How we get ready to head back to school and our daily routine!

Back to school routine and checklist

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

The bus driving away on the middle one’s first day of Kindergarten a few years ago! So many tears!

 

It’s almost time for school to start!!! Two weeks from tomorrow is our first day, not that I’m counting down or anything. 😉 The big one is going into 6th grade, the middle one into 3rd grade and the little one will be in his first year of preschool. I would be lying if I said I was not ecstatic to finally have some alone time three mornings a week. Three boys can be exhausting!  Target here I come!!! All kidding aside I will miss them but I am excited they will meet new friends and enjoy a new year of school.

We start preparing for back to school in late July/early August. I made a to do list (type A people love their lists!) so I do not miss anything.

  • Try on clothing and shoes to see what still fits. Anything stained or in poor condition gets thrown away. Clothes that are too small get packed up for hand me downs. We generally start off the school year with brand new sneakers as my kids tend to trash theirs over the summer.   I also make a list (shocker I know) of what quantities and colors of new clothes we need to purchase. This is the perfect time for spring/summer clothing shopping as most stores have it on clearance. I normally wait until later to buy heavier clothing as it’s warm down here through October unless I see a great deal. Most stores have back to school sales. I also shop for winter clearance in the spring and buy a size or two up from their current size.
  • Print out the school calendar and mark down important dates. I am old school and still use a paper calendar in addition to my cellphone calendar. The boys like being able to see what we have coming up too so this works for us. I also inform my husband of what days I need him to be home from school early for things like teacher conferences, back to school night, etc.
  • Set up a drop zone for backpacks and school papers. If you are lucky enough to have a mudroom that’s the perfect spot or you can set up a space near your entryway. For organizing papers I have the Thirty One Hang Up Home organizer (that is no longer sold) hanging inside of our pantry door. You may be able to find one on Ebay or second hand. Each child has a pocket for their important papers and the fourth pocket is for family papers. Another idea is to create your own command center. I have several pinned on my Organize Your Space Pinterest board.
  • Go through the school supplies that got returned at the end of last year. See what can be salvaged and toss the rest. I realize some people do this at the end of the school year but I am so over school at that point and put it off. I also check backpacks and lunch boxes to make sure they are in good enough condition to use again the following year. If not, new ones go on the school shopping list.
  • Start checking the sales flyers for school supply deals. In VA we get an extensive list of supplies that need to be brought into meet the teacher day. Pencils, crayons, glue, notebooks, scissors, markers, etc. I tend to shop at Office Max for their spend $5 get xyz for 1 cent or 25 cent deals. We have one close by and I stop in there before my weekly Target trip in the summer to get my goodies. At the end of August whatever has not been found at a bargain price is purchased at Target. (5% Redcard discount!)
  • Schedule back to school hair cuts early! If you don’t you will be waiting in life forever at the salon with a walk in appointment. I made that mistake once. Never again!
  • If your kids are not on a sleep routine that resembles the school schedule start transitioning them back a few days/weeks early. I only increase bedtime by 30 minutes in the summer so this one is pretty easy for us. They only stay up late if we have friends over or we are out somewhere special. If my kids do not get enough sleep they are nasty and it’s not fun for anyone (especially me…)
  • If your child brings a bag lunch to school this is a great time to look for new recipes and lunch container ideas. My kids get bored eating the same thing every day. Pinterest is the perfect place for this! I have a kids and family board with plenty of ideas.  Unfortunately school bought lunch is not an option for us as we are a food allergy family. My kid’s allergies are not top 8 and can often be hidden in food. It’s safer and easier for everyone this way. Bento boxes are perfect for children who like a large variety at lunch time. My favorites are divided all in one containers as linked below and Rubbermaid Lunch Blox containers. Our schools also have the children bring a snack and a bottle of water. My kids tend to bring a main meal (sandwich, leftovers, salad, etc), a piece of fruit, a cheese stick or Babybel, yogurt tube, a cracker/carby type of snack and veggies with or without dip. We keep everything organized in bins in the “snack cabinet” or drawers in the fridge so we just need to grab something as we assemble lunches in the morning. To save time this can be done the night before. My kids swear their sandwiches don’t taste the same if I make them at night.

