New Laundry Room Storage

The storage over my washer and dryer looked like this

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for months.  You can see that in addition to not being sturdy, that shelf wasn’t pretty either.

I’ve been searching for cabinets for a year now and haven’t found any second hand that I liked and I’m too cheap to pay full price for new so I lived with that shelf.

My dad has been in the hospital in Denver for the past few weeks undergoing his last cancer treatments (hence the sporadic blogging-sorry!) so I have been making a lot more trips to that side of the state.  One day while I was hanging out with him he told me to go find some cabinets.  I searched for thrift stores around the hospital and set out.  I couldn’t find any of them.  Some were closed down and some were only donation sites so I found myself driving further and further from the hospital in search of a thrift store.  I didn’t find one.  But, if you follow me on Instagram, you know I found IKEA.  🙂

And at IKEA, in the “as is” section, I found this:

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I was willing to throw some elbows to get that thing but luckily that wasn’t necessary.  I looked it over and it was in excellent condition (and already assembled!) so I bought it.

I really wanted two cabinets over the washer and dryer but there wasn’t another one like this so I went looking for another solution.

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I cracked open the box and found that this cube was white so I bought it too.  So, for $30 I found my solution!

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You have no idea how hard it was to hang these alone.  I was sweating like I had run a marathon-between holding the cabinet up, keeping it level and getting the screws into the studs, I was ready to give up!  I had to walk away several times and call my dad for advice but I finally got it!

The cabinet didn’t have a shelf with it so I had to buy some pegs and cut down a board I had.

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I did that!

It took me longer to style that cube than it took to hang it.

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No, not right.  I hate that you can see the screws on the back and it just seemed off.

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So I dove into my scrap booking paper stash and found this navy blue stripe.  I just stuck it up there with some clear tape and it seems to be holding!

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I got the aloe plant from Trader Joe’s and I think it’ll be okay up there.  I’ve had other succulents that seemed to be happy in my laundry room so I have my fingers crossed that this will be too.

The frame has this printable.  I wanted a little something on that shelf but didn’t love any of those cutesy quotes that are all over Pinterest.  I really love it-and I’m hoping I’ll use it and save some of my clothes!

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And here’s a view of the whole laundry corner now!  The cube needs to be moved up slightly (but I need another set of hands to do that!) and I need to replace that light bulb and I need to actually shorten those lights and finally get rid of the zip ties!

But for now, I’m just going to enjoy the hard work I’ve already done!

-A

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A Distraction

My house is an obstacle course of extra furniture and yard sale stuff.

So, naturally, instead of sorting and pricing for a yard sale, I decided to do some rearranging.

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It started with this table.  I bought it before I bought my house (Crate & Barrel, great condition that I got from a yard sale for $20!)  and it’s been sitting under a pile of random stuff in my guest room for a year.  While I was purging the guest room yesterday I had an epiphany-it could be perfect in my kitchen!

I thought it would fit under the shelves by the doorway to the kitchen

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and it allllmost did.  It stuck out less than an inch.  I walked past it for a couple of hours and decided that I could live with it.

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I took out one of the shelves and called it done.  Even though it was too big and even though it wasn’t centered.

I went about my afternoon of cleaning until about 4 when I thought I’d lay down and watch some TV in the cool air conditioning of my bedroom.

While I was laying down (watching DVRed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy-because who doesn’t love to watch the McDreamy’s Dead episode every couple of weeks??) I realized

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I had the perfect table for that space in my kitchen!

You might recognize this table that I chalk painted back in April.  Confession: I don’t love chalk paint.  Maybe I’m not doing it right, but I do not like the finish.  I’m sure someone will be knocking on my door any minute to take my DIY Blogger Card but about a week ago I painted it semi-gloss white and moved it into my bedroom.

Now it’s in my kitchen

table5And I like it so much more!

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To finish off my little distraction project I moved the third shelf to over the fridge.

Now that the fun’s over it’s time to get back to cleaning.

-A

Laundry Room

Since there are no more small rooms in my house it’s finally time to tackle something big:

lr1This is less a laundry room and more a dumping place.  This is the first room I see every time I walk into my house and when it looks like this

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I’m less happy to be home.

That humongous bookshelf really should be more than enough storage but somehow it wasn’t.  So, faced with the overwhelming job of taking everything out of here, sorting it, cleaning and putting it back in, I did the most logical thing.

I made new curtains.  Yeah.

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But, you see, the curtains in here didn’t match.  And one was way too long.  They HAD to go!

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I won a gift card to Target at Bunko in May and when I stopped by there I found this curtain on sale.  Neutral, girly and light and airy-just want this room needed!  Since the curtain was big and the windows were small, one panel was enough to do both windows in the laundry room and the one in my bathroom.  MUCH better!

With nothing else I could use to distract me, I finally tackled the mess.  It took me a whole day and it sucked.

