Monday, June 29, 2015

I'm happy

Yesterday my husband and I were in the car together heading for a day of lunch and the "junk store" (as we like to call it)... I think it's actually called The Surplus Store or something like that. Anyway, that's not important lol.
On our drive we somehow got on the subject of happiness and how some people can never seem to achieve it and how sad it is.
My husband looked at me and asked "are YOU happy?"
Maybe he was expecting me to simply say something like "of course" lol, but he got a little more of a mouthful than that. I didn't even have to stop and ask myself the answer because the truth is that YES, I am happy.

My reply to him went something along these lines...not verbatim but close :)

I really am happy. I have a pretty amazing life...I have a wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally and who I love with all my heart. He's my best friend and honestly, my everything. I have beautiful incredible children who are happy, healthy and productive in their lives...and our youngest is on his way toward the same. We have grandchildren that are perfect and whom we adore.

We don't live in a mansion but our little home is OURS (well, it will be in about 18 months lol) and I'm perfectly content with it.  Really, what is there to not be happy about?

There was a time not that many years ago when we struggled financially just trying to meet all the bills and raise our kids, making sure to give them as much as we possibly could without sinking ourselves. Tim and I both have had to do without things we wanted and made sacrifices in order to see that they had nice clothes, name brand shoes and the opportunities to go places and do things we weren't able to as children. And we never felt short changed knowing we were providing the best for them that we possibly could. If we struggled to get the electricity bill paid or if we really had to skimp on groceries one week, we kept them sheltered from that.

Thankfully we have reached a point in our lives now where we can live more for ourselves and I absolutely love it. We certainly don't live an extravagant lifestyle by any means. But nowadays I feel like it's completely ok if I go out and buy a new purse, or a new pair of shoes. So what if I spend $6 on hairspray rather than $2??? I spend more than I probably should on hair products lol...but it's OK and it's those simple things that really make me happy. I'm a simple person by nature...I'll never be "fancy" and I don't strive to be. I'm just me and I am happy with who I am.
We still sometimes make sacrifices for the kids if there's something they need or if they get into a bind but they are pretty self sufficient and doing well for themselves. I can't say often enough how incredibly proud I am of them :)

And,the last thing I told Tim during our conversation is that THE TIME FOR LIVING IS NOW! Should we wait until we're too old to start enjoying life? That's ridiculous...we need to be doing our living in the here and now.  Sometimes it's the little things that bring the most happiness.

I guess I said all that to say this: People, please try and make the most of the life you're given...the life that's right in front of you...LIVE. Sometimes we get so caught up in existing in the day to day life and we forget that while we're existing, our lives are passing us by. Don't let that happen to you...go out and live life...even the smallest adventures add up to a great life!

I hope you're all as happy and content with your lives as I am...remember "life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful" :)
Have a HAPPY day and don't forget to check back soon!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

kitchen before and after

After my last post highlighting my "new" counters I started thinking about how much our home is continuing to evolve and although I've shared "before" photos of our kitchen before, I felt like now would be a good time to share again.

I just did a quick pairing of the 2 photos in Microsoft Paint to get a side by side comparison.
One thing I forgot to mention the other day is that after 9+ years of having a "grape theme" in my kitchen, I boxed everything up and it's ready to find a new home with my sister who coincidentally also has a grape theme so that worked out perfectly.
I'm keeping a couple of items because I truly love them but the rest is history. And I have to admit that so far I am loving my "theme free" kitchen lol.

Anyway, here is the before and after photo:

Click on the photo and you can see a larger version :)
It may be difficult to tell from the photos but we've actually made quite a few changes in our kitchen. The only major change we still have on our list is the flooring we will be adding within the next year. And of course I will be sharing more photos at that time :)

Remodeling is a slow process when you're working around a tight budget with a husband who doesn't get excited about new projects and that's putting it mildly. Slowly but surely however, our house is becoming the home we envisioned when we moved in. I can truthfully say that when I walk in my front door I almost always look around and feel pride in our accomplishments and that's a great feeling.

I may post some other room updates in the next couple days but there have been no major changes in the rest of the house. I've rearranged and updated the entry table and I might give you guys a glimpse of that tomorrow so be sure and check back!

