Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Everything Including the Kitchen Sink

If you know me or have been reading this blog for awhile you know I like for things to be clean and organized. I don't like too much clutter. The kitchen is a place in the home that gets used a lot and can look messy very fast, so why not at least make things as neat as possible before you start cooking and make a mess of things?

Now, I know if you are on Pinterest you have seen or heard these tips already, but reminders are always good for me, so I thought I would share one. Here are my tips for your kitchen sink. 

1. I like to keep hand soap (not just dish soap) by the kitchen sink. We all spend so much time in the kitchen, why not have hand soap there? It is usually closer to the front door then the bathrooms, and in our house it helps my son remember to wash his hands when he comes home after school, after we come back from the store, or any of the other places we all pick up germs. I like to make sure this soap dispenser matches colors in my kitchen and is not disposable (keeping things green at my house of course).

2. I like to keep my dish soap in something prettier then disposable plastic. I use a bottle usually used for oil. I like it because then you don't have to pull up a cap, you just turn it over. Also the soap comes out a little slower then in those disposable plastic bottles, so we go through it slower. (One hint about this one though, make sure the spout is larger enough. The first one I bought was too narrow, and it took WAY too long for the soap to come down. I ended up buying a new one and like it much better.)

3. Don't leave the sponge on top of the sink. I personally use a little stainless steal holder on the inside of the side of the sink I use the least. It keeps the sponge from being an eyesore on top of my sink, but more important the sponge dries out better. This means I can use it longer before it gets stinky. (A tip on this subject, if your sponge gets a little stinky, but still has lots of wear left you can throw it in your dishwasher. It will come out sanitized and smelling much better. I put mine in the section for silverware so it stays put during the cycle.)

A picture of my kitchen sink with the three points I talked about.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Little Something Special

I know we have all seen the "office closet" a million times now. I happen to love the idea, and think they are such a fun use of space. I have also read up on how Wallpaper is all the rage again, yet I have not tried it myself. I am scared of Wallpaper, I'll admit it. I see it in a magazine and want to want to try it, but have not brought myself to do it yet. 

I have now seen these two ideas combined, and I LOVE the results. If you love decorating and organizing  you are not yet following, you are missing out. It is such a fun blog. Anyways, I saw this closet office on that blog and thought I would share it with you.

I love the use of Wallpaper in this small space. It is not scary or overwhelming, it is the perfect pop of fun and style. I love it, hope you do too. 

About Face!

I haven't done a post in awhile about personal style, and I discovered something that for me is a game changer. I was going through my issue of InStyle when I came across a make-up sample. I don't often use those because my skin is so white, they are never even close to my correct color. But this one made me so curious, I tried it even though it made me look like an I had rolled my face in Doritos, just to see how well it covered and how it went on.

So, have any of you seen the commercials for BB make-up yet? It stands for Beauty Balm and lots of make-up companies are adding it to their arsenal. I kept hearing about how great this stuff was, but hadn't tried it. That is what the sample was for, so like I said...even though I knew I would look like I worked for Willy Wonka, I tried it.


I swear the heavens opened, and a light came down on my orange face. The sample I got was for the Loreal Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. (In the case of the Loreal they say their B.B. stands for the Beautifying Beads that are in there B.B. cream.) It felt like silk, it went on so easy, and the coverage was great without looking like I had caked on a ton of make-up. I went out the next day and bought some, but in my correct color of course (for me that's FAIR), and I LOVE IT!! I don't think I could ever go back to regular concealer ever again. Besides the way it makes my skin look when I first put it on, I noticed after wearing it all day that it kept my skin better covered much longer. My skin can be oily, especially on my chin. I can have a shiny chin after only minutes of putting on regular concealer and power. This was not the case with the BB cream. My skin stayed matte for hours. And because it goes on matte, I didn't need to use as much powder to set it.

Anyways, I know not every product works for every person, but this worked so well for me I felt I had to share the information with you. Don't run out and buy it just on my account, but maybe write and ask Loreal for a sample, or look for one in your next beauty magazine. I am so glad I tried it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

The gray side.

  Sorry, this post was promised a long time ago. Jon and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on July 5th. I decided to do a little project for him as a gift. Jon had recently started a new job that made it so he had to go to bed at 8pm. Trying to go to bed that early during the summer can be a challenge with how light it is outside. The project started out as just thinking I would get some blackout drapes for our room, and expanded from there. I found the drapes and then decided we needed some new bedding to go with it, that then lead to getting some more comfortable sheets for Jon. See what happens when you go to Target for one thing?
A little closer for detail.
The quilt is reversible so I can have a little change when I need it.

