by laura janning

Are you a napper and........my master bedroom reveal

August 29, 2013

 For the record, I am envious of people who tell me they can take naps during the day...... and really envious of the one's who can do it with noise and distractions around them and a smile on their face.
Like my dear husband, it can be a Sunday afternoon and he'll say "Honey, I will be in the family room taking nap".....seriously.   For a couple of hours at any given time of the day they can just lay down, or sit up in a favorite chair (like my husband) and close their eyes.......smiling.  I think he calls it a "catnap". 
Whatever he calls it ........ it's blissful napping at it's best.

Since I was born I have never been able to nap, just ask my mother and my kindergarten teacher, they'll tell you. My mind just wanders, over thinks and can never settle down. Something that I thought would have changed with age, but unfortunately hasn't.
But lets just say that I was like my husband and many of you, and could take a nap in the middle of day. I wonder what would help me close my eyes and not think of the laundry, paying bills and what I was cooking for dinner.

 So I started with "neutralizing" my bedroom and changing the color of the walls. Here is the space before some of my nap changing tactics took place. You can see more of the room here.

Don't get me wrong, I love the color that has graced those walls since we moved into the house ( Palladium Blue from Benjamin Moore)  but remember...... I am not good at napping so I needed something a bit more soothing and restful. You can read more about my paint and ceiling journey here  and my advice for hardwood floors here.

And since I was after calm, I changed my bedding and curtains. I went with all white. Not only does it create an environment of tranquility, this change allows me to introduce color throughout the year..Besides, I need to under stimulate my mind....remember?

And I suppose if I could take a nap sitting in a chair like my husband, my love seat would be just perfect. Sitting there surrounded by all those windows and natural light. Perhaps that's the problem, you think?

Other then the wall color, bedding and curtains everything else remained the same in the room. The total cost for my nap changing tactics came to about $350.00. With most of the cost being in the paint.

And although I have yet to "nap" in my newly decorated space,  I can say that I am able to smile when I am looking at my room ....with my eyes open.
 I'll be sure to let you know when they are closed.

I have since added some monograms to the pillows on the bed. I made the pillows and went to a local place that monograms. This is less then it would have cost if I ordered the pillow with the monogram on it. 

Now I can close my eyes.

So tell me, are you like me or my husband when it comes to napping?

PS- To see more of my home click here.

Grateful for~
To be able to lay my head on my pillow each night and thank god for the many blessings in my life.

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Creating a "Pool Aide" Chair

August 27, 2013

Remember the show Baywatch? 
All those gorgeous sexy lifeguards running to the aide of swimmers in the pacific coast and later to Hawaii. From the watchful eye of their fearless leader Mitch, the crew seemed to handle it all .....  from earthquakes to serial killers, flawlessly running with their 6 pack abs and beautiful long hair flowing. 
  Did you know that it was one of the most watched television shows in the world? I didn't.  What would have turned so many to watch this show week after week? Could it have been the model like lifeguards in their red hot swimsuits or the onscreen survival skills they possessed when dealing with nuclear bombs and shark attacks? 
And although I would hardly classify myself as a sexy lifeguard in my skirted mommy suit, I do look pretty cool in my Foster Grants sitting poolside watching the kids in my very own "Pool Aide" chair.
And as cool as me and my chair are....it didn't start out this way.  I picked this chair up the same time I got this here , and it sat for a couple of years until the perfect poolside opportunity presented it self.
Cool was around the corner after I sprayed it with some spray paint in a color called Eden, and added a some white paint in the middle. I finished it with a clear spray protective since it was going to be sitting beachside  poolside as I watch the kids swim around, sipping some water and occasionally glancing at a magazine.
To take the "Pool Aide" theme one step further I found some some plain metal buckets that store all the kids pool toys and painted them the same way.
Now I am just waiting for my shift to end so I can enjoy a little pool time myself and I am hoping that instead of Mitch sitting in my chair maybe it will be my hunky husband instead!
Seriously.....I hear the raft calling my name right now!

Grateful for~
Watching my kids love the water and learning how to swim

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3 Simple Organization Tips that keep me Sane and a giveaway

August 26, 2013

Once upon a time I would say I was a perfect 10 with my organization skills. Everything had a place, I showed up to work on time, I never missed a dentist appointment, my dry cleaning was picked up and the oil got changed in my car every 2,974 miles. Fast forward  to a life with an active husband and 3 school aged children and my once perfectly executed 10 ..... well, not so perfect. But I try.
I make a real effort to keep organization simple around the house. I need to. I have no time to spend on organization that doesn't help keep me sane or keep the household organized. Here are three easy and simple solutions to help me do that.
Jotting down my shopping list as I run out or need something, makes it a whole lot easier at the end of the week when I head to the grocery store. Simply tear off the shopping list and go.
Weekly Planner
 I use this removable Weekly planner from Martha Stewart Home Office and Avery to show the family what the activities are for the week. Placing it on the refrigerator makes it fairly centralized so that everyone is aware of the families schedule. Each Sunday I clean the planner off with a paper towel and put a new weekly schedule up with a dry erase marker. 

