Outdoor Ceiling Fan (For a Steal)

You guys, if I have not sufficiently evangelized you on never buying your stuff new (atleast not straight out of the gate) – let this be another lesson! πŸ˜‰ We scored an outdoor fancy old fan for $30 on craiglist – holla!!

So first, some before shots and back story. This is what our outdoor ceiling looked like.

Adding_Ceiling_Fan_To_Porch

Notice that pretty little plate, mounted smack in the middle? Well we knew it was an electrical box, and as the summer scorched on (North Carolina you guys – it gets hot) we kept thinking to ourselves – we *need* a fan. Our kid absolutely loves to play with his kiddy pool so 9 days out of 10 we’re out there chilling on the porch and getting coached by our 2-year old on acceptable water table behavior. There are more rules to this than you’d first imagine πŸ˜‰

But being cheap, and realizing this definitely fell into the category of non-essential, I refused to buy a brand new one for like $200+ for the styles I loved.

Which is where craigslist comes in!

Ceiling_Fan_Outdoor

I saw this beauty/cutie come up for $30 and I was like whaaaa – Jay, we need to go in the car and get this! It even has an edison bulb already planted in it, which is like $5-$8 right there, haha!

This was also where our whomp whomp moment came in. The next morning we were super excited to install it, when Jay realized that although the box did have electrical, it was definitely missing some key provisions we’d need for installing a ceiling fan.

Installing_Ceiling_Fan

Apparently, you need to have more than just wires to install something as substantial as a fan, which totally makes sense, but was definitely not something that was on my radar until Jay told me no dice.

We realized we needed to buy the thing er jigger (here) and down below that essentially finds beams up above in your ceiling and locks into them, to make sure your ceiling fan, well doesn’t fall on your head mid spin, so it’s a rather important detail! Ceiling_Fan_Mounting We had a 2-day delay while we ordered this guy and waited. But the good news is, here in the South, you almost have to wait until late fall before being outside is actually something you’d want to do, so the timing – all and all – worked perfectly πŸ™‚

Here is the ceiling fan up and running – we love it!


Industrial_Ceiling_Fan

And another shot of the entire porch, which right now only consists of this lonely little bench and our shoe basket.

Ceiling_Fan_Black

Here is a close up of the light fixture portion as well. I love the character it has and truly – for $30 it was a no brainer to drive out to the sticks to pick this beauty up!

Outdoor_Ceiling_Fan

I’m looking forward to having this outside and feel super happy about the price we paid for it, too. It can be so hard to wait for things but I’m really glad we held out and waited for a deal.

Now if someone could coach me on the importance of doing this for say … buying stuff for Henry’s “Big Boy” room and the new addition’s nursery – I might need some encouragement on that front πŸ˜‰

DIY Desk!

We officially have a desk nook and y’all I be all Beyonce crazy in love with this beauty. And beyond being easy on the eyes, it’s as functional as all get out which is probably actually getting it more brownie points than anything for me.

So Jay, knowing he had a crazy wife, who reminds him on the daily that she is now more than *half* way through baking a child and time is of the essence, made the magic happen and got this desk done by my self created deadline of the end of the month, so thank you, husband (you rock).

I mentioned in this post that we decided to keep things a bit more simple, and nix the bookcases (for now) and just get something functional and done.

You can actually see our table top inspiration right outside with our large farmhouse style table. Jay always tells people he built a picnic table when he talks about it, which makes me lol. Do you hear Joanna Gaines calling her tables picnic tables – no – you don’t. We need to work on our marketing pitch πŸ˜€

I’m quasi obsessed with the imperfections in the wood, which kinda make this look like we reclaimed it off the back porch of some 1920’s bungalow. Y’all – these are cheapo lumber 2×10’s that you can get at Home Depot for $8 a piece (for an 8′ board). Hella score, right?

