For Real Friday: Nightstand Nightmare

Happy Black Friday!  If you are out shopping, I hope you come home with some great deals!  I'm hoping to snatch a few Christmas gifts for the kiddos & myself!

So, for this addition of FRF, I am going to show you the current state of my bedroom:


Let me preface this by saying that this room is in desperate need of attention!  When we moved in, we plopped all the stuff from our old bedroom in the room & called it a day.  Two years later, & it has only gotten worse!

So, now that I've gotten that out of the way, do you notice anything weird about this room?  This room has one bed & five nightstands!


The two round tables flanking the bed are obviously from our old house.  When we re-do our room (hopefully we'll start on it during Christmas vacation) these will go to the basement.  (I guess I really could go ahead & take them down there since we have three other tables in the room!)

The Queen Ann desk will become my nightstand.  It will either be re-done in a silver leaf or just painted cream to match our other furniture.  I will probably accessorize it with a lamp & mirror, so it can also act as a vanity.  I found it for $40 on Craigslist, just before the discovery of my Craigslist Fail!

I bought the small chest in the corner from Overstock a couple of years ago, but it is identical to the Daniella chest from Pottery Barn.  This will become Mark's nightstand & will stay the way it is, with a new lamp & accessories.


The small dresser on the right is from Ikea.  I bought it off Craigslist over the summer to use as Mark's nightstand.  Then I decided I would prefer to have a nightstand with pretty legs, so I moved the chest upstairs (it used to be in the entry way) & decided to get rid of the Ikea one.  Some day I'll get around to posting it on Craigslist!

When we brought the last nightstand home, my husband jokingly told the kids that we just needed about three more tables & then our room would be finished!  They just kind of looked at him like he was crazy!  Hopefully, you all don't feel that way about me!  

So, tell me, do you have a room filled with random furniture like this? 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from a couple of wild turkeys!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

When I bought the supplies to make Laundry Detergent, I also grabbed the items I needed to make my own Dishwasher Detergent:


I used a recipe from Simply Designing, which you can find by clicking the link.  You'll definitely want to check out the "before & after" picture she took of one of her glasses!

Basically, you just mix the ingredients together (again, you'll want to click on the link above to find the exact measurements) & you're done!  The recipe says you can use 1- 2 cups of LemiShine.  I ended up using the whole container, which was probably about 1 1/2 cups.

I have only used this once, but was quite happy with how my dishes came out!  Just as good, if not better, than the brands I had been buying.  Some day I'll have to go back to Wal-Mart & write down all the prices to see how the cost to make this detergent compares with the cost of store bought dishwasher detergent.  Until then, I really can't tell you how it relates. 

I also learned that as a cheaper alternative to rinse aid (such as Jet Dry) you can use white vinegar.  You just put it in the rinse aid compartment of your dishwasher & refill it whenever it gets low.

So, that's that!  Now I need dishwasher advice from you...

For the past 11 years, through three different dishwashers, two sets of silverware, & many different brands & types of dishwasher detergent, most of my silverware comes out of the dishwasher with a gooey, brown substance on it.  It looks like rust when dry, but it can be scraped off.  Does anyone know how to prevent this?  Do I just keep buying bad silverware?  Please help!  No one I've ever discussed this problem with seems to have had this situation!

I'd love to hear any solutions you may have!  Thanks in advance!

Morning Room Reveal

Finally, I can show you the finished morning room!

Here's the before:


And, here it is now:


Last week, I decided to paint the walls "Toasted Almond" by Olympic Paints (from Lowe's).  I love that it is a neutral "greige" color that works better with the fabric than the original gold paint did.  We are also painting our entry way & kitchen this color.

We also finally hung the curtains my mom made for us.  She actually made them in August, but I decided to add another panel, so it took a while to order more fabric & get them made.  You can find the link to the lighting and fabric in this post.  You can also find out how I refinished my grandfather's table here.


The blue chair in the corner was my grandmother's.  She loved the color blue, & I loved the way it fit in the room without even needing to be reupholstered!  The "buffet" table used to sit in the entry way of our old house.  It was too long for the entry way in this house, so I moved it here and refinished it by painting it white, staining the top, & adding cute knobs from Hobby Lobby.  The pictures above the table are some of my favorite "messy face" snapshots of my kids when they were babies.


The secretary was a cheap Craigslist find.  You can see better pictures of it & see the before picture in this post.

I am so glad to be able to finally cross this room off the project list!  After all, I originally painted it in the spring of 2010, so it has been a long time in the making!  Is it just me, or does every home improvement project take a lot longer than expected? 

Sharing here:

Thrifty Decor Chick

For Real Friday: Announcement

Our hearts are filled with love for what will soon fill our arms!

So, I've been keeping a secret from you!  I am expecting a baby girl in just a little over three months! 

