Monthly Archives: February 2015

Movie Review: Focus


The stars randomly aligned this week and I was able to get in a midweek date night with Matt.  My previous plans were canceled due to this crazy weather so it enabled us to attend the screening of Focus – Will Smith’s latest flick.  This movie has been on my radar cause, well, who doesn’t love Will Smith?  And also, that Margot Robbie is hot.  Js.

Will Smith plays Nicky, a seasoned con artist with lots of experience and “jobs” under his belt.  Margot Robbie plays Jess, the novice wannabe con girl that needs Nicky to teach her the ropes.  He does… for a little while… and then he says goodbye – seemingly breaking both of their hearts.  A few years later they meet up again and from that point on you won’t know who is conning who – and trust me, there are several characters with various agendas and different levels of deceptions happening.

While the premise of this movie is an old one, I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have it all figured out by the end.  When the movie was over, I told Matt my overall opinion was that it was very “Oceans 11 with a lot of raunchiness thrown in”.   There are some great one liners (inappropriate as they may have been I was seriously laughing out loud) and the wit and fast pace was great too.

All in all, great movie for some laughs and entertainment.  It’s not for the young ones – it earns it’s R rating for dirty language and low down shady behavior – but I enjoyed it!


Old Post: DIY Wrap Around Subway Art Ottoman Tray

Copying this post from my old blog.  I originally posted it a couple years back when we still lived in our old house.  It gets quite a bit of traffic on Pinterest so I thought I’d bring it over before it gets lost.  Just dug thru my instagram and found a couple pics with our ottoman tray from our game room at this house.


^ US Scrap wood map found HERE.


Took this pic not too long after we hung an old road bike from our ceiling in the game room... One of our favorite things in our house!

Took this pic not too long after we hung an old road bike from our ceiling in the game room… One of our favorite things in our house!

We still have our ottoman tray and love it!

Wrap-Around Ottoman Tray – one of my favorite projects! – originally posted in 2013

So we have one of those giant ottomans instead of a coffee table.  I like it because you can push it into our sectional and it creates a gigantic couch which is perfect for forts, sleepovers and just general movie watching.  The only thing is if you want to snack or have a place to set you’re drink your outta luck.  So like most people with this type of sofa, we had those little trays sitting on top of it which is fine I guess…

I just got tired of them and wanted something a little more special, ya know?  I’m all about custom stuff to make our house more homey.  I looked online and really couldn’t find anything like I wanted.  I had the exact design in my head (sort of a long shelf with smaller boards that would hang off each end to “hug” the ottoman). I also wanted it to function as a very short table if needed (you’ll see that below).  After some searching, I did find a wrap-around ottoman tray from a place on Etsy that was nearly $400.


It was exactly what I had in my mind (which means it was SUPER simple) so I was shocked at the price.  Granted it is very pretty, made from reclaimed wood and all that.  We made ours for about 15 bucks… And we even bought the upgraded wood and I toyed with staining it but I really wanted a more whimsical piece for our room.  I thought about doing a chevron pattern cause that’s super popular right now but I figured I’d get sick of it.  Then it came to me, I’ll do Subway art and since we spend most of the time on that couch watching our favorite TV Shows and movies, we’ll features some of our favorites on it.  I wanted it to be one of a kind and I think we accomplished that.  So here’s how we did it:

First we measured our ottoman and then added an inch to that measurement and purchased a board that could accommodate that measurement from the hardware store. And like I said, we even bought the nice wood (I think it was $12 as compared to the cheaper stuff that you can get for around $8).  The nicer boards are pretty enough to be stained if you wanted.

Next, Matt cut it down to size.

You can see from above that there was over a foot left in excess board.

Next he sanded…

At this point you could use your leftover board to make the “legs” of the tray.  Just cut it to the size you want (in other words cut the legs to the length you want them to hang over your ottoman).  We had a scrap piece of 1×4 in our garage so we ended up just cutting it to size and using it.  Matt attached the “legs” with L brackets – less than $2.

I added some wood putty to the seams and then sanded a bit more.

I knew at this point I was going to paint it a light color so I thought the filler would give it more of a finished look.  If I was going to stain it I would have left the wood the way it was.  I gave it a couple coats of Glidden Mid Day Mocha – it’s sort of a greige.  I just bought a sample tintable tester, they are inexpensive and I didn’t even use half!  After the paint dried it was time to start on my Subway Art.

Now there are a TON of tutorials out there on how to do Subway Art.  A lot of them require vinyl printers – which I don’t have.  The other popular way it to print letters on normal paper then trace them on contact paper then cut them out then put them on your piece then paint over them, etc etc etc.  It seems to work well for people but I don’t have the patience for all that!  I used stencils and white paint.  When I first started I thought it was going to be hard but once I got the hang of it, it was easy… and actually fun.  Matt and Cady ended up doing some as well.  The important thing to remember if you are using this method is to do it in stages.  I would have several words in progress on different parts of the board – one letter at a time.  You will have lots of breaks for dry time. We had some stencils from previous projects and for future projects, but you can get them at Hobby Lobby.  I let the paint cure over night and then distressed it a bit the next day.

I used 150 grit sand paper so it was really just a light sanding.  You may not be able to tell the difference in the pic but it’s there.  The sanding took away any of the glops of paint or uneveness in the thickness.  Did that even make sense? It also gave it a weathered look, which is what I was going for.  The last thing I did was give it 3 good coats of polyurethane.  I did this because I knew it was going to have glasses set on it and plates of food, etc.  It needed to be wipeable. 🙂

Here’s a closer shot of the words we wrote… out favorite shows, channels, sports teams, etc.  And at the bottom we put our names.

