All I need is 15.

A shower is a beautiful thing when you have a new baby. It’s been the only real time I have to myself where I get to worry about me for a solid, consecutive 15 minutes. You better believe I am investing in the “shower experience” to be the best it could be. We first started with changing the light in the bathroom earlier this year to be cuter and more functional. We mimicked the blue metal light from the side of the house and brought it into the bathroom, which allowed me to get my white on and let the blue shade steal the show.

We reglazed the bathroom after falling in love with the new light, and it brightened it up a lot, we highly recommend it if you are in an old house like us (we will be posting all about that soon). Now that the basic feeling of the bathroom was more to our liking, it was the showers turn to get an update, We easily installed the PowerSpray+™ EasySelect® Hand Held Shower Heads by Waterpik, and things have gone from good to great.

With my thick hair, I need a force of water like you wouldn’t believe to get all the shampoo and conditioner out, and this does the job fantastic! It’s in Atlas’s bathroom, so it’s not only been great for my sneak-away-relaxing-showers, but for Atlas, because the mist mode is so great and fun for him. Joey, on the othre hand is a Full-Body-Spray kind of guy. It’s so easy to switch modes, it’s not even annoying. I think it’s cute we all have our own thing going on in the shower. And to be honest, I will snag a few moments to indulge in the massage mode once and a wile. Why not?

Have I convinced you to take a time out and upgrade your shower?

Win one for yourself! 

We all have our morning routines; taking a shower is one of them. The NEW Waterpik PowerSpray+™ EasySelect® Hand Held Shower Head makes showering easier than ever.  From the 5 shower settings including the water-saving trickle feature to the anti-clog nozzle, this shower head has it all!  Do you want to experience it for yourself?   Answer the question below for a chance to win a $100 Home Depot gift card to purchase your new Waterpik PowerSpray+™ EasySelect® Hand Held Shower Head!  Sweepstakes Rules.

What is the one thing missing you would like to include in your shower?

If you just can’t wait, and need to get your hands on one now, you can do it here for less than $60 + get a rebate for $10 here! So worth it. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Waterpik®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Looks like we are Teacher’s Pet!

Hello Friends! Happy weekend! We have just wrapped up having all of our bathrooms refinished, and are excited to share what we did, how we did it, and why. We are on a hunt for floors, but the walls look SO GOOD all white! In the meantime, we have been having a fun time testing our skills on homeownership. Were you able to take the 2 minute quiz to see where you land?

HomeAdvisor_logo

 

One of the questions really struck a cord with us being we have had the bad fortune of having gutters completely ruin a wall in our dining room. It’s such a silly thing to ignore/forget, and such a pain to have to repair.

gutter leak wall

 

Pretty gross. If we just followed the simple and affordable tips in this video, we wouldn’t have to shell out $750 to repair this mistake.

It would have been much cheaper to just call on one of these guys to do some Fall maintenance. Live. Learn.

So, we admit we aren’t perfect when it comes to this little thing called homeownership. Want to see our grade from the quiz we shared last week?

homereportcardgrade

Not bad, not awesome. Defiantly need to spruce up on our skills!  What did you get for a grade? Anything surprising?

 

99% There with #MAHAHKitchenReno!

Hello friends! Have you ever been really really excited about something and just wanted tell everyone you knew who might be remotely interested? That’s exactly how I feel about our new counters! We have been living with them now for almost two weeks, so I got to know them well enough to know I love them. A lot. If you have no idea what I am rambling about, check out our last post about our counter installation.  We let the professionals handle this one, which was a nice break being we are also mid-bathroom renovation on all three baths. Here is where we started…

mahahkitchenreno_8

 

Then we had this for a bit over a year until they dried out, and freaked me out.

kitchen-light-replacement-7

 Finally, here is where we ended up. Much better.

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Drooling over that edge like I am? I can’t believe this hasn’t existed forever. We used a company called VT Industries, and this is part of their VT Dimensions collection. They have more edge profiles, but we thought this would look best with this premium laminate. Yes, that’s laminate. Not marble.

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It looks and feels so real, the plumber we hired to help us out of a pickle thought they were real until he went under the sink, popped out, and told us we fooled him.

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My number one problem with the butcher-block we had was cleanliness and maintenance. I wanted marble really bad, but the upkeep was unrealistic. They would look junky in a year with the way we are, so finding out about VT Dimensions was really exciting, even though I was a little hesitant at first. When we bought the house we had really bad yellow laminate counters, and I did not want a throwback to that, but after we met with the counter guy and checked out the samples, I was sold. For the price, you really can’t beat it.

