Hi everyone!! I hope you all had a lovely fun filled holiday with your loved ones! We had a great Christmas spent with our kiddos and family. My posting will be a little spotty until next week. I'm going to take some blog time off to enjoy my family and work on some new projects about our house and on the blog as mentioned in this post a few months back { here } We have a bunch of projects { in progress } we are working on around the house. I hope to get a few done in the next few days, just in time for the New Year. It's hard to believe it will be 2012 in a few days! 


Holiday Movies

There's nothing I love more than doing a Holiday Movie Marathons with my family. In fact Movie & TV show marathons are a regular occurrence around our home. In the past we've done Die Hard Movie-thons (1-4) I'd never seen them before, and actually ended up liking the series. We've done Saw Movie-thons, Breaking Bad TV-thons, Elm Street Movie-thons the list goes on and on. Of course we save the scary movies / too young for Tabari to watch Movie-thons for us the adults :) 

 I love watching Holiday movies during the Holidays ( of course I could watch the movies above anytime of the year!). Every weekend this month we've been getting our into the holiday spirit with holiday movies, making a ginger bread house and baking cookies. I love watching these holiday movies year after year: Love Actually, Jingle All the Way, Family Man, Trading Places     (LOVE THIS MOVIE) Home Alone, Deck the Halls, The Santa Clause, Scrooged, While you Were Sleeping and The Holiday. 

What are your favorite Holiday movies to watch year after year?

Built-in Bookcases

A few months one of my girlfriends mentioned to me, she's planning on adding built-in bookcases to her living room for more more storage for books, movies pretty much 'life stuff.' I loved her idea and started emailing her inspiration ideas, to come up with the perfect bookcase style for her home. Not too much later it dawned on me, that's what our living room needs! I started gathering ideas for 'our bookcase style.' 

I drew up some plan drafts on paper, then finally on the computer. Here's what I've come up with so far. The lower section of the bookcases would consist of cabinets. Which is the perfect spot to hide clutter: DVDs, DVD player, cable box etc. The top section would be a mix of long shelves and a middle section a spot for our TV. The TV would hang inside the bookcases / on the wall. I want to bookcases to be floor to ceiling, wall to wall. 

My bookcase plans are very rough, nothing is drawn to scale { right now } and no measurements have been taken { yet } But this is the overall idea of how we want them to look. We want the bookcase to be placed where our current TV and Ikea bookcases are now. It makes the most sense and its the perfect spot in our living room for them. I like the bookcases we purchased from Ikea awhile ago, however it just makes more sense to have built-in ones. I found the image below via Pinterest and love the simplicity and style of the bookcase. I want ours to feel clean lined and have faux feet, like in my sketch above and in the picture below. I think the chunky feet style really give the feeling of a more modern clean lined look.

{ via Pinterest }

Another example of how I want the feet to look on the bookcase. 

We decided to DIY our bookcases after seeing how amazing Sara via Russet Street Reno's turned out. Yup, Sara and her husband built the bookcases themselves! Lovely, huh! It really adds to much appeal and style in our 'Woman Cave

Our plan is to do a mix of ready cabinets for the bottom bookcases { like Sara did } and the top make 3 - 4 long bookcases depending on measurements for the upper portion of the bookcases. My sketch below is an example of the individual upper bookcase unit we would build. Each bookcase portion then would be connected to the cabinets. 

After we tweak our plans to achieve exactly the style we want ( with measurements etc.) the next plan is pricing and cabinet shopping for the lower portion of the bookcases. We'll be doing a lot of price comparing to get the best deal. Here's a picture of in stock cabinets from Lowes 36x30

Here's a look at how our living room currently looks. Can you see my vision? Floor to ceiling bookcases with long thick shelves and a perfect spot for our TV to hang.

I'm really looking forward to this project and the amazing transformation of our our living once its completed. I know they'll be many hours of sanding, painting, cutting and screaming { me } But I can feel the end result will be amazing!

Can you picture it? 


'Tis the Season

It's starting to feel more like Christmas now that we have Holiday Decor and our tree up in our living room. I like to keep Holiday decor sweet and simple, a little can go a long way. For a few years we've been decorating our home with blues & silvers, next year I want to go crazy with the color! Crossing fingers I can find lots of pretty colorful ornaments on sale after the Holiday. Here's our home dressed for the Holidays.

{ Can you see my reflection in the bulbs? That's just me saying Hi! }

I wanted a little Holiday tree on top of our secretary desk, so I used a manzanita branch and spray painted it white placed it in a large round vase ( left our from our wedding) and wrap it in sliver ribbon. Then I hung ornaments on the branches (instant pretty).

A few years ago I made a white feather wreath for Christmas, this year I made a wreath twin and hung them from our bookcases. I opted to only decorate the top of the bookcases, again keeping it simple. 

A closer look. Ornaments placed in vases and just resting on top.

More ornaments placed a pretty bowl! To more ornaments look pretty on the tree and scattered around the house in vases, bowls on wreaths wherever! 

