Fireplace Refresher

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I think one of the best features of my living room is the fireplace.  When my mom owned the house she had it converted to a gas fireplace, which is so much easier and surprisingly effective at heating my home.  When my husband and I bought the house, we painted the fireplace white and added the red detail (it was originally oak).  At the time, that appeased me.  But I have always hated the brass detailing on the fireplace, and I decided I had to do something about it.  Here is a shot of the fireplace before I started my project.

Fireplace Before

I purchased a Rustoleum high-heat spray paint and painted the brass trim a flat black. Since I was updating the brass trim, I also decided to freshen up the screen.  I had looked at new screens but they are not cheap, and there is nothing wrong with this one. So I got myself a can of Rustoleum oil-rubbed bronze spray paint and went to town on it.

I am thrilled with the new look!   It’s not a dramatic difference, but I think it looks better. Oh, and Bear wanted to say Hi!

Fireplace After

Here is a shot of the before and after together.

 Fireplace Before and After


Hello Again December!

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Hello December

Hello again!

As we welcome December, I think about all of the things I love about this month. While I can’t say that it is my favorite month, it is a month that makes me happy.

Here are some of the reasons why:

First and foremost, I love Christmas!  Almost too much.  If I had my way I would probably decorate my home a lot earlier than I should. However, my husband and I have made it a Black Friday tradition to avoid the craziness of the stores and to stay home and decorate our home instead.  I had my Christmas cards ready to go since October. I had my Holiday Planner in it’s binder since October as well (click here for the one I use). I am a planner, in case you couldn’t tell.

I also love the cold, crisp air.  While I am not a fan of really cold weather, December is a nice transition into the colder temperatures.  I love the days that are in the 40’s and the evenings that I get to curl in my recliner with my furry throw blanket. I love sweater and scarves, and especially my Uggs.

I love the way people seem to be nicer to each other, even if only for a little while.  I have seen some hold a door for another shopper, some let someone go in front of them in line, and some give to charities a little more freely.

I love that people get to show their appreciation for each other during this month.  It is something that should happen all year, but when the holidays come around, people are definitely more open about it.

I love baking all the delicious treats I have planned for gifts as well as refreshments.  I have a Kitchenaid mixer that gets quite a workout this time of year. I get to revisit old recipes, and when I get adventurous, try something new.

I love that I get to spend time with my family. While I don’t get to see everyone I would like to, the time I can spend with the people I love is a special time that I cherish.

So that’s it!  Those are all the things that I love about December, and I am sure there are more that I didn’t think of.

What do You love about December?


Kitchen Cabinet Transformation!!!

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Before & After - Kitchen

In 2008, my husband and I bought our house from my mom.  I always loved this house.  It is a 4-bedroom ranch tucked away from the road.  My parents had the house built in the late 80’s, so it needed some updating.  The kitchen was the biggest area that needed updating.  The cabinets are the original oak cabinets that came with the house, and I have to say they are in great condition for being 25-years-old.  But after looking at them for just as long, I desperately needed a change.

Here is the old kitchen (took the pics after some doors were already removed – oops!):

Kitchen Before

Kitchen BeforeIsland BeforeBeing a Pinterest addict, I had seen posts about people who had used the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations system.  One day, my husband received an e-mail from Home Depot that they had the kits for half off.  After doing a little research and reading a lot of reviews, we decided to get the kit and take the time to redo the cabinets and the island.

We ordered the Espresso kit.  It is a deep dark brown color.

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 There is a small list of items you need to purchase in addition to the kit, such as paint brushes and plastic. I believe we spent an extra $20.  It is definitely not a quick fix.  I would strongly recommend watching the DVD that comes with the kit.  It explains everything very clearly.  The process was simple but took many, many hours. The kit comes with an optional glaze coat.  I have read tons of reviews and some people say it’s not necessary, but we did it and I am so glad we did.  It brought out the grain in the wood and made the color a smidge deeper.

The results were well worth the effort…

Kitchen After Kitchen AfterIsland After

It is basically like having new cabinets!  I am totally in love with my new kitchen.  It even seems brighter.  If anyone is pondering doing this, I would recommend it.

And a very big THANK YOU to my husband, who took the days to perform this magic!

Erin ♥