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The only issue we had was kind of silly (and had nothing to do with the counters), and hopefully you can learn from our mistake. We bought a sink which was way deeper than the sink that came with the house not thinking it would change anything. The countertop installers gave us the green light on the sink, and we thought we were gold.

They came. They installed. All was good, until we needed in install the faucet. The original sink was a single drain, and the new sink is a double drain. We needed a plumber to come and make the pipes work for this new set up. Expecting to pay $250, we were shocked when the plumber said we had a $1,100 problem on our hands.

Ya see, that extra deep sink was too close to the old pipes, and the plumber had to rework the whole dang thing. Let’s file that under “unknown” when it comes to planning things out. It was simply something we couldn’t predict, try as we might. So just file that under something to think about when sink shopping.

VTwebready3

Beyond that snag, everything else has gone pretty smooth. The countertops really make the whole kitchen.

VTwebready2

We aren’t 100% done yet because we have to get rid of that other mistake we made. The oil painted red door. Never again. We just don’t have the precision to paint with oil. How Mark Ryden does what he does, I’ll never know. We plan to freshen it up with some sort of semigloss, ceiling to toe-kick, make that door white, and then call it dunzo.

Making a House a Home Kitchen

What’s left?

  • Paint the french doors back to white
  • New hardware for cabinets
  • Build a fasade around the heater to hide it’s ugly
  • Freshen up with with white paint

What’s done!

Sources:

  1. Countertops: VT Industries
  2. Faucet: Brizo (we need to post about, it’s AMAZING!)
  3. Pendants: Barnlight Electric (BEST DEAL EVER!)

 Make sure to check out our Instagram to see up-to-date pics and tips on on kitchen reno. Follow #MAHAHKitchenReno for the feed.

 

#MAHAHKitchen Reno is ALMOST DONE!

Hello friends! We are so so so excited and PLEASED with our new countertops! Giddy to be more accurate. If you have been following along on our instagram feed and read the lasts post, you got some glimpses of the beautiful new counters we had installed this past week and are up to date.

If  not, here is a quick recap. We hired the professionals to come in and fix our countertop mistakes we made last year. They came to measure, and we made a little video to walk the interested through the process. When they came over they brought samples of edge profiles and surfaces and we picked VT Dimensions Calcutta Marble in Premium Laminate for a few reasons. Our whole kitchen, including installation ran $1,750. They look and feel amazing. The plumber who was here today (I have a drama post coming up about that!), thought they were real until he went under the cabinet – true story! The maintenance is next to nothing – and that was the whole point of the counter swap. Affordable, quality, good-looking, with 1/10 the maintenance of the butcher-block if you want the super Cliff Notes.

The installation itself went super smooth, and they look fantastic. It also feels so much better in there. The whole thing (including cutting for the sink), took less than two hours. We whipped up a little video showing the whole process in time-lapse so you can see everything from start to finish!

kitchen moodboard

What’s left?

  • Paint the french doors back to white
  • Install the backsplash on the sink side of the kitchen
  • Get plumber to completely rework the pipes + install new faucet (this $250 job is now $1,1000, we’ll get into it in a separate post)
  • New hardware for cabinets
  • Build a fasade around the heater to hide it’s ugly
  • Freshen up with with white paint

What’s done!

I love the point in a project where you can actually begin to see and feel a difference!

Have you been working on a kitchen reno? What counters did you pick?

music in video by joey

Light it Up

We have never done multiple major projects at one time, and our home looks like a war zone! We are crossing fingers to wrap up the major stuff before Summer is officially over. If you want to catch up on the kitchen portion of our chaos, check out our last #MAHAHKitchenReno update here, and the first reno post here. The pressure is on! We wanted to swap out this dated and ugly light that’s been hanging out in our kitchen for a little too long. She’s seen better days.

old-kitchen-light

So has her back side. We removed her with the plan of taking a few hours to add a few more holes to make three holes total, and hang up the pendants we got at Barn Light Electric. I am still shocked they are only $124 because they are good. Really good.

brass kitchen lightingkitchen-light-replacement-2

 

Joey had planned to run the electrical on the ceiling itself, but after some talk about it not looking clean and seamless, we decided to run it behind the scenes.

kitchen-light-replacement-3

We actually had to hop on Angie’s List and find a Master Electrician to do the job. It ran us about $225 to have two more holes cut and connected to the power supply and prepped for us to hang the pendants.

kitchen-light-replacement-4

 

That probably saved us about 10 hours of noodling around trying to figure it out, and saved me from having a heart attack. I am down to DIY just about anything, but the thought ofJoey playing with electricity, or getting too high on a ladder makes me feel like I am going to just flat out puke with fear.

kitchen-light-replacement-5

 

After the electricity was A-OK, a quick coat of paint fixed all the ugly up right quick, and Joey installed the glorious bras beauties below.

kitchen-light-replacement-6

kitchen-light-replacement-7

kitchen-light-replacement-8

I swear I make extra trips to the kitchen just to turn the lights on and look at them.

