Thursday, January 31, 2013

OO: Tips & Tricks: The Garage, Part 2

Organization Overhaul (OO) Garage Edition, Part 2 is in the hizzie. Last time we checked it out it had gone from this before photo to this slightly less terrible after photo.

Oh my goodness I cannot believe I am sharing that insanely insanely disorganized mess on the world wide web. President Obama, overt your eyes.

This garage was not going to get organized in one big clean. It will take at least 2 more big chunks of time to tame this fella. Every self respecting organizer knows that things have to get a little messier before they get clean. 

Since you last saw the garage it took a turn for the worst. I started pulling everything out and it stayed this way for a couple of weeks. A deck cleaner jar leaked all over the place and someone (most likely me) stomped it all over the house and there was quite a bit of mopping to get that situation under control. But don't you worry folks, I now have a handle on the situation.

Here's Messy Bessy (I just named my garage Bessy, stay with me) after I started yet another sorting process. And a photo of her lookin' a little better.

ehhhhh is anyone impressed? Anyone?
I know I didn't work any magic on Messy Bessy, but I gave it a decent shot. And, it was raining... hard! No one wants to be in a humid garage with freshly washed and straightened hair!

Check out that rain!


The main thing that I accomplished was moving large chunks of the murphy bed (yes, this one) out of the garage and under my bed. 

It used to exist here, below the painting of an old-timey cat in a suit and in the back of the garage.

It now lives here. Ohh hello... is that a murphy bed sticking out the end of your bed? Darn! Yes, it is! I measured the doors and they fit perfectly under the bed. But, the darn sides are taller and I forgot to take that into consideration.

To make sure you all stay tuned through this fascinated tiny step by tiny step garage clean out process I am also going to include some cool organization ideas for the garage.

garage- screw the lid of plastic containers to the bottom of a shelf

Let's get this party started with a little Tool Organization:

This idea is basically the epitome of garage awesomeness. I like to think that this idea is the reason I have saved every single jar that has ever come into my possession. In case you were wondering, jars come into my possession on a very regular basis. I clean them and hoard them. Then, one day, Scott will open a closet door and 5,321 jars will explode out and knock him down (kind of like the Dick Van Dyke walnut episode- photo below). Scott then tells me that I really need to get a grip on my jar collection. So, I say goodbye to about 6 of my least impressive jars and then we start the whole process over. I have big plans for those jars... BIG BIG PLANS!

Back to the photo... the idea of tracing the tools at the spot where the belong is also pretty awesome.
Now, a photo of the Dick Van Dyke walnut episode mentioned above.
A magnetic bar for your tools- clever!!
You don't have magnets, but you do have a little extra PVC pipe floating around? Well, screw that sucka into a piece of plywood and keep your tall boys in it.
One more photo of the glass jar action. And, just in case you were hoping I would talk a bit more about my jar collection I would like to reiterate that I have been saving both glass and plastic jars. I am not convinced that it is a good idea to literally have glass jars just floating all over the place especially when you are a big spaz like me.

Are you telling me that you really weren't into the magnet idea I showed you above? OK I present to you the idea of hooking your tools onto nails. That is probably the whole reason that all tools have that hole, but I am just putting this together.

I am a big lover of chalkboard paint. You don't need to waste your time opening the drawer to check what's in there. Just write it on and never question it again.

I cannot be the only one in the world who is always on the look-out for a good spot for my lose lumber? It is wood scrap galore in my garage and I never know the best way to store them. This one does a pretty good job.

I know how this works... I've got to leave you wanting more. So, don't you think for a second that I am going to give away anymore garage organization idea. You will just have to wait until I get the courage to tackle part 3 of my own garage. Until then, Happy Thursday! Who is ready for the weekend?!?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Secret Agent Man!

The house that I lived at when I was first born was made for super secret spies. That isn't exactly true, but my dad did add one pretty stinkin' awesome feature to it.

A secret hide-y-hole behind a bookcase! 

I will give you a moment to get over how awesome this contraption is and how stinkin' adorable my sister and I look (OK, mainly me... Kelly appears to be missing the entire top row of her chompers and my headband is really helping me hide my bowl cut).

Right after Kelly was born my dad decided to rip off the roof of our house FYI- February in DC area is probably not the best time to be roofless. That year they had tons of snow. My dad made up for his bad timing by building this secret hiding spot behind a bookshelf (aka the only place anyone would ever possibly want to hide when playing Hide And Seek!

Someone must have seen my dad's awesome work and decided to one-up him with this fanciness. Well played, Apartment Therapy.

Word spread fast about the awesome "hide things behind a bookshelf" idea and someone pulled the big copycat with this guy.

These people have a whole other thing working here with their super cool take on "The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe."

Another secret playroom. That teddy bear looks like a pretty ferocious bouncer.
Does this not look like the coziest little reading nook ever?

