Friday, May 13, 2016

Crickets

Hi everyone!

Yes, crickets.  All you've been hearing on my blog lately are crickets .....

Oops!


I'm still here - just busy with life stuff. I will be back soon with more of the bathroom redo progress.

Thanks for stopping by,

Jane

Saturday, April 9, 2016

How's That Bathroom Remodel Comin' Along?

 Hi everyone!

The answer to the $10,000 question about our bathroom remodeling progress is:  slow, very slow.  We have been taking our time picking out the paint and other finishes, and we also slipped in a vacation along the way.  It's all good though, because things are on the move again.

I finished caulking and painting all of the floor trim yesterday. Not a fun job, but so worth it!  The walls are all prepped and ready for painting, so I am shooting to get that done in the next few days. After that, things are going to slow down a bit, as I had a "brainstorm" about what to do with the linen closet in the room and that is going to take some time to complete.  We also are installing farmhouse trim around the linen closet and the window. Oy!  It's always something!


 In the meantime, I can show you a few pretty pictures of what is on the horizon for our humble master bath.  First up, my totally awesome faucet - loving the clean lines and the modern, yet farmhouse, feel.  We also have our new sink and counter waiting to be installed, but I am saving that for the "big reveal" just because I can!


I found this really cute vintage washboard at my local antique mall and I am considering using it as art in the bathroom.  I just love the graphics on it, especially the side with the chicken on it. For some reason, the "Top Notch" just cracks me up!



Here's a peek of some of the things I purchased with my $100 Wal-Mart gift card that I received from my employers as a Christmas gift.  I thought it would be fun to see how far I could stretch that hundred bucks and if I could find things that don't look like they came from Wal-Mart. The silver plated items are headed for a spray coat of oil rubbed bronze paint. I am very pleased with all that I found and I can't wait to reveal how they look in the finished room. Even the braided rug will be used - it's indoor/outdoor so it can withstand all of the water.


I've shown you the vintage tin wall tiles I will be using, along with the pretty hooks from Hobby Lobby in this post. The soap dispenser is from Target.


I'm hoping to use this Billy Jacobs print in the room (mine is in a different style frame), but we will have to see.  I am trying to keep this room very simple, so not everything will make the cut.  I am obsessed with all things Billy Jacobs lately.


As you can see, our bathroom re-do is currently more dreams that reality - but I promise you it is getting there! My target finish date is the end of this month.  Fingers crossed!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

Linking with these fun parties:
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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow is opening day for our major league team, the Milwaukee Brewers!  In typical opening day fashion, it is going to be a cold and windy 38 degrees for a high during the game. In Wisco we have some pretty hardy fans and it will definitely be a sell out with  lots of tailgating before the game. And tailgating in Wisconsin means grilling out and Miller beer!


Mr. Bluebird's office always does a workday cookout for opening day.  He and his partners grill up bratwurst, hot dogs and burgers for their staff members, along with all the yummy fixings that one would typically have at the game.  (Of course, they will have to forgo the Miller beer since it is during the workday, lol!) This year I am sending along a super easy "poke" cake  for the sweet tooths of the bunch and I am excited to share the recipe with you.

In his younger days, Mr. Bluebird was an avid softball player and I think when Baby Bluebird was born he had high hopes of her becoming a player as well.  These are pictures of her t-ball glove and a fly ball she caught at Brewer game when she was younger. That tiny glove is the sweetest thing.


Alas, she was to become a dancer - and a wonderful one at that.  However, she did inherit her dad's love for watching the sport!


And now for the yummy, yummy - but super easy - cake!


Salted Caramel Turtle Poke Cake

Prepare your favorite box mix per package directions in a 9x13 cake pan.
Remove from oven and immediately, using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes all over the cake.
Drizzle on 3/4 bottle of caramel ice cream topping on top of the cake.
Refrigerate one hour to let the caramel work it's magic.
When the cake is cooled, frost with your favorite chocolate frosting.
Top with a large bag of nuts - I used walnuts, but pecans, peanuts or cashews would also be delish.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup coarsely crushed pretzels on top of the nuts.
Drizzle with the remaining caramel topping.
Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Refrigerate overnight.

After using the treadmill for 5 - 7 days, enjoy a small forkful of cake! Moist and decadent, sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Simple and oh so yum!  There are a gazillion poke cake recipes out there and they are fun to make and always taste wonderfully.


Opening day is a big deal around here and for me, it always signals the beginning of spring and the promise of warming weather.  We are blessed to have an amazing ball park (Miller Park) and a major league team to root for.  Lot of good memories there with family and friends.

How about you? Are you a baseball fan?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Walk the Walk (Chalk the Chalk)

Hi everyone!

I am finally ready to show you how my chalk painted wing back chair turned out.  If you remember, I had an old burgundy wing back chair that we use in our master bedroom. For awhile, I've been wanting to replace it with something that went better with our color scheme.  

But here's the thing:  this chair was in good condition, it is sequestered away in our master bedroom where only the two of us see it and I would rather spend my $ on other things if I can figure out a way to make things work.  I had read that people have had success with painting upholstered furniture with chalk paint, so I figured why not give it a try?  

A quick trip to WalMart and I was back in a flash with two bottles of Waverly Chalk paint in Crimson and a hand full of foam sponge brushes.  And just like that, I dove in!