As you can see, one feature, shall we say, of this desk is the ability to have a built-in litter box snuck in for easy storage options. Are these things you think about when you get a cat – no, they’re not, but this litter box is sorta a PITA (hehe – get it?) I mean, whatever, what are you going to do. I bought a smell neutralizer thing a ma jig from Amazon which helps (a lot) but some day when we don’t have cat anymore I won’t persay – miss the litter box presence πŸ˜‰ We bought this “bad air sponge” in our last house to help with a musty smell as well, and I literally swear by it if anyone is looking to knock out a bad smell.

You can see the litter box “rug” sticking out on this longer style photo and I definitely want to replace that with a 4×6 rug that fills out the space a bit more and doesn’t make the litter box part stick out as overtly.

On the opposite side we have space for extra storage, books, whatever. I’m trying to keep it simple though to keep clutter down so I might pop one more basket in there are time, or may just leave it open and accessorize it later πŸ™‚

Off to the left, on our “litter box” side we have the litter and our printer. This is the litter box we purchased which works great and fits in the little cubby spot perfectly!

It feels a lot more functional these days than our before, which was just a console table.

Built_In_Desk_Window


Building A Desk

So y’all ever get like sorta ahead of yourself and create, in your head, what would be your ideal but then you realize over time, it’s probably best to just go for what’s REAL. Like, set your sites a bit, well – smaller.

My dear husband, you guys. He’s the best. I come to him with ideas, and he builds them. Sometimes he complains and grumbles – but what he usually does before he starts belly aching is procrastinate. Now, I can’t blame him for any of the above, but I have an ever expanding uterus and these days I’m on a tight timeline to get things done.

So in the name of compromise, and having something up and ready to go sooner rather than later, instead of my grand vision (this).

Built In Desk Design

I settled on something a bit more manageable. The silver lining was that we were able to use a counter top we had already built this summer for another project that was *literally* sitting in our garage and put it to use, AND we were able to use considerably less wood, which brought our total out of pocket cost to $30 in wood, and $30 in paint (which I plan to use in our daughter’s room, too). You can see the piece of wood peaking behind the plywood.

Built_Ins_From_Plywood

The plywood is what we used for the base of the desk and the main change from my grand vision is that instead of having bookcases flank either side, I opted for a stand alone style desk for now because it was a) way less work and b) way cheaper/faster.

You can see the bases starting to take shape here. We used construction grade plywood for this base and it turned out great.

DIY_Built_In_Desk

It’s the same wood we used when we did our built-ins (below) a few months back, so more or less, we already knew what we were working with and how it would look once finished. It’s $30 per sheet at Home Depot, for those that may want to use it in the future.

Affordable_Library_Sconce


For each of the bases we prepped all of our wood before and very strategically (ie on paper first) decided how we would cut the wood to minimize scrap and make sure we got as far as possible with each wood piece.

H LOVES helping his dad with projects now, but hates the extra noise. I don’t know if other people’s kids are as obsessed with noises as mine but pretty much every single thing on this green earth, his first comment to us is – it made a noise? Yes, child, it did. Plus with anything as loud as a table saw, etc, I want his ears to be covered anyway since I’d feel sorta bad if we gave to poor kid issues down the road from brazenly using all kinds of noise makers around him. (These are the earmuffs we bought for him and he loves them – Jay even wears them sometimes when the kiddo isn’t around, haha!)

Ear_Protection_Child

Once the cabinet bases were trimmed out, each one looked like this! I even had Jay leave out the base on the left side of the cabinet so that we could add in a built-in location for our litter box, haha!

DIY_Desk_Base

One thing we did that actually made a big difference this time around was use a wood hardner compound that made the wood so much smoother, and minimized our need to do quite as much sanding (which was a big time saver). I’d highly recommend this step if you’re new to building out furniture, like we are, because it was a game changer for this build! This was the product we used (left here from the previous homeowner, bonus).

Cliff hanger, I’ll post photos next week for you to feast your eyeballs on!! πŸ˜€

Sconces Up in Here

Y’all – remember when I showed you the progress on our Dining Room, errrr, a while ago? And I made note of the electrical boxes affixing the top of our newly minted bookcases?

