Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Quality Over Quantity

Hey friends! We are back with another outfit posts as promised! Today, I want to discuss quality over quantity. I've always fallen more in the quantity category. Always adhering to the mindset of loving something and thinking I need it in every single color.  The notion of needing more, more, more; no amount is ever enough.  This is something I want to change.

Before, acquiring more clothes felt like a compulsion.  Like, I couldn't live my life unless I had all these things.  In a strange turn of events, this put a huge damper on outfit planning and getting ready each day. It was sensory overload. I'm also a little on the indecisive side and there were just too many options for me to be able to make snap outfit decisions each morning.  I also thought more options were better, but friends that is just not true.  For me, at least. 

I recently donated approximately 15 bags of clothing, shoes and accessories to goodwill. I got rid of so many things but I still own so much. I'm still overwhelmed, but not as intensely. I honestly should purge a few more things, especially some dresses, but I'm on the right track. I'm already feeling less stressed each morning and I'm starting to enjoy shopping in my own closet again. 

Another thing I have noticed is as much as I love following trends, I really hate trends. They are so fleeting, here for a season or two and then gone. It hit me the other day that I was feeling pressure as a "fashion blogger" to keep up with different trends and to buy outfits just to display on our blog even if they weren't conducive to my every day life.  It hit me how wasteful I was being.  There are so many times I will grab a vintage piece over a new trendy piece. Sometimes I'm in the mood to be a chameleon but usually I'm more into mixing trendy pieces with vintage flair. I'm trying to figure out a way to balance vintage pieces and trendy pieces. 

For now, I'm limiting my shopping. I'm avoiding most stores with the exception of thrift stores which I'm still heavily limiting. I'm even avoiding online window shopping.  I'm mixing and matching again. I'm rewearing outfits again. I'm enjoying fashion again.  

Outfit details:
Top {Goodwill Outlet} / Mom Jeans {American Eagle} / Kicks {Converse}

Jen and I are on a similar wavelength when it comes to quality over quantity. It's definitely something I've been thinking about a lot in 2019. My experience is a little different, more focused on wearing things that I feel good in because they actually fit me. 

I've went through my clothes so many times and felt like everything I owned, I loved. The only issue was most of it didn't fit me any more. I've gained weight over the past year & was stuck wearing the same few things over and over because it was so stressful to go in my closet and try on multiple outfits that didn't fit me anymore. I finally got fed up and a few weeks ago tried on literally every single item of clothing I owned. Anything that didn't fit got packed away. I set a calendar reminder for September and anything that still doesn't fit gets donated, no matter how much I love it.

 I'm really trying to lean in to loving my body how it is, removing the focus from losing weight to taking care of myself with no pressure. It's been a game changer mentally & I didn't realize how much those too small clothes were affecting my headspace. I've brought in a such a small amount of things to my closet since then, I've started measuring myself to make sure I buy the right size & am not feeling that urge to buy everything I see. 

Outfit Details 

Shirt {Etsy} / Jacket {Target} / Jumpsuit {I don't remember, I bought it because I saw someone wearing it in their Insta stories. Sorry!} 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

May Small Goals

For the past few years, Spring has been pretty much skipped here in Missouri. We will have a week of nice weather then it's all humidity all the time. I have been pleasantly surprised by how long Spring has stuck around this year. I've gotten to leave my windows open and wear light jackets and enjoy a few spring storms. I'm trying to be better about enjoying each day a little more for what it is, not wishing for time to move faster (or slower). Gratitude is hard sometimes, but I'm working on it. Now let's kick off May with some small goals that I can accomplish with my windows open and that sweet spring breeze. 

Jen's April Small Goals
1.  Stain quilt display shelf. Didn't get this done. I did buy supplies so hopefully I can knock it out in May.
2.  Take 2 Morning Walks per week.  Nope. Didn't happen even once.
3.  Paint the vanity in the downstairs bathroom.  I decided to paint the vanity navy blue on a whim, after having a different color picked out. I'm really glad I went this way because it really pops.  Just need to finish up painting the trims and doors white.
4.  Clean out cabinets above fridge.  I did this! I need to still donate everything, but the cabinets are pretty much empty.  Just need to figure out what I want to use them for now since they are such awkward cabinets.
5.  Finish painting the stairs.  Yes! I finished this project and I'm in love with my stairs. These little transformations are making me so happy!

