Sunday, November 18, 2012

Celebrating "Norman Rockwell" Family Moments

This week , we are celebrating this season of Thanksgiving!

A couple of times a year, we try to have a small family outing.  This fall, we tried to go camping. But since the end of soccer season and marching band season finished in November and the hurricane brought cold winds and rain to the east coast a couple of weeks ago, we  (or just me....) were concerned about whiny, cold kids (and husbands). So we rescheduled to rent a cabin in the North Georgia mountains for a couple of days. everyday a la mode
The view from the front porch of our rented cabin

The irony was that the weather was AMAZING!  We probably could have gone camping.
 Anyway, we had a great weekend making family memories.  The cabin was VERY remote and we were WAY off the grid. (It took us several tries to get up the road to the cabin because the road is so rugged!) We made to the cabin though....after I remembered the VSA button on our Honda minivan that allows the tires to work sort of like a 4x4).   The kids said they were more scared than when we went jeep off-roading in Sedona, AZ this past summer!  Ahhh!

The weekend was full of  "Norman Rockwell" moments like games that the family played together, hanging in the hot tub, hiking, and roasting marshmallows and making smores by the fire.  I call them "Norman Rockwell" moments because of the iconic, "perfect moment" pictures that Norman Rockwell created. I TOTALLY LOVE those rare "Norman Rockwell" moments where we are able to create memories.  everyday a la mode
My son, channeling his Zen-Fire-Master skills to "challenge" the fire to back to life.

Thank you God for those moments!

Here's to the season of making memories that count! I am SO blessed to have special times with my family like this weekend!  We love that we are creating lifetime memories for our kids. I thank God for those opportunities!

God bless you and your family! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I would love if you could share any of your "Norman Rockwell" moments that you've enjoyed with your family, please share them in the comment section!

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Pantry Makeover Reveal - Finally!

First thing is first...Thank you! 
Everyday a la Mode celebrates its first anniversary in a couple of days! Thank you for your interest and comments! I love seeing the countries of my guests on the Live Traffic Feed. It's amazing to share common interests and connect with people around the world! It really is a very small world!

It's been a fun year and Everyday a la Mode has evolved so much! I have posted a bit about everything. Topics started a bit all over the place, but I have noticed that I have focused on two of my biggest passions over the past twelve months.

Various styles of photography have been covered in Everyday a la Mode over the past year, ranging from landscape to travel, abstracts to portrait, boudoir to wedding, silly to inspirational (I hope)! I love the capturing and creating beauty through photography!   My other passion is organization!  I never really thought about it at the time, but as a child, I loved to re-organize my closet and shelves. It was just very normal to me. I would move furniture around looking for balance in rooms.  I wish that I had realized there are careers in the field of organization!  It would be so awesome if my next chapter could be the fields of organization and photography! How sweet that would be!

My goal for Everyday a la Mode in the next twelve months is to continue to post about enjoying life more (please read my About Me, if you haven't had the chance yet).  I love writing and sharing photos about what inspires me, so expect to see more photography, in various styles and techniques, and organizational topics.  

Cheers to 2013 and more inspirations!

While we are on the topic of organization, on to today's post! 

Finally! I have been wanting to update our pantry FOREVER!   I have a serious case of pantry-envy-itis. Surfing around on the web, there are amazing pantries!  I wanted one too!   And, I needed another excuse to use power tools! :)     I finally took the plunge!

Here is the reveal if you like to read the end of the book before the engaging plot!....

Pantry ~ Before Makeover
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Before Makeover

There is the old pantry that I started with.

The pantry is about 73 inches x 47 inches with one window and a swing-in door.

It had the old builder wire shelving. The shelves were starting to sag under the weight of the cans.

And, there just wasn't enough room! I needed to add on the hanging basket to hold small packets and hanging shelves at the bottom to hold lunch boxes.  Bottles continued to fall over because of the wire.

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Before Makeover

Before Makeover  ~ The support bar for this shelf stopped the door from fully being opened.

During Makeover

I selected cabinet grade plywood for this project. It was very smooth and didn't require initial sanding and had very very few voids (I know noticed one total).

I had the pieces cut close to size at at the building supply store, so they would fit better into my car.

At home, I cut them to the exact sizes I needed and painted them Behr White with primer in semi-gloss.

Working outside was a challenge. We had AMAZING weather during the prior two weeks, but during this week of this project, we had heavy winds and cold weather.  I kept plugging though on the project. I have been told more than once that I'm stubborn.  I've decided that being stubborn must be one of the gifts that God gave me otherwise I wouldn't be so good at it.  :)

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To fit in the side shelf, I used a power baseboard cutter.  The baseboard was a bit stubborn too, but the tool is very cool and the cut was very clean!