Thanks for reading!!


Sunday, June 21, 2015

My faux granite "painted" kitchen counter tops

I've been trying for days to find the time get this post written but it's been a crazy busy week for me with one thing or another.  Finally though, I'm ready to share with you guys my freshly painted laminate counter tops.

The blue trim on my counters has been on my list of things that needed replacing since the first time we walked into this trailer. WHY would any person think blue trim on countertops would be a good idea?? The counters themselves were in great shape other than a couple little things and so replacing the counters has never been a priority with my husband. His thought process and mine are completely different when it comes to home improvement. He would have been content to look at those blue and white counters for the rest of our lives and it would have never occurred to him to replace them.  Sometimes I feel like nothing would ever be updated or fixed in our home if I didn't hound him. Knowing my husband the way that I do, and trust me, I do lol...I knew there was no way he'd be on board for new counters. So I started the research process to see what my options were and I was thrilled when I discovered that painting the counters was an extremely viable and affordable option. I broached the subject with him and he shot me down. Over and over he shot me down and I was beginning to get very discouraged. He just wasn't convinced that painting was a good option and "there was nothing wrong with the counters".
Let's just say that I'm a pretty decent contender when it comes to the hounding department and eventually I convinced him to at least watch a couple of the many YouTube videos relating to painting laminate counters.
After he watched the process and saw the results, he finally agreed that we could give it a try. I was super excited and we took off to Walmart for the supplies immediately lol.
I don't have any photos of the supplies we used but I will try to add one later. I can't get a photo at the moment because I have a sleeping 2 year old in my bed and I definitely am not ready to wake that particular sleeping dragon lol.  I'd rather face a grizzly bear than a 2 year old woken up from a nap too soon.

The first step in the process of painting the counters was sanding them just a little and then cleaning them very very well. We used mineral spirits for the final cleaning before the primer went on.  Once the counters are completely clean and dry you can start painting on the primer.

I'm going to share with you just a few of the photos I took before, during and after our painting.

Here is the *before* picture...You may notice that we also
painted the cabinets white and the wall a light gray :)
That's my youngest helping out with the sanding
first coat of primer

after 2nd coat of primer
This is after the first layer of paint was applied using
a sea sponge
This is after about 6 layers of paint and immediately before
the polyurethane process
This is a close up of the finished counter...the part that
use to be much better is this???

another close up of the finished counter

You may notice my "faux backsplash" behind the stove...
not sure if that is staying or if I'll decide to sand it down
and paint over it. I'm not sold on it but I'm also lazy lol

nighttime view

all tape removed and everything in place

Look how pretty and shiny!
And one final picture to show that we also painted the other side of the kitchen the same gray color we have in our living room so that the two rooms flow together quite well. Also painted the trim white...that was a job but so worth it.

And that's it...I absolutely love my "new" kitchen and especially the counters. Obviously, I can't speak as to the durability but I've read lots of good things and as long as we take care with them there should be no issues.

I can tell you that although the painting process was very simple it was also quite tedious. I actually practiced on a small area of the countertop itself before washing the away the paint and starting the sanding. I did that to get an idea for the look I wanted to achieve and also to reassure myself that I wasn't biting off more than I could chew.
We sealed with about 5 coats of polyurethane clear coat...I let my handy husband take care of that part because you don't want any inconsistencies or bubbles if you can help it. He first tried rolling on the topcoat but then decided to use a brush. It's not as smooth a surface as actual granite but it looks beautiful and it completely changed the look of our kitchen...and the total cost was under $ come cost effective is that???
I'm sure this isn't something that everyone will feel comfortable attempting but if you're one of those folks who is considering painting your countertops then I say why not give it a try :)
One other thing I'd like to add is that there actually are products out there specifically made for this and you can google those. One of the products I came across during my research for this project is called Giani and they sell that in home improvement and hardware stores. I'm also pretty sure that Rustoleum has a similar product so if you would rather go that route then you will still find this very affordable. When I priced the Giani it was around $80 for the kit...not a bad price at all.

