Take a Deep Breath (With Your Dust-Masks On)

We haven’t been able to have any family or friends over to see the construction zone house yet, and there have been so many updates! We are growing  a zillion little plants indoors to fill up the garden, figured out how to get the tractor mower running and the yard looks significantly less crazy, cleaned out the baseboard heaters meticulously, and best of all (#drumrollplease) We have upstairs flooring! Like, actual clean and nice flooring, in the form of carpeting!  It is so amazing, I have never been so grateful to walk on something in my life.

Anyway, ready for our 1st home tour? Including a boatload of stressful insightful notes on what projects we are prioritizing? There is a lot still to tackle, so we are taking a deep breath (with those aforementioned dust-masks on) and taking one step at a time. We still haven’t made the actual big move, so we are cramming in as much reno as possible before we haul the beds and cat into the house and officially live here.

Come on in!

BEFORE House Front View Edited

Porch/Mudroom/Sunroom/#whatisthisspace

When you first come in the front door (seen above) this is where you come into. The door is seen in the below pic, on the right-hand side and the door on the left-hand side enters into the living/dining rooms.

BEFORE Mudroom Porch 2 Watermarked

Here is a view of the other side of the porch (this side is a little smaller… pardon the vacuum):

BEFORE Mudroom Porch 3 Watermarked

The only progress in this space so far has been spackling and patching areas where the drywall seams had come loose/peeled off and things were a bit of a mess. Next we’re thinking of…

  • Paint the ceiling the same Sweet Slumber paint we used in some of the other rooms
  • Paint the walls a pretty color
  • Replace the light fixture with something updated
  • Create a hook/basket/bench system to keep the kids organized when we get in the door (and us too)
  • Create a desk area on one side, so Dennis can have relatively private workspace (away from playing kids)
  • Dream Project: Re-tiling the floors! Something amazing! This weird industrial carpet is off-putting.

Check out the hubs wingspan below… the porch is pretty big, really!

BEFORE CLOSING Dennis wingspan porch Watermarked

Living/Dining Rooms

(See the before pics here)

PAINTED Living Room 1

PAINTED DIning Room 1

The first photo above is of the living room area, and the lower one is of the dining room; the front door from the porch opens up into the dining room, and the dining room then leads to the kitchen. They are really one big room divided by this partial all and set of back-to-back built-in bookcases. The wall between the dining room & kitchen has a cut-out with another small and wider built-in set of shelves below it. Anyway, so far we have cleaned them, painted the ceiling, painted the walls, repaired the trim around doors and windows, primed & painted the window, door, and other trim white, had the carpets cleaned, and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Build some new shelves for the built-ins. The old ones were too thin, flimsy, and too narrow so didn’t reach all the way to the front of the built-ins. We are thinking some nice medium-toned stained wood would add a natural element and some contrast to rooms.
  • Touch up the baseboards where the new paint got dinged up by the carpet cleaner.
  • Install new light fixtures
  • Paint and/or replace the front door
  • Upgrade the thermostat to a “smart” one, to save on energy costs
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add white crown-molding to match the trim
  • Dream Project: Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Kitchen

The view below is from walking into the kitchen from the dining room… and yes, while in the midst of project-mode it got very messy and full of over-excited children! If you walk through the kitchen to those french doors, it leads to the deck and the backyard. The door right behind the fridge leads to the downstairs half-bath and the staircase upstairs. (Not shown; the door to the basement is on the other wise of the fridge, out of view).

BEFORE Kitchen 1 watermarked

If you’re standing next to the fridge:

BEFORE Kitchen 2 Watermarked

So far we have cleaned this room SO MUCH and added lots of nice, white shelf-liner to make the old cabinets serviceable while we figure out bigger plans. The fridge was rusted in areas, so we used some Bar Keepers Friend cleaner to get it fixed up. There is so much to do, but next up:

  • Paint the walls (we’re thinking an ocean-ish blue, to set off the terr-cotta hued floor tiles?)
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door to the basement
  • Install a window treatment above the sink (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Add some temporary food-prep and counter space with a small free-standing island
  • Dream Project:Replace the cabinets, counter-top, and sink with some upgraded stuff!
  • Dream Project: Replace the old stove with a new unit, and move it over to the cabinet wall so we can add some ventilation above it to go outside. Also, replace the portable dishwasher with a permanent one, next to the sink. And so so many more things!

Downstairs Bathroom

This is the smallest little space known to man, but I actually think it’s really sweet (and am just grateful we will have a 2nd bathroom).