Here you can see the chair cushion, still with most of the original burgundy color.  I figured the nubby, flame stitched fabric would be a good candidate for painting, as there would be a lot of forgiveness if the paint didn't cover evenly. The first few brush strokes were a tad scary, I have to admit.



I did two coats thinned down with about 25% water.  The last coat was full strength. Around the seams, I had to really dab and apply the paint heavily for the paint to get into all of the crevices.


I also worked under the every watchful eye of my pal, Palmer...


As you can see, he is not a very good supervisor and ended up wearing some chalk paint for a few days! (You can see the shame in his eyes, can't you?)


And, yet, he perseveres!


And ta da!  The finished product!  The fabric started out just a bit stiff, but over time it has softened and does not feel painted.  The coverage is even and also, most importantly, does not look painted.  It looks great in our room.


It has been about five months or so since I painted this chair and it still looks perfect.  I am thinking of giving it a new coat of paint this summer - a faux leather maybe.  I think the fabric would be perfect for that.



In the meantime, I will enjoy my "new" chair a bit longer.



 Closing thoughts:

1. Painting an old chair that was just headed to Goodwill anyway is a great idea - what do you have to lose?
2. I would recommend two watered down coats and a third full strength coat of paint for a smooth, even coverage.
3.  Would I do it over again?  Oh yeah, and I will!!! Soon!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Easter Happy Hour Mason Jar

Hi everyone!

I know, I know...there aren't many Mason jar ideas that haven't been done over the past few years.  I am (dare I say it?) maybe even getting to the saturation point with Mason jars.  But then, something comes along that still is so stinkin' cute.

This Easter season, I have seen a lot of Mason jars filled with Easter grass, candy and chocolate bunnies.  Oooh!  I love them.  But here is the thing:  I found out about this very sweet idea after all of the kiddo gifts had been purchased and sent off.  What to do? What to do?

Mr. Bluebird and I are blessed with some pretty amazing adult kiddos in our lives and we will be spending Easter with them this year.  So, why not amp up this Easter Mason jar idea and do it adult style? For about $4.00 each, they are a super fun and affordable gift (I will share the deets at the end of this post). Let me preface this with the fact that I am not going to bore you with how I assembled the jars.  It is pretty much crafting 101.  With that being said, let me share with you some pictures!










Aren't they cute? Of course, you can do a non-alcohol version and put just about any old thing in them.  But how fun!

The details:

1 quart Mason jar    1.50
Clothespin Clip         .25
Liquor                     1.45
Easter grass               .22
Candy                        .50
                                 3.92

I had the raffia and the fabric in my stash.

Anyway, a little Easter fun for some of my very favorite people in all of the world!

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

Linking with:
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Monday, March 14, 2016

MBR (That's Short for Master Bath Re-Do!)

Hi everyone!

As you all know, we are in the process of updating our master bath and I wanted to share with you a few of the things we will be doing to make this room lovable at long last!  Yesterday, I shared my short list of lighting candidates here.  Today, let's take a look at the walls.

Our master bedroom has a navy, red and green floral comforter and of course, I could kind of keep going with that idea into the bathroom.  However, I am choosing to go with a more neutral palette.  Knowing me, comforters come and go with the seasons and I want to keep the small bathroom to a neutral palette.  Besides, there is so much going on in this little bath that pattern would be too much!

With the comforter as a backdrop, here are a few bits and pieces of what will be going on the walls.  I scored two pieces of vintage ceiling tile that I will be using on the wall behind the toilet, along with beadboard wall paper and dark wood trim.  I love, love, love the worn, chippy finish.  Junk to some, but beautiful to me! Most of the wall area will be just plain painted drywall.


Here is a closeup.  The upper part is similar to a crown molding, with raised metal carving and the flat portion has an almost  honeycomb appearance.  The coat rack will be used for hanging bath towels.


 I will be painting the walls a creamy white, called Milk Paint, and the cider oak vanity will be getting a coffee colored coat of paint, appropriately named Ground Coffee.  The floor and window trim will be a simple, bright white.


A closer look at the coat rack.  It is not old, but rather a Hobby Lobby find.


I received a gift card from my employer for Christmas and I decided to see how far I could stretch it in finishing touches for this re-do.  I placed my online order today and spent all but .43 of it!  I think you will be impressed on how far that $100 takes me in completing the room. Believe it or not, Walmart.com has some great things on line!


Lastly, here is another look at my lighting contestants.  Feel free to pick a favorite and let me know in the comments.  I will be placing an order soon.  I am torn between two of them now...and I would love to hear what you have to say!





I will be back soon with "the rest of the plan" and the other items we will be using to finish up this room re-do.  What's on your spring to do list?

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Master Bath 'Re-Do: Lighting Decisions

Hi everyone!

I have shared every room in our house many times over the past four years - every room except one. Our very uninspired, blah and yes, possibly even ugly master bathroom. It is incredibly small and truthfully, I have never liked how it has been decorated. Ever.

That will be changing very soon and you may possibly be seeing it way more than you would like! We are embarking on a mini re-do that I think will turn this sow's ear into a silk purse.  "Before" pictures are coming soon, but in the meantime, I am sharing the "beauty contestants" in the lighting category.



I would love to know which one is your favorite and why. Please leave me a comment!

I will be posting the before photos later this week, along with my "design plan." I have a fun wall feature in the works that I am very excited to share once it's installed.

Thanks for stopping by,
Jane

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