And it can also easily be removed and used for this:

A nice tray for the kids if they are sitting on the floor.  LOL at Milo’s face… when he goes in for a snack, he totally commits!

We love it!

Little updates to the Living Room


The last few days have been icy and snowy.  School has been cancelled, Matt was home from work – it was actually like WINTER!  I’ve got a nice fire in the fireplace and a hot cup of coffee so I figured it’s a good time to share a couple updates that we’ve done in our living room lately.  I haven’t shared photos of our living room on the Home Tour page so I’ll post a few in this post.

Here is where we started… (realtor pics from when our home was on the market)









Since moving in we haven’t done major updates to this room – nothing was really needed.  It’s bright and open and a great space for hanging out – plus you can see the TV from any room on the bottom floor.  Yay for open concept.  Obviously we added all of our own things when we moved which is a different style than the previous owners.  A few months later I re-stained the mantle – the original color was just too “orangey”.  We are slowly getting rid of the maple stained cabinets, vanities, etc throughout the house and the mantle was quick change.


Recently I’ve done 2 updates in this room though – little ones.  First of all, I changed up the mirror and décor on the mantle.  Y’all know I was pining away for one of these $500-$1000 window ones from Pottery Barn.


But I had a mirror on the mantle already.  It’s at least 15 years old but I knew I could jazz it up with some trim pieces we already had in the garage. Here is a shot of it from last fall…


All I did was tape it off and paint it with a shiny black spray paint we already had in the garage.  then I cut the trim pieces (all by myself!) and made sure they all fit.  I painted them with the same spray paint after I had cut them to the right size.  Then I glued them on the mirror.  That’s it.  Took less than 2 hours and most of that was drying time.  I also bought a couple “branches” from hobby lobby (4 for less than $10) and put them in an existing glass vase from the mantle.  I bent them toward the mirror – I love that they sort of look wind blown.


Easy Peazy.

The other “new” thing in the room is our chair.  I scoured the net looking for just the right classic chair in a neutral color.  I wasn’t up for spending more than $400… Matt and I went to World Market where we found this one for around $330 – but was on sale for $250!  BUT… it was sold out and discontinued. However, they offered us the floor model for $150 (we negotiated that down slightly)and I had a 20% off coupon so we got this bad boy for just over $100!  That’s a steal!  The ottoman I found at Target, also on sale from $100 to $60!


Those are the little updates that have been done in this room.  We have a bigger project in store and I’ll share a little about that one too… It will take several weekends but I’m super excited about it.  There is the weird pass thru from the kitchen to the living room.  I don’t get it and I do NOT like it.  Like I mentioned above, our bottom floor is open concept.  This is literally one of the only walls so I’m not sure whey they put a hole in it… lol  It serves no purpose – just looks dumb.  It would have been perfectly fine as a whole wall – the kitchen will still be VERY open to the living space.

Realtor Pic:


Current Pic and what we plan to do:


Some of my inspiration:


Sources: 1  2  3 

Here’s a photoshopped mock-up.  Ours will look will be very similar.  Same type of lights and cabinets below.


Will be fun, but will take some effort.  More to come! 🙂

Master bathroom refresh!


We recently finished up a refresh on our master bath.  We would love to do some remodeling in our master bathroom someday, but it’s not high on the priority list.  And when I say remodeling, I mean ripping out the old shower and tub and replacing them with a stand-alone modern tub and walk-in rain shower.  This is ours today (don’t get me wrong, it’s a great space – and BIG):


But I’d love to have something like this:

If and when we decide to replace tub and shower I’d also like to tear out the existing floor, get new vanities and all new fixtures – you know, spending 30K or so…  So yeah, that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon.  So we did a few updates that should hold us over for a while.  Let’s take a walk down memory lane.  This is what the room looked like when we looked at our house and also the day we moved in…



In the last year (since moving in) we took down those curtains (geez…), took down that towel rod over the bath and added shelves, and added a whimsical treatment to the tub.  Here’s what it looked like a couple of weeks ago.


Haha.  I know, not much different than a year ago.  But like I said, it’s a nice space and huge so we haven’t taken time to do much.  The main thing I wanted to change is the out-dated builder’s grade honey oak cabinets.  So now it looks like this.


We added some modern hardware to the doors/drawers and shelves to that middle section.  I love it!  The other thing we did that you can’t really see (and it took me hours of back breaking tedious work with a razor blade) is recaulking the shower.  If you’ve never done that, I wouldn’t wish it on my enemy.  Someone had half-ass caulked the shower and done a horrible job.  I had to rip all the old out that was nasty with mold and clean it and recaulk.  It’s so nice in there now.  We also did away with the hand-held shower head.  The new one is much simpler and clean.  You can probably see it in the pics above.  Our master bathroom + master bedroom is bigger than my first apartment – not kidding.  The master bathroom is long with our newly renovated “dressing room” on one end and the shower on the other.  For reference… this is from the closet looking toward the shower:


And this is standing next to the shower looking toward the closet:


The double doors to the left lead to the master bedroom.  The door on the right is the toilet room, which is also spacious with built in cabinets and a phone jack if you need to call someone. ha!  I’m definitely enjoying the space more since doing these updates.  And if you ever doubt the power of restaining, adding new hardware and a nice rug – don’t, it will do wonders!