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Friday 5+1


I'm sorry I've been off the grid this week - summer has been way busier than it should be, but I am really loving all of the hours of daylight we're having.  It doesn't get dark here until well after 9:00, and it's fantastic.  I hope you've had a great week!

Let's get on with this week's 5+1 (5 Things I Like + 1 Thing I Don't), shall we?

Another Awesome Primer
I don't know if you're a Birchbox subscriber or not (I am - love it), but I got this face primer in my Birchbox a month or so ago, and it's awesome.  I have a bit of an obsession with primers, and they are probably my favorite makeup staple of all, so it's always fun to try out new ones.  Dr. Brandt's Pores No More Primer is another one I'm adding to my Primer Love List.

Source: Birchbox

Pork Carnitas
I've mentioned before that I struggle with meal planning since we are always on the go and it's hard to find things that everyone will like.  This week I made these pork carnitas, and they were amazing!  I'm a big fan of Chipotle's carnitas, and these definitely ranked high with the kids.  
Source: My Kitchen Escapades
I even got crazy and made homemade tortillas.  This is what summer at home with the kids does to you I guess. ;-)
Source: My Kitchen Escapades
Petsafe Wireless Fence
We have a gentle giant of a dog, Martin, who loves to be outside with our kids, but also has a tendency to chase rabbits, squirrels or deer if they wander along.  

While we have a fenced in backyard, the kids prefer to play in the front yard most of the time - either playing basketball in the driveway, or baseball in the front, since it's a large, flat area.  But since Martin likes to go on his own little jaunts, he sometimes misses out on the fun.

We purchased a Petsafe wireless fence, hoping it would be an easier alternative to a traditional invisible fence.  

The name pretty much describes it - it's a wireless device that works the same way as an old school invisible fence, without having to lay wiring in your yard.  You hook it up, set up your perimeter, and get down to the business of training.  We're working with Martin right now, and so far, he seems to be a fast learner, and is eager to stay within the bounds of the fence.  A great option if you're looking for something to keep your pet contained.

Facebook Online Rummage Sales
I'm probably late to the party on this one, but I recently discovered a flurry of local garage/rummage sale Facebook pages, and it's a great resource for buying/selling in your area.  Much easier than a garage sale, and you just never know what might show up in your Facebook feed!

Clever Husband Animates Wife's (Drunk) Joke
This one is just plain funny to me.  1) How cute is that animation? 2) The joke is simple, but just cracks me up, especially the way his tipsy wife tells it.  Click here to watch the video (since I can't figure out how to actually load it via Blogger).  

As for the one thing I don't like - driving to baseball games (30+ minutes away), to get there an hour early, only to be rained out shortly before the game begins.  If you want to know if it's going to rain, don't turn to the Weather Channel - I can share our baseball schedule with you so you can plan accordingly.

Have a wonderful weekend! 


Friday 5+1


I hope you've had a great week and are gearing up for the weekend.  Lots of baseball on tap here (shocking, I know). ;-)

I have some fun and useful things I'm excited to share with all of you for 5 Things I Love portion of this week's 5+1.

Stationery Stores
I absolutely love shops that specialize in stationery and fine papers.  Sadly, they are few and far between these days with so many people favoring email and texting as their primary means of communication.  So, it's a real treat to visit a store that has all sorts of goodies that you can touch and feel (but not in a creepy way).

I spotted this adorable sign on my way to take my car to the shop.  The sign had me at hello, and I knew this was a shop that I had to see for myself.

The cuteness continues on the inside.

Annie, the owner, is so sweet and talented - as you can see from this fantastic display of some of her work.  Oh, if only all of this stuff existed when I got married 20 years ago.  Invitations have come a long way, baby.

It just so happens that we're having a big fish fry party in August, so stumbling upon her shop was perfect timing.  How adorable is this pig roast invite?

More invitation loveliness:

These magnets caught my eye too - I think I need to get this one for my oldest son...

And this one just made me laugh (and think of all of my girlfriends).

I know I'm not doing this shop justice, so if you're in the Dayton area, check out The Envelope.  Or you can browse all of her paper goods on her website.

Farmer's Markets
Oh how I love the summer season and all of the fresh fruit and veggies that it brings!  Not to mention the other types of farmer's markets that have other small businesses out and about sharing their wares.  They're popping up all over the place around here, so check around your local area - you might be surprised at how many are out there!

In the meantime, you'll find me hoarding tomatoes.