3/5 - I'll take it. I was pretty sick the last week of the month and that sucked up so much of my energy.

May Small Goals

1.  Finish painting downstairs bathroom.  It's close guys, just doors and trim!
2.  No Outfit Repeats.  I'm going to try to make the most out of my current wardrobe this month and do a no outfit repeats challenge. 
3. Selfish Sewing.  I've been spending a lot of time sewing for others lately. I'm going to spend one day or afternoon working on a personal sewing project.  Nothing planned, just whatever strikes my fancy.
4.  Buy a Fern.  For some reason, I've become obsessed with the idea of having a big leafy fern on my front porch. The porch is ready for spring/summer with my patio set and various gnome decorations. I think a fern would just complete the look.
5.  Buy a new shower curtain.  Now that the bathroom is almost finished, I'm ready to start looking at a few things to decorate it with. First on my list is a shower curtain. I keep joking about making the bathroom HP themed and I think I found a shower curtain that will have a subtle nod to the forbidden forest without being OVERLY HP.  Apparently my husband is not as obsessed as I am?

Heather's April Small Goals
1. Start Couch to 5K I started and am only a few days in but I am feeling good about getting back into it. 
2. Buy a book cart Done! I bought it on April 30th, but I did it. Just in time too since I also picked up like 10 library books on the same day. 
3. Meal plan for dinners I did not get this one done, but I still want to try and fit it in at some point. 
4. Sew a robe Nope. I got confused by the pattern and just didn't start on it. I still want to do this though. 
5. Spending Freeze Besides the book cart, I did a good job on my spending freeze this month. 

3/5 goals completed

May Small Goals 
1. Bring my lunch 3 times a week I've been either eating out or not eating lunch and I need to get better about planning. I want to bring my lunch at least 3 times a week this month. 
2. Read 5 books I feel like I've been in a reading slump. I want to read at least 5 books in May. 
3. Book AirBnB for Colorado trip We are going on a family vacation to Colorado this summer with my sisters and I want to make sure we book the AirBnB this month since we need a place to sleep 7 people. 
4. Start a new crafty project I haven't been doing anything crafty lately. I want to at least start on something, probably knitting or crocheting something. 
5. Buy some patio furniture I love sitting outside on my porch, but we have been using weird folding chairs (until they broke) and now an old computer chair so it's time to invest in some actual outdoor furniture. I don't need anything fancy or expensive, just two chairs and a small table, which I think I've already found. I just need to go buy them! 

May Book Club

Hey book lovers! It's May which means time is ripe for some outside reading time. I'm looking forward to getting some outdoor furniture for my porch so I can sit outside and read in the spring breeze before the humidity shows up. This month I suggested we read The Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I had gotten it from the library and wanted to prioritize reading it, plus it's gotten so much hype that I knew I wanted to find out what it's all about. I'm excited to get started, especially because it's long & I've got a few days off for a staycation this month.

What's it about? 

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

Friday, April 19, 2019

GROUNDBREAKING: Florals for Spring

Friends!! Winter is finally over (or is winter coming?)(V timely Game of Thrones reference).  This is our first outfit post in close to a year.  Winter was brutal and we just couldn't talk each other into freezing nor is it easy to feel stylish when its that cold.  Anyway, fashion is such a big part of our lives and we are so happy to make this a regular thing again.  

Heather suggested we do some floral outfits to kick off the spring and our return to the fashion blogging world.  It felt so good getting back into the swing of things, giggling, twirling and collaborating on outfit ideas that we are determined to make this a regular thing again.  

Heather and I have both been rather strict with our funds this year.  We both have serious goals of tackling debt and planning for the future which feels really good.  This means less shopping in stores and more shopping in our closets.  I feel like I'm embracing this in a way I never have before.  When you are constantly bringing in new pieces, it feels hard to mesh your wardrobe together. You get excited to wear the new piece, but its hard to realize all the potential outfits because you have so many pieces. This top for example, I've worn it a few times but only with mom jeans. It was hard for me to see the potential of the other outfits it could help create. Now as I'm looking at this outfit, I could picture the shirt with some black skinny jeans and a denim vest.  

