Friday, June 23, 2017

So This Happened: Straight Outta Fifth Grade

Howdy, Islanders!

We spoke about a lot of the graduation details.  I mentioned one of her gift bags were filled with t-shirts.
One of the shirts I had made included a popular logo and saying that replaced Compton with Fifth Grade.

If you'd like the vendor information, feel free to check out the social media post on Instagram.

I got so many great shots, I figured I'd share the moment (and all of her big kid cuteness) with my beloved Islanders.

Additional photos can be found in the Instagram post.  I didn't have a lot of time to take a lot of pictures because it was also the last day of school and thus, the last day Munch caught the bus!

Munch presented her teacher with the pencil, a Panera gift card, and a card from us thanking him for being an awesome teacher.

The kid loved her shirt and Mr. Testman loved his gifts.  Mission accomplished for this mama :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Munch's Fifth Grade Graduation

Throwback Thursday (TBT) to the time my kid graduated from Kindergarten.  Do you remember that post(click here to read)?  It was when I had the nerve to think she was a kid... I mean, look at her.  She CLEARLY was still a baby.  How do I know?!  What do you mean?  Look at her cheeks! Little baby teeth.  She is totally a baby.

Here's a not-so-long-ago TBT fo' yo' mind:

It happened.  She kept growing.  And growing.  Until last Thursday, when she graduated from elementary school as in she. is. going. to. middle. school.  MIDDLE SCHOOL?!

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw the day as it progressed in my story.

Seriously, if you're looking for a constant Island fix, check it out.  I try to post something on the Instagram Story everyday.  To that end, I may post everyday but the behind-the-scenes deets are found only here on the island!

I spent weeks preparing for graduation.  We had the outfit planned, I picked up a few gifts, I invited those close to us... we were ready.  Right?!

We scheduled her hair appointment and she started to FEEL like she was ready with her fresh blowout and cut.

Graduation day was finally here.  We arrived to her school and we (even my juicy new nephew) were seated.

The ceremony started and Munch walked out with her escort.

She didn't know her dad was able to make it.  Islanders, if you could've seen her face light up when she saw how many people came out to support (especially Daddy), it really was a sweet moment; she couldn't hold her excitement.  With Pomp and Circumstance playing, I could barely hold back my tears; it got real for a moment. No tears.  No tears, Tabitha.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Kitchen Updates: Tips for Everything Else

Hi, friends!
First, thanks for so many positive comments and feedback; it's greatly appreciated.  There were a few other tips I wanted to offer for anyone looking to have a beautiful and functioning kitchen.

1.  Update the lighting.

Every kitchen I've owned had flourescent lighting and we've always had a decorative cover.  In the case of the townhouse flip, there was a flourescent light with an outdated cover.  With everything else getting a face lift in the space, the light fixture started to take some of my focus.  We took a trip to Lowe's to shop for an affordable light fixture and found a simple one for about $30.  It included bulbs and was a cinch to install.

In the photo above, you can't see it but when the flourescent light was removed, an ugly portion of the ceiling was exposed.  Thankfully, with the light on, you couldn't tell.  I had to get creative because I didn't have time to paint the entire main living level ceilings before the showings would start.  I came up with an idea to use trim to create a 'frame' around the light fixture and to use some of the extra paint to create a focal point. 

The accent paint on the ceiling gave the illusion the light fixture was more of a statement piece while having the paint on the ceiling ensured it didn't take away from the design of the space.  I loved how it turned out so much that I've recommended it to everyone who loathes their bulky flourescent light.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Kitchen Appliances Within Your Budget

Happy Monday, Islanders!

New appliancesNew backsplash | Updated countertop Updated cabinets

We've been talking about the townhouse flip kitchen and, if you can't tell, we did a lot within our budget.  Of all the eye sores in the kitchen, the ones that cost me the most would have to be the appliances, particularly the refrigerator.

Refrigerators need to keep food chilled at a certain temperature and, as they age, they work harder to do so.  I noticed the refrigerator in the townhouse flip ran often.  Loudly.  I then became numb to it... until I noticed it ran constantly.  As we neared the time to list, I started to price out replacement appliances.  Most people would say go for the stainless steel - they're shiny and new and all the rage right now.  I, however, have owned stainless steel and they're impossible to keep clean.  fingerprints and streaks, dulling and scratches... it's all a pain when you want things to appear as shiny and new as possible.  They're also much more than the standard colors.  For the townhouse flip, I decided to price out black appliances.  I've compiled a list of 3 ways to save money on your appliances!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kitchen Backsplash: Floor and Decor to the Rescue!

New appliances | New backsplashUpdated countertop Updated cabinets

When I met Melina, I found a new home improvement store and I fell in love.  She took me to Floor & Decor and, I kid you not, it was overwhelming and awesome and -- just **exhales adoringly** love.

Floor & Decor offers affordable solutions for all of your tile and flooring needs.  

