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 3 cups whole walnuts (be sure they are very fresh)
  • 1 extra large dark chocolate bar, cut into rough chunks
  • Roughly chop the bananas in a large bowl with a potato masher, squeezing lemon juice over to keep from browning.
  • Whisk eggs.  Add oil, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Add wet ingredients to bananas.
  • Combine the rest of the (dry) ingredients in a large bowl.  Make a well in the center.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.  Fold lightly just until combined.  Do not over-stir or the loaf will be tough.
  • Sprinkle top of each loaf with additional brown sugar, or coarse raw sugar would be even better.
  • Bake at 340 degrees F until golden brown and set in the middle.  Don't over-bake or they will be dry.
Makes 3 large loaves or 8 mini loaves.

Now for a quick DIY.  Pretty sure I'm not the first one in Blogland to post this idea, although I swear I didn't copy it.  But just yesterday I saw an almost identical arrangement on Emily's mantle.
Basically you take two cheapo wimpy orchids like the $9.99 ones from IKEA, and stick them in a clear glass cilinder.  (I got this vase from Superstore a couple years ago.  I'm not sure if they still sell them but you should be able to find something similar at Michael's or Walmart.)  The actual root ball of the orchid will be quite small, so you can remove and rearrange the moss that comes with the plant.  Play with it til it looks just right.  There you have it.  A simple way to add serious style and substance to this ubiquitous big box store flower!

Have a creative kind of day!



Have you heard of kefir?  I've read about the benefits of kefir in various health journals before, but I was really hesitant to try it.  I mean, wine -- yes, please but fermented milk?  However I took the plunge yesterday when I saw it on the shelves of my newly heart-ed Blush Lane Organic Market.
I love it!  My body loves it!  I can feel my intestines saying "Yes, yes, MORE!"
It's got tons of magnesium (which most of us are deficient in), calcium, and probiotics -- many of which are not found in regular yogurt.  It is believed to support the immune system and may even help prevent cancer.  Sounds good to me!  Read more here. I would describe the taste as a fizzy yogurt & fruit smoothie.  Try the Liberte raspberry flavour, like I did, and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 Now if they would only send me my commission check, please.  ;)

Here's to our health!


Friday, January 11, 2013

More Kitchen Photos

As promised > > >
Daytime photos.

 This is the little nook where all seven of us gather to eat most of our meals.  It's a little tight, but it works, and it keeps all the mess in the kitchen -- where it belongs!

Table was a Salvation Army find.  $50 for this totally solid classic piece.  (Included 6 chairs, not shown).  It had a horrible 90's shabby chic faux finish, so I simply sanded it down lightly and spray painted it in Krylon's Greek Stone.  I like the color OK, but it's not perfect -- I'm thinking about stripping it and seeing what the real wood is like underneath -- maybe going for a weathered/ antique look.
Chairs are IKEA/ vintage.  Vase is from HomeSense.  Lilies are from Bunches -- totally affordable at $7/ stem-- and they have lasted 2 weeks so far!  I always try to keep fresh flowers in my home.  It makes any space feel gracious, loved and lived in when there are fresh flowers about.
The cabinets, floor, appliances, etc. were existing, so I had to consider each of these elements when choosing a paint color.

 Here you can see into the back entrance which has not been painted. . . not really digging the peach and magenta color scheme they had going on here. . . it's on my to-do list. . . .
 The mugs are recent Merry Christmas purchase from Anthropologie -- Thank you, Babe!

These pics are mostly a repeat of last night, with more natural light so you can get a better idea of the wall color.  I love it, but it certainly is a tricky color to decorate around.  I've heard purple also arouses strong reactions -- you either love it or hate it.  I'm curious. . . would you ever use purple in your home?