Reception Room Makeover:

Okay!  Back to filling you in on the details of the MAJOR office makeover!

 

Now we’ll cover all the juicy details of the front Reception Room.

 

Office Inspiration at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Again… This was the main inspiration for most of the rooms.  In some way or another they all resembled this.  Of course instead of doing uppers on the bottom, we did lowers.  This better allowed for more of a desk feel to the area.

 

OfficeInspiration2

We also loved this T shaped desk and how it both looked so awesome yet was super efficient! The only difference is that we made it bar height instead of desk height.  And I totally TOTALLY loved how it turned out!!! It’s so comfortable for either sitting on the stills or just standing at. No one really works at the reception room desk for long periods of time, as far as I know… It was intended to be more of a place for potential customers to drop in and look at sample shingles, sign papers, etc…

I am curious though how reality is playing out there and how they are ending up using all the spaces!!! :)

 

Office Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

This is the footprint of the whole unit.  The goal was to build something that looked built-in but in reality could be removed and taken somewhere else easily if they ever moved.  And I think we succeeded because in the whole unit there were very few screws into the wall studs!  The whole thing can be taken down by removing just a handful of screws.  Boom baby!

 

Office Remodel at www.DIYinRealLife.com

This is what it looked like from the front view. (Not including the T desk part)  What I love about the guys is that they were able to take these rough sketches and totally make them come to life even better than I imagined!

For instance, Adam had the idea of adding lights above the bookshelves.  I would never have thought about doing that let alone HOW he did it but when it was done?!?!?  It TOTALLY made the whole unit!  Seriously it was awesome!!!

 

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Again, The before and after.

Amazing, right?!?

The area rug came from Rugs USA.

The decor from Master’s Hand, Marshalls and Target.

The cupboards from Home Depot.

Butcher block countertops from Menards.

Cabinet Hardware from D. Lawless.

And the furniture was bought on garage sales and given a fresh coat coat of paint.  Score!!

Can’t you see why I’m so in love with this remodel?!?!

The inspiration…

What inspired us in the office overhaul?

Office Inspiration at www.DIYinRealLife.com{Pinterest}

The basis of our inspiration was something along the lines of this awesome built-in by Thrifty Decor Chick.

Since we were giving 5 rooms an overhaul in 5 days, we knew we needed to find ways to speed things up.  Using stock cabinets and building from there seemed like a great way to achieve that!  I also love how all the rooms are different but they tie in together so well.

OfficeInspiration2

{Pinterest}

We loved this T desk but also loved the idea of a bar height desk for the front reception room.

OfficeInspiration3

{Pinterest}

We also used this inspiration for the group office.  Thankfully before we started on our 5 day blitz, Adam (one of the awesome guys in Manhattan) built in the desk similar to this one.  It has 3 workspaces and looks like it will be super efficient.

Anyway… This is kind of the direction we wanted to go… More details will follow room-by-room! :)

Sources:

Cupboards – Home Depot and Menards

Butcher Block Countertops – Menards

Cupboard Hardware – D. Lawless 

Decor – Marshall’s, Target and Master’s Hand

Secret Office Remodel…

So my last good week before I dropped into the pit we call first trimester, we worked on pretty much my favorite project ever.

And I fully acknowledge I say that phrase often declaring this or that project my favorite project ever… But this time it really was!  And I’m fairly certain it will stay my favorite project for quite some time!

 

Sam’s boss (also our awesome friend) went on vacation and since he was gone, we (and when I say we, I mostly mean his wife Emily) brainstormed on how to do a week-long remodel of their office they had recently rented.

So for weeks, together we talked… compiled inspiration pictures… drew up plans… All in secret.

 

We had 5 rooms to complete in about 5 days. Thank goodness we had lots of help!  A couple of the guys that also work for the same company in Manhattan put in a ton of work on it and we even recruited some other friends and family to paint, etc…

It was awesome!

And totally felt like we were doing a HGTV show! Ha!  Time crunch… Lots of help… Total overhaul on a space… :)

 

Anyway… On to the pictures!  I’ll give more details later! :)

 

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Reception Room

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Allyn’s Office

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.comConference Room

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Brandon’s Office

Office Remodel Before/After at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Group Office

See what I mean??!

Favorite.

Project.

Ever.

Eviction.

How’s that for a title that will make you nervous?? Ha!!!