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The top shelves are 16x47. The lower cabinet is 24x47.

The deeper lower cabinet allowed me to install Ikea's Komplement drawers.  The Komplement drawers are designed to go with Ikea's cabinets that have pre-drilled holes.  Since my cabinet didn't have pre-drilled holes, I needed to make measure and drill the holes to hold the slides.

The drawers were easy to install though. I just measured from the front (about 2.5 centimeters) and from the floor (about 3 inches). Pre-drill holes using the holes in the drawer slides as a guide. Then you can use the screws that come with the cabinet.   For the top drawer, I measured the same distance (about 2.5 centimeters) from the front. Measure down from the top enough room to store what you want to store in the drawer. Pre-drill holes using the holes in the drawer slides as a guide. Again, use the screws that come with the cabinet. 

Put the drawers into the slides as indicated in the directions that came with the drawers.

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This above pic shows extra details such as the baseboard around the center brace.

It also shows the trim I used on the end of the plywood. It is Screen molding.  It worked perfectly!  I used Liquid Nails to attach it with an occasional trim nail to hold it in place when it would slide.

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Everyday a la Mode everydayalamode.comNext, since the lower cabinet is 24 inches deep, I wanted to be able to use it as an extra serving space and wanted to be able to plug in things as needed. In fact, I'm now thinking this area may be a great coffee station!

So, using a hole cutter bit, I drilled a hole.  Well, .....I tried to drill a hole.  I have never used this type of hole cutter, so I just attached it to my drill. I tried to drill, but the bit kept sliding. No matter how hard I pushed down, it slid and ate up the top surface.  ARG!

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What did you say?  You asked if I read the directions?.....Well, ...not at first.

I found out it needs a pilot bit.   So, I drilled a hole using a 1/4 inch bit into the center of the circle. Then, I inserted the 1/4 inch bit in the center hole of the hole cutter (not shown).   WOW! That was much easier!  Hole was successful! I just needed to repair the damage from the slide.

Another thing I added under the hole area is a multi-plug.    I had the wall outlet installed a couple of years ago when we hired an electrician for a separate project.  I put the multi-plug in a wire basket that I had around the house and hung it from two cup hooks.  The additional outlets are in easy reach from the hole (shown in the upper right).   A wine refrigerator will be in this cubby, so no one will over see the basket.  Ha!

Allow access to plug hole by hanging a multi-plug in a wire basket, hung it from two cup hooks.

Final Reveal and Details!
Before Makeover - Yuck!

And After....What a difference!

I labeled the baskets using chalkboard labels. They are attached to the baskets with brass fasteners (from the office supply section).

Trimmed in something called Stop. (I don't know what it is, but it finished off the edges nicely.)

The coffee station. There is a plug hole under the lazy susan.  The lazy susan allows easy access to coffee supplies in the small corner.

This angle shows the corner shelves on the left. It also shows the baking pan and tray shelf at the top.

Shelves mounted in the corner utilize "dead" space over the trash can area.  The bottom shelf has a 45 degree angle to avoid bumped heads while accessing the trash and recycling cans under the shelves.

"Dead" space behind the door is used for mops and shopping bag storage.

This view shows the drawers in more detail. I added a brace to stabilize the middle brace. A wine cooler is under located under the coffee station.  I also store a folding footstool on top of the cooler. It was removed for the pic since it was not photogenic. :)

This project took about 2 1/2 days, including drying time for the paint and cost about $300 total, including the drawers, a couple of new baskets, and a couple of food storage containers. I used several organizers and baskets and the shelf brackets that I already had.  

A much better price than if I had hired the project out!  I also have the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself! And, well, it also fixed my craving for power tools for a little while!  :)

List of Sources
Cabinet paint ~ Behr White with primer in semi-gloss  (Home Depot)
Wall paint ~ Behr Pale Bamboo in satin (Home Depot)
Drawers - Ikea Komplement
Cabinet wood ~ Cabinet-grade plywood  (Home Depot)
Trim on the cut side of the plywood ~ Screen molding (Home Depot)
Trim on top of lower cabinet and under shelves ~ Stop molding (Home Depot)
Chalkboard Labels ~ Martha Stewart collection (Staples)
Shelf brackets ~ They are about 7 years old, salvaged from old shelves I had before this house. I think they were from Lowes.

****Now for the blah-blah-blah..... I did not receive compensation in any way for this blog.  I encourage you to read my full disclosure statement  if you want the bits and details.

