Wednesday, June 29, 2011

1 Year Later

One year ago today, I started a 30 day blog challenge (of which I only finished 28 days, oops) and Day 1 involved writing a letter to myself to be answered one year later. Well, today's the day. Let's see how much I let myself down. I am copying and pasting the original letter from 2010 here, and my answers from 2011 will be in green.

Dear Me,

Hello! Hi! How are ya? Just dandy! Feeling good? Feeling great! It's so hot out, isn't it? I'm not sure if it's hot out this year...I've avoided any contact with the "outside" like the plague this year.

Anyways, how has your year been? My year has been good! Great, even! What are you looking like these days? Pretty much exactly the same, minus some extra poundage around the midsection. Same exact hair cut and just wore that same dress a few days ago. Still looking the same? Here's a picture from a year ago to jog your memory:


And here is one from this year, on the day that I wore that same dress:

27w4d

Did you finally figure out those trip plans with Amy and Bryan? I'm ashamed to say, no. I cannot seem to get my stuff together and organize a friend trip. I even tried to plan a just Amy & Lacey trip and so far all I've done is talk about it. I'm so lame. If so, I bet that was fun. If not, you are a dummy and should have taken advantage of your youth! You're telling me! Friends are even more few and far between these days since I'm pregnant, and so I definitely don't want to lose these ones. They are one of the only ones that are still sticking around!

So, any baby news you'd like to share with me? Oh yeah, I'm pregnant! 6 1/2 months pregnant to be exact. Or are you still not sure about that one? Too late to change our minds now! I'm sure having your new nephew Wyatt around should help you decide. He is just about 9 months old, right? He is, and he is as cute as ever. He's pulling up on everything, standing unassisted and I'm sure will be walking before Charley gets here! Here's a picture from my latest photo shoot with him:

260445_10150668074865257_578935256_18826294_7374152_n

Where are you living these days? The same townhouse? Sadly, yes. I know just recently you went and saw a house and decided to wait a bit longer to move. So, has it been long enough yet? I wish, but the housing market isn't on our side. We have pretty much decided on a neighborhood though, now we just need to save and get the housing market to play nicely.

According to plans, you should now be debt-free Lacey...you didn't let me down here, did you?? Gulp. Well, we are almost there. From what we had last year, we ARE debt free. But then there were a couple of new, no-interest deals we took advantage of so that's all there is now!

Now....on to the important questions:

You do have the iPhone 4 now, right? Cause if not that iPhone 3G is preeeetty outdated. Yes, thank goodness. I was close to waiting around for the iPhone 5, but I couldn't wait any longer.

Do you still have 2 mismatched nightstands? No! We finally got some matching ones from our favorite place, IKEA.

Do you still have kitchen appliances in three different colors? Nope! All 4 appliances are now black!

Are you still keeping up with your clothing spreadsheet? Well of course! If so, that means your spreadsheet had it's 5 year anniversary just 10 days ago. I hope you remembered to throw it a party! Oops. Maybe I'll throw a belated party for it. But, yes, even in maternity clothes I am still keeping up with the spreadsheet, and even though my rotation is usually 3 weeks now instead of 4+ weeks between duplicating shirts, I am happy with that.

Is Tuna still getting some awesomely rad hair cuts? Not in a while! He's been mat-free for a while since John has been more diligent at giving him good brushes.

Is Reese still running at full speed towards every open door? I'd say mid-speed these days. Not only is he fat, but there was an incident when he got out (from running out of the front door) where there was a little fight between him and that stupid stray that we used to affectionately call Pierre. He seems to be fine, but he's definitely more apprehensive about running out since he got his butt kicked.

Anyways, just wanted to check in. I expect that you'll remember to reply in exactly one year. What's that? You are still having memory problems? Well, in that case, I'm going to write another letter to you that will remind you to reply to this letter and I'll schedule it to post on 6/29/2011. Hey! That's today! You better get busy!

Love you lots,
Lacey of the Past

So, I really liked the idea of this letter from year to year. So, I am going to write another one to be answered by 2012 Lacey. Stay tuned!
.
.

