Friday, May 28, 2010

Front Porch done at last!

I was loving the changes that we made to our front porch door and lights so much that it made the rest of our front porch items in need of a makeover as well. For example, look at the BEFORE photos below and note how my favorite brown flower pots no longer matched the door. Also, the black metal plant stand and wooden bench were so faded that they were hardly noticeable. So we purchased a few more cans of spray paint and instantly transformed the rest of our front porch into a refreshed and renewed space.



I purchased two cans of Rustoleum Heirloom White spray paint to transform the flower pots. It took three coats to fully cover them but it was worth the time and money. I really like the lighter shade on them now but they are kind of boring so I think I will add a monogram or decal to them soon. I might have considered buying new pots if I hadn't already planted flowers in the old ones but it would have cost me at least $60 if not more for new ones and all Ihad to spend was $10 on spray paint to makeover my old ones. That's quite a savings!



Zak took apart the bench and spray painted the metal sides and the plant stand with Rustoleum Semi-gloss Black. I love how the black metal stands out against the brick walls now. He also sanded down the wooden bench slats and restained them in a red finish. The bench looks so much better now than it did before. We could have bought a new bench for around $100 but I think spending $8 for spray paint and using leftover stain was a much more affordable way to improve our front porch. We bought this bench a little over 7 years ago when we bought our first house so it has a lot of meaning and I wouldn't have wanted to get rid of it anyway.


I was thinking about replacing our existing address numbers which currently reside on the left column {you can't see them in the photos because I cropped them out for obvious privacy reasons}. They are the standard black letters that you see at most homes so I want to change them to something that will stand out more. However, each number costs $5-6 and we have 5 numbers in our address so that's a big chunk of change. I also think it would look better for them to go across the top of the porch instead of going down the side of the column so perhaps a hand-painted plaque would be a better option.
Does anyone have a more affordable suggestion for how to do this improvement? If so, I would love to hear from you.
All Linked Up:
The Shabby Nest...Frugal Friday

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Spring at our house

I found these beautiful pictures on my camera the other day. They were taken by my five year old daughter, Arielle. She has such a passion for flowers. In fact, she is struggling on learning to ride her bike because she is more focused on picking all of the flowers along the way {mostly dandelions}. In the past week, I have pulled the car over three times to pick wildflowers for her. It would break my heart if she didn't get to see them up close and smell their wonderful aroma. Yesterday she started two books, one a Nature Guide of Wildflowers and the other one for Leaves. She is drawing all of the ones she finds and writing their names. I am thankful for the warm seasons because I know I will always have a freshly picked bouqet of flowers, courtesy of Arielle, to cheer me up!

My iris are going crazy this year! They have gotten so tall and multiplied times ten. I have a lot of work to do this fall to divide and replant them. These are some of the easiest bulbs to maintain. I have some planted on the sides of the garden bed but most of them are planted in the rocks along the fence. They do well in both places. Good thing our fence is long because I am going to need lots more room to replant them. I'll probably offer some to my neighbors as well.

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

{Beachy} Bathroom Decorating

I have been working on a few little projects in order to give my half bathroom on the main level of the house a beach themed appearance. You can see some before pictures here.

Remember this post about the thrift store closing sale {which in retrospect I should have bought a lot more than I did because the prices were so LOW}? I decided to turn the glass bottle into a new piece to add to my beachy bathroom collection. It was easy. I had leftover hemp string from the chalkboard frames that I made so I used it up. All I did was wrap the string around the jar and hot glue the ends to the bottle. I am planning on adding some Siesta Key white sand to the bottle but haven't received it yet.

I already had the beach picture art that I purchased from Hobby Lobby some time ago. This picture is actually where I got the inspiration for the bathroom wall color but it was previously in a plain silver frame {not beachy looking at all}. I found a large wooden frame that I had stored in the basement, spray painted it white and sanded down the edges to make it look beachy. Such small and easy changes can make a huge difference when it comes to accessories!