The Pocket Hose
I'm sure you've seen this one on an informercial, or even in the "As Seen on TV" section of your local drugstore.  I picked one up at Lowes, and I love it.  It really does live up to its claims.  It's light and easy to work with, and doesn't turn into a heavy heaping mess like a traditional hose.  I'm going to pick up a second one to replace the unsightly hose that's in our front yard (just like you see in the infomercial!).  You can get it at Amazon for just over $13.00!  Get one, you'll love it.
Road ID
If you or your loved ones are active, and enjoy hitting the pavement for a long run or a bike ride, Road ID is for you.  It's basically a rubberized bracelet that you wear that displays your name and the phone numbers of people to call in case of an emergency.  You can also include any pertinent medical conditions that emergency personnel should know in case something happens to you while you're out and about.  We bought one for my husband for Father's Day.

Such a smart idea!

Lost Item Trackers
I am known to lose things (often things that I just had) - keys, my phone, etc...  Thankfully, there are all sorts of ways to track these things down.  Here is a great article that reviews several of these inventive tools to help locate missing wallets, phones, keys, etc..  I think I need to add this to my Christmas list!

For the one thing I don't like this week, I think it would have to be Murphy's Law.  This law has been in full-effect for me over the past month or two, and this week was no exception.  It started with my car overheating (while I was on the way to take it to the shop).  
My main reason for taking it to the shop was that my right turn signal wasn't working, the overheating was just a bonus.  But, since my turn signal wasn't working, my emergency flashers didn't work either.  Not good.

On the upside, about 10 Good Samaritans asked if I needed help before my husband drove up and rescued me.

However, later that same day, a filling in one of my teeth broke, and my tooth cracked.  And my dentist is out. of. town.  For real.  I'm ready to kick Murphy out of my house for awhile.

Have a great weekend, friends!


Ode to Urbane Bronze


I hope you had a great Father's Day weekend and are off to a good start for your week.  I'm still adjusting to having the kids home for summer break, as I'm running all over town most days!

I mentioned in one of my recent 5+1 posts about how much I'm loving Sherwin Williams' Urbane Bronze paint color, and the more I work with it, the more I love it!  As a result, I decided to devote a post to this magnificent color.

I have to admit, when you see it in the paint deck, it isn't one that caught my eye right off the bat.  It has a brownish gray hue when you see it, but it's gorgeous in action.

So pretty on this island - a great contrast against the white cabinets.

It's a real beauty on interior doors too.  Love it.

I'm seriously contemplating jumping on the Urbane Bronze Bandwagon after seeing it used as a backdrop for built-ins.
Source - Honey We're Home
Here are mine as they stand now.  Can you see them in Urbane Bronze?  I can...

And we all fell in love with Emily Clark's beautiful bookcases, didn't we?
Source: Emily A. Clark

And her bathroom...
Source: Emily A. Clark
She even used it on her pantry doors.  Perfection.

But my fate was sealed with Urbane Bronze when I saw it on cabinetry.  The hardware certainly doesn't hurt its case either.
Source: Nest Egg

Do you have Urbane Bronze somewhere in your home?


Friday 5+1

Happy Friday!

After a gloomy week, we're looking forward to a sunny Father's Day weekend here!  We're going to see Bill Cosby this Sunday, and I can't wait!  Do you have any special Father's Day plans?

Let's get on with this week's Friday 5+1 (5 things I love + 1 thing I don't).

I know there are a million different shopping sites out there, but recently found and am adding it to my list of sites to peruse for ideas if nothing else.  Lots of pretty rooms with beautiful accessories and ideas.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for pretty pictures and beautifully styled rooms.

Gorgeous lighting choices:


If I had a beach house, I would have to buy these prints for it.

Great organizing options:

And this cute breakfast sign too.  It's just fun.

Ideas for Keeping Jobless Teens Busy
I came upon this article in the Wall Street Journal this week, with some fantastic ideas for keeping jobless teens busy this summer.  One of my favorite ideas is volunteering, and we're in the process of applying to a hospice organization to have our dog be a Paw Pal, visiting patients.  It's been on my list for awhile, and I'm really excited to get the ball rolling (as is my teen). :-)

Reclaim Paint
If you've been hanging around here for awhile, you know that I love paint (and painting).  I'm always on the lookout for new products and accessories to use on my painting projects.  I found Reclaim paint after seeing Katie's bathroom vanity transformation at Decorate My Life.  I haven't used it yet, but I'm on the verge of ordering some and giving it a whirl.  With it's promise of no sanding, stripping or priming, it's definitely intriguing!  

