Master Bath Remodel Part 1 ( flooring)

Finally, my last bathroom is getting an update! Time to rip out the carpet and the awful, cracked white tile flooring. Like most of my projects, one day I get an urge to redo and start the process. The first step in my process is convincing my husband that now is the perfect time to start the project then demolition begins. After getting up the carpet and tile there is still so much prep work to do. Craig busted out all the floor tile and mortar underneath while I ripped out the carpet, floor tacks and pulled up any staples that were sticking out. This has to be the worst part of the process. Keep in mind that before ripping out your flooring you will need to turn off your water, remove the toilet and make sure that the valves are closed before turning your water back on and getting started. The sub floor was in great shape and we are tiling a small area so now we will start laying the tile.

Before laying the tile you want to make sure you start with a clean surface and then plan out your tile pattern. Tiling a floor may sound intimidating but is not that bad once you get into it. I wish I could say it gets easier with every project but if you are anything like me, you change something up to challenge yourself a little more each time. I learned from a previous bathroom floor that I will never lay slate tile again. Each piece is not created equal. Some may be thicker and even slightly a different size which creates a headache when you are searching for perfection. Another difficulty with slate is that when you apply the grout, it gets stuck in all the crevices and uneven surfaces of the tile which is a little grueling to get off. So bottom line is to research what tile you are laying before you buy it.

I chose to use a 4X12 porcelain tile that I will layout in a herringbone pattern (this is where the project takes a more difficult turn). Any time you run tile at different angles like in this pattern you will end up with more difficult cuts on the edges since the tile is not running straight across.

My inspiration:

When laying tile, its best to start from the center of the space and work your way out. I started by laying out my pattern in the center to make sure the angles were straight and correct and ran it through towards the enclosed area of my bathroom where the shower and toilet are. Once my mortar was mixed and ready to go, I spread some mortar evenly on the floor with the metal trowel then used the tooth like side of the trowel and dragged it across the mortar to create lines. You will then do the same to the back of each tile before laying it on the mortar that was just spread on the floor. Having the mortared texture on both the floor and the back of the tile allows them to bond together tighter. Try pulling up a tile right after laying it down, it immediately grabs to each other. Continue this process until you have to make cuts. I laid down as many full tiles as I could in one area and then started to measure and mark any edge pieces.

What was so helpful in this process was having Craig help me along the way. While Craig was cutting a group of tiles for me I would work on making the cut marks on the next group and would lay each group as he brought them to me. This smaller enclosed are of my bathroom was the most grueling. Cutting the correct angles all around the edges and the toilet area definitely made my head hurt. I knew that once I got past this part the rest would go by much faster. For the most part of one day I laid all the tile in the shower/toilet area and all of the full center pieces for the rest of the bathroom. The next morning I attacked the rest of the edge pieces that needed to be measured and cut. Whew, that was rough. Note to self: These long tiling projects make your whole body ache!

Once the tile had set as instructed on the mortar bag, It was time to grout. Grouting goes by much faster but can be pretty messy. Mix the grout as stated in the instructions (consistency is key). You dont want it to be too thick to spread but you also don’t want it to be so runny that you can’t pick it up with your float. Spread the grout across the tile and be sure that you don’t leave any holes between the tiles. Its okay to have a little more because you will wipe away the excess. After your entire area is grouted you will have to start the process of wiping the floor with a large sponge to remove all the excess grout (follow the grouting instructions on the grout packaging). You will have to wait until the grout no longer comes off on your fingers when touching to start this process. After wiping it downy the first time you will want to wait another 30 minutes or so before wiping down the tile again. Once done I let mine sit overnight and do a final cleaning to remove any haziness and then the floor is ready to be sealed. Check out that lovely yellow shell sink and countertop (they are next to go).img_1357

We then installed our new toilet which I believe has been in a box in our basement for a couple years now.Our last step was to tack down metal carpet strips where the tile and carpet meet. Seeing this new beautiful tile on my floor makes me feel so happy inside! Not too bad for a mom of three. Now to start Part 2, the ugly yellow painted sea shell counter top. I’m so in love with these floors!


Custom Tshirt

I recently saw a shirt online that said gangster wrapper and I knew I had to have it for this Christmas. After searching I couldn’t find one I liked and decided I would make one. It was so simple but took a little time. You can really make anything you can imagine.

All you will need:

Iron, freezer paper, sharpie, exact knife or scissors, fabric paint or fabric glitter and glue.

Once you have the design you want printed, simply trace your design on the freezer paper with a sharpie. You want the shiny side of the paper down since that is the side that will adhere to the fabric. I made my design on my computer and then printed it out but you can use any clip art online that you may find or even trace things out of a book.

Now that your design is on the freezer paper, you will need to cut around it to make the stencil. For more detailed designs you will want to use an exacto knife. For simpler designs you can get by with scissors. After your design is cut out place your stencil on your fabric (shiny side down). To adhere the stencil to your fabric, iron over the stencil for 5 to 10 seconds. Once it cools down you get to do the fun part. Add the glitter!!