Next up is counter installation, sink replacement, faucet replacement, and backsplash wrap. We also need to get on painting that red door white. Make sure to check out our Instagram to see up-to-date pics and tips on on kitchen reno. Follow #MAHAHKitchenReno for the feed. I keep trying to visualize our new counters while staring at this rendering below. It’s killing me! I am so excited the installation date is almost here!

vt industries, marble countertops

We also started a Pin Board on Pinterest to organize our inspiration. Feel free to drop by and spill some knowledge there too!

Doing your own kitchen and have some helpful tips to keep it affordable? Get the conversation going in the comments. Still looking for anyone who has VT Dimensions countertops! Would love to know your story of what you picked and how they look!

A Million Projects at Once

Our to-do list has been long since the moment we bought the house, and has only gotten longer and more complex the more we have lived in it. When we bought the house, the exterior was pretty great, and sometime last year the paint started to deteriorate. It upsets me to no end that this has happened because we soon found out a paint job + wood repair runs around $40,000. Yes Ma’am – go buy yourself a luxury vehicle kind of $40K. Bummer.

house-needs-painting-2

So we successfully painted the front door, and then stopped to really think about painting the house ourselves. Saving $40K would be ideal, but we have no idea what we are doing, and in reality – it may start pealing again in just a couple years if we do it wrong. So that’s item #1 on this crazy to-do list.

Still going strong with these colors:

blue exterior color story

Also, so excited we did the front door the blue we did. It makes us both happy, every day! Next up? New hardware! We just agreed on a set, and it should be here soon – and we will tell ya all about it! It was super inexpensive, but looks fantastic. We noticed it at Home Depot, but bought on Amazon because it was way cheaper.

rounded blue front door

We also have a kitchen renovation going on, which involves new VT Industry countertops, a new sink, a new Solna Brizo faucet, the same Barn Light Electric lights we have been obsessing over and dying to install, subway tile black splash with black  grout – and we are thinking about new floors in there too.

mahahkitchenreno_5

We can call this a collective #3 on this list of a million projects to keep it easy – but the decision making and coordination has me spinning! We changed our minds about the sink a million times already.

vtindustries_1

 

We love the look of the farmhouse, but a few times too many we have been told not to do it. Which makes me want to change the faucet too. Also that Limestone premium laminate swatch from VT Industries – we switched too. The only thing we have stuck with is the subway tiles and lights from Barn Light Electric! Basically, it’s more like this now:

kitchen moodboard

 

Totalllllly different, but we like it even better. Obviously we do, or we wouldn’t have noodled so much and changed it.

We have also decided to reglaze all our bathrooms, address landscaping, install fans everywhere, and do a much needed major purge.

Blogging has been spotty because it’s been busy with home reno deeds and Summer travel, but we have some fun posts coming up soon with tons of juicy kitchen reno details, how to install a doorbell, and the most insane wallpaper i have every rubbed my bare cheek against. Til then, can someone tell me how six months have passed and my 7 lb tiny Atlas is almost 22 lbs and sitting up?

atlas-sits

 

 

We’ve Got The Blues

In a good way! I had a knot in my stomach about doing this, but I am so happy we decided to paint our front door. We were going to just do a post about how to paint a front door the right way, but it turned into so much more. How to remove a screen door and properly patch up the aftermath. How to paint trim. What primer knocked our sox off, and works fantastic. And, how to pick exterior colors that compliment the style of your home. Last but not least, we may have gone mad – because we have so much confidence after painting our front door and trim, that now we are going to tackle the exterior window trim! The past year has been a blur of pregnancy and a new born, a lot of DIY projects got left behind. We woke up last week and put our DIY hats back on, errr, tattoos (fake!). Something inside us is screaming we’re baaaaaaack!

tattley

After checking out Pretty Handy Girl’s post about how to paint a door the professional way, and about a 1/2 dozen other blogger posts on the same topic, I took all their advice + my common sense and DIY savvy to put together a plan to paint our front door. The reason for the knots in my stomach were that, if this didn’t go swell, that rounded, solid wood front door is far from cheap. The reason for the paint job, was that the wood finish was starting to chip away, and we wanted a long term solution – and I always wanted a blue door.

how to paint a rounded front door

how to paint a wood front door

Granted the outside looked way more worn than the inside, we decided to paint both sides of the door (which is going to change our entryway decor, a lot). We spent about $100 bucks on supplies, $50 of which was the blue paint alone. I thought that was crazy expensive for paint, but we decided to give a new brand and type a go, and are crossing fingers it’s as good as we hope it will be!

