The to-do and the DONE list

Hello friends!

I woke up today and buzzed around getting my coffee, turning off outdoor lights and opening curtains.

Glancing down at my to-do list and thinking of the glorious day ahead I could feel the excitement this thinking of all I can accomplish.

We are mid-way thru adding on the the existing chicken coop so we can get our long-awaited for chickens into their new home.

Our hallway/main bathroom is a mish-mash of every bad design decision from the 70’s and 80’s. Planning that bright, fresh makeover has been fun. I cannot wait to show you the before and after.

Somewhere between excitement and planning however I got lost in my to-do’s and forgot completely how far we have come.

My mind quickly shifted to the long list of things that still need to be done.

Those are long lists aren’t they?

I found myself feeling immediately defeated and was kind of surprised how quickly I went from elated to overwhelmed.

As I drank my coffee and looked around I saw something.

Something to be proud of and remind me that this is a journey of lots of steps and projects not an epic weekend remodel with 74 volunteers and someone screaming MOVE THAT BUS.

It’s big.

A DONE list.

So many things have been completed, so many projects I am proud of that bring me joy each day.

To think that the list of projects that I look forward to turned into a daunting task ahead made me realize that it was me that had to change.

I have to change how I see the things around me, and be willing to extend the same grace I have with others to myself too.

To slow down a bit, yes that means choosing NOT to do something and be “busy” all the time to stop and enjoy how far we have come.

Iv’e worn busy like a badge of honor at times in my life and yeah I got a lot done. But that is a season not to stay in forever. We need our down time too.

I finished my coffee, ok, two cups back to back really strong lol that is how I wake up 🙂 and I looked around this little house of mine.

And you know what? We have come a long way!

Sure that does not shorten the to-do list but you know what? It gives me such a sense of peace and accomplishment to go back over my DONE list.

We are doing great, and you know what? You are too, we all are doing the best we can and trying to eek out a little time for us and our creative minds. So what if the dishes don’t get done and everyone had cereal for dinner.

I guess I just needed a bit of a reality check and a shift in focus this morning to see how truly amazing we humans are.

We have such a capacity to create, and love, and give. And when we can make the home around us a place we love to be one little project at a time we gotta step back every so often and remind ourselves that we are doing great.

Here is to an amazing weekend with a few things to work on and some time to enjoy the things that make us happy.

And the people we love, that love us back.

Thank you as always for reading friend, love you so!

Little vintage table before and after

Hey there!!

How’s your week been? We were talking the other day about the creative surge that both Troy and I have felt since stay at home orders went into place. I have realized how much I missed this little corner of the internet to share and create, and I am SO HAPPY to be writing again. This time has been so good to evaluate how I spend those spare moments and made me love my little home even more than I did before. But boy do I miss Goodwill, and I am going to run out of paint at some point 🙂 so a healthy balance of the freedom to come and go or stay at home and chill is something I am really looking forward to.

In the meantime, this table. And renovating a 70’s house…

Our house is a 1970’s mid-century modern that we’ve been in for almost two years now and I’m slowly turning it into my version of a modern city farmhouse.

Open concept spaces and large inviting kitchens seem to be something that were not a priority in 70’s design. But by tearing out cabinets, and white-washing dark dreary wood we’ve made great strides. We have a ways to go, you haven’t seen the main hallway bathroom!

Right after we moved in there was a yard sale down the road. I would love to say that I used self control after moving TONS of stuff but I saw this little vintage table for five bucks. I knew it would look cool any color so into my car she went.

I used white chalky spray paint and distressed all over with my palm sander. Next to give the table a little age and patina I watered down some brown acrylic paint. Using just a bit of the watery paint and a small damp cloth I applied it to the table here and there then blended as I went. This table won’t have any liquids on it so I decided not to use and sealer on it. here it is after one coat.

When I see the half-way mark I always wonder if this was a good idea!

It’s in the entry way now but I like to move stuff around once in a while so I’m sure she could be just about anywhere next week 🙂

I’ve found a balance that I like between vintage, modern and a little bohemian. I love to have things in our home that I poured my heart into and make me smile when I walk by them.

And if something gets broken during an epic nerf gun battle or “tag in the dark” (yep they actually do that lol) oh well. Most of it was found anyways on the fly and I’d much rather see my tribe having fun than have a perfect house.

