Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One Dolla Plates

The kitchen is my least favorite room in the doll house. The laminate countertops and metal backsplash make me cringe. I dream about running into Alison Victoria at Lowes and being on Kitchen Crashers. Unfortunately, HGTV doesn't scout in Ada, Okla. Also, we don't have a Lowes...so the likelihood of that happening is zero!

As a result, I've been holding off on making any decorating choices in the kitchen. I plan on replacing the countertops and backspalsh (I'm envisioning subway tile!) down the road (like YEARS down the road) but until then, I have to make due with what I've got.

My new banquette seating has motivated me to start tackling the kitchen.


I love the red ticking stripe with the blue & floral accents. I've decided to use primarily blue and white in the kitchen, however, there will be a few small accents of red.

Last weekend I went to a local antique store (going out of business). It was their last day open so everything was a dollar!

I picked up several Churchill England saucers. They remind me of my late grandmother. She loved blue and white chinoiserie dishes. Her kitchen was filled with them! I remember eating cereal out of the bowls and pecan pie on the dessert plates. So when I saw them at the antique store I couldn't resist.


I hung a few over the stove and they have made a world of difference!

As much as I detest the metal backsplash, I love seeing these little plates. Every time I walk by, I think about my Grammy. I know she would love them too!

Another change in the kitchen, I've decided to switch to wooden cooking utensils. They look better (sitting on my countertop) than the black utensils and they seem to last longer. I still have some rubber utensils stored away in a drawer. Also, I picked up a little tea pitcher to use as a utensil holder.


I know these changes seem small but they go a long way into giving life to my otherwise bland kitchen.


Here is a shot of what the kitchen looks like now:


-Remember my instagram display

I still have a long way to go but I'm making progress!

I'm not sure what to do with the space under my keurig...Currently, it's where I store the trashcan (I didn't think it would be pretty in the picture so I took it out!).  The previous owners had a small stool there and used it as a little desk. I considered doing the same, but I knew that I would never use it.

If you have any ideas on what to do, please please let me know!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Breakfast Nook Banquette

I've been dreaming about this banquette since the first time I walked through the doll house. It's the only project I've been 100 percent sure about.

The only problem? I had noooo idea how to build a banquette so that meant I would need to hire a pro to help me out. Also, the house needed a lot of attention in other areas so it wasn't at the top of my "to do" list (or my budget for that matter).

But a few months ago, I decided to take the plunge! I spent a lot of time looking for a "pro" who could build the bench for me. I asked several friends for contacts and never seemed to find someone who fit within my budget or time frame.

In the mean time, my stepdad was working on refacing the cabinets in their new lake house. My mom sent me several pictures of the cabinets and I was very impressed! Why hadn't I thought of this before? Ron was handy! Maybe he could build the bench!

After a few weeks of begging and pleading, Ron agreed!

This is what the nook looked like before:


I sold the table and chairs on our local facebook yard sale site. -Do any of you have something like this in your area? I think it's a little safer than craigslist. It's a public forum. Everyone can see your (real) name and your communications.  

I gave a little sneak peek on instagram before it was painted...but it's finally finished and I love the way it turned out!


The cushions were easy to make! I think it took me and my mom 30 minutes to do them both!


We used this no-sew tutorial.

Another thing I love about the banquette is the extra storage!


Because the storage isn't easily accessible (you have to remove the pillows, cushions and the lid), I plan on storing seasonal items. -which means I can buy more seasonal Christmas decor! Yippee!

If you recognize the pillows, it's because they used to live on my couch.


I guess I'm on a red stripe kick (remember the table runner?) I can't help myself... I love the good ole' red-white-and-blue!

Another small update: the curtains.

I wasn't happy with them. I thought they looked a little sloppy. Here is a picture of what they looked like before:


I picked up some curtain clips (on clearance) from BB&B and it is amazing how much better they look!


My next update will be replacing the existing light fixture.


I'm replacing it with a pendant light. I ordered it this week (free shipping on St. Patrick's Day!) and as soon as I get it up I will post the pictures!

It's all coming together!


I'm still shopping for a round pedestal table. I'd love something like this from Restoration Hardware but I refuse to pay that much for a little table! So I will probably find something similar and paint it white...

Anybody else working on projects around the house? I'm thinking about moving my focus outdoors! After all, it is the first day of spring! I'm seeing a lot of sweet potato vines in my future!

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Creepy Guy

It was 5:30 a.m.

I woke up to the sound of a man’s voice: “turn off the light! Turn off the light!”

My eyes darted open.

It sounded as if he was standing right outside my bedroom window.

Groggy and unsure of whether or not it was a dream, I looked out the window. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It must have been a dream.

