Howdy folks! Hope everyone had a great weekend. We've been getting in some family time ourselves and trying to stay cool in this Alabama heat & humidity! It's not an easy thing to do these days - almost too hot to even go to the pool! Such is life in the south, though.
Last week was busy; Chad was in Miami for the week on business (poor thing, huh?) and we had a few doctor's appointments and other things to tend to, like projects and junkin and such. I had a couple of helpful visitors who stayed with me and made my life MUCH easier! My aunt Kristi, mom's younger sister, came on Monday to hang out with us; while I was gone with Sam, she cleaned my entire upstairs and did dishes and folded clothes! Then she met us for dinner and then let me sleep until almost 10am the next day, which was MUCH needed. She also helped me give the Sambo a much needed hair cut. He's got some crazy growing hair, for sure. I wish I had snapped a "BEFORE" picture, but I forgot. He basically had a long rat-tail mullet and hair that was hanging way over his ears as well. We snipped a few locks and it made a huge difference! Such a big boy now!
I then I did something I normally don't do; I dressed him in a big boy Alabama polo shirt and sent this picture to his Daddy in Miami!
And then I immediately removed the shirt and put him in a day gown and swaddled him in a blanket, because I was sad that he looked so grown up. Ok, not really, people. But I wanted to! :(
On Tuesday night, our MeMama and Grandaddy brought us some wonderful dinner from Jim and Nick's and played with the kids for a long time! It was good to see them both, as usual. Then that night, my college best friend Jenny Fine arrived from Ohio. Mary Ella was so excited about Jenny coming, even though I told her it would be very late before Jenny got to our house; she had been asleep for a few hours and I had fallen asleep on the couch waiting up for Jenny to get here; around 11:30pm Mary Ella woke me up and said, "Mama. I'm gonna pop me and Jenny some popcorn, ok?" Ha! She had already gotten the popcorn bag out of the pantry and had her stool pulled up to the stove so that she could reach the microwave! Crazy child. I went ahead and obliged and we popped popcorn and sat up and waited until our friend got here. Over the next couple days, we spent our time hanging with the kiddos, eating (of course), and junkin - what we do best. On Thursday we drove up to Florence for Charlie's 8th birthday party, which was pirate-themed, and we had a great time hunting for treasure and riding all over the farm on the 'pirate ship' (aka Grandaddy's trailer wagon, pulled by his red tractor!) The kids loved it. All of Charlie's friend came dressed as pirates and they looked so cute. Of course I left my camera battery at home so I have no pictures; but my aunt Amanda will probably have some up soon. And after the party on Thursday, I did something else that I normally wouldn't do... (deep breath...)...
I LEFT BOTH KIDS WITH MY PARENTS.
We decided to come back late Thursday night around 10pm... and though I had planned to leave Mary Ella, I had not planned to leave Sam; I've never been away from him for a night, and he's a big time, I mean BIG time, Mama's boy, so needless to say I was anxious about doing such a thing. But Mom convinced me that it'd be safer to do that than to drive him all the way back to Birmingham in the middle of the night. And it was super hard to leave him, but I did it! I'm so proud of me. Yay me. Go me.
He had a great time on his first overnight trip to the Compound (which turned into a 3-night stay! thanks Mom and Dad!). I received hourly pictures of him through text, as I'd
demanded requested, and he was good and happy the entire time! I'm so thankful!
On Friday, Jenny and I decided to go junkin! If you've never been to Birmingham, I'll tell you the best area to go junkin... Roebuck Parkway! (off Interstate 59 towards Gadsden.) It is AWESOME! They have 3 stores there that are sure to please - The Big Saver, America's Thrift Store, and Planet Thrift. We hit all three in a matter of a few hours and found some great things. My favorite find of the day was this beauty:
A restaurant-style wooden high chair in near perfect condition for only $10! (Well, it was $19.99 but had a white sticker, and the white stickers were 50% off that day! Woo hoo! So ten buckaroos!)
Chad and I had been wanting one of these for a while - it's funny, because we had even gotten in the habit of asking our restaurant servers if they'd sell us a high chair! We were never allowed to purchase one but were always told to go to the restaurant supply place downtown. And low and behold, I find one in Roebuck! I was so pumped. I immediately texted Chad a picture and he couldn't believe it. That afternoon, our wooden high chair was painted red and now sits proud in my kitchen. I was more than happy to get rid of our $25 plastic high chair from WalMart. This takes up far less space and is way cuter.
