Friday, November 30, 2012

Master Bath EXTRAVAGANZA Sneak Peek

Passing notes today and reliving the bathroom gut job horror:  Mrs. Gosling

Hello blog mamas!

Before I begin I would like to thank my husband, kids, parents and 1 very knowledgeable carpenter.  This double bathroom process is a bit of a blur (thankfully) and without their patience, not only with years of inadequate bathrooms, but with helping remodel ... this would not be possible.  You know how they say "it takes a village to raise a child."  Well, in this house, we also say "it takes a village to GUT a bathroom!"

Let the games begin!

So, in the last bathroom remodel ..... remember I said that our budget was only $1800 (spent $2100)? Yea, not true for this one.  Stay tuned for the final tally ... I need some time to digest the figures so I don't have a major panic attack (I'm kidding, but really it was a big pill to swallow and we have been eating rice and mac n cheese ever since) ... BUT, we have 2 amazing bathrooms and the toilets always flush and never leak (imagine me jumping up and down right now, I'm not doing it, but I want to)!

Here's the skinny on our master bathroom.  It was small (6 x 6) with a little vanity, minuscule size toilet that was original to the house and a neo-angle shower.  After we gutted everything, tore down the wall separating the closet and bathroom and added 20" of depth .... it seems so much bigger.  It's really only about 10 sq. ft. larger ... but with the shower/tub combo, updated lighting and brighter decor - it makes a world of difference. 

Here are a few before shots.  Please excuse the poor quality, most of them were taken with my horribly cracked IPhone and in bad lighting:

Here's the skinny on the new bathroom inspiration.  In April 2011, my family and I took a trip to Nags Head, OBX and we stayed in a FABULOUS house on the Ocean (FYI, if you are able to get your family there and everyone pitches in, this vacation is cheapey cheap and amazing).  The house was an 8 bed/10 bath home and every bathroom had some version of hexagon carrera marble on the floor and shower.  I immediately thought of our bathroom and what I would do when we rehab'd.  So, my search began for the best way, to not only achieve this same look but afford it at the same time. 

Hampton Tumbled 2

"Hello Dear!"
Yes, that's exactly what I said when I saw this little lover-ly of a tile at The Tile Shop on Jefferson Road in Henrietta, NY.  Like I said, carrera marble was my inspiration and I was determined to have it.  I justified the splurge, because I was going to "budget friendly" the rest of the bathroom (with the exception of the DISGUSTINGLY HUGE AMOUNT OF PLUMBING WORK NEEDED).  Sorry for the CAPS, but I had to convey my distaste for this expense.  See, the previous homeowners decided to put in cheap, poorly placed drains for our shower.  Because of this, we were forced to gut the ceiling of the garage, tear out all the hot/cold feeds, drainpipes, sewer pipes and put in all new shut off valves.  In addition, jack the garage, re-joist the floor boards, re-support the header, drop the ceiling down by 6 inches, re-insulate and re-drywall. 

Sloppy work by previous homeowners = a small fortune for 30 something parents of 4 children.  I won't tell you how much, but it's the # between 2 and 4 + three 0's.  BLAH!

So, after we received the quote from our carpenter/plumber/tradesman extraordinaire, we set the remaining budget at $2600.  We were determined to only spend (that crazy plumbing # that I didn't come right out and say) + $2600.  FYI, did it ... BOOYAH!!!

After very long trips to Home Depot, Lowe's, Bathroom showrooms, Pinterest, Houzz and The Tile Shop.  This is what we came up with:


Sterling 60-in x 32-in Ensemble White Rectangular Skirted Tub 

 Like what you see?  Of course ... it's totally awesome.  Well, stay tuned for the rest of the reveal.  Come on, you didn't think that I would give it all to you at once, did you? 

If you want an automatic reminder of the next Master Bathroom EXTRAVAGANZA post ... subscribe your email off to the side ----------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

or check out the facebook page for daily updates!  Stay tuned for the best part!

Ain't nothing but a GROUT thang Baby,

PS - isn't that MacKenzie Childs tumbler so cute!  Mrs. K gave that to me and I put some dried hydrangeas in it.  It's kind of my "Elf on a Shelf" .. I like to move it around from room to room.  If you are wondering where she got it, check this out!