Our plan was to have three children (two didn't seem like enough, but four was too many!) about three years apart.  As most of you know, things don't always go according to our plans!  It worked out pretty well for the first two, but when it came time to start trying for a third, our son started having health issues. 

When Zeke was almost 4, he began having seizures every couple of weeks.  It was terrifying!  The worst was when he had one at a water park, which made the news as a near drowning (but it wasn't...he was in 2 feet of water with a life jacket on, & no water even entered his lungs, since he typically holds his breath during his seizures).  Then, about a year after that, he called me into the bathroom because he had something red (the size of a grape tomato) coming out of his rectum.  (Guess I should have warned you about the graphic nature of this post!)  Again, I was terrified!  It looked like his insides were coming out.  By the time my husband got home, about ten minutes later, it was gone.  This happened several times, & it was determined that it was a rectal prolapse.  (I think it's where the lining of the rectum starts to come out.)  The doctor recommended we have some testing done to make sure Zeke didn't have Cystic Fibrosis, and to also meet with a surgeon in case he needed to have surgery to correct the problem.  To make a long story slightly short, it turned out he didn't have CF & the problem disappeared on it's own.  (I'm sure it was an answer to a lot of prayer!)  We decided to put off any baby plans until we were certain he was healthy.

Once all the health scares passed and we decided to build a house, I found out I was pregnant.  I was shocked!  We hadn't been trying to get pregnant, & honestly, this wasn't a happy surprise for me.  About a month after moving into our home, I started spotting (October 2009).  The doctor scheduled an ultrasound, although, she thought my uterus felt pregnant & told me not to worry.  I went alone to the ultrasound, since my husband was sure everything was fine.  The news was not good.  There was no heartbeat.  I sat for what felt like an eternity, alone in my doctor's office, waiting for him to come in & tell me the dreaded news & discuss my options. 

Suddenly, I wanted to have that baby more than anything.  I felt so guilty for not being excited about the life growing inside me.  I felt like if I had wanted this baby more, then it would have lived.  I cried for days.

Two days after my ultrasound, I had a D&C.  My first "surgery" ever.  When I woke up, I felt empty, like a piece of me was missing.  It took a couple of months for the sadness to leave, although I will never forget this baby.  Even though it was two years ago, I still get sad thinking about it.

Again, we decided to wait on better timing to try for a third child.  When I found out I was pregnant, in early June, I was excited, but cautious.  It took a while before I would trust that this pregnancy would turn out different from my last.  We didn't even tell our kids until I was out of my first trimester!  (They never knew about my last pregnancy & miscarriage.)

Since Zeke & Elie are older (7 &5), it is neat to see how excited they are about this pregnancy!  They love to feel the baby kick, & Elie is constantly trying to come up with "E" names for her!  When we are out shopping, they like to pick out things they think the baby will need.  Zeke informed me that Wal-Mart is the best place to find cute baby clothes!

So, now, we are keeping busy with all the preparations that come with having a baby!  I am determined to make headway on most of the unfinished rooms in our house before the baby gets here.  So far, I have a five page list of things to do in the next three months!  Well, enough babbling, I guess I should get busy on that list!


Easy Chalkboard Labels

In the unlikely occurrence that someone other than myself would do our laundry, I decided it would be a good idea to label my container of Homemade Laundry Detergent.  (You know, I wouldn't want them to fill the soap dispenser with fabric softener, which is in a liquid laundry detergent bottle!)

I realized I had a roll of white contact paper, & decided to use it to make a chalkboard label for my detergent.

First, I gathered my supplies:

{Chalk Paint, Contact Paper, Paint Brush, Scissors, & Chalk}

No, that's not a "Hidden Picture" game.  I just forgot to add the scissors & chalk to the picture!  Then, I painted two coats of chalk paint on the contact paper.

Next, I cut the contact paper to my desired size & shape (an easy rectangle!) & rubbed the chalk over the paint.  (I'm pretty sure you're supposed to wait 24 hours before doing this, but I didn't!)

Finally, I erased the chalk, labeled my label (I'm sure there's a better way of saying that...), removed the backing, & added it to my bucket-o-detergent!

Here's the finished product:

{Chalkboard Label}

Pretty quick & easy (& FREE!), although not as quick as the duct tape & sharpies I used to label the fabric softener!

My First Guest Post!

Hey everyone!  Today I am guest posting for Andie at Crayon Freckles as part of her "In Her Shoes" series.  Feel free to stop by & find out what it's like in my shoes!

While you're there, check out Andie's blog.  There, she shares a lot of fun learning experiences to create with your children.  You'll definitley want to check out her Don't Let the Pigeon DIY Shirt.  It is adorable!


Remodelaholic Feature!

I was so excited to see an e-mail from Cassity & Justin at Remodelaholic a few days ago!  They featured my Curvy DIY Headboard, which you can see by clicking the link. 

