Thursday, February 28, 2013

Uncommon... and Oh So Good [Review and a GIVEAWAY!]

You know, I’m really grateful that you guys come back post after post, to see what’s happening here On the V Side.  Your feedback and your encouragement have become a super awesome perk that I didn’t anticipate when I stumbled into this blogging gig. 

So that’s why I’m REALLY excited to be able to offer you such a cool, cool giveaway opportunity today!

I try to be judicious when it comes to some of the offers that come through for product promotions, sponsored posts and giveaways.  I try to always keep you in mind, and stick to the things I’ve always blogged about: Home D├ęcor, DIY, and a little slice of life.  A lot of times, that means saying no to certain opportunities (I won’t talk about the company that wanted me to review antifungal foot cream…ewwww).


So when the fine folks at Uncommon Goods approached me about reviewing some products and offering On the V Side readers some free swag, I jumped at the opportunity.  Uncommon Goods focuses on offering unique gifts and creative design for every person, every occasion.  You can spend hours surfing through cool stuff on their website.  
Ask me how I know. ; )

The first item I received was the Repurposed Layered Frame. 
I was not expecting it to be so substantial and just plain cool.  The frame is made of legit 100% reclaimed wood, so every piece is unique and one-of-a-kind (which is kind of Uncommon Goods’ M.O.).  The frame was well-crafted and I love love LOVED its perfectly chippy paint.
I found the perfect home for this guy sitting on top of Blue Betty in the guest room   I added a picture of Mr. V. and The Redhead from a trip to visit friends at their lakehouse this summer, and I couldn’t be happier with how everything fits together. 
The frame also comes with a gold-trim option (this one is the teal version), and I’m already brainstorming a place elsewhere in the house to incorporate its twin. 

The other product that arrived was the Sandy Paws Print Kit
It guides you through making a keepsake plaster cast of the pawprint of your canine pals.

 I enlisted the help of my favorite furry friend to give it a shot.  Newman was a little skeptical at first. 
But, the process was easy.  Make a pawprint in damp sand (you’ll have to provide your own sand)

Mix the plaster according to directions and pour in the mold
 Let dry.

Mine obviously didn’t turn out as pristine as the pictures on the label – one broke, and the surviving print is a bit…. Lumpy.   
BUT, Newman is an imperfect dog (however lovable, like his owner ; ) ) so some imperfections in his print are apropos.  
 This would make a fun gift for any pooch-loving friend.  You can find even more affordable gift ideas HERE 

SO.  Cool company, cool products…..BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!! :)
 Uncommon Goods has generously offered my readers the opportunity to score their OWN ‘uncommon goods’ for free!  One of you fine folks will get $50 to spend however you’d like at  Buy something fab for yourself, or maybe you’ll finally be able to find the perfect thing for that hard-to-buy-for someone special.

Here’s how you enter (it’s so simple):
- Become a public follower of On the V Side (using either google friend connect OR linky blogs) and leave a comment on this post letting me know you did so.  If you’re already a follower, leave a comment telling me what you would pick out from Uncommon Goods with your loot!  :)

For extra bonus entries to beef up your chances of winning:

-          Like Uncommon Goods on Facebook (HERE)
-          Sign up for the Uncommon Goods email list for cool promotions (link HERE
-          Become a Pinterest follower of On the V Side:
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With each of the bonus entries, make sure you leave a comment to let me know you’ve done it.

I’ll announce the winner Monday, March 4th so you’ve got plenty of time to get entered!
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Saturday, February 23, 2013


[The first round of] Nate Berkus is on sale at Target! I scooped up these baskets for a cool $4 each. I did notice that they are not on clearance online, just in the store. So I have no idea if the deals are varying from store to store. Regardless, I doubt things will last long, so check it out if there is something from the collection you’ve had your eye on!

I have a love affair/obsession with natural cleaning supplies, see HERE. I’m definitely a Shaklee devotee, but lately I’ve also been loving on family products from The Honest Company. Everything is natural, non-toxic, and eco-friendly.
I have two little people with sensitive skin (eczema, diaper rash, you name it – we’re experts in it)
So, I initially gave Honest a try to see if their bath and baby products would work for Miss CB. I tried the lotion and the healing balm in the [free] sample trial and was sold. Now I’m already stocked with the those products, the bubble bath, shampoo/wash, and some of their cleaning products, as well. Everything is so gentle, and you should check out their website – on every product description there is a list of things that product DOESN’T have, that is typically in other mass-market products (SLS, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances & dyes, formaldehyde, petrochemicals & common allergens. To name a few ;) ) I’ve also tried some of their soaps and cleaners and have been pleased with the results. And I think at the end of the day the way to my heart is to deliver household products to my front door. :)  (And no, I wasn’t compensated to say any of that. I just genuinely like the products)

