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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Laura Lately: October Edition

Hi there friends.  If you missed me last Sunday, I was just taking a little time away from the blog in order to concentrate on some other things going on, more on that some other time. :-) But I'm back this Sunday with a 'lil thing I like to call Laura Lately.  Once a month I throw some things your way that I've been up to lately.  Feel free to throw it right back!  I'd love to know these things about you too!

Shall we?..

Lately I can't get enough of..

Party Planning!

Remember last month when I told you about all the party planning I was doing?  Well it's party time!

Thursday was the party that I helped throw for my work family.

Smart, Caring, Hilarious, and Inspiring.  They are truly some of the best and brightest people I know and I'm so blessed to work along side them.  Our little fall party was a great way to all hang out together and not have to worry about call lights and IV pumps....not that we would ever mind dealing with either of those things ;-)

So that was this week.  Next week is our Halloween party.   Here's the invitation I made and had printed out.

And then the weekend after that is my Sister-in-Law's shower.  Looking forward to having them home and showering them with love and congratulations.


Lately I've been watching...

Gilmore girls is on Netflix, ya'll! And I've been catching up on lost time.  

I caught a few episodes here and there when the show was still on but never really followed it.  When I saw that it was added to Netflix, I knew it was a show I was going to really enjoy! I love a show where all the characters, town included, are so quirky and unique in their own right.  I'm hooked.


 Lately I've been shopping for...

I have been looking for some wicker chairs for the dining room for a while.  I finally settled on these from IKEA.  Michael was traveling through Chicago the other day and was able to pick a pair up.

He also grabbed some curtain rods for our bedroom since we are in the midst of finally (finally!!) painting our bedroom! So be looking forward to seeing the progress we have made in their soon! 


Lately I've been munching on...

Apples. Apples. and more Apples.  One of my favorite apple recipes is for an apple fritter cake.  Here's the link for the recipe.  Yummmmm.... Enjoy!


Lately I'm looking forward to...

The changes that I am planning for the blog.  I made mention several weeks back that big changes were coming to the blog but I haven't shared much more because I wasn't sure how long the process would take.  Now that the ball is fully rolling and getting closer to it's destination, I can tell you.  I am gearing up to change the blog's name and look.  I'm really excited to change the name and I will tell you all more about that soon.  I will explain why I felt like it needed to change and what its new name will be.  So stay tuned!

Now what about you? What have you been watching, shopping for, eating lately?  What have you been looking forward to?  What can't you get enough of lately? I'd love to know...

Don't miss a beat.  
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Walnut Garland

Walnuts.  Walnuts and I go way back.  Well at least back to the beginning of when we first started renovating our home a year and a half ago. 

We found walnuts e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.

In the drop ceiling in the basement.  Underneath the tub, in the ceiling, between walls...
And inside of the big walnut tree that we had cut down. 

Every time we turned a corner, we found more walnuts.  So now, walnuts always make me think of our home. And that's not such a bad thing....because our home is very special to me.

Finding sentiment is not a difficult task for me.  I like things that remind me of feelings I had or memories I shared with important people.  And now, walnuts will always remind me of renovating our home and the people we did it with.  So about halfway through our Phase 1 renovation, I began to collect some of these walnuts - wanting to capture the memories and bring them into the future with us.

At the time, I wasn't completely sure what my plan was for using them or displaying them. I thought about making a wreath but I didn't want to have to glue them all, assuming, someday it would start falling apart. So I decided to make a garland which would allow me to avoid gluing the walnuts and would be easily undone someday if I ever wanted to do something else with the walnuts. 

So I took some twine and got a big needle and started stringin'.

Almost all the walnuts had enough openings to string the twine through -undoubtedly put there by the critter that had stashed them throughout our home.  The large needle made it easier to get the twine strung through the holes. 
I knotted the ends then used 3M clear hooks on the underside of the fireplace mantel to hang the garland.  Seems fitting to hang it at our home's heart and center.

 I'm just loving how the walnut garland fits seamlessly into our fall decor. 

Side thought: Do you think we should paint our brick?  Whitewash it? Michael is vehemently apposed. It reminds him of Purdue. I'm open to either idea.  I like brick, I'm just not convinced that this is the prettiest brick.  

Our love-hate relationship with walnuts has shifted soundly over to the love side... Or at least fondness.  We still hate walnut trees - at least ones that are growing in our yard. But we took care of that months ago!.. No more walnut trees in our yard and no more more walnuts in our walls.  Only on our mantel or in our desserts...on second thought, maybe just on the mantel! :-) 
Don't miss a beat.  
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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Complete Bathroom Before & After

Hey guys! I promised you all a couple weeks ago that I would be back with a post about the full bathroom renovation.  Today is that day.  Let's get started shall we?