If you are not familiar with Remodelaholic, be sure to stop by & check out their blog.  Cassity is an interior designer & Justin is a landscape architect, so they definitely have some serious talent when it comes to fixing up their home.  (They're on their third whole house remodel!)  Right now, they are doing a guest series at House Logic on a wall of built-ins they are creating for their family room.  You'll definitely want to check it out, as it's pretty amazing!

Thanks Justin & Cassity for featuring my project!  You made me giddy!

Craigslist Fail

It appears that one of my latest Craigslist purchases was an epic FAIL.  You may recall this post where I showed off some great furniture finds from Craigslist.  I was so excited to transform this love seat into a Ballard Designs look-a-like!

Even though it wasn't finished & appeared a tad bit dirty, I had my husband plop it down in the living room upon it's arrival home.  There it sat for a few weeks, untouched by human bums. 

On Monday, as I was walking through the living room, I noticed a few water marks on the back & cushion.  I thought it was weird that I hadn't noticed them before, so I decided to touch them to see if they were wet.  They were.  At this point I was completely confused.  I was almost 100% sure that no one in my family had come near the sofa since we brought it home.  I looked up at the ceiling above the couch, to see if the ceiling had been leaking, which would have been really weird, since it is above my daughter's bedroom, away from any water pipes.  Nothing.  Then, as only a mother would do, I decided to smell my hand, to see if I could at least determine the substance that had made the sofa wet.

An awful feeling came over me, as I recognized the aroma on my hands.  Urine, from a feline species.  Most likely, this particular feline:


What would cause our litter box loving cat to suddenly, after nine years, urinate on furniture (& the floor underneath the love seat, which we realized after throwing the furniture out the door)?  She is our only cat, so there is no competition to worry about.  She was spayed when she was a kitten, which is supposed to prevent cats from spraying. 

The most-likely cause (in my opinion) for Kit-Kat to do such a thing is that we got duped by some dishonest people who chose to sell us furniture that had previously been peed on by another cat.  (As I said, it was a little dirty & did have a couple of stains, but I wasn't concerned about it, since the plan was to re-upholster it.)  In her territorial way, Kit-Kat decided to "mark her territory" by spraying the back of the sofa & area around it, to prove to this other (non-existent) animal that this was her domain. 

Ugh...What to do now?  I have been so stressed out this week, trying to figure out how to solve this mess that I have created.  After several Google searches, this is how I am hoping I can resolve the problem:

1.  Remove the offensive furniture.  (Sadly, my $40 is going into the garbage tomorrow.)
2. Contain Kit-Kat in the laundry room, where her food, water, & litter box are, until we have taken the next steps.  (This has been torturous for us, as we've had to listen to her meow all day & night.  Luckily, she is using the litter box, so that's a good sign!)
3. Use an ammonia-free urine cleaner to saturate & remove the urine spot from the carpet.  I plan on going to Pet Smart tonight & hopefully, I can find at least one of these recommended products:  Stainaway, Natures Miracle Just for Cats, Urine Off, Odorlogic Cleanaway Pet Stain & Odor Remover.
4. Let the spot completely dry & then use a black light to make sure all of the urine was removed.  (Repeat step 3 if necessary.)
5. Spray a repellent, such as SSSCat Spray or No Scratch Spray on the previously peed on area, to keep the cat away from there.  I've heard aluminum foil also works well as a repellent, as cats don't like the feel or sound that it makes when walking on it.
6. I guess I will have to choose between #5 & #6 for this one...Spray Feliway, on the area, which is a pheromone product designed to comfort cats, on the area in which the love seat sat, so Kit-Kat doesn't get upset, if there is a lingering scent from the offensive "cat couch".
7. Once the carpet is completely clean & dry, we will probably let the cat out of the laundry room while we are awake & at home.  It will probably be a while before I will trust her alone in the house while we are either sleeping or away.
8. For added protection, we will try to keep her litter box extra clean.
9. If all of those solutions fail, the vet can prescribe a short term anti-anxiety medication (for the cat, although I may need some too!) which has been known to help solve the problem also.

So, have you ever had a failed Craigslist purchase?  Do you have any additional advice to offer on the whole cat pee situation?  I need all the advice I can get, because I've heard this type of habit is hard to break.

Well, that sums up my epic fail!  I guess if you want to prevent this type of situation for yourself (since I will most likely never buy used upholstered furniture again), you may want to bring a black light to make sure there are no surprises once you get the furniture home!

Sharing here:

Weekend Bloggy Reading         

Re-Upholstered Entry Bench

I bought this bench off Craigslist a couple of months ago:


I bought it to sit in the entry way, with plans to recover it in a prettier fabric.  After unsuccessfully searching the local fabric shops, I decided to use some leftover fabric from the morning room curtains.  (Yeh, that reveal is hopefully coming soon...) 