And why am I smirking so?
 OH, because that chunky beaded necklace? Is totally leftover wooden-beaded Christmas tree garland. Use what ya got, y’all… ;)

Have a great weekend!
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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kitchen Cabinet Magnet Board [Tutorial]


In most homes, kitchens end up being a hub of activity.  In our house, it also tends to be ground zero for household communication and organization.  We have activities organized on the calendar, but we need a go-to space for important phone numbers, doctors/dentists/etc, and how to get ahold of the important people like the handyman or the carpet cleaner or plumber who you don’t need often, but when you do you can never seem to find their info.

I’ve always kept corkboard on the inside of a kitchen cabinet door, because that’s what my mom always did.  And it was useful.  But as time went on, the cork had started to bubble up and needed to be re-adhered (is that even a word?  Well today it is. :) ).  And it was getting cluttered and I was feeling the need for something fresh and a little more streamlined.  I was painting the kitchen cabinets, so I was going to have to take it off anyway.  I figured this would be a good time to change things up. 
I love corkboards, but my one beef is that if you have one with a small surface, it doesn’t take too long for the surface to be riddled with so many holes that eventually your tacks start to fall out in “high traffic” places.  That doesn’t always happen, but when it does it really annoys me.  I decided to make the shift to magnets because then that’s a moot issue. 

During wandering trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s, I’ve often admired the different decorative radiator grates, and thought there were a lot of cool things you could do with them.  I remembered Jen used one for a cool earring holder.  And I know there are lots of other uses floating around blogland.  I loved the look of the punched-metal design, but I didn’t love the $18-$35 per-sheet price tag.  AND, they are aluminum, so they are not magnetic.

Here’s how I solved both problems:

1)      I found that Hobby Lobby now sells these same sheets (still cute, still not magnetic ;) ) for a much better price – around $13 a sheet.  Bring in your 40% off coupon and all of a sudden that’s a much better bargain for the same product.
2)      I remembered from making The Redhead’s MagnetBoard that galvanized sheeting used for ductwork IS magnetic, and is also cheap.  This I planned to layer *behind* the decorative piece, so the magnets would grab onto the magnetic sheet *through* the decorative one. 
 Both these sheets together cost me less than $15.

I used tin snips to trim the sheeting down to size.  Wear gloves, people!  The metal edge you cut will be SHARP and it’s super easy to slice your hands.  You might be very skilled with tin snips, but I am not.  Therefore, my edge was pretty ragged.  No worries, though, that’s where the decorative edge steps in.

I painted the sheeting with a couple coats of Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage (it's really more green-grey.. I have no idea why it kept photographing sky blue...) paint and let it dry overnight.  Then, I fit it inside the cabinet door using Command Strips – they hold a ton, and this is a great option for renters who are worried about doing damage to cabinets.  It can be as permanent or as temporary as you want it to be. 

Once that was up, I knew I didn’t want ragged edges around my decorative piece.  I knew I could always build or find a frame for it, but I didn’t have enough clearance on the inside of the cupboard.  So, I simply used a dab of  E6000 glue in each corner to keep it in place.  This stuff will hold elephants over the Grand Canyon (okay not really, but it holds a ton!) but if you need to take things down, it’s sort of gelatinous like rubber cement, and will come off easily with the help of a straight edge. 

And that's it!

I picked up some strong, Rare Earth magnets for cheap (I think $3 or $4 for a pack of 8) and just Modge Podge'd some cute scrapbook paper onto the fronts.

Overall I love the clean, streamlined look of things.
It helps keep us organized, and when I'm ready for a change, it will be an easy switcheroo! :)

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Headboard Update

When I was rolling around the idea of updating the Guest Room, I knew two things right off the bat that had to happen with the bed.

1) I definitely still wanted metal, but rather than the current contemporary lines, I was looking for something with a bit more rustic, vintage find. 

2) I needed to get rid of the footboard.
We don't get overnight guests too terribly often, but the ones who do stay with some regularity, are all very TALL.  And as much as *I* love a full bed with a footboard, I can't imagine our 6'7" nephew loves banging his feet or getting his ankles tangled in between the rungs of a metal footboard.
That doesn't exactly scream "hospitality".  ;)
So, simple headboard it is.

I also didn't want to spend a whole lot (SHOCKER!)  :)

After scouring vintage shops and keeping an exhaustive watch on Craigslist, I finally found the winner at Target, of all places.
The Dexter headboard looked like it had all the elements I was going for, and the price was right, too.