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  • Establish your morning and evening routine. Ours has changed many times over the years depending on grade and the schools they attended. We used to do homework immediately after school but changed that as the kids got older. They wanted some down time after school so we adjusted it. Currently this is a typical school day for us. Times change depending on weather and before/after school activities.

Before school:

6am or earlier-The big one wakes up, gets in the shower and gets dressed.

6:20am-I wake up and make sure the big one is awake and showering. Hit snooze. At 6:30 I force myself to get up and head downstairs to make lunches and breakfast. Big one has breakfast. Two younger ones wake up sometime between 6-7am, come in my bedroom, fall back to sleep or watch tv and stay out of big one’s way. He is like his mother and not a happy morning person.

6:45am-The older kids go out to feed the rabbits.

7:00am-The big one heads to the bus. The two younger ones and I sit down to eat breakfast.

7:20am-The two younger ones get dressed and brush teeth. The little one is not always compliant and likes to stay in pj’s if we are staying home.

7:30-8:30am-Electronics time for the middle one. The boys get 1 hour per day on school days and he chooses to use his in the morning. The little one uses the iPad so I can take a shower and get ready for the day.

8:30am-The middle one gets on the bus and I start the rest of my day.

After school:

3:30pm-The big one gets off of the bus and eats a snack.

3:45pm-The big one has his 1 hour of electronics time. He likes to do it at this time to decompress and have a break after a long day at school. I start cooking dinner/prepping food depending on what we are eating.

4:45pm-The middle one gets off of the bus. The older two go out to clean rabbit cages and take care of chickens. They play outside weather permitting.

5:30pm-Dinner time.

6pm-Homework time. Backpacks get emptied. Any papers to be signed and reviewed are given to me. Homework is to be completed. Lunch box gets emptied and put away for next day.

After homework is completed they can do whatever they want as long as it’s not electronics unless they have not used their time for the day.

7:15pm-Two younger boys shower and get ready for bed. Clothes are set out for the next day. (I do this myself to make sure they match and are weather appropriate. They come up with some “interesting” combos. No one believes me that navy and black do not go together). Then we watch a tv show.

8pm-Bedtime. The big one will read for an hour before he falls asleep. The two younger ones are usually exhausted and crash.

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What is your school routine? Do you have any helpful hints that I may have left out?









 

 

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My summer family room tour

Family room styled for summer

The best part about having a neutral decor palette is the ability to easily change pillows and accessories with the seasons. I never have to worry about my seasonal items matching the furniture or wall color. The first floor of the house is updated for each holiday. For the summer I decided to keep out the Americana style pillows that I found at Target late July on clearance (70% off! yay!). The patriotic look just says summer to me and they tie in with the two pieces of flag wall art I have in the room. The red and white bandana print pillows are double sided (the other side being a plain linen) and are easy to coordinate with seasonal ones by simply flipping them over. I did take down the Fourth of July banner and sign I had on the mantel and left it very basic with minimal decor.

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The armoire is actually a matching piece to my bedroom set. We downsized when we moved to this home and there was no way it would fit into our current bedroom. The movers were happy to hear that! This sucker is solid and HEAVY. I’m still searching for artwork to add to the wall on the right side. I am taking my time finding pieces that I love rather than buying “something” just to fill the space.

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I found this sweet little side table at Hobby Lobby (for $10! 90% off) a few weeks ago. The small blue table that was previously in this space has been relocated to the master bedroom next to my chair.

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Tucked in the corner is a small rocking chair that belonged to my great grandmother on my mother’s side. The pillow is from Target and reverses to a red striped pattern. The curtains are light blocking panels purchased from Target last year. They work well keeping it cool in here from the blazing hot Virginia sun. With so many windows and sliding doors this room heats up quickly!