Next I added some antique glass jars. I purchased the large clear one at the thrift store before the closing sale for $4. I thought this was pricey but purchased it none-the-less then later found out that these things sell for a lot more at antique stores! I filled it up with my small sand dollar collection. My mom gave me the small aqua one and all I did to give it more life was put my collection of small Siesta Key shells in it. I think one of the best features of these jars is the rusted metal clasps which add more detail to the beach theme.

Lastly, the blue paisley box under the seashell are matches that I received as a gift. They were too cute not to show off. And the white starfish was added to add more depth to the shelf. Besides, what beach room would be complete without one? In fact, I am thinking of getting myself a few more of these lovelies to add to every single room of the house!

I am totally loving my newly decorated shelf! These were quick, easy and inexpensive ways to give this bathroom a whole new look.

All linked up:

Just A Girl...Show and Share Day
The Shabby Nest...Frugal Friday
A Soft Place to Land...DIY Day {Beach Edition}

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

One thing left to do

I can't believe that May is almost over. Time flies but nothing ever changes! That is how I have been feeling a lot lately. I don't think this is a bad thing at all. I like to count my blessings because I have so much to be thankful for...a loving family, my health, a beautiful home and a job that is probably as good as it gets. Wait a minute. Did I say my health? I forgot about these hives that popped up last week and have invaded practically my entire body. I am waiting for the doctors office to open as we speak so I can make an appointment. I really think that the pregnancy hormones have left my body for good and now I am allergic to something that I have always been around because I have not started using anything different at all.

Anyway, back to the real reason for this post. I have accomplished three out of four things on my to do list for May. The only one that remains is to paint the nightstand in Averi's room...something that is not a high priority but would be nice. Currently the nightstand is rustic wood and totally clashes with the crib and white bookshelf so it would be nice to paint it. I'll get around to it soon enough.

For now I am going to enjoy the projects that I have recently completed and am still in the process of completing. The front porch improvements were nearly complete last weekend but I had a minor set back. I'll be posting about that very soon with any luck.

What's a post without cute baby pictures? Here is Averi holding her own bottle...she is getting so big!

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Monday, May 24, 2010

Please vote!

Should I change my blog name? Please vote above!

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Friday, May 21, 2010

Bedtime Blues

For the past week now Arielle has had a very difficult time falling asleep at her regular bedtime. I would go upstairs and walk by her room to feed Averi between 9 and 10 pm and find that Arielle's bedroom light was on. Upon opening the door she would be sitting up in bed with a pile of books on her bed and on the floor. She would just say "I can't fall asleep." I spoke to her teachers and asked them not to help her fall asleep at nap time because my hope was that any sleep during the day would be the cause of her not being able to fall asleep at night. Turns out that she didn't nap most days this week but still couldn't fall asleep at night.

I'm actually quite amazed at how well she is handling this because I would have expected her to come downstairs throughout the course of the night and make a fuss to sit with us. However, to my delight there has been no crying, whining, fussing, yelling, screaming or any other tantrum-like episodes thus far. Of course, I'm not at all too happy about this new little routine that she has been settling into but I think we are doing a good job of handing it.

Last night I decided to take a new approach to the situation. I told her that she couldn't turn the lights on after we left her room but she could use her flashlight to read one book. After that she had to try to fall asleep but whatever she did she couldn't turn her bedroom light on. I think having the light on will make her less likely to fall asleep which is why I made this rule. I know for sure that she didn't turn her light on last night because I checked often but I never went in her room to know if she read more than one book or what time she fell asleep. I'm crossing my fingers that the "No lights on" rule will work and she'll outgrow this soon.

~Momma to Bug n' Bear ~

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Front Porch Improvements

Last weekend we got one more thing on my to do list accomplished! We painted the front door and the porch lights. Before our door was a darker shade of green than our house and it didn't stand out enough. We decided to use the same black paint from this post from one of my favorite bloggers. I love how the black pops out against the white trim!