I’ve kind of always thought perfect isn’t much fun anyways 🙂

Thank you as always for reading, I hope you have an amazing day!!

xo, Tanya

How to start composting

First of all let me say that these long stretches without blogging have made me miss this part of my life so much.

Like SO MUCH.

So a little back story on why life is like composting, stay with me here.

When I began this blog 8 years ago my kiddos were little and we were at home a lot. Life has changed a lot and in the most brief cliff notes ever:

I love my home, career, family, and have taken some huge risks to create the life that I have now. But that meant some sacrifice, and for a time setting aside most of my creative time to work on my career.

2014 was the one very hard year.  In one year I was a single mom with four children and one grandbaby depending on me. I lost my Mom and walked my older son thru the darkness of losing his Father to brain cancer.  But thank God that is not the end of the story. With some wonderful opportunity, and hard work life is very different now. 

I have remarried, and while none of us are perfect, Troy is one amazing guy.  Between us we have six kids and five grandkids.  All this by 49 years of age.  And I have to say I would not change one single thing.

So back to the compost, I know you are probably wondering when we are going to get back to that.  I grew up with a small farm that had a huge organic garden.  And now we are using our city farm to do the same, while we don’t have horses and cattle we do have a garden.

And the chickens are coming soon. Above is compost in the making.

You can live just about anywhere and compost.  It does not have cost anything to get started and even with a small flower bed or container garden on a city balcony you can reap the benefits of composting.

What foods are compostable? The list is much longer than this as many people use sawdust, ashes from their wood stove, and wood chippings.  But this is the basic list of everyday items you are probably sending to a landfill instead of sending much of what first came from the earth back to it once again.

My rule to not have the compost “smell” and not attract rodents is:  Egg shells, moldy bread, old rice or oats (with no butter or dairy in them) banana peels, fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, paper towels (no chemicals or food on them) and the list goes on and on!

We don’t compost meat, cheese, eggs, any dairy products, or that type of food waste.  We have found that this keeps the critters away and by periodically turning your growing compost it is naturally breaking down into beautiful dirt.  Rich in nutrients and ready to add to your potting soil or garden 3-way mix to grow more amazing stuff.

They are a lot of elaborate set ups out there and expensive rolling bins but we have found that a small area in your yard (think three pallets to build the the walls of the bin) with a gated front or little piece of fencing you can move is all you need.  Once in a while you move the front piece and turn your soil.

When it looks like dirt, it’s ready.

One warning however, you will see kitchen waste and discarded things in a whole new way once you start composting.

The things that no one cared about anymore that were discarded were gathered up and made new again.  All those eggshells and wilting lettuce got a second chance to start over and be amazing.

So I guess we are kind of the same if given the chance to break down, rebuild and be free to be made new again.

And the best part, we just like that compost have the chance to help something else (or someone else) around us do the same.

Many cities have robust composting programs as that are available in many areas. And, you may find like we have that our garbage bill is down as well too!

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear your ideas and feedback.  Lots of love-

Tanya

DIY yarn + succulent wall hanging

Our summer has been short and a bit unpredictable here in the PNW this year. And while I long for summer to last forever, my summer annuals are showing signs of nearing their time and I made a fruit crisp already.The crisp was kind of my white flag of surrender, acknowledging the subtle changes happening around us.

I begin to think about things that will transition our vibe from summer to autumn, and admittedly, casseroles and crock pot recipes are high on the list! Tell me I’m not alone here…then there’s the pillows and candles but that’s a whole other blog post in and of itself.I have always loved fiber arts and yarn, but have not crossed over and learned how to crochet or knit yet.I gave myself permission to be ok with not liking every craft known to man. Enter the great quiting fail of 1996.We were snowed in and I decided it was time to try my hand at quilting.A queen size quilt.Yeah…So needless to say I have realized my attention span and amount of patience if not well suited to projects like that.

But something 30 minutes or less? Keep talking, I’m listening…These colors really spoke to me recently and I fell in love with the contrast between the orange and blue together.It was like a modern version of Three’s Company right there in my shopping basket.Flip flopping between doing something round or something straight across I opted for round.

Yarn for 50% off, clearance faux succulents, I’m in!I am loving these colors together, bright but still bringing a early-fall vibe that I’m kind of ready for.Long strings of yarn, looped around each ring, it doesn’t get much easier than that!