I think I was just overwhelmed and that dampened by creativity in this outlet of my life.  In the past couple of months, I've donated approximately 15 garbage sized bags to Goodwill and I still have so many things. There still isn't much wiggle room anywhere though. I do have things organized better and everything now has its spot; but there isn't much room for new things.  My mom always said you should get rid of something old when you bring something new in and damnit, I think she might be right. 

I feel like I'm way more apt to mix and match now which is helping create some super cute outfits and I'm feeling less bored with my wardrobe overall.  Sure, there are still times when I think "Ohhhh if I only had this top or those shoes, this outfit would be perfect" but would it? Honestly, IDK but I'm feeling a lot more saner have less to choose from. 

I honestly feel like it might be a precursor to start a "only buy used clothes for 6 months or however long" challenge.  I'm so intrigued when other people do this challenge. I think it is definitely something I'm going to try in the future since I thrift pretty often anyway and I reallllly enjoy rocking a vintage piece. 

Outfit Details

Bodysuit {Forever 21} / Pants {Forever 21} / Sandals {American Eagle}
All from last season.

Jen and I always seem to be on similar wavelengths and this is no exception. I've donated my heart out over the past year, but still my closet seemed to be filled to the brim. Not only was it overflowing, but I also was basically wearing the exact same like 10 things. There was no creativity and getting dressed didn't bring me joy like it used to, which was a real bummer. 

I've gained about 15-20 pounds over the past year and part of my lack of clothing creativity was things didn't fit anymore. So last Friday I decided I was done. I took literally every single piece of clothing I owned and piled it on my bed, Marie Kondo style. Then I tried each thing on. If it didn't fit, it went in a pile to the side to be packed away. I'm giving it until August 1st and if it still doesn't fit at that point, it's being donated. I'm not actively trying to lose weight, but I do love all the items I'm keeping so I want to make sure they need to be gone for good before I donate them. I struggle with binge eating and healing my eating habits could mean I lose weight, but it also could mean I don't. And I'm fine either way. 

This process means my closet holds about 1/3 of what it did before, but now I know every single thing fits me and I feel good in it. It's incredibly freeing. I had no idea the weight those clothes in my closet had on my mental health. I'm working hard to stop attaching my worth to how much I weigh and what I look like at any size. My body is my body and it does not determine how worthy of love, success, and affection I am. Easier said than done, but clearing out the physical reminders that I'm not a certain size has helped make that head space easier to occupy. 

I'm incredibly thankful for Jen and her support. She's always there to remind me I'm cute and valuable just as I am. She also took these photos of me which reminded me how much I love clothes and looking cute. I've been living in leggings, but probably more accurately, I've been hiding in leggings. I'm excited to get dressed again and cannot wait to be creative with my best friend to take outfit photos I feel good in. 

Outfit Details 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

April Small Goals

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling incredibly motivated lately. Not having to wear a coat every day & being able to have the windows open at home feels so nice. This weekend I've gotten up every day and tackled quite a few things on my home to do list. It's felt so good to knock things off my list that I've had on there for awhile. Everything feels so much easier lately, so full of possibility. I tried to be intentional with my small goals this month, using my 101 in 1,001 list for guidance. I'm looking forward to crossing even more off my list things month!  

Jen's March Small Goals
1.  Finish closet purge. Done! I'm so proud of this goal. My closet has never been a pillar of organization before and it is such a great feeling be able to find what I'm looking for without challenge.
2.  Paint the floor in my closet.  Yes! This was pretty easy since I had most everything pulled out for the purge.
3.  Goodwill Donation.  Man, this was a crazy busy weekend for me, but I managed to get #1-#3 done in the same weekend. I'm still in shock at how easy goodwill drop offs are.
4.  Prep, Prep, Prep.  I've been slowly working on this goal. Trying to mash a couple of patterns and techniques together to make some pretty amazing zipper pouches uses vintage fabrics and supplies. I didn't get as much done as I was hoping, but my finished stack is growing and we are getting closer to a debut. I'm also feeling really good about this creative process. 
5. Kitty Love.  I feel really good about this goal too. My cats have loved the extra pampering and attention. The only downfall is I think Lily loves being brushed too much? She is developing a bald spot on her back but she demand meows at me every night when I come home from her ottoman throne in the attic haven. 