                                      The gray side.

                                    The side with the pattern.

Now I am just looking for a few yellow details to add to the room. I will have to update you with pictures when I find a few good pieces. 

A Little Art Goes A Long Way

My bathroom was in need of something. I found this piece of art that I liked while visiting my mom and dad in St. George (at T.J.Maxx) and bought it thinking I would put it in my bedroom. I instead ended up putting it  in my bathroom and like it so much more there. It took my plain condo bath and gave it that little punch of something it needed. It filled the space and made the room look more complete.
It is amazing what a piece of art can do, isn't it?

A Lovely Living Room

Take a look at this living room done by Kristen at 6th Street Design for a model home in Daybreak (South Jordan, UT). I love the detail on the ceiling and the color choices for the room. I love how much seating there is without looking cluttered. It proves you can have big style in a little room.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Put Up Your Feet and Stay Awhile

We finally have a place to put our feet up! Before when we watched TV, Jon and I would drag over a basket we kept blankets in and put a pillow on top of it. Then we would share this 14x14 space on a pillow for both of our feet. Not ideal at all, but it worked at the time. We finally got an ottoman that is big enough for all of us. It even has storage in it for Noah's big floor pillow so when he is not using it, it's not taking up space on our floor.
It is dark brown to match the wood on the feet of the couch and chair, our kitchen table and our new light fixture. Things are coming together slowly, but at least they are coming together, right? So come on over and visit...we won't make you put your feet on a pillow. :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

I See the Light!

   So as I have said on this blog before, the lighting fixture that came with our condo was a big, fat, GOLD, thorn in my side. It is amazing to me that this condo was built in 2001 (not 1980) and still someone picked that light fixture. Not only was it bright, brassy gold, but it has 5 lights (for a very small space) that all shown straight down onto the table. It was very overpowering and you felt like you might get a "sunburn" just having dinner.

   At first I thought (and had even started) I would spray paint a fixture I already had. The problem was I kept putting off the project. I realized I was doing this because I really didn't like the fixture in the first place and just painting it wasn't going to help. I decided I needed to buy something. I didn't have a big budget for this (under $100) so I had to do some looking, but I finally found something I liked on Amazon.

                      Let me remind you what the old fixture looked like. Beautiful, right?

And then here is the new fixture. It just is so much more modern and makes the whole room feel less dated. Plus, I just like it. And now we can have the light on while eating dinner without needing sunglasses.
I am currently working on my office, but then my next project will be the kitchen. This is a project that keeps getting put off just because it will be SO BIG. I plan on painting all my cabinets white and then adding oil rubbed bronze hardware to them to match the light fixture. When it's done, I know I will love it, but I have A LOT of cabinets so it will be a lot of painting.
Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Great moldings, colors, and furniture choices.

  I have featured a lot of my own projects lately. I hope you aren't too sick of seeing them, but just in case you are I thought I would feature someone else's work today. I wish I could credit the designer, but I can't because I don't know who they are. I was looking at Real Estate online (which I do A LOT) and I found this gem in Salt Lake City that is on the market. It's an older condo that has been updated into a beautiful, sophisticated space. I currently live in a condo and long to have the funds to do a major overhaul on my place. I settle for little projects here and there (and will have some to show you very soon), but this space inspired me so much. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Some Small Updates

I know I said my next post would be about our updated lighting fixture, but that is still a work in progress. So, I am showing you some small updates that I have been working on. Noah's room has been getting closer to being done bit-by-bit. I still need one more small table and one more bookcase before it is totally finished, but we have made a few small changes since I last posted pictures of his room.

Noah loves to draw, a lot, so I made him a little station for his art supplies. This way he can get to his pencils and things he needs quicker instead of having to dig out the colored pencils from the markers every time he wants to make a comic. I also added some of his works of art from previous years to the wall in back of his chair.

Noah's other love is his Gogo's collection (these little figures he collects and loves to death). I thought since he loves this collections so much, why not give him space to display his beloved collection?