Before you start painting or adding glitter you will want to be sure you have a piece of cardboard or something under the area you are covering so that it doesn’t bleed through to the back side of the shirt. I wanted my letters to be all glitter so I first painted on my glitter glue for fabric, then sprinkled my glitter over the top. You can use fabric paint if you don’t want glitter. I did this same thing on onesies for my friends baby shower and it was a big hit to have everyone create super cute baby clothes.

Once dry simply pull off the the stencil and your shirt is ready to wear! If you used glitter you will want to shake off the excess. You should do this in an area that will not drive your husband in to a glitter rage! 🙂 I touched up a few areas that didn’t fill in but I would say it turned out pretty good.




Hair Plopping??

What the hell is hair plopping and does it work? Im sure many of you have seen this around recently and were curious just as I was. I decided to waste my time so you wouldn’t have to. It is fairly simple and takes very little time. The outcome is supposed to be an easy way to get nice frizz free curly hair. Now my hair is not necessarily curly but has a natural wave to it.

Basically, after you get out of the shower and towel dry your hair you wrap it in a tshirt. Before wrapping my hair up I put in some hair products that I would use if I decided to go curly for the day. lay an old tshirt out flat on your bed with the sleeves closet to you. Then you bend over forward and pop your hair in the center of the shirt. With the sleeves now near your face, you put the bottom end of the shirt around the back of your neck. Then tie the sleeves in a knot on the back of your neck (like you might wear a bandana). Then wear it to bed and take off the next morning.

My hair takes forever to dry, so I am very skeptical and am expecting for my hair to be a big wet mess. I took a shower around 8:00, watched a little tv and then went to bed with this shirt around my head. My boys were looking at me like I was a crazy person.


When I woke up and removed the shirt this is what my hair looked like. It is by no means amazing as is but its not the huge wet mess I was expecting. My hair is still wet but as much as I expected with it being wrapped up all night.img_1712

I then put some texturizing sea salt spray in my hair that I bought at Target (sorry mom) and used my diffuser on low.


To my surprise, it actually worked pretty well and took much less time than if I were to try and achieve this look straight out of the shower. This is one of those test that I never expected to work and I was wrong. Not too bad for ver little effort! I will definitely be doing this again!



Painted Metal Signs

After painting my kitchen island the rest of my kitchen needs a little more color added. one night it hit me that I have some old metal decorative signs that I could paint like my island and hang in the kitchen, so I did. I generally keep any and all decor that I buy because at seem point it can be repainted and or repurposed. Here are the metal sign before I got a hold of them.


I then painted the teal color and each and then wiped off any excess for it to have a little more depth. If you were going for more of a rustic country look, white paint would look great on something like this.


After the paint was dry I painted on the black gel stain and then wiped away the excess once again. Make as many layers as you want. You may need to repeat the process a couple times to get what you want. This was super easy and quick and it saved me some money.


I let mine dry overnight and hung them the next day.


DIY Chevron Gold Foil Art

I guess yo could say that I am in love with gold foiling everything lately. I started by drawing my lines and then painted the sections with gold and boa acrylic paint. This was easy and quick. Then I added a layer of Mod Podge over the gold paint, sprinkled on some gold leaf and done! I did at least three layers of the gold leaf to get the chunky effect I was looking for and did one final layer of the Mod podge.In the end I decided that I liked the look of random gold leaf pieces in the black areas and added a little more. This was super easy and I love how it turned out.


Now for the GOLD!

My New Kitchen Island!!

My kitchen is nice but not exactly what I would pick if I had a choice. I have been wanting to change things up for a while now and decided to start with the island (yes, the tile is not great and not my favorite). This is where we eat a lot of our meals so it gets a lot of wear and tear. The light color of the cabinets has not really held up well to little feet, as you can see. It is also a little too boring for me.

Here is my inspiration: Absolutely beautiful!

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After bringing home swatches and deciding on the color, I cleaned the island and then lightly hand sanded it to ensure the paint would stick. The paint I used does not require you to sand the furniture first but I wanted to be sure it would stick, especially since these are fabricated wood cabinets.Then I removed all the doors, draws and masked down the edges. Now to paint!

This took two coats of paint and some touch ups. I used a small roller and brush to get in all the cracks. This is not a quick process that only takes a couple hours, there is a lot of drying time involved. Ot ensure your brushes and rollers don’t dry out and so you don’t have wash them out each time, just wrap them in saran wrap. It ensures that you can use your brushes all the way through a project.


Once all the paint was dry I started the fun part of the process (the gel stain). I used a black gel stain (wiping stain as they are now called).


I only needed one pass of this to get the look I was wanting and it was fairly easy to work with. I used a sponge brush with the stain and would go in sections, starting with any edges or creases first. I then would wipe down the section around the trim, wiping off any excess. I did the large flat areas last. You want to wipe in the direction of the grain, so for my cabinets I would wipe the cabinets from top to bottom. With the stain I figured out that if I had areas that seemed to be setting in quickly and not really wiping of I could add a little more stain on top and re wipe the area. to save your hands, I recommend using gloves while staining.