Our front porch lights used to be black but they faded over time and were really dirty inside and out. Zak took them apart and washed them then we gave them two coats of metallic satin nickel spray paint. They now look brand new and compliment the black door nicely!

I'm not loving the ugly old milkbox in this picture! If only I could paint that too.

All linked up:

Today's Creative Blog...Get Your Craft on Tuesday

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tropical Floor Pillow Slipcover {Tutorial}

I used the remaining fabric from a tropical shower curtain to make a slipcover for a large floor pillow. It matches the other two slipcovers I made for the throw pillows on my couch. I really liked the silver grommets at the top of the shower curtain so I decided to use them on the pillow for a little embellishment!

Using a shower curtain is the easiest way to make pillow slipcovers because you can use the finished edges so you only have one sewing step in the entire process. Not to mention that shower curtains are generally inexpensive (I bought this one on clearance at Target for $7.50), they are usually made out of very soft cotton which is important since you are going to be laying on them and you can make a lot of slipcovers out of them because they are big!

Here is my tutorial for these E-A-S-Y pillow slipcovers made from a shower curtain:

1. Measure your pillow insert from end to end.

2. Cut one large square that is the size of your pillow insert plus 1.5" (add an additional inch to this if your pillow is 24" or larger). Also, cut two rectangles that are the same length as the square but half as wide plus 3". For example, if your pillow insert is 24" (this is the size of my floor pillow) then your square should be 26.5" and the two rectangles should be 16.25" each.

3. Place your square down with the right side up and place the rectangles on top of it with the right side down (so it is inside out). Line up all sides of the square and the rectangles; you'll have an overlap of the rectangles as pictured below. This is where you'll insert your pillow into the slipcover!

4. Pin every 4 inches on all sides.

5. Sew a quarter inch seam around the edges.

6. Flip your slipcover so it is no longer inside out and try it on!

Enjoy your new pillows!

All linked up:
DIY Day with Color Incorporated...A Soft Place to Land

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tropical Pillow Slipcovers

I recently found this post and was inspired to make new pillow slipcovers for my living room out of a shower curtain that was sitting in my linen closet.

My living room is quite dark probably because of our very large, dark brown sectional. When we first moved into our house there weren't a lot of sectional with chaise options that we could afford. We wanted a chaise for more seating. Ours was the only one that we found that was reasonably priced but the only two color choices were red and brown. My choice was the obvious one because I am really a neutral-oriented person. The only nice thing about the brown is that it doesn't show any dirt and the fabric is very easy to clean. Anyway, I thought these pillows would brighten up the room and prepare us for summer mode. I was right! These pillows gave the room an instant pop of color that it was lacking. I made two twenty inch pillows but have enough fabric left over for a large floor pillow that Arielle will love.

I didn't take a picture of both sides of the pillows but I used the bottom of the shower curtain to make the back of the slipcovers so that all I had to sew was one large square {as opposed to hemming the raw edges that can been seen on the back}. It literally took me fifteen minutes to cut and sew both slipcovers, they were that easy to make! I'll post a tutorial when I make the floor pillow.

Looking at this picture has given me an idea! fter I finish my thrift store lamp project I'm going to replace the silver one in the corner. I think the larger lamp will look better next to our big couch which is in front of a very big window.

All linked up:

The Shabby Nest....Frugal Friday

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Master Bathroom Improvement

I was so happy with how our framed bathroom mirrors turned out that I have been looking for more ways to improve the look of our bathrooms. I finally got tired of looking at the side of our ugly plastic tub in the master bathroom so we decided to update it with beadboard siding and trim. It was actually quite easy and relatively inexpensive to do. Zak used "pre-made" wainscoting boxes sold at Home Depot which cost a fair amount more than buying the beadboard and trim seperately, however, for as little space as we needed to cover it was worth the cost difference. Plus, we used these packages to do our two other small bathrooms in the house and knew the time saving was worth the extra money.