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This is the corner next to the kitchen. I am in love with this dresser. You can see my previous post about it here: http://www.jerseygirlinthesouth.com/chalk-painted-dresser-love/

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The empty space near the back door used to be The Little One’s second toy area. He wanted to be near me every minute of the day and luckily he has (mostly) gotten over that. I need my space! The toys have been moved into the playroom. This week I have been perusing Pinterest for DIY plans to build a sofa table. I have not made up my mind yet which one I am going to attempt to build. My husband is burnt out on projects right now so this one is all me. Hopefully The Big One will help…

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I hope you enjoyed my “summer look”! Do you change your decor seasonally too?

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Farmhouse style master bedroom makeover

DIY Farmhouse Style Bedroom Makeover

 

When we first came to see this house I fell in love with our master bedroom. The bright sun shining through the arched window and tall vaulted ceilings drew me in. The vanity was the perfect spot for me to get ready in the morning. I could imagine myself snuggling in bed with the kids on weekends and late night Facebook browsing on my phone in bed when I really should be sleeping. (Don’t judge. You know you all do it too!) Then I caught a glimpse of the 90’s trendy textured ceiling and equally dated ceiling fan. They had to go! I am one of those weirdos who hates ceiling fans blowing on me when I am trying to sleep so I opted for an elegant chandelier instead of a new fan.

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My main job was the designing and decorating (the part that I really enjoy).  I wanted a soft romantic feel in this room. In order to save money I also did the painting (which I do not enjoy). For those that do not know me in person I am very clumsy. Like fell off of a ladder injuring my back for life and was out of work for 6 weeks kind of clumsy. My bedroom ceiling is 12 feet high in the middle. Standing on my tippy toes on the ladder caused me to struggle but I got it done without any major incidents. I was very proud of myself and the kids kept coming in to cheer me on aka make sure I was still alive.

I am in LOVE with this paint color, Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper. We also used it in the kitchen and family room in our last home. The little boy’s bedroom in this house is the same color as well. I would consider it a neutral shade and it matches so many different color schemes.

We also removed the carpeting on the entire second floor. The previous owners had a cat and a dog and we are extremely allergic to both. We had the carpet professionally cleaned before moving in but it was not enough to remove all of the dander. My middle son has asthma and breathing is kind of important. We were hoping to keep the carpets as they were in perfect condition but what can you do. The carpeting was replaced with Allen and Roth laminate flooring in Toasted Chestnut. We hired Lowes to install it since my husband would not have had the time. We have been very happy with it so far and the installation went perfectly.

 

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The giant glowing object on my nightstand is a crystal pitcher. It belonged to my father’s grandmother and was given to me at my bridal shower. When the sun comes into the room and hits it light bounces everywhere. The picture is of my father and I on my wedding day. I used to be a blonde!

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It was surprisingly easy to convince my husband to plank the ceiling. Originally I thought about whitewashing it but once it was up I preferred the natural wood tone with our painted bedroom suite. We had worked with these interlocking wood panels before in the kitchen in our last home when we updated our island. It is so simple to do but is tedious and time consuming work.

I plan to write up a tutorial for the ceiling if there is any interest with my husband’s help in the future. He did not use any instructions and just winged it. He amazes me with his on the fly math and measuring skills. I, on the other hand, have trouble hanging a picture without putting a million holes in the wall and like step by step instructions.  He also hung the chandelier and changed out the vanity light fixture by himself. Electricity scares me. We make a good pair.

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This sweet little vanity is just for me! I live in a house full of boys so I need my own girly space. It will be receiving a little makeover shortly.

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My cozy little reading chair aka where the throw pillows live at night.

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I love the view from my bedroom window. It is really cool during thunderstorms to watch the lightening through the arched window.

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The whole room took us almost a year to complete. Sometimes we have great intentions, purchase everything and then take a very long time completing the work (cough…kid’s playroom that still is not finished…cough). I stared at a pile of wood against the wall for about 6 months and the ladder became a new spot for my husband to hang his clothes. It ended up being well worth the wait! I am not a morning person at all but I love waking up in this room.

Source list: (Links have been provided below as several readers have requested more information. I do not receive any compensation from them)

Curtains, rods and bedding: Target

Flooring: Allen and Roth laminate in Toasted Chestnut from Lowes

Chandelier: Allen and Roth from Lowes

Vanity light: Home Depot

Paint: Wall-Benjamin Moore Glass Slipper in Satin  Trim-Valspar Signature Ultra White Semigloss

White chair: Ikea Jennylund

Vanity chair: Home Goods

Furniture: Lane Furniture

 

Would you like to see how we did the ceiling? Leave a comment and let me know!

