February 4, 2016

Spray Painting Door Knobs

Moving along in the condo, I wanted to replace all the hardware with something more modern. I wanted to do it within a very low budget and wanted something that lasts.
I removed all knobs and pieces myself and spray painted them with
Rust-Oleum Hammered Metal Finish Spray, Dark Bronze
Almost 8 months later and they are holding well. No scratching at all.
The painting process can be a little tricky not to smudge it and to fully let it dry before adding another layer on.  This was so much cheaper then buying all new through the house and they look just as good as store bought. Huge money saver.

February 3, 2016

Just keep swimming.

I started Caleb in recreational group swim lessons at age 5, every summer I would put him in a class. Every summer he would spend tons of time at the pool and every summer he still did not know how to swim. I tried teaching him, his dad. But he just was not grasping onto the strokes of it. So finally at age 8 I decided it was time to really do something. It finally hit me one day at the pool, when he was with other kids his age and he was the only one {shamefully admitting this} that had arm floaties on. His friends were having fun and he could barely touch the shallow end of the pool.

 I made a financial commitment to his health and well being to have one single qualified swim instructor {Josh} aid him with personal swim lessons. A focused and skilled instructor makes a world of difference. He started off 8+ months ago not know a single stroke. Can I tell you how far he has come? He is getting ready this fall to try out for a swim team. This kid can not only swim on his own, but knows the proper strokes and techniques. Wanted to share with any of you parents who may be going through the same thing and thoughts. Less then a year is all it took, now he is swimming better then most kids his age. The amount of money is PRICELESS for knowledge and skills he now has.

Swim video

Swim Video 2

Swim Video 3

One of my sons strongest areas & favorite is the backstroke

I made my sons Swim instructor a personalized hand stamped keychain for Christmas too

February 1, 2016

DIY Collage Picture Frame Wall

So we highlighted out entry way wall a light Gray color, now we needed some art work to dress it up. I wanted to do something different and create a collage of pictures. I wanted to do this with a very small budget of 25$, trying not to spend too much on it.

I found several links on Pinterest for "Free Printable Art Work" "Free Printable Art Collage" and used several of those. littlegoldpixel has a lot of really unique and cute prints for free downloading and printing. I used White heavy card stock on all my prints and printed them all from home on my computer printer.

I also found a super amazing Etsy shop DreamBigPrintables and WishfulPrinting that has super affordable cute prints for sale. I printed most from these two. Tons to pick from and they runs sales often. I choose prints that fit my personality like: Mountains/Adventure/Tea/Arrows/Feathers/Geodes/Christian Quotes etc.
This will also be my go to when I finish my sons room for Astrological prints.

So had all my prints on hand, next I went to several ARC Thrift stores, in the Denver Metro area. We seriously have the best thrifting stores ever! ARC offers 50% every Saturday and I easily found all Black and Silver modern like new frames for around 1-2$ each. I took apart all the frames and cleaned them up with Windex and made them sparkle and look new again.

Then I started to crop down some of the pictures to fit the frames with scissors, got them all finished and started to hang them up. I had no rhyme or reasoning for the collage. I just eyes it to decide what looks best. I did mark a few spots with masking tape so I would remember where I wanted to place each frame.

That's it! Super easy and under 25$ if you are frugal like me.
I love our entry way wall, its personalized to my liking and adds interest to that wall.

January 28, 2016

Highlighted Accent Wall

The renovations and updates continue, I am all about DIY and saving money. I enjoy painting so this one was fun. I wanted a cute entry way and wanted to highlight this wall a light modern Grey. I had some mystery stains that I had to sand down and make smooth before painting. I used a Behr Primer and paint in one. I love Behr paint it is quality and covers well. After I was done painting, I also replaced all the light and power outlets with modern silver ones to dress up the space more. Something about those pale Yellow Outlets gives me the creeps.

I love a blank slate, now what to put there...?
Like my collage? Got it all for under 25$! 
Wanna know how? That's in the next post, stay tuned 

January 20, 2016

Wintery Favorites Collection

Around this time every year I start feeling stuck and stuffy.
Colorado Winters and relentless. No outdoors fun and this gal loves the outdoors, my son and I are always on trails and getting our hands dirty in the garden. Our skin has long lost the summer suns kiss and currently we are walking around looking like zombies. Pale and very White. I always say, I love Winter and snow for Christmas and after that I am over it. Matter of fact I'm over it when April comes and its still snowing...
I do love the quiet snow brings and the way nature looks with blankets of it draped on trees and branches. So to stay positive, I curated a collection of all things Winter.
Are you on the East coast getting hit with that large snow storm now?