A refresher:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

Well a finally got around to ordering some new lights for the space from amazon and our space be looking pretty fly, yo!

Unbeknownst to me, amazon has an option where you can (if available) select to buy a re-boxed version of your item at a discount. They’re in varying states of condition (ie fair, good, like new) and have a corresponding discounted price. Well in the name of saving $15 on the pair, I got ones that were reboxed, but in perfect condition otherwise – ummm ok! Sign me up, right?

Library_Sconce_Amazon

The both looked peachy keen when they arrived. One of them looked like it had a slight scuff on one of the shades, but we just made sure to position that out when we mounted it. I took a photo so you can see how *hard* it is to actually see.

Brass_Sconce

The arm on these guys is a bit long, and it’s the one thing I’m still adjusting too. We have the option of removing the arm completely as well (this model had two mounting options) so I may opt to remove the arm on this later on down the road.

I love this photo secretly (below) since it kind sums up a Saturday for Jay. 22 cups of coffee and a harbor freight magazine is like his version of pure bliss. He was trying to pump H up about the harbor freight magazine while they sat eating eggs – lolol.

Library_Sconce_Affordable

He said a few choice words while mounting this (perhaps not enough coffee) since he was having trouble getting all the wires to fit inside the box.

Installing_Sconce_Lighting

Eventually we had this though!

What do y’all think, do you think that arm is too big? I’m still on the fence about it.

Brass_Library_Sconce


Here is a few from straight on. It hangs down a bit into the bookcase, but it’s supposed to do that to a certain extent.

Overall, it definitely feels like an upgrade from the fuse boxes we had chilling up there for the better part of a year. Ha! Baby steps you guys!!
Β  Β 

Affordable_Library_Sconce

Composting Our Food Waste

Maybe it’s nesting for baby #2 over here, but I’m like feeling this urge to turn our house into like a self contained oasis where we can get everything we need from our home sweet home – food, love, little bit of this, little bit of that. I feel like there’s some type of symbolic mama bear thing going on – maybe the world seems a bit different of foreign to me, and I think my way of dealing with the chaos around me is trying to create knowns here at home. And y’all – for so, SO, long, I’ve wanted to have a yard that produces food for us. I mean – I’m realistic, I get that I’ll still go to the grocery store and buy tyson chicken more than I should, but I want to start pushing us toward as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and I think knowing precisely where you’re food is coming from (and what it took to get it there) is a good step in that direction.

So some of y’all that follow me on insta and facebook probably saw my initial inspired rant about the steps we’d be taking to get this rodeo happening. This book was a super fun read for me (it’s like 99% pictures, and explanatory text) and it had a few nuggets of info that inspired me to get started on this little self sustaining journey.Β  Modern_Homesteading_Book_Review

Now it’s a bit of country snobbery IMHO, where they kinda imply that the only way to live sustainably is to like go all out and homestead the heck out of it, and I’m all about finding middle ground guys and empowering people to make small, incremental steps where they’re at. I mean, would it be nice to have a peach tree orchard – sure! But if someone can do something small, and build from that, I’m kinda more on that train.

So our first small step was snagging this compost bin off craigslist for $20.

First_Steps_To_Composting_At_Home

Y’all I love this thing. Like it’s taking the place of the cat in my hierarchy for love for household people/pets in Sell Casa. I feel like wonder woman saving all our food scraps (what, what) and 1) avoiding the landfill and 2) creating some sweet sweet soil for all my crops I be tilling come spring (obvi).

It’s pretty easy concept – just pop open the top and add in your goods. Nothing with dairy or meat can be added, or weeds that go to seed (then you just have compost that’s going to be full of weeds). In fact, I’m so afraid of the whole weeds taking over the compost bin thing, that I’ve decided to avoid all types, not just those (like dandelions) that go to seed. (If anyone knows more about this than me, would love to hear insights)

Compost_Bin_In_City

It’s also super fun to see H get pumped about bringing the compost out and I hope it helps him, in small ways, as he grows up, think about wasting less and wanting less and making things stretch further, faster – vs. this very wasteful society we’re currently all marinating in.