BEFORE Downstairs Bath Watermarked

So far we have cleaned it up quite a bit, and taken down the light-fixture cover to clean it (not shown), and thoroughly cleaned inside the baseboard heater unit. Next up:

  • Paint the ceilings and walls (no firm ideas on colors yet, but you may spot that paint chip taped to the wall)
  • Replace the light fixture and mirror above the sink (something more flush with the wall would be great, and we could add storage elsewhere in the room somehow)
  • Paint the trim white to match the other rooms
  • Paint or replace the door (it’s really banged up)
  • Install a window treatment to the little window (privacy is nice!)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones

Bedroom #1

Here we enter the first bedroom…

House Progress Haven's Room 5 10 14 Edited

This bedroom is our girl’s room, and she picked up the purple paint color (which was in the process of being put on the walls when this pic was snapped). So far we have cleaned the room, removed the weird hanging from hooks-and-cords light fixture, painted the walls her choice of lavender (but not the closet yet), and thoroughly cleaned the inside of the baseboard heaters. Next up:

  • Painting the inside of the closet; we’re thinking white?
  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Figured out a closet door? Or leave it open to the room?
  • Install some window treatments (after repairing some damaged window trim)
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Dream Project: Replace the old carpet with hardwood floors
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #2

This is the “master” bedroom as it is slightly larger than the others. YAY FOR THE FLOOR! I am so excited, using all caps seems excusable given the circumstances.

PROGRESS Master Bedroom May 26 14

Remember the before? Not all that long ago, it looked like this…

BEFORE Master Bedroom Watermarked

That’s right, the upstairs flooring looked like this (brace yourself)…

BEFORE CLOSING Upstairs Flooring

But it’s all better now!

So far we have cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring (it wasn’t the good stuff that could be refinished), painted the walls a bold color, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), fixed a couple squeaks in the floor, and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Replace the  light fixture (hopefully with a low-profile ceiling fan!)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Dream Project: Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Expand the closet doors down the wall – there is closet all the way along the length of the wall, but most of it is out of reach!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Bedroom #3

Welcome to our boy’s room!

PROGRESS Diallo Bedroom Progress 5 26 14

Again, since this has the most recent updates, here is the original before…

BEFORE Diallo's Room Watermarked

So far we have painted the walls a nice blue and an orange he picked out himself (#favoritecoloralert), cleaned the room really well, installed carpet over that banged-up flooring, painted the ceiling, cleaned out the closets (including some major shelf-repair drama), and thoroughly cleaned out the baseboard heater units. Next up:

  • Painting the window, wall, and crown-molding trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Add white baseboards to match the trim
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Find a way to make part of the closet a fun cubbyhole for reading?
  • Dream Project: Replace the old windows! There are all new windows in most rooms, but these need to be upgraded stat!
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units!

Upstairs Bathroom

This bathroom needs a lot of work, but honestly – I’m just relieved it is pretty big inside! With four people brushing a lot of teeth, we need some space. You walk into it from the end of the upstairs landing/hallway…

BEFORE Upstairs Bath 3 Watermarked

And here is what it looks like when you walk in and turn to the left…

BEFORE Upstairs Bath 1 Watermarked

And if you turn back to the right… Wow, this is a really awkward space to photograph.

BEFORE Upstairs Bath 2 Watermarked

So far we have… made even more of a mess of it. We did re-caulk the bathtub/shower and really thoroughly clean out the closet (again, lots of shelf-repair drama) but otherwise it remains untouched. So, next up:

  • Cleaning SO much…
  • Painting the walls and ceiling, including the little place to crawl up to the attic (no real ideas on colors yet, but there is at least one paint chip taped up in there)
  • Painting the window and floor trim white (we will de-gloss and prime them first)
  • Paint inside of the closet and get those shelves back in place
  • Install some window treatments
  • Replace the outlet covers & light switches with clean, bright white ones… and have an electrician add a normal wall outlet near the sink? Dare I dream of this possibility?
  • Replace the mirror/medicine cabinet with something more up-to-date
  • Replace the shower rod with a cool curved one (I have always wanted one! It will be like living in a spa!)
  • Replace towel bars with nice hooks
  • Dream Project: EVERYTHING. Add some sort of sink vanity for added counter-space and storage, tile the floor with some sort of really lovely floor tile (as opposed to this gray vinyl stuff), add board & batten for the towel hooks to nicely be installed on, and the biggest dream of all… radiant heat.
  • Dream Project: Find a way to get rid of those baseboard heater units! Notice a theme there?

WHEW. There are plenty of other random spaces (the garage and loft, yard, basement, etc.) but I think we have all experienced enough photo and list overload. We have boxes to pack and tasks to complete. Anyone else moving this weekend? Dreaming of pretty, smooth, radiant-heated tiles? Just grateful to not get splinters when they walk across the floor?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Progress Report: Pre-Move In Mania

Dear House,

Seriously. GET YOURSELF TOGETHER.