This one is on a different note. You can't fit people behind that coat rack, but you can hide your stinky, dirty, no good shoes.

Hello to you, secret guest bedroom/ reading space.

I cannot tell you how bad I wanted this when I was in 6th grade. Ikea made something just like it and I wore out about 30 highlighters circling it in their catalogue. When I found out a friend of mine who lived in my neighborhood had one I started practically living in her house so I could study how it was built and make one on my own. That never actually happened since I had zero experience in carpentry unless you consider stepping on A LOT of nails in construction sites carpentry experience.


If this had been around when I was a kid (or existed in an Ikea catalogue) I would have gone insnae! Do you see that door by the chair? That is a secret little nook area

Here is a photo of a kid livin' it up in his secret hide-y spot in that very bed. That kid is livin' large, real large.
If your carpentry skills, like mine, only consist of stepping on nails and sweeping up saw dust you can always build your own awesome hiding spot out of a table cloth!!!!
Seriously! How cool!?

Now, it is time for Wednesday's Weekly Would You Rather Question!
On Sunday Scott gave a couple of tips on how to write one so I am sure you are all experts by now. Feel free to send me over a couple good ones for me to use in the future!

have super awesome carpentry skills
be amazing at Sudoko?

I wasn't joking when I said I would happily take your WYRs. You see what I'm working with here!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Introducing The Guest Bathroom, Part 2

Welcome back to the world of bathroom introductions. Did you not know that that world existed? It does.

I am going to start you off with something super exciting...
a shower curtain. Yep, it's brown. Thrilling, I know.

Yesterday, I showed you the cabinet transformation. We also checked out some snazzy other new things like the countertop, the faucet, the sconces, the mirror, the painting and the new color on the walls.

Today, let's finish off this bathroom extravaganza by taking a look at some custom shelving, a couple of can lights, and a little decoration.

I knew that the old medicine cabinet was not going to be a keeper. 

I envisioned it being replaced with long, open shelving. I explained my idea to handyman Dave. He took a few measurements. And soon he was back with this glorious thing!

In another post, I will give the details of how I made the boxes that are in the shelving. Until then, here's another photo.

The bathroom was a bit of a dungeon before the sconces joined the party. But the sconces didn't help the dungeon-ness of the actual shower. So, I had Handyman Dave remove the two can lights that were directly above the vanity. He put in two new ceiling lights in the main area of the bathroom and closer to the shower so the shower got more light.

I have saved the best for last! Guess what this bathroom has?!?!? We didn't even realize it when we put an offer on the house or we probably would have paid double!

Seriously! Who knew that it was really a possibility to have secret passageways in your house (aka every kid's dream). Speaking of secret passageways I practically had a real one at the house I lived in as a teeny tiny baby. Hold your horses... I will post about that soon. Mom, Dad, Kelly, Aunt Betsy, don't ruin the surprise yet, please!!!

I am not quite sure how to attempt the laundry chute photos, but I will give it a try soon!

Here is the cost breakdown:
1. Countertop $150
2. Faucet $65
3. Shelving supplies $50
4. Paint (for cabinet and wall) $45
5. Decorative items in cabinet (I had most of them left over from the candy bar at my wedding) $5
6. Towel bar $15
7. 2 sconces $120
8. Ceiling lights $30
9. Etc (plumber's putty, light boxes, etc) $60
10. Canvas $15
11. Mirror $60

= only $605 and I bartered with my handyman for his work so I didn't have to pay any extra for labor!

And a howdy do to you and your bathroom extravaganza! (ps I don't know what that <---- was supposed to mean, but that's the way this post is going to end).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Introducing Our Guest Bathroom

Hey heyyyyyyyy everybody! Guess what the introduction of another bathroom in our house means...
Another 80s Oak Cabinet Redo!!!!!

I showed you some great before and after cabinet photos here and here. Then I showed you an oak redo in the dining room and another one in the downstairs bath.

But there was one more slim shady creepin' around the house 80s-oak-style. And, today, you get to meet him.

When checking out a house as a potential buyer I am happy to see things like outdated cabinetry, dirty carpet, ugly decorations. These things that can bring the price down and aren't a big deal to change. Plus, you get to put your own spin on the house when you redo it.  And with minor things like these, the house is still liveable while you update it.

So, setting foot in a house with three separate rooms with 80s cabinets and even more outdated hardware was exciting to me rather than a turn off.

To the left is what it looked like when we checked it out and the right is the after photo.

My first step in changing this bathroom was actually not an improvement.  I thought the proper way to get paint to stay on cabinets and furniture was to paint it whatever color I wanted and then put a similar colored stain over it.  I have learned that is not what actually needs to be done.

Oops! My "update" may not have actually helped. For some reason, the "update" stayed that way for about a year until I learned the proper way to transform oak cabinets. Finally, I was ready to make my mess up magnificent, ditch my funky medicine cabinet, and change out a countertop that someone designed at a disco party. 