Hey you...

...yeah, you. Lacey, I'm talking to you. Remember this? You were supposed to reply today. I'd say you should get right on that, but I know you don't do so well with being told what to do. So instead, I'll just politely suggest it. Thanks!

Love,
Lacey from one year ago

Monday, June 27, 2011

Past, Present, Future

Friday nights sure have looked different lately. And I can only imagine that they will look even more different in the near future. Just for funsies, let's play a little past, present, future.

Past:
095

Crazy, fun, carefree nights out with our best friends and beer.

Present:
2011-06-24

Craft nights while getting little Charley's nursery ready. Replace beer with a sewing machine and our friends with owl pillows. Hopefully our friends will want to hang with us again soon because owl pillow isn't nearly as much fun.

Future:
future

But who am I to try and predict the future? For all I know the future could look like a combination of this:

future parents
Those are my parents, in case you didn't know...
and this:
100_1364

Just kidding Mama and Daddy. I'm sure Charley will be a well behaved baby!
.
.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blogger 201

chalkboard

I'm a self-taught, amateur blogger myself, but feel that this information I'm about to give you could qualify as Blogger 201 instead of 101 because 101 Bloggers are the ones that are simply typing some text and hitting post. No pictures, no links, no design or heading. Basically, nothing to grab my attention and therefore nobody that I read has a blog like that. I feel comfortable complaining about that type of blogger here because you are all better than that! Congrats...you've graduated from Blogger 101 in my book!

Anyways, I get asked fairly often about my header, pictures, or just regular blogging questions in general. So if you are a non-blogger, you may want to just skip this one as it won't do a whole lot of good to you. But while you non-bloggers are here, let me explain the "Follower" thing to you since that's another common question. And then, feel free to leave and not read the rest - I'm giving you permission just this once!

FOLLOW THE LEADER

Q: I clicked "follow" on your blog, but it still doesn't alert me each time you post. What am I doing wrong?

A: Technically you did nothing wrong. From what I could tell, the Blogger people sort of threw this option out for everyone to use, but it's not explained very well. You are following me as long as your happy little face is showing over there in that box --->, but you will only get alerts in 1 of 2 ways (that I know of at least).

Fullscreen capture 6212011 124412 PM

For 'Follow Option 1': If your homepage is not iGoogle.com, it should be. It consolidates all of the information that you choose to see instantly each time you sign onto the internet. You can have boxes for weather, email, Facebook, movie times, etc. There is an option for pretty much anything. My favorite option, and the relevant one to us here, is the 'Google Reader' box. As soon as a blog entry is posted from any blog that you have clicked the "Follow" button on, it will show up here. Did you wonder before how I am able to keep up with the hundred or so blogs I follow? This is how. Super easy and convenient, and whether you are a blogger or not, iGoogle is very useful!

For Follow Option 2: This is a fairly new addition and I technically haven't tried it out yet. But, it looks like the idea is that you type in your email address in that handy dandy box there and voila! It should email you any time anything new is posted.

And for those of you that I know in real life and not just in cyber life, I will continue to share the majority of my blogs on Facebook after I post them, so if neither option appeals to you, there's always my shameless self-promotion on Facebook. That is the way my dear Mama keeps up with my blog, so that is not going to end unless I go over to her house and set up an iGoogle page for her.

[Peace-out non-bloggers!]

MOTHER MAY I (COPY YOUR HEADER)?
Q: How do you make your header each month?

A: Easy. I have this link saved for any future reference should I need it, and I just copy her instructions word for word.

She really made it extremely easy to do, and I'm not going to recreate her instructions, but I'll just add my two cents about it. If you have a blog design from a third party website, or if you are using Blogger's "new" design template, there is an extra step you must do to get all of the formatting just right to follow her instructions exactly. She added a section about this at the very bottom and it is asterisked. If you do use Blogger's new design template, I think it will work just about the same, but I have no first hand experience with that because I refuse to switch over! I have my blog dimensions and columns set just so, and I do not want the hassle of sorting through a bunch of HTML code again to get it just how I want it.