Love, Dani

 

We have done so much work, and there is SO much still to do. Making before & after pictures is my only way of coping at this point. It gives me hope for the future, and if a squint my eyes, blur my vision, and use my imagination I can begin to see it all coming together. It’s time for a progress report, including an introduction to more of the rooms in our cozy little abode (we showed off our living room/dining room progress a couple weeks ago). This  may get a little picture-heavy, so I apologize in advance.

Let’s start off with the bedroom that is directly off of the living room…

Haven Room Progress

As this will be our girl’s room, we let Haven choose the color and she went with the pretty Lavender Ice by Ben Moore. Her dresser is actually a lilac color, so I tried to sway her in another direction, but it was lavender ice or nothing… So, there it is. The closet behind that plastic door was actually a decent size! The shag carpeting will eventually be a goner, but we did get it cleaned for now so at least it will work while we save up. The ceiling is painted in the same Sweet Slumber by Valspar as the living/dining room. It helps hide that tile ceiling and makes the room feel SO much taller. Next up: one last coat of paint on two walls, then painting the trim the same Decorator’s White by Ben Moore as the living/dining room. (I’ll share a summation of our project/to-do list for the whole house, eventually.)

House Progress Ceiling Paint Pic Edited

Above is a better detail-shot of the ceilings now that they are painted (this is the one in the dining room), to give us full credit for how much better they look now. This is before cutting-in the paint around the light fixture (someday we will upgrade them), and shows how blue and cool-toned Sweet Slumber looks. Mostly, it looks like a really blue-toned white, but once it has a really white-white trim next to it, I think it will stand out more.

Moving upstairs… here is our boy’s room!

Lo's Room Progress

When we first talked about paint colors, we realized we both had envisioned a classic, sporty blue for Lo’s bedroom. However, the kids fav color is orange, and he was drawn to a paint chip of Bus Top Tour by Valspar (an Allen + Roth color). It is so much his personality, the colors playing off of each other – it is perfect! It also feels so much cleaner and brighter with that old brown paint gone. This ceiling was also painted the same Sweet Slumber we used in the other rooms. Next up: painting the trim white, getting these floors (if you want t call them that… I refer to them as sub-floors, myself) covered with something much more livable-with, getting the inside of the closet cleaned/painted.

Right across the hall, let’s move on over to the “master bedroom”. 

Master Bed Progress

We started with mauve-hued walls, ceiling tiles that had lovely unique gold swirls in them, and the same flooring as the little guy’s room. The ceiling was painted the same Sweet Slumber as the other rooms, which made the room look cleaner, brighter, and taller… which is needed since the ceilings are VERY low upstairs. That’s just how a cape cod rolls, I guess. We went with Turkish Tile, a Pantone 2014 color for the walls. We wanted something bolder, to balance out our neutral living/dining room choice. Next up: painting the trim white, getting that old flooring covered, cleaning/painting inside the closet. Oh yeah, and vacuuming out the dust bunnies inside those old baseboard heaters.

Not to add EVEN MORE PICS AND TEXT to this already-over-loaded post, but some random things are always nice to share, too.

The Yard May 2014

The yard behind this house goes on forever, I tell you! The kids have been dragging tops from the garage while we are there working, so there are always a few random things lying around. Walking paths lead into the woods around a wetlands area, and the flower beds are coming up with some really beautiful perennials. It’s been fun being surprised every weekend by what has come up! We may need to learn how to use the new mower soon, and get the grass tidied… and the flower beds weeded… and other home-ownery-responsibilities. I can’t wait to get veggies planted in the fenced-in garden (you can kind of see it behind that basketball hoop).

Hidden Wallpaper Edited

While priming the wood paneling in Lo’s room, I noticed one of the panels had come loose and was sticking out, so I gave it an innocent little tug… and discovered this wallpaper below it! How gorgeous is that wallpaper, amiright? Honestly, seeing that there is somewhat-decent-looking wall behind the paneling made it OH SO TEMPTING to rip it right off the walls. Logically/reasonably/realistically we aren’t prepared to deal with the possible messes we may find beneath it, though (have I learned nothing from reading Manhattan Nest?), so for now some pretty paint will cover up the problem. Oh, and I did screw that paneling back down.

House tool paraphernalia 4 20 14 Edited

I stumbled across the picture above on my phone, today… it was taken prior to the living room/dining room being painted, but I think it acts as a solid example of the chaos that ensues when you are fixing up a fixer-upper. Or, as a PSA for anyone considering buying an old house. Either way.

Anyone else buying paint rollers by the barrel-full? Finding vintage wallpaper? We also found a old pair of crutches hidden deep inside one of the closets. Depending on how well the rest of our renovations go, they could be super useful! In any case, it’s gorgeous outside and we are getting closer to having our little house ready to move into. May the odds be ever in our favor!

