Sunday, August 10, 2014

Decorating Procrastinating - LOVE this term!


As you know, I have joined the 30 Day Room Makeover Challenge to try and combat the dreaded DECORATING PROCRASTINATING.  You know what this is - you have a project you need to do but you just don't want to even think about let alone DO it.

The above photo is the vent and lighting over the stove and I added corners, bead board and decorative molding to fancy it up a bit.  I had to repaint the old black and white harlequin blue grey and white to match the new color scheme.  As you can see, all I have to do is add the corner molding around the bottom, paint it, and paint the recessed lighting ring.  If I put my mind to it, it would take the the better part of about 2 hours.  Alas, here it sits.  Unfinished and mocking me every time I walk into the kitchen.


Instead, I have been doing fun stuff.  Summer stuff.  Here I am with Mary Poppins carpet bag from the film.  WAIT, what???  Yep - I was tickled to death to see this in person being the Disneyphile that I am.  It was one of the exhibits in the Museum of Science and Industry's exhibit, Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.  It was a spectacular day!  Much more fun than emptying a mammoth amount of Christmas decorations, WDW souvenirs and Halloween stuff out of the guest bedroom.  Clutter galore.


I first saw the term in late July on Serena's blog Thrift Diving.  She is the blogger hosting the 30 day challenge in which you have to finish one space by August 31!  I chose the dreaded guest bedroom and I am so excited to finish it - I just don't want to do the work.  LOL


Here are the before and current pictures of my guest bedroom makeover....


That is all I have done and it is AUGUST 10TH!!!!!!!  Like we are in double digits.  And, yet, this morning I went to mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.   One of my most favorite places in the world.



Maybe I will have to stop at the Grotto one more time and pray for motivation.  Enjoy your Sunday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cancer Check-Up.... I'm NOT dying!



Hello!  I don't normally ever blog about my cancer and the journey it takes me on everyday, but today, I feel compelled to do so.  I spent the day at the University of Chicago cancer center and, if cancer has never touched your life or someone you love, you can't begin to understand how daunting it is to live with this disease.


I am a survivor of both ovarian cancer and stage 3 breast cancer.  It doesn't mantter how far out your survival is, you still live everyday with a bit of fear hovering just below the surface.

The majority of this summer has been spent dealing with sciatic pain and being sidelined due to this new malady and a few other symptoms which caused me to believe that my cancer had returned.  It literally sucks the life out of you!  It is hard to find joy in the little things and when people start talking about Halloween, Autumn hay rides, apple cider, Christmas parties, college football, etc.  it just adds to the anxiety.  All you can focus on is going back into treatment.  Losing your hair AGAIN, radiating that skin that is so sore and thin from the first round of treatment.  It robs you of your sleep, your appetite, you zest for life.

Today, I received good news.  As far as they can tell, there is no sign of active disease.  Whoo hoo.  You walk out of that exam room, the oncology department and out the doors of the hospital into the summer breeze with the warm sun on your face and you cannot believe the weight of the world that is lifted off your shoulders.  Sitting in the waiting room, you see people with no hair, thin and tired, worried, scared, crying, etc.  It is daunting just to be in the room with all of these people in the midst of treatment and you are instantly transported back to the time when you were in the fight for your life be it chemo, radiation, surgeries, etc.  You sat in these same chairs, waiting for test results, waiting for your first chemo treatment, your first injection, etc.  You cannot believe how much pain and suffering you can endure when you know that the gift of "cancer free" or health is on the other side.  When you're going through hell, keep on going - its the only choice you have.

Those people who sit next to me with their oxygen tanks, in wheel chairs, I just want to stand up and scream, "Its ok.  You are going to be ok.  I was in your shoes a while back and it's true, the hair does grow back!


I just feel so relieved that I am given another 6 months until my next check up!  I am looking forward to a good night's sleep!  The return of my appetite and disappearance of my extreme anxiety.  Thanks for the read - I just felt the need to let people know how my day was.  It was quite spectacular!  Now, back to projects!  ;-)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guest Bedroom Makeover .... 30 Day Challenge!



One of my favorite blogs to read almost everyday is BetterAfter.net.  I am sure you are a fan as almost everyone is.  :-)  Recently, I saw this post and it was on a blog called Thrift Diving.  It was about ending decoration procrastination and finally getting to that room that you have been putting off for one reason or another.  We've all been there - I still am and so I decided to get involved in the next round this August!


This started August 1 and we have 30 days to complete the project from start to finish.  It seems like a long time but wow, here it is a few days in and I have made very little progress.  I'm starting to panic and we are only 3 days in... not a good sign!  :-)

I have decided to tackle the dreaded middle bedroom in my house.  It now resembles an in-house storage unit more than a bedroom.  It has become the catch all place for all of my holiday decorations and Disney items.  What a waste of space!  I have decided to tackle it head on.  Here are the pictures of the space .....

