Saturday, January 28, 2012

So, how did I score?

Hi there Friends!  Gung Hay Fat Choy!

With it being the Chinese New Year and all, I figured it would be a good time to revisit my House Goals from 2011 and see how I scored. And then, of course, set some new house goals for 2012!  Ok, ok, give me a break…I guess I’m a month late on this whole goal setting thing, but it’s really never too late, is it?  Ok, good.

So last year for the first time I set some house goals for the year. Here’s a quick summary of what they were:

1. Fix the large hole/ install lights in my kitchen ceiling

2. Build a kitchen island

3. Paint the fireplace

4. Finish the master bath remodel

5. Paint my son’s room

6. Install board and batten in the family room

7. Paint the main living space

8. Paint the interior doors

9. Paint the exterior of the house

10. Paint the mailbox

11. Do something with the broken shutters in the master bedroom

So….how did I do? 

Score: 8/11= 73%…hummm, C-. Well, ok, could have been a little better, but I had a few ambitious goals!

Let’s review, shall we?

1. Fix the hole in the kitchen ceiling/ install a light so I don’t have to cook in the dark: Big fat FAIL!

Here’s how my kitchen ceiling looked one year two-and-a-half years ago and here’s how it still looks today:


But that’s not to say we haven’t thought about it! We’ve actually had a few contractors out to bid a huge skylight that will cover approximately a 4ft by 6ft space on the ceiling! And then we’ll hang a chandelier down and add a few can lights on the right. So we’re getting there!

2. Build a kitchen island: COMPLETED!

I fell in love with the Restoration Hardware reclaimed wood kitchen island and just had to have it. Since it was too large for my space, the only thing that made sense was to build one myself! So that’s just what I did. I found some reclaimed barn wood, purchased a slab of Carrera marble and started sanding. See all the details here and here.


3. Paint the fireplace: COMPLETED!

My husband was away on business for a couple of days, so I took that opportunity to surprise him with a newly painted fireplace AND I built a mantel to go with it

(I think I deserve extra credit for that one!)

See the painting here and mantel building here.


4. Finish the master bathroom remodel: COMPLETED!

The whole reason I started this blog: to chronicle the remodel of our master bathroom for my family to see. You see, as a child, my parents built the two houses I grew up in. See, this isn’t my fault, it’s in my genes! I wanted an easy way for them to follow our first remodeling project in our “new” house. And so the blog was born. See the  progress here and here.

bathsinksbathwainscoting shower

5. Paint my son’s bedroom: COMPLETED!

After 250 paint chips on his walls, I finally narrowed it down to a small handful of colors and let my son chose the final color.  His choice: Benjamin Moore Quiet Moments…and a great choice that was. My little prodigy. So proud.

quiet moments


6. Install Board and Batten in the family room: COMPLETED!

We were so thrilled with how the board and batten looked in the family room, that we decided to install it in our master bedroom, too! 

I think that deserves some extra credit as well!

See the progress here and the finished product here. And then the follow up to my finished product (the insanity post) here. And the she-is-seriously-crazy post here.

board batten

boart batten 2

7. Pick a paint color for the family room: COMPLETED!

Actually, that should read: completed TWICE!!!  Again, some extra credit please? 

I painted the family room once in Benjamin Moore Nimbus Gray, and then again in a 50% formula of Nimbus Gray (after trying a 25% formula). See the contemplation here and here.

Now, I shouldn’t even mention the next part of this story, but we’re friends, so I’m gonna anyways…I’m in the process right NOW of painting it AGAIN. But you know what I say to my husband, I’m not really crazy, I just love this stuff!  Changing the paint color in your home is one of the biggest bangs for the buck you can get. I remind him to be happy that I’m just buying a $50 can of paint and not a $3000 sofa every time I want to change up the look. See, it could be a lot worse!

paint boart batten

8. Paint the interior doors: FAIL!

I really really want new interior doors, actually. So I probably won’t waste the time painting our current doors. Here’s what I am drooling over:

5 panel door

Source: The Pleated Poppy

9. Paint the exterior of the house: FAIL!

Ok, I got a few bids for this (I think it may be too big of a project for me to tackle by myself: paint chipping, dry rot, lead paint…um, yeah) but I had no idea painting the exterior would be so expensive.  Here in N. California, my bids are around $7000.  Ouch!

10. Paint the mailbox: COMPLETED!

I spray painted my ugly gold mail box almost a year ago and I’m very happy to report, it’s holding up beautifully! No need to repaint any time soon.  See how I did it here.


11. Fix the shutters in the master bedroom: COMPLETED!

A while back my sweet doggie panicked and torn apart the shutters in our master bedroom. You can read about it here. So finally a year later I took them down and replaced them with my new favorite drapes from World Market. See the details here.

drapes in master

Let’s rescore this now…I completed 8 of 11 projects, but earned extra credit on 3 of them…so that brings my score to, well what do you know: 11/11= 100% Yay me! Smile!

Stay tuned for my House Goals of 2012 coming up shortly. I bet you can make some strong predictions!

Hugs, Celeste




Saturday, January 21, 2012

Driftwood Mirror

Oh hello there! Thanks for stopping by! Long time, no see. 

Last summer my kids and I gathered a garbage bag full of driftwood from the beaches of Oregon. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d use it, but I had plenty of ideas: driftwood star like Pottery Barn’s,

 driftwood star

a driftwood Christmas Tree like Restoration Hardware’s,

driftwood tree

a driftwood wreath like Cottage & Bungalow’s? 

driftwood wreath2

I think they are all SUPER CUTE. But alas, the driftwood was an eyesore sat on the picnic table in our front courtyard for 6 months! With the first rain of the season approaching (sorry to the rest of the country, but CA hasn’t had rain this winter yet!), my husband suggested that I finally do something with all the driftwood before it gets soaked.  


So we gathered the driftwood off the table, brought it inside and got to work.  I started with an old mirror, a hot glue gun, the box of driftwood and a big ‘ol cuppa tea.  (Do you recognize the mirror? This might jolt your memory.)


At first I thought I’d make a plan. I’d lay it all out. Figure out where each piece would go before I glued.

Yea, that plan lasted all of 2 pieces. The rest of the mirror was left up to chance. It was like a big puzzle. My kids enjoyed searching through the box for “just the right piece”. They were so excited whenever I used their chosen piece. Then they got bored and the sticks turned into guns.  How does this happen?

At any rate…progress began….


And finally a couple of hours later:


Here’s a few close ups:

IMG_2772 IMG_2771 IMG_2773

It was looking kinda lonely up there on the mantel all by itself, so I pulled out a few things I had laying around…


I bought these rock postcards about 15 years ago, when I first started dating my husband and we took a romantic trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea (ahhh, those were the days!) I have been saving them in a little box all these years wondering what to do with them…and they finally made their debut today.


Ever since then, I started collecting heart rocks myself. My collection has gotten quite large and usually sits on my kitchen window sill.  But a few were lucky enough to be highlighted on the mantel this month!




Well that’s all for now folks. I wasn’t really planning on doing a “Valentine’s Day Mantel” but it just worked out that way. I’m loving the early bloomers collection at Cost Plus World Market, so come Feb. 15 it will likely change again.  Smile!

Hugs, Celeste