PS: All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience. None of the links contained in this post are affiliate links (some of them in the right-hand side-bar are, though), and I haven’t been sponsored by anybody in any way.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

A New (Old) House For Us

It’s been a minute or two since I’ve been around, but it’s been for good reason. We’re officially home owners, and spoiler alert: it is exhausting, fun, frustrating, exciting, overwhelming. It’s a whole lot of good and a whole lot of work.

BEFORE House Front View Edited

(it will look prettier when Spring finally relents and fully shows up in this little area of NY)

It’s been a few weeks since we finally closed, and while we haven’t been able to take a lot of time off work, we have solidly dedicated all weekend hours to get the place cleaned and fixed up as much as possible before moving in. My only regret? Not taking out stock in Murphy Oil Soap before getting started. Cleaning is apparently the first step in owning a home. Then, it’s the next nineteen steps as well.

We found a house with a few major pluses, and the trade off was a fixer-upper a shortish drive outside of town. What are those pluses? An awesome-sized garage, more storage than I thought any reasonable house would provide, and a yard that feels more like living in a state park than your typical back-yard experience. Oh, and it does have more than one bathroom which seems to be the equivalent of finding a pink unicorn in our region. The down-side? Trim. Trim that not only needs painted, but needs repaired/caulked/spackled/sanded/primed and then, yes, painted. Pretty much every aspect of the house has worked that way. Woof. It is not for the faint of heart.

Want a sneak-peek of the post-painting results in the main living room/dining room areas? The “before” pics are the day before we closed on the house (sorry for the shoddy iPhone pics) and the afters were today (the baseboards need touched-up after the carpets were cleaned and they got banged a few times).

Living Room…

BEFORE CLOSING Living Room 1 edited

PAINTED Living Room 1

aaaaand Dining Room…

BEFORE CLOSING Dining Room 1 Edited

PAINTED DIning Room 1

It’s cozy, for sure! It does feel like the whole room is twice as big, twice as clean, and has way better lighting. And yes, the carpet will eventually go when it rises higher on the priority list. Also, you will notice the shelves are missing from the built-ins now; we’re planning on making some nice solid wood-stained ones asap!

Priorities right now include getting paint on the walls, dirt out of the house, and our stuff into the house. Nothing too fancy here, yet… but just enough to fill all of our waking hours. I’m lucky to have a husband who is hard-working and can utilize a good amount of upper-body strength.

We have an optimistic ambitious to-do list going, more paint colors being scrutinized by the children, and about a zillion projects to get to so stay tuned! Hopefully some of you somewhere are enjoying a sunny weekend! Send us some positive no-hand-cramps-while-painting-trim vibes!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Wishing Everyone A Warm Winter

Dani @ Painting Sunny w/ H & P

I have been totally MIA, but for good reasons I promise. Everything is good, just busy and working on meeting some personal goals in this New Year! I’m wishing everyone an amazing (and warm and safe) rest of their winter, and when things settle down a bit, I’ll be back and better than ever!

Stay warm and happy,

Dani

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Filling Frames: Moodboard for a Gallery Wall

I hope you had an amazing and cozy holiday weekend! Ours was full of Thanksgiving comfort foods and lying around reading and the kid’s first real sledding adventure, making soup and knitting; it was one for the books.

So, the story is a couple months ago I got a bazillion frames on clearance at Target (NICE ones like 70% off); it was basically a fairy tale where I whisked them all away and we lived happily ever after… except ever after hasn’t happened yet, since they’ve been stacked up in the bottom of my closet. That will eventually change and I’m doing things a little backwards; I arranged and hung all the frames up on the wall (after trying out a solid handful of options with brown craft paper before settling on a nice full & balanced one) and they are hanging there empty. Well, a few of them still have the awkward-fake-family-inserts from Target. I need to get some pics of my own kids and other personalized artwork stuffed into those frames.

OB-Gallery Wall Brainstorm with numbers

Links are to the original source of each inspiration pinspiration piece whenever possible; also, they all stuck on my Artwork By Others Pinterest board.

  1. Faux butterfly specimen art (from Young House Love)
  2. Paper letter art (by Sabeena Karnik via Typography Served)
  3. One of my fav pics I snapped during my iPhone Daily Photography Challenge this summer (the kids at the New York state fair)
  4. Eye exam chart artwork (from CJ Prints on Etsy)
  5. Inchies African Prints (from The Scrapettes on Etsy) (I totally just bought this for download for only $1! Totes worth it.)
  6. Hey Y’all print (featured by the Hunted Interior)
  7. Lustav print (by Michelle Armas via Anthropologie)
  8. Paint chip art (by Young Nesters via Young House Love)
  9. Kort art cards (from Ikea)
  10. Important dates art print (from Mira Doson on Etsy)

What do you think? Favorites? Creative spins on the above, that I could do myself? An obvious choice I’m forgetting?