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  You're such a tease.  Also, we have the angled shower in our master bath so uh, do you want to come over and draft me some blueprints?  You can shove them in my stocking!  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Calendar

Passing Notes Today:  Guest Blogger - 

Hey Girls - 

mrs robert griffin
Mrs. Robert Griffin III

(An introduction from Mrs. Williams)  I am so excited that my friend, Mrs. Robert Griffin III, (Kate) is sharing one of her creative ideas with us today (she has many).  I met Kate when I answered a roommate wanted ad that she had pinned onto a cork board in Kittery, Maine.  We met.  I moved in.  We've been friends ever since.  Actually, we're more than friends now, she's my cousin-in-law.  That's right, she married my cousin.  (You can see him dressed as a spider here.)  Kate is really special in my world.  Not only is she an old friend, she is also one of the most creative people I know.  Today, she's sharing an idea for a handmade advent calendar.  I think you're going to love it!

Hi Ladies,

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog! 

Since we are now past Thanksgiving, the countdown to Christmas is in full effect at our house. For me, the Christmas season starts with the advent calendar.  A couple years ago I decided I wanted to make one for my kids.  I also didn’t want to spend any money.  So, as I was piddling around the basement, and looking through boxes of saved stuff, I came across a box of old Christmas cards.  That’s when the creative juices started flowing and I thought, “I can make an advent calendar out of cards!”  So, here is a super easy to make, up-cycled, Christmas card advent calendar.

What you’ll need…

  • Old Christmas cards
  • Glue and doubled sided tape
  • Embellishments – glitter, sequins, ribbon, trim and anything else that is sparkly
  • Numbers  
  • Wire curtain hanger with clips– Ikea has the best ones since they can be cut to any length

Start by picking out all your favorite cards, you’ll need 25.  For the larger cards I cut them in half to make more than one.  It also adds some continuity to the project, which I like.

Then, use the double-sided tape, to tape three sides, making a pocket.  I use the non-pretty part of the card to make the backside of the pocket. I also turn the message and writing from the inside of the card and display that on the back of the pocket.   If you like things to be a bit neater, you can always use card stock instead.

Next, glue on your numbers.  I used an old advent calendar to cut out the numbers from. Other options would be to use any past-month calendar page, stickers, or print them out.

Now, it’s time to embellish!  I use glitter, sequins, ribbon, cut outs from other cards etc.

Once the glue has dried, it’s time to stuff with prizes and hang. For little advent prizes I get stickers, chocolates and small toys. I also put coupons in for things we are already planning to do, like, get a Christmas tree, visit Santa, or, go to a puppet show.  Coupons help to cut back on the stuff, and get them excited for what we have planned for the day. It also means that you don’t have to have every pocket filled right away, just slip in the coupon the night before, and you’re ready for the next morning.

I hang ours from the underside of the mantle using a wire curtain hanger from Ikea. Make sure you have extra clips and hooks so that you can hang some of them lower than others. 

I think it also looks nice hung across a window. If you don't have an Ikea nearby, you could use twine or ribbon and hang the cards with clothespins or curtain clips.  Or, it would be really fun strung along some Christmas lights.

So, Naptime Notebook girls, you only have a few days let before the Christmas countdown, so get crafting!

Thanks for having me,

Mrs. Griffin

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  Love this.  Will steal it!  Also, can we come visit you and then make a trip to Ikea?  Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Gosling comment:  Ikea?  Yes, I'm coming.  Thanks for sharing Mrs. Griffin!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cone Christmas Trees - Five Ways

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Williams

Hey Guys, 

Estate sales.  Love them.  Last weekend I was driving down the road, and like a mirage in the distance, I saw an estate sale sign, and of course, I made a sharp (and slightly dangerous) right-hand turn.  Within minutes I was in some basement of some house on some street looking for some thing.  Then, I found it...old maps of Europe and old sewing patterns from the 70's.  I knew they'd be perfect for Christmas trees.  You're thinking, "what?"  Well, read on ladies.  I used those maps, patterns, and some other craft supplies to create five Christmas cone-shaped trees to add to our holiday decorations this year.

Tree One:  Old Maps
Here's one of the maps and the Styrofoam tree I used.

First, I cut two-inch strips of the map.

 Then I made some fringe.

Finally, I pinned the map fringe around the cone.

I found a wooden spool at Michael's.  I just set the tree on top of it for some height.

Tree Two - Patterns
I used the old patterns on this tree.