Here is a peek at their color selection.


See it in action over at Decorate My Life.  See what I'm talking about here?  

I'm all for trying a new paint if it's going to save me some time and effort!  I will keep you posted if I make the leap to try Reclaim for myself!

Reader Transformations
I love getting emails from readers who transform spaces in their homes.  Love it, I tell you.  I get a lot of questions about painting kitchen cabinets, and when I do, I always ask people to send photos of their finished projects.  I received an email from Texas Decor, sharing her transformed kitchen cabinets.  Love it!

Man Funnies
I saw this on Pinterest, and couldn't resist pinning and sharing it with you.  While my husband isn't quite this bad (he knows our weekly grocery bill), the man can stare into the fridge, looking for a jar of mayonnaise (that I know is in there) and insist that it is nowhere to be found. :-)

The one thing I'm not a fan of is pink power tools for women.  They're usually on the flimsy side, and who's to say that I'm flimsy?  Give me the big "man" power tools please!  I know how to use them!

Have a fantastic Father's Day weekend!


5 Cabinet Painting Problems - Solved!


With some of the questions that I receive from readers, as well as some of the situations that I come across in my own experience, I thought a "problem" post might be warranted.  There are different things that always seem to pop up while venturing on a DIY project, and hopefully this will help alleviate some of the pain by sharing my own lessons learned.

Damaged Doors
While the doors/frames might not have started out damaged, sometimes things can happen along the way.  Things happen.  Doors can get dropped in transit or run over by your van in the garage.  Murphy's Law is in full force in the Land of DIY.

But don't fret, there is a solution.  Minwax High Performance Wood Filler.  This stuff is amazing and is a must-have for repairing wood - whether it's furniture or cabinet doors, it's a lifesaver.  I found this tutorial extremely helpful, and it shows you what an amazing product it is with the furniture piece that was repaired.

I used it on this cabinet door.  It's kind of messy (and smelly), so make sure you work with it outside.  The corner was chipped and in need of repair.

It's sandable and will act just like wood when you're finished.

Good as new!

Smoke and Stains

Perhaps you bought a home whose former owner was a smoker.  The cabinets are in good shape, but you want to make sure that the smoke/nicotine are completely eradicated, and don't make another appearance.  Or, your cabinets (or walls) are knotty pine, and you don't want any sap to come through (yes, that's a concern with knotty pine), and you want to seal off the knots in the wood.  Zinsser's BIN Shellac Primer is your new best friend.

I have a love-hate relationship with this stuff, let me tell you.  I love that it seals wood and prevents stains and odors from bleeding through and causing future problems.  However, it stinks to high heaven, and I haven't had any luck in spraying it with my HVLP spray gun, so it's messy.  But, it's worth it, as it's a great insurance policy.

I used it to seal the wood in this knotty pine family room for a client:

Peeling/Chipping Paint
I recently received a question from a reader who is redoing her cabinets that had been previously painted.  The paint was peeling and chipped, and she wanted to know if she had to strip all of the paint off in order to repaint them.  You could, but you don't have to.  That's where PrimeRx Peel Bonding Primer comes in to play.  

Zinsser's Peel Stop is another option that will accomplish the same purpose.

XIM's Peel Bond Primer is another option:

You can see what I'm talking about with this visual - good stuff that can save your some time and a whole lot of effort.

Unfinished Wood
What if you're starting a project with unfinished wood?  I'm doing that very thing right now, with the unfinished cabinets that we installed in our garage.

You don't have to worry about deglossing it like you would a previously finished cabinet door, but give it a light sanding to even out any rough spots, and then prime it with my go-to primer, Benjamin Moore's Fresh Start.  Great stuff.

Painting Laminate
While I have no experience in painting laminate cabinets or furniture, there are lots of people out there who have!  

Check out the laminate kitchen cabinet redo at Cuckoo4Design.  Fantastic!  

Source: Cuckoo4Design

Over at Cute Junk I've Made, she does a complete redo of her laminate cabinets.
Source: Cute Junk I've Made

Centsational Girl is always a great resource for tips and tricks, and shows how she painted a laminate media center.
Source: Centsational Girl

A fab bathroom vanity makeover at The Little Green Notebook.  Wow!
Source: The Little Green Notebook

So, there you have it!  Just because you have a tricky situation doesn't mean the job can't be done.  It just takes a little extra time, research and planning.

Have a great day!

Linking up:
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