Every pickle and spaghetti sauce jar in my house has now been transformed with a coat of paint on the lid and a chalk board label on the front. Labels are also from Martha Stewart Home Office and Avery. I use these jars in my craft room, work shop, pantry and for my children's reward system. The labels can also be secured to boxes and plastic totes.  I always know what's behind door box #1 now. Love that! 
Speaking of love.......  I would love to send one of you a box full of organizational goodies from me and a $50.00 Staples gift card.
 All's you need to do is comment on this post and tell me your best organizational tip. That's it. One winner will be selected. Please make sure that I have your email address so that I can contact you if you are the winner. 
Contest ends on Wednesday, August 28th,2013 at midnight. Winner will be contacted via email by Friday, August 30th. 
Good luck. I hope your on your way to a more organized life.
Update- contest has ended. Please click here for winner.

 Grateful for~
An organized household and that I didn't forget to buy peanut butter. Luckily it was on the shopping list!

PS- for another amazing idea on how I stay organized in my office, Click here

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This is a sponsored post from Avery however the comments about my love for the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery products are all mine.

Painting a two tone chest

August 21, 2013

Some of my best decisions ( with furniture anyways) are the one's where there is little to no thought. No rhyme or reason. 
The one's that just sorta happen.....on a whim.
The one's where you are cleaning the house getting ready for out of town guests to show up in a few hours, and all of a sudden you decide to shut the vacuum off and pull out some grey paint and a paint brush. Seriously...am I the only one who does that?
The one's that think maybe it's needs a bit more something......
A bit more then what the piece started like when you first bought it years ago.
And a bit more then when you painted it a few months ago.
This something. Something that adds beauty and interest and is a great compliment to the room. 
Something that just looks pretty, as I turn the vacuum back on and continue to clean the house. 

Oh how I wish every decision looked this good. Have you made any "cleaning detours"  lately?

PS- For more of my thought out and not so thought out furniture projects click here.

Grateful for~
My Sisters who I love dearly and even though we are miles apart I always feel so close to.

Sharing at ~

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Painting a Kitchen Backsplash....and loving it!

August 19, 2013

For a professional "non-professional " painter I have a pretty extensive resume. From floors to furniture to cabinets I thought I had done it all.... until my kitchen backsplash that is.

Wanting an interim solution ( the goal is to eventually do subway tile) to update the tile and not wanting to spend a dollar to do it, I painted my tumbled stone backsplash. And I love it!  This was a step in trying to brighten the kitchen. You can read about my quest here. 

Here is my original tumbled stone backsplash. When we first designed  the kitchen 11 years ago the backsplash worked with my dark red and gold color scheme.  Then a couple of years ago when the color on the walls was getting lighter, I put a color wash over it to brighten it up, that's on the right.

And then recently wanting to step it up and brighten it even more, this is the comparison with the white.  The white makes the backsplash look much cleaner as well. While I was painting, I used a soft paint brush to minimize lines and brush marks.

And here is the finished backsplash.

This is the kitchen backsplash before

 And after painted


Never in my "non-professional" painting career did I think that I would be painting my backsplash. But who knew that a coat of primer and 2 coats of semi-gloss paint in white could give me the results that I was looking for now..........

Guess what else I painted in the kitchen. To see the full reveal , click here.

PS- What's the latest thing you have painted or want to paint

Grateful for~ 
a nice lazy weekend with my family

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How I am getting healthier....and you should too!

August 14, 2013

I must confess....and please don't hold it against me. I mean we are friends and all.
I am a terrible eater. Always have been. Ask anyone who knows me.
Not that I gorge on bon-bons and chips all day..... what I mean is that I don't eat properly. Until a few months ago that is. 
Here's my was problem~
I went the entire day without eating and only consuming
one meal a night.       
I loaded up on my morning hot tea and called it a day for anything else that was nutritious until late afternoon or dinner time.
Trying to lose a few pounds meant starving my body or so I thought.
I loaded up on carbs at all the wrong times of the day.
My protein intake wasn't where it should have been.
And I wasn't taking full advantage of my fruits and vegetables.
l know..... shame on me. Bad girl, scold me, put me in time out for dummies that are doing more harm then good to their bodies eating this way.
Well part of my making amends to myself and to you, is to tell you what I am doing to be healthier and hopefully inspire any of you that don't eat well either.....I know you are out there.