Bedroom Makeover

 

Shared on:

February 7th: Recipe & DIY Linky

February 11th: Saturday Sharefest

BFF Link Party – Best Friday Features

Your Inspired Design Link Party #72

THE SCOOP #261

http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/2017/02/wow-us-wednesdays-312.html

 

 

 

 

Oh you’re from New Jersey?

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Last week we took a trip up to New Jersey to visit family and friends. Both my husband and I were born and raised there. We moved to Richmond when we were 25 years old. Even though we have completely fallen in love with Virginia we still consider NJ home. During our visit my cousin (who currently resides in Florida) came to my parent’s house. Our conversation turned to the misconceptions people have about our home state. All of the television shows and movies depicting NJ as the armpit of the United States has not helped matters! I thought I would share some of the things I have been told over the past 13 years once it is revealed I am a NJ native. I do not take life too seriously so I am never offended and always laugh it off. Enjoy!

I’ve been to NJ before. It was crowded and dirty.

I have heard this one a few times. Most of these comments have been from people that either A.) only had the joy of experiencing the Newark Airport or B). went to Atlantic City. When they think of where I am from their mind immediately goes to oil refineries on the side of the highway and that lovely smell. If you have traveled the turnpike up north before you know exactly what I am talking about. The whole state is not filled with cities and casinos. Mountains, farmland, and beaches can all be found within this tiny state. There is a reason it is nicknamed The Garden State and is a popular vacation destination.

You don’t look like you’re from NJ (this one has been said to me several times!!!)

I was not aware that we all looked the same. When people envision Jersey folk their mind immediately goes to thoughts of guidos and gold chains. Spray tans, big hair, and long fake nails are not for everyone. Most of us do not look like we are part of the cast of The Jersey Shore. (Hey, I am not knocking them. I dvr’d and watched every episode! My husband and I made a game out of trying to guess exactly where they were). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people that fit the look but not everyone! We can also be normal ordinary looking people too.

Oh you’re from NJ? What exit? (followed by lots of laughter)

Ha ha. Real funny. Exit 82…

I’ve seen a few episodes of The Real Housewives of NJ. The women are so loud and always looking for a fight. Are all the women up there like that?

NO. It is very loosely based on the typical Jersey Girl. We do not all act like Teresa Giudice.

The loud part? Well that one is true…. My husband likes to remind me how loud I am. I talk loud, I walk loud. Everything I do is at full volume. When I get together with my other NJ friends the volume goes up several decibels since we all talk over each other. It is something we just can’t help.

The always looking for a fight part? No. That is a select few hotheads. Most of us do not go around flipping tables or getting into fistfights. I do have a little secret though. We all have something inside of us that I affectionately call “My Inner Jersey”. It is a rage hidden deep down inside of you that only comes out if you or someone you love has been majorly wronged in some way. Even the quiet shy ones like my husband cannot escape it. Just ask anyone that works in the customer service department at Comcast and they will tell you! You do NOT mess with that man’s internet. Luckily I have not had to use mine in a few years. It is quietly and patiently lying in wait…

You don’t sound like you’re from NJ (I’ve heard this one so many times I have lost count!)

No, we do not say New Joisey nor do we all sound like we just walked off of the set of The Soprano’s (my favorite of all of the NJ shows I dvr’d!). It is fairly obvious I am not native to VA once I open my mouth. I definitely have an accent. I do not have a sweet Southern drawl like many of my friends do and the word y’all has never come out of my mouth. If our conversation does not contain the words dog, coffee, water or Florida I will keep you guessing.  We have so many Northern transplants here in the Richmond area. If I overhear a conversation out in public I can immediately pick up the NJ native or New Yorker out of a crowd. It makes me smile when I hear it and reminds me of home.

I hope this made you laugh a little bit too. What have people said to you about your home state?