KEEP AWAY (BLOGGER'S PHOTO UPLOADER)!
Q: How do you get your pictures to post so big?

A: In the great picture disaster of 2010, I switched all of my pictures over to be stored on a site other than Blogger. I chose Flickr after testing out pretty much every photo sharing site that there is. So, I have not used the "Blogger" photo upload function in about 1 year and a half, so my experiences based on that may be very outdated and could possibly have been resolved by now, but I highly doubt it.

In the old picture uploader, you could only select 3 sizes: Small, Medium or Large, and then you chose how you wanted to align it. For me though, the large simply still was not big enough. I prefer my pictures to stretch out as wide as the column allows. I hate having to click on pictures to see them more clearly or largely on other blogs, so I make them as big as they can get on mine. Also, there was little to no control over the order that the pictures were placed in once uploaded, and on top of that, if you dragged the picture to move it to the appropriate place in your blog, the link would become broken and your readers could no longer click to enlarge your pictures. Again, all that may have been corrected, but I'm not switching back to find out.

Since I chose to use Flickr, I'm only going to talk about that here. But I'm sure it's the same concept for any other photo-sharing site. & here is where it gets a little complicated. On Flickr, after you upload a picture, there is a drop down box that gives you your sharing options. To post the picture in your blog post, you select the 'Grab the HTML/BBCode' option, click in the box with the code, and copy it.

Fullscreen capture 6212011 13504 PM

Then, you flip back over to your blog post, choose the 'Edit HTML' tab at the top of the editor, and paste this code wherever you would like the picture to appear.

That tricky part I was talking about has to do with the picture's size. Since I have the columns of my blog set up just so by tinkering with the HTML coding, I know the exact width of the actual blog post section of my blog. I have that set to 640 because that is one of the size options that Flickr gives, and it makes things easier. If you do not know the exact width of the blog post column of your blog, it may take some trial and error to figure this part out. But once you know your width number, you are set!

I feel much better about my pictures being stored on another site besides Blogger because knowing Blogger's history, there can and will be issues. This eliminates any issues they can and will have with my pictures at least.

And finally regarding the pictures: you don't have to go back to the beginning of your blog to switch all of your pictures over to another site; I'm just a crazy person and decided that's what I wanted to do. You can leave every picture you've ever had on the Blogger server, and then from this point on use another site and it would work all the same.

I SPY (BLOGGER HAVING COMMENT ISSUES)
Now, this isn't a question I've gotten, but I just figured this out for myself yesterday and thought I'd share. Sadly, I can't think of any more questions I've gotten so if I left something out, feel free to leave a comment and I'll add to this! Having trouble leaving comments lately? Lemme 'splain how I figured this one out.

For the past couple of weeks, sporadically I would not be able to leave comments on other blogs that are hosted on Blogger. I would read the blog, click to add my comment, type out my comment, choose the "Google account" option to identify myself, and try to then post the comment. It would then go to a new screen asking me to sign in, which I would then do. After sign-in, it would re-direct me back to the comment box where I might have to enter the CAPTCHA word. After hitting post, it would then take me back to sign in once again, and over and over it would do this and would never actually post.

After getting frustrated, I googled the issue. The first fix I came upon worked so I figured I'd share. When asked to sign in, unclick the "Remember Me" box. That's it! I don't know why Blogger has to be so temperamental sometimes, but at least I can work around it for now.

That's all I've got for Blogger 201 for now. Hopefully it wasn't too dumbed down or too wordy or too anything. Please correct me if I misspoke about anything - I am self-taught and an amateur as it is, so it's quite possible!

And again, if you have any extra questions or need extra clarification, let me know and I'll help in any way I can! Happy blogging!
.
.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guilty!

I came up with this crazy idea on a drive home from work one day last week, and I think I may try to work it into regular rotation around here. I'm calling it "Guilty!" and it's basically me placing blame for anything and everything that may go wrong in my life on someone else. I think it will be a good release of harbored animosities I may have towards these people.