5/5 goals completed two months in a row - what a streak!

April Small Goals
1.  Stain quilt display shelf.  I found this really cool quilt display shelf at the Goodwill Outlet recently. It could use a little love. I'm going to sand it down and stain it a dark wood color.
2.  Take 2 Morning Walks per week.  Like everyone else, I have spring fever.  
3.  Paint the vanity in the downstairs bathroom.  I feel like I'm on a roll redecorating/remodeling and I do not want to lose steam. My goal is to get the vanity, mirror and matching light fixture painted.  I also plan on painting the walls and doors but I want to knock the vanity out for sure this month.
4.  Clean out cabinets above fridge.  You know, those cabinets that are super hard to get to that just seem to harbor your silliest of junk.  I'm planning on purging the bulk and then I'll need to decide what should live there.
5.  Finish painting the stairs.   At the end of March, I started tackling my stair project. I have ripped the carpet out and have put one coat of paint on the walls and the stair risers.  I need to put a second coat on the walls and risers and then I need to paint the treads (tops) of the stairs gray to match the floor upstairs. 

Heather's March Small Goals
1. Sell books at Half Price Books I did this one right at the end of the month, but it feels good to finally get it done! 
2. Donate home stuff to Goodwill I got this one done super early. Jen and I donated stuff together and it was so easy. Why did I wait so long to do this?! 
3. Implement "radical self care" This one kind of fell off my radar, but I have made a lot of strides with my self care this month. I'm going to work on refining what radical self care would look like for me. 
4. Cook 3 new things I got this one done just in time. I cooked this Alison Roman stew, a broccoli quinoa bake for lunches, & this lentil marinara spaghetti
5. Drink 48 oz. of water each day Done! I am surprised I actually did this one. I struggled with this at the beginning of the month, but then I realized I could drink 4 cans of La Croix and hit this goal easily every day. I know it's not the most cost effective, but it works for me so I'm going to keep this one going. 

4/5 goals completed! A pretty solid March if you ask me.
April Small Goals
1.  Start Couch to 5K I want to get started with Couch to 5K again. I really liked the sense of accomplishment I got from it last time I did it.  
2. Buy a book cart I want to buy a cart from Ikea to keep books on (specifically library books). I was inspired by this blog post
3. Meal plan for dinners We usually decide what we are having for dinner the day of and it's not always the most efficient. I want to try planning dinners for a week in advance and buying everything we need during our big shopping trip on the weekend. 
4. Sew a robe I have this jersey fabric I bought years ago that I hate going to waste. I was trying to find some easy sewing projects for jersey fabric and a light robe came up. I've been wanting a lighter robe for the warmer months so I'm really excited to see how this comes out. 
5. Spending Freeze Some unexpected expenses came up so I would like to use April for a spending freeze. No spending on books, clothes, anything non essential. I am working on a list to make sure I have a really detailed plan on what is covered and what is not. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Heather's 101 in 1,001

Maybe it's the weather, but I'm on this big personal development/goal setting kick. I recently stumbled across a blog about the 101 in 1,001 goals and then went down a rabbit hole reading multiple blogs about them. I was easily convinced that I wanted to give it a shot for myself. The idea is to list 101 goals you would like to complete in 1,001 days (about 2.75 years). It gives you a longer timeline to work on the goals and hopefully accomplish more of them than you normally would. I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to put on mine. I wanted to add goals that I have always wanted to accomplish and I wanted to think through what I wanted my life to look like 1,001 days from now. I think I've found a good mix of large and small goals, plus things that will help me stretch and grow.

I do have a few guidelines to help me stay on track:

  • I will check in every 3 months to post progress to hold myself accountable. This will include completed goals and in progress goals.
  • I can evaluate goals and change them if needed. This would take place during my 3 month check in. 
I am really excited to get started and see what I can accomplish by the end of 2021. Here's a list of my goals. I'll also keep this post updated as I accomplish things. 