We went with the around-the-TV-area to get the frames up on the wall because a) we liked the idea of blending the TV in a bit b) it’s a way to tackle a wall that doesn’t lend itself to one big piece of artwork c) I have plans to cover virtually every other surface already, inside my head.

Here is a quick peek at the awkward wall of unfilled frames, and how we got to this mid-way point. The “enjoy the journey” part of a project, if you will.

Spoiler Alert: These photos are very poorly done with an iPhone, mostly at night, and while feeling vaguely apathetic.

Gall Wall Progress

Three of the frames are old wooden ones with various finishes I had already lying around the house, and my plan is to either paint them solid black or try out some of that Minwax gel stain in a really dark finish on them. Yep – that one area on the bottom left-hand side is just a square made with painter’s tape. I’m thinking a canvas about that size would balance it out well – maybe with some artwork whipped up by the kiddos? The other side ends a little higher up, to leave some breathing room for the plant.

Anyone tried that gel stain stuff out? Working on a full wall of picture frames all at once? Go big or go home, right?

PS: This post was not sponsored by anyone; all links above are just to things I randomly like.

 

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Can’t Leave A Canvas Alone

This month I can’t seem to buckle down and finish anything productive from start to finish. It’s busy and the sudden shock of cold weather makes me want to do nothing but crawl into bed with books. Maybe I’ll start a knitting project soon? That can totally be done in bed, and if you’re knitting a blanket it’s super convenient. Anyway, I may not have the energy to start a lot of projects but I can totally update an old one!

Remember when I got tired of the huge blank beige space above my sofa, and filled it up with a big $%& canvas I painted using leftover wall paint and some acrylics? I loved having the space filled, and the movement in the painting felt good and balanced, but the colors weren’t quite jiving for me… especially after I added my little plink table nearby, and the colors were less than harmonious.

So, one night this past week I had an epiphany: “I could spend the next 20 minutes painting instead of playing candy crush.”  So I spontaneously grabbed my blue hued paints, slapped the painting off the wall and onto the kitchen table, and got to work.

Can't Leave A Canvas Alone (Blue Painting) | Painting Sunny

A few layers of some cobalt-toned blues were layered over the white and red areas. I kept it pretty translucent, and continued layer it until I liked the coverage and it had some good texture. Over the red, I added a bit of opaque black and used my palette knife, to get a little mover coverage. I kept the gold, of course. Gold = the best part.

Can't Leave A Canvas Alone (Blue Painting, before pic) | Painting Sunny

Of course, here was the “before shot”. I haven’t sealed the painting yet (I’ll use a matte finish over the top to keep it clean and give it a nicer finish) but I think the improvement is about 1000%. That extra zero there was not an accident.

Can't Leave A Canvas Alone (Blue Painting) | Painting Sunny

Yep, the above picture was not staged and was taken at a weird time of day so it’s pretty much what you get. I didn’t get the plink table or much else in the shot, but needless to say, the current state of the canvas is much more fitting for the space. It’s also a little more calming. I painted a light scheen of gold paint over the edges of the canvas, which in person looks pretty and blends it a little more nicely against the wall. Since we rent and everything is rental beige, the white canvas edge make the wall look way too cream and the gold makes it all a little cleaner.

Anyone else have the add that next layer to a painting? Another few rows of stitches to a blanket? More throw pillows on the sofa?

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Made ♥ Read ♥ Got ♥ Loved ♥ Ate in October

Yep, October has been over a minute or two now… but I’ve been running around (literally) focusing on some fitness goals, and getting a little organized around the house. October was a month that was highly anticipated, for both Halloween and Hav’s 7th birthday tea party extravaganza. I also…

Made homemade croutons out of the bread leftover from cutting up cute little finger-sandwiches for that tea-party birthday I mentioned a second ago, using this recipe from BHG. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more info on that!

Homemade Croutons Recipe Review | Painting Sunny

sneak peak

Read the first half of the Harry Potter series. Seriously. I have no shame, and expect you to have no judgement. I’m a proud of my nerdiness! I’ve never before read any of the books or seen the movies, but I’ve actually really enjoyed it. They are well-written and sweet. My fav character so far is Luna Lovegood, and I’ll update ya’ll when I finish the series for sure #nerdchic

Got a new mirror for above our bed, and a whole bunch of awesome picture frames on mega-clearance at Target! They don’t actually call it mega-clearance, of course… but we all know what that means. I found some frames on sale from almost $20 to less than $5. Swoon. The best is the big mirror, which is seriously big and was marked down from $39.99 to about $10. I’ll share pics too! I’m mid-plotting on what all to put in the new picture frames… a mood-board might have to happen.

