Are We Crazy?

This is going to be a random one folks.  And yes, I realize it's been a bit since I've posted, but here goes.

JD is upstair sleeping and I've been awake since 4:30 am....thinking about houses.  A particular house in fact.

Before I get into the details of that house, let me tell you about our current home.  It is a two story, 1908 Queen Ann Victorian Cottage (or so I'm told).  We have 3600 square feet of living space,  downstairs we have a large, mostly open floor plan with a {recently} remodeled kitchen - with a side deck and exterior entry, a library, a sunroom/playroom, two bedrooms that share a Jack-n-Jill style bathroom, a half bath in our hallway, and a mud/doggie room.  We also have a walk in butlers pantry area, all wood and tile floors, high ceilings and original moldings, pocket doors and trim work.  The upstairs has two more bedrooms, one of which is the master suite.  The master has a large bathroom with a shower, double sink and whirlpool tub.  Our room also has a walk in closet and a small sitting area with a separate door.  The other room is on the small side, but our girls currently share it with a small, modified bunk bed.  They love sharing, for now, but I have a feeling soon they will want their own spaces.

Outside we have an amazing wrap around front porch with tons of room (porch swing, large patio set, and two tables for eating), the front yard itself is nice and flat with great grass.  The backyard has alley access and a 2 car garage attached to the house, but with only exterior entry.  The yard is also large and flat, we have a gazebo with lounge chairs, a fire pit and a even a garden area with three really large planters.  Want to see photos of our current home: kitchenand the rest of the house.


It all sounds so amazing, so am I crazy for wanting a smaller house?????  We have three dogs, 2 girls (one is here every other weekend) and family that comes often to visit.  But I still want that smaller house.  Part of me thinks having a smaller home will mean less to clean, less to maintain, less projects, and more time spent doing things as a family.  That sounds great too, right??

Well, to make matters even worse, I've found quite possibly my dream home.  (I thought our current home was our dream home too....)

It is the most adorable little cottage/farmhouse in an adjoining neighborhood that is still in our current school district.  The house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small {gorgeous} kitchen, nice size living room and a basement.  Two of the bedrooms are upstairs and share a hall bath, the third bedroom is currently being used as a playroom and is a bit on the small side, but it is downstairs and has a full bath nearby.  This house has the best curb appeal.  And it has a basement that has tons of storage and isn't all creepy at all.  And I haven't even mentioned a HUGE bonus.  There is a carriage house on the property!!!!  And it is just as large as the main house, and by large, it's really not that big, each building is 1400 square feet.  But back to the carriage house, it has a large open concept first floor and then another living area on the second floor with fireplace, two bedrooms and one shared bathroom....I'm in love.  

**All of the below photos were provided by the listing agent and are not my own**

Amazing curb appeal!

Main cute...

Carriage house in back

Main living area with *working* fireplace!

Second floor of the carriage house

I actually did take this one.  First floor of the carriage house.

So what's the problem??? Well, we area bit spoiled by our current location.  We can walk to several restaurants, the zoo, coffee shops, and a brewery.  And more stuff is coming!  The cutest little dream house is probably a mile further away from all these it worth it?? I DONT KNOW, but I wish I did.

So am I crazy to want to go from 3600 square feet to 1400???? Am I just a house nut that the grass is alway going to be greener in the someone else's yard??? Or do we just need to suck it up and move??

And these are the things that keep up at night.  Anyone made the move from a larger, what you thought was your dream home to smaller, might could be your dream home place???

I welcome all thoughts, crazy like mine and sane too.

Spicing Things Up

Oh man, it's been a while.  My apologies, life happens, what can I say.

Anyways, I've had a project that I've been wanting to do for a while, and when I finally sat down to do it, it took all of 2 days.  And that 2nd day was because I had to go shopping for more bottles.

Ever since our kitchen renovation, I've been wanting a way to display spices in a fun, cute way.  My kitchen Pinterest board shows that and more.  Maybe too much....

Several months back a guy in my neighborhood was selling vintage Coke and Pepsi crates for $10 each. I bought 7 of them!  I ended up passing along most of them to my mother and kept just a couple to use in our house.  

The coke one was used to store our spices and I loved the way it looked, or could look.  All of our spices were various brands, various bottle types and sizes.  So it just looked a little messy.

After few hundred hours (I'm kidding...maybe) of searching for online ideas, I found a few doable ideas.  Since our kitchen is pretty much all gray and white, I wanted to inject some color into the decor.  

