Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Downstairs Bathroom Remodel

 Well, it's only taken five years, but we can finally say our downstairs bathroom remodel is complete.  ;-)  (Or at least complete enough to take pictures - ha!)  


 The above photo was taken when we did a walk through on the house.  At the time, this was the only bathroom in the house and it certainly was not in the worst condition I've ever seen, thankfully, but we definitely knew we wanted to update it eventually.     

 Over the years, we made gradual updates.  As the above photo shows, we replaced the linoleum walls with beadboard planks, replaced the old sheet-rock ceiling with pine planks, updated the fixtures, installed an inexpensive vanity to give us extra storage, and Justus added some built in cabinets (not pictured).  We lived with it like this for quite a while, but all the while knowing we still had a huge project looming that needed to be completed once we had another bathroom in the house.  The tile floor (which I don't have many pictures of) was extremely un-level and the grout was crumbling and cracking in places.  When I refer to the floor being un-level, I mean that it visibly was about three inches taller than the bedroom floor.  The old cast iron tub also needed to be raised up underneath the house, and when Justus tackled that project, he had to remove the tiles in front of the tub.  If it weren't for that, we probably would have put this project off longer, because we knew it was going to be an absolute huge mess. 

 Justus had to remove five layers of flooring.  It took him hours of hard manual labor and when he finally got down to the floor joists, he discovered that they were in such poor condition from previous water damage that he had to completely re-frame the joists.  I have photos of how horrible this project was, but I actually can't bear to post them here.  :-)  But in the above picture, Justus was actually standing on the dirt floor under the house.  We had hoped that the subfloor could be put in that weekend, but it took a bit longer with all the framing he had to do first.  So we had nothing but a dirt floor for several days... I imagined all sorts of critters entering our house, so I used garbage bags and a whole lot of tape to ensure nothing could get in!  ;-) 

 Finally the subfloor and concrete board was in place and the floor was actually level - hooray!  What a huge sigh of relief!  And also reassurance that our bathroom could stand for many years to come now!  Justus and I really debated on what kind of tile to install.  When we built the upstairs bathroom, we had this same debate - should we install wood-look tile or mosaic tile?  In the end, we decided to install the wood-look tile upstairs and we absolutely love it.  It's easy to clean, doesn't show dirt (or hair), and looks great.  But neither of us could see it looking right downstairs.  When Justus was actually the one to suggest the mosaic tile, I jumped all over the idea - I knew it would be exactly the right fit! 

 Our original plan was to use light gray grout, but... after a not fun job of installing the tile and us seeing every single mistake, Justus declared we would either be using white grout or he would be tearing out the floor again. 


 What a happy decision that turned out to be!  When we started grouting, we immediately loved the look of the white grout against the white tile.  Perhaps the gray grout in a small bathroom may have made the floor look a little too busy.  And happily I cannot even tell you where our tile mistakes are now because it's not the least bit noticeable.  

You're probably wondering if this tile is hard to keep clean and the answer is yes!  The tile floor shows every piece of dirt and hair.  But I would do it again in a heartbeat.  I already clean our downstairs floors very frequently, so I haven't felt like I've had to vacuum any more than I did previously.  Also, I've found that giving the floor a good old fashioned scrub on my hands and knees weekly works wonders, but I've always cleaned bathroom floors like that, so again, not much additional work.  I am, however, very thankful we didn't install this tile upstairs where I don't vacuum as frequently (since the rooms aren't as high traffic). 

 While we were at it, we replaced the vanity and faucet.  With such a white bathroom, I definitely wanted the vanity to have some color.  Justus actually picked out this gray-blue vanity, which I wasn't sure about, and now he loves teasing me about how he knew best.  :-)

 I know this sounds crazy, but I think my favorite thing in the bathroom may be this faucet.  When I was looking for a new faucet, I found this one and I knew it would be perfect!  But I was informed (ah-hem) that it was sadly out of our bathroom budget... after I kept looking and kept coming back to this faucet, I decided then to do a little more digging, and I finally found it online on sale!  I was probably a little too excited!   And then Justus we chose a slightly more affordable vanity.  ;-)  (Which I ended up loving, hence the teasing I mentioned above!)

 It was so nice having had replaced so many other things in the bathroom, because once the floor was in, it really didn't take much to get the room finished.  Justus installed all new trim and I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint when I painted the trim. 