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DIY Chalk painted dresser

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How many dressers does this lady have in her house??? I only have two downstairs so I don’t think that qualifies me as a dresser hoarder. Yet. I am not a clutter person and piles drive me insane. If I can clean up quickly by shoving everything into drawers I am a much happier mom. 😉

I used to have a cute little bench with baskets for the kid’s shoes and winter gear plus hooks for them to hang their baseball hats and coats in this spot. That didn’t last very long. The kids pulled the coat rack right out of the wall yanking on their hats and broke it. The shoes never quite made it into the basket. They seemed to keep multiplying all over the floor. Pile of papers wound up on the bench too. Did I mention my hatred for piles? The bench now resides at the kitchen table and it also received a chalk paint makeover.

I started looking for a better solution and decided to recycle one of the kid’s dressers into a storage piece for the foyer. We bought all three boys new bedroom furniture and I only had space in the two younger boy’s shared bedroom to keep one of dressers. I planned to sell this one along with the two twin beds and nightstands. I’m so glad I talked myself out of it! The beds and nightstands found new homes with friends and the dresser stayed here while I decided what to do. Instead I bought a rolling metal cart for the shoes to keep in the closet. The shoes still end up in a pile on the bottom of the closet half of the time but at least I am no longer tripping over them. Pick your battles and all that. The rest of the other mess went right into the dresser. Inside the drawers are all of their hats and gloves, their rabbit care supplies that used to live in the closet and random stuff that needs to go to school.

Enough rambling. Now onto the DIY part. I am a HUGE chalk paint fan. In the beginning I was all about Annie Sloan chalk paint and their beautiful line of colors.  I still love it but have since found a less expensive option at Hobby Lobby, Americana Decor chalky finish paint. Since I only purchase it on sale or use my coupon the cost is so low. It makes the bargain hunter in me happy! I own multiple colors and have refinished several pieces using this paint. For this dresser I chose Serene, a soft pale blue. I finished it with a coat of soft touch varnish. It’s so simple! This is not a sponsored post even though it may sound like it. I just wanted to share what works for me.

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Directions (According to me. Others may do this another way):

Clean the surface to be painted (No sanding or any other prep work!!! Really! It’s true!)

Remove the drawers from the dresser and remove hardware.

Using a foam brush gently paint using long strokes (A bristle brush is fine too if you want the look of fine brush strokes)

Let it dry completely before putting on a second coat if you plan to do one. (Totally optional)

Let the second coat dry. Distress using sandpaper if you choose to.

Apply a coat or two of varnish (I only do this for pieces that see a lot of use. Picture frames, etc. I don’t bother)

Let it dry overnight or longer if possible before using it.

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Normally people would do two coats of chalk paint. For this dresser and the red one I did for my boy’s room (watch for that post!) I only did one coat. I wanted some of the original wood grain color to show through. The paint odor is minimal so I painted inside with multiple fans running and both sliding glass doors and windows open. I opted not to paint the original wood knobs and instead went with these mother of pearl look glass knobs from Hobby Lobby. I love the way they transformed the look of a kid’s dresser into a more feminine adult piece. I, of course, waited for them to go on sale for 50% off (happens every few weeks).

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All that was left to do was move it into place and anchor it to the wall using a safety strap (VERY important if you have young children!).

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So, what do you think? What have you chalk painted in your home? If you are not already following me on Pinterest please check out my boards. So many chalk painted projects and inspiration pieces can be found on there!

Chalk painted dresser love

I am a huge DIY-er but sometimes I just want to buy something that is already finished. The bonus side to that is that I am supporting local small businesses at the same time. I was looking for some sort of cabinet to store my extra craft goodies and gift bags. While shopping for accessories I came across this beauty in one of my favorite boutiques, The Vintage Owl, in Midlothian. The dresser is a solid piece and very heavy. The drawers are nice and deep to hold all of my crap..err supplies.