Loved having family come visit! For Haven’s party-weekend, Grandma June and Grandpa Mike came for a visit and not only partied it up, they took the kids for a night to Binghampton and stayed in a hotel with a pool, so they could get their swim on. A Cornell vs. Harvard football game was also enjoyed (by the guys) and it was perfect timing for Fall foliage. Upstate New York is wicked beautiful.

Ate at Waffle Frolic here in town, and have thought of it fondly every day since. With the kid’s out of town with the g-rents, we had a rare date night and took in a little dessert in The Commons (downtown). When I said “little”, I was stone-cold lying.

Made ♥ Read ♥ Got ♥ Loved ♥ Ate in October | Painting Sunny

Yum.    Made ♥ Read ♥ Got ♥ Loved ♥ Ate in October | Painting Sunny

 That would be the Ice Cream Sandwich. For $10, you get these amazing light-as-air-and-buttery waffles stuffed with ice cream, whipped cream, hot sauce and caramel sauce. $10 may sound like a lot for a dessert, but for two people and for something this a.maze.ing it was more than worth it. No other dessert has compared, since. If I’m doing an impromptu restaurant review, Waffle Frolic get’s 5 stars out of 5.

What happened here on the blog?

Hindsight 20/20

H b-day party 20 copy   workout playlist post header   SLRU Oct 3 copy 1   Giveaway Cook Smarts and Painting Sunny

A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party)

Workout Jams 3.0

School Lunch Round-Up in October

Giveaway Day! 3 Months of Cook Smarts

Two Tables Post 2 copy   Read & Eat Larabar YHL   anniversary gift post 3 copy

A Means To An End Tables

Read & Eat: DIY Edition! Homemade Lemon Larabars & Young House Love

True (Modern) Love: Updating Traditional Anniversary Gifts

 Alright, on to the recipe review…

Homemade Croutons Recipe Review

Homemade Croutons Recipe Review | Painting Sunny

As I mentioned, after all those cute little finger sandwiches were served up a tea time, we were left with a stack of leftover bread pieces that it felt wrong to waste. So, I googled up this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens since it seemed easy-peasy and I had everything on hand except the seasoning mix, which I grabbed from the store. Mainly, because from their list of suggested seasonings nothing popped out at me as something I both had in my pantry and which sounded tasty.

I followed the recipe pretty much to a T. First, I cut the bread into cubes, then melted the butter and stirred in the seasoning…

Homemade Croutons Recipe Review | Painting Sunny

The hit the step instructing me to “add bread cubes to butter mixture, stirring until cubes are evenly coated.” This sounded pretty reasonable, until I tried to do it. The thing about bread is, it’s absorbent. The thing about melted butter is, it likes to be absorbed. It was pretty much like herding cats, and basically defied physics. I’m taking a guess that if the bread was more dried out, it might spread easier? Still, I did my best and tossed it all around.

Homemade Croutons Recipe Review | Painting Sunny

I’m giving this recipe…

It was alright, and the croutons are tasty little bread additions to salad or soup. Still, the butter taste was a little overwhelming so I think an extra-virgin olive oil approach would be worth trying, and getting those little suckers evenly coated was an experience.

Anyone else making croutons or otherwise not wasting leftover bread? Maybe just feeding it to the ducks? Had a dessert so mind-blowing you feel like it has changed your palette forever? Just now reading Harry Potter? (For the record, I have totally read The Hunger Games and Twilight Series, so I’m not a total lost cause).

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party)

My first born turned 7 this month! That seems unbelievably old, to me. Crazy town. She has definitely come into her own unique personality, and is a funny and whimsical little person. When I’m frustrated because she lost her winter hat for the 5th time, I have to remind myself of how much she loves to make bad puns, read challenging chapter books, and is willing and happy to be friends with anybody.

Since we just moved to Ithaca this summer, we are still settling in and our apartment (rented) just didn’t seem ready to host a full-fledged-millions-of-kids party. So, we came to a compromise and Haven got to invite 5 of her friends to a totally fancy-pants tea party! She choose to invite friends from her class, her after-school program, and our neighborhood.

A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party!) | Painting Sunny

I wish I could post pics of her and all her friends, but I totally respect the other families and would not post a pic of someone else’s kid without knowing they are totally cool with it. So, please ignore the oddly placed black blob in the pic above – it’s ensuring the privacy of one of Haven’s sweet little friends!

Well, I also totally failed my blogger responsibilities in favor of fulfilling my Mama responsibilities. In other words, I totally forgot to take pics of almost anything! Here are a few of them, though, and a handful of the dets.

