Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 11: The Beginning (My Own Transformation THURSday)

In the second picture, I had to leave my smile. It's big for a reason.
I honestly don't really know how to start this post. I've been weighing how to start it for the last day or two. I don't want to seem like a hypocrite (because I said I wouldn't be posting about dieting or fat-shaming anymore). But here goes.

I hate diets. They never work. I end up feeling disgusted with the process and fall right back into my old habits of drinking too much wine, over-caffeinating to get myself going, and eating all the wrong things - sometimes even more so than before. I'm now 37. I'm not interested in being stick-thin (and I'm not interested in fat-shaming anyone). I AM interested in feeling good about myself and feeling good in my own skin. I want to feel healthy. I want to have energy. I know what feeling good as me feels like. And I was so far from it just two weeks ago that I decided I really need to do something about it. It was high time to stop abusing myself. I was afraid of what might happen to me and my health if I didn't.

I saw on Facebook over the last six months several close friends of mine who had had success with this program called Advocare, especially their 24-day Challenge. Initially, I was skeptical. At first, it sounded like just another diet program. But they all kept saying that it was a lifestyle change, and the all kept going on about how much better they felt in general. And I thought, if they all feel this good (and look great - honestly, they seemed like they were glowing; their skin and faces looked different), it's worth a shot.

I ordered the 10-day cleanse (skeptic that I am;)). By day 2, I knew I wanted to continue with the whole 24-days and that I wanted to represent the company. It was that simple. I haven't felt this good in a long, long time. I haven't slept this well in ages (I've been going to bed at 10 pm and getting up refreshed in the morning; for anyone who really knows me, they know that this is craziness;)). I really don't miss the wine (except on Friday night;); again, sheer craziness). I've lost 7 pounds in my first 10 days and 6 inches (3 of those in my waist and 1.5 in my hips). But it's really not about the weight. It's about feeling better and being the best me I can possibly be, physically and mentally.

I'll let you know how I'm feeling after I finish the whole 24 days. If this is something you feel like you would be interested in, message me on Facebook (or at my personal Facebook if you know me well;)). The next challenge starts in September (right after Labor Day and back to school - what better time to focus on yourself and reset your goals??). And there are so many online and in-person resources to help you be successful (recipes, advice, workout ideas, and more). Plus, I'll be there to cheer you on. Here's to a healthier us:)). J


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chalkboard Backsplashes and Turquoise Countertops

My house is kind of like Augustus Waters's house in The Fault in Our Stars. There are little mantras everywhere. I can't help myself. I like words. I like words in frames, engraved on wood, etc. And I like changing it up a lot, which is when chalkboard paint comes in handy.

So, my kitchen. Well, I don't love it, especially the turquoise countertops. I don't mind the cabinetry; they are sturdy Kitchenaide cabinets (I'm not sure if they are original to the house, but they are old; I think the may have been added sometime in the 1950s, and our house was built in 1933. I wish I had pictures of the original kitchen; I'd try to recreate it as much as possible, a la Nicole Curtis:((). I don't mind the wall color, because I picked it. But I am really not a fan of the turquoise countertops. I get that turquoise is an "in" color right now; I just don't think that turquoise is a color meant for the workspace in one's kitchen.

Here's what the kitchen originally looked like, to give you a sense of how the turquoise counters fit into the original decorating scheme.

Sorry about the quality of the picture. It's the only one I have laying around (from the original sales flyer for the house). Again, some of the cabinetry was wallpapered, on the sides and certain accents. The wallpaper also had bonnets and flowers on it.
I had originally just painted the backsplash green, like the rest of the walls. But lately, I've been wanting something different, an accent for the backsplash, and we just don't have the money right now to spend large amounts on tile, etc. I did, however, have a small can of chalkboard paint to tide me over. Here's how they turned out. I like them for now.

Points if you can find the Swedish Chef.

Here's what I am tackling this morning. Stay tuned for updates! A/J

#creepybasement #dancestudio #mancave #paneling #morelinoleum #lastremodeledin1975

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Can I paint an old linoleum floor? Yes. Yes, you can.

The only room in our entire house that is exactly as it was when we moved in, other than the basement/laundry room (which I am beginning work on this week), is the powder room on the main floor. I rather like the kitschy red voile wallpaper, contained in this space anyhow (this wallpaper, in blue, also covered every square inch of our rather large bedroom, which was really UNrelaxing).

The floor, however, was another story.

We have removed almost all of the other carpet/linoleum offenders and refinished the original oak floors (I really do not understand why one would cover beautiful red oak floors in excellent condition with LINOLEUM). But the floor in the powder room remains. And it is awful.

The former owners were very thorough. They even wallpapered doors and cabinets to provide just the right accent.

I imagine at some point that the stripes in this floor were probably white. Which is just soooo gross.
So, I had the bright idea to paint the floor. I originally considered deck paint, especially after researching the process online (this site in particular provides a really good overview of how to go about painting linoleum in a laundry room, which I am going to try a version of in our laundry room at some point this year). But then I found a can of black enamel paint laying around and I thought, if this doesn't work, it will be the perfect excuse to rip that damned floor out.

I followed the other steps of sanding, cleaning, etc. in the post above.

Hurrah for palm sanders. And tiny sanding jobs.
But when it came time to prime/paint, I just painted the floor with the enamel paint. And waited to see just what would happen. And waited. And waited. Enamel paint takes fooooooreeeeeeveeeer to dry. And climbing the stairs every time your three-year-old has to go to the bathroom is not fun.

What happened? Well, let's just say I was very happy with the results.

Forgive me, the towel isn't straight. BUT, the floor looks so fresh and so clean post-painting.

I had to share my little $4 Dollar General rug that I think is super-cute too.
This floor isn't in a high-traffic area, but the paint has now been down over a month and there is not a chip or scratch to be seen. My final two cents: If it's a linoleum floor that has you at your wits end, is super-ugly, and will at some point be ripped out anyway, experiment and paint the hell out of that thing. What is there to lose? And enamel? It works just great. A/J

Monday, July 21, 2014

Instant Refresh: Painting the Front Door

Painting Project 1: More to come this week:)!!
This post, well, let's just say it's not rocket science. Every home d├ęcor magazine you read, at some point, has rejoiced in the refreshing potential of a repainted front door. But I never truly realized how quick, cheap, and easy this project could be. All it took was one little can of mistinted paint on sale, a morning, and a brush.

The original: plain-old, boring-old white. Before painting, remove any hardware that you can (the knocker, for example) and tape off any glass.

I love to browse the mistint sale racks at Lowe's for cheap paint. If you're looking for paint for a small, simple project and you know you will never need that paint again, it's a great way to get paint at half the price (sometimes more). PS, I had enough paint in this can for two coats on the front door and the planters ... and then some. What else can I paint blue??
Here's the new door from the interior (I hate our ugly storm-door. One of these days it will be replaced with something more aesthetically appealing).
If you're looking for a quick and easy way to pep up the curb appeal of your home, this is certainly it. I'm already thinking about what color I will choose next year;). I don't think my husband will go with the pantone lilac:(. A/J