 While I was cutting up the patterns into long strips, I was thinking, "Now, I won't ever be able to sew that 70's jumpsuit."

Wrapping the pattern strips around was really easy.  I just secured them with pins each time one strip ended and I had to add another.  I'm sure you could glue them down, too, if you wanted something more permanent. 

My last step was hot-gluing some silver beads around the tree.

Tree Three - Twine
For this tree, I used a big cardboard cone, some twine, and some ropey-green ribbon.

I had some spray adhesive, so I sprayed a layer of that on the cone before wrapping the twine around.  I think it would totally work without the spray, too, though.

I topped it with a sparkly bird that I got out of the $1 bin at Michael's.

My last step was adding some green ribbon around the cone for a little color.

Tree Four - Paper
While shopping around Michael's I found some double-sided scrapbook paper.  I picked that pack of paper and this medium-sized cone right up.

I cut the scrapbook paper into strips and then curled the edges by running my scissors along the paper (like curling ribbon).  Then I just used masking tape to tape the paper to the cone.

Tree Five - Yarn
This tree is my personal favorite.  I used thick yarn, some pom pom ribbon (I love me some pom poms, I even made Mrs. Kelly use them here), and a medium sized Styrofoam cone.

The ribbon kind of sticks to the cone as you wrap it.  So, this step is super easy and fun.

Then, with a quick wrapping of pom poms and a sparkly ball on top (yup, from the $1 bin), this tree was done.
This tree is resting on top of a wooden candle stick from Michael's.

 Here's how they all look together:

I'm nuts about the yarn tree, so next year I'm thinking I'll do a whole bunch with different yarn or embellishments.  Until then, I plan to enjoy them all and keep my eye out for more estate sales, of course.

Off to my next sale, 

Mrs. Kelly Comment:  I like the map tree!  I'm evergreen with envy for your mad crafting skills. Also, despite my love for the pattern tree I am a little disappointed (being honest) that I will not be getting a holiday jumpsuit from you this Christmas.  I just saw Kim Kardashian wearing one yesterday...guess she skipped over that tree.  Nice job!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Know What I Think of When I Think of Christmas...

Passing Notes Today:  Mrs. Kelly

...Bells.  Egg carton bells.

Hey girls, 

Does anyone besides my sister know the reference in the title of this post?  Hint: Saturday Night Live.

So about those bells...the other day we decided to make bell ornaments.  These are a variation of an ornament I made years ago as a child.  Mine were made circa 1983 with tin foil and a pipe cleaner.  Our updated version was inspired by the Hapinstance Christmas post.  I loved those music spheres!  

First we started with an egg carton...because it was on the counter and it was free.

Then I went to this website and printed out a free vintage looking copy of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."  I printed two sheets.

We cut up our egg carton into little, well, bells.

Then my daughter helped me cut the music into little paper strips.  Fine motor skills...woohoo.

I broke out my container of mod podge.  
We had a brush, but you don't need one.  

We threw some modpodge into a bowl and soaked the strips one at a time.  We ran our fingers over the strips to get the excess 'podge off.  Then we fastened the strips onto the carton bells.  It was pretty intense crafting.  And by intense I mean sloppy.

Hmm.  Guess which one my daughter made.  It's the fun of it!

Once these bells were dry, I used a pencil to poke holes through the top.  This is a job for mom and not the kiddos.

Then I took green ribbon and little jingle bell.  I fished the ribbon through the bell (you'll need a small ribbon for this and even then, it's a little tricky to thread it through).  Then I fished both ends of the ribbon through the hole (bottom side) of the bell.

Our finished bells looked like this:

I thought these would be sweet as an embellishment to a gift wrapping or simply hung on the tree.  We are a musical bunch so the musical notes were perfect.

Break out the bells...


Also, I want to be a Puppini sister.  Or at least a Sweeney Sister.  Thanks to the ladies over at Hapinstance for the inspiration!

Laughing all the way,

Mrs. Gosling comment:  I will take Michael Buble's voice wrapped up in one of those bells.  I love this idea because of the music notes, very festive.  You could also make a mantle banner out of these (translation:  make one for me and drop it off this week). You could even place one of those on a hostess gift????  I think that I will wrap our bells with the newspaper sports section!

Mrs. Williams comment:  Super fun idea Mrs. K.  I love how you just printed off the music for the craft.  You surprised me in your music choice though...I thought for sure you were going to cover them in Jingle Bells.

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