Our New Garage Door!

You know you are jealous of this dirty, gross garage door.


Oh..no? You aren’t? Color me surprised. Let’s not even mention that it didn’t open or close because the tracks were living on a prayer..Well, actually, one track was there..the second had an unfortunate encounter with Josh and it didn’t survive to tell the story. The ancient garage door opener also was not ruling at its’ job before the tracks went to hell.


We got a few companies to come by to give us quotes, and we ended up deciding pretty quickly to go with Precision Overhead Garage Door service of Hampton Roads, who blew us away with their professionalism and fair pricing. They were rated #1 on Angie’s List so we knew they’d be good, but when an awesome guy named Chad came out to give us a quote, he explained things clearly and in regular-people terms so that I could understand them (since Josh was snoozin’ away because he was on night shift) AND explain them to Josh afterwards. He even gave us a “Good/Better/Best” quote at three different levels of door/features/etc. Another company gave us a quote before even measuring the door or going inside of the garage to check out the set up..AND they gave us the highest quote. WTF. Bye. Move along. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. We also got a quote for us to DIY it and decided that the value Precision offered far exceeded the savings we’d get by doing it ourselves.

Anyway, we hired Precision, and it was worth every darn penny. They came out within a week and it was all set up and ready to go within a few hours. It was so nice…hiring people to finish things. 🙂 Despite a ton of rain, our technician (AH! I wish I would have written his name down) rocked it out. I kept going outside to offer him water/coffee/etc and he was so polite and awesome, even though he kept telling me “No.” Haha! He probably thought I was weird


^ That’s the new garage door opener.. 🙂



The new SUPER WHITE GARAGE DOOR makes it obvious how much we need to power wash the rest of the house this spring. Anyway, you know you are officially an adult when you stand in your driveway and record a video of your garage door opening and closing. I AM NOT ASHAMED! SO AWESOME!


If the videos don’t work, click these links!:





Our next HUGE project!

In 2015, we finished up many projects we’d started but hadn’t finished. Like painting the windows in the sunroom! And throwing together a home office for me! And painting the window and ceiling in the kitchen! And finishing the fence! And doing a mini makeover in the upstairs bathroom! And hanging up pictures! Oh, and spending about $4,500 on brickwork on our fireplace so that it would stop leaking when a big rainstorm came. And I realize I stunk at updating the blog about all of that, but it’s my blog and I won’t update unless I want to.

Telling ourselves that we couldn’t start another project until we finished everything that we had already started motivated us to get moving on the not-so-fun little projects so that we can get to planning the next big one!

So..What is the next big project, you ask?? Our garage + laundry/mud room & attached bathroom. We haven’t talked about this room much in the past because, well…it is SO awful. On Josh’s first tour of the house, he couldn’t even find the “third bathroom” because..it is in here. And it is pretty well hidden. And the shower doesn’t work. We jokingly call the bathroom in here the killer bathroom..you’ll see why.

Here..let me take you on a tour so you see what I’m saying. PARDON THE MESS, YA’LL! It’s a garage..don’t judge us!

So, it is completely non-functional. We don’t use the space to its’ fullest potential. It’s awkward. It’s blue. AND WE ARE GOING TO CHANGE ALL OF THAT!

Here are the original list of to-do’s for this space when we bought the house:


Add Peg boards/Organization

Laundry Room:

Create folding area or Island with built in storage for baskets

Paint and organize cabinets

Paint floor with a fun design or stripes

Renovate bathroom space

Aw, look how cute I was. This is what we will (likely) be doing now:


Build or Buy and Install a new garage door (since we broke the track for our current one and would like to have a different style out front): Getting quotes now!

Peg Board Organization for Tools

Add boards to beams above for extra storage

Build Shelves for tools, paint, & crap that shouldn’t be in the mudroom/laundry room space

Build a Fold up Work Bench

Perhaps some new lighting?

Move some junk out into our shed

Laundry Room/Mud Room/Bathroom:

Gut entire space down to studs (wall boards down, ceiling down, cabinets down-some have already been taken down over our washer because of a washer malfunction we had a few months back, shelving down)

New flooring (Ceramic Tile? Peel & Stick? We’re not sure yet but we know it won’t be wood)

Re-wire & Re-Plumb everything to get up to current code

Insulate everything (Getting out of the shower in the middle of winter in an uninsulated space sounds…delightful!)