 If you look at the door here, you can get an idea of how much higher the previous floor was.  :-)  Now there's a huge gap, but we plan to replace this door with a sliding barn door down the road when we renovate our bedroom. 

 The built-in storage Justus built a few years ago for this little corner space...

 I really debated whether or not to paint the pine planked ceiling.  I actually like the look of the raw pine, but it didn't match the other wood in the house, so I decided to go with my gut and paint it white.  And I'm so happy I did.  There's nothing like white to brighten and make a room appear bigger than it is. 

This past year we also removed the previous shower surround and installed large subway tiles on the walls.  The shower still needs a little work, but it's close.  You can see I still have my red flowery shower curtain - it's nice when you love something so much that it doesn't need to be changed, no matter how old.  ;-) 

I'm sorry for my lengthy post - I feel like I have talked your ear off.  Thanks for listening!  Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Welcome December

 The week before Thanksgiving, I found myself filled with anticipation thinking of the month ahead.  After several months of busy, busy, busy, and going, going, going, I was looking forward to special visits from friends, and special holidays, but also many days spent at home with nowhere to go.  Warm in our cozy home, holiday smells of orange and cloves and cinnamon in the air, cuddling on the couch, cutting out paper snowflakes, baking muffins and pies and simply... resting and savoring sweet moments.  

The girls begged me to dig out our Christmas decorations and we spent one fun afternoon cleaning the house, putting away everything fall, and bringing out the things that reflect a new season.  How fun it was to pull out little memories... pine cones we gathered in the yard a few years ago, pom poms Jillian and I made into garlands and and a wreath a couple Christmases ago, and even the sweet mittens we crafted last December.  

Here's a little peek into our December nesting... 

I hope you're having a warm, wonderful first week of December. Hopefully with less planned this month, I can spend a little more time here.  :-)  As always, I'm filled with gratitude for your sweet comments and for visiting here.  

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Custom Essential Oil Bag Giveaway

When I think of my mom, so many pictures and memories that come to mind involve her sitting at her sewing machine.  From the time I was a little girl, I remember her getting out her sewing machine and setting her project out on the dining room table.  I can still hear the whirring of the sewing machine going as fast as possible.  She made me Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and clothes.  When I got married, she sewed curtains and pillows for our new first home.  Now that I have little girls, she sews sweet little dresses for them (and their dolls), but best of all, she spends time with them teaching them how to sew.  I'm likely not exaggerating when I say that my seven year old is better with a needle than I (smile).  

This year when my mom saw my essential oils were overflowing on my counter, she surprised me one day with a perfect bag she made to hold all of them.  Of course, she knows me so well, and the bag was made with the most perfectly beautiful fabric.  

Since then, her bags have become quite popular and I'm so excited to give away one of these beautiful bags here!  

The Essential Oil bag is padded and lined, and made with high quality fabric that washes and wears well.  There are little padded pockets that hold the oil bottles, ten attached to the inside of the bag, and then four removable inserts with three pockets each.  Two of the inserts fit in the bottom of the bag and the other two stack on top.  Even with all the pockets full, the bag still zips closed nicely.

These bags work great for traveling, as the padded pockets keep the oils safe, but I also keep my oils organized in this bag all the time.  They are easy for me to find and safely tucked away in the same place. 


Another fun little bag that my mom makes is something she refers to as a Lalaloopsy bag!  She made these sweet little bags for my girls for their little Lalaloopsy dolls (which they play with every day).  These would make a great gift for a child!  (You could fill it with any little toys for boys or girls.)  I absolutely love these bags, as they keep little toys safely tucked away at home and are also great for traveling. 

 For this giveaway, should you win, you can select your choice of either an Essential Oil bag or a Lalaloopsy bag.  The bag will be made custom with your color combination choice! 

(The essential oil bag measures 10" wide, 7" tall, and 4" deep.  The Lalaloopsy bag measures 5" wide, 6" tall,  and 2" deep.)

 If you are interested in placing an order for either bag, you can find all details here


To be entered, simply leave a comment!  Please make sure I have a way to contact you via email should you win! I will select a random winner one week from today, next Tuesday, December 8.  You will receive your bag before Christmas, in the event this would be a gift.  And remember, you can select your color combination and your choice of either the Essential Oil bag or Lalaloopsy bag!  I know you will absolutely LOVE these bags just as much as I do.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Giveaway is now closed.  The randomly selected winner was Lyn Moon.  Thank you for entering!

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