Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Our Wedding!

Hi everbody! I hope you are having a wonderful week. As you probably already know, I am a newlywed. I bought my dress at the most AMAZING salon called Whittington Bridal in Kingwood, Texas. They have the most wonderful selection of gorgeous designer gowns, sweet and attentive staff and reasonable prices. My appointment at Whittington was my one and only time to try on dresses. They truly made shopping for my bridal gown a special experience. They also happen to have an awesome blog, that you should go check out! Click here and you'll see that today they have been sweet enough to feature our wedding! I hope you'll take a moment to stop by and see it. And since I haven't shared much with you guys about our wedding, I thought I'd do a post with some of my favorite pictures from that day (January 12, 2013).. Enjoy!  

That's one handsome man, if I do say so myself :)

Reid and I opted to do a "no look first look". We got to hold hands, exchange gifts and talk for a few sweet moments prior to the ceremony without actually seeing each other!

Our first kiss as hubby and wife :)

From left to right: Bobby (Reid's cousin), Chris (my brother), Reid, and Morgan (Reid's brother and Best Man).

From left to right: Melissa (my beautiful friend from childhood), Emily (my sister and Maid of Honor), me, Lauren (another beautiful friend from childhood), and Hannah (my lovely friend from high school- and I'm her Matron of Honor coming up in October.. WOO HOO!!)

 This girl, Valerie, rocks my socks! We became good friends in high school together and we still keep in touch. I'm super stoked to see her when she comes to Houston this weekend!  I think she is currently the only person who actually follows my blog :) Thanks Valerie for your support!

dance with my daddy :) I'm crying like a baby in this picture!

Me and my father-in-law. This picture cracks me up!

My sister caught my bouquet, and her boyfriend caught the garter. Hmm... do I hear wedding bells in their future?!

My grandma, my mom and I showing off three generations of bling :) Both mine and Reid's parents are still married, and none of our grandparents ever divorced either. We're definitely hoping to uphold this family tradition!

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our wedding day!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I've been Pinspired #1: Door Knobs

Hello All! Welcome to my first installment of "I've been Pinspired". Pinterest is the most amazing of virtual places. It's over flowing with ideas to make your life better. Whether you're a busy mom looking for ways to throw together a healthy snack for your kiddos or a college kid interested in music and tattoos, you'll find something to inspire you. It's a virtual meeting of the minds where people come to share their creativity and resourcefulness, so of course, I'm ADDICTED to it. I thought I'd start a new "I've been Pinspired" series where I share little tid bits of wisdom that I've learned from Pinterest and successfully applied to my own life. For today's installment, we're talking about door knobs!
My house was built in 1988, so naturally it came equipped with brass knobs. You know the ones I mean...
Beauties like these:

Our house has a total of 15 door knobs (plus the two exterior doors), and at approximately $10 each plus tax, purchasing new ones was way too expensive. Luckily, I found through Pinterest, and she recommended Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.

The most time consuming part of this project was taking off the knobs and then reinstalling them after they'd been painted, and you'd have to do that anyway if you bought new ones so it makes no sense to waste the money on new knobs. I used pieces of styrofoam I had in my garage to stick the knobs in so that they stood up. This made it easier to paint because I didn't have to spray the knobs, wait for them to dry, and then roll them over to spray the other side. It was also easy to hold the styrofoam in one hand while I sprayed with the other, making it easy to keep the knobs at eye level while I sprayed without getting my fingers sticky and smudging the finish. It took two cans of spray paint, which at $6.00 each, cost me about the same as it would to replace just one knob. The entire project, including dry time, took less than 24 hours. It took my hubby and I about one hour to take down all the knobs and about 45 minutes to put them back in place and I actually sprayed them for about one hour. So, for less than 3 hours of actual time spent working, and approximately $12, I'd say this was an awesome "bang for your buck" project. It's been about 3 months since we did this project, and I am happy to say the door knobs have proven to be very durable. The paint has not rubbed off, scratched off, or in any other way deteriorated. They look identical to the more expensive ones you buy in the store. Take a peek for yourselves :)... 

