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Let There Be Light

14 Feb

The Earnest household is shaking a little right now… so distraction is proving to be the best thing for the moment.

This e-card from Christy and Ava helps:

Valentine's Day Card



Whenever my mother comes into town, she comments on how dark our house is… and I was starting to agree.  I feel like we had to turn on all the lights all the time just to get some decent lighting.  Therefore, I decided to change the lights to a brighter, whiter light when I painted the office.


These lights are CFLs, so they give you the power of 60W while just using 13W.  The prices aren’t bad either… a 4-pack for ~$8.  The biggest different is that these are deemed “Bright White” instead of “Soft White,” so they have a 3500K warmth as opposed to 2700K.  Chris thought it was a little less intense than the “Daylights” at 5000K and I agreed with him, since the space isn’t incredibly large.

Light Deets

And…. we loved it.  And, by “we” I mean “me.”  Chris says he likes the yellow lights more.  But it makes me so happy to see white light… so I responded, “I hear you and I understand, but I am going to change ALL the lights now.. mmk?”  Chris (shakes head): “Okay. Whatever you say.”

So I bought 3 more backs, the only difference being they were 900 lumens vs. 800 lumens as above.  According to the packaging, I shouldn’t have to worry about these lights again until after we should be moved out of here.

And for a (blurry) side-by-side, while ignoring the in-progress blah bathroom:

Yellow vs. White

I love the brighter, whiter lights and am so happy to have gotten rid of them all.


And, for the life lesson of the moment:  this brush does not work for my hair:

Not My Style

Confirmed it.

180 Degrees aka New Office Space

30 Jan

I almost made this title, Doing A 180, but then I got hung up on the grammar.  Grammatically, it’s supposed to be, Doing aN 180, since the “1” starts with an “O”, but I don’t think that’s what people say… right?  Maybe that’s why I got my first B in English 101.  Yup.  totally happened.  OH, the shame.

Anyhow, last time I mentioned how sad I was, reflecting on Allan’s departure.  Jerk left us all behind in Georgia.  But the ONLY exciting part about it was being able to change the wall color.  It was previously a poo poo color.  Literally.  Apparently I was on some serious cuckoo medications when I made the decision to “go bold” with my color choices.  Brown in the sunroom/office and red in the guest bathroom.  Oh, and we’re choosing to ignore the lack of editing on these photos.  Let’s call it laziness. 

Poo Poo Brown

I know, I know.  Looking back, there were so many red flags.  SO. MANY.  But, you live and you learn, right?  Oh, and for the record…. never, NEVER use bold colors with Valspar’s paint. The paint chips so easily, it’s ridiculous.

I figured that I talk about painting so much that I thought I’d go through some “tricks of the trade”  aka “shortcuts that work for me.”

Note: This is not about painting itself… for that you can google hundreds of tutorials. like this one

(1)  Find a good paint.  I’m absolutely adoring Olympic’s ONE series right now.  Paint + Prime = Fewer coats of paint.  Plus it’s Low-VOC (that’s the nasty environmentally-unsafe stuff) and it’s easy to deal with.  And, it hasn’t chipped still!

(2)  Pay the extra money for decent brushes. Please. And it’s not even that much more… Like, $3 vs. $5-6.  Here’s the one that I swear by:  Premium XL Polyester Tight Spots 2″ Angled Brush with Short Handle.  I rarely have to tape off my edges now so that saves an hour or two of prep time.  That’s precious time, people!  And I’ve heard that the only place you can find them is at Sherwin-Williams (where I got mine) or Duron (never heard of it).  By the way, if you need tape, don’t use the 3M Blue… go with the green Frog Tape!!!!

(3) I use Glad’s Press’n Seal as liners for my sturdy paint trays.  It’s easy to clean up and I don’t have to keep buying the plastic paint trays.  The cost of one box of the Press’n Seal is how much you’d spend on 1-2 liners, but I’ve used the same Press’n Seal for 7+ painting projects and have just now run out. If you choose this route, double the layers because it might bleed through one layer.  You can kinda see in the photo below where I lined just the bottom of the tray and then added the bigger piece to cover the whole thing:

Makeshift Paint Tray Liner

(3) With this particular paint brand, they recommend 3 hours before doing a second coat, but it dries to the touch in an hour.  So, in the meantime, I use the same Press’n Seal stuff to wrap the rollers and brushes:

Wrapped Supplies

Ghetto Fab? Or Genius?

I was able to do the bulk of the work in 2 coats while all the areas done by brush required 3-4 layers of paint. Brushes just provide a thinner layer so the previous color sneaks through more easily.  You can see the difference two coats make compared to the one coat below the window and you’ll notice peeks of brown under the moulding in some areas:

1 vs. 2

Hence, Tip (4): Have patience!  And don’t forget to stretch while you’re working and crouching to get every. single. nook. and. cranny.

As for the paint color… I was really trying to go for an almost-white, but my subconscious was apparently screaming BLUE.  So it’s a really really pale blue (Olympic’s Evening Mist), which goes nicely with my light blue living room walls (Valspar’s Woodlawn Sterling Blue), and the blue-gray kitchen walls (Olympic’s Pewter Vase).  Whoops?