Cake: Pardon the blurriness above- it’s hard to catch that moment of wish-making. This was a super easy cake technique! I went easy on myself and bought a boxed “pink lemonade” mix and two cans of “classic vanilla” frosting. I’m all about baking from scratch, but sometimes boxed cake fits the bill. I baked the cakes in cleaned aluminum cans (inspired by this pin) and then cut some in half. Then I dyed the frosting with some gel dye in different colors, added heart-shaped sprinkles leftover from Valentine’s Day and BAM. Uniqueness. Haven put in a special request for a “7” candle instead of 7 little candles, so that’s one wish fulfilled.

A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party!) | Painting Sunny

Food: Obviously, some decaf tea as shown in the first pic. We also had organic juice boxes from Wegman’s (our local grocer), baby-cut carrots, red grapes, chips, and a build-your-own-fancy-sandwich station. This worked out awesomely and included bread cut into hearts and circles with cookie cutters, sliced cucumbers, little triangles of sliced cheese and deli meat, and some various spreads like hummus, greek yogurt-style cream cheese, and No Nut Butter (some of the little girls had allergies). It was easy-peasy. Of course, we had some coffee and lemonade for grown-ups too.

Favors: I did think to take a quick pic of the box corralling most of the birthday supplies, on birthday-party-eve. I think they turned out really cute, the kids loved them, and they were oh-so-affordable too. I included:

  • A plastic tiara ($1 each from The Dollar Store, I nabbed 6)
  • 2 glittery pencils in purple/silver/turquoise/pink ($1 for a 12-pack from The Dollar Store)
  • 1 heart or flower shaped post-it pad ($1 for a 3-pack, two packs from The Dollar Store)
  • 1 snack-pack of organic Cheddar Bunnies (Annie’s brand, $4.29 for a 6 pack from Wegman’s)
  • Plastic gift bags and ribbon (free, since I had it around the house)
  • TOTAL COST PER FAVOR: $2.38 ($14.29 spent total)

Not too bad, I think! The Cheddar Bunnies and the tiara’s were the pricier items, but they made the favors seem more special and substantial.

Decorations: I tried to keep it really simple and budget-friendly. After all – the whole goal was being low-key, you know? Here was the birthday-supply-stash:

  • Tea cups (very flowery and lady-like) from the Fingerlakes ReUse Center for 50 cents each
  • Butterfly party blow-outs (leftover from a party two years ago, but were originally $1 a pack from The Dollar Store)
  • Cardboard cutouts of Cinderella’s castle, carriage, etc. (leftover from a party two years ago, originally from Party City… not sure how much they cost)
  • Crepe paper (free from my party supply stash, but originally $1 a roll from The Dollar Tree)
  • A little porcelain tea-party set (a gift from Haven’s Aunt Judy awhile back)
  • Oil-cloth fabric in a floral design from Joanne Fabric (40% off coupon used, so about $10 for a few yards and it’s reusable so totally justified!) A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party!) | Painting Sunny

I also whipped up this little cake stand from two glass plates and a glass candlestick, all from The Dollar Store so the total cost was $3, plus the glue I already had on hand. Inspired from this pin. Cute, right? :)

Activities: This is the most challenging party, for me… and that’s where Grandma June comes into the picture! My parents were visiting, and my Mom is a 2nd grade teacher so is pretty much literally an expert on entertaining this age group. She came up with a few things, including a headband decorating kit from Target, some extra-large coloring pages from Melissa and Doug (like the ones here – that’s an affiliate link) with a huge set of glittery gel pens. We played some Disney Radio for background music, and had brainstormed some other activities but they were obsessed with coloring Princesses in different sparkly shades… so that occupied the majority of their time.

Seriously… It was a smashing success.

A Sweet Tea (7th Birthday Party!) | Painting Sunny

Doesn’t she look so lady like? This is a better pic of the table cloth, too. Very fancy. A big smooch and thanks to Grandma June and Grandpa Mike!

Anyone else in denial every year their kid gets older? Love to get your fancy-pants on for some high tea? Have any go-to sources for super affordable party supplies?

Happy Halloween, BTW!

PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience. Links to products on this page may be affiliate links.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Workout Jams 3.0

It is that time of year again! I’ve been a little preoccupied lately – with getting a little more fit. Every year around autumn, I feel instinctively like I need to focus on eating healthy and being more active… I think I sense the Halloween candy, holiday fudge, red wine, and hearty casseroles of winter coming and in an act of self-preservation try to get prepared.

And obviously, any act of self-preservation requires some awesome jams. So, I put together a fresh new playlist for myself and it is already inspiring me to go a little bit further. I added it up and below is over 40 minutes of work-out tunes –  46:31 in fact. So find some “me time” and get going!

workout playlist post header

Most of the songs aren’t new, but some are new-to-me and others are making a come-back on my exercise playlists. Links are to iTunes – not because I have anything to do with their company (I don’t), but because I couldn’t think of anywhere else easy enough to link if you wanted more specific info about the music.

