Progress Report: Kitchen

I’ve been dragging my feet, but I finally buckled down and painted the kitchen last weekend.  Because it was red when we moved in, I wanted to prime it before painting, so that meant double the cutting in around cabinets, three doorways, a window, chair-rail, crown moulding and countertops.  I consider myself pretty good at cutting in with a steady hand and patience, but it does require being in the right mood for such tedious work.  I used the same paint that I used in the den, which was color-matched at Sherwin Williams to the living room/dining room color - Gobi Desert by Behr.

My plan is to add a coat of Dover White to the cabinets this Spring.  It seems like whoever painted these cabinets before only used one coat of paint and probably no primer, so the wood color is coming through.  Unfortunately, it just makes all the cabinets look like they are dingy and yellowing.  I did already change out the drawer pulls for some cup pulls that I had from my kitchen makeover at the old house that ended up not fitting the old drawers.  We have a new gooseneck faucet for the sink and a vent hood for over the range that will be installed soon.

For the time being, I will probably just use the wooden folding table in the breakfast area and figure out some chairs for the space.  I think I would eventually like a new dining table, and we can use our current one in the breakfast area at that point.  Until we are ready for a full remodel, the only thing left to do is choose some window treatments and maybe some decorative accents.

The very red before:

Sugar and Spice Baby Shower

The last of the three cousin showers I helped with happened last weekend.  It was the only girl shower that my mom, cousin and I got to plan.  We went with a Sugar and Spice theme, which is wide open for interpretation, but I found some cute inspiration online.


For the gift table, I hung a dozen white tissue honeycomb balls and a sugar and spice, everything nice banner made using this kit from Rifle Paper Co.  My cousin made the adorable diaper tricycle on the table.

We used a lot of pretty cut glass dishes on the food table – I made chicken salad on croissants, sugar donut muffins and pumpkin spice muffins.  I also put out some sugared peach candies and rock candy sticks.  My mom made sugared and spiced pecans as well as a fruit and angel food cake trifle.  My cousin made chocolate-dipped oreos and Strawberry Lemonade Punch.  She also made the white tutu that we used under the cake stand.

Above the drink table, I hung a set of the Martha Stewart Pink Accordion Lanterns.  On the table, I added my gold sequined table runner that I use at my New Year’s Eve parties for a little extra sparkle.  I also rimmed the glasses with light pink sugar sprinkles and set out some pink and white striped paper straws.  The flowers came from mom’s yard.

Bradley nailed the design for our invitations (my inspiration came from here).  I love the way they turned out.

Progress Report: Master Bathroom

Our new master bathroom isn’t small, but it is the second item on our major renovation list after moving the laundry.  It is very dated with gold fixtures, a big frameless mirror and a vanity with a weird inset under the sink area.  The toilet sort of sits out in the middle of the right side of the room and the shower is tiny.  I started my temporary updates with new paint.  The previous owners had it painted a vivid golden yellow.  I used the same paint color from the bedroom, but added some mildewcide to the paint for added protection.

I painted the vanity using Sherwin Williams Adhesion primer and Pro Classic paint in Dover White.  I’m very happy with this shade of white.  It is slightly warmer than buying straight white gloss paint off the shelf.  I also changed the hardware – 3 inch finial pulls from Martha Stewart in polished nickel and nickel hinges.  I also scoured the internet for towel rings after discovering that the polished nickel selection at local stores was awful, not to mention that many of the towel rings now seem to have metal posts but plastic rings.  I found an ebay seller with three Waterhill polished nickel towel rings by Moen for $25 each, much better than the $88 msrp.  I bought all three so that when I get around to the other two full bathrooms, I will have them on hand.

Paint Color:

Here are the before shots:

UGA Bulldogs Baby Shower

At the beginning of February, my mom, cousin and I threw a UGA Baby Shower for my cousin’s wife.  We decided to go with tail-gating foods for the menu.  I had similar elements at the first shower I threw with this theme, but I had sold the decorations from the first one, so I had to recreate and alter the ideas to fit this one.  This shower fell on moving weekend for us, so I forgot to dig out the good camera – these pictures were all taken with my iPhone and it shows.

I twisted black and red crepe paper streamers together for the gift table backdrop.  Then I hung a onesie in an empty frame using ribbon and tiny clothespins.  The red and white houndstooth tablecloth is actually some vintage fabric I got from an etsy seller a while back.  My cousin built the amazing diaper four-wheeler for the mom-to-be.

For food, I made BBQ sliders with cole slaw and brownie ‘footballs’.  My mom made ‘southern caviar’ (black eyed pea/corn dip) and cut up a watermelon.  A friend of hers also made little bulldog mints for the party.  My cousin made bacon-wrapped little smokies.  The food was a big hit.

For the food table, I found a UGA tablecloth and on top of that put a piece of astroturf carpeting that I had cut from the large roll at Home Depot.  I made the football garland out of brown felt and white cardstock laces that I cut on my Silhouette machine.

I made a pennant banner from red and black cardstock and got the red paper fans on clearance at Walmart after Christmas.  We served tea, water and Pineapple-Lemonade punch.

Bradley designed the invitations for us.  I wanted it to have the feel of an admission ticket, but we decided to increase the size so it would fit #10 size red envelopes.

Progress Report: Yard

I know it is the wrong time of the year to transplant things, but the move necessitated a few transplants all the same.  I had a couple of things at our old house that I knew exactly where I wanted them at the new house, and I needed to get them moved before we find renters.  First was the weeping Japanese maple tree – it seemed perfect for the little fan shaped bed between the garage and the deck.

I also decided to take the two Bergenias I had in the courtyard at the old house.  Everything else there will be easy to get more of from my mom’s yard later down the road.  I placed them at the back corner of the turnaround, next to our new fence.  There was no fence before, but we needed one for Buddy.  Because the property is over 3 acres, we knew we didn’t need a wooden privacy fence, but I told Bradley I would only be okay with chainlink if it was black.  So black it is, and I think it looks great (for a fence).

I can’t even really think about the yard too much or I break into a sweat.  I have no vision or plan for this much space.  All I know is we have got to get the ivy under control.  And we have about five or six trees that need to come down.  Thankfully, my mom has had a vision for the yard since the first time she laid eyes on it.  I am just waiting for spring to get here, so that I can start to figure out what we even have in the yard already.

And as a sign to our neighbors that we want to make this home beautiful and our own, I put in a couple of flats of annuals around the mailbox to spruce it up and add a little life at the street.

Things to address in the yard include:

  • Killing/Removing as much ivy as humanly possible from front, side and back yard
  • Have two or three dying sweet gum trees removed and three pine trees along the driveway removed.
  • Remove two crepe myrtles and a third tree that were planted WAY too close to the garage.
  • Repair and repave section of the driveway buckled by tree roots.
  • Replace shrubs in bed along front porch and in front of garage once I figure out the sun patterns and what will work in that spot.
  • Add more hydrangeas beside the deck stairs in the back yard.
  • Figure out what plants we have, which ones are good to keep and which need to be removed.
  • Have a gate built for the opening on the deck that leads to the driveway.
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