Color Choice


And the saga will continue….. 

Get Groutta Here

8 Jan

I hate a messy kitchen.  Even worse, I hate when the grout or tiles get dirty under your feet… it’s because you can never feel clean if the floor itself isn’t clean.   And we are a no-shoes-in-the-house-household.  I’m sure half of you think I’m a crazy germaphobe… but no, I do not carry hand sanitizer with me.  Simply a clean kitchen and bathroom = some semblance of self-cleanliness.

Anyhow, I didn’t want to use a bunch of chemicals because Kade stays so close to the ground and licks the floors randomly.  Not sure why… it’s about as random as a cat who runs quickly out of one room to another.  Go figure.

I simply made a mixture using OxiClean Detergent and water… I tried a pasty consistency at first, but realized that was silly.  Just make a thick mixture so that it’s still mostly detergent but easier for the brush to work the mixture into the grout:

Go Away Grossness!

See the difference?  All the area above the bowl has been cleaned… while the area next to the bowl was the next target area. I worked in patches and used a rag to wipe up as I went along.  And when my arms got tired? See below. 

Working Away

I have to say that I am incredibly happy with the results.  It’s been nearly 2 months and the grout is still holding up very well… just a couple of patches here and there that have become discolored again — all due to spilled food.  The mixture doesn’t eat away at the grout and it was SO easy. I finished it in one evening and it was well worth the knee pains.  We even had friends ask us if we got new tile…. THAT’S how spotless it was when all was said and done.  Plus it makes the tiles look brighter.  Pros > Cons. I can guarantee you that I smiled and looked down every time I walked into that kitchen for the next week.

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

The Make Room

19 Nov

It’s been all kinds of crazy around here…. our big project is at a standstill for the moment for some unforeseen events as well a little bit of holiday mixed in.  But I am happy to say that our dining room has a whole new color.  And the living room is about to get a couple of touch-ups this morning.

All that aside, I wanted to share a pretty cool and fun website with you all.  I can’t exactly remember how I came across it, but The Make Room allows me to enter in measurements of our home and create a layout.

Even though our condo is just shy of 1400 sq. feet, you have to understand that this is tedious work.  It took me several evenings and carrying the laptop to each room with a tape measure in hand.  But I really wanted to have it done to allow me access to rough measurements of each room.

The best part?  The fact that they have a fairly great variety of structural and decorative images to add to your rooms… Just look at how many toilets they have:

Call me a simple (wo)man, but that’s enough variety for me.

One more thing to note, if you choose to this… I got frustrated when some of the lines didn’t match up exactly, but I realize now that it’s because you have roughly 4 – 4.5 inches between rooms due to studs and drywall. I don’t think I accounted for that part which would have helped me.

And here we go:

Yes, I interchangeably use condo and townhouse.  I just do.

In addition, our complex has a plan up on the website, but I love having the option of adding our furniture.  I can already tell you that the middle bedroom has been changed up.  Part of the fun is that before shoving furniture around, I can play with it on this website to see if the layout works.

Still ‘Falling’

9 Nov

I don’t think I ever mentioned the $7-clearance-from-Target-couch-pillows that I snagged this past Spring.  They weren’t really anything to note except that they were the first non-bed pillows I ever purchased.  And the biggest reason I purchased them was because my back hurts a lot when I sit on the couch for any longer than 30 minutes.  It’s a super plushy leather couch, so I understand why Chris bought it 5 years ago, but man-oh-man does it hurt my back!  The pillows help me sit a little big straighter, but it’s also a temporary situation.

Anyhow, since the pillows were from Spring, they had pretty shades of blue stripes going up-and-down them.  Which means one thing: Not fall appropriate!

Knowing that $7 was a steal and storage space is practically non-existent, I didn’t really look for replacements.  Instead, I looked for fabric to cover them with.  And since looking at drapes is one of my favorite things to do in a store, I came across another clearance item at Target one day.  One panel of gray and white patterned drapery for $14. Perfect for our quite-neutral living room!

Using this tutorial from Sew Mama Sew, I laid out my pretty (and washed/ironed) fabric:

Cut is up and pinned it all nice and pretty….

… and got to sewing!

The tutorial was incredibly straightforward… and here’s the end-product (complete with creepy husband):

And the fact that the pillow covers ended up with the biggest pattern to the left half (as shown above) was a very fortunate accident… Seriously, I had made a mistake the first go around and had to recut a front panel and that’s what I ended up with.  Happy accident dance!

As for the back, I didn’t add zippers (hah!) or enclose the pillow completely.  I simply created flaps to make it easy to take on and off for washing… as shown below:

And that was my last addition for the fall transfer in the Earnest household.  I know, I know, we sure do it big around here…… maybe next year. 

Happier Note: Chris is turning 28 tomorrow!!!! We have an incredibly full weekend ahead of us… Can’t wait to share the aftermath!

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