  1. Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas
  2. California Gurls by Katy Perry
  3. I Don’t Care by Fallout Boy
  4. I Love It by Icona Pop (Choose the version that’s right for you – I have the explicit version… the difference is explicit)
  5. Ignition (Remix) by R. Kelly
  6. Not Myself Tonight by Christina Aguilera  (again, explicit version is what I have, it is probs different)
  7. Piece of Me by Britney Spears
  8. Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO
  9. Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, feat. Wanz
  10. Tik Tok by Ke$ha
  11. Want U Back by Cher Lloyd
  12. Whistle by Flo Rida
  13. Wings by Little Mix
  14. Roar by Katy Perry

 Check out my previous work-out playlists here and here!

Looking for some other suggestions? Here are some awesome resources that are new to me and I uncovered while putting together my own updated-jam-list:

I’m also food journaling again! I do it the old fashioned way, with a little notebook and a pen. The best resource for me is Calorie King. This isn’t sponsored by them, they don’t know I exist – but I use the site everyday so it fairly deserves a mention. Every time I food journal, I get in way better shape – it isn’t just about counting calories, it’s about understanding my eating habits and making sure my daily food intake is balanced and meeting my nutritional needs. Obviously, what works for me won’t work for everyone – but I’m definitely feeling more motivated and already seeing progress! There are some awesome apps to food journal electronically too, in case you are a bit more ahead of the times than me!

Any other fav workout songs I should be sweating to? Anyone else jotting down their food and exercise habits? Have a tried and true getting-fit-plan?

PS: This is not a sponsored post, just my own opinions.

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

School Lunch Round-Up in October

My plan was to share a round-up of my fav school lunches from each month at the end of each month… but I couldn’t wait this time! I’ve had a few lunches that were really popular with the kids, and feel compelled to share. Generally our school lunches are vegetarian, but the son had a couple carnivore days this month – and I discovered they will totally devour a spinach tortilla wrap… so long as it has a solid layer of hummus on it. It’s the small successes, right?

Let’s  go to lunch!

Spinach tortilla wrap filled with ultra-thin provolone cheese/hummus/lettuce/optional turkey, sliced grapes, baby-cut carrots, Chobai Greek yogurt tube, and whole wheat animal crackers, October School Lunch Round-Up | Painting SunnySpinach tortilla wrap filled with ultra-thin provolone cheese/hummus/lettuce/optional turkey, sliced grapes, baby-cut carrots, Chobani Greek yogurt tube, and whole wheat animal crackers

Whole wheat mini-bagel with Greek cream cheese and blackberry jam, half a banana, half a chocolate-chip cookie, a Chobani Greek yogurt tube, and mixed golden and red raisins with honey-toasted sunflower seeds, October School Lunch Round-Up | Painting SunnyWhole wheat mini-bagel with Greek cream cheese and blackberry jam, half a banana, half a chocolate-chip cookie, a Chobani Greek yogurt tube, and mixed golden and red raisins with honey-toasted sunflower seeds

Blueberry lemon whole-wheat muffin, pita chips, hummus, string cheese, sliced grapes, baby cut carrots and celery sticks, October School Lunch Round-Up | Painting SunnyBlueberry lemon whole-wheat muffin, pita chips, hummus, string cheese, sliced grapes, baby cut carrots and celery sticks

Multi-grain silver-dollar pancakes (homemade), maple syrup, Chobani Greek yogurt tube, sliced grapes, and cinnamon chex, October School Lunch Round-Up | Painting SunnyMulti-grain silver-dollar pancakes (homemade), maple syrup, Chobani Greek yogurt tube, sliced grapes, and cinnamon chex

Naan bread pizza with mozzarella cheese/marinara sauce/optional pepperoni, unsweetened banana chips, cucumber chunks, baby-cut carrots, sliced grapes, October School Lunch Round-Up | Painting Sunny Naan bread pizza with mozzarella cheese/marinara sauce/optional pepperoni, unsweetened banana chips, cucumber chunks, baby-cut carrots, sliced grapes

Want more inspiration? Check out my official School Lunch Round-Up Page with more ideas and information or visit my board on Pinterest!

As always, I’m using Easylunchboxes, Mini-Dippers by the same brand, Wilton Reusable Baking Cups, and Mabel’s Labels!

Anyone else love a good tortilla wrap? Want to make mini-everything with your foods, just because it’s adorable? Pack all the lunches in the evening to avoid the morning crunch? I just can’t imagine getting up any earlier…

PS: All opinions are my own and recommendations are from my personal experience. Links to products on this page are affiliate links.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someoneShare on Google+