Today's theme will be this:

Those Guilty for Things I Have Lost That Have Been Lost

Because, let's be honest here - we all know that when something gets lost or misplaced, it's never your own fault. And for myself personally (and as you will soon find out) I never forget when I have lost something. It's like I'm on a quest for the rest of my life to recover lost items. But until they are recovered, I'm blaming these people:

Let's get the obvious one out of the way first:
john

NAME: John
OFFENSE(S): Well, where do I start...
  • Sometime in 2005: Left brown flip flop with Hawaiian-ish design on the bottom. I was forced to throw away the right flip flop because the left one mysteriously disappeared.
  • My March 2011 issue of All You magazine...complete with about $75 in coupons I never got to cut out.
  • During Christmas 2010, I gave several gift cards and bought some cute little gift card boxes to put them in. However, when I went to retrieve them and use them, the bag they were in was now missing. They didn't weigh enough for him to actually look through the bag before throwing it out apparently.
  • And there are tons more here, but I'm a forgiver/forgetter, so that's all I can come up with right now.
(clearly these were all things that were actually LOST and not that I lost.)

HIS SENTENCE: Continue putting up with your wife and her crazy pregnant hormones and emotions. But, you are definitely guilty, sir!

  
alison

NAME: Alison
OFFENSE: In the year 1995, Alison invited me to go along with her and her dad to a Carolina Panther's game during their inaugural season. They didn't have a stadium built yet, so they were playing at Clemson University in South Carolina, and there was a charter bus arranged to take us down there. I of course went with them and packed what every 13 year old girl would need for an entire day away from home: my beloved pink hair brush.

However, said pink hair brush did not make it home with me that day and was left in one of the overhead bins on the charter bus. Had Alison not invited me to that Panther's game, I may still have my most favoritest hairbrush of all times today.

HER SENTENCE: I sentence her to watching every single Carolina Panther's game this season (if there is a season) regardless of how bad they suck.


tracey
NAME: Tracey
OFFENSE(S): Tracey has borrowed not one, not two, but THREE items that I have not gotten back. Actually let's make that FOUR items because one of the three was a pair of socks, and a pair = 2 so FOUR things. Can you even believe her?
  • First (and second), Tracey was out on my side of town one night and called to ask a random question. She needed a pair of socks and fast. I assured her that I had a pair of socks she could borrow and she came over hastily and picked up a pair of baby blue, UNC Tarheels socks. I never saw those socks again, and even though I have grown out of wearing funky socks, I still remember them and hope they don't think I abandoned them.
  • Third, Tracey borrowed a black, lace halter from me in the year 2004. We went out with some friends to Rock Bottom Brewery that night and I remember thinking that I could just let her have that halter because it was too small for me anymore anyways and it still fit her perfectly. But darn it I never spoke those words to her so she clearly just kept it anyways because she had the same thought that she looked better in it than I did! She's ruthless, I tell you!
  • Finally, Tracey borrowed a tan shirt from me in 2003 sometime and I never got it back. Granted, we were living about 3 hours apart at the time, but what's a 3 hour drive when there's a shirt to give me that probably didn't even fit me anymore?  
HER SENTENCE: I sentence her to come over to my house and go ahead and take all of the things that don't fit me anymore. I'll promise not to call it "borrowing" this time too.



matt

NAME: Matt
OFFENSE: Matt is pretty awesome and has pretty awesome parents. I have mentioned before (don't judge me...those were blogs from the very beginning of Life of Lacey) that we have hung out on his parent's boat for different events here and there. These are always photo-worthy occasions, so I always bring my camera. Also, these were drink-worthy occasions, so maybe you know where I'm going with this.

In July 2009, I brought my brand new camera (a point and shoot kind) out to the lake even against John's wishes. "Just bring your old one...you don't want to mess up your brand new one on a boat during a drink fest!" But I didn't listen. I brought the new camera anyways that I had used to take approximately 10 pictures so far. The next morning, I awoke on the boat and the camera was no where to be found. John blamed me. I blame Matt.

How dare Matt invite me to something like this knowing I would lose something. Totally his fault.