I got out of bed to use the bathroom and I heard a car door shut. The sound came from the house next door.


“That’s strange, no one lives there…it’s being remodeled.”

Surrounded by the darkness of my bathroom, I looked out the window.

Everything was so still outside.                      

The moon lit house appeared to be empty. I could see straight through it to the house next door.

I could feel my heart beat.

“Someone’s out there, I know what I heard”

Suddenly, a man walked past my window.

A chill went through my body.

I ducked under the window.

“Had he seen me?”

He was wearing a hoodie with a baseball cap. I couldn't see anything but the outline of his body as he walked by.

Feeling brave, I peeked through the window once again. I saw him get into a white van and drive off.

I tipped toed back to my bed, scared.

My mind racing.

“What was he doing? Obviously, something illegal…It's a construction site so maybe he was after tools or copper? (gasp) or maybe he was disposing a body?”

“What if he saw me watching through the window?”

“Why didn't I take my dad's advice on getting a gun?”

“What will he do to me?”

“Maybe the witness protection program would take me in?”

I spent the rest of the night wide-awake. Lying in bed pondering what I'd seen.

I felt like a little kid who’d just woken up from a scary dream, I wanted nothing more than the comfort of another human being lying next to me.

Eventually, my alarm went off and it was time to start the day.

I still have no idea what that man was doing next door.

I’m probably being paranoid…but I don’t like having strangers lurking near my house in the middle of the night.

The next day, I ran into the contractor working on the house. When I told him what I’d seen, he knew nothing of it; his team wouldn’t have been there at that time.

When I bought the doll house, I knew there would be obstacles (Like the pipesfreezing). I knew I would be pushed outside my comfort zone (like texturizing the walls in my bathroom).

But I never, ever, thought about things like being scared in the middle of the night.

I’ve lived alone before and it’s never bothered me. Maybe it's because I've always lived in an apartment, sharing a wall with my neighbor? If I screamed, they would hear me. But living in a house is different.

What would I do if someone broke in?

The thought is horrifying.

Being a homeowner is one of the most rewording experiences of my life, but it’s also one of the most terrifying.

I wrote about my struggles back in January, one of them is the fear of things I can’t control.

It’s usually a distant thought in the back of my busy mind…but every once in a while, it gets to me.

Have any of you experienced this?

If you live alone, how do you control the fear of the “creepy guy?”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sisters, Sisters.

My baby sister came to stay with me last weekend.

I always love it when Mikayla comes for a visit because we have so much fun doing sister things together.

We eat things sisters eat, which in our case is:

meatball subs
Girl Scout cookies  -thank goodness they aren't accessible year-round!
omelets
turkey bacon
cherry coke floats
vanilla lattes
Sonic Wacky Packs
popcorn
Frito chili pie
blueberry muffins
more turkey bacon
Bedre Chocolate

We do things sisters do, which includes (but is not limited to):

late night movies
singing along to West Side Story
sleeping in
visiting the Pink Pistol...knocking over a giant rack of clothing at the Pink Pistol...giving thanks that Miranda Lambert wasn't there to witness my clumsiness.
leaving our signature at the Pink Pistol
vintage-thrift-antique store shopping in Ardmore
listening to the Great Gatsby soundtrack
watching "Friends"
laughing until we cry

We talk about things sisters talk about, which in our case is:

college
boys
clothes
movies
food
our vacation -we're going on a cruise this summer!
our next weekend together -she's coming back in two weeks!




I love having a sister.

I love the way we laugh at each other.

I love that we don't wear masks around each other, we are real and honest. In our truest form.

I love that we both felt terrible about not being able to stay awake during 10:25 showing of  "Son of God."

We had good intentions when we planned to see the late show, however, an hour into the film (it was close to 11:30 p.m.) our eyes lids got heavy. The yawns were contagious.

But we were determined to stay awake!

The idea of falling asleep, or worse- walking out on Jesus, was despicable!

We made it to the end of the movie (which was amazing! I encourage all of you to go see it!) and giggled the entire way to the car over the fact that we both sat there for two hours fighting off sleep in the name of Jesus!

I love our unspoken language. It looks something like this:

Walking into walmart to get healthy food. As we pass by the Girl Scouts selling cookies out front, our eyes dart to one another. No words were spoken. We just knew: Leaving walmart without a box of samoas wasn't an option.

When our weekend was over, I begged her to stay.

When that didn't work, I told her that we could enroll her into Ada High School.

When that didn't work, I stole her favorite brown boots and held them hostage until she agreed to stay.

When that didn't work, I barricaded myself in the doorway.

When that didn't work, I begged her to stay again.

I'll stop now.

I just really didn't want her to leave.