Finally our tree! I let Tabari decorate the tree this year, he had to much fun and didn't break one ornament, but I did! lol 

My favorite ornament of all time is the gingerbread ornament Tabari made in Kindergarten, it still smells good years later. He placed his letter 'T' ornament next to it. We started a tradition last of buying a special ornament each year, he decided on the 'T' and got an 'A' for Avery. I opted for the pretty white owl { sitting on our secretary desk } Hasani also got an owl a cute felted one for the tree. 

A tree is not complete without a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, { heroes in a half shell, turtle power} lol

Some beads and snowflakes dressed up our entryway. 

Most of our holiday decor is done, I need a few more coats of white on my Goodwill deer and plan on making a few ornaments I saw on Pinterest with the kiddos this week. I'll share when done. 

Have you finished all your Holiday decor? Any projects your still working on?


Under Foot

Do you remember my little shipping trip to West Elm on Black Friday where I bought two new circle dot pillows for our living room? Well I mentioned I we also purchased something else, and would share when our shipment arrived. Our package arrived late late Monday night, seriously late. Our UPS man must have been doing some serious overtime, because we got a knock at our door a little after 8pm, then heard a truck speed off. Yeah our UPS guy never hangs around to see if we even open our door, he jumps in his truck and floors it. Now back to what we bought from West Elm. Ever since we re-finished our original 1956 wood floors, we've been wanting find a rug to go in our living room, to warm it up a bit. I love how our wood floors look, and have been enjoying their natural beauty, but with a baby that's now 6mos old its important to offer a softer soft to play on, site on, roll over on and eventually crawl on. 

So while we were in there, I decided we must look at samples and see if anything will work for our space. I really wanted to show Hasani the Jute Dot rug, the same rug I've been lusting over for months. 

Lucky for us they finally had a rug sample in the store { I wanted to see it in person too } I showed Hasani the sample on the floor, they have light faux wood flooring in the store and he hated it. I was sad but not ready to give up on the Jute Dot Rug just yet. I placed the rug sample on top of a dark dresser to show him how the rug would look on our floors. Like me he's a very visual person, so giving me an example of our it relates to our house made him fall in love with the rug! 

West Elm had a sale going on purchases over one hundred were 10% off, we saved $ 17.90 on the rug. The rug cost $ 161.10 + tax + shipping, but I ended up saving an additional $ 61.52 on my purchase. How? Price Adjustment, baby :) On 12/8 my exact rug went on sale for 30% off the original price! West Elm has a 14 day price adjustment, I called their 800# and they promptly issued me a credit our $ 61.52, Yay!! We ended up paying $ 136.48 for a 5x8 hand made quality Jute rug! Oh how I love Store Price Adjustment Policies. Here's a pic of our rug-less living room from a few months ago before I moved the furniture around. 

I was a bit nervous when we rolled the rug, what if we didn't like it? Should we have gotten a larger rug? What if its too neutral? My nerves proved to be wrong, because we LOVE the rug. It brings so much warmth into our living room. I adore the various subtle shades woven into the rug, and love the hexagon shapes ( its no a dot dot rug) I also love the subtle zig zag pattern in the rug for certain angles. Here's our new rug and first rug for our house, I can't believe we've been rug-less for almost 3 years. Patience pays off, I guess.  

We've had a few family members stop by last week and they loved it to, its an instant pow! Without being to in your face, ya know. I find the texture under my bare feet to be comfy, then again we haven't had carpet in 3 years, so maybe its just personal preference. 

Avery also gave it his approval. 

I'm glad we went with more neutral style rug, because I'll be able to change up our living room color scheme whenever I want to. Right now I'm loving navy's, greens, and goldenrod yellow. Our pillows feel right at home with our new rug. and here's a better look at my new green pillows we got at West Elm on Black Friday . 

We also made some more changes in our living room.  When we first bought our sofa at Scandinavian Designs we opted for maple wood feet, well as you know most of our home has darker wood tones. So instead of buying new feet, we spray painted of sofa's feet with the left over Metallic Spray paint. I did the same thing to Avery's vintage ottoman when I get it an update over the Summer, the spray painted feet our holding up well. Our sofa's new feet color looks so good. We're still looking for a large mirror or artwork to go above the sofa. We recently hung our son's artwork above our newly painted secretary desk, so the wall's not completely empty.   

I'm so glad we bought this rug, only 3-4 more rugs to go in our house! 

What so you think of our new rug addition? Is there a rug you've been lusting at for your own home? does your UPS also do a 'hit and run' ? lol 


Bathroom Progress

I'm so happy there's a little bathroom progress to share! as I mentioned before our plan was to replace our old bathroom sink with a new one and keep our existing cabinet. We deiced to keep the existing cabinet for three reasons: #1. It was solid wood #2. I painted the wood a rich brown awhile back and we still liked the look # 3. We wanted the update to be cheap. 