 

No actually, that just happens to be the subject I posted on my personal Facebook this week! ;)

 

 

Emma's Eviction Notice!

Apparently she didn’t take the news of her eviction notice well.

“Dear Miss Emma Lyon,
We now inform you that you are required to vacate the premises. (AKA: Your crib) All belongings must be removed within 28 weeks as the new tenant will be arriving on or around March 23, 2015.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,
The Management”

 

 

And so yes!  We are getting ready to do this whole baby thing again!!!  More details will follow soon *hopefully!* now that I’m close to 2nd trimester and feeling human a bit more often now!  Ha!

 

 

 

And since I’ve gotta leave you with a happier picture than that last one of Emma, here you go! :)

 

 

Love this girl!!

LOVE this girl!

Trunk Overhaul!

So I had this trunk… This cool, old, ratty looking trunk.  It was awesome.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Yes this trunk.

And in true Nicole fashion… I forgot to take a good before picture.  This was the only rather old picture I had of it.

Anyway… It was a little dark colored, but I really loved the natural patina. (Anyone else feel extra sophisticated saying those last two words together? No? Just me?)
I was happy to leave the trunk exactly as-is.

That is until the munchkin came along.  When they say, “kids change everything” they aren’t joking.  Even little things like trunks.

So when Emma first started scooting, she decided that for whatever reason, she liked the taste of the slightly deteriorated burlap type fabric on the outside of the trunk.

That awesome patina I once thought the trunk had became nasty-gross-stuff-I-was-constantly-fishing-out-of-my-child’s-mouth.

The trunk was no longer a source of delight.

My slightly mobile child was drawn to it like a moth to a bug zapper.

Like a flea to a hound dog.

Like a cockroach to a…. I’m just gonna stop.

We’ve been cleaning out two of the rentals where we had some bad tenants.  I obviously have bugs on the brain. Ew.

Anyway, I digress.

I decided I needed to do SOMETHING about the trunk in order to save my daughter from herself.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

First I ran some vaseline along the edges of the wood strips with the tips of my fingers.  Then I painted all of it (burlap material and all) with a light turquoise color I had.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I glazed it with the same stuff I used on this table.  Which was awesome because it showed off all the texture and gave made that turquoise a tad less bright.  It deepened it to an awesome color!

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

After adding industrial looking casters on the bottom, it makes a PERFECT side table in the living room that I keep chock full of games!

I love it SOOO much now!

Isn’t it awesome how sometimes circumstances force you to change something you loved only to find out you LOVE it even MORE afterwards??

SCORE!!!! :)

5 Simple Daily Routines…

Five simple routines that help me keep my sanity! www.DIYinRealLife.com

So… I was down at Emily’s (You know, my awesome friend Emily? We did this project and this project.)

 

Well Emily has this knack for asking questions that really make me think.  Last time I was there, she asked what were some of my “routines.”  Things that I generally do in my day to make things go smoother and things that generally contribute to a better and happier frame of mind! :)

 

She also sent me an article to read at about the same time… 15 Tips for the Highly Sensitive Parent.  I read it and several things struck me.

http://www.sortacrunchy.net/sortacrunchy/2014/06/survival-guide-for-the-highly-sensitive-parent-.html

Go read it!!!!! 15 Tips for the Highly Sensitive Parent.

You see… I’m a pretty extreme introvert. (Interestingly the writer is an extrovert, but I still found many useful things to implement)  I need a bit of quiet time. Overload things too much and…. Oof!  It’s rough on me.

 

If Emma’s had a bad day and has been excessively loud and angry…

The trash is full of stinky diapers and banana peels and the invasion of the fruit flies has hit in full force…

I just find myself getting upset at… Well… Pretty much anything.  And I don’t want to be that wife and mom for Emma or when Handsome Man gets home from work.

 

So here are a few simple things that keep me in a better frame of mind throughout the day.  Some of these things are pretty no-brainer, and some won’t work for everyone, but it sure helps me! (The following in no particular order! :) )

Flavored water at www.DIYinRealLife.com

1. Make a pitcher of flavored water.

It’s summertime, so with it comes all the delicious additions I don’t normally have or get. Also, I find that I’m better about drinking water when I have a delicious pitcher of goodness in the fridge.