It’s also an added bonus that this little nook of the garden used to look like this.

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And I convinved the hubster to drop six dolla billz at our favorite local hardware shop for this new handy dandy house house thing I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks.

Organizing_Yard_Ideas

Better, right? Not perfect, but definitely better! H always wants to swim in his pool, so it’s nice to have the hose more accessible and less likely to get all tangled up like it did before.

The rest of that row along the house currently looks like this (#dontjudge)Β but I’m hoping my food I plan to grow just grows as quickly as all those weeds πŸ˜€

Overgrown_Sidepath

 

Radiant Barrier in Attic

I love NC. I love that winter lasts for 2-weeks and that people freak out when there is a chance of snow. I love that the flowers start blooming in February and we can enjoy living outside and being outside a lot more often than when we lived in Michigan, because y’all – it gets COLD up there. But here is the thing, July in NC, it’s like January in Michigan. There might be like 1-nice day and the rest are a bit of a doozy. Like multiple days above 100 – yikes.

We’re always trying to find ways to cute down on our energy costs and summer heat is obviously a bear for our AC bill, so in addition to our insulation we already have in our attic, we thought it would be a good idea to add in a radiant barrier for some extra heat repealing goodness. Ever installed one of these? Ever heard of them?

This is what it looks like – a massive roll of tin foil.

Radiant Barrier Attic

And this is what your husband looks like after installing said radiant barrier. Does that smile look forced? I feel like he didn’t want to be cheesin at this moment in time. Not transmitted via photo – stank. Lots of it. DIY_Attic_Insulation

Our attic is actually pretty well suited for this install since 1) our hvac runs up there and 2) we have a pretty accessible peak where Jay can easily stand up and get to all of the nooks and crannies without bumping his head or having to stretch up too much.

Side note – all of my life I just hand things to husband and send him up the attic ladder and say – Jay – can you put this up there. Coming UP to the attic, I see that once things cool off in the temp zones that I may need to ahem – organize said things vs just landing them at the nearest locale at that precise moment in time πŸ˜‰

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic_South

So here you can see our HVAC running through the ceiling, and before, when it was getting hot as hell up here, all of our system equipment was prone to the same temperature fluctuations as this very warm, unconditioned space. Not ideal.

Radiant_Barrier_In_Attic

The DOE recommends hiring someone out for this, since they say proper installation = success, but Jay’s been meticulous about following the guidelines they outline to ensure you have a working product. Here is the website page we read, and we found it pretty helpful for our install process.

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic

Overall, this should reduce cooling costs by 5-10% in warm, sunny climates (which NC definitely qualifies as!), so at $160, I’d say we’re looking at about a 4 year ROI – but I still need to go through and crunch the numbers and track them over time to see where we’ll land.

Has anyone else tried this in the past? I’m hoping it’s a relatively low cost way to make our house a bit cooler over these very hot NC summers.

 

Serena and Lily Duvet

This post is sponsored by Serena and Lily.

Y’all, I’m irrationally excited about a life development that goes something like this. Serena and Lily sends the nicest, softest, chicestΒ duvet cover you’ve ever laid eyes on and asks you to pop it on your bed and share what you think of it. Y’all, our last duvet was, well, not nice – and it was pilling already so I think that’s a sign that it’s kind of done for, right?

Serena_And_Lily_Bedding_Review

I was so dang pumped about busting this beauty out of it’s shipping box that I snapped these photos at dawn (basically), right before I carted the kiddo off to school for the day and hit the road for work. Multi-tasking, it’s what parenting is all about! πŸ˜‰

Serena_&_Lily_Duvet

The duvet has some buttons along the bottom portion that keep the insert in there nice and snug. Plus, it adds a little pop cute factor in my book, compared to the zipper we had on our old duvet. The fabric on this duvet is incredibly soft as well – I absolutely love how it feels after a long day y’all. Like hotel luxury πŸ™‚
Serena_And_Lily_Duvet_Cover

It’s also got a beautiful satin trim along the sides that make the bedding look extremely tailored and practically custom made. Especially compared to what we had before, you can tell this bedding is significantly nicer and made of much higher quality materials.