Install new windows (three total)

Drywall and/or Beadboard Walls

Figure out ceiling-Drywall?

Install new functional lighting

Bathroom Specifics:

New Walk-in Shower along back wall

Add Second Shower Head for Dog Washing (prettttyyy please?! This is definitely a “wish list” item, but would be SO nice since Jimmy Dean hates water and runs away from us every time we try to bathe him.)

New Toilet

New Sink/Vanity

New Mirror

Curtain/covering for the window

Laundry & Mudroom Area Specifics: This is hopefully the area that we will use as our normal day to day entryway.

Refurbish/reglaze the vintage sink (if possible)

Build New Cabinets/Shelves: Wall o’ Cabinets to store our linens, towels, Emergency Kit, All of the stuff we buy in bulk like toilet paper and paper towels, etc!

Drying Line of some sort for Laundry

Large Countertop for folding with Laundry Basket Storage

Possible new water heater and boiler if budget allows (we would need natural gas to be run from the street to the house, plus re-running our baseboard heater piping to work with a boiler in this space. The current boiler is under our stairs which isn’t to current code and is oil-based, so we do not currently use it.)

Storage for Shoes & Bench for putting on shoes, Umbrellas, etc.

It should be an adventure!! We are looking forward to getting started once we know spring is here and our pipes won’t burst!! 🙂

China Cabinet Makeover

In June, I was doing my normal craigslist stalking, which usually starts once I see a post over at Emily Henderson. She does these Craigslist posts in random cities every now and again and she (well, probably her team of interns/assistants) finds the most amazing furniture pieces! Our local craigslist has pretty slim pickin’s most of the time, but sometimes you can find hidden gems if you stalk hard enough.

One day, I saw a posting of a “Small Antique China Cabinet” and I was pretty much sold before I even saw the picture of it. Our dining room isn’t exactly massive, so size did matter & a lot of the china cabinets I saw on CL before were humongous! It was $50, so I reached out right away to try to schedule a time to see it. The seller was available the next day, so off Josh and I went to see it on the way to a friend’s birthday party. Of course, I was trying not to get my hopes up, but it’s been five years since our wedding and we’ve used our China a grand total of ONE TIME, so having it on display got me all excited (it’s so preeeettttyyy!).

The cabinet was covered in cobwebs in the seller’s garage, but overall, it was in pretty good shape, so we paid full price. I so wish I was a better haggler, but whatever. Since we were already half way to the party, we decided we’d keep the cabinet in the back of the truck while we were at the party and then unload it when we got home, rather than take the extra time to just drive it home. MISTAKE.

A freak thunderstorm came through the area and even though Josh went back to the truck to cover it with a tarp, the front of the cabinet already had some marks from where water started puddling. Woops. Anyway, here is the before picture after we had removed the front doors/drawers and cleaned it about a hundred times!


We pretty much went full-on pinterest for this project.

White Chalk paint (using a DIY recipe)

+ China Cabinet

+ Different Color on the inside of the cabinet

= success!


We used the original hardware mostly because we were too lazy to try to find new hardware, but we cleaned them up by soaking them in Dawn for awhile. We did manage to buy new hinges because the old ones were pretty rusty.

For those that are curious, we used this DIY Chalk Paint Recipe – There are a ton of different recipes, but Plaster of Paris is cheap, so I went with this one. Overall, it was pretty easy to use and stuck to the cabinet without having to prime! I have never used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint before, but I doubt I ever will because making it myself was easy enough and I don’t have any complaints about the finish.

For paint colors, we used 1 and a half qts. of Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Painter’s White (Matte) and for the backing we used 2 of the small sample sized containers of Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Fresh Day (Matte).

One thing we did to differently than most of the Pinterest projects we saw was we added LED lights to illuminate the display area of the cabinet. We used these Sylvania Mosaic LED lights which you can find at Lowe’s! They even have a remote control & the lights can change colors (more on that later in the post).