On a completely unrelated note, check out this table runner I got on our road trip!


Have I ever told you how much I love stripes?

Well I love them. Almost as much as I love my sister.... sisters, there were never such devoted sisters, never had to have a chaperone, no sir. I'm there to keep my eye on her. Caring, sharing...every little thing that we are wearing... -name that movie!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

#Journaling28days

At the beginning of February I decided to participate in a fun photo/journaling challenge on Instagram. I took a photo (almost) every day that captured the essence of my daily life.

You can read my previous post about it here.

I intended on sharing the photos with you on Monday, but life happened and I wasn't able to.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen these. However, several of you aren't on Instagram so I thought it would be fun to share them with you too!


























I participated in the Journaling 28 Days challenge with the hopes of being inspired. I was slacking on my blog and I needed motivation.

Writing (for me) is so up and down. One day I might have 3 or 4 different ideas for the blog and a few days later, I'll have nothing. It is so easy to be caught up in the stress of every day life. To be "too busy." -I think this is true no matter what your outlet is.

The challenge was a lot of fun. I enjoyed reflecting on my day and finding inspiration in the small things.

Also, I like looking back on all the photos. Apparently I had a lot of snow, yummy food, time with friends and relaxation!

All in all, February was a pretty good month!

On a completely different note, can you believe Saturday is daylight savings?

Who's ready for longer evenings?! -this girl!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Kate Spade Pillow

A little more than a year ago, I pinned the most adorable Kate Spade pillow to my guest room board on Pinterest.

Pinned here

I loved everything about it. The sophistication of navy and white with the playful message. It was the beginning of my love affair with all things Kate Spade and I was swooning.

However, I couldn't justify the $40 price tag, especially considering I didn't have a place for it in my little apartment. So I pinned it for inspiration and moved on.

When I bought the doll house, I decided that I wanted to start from scratch with my guest room. I wasn't sure about the color palate but I knew I wanted to do all white bedding.

There's something to be said about sleeping in a bed with all white linens. It's fresh and clean, with hint of luxury.

A few months ago I stumbled upon this photo.

Pinned here

I knew instantly that this would be my inspiration room. It has everything I'm looking for. I love the navy and white together. I love the gold accents. I love the antique beds. It's preppy and a bit nautical. It's luxurious...and it reminded me of the darling Kate Spade pillow.

Fast forward to last weekend.

My mom and step-dad came to town for a little day trip. While my step-dad was fixing things around the doll house, I took my mom to a local store called Walls.

Walls buy merchandise from name brand companies that are experiencing bankruptcies, store closings due to fire or natural disasters, factory over production, etc. and they sell it at 40% to 70% off retail prices.

When you go to Walls it is a little overwhelming. It's not organized and it's a little dirty. However, I have found some amazing deals!

Last weekend, Walls had just gotten a shipment from Bed Bath & Beyond.

I found all kinds of good stuff. I got a new set of Oneida flatware (click here to see the set I took home, I feel like such a grown up! Goodbye cheapo college silverware!)

My mom picked out a quilt for their lake house and I was browsing the pillows to see if I could find any that match her bedding...and that's when I saw it. The Kate Spade Pillow.

The pillow I pinned over a year ago!

I snatched that thing up like it was Black Friday at Target. I screamed and danced right there in the middle of the store. The people around me must have thought I was crazy!

I think I paid $15 after tax.

I still can't believe my luck!


Of course, now I am obsessing over the guest room. I'm ready to give that pillow a home!

I have the antique bed and I plan on doing a navy version of this Ikea hack nightstand.

Other than that, I have no plans!

So I'm spending a lot of time on pinterest. :-)

Have any of you ever experienced divine intervention of the retail gods?

or walked up to the check out line to find out your item is marked down lower than you thought?

It's the next best thing to winning the lottery, if you ask me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Brittney vs. The Frozen Pipes

It was supposed to be a glorious morning. Because of the winter storm, work was delayed two hours. I slept in until 8:45 a.m.

I made my way to the kitchen and fired up the Keurig. The Today Show playing in the background. Simply perfect.

As I turned on the faucet to wash my face, a new addition to my morning routine, nothing came out. I switched off the hot water and tried the cold. Ice cold water came rushing out. I moved to the guest room, same thing. The shower, same thing. The kitchen sink, same thing. No hot water in the entire house.

Feeling slightly panicked, I did the only thing I could think of… I called my dad.

After answering several questions, we came to the conclusion that my pipes were frozen.

This will be my first test in homeownership.

I was at a loss.

Will the pipes “unfreeze” on their own and begin functioning normally? It’s supposed to be sunny today, maybe they will warm up? -a true sign of inexperience and lack of knowledge…the pipes are under my 90-year-old house, read: out of the sun…sigh.