HIS SENTENCE: Invite me to something else so I can prove that I am more responsible these days.

colt

NAME: Colt
OFFENSE: In or around 1992, Colt (my brother) and I were running around in the woods at our home playing with our walkie talkies. They were yellow and they were really cool. I don't know what we were walkie talkieing about, but at some point my walkie talkie became unclipped from my shorts and was dropped somewhere in the woods.

So I then found Colt in the woods through the old fashioned non-walkie-talkieing way of screaming, and we began to search for it. He still had his walkie talkie, and mine was presumably still turned on, so we walkied through his hoping to hear some talkieing coming from the woods around us. But after hours of searching, the walkie talkie was never to be found again.

How can I blame Colt when it was my walkie talkie that was lost? Well, it's simple. If he would have been walkie talkieing to me more often, I would have realized sooner that it was no longer clipped onto my shorts. He was being a slack walkie talkier, therefore his fault.

HIS SENTENCE: I would like for him to go back into the woods at our parent's house and find the long lost walkie talkie for me this weekend. Sure, it might be a little rusty, but I'm sure it's nothing a new battery couldn't fix!

________________________________________________

Am I the only one that never forgets things that have been lost? I just cannot stand to not know where something is, and it becomes my mission to find it one day. I may have to rent scuba gear and scour the bottom of a lake, or buy a gas mask and dig through a landfill to find some of these things, but if that's what it takes, then that's what I'll do.
.
.

Haiku Thursday

haiku2


I'm haikuing again. The original haikuer hasn't haikued in a while, but her haikuing legacy shall live on here.

[As always, if you'd like to participate, let me know in my comments! And, if you need a little extra help in the poetry department: a haiku is a short poem consisting of three lines; the first line having 5 syllables, the second 7, and the third 5.]

I do not approve
Of you sharing my picture
On a bad hair day.

Regards,
Tuna
smug tuna

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Charley's Growing

I'm here to give the people what they want. And what do the people want? They want belly pictures apparently. No longer do you have to flip through my recent Facebook pictures to try and get a good belly glimpse. (You can admit it; I do it all the time!) I'll make it easy on you:
019


Although, if you are a Facebook friend my friend Angela recently made it easy for you too when she posted this picture:

255625_886341772187_36615461_42195099_1479206_n

And when I was tagged I said to myself, "HOLY CRAP AM I REALLY THAT BIG?" But apparently it's true...I had no idea this picture was even being taken so I had no chance to suck the baby gut in. It is what it is!

But I'm moving right along...at quite a hasty speed too. I expect that things will start to slow down here shortly. Third trimester starts in just a week or two depending on which pregnancy book you read, and my first baby shower is tomorrow. It kind of seems fraudulent to me...since I am still not believing that I'm really going to be a mother soon. That word is just too grown up and mature to be used in describing me.

And, for those looking for more details, here's the nitty gritty of it all:

How far along are you? 25 weeks and 3 days. That's nearly 6 months.

Weight Gain: I'm not ashamed to say it - 22 pounds. That's above average by a few pounds, but the doctor isn't concerned and neither am I.

Sleep: I'm having no trouble at all. With the help of this pillow (thanks sis for letting me borrow it!), not only am I getting more than my fair half of the bed, but I'm getting good sleep while I'm at it. Sorry John!

Gender:  It's a girl!

Name: Charley Jane

Feeling: Pretty great. My back and tail bone are hurting more lately, but that's really all I have to complain about.

Health: Doctor says I'm great! My ankles are swelling a bit, but it's only been in the 90's around here for a couple of weeks. I'm just trying to drink as much water as possible and keep my feet up. I figure I might as well just stay on the toilet so I can drink my water and pee all at the same time.

Movement: She's moving around pretty often these days. It took much longer than usual for me to begin feeling her because of the location of my placenta. Basically it was between Charley and I acting as a pillow. But now that she's bigger (the size of a rutabaga or eggplant this week) I can definitely feel her and see her kick, and John has felt her too.