We bought a new sink counter from HD Home Supply, love that store. They have very competitive prices for builder grade /style updates. We always go there when we need to rent something { Floor Sanders, Power Snake } because their prices are so much lower then Home Depot & The staff is knowledgeable. We bought a simple white sink from there for only $ 53.00, such a good deal. Hasani installed our new sink with ease and no drips. He's working on a how to install as sink post, as I'm writing this post. Oh we opted to keep our faucet, since it was a teeny upgrade and still new-ish { 2.5 years old) Here's our old bathroom sink. In the pictures its hard to tell how dingy it was. 

The new sink has made such a huge difference, our old sink was a tacky faux marble cream color, it was stained. No matter how much a I scrubbed and bleached the sucker it never look clean. I'm in love with our new clean white sink against the dark wood cabinet. I actually walked by our bathroom and few times and flipped the light on just to see how nice it looked. I need to do a little repair work above the sink, our old sinks backslash was much taller then our new one. The repair is such an easy peasy fix. 

Sorry for the dark pictures! Our bathroom has very little natural light, so why I painted it the ugly sea foam green is beyond me. I also picked up this little blue soap dish holder from West Elm on Black Friday. I'm more on a pump soap kind of gal, but loved the little pop of blue around the base. And it was only .97 cents, so I said what the heck and bought it.

As I mentioned before, I planned on painting our Bathroom again making this the third time I painted the bathroom, second time this year!. After much debate with Hasani, we decided to paint the bathroom Bedford Grey by Martha Stewart Living. We had the paint color matched to Olympic Paint, in satin finish at Lowes. . My goal was to paint the bathroom over the Thanksgiving Holiday, but we just got to busy and I never made the time. We still need to take down the old hardware, patch holes and then I can paint the bathroom. The gallon on paint is sitting in our garage waiting to be opened

{ Bedford Grey Martha Stewart Living }

I also bought six EKBY Valter brackets from Ikea that need to be painted white. I bought them from $3 bucks each, so I spent $ 18 dollars on them. I'm going to go to Lowes and buy the wood or MDF board for the shelves, I'll have them make the cuts for me. 

I wanted to buy the EKBY Stilig Brackets, but they weren't in stock a few weekends ago. There now back in stock, so I'll go to Ikea over the weekend and exchange the ones I bought for the ones I want. They're a dollar more each, but the require no painting so its a tie.

I can finally start seeing some progress in our tiny bathroom and boy does it feel good! Plus its nice to see a small bathroom update upgrade can have such a nice impact on in our bathroom. Its already feeling more fresh and modern-ish. 

What do you think our our little sink refresh?


Secretary Desk is Done

Do you remember the Mid Century Modern desk I purchased in September? If not here's a quick reminder, I found the desk one night while trolling Craigslist looking for a Secretary desk to help De-clutter our living room. I paid $ 80 bucks, they were asking $ 90 bucks. The desk is worth every penny and then some. The previous owner, had the the secretary desk for over 40 years and only parted with the desk when his wife wanted him to De-clutter { oh the irony}. We talked about staining the desk a dark walnut or painting the desk a shade of griege. Here's a reminder of how our desk looked before its makeover.

Before I even completed the makeover, I loved how the desk looked in our living room. Its such a great piece and so well made { solid wood } 

I decided to paint the secretary desk by Cobblestone Martha Stewart. It's the perfect shade of griege. 

The original stain was worn thin and flaky on the top of the desk, so I used my power sander on the entire desk to removed the old varnish. Its the same basic power sander I used on my sons desk, compact but works good. After sanding the entire desk, I applied three coats of Zisner primer with a sponge roller. I allowed each coat to dry 6 hours before reapplying the next coat. 

I really liked using the Martha Stewart paint, but its very very thin, I ended up applying 4 coats of paint! This time I waited 24 hours before applying the next coat, I wanted to allow each layer of paint to fully cure before applying the next coat. I used a sponge roller to apply the paint and then went back over the the paint with a brush. I use Purdy brushes for a nice smooth finish. I decided to keep the original pulls, but wanted to change up the look of the first drawer. Originally the first drawer had six tiny knobs, I replaced those with four knobs I bought at HD Supply for only $1.67 each. The drawer now has four knobs, I used wood filler on two of the holes and the faux notch drawer. I felt six knobs looked too busy on the drawer and desk, I'm glad I went with my gut and changed it up. I spray painted all the pulls oil rubbed bronze. I had a left over can from spray painting Avery's ottoman. I really like how the oil rubbed bronze gives off a nice metallic shiny finish. I bought a little can of Valspar black gloss to paint the feet on the Secretary desk. Here's our secretary desk. It turned out so nice! 

It took awhile to complete the Secretary desk, but it was so worth it. I'm in love with how it looks in our living room, its such a great multi-functional piece. We plan on using the top piece that pulls down to store our office stuff, one side will be Hasani's and the other mine. The first drawer will be for more office stuff: chargers, paper, misc items. The bottom two drawers are nice and deep perfect for movies and board games. 

What do you think our my Mid Century Modern Secretary desk redone? 

Have you painted any Craigslist finds recently?