With no other options, I called my plumber (Roy).

Roy said to turn on all of the hot water faucets and crank up the heat. The hot air should help to speed up the process. However, I will need to be home to monitor the pipes. If and when they thaw, there is a chance one (or all) of them might bust causing hundreds of gallons of water to flood my house. Hold me!

Before getting off the phone with Roy, he assured me it was just a waiting game. That there is nothing else I could do.

After about 10 minutes of playing the “waiting game,” I conducted a thorough search online. I came to the conclusion that the pipe leading up to the hot water heater was frozen and I needed to locate a space heater to warm it up!  Easy!

Off to Home Depot I go!

(sarcasm)

Home Depot was sold out of space heaters; however, they have a “pro desk” where you can consult with the pros!

A nice man, let’s call him Charley, spent a good 45 minutes with me explaining all of the worst case scenarios.

My original idea of putting a space heater in front of the hot water heater was very ambitious.

Charley suggested (with a straight face) that I crawl UNDER the house and clamp heat lamps to the pipes. It should only take 15 minutes or so for them to defrost.

His other suggestion was to crawl under the house and use a space heater to warm up the pipes *but* I would need to stay down there with it in case of a house fire.

Okay Internet, let’s say I do crawl under the house (amongst the mice and roaches and sleeping snakes) and the space heater causes a small fire…what is the best way to handle that situation? I haven’t taken fire safety! I don’t have a Life Alert! I would probably freak out and go into cardiac arrest…or…I would pass out from the smoke and burn to death (amongst the mice and roaches and snakes).

Can we all agree that that is a disaster waiting to happen?

Oh Charley…

After explaining my hesitations with crawling under the house myself, Charley called his old pal (a local plumber) and got me on a waiting list.

In the meantime, Charley had me convinced that all of my pipes were ruined and the entire plumbing system needed to be replaced, which will cost me thousands and thousands of dollars.

Hold me!

I called my dad on the way home, completely beside myself.

Dad tried to explain that Charley was an “extremist” but I wasn’t buying it. After all, Charley was a “pro” and he knew what he was talking about!

That afternoon was spent going back and forth between Google searches, getting upset, calming myself down and looking through the vent space debating whether or not I would get eaten by a rat if I did muster up the courage to crawl under the house.

Convinced that the plumber had misplaced my address and wasn’t going to show, my only option was to crawl under the house. I decided to improvise where the space heater was concerned. I dug out a long extension cord and located my beloved blow dryer.

I would blow dry those pipes! Surely my Rusk Speed Freak hair dryer would work! It puts off a ton of heat!

About the time I located the door to the crawl space, I got a text from my friend. She had heard of my troubles and had a few ideas. What if I closed off all of the vents under the house? That would help the pipes stay warm…and maybe they would thaw out!

Unbeknownst to me, I was supposed to take care of this last fall.

 I rounded up a few cardboard boxes and began the tedious process of covering the vents.

Right as I was finishing the last vent, the plumber arrived!
 
I’ve never been so happy to see a plumber in my entire life!

5 minutes later I had hot water.

Thankfully, no pipes had burst and I was just out an $80 service call.

Stephen (the plumber) mentioned that he had worked on my house before, with the previous owners. He told me about the new septic system he installed last year …that it was sure to last a long time! He was familiar with the hot tub and had fixed several leaks.

It was a very informative service call.

Finally, I could relax. I could breathe.

I don’t have to go under the house!

I don’t have to sell a kidney to pay for the busted pipes!

-I guess Charley was an extremist after all!

And the cherry on top of what turned out to be a pretty good day?

Roy called to check in! -Remember Roy? The first plumber?

He just wanted to know how my pipes were doing, if they had thawed.

In and effort to keep the call short, I spared him the details of how the pipes were fixed, “yes Roy…they are working!”

His reply: “Great! I knew it was just a matter of waiting it out!”

Me: “Thanks Roy, I really appreciate all your help!”

(sarcasm)

Roy: “Anytime Brittney, Let me know if it happens again!”
 
-end call-
 
It's days like yesterday that make me realize how lucky I am to live in Ada. The people here care for one another. No one ripped me off. No one took advantage of the clueless-single girl-first time homeowner. Everyone wanted to help!
 
Roy didn't have to call me back. Even though his advice wasn't very helpful, I appreciate that he took the time out of his night to call the crazy lady and make sure she was okay.
 
Charley was a little extreme but he did connect me with his pal Stephen.
 
And Stephen? Stephen was my savior.
 
It was a long day and I spent most of it stressed and agitated...
 
But looking back, I think I will consider it a success!