The dresser was painted with Dixie Belle chalk paint and the color is Kudzu. It has the perfect amount of distressed goodness. I styled it with a mason jar lamp from a local Etsy seller, a framed picture of my three boys, faux yellow peony in a vase Target clearance find and a marble rabbit bookend that belonged to my grandmother. I have animal objects all over my house! The painting is available online at various websites. The artist is Michael Stowa and the title is Kohler’s Pig. I had asked for it as a birthday gift a few years ago. I showed it to my husband and he looked at me like I was crazy. He said Really? You want a pig jumping into a pond hanging on our wall? I answered Yes! and it was mine. IMG_1526

 

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Quick and easy kitchen update!

Farmhouse Kitchen Update

Farmhouse Kitchen Update

 

When I was daydreaming about my new house in the country I imagined a typical farmhouse style kitchen with white cabinets, a large farm sink and lots of beadboard. It would be decorated with antique kitchen items, glass canisters and neutral colors. Then we found this home. The kitchen was remodeled a few years ago and I adore the custom cabinets they put in. There is more than enough room for all of our things plus we have storage drawers and a lazy susan. The only con for me is the color.

The chocolate brown tile and countertops are neutral enough to match most colors although they would not have been my choice. Brown shows every little crumb and I have 3 very messy boys. The appliances are all fairly new and stainless which is the finish we prefer, even with little handprints. Most of all it was move in ready and required no additional work. My husband was thrilled. I, on the other hand, envisioned all of the ways I could update it for the look I wanted.

In our last two homes I had painted the cabinets (white in NJ, black in our last home). While wood cabinetry is beautiful I much prefer painted ones. I mentioned how I could not wait to paint these white, add some more trim and a beadboard backsplash. I was met with a big fat NO. Normally my husband lets me do whatever I want in our home as far as decorating goes. This was his hill to die on so I agreed to leave them alone. For now… If you know me things rarely remain the same for long periods of time. Instead I decided to change my plan and go with something a little more fun than I had originally envisioned. I picked out colorful decorations to help my kitchen stand out from the typical neutral farmhouse style kitchens I see online.

Here is the before:

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And now the after:

First we swapped out the lighting fixtures for ones that were more our style. The ones the previous owners had installed were beautiful but just not my taste. I found just what I was looking for at Lowe’s. The funky chicken wire ceiling lights are fun but my favorite is the glass pendant over the sink. The kitchen receives a ton of light from both the sliding glass door and the window. It does not obstruct my view of the woods and pool.

Next I changed out all of the nickel cabinet hardware over to oil rubbed bronze pulls and knobs as well as the kitchen faucet. Having a pull down sprayer is really useful and leaves a spot open for the soap dispenser. Unfortunately we could not come to an agreement on which backsplash we wanted so we decided to put that project off until another time. I am thinking a faux brick wall and he wants tile. We shall see… Stay tuned!

 

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After that my husband changed out the plugs and switches over to new white ones. It is not fun when you plug in the toaster or vacuum and it just falls out from the socket being worn out. We are slowly converting the whole house over. Lastly I decided to repaint. The kids had been begging for a chalkboard wall for years and I finally gave in. The little one is having a blast drawing on the wall. It’s messy but nothing the vacuum can’t handle.

The walls were originally painted the same as the rest of the house. Eggshell paint and children do not mix well so satin it is! The magic eraser had taken the finish off of the wall where I tried to clean. I decided not to reuse the same color and go a little bolder while still remaining neutral. I went with Valspar’s Woodlawn Sterling Blue. The color is part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation line. I find that you can not go wrong with these colors. We will also be painting the kid’s playroom and upstairs hallway with the same paint.

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When it came time to put the decorations back up my middle one asked if he could help. I put the word EAT on the wall and he suggested we make a fun and funky gallery wall. We grabbed a few things that were previously in the kitchen and stole the rest from other rooms. I let him tell me where everything should go. I think it looks a little too much like an old school TGIFriday’s wall from the early 90’s but he is so proud of his decorating. I will leave it up for a while and honestly it is growing on me. After all it is their house too.

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chalk painted our rush seat bench in a peacock blue to play off of my rooster painting.  The chairs received some new bright yellow fabric. The old fabric had been on for a few years and matched the French Country style of our last home. With three boys (have I mentioned how messy they are!!!) it was time for an update anyway.