January 19, 2016

Kitchen Condo Renovations / Re-surfacing Counter tops

On to one of the final renovations in our small kitchen condo, the counter tops.

Lets do a re-cap of what has been done and where you can find each post.
1. Flooring
2. Re-surfacing Cabinets
3. Appliances, Painting, Lighting and More

Today's renovation, has proved to be one of the hardest so far for me. It is not holding up as well as I wanted. With this said, here are the Pros & Cons of the route I took for re-surfacing my counter tops

It looks better then what was there.
It covered all the tiny hundreds of scratches
They offer many colors to choose from
Its affordable
Its easy to apply

It does not allow for heavy use {I'll explain this later}
It nicks easily

With that said, here we go!

First, I used Rust-Oleum Counter top coating, all info can be found here here.
I purchased mine at Home Depot.

It only took one can for my small condo and counter tops, a little went a long way. I had leftovers. I tried using left overs for touch up nicks. Don't do that. The tint {even when mixed}
did not match. I had to go buy a new can for touch ups. 

I used foam rollers, so not to leave a texture and a small roller.
It took three coats.
It smells really bad, so bad I would not recommend using this when any kids/babies are home and make sure to move your pets to another safe location.
I turned on three purifiers to help dull the smell and then after painted I put a fan near it to help dry faster, faster it dries the quicker the small will go away. Do leave all your windows open, I even left my front door wide open. Its bad. DO use a nice mask, not those cheap ones or the fumes will go right through. Filter the fumes right and do yourself a solid with a nice chemical mask made for fumes.
The paint is not like normal paint, it is super tacky and sticky. Not allowing for many mistakes. Just roll one coat and wait till its completely dry {I wait a few hours} and then roll your next coat. I fine tuned spots with a small paint brush. Make sure you tape off areas before you start. Buy some good Frog tape, not the cheap stuff or it will peel the paint.
Let it dry for a few days without any working on the surfaces this is VERY important or it will chip in places!!

Few words of wisdom:
Don't cut on the counter tops with knives, use cutting boards. Or it will scratch and show through.
Don't drag heavy things across the counter top, easier said then done huh?
I love to cook, I do it often and I cook homemade hearty meals. Not sure this way was the option for me. I use my counter tops and am not the easiest on them. Maybe this is partly my fault or the paints? My counters do have nicks and I couldn't tell you how they got there.
It does look better then what I had before, what I had before was just ugly and stained and scratched. All of that is gone and it does look nice. Just doesn't hold up as well as I hopped.

There it is, if your thinking of doing it. The best way to do it is just...DO IT. Dive in and do it.
Be brave.

Supplies & all it took
what I did not picture was the new mask I bought after finding out real fast this one pictured would not work for me. 

see all those scratches? The paint did cover those!


And..Drum roll please.....Final complete kitchen renovation

There you have it, room #1 is finished! I hope this helped you with any decisions, it was totally worth it for me. The best part of all of this? Doing it myself saved thousands of dollars!! I managed to do the entire kitchen under 3,000$.

My next renovation in this condo, was the entry way. This one was fun, I got to be creative. More posts coming soon!

January 15, 2016

Kitchen Condo Renovations / Flooring

You seen my post on the DIY Re-surfacing cabinets, now take a look at our new flooring! This was one of the main things to do on my list of renovations. The previous tile was White, cracked and some no longer holding in place. The Grout was crumbling out and it looked just bad. This is on area, I did not do myself! Literally I did everything myself, but the wood flooring.
I hired Home Depot, found a nice wood color on sale for 0.99 sq foot and then took out the many options they try adding on for high fees and got it in the range I could wing.
I watched them do it and I can tell you, I still wouldn't want to do it and I'm all about saving money.
So I replaced flooring in the entry way, some of living space, kitchen and hallway.

Lovely right?

The flooring arrived!
Caleb had fun playing with it till it was installed

Here we go, improvement!

There ya go.

Next year putting in a new shag carpet for both bedrooms.

Next Kitchen Renovation was new lighting, wall paint, faucet & accessories. Sharing Soon!