Not sure if you can see it in the pictures above but where each of the shelves were had a glaringly obvious beam of light, so we used Black electrical tape to cover it up so it would look less harsh.

So..remember how I said the lights change color? Now, we have our very own dinner entertainment for our guests to enjoy 😉

Second oopsy of this project was when we were reinstalling the painted trim around the glass door for the middle-top section of the cabinet. We broke the glass, so we are looking in to getting it replaced and then we’ll be 100% done with it. 🙂 I won’t hold my breath because we still haven’t 100% finished the kitchen we started on two years ago.

Once we get the glass replaced, I’ll have the final final total for this, but I’m pretty sure it will fall below the $150 mark! Holla.

I promise I’ll be back with some more updates. Pinky swear.

Downstairs Bathroom Round 1: DONE!

Hey pals..the last in-house update was when we were starting the downstairs bathroom around Christmas time! Here are a few before photos for your viewing pleasure:

Downstairs BA Before 3

Downstairs BA Before 1

Downstairs BA Before 4

You know you’re jealous of that bathroom. Just admit it.

So, we painted the room, mirror, and cabinets, installed the new light fixture, a new countertop, and a new sink/faucet! Voila!

Downstairs BA After 1
Yes, we need to paint and install the baseboard heater cover! Thanks for mentioning it.

Downstairs BA after 3

We ended up breaking the backsplash off of the countertop when we were cutting the countertop down to size, so we installed a row of white subway tile backsplash for now. Eventually we are going to do a full renovation on this bathroom (re-work the layout, add a shower/bath, full gut job), so we didn’t want to spend too much on anything that would be a temporary placeholder.

Downstairs BA After 5

The finishing touch was the installation of my beautiful “Paint Nite/Wine & Design” paintings, too, which I am now calling my “Crappy Art Gallery.” 🙂 Speaking of which, I want to add to my gallery, so anyone who wants to go drink and paint with me..holla at me!

Even though it took me 5 months to actually blog about this bad boy-it only took us a few days (and about $400) to complete, which was refreshing after months and months of working on the living room/sunroom (and still not being finished. joy!).

Guest What?

IMG_1693Last time we talked about the guest bedroom we had just completed the painting of the room and installing the ceiling fan from hell. IMG_1639We still had to buy, stain, and install new trim for the wall that got taken out after the great flood of 2014 because all of the baseboard trim on that wall got damaged. We decided to re-do that entire wall of trim and then get new crown molding for on the wood paneled wall too so that it would all match. I didn’t get an in-progress photo of installing the trim since Josh did it in the time that it took me to wash the dishes and go grocery shopping. It was a pretty quick process.

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The new trim doesn’t match perfectly with the wood wall or the existing doors and windows because the trim on those has aged over time, but we stained it as close as we could get it. We even tried mixing several stain colors and couldn’t find anything that was perfect, so…this was one of those “We did what we could” moments. You can’t tell unless you are staring at it and we hope our future houseguests love us enough not to say anything.

After the trim was installed, we got the queen bed out from storage upstairs, put it together, and then brought down the box spring and mattress. We moved our desk and office supplies into this room (from the dining room!) and brought in a wardrobe from Josh’s parents’ house to hold all of our linens/towels/etc (we were keeping them in the pantry and other various places throughout the house-it was annoying). Now all that is left is hanging some artwork and window treatments and this room is DONE-ZO!  

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Much better than it looked after the pipe debacle!


Would it be alright by you, if I deblueify you?

Points to people who just started singing-you are awesome..For those that are googling to figure out the title, it’s a quote I altered from Wicked -because we are wicked good painters and because I have decided my favorite Pandora station while painting is the Idina Menzel station so that I can BELT IT OUT and dance to pass the time. Josh doesn’t like it.

While the drywall folks were here, they took care of the ceiling and wall which were damaged when trying to fix our leaky shower drain pipe.





We decided to paint this room before trying to tackle the rest of the living room/sunroom projects because getting this room done means getting our house closer to normal. Since they were working in this room, our kitchen AND the living room/sunroom, our furniture has been dispersed throughout the rest of the house, making our dining room our office and our upstairs/garage a dumping ground. The original color of this room was actually a very pretty color, very similar to the blue we used in our dining room.