Next I have been working on making our laundry room more presentable. Being that we live in a small condo, the laundry room is my main area for storage. It was a big mess, so I am trying to bring some organization to the madness so it looks better, and so I can find things. :) I love black, white, and red together but have been decorating the condo in more greens, blues, and yellows. I figure the laundry room is separated from the rest of the house enough that I could do some red, black and white in there. It's still has a ways to go, but I promise it's much better then it was.

The hold-up on the light fixture is the paint. The first color I chose was not right, so I tried again and it's turning out much better. Hopefully I will be done soon so I can share that project with you. (You can see a little preview of it in the 2nd laundry room picture towards the bottom. Those are the two pieces of the fixture I keep testing paint on until I get it just right.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Slowly, We Are Getting There

While I am not even close to being finished with any room in our condo, I am making I thought I would share a little. When we were looking at different units to buy and we were looking at the unit that we would soon pick to be our home, my husband looked at me and said, "Are you sure you can make this place feel like us?" My husband is not one to be able to visualize, so I understood it was hard for him to imagine us living in a place that was filled with another families taste and things. I told him I could, and so he had faith and we bought our place. He told me the other day that he is finally starting to feel like this is his home. My son said something similar a few days ago. I am glad, especially because I am not done so it will just feel more and more like ours as I continue to work on it.

Today I am sharing some before and after pictures of Noah's bedroom and the living room.

The way Noah's room looked before we bought the condo.

And here is what Noah's room looks like right now. We still have a lot of work to do here. You can see in the picture all of the posters and pictures on the floor that we still have to hang. We still have shelves to put up, and the curtains he has already picked out that are not up yet. I just still need to find a rod I like for them. Noah picked out the tan, brown, and red color scheme. His favorite color is red, and he wanted a more grown-up looking room.

Here is the way the living room looked before we bought the place.

Here it is empty, vertical blinds and all.

And here it is with the vertical blinds down and curtains up (which I had already showed you pictures of in a previous post) and some furniture in and pictures up on the wall.

This is the side of the living room we are still working on. We eventually want to get a nice entertainment center, but right now we are making do with the pieces we have. I also want to have something above the TV, but I haven't figured out what yet.

And here is a preview of what will be hopefully coming soon. This is the "lovely" dining room lighting that came with the condo. I swear to you the flash on my camera dulled down just how gold this thing is. It has got to go, but we have no money for something like that right now. We have a light fixture still in the box that I bought for our old place that I never ended putting up. In the old house everything was in brushed nickel, so so is that light fixture. Now I am decorating with oil rubbed bronze in this place. I am going to try to spray paint the nickel fixture and see if I can use that. We shall be continued!!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Something Old, Somthing New, Nothing Borrowed, A-Whoo-Hoo!

In our new place we have had to make due a lot with things that we don't love (the greenish carpet in the bedrooms for one). We have also been decorating with most of our stuff from our old place. That can always be a little tricky. When I buy things, I buy them with the place I am going put them already in mind. Here I am having to "make it fit" into a space I didn't plan for. We have been able to buy a few new things (like the curtains from the previous post) here or there, but it has been small things. New flooring will just have to wait, and that's fine.

Here is the thing...when I take one little new item, and mix it with my old items and they work well together in my new space...I get a little rush. It's silly, I know. I care too much about these things, but it makes me happy.

In the picture (above) the only thing that was new was the Q-tip holder (which is really just a tumbler). Like I said we have a greenish carpet in the bedrooms of this place so I wanted to add some green touches in our master bath since the green carpet is right next to it. Every time I go into my bath I see this little combination of things and I like them.

In this picture (above) the couch, pillows and everything on the table is our old stuff. The table and lamp were from Ikea and I paid about $35 for both. On Sunday night I was able to sit on my couch and read by this lamp and it was so nice, and when I see that little table I am happy.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we won't always have money to do every project we want, or to completely remodel our homes all at once, but a small change can bring in that little something to make a place feel fresh, and that might be just what you need to say, "This is my home and I like it!"

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What a Difference a Drape Makes!

Here is the first before and after post for our condo. Our condo came with those "beautiful" vertical blinds. I loath them so! It's one way to make any place feel temporary, like you just don't care. It is not a way to make a house feel like a home...not to mention they made my living room so much darker.

Well, I looked and looked for something that would give us privacy when we needed it, but was still beautiful. Something that made the place feel more like "us" and less like the previous owner. And of course I looked for something that was inexpensive. This is what I came up with.

