Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


Our home has been overrun with [sweet, snuggly] BUGS!  :)

Happy Halloween!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Pics of Peeps in the Potty [Bathroom Decor]

I recently attended one of those in-home parties at a friend-of-a-friend's house.  
After catalog browsing, noshing on some yummy snacks and a glass of wine, I excused myself to go to the 'loo.  Thinking I was alone, I went ahead to relieve myself when I stopped short.
Why, you ask?
I looked up and found the homeowner's husband staring at me!
No, he wasn't there in the bathroom, but he might as well have been.

From a collage of family vacation photos on the wall, there he was, grinning happily, seemingly watching whomever the poor soul would be to step up and have a seat.

And it gave me the willies.

So, consider today's post to be my position paper on the Perils of Putting Pictures of People in the Potty.
(I love alliteration :) ) 

It's rare that I'll come out here on this blog and tell someone they "should" or "shouldn't" do this or that to their home. (Well, unless we're talking about which way the flat sheet goes
Why?  Because it's THEIR home.  And really, no one should be making design choices based solely on what *I* think.  If you want pictures of your family or friends in your bathroom, then by all means, do it. 

But please, at least just take into consideration the thoughts/feelings of your guests who may "visit" that room:

1) "What are YOU lookin' at?"
It's unnerving to be doing such a personal thing, and feel like someone is watching.  I don't care if you're the world's cutest kid, or the happiest guy on the planet smiling at his prize 14-pound bass--Avert your eyes, buddy, 'cause I'm workin' here.

2) Who really wants to be relegated to the walls of the place where you do your business?
("John and Susan are on the mantle, but honey you and I got relegated to the dumper.")

3)  It's still creepy even if the people in the pictures are people you don't know, like people in art print photos. 
In fact, it might even be worse if a STRANGER is watching me pee.  AWKWARD....

 There is just too much good art and wall decor out there begging to be bought or made and enjoyed, that it doesn't make sense to invade personal space with pictures of your loved ones.
Show 'em off in the living room or the office, and leave your guests to do their business without the watchful eyes of your friends and family. :)

 Take a look at these bathrooms... beautiful artwork, and no one staring back at you...

 See?  It can be done :)

As you were.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Catching Up...

Well Hey There!

It’s happened again… one of those times where it looks like I’m not doing anything… but in truth, behind the scenes, I’m as busy as ever!  In honor of the upcoming election, here’s a State of the Union from here On the V Side…

No 7-Year-Itch Here!

Mr. V and I celebrated our 7th anniversary!  7 seems to be lucky so far… this year we were blessed with the perfect addition to complete our family, we are healthy, we are happy…. He’s a pretty great partner in crime and workshop assistant, if I do say so myself. ;)  
 We celebrated with dinner at a “grown-up” restaurant downtown, cocktails afterward, and grandma and grandpa held down the fort with CB and The Redhead.  
 Life is pretty darn good.

Guest Room
I feel like this room has come so far… but I’m just waiting on a few details before a big reveal.  Right now I’m getting ready to hang curtains and hardware, and am waiting on a rug.   

I have a little pop of color and sass to add to Blue Betty, need to hunt for a couple bedding odds and ends, and am hoping for some divine inspiration about what to put over the bed.  That spot is always a tough one for me…But Soon!  Promise!

 2012 really has been the Year of the Kitchen!  Oh Mylanta it’s a sight these days. 
Remember when I set out my goals for 2012, and all I wanted was to daydream about refacing my kitchen cabinets?
Well I found more than a little courage and now I‘m up to my eyeballs in disorganization, cabinet doors and paint! YEP! :) 

(Here's a sneak peek but don't let the picture fool you... it's cropped because the rest of my kitchen is a Disaster with a capital D!)  ;)

 My mojo came in the form of this little princess rolling over. 

It dawned on me that once she started crawling, this project would be just about impossible, since it involved removing cabinet doors (behind which are non-baby-safe and breakable things) for extended periods of time.  So, it was time to cook or get out of the kitchen, so to speak.  I’m light years from the finish line but am so far loving the results.

And judging my the number of emails I’ve gotten asking about my process for painting trim, I’ve decided to put together a post about my method – hopefully that will answer any lingering questions about priming (yep, it’s necessary!), what paint to use, how to wrangle the carpet, etc.  That will be coming soon.

See? I told you I’ve been busy! :)

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting Inspired in the Garden

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.


Gardening is intimidating for me.  I’m slowly but surely learning how not to kill my landscaping, but it wasn’t too terribly long ago that I could barely keep a houseplant alive.  True story – ask my mom.  : )   So even though I’ve talked a big game about doing a vegetable garden before, in truth the whole idea of having one of my own feels a little out of my league.

Lately, however, I've been giving it a little more thought.

This little love monkey is starting solid foods

(sorry for the blurry iphone pic)

And it has me thinking more and more about where our food comes from.