I am absolutely loving how my island looks with this color. Now for the final part in this process, I need to seal everything. Two coats of sealant and my Kitchen island will be complete. Except that I of course now have to paint my colorful stools black so they match the island.




Just a Little Sheet Magic

This is a little something that I was thinking about while changing the boys sheets this weekend. If you have ever purchased Pottery Barn sheets, you may have noticed that the patterns are printed upside down from the top of the sheet (this may be true on other brands as well). My boys all have them on their beds and if you put the sheet on with the thickest hem up top, like it should be the pattern is upside down.


I my self have never had a sheet with a pattern that needed to be in a certain direction but I have been making my own bed this way for years because it makes beds look nicer when made. If you turn the sheet upside down, where the pattern faces the mattress, you can then pull the comforter back and then fold back the sheet over the top to show the sheet pattern right side up. I do this with my bed just so the sheets can be an accent. You can pull them back at an angle like I have done here or do a straight fold across the top. Now Batman is seen right side up, as he should be!




Fireplace Whitewashing

When the husbands away, this wife will paint! Im not sure why but if he is ever gone for a few hours or more, I feel the urge to paint and change things. This time around it was the fireplace. This was spur of the moment and only took a couple hours, which I did while cooking dinner for the boys. My mantle was black and I had previously painted the brick grey. You could really do this technique over any brick or stone, with or without a base layer of paint. I also recommend taping off all the edges.


I mixed some trim paint that I had with some water in an empty baby wipe container (these things really come in handy). I first dipped my large flat brush in paint and patted of the excess on my drop cloth (old sheet) and then stippled the paint all over in random areas so there was some variation. FYI, you need very little paint for this! The stippling created more texture which I did not really love at first so I wiped it all down with a wet rag to see more of the main grey throughout. Then with a smaller brush I wiped on a different grey color that I also dabbed the excess off first. the other grey tone really helped to bring some depth and variation throughout. To finish it all off and give it a more smooth look I put a little white on my large brush, with the excess paint removed and then lightly brushed over the entire fireplace and done. This was very quick and easy and looks much better. Sorry, there are no in between pictures of each step. Once I started painting, I couldn’t stop until it was done.


For a softer and smoother look, I would skip the dabbing all together and just do the last step with a small amount of white paint lightly brushed all over. Its basically like when you are painting a wall and decide you need more paint on your brush. That is when you have the right amount of paint on your brush to wipe all over. I thought for sure it would take Craig forever to notice. I decided to see how long it would take him but I broke an hour in asked if he noticed anything different.  Damn, Im pretty sure it would have taken him days or even weeks. What are you making pretty today?



Mother’s Day Sign

After making the sign for my kitchen, my mom said she had to have one so naturally I made her one for Mother’s Day, along with a #shiplap shirt from Magnolia Market. Yes, this is very similar to the post I wrote with my kitchen sign but I painted the wood a little differently and actually like it better than the one I did for me. I also couldn’t post it before Mother’s Day and let my mom know what I was up to.

I used the same size board as mine, used a darker stain and then did a white wash of paint over the piece. All you need is white paint and a little water. Oh, yeah don’t forget some inspiring music and a tasty drink (I prefer an ice cold tea).  I let it sit for about a minute or so, then wiped it all off. Then I added a little more paint to the edges with a dry brush and wiped it off as well to get the look I wanted.


I laid out the text on my computer to be sure the letters fit perfectly, printed them out two at a time and then transferred them to the wood just as I did for my kitchen sign. I find it’s better to lay them all out where you want them first and mark the edges of the paper with a pencil so that you can place them exactly where you want them before transferring them.


After hand painting the letters with black paint, I distressed each letter along with the edges of the sign. For the final step I sprayed the entire sign with a satin sealant so it will last forever. Now to surprise my mom with her custom Mother’s Day present!

Now if only I could get my mom to send me a picture of the finished project in her kitchen. She is one busy mom!

Removing Moles with Apple Cider Vinegar

There are many uses and benefits of using apple cider vinegar, which you may have heard of. Here are more uses for Apple Cider Vinegar (some of which I still need to try). One, I know works for sure (removing raised moles). I did a test run on a few of different sizes and in different locations. If you are one of those people who doesn’t have any, good for you. I on the other hand are pretty much covered with them and have several that I would rather not have.


I soaked a small piece of cotton with the apple cider vinegar, placed it on each mole and covered with a band-aid over night. There wasn’t much of a change after the first night. After the second night the moles started to look clear and then started to scab over on the third and fourth nights (depending on size). I repeated this process until the mole was completely scabbed over and then let it heal. Its works best if you don’t skip nights in between. After the scab is gone it may be a little pink for a while but eventually goes away.


I was absolutely amazed when all of the moles I had applied the vinegar to were gone after the scabs were gone. I then just had a red area that went away a little more each day. it was so easy and pain free! Here is a picture of the area with very little scabbing left. The area is mostly red, but healing great. Every day it looks better and best of all, the mole is gone! The process really is amazing!