I decided on a double rod I found at Target. That way I could let in lots of light through the sheer panels during the day, but could still pull drapes across when we had our lights on at night and needed more privacy. It was $40...not too bad for a double rod. So I got the matching hooks as well to let as much light in a possible during the day. Then I looked and looked for all the panels. I looked at just about every major store I could think of that carried drapes and was getting pretty frustrated with my choices until I just wandered over to the drapery section at Walmart during a regular shopping trip. I found the sea color faux silk panels for $13.99 a piece, and the sheer panels for $7.99 a piece. That's 6 panels (4 sheer, 2 faux silk) for about $60 bucks!! I never expected to pay so little for all the panels I needed.

I hung them while my husband was at work last week. All our furniture had already been in place, but when he came home that day he said, "Now it feels like we have a living room". Again, it's about making a house a home, and I am so glad we feel more and more like this place is ours.

It's Alright To Be Little Bitty

So, we are now living in our condo in Eagle Mountain, Ut...and LOVING IT! Not that condo living is perfect (the lady next door already flooded my kitchen), it's just perfect for us right now. My husband and I looked at LOTS of places online from 3 story beautiful homes, to mid-range townhouses before we decided on this little place we now call home.

This place was the obvious choice when we asked ourselves which places were most in-line with what our real goals were. Our goals we to not be stressed out by our mortgage payment, to have more money for fun as a family, and to live with as little impact on the environment as possible. So, yes, we are 30 somethings living in a condo complex with a bunch of newly-weds...but that's alright with me. Last night we hopped on a Trax train, got dinner and went to a Utah Jazz game and I wasn't stressed out about how much money it would cost. What a great feeling! We live on the bottom floor and use very little energy to heat our tiny place, it makes me feel good. I can decorate my place with most of my old furniture and by re-doing almost everything that was already here, it makes me feel great. It's our home, it works for us, and I love it. I bet more people would find happiness if they really thought about what they needed to make them truly happy, instead of what they needed to keep up with the latest trend in McMansions. I live small, and that's not only's happiness.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock Tick Tock

I just don't know if time can go by any slower. I am still in Southern Utah. I have been moved out of our Ivins home for weeks now but still have not closed on our new place up north. The good thing is we have found a place, we are now just trying to wait for it to close. The problem is...I am SO tired of waiting. I have officially lived apart from my husband for a year and a half, and now these last few weeks are just dragging. I know it is because I can see that light at the end of the tunnel and I want to make a sprint for it, but can't because I am waiting on paperwork (which I have decided is one of the most annoying things to wait on).

I can inform you that we didn't end up in any of the places we thought we Daybreak, Herriman, or Saratoga Springs for me! We are going to be living in The Ranches of Eagle Mountain. And no dream house or fancy upgraded townhouse for me either. My husband and I have decided to put our of goals of green and simple living where our mouth is and buy an over ten year old condo.

Now it wasn't just the green, simple lifestyle that lead us to this choice, but also what would be best for us and for Noah. Buying this condo will make things much more comfortable for us financially (and who can't use less financial stress), and there is a charter school just a mile away that Noah will be able to attend clear up until he graduates high school. We did a tour of the school and he is excited about the things the school has to offer which makes it much easier for him to deal with the thought of his having to leave his beloved Vista, were he has attended for the last two and a half years. It is just such a practical choice for us. Now practical does not always lead to thoughts of excitement, but I am excited...let me tell you why. I am so looking forward to making this place our own. It is so bare-bones and plain right now and I just can't wait to get my hands on it. We of course do not want to accumulate debt right as we are making things more affordable for us, so I will save up and do projects one at a time. This is also exciting for me because it should give me lots of future blogs to post as I keep you all updated on the changes I make.

So, here is a little preview (please ignore all decorating and furniture as it is not ours, but the previous owners and our taste are not alike) so you can see how much work I will have to do to make this place our own and give it a personality,  but I am so blessed that we will be together as a family again and that we will have a place to call ours.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Movin' On

My house in Southern Utah has sold. We will be moving out in February, and then it will take us awhile to close on our new place in Northern Utah. Once that happens I hope to take lots of pictures and post about transforming my new place. Hopefully I will be keeping this blog up much better soon, until then I have to pack. So, for those of you wondering if I would ever post on this blog again, it's coming soon. I can't wait.