I bought spice (here) jars from World Market many, many months ago.  And they've been sitting in their bag on the floor in my hobby room ever since then.  I chose these jars specifically.  I wanted glass jars and most that i found (Amazon, Target, etc) were glass but had a plastic lid.  And well, plastic doesn't last long in our house (thanks for JD for that).  And these jars from World Market were perfect, they had a stainless steel lid and they even came with the little plastic lid with holes in it for sprinkling your spices!  The link above has a set of 5 for $5.94, but you can also buy them individually for $0.99 each, not a bad price!

I used my Silhouette Cameo program to design the spice labels for the top of each spice jar, apparently we have A LOT of spices (is 37 a lot???).  

I purchased full size shipping labels from my nearest office store.

 And then I sent it to the printer

Not too bad, the colors were a tiny bit off from my computer screen, so I'm not sure if that means my computer needs to be tweaked or if my printer ink is running low...

Since I used my Silhouette, I was able to use the print and cut feature.  The black square and lines you see above help the machine know exactly where to cut.  I usually always do a 'test cut' to make sure I have my blade set at the right depth and the speed as well.

There you can see the test cut I did in the upper left corner...So then I tried to send it to the Silhouette to cut the circles, and it wouldn't do it! It said it couldn't read my registration marks (those black lines and squares).  Great, now I'm going to have to cut it out by hand.  Silhouette fail.  But then, I thought, maybe it was because I did a test cut? Maybe that screwed it up?  I printed the next sheet of labels and promptly loaded it into my Silhouette, it cut like a dream.  No issues what so ever.  So note to self (and anyone else trying this out) don't do a test cut if you are using print and cut!  I wasted paper and ink. And I hate wasting stuff....

Time to stick 'em onto the lids. (and yes, I did wash everything first)

And here they are, all cozy in their new Coca-Cola box home.

And a few up close and personal with the jars.

But of course, that's not what my kitchen normally looks like.  I have a kid and a husband after all....

This is how it looks today and yes, I guess I could use a few more jars...Can't say I mind a trip to World Market.  Oh, and by the way, just to put this out there, World Marked in no way sponsored this post.  I don't do sponsors, I only do what works for me.

If anyone has a Silhouette (or if you want to cut them out by hand) and would like for me to send them the labels, let me know. I'm all about sharing!

And yet again, JD is not here...I'm beginning to see a theme, I write when he's gone, maybe because he's not here to distract me?  Maybe...

This Little Floor Of Mine

My next big project after the "completion" of the kitchen was the mud room, aka dog room.  My mom said I was going to an awful lot of trouble for a room just for dogs.  In retrospect, I think I agree with her...

This is a smallish (8x13) room off of the back bedroom.  Kind of a an odd location, but we were told that our house was once a duplex and that might have been one side's kitchen since there is a large sink there.  The walls were a yucky off white and the trim was an even yuckier brown color.  The floor, well, the floor was a mess.  It was a brown print linoleum that was peeling in some areas and just missing in others.  The floors slope to the back corner, the walls were cracking and the sink was a  leaky mess.  I didn't want to spend much time in there, much less make our dogs spend their time in there.  So, the project began.

Isn't she lovely??

the beautiful peeling floor

Our 'junk' room

I do love a good sink
The very first thing I had to do - call the plumber!  The sink drain was in bad shape, so bad, it was split open.  And the plumbing under the house was in even worse shape, it was old clay pipes that had cracked years ago.  This was the most expensive thing I did and I still shutter a bit when I think about it.  But to have the plumber completely replace all the plumbing lines under the sink and in the crawlspace was a whopping $820....but no leaks!

that's not gonna work

this is the crawlspace directly under the mudroom

old, old, pipes

My initial plan was to paint the trim and walls, fix the sink and tile the floor.  Oh, and I forgot to mention that during our kitchen reno we had the crew put in 2 new windows for us in the mudroom and install a 'dutch' door.  Oh, second thing I forgot to mention - I planned to get this all done while the other half was away for three months.....while I'm a single parent....I wanted to renovate a room....did I mention solo??? Was I crazy? Probably, but hey, Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict can do it, why can't I?

To Do List
1. Remove old flooring
2. Install new subfloor
3. Install tile
4. Paint trim
5. Paint walls
6. fix sink

I didn't even get passed number 1.  I spoke to my cousin (Angie - crime partner in thrifting - who also does contract work) and she thought the flooring might have asbestos and suggested I put the plywood directly on top of the linoleum.  Done.  I pulled up the old tac strips holding the linoleum down and use shims to even out the floor a more than it was.  I really wanted to tile the floor, but the tiles I wanted were out of my price range....I was crushing hard on the concrete tiles in black and white....

