Pinterest Challenge | Fall Edition

Didn't we just have our last Pinterest Challenge not too long ago?  Where has the time gone?!  Last time I made some string art, (check out all the details here), but we're beginning to run out of finished rooms to put art into, so this time around I thought I'd share a little wedding project that is a little more practical than just art for the house.

Okay, that's a lie, since the project I chose to do isn't practical at all and in Mike's opinion just another reason why I'm crazy.  But in the grand scheme of weddings, is anything really practical?  Besides the I do's, food and dancing, all the other details are just for fun anyways!

A couple weeks ago I showed you the bridesmaid's boxes that I made to ask all my girl's to share the day with me, and I also promised to share the boxes I made for Mike to ask his guys to stand by his side.

It all started with this pin I found of a cute card to ask the big question.

(From The Wedding Chicks and pinned here on Pinterest)

Get it? I Mustache you a question? Eh, maybe I'll shave it for later.

Mustaches are really in and they've always been a funny subject in our house.  Mostly because Mike definitely has a baby face and always looks younger than he is, (not that bad of a problem to have!), and up until a couple years ago, didn't even have to shave because his blond hair didn't really amount to anything substantial.  Well, he must have prayed to the mustache gods, because it seems overnight he started growing one.  The funny part is, that's the only thing he can grow, no beard, or muttonchops, just the mustache.  Unfortunalty, it's a little ridiculous looking, like creepy man in a trench coat looking.  Last year he decided to let it grow for Movember (growing mustaches to raise awareness for prostate and testicular cancer), and let's just say it was a little embarrassing being seen out in public with him.

Mike started a little early this year and has been rocking the 'stache for a couple weeks now, so when we were coming up with ideas for his groomsmen boxes, we knew mustaches had to be involved.  Finding the cute card of Pinterest was just the jumping off point we needed.

I wanted it to be very manly, and obviously incorporate Mike's homebrewing, so I used mustaches as the theme and put together a little box with a couple small gifts for the boys.

I used the free template card mostly because it was free and really was cute, and taped it inside of the lid of a shipping box from Office Max.  I labeled a bottle of homebrew with a custom label I made and etched a pint glass with a mustache.  We also added a cigar, that's not in the photo.

To make the glasses, I used my cricut to cut a mustache out of vinyl.  I used the negative space to create a stencil for etching a pint glass, (I got 4 of them from the Dollar Store and they are surprisingly heavy duty).  I used Amour Etch, (which I bought at Micheal's ages ago and really lasts a long time), and a cheapy sponge brush.

Since vinyl is expensive, and masking tape is cheap, I've always cut close to the design and just tape around it so that I get the most out of my vinyl.

I just rub all the edges to make sure it's completely secure (unlike that stupid bubble in the photo - urgh!), then apply a thick layer of etching cream, and wait 5 minutes or so, (whatever the label says), and wash off under some water.  I keep the stencil on until I wash everything off, then remove the tape and vinyl and then dry it all.

I wanted something cute for the guys, but not something ugly that the wives and girlfriends had to live with.

I made a label for a bottle of Mike's homebrew with a list of why the guys were chosen.  Obviously, we have low standards, (just kidding groomsmen!).

To finish it off, I added the little mustache vinyl cutout from the etching project to the top of the lid and wrote the boy's name.

Obviously, the boys didn't have the same reactions as my girls.  There weren't any tears, but there were man hugs and bottles getting cracked open, so they were still a success!

If you want to check out what everyone else did for the challenge, go check out the host's pages!

Sarah (The Ugly Duckling House), Katie (Bower Power), Sherry (Young House Love), and Carmel (Our Fifth House)

Bathroom Redo | Part Done

It's finally official.  The bathroom is done.

While it's been usable for weeks, it wasn't photo ready yet, so I got out of my procrastinating slump, and finally finished sewing/DIYing the shower curtain and painting the shoe molding.  Yes, probably the 2 easiest things to do were the hardest to get motivated to do.  So, after finishing and doing a little happy dance I cleaned everything and took some pictures.

We've come a long way from the yellow/green/brown, 1970's bathroom that we've been living in since we bought the house 2 years ago.

Now, it's a light and airy, spa-like bathroom, that not only has improved in the looks department, but functions a lot better, with more storage, two sinks, and more overall space.