Tools to paint your front door like a professional

how-to-paint-a-front-door-tools

The rest of the $50 went towards tools we didn’t have. This is what we bought and what we think about it:

BIN Primer –  Super thin, dries really quick, worked really well! Excited to have discovered this. We used two coats on the inside and the outside. Solid purchase. We almost didn’t buy it because the paint has primer in it, but I am happy we spent the extra $14.

Small Roller Pan – We always go back  and forth about this being a $2.50 waste of money, but are always happy we pick one up.

Deglosser – We don’t know what it did, or how it worked – but we didn’t sand, we deglossed and have no idea what difference it made – but it turned out great, so maybe the deglosser had a role in that.

Paint Brushes – We bought a few different brands, and they all kind of worked the same. Basically all I am looking for is a paintbrush that doesn’t lose bristles! We found one rogue bristle, and that bristle will haunt me.

Paint – We tried the Behr Marquee paint, I was sucked in by the promises of the commercial. Though we looked at a ton of brands for color, we actually wound up with Behr Cobalt Blue.

How to pick a paint color for your front door that works for your style home

Our process was a bit intense because we knew that it wasn’t just about picking a front door color, but picking an entire color story for the exterior of our home, with the front door being just a page of that story. We looked at a lot of blues.

blue front door swatchesThat last picture is a sneak peek of what the finished blue looks like in real life daylight. So, how did we pick this blue? I think there is this line you can go up to that nods at tradition, but also allows you to be unique and fun when painting your home. We have a traditional 1930 English tudor, which is kinda stuffy in some ways. We wanted to brighten her up, and made her a little more yes-I’m-exquisit-but-I-also-know-how-to-have-fun. We live on that line in life; respect tradition, but bring something you to the table.

The Traditional English Tudor looks like these guys:

Give me a Tudor, and I will take it. I think they are all so beautiful. I have loved almost every single Tudor I have ever seen. Usually they have a mix of stone, brick, wood trim, and stucco and are pretty neutral in color. Our home doesn’t have the brick detail – so we decided against a red door. That’s the only situation I would have really wanted something other than blue. I suppose we could have stained our door, but I was scared of the same situation happening again with the elements beginning to show ware on it.

Colors that work well with Tudor’s:
neutral-tudor
Conservative: Neutrals, Stained Wood
modern-tudor-front-door

Modern: Red, Blue, Emerald Green

We worked off the general tone of the stone on our home to pick the right blue. If you do not have stone or brick to work off of, start by looking at photos online of what people did in the style of your home. For example, craftsman homes seem to always sport brown, but if you want to be fun, color would look amazing on the details. We have also seen Victorians that look like storybook homes, just from a fun paint job.
victorian-paint
Isn’t this house just stunning in general? It’s actually close to us, and when we drove by – we stopped dead in our tracks. I think the paint just brings it over the top. Total fantasy house. Invite me over. I will bring you macaroons and tea, and we can pretend we live down the rod Downton Abbey. Back to reality – see how they pulled the pink from some pink tiles on the roof? That’s what we did in our much more humble home.
blue front door tudor
rounded blue front door

We are so in love with the blue, and the whole color story we decided on for the whole exterior of our home. So happy we finally are back on the DIY wagon of down and dirty projects! Even with the super humid and hot weather, we cross our hearts to keep going!

blue exterior color story

Our to-do list is long (and so is this post, sorry!). We started with the door having a screen door in front of it, to removing it, patching, replacing wood, priming, and painting to get here – and we will be back with how we removed the screen door and made it look like one didn’t exist. Now with a stroller in tow most days, no screen door is so good. So so so good.

tutor, 1930 house, corner lot house, two story house, turret,

The tentative too-do list looks like this:

  • Get some awesome window boxes
  • Figure out what blue flowers will look super pretty by the front door.
  • Repair the wood around the downstairs windows.
  • Paint the repaired wood to match the front door trim.
  • Black mulch the front of the house
  • Reimagine the landscaping
  • Add outdoor lighting

Have you ever painted your front door a fun color? Thinking about it? Share links and thoughts on the whole pop of color on the door in the comments. 

 

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