The process was pretty simple.  I just unscrewed the four screws holding the seat on and removed about 500 staples & at least five different layers of fabric!  Then, I layed my fabric on top of the seat, exactly where I wanted it, & flipped it over to expose the bottom.  Finally, I stapled the fabric onto the back & screwed the seat back into the base.  It probably took me a total of thirty minutes.  It would have been much quicker, if there not been so much fabric to remove!

Here's the after:



So far, I have re-upholstered two other seat cushions, but this one turned out the best!

You won't want to miss tomorrow's post about the current state of another recent Craigslist purchase!  Hope you come back for it!

Sharing here:

Furniture Feature Friday with Miss Mustard Seed

Weekend Bloggy Reading         

Closet Catastrophe

My kids' closets have been driving me crazy lately!  With our busy schedules & home improvement projects, there hasn't been a whole lot of cleaning & organizing that have been happening in our house.

Here is what Eliana's closet looked like:



In my opinion, neither one of these pictures really do the closet justice.  We added a few shelves on the left side of her closet when we first moved in to add some extra storage.  The baskets weren't really doing a good job containing all of her dress up clothes.  I ended up storing all the clothes on the top shelf (out of season) in an empty storage container under her bed.  Then, I bought some laundry baskets to hold her dirty clothes, blankets, stuffed animals, & some of her dress up clothes.

{Shelves After}

I also had Mark hang a couple of hooks to hold her backpacks & purses.


On the right side of Elie's closet, I added a tension rod & hung her tutus and princess dresses on it.  It works out really well, because she is able to see all of her dresses now!


I think this little bit of organizing makes this closet function much better!  It's been nearly a week, & I'm glad to say that it has stayed organized!  I was a little worried that the tension rod would fall down, but so far, it has stayed up!  (Knock on wood...)

Have you organized anything lately?

Weekend Update

Sorry, if you were expecting a hilarious SNL skit in this post!  It's just me recapping all the progress we made on the house this weekend, while the kiddos spent time with their grandparents!

We added casing around the openings into the living room, dining room, & kitchen.  I forgot to take a before picture, but the openings were similar to this one:

{Kind of Before}

{Not quite after...}

We still have to fill in nail holes, sand, caulk, & paint them, but at least we are finally making progress!

We Mark, also added the base molding for our chair rail in the entry way & upstairs hallway.

We still have to add the actual chair rail & wainscoting below.

While my husband spent the weekend with his saw & nail gun, I spent the entire weekend sorting through paint samples from four different stores trying to find the perfect color of "greige" for our entry way & hallways!  It seriously took me all weekend to choose a color!  I think I found a good color with Olympic's Toasted Almond.  Here's a picture, although, I'm sure it's not quite accurate of the color:

{Toasted Almond}

I'm crossing my fingers that I will get the walls above the chair rail painted "Toasted Almond" this week.  I'm also hoping Mark can add the chair rail & wainscoting within the next week or two.  (That's probably wishful thinking though!)

Halloween 2011

So, this Halloween, I came up with some great costume ideas for my children!  I guess I will have to file those ideas away until next year, since we didn't end up having time to create them!  Finally, Thursday morning, we got everything straightened out & officially figured out who/what everyone was going to be for Halloween!  (Shew!)

I gave my son two choices, of which he chose to be...

a Thanksgiving dinner table!

This costume was super easy to create!  I just cut two squares out of cardboard & hot glued them together.  I also taped them together, for added security!  I cut a hole in the middle, large enough to fit Zeke's head, covered it with a tablecloth (which I also glued on) & cut the hole for the tablecloth.  I glued on some plates, cups, napkins, & silverware & cut out another piece of cardboard, which I covered in aluminum foil to represent the platter.  We found the turkey hat for $2.50 in the dollar section of Target about a month ago.  I wasn't even thinking about Halloween when I bought it!

Elie wanted to be a princess for Halloween.  I told her that we could call her "Princess Tryptophan" (the chemical in turkey that causes you to be sleepy) but she didn't really go for it!  I thought she would wear a gown my mom made for her, but after I cleaned out her closet, & the day before Halloween, she decided she wanted to wear this instead:

No one asked us what she was, which was good, since I wasn't exactly sure what to call her! 

About a week before Halloween, we carved our pumpkins.  Normally, we just let the kids draw faces on them & then cut them out.  This year, I thought it would be fun to let them pick out a template.  I thought they would enjoy picking out a character template & getting to help poke holes in their pumpkins with a screwdriver to transfer the design onto the pumpkin.

My husband had to get a bit creative when it came to cutting them out...

We were all very excited about how they turned out though!

{Zeke's scary ghost & Elie's Cinderella}

I hope you had a fun Halloween!


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