Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grout Refresh

Once I started seeing an end to all of my physical labor that I was trying to get done on the house in an unrealistic amount of time, I decided to work on another aspect of the house:  Deep cleaning! One thing that bugged me the first time I saw the house was the tile grout, specifically in the master bathroom. It really wasn't that bad but yucky grout is one of those things that just really drives me crazy. In our last house we had the same problem. I found my solution on Pinterest. It's called Grout Refresh. It's wonderful. Here's the link to when I did it before:

My last shower was always dirty. I scrubbed it constantly but the white grout always looked discolored. I used brown grout refresh to make it better. I would've used white but they didn't have it in stock when I went to buy it so I thought it didn't exist. The brown was good in that when it got dirty it wasn't as noticeable. With the white underneath it, however, it started wearing off in places as time went by and the white started showing through and it started looking kind of dingy. It still looked way better than it did before I did it. 

This grout refresh project in the new house was on the backburner of my brain. I knew I wanted to do it eventually but I had a lot of other projects on the mind. I was at Lowes a few weeks ago getting grout for our new entry floor when I saw the Grout Refresh section on the same aisle. They had white!! This changes things. I had to do it right away. I bought it ($11 for a small bottle but it goes a long way...I did 2 bathrooms and still have a lot left). I'm beyond happy with the results. It looks like the tile/grout is brand new. It's so sparkly. I find myself staring at it for no reason. I definitely recommend getting a Grout Refresh that matches your current grout. It makes things so much easier and looks so much better.

All you do is clean your surface, apply grout refresh with a toothbrush, wait 30 minutes to an hour, spritz with water, wait 5 minutes, then wipe off the excess on the tile. On the floor tile I squirted it directly on the floor and moved it around with the tooth brush. On the wall tile I put it on the toothbrush then put it on the grout. You can't walk on it for 2 hours or get it wet for 24 hours. I did my 2 bathrooms over a week. I was originally going to do them in 1 day but we couldn't go 24 hours without bathing. Neither of our showers would have been able to get wet for a day. Things may have gotten weird. So I did the master (we bathed in the other bathroom during that time) and then a week later I did the other bathroom. 

And here are some pics!!

Master Bath

Floor Before and After

Shower Tile Before and After



Other Upstairs Full Bath

Floor Before and After


Shower Before (This wasn't bad but I did everything else so went ahead and did this too)

Shower After

I'm so happy with the results. Definitely worth the labor it took to do it. It's not hard at all. It's mindless and goes by pretty fast when listening to your favorite Pandora station (mine being a combination of Michael Buble, John Mayer, and Disney...don't judge me). Let me know if you decide to do this! I love before and after pics.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sugar Cookies!!

Stop what you're doing! I have found it! What you've all been looking for. The perfect sugar cookie recipe. I'm obsessed with sugar cookies. By far my favorite of the cookies in the cookie kingdom. Every time I've made them in the past they haven't been completely right. They may have had a good flavor but there has always been something about them that was missing. I wasn't sure how this recipe was going to turn out because I've been led astray before. But not this time. However I will say that the website is called "yummy healthy easy." That I will have to argue with. Not that they're yummy or easy but don't be fooled. They are in NO way healthy...unless you have a distorted idea about the "nutritional" contents in butter. So if healthy is what you're looking for turn away now because once you try these you may not be able to stop.

Things with the house are finally settling down (aka I don't get home from work every single day at 1 and work on the house till the wee hours of the night). Most of the physical labor is done so I am actually finding time to rest and enjoy the fruits of our labor. In lots of cases that means baking delicious goodies. I had 3 baking days in a row this week. THREE! I hadn't baked in a month and a half and I just really needed it. I love all of the space in my new kitchen. It's a dream come true. So much room for activities!!

So back to the cookies. I wanted to make Matt something special for Valentines. The day before I had made 6 dozen mini cupcakes for my sweet kids at work and knew I'd have plenty leftover to share with him. The day after Valentines I made almost 100 cupcakes for my best friend's bridal shower. For him I didn't want to make the usual. I also knew we'd be drowning in cupcakes and wanted to munch on something a little different. That's when I turned to Pinterest to find a recipe. Here's the link:

Every Valentines day since we've been together (7 years on Feb 10) Matt has made me pink heart-shaped waffles. Well, last year he was on a business trip for a month and we celebrated together via Facetime but every other year we've done it. It's a tradition that his mom started with her kids when they were little. I love not having to get out on Valentines. It's so relaxing just staying home in our pjs eating pink waffles and drinking milk. Things even got a little crazy this year and we watched Aladdin. He's the best. I'm so thankful for him.

Here are a few pics of the other cupcakes I made this week:

So excited for Ryann. She's getting married in less than a month! So honored to be her Matron of Honor. I seriously can't wait to see her become Mrs. Bird!!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Upstairs Bathroom Makeover

Another thing we've finished within the last few days is our upstairs full bathroom. We have 4 bedrooms upstairs including the master (which has its own attached bathroom). This other bathroom I wanted to have a little fun with. The vanities were updated right before the house was put on the market. I really love them. The mirrors, however, needed a little love. They weren't even hung up. I found them in the attic. Here are some before pics.

