St. Patrick's Church Rummage Sale

Previously, I posted on the painting that was too large for my dining room, but I did not mention the super cheapy finds that I also took home with me. Even Smeeby was having a good time at the sale, I mean, as good of a time as you would expect from a husband bribed with donuts to accompany his wife to another garage sale. I think the two small $5 dollar paintings look cute in my living room. One of these days, I will spend the money to get the paintings reframed. Yet, this will have to do for now. 

Not only did I find stuff for my walls, we actually find something for Smeeby's office too! When we saw this lamp, I think we both knew how great it would look in his office. I am not really a fan of the wood paneling in Smeeby's office, but he really likes it. We bought the lamp for $10 and I got the shade a couple months later at another garage sale for $5. 

I also bought a few other things for myself. I saw this two-tiered pie crust table and fell in love with it. As I was telling the guy that I wanted it, I saw an old beater rocking chair. This rocker had good bones and I knew a little TLC would go a long way. I stripped the old finish on both pieces and then stained it a dark hue that I had on hand in the garage. Obviously, I changed the fabric on the chair to something a little more modern. Here are the before and after pictures: 

Mrs. Fancy Pants Try- Hard

This past October, I dragged my husband out of the house on an early Saturday morning, so he could see this painting I previewed on Friday when it was being unloaded from a truck at St. Patrick’s in Rockville, MD. (I bribed him with donuts. It’s my special trick to get Smeeby to do something he does not want to do. I am surprised he is still so thin. Ha). Smeeby and I are not big into the art scene per se, nor is our house filled with amazing paintings. Yet, I love finding paintings at yard sales and second- hand stores. Admittedly, I often over-estimate the size of the walls in my house, which has proven to be problematic in the past.  This is one of those times where I really should have measured.

It seems that houses from the 1960’s are constructed with tiny walls that make up tiny rooms. I thought for sure this painting would fit in my dining room. I was completely wrong. It is currently resting up against our bedroom wall with the hopes that one day in the future (most likely very distant future) it will be hung up in all its glory. I think I could easily recoup our $100 investment, if I was to sell it. 

Just call me Mommy, Esq.

Maryland Bar Exam

A lot has happened over the past year! Around this time last summer, I was in the process of studying for the Maryland bar exam. If you know me or read my other posts, you would know that I had an unsuccessful attempt in Virginia in July 2012. Failing the bar is an earth shattering blow to the good ole’ self-esteem and it took me over a year to build up the courage to take another bar exam.

Maryland, unlike Virginia, recognized that I needed the same accommodations I received in law school for the bar exam. However, Virginia did give me partial accommodations, but well, it was a less than pleasant experience. I took the VA bar exam in a custodial closet at the back of an auditorium. Yep, thanks Virginia for the accommodations. I should have petitioned my 3-point deficiency when I received my score in the mail, but I convinced myself it would be futile. List of Things I Regret:  #1 Not attempting to petition the score.  

Maryland was extremely accommodating to my disability and I will always truly appreciate their willingness to level the playing field. I was given a private room with my own proctor in the building where the other test takers with disabilities took their exams. Honestly, I really enjoyed my time in Baltimore, even though I was taking the bar exam. Of course, I was terrified that I would fail the Maryland bar exam; the results would come out on Halloween.

It might seem lame, but I love Halloween so much that I refused to check to see if I passed. I figured I could always get the bad news on November 1. My husband, on the other hand, had found my seat number and was checking all day for me. I had no idea that he had been doing that until he came home from work and told me that I passed! Thanks to all my friends and family that supported me and loved me through the entire bar exam craziness. I really appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement.

Yay for Babies!

Plus, I have more exciting news! Smeeby and I are going to be parents in like two months! I had a slight feeling that I was preggers on my husband’s birthday, but I did not want to say anything. After all, now that I passed the bar exam, I wanted to start a family. The day after his birthday, I went to the store and got the tests and both tinkle tests came out positive. I decided to make a special dinner and told my husband that another one of his birthday gifts had come in and he could open it before dinner.

Even though I am creative, I could not figure out how to tell my husband we were pregnant. I did some research and everything seemed, well, so not us. Then I remember that I had some onesies in my craft room leftover from a baby gift I did for my sister. I knew I wanted to put something cute on it, but nothing was coming to mind. Then it hit me, I would incorporate our nerdy gaming habit into the surprise. I found a World of Warcraft achievement generator. Check out the pictures! Lol. If you play the game, then you know the achievement references the new expansion.