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Source list:

Lighting: Lowe’s

https://www.lowes.com/pd/allen-roth-8-in-Bronze-Mini-Clear-Glass-Pendant/50283457

Flushmount lights no longer available

Paint: Valspar Woodlawn Sterling Blue in Satin http://m.valsparpaint.com/color-detail.php?id=2091&g=1014

Faucet: https://www.lowes.com/pd/KOHLER-Cardale-Oil-Rubbed-Bronze-1-Handle-Pull-Down-Kitchen-Faucet/999930310

Hardware: Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Cosmas-783ORB-Rubbed-Cabinet-Hardware/dp/B005I4J1RG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1484003811&sr=8-3&keywords=oil+rubbed+bronze+drawer+pulls

Pie sign: http://www.worldmarket.com/product/wood+and+glass+pie+sign.do?&from=Search

 

Check back for phase two this summer!

 

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Bathroom makeover on a budget

Budget Bathroom Makeover

Ahhh Murphy strikes again. When we bought the house we had plans to completely gut and renovate the hallway bathroom this spring. It was all original to the house and builder grade quality. While functional and clean it had seen better days. The cream colored linoleum had a flower pattern which the boys weren’t too fond of having in their bathroom. We also have this lovely outdated pattern in the laundry room. (Look for an update on that room soon!) Sorry the before pictures are not the greatest!  This bathroom is so hard to photograph. IMG_6075

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I had been pinning away and planning an awesome modern industrial style bathroom renovation for the kids when of course life happened. We had our well serviced and found out the filter was barely functioning and needed to be replaced immediately. My husband decided we might as well install a water softener while we already had the well company at our house. Of course I grumbled about him crushing my dreams but what can you do. It had to be done. If you have not dealt with this let me tell you it is NOT CHEAP. There went my entire dream bathroom budget. Oh well.  We decided to still go ahead with a makeover but on a shoestring budget instead reusing almost everything in the room.

I stuck with the farmhouse look the rest of our house has going on but went with darker and more masculine colors. Paint is always an inexpensive and easy fix. I hemmed and hawed over which color to pick. Lesson learned: always buy the sample size. I love the color I chose but it’s way too dark in this little bathroom. I should have chosen one shade up on the paint sample card.

First to go was the curtain. The bottom pane of glass has peel and stick privacy film since this bathroom faces the front of the house. That stuff is so hard to put on correctly! Next the mirrored strip lighting and the old small ceiling mounted fixture had to go. It was difficult to find a coordinating set in my price range that I liked. I ended up finding two oil rubbed bronze fixtures with milk glass style shades at Lowe’s. I also found an inexpensive faucet at Home Depot on clearance. The towel ring and toilet paper holder are from Walmart and are the same ones we used in the powder room. I decided to keep the all white waffle weave shower curtain from our old house and picked up a white fuzzy bathmat at Ikea.

We found Armstrong Terraza Grand peel and stick vinyl tiles at Lowe’s.  My husband had it installed in a very short time since they were so large (18×18) which made it easier to work with. We have leftovers so they will be replacing the floor in the laundry room as well.

 

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The vanity got a coat of black chalk paint with two coats of varnish for my messy boys and new knobs. It’s fabulous. Toothpaste wipes right off! I decided to keep the original counter top intact. I was too nervous to do a faux granite paint treatment. If you have attempted it and had great results please leave me an encouraging comment! He also installed a new updated GFI outlet and light switches. We are slowly converting the entire house over to new switches. We will eventually frame out the mirror as well.

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The decor is all from shopping around my house. The chalkboard star was found at Michael’s for $1 and lived in the laundry room. Over the toilet area the mantel shelf was reused from the old house as well as the framed cow picture. The silver milk jug is from the Bargain Spot (formally known as the Dollar Spot) at Target filled with flowers from Hobby Lobby that I stole from downstairs. The basket is reused from my kitchen. It’s supposed to hold potatoes but it’s just as cute with toilet paper. I found the cute sign at Hobby Lobby on clearance for $3 which also came from the kitchen.

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I am happy with the results even if it was not what I first imagined for this space. The boys love it too which is the most important part.