The rings secured all in one spot with yarn and a dab of hot glue to keep the tied ends in place.

And the fun part? You could hang it on the side if a chicken coop just for a change of pace.

Sometimes the light in this spot (the side if our chicken coop) is just right. It needs a makeover before we can have chickens, but for now the cat loves to nap in there.

While I have not dug out the “fall” boxes from the attic I have to say this whole late summer thing is quite wonderful.

There are more days to grill and swim, run and play in the sun. And maybe figure out what to do with this leftover yarn.

Thank you so much for reading friend, and supporting this little spot in the blogspere.

Hugs,

Tanya

Modern master bath remodel on a budget

I cannot tell you how excited I am to share phase one of our master bathroom remodel!

It started with a little redo and well then we lost our minds a bit but are soooo happy with the results. You gotta see the before to know how far this oak-tastic cave has come in the past few weeks. I bring you, one massively outdated cave-like depressing space:

Yep this is the before, granted we had more cabinets than we knew what to do with. It was less than inspiring.

Inspiration began with a paint chip, left over subway tile from the kitchen, and some Habitat scored hardware.

The color is Little Black Dress, Behr paint from Home Depot, and its freaking gorgeous.

Just saying…

Troy suggested cutting the cabinets in half, and there was an immediate improvement.

We raised the platform that the new counter and sink would rest on, wanting to bring a way-too-low counter up a bit higher.

We used end cut fir flooring to create the butcher block on each side, and a pretty black and white tile for a little pop. The basin sink was a FREE score at Habitat, which allowed me to get the faucet I REALLY wanted, faucet from Lowe’s.

We have to find a new mirror for above our front living room fireplace as this just fit perfectly here.

This time we used white grout with the subway tile, it’s so bright and clean.

And a faux cactus, you gotta stick a faux cactus on your new bathroom counter.

The flooring is next when we redo the main bath, for now I’m one happy girl. Every day I’m so excited to walk by this space and smile with the amazing transformation. Just in case you missed the before…

And my pretty little black master vanity now…

One more…

Thank you friend for following along and sharing this journey with us, I appreciate you sharing this post and helping keep this blog space of mine going 🙂

Until next time!

Hugs,Tanya

Progress in the laundry room

We have a few more things to complete in our laundry room but I had to share how far we’ve come!

When we bought our home a year ago, this room that goes from the garage to the inside felt cramped and awkward.

Both doors opened inward which was the first change we made. We installed a sliding vintage interior door we found at Habitat and hung it from the same barn door hardware we used for our pantry barn door. We removed the outdated cabinets, and there was instantly more breathing room.

I guess I’m kind of impatient because I had to share this even before the glass door knob was installed. I decided to not repaint the sliding door but leave the areas bare where previous hardware had been.

The interior of our home is a soft pale grey. Besides the blue-green wall in the master bedroom and the birch tree faux wallpaper in the office, this is the color throughout our home.

On the wall opposite the washer and dryer we ran a chair rail mid way up the wall and painted the upper wall with chalkboard paint. The white decorative piece was a find in Troy’s old shed, which we added vintage knobs and fabric insets after a fresh coat of paint.

We wanted a laundry folding station and by adding a top of plywood and supports of painted 1″ by 2″s it was perfect. Well, almost. I realized we had more hardwood flooring front another project which we installed on top and I white washed. It’s so pretty and clean, I love this counter top.

We have a lot of laundry going all the time and there’s always something to hang dry. We wanted to keep the industrial vibe going so we used metal piping and exposed conduit boxes for a rod just below the ceiling.

On the wall above the folding station I used a sharpie and a cardboard triangle creating a geometric pattern along the wall. There is no natural light in this space so the succulents are faux.

Thank you for taking a little tour with me today, I’m off to go work in the yard as we finish our deck and fence. There’s much more to do, but I sure do love the satisfaction and joy of seeing the finished product 🙂

Thank you for stopping by, and for following along!

xo, Tanya

Industrial glam bar cart

I have wanted a bar cart for a while now.  Something that was my speed, a little shabby and a little glam.  A nod to the 70’s is always good too.