 

So far, my favorite concoctions have been:

*Sliced strawberries, fresh basil, a bit of Truvia, and a few lemon stevia drops.

*A squeezed lemon, some fresh ginger root that I squeeze through the garlic press, a bit of Truvia, and a few lemon stevia drops.

*2 squeezed limes, fresh mint, a bit of Truvia, and a few peppermint stevia drops.

*Sliced cucumbers and raspberries

And today I sliced a white peach and a handful of bing cherries… We’ll see how that one tastes shortly!! :)

I’ve started THM (Trim Healthy Mama) the first diet I’ve actually liked.  I mean really? A diet in which you are never hungry, eat most things you like, AND you loose weight?  I’ll have it!!! Anyway… By using Truvia and Stevia in the water, I can drink lots of it all day long and it doesn’t spike my blood sugar at all!  But you could easily add just a wee bit of sugar to give it that extra sweetness!  Mmmmmm!  I love that such a small thing like taking 5 minutes to makes lightly flavored water totally makes my day a little brighter! :)

Revive Our Hearts Podcast

2. Listen to an Encouraging Podcast.

My friend, Grace came for a visit (See? I have so many inspiring friends!)  and she was telling me about how much she enjoys podcasts.  Revive Our Hearts podcast in particular.  So right away I downloaded the  Podcasts app on my iPhone and added Revive Our Hearts.  Every day it automatically downloads the daily podcast.  They are only 20-30 minutes long and sooooooo good!  Today I put Emma down for her morning nap, got it playing on my phone and stuck it in my pocket. I listened to it as I put dishes in the dishwasher, threw a load of laundry in the washer, and swept the floor.  It’s so good and those days when I find it hard to get into the Word, I feel like I’m still getting some encouragement!  Last week, they had several days on contentment…  I love the real life application and how it ministers to my stage of life!

Master's Hand Candles @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

3. Light a candle. 

I pretty much light a candle every single day.  If you don’t do candles, do something!  Even if dishes aren’t done and toys are strewn everywhere, if it at least smells good, my frame of mind stays so much better!

www.DIYinRealLife.com

4. Go outside for a bit. 

I’ve been trying to hang out on the porch for a bit everyday. Handsome Man built a porch gate, so it’s nice to take Emma out there to play and not be constantly getting up to carry her back up the stairs she has descended in order to stuff her mouth full of potting soil! Ha! I love my outside time most days.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

A total favorite!!

Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. 

5. Always have snacks.

Preferably sweets! haha!  As I mentioned before, I am doing THM, so a private Twix bar stash is out.  But I can have lots of other sweets.  Skinny Chocolate made with truvia… Berry Whips made with stevia… Even Lemon Cheesecake! And if I don’t have anything on hand? Life is sad! lol!  Making time to make sure I have tasty sweets is vital! lol!

Other than those few routines, every day is different! Some days I feel like I have it all together and some days I totally don’t.  But I do find that if I do a few simple things, my frame of mind stays so much happier! :)

 

Five simple routines that help me keep my sanity! www.DIYinRealLife.com

What is mommy hood?

So in my last post…

The awesome one…

The one that disappeared and is nowhere to be found…

I wrote a bit of what’s on my heart lately in relation to mommy hood.  But now that’s gone.  Soooo…. How about a Take 2? :)

The DIYinRealLife.com gang at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong… I LOVE motherhood!

And I LOVE her!

But you know me… I also LOVE to accomplish things.

I live off of lists and crossing things off.  I even tend to write completed jobs on my list just so I can cross them off even if they weren’t originally planned!

I love knocking projects out one by one! LOVE it!

The DIYinRealLife.com gang at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO

But with a kiddo, I find that even the easiest tasks are SO hard to complete.

Unloading and loading the dishwasher?  Nearly impossible when she’s awake.

As soon as she hears the dishes rattling, BOOM! She’s scurrying into the kitchen as fast as her chubby little legs can crawl so she can climb on the dishwasher door! (Have I mentioned her funny little crawl? Hilarious.  She crawls on her feet, not her knees like a normal child! But let me tell ya… She can move QUICKLY!!!)

Laundry? Forget it. That’s out of sight in the basement.  No eye contact – No laundry.

Anyway… You get the drift.