 

Farmhouse Style Dining Room Makeover

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I really love the way the dining room makeover turned out! Mixing old pieces with new ones is one of my favorite ways to decorate. The chippier the better too! The dining room set was originally the same honey color as the tabletop. A few years ago I painted it white with chalk paint and it has been holding up well with the daily abuse from the boys. Farmhouse style is perfect for people with kids. If it gets beat up it looks like it’s supposed to be that way.

This room functions as our homework table, crafting space and and where we eat all of our family meals. I am still on the hunt for more decor for the buffet. Instead of rushing just to fill up the space I am taking my time purchasing accessories. Previously I would things just to finish a room only to be bored of them later. Now I am only purchasing items that I truly love and plan to keep long term.

This picture was taken on the day we toured the house for the first time. I went by myself with the realtor and wanted to show my husband our prospects. Sorry it’s not a very good photo! The creamy vanilla paint is the perfect background for the farmhouse look I am going for. Our entire home was painted in one color.

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The dining room in our last home was very large. This one? Not so much. We were not able to fit our table in with the leaf or all 8 of our chairs. For a while we just used 6 upholstered chairs and kept the extra two in the corner but it was so crowded. Instead I stole four of our metal kitchen chairs and ordered two more. They are low profile so the room feels more spacious than it is and most importantly they are easy to clean for my messy boys.

I also used to have a large matching china cabinet that we gave to a friend during my downsizing spree. All of my antique china and crystal to be handed down to a future generation. While it is beautiful and sentimental we are not formal people and I am just as happy using my every day plain white dinnerware.

 

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As far as major changes the only thing we replaced in this room was the chandelier. The chandelier is discontinued but I was lucky enough to score it on Amazon. It’s a little touch of modern but I think it works. Our ceilings are a standard 8 feet high and many of my other choices were too large for the room or way over my budget.

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On my makeover wish list was a large antique tobacco basket. This beauty for $40 on a Facebook yard sale group. I couldn’t believe my luck as I often see them listed for $160-$200 in local boutiques. Also on my list was a barnwood sign which I found at one of my favorite shops, The Lazy Daisy in Midlothian, VA.

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The window with the antique quilt belonged to my parents and they kindly handed it down to me. They purchased it years ago but it no longer fit in with their new decor.

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This faux lavender from Hobby Lobby looks like the real deal. I have had this pitcher and Southern Living at Home tray for years.

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And of course no farmhouse style dining room is complete without a cotton wreath. You can often find them on Antique Farmhouse or at Hobby Lobby.

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Look for an update to the tabletop and seat cushions in the future! Visit my Farmhouse Style dining room Pinterest page for more inspiration! https://www.pinterest.com/jerseygirlinthe/farmhouse-style-dining-room/

Home Sweet Home

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After dreaming about it for a few years we decided to make our move to the country. Several changes came about in our life and we decided not to wait any longer. Now was the time.  We wanted more space for our kids to roam and to simplify our life. Our last home was beautiful and we were sad to leave but it was no longer the right fit for us. Chickens were part of the plan too! Everything fell into place when our house sold on the day the listing went live and we found our current home on our first day out house hunting with our realtor. It is a big change from our previous home as far as looks, location and size. Downsizing to a smaller home was surprisingly easy for us. It was freeing to get rid of so much stuff!

We now have 2.27 acres, no neighborhood rules (loving this!), a flock of chickens, 4 rabbits and a pool (which is the best part!).  Our neighborhood is heavily wooded which provides a ton of privacy and our lot backs up to a farm. It’s so quiet and peaceful here. We are the loud ones! I love standing outside hearing the cows moo and nothing but nature sounds. You can see all of the stars at night since it’s pitch black out without streetlights. It feels so different from our last home which is only a 30 minute drive.  This is exactly where we were meant to be.

I am slowly working on projects to transform the new house into our own. It was a neutral palette to start which was a big help. So far we have changed out all of the lighting fixtures and faucets with the exception of the master bath, painted a few rooms and replaced all of the flooring on the second floor. Watch the blog for updates on my future projects and room makeovers!

 

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