Serena_And_Lily_White_Duvet

I’ve always been a fan of a neutral base for the bedding, and then some little accents with blankets and throw pillows. I know this will last us for a long time given it’s super high quality, and the white will go with anything we decide to do if we change things up. Duvet covers in general are a staple for me as a Mom especially since I know we can always just stain treat them and easily throw them in the wash if H comes up with gross hands, or I decide to eat ice cream in bed. Both equally plausible scenarios in the Sell Casa.

Best_White_Duvets

For now, I’m pretty stuck on our current configuration though, and love how this crisp, bright white duvet helps the little accents we already have to pop too. One thing for sure, Serena and Lily hasΒ luxury duvet coversΒ like my eyes have never seen you guys. I feel like Kim Kardashian and Queen B. In fact I think I’ll start going by Queen M as I fade into my beauty sleep – I wonder if I can get Jay on board with that?

Serena_and_Lily

Also – for all y’all that may also have a strong desire to get your hands on some decked out bedding, valid for one week only Serena and Lily is offering 15% with blogger code:Β DUVETLOVE-LEMON. Treat yo’ self!!

Tiny Dark Bathrooms

I’ve always had a thing for tiny rooms that are super dark. It’s hard to take a chance on a dark color in a larger space, but for our little downstairs bathroom, I’ve found the color is something I really love.

Dark_Bathroom_Small_Design
It’s actually the same color we used up in H’s room – so that worked out really well for saving some simoleons πŸ˜€

Dark Blue Baby Room

Another thing I love about this color is that it grabs from some of the rug colors out in the hallway, so it compliments the look of the other rooms downstairs while still maintaining an independent vibe.

Dark_Navy_Bathroom

It’s actually nominally difficult to get any good shots of this room being that it’s small and dark and awkward to shoot at all angles, butΒ I figured if I was showing the house as it stands one year in, this was a room to include as well πŸ˜‰

In complete honesty, I have no recollection of what this room was even painted before (maybe red?) but it was not my fav and so we just decided to take a jump and use the extra paint from Henry’s room to tie this space together more, too.

I see us switching this out over time in here (for some fun variety), but I got this oversized painting on craigslist for $20. Maybe you’ll see me on antiques roadshow someday?? πŸ˜‰

Oversized_Artwork_In_Bathroom

We also swapped out the light in here for something more updated and put in a new towel rack and toilet paper roll holder, they were both gold before.Β  Dark_Navy_Small_Bathroom

As in all our houses, I had to find a space for the Desiderata print and my friend Emily told me bathrooms are always best, and she’s a wise girl, so I trust what she says. Plus, we had a perfect nook for it right next to the loo, so there ya go. All of the bathrooms in our house have this bump out (bump in) and I’m seriously scratching my head on the builders initial intentions for these. Toilet paper? I don’t know.

Small_Dark_Bathroom

If I ever start to feel a bit crazy (and like spending $$) I’d love to wallpaper a bathroom someday. πŸ˜‰ For now, the paint is an upgrade from the original – good enough! πŸ˜€

Office Inspiration

Learning your husband is actually semi-equipped to build things (like this or this) is a double edge sword. All of a sudden, I’m looking at every nook and cranny in our house and wondering how/if he could build me up some custom bookshelves or a new window seat or another table. The answer is (mostly) yes, I’m finding, especially if I have enough patience to let him finish the project in peace without me nagging him and bugging him to the point he wants to just – well – not build things anymore. πŸ˜‰ What can I say, I’m just so excited for the final product πŸ˜€

Lemon_Grove_Interiors

So in our office, which currently looks like this, is a room I’ve been tossing around in my head for a dramatic redo/reno.