101 in 1,001 Goals 

Start April 1, 2019
End December 27, 2021
  1. Host a wine party 
  2. Read all books I currently own (As of April 1, 2019) 
  3. Buy only second hand clothes for 6 months 
  4. Print photo books 
  5. Organize photos on my phone 
  6. Run a half marathon 
  7. Travel to Europe 
  8. Travel to 5 new places in the US 
  9. Take one family vacation a year 
  10. Send Christmas cards 
  11. Improve my credit score by 150 points 
  12. Complete the Tarot for the Wild Soul course 
  13. Create a morning routine 
  14. Write a book 
  15. Go to the eye doctor 
  16. Go the the dentist every 6 months 
  17. Buy a new couch 
  18. Buy a book cart 
  19. Create a bar cart 
  20. Move to a new house 
  21. Have a picnic in Forest Park 
  22. Go to the drive in 
  23. No eating out for lunch for 1 month 
  24. Complete a Yoga by Adrienne challenge 
  25. Climb a rock wall 
  26. Go to drag brunch 
  27. Send one letter a month 
  28. Watch 5 series in my Netflix queue 
  29. Go wine tasting 
  30. Go to a hockey game 
  31. Go ice skating 
  32. Go on a solo trip 
  33. See a musical at The Fox 
  34. See a show at the Muny 
  35. Go to 5 concerts 
  36. Get a facial at Lark Skin Co. 
  37. Go on an overnight hike 
  38. Print and hang wedding / engagement / honeymoon photos 
  39. Throw a surprise party 
  40. Do a GBBO baking challenge 
  41. Get started with investing 
  42. Go kayaking 
  43. Go vegan for one month 
  44. Stay at a haunted hotel 
  45. Make a will 
  46. Get a Thai massage 
  47. Complete a 100 day project 
  48. Watch every season of SNL 
  49. Get promoted 
  50. Do a 10x10 clothing challenge 
  51. Bike on the Katy Trail 
  52. Work from a coffee shop once a month 
  53. Yearly HAM reunions 
  54. Sell my wedding dress 
  55. Submit a post to Pass/Fail 
  56. Make my own bath bombs 
  57. Get a diffuser for essential oils 
  58. Pay off Jarrett’s student loans 
  59. Have $500 in personal savings 
  60. Make my own candles
  61. Redesign the blog  
  62. Buy a new bed (frame + mattress) 
  63. Go on a sisters only trip 
  64. Try a dance class 
  65. Buy a Nooworks jumpsuit 
  66. Buy an Outdoor Voices/Girlfriend Collective workout set 
  67. Go back to Mexico 
  68. Go on a ghost tour 
  69. Make my own iced lattes at home 
  70. Go to an aquarium 
  71. Go to Harry Potter theme park 
  72. Visit the botanical gardens 
  73. Try 5 new breweries 
  74. Go on a Christmas lights tour 
  75. Get a new Christmas tree 
  76. Drink lemon water in the morning for 1 month 
  77. Complete the Kon Mari decluttering method 
  78. Take Jake on morning walks before work for one month 
  79. Sell used books at Half Price books every 3 months 
  80. Get an Apple Watch 
  81. Complete Couch to 5K 
  82. Get a robot vacuum 
  83. Buy some indoor plants (real or fake) 
  84. Knit or crochet a blanket 
  85. Knit a sweater 
  86. Use the yarn I have to make scarves/hats to donate 
  87. Sew 5 different clothing items 
  88. Buy wool dryer balls 
  89. Meal plan a week at a time for one month 
  90. Buy a bike 
  91. No screen time after 7pm for one month 
  92. Rewatch 5 shows I love 
  93. Blog outfit photos twice a month 
  94. Write an article for work 
  95. Get a tattoo 
  96. Cook every recipe in a cookbook 
  97. Try 10 new restaurants in STL 
  98. Stick to a strict budget for one month 
  99. Meet up with one friend every month 
  100. Keep a gratitude journal
  101. Read 10 classic books 

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Book Club

Hey book lovers! Spring has officially sprung and I'm more than ready for some sunshine reading. This month I suggested we read Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I actually preordered this book & it was released at the beginning of March. TJR is one of my favorite authors, someone whose books I automatically buy. I knew I wanted to read this soon and also knew Jen would be interested so our April book club pick was born. I'm so excited to get started on it & see if it lives up to the hype. I've heard it's like an episode of Behind the Music and I cannot wait to dive in. So let's get to it! 