Here is the {ugly} before of our master bathroom tub:

And here is the {beautiful} after:

The first step was to build a frame out of 2"x3" wood {in retrospect we would have used 2"x4" so the beadboard had more surface to adhere to but fortunately it wasn't an issue for us}. Once your frame is put together you adhere the newly built frame to as many surfaces as you can {floor, wall, tub, etc..} with liquid nails.

Once the frame is secured in place, you attach the beadboarding and trim to the frame using liquid nails and a nail gun. Fill in cracks and nails with quick dry putty and sand down for a smooth finish. Now you are ready to paint! Since the "pre-made" boxes that we purchased are already white, we only had to do two coats of paint.

Let the paint dry then attach edging tiles along the top of the frame using liquid nails. Another option is to use cut marble tiles that overhang the edge but we picked the easier and less inexpensive option. We found white matte corner tiles on clearance at Lowe's for twenty-four cents each so that reinforced our decision. We had to take two of the tiles to Home Depot to be cut {free of charge}. To determine the cuts, start placing tiles in the center and work your way out. The two end tiles are the ones that should be cut exactly the same size. This looks better than just cutting one tile and it's definitely worth the trip back out to the store!

Lastly, you can use "Grout Caulk" to fill in the gaps of the tile. This is so much easier and a lot more affordable to do than regular grout which also requires sealer. Use regular silicone caulk to fill in all of the seams on the beadboard and trim so that water does not seep through and turn moldy. We still haven't applied any water-sealer to the siding yet but we'll do that soon because we know the side of the tub is going to get wet and this will prevent it from warping and mildewing.

Total spent on this project was about $45 give or take a few dollars. I love the new look of our tub and can't wait to see what other improvements we can do soon!

All linked up:

A Soft Place to Land...DIY Day with The Pleated Poppy
Just A Girl...Show and Share Day
The Shabby Nest...Frugal Friday

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm a giveaway WINNER!

I just found out that I won a GIVEAWAY from The Shabby Nest! Wendy is sending me a Scrabble Tile Necklace from her Etsy shop. How cool is that?!?!

By the way, we've been busy this weekend {by we I mostly mean Zak}. Almost done with Number One on my To Do List for May. Stay tuned!

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Friday, May 7, 2010

Project To Do List ~ May

Now that Spring is here and I have my pre-pregnancy/baby energy back again, I have a few projects that I want to do in the next month or so.

1. Paint front door {inspired by this post}

2. Put beadboard up in master bathroom including building a skirt around the tub {inspired by this post}

3. Paint nightstand in Averi's nursery room

4. Clean carpets on main level of the house {this is a MUST do}!
Hopefully writing this post will give me the motivation that I need to accomplish these tasks! A post wouldn't be fun without any cute pictures so enjoy...

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Framed Bathroom Mirrors Project

I have been seeing a lot of framed mirrors in blog land lately but this one was the inspiration that I needed to finally do it myself {with a LOT of help from my handy husband}. We started with our master bathroom mirror and selected a four inch wide trim to frame it out. We followed Shelley's tutorial except we decided not to add quarter round. The frame was fairly easy to make but it would have been easier if the existing mirror and walls were perfectly square. Total spent was about $50 and it was worth every penny!

I can't believe I forgot to take the contact lense case before I took the pictures!

We like how the master bathroom mirror turned out so much that we did one in our girls bathroom too! For their bathroom we selected a three inch trim since their mirror is much smaller. The hardest part about this was getting the frame to stay together with less surface for the liquid nails to stick to. It ended up falling apart a couple of times but Zak worked it out in the end. Total spent for this frame was about $25. The bathroom looks so much prettier but it will look even better after I find a new wall cabinet and do some redecorating.

Mariposa made an appearance just as I was snapping a picture!

I highly recommend this project to anyone with a plain old bathroom mirror!

~Momma to Bug n' Bear~