In the case of the townhouse kitchen, Melina found boxes of marble tiles on clearance.  Each tile was selling for .20 each.  They were normally $2.00 each; that's a 90% savings!!  The tiles were shades of gray, green, taupe and brown and they blended perfectly with the rustic wood-look vinyl floors. Plus, each tile was unique with its own variation of the aforementioned colors.  SOLD!  Now, I loved the marble tile (look and price) but I knew we were going to buy new black appliances and I felt we needed something to tie the earth tones of the tile with the bold black of the new appliances.  To make it work, we decided to buy a few sheets of these glass tiles:

Islander Tip: to create the insert, we cut the tile sheets down to smaller sections that were two rows wide.  Doing so saved money and effort.  Individual tiles are EXPENSIVE and the labor to adhere each one can take a lot of time.

With the glass tiles purchased, we applied them to the wall along the center portion of the backsplash.  I know what you're thinking and it looks a lot harder than it is.  I would've normally outsourced a project of this nature but, when I received a quote for a job similar in size, I was looking to spend $500!

We installed the backsplash for WAY less than HALF of that price by purchasing supplies only!  Plus, I learned how to install tile from Melina and, if you're willing to invest some sweat equity, it's much easier than you think.  Check out Youtube for some tutorials and tips.

The purpose of a backsplash is to provide visual interest and a wipe-able surface behind the appliances and kitchen workspace.  I love how we also used the backsplash to brighten the space and unify the main living level decor!

Stay tuned for more ideas and tips to affordably update your kitchen space!  We're on a roll!

Friday, June 9, 2017

Rustoleum Countertop Paint: Review and Photos

Howdy, Islanders!

Did you notice the drastic changes in the kitchen 'after' photo I shared the other day?  One major room brightener was the cabinets.  Another major change was the countertops.

New appliances | New back splash | Updated countertop Updated cabinets

The countertops were original to the home.  Don't worry, nothin' to see here, folks... just your 'run of the mill' builder-grade counters - off-white, outdated, need to go, countertops to be exact.

Granite, because of its expense, wasn't the best option for this property. We researched other options.  Mrs. Lucy told me about a paint for countertops and I wasn't sold on its durability.  We visited our local Lowe's and wouldn't you know, the staff paint expert was certain the paint was durable and has great coverage.  I bought it but I didn't think a solid gray was the look I was going for... I thought I could purchase 4 cans to recreate a granite-like paint technique similar to this one:

Then, I had an idea... Across the section where I picked up the countertop paint, I saw a sprinkle and had an idea.  I talked it over with Mrs. Lucy and we concluded we only needed to spend a few dollars (less than $10) for the container of Valspar color flakes!  To cover your countertops for less than $75, here's what you and need and what you do.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WW: First Splash of 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Before and After.

Howdy, Islanders!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I've branched into new services.  One of my recent projects included a friend's townhouse.  We truly transformed every space.  The room with the most drastic 'before and after' would have to be the kitchen.

New appliances | New back splash | Updated counter top | Updated cabinets

Today, we're talking about how we updated cabinets.  The kitchen was dated and the cabinets were such a drastic contrast to the cool blue-gray paint color and the rustic vinyl wood flooring that I knew we needed a change.  I really wanted to transform the builder-grade oak cabinets for a fresh and updated look.  Rather than a bright white, in a high traffic area like the kitchen, I decided to go for a creamy white look.  Hopefully, I could find the right color but only a trip to buy the kit would tell.

On a trip to Lowes, I found two kits on sale and I couldn't resist the price.

One kit was unmixed bright white.  The other was called Linen (which, in my opinion, has a pink undertone to a creamy off-white paint color).   In addition to the kit, I picked up painters' pyramids.
OMG!  Those little risers were amazing.  They made painting the cabinets (front and back) a breeze but seriously?!  The best part of Before and After posts are the photos.  Can we get to it already?

Monday, June 5, 2017

Lowe's: A Seasonal Sale of a Lifetime.

A few weeks ago, I shared a Wordless Wednesday post.  It was a post with a story you'd probably never guess to be true but I'm here to share that it is, in fact, totally true!  It really happened.
One Sunday afternoon, I received a phone call from Mrs. Lucy.  She called to tell me there was a major light fixture sale happening!  She mentioned a fabulous chandelier that was priced at - wait for it - $25!

I was excited.  I made plans to go.  I had plans that needed new lights... clients who need some amazing light fixtures to change their spaces without drastically impacting their budget.  I decided we'd go the next day.  So, the next day, during my lunch break, I headed to Lowe's.

I decided on two fixtures.  They would cost a total of *like* fifty bucks.  Fifty bucks?!

Of course, with our LOL moments and inside jokes, we made a friendwho was also checking out the clearance fixtures.  As we passed by, she mentioned to me that the manager was selling all clearance lights at 90% off the lowest price.  Islanders, that means our $25 lights were $2.50!  Wait, what?!

You see the caption on the image; the image is foreshadowing some of my recent projects and the natural progression of services I offer.  We will talk more about it.  Just keep that in mind when you see our carts in the next photos:

Don't judge... well, I know you wouldn't.  I am, however, pretty sure the people who saw me on the road definitely judged me and my car.

Would you believe we grabbed almost all of the fixtures from the area?  Our total was $126.

Our savings was $11,070! 

Crazy, right?!  I know.  Sale of a lifetime.  I know.  More to come!

Goodwill Finds: The Magnolia Wreath

Happy Friday, Islanders. I wanted to share a thrifty find from a while back.  Ugh, I love my local Goodwill Outlet.  Oh, and yes, you saw ...

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