For now, this room acts as a guest bedroom, but may turn out to be a nursery or office eventually, so we weren’t really picky on a color other than we didn’t want it to be blue since there are so many shades of blue/aqua in this house already. We decided to go with a really pale, almost-ivory-it-is-so-light yellow – Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Milkyway Galaxy.

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Whoa, we went back in time, ya’ll. There is a fan there now 🙂




So far, we are really liking the color and are looking forward to getting the trim re-installed and then moving our furniture back in!

Kitchen: 90% DONE

So, I wanted to wait until we were actually 100% done with the kitchen before posting an “AFTER”…but we started this kitchen way back in August and I just can’t wait any longer. I want to show what we’ve done! 🙂

For those that need a refresher, here is our kitchen BEFORE:

Kitchen Before lfd621744-m5x 3ec829d626feb040fd44e7d0ba752ee3




And here is our kitchen AFTER taking down wallpaper, painting the walls, sanding, priming, and painting the cabinets, replacing the cabinet hardware, ripping out and replacing the flooring, replacing and painting trim, whitewashing the wood paneling, replacing the light above the sink and removing the wood stove!







All we have left to do is:

– Replace the trim and window sill on the window above the sink and paint white

– Replace the faucet (I HATE THAT FAUCET)

– Patch the hole in the ceiling from where we installed the insulation

– Paint the ceiling

– Decorate above the mantle (right now it is a catch all)

– Find a new durable yet comfortable rug (that one was pulled in before we started gutting the living room),

– Find a table

– Find window coverings of some sort?


I can’t wait for the shopping part!!! 🙂


This little corner of our kitchen has been through a lot the past 7 months. To be honest, it is hard to remember how far this space (and the house as a whole) has come since we live here every day, but seeing these pictures side-by-side makes me feel really proud. We poured our blood, sweat, and tears (literally..I’m not even exaggerating.) into this kitchen and I think we are both really happy with the results so far.

This is the original real estate listing photo :


And this is from after we moved in:


We decided to take out the paneling so that we could flip the boards over and whitewash them. In the process of doing that, we realized we had to rip out the floor, as well. This is that stage of the project:



After we took out the floor and white washed and re-installed the paneling, we prepped for tile (and then covered the hardi-board with paper for our housewarming party (picture below):



Then, we deglossed, sanded, and primed the old baseboards and chair rail and re-installed it. We also replaced all of the trim surrounding the doors and windows so that it all matched. The room originally had four different styles/sizes of trim. Oh, and we added another tiny tiny detail-270 sq. feet of tile on the floor.


All of this time, the baseboard heater covers were tucked away in a distant corner in our garage. We lightly sanded the rust off, spray primed, and spray painted the covers over one really nice weekend at the end of January (when we painted the door yellow), thinking we’d install them the next day. The next day, we realized we didn’t have all of the parts painted. So, then we waited…and waited…and waited for another warm winter day. Meanwhile, we painted our hallway, installed our pantry shelves, painted the dining room, etc.


Finally this past weekend, we got a warm enough day to spray paint the rest of the pieces, and we got everything installed! We also moved our former pantry shelf in to the kitchen and hung a piece of artwork to tie in our cheery yellow door.




!!!!!!!!!!! That’s all I can really say right now about that. I do want to find a small table and some chairs to put in here and the shelf may not last forever in this spot or may get painted or may get moved due to a table coming in, but it works for us right.this.second. and it will stay until it doesn’t.  But really, PROGRESS! 🙂 YAY!

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Also, I just want to say Thank YOU to everyone who reads along with us on this journey. I went to Mason Homecoming a few weeks ago and was completely blown away by everyone’s support of our little bloggity corner of the internet. (See what I did there? CORNER.) Ya’ll are the bomb and we love ya. 🙂

Dining Room Paint : Done!


We should have started here. The dining room is, by far, the room that needs to least done in the entire house. We love the natural wood trim and paneling on the lower half of the room. The flooring is okay for now, although eventually, we’d like to refinish or replace it to match the rest of the wood floors in the bedrooms on this floor.