And lastly, the re-doin' part of this post has to do with my latest project. Chad makes fun of me because, literally, every time he leaves for a business trip, whether for an entire week or just overnight, he comes home and there is always a DIY project underway. I met him in the garage late Friday night and told him not to freak out when he walked into our downstairs entryway. He gave me the "What have you done?" look, as usual, but I led him inside and showed him what I was up to...
It's actually board and batten, but I think his first thought was that I was out of my mind for adding wood paneling to our walls. Ha! So I had to show him some pictures of board and batten in blog world in order for him to give me the "go ahead and finish" look. Which he did.
In true form, I didn't snap any official "BEFORE" photos, but basically we had bare walls in our entryway. They were all painted this beige color (Behr paint, "Mesa" is the color.) And after seeing various DIYers attempt and SUCCEED at board and batten, I wanted to try it. My friend Amanda, also a crafty queen and resident DIYer herself, did this for her daughter's nursery and it turned out super cute! She gave me tons of tips, let me borrow her wood glue and nail gun, and answered all of my 56 text messages regarding this project! Couldn't have done it without her.
Here is a picture I took after adding the wood strips to the wall.
And here's the basic how-to:
1) Decide which room/wall/area you'd like to board & batten.
2) Measure your room/wall/area for the cross-boards (the boards that run horizontally) and also decide how high you'd like them to be on the wall. This is really a matter of personal preference, although I would recommend not doing it at exactly the halfway point; it just looks better if you do it below halfway, like a chair rail, or above halfway, like me and Amanda did it. How far you go either way is up to you! So, measure the height from your base board to the chair rail height, and measure across the wall.
3) Go get your supplies. You will need:
- Plywood (also called "underlayment"); I bought one sheet of plywood for around $10. It comes in a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet and you can find it in the lumber section where all the large sheets of wood are located. I used the plywood sheet for my chair rail bars (the thicker, horizontal bars that run across the top of my board and batten.) Mine are 4" in width and are all various lengths depending on the wall length. I had all the horizontal bars cut from this one piece of plywood. (You can also have your vertical strips cut from this plywood if it works out, like Amanda did; unfortunately I did not have a great employee that day so my guy couldn't figure out how to cut the vertical strips out of that same piece of wood.)
- Lattice Strips (You will only need these if your home improvement store lumber dude can't cut your strips out of your piece of plywood!) The lattice strips are also in the lumber section; they come as 8-foot strips and are about 1.5" wide; these are what I used for the vertical strips. Since they came as 8-foot strips, this was easy for me, because I knew I wanted my vertical strips to be 48" or 4 feet long; so I just bought 8 strips and had him cut them each in half. Easy peasy.
- Wood Glue (I used Elmer's Wood Glue.)
- Nail Gun (I used Amanda's Stanley-brand nail gun, which took 5/8" nail brads, which turned out to be perfect!)
- Paint (I used Glidden paint in "Pebble White" from Home Depot, in a satin finish.)
- Sand Paper (I sanded all edges of the plywood because they were a little splintery and unfinished; the lattice strips were pre-sanded though.)
- Hand saw (just in case your measurements are a little off and you need to cut some excess)
So here's my skinny on measurements:
Also, it's important to note the thickness of this wood: both the plywood and the lattice strips were about 1/4" in thickness. You need to measure how far your base boards come off the wall before you have your strips cut; you don't want your strips sticking out further than your base board! They need to be the same thickness or less.
Then, all you do is glue your wood to the wall using the wood glue. Make sure you also use your level because you don't want it to be lopsided. I glued my vertical strips first, then just affixed the chair rail on top of them. You can choose the distance between your vertical strips; I chose 16 inches. I would say go no less than 12" and no more than 24". After you've glued them, use your nail gun to reinforce them.
And when you're all done putting your boards on the wall, you can PAINT! Just paint the boards as well as the walls in between!
I feel like this made a huge difference in our entryway and I can't wait to add some personal touches. I plan on buying and painting a couple more lattice strips and affixing them to the top of the chair rail as shelving, to hold photos, artwork, etc. And I'm looking for some cute hooks for bags and coats and such. Here are some of my inspiration photos for how I'd LOVE this area to look one day: (all images via my Pinterest; did I mention I'm addicted to Pinterest? Ummm yes.)
via Martha Stewart
via Centsational Girl
via the House of Smiths blog
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!