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I have finally finished dismantling the dresser but it still has several steps before it can actually be a bench.  It fits perfectly by the door and the drawers on the bottom are perfect for shoes.

Next I moved all the white bins from my bathroom to these shelves and sorted out everything that didn’t need to be in here and now I have room to spare!

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I still need to label the bins but for now they’re easy enough to pull out and see what’s in them.

Three rooms down, three to go!

-A

First Time Lawn Mower

My yard has come a long way in the last year. Last July it looked like this and this March the backyard looked like this.  Because there was so little, well, grass, in my lawn I didn’t need a real lawn mower.  I had been using an old fashioned reel mower which meant that mowing my lawn involved me pushing that mower all around my yard (through some nasty weeds) and once I was done I was hot and sweaty and exhausted.  Then I had to rake the whole thing.  I hated it.  So I put off doing it as long as possible which meant that the grass and weeds were long and even more difficult to mow through.  It was a vicious cycle.

With all the rain this year my lawn has grown like crazy and I could no longer keep up with it with the reel mower.  My life saving mother came over a couple of times with her lawn mower and cut it back for me but that wasn’t a good permanent solution.

So on Monday my new lawn mower came and I finished putting it together Tuesday morning (in less than 5 minutes!) and got to mowing.

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I’m going to be honest here, I was scared.  Somehow in my 35 years I have never mowed a lawn with a real lawn mower.  The first thing that scared me was adding the gas.  I think I have a healthy fear of things exploding so holding that gas can had me kind of on edge.

Obviously, I got the gas in the mower with no explosions.  Whew!

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Still nervous, I started it up and took off.  Again, spoiler, no limbs were lost in my first lawn mowed.  Whew x2!

Are you ready for some before and afters?

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That grass was long…and kind of wet from dew but I knew that waiting until it dried out meant that I’d be mowing in 80° plus temperatures so I carried on.

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The mower got bogged down a couple quite a few times, I think because the grass was so long and still kind of damp.  You better believe that I won’t be letting it get that long again!

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Yes, I still need to do the edges but by the time I was done mowing it had gotten pretty hot so I decided to save it for another day.

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While I had a more than healthy fear of the lawn mower, Henry had none.  He ran circles around me, barking and placing bones and sticks in my path.  He would not stop so he ended up locked in the house until I was done working.

I’m sure by the end of this summer my lawn mowing excitement will fade but this week I’m pretty proud of myself!

-A

Happy 2nd Birthday Henry!

Oh my gosh, I look back at how tiny Henry was 2 years ago and I miss it!  A-because he was so cute and B-because he took up a lot less space on the bed!

He has made a lot of appearances on this blog over the last two years (mostly because he jumps into the frame every time I pull out the camera!)

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This year he has become a master at the creepy photobomb

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and he takes his position of Guard Dog very seriously.  No strange cats are getting near this house!

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He loves walks at the dog park

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and he has become quite a swimmer!

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But mostly he loves digging holes

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-A

Assssssspen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo more things got checked off my list today-the two stumps in the front yard were ground out and a brand new tree got planted!

stump1cOne stump was under the spruce tree on the east side of my lawn.  Initially I thought I’d just leave it as nothing grows under the tree anyways but now I’m so glad I had them grind it out.

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The other stump was smack dab in the middle of the west side of my lawn.  These stumps were huge-I can’t even begin to guess how old the trees were!

I originally thought I’d plant a new tree in the hole left by this stump but then I heard that odds were that the whole stump wouldn’t be ground out and that it would just be done deep enough to put some dirt over and plant grass.

So I called my mom to come help and together we finally planted the little Aspen tree I bought weeks ago!

tree1We started out placing it around the yard until we found the perfect spot.  I wanted to be able to still see the steeple from the oldest church in town (built in 1888) and still keep my views of the mesas to the south but also eventually block out most of the town homes on the corner.

While I dug the hole my mom raked up the wood chips from the stump and put them under the spruce tree.

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Then she took the clumps of grass I dug up and planted them in the bare spot. If I’m lucky at least a little of that grass will take hold and fill in the spot.

tree4(Taking these pictures was really hard-it turns out that there are a ton of trees in my neighborhood that my tree perfectly blends in with!)

tree5It feels so good to check these two items off my list!

-A

Front Lawn

My front yard looked like this at the end of the first week I owned my house:

Dirt.

Then in March 2014 grass started to come up:

Still pretty much dirt.

Then April 2014:

More grass than dirt!

Then in July 2014

it could barely even be called a lawn.

But now?

lawn1THAT’S a lawn!

lawn2After the snow two weeks ago and three rainy days last week, my front yard is no longer an embarrassment!

Sure there are still some weeds and bare spots in there, but overall, that’s grass baby!

lawn3All that and I still have the seed I put down two weeks ago to look forward to!

-A