Friday, February 28, 2014

These days.

Life has been vacillating between hectic and subdued these last few weeks. We have been very happy, and very grateful for this balance. It keeps us on our toes, and gives us a moment to breathe.

Over the course of three naps, Jeff and I managed to paint our living room. It took two coats of good paint, patience, and lots of tip-toeing around on our squeaky floorboards.

I took this picture before the painting over the mantle was hung because I was too short to hang it, even while standing on a chair. The ceilings are higher than you'd expect for a little bungalow.

We painted the ceiling using Benjamin Moore's ceiling paint in Simply White (FYI, Simply White should actually be called Simply Off-White - don't be fooled by the name). The trim is in Valspar's high gloss Ultra White (which is actually white). Finally, we painted the walls in Benjamin Moore (Natura) Camouflage, which is on the same color card as Simply White; I saw this color on the swatch and knew I wanted to use it. I still have a bit of touch-up work to do on the trim and crown molding, and we would love to tear out the old tiles in front of the fireplace and replace them with something more modern and bright.

Here is the before picture. It sure feels good not to have that accent wall anymore. My house was starting to feel like an Easter egg with all the colorful toys littering the ground.

You can see that we have also purchased a new blind for the front window. The old roman shade wasn't working for it broke.

I've mentioned before how much I love cleaning with vinegar. There was some soot stuck to the bricks of the fireplace, so I decided to scrub a few of them with a 50/50 vinegar and water solution.



Everett and I have also been experimenting with different fruit smoothie blends. It's a great way to sneak healthy things into his diet. I swear, this kid will eat/drink anything that can be slurped through a straw.

  • Yogurt
  • Orange juice
  • Orange slices
  • Banana
  • Blueberries
  • Kale

He likes to help out in the kitchen while I'm experimenting with the Vitamix.

Nailed it! Or rather, Kaled it!

In conclusion, I own too many glassybaby votive holders.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Taking Charge!

By this point in our adult lives, we all know that sometimes life's lessons are best learned through failure. We make mistakes, we suffer the consequences of those mistakes, we pull ourselves up by our proverbial bootstraps, and we move on with life. And so it shall be until the day we die.

Without further ado, we present to you: Wirth Mistakes 2014.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
Come One, Come All!
Hear My Woes and
Hear my Call!

Dear World, and especially women, please take a few days out of your hectic lives to read this fascinating study on the female body.

I promise that you will have much less stress in your life, and you'll probably save yourself some money down the line (ovulation prediction kits and pregnancy tests are frickin' expensive). Basically, this book means fewer trips to the drug store, and a more profound knowledge of the (cough) fluids being emitted from your body. 

HOWEVER, it also means you know when there is a crisis on hand. Like when you nonchalantly use a condom from the bargain bin at Lovers (cough, Mistake) and it does not serve its purpose (epic failure), right around that time of month when the book tells you not to make any Mistakes.

Folks, I am happy to report that all is Mistake-free! The lesson here? Don't make 5 Mistakes like my parents did. So Irish. So Catholic. But all 5 of us are pretty cool, so sometimes Mistakes are good, but...

Rule out those Mistakes and follow this book to the expensive condom boxes at peak ovulation. Because life is too short to be waiting 2 weeks for a pregnancy test.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

DIY Cabinet Painting

How to paint the inside of a kitchen cabinet!

What we have to work with.

So, I know we might be moving out of this house, and not very many people see the inside of your kitchen cabinets, but this is a project that has been on my to-do list since we moved into our house. Finally, my OCD could not handle it anymore, my mom said I was crazy, and I started to paint the inside of our kitchen cabinets.

And boy am I glad I did! We had a contractor come over to fix our bathroom window, and he observed that the old paint in the cabinets was most likely lead paint! Lead paint in our kitchen cabinets! Thank goodness I followed my intuition and began the process of covering it up.

I first suspected the bad paint when I took the sander out, plugged it in, and went to begin sanding down the old paint. Right before I turned it on, something in my head screamed for me not to pull the trigger. I hadn't even considered the possibility of lead paint until this very moment. I decided to play it safe and simply paint over the old, dingy stuff instead. Phew. In newer houses, I do recommend sanding first, but I certainly didn't want to risk having lead particles floating around my kitchen of all places.

So...I apologize in advance for the picture quality in this post. The camera comes out after Everett goes down for bed, which means 0 natural light for taking quality photos. You can deal with it though, right?

Step 1: Put on weird shorts.

Step 2: Wipe down inside of cabinets thoroughly, let dry, then tape off any areas you don't want painted.

Step 3: Use a paint brush to paint corners, edges, and any other areas a roller won't be able to reach.

Look how disgusting the old paint was. Can you understand why it was bugging me so much?

Step 4: Use a roller to paint the larger areas. BTW, this painting kit from Sherwin Williams changed my life! I love the mini rollers so much that I bought another kit for future use, and snatched up all the replacement rollers they had in stock (selfish). They are a bit more expensive than something you can find at Lowe's or Home Depot, however, know that I only had to use 2 coats of paint with the Sherwin Williams rollers, compared to 4 coats of paint with the Lowe's rollers. This saved me hours of work. Not to mention the fact that the Sherwin Williams rollers made a smoother finish.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 & 4 until you have a smooth, seamless finish.

Step 6: If you want a contrasting accent - which only you will notice, but it will make you happy every time you grab a cereal bowl - use an edging tool to paint the back wall of the cabinet. {this picture was taken with the iPhone...sorry}

Step 7: Wait for the paint to dry, remove tape, and ENJOY!

Our walls are painted in Benjamin Moore's Robin's Nest. What's funny is the paint sample I chose was labeled wrong when I bought the paint for our kitchen. I originally was going for a muted gray tone, and I kept waiting for the turquoise to dry a different color. It never did, but I ended up loving the classic color, which is reminiscent of the old kitchen appliances of the 50s - 60s. AND I was ahead of the decorators because we are now seeing a lot of designer kitchens painted in this color scheme. The inside cabinets are painted in Valspar's no-VOC paint in Ultra White, and the accent is Valspar's Notre Dame - one of my favorite shades of gray.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter Snapshots - 14 Months

We are doing lots of reading on these cold, winter days.

Still enjoying playing with his Christmas toys.

We bought a carpet cleaner. He was enjoying playing with that too. Mom and Dad enjoy the clean carpets.

Willow has been enjoying the cold, lazy days as well.

Even though we are trapped inside, we still relish the moments we share together. 

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