Have you been "Pinspired" lately? Have you found any time saving, money saving or life saving tricks that make you want to say, "Why didn't I think of that?!"? Thanks to all of you who share your ingenious ideas with the rest of us on Pinterest, and a special thanks to "The Penny Parlor". And of course, thank YOU for stopping by :)


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kitchen Remodel

Happy Tuesday! I promised you I'd give you the details of our kitchen remodel, so today is the day that I come through on that promise! My hubby and I had a very full January and February this year. We tied the knot, took a wonderful honeymoon and then came home and basically threw ourselves into a kitchen remodel. I'm not sure why we decided this was the time for major home renovations, but regardless, we took the plunge. First, for a basic breakdown:

Helpful blogs that I referred to when updating the kitchen:

Supplies we purchased or used:
frog tape
exacto knife
4 2 x4's
electric sander (100 grit, 150 grit and 60 grit paper)
regular sand paper
2 saw horses
1 gallon Valspar semi gloss interior paint (color is called Papparazzi)
polycrylic- high gloss finish- water based
three sponge brushes
two cabinet rollers and paint trays
1 gallon of interior primer- Valspar brand
two regular bristle brushes
tons of paper towels
drop cloths
409 cleaner 
shark vac

money spent:
granite: $1,200
granite installation: $1,200 plus $240 for removal of old laminate
subway tiles: $110
subway tiles installation: $420
cabinet supplies (paint, primer, brushes, rollers, trays, drop cloths, tape, sand paper, polycrylic): $93
sink and installation: 175 plus 185
Grand total: $3,623.00
 Now, for some before photos:

Our first step was to hire a contractor for our back splash and counter tops. We did our research and shopped around. We didn't go with the lowest bid, we went with our instincts and chose the company who'd give us the best quality service. We also purchased our granite directly from a granite supplier, which has a couple of benefits: 1) it cuts out the middle man, which saves $$$ and 2) we got to keep the left over granite, so we have plenty left to re-do our master bathroom down the line, or sell it and get some money back!  Here's what the kitchen looked like at that point:

We are really happy with our granite choice. We think it has tons of variation and lots of interesting veins, lines and spots! The color is called "White Fantasy" but I am not sure that is a universal name for this stone. I wasn't able to find any other granite yards with anything called "White Fantasy" or with anything that looked similar at all.

At this stage, I was feeling a little skeptical of our back splash decision. I knew that subway tile was what I wanted, but we spent alot of time debating between a bright white tile, a soft ivory color and the darker neutral we ended up choosing. The color we chose is called Urban Putty 0161 by Rittenhouse. At this stage I was afraid the back splash color was very dull and too similar to our wall color, but I decided to just wait to see it all finished before making up my mind. Now that the professionals had finished their job, the real fun began! Here is the breakdown on how we refinished our kitchen cabinets:

Cabinet painting process:
Step 1:select a paint color 
Step 2:remove hardware and put into labeled baggies
Step 3:label doors using frog tape (this ended up being unnecessary)
Step 4:lay doors out in garage in two rows
Step 5:remove stuff from inside cabinets 
Step 6:sand everything using an electric sander
Step 7:sand edges and crevices by hand
Step 8:clean thoroughly using 409 and paper towels
Step 9:prime using bristle brush
Step 10:light sanding and cleaning
Step 11:coat 1 using roller
Step 12:light sanding and cleaning
Step 13:coat 2 using roller
Step 14:light sanding and cleaning
Step 15:touch up coat/coat 3 (we didn't need a full third coat everywhere)
Step 16:light sanding and cleaning
Step 17:Allow for plenty of dry time between coats
Step 18:apply clear polycrylic coat with sponge brush
Step 19:put doors back up 
Step 20:put knobs back on
Step 21:put rubber bumpers on inside corners of doors
Step 22:touch up spots that got dinged while being put back together
It literally took us days to decide which paint color to choose. Can you even tell the difference in this picture?! (FYI- We ended up going with the one on the right door because we thought it would match our appliances better).

Once we'd taken down the doors we realized that we were going to have to empty out all the cabinets to keep everything from getting too dusty.

Here's a peek of our dining room table loaded down with stuff from inside our cabinets!

After the kitchen was all cleared out, it was time to sand:

And prime:

And paint:

You'll notice we did all the steps for the top cabinets first before we even started on the bottom ones. This made it a little easier to handle the mess, because it was done in sections. Finally after about 4 weeks of work (keep in mind we both have full time jobs, so most work was done in the evenings or on weekends), our kitchen was put back together. We decided to use the same knobs that we already had to save money, but we still plan to distress them to give them an aged feel. They are currently a solid black color and I really like the way they pop against the white cabinets. We're also still planning to paint the walls, but we're having a hard time deciding on a color. Here are the after photos:

What do you guys think? Was it worth all the work? We sure think it was. Let me know if you have any ideas on wall colors because were torn between a light blue and a coffee color. Of course, if you've got any questions, I'll do my best to answer them! Thanks!