Thursday, October 22, 2015

One Room Challenge- Week 3

Another week has come and gone, and it's time for Week 3 of Calling It Home's One Room Challenge Linkup. If you're just joining in, you can view weeks one and two of my bathroom reno here and here.   I had big plans for this week, but that didn't really happen.  I was hoping to get the walls prepped for paint, and maybe start on the painting too, but we're still hung up on the prepping the walls part.   I love a house project where I can see the immediate transformation, and prepping walls for painting is not that whatsoever.  Patching white walls with white putty is about as boring as it gets, and that's why I've been putting it off for several days.

I did however purchase some new towels for the room which is exciting.  One of my good friends Elizabeth has a custom pillow and embroidery business, so I hit her up for anything I need monogrammed.  She has a great eye for this kind of stuff.  I usually  just tell her what letters I want, and she goes to town.  You can visit Elizabeth's shop here.

I also picked up the paint that we'll be using.  I had Lowes do a paint match with Ben Moore's Solitude, and I can't wait to get it on the walls.  Here's what it looks like.

And I bought this new shower curtain rod as well.  I know, super exciting, right?

Here's what our to do list for the room currently looks like:

  • Remove Wallpaper, Repair Walls, and Paint Room
  • Replace Mirror
  • Replace Light Fixtures 
  • Replace Hardware and Faucet
  • Hang Shelving for Storage
  • Clean and Repaint Tile Grout
  • Purchase New Towels
  • Purchase Items for Shelving

And that's it for this week!  I hope to have some more interesting updates for next week.

If you missed my previous One Room Challenge posts you can find them here:

One Room Challenge Week 1
One Room Challenge Week 2

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our Weekend- A Double Baby Shower

This weekend I got together with some of my girlfriends to host a double baby shower for my two good friends, Melanie and Sallie.  They're due about one month apart from each other, so we figured it would be fun to host one big shower for the two of them.

We kept it simple, and requested that each guest bring 2 packages of diapers, one for each baby, and we assigned each guest a size so that each couple received a good variety of diapers.  The shower was very laid back, the boys all drank beer and played yard games out back while the girls stood around chatting and rubbing baby bellies.

As a takeaway for each couple, we had everyone to write little notes in this Clemson themed children's book, Hello Tiger.

We served some dips, finger foods, and this tasty fall-themed apple cider punch.  The punch was a huge hit.  It was a non-alcoholic punch so that the guests of honor could indulge, and then we just served it with a bottle of champagne next to it, so anyone could top it off with champagne if they wished.

Apple Cider Punch

1/2 gal Apple Cider
1 qt. White Grape Juice
1 Bottle Sparking Apple Cider
8 oz. Orange Juice
2 Large Apples, Thinly Sliced (I used Gala)
Champagne (optional)

In a large bowl combine first five ingredients.  Serve champagne alongside the punch so guests can top their cups off with a little bubbly.

It was so great to see some of my close girlfriends that I don't get to see very often.  I just cherish every moment when we can all be together.  And I can't wait to meet those two sweet baby girls, they'll be here before we know it!

Hope y'all had a great weekend, too!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 2

Week 2 of Calling It Home's One Room Challenge Linkup is here, and somehow I've managed to stay on schedule if not a wee bit ahead of schedule with the progress. The main task for this week was to remove all of the wallpaper, which is DONE! Thankfully the paper came down relatively easily.  We put probably a total of 4 hours of labor in, much less than I initially thought.

To remove the wallpaper, we used a combination of scoring the paper with a Paper Tiger, spraying it with a product called DIF, and scraping it with this scraper tool.  I think the combination of these three products made the process much faster.

I've also started the fun process of buying new things for the space.  I picked up new oiled bronze hardware (paper holder, towel ring, and tank lever) and purchased new knobs and bin pulls for the vanity. We removed the builder grade mirror hanging above the sink, and I plan on replacing it with a round wood mirror.  Originally, I fell in love with this one, but I can't justify spending almost $600 on a one piece. Luckily, I found this mirror through Wayfair this week, and I think it's perfect for the space.

We picked out the shower curtain too, masculine black and cream stripes with just a hint of femininity in the ruffle at the bottom.  

So we're now left with a complete blank slate.  A stark white room.  Here's what it currently looks like.