Eat Breakfast- The most important meal of the day period. Even if you are not a sit down have a big breakfast kind of person you must provide your body with something. I fall into this range of not being a big breakfast eater so I fill my blender with a packet of oatmeal ( for my carb), protein powder ( I use Pure whey powder by Champion) and lots of fruits. This satisfies me until a mid morning snack and it fuels my body.
Eat my carbs before noon. Your body needs plenty of time to work off those carbs so get them in at or before lunch time.
Eat more protein. Did you know that everyday your body needs to make about 250 grams of new proteins to replace that old protein, to repair tissue damage and to adapt to new activities? Unfortunately as we get older we become less efficient at making new proteins. I now mix in a few protein shakes as my snack throughout the day. Each serving is about 21grams of protein. A good guideline for protein is 25-30 grams for your meals and 15-30 for snacks depending on your activity level.
Keep on Moving.A few months back I bought one of these. It's called an Up bracelet by Jawbone. Not the prettiest of bracelets but not being healthy isn't pretty either.
This thing will track my steps, sleep and food intake. It's pretty interesting to actually see how much sleep you may or may not be getting each night. The bracelet measures my light sleep and deep sleep patterns.  And since sleep also plays a role in staying healthy I want to make sure that I am getting enough rest. 
Did you know the average person trying to stay healthy should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I tend to be super hyper and always moving so I fall above that range most days, but on the days that I am feeling a bit lazy, I rely on my Up to keep me going and stay on goal.  With my regular exercise routine in the morning I can meet half of my daily goal.

Speaking of which  I have to go.......I have only stepped 8,999 steps today.
What are you doing to stay healthy?

Grateful for~
Great health and motivation to stay healthy

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Six of my Best Before and After Furniture Makeovers

August 12, 2013

I equate painting furniture projects a lot like my little Lily trying to ride her bicycle, the more you ride the more comfortable you feel.....and the faster you take the training wheels off.

Of course the first few pieces are daunting, perhaps even scary but surprisingly after your first few projects it's as though you have been riding without those training wheels forever.

Like this table in my Keeping room. The first table I ever painted. Here's the before~

And after~
 My one true table love. For more click here.

Then this cute little goodwill table that I found for next to nothing.

Since I really loved the top of the table but didn't want the 70's vibe that came along with it,  I decided to just paint the base and restain the top.
 Best decision that I could have made with this piece. 
Click here for more transformation details.

I think I begin to question (and tremble) my decision to paint, when it comes to expensive or sentimental pieces. 
My mantra is "Paint now, ask for forgiveness later"

Years ago and before kids, this piece set us back a few more dollars then I would spend today. Since I love the chest and wasn't going to part with it, I needed to make it work in the room so I transformed it with a little paint. 


I have never shared this 'version' of the chest before and will be sharing more on this beauty soon.

However nothing makes my brow sweat more then painting 'fixed' furniture pieces. There's nothing like the thought of screwing it up, and having to walk by it every single day of your life with your head down in shame. 
During lunch one day I decided to throw a little paint on my fireplace mantle. I figured if it was unplanned and quick, I wouldn't have a lot of time to back out.

Here's the before~

And the after, which by the way was the prelude to my biggest furniture makeover....ever.
For more click here.

The cabinetry in my breakfast room.  Yes, my biggest painting project in my life.
The before~

And the after.

Click here for more of this transformation.

Luckily I can walk by both of these pieces with my head up and proud....and not hear husbands "I told you so". And although my husband is equally happy with the outcome.... it did take some serious convincing because he would prefer wood over paint in all most cases.

And speaking of sentimental ...I always knew there was a reason that we hang on to some of those pieces, like this dresser that my husband acquired before we got married. It was in storage until I transformed it into my office credenza.
 Here's the before~

And after~
Hard to believe my husband had a life without me....kinda like this credenza.
You can see how I took the bachelor out of the dresser here.

And if the outcome of any of my painting projects is not as positive as I would like, it's just like I tell my little Lily when she takes a fall off that bike of her's.....just get up and paint try again.

What's the last piece of furniture that you painted....or have you not taken your training wheels off yet?

PS- Other then a bruised ego, Lily was fine and training wheels will be coming off shortly.
PPS- For more of my painting projects visit my project gallery here.

Grateful for~
Preservance and determination and being able to instill that in my kids.

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