The new shelving nook where the chimney was removed.

Above the toilet I framed some pictures I took while Mike and I were in Florida visiting my parents.  I printed them in black and white and threw them in some Ikea Ribba frames, and used my favorite Ikea picture ledge to display them.

Yesterday was overcast, so it was hard getting pictures with natural light, but I was able to get this one between the clouds, which show the lights above the vanity.
All the fixtures are brushed nickel and have a slightly modern feel, but with the more traditional elements like the molding, it still feels like it matches the rest of the house.

Even though the sinks are high, (we didn't realize the vanity was luxury height, (35") when we bought the sinks), we love them.  Mike and I are both 5'7"ish and find it more comfortable to wash hands/brush teeth when we don't have to bend over.

In the middle of the reno we decided to upgrade and extend the tile up to the ceiling.  I'm so glad we did because it makes it look bigger and brighter.

For window treatments, we bought this bamboo shade from Home Depot and keep it half way open all the time.  On the bottom window, I added frosted film to let light in, but maintain privacy, (click back here to see the view from this window).

I really wanted a waffle weave shower curtain, but the higher tile meant an 84" shower curtain.  Which is of course is trying to find a unicorn for sale.  I found one from Target online, and even bought it, but when it finally arrived in the mail, I was really disappointed with the fabric.  It was really cheap feeling and shiny.  Not worth it, so I returned it.

I was left trying to find a simple white 84" curtain, something I didn't think would be that hard.  Maybe others have magical internet searching powers because I could not find anything, so I made my own.  I used a plain table cloth I bought at Target and had planned to sew 12 button holes along the top.  Although I'm pretty good with a sewing machine, (nothing crazy, but I can sew a straight line), button holes elude me.  I practiced and practiced and even considered taking it to a tailor, but finally broke down and bought a grommet kit, spray painted them white and pounded them in.  I had to hem the bottom, but the width was perfect.

Even without the waffle weave, I think the white fabric curtain still adds a layer of softness to the room.

As you can see in this before and after floorplan, we removed the chimney adding more storage, and shifted a couple things to make everything breath a little easier and more room to move around.

Something that can't be seen that's also improved, is all the plumbing, electrical, and even some of the structural elements were updated by Mike himself.

Here's a look back at all the dirty details of how we got to this point.

Demo started right after Christmas, (months before we were planning to start) and went in a couple stages, first the large built-in items, like the tub and vanity.  And most importantly, the chimney.

Then, the plaster walls and ceiling.

Finally, down to the studs and floor boards.

Then the real fun started, removing all the old plumbing and updating to new PEX water lines and PVC piping.

After adding everything we needed in the floor, we were able to put base board down and update all the old knob and tube electric and finally close everything in with some insulation, (something that wasn't in the old bathroom) and frame the chimney hole and around the new tub.

Mike then added drywall and prepped for me to paint.  Unfortunately, we were given the wrong tile, and I was using a different tile sample to pick my colors from.  This meant I painted two more times before I got it right with Sherwin Williams' Pewter.  

In between all the painting Mike was able to get the floor prepped for tile, and also built window trim to perfectly match the existing trim in the house.

Then, we were able install the tile, on the floor and in the shower.

It was finally starting to look like a finished space.  We took a huge risk and decided to cut and install a solid surface countertop ourselves.  I mean we made it this far doing everything ourselves, might as well go all the way, right?  

After the finishing touches were added like the insert for shelving in the chimney nook, mirrors, sinks and fixtures, we're ready to call it done!

As for the cost, in our minds we thought we could do it all for roughly $3,000.  We decided to update all the plumbing and electrical, and chose some upgrades along the way.  We just bought things as we needed/saved up and ended up spending closer to $5,500.  But, taking almost 7 months to finish, spread this cost into more manageable payments along the way.

As for the breakdown, I tried to find all the receipts, but I'm sure a couple small trips to Home Depot might have not made it into the file, (not to mention a couple extra house items making it onto some of the bathroom receipts), so here's a basic rundown with at least all of the big ticket items:

(All done by Mike)
Building Materials
(Including new plumbing, electrical, and framing, drywall, etc.)

Shower Head/Faucet




(Through work, I get a pretty awesome Sherwin Williams discount)


Window Shade

(A very rough (probably over) estimate)

Even though we spent more than we thought, it was completely worth it, (I know everyone says that, but it's true)!  Overall, I don't think there's anything we wouldn't have done/chosen if we had the chance to redo it.  Well, even though I like the tile now, I think I would have wanted the original tile we picked, and I probably would have gone with a larger tile, probably a 12"x12".  It would have made installation easier and probably looked a little nicer, but I still like the tile we have now, and I'm just glad it's over!

I think both Mike and my favorite new items are the double sinks.  It's so much nicer getting ready for bed with two sinks!  Although now that I think about it, I really like the tile in the shower, oh, and the new storage made from removing the chimney.  To be honest, I love it all!  And, don't feel weird if we invite you over and insist you use our bathroom.  We love showing it off!

Inspire Me | Basement Bath Edition

Mike has already started demoing the bathroom.  No rest for the wicked.

Before I get into the plans I need to share how the space started.  Early this week I showed you the layout and the removal of the chimney.  As you walk downstairs and turn left you look straight into the bath with the nook on the right and a closet that goes the whole length under the stairs on the left.

The bathroom is not a large space, but it's definitely not the smallest space either.  The vanity with a sink in on the right, and the shower, (first), and toilet, (behind the half wall), is on the left.  Note: please excuse the dirtiness, the chimney removal made everything filthy.  Now the water damage on the ceiling and mold around the window - that's all left by the lovely former owner. 

The vanity is huge for a basement bathroom.  The mirror does help to make the room feel bigger, but it's not really necessary.  Neither is all the counter space or storage.  We don't need to store any products or anything, just enough to function as a bathroom, (extra toilet paper, soap, etc.).  We've actually been storing our left over paint cans in the cabinet.

And since the walkable part of the room is pretty narrow, it was easier to get the other side through the mirror.  The shower is just an insert and is extremely small, (about 36" x 32"), the toilet is separated by a half wall from the shower.

The layout isn't horrible, but like I said we don't need that much counter space or cabinet storage, so I suggested using a smaller vanity, then moving the toilet to the other side of the room next to the sink.  This allows us to get a larger shower insert, (we're keeping our costs down, so we're not messing with tile, or anything crazy), and add some storage where the toilet is now.  Mike's not very excited about moving the toilet since it requires jack-hammering the floor to move the piping, but he wanted to replace all the piping anyways, and plans to dig up the future family room floor to replace everything out to the main line anyways.  So what's a little more concrete demo, right?

To show you the plan in picture form, here's the existing layout.

And the new layout we have planned.

Now that you know where we're starting, and since demoing leads to rough-in's, I needed to get my act together to start making decisions about what I want.  Since we're in the middle of planning a wedding, just got off the heals of our main bathroom renovation, not to mention we have the main basement room to convert to a family room, we want to keep this room pretty simple and inexpensive.

I also thought about how we're going to use this room.  Obviously, it's a bathroom so we all know what it's used for, but more specifically how.  It is a basement shower which will only be used by Mike to clean up after getting really dirty, (like the times where his clothes go straight into the washer and he runs into the shower - which is quite often actually).  So, the room has to be a little utilitarian, but it's also attached to our future family room, so it has to be comfortable enough to use when we're watching movies or guests are all gathered on the couch. 

We want to keep the same features of the house like the large baseboards and the more traditional feel, but I thought it would also be fun to throw in some industrial features to make it more masculine, since it is a basement and will be used by mostly Mike.  It's also the direction I'm heading in my plans for the family room, (more on that when I can get some ideas put on paper).

So, I put together a little mood board to get some ideas together, (and most importantly to show Mike).

1. A very popular way to add industrial features to a room is by using outdoor lighting.  It's also a lot cheaper!  I like this galvanized wall sconce to use over the vanity.  We'll also be installing a new fan/overhead light combo and will probably use the same one used in the upstairs bathroom since it will add light and not compete with this fixture.

2. I usually like rectangle mirrors, but I want to move out of my comfort level and I think this one from Ikea is simple and the metal frame has a slight industrial feel.  And, for under $40, you can't really beat it!

3.  This is a more traditional vanity, but with simple lines, so if we want to change the room, we won't have to change any of the major items.  I also looked at a lot of vanities with tops included from the big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, (since the closet Ikea is almost 2 hours away), but they all had three holes already drilled for the centerset faucets.  Like I mentioned back before we demo'd the upstairs bathroom, I hate cleaning those faucets with the two handles on each side.  I love the simplicity of our new faucets, and this vanity has a center hole that we can add the faucet we like.

4. This shelving is something I'm really excited about.  Although, it might not make it into the alcove behind the shower, (after talking with Mike, we're thinking we may want more closed storage to store things like the cat's litter, and other things that have never really had a home), we may modify it to use above the toilet.  It's been floating around the blogs for years.  It's very industrial, but adds some warm wood tones to an otherwise sterile room.  Unlike the original photo found here, we would only use two pipes since we're only filling a space a couple feet wide.  The best part is it's totally a DIY project that will be a cinch for Mike and I!

5. I'm hesitant to put a paint color here, (I try to forget that I painted the upstairs 3 times before finding the right color), but this is just for inspiration.  I want to keep the walls really light, which is definitely out of my comfort zone, but the bathroom is in the basement, and on the smaller side, so I want to keep it light and airy.  I also don't want a color dominating the room, but rather have all the pieces showcased while the walls fade away.  I think this color, Sea Salt, by Benjamin Moore is a nice gray, with subtle blue undertones that will look nice against the metal, wood, and white in the room.

6. I like adding a little greenery to a bathroom to make it feel a little warmer.  Since it's a basement, and I have a black thumb, these fake plants from Ikea are perfect.

7. Since I said this will be used mostly as Mike's bathroom when he's working and getting dirty, (or not working and getting dirty, it must be a boy thing), I can't have fluffy white towels down there and expect them to stay nice.  I think a couple of dish towels, like this one, or this one, will work as hand towels for rough and tough hands like Mike's.  The red and blue accents also add some needed color in masculine tones.

8.  Finally, the open shelving will look great with some wire baskets and even some wicker baskets.  I'm sure we'll add more and more stuff down there as we start using it, so it'll be nice to have some storage options to hid everything in.

So, that's the plan.  I'm really excited to do something out of my comfort zone, and a lot more masculine than I've done before.  I also think it'll be nice tie-in to the plans I have for the future family room.  Check back to see those plans soon!     

M&M Wedding | Bridesmaids

Confession: I had my bridesmaids picked out before we were engaged.  Thanks to Pinterest, I even knew how I wanted to ask them. 

I have an awesome group of girlfriends, two are my best friends since grade school, Mike's best friend's wife, (who quickly became my best friend after they made the mistake of introducing us), and my sister, who I asked to be my Maid of Honor.  Each woman is super creative and appreciates beautiful things, so I wanted to make something special to ask them to be a part of our wedding.  I decided to go super girly and not really matching the theme of the wedding.  After all, I was asking all girls, so I wasn't worried about too much pink or ribbons.

I used a couple ideas from Pinterest including a box that had the question written on the lid, (like this one), a note asking them a bunch of questions that relate to being a bridesmaid, (like here), and a couple knick knacks that I found at the craft store, and put them all together in one cute little package.  I also added a little bottle that I filled with some homemade Riesling.

I found a couple different sets of questions that I mixed and matched from that I found important, and then added some of my own that I thought were more me.  I saw a couple that asked things like, "Will you wear your hair anyway I tell you, even if it makes you look ugly?"  Eek!  That's definitely not me, so I instead asked, "Will you keep me calm and remind me that the marriage is more important than the wedding?"  I made little magnets with a logo I made to use on our wedding website.  I just added our wedding date so it actually serves some purpose.  I then threw in a giant diamond paper weight and some mints.  I found a couple Martha Stewart kits on sale, including the tissue paper flowers and a doily banner, that I used to add more layers of girliness. 

The girls know me pretty well, so they kinda all knew something was coming, but it was fun and special to make something for them and too see their reactions opening them! 

I had so much fun making something for my girls, that I decided to make something for Mike to ask his guys.  Obviously, it was the complete opposite of this feminine overload, and didn't have pink or flowers anywhere.  I'll be back to share the groomsmen boxes soon!