Belly: It's big, you agree? And only gonna get bigger...eek. But, it really has a lot to do with what I wear too. There are some shirts where I still look questionable fat/pregnant in. This yellow one I'm wearing up there - NOT one of those shirts.

Next Appointment:  June 29th and I get the Gestational Diabetes test at this one. Yikes!

_________________________

And on another note (and speaking of giving the people what they want), I'm working on another blog to answer some of your blogging questions. I get asked pretty often about my header, blog layout, pictures and other blogging technicalities and I figured I should answer them once and for all! I love to share since I'm self taught as it is! I'm definitely no expert, but I am happy with what I've been able to figure out and wouldn't mind helping you out too. So, if you have any specific questions for me, feel free to leave them in my comments and I'll make sure to answer them soon!
.
.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kitchen Facelift

I am just about 6 months pregnant, and as one would assume, we have been working pretty hard at getting a certain room in our house ready for Charley as most soon-to-be parents do. If you guessed that certain room to be the nursery, I would have to tell you that you're wrong. We have been working on the kitchen. (And when  say "we", I mainly mean "he". I just supply the ideas and he does the handiwork.)

We have lived in this home for about 4 years, and somehow never found the time or the ideas to put a decent kitchen together. But, as soon as I was excited about starting on a nursery, all of a sudden the kitchen got bumped way up on the priority list ahead of the nursery. I'm a procrastinator anyways, so I obliged because ultimately I'm getting two rooms complete for the price of one!

The first step you should take when doing a kitchen facelift, is to take before pictures. Otherwise, you get stuck looking through 3.5 years worth of pictures trying to find a "before" picture without drunk people in it or cute little blonde girls. Of course they are cute, but I'm trying to get a picture of the cabinets, counter tops, decor, etc. So, for your benefit, I cut up some pictures and made a "before" picture unlike one you've ever seen.

kitchen before

A - Behind those cuties is the left wall of the kitchen that had a frame collage on it and our old paint color of ivoryish.
B - This shows the back right corner of the kitchen - where the curtain is over a sliding glass door, the white fridge, black dishwasher and island in the center. You can see the ugly colored cabinets and the white laminate countertops too.
C - In this picture (where I was capturing Tuna being naughty), you can see the right wall, with the sink and more cabinet/countertop views. I always struggled with what to put over the sink, and here I had some stained glass thingy that was too small for the space.
D - This is the front wall where the ivory stove and black microwave reside.
E - Another island picture (in the midst of a fall decor take down) and you can see the broken-off piece of laminate on the side.
F - This little cove off of the left wall has three doors like a game show. Behind doors number 1, 2, and 3 are a bathroom, pantry and laundry room. (This picture is also showing the old, old paint color.)

Okay, so that was where we were before. That was painful.

The only things we had done already pre-facelift were replacing the floor (you can see the difference between pictures E and F), painting twice (once the orange, then the off-white), and purchasing the black microwave and dishwasher. We were just buying appliances as we had the cash as we didn't want to use credit.

And another important item to note - this is only a temporary house. We definitely will not be here for the long haul as it is only a two bedroom townhouse and we are definitely outgrowing it. With that being said, and with the state of the current housing market, a huge kitchen remodel would not have been smart. We wouldn't see that money back when it came time to sell this place, and so we decided on just doing a kitchen facelift.

Another reason this came about unexpectedly - the 2 non-black appliances sort of fell into our laps. A friend sold them to us for $250 (the fridge and the stove together) and finally, we had 4 matching appliances. The very next day, we listed the white fridge and ivory stove on Craigslist for $100 each and they were gone within an hour. So, for the net total of $50, we finally had appliances that we liked. This lit the fire under us to make the rest of the kitchen look good.

CABINETS
First up, the cabinets. I loathed the color of them, and they just scream "buyers basic" to me. It's comparable to mid-wash jeans. Not nice looking like a nice dark pair, but not chic enough like a light colored pair could be. Just blah and they needed to change. Have I mentioned John used to be a painter? Major points for him.

Sanding and staining a darker color would have been way too daunting. Painting them a fun color like turquoise or red would have been really fun, but wouldn't have flowed with the rest of the house. We decided on white, and that was that.