Here is what it looks like now!

I really love the wall color. It's Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. It's very...well...agreeable. One website that has been very helpful when it comes to choosing colors is You can type in, for example, "Agreeable Gray Sherwin Williams" and it'll give you room after room painted in that color. It gives you a lot of different perspectives and shows how the color looks in different lights. You can look up practically anything there and even save the pics. It's kind of like Pinterest but just for houses. 

This color, in my opinion, is the perfect gray. It's subtle and neutral but still really trendy and in style. One of the best things about it is that it doesn't turn blue on the wall. A lot of grays have a tendency to do that. I also painted it in my craft/sewing room. I'll upload pics of that when I work on it a little more. 

I saw the shower curtain at Bed Bath and Beyond and immediately fell in love with it. It's so bright and cheery. I couldn't walk away. I based the other colors around it.

I took the back off of the lovely golden mirrors and just spray painted them. I love Valspar's spray paint colors. You can get them at Lowes. I chose a pretty blue. After they dried I sanded them a little to give them more of a rustic feel. $4 projects are way more fun than dropping $100 for new mirrors. I love the pop of color they add to the room too (since the shower curtain is technically in the next room). 

I found the shutters that I hung above the potty on the side of the road like 4 years ago. My family thinks I'm a hoarder. I didn't have a place to put them then so they lived in my attic for 4 years. I finally found the perfect place for them in our new house. I spray painted them with the same blue spray paint and voila!! Here's a before:

The furniture between the vanities I've had for a long time as well. When I was 16 all I wanted for Christmas was bathroom furniture. My family had recently moved and I needed a place in my bathroom to put my towels and things. That furniture is what I got from my grandma. I love it so much. When I moved out of my parents' house, however, I didn't have a place for it so I left it there. My brother filled it full of Xbox games and DVDs and put it in his new media room after I got married and left for good (rip old bedroom). time had come. I had the perfect place for it in our new house so I stole it back. I had to bracket it to the wall at the top to keep it from leaning but that wasn't a big deal.

I got this little chair from my grandma a long time ago. I think she got it at a garage sale. I gave it a little makeover with the same blue spray paint and new fabric and now it's perfect in this bathroom!



My grandma was selling this little white window mirror at a garage sale and I swept it up. Perfect for this space. That door leads to the playroom.

In the future I'll probably replace the vanity light glass on the wall sconces. Not a huge fan of the current ones. That's pretty low on the priority list now, though.

Another thing I love about this bathroom is the massive linen closet. I loved our old East Memphis house so much but we didn't have a lot of storage at all. Everything was so crammed full. It's so liberating having so much space where I can spread out and really organize my things. Here's what I have in that big closet:

 I have 2 3-drawer containers full of all of our meds labeled by ailment/type.
I also have a 3 drawer container with drawers labeled "sunscreen", "shave", and "dental."

In my free time I like to coupon. I used to be pretty good at it. CVS is a great place for that. I would stock up on razors and replacement blades. Still trying to figure out why those things have to be so expensive. I keep them in the "shave" drawer so whenever we need a new one we know where to find it. I do the same thing with the dental drawer. You know all of those toothbrushes and dental flosses you get at the dentist? Those go there. Matt needed some dental floss the other night and he knew exactly where to find it. In the bottom of the closet I have 2 big bins: "Toiletry Overstock" and "Travel Toiletries." In the travel-sized one I keep, obviously, all of the travel-sized things we come across. Within the bin I have everything organized by gallon-sized baggie. For instance, there's a bag of shampoo, bag of conditioner, bag of get the picture. Now whenever we go on a trip we go there first to see if we can find what we need. My overstock bin is for excess things we use all the time like soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant...things of that nature. I got a lot of this couponing as well. If I see my Tresemme shampoo on sale plus I have a coupon I always buy it and put it here. When I do need it I already have it and know exactly where it is. Soap mostly comes with a lot of bars. Now you have a place to store them till you need them! I know I know...don't judge me.

I'm working on a lot of things right now. Most things are finished and I'm just waiting for 1 big thing to complete the room (ie couches, new bed, table for my sewing machine, etc). Hopefully they'll be finished soon!


I found these cute frames at Hobby Lobby 50% off and couldn't resist them. I had no idea where I wanted to put them but found the perfect places when I walked by my upstairs bath. The colors blended so well. I had no idea how naked my walls were in there until they weren't naked any more.

The larger one says "Start each day with a grateful heart" which I think is so important. I often don't take that advice to heart and dwell on every little thing that goes wrong/not as planned. I also hate morning so I couldn't DEFINITELY use some work in this department. I pray that my child (and future children) will understand the importance of this at an early age. It's so refreshing to walk into Presley's room every morning and see her just so excited to see me and begin her day. She's just like her dad in that area. I want to be more like you, Pres. Please stay that way forever. It was only $9 at Hobby Lobby.

The smaller one is just a coral watercolor arrow that was..wait for it..only FIVE DOLLARS! WHAT A DEAL! It brings out the little bit of coral in the larger picture and ties it in with the coral shower curtain in the room it leads in to.

I loved this mini makeover and it costs a whole $14.