Then again, my cousin Angie had a solution.  Paint the plywood, I do love the look of a painted floor, but I'm too scared to actually paint real wood floors.  So why not make the plywood look like real wood floors.  Plus, if I ever did tile, I could still use the plywood as my subfloor.


Off to Lowe's (or Home Depot, I don't remember), I bought 3 sheets of a higher grade plywood floor that was 1/2" thick, I made sure it was sanded already on one side since I was using it as my actual flooring.  I also had the big box lumber store cut the plywood into 6" and 8" strips for me.  Yes, I could have done this, I do have a table saw, but why when it's cheep/free for them to do it?  Big Bonus - it's easier to transport cut up too!

I brought it home and with the help of my gracious mother, we sanded the strips even more, just to take off any potential splinters.  The room was narrow enough that one strip of plywood would go from end to end and I would only have to trim it a few inches to make it fit.

Once all the plywood had been sanded and cut to size, I used my crown stapler to nail the boards down directly onto the linoleum floor.  We used a few pennies as spacers and it went relatively quick.

Once all the boards were nailed down, we decided to paint to the walls.  I used the same gray color that is most of the rest of the house.  And the trim was just your basic white trim paint.

Wall color - Sherwin Williams in Propper Gray

Once the walls and trim were done, it was time to get started on the floor.  I read a ton of 'how to's' and pinterest articles and blogs and they were all different on how they did things.  I wanted to make sure this floor was super protected since it would be the doggie room.  I didn't want a drop of water to ruin the entire floor.  So, I primed the floor with an oil based floor primer I bought at HD for $23, I'm a bad blogger, I forgot to take a picture....

Even painted/primed white, the floor looked so much better than the original nastiness.

what a 180 degree change!
It took me a few weeks to decide on what the base color would be for the floor, it also took that long for me to decide on a pattern.  Since I had originally wanted tile floor, I again wanted the tile look and the only way I thought I could achieve that was to use a stencil.  I might as well tell you that at this point JD was home from his 3 months away and it was no longer a surprise, but instead a mess....sorry babe.

I found several designs I loved and reached out to my Facebook friends for their suggestions.  I thought I had a favorite picked out and then I started to think about the logistics of making it a, way too may intricate details.

final four
I finally found a design that I liked that looked easy enough to replicate....hahahaha

and the winner....not any of the four
I have a  Silhouette Cameo and I tried my hardest to use it to cut the design onto it's brand stencil material, but since I didn't have a good clean picture it would recognize it.  I ended up buying stencil material from Hobby Lobby, 4 sheets for $4, not a bad price.  I used an x-acto knife to make the cuts, pretty easy since I chose a much simpler design.

I let JD pick the base color and he chose a dark navy color that looks really good.

We used this for the both the navy and the white

Valspar in Fairmont Penthouse Mos Blue

And we decided on a white for the stencil color.

Now onto started off easy enough, and then I started to get paint on the backside of the stencil.  Enter baby wipes (these are amazing at cleaning wet oops-I-missed spots).  I soon realized that I had to clean off the stencil EACH and EVERY time I stenciled the design...that's when I realized this was going to take a while.  I had a large piece of foam board that I used as a make shift cleaner surface in hopes of the making the process go a bit quicker than if I were to run to the kitchen each time.  I guess it help, because 10 days, 4 stencils, 2 X-Acto knife blades, 1 package of baby wipes, and 4 stencil brushes later, it was done.

all nice and clean

not too shabby looking

Stencil color - Valspar in Woodlawn Dewkist

this look says it all...

 Once the stenciling was completed, I celebrated!!! whoohooo!! haha, I wish, next up, floor sealing.  Again, lots of research went into this as well since I was worried the previous 3 layers of paint wouldn't be enough to stand up to our 3 dogs.  

I decided to go with Rust-O-Leum's Verathane sealer for high traffic areas.  Now, they have a different one that is just for floors, but for some reason the 'high traffic' aspect of this sealer spoke to me...I don't know, maybe I was delirious after the 10 days of non-stop stenciling...

and there you have it, all done!
Three coats of sealer later and I can officially say it is finished!  Ok, maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit....I still need to do floor trim around the edges.....and fix the rusty sink....but that's another story for another day.

Oh, my apologies, JD wasn't available again to proof, so there are probably several errors...

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