What's it about? 
Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring To Do List

The official first day of Spring was this week and I've been celebrating by wearing sandals despite the temperature each day & opening my windows even if it's only 50 degrees. There's definitely something in the later sunsets & slightly warmer temps that gets me inspired to work on projects and get some things done. I asked Jen if we wanted to post some seasonal goals, along with our monthly small goals, and she was down so here we are. I love how varied our goals are and I'm really excited to cross things off my list! 

Heather's Spring To Do List

  • Get new patio furniture - our previous patio furniture was foldable chairs and now it's one old computer chair and a cement block we use as a table. Not great. Jarrett and I like to sit outside and have a drink when the weather warms up so I want to get some patio furniture to make it a nice space to do so. 
  • Plant some veggies - we haven't attempted to grow veggies since 2017. The girls are growing cabbage for a school project so we are deciding as a family what veggies we want for our small garden. 
  • Start Couch to 5K - I really enjoyed this app a few years ago when I was getting into running and I want to get back into it now that the weather is getting better and the sun is setting later. 
  • Extra bedroom makeover - I want to make our extra bedroom and usable space after 3 years of just filling it with things that have no place. I've got big plans and I want to finish this by June.  
  • Take the girls to Forest Park - I want to take the girls to the Art Museum in Forest Park & maybe have a picnic on Art Hill. 
  • Do some thrifting/yard sale browsing - with my plans to update my home on a budget, I want to try and get as many things second hand as I can. 
  • Go to a farmers market - I haven't been to a farmers market since I lived in San Diego 6 years ago. I know there are some good ones in St. Louis so I want to make plans one weekend to hit one up. 
  • Go camping - I don't like camping when it's super hot out so this is going on my spring to do list. It will let us finally use the tent we bought two years ago. 

Jen's Spring To Do List

  • Sunshine reading - One of my favorite things about Spring rolling around is soaking up some vitamin D while getting my read on.  Mornings are my favorite time to soak up some sun!
  • Stairway refashion - Now that upstairs is pretty much wrapped up, I'm ready to tackle the stairs. I'm going to remove the old carpeting, give everything a good cleaning and then I'm going to brighten it up with a couple of coats of paint.  I'd love to have this project wrapped up by the end of March.
  • Paint downstairs bathroom - I just noticed my local hardware store has paint on sale so I'm going to stock up and hopefully tackle this project Easter weekend.  I have a very monochrome vision in mind and am just pumped to be tackling projects on the main level of the house.
  • Goodwill outlet - I have never been to the Goodwill outlet, but my sister and brother in law go regularly and I'm hoping to tag along on one of their thrifting trips soon.
  • Refinish kitchen table  My kitchen table has seen its better days.  It's still sturdy as an oak, but could use a good stain.  I'll probably outsource this project to my very crafty sister and brother-in-law.
  • Introduce Handmade by Gnomecat - It has forever been a dream of mine to sell homemade sewing wears. I now have the perfect opportunity to sell my wears and to advertise commission work through my sister's handmade business (she repurposes used furniture and paints custom signs). I'm very excited to be teaming up with someone who has very similar goals as I do and I can't wait to make my debut.
  • Walks in the park - There is a pretty decent walking trail at the park a few blocks from my house. I spent quite a few mornings last spring walking out my anxiety.  I really love to mix some walking/jogging into my current exercise regimen. Really, anything to get me outdoors more.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Attic Haven

Hey guys! I've been very busy the last few months (which you can probably tell due to long breaks between posting) but I have something pretty cool to share with ya'll. 