Of course, Smeeby was excited that he was getting an extra gift, but he was even more excited when he saw the onesie inside. I mean, well, I had to give him a moment to take it all in. Yay for babies! It was so special getting sworn in to practice law with my baby in my belly. Our son should be here around August 8, 2015 and we have slowly been working on his arrival. Check back for more pictures of the nursery.













 

Tootles Light Fixtures!

I dream of crystal chandeliers glittering in the sun. However, my lofty dreams have a lofty price tag outside the scope of my budget. Nevertheless, it does not mean that I would be stuck with the nasty brown colored  light fixtures picked out by the previous owners for eternity. 

My husband and I found a lovely replacement at Lowes, which we bought as a joint anniversary gift. I thought we would have to hire an electrician, but we were able to do it ourselves. Granted, it took us a couple of hours and about 4 bad attempts to get it right. 

Oh, I also replaced my dining room chairs with a set rehabbed from Habitat for Humanity REstore (Frederick, MD). 

Living Room Continued

Now that we have furniture in there, we needed a little bit more to complete the look. I was looking for the perfect end tables that I could redo and finally found them when I went to the best Habitat for Humanity Restore in the DC Metroplex.

I picked up each end table for $40, then I replaced the hardware for another $5. So for $95 I now have two solid wood end tables that are completely awesome. (I do not normally brag about my own work, but I just love these little end tables.)

I finished up the room by getting a few lamps, which were much needed in this space. Even with our windows open, this room always seemed so drab. Now we have light, now it is truly functional for living. The lamps were from my local Tuesday Morning store (the one right off Rockville Pike).

The two lamps on the end table were $49 a piece because they were each missing a crystal strand. The tall lamp was $79. I am sure I could have found other lamps cheaper than these, but something about these lamps were just screaming, "Take me home with you!" 

Now all we need is a little artwork and family photos to take away the "hotel" feel to the room. 

Yay! Finally a Place to Sit

I am truly embarrassed to say that my husband and I had no couching our living area for the past couple of months. We used to refer to this space as our "ballroom." However, when my parents were in town, they generously took us furniture shopping. 

I must have sat on every couch in the Rockville, MD area, and nothing felt right. Yet, we decided that our last store for the night would be Ethan Allen. Then I fell with so many comfortable things. I really wanted to create a conversational space with an eclectic feel, which is slightly hard to do. 

However, my mom has great taste and helped me pick out two couches and a coffee table. I was told they would not be delivered until February because they were custom ordered. Then I got an awesome surprise the other day when I received a phone call from the EA delivery service. My new furniture was coming in early! 

My Office

When my husband and I moved into the house, he claimed the wood paneled office and got the second largest spare room on the other side of the house. Now let me tell you this, the previous owners had little boys. Little boys are gross, unless they are related to me. Let's just say...the walls needed a good cleaning. 

I really wanted a pink office, but deciding on the right pink was problematic. There are a thousand shades of pink: bubblegum, pepto bismal, tween, hot pink, baby pink, etc. Finding the right shade took quite a bit of time. Finally I decided on Behr's "Old Rose." I love it! 

After painting the room, I decided to take off the doors to the closet because it was extra space that could be used for a sitting area. I painted it dark grey, but have recently painted it the same "Old Rose" color. My husband and I are doing a little weekend project together. Our intentions are to make a cute little reading nook. Granted, working on projects like this with my husband are time consuming to say the least. 

He wanted to do the design, get the measurements, cut the wood absolutely perfectly. Literally, he basically took over the project and let's me operate the jig. I will make another post when we are finished with our project. Here are pictures of the room as it is (remember, I recently painted the closet "old rose.")

I really need better curtains too, but all in good time. 

First Christmas Tree @ Maplewood

I love, love, love decorating for the holidays. We got our tree a day after Thanksgiving, which is what we always do. The gentlemen told us that it was cut down that morning from a mountain top in West Virginia. It smells so heavenly. 

Now about decorating the tree, I have to admit that my  husband gets progressively better each year. He was in charge of the "filler" ornaments and did a superb job. No more having to replace things in different spots behind his back. Lol. 

Don't judge our barren room!!  Furniture is coming sometime soon :-)

Bathroom Redo

 

 

After painting the main floor, it was time for me to get cracking on the top floor. I started with the bathroom because well, the bathroom kind of sucked a little. I do not know if I can find any “before” pictures, so I will do my best to describe it to you.