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

One day when I was at my mom and dad’s I was leafing through their newspaper and it had a write up on a local carpenter and one of his projects really caught my eye. It was a dark navy bookcase (pair of bookcases) flanking a window. And I started to drift off while looking at the picture – thinking of this window and this corner of our house.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And I thought to myself – hey! We should build a bookcase with a desk in the middle. Jay built a table for our outside, and I was thinking a similar rusticy type of worn wood would look pretty sweet flanked by some dark and dreamy bookcases. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Now bookcases (and the wood required to build them) are not the cheapest DIY, so I think we’re in a holding pattern of saving up some dough for this project, but I’m thinking I’d love a final product that had a look and feel like some of the photos below.

Dark_Blue_Built_In_Bookcase

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And I love the concept of this (with the built-in desk) but I think I want to go dark on these cabinets, vs white.

Built in Desk

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And I love this one, but I think slightly darker cabinets? But that rug. I mean serrriiiously – that rug?! The other night, as I was lying awake in bed specing out this bookcase install in my head I told Jay that I thought we should put wood floors in this room and he only kinda mumbled no, so I think I can sway him on this very important detail.

Gray_Cabinets_Office

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Our carpet is actually pretty worn out upstairs, with a lot of spots bubbling up from getting stretched out, so we’re kinda at the point where we need to decide to put new carpet down orrrr put in wood floors, and I’m sorta leaning toward the latter. πŸ˜‰

Carpet_Wearing_Out

It will mean refinishing our floors upstairs (like we did on this house), but I might just be ok with that! Here is a shot of our hallway when we moved in – prior to paint but still the same floor. Leaves a bit to be desired (too shiny and too orange for my taste!)

Hardwood on stair landing

I figure a few years down the road when H is getting toward double digits and wants his own space, then we could always pop a bed in between the two bookcases vs. a desk. Although, in complete honesty, I may wait until he getting on toward high school before I give up the office because I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this dedicated space for a computer – I love it.

Down the road if we ever convert the space to a bedroom. I’d pop something in that functioned/looked like this gorg photo below. I think the black is a bit too dark, but I do love it in this photo!

black walls in library

Lovely Little Cottage

Y’all – I had to share the gorgeous little cottage that popped up down the street from us. It’s listed as for sale by owner, and the couple listing appear to be photo profs, so instead of crappy MLS photos, I give you … some serious gorgeousness coming right up πŸ˜‰

Charcoal Front Door

I’m obsessed with this light fixture – classic.

Bamboo Chairs in Dining

Cozy Living Room

Perfect light and bright touches throughout the entire house.

Console Table Styling

Eat In Dining Room

Because all of our kitchen sinks look like this (obvi) every day πŸ˜‰

Farmhouse Kitchen Sink

I love how this budget kitchen renovation looks like a million bucks. It just shows that classic details always make a house look so fine, and really don’t have to break the budget. (butcher top island, less expensive range, etc)

Budget Kitchen Renovation

Open Shelves in Kitchen

Office in Kitchen

Smallish bedrooms, but I’m all about bedrooms as utility space (you just sleep in there, so if there is enough room for a bed, it checks the box for me)

Master Bedroom

Lots of character throughout the house, little details like the antique mirrors in the bathrooms help to ramp up the awesome factor a bit!

Antique Mirror in Bathroom

Another less expensive reno in here with a hex floor tile and subway tiles. They made it look high end with custom details like the bump out (ins?) for shampoo and that linen shower curtain (love it).

Subway Tile Shower

Guest Room

What is it with this fam and sick mirrors. This is their laundry room. Sigh.

Antique Mirror in Bath

Mud Room Styling

If the house wasn’t sweet enough, they have a shed out back that is used as an office. I’d add a bath and rent that thing out til kingdom come πŸ™‚ Isn’t it adorable!

Finished Shed for Office

Sure has a fixer upper vibe, right?

Wood Beams in Office

Fixer Upper Style Office

Pretty sweet little shack, huh? I’m ready to move in! πŸ˜€

Raleigh Real Estate