If you do decide to do this then be prepared to have your kitchen practically unusable for a few days...that was the most difficult part of the entire process for us.

I think that's it for this time...I hope you enjoyed my post and seeing my "new" kitchen. If you have any questions then please let me know.
Until next time, thanks for stopping to read and come again soon!

Friday, June 12, 2015

A quick hello!

Just a quick update to say hi and let everyone know I'm still here :)

I haven't done anything creative at all recently :/ and that's sad...But I have been busy so that's good. I'm in the process of a mini kitchen makeover. It started with the cabinets then moved to the walls and other areas (but that's a post for another day...after it's all finished lol). I'm hoping to finish by Sunday or Monday of next week so stay tuned for that.
I've been painting all week and my whole body aches...I think it's safe to say that unless someone else is volunteering I won't be doing anymore painting for awhile. Or at least til the urge strikes lol.
I'm hoping that once I get this kitchen project finished that my creative juices will come rushing back lol. I had grandiose plans of getting tons of layouts completed during summer break but so far those plans have fallen slightly short.

I'm excited for a little mini trip next week with a couple of my besties! The 3 of us live in different states and it's been way too long since we've all gotten together. I think this is just what I need to get rejuvenated and back on track. A few pictures from that trip may just find their way here and you guys won't want to miss that lol. 

Right now I have a sweet little 2 year old demanding my attention :)  Rememeber to check back soon for my kitchen mini makeover reveal!!

And of course, as always, thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Feels like forever

It really seems like forever since I've made a new post. I've thought about posting but I really didn't have anything interesting to post about. Still don't, really. I've not been crafty at all in a couple weeks at least and although I feel the urge, I just can't seem to garner the motivation required to begin.

Here are some random things happening with me :)

Today marks 6 weeks since my sister passed away and I would like to say it's gotten easier but really it hasn't. I pretend it's fine and that I'm not broken inside and I do a pretty good imitation for the most part. Were it not for my other sister, I don't think I'd be making it as well as I am. She and I have had our issues, maybe more than most sisters but losing Kim really flipped a switch inside me. Family is so important and I'm going to cling a little more tightly to mine.

I started living low carb about 3 weeks ago after stepping on the scale and finding myself again at an all time high weight. I need to lose weight in order to be healthier and to feel better about myself so I'm going to. Period.

My baby boy, who's 13, has got a girlfriend. She's not his first but she's the first he's ever spent time with outside of school. He's at VBS with her right this minute. I don't know how it happened that I blinked and he grew up but if I could stop time for even a little while, I think that I would.

Yesterday I finally got a new camera. I've needed one for awhile but just couldn't justify the expense because my old camera was still going strong. But, last weekend I realized that "Old Faithful" wasn't being very faithful when it started having issues while I was taking pictures at my oldest son's fitness competition.
And when I tried switching to video mode it completely spazzed on me. It's just had several issues recently and as much as I loved it when I bought it EIGHT years ago needs a break. I have taken literally thousands of pictures with it as well as countless was a great camera. And it's not completely flubbed its dub just yet so I may get a lot more life out of it. BUT, I need a dependable camera.  So yesterday we made the unexpected purchase of a Canon Rebel T5. My awesome husband made the comment that "you can't scrapbook without a camera"--how freaking sweet is that??? Not for one minute did I feel the need to remind him that I have literally hundreds of photos already printed and waiting to be scrapped lol. We'll just keep that between us ;)

So the only thing I really have to share today are some pictures I took with my new camera :) I'm no photographer by any stretch but I hope to at least take better photos for my scrapbooks and of course for my blog.

Outside Chris's bedroom door looking in..experimenting
with different settings and angles.

The view from my back steps--testing the landscape setting

the coffee filter rose and mason jar I've shared in a previous post

The portrait setting...don't let his fake smile fool you lol...
he was not happy that I was invading his space taking pictures.

He wasn't happy but he cooperated...I have some other pics where
he does't look quite so amicable however. 

We got a new tent the other day for vacation and we
got it set up tonight to get it water sealed. It's huge lol.

Sorry it's not a more exciting post but this is my life lol.
Thanks for reading!