Do you have pantry-envy-itis like I do?  What is your favorite organization tip for your pantry?

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Bathroom Reveal (with Framed Mirror)

I am finally ready to reveal our hall bathroom redo! The updates have taken over 6 months since life and work always get in the way, but it is finally done! Well, at least I think so, .... :) One more change may come in the next few months.

Here is the final result!

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Hall bathroom reveal

Part 1: Paint

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The bad blogger in me didn't get a before picture.  You aren't missing much though. The original bath was a blah builder paint. Then, about 6 months ago, I painted the walls.

The walls are rag rolled with three colors.  Since there is no window in the room, I wanted to add a WOW of color and chose yellow and golds.  It was a bit of challenge to get up to the 9 foot ceiling in such a small working space, but I think the result was worth it.

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Before framed mirror. From the the bathtub angle.

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Before framed mirror. While standing at the door.

Part 2: Framed Mirror

I completed part 2 over the past weekend. I have been a huge fan of framed mirrors for...well, forever!  I have found it rather intimidating though, but I finally took the plunge.

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I chose a chunky 4" window trim, measured (a few times), and mitered the corners. (I have a thing goin' on with my miter saw!)

everyday a la mode  everydayalamode.comHere is a side profile shot. I found it at Home Depot. I love the detail!

I taped the cut pieces to the mirror to check the fit.  It looked great!

I followed up with a base coat of Behr Off White, then I used Liquid Nails to attach the pieces to the wall. There was no turning back at that point! ...At least not without a  lot of work.

I taped the frame to the wall to hold it up while the Liquid Nails dried, but I found that the Liquid Nails dried quickly.

I was planning to wrap the frame in quarter round, but after looking at the initial frame, I didn't think it needed it.  From the side view of the mirror (not photographed), you can not see the actual mirror. It looks like a normal gap behind a hanging mirror.  I think the quarter round on a mirror this size would have been too chunky and the molding already had awesome detail. So, the quarter round will wait for a future project.  :)

I used putty to fill in the gaps. I like the pink putty, so you can see when it dries.

It looked great, but.... I felt it was still missing something.

I was Googling and found The House of Smiths framed mirror post. She used Distress Ink to add a flare. Interesting! I had to try it.

I choose Distress Ink in Vintage Photo color. 

I found it in the scrapbooking section of my local craft store.

I initially used the Distress Ink directly on the paint. I found a couple of problems with that. One was that it didn't look really vintage to me. It looked, well...fake. And second, it wouldn't dry. So, I smudged it with my finger.

Later that day, I emailed The House of Smiths. I thought I might have done something incorrectly, but she said she ended up doing the same thing. That made me feel like I didn't cheat. :)

After smugging Distress Ink

It looked much better after smudging, but I felt the color was still off. It was too flat. I wanted more variety, more age.  So, I whipped out the acrylics. Using dark brown and reds, I was able to add a more realistic tone to the mirror.

In some places, I sanded down the paint. The sanding allowed the acrylics to be absorbed differently.

The result was a more "aged" wood!

More details from the bathroom reveal

Sticker hook used to hang rack in shower

We used to have a rack hanging from the shower head. It looked and felt cluttered. So, I hung a "sticker" hanger from the opposite side of the bathtub.   Hanging the rack from the opposite side really opens the tub area for the bather.

I prefer the metal hangers. I have found that they are more difficult to find, but they feel better and are stronger than the plastic type.

New shower curtain and towels

With the light on

And...with the light off

Oops...I should have "staged" the trash can out of the last picture!


Shower curtain and matching towels  ~ Target
Tissue box cover ~ Target
Mirror paint base coat ~ Behr Off White 
Photos ~ My own :)
Wall paint .....I'm traveling as I write this, so I need to look this up when I'm home. Let me know if you are interested and I will update this post with those details. 

I may add crown molding to the ceiling in the future, but other than that, I think I'm finally done!
It is a huge transformation and has that WOW that I was looking for!

Let me know what you think!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Wonders of Paint (or Simple Foyer Update)

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Before repainting
 I was cleaning out our storage room last night and found old paint. I was putting kitty litter in the old cans and found one of the cans still looked in good shape.  So, that must mean that a spontaneous project was destined to be!

Our old foyer was okay. It definitely wasn't bad, but I alway felt like something just wasn't done. It felt blah to me.

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After repainting the door
So, when I found the paint that was used to repaint the outside of the house last year, it hit me that this was what I needed!

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After repainting the door

I think the room looks more tied together now!.

I love that a quick fix of paint can solve lots of problems!

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