Emma

But I’m slooooowly coming to the realization (and I hear these things over and over, but learning them for myself is not always so easy)

This is the stage of life I am in!  I am a mommy. And I totally realize I’m a mommy of only one.  And those of you with more children are probably laughing and thinking “Oh Honey… Just you wait.”  But this is where I am now.  And I’m learning this all for the first time!  I just pray that God continues to give me grace and teach me with each added challenge child! ;) lol!

Life at www.DIYinRealLife.com

The goal isn’t necessarily to accomplish HUGE projects in a whirlwind fashion.  I can’t paint whole rooms in an hour or two or singlehandedly build a wall full of shelves in an afternoon any more.  And that’s okay!

Sitting on the rug in the living room and playing with blocks?

Playing chopsticks on the Little Tikes piano that Handsome Man found on a garage sale for 1.00 (Score!!) while Emma giggles at me?

Even this post has taken me 3 separate times to get it hurriedly typed out! :)

Life at www.DIYinRealLife.com

It doesn’t feel super productive.  It doesn’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. But that’s okay!  I guess I’m learning that mommy hood isn’t always about getting oodles done… Sometimes… Just sometimes…  It’s just chilling on the porch swing while Emma splashes in the water table. :)

UPDATE: The feature picture being in a jail on the post about mommy hood was unintentional… And ironic. ;)  I didn’t notice it until later when I was on Bloglovin’. Haha!!

No. Words.

Just another good reason I haven’t posted lately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Yeash!!!!!

 

I had this nice long post typed out.  It was good.  And full of reasons I haven’t posted lately.

 

Namely this newly one-year old reason…

 

EmmaLeeSue

And after typing out this long, entertaining, extremely well-written post,

(Let me talk it up a little since no. one. will. ever. see. it!!!)

 

I clicked “save draft.”

 

Because it seemed like a good thing to do.  After all… It’s not like I want to loose this post, right??

 

 

—–Blank Screen—-

 

“Hmmm…. That’s odd.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted… But I don’t remember it ever doing that before.”

 

 

—General Error Message—

 

 

“You have GOT to be kidding me!  Please please don’t let me loose this post!”

 

 

—Back Button—

 

 

—Blank Post—

 

 

“Seriously.  What are the odds.  Seriously.”

 

 

—SIGH—-

 

 

And that’s pretty much the story of how THIS post came into being.

Special, right?

 

 

Regardless…. I’m back.

And maybe I’ll get back to those reasons I haven’t posted lately.

 

Later.

 

 

Also… I’m copying and pasting this into a document before I push PUBLISH.  I obviously have trust issues with WordPress now! ;)

Photo-Book Gift Idea!

So I’m posting this a bit late for Mother’s Day gift ideas… Especially since it takes a while to create since this is a low cost/highly time consuming present.  But I love – love – love how it turned out!

 

Photo/Recipe Book gift by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 It’s chock full of old pictures…

Recipes that we made over and over when I was growing up…

And lots of memories that are tied up with those recipes…

 

Photo/Recipe Book gift by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 I used Shutterfly but there are lots of really great companies to use for photo books!

Check out the full version of the book!

Click here to view this photo book on Shutterfly!

How to easily update an old refrigerator using wainscoting!

So when I posted about our sexy new refrigerator, I realized that I never posted about our old one!

 

Right after we got married, we needed a refrigerator for our old house.  And with a “just married” budget, we needed somethin’ cheap!   And so a $60 old black refrigerator entered our lives. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

 

And if necessity is the mother of invention… Then ugliness is the father of creativity! :)

 

 

And so started the update that made this refrigerator workable for 2 more years!

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

 

 

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

First we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man sanded the front like crazy with an orbital sander.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man removed the handles, smeared heavy-duty adhesive all over the front and started covering it with wainscoting.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.comThen… And I missed a picture.  But just imagine ratchet straps like these around the top and bottom.  Great way to keep the wainscoting snug up against the refrigerator while the glue dried since we weren’t able to use nails.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I just caulked all the cracks and it was ready for paint.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

I (and when I say “I,” I actually mean I!) painted it a couple shades lighter than the cupboards to avoid so much of the same gray…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Re-attached the handles…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And boom!  Customized refrigerator!

It wasn’t ideal perhaps… But it made a $60-dinged-and-dented-paint-splattered-old-refrigerator last 2 years.  PLUS we sold it for $40 on Craigslist after we got our new one, so I’d say that’s a SCORE!