The color of the room when we moved in was totally acceptable. In fact, a lot of people asked if we had already painted in there. The closest match I could find to the original color is Behr Teal Ice (although, maybe Ice Cube–it definitely had a green tint to it).

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Our only complaint about the color in there was that it is the same color used in every room that isn’t completely covered in wood paneling-AQUA/TEAL. Since we had a few a lot of mildew problems when we moved in, we wanted to get a fresh coat of paint on all walls and be diligent about using mildew killer on all wood surfaces. So, off to Home Depot we went.

We try not to agonize over paint decisions, although this room was a bit harder because we wanted to keep the wood trim/paneling in there and matching that is a doozy. Even if you google “wood trim paint colors” it is hard to find something that ISN’T an aqua/teal color. So…we went with something similar, but still fresh-Behr Ultra Premium Plus in Fresh Day.


Off we started on Tuesday night: Wiping down the walls and patching holes/cracks. I also got bored and started drawing on the walls with the sponge because the paint soaked up water like it was it’s job. It was flat paint, which is great for hiding wall imperfections, but isn’t scrubbable at ALL, so we went with Eggshell this time around.


He wasn’t impressed by my artwork:




A VERY BRIGHT dining room color of the past hidden behind our thermostat!

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On Wednesday, we did the first coat of our paint:

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Friday night, we hit it with a second coat:

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Then Saturday, I did a final coat with Josh was working:

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Here’s a little side by side action:


AFTER:   IMG_0157


AFTER:  IMG_0160

Overall, we are both really happy with the color and the fact that it was a quick project to help build us back up after the verrryyy long process of doing the kitchen (which, still isn’t 100% done). I think knocking out a few more rooms like this and doing the little things to finish up the kitchen will be JUST what we need to push us through our next grueling project. It really is rewarding to see the final product of our hard work.

Now, all the room needs is some window treatments, something on the walls, and perhaps a hutch/buffet and we’ll be good to go!

Pantry: Done

This afternoon, our pantry shelves looked like this:


Yesterday, Tucker decided it would be an awesome idea to eat everything off of the shelf-previously-known-as-the-pantry-shelf (which was located in the dining room) while we were not home. Included in his treats were a small bag of Trader Joe’s pecans, a packet of McCormick’s Alfredo mix, and a jello box (not the jello, just the box). He also moved other items and hid them throughout the house, which we found later in the night when he was whining at where he left them. Those included a bag of pine nuts-not opened and another Alfredo mix.

We took that as a sign that he was completely OVER not having a pantry. Oh, and we know pecans are kinda poisonous to dogs-we monitored him closely, but there were probably only a total of 10 pecans left in the bag, so we decided not to be super concerned unless symptoms came about.


So, since we were worried about our sweet puppy’s health if he kept eating our food, we started building the shelves. After Josh finished installing the panel above, we realized our level was too big for the sides of the closet. Boo. So I went to my sweet little phone and downloaded a level app. WHO KNEW that existed? Not me until today. Go technology!


(And yes, I know my shirt is on backwards..don’t judge.)


When installing the fourth round of framing, we came across these awesome screws. Seriously?! I didn’t even know things like that could exist. (After the level app + this, my mind was just blown, so I sat down and watched some Olympics figure skating..just kidding, we kept on trucking!)

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All of the frames up..basically we installed those ‘frames’ around the perimeter, then the boards were cut to sit directly on top of the frames. We also nailed the boards in after to be extra secure, but it isn’t completely necessary..

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Lots of tomatoes!! See..I wasn’t lying!

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On another note:


Since we’ve been going going going on the kitchen, we neglected to install our spice rack, so we’ve been using an aluminum pan from the dollar store to hold our pile-o’-spices (Remember we started the kitchen in AUGUST?? Ugh). Since we were on an organizing streak, we decided that now is the timeeee!

I got this spice rack from an awesome little consignment store in Yorktown with the goal to paint it, but after a scrub down, I decided I actually really like the wood. Plus, my original plan was to paint it red and I think it would be too much with all of the spice labels having red on them..
Check.it.out. It’s amazing what a bit of organization can do, right?! I feel like a new person! Maybe now I can start putting my shirt on the right way…Or not.