And I didn’t want to pay hardly anything for it, because well the thrill of the hunt is the hunt itself, the find and then the best part, the DEAL.

Do you love the deal too? Like swerve off the road when you see a yard sale sign, jump up and down in a thrift store kind of love? Oh good then we were separated at birth I am sure of it.

This find was $9.99 at our nearby Goodwill and I liked it immediately when I saw the herringbone inlay on each shelf.  It was too big and bulky to be a little bookcase but I felt like it would make a cool bar cart.

And if I ended up not liking it for that purpose, Abbie my eight year old already decided that Barbie’s would look excellent piled on top of it.  So to the checkout we headed.

We taped off the center on the top to leave the herringbone pattern on display, and painted the remainder of the cart with Chalked spray paint in Charcoal.  This is THE most beautiful dark grey on the planet, just saying…. I am pretty much in love with this paint.

Once the paint was dry, and the cart was a little distressed we added these acrylic casters.  I wanted to go with these as number one each one was less than five bucks each at Harbor Freight.  And two, they look like Lucite.  Don’t even get me started on Lucite, it makes me think of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and everything cool and amazing about a clear piece of furniture.  I don’t have one, yet!

We found the sleek cabinet/drawer pulls at Home Depot, put them in place and voila! we were the proud owners of a “new” bar cart.  She is all styled pretty for these photos but you know she has also been the home for 30 Barbie’s this week and a cat who like to sneak inside and nap on the bottom shelf periodically.

I cannot wait to use it this summer for impromptu get-togethers, extra serving space outside, and stray doll or cat in it’s down time.

Thank you for taking a peek at our latest project, come back soon to see what I did with a ton of yarn, inspired by another thrifted find 🙂

xoxoxoxo-

Tanya

DIY Cement Counter Tops

I have been so excited about sharing our new cement kitchen counter tops, and the day is finally here!

We bought our home a year ago and the kitchen was cramped and dark with oak cabinets for uppers and lowers.

I immediately knew that painting the cabinets a bright white on top and dark grey on the lower cabinets would modernize the kitchen quickly. But we were still stuck with the blue Corian counter tops, so we took our time deciding if we wanted butcher block counter tops or concrete.  After much discussion, concrete was the winner.

We decided to build a mock counter top and pour some concrete on it allowing it to try and keeping it in the kitchen for a couple days to make sure we liked it. 

Down came the upper cabinets as we decided that tiling the wall all the way to the ceiling would make the kitchen so much more open,

We removed the old countertops, used plywood to build the new base for the concrete counter tops, and built a frame with recycled wood we had on hand knowing it was just going to get thrown away.

We installed lath to strengthen the concrete, and the fun part was about to begin.  Troy mixed the concrete by the load, and poured it in while I leveled it with a concrete trowel.  We knew that if we did not somehow shake out the bubbles that we would end up with lots of little gaps in the concrete when it dried.

I used a palm sander with no sand paper on it around all the edges of each leveled area on the side of the wood frame.  The vibration shook so much of the air bubbles to the top we were able to achieve the smooth look we were hoping for.

When the concrete was wet and we waited for it to dry I knew this would either be something we would love or live with.  Without the use of our kitchen for a few days, toast and coffee were made on our big farmhouse kitchen table. I could not wait to pull the frame off and sand the rough edges of the new counter tops.

The total project cost us about $50 in extra-strength quick-setting concrete, $40 for the plywood and lath, and $35 in wet look food-grade concrete sealer.  We actually sealed it twice, the first time with a matte look sealer, then realizing we wanted them to have a glossy look, the gloss which we love!

Once the counters were dry and sealed we ran subway tile all the way up and used a dark grey grout.

All the work had paid off!

It was so fun to look for a few new pretty pops of color to bring into our “new” kitchen. 

We thought about installing floating shelves but all of our dishes fit nicely in our pantry so we are loving how open the kitchen feels now.

We are taking out the center section of the soffit in the kitchen next and installing recessed lighting.  That will give the kitchen an even more open feeling.

When you come in our back door you walk thru a small dining area that we use for a home office, and can see straight into our dining and front living room.  It is amazing what some paint and allowing the light to come thru can do in a space!

While not everything we try is a huge success it seems like if we play it safe too much of the time we never try anything new.  We are so glad we went for it and ripped out those cabinets and counters without looking back.  What part of your home would you love to change but aren’t sure where to start? I would love to hear what your next project is or what you would love to change!