One thing I don't think I have ever really showed you guys is what the bathroom looked like to begin with. 

Pretty nice, eh? Sponge-y floor, peel away tile, and a whole lot of laminate. 

There certainly was work to be done.

Not only did we gut the bathroom down to the studs, we also rearranged the layout. 
 We closed off the door from the hallway and created the entry into the bathroom from the new master bedroom (to see all our house's layout changes see this post) - creating a new master suite.  We also removed the closets in the bathroom and bedroom which gained us a large enough space to fit a good sized shower and tub.

 With all the extra space we got, we were really excited to fit a double vanity into our bathroom. 
It's 72 inches long and great.  I wish I would have thought a little bit more about how I wanted drawers of the vanity set up, but we have made it work for our needs.  I probably would have done a large drawer and then two smaller ones instead of the two larger ones.  Oh well! Live -renovate- and learn!

 There is one thing that we decided to do with our vanity that is my favorite! F-A-V-O-R-I-T-E!
Here it is, ladies and gentlemen.. 

We had our electrician put an outlet inside the bottom part of our center vanity cabinet.  That way we made ourselves a little electric toothbrush charging station.  It's freaking awesome!
I always kind of hated leaving our tooth brushes out on the vanity to charge.  And now we get to keep our toothbrushes safe from any particulates that may be flying around the bathroom... you know what I'm talkin' about.  

Yep.  Best. Decision. Ever. 

We debated a lot about the size of our shower but finally decided on a 4'x3' shower and it is perfect. 

My brother-in-law did the tile work for the shower as well as the floor for us and we think he did an awesome job! Super thankful for all his hard work and time.

The floor tile is something that was inspired by a home we saw when we were house hunting.  I love the feel of it.  It is kind of a playful, yet classic.  I think the basket weave pattern fits in well with having a clawfoot tub.  

When considering the layout for our bathroom we discussed a couple options.  One with a linen closet, one without.  Ultimately, we decided on the layout that felt more open - but it was the one without a linen closet.  I did have a couple of remedies for that linen closet problem.  

So, as you know, Michael and I built some floating shelves several weeks ago.  They turned out great and have really helped beautify the bathroom as well as store things like cotton balls, towels, toilet paper, etc.

Baskets were from Hobby Lobby and so are the little chalkboard plaques that I attached to them.  Genius find by my girl Kelly. 
The Psalm plaque is something I painted years ago and has found it's way into every bathroom we've had since we got married.

And the second part of my idea for storage outside a linen closet...
See what we did there, behind the tub? I had Saint Steve build out an area with the beadboard to bring the tub out more flush with the shower.  But I didn't want this bump out to be just a hollow box.  So I had him create a lid that I could open and have access to the inside of the bumpout.   We've always called it the bumpout but really I think, more accurately it should be described as a built in storage chest.
It's where we store assorted towels, extra toiletries, extra toilet paper, etc.. Stuff we don't need quite as frequently.

The only thing left to do is add art!  I have a waterlily painting by my Great Great Aunt Betty Jean and I love the idea of it hanging in here.  It is a nod to having our home on the river and it reminds me of her.  I think I'd be interested in re-framing it, probably with a thick wooden frame.

I am also thinking it may be kind of nice to add a simple roman shade in a fresh pattern on the window.  Someday, I'll get inspired by some fabric and I'll get that done.  But for now, this room is feeling refreshingly finished! Ahhh, now, all I need to do is fire up that bathtub and take a nice long soak!

But first..

Who wants to see a side by side comparison between the old bathroom and the new bathroom?.. I thought you might!

Source List:

Vanity: Leatherman Supply
Faucet and Fixtures: Delta Cassidy Collection bought through Amazon
Floor Tile: Metro Basket Weave Tile in Black and White from Home Depot
Subway Tile: Daltile 3x6 white tile Home Depot
Clawfoot Tub: Craigslist
Towel Bars: Gatco Designer II series from Lowes
Mirrors: Gatco Tilting Mirrors from Lowes
Vanity Lights: Wall Mount Sconce bought from Amazon
Towels: Kohls 
Bath Rugs: Target
Paint Color: Benjamin Moore, Quiet Moments

That's that!  Its exciting to have another room on the "mostly done" list.  And by "mostly done,"  I mean, it's actually painted.  :-)  To see our other finished rooms click on the corresponding links: kitchen, dining room, living room.

Don't miss a beat.  
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