PLEASE BE WARNED - THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE UPSETTING TO SENSITIVE VIEWERS!  LOL - Seriously not kidding!  Just remember.... don't judge me please!


Don't ask me what happened to Santa's head - I have no idea!  LOL  Hopefully, I will find it before Christmas arrives.  ;-)


That mountain of stuff is actually four large bins stacked on top of one another.  I am realizing I have WAY too much Christmas stuff.  It is time to lighten the load.


More wallpaper and lace window treatments over vertical blinds.  YES, I said vertical blinds. And you can see a LOT of wallpaper.  There will be a pang of sadness as I tackle this room because my Mom so loved the Victorian inspired wallpaper and draperies.  But I know if she was still here, she would be helping me strip the walls clean to ready them for paint.  I just know how much she loved this room.


I am looking to have a dark grey room with bright white accents!  I have almost everything needed to do this room over as I have been hoarding things for a few years now.  Whenever I saw a great deal on something for the room I envisioned, I would buy it and store it away.  Here are some things I have at the ready:


This is the picture from the Craigslist ad for a bedroom set.  I purchased this and it has been sitting in my garage for a few years now.  Here are the pieces I have to scrape and re-paint!





I still love the lines of this set!  I am going to paint it white again but the paint they used is textured and they didn't do a very good job.  So it needs to be stripped down and painted again.  I am going to paint the hardware silver instead of oil rubbed bronze.  I want a more polished look.


I found this bench at a thrift store and I love the lines of it.  It is also going to be painted white and the cushion reupholstered.  The top has three marble inlays which may pose a problem but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.  



I found it to be strikingly similar  to the one in this inspiration photo...


I also found this accent chair at HomeGoods that has been sitting in plastic waiting to be put into place. I can't wait until the room to be done so I can take the plastic off and have a seat.


So that is the plan for this makeover!  I am not sure I will make the August 31st deadline, but even if I don't, I will be that much further along than I would have been.  Obviously, emptying the room will be a daunting task.  I don't have very much storage space and I have a bunch of decorations for Halloween and Christmas.  I would hate to part with them simply because I don't have anywhere to put them in the off-season.  But if I stay focused on how the room will look once completed, I know I will find a way!

Interior Window in Kitchen & Dining Room Wall


I installed this awesome window between the old pass thru which existed between the kitchen and dining room.  I found this window on close out for $50 at a local home improvement store.  I had no idea what I was going to do with it but I knew that I could not pass up such a sweet deal!  Here are updated pictures of my ALMOST finished kitchen - cannot wait for it to be complete!










The old pass thru  - just sort of an oddity and it became a place to hand stemware glasses.


These are pictures of the original large pass thru.  It was nice and functional but it was always sort of a strange design choice.


Little did I know that if - on a whim - I held the circle window up that it would fit and could fit perfectly.  I was excited about how it could look!


Years ago, before the internet, before Pinterest,  I used to clip pictures from magazines and catalogs which were intriguing to me with regards to home interiors.  Some I have had since I was a teenager and I still love them after all these years.  I recently came across this picture which, interestingly, I also found on the internet.  It was the interior window placed between a dining room and kitchen for interest and light.  After all these years, this design vision is becoming a reality in MY house!  Pretty cool.


So using some very bright neon poster board for a template - LOL - I measured it out, cut some drywall and two by fours and secured the window in place.





 This is how it looks from the dining room side - it adds a beautiful contrast to the deep navy wall.  It still needs to be spackled and sanded but one room at a time.  :-)


Almost ready to be installed - can't wait to see how it looks!  Fingers crossed that it would fit!  It did!


It was quite tricky cutting the ledger stone to fit around it.  I simply took my time and did it right.


Starting to be able to envision the final product - it was going to look better than I hoped it would.


And the final product - I absolutely love it!  It still allows light to pass thru but adds a touch of elegance to the pass thru.  I'm so glad I hung onto that picture from a magazine all those years.  :-)

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

HomeGoods clearance finds became ... This!


I am addicted to HomeGoods!  I always have been.  I have even resorted to giving it up for Lent, along with TJ Maxx and Marshall's... The real holy trinity!  Lol.



I recently found this in the clearance section for $10!  Granted it was really beat up and missing a pocket, but I could totally see the potential that it had. Plus, it was only $10!!  So, I bought it and it was sitting in my garage and I showed it to my sister.  So she moved the pocket and painted it.  It looked awesome except for the big blank spot at the top.  



Then I remembered two plaques I bought a while ago because I loved them!  They went into my "I don't know what I'm going to do with this but I don't want someone else to get it and I know I'll use it someday" bin!  Do you do this too?  


So I glued the adorable Seaside crab plaque to the top and I couldn't love it more!  All for $24!  A sweet summer HomeGoods find!