 

The bathroom walls were a very warm yellowish- orange color that looks as if it were never cleaned. Gross. The vanity was relatively new but I was not crazy over its dark cherry color. This thing needed a makeover.

I had leftover gray paint from when I originally made a real mudroom. We now use the makeshift mudroom because I was tired of my husband walking through my studio space to get in our house.

 

Yea. I work in our unfinished garage and refer to it as “my studio.” I alluded to the fact that I am pretentious when it comes to naming things. I.e. Naming a little split-level house “Maplewood” or naming our dog “Colonel Edward Watson,” so that everyone would refer to him as The Colonel.

 

I digress. I painted the bathroom a very light gray and repainted the vanity black. I used Behar’s “Gentle Rain” for the walls and used Rust-oleum’s Painter’s Touch paint in a black semi-gloss. Why did I not use chalk paint? I normally would use chalk paint or milk paint for furniture pieces, but I wanted something a little different for the bathroom. I did not want it to look too much like the rest of the furniture on this floor.

 

Honestly, I am glad that I used the Rust-oleum product because it turned out well. The vanity had a wood veneer on the front and laminate side. Sure, I could have painted the laminate side, but I really did not want to sand the thing down or get too close to it. I ended up decopauging a palmistry poster I found at Paper Source. This went well with the little Norman Rockwell print I have had for the past 8 years.

 

I still need to take out the mirror and the lighting fixture, but for the most part, I would say the project is complete. What do you think

Not a dream kitchen, but anything is better!

Totally bummed my parents were not able to make it in town this past week, so I decided to make myself feel better by redoing the kitchen

 

The microwave and oven are still a ridiculous eye sore, but will have to do for now. This was my first time painting cabinets, so I was a little wary as to what I should be doing. I talked to a woman at home depot that told me to skip the Rustoleum kits and just buy the stuff that is in the kit. 

 

I got a de-glosser and used it on each cabinet. I lightly sanded down the cabinets with a ultra fine grit sandpaper. After I dusted it off, I went to town with my little roller brush. 

While the cabinets were drying, I took all the handles and painted them with a little bit of Annie Sloan's "Pure White Chalk Paint." I then hot glued the same type of jewelry piece that I used on the hutch for the new handles. Voila! 

 

I removed the ugly blinds and replaced with a handmade mini curtain. (Sadlly, I was off on my measurements. That is what happens when I have brilliant idea late at night). 

 

Lastly, I wanted to block out my view to my neighbor's yard, so used one of those decorative films from home depot. (est. $20)

 

What do you guys think? 

Mirror Mirror on the Door...

Well, not anymore. While having an entry way closet is a good thing, I suppose, a mirrored door is not a good thing. In fact, every time I opened the door, it would crash into the mirror. Here were my options: 1) Put on a bumper (door stop thing); 2) Be careful; 3) Remove the door all together. 

 

Obviously, I choose option #3 by taking advantage of getting my floors redone to rid myself of this dreaded catastrophe. I know I sound extreme referring to the area as "the catastrophe," but that is what my husband and I referred to it as while it was in existance. 

 

I really wanted to create a welcoming nook/ mini mudroom, so I busted out the shelf (all by myself too. yea, I know I am pretty boss. lol j/k). After the shelf was gone, I repaired the little holes in the wall and painted the closet the same light blue color that I used in the adjacent formal living space. 

 

A couple of months ago, while we still lived in the townhome, I made a lovely little shelf with a coat rack. I brought in the bench from downstairs, hung up the leash hooks for the boys, and ta-da....Mini mudroom completed. 

 

Check out the wooden stump in the picture. Seems odd to have it here now, but my intention is to bolt on a shoe brush to the top of it. (It was part of the red maple in the front yard). What do you think? Check out the pictures here

Spooky Ghosts!

This is my first year, since I was a little kid, that I have a big yard to decorate for Halloween.  A couple of years ago, there was a picture of chicken wire ghostly figures that I always wanted to do if I had the chance. As luck turns out, I already had the chicken wire for a craft project I did last year.
 
My neighbors seemed to like what I did because I received some compliments while I was doing my yard work. I think I am going to make more next year and have them on the other side walking towards each other. The little girl next door said to me, “I like your princesses.” It was so adorable; I did not have the heart to tell her they were spooky ghosts.
 
Interested in making your own? Click here for instructions!