Monday, February 9, 2015

Before and After-Family Room Fireplace and Built-Ins

I love our new house.
 I am very proud of our new house.
I however don't love oak.
My whole house is oak.

It was easy for me to look past the oak though.  I see something I don't love and then immediately envision what I can turn it into.  
Brandon often says I have no clue how difficult something is before I set my mind to doing it.  I weekly hear the phrase, "Audra, it's not that easy."
To which I reply, "I didn't say it was going to be easy but I'm still going to do it.  You can choose to help me or choose not to help me but then suffer my wrath.  It's up to you."
Just in case you were wondering...he ends up helping!

Exhibit A:
Our family room fireplace and built ins 
I absolutely love the way it turned out.  
I'll love it even more when we get the room painted and new furniture.  The family room joins up to the kitchen. We plan to have the kitchen cabinets painted and new floors put in to both of these rooms (along with the rest of the house) so we are waiting to do it all at one time. 

Brandon sanded the two built ins and their shelves down to the bare wood. Somehow he gets roped into these projects and then ends up doing most of the hard work.  
OOPS!  Thanks, honey!! 

I then did two coats of Benjamin Moore Stix Waterborne Bonding Primer followed by two coats of Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Alkyd paint in White Dove.  There were a few spots where the yellowness of the oak kept creeping through so I just went back over those spots a few more times until it covered better.

By the time we got to the fireplace Brandon was pretty much spent and didn't want to look at another piece of sandpaper.  Plus, look at the detail on our fireplace-
We had no interest in sanding these ornate details.
So, I decided to be ballsy and painted it with homemade chalk paint.  There was no sanding or priming involved.  Just two coats of my homemade chalk paint using Benjamin Moore Advance Waterborne Interior Alkyd Paint in Quarry Rock.  
Several people have been surprised by the color of the fireplace in person as opposed to the way it looks in pictures.  I would consider it a charcoal grey color.  It has a different hue in each picture I show so it's difficult to see it's true color unless in person.

I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out.  It really did lighten up and freshen the room.  I can't wait to get started on my next update. 
 (Brandon, if you're reading this-what are we doing next weekend??  Our laundry room needs a little TLC!!)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

DIY Continent Mural

Anyone else love weekends with no plans?!?  They don't happen very often around here but when they do you better believe we'll be crossing things off our to do list.  
We've lived in our new house for several months now and adding a focal point to Nolan's headboard wall has been on my mind almost the whole time.  
Yep, you've got it.  Big. Blank. Wall.  
I guess you could consider Nolan's room to be the nursery.  He's still in the toddler bed that converts back to a crib.  We went with a neutral themed room that we've used with both boys. 
Basically recreated the same room here in this house.  
Cream and brown safari animal themed.  

With the safari theme in mind, I knew I wanted to incorporate travel into the accent wall.  I decided to go with the continents painted in a homemade chocolate brown chalk paint. 
(I'm a huge fan of DIY chalk paint.)
I started by making a transparency of the continents.  I just googled an image of the continents and printed it onto transparency film. (Yes, I own a projector.  Doesn't everyone??)
I then traced it onto the wall using a piece of white chalk.  (It's easy to clean up the lines when you're finished painting)
Using a large craft brush I then started painting right inside the borders.  
Once all of the borders were painted I used a regular paint brush to fill in the rest.  
It took two coats to cover completely.
(That's a safari animal wooden mobile hanging in the corner...not painted on the wall)

I love the way it turned out. 

I can't wait for my next no plans weekend...Parker's room probably needs a little something extra!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Our Latest Obsession

I am not a huge breakfast eater.  Don't get me wrong, I love breakfast foods.  
Bacon, eggs, toast and butter-I could eat every day.
But, who has time for that?!?  Plus, yikes the calories!
It goes without saying, I love breakfast foods I just find some of the "everyday" breakfast food items to be bland and boring.  I don't want to eat cold cereal every day.  I love oatmeal but sometimes I need more.  
I need to feel like I am indulging without the guilt. 
Brandon surprised me the other day with a healthy AND filling breakfast after my morning workout. 
It's fair to say that I am obsessed.  I've eaten it three four times since.

Poached Eggs and Spinach on a Toasted Whole Grain English Muffin

Poached Eggs and Sliced Avocado on a Toasted Whole Grain English Muffin

Poached Eggs and Avocado Spread on a Toasted Whole Grain English Muffin

Poaching eggs is pretty easy and there's not all that greasy mess to clean up!
No oil.  Just boiling water.

Are you hungry yet???
I'll leave you with a little more mouth watering goodness just in case!

Be sure to check back in Wednesday when I"ll be walking you through the steps to make our new favorite breakfast.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Here's to a New Year

I can't say there is one particular thing I want to focus on this year, but rather me as a whole.  The whole New Years resolution thing usually lasts a few weeks so I figure if I have a handful of resolutions I'll have a better chance of sticking with at least one of them.
Just keeping it real, folks!

Here's to a bold, confident, adventurous, driven, honest, healthy, spiritual, organized ME!

This year I will:
Accept compliments and just say "thank you."
I am notorious for saying thank you immediately followed by a negative.
 "I love your house, Audra."  "Thanks, we have lots of updating and painting to do."
"That shirt is so cute on you."  "Thanks, I bought it on sale for super cheap."  UGH...just accept a compliment already!

Drink more water.
I really need to cut back on my diet soda intake.

Be positive and accepting of others' differences.

Make time for walks with friends.
We all need a little fresh air and girl time!

Declutter my house...and some of my relationships.

2014 has been good to me, but I'm looking forward to 2015 and what it has in store!!