First up, the Old Yeller countertop was exchanged for the crispest white countertop in town with the expertise of my amazing handyman.
(Please ignore all of the other obvious updates in the after. They are going to get their own time to shine in just a minute).

Next, I was able to turn those streaky looking cabinet buddies into fancy brown dudes. 

Next up were the mirror and the sconces.

The old mirror came down. Somehow my magician handyman was able to get electricity to the sconces and tie it into the light box with hardly any trouble. There was a little patching from the old mirror. And, tada, we were now here:

Here is a closeup of the sconces and the mirror. The mirror was a thick, heavy frame that fit perfectly in the space and I loved the design! 
Once again, ignore whatever parts of the bathroom that I have not addressed yet.

The faucet switcheroo- also thanks to my handyman.

I painted a new painting.

I painted the walls from a yellow to a blue-ish green-ish turquoise color.

There are a few steps left and one of them is my favorite part of the bathroom. So, I will be back tomorrow to finish off your introduction! I also have a little price breakdown action for you! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How to Compose a Good WYR

Wooo Ho Hooooo what is this???? It isn't even Wednesday and there is Would You Rather (WYR) talk?

Aunt Kelly is here visiting and she happens to be notoriously bad at making up Would You Rather questions, so she sat down for a coaching session with the WYR World Champion, Scott. Unfortunately, Scott was an unwilling and uncooperative participant in this coaching session, but we still got some good advice out of him.

Here's Kelly's rough draft:
every time you trip you have to sprint 50 meters
every third meal you have to eat off of the dishes in Cora's picnic basket (which are baby sized)?

Scott was not impressed with this WYR and he launched into a vehement critique. After we got him to calm down a little, he said "first you've got to pick something good." That advice didn't help much, since Kelly thought hers WAS good, so we asked Scott to elaborate. He argued that no one wants to eat off of tiny plates, and he doesn't trip very often, so the choice was too easy--of course you're going to pick tripping since it hardly ever happens. Plus, how are you even going to spring 50 meters? Do you have to go outside? 

After working very hard to get more feedback from him we finally got two more pieces of advice:
Get ready all of your WYR wanna-be question askers- you may have just struck gold.

First, you've got to pick something good. (Yes, he went with the same advice again... since we heard it twice we knew it must be important).
Second, the choices either have to be very detailed or composed in a way that you can't have too many questions about each choice.

I hope that helps. Next time he seems to be in better WYR spirit I will see what other tips I can give you to improve your own WYR skills.

Here are the WYRs that he kindly shared with me:

1. WYR...
that your name be Toxifina 

2. WYR...
have to drink 10 ounces of Worcestershire sauce in one hour
have to drink 30 ounces of apple cider vinegar in one hour?

3. WYR...
once every 10 days you woke up and you look like Tina Turner (without the notoriety of looking like Tina Turner)
you have these sweet tattoos on both arms every day?

4. WYR...
eat 1 tree air freshener (your choice of flavor)
3 cups of dried dog food (you choose the brand and flavor)?

5. WYR...
have to drink 32 ounces of eggnog every day
have to put lip balm on every 15 minutes all day (except while you're sleeping) and it makes your lips super shiny?

Here is Scott's revision of Kelly's WYR:
6. WYR...
every time you trip you have to do 20 somersaults wherever you are
every 3rd meal you have to eat off of tiny Cora-sized plates?

Happy Sunday to you all!
And, sorry to be late on this one...
HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY (yesterday)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good job, mama! That guy clearly wants you to take a photo with that cake!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Favorite Cora Photos! 7-8 Months Old, Part 1

Cora time!

That smiley little baby is the queen of wearing t-shirts from the 80s!

This photo cracks me up. Scott looks like he is intent on bowling Cora forward. 

Just taking a walk in my diaper, NBD (no big deal).

Cora and her cousin. Cora is CRAZY about her. She talks about her constantly! 

Hey! What's happening over there? 

Sneaky face! 

Big eyes is in town!

Happy birthday sign for Grandmama! 

The love she has for that walke = insanity.

She loved it so much she would push it around and try her best to get in it. 

Big smiles when she made it in! And, as always, huge eyes.

Silly girl! 

Lunch at Panera- Mom forgot to bring a toy. So, she got a spoon and a mustard packet (while we kept a very good watch on her).

Easter dress! 

Another happy birthday sign and a wave for Grandad! 

Easter with Boo and Pop! 

3 generations. 

One more family shot for you. 

Here she is after her Easter egg hunt. And, let me tell you those eggs were hidden in the trickiest of places (like 3 feet in front of her or on her foot). 

Schhhhhweeeeety Baby! 

Grandmama came with way too many Easter goodies. 

Here she is checking out the Easter goods, which included a fancy new headband and, Grandmama's favorite, a Vera Bradley purse. 

More Cora time: