Wednesday, September 29, 2010


To do: turn these vintage doorknobs from ebay ($20) into a coat rack for the entry.

Like so.
pottery barn

Apartment Therapy

Friday, September 24, 2010

Nursery Dresser: Before and After

Bought on Craigslist for $50. Like the color, but not in this room.

Now, it is beautiful blue.


I followed this tutorial on Design Sponge by a lovely lady named Barb Blair who does the most amazing painted furniture. Basically, you paint, THEN stain, THEN wax. Yeah, it's not one day project, but the results are so totally worth it.

The color is Peacock Feather by Behr. Once we add a pad on the top it will be a super-duper changing table for the littlest Stoner. Aw!

Not bad for an 8 months preggo chick, eh?

Monday, September 20, 2010

I hate you, US Post Office

Isn't this duvet cover gorgeous?
I bet it would look great on my bed. But we'll never know, thanks to a rookie Ebay seller who was like "What's a tracking number?" and the United States Post Office's complete failure to be anything except a gaggle of idiots. It was mailed over a month ago, so you would think it would be in one of three places:

1. At my new house
2. At my old house
3. Returned to the sender's house

Instead, it has disappeared into a black hole of incompetence. My favorite part of the story is that both my old address and my new address are served BY THE SAME POST OFFICE. Don't you think it would be in that building somewhere? Maybe I will break in after hours and find it my damn self.

I'm pretty sure that's $100 down the toilet.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What we did today

Isn't it cool? I mean, it's freaking huge, but I'm 90% sure I love it. I'm going to paint it the same or a similar color to the cabinets. White or gray. Project #294.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Way You Make Me Feel

Look what I found on Craigslist for $25! Should I hang it in the nursery? Or the entry, so it's the first thing I see when I come home?

Happy 1 Month Housiversary!

Time flies when you're working your booty off. In the one month we've lived in our house, here's what we've done so far...

Painted the master bedroom
Painted the master bath
Painted the nursery
Re-painted the nursery a better color
Painted the nursery trim
Primed and painted Dylan's bedroom
Painted Dylan's trim
Painted & added beadboard to Olivia's bedroom
Painted Olivia's trim
Painted the inside of Olivia's closet
Painted the downstairs bathroom
Painted the living and dining room
Painted the living and dining room trim
Got a new king size bed
Bought and restored a kitchen island
Hung our chandelier in the dining room
Painted the entry
Switched out the sofa covers 
De-molded the washing machine 
De-wormed the dogs (ew)
Hung pictures, shelves and & mirrors
Bought a coffee table, entry bench, and bookshelf on Craigslist

Projects we want to do in the next month:
Paint the entry trim (this weekend)
New entry lights
Hang hooks in entry
New curtains for living and dining room
Paint the front door
Paint the baby's dresser
Paint the stool in the baby's room
Paint the kitchen walls
Paint the kitchen hutch we bought on CL
Paint the kitchen cabinets
New light for kitchen
Figure out how to work the damn hot tub

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Makeover: the Sofa

The huge green sofa in my living room used to be the family room couch (see North Woods cabin-ish photo above). We bought it from Ikea a couple of years ago, and almost immediately noticed ugly yellow spots of discoloration on the cushions. I honestly didn't care so much when it was Basement Couch, but now that it's Living Room Couch, that look's not gonna fly.

On a whim, I did a Google search for "Karlstad covers discolored" and wouldn't you know it, a whole bunch of people had the exact same problem. Enough that Ikea actually recalled the crappy covers and was hooking folks up with brand new ones. For FREE. That's my favorite price! This time we smartened up and chose covers the same color as our dogs.

We also ditched the blocky wood legs and picked up a couple of packs of the sleek aluminum legs instead. And that's how we got a brand new (looking) couch for $40. 

Don't you think it would look better with a new rug? I do!

Going gray

Hallelujah, we have a paint color! Meet Gray Wisp, by Benjamin Moore.

We still have to hang our hooks and some pictures. And get rid of that godawful light fixture. And paint the door. And put up the handrails. But at least the color is on the walls.

In the end we went with a light shade we wouldn't tire of easily, since painting these tall walls involves my husband on top of a ladder on top a scaffold on top of the stairs. Scary sounds were coming from the entry yesterday, my friends.

Just one room to go!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Makeover: 1 Desk, 3 Ways

Three years ago I bought this desk on Craigslist for $20.

I smothered it with a million coats of shiny white paint and added new blue glass knobs from Anthropologie.

Then a few months ago I started thinking it would look better naked. So I conned my sweet husband into spending some quality time with a stripper. Paint stripper, HA! Yeah, he wasn't amused either. Several weekends of stripping, sanding, blowtorching (don't go there) and scraping ensued. Then he rubbed on (stop it) a coat of tung oil and I bought new knobs (no) from Anthro.

Currently I'm using it as a vanity in our South Dakota-size master bathroom. Pregnant women need to sit down to do their make-ups, if you didn't know. We get tired. The mirror on the wall was a thrifted frame that I took to a glass shop on Ashland & for $20 a very nice man made it into a mirror. Everything else was re-purposed from somewhere else in the house. And I was right - it's even cuter au naturel.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who's excited for the first day of school?

Only me, apparently.

At least they are still humoring me. For now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Heart Craigslist

Check out the cute dresser I got for the baby's room. The color is actually pretty cool, but I'm gonna paint that sucker anyway. Or, more accurately, Josh is gonna paint that sucker anyway. While I watch and comment. Lucky boy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Dark vs Light

We're totally split on this one.

We're starting here: dark-ish entry way, with a slate floor and white trim.

One of us thinks we should go dark and dramatic.

photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of west elm
photo courtesy of
And the other one thinks we should go light and airy.

photo courtesy of design sponge
photo courtesy of
photo courtesy of

I think we should thumb-wrestle to decide.

Dylan's Room

I'm telling you right now, it will never be this clean again.

Dylan's philosophy on life

Resource list:
Paint: Benjamin Moore Silver Fox
Desk: Target
Chair: Ikea
Painting: by Josh's bro-in-law, Matt Irie
Lamps: Ikea
Nightstand: vintage
Low bookshelf: Target
Tall bookshelf: Craigslist

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strike two

Well crap. It turns out that Saliva really wasn't the right color. Unless you like your walls to be the exact same color as surgical scrubs.

At least we put the breaks on early, as soon as we cut in around the front door. The bad news? We now have two gallons of ugly paint. I guess we're going to try again with a new color tomorrow.

Layla is unimpressed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

World's Best Carrot Cake

I broke in the oven this week with some cupcakes for the co-workers. I'm not trying to brag or anything, but I'm pretty sure I could make a living selling carrot cake if this whole advertising thing doesn't pan out.

Here's the recipe. You're welcome.

World’s Best Carrot Cake
4 eggs (room temperature)
¾ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
3 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 can crushed pineapple, drained well
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup pecans
1.     Preheat oven to 350. Grease & flour 9 x 13 pan.
2.     In a large bowl beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, brown & white sugars, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in pineapple. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans (Josh hates nuts so I make half with and half without).
3.     Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. For cupcakes, bake 22 min. For mini cupcakes, bake 16 min.

Cream Cheese Frosting (from Martha Stewart Cupcakes book)

1 pound (4 cups) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift icing sugar into a medium bowl. DON'T SKIP THIS STEP! I only use 3 or 3 1/2 cups of sugar, 4 is too sweet for me.
  2. With a stand mixer on medium-high speed, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low.  Add confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
  3. Makes 4 cups - so don't be stingy with the frosting. Pile it on!

These cupcakes do need to be refrigerated, and they taste better when you bring them to room temperature before eating. You could add raisins if you're into that. Golden raisins might be good. Just throw them in after the carrots. Also, check your cake a few minutes early, because overcooking = dry carrot cake, and no one wants that. Martha has a cool trick of setting a timer and turning the cupcake pan around in the oven at the halfway mark, so they all cook evenly. I don't know if it really helps but I do it. I do everything Martha tells me to. Martha knows best.

Liv's Room - the reveal

At the old house, this is what Olivia's room looked like. 

Then we moved to the new house, and she picked this room, because of the big closet.

We decided to add beadboard on the bottom half of the wall (thanks Josh & Josh's dad!) and considered lots of colors (most of them pink) for the top half.

In the end, we decided to go with the deepest, brightest pink we could find, Benjamin Moore Peony.

Perfect for a 13 year old girl, don't you think? And I think it can grow with her. When/if she gets tired of the Taylor Swift posters and lip decals, framed black and white photos would look great on the wall. And switching in some more mature bedding would be an easy update.

I'll post Dylan's room later this weekend. It's a lot less pink.

Resource list
Paint: Benjamin Moore Peony on walls, Simply White on trim
Bed: PB Teen (via Craigslist)
Bedding: PB Teen
Desk: Vintage on CL
Green desk chair: Target
Hanging white chair: Ikea Svinga
Striped storage cubes: Target
Curtains: Ikea, with pom pom trim sewn on
Corkboard: we made
Wall lip stickers: Target
Posters: Taylor Swift