John primed, painted, and sealed. We added hardware which they were lacking before and that made a world of a difference. My job? Pick the paint color and use the drill to remove hinges from the cabinet doors. See! I'm not a complete waste of facelifting space!

020

034

COUNTERTOPS
Countertops were next. There aren't too many options for countertops. You can do granite ($$$), you can tile granite (not as expensive but tiles are not my #1 choice since they'd be harder to clean on the grout lines), you can just replace the laminate, or there are a couple of newer options involving essentially painting your countertops. Have I mentioned before that John used to be a painter?

There were 2 "paint" options available. One was the Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformation kit, and then a second option we found was the Giani Granite Paint kit. One was around $300, the other $80. All things aside, we went with the cheaper option, Giani.

005
John never even watched the instructional DVD...what an over achiever.
First step was to prime your counter tops with a black primer. I'm a "finished-product" person, so it's hard for me to watch these beginning steps.
016

Then, after letting that dry overnight, you use a sponge and three different colors to mimic the look of granite. This part I was not at home for or I would have been a micro manager since I can't see past the steps to the finished product. When I got home I was beyond impressed.
072
It could easily fool me! Who woulda guessed that was all done with paint!
FAUCET
At some point among all of this, we purchased a new faucet to replace the buyer's basic chrome one we currently had. I was shocked at how much a stupid kitchen faucet could cost, but ultimately we decided on a stainless steel goose neck spout that was as cheap as we could find. Looks good, works good, and still within our budget.

018

WALL PAINT
Finally, it was time for me to pick a paint color. At first I was being all boring and leading toward a tan/brown color, but then quickly realized that the brown countertops, brown floors and the tan/brown walls would be a bit bland and way too much. Then, at a yard sale I found these two decorative plates for $1 each that had a brick-red color to them, and I had a vision.

032

Yellow walls, with brick red accents. And that is how the wall color was decided! Again, John did the work here, but it only took him a few hours + commercial breaks during the NASCAR race.

DECOR
Now, this is the only unfinished part. But, my impatience got the best of me and I'm sharing before I'm completely finished. We have hung a couple of things up, but there are lots of bare walls that still need decor and they will fill up in time. I'll reshare again later.

The biggest thing to me though, was finally having something over the sink that I liked. I found an old window at another yard sale for $1 that was just the right size. It needed paint, and I saw an idea on another blog that I wanted to try as well. It involved turning the window panes into a mirror, and I thought that was just what this window needed.

I bought the mirror spray paint at Michael's for $9, the red color for the frame in a sample size at Home Depot for $2.94, and then John took over this project too. What?! He's a professional! It'd just be silly for me to do it instead!

It's not as reflective as a typical mirror is, but I think that works even better for our use. It's sort of foggy and rustic-ish, and I love it.

023
See....reflective, but not as reflective as a regular mirror.

I also hung another little coffee sign by our coffee pot that I also got at a yard sale (surprise, surprise) for $1. But so far, that is all the decor that has gone up. I have a closet full of other things to be hung, and a Pinterest board filling up of other ideas that are in the making.

And finally, for those of you that skip all the wordage and just go straight for the pictures (coughJohncough) here are our after pictures.

012

016
The little game show cove....and, I swear the yellow is not that yellow in person!

013
Again...the yellow is not that yellow...blame it on my lack of photography skills!
The grand total for this facelift:

Wall Paint                     $24.44
Cabinet Paint                $50.00
Cabinet Knobs              $34.00
Door Knobs                  $41.88   (also replaced the three doorknobs in the "game show cove")
Window                         $1.00
Mirror Paint                    $9.73
Window Paint                 $2.94
Plates                            $2.00     (not hung yet, but the inspiration plates)
Coffee Sign                    $1.00
Countertop Kit             $75.72
Faucet                          $88.00
Appliances                    $50.00    (net, $250 price, less $200 we sold the old ones for)
TOTAL                       $380.71

I'm happy, and my wallet is happy too. Can't really ask for more than that, right?
.
.