Thank you as always for reading, wishing you a blessed, amazing day 🙂

xo, Tanya

Summer living-boho front porch vibes

The weather is warming up and I don’t know about you but the first thing I have to do is spruce up my front porch! I love to mix lots of plants, move a few plants back outside and make our entry a welcoming hello for the summer.

We bought our mid-century modern home exactly a year ago, and while you would think the amount of work renovating it would be great material for blogging, I sometimes struggle to balance it all and share what we have done.

The first huge project was painting the exterior a dark warm grey and lighter grey combination with white accents. It plays up the the angles of the entry way, and while I don’t have a huge porch I try to maximize the space with some fun things that make me happy.

This area rug is a thrifted find here in town, the pots and planters a mix of new and used that I have scored over time. The stand in the back is an industrial stool with a top that spins, so it makes a much better plant stand than a comfy seat

I love to mix natural wood and wicker in to bring warmth and depth to spaces indoors and outside too.

I would love to say that I have mastered Macrame but this was a find from Marshall’s that I could not pass up. I thought it would be kind of fun to use it as a door hanging instead of a wreath this summer.

We still have a fence to build and two bathrooms to totally redo, but we are getting there project by project. I will share the newly finished concrete kitchen countertops soon too, they are so cool and I was worried I would not like them. Not only were we really sore and tired when we finished them, but we ended up loving them sooooo much!

Please scroll down and check out some more beautiful summer spaces from a few of my great blogging friends!!  I hope this finds you enjoying the sun, family, friends and time to relax a little as we move into another summer. As always thank you for reading friend, love you so!!

xo, Tanya

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Sliding Barn Door + a New Pantry

We bought our 1978 mid-century modern home this past summer after instantly falling in love with the unique style and 1/3 of an acre lot, unheard of in town.

Spending all summer working on the deck and covered patio, painting the exterior of our home, and a few small changes inside have kept us busy.

Here is a video I made before the demo of the closet and how we flipped the entrance to the closet to the other side of the wall creating a pantry just next to the refrigerator now.  Yes, I am freaking out on how much space I have, I can SEE what I have and what I need and I just love this door so much.

The before walk to the “pantry”: https://bit.ly/2LD071S

The weeks turned into months and the lack of storage in our kitchen that seemed inconvenient at the time was now becoming frustrating as we were using gorilla racks in an entry-way closet for our pantry.

We like to use as many quality recycled items as possible in our home improvement projects, and this time we ended up re-purposing pre-finished wood left over from another project.

I have to admit that due to the size of the barn door, the hardest part was getting it onto the track and adjusting the track to make it nice and even!

After we ran electricity into the pantry for a light and a plug in for the floor sweeper, we put in long dark grey tile on the floor and the painted white wood shelving was installed.

We wrapped the frame in the same stained wood that we used for the frame and accents on the door itself, and put the finishing touches on the door.

The barn door came together easily, we lined up the wood pieces running vertical, and connected them to two pieces of woo running vertical on their back to keep them straight.

Being mindful of not wanting the door to be heavier than it needed to be, we ran a stained wood frame and accent pieces on the front, then it was time for hardware.

We have priced the sliding barn door hardware (track, brackets, handles) locally and have found Amazon has the best prices hands down.

It took two of us to get the door on and level, adjusting the brackets so the door slides smoothly back and forth.

And then it was time to get all of our pantry items off the gorilla racks (which had a temporary home in our front living room lol) and finally have it all out of sight and behind a beautiful wood barn door.

https://www.foxbackdrop.com/collections/door-window

I am loving it, and it coordinates perfectly with our farmhouse kitchen table, white chairs and long white church pew in the dining room. The pew is inside for the winter and might stay as we love the extra seating!

The next remodel will be a teeny laundry space that also needs a sliding barn door so the door does not swing in, but stay along the outer wall. We found that door at the Habitat for Humanity store recently for $10 and it’s a beautiful white painted vintage door. The hardware just arrived so I am pretty sure I know what we are doing this weekend!

Thank you as always for reading friend, I appreciate you so much!

xo, Tanya

linking up to: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/

Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/ And these awesome parties: http://www.twelveoeightblog.com/awesome-link-parties