I live in a house that was built in the 1920's. It is structurally sound but very, very outdated. We are actually coming up on our 10 year anniversary of owning this home (I seriously can't believe this - I was a baby (21) when we bought it).  We had so many plans when we first bought this place. Most of which involved lots of demolition and doing a complete overhaul. I won't point fingers, but motivation dwindled pretty fast after the first couple of years.  Lately, I've been in extreme nesting mode and have become OBSESSED with making this house my own and the epitome of coziness.  I did a few minor updates last summer and then I plunged into a much more time consuming project.

I decided to tear up all the carpeting in the attic room (which I use as a master bedroom) because I realized there was old hardwood floor underneath.  I mostly wanted to tear the carpet out, not because it was outdated, but because it smelt really musty and gross. The biggest obstacle?  The carpet was GLUED to the old hardwood. Why? I'll never understand.

I wasn't great at documenting before pictures. I was just so over it, a little embarrassed and just ready for it to be gone.  I went through some of my ancient photos (from my olddddd blog) and found this one. At least you get an idea of the carpet I was dealing with.  Basically it was the carpet of every old attic room in American. (I'm not kidding, I spend a lot of time looking at houses on realtor.com and I see this carpet a lot.)

As everyone does when they are plotting house updates, you jump on the pinterest to see what's trending.  I was certain there was a way to update the hardwood instead of replacing it.  The hardwood wasn't in the best shape, but it was mostly intact with the exception of a trap door which I think was for an old stove pipe? (Old houses are fun.) I didn't think it was worth the expense of refinishing the floors since they were in such rough shape.  During my pinteresting, I fell in love with the idea of painting the hardwood. To me, it felt like that would really breath some new life into this neglected floor.

The carpet and glue removal was so time consuming and honestly just really disgusting. I could only do smallish sections at a time because it took so much effort and strength to scrub that glue off. I also opted not to use any harsh chemicals in the removal for my own health and for the health of my cats. I'm unsure if that would have sped the process up or not, but wasn't something worth risking in my opinion.  I eventually worked up the stamina to do larger chunks at a time but the carpet/glue removal took me about four months to complete because I could only work on it during weekends.

The day I finished removing the carpet was honestly one of the happiest days of my life.  It was such a tedious, time consuming part of the project that would leave my arms and wrists sore for days on end.  I was able to watch an entire season of Friends while doing the removal process so I guess it could have been worse.

This trap door was also discovered. I'm pretty sure it was for a kitchen stove pipe that originally went all the way through the roof.  I toyed with closing up the trap door but eventually decided against it. At some point I might clean out the debris and turn it into a hiding place for my treasures or whatnot.  Sometimes it can be hard for me to eliminate old charm in houses.  For now, I'm covering it with a rug for safe keeping.

I started this process mid September. I finished tearing out the carpet/scrubbing off the glue just a couple of days before Christmas.  I then took the month of January off to relax.  The first weekend in February I got to work prepping the room to be painted. I was also able to give the walls a quick refresh that same weekend. I choose to keep the walls white since I really wanted an airy feel.

This was right before I painted the floors. 

I ended up having to paint the room in two sections over a course of two weekends. I hate moving furniture up and down steps so I simply moved it all to one end and painted the other. Then the following weekend I moved the furniture to the freshly painted side and tackled the rest.  I put two coats on the entire thing.  I suggest using an outside porch paint when painting hardwood floors. It is supposed to handle wear and tear better.

The outcome:

This project honestly turned out better than I could have imagine. It was definitely worth those few months of hard labor.  I rewarded myself with new curtains, a sassy new ottoman a new tv stand/quilt display repurposed from an old tv cabinet. This is my haven and I couldn't be prouder.

I would love to cover up the popcorn ceiling and add a couple of build ins (think window seat in the window that has the mirror and ottoman and some built in shelving at the top of the stairs where the white railing is) but I'm definitely satisfied for now.

I have many more house projects up my sleeves!  My goal at the beginning of the year was to bring a certain level of coziness to the house by doing some minor updating. I'm not sure where to start next, but I'll definitely be tackling the stairwell soon since the stairs are covered in the same carpet and it's got to go.  I feel obsessed about making this house the best it can be so stay tuned for more updates!