We’ve started buying a portion of a cow each year, so we can feel better knowing exactly where our meat comes from and what kind of hormones are used in the beef we’re eating (having girls, this always sits in the back of my mind).

We’re trying so hard to instill healthy eating habits in our kids from the get-go that for nearly every item I pick up, I'm checking the label to read where it came from, what ingredients are in there, whether there's MSG or other preservatives in it, etc.

With produce, it can be downright scary thinking about the amount of pesticide I’ve ingested over the last two decades (though for some people, this would explain so much about me… ;) ).

Of course getting everything organic seems like the easy solution, but it is SO much more expensive here.

I know a few people who have their own vegetable gardens and that seems to work really well for them. It's nice that they can go into their backyards and pull everything they need for a salad. Whether it’s herbs or peppers, they have everything fresh, organic, and right at their fingertips.

To that end, I was recently introduced to a cool site powered by Home Depot and Miracle-Gro called the Gardenieres.

(1) Miracle-Gro

Led by Master Gardener William Moss and his handpicked team of “Gardenieres,” this site gathers together real-life experts from all over the country inspiring people to get out and garden this fall. You can check out this site or their YouTube channel for all kinds of helpful videos based on their own gardening experiences. You can also chat with them on the Miracle-Gro Facebook page if you have any questions or come up against some unique challenges in your gardening project.

They even have videos available to help the garden-challenged folks like me!

Hmm.  Maybe one of these days I’ll finally end up putting my money where my mouth is?  : )


Visit Sponsor's Site

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Fresh Look with Painted Trim


For the past year, I've been systematically updating the trim in our house.
When we built, there was a miscommunication with our builder, and instead of the rich, warm white painted trim we wanted, we got a builder basic blonde stain.
We weren't happy.
Instead of owning up to the problem, the builder said they'd be happy to fix it... for just a couple thousand dollars.  Say What?!.
Long story short, after all the other things surrounding our builder at the time (they're now out of business) we (I) muttered  a bunch of curse words under my breath,
and agreed we would just live with it. I knew it was something we could do on our own down the road.
When we finished our basement a year and a half ago, we did the trim how we had wanted the whole house.
I loved it so much and I knew that I was done "living with it."
I also knew that taking on two floors and 2,000+ square feet of trim was a HUGE task, so I decided to bite off small parts at a time, and simply update a room here, a room there, eventually completing the whole house.

I started with The Redhead's Room - I figured I was doing that room from top to bottom, so I might as well start on the ground floor.

From there I did the Kitchen,  Laundry Room, then updated CB's Nursery, the upstairs bathroom, the Landing, etc.

And now, save the Master Bedroom + Bath, I'm pretty much finished! 
It's been time-consuming for sure, but I've been able to work at my own pace, and the payoff has been so worth it for me!  I really, really love the changes, and how light and bright things feel!

The fresh trim is such a small element, but it makes a big impact on the overall room!

The last couple times I've mentioned updating trim in a post, I've gotten one or two emails from people requesting details about the color and product I've used.
If you're interested, here you go:

It's a custom color from Sherwin Williams, from the ProClassic line.
Here's the color formula:

Funny how much a little paint can brighten up a room!

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fresh Laundry 2.0 [Smelly Washing Machine Solution]

Ever since I posted about getting the musty smell out of your towels and laundry, I've realized that I created  that post in the wrong order.
Using vinegar will help keep your laundry smelling fresh..once you rid your washer of the smell.  But the question I've gotten most is what do you do when your washer ALREADY smells?
Apparently it's a common problem with high-efficiency washers, both top-loading and front-loading alike.

Today I have the answer;
Here's how to kick that nasty smell to the curb:

Bacteria can build up in the drum, and in front-loaders, in the seal along the door. If you have a front-loader, you can lift the rubber seal and clean it with a water and bleach solution. Clorox Wipes can work well for this, too.
For both top and front loaders, you'll just need 2 other things:

Washer Cleaner

I used the Tide brand of washer cleaner, but there is also another product out there called Affresh that supposedly gets the same results.

Dump the cleaner directly into the drum of your [empty] washer.
Add bleach to the detergent dispenser.  

We have a large-capacity washing machine, so I used about 3 cups (a little more) of bleach.  For a smaller capacity washer, use 2 cups.
The bleach will kill the existing bacteria and the washer cleaner will exfoliate the residue away.
Run one cycle on your washer's "Normal" setting, but switch the temperature to the hottest wash you can.  
Once the cycle is done, keep the washer door open and let the drum air out.

Repeat this process once a week for 3 weeks, then from there just do it once monthly.

You will notice an immediate difference - I've only had this problem once.
I followed the above steps, and it hasn't been an issue since.

Fresh-Smelling Laundry for Everyone! :)

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fall Favorites

Even though I've simplified for fall this year, I've been having a fun time looking back at some of the autumn projects from yesteryear here On the V Side.


Candles from Natural Elements

Neutral/Natural Decor Ideas

Pinecone Monogram

Gratitude Garland

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