 Dexter Headboard: via

The only catch was that it was online-only so I couldn't see it in person.
With free shipping and good reviews, I figured I would take the risk and gave it a shot.

When it arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the sturdiness and quality.
I loved the overall look and shape.
The finish was an antique bronze with a dimpled finish that I wasn't expecting.
I didn't dislike it, though.
But something was bugging me, and I couldn't figure out what it was.
I couldn't figure it out, that is, until we took The Redhead out to the neighborhood pizza place.
Once we got there, it hit me:
My new headboard looked like a chair from the Pizza Ranch.

Seriously, check it out..

My headboard:

Pizza Ranch chair:


I wish the pic was better but I just used my phone.
In person, the resemblance was unreal.
Nothing against the Pizza Ranch, but it wasn't exactly the feel I was going for in my guest room. ;)

Do I REALLY think anyone would notice this but me?
But even though only a few guests would ever use the room,
*I* live there and would see it every day.

So, I turned to Rust-Oleum to come to the rescue!

I chose a metallic paint in "Carbon Mist" - I hadn't seen this color before and it was PERFECT.

A coat of primer (even though it's paint and primer in one, I still used a primer for maximum durability in the long run) and two coats of Carbon Mist later, and I had the headboard I had envisioned from the get-go for this room.

Gotta love what a little paint will do!

Now that it's finished... I'm in the mood for some pizza. ;)

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Monday, February 4, 2013

DIY Kitchen Island Update

Check it off the to-do list for 2013!

A few weeks ago I showed you my painted kitchen cabinets - I am still so thrilled with how they turned out!

But there is still work to be done.

#1 on that list was the island.  It's a great size, has ample storage and we use it a ton for entertaining, crafts and food prep.  But it left a little to be desired in the "good looks" department.

Here's a before, pre-paint:

You can see, like a lot of standard kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, the face of all our cabinets is nice quality wood.  The sides, however, are veneer engineered to *look* like the oak... a much cheaper product that is pretty common.  I always hated the look of those sides, and that was one of the best things about painting the cabinets--covering that up!

Paint was definitely an improvement, however the veneer doesn't take paint as well as real wood does, even with a good primer.

On the ends of my base and upper cabinets, I added bead board wallpaper to hide the veneer and add a little texture (just like I did in this bathroom).

But in our house, the kitchen island is a hardworking fixture, and I knew that if I used the wallpaper, it wouldn't be long before it was scuffed or dented or torn.  The island needed something a little more durable that could really take a beating but still maintain its integrity.

I loved the bead board look and wanted to continue that, so I went to Home Depot for the real-deal.
I had planned on purchasing pre-primed MDF bead board panels.  However when I got to Home Depot, they had these real oak panels on sale for less than the MDF so I jumped on that!  Normally these are about $14 a panel, and I got them for just under $9.  Hooray!

To save time (and labor, ha!), I took my measurements with me and had my handy Home Depot associate cut my panels for me there in the store.  Seriously, this is the greatest service and it's free!
I brought them home and we were ready to roll.

I also picked up two of these half-newel posts.  Normally they are for detailing banisters on stairways.
Not today. :)

You'd find a full newel post at the end of your stair banister.  These are cross cut so that one side is completely flat and can be put flush against a wall.

I started by adding the bead board panels to the sides and securing with liquid nails (use the version meant for indoor woodworking projects.  It goes on like buttah and dries super quickly) while Mr. V. lent a hand and removed the quarter-round shoe trim from the backside of the island.  One thing I liked about the island's original design is the quasi-board and batten look on this side of the island.  I planned to keep that, but add bead board detail to the inside of the
I used liquid nails once again to secure the newel post flush against the edge of the island
(you'll note I trimmed down the posts to fit under my counter.  I lopped off the ball on top and also trimmed from the bottom for a little more even look.
Let the panels dry before nailing in to secure.

For the trim, I wanted to continue the board and batten style that's on the back side of the island, so I used a piece of primed MDF as my baseboard.  You can buy one long plank at HD for about $10.  I trimmed what I needed, adhered it to the island, and then nailed it to secure.

Once everything was dry and secure, I filled my nail holes and spackled the joints to make them disappear.  I really love the version from DAP that goes on purple, and then turns white when it's dry.
Once dry, I gave it a good sanding and the joints are just about invisible.

From there, everything got a couple coats of primer and paint, and the end result is a custom-finished look that I love!


I added bun feet to the drawer-side of the island to mimic the turned leg of the newel post, and then I also added them to the rest of my cabinets for an even more custom look.

It's just how I hoped it would turn out!

Next stop in the kitchen makeover saga... BACKSPLASH.
Oh yeah.  :)

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