Friday, April 24, 2015

Week 16: Pollen | 52 Week Photo Challenge

denver life, denver living, denver pollen, denver park
(50 mm lens ISO 400 f 4.5 SS 1/80)

The pollen is in full effect here in Denver.  The blooming trees sure are pretty, but they come at a price ;)  Perhaps that's why all of the allergy medicine was on sale at Costco today.

This is a tree from the park behind our house.  I took my camera on my walk this morning fully expecting to find a blooming bonanza, but this was one of only a few trees I encountered that hadn't already lost its blooms.  I was a little late to the party!

Happy Friday to you!  Have a great weekend :)
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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

She's a Beast: Empty Products Reviewed!

I think I watch YouTube more than I watch regular television these days--especially since I can watch it directly on my "smart" TV.  If I have a couple of loads of laundry to sort, I do it on my bed with YouTube videos streaming right on my TV.  It makes doing chores so much more pleasant.

One type of video I love watching is "Empties" videos where vloggers give a mini-review of products that they have completely used up.  It's fun to see what people use and why they liked it (or didn't like it, but were too cheap to toss it).

Here's my first product empties video--she's a beast (for me!) coming in at over 12 minutes.  It sure was fun to film (despite having to switch SD cards halfway through...ROOKIE mistake LOL).  I reviewed my empty products, as expected, but I also reviewed some products that were so bad that I couldn't finish them.  Good thing they were cheap!

(One of these days I'm going to remember to make a thumbnail image so you're not seeing me in the middle of a sentence!  At least this time I added in some tunes :)

Check it out:



Products Mentioned:


OSKIA Renaissance Cleansing Gel

Bioderma Cleansing Water

Kenra Super Hold Finishing Spray #25

Hydraluron

Origins Plantscriptions Powerful Lifting Cream

Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes

Bobbi Brown Corrector

Blistex Lip Medex

Umberto Beverly Hills Dry Texture Spray

L'Oreal Quick Dry Primer Spray

Garnier Fructis Deconstructed Texture Tease

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Thanks for watching!  What products have you finished and repurchased lately?

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Guest Bathroom Update: Dark Red Wallpaper to Bright, Light and Happy

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,

When we moved into our Denver house back in October we knew immediately what our first project would be: updating the dark and dated guest bathroom.  Not only is this bathroom used for guests, it's the only bathroom on the main floor of the house.  It was hard to ignore it since we were in there multiple times a day.

And it was not exactly an uplifting place.

Let's take a look at the bathroom the day we moved in (forgive the picture quality--I was still a total newb with my camera at that point!):


I'm a big fan of mirrors and I love a good collection of them, but these were too heavy and dark for this small space.  And the wallpaper?  It was dated, to say the least.


I have to think the toilet, vanity, and sink were original to the house.  It looks like maybe they updated the floor, faucet and wall plates when they did the wallpaper.  I really hate tiled countertops in a bathroom or kitchen.  The grout is nearly impossible to maintain--it just makes cleaning that much harder.


Ahhh.  So much better now!  (When I hung the painting below, I used a level...I swear the level says it's straight, but the eyeball test in person--and obviously in this photo--tells me it's crooked.  I'll have to make an adjustment to my 3M strips!)

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,

Here's a close up of the vanity cabinet Joe built.  I love the look of walnut and he took it a step further and added these purple heart inlays to the doors.  I was skeptical at first, but I'm thrilled with the way they turned out.  No one else will have this in their bathroom!  We also made the vanity a bit "grander" by raising the height to 37".  It's nice not to have to bend over to wash your hands.  And the kids are just tall enough to make it work without a stool.

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,


red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,

We shopped at a local granite and tile shop to find a remnant for the countertop, but the cheapest option that we found (and liked) would've run us $450 (no sink and not installed).  So we ordered this top from Home Depot--it came with the square sink already installed and the holes drilled for the faucet.  Joe was able to easily install it and the faucet.

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,

And we got the fancy-looking waterfall faucet from Home Depot, as well.  It's nice to be able to use things from "big box" stores and still have some originality to the space.  The mirror is the Grundtal from IKEA and suits the room perfectly.

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,

The bathroom is extremely small, but I did manage to get a shot from the other direction so you can see the shower stall.  It's not an ideal set up for a powder room that doubles as a guest bathroom, but what can you do?  It's not worth the expense of a total redesign!  The tile in the shower before we tore down the red wallpaper and painted looked really dingy and yellow.  This cool-toned paint color, Benjamin Moore "Titanium", really brought the yellow down and it's not as noticeable.

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,


And here's one more before and after so you don't have to scroll back to the top:

red wallpaper to light paint, benjamin moore titanium, walnut cabinet, walnut vanity cabinet, purple heart inlay, home depot bathroom counter with sink, ikea grundtal mirror, new costco toilet, target rug,
We are so happy to have this little project knocked off the list.  Joe did the demo the first weekend in January and that same weekend he had an accident with the table saw, so that pushed the schedule back quite a bit.  So finally getting her done was extra satisfying since we lived without a sink or cabinet for six or seven weeks.

I've also been chipping away at the wood doors and trim in other rooms and we had a professional come and paint the entry and family room walls and window trim since the ceilings are too high for me to paint.  Painting the dark wood trim around the windows in the family room was a game-changer.  I can't wait to show you the pictures!  I've also done one coat of paint on the walls in the guest room just one more to go--another huge makeover for minimal cost.  (For another day...)

Here's what we did:

1. Removed wallpaper and all mirrors, hooks and wall plates and painted the ceiling and walls
2. Removed and replaced vanity, counter, sink, and faucet (Joe built the new cabinet and installed everything else.)
3. Replaced toilet
4. Replaced wall sockets with fresh white boxes and wall plates (again, Joe!)
5. Painted the wood door and trim white
6. Replaced mirror
7. Hung robe hook
8. Decorated!

Here's the breakdown:

Demo: $0
Faucet: $110
Counter and sink $239
Vanity cabinet $200 (materials and hardware)
Mirror $40
New light switches, power outlets, and wall plates $13
Rug: $30
Art $30 (clearance)
Robe Hook: $5
Frames, soap dispenser, bowls and planter $0 (already owned)
Paint: $60
Toilet: $145 (Costco RULES!)
Toilet installed: $6 (For the caulk.  Have I mentioned that my husband also RULES?  He can do anything, I swear.)
Toilet paper holder: $12
Total: $890

Thanks for checking out our little guest bathroom/powder room makeover!  Pretty big change, right? (And isn't Joe talented??  I had no idea what I lucked into when I married this guy ;)

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