And here's what is still on our to do list:

  • Remove Wallpaper, Repair Walls, and Paint Room
  • Replace Mirror
  • Replace Light Fixtures 
  • Replace Hardware and Faucet
  • Hang Shelving for Storage
  • Clean and Repaint Tile Grout

This weekend we plan on repairing the damage done to the walls by removing the wallpaper, and hopefully beginning to paint.  Once the room is painted I can begin replacing the hardware on the vanity and purchase the new light fixture and faucet, and that's going to be the fun part. Come back next Thursday to see what progress we've made!

And if you didn't catch Week 1's post you can find it here.

(Affiliate links were used in this post) 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Barbacoa Beef Tostadas

I love the ease of a crockpot recipe, but so many of them taste the same to me.  They all just end up tasting like a bland pot roast.  Every once in a while I'll come across a winner, and when I do we usually eat it on repeat.    About a year ago I tried this Barbacoa Beef recipe from Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers and T and I both fell in love.  I've tweaked the recipe a bit, and this week we tried it on tostadas and it was a total hit.  Here's the recipe we used:

Barbacoa Beef Tostadas

For the Beef: 

3 lbs beef for stew (the kind that's already cut into cubes at the store)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and toss until the beef is evenly coated.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the beef from the liquid with a slotted spoon, and shred with two forks.  Add the shredded beef back in to the liquid.  Let it sit in the liquid for an additional 10 or so minutes.

For the Tostadas:

Packaged tostada shells
1 can of refried beans
Shredded lettuce
Mexican shredded cheese
Sour Cream (optional)

Warm tostada shells in the oven on 375 for a few minutes until they're shiny. This will crisp them back up if they've gone a little stale.   Meanwhile microwave the refried beans until warm and spreadable, about 1 minute.

Spread 1 Tbsp of beans on each tostada.  Top with shredded beef, cheese, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our Weekend

This weekend we headed up to the mountains for a little getaway with my sister April, her husband, and two of their friends.  Oh, and two of the sweetest toddlers, too. The next best thing to having a mountain house of your own is having friends or family that have a place.  T and I love to go up to their place in Boone, especially this time of the year.  On Saturday, we braved the cold and rainy weather and headed to Sugar Mountain for their Oktoberfest celebration.

Weekend getaways are definitely a little different when you add two toddlers to the mix.  Dinners can be tricky, nap times are sacred, and bedtimes are much earlier.  But T and I didn't mind it one bit.  It was actually just the relaxing weekend we needed.  And any time we get to spend with our niece Camille is so precious. 

We got home yesterday afternoon, and quickly went to work removing wallpaper from our guest bath.  I'm participating in this round of the One Room Challenge, and my goal for this week is to remove all of the wallpaper in our dated bathroom.  Fortunately, the wallpaper wasn't initially put on the walls with a lot of glue, so it hasn't been too miserable to remove it.   A few pieces came off in full sheets.  We got a great head start and hope to finish it up in the next few days.

And that was our weekend!  Hope y'all have a great week.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

One Room Challenge: Week 1

We moved into our house this summer in July, and we've already knocked out several rooms on our to-do list.  One room that I've been neglecting was our hall bathroom.  Mainly because of the daunting task of taking down wallpaper.  I've enjoyed reading other blogger's One Room Challenge posts, and I work really well with a deadline, so I figured this would be a fun little adventure for the next month.

Here she is in her full glory...

Once you look past the wallpaper, there are some really good things about this bathroom.  There's a skylight, so plenty of natural light comes in.  The layout is fine, we won't be moving any plumbing around.  And for the most part, the toilet, shower, and sink are all in great condition.  I'll probably hit the vanity with a new coat of paint, but that's really all it will need.

Here's a look at what all we will want to change in the room:

Remove Wallpaper and Paint Room
Replace Mirror
Replace Light Fixtures 
Replace Hardware and Faucet
Hang Shelving for Storage
Clean and Repaint Tile Grout

As for the style of this room, I'm going for a bit more of a masculine look.  Well, more masculine than the other rooms in our house.  A dusty blue color for the walls, rustic wood, and dark metals.   I love the look of a ticking stripe shower curtain, too. (Weirdly enough, it's kind of an ode to the old wallpaper in there.)  Here's a little peek at my inspiration board for the room.


So there you have it!  I hope to tackle the wallpaper this week, that's definitely the biggest beast, and I can't do anything else until that's down. Wish me luck, and not too many broken fingernails. You can follow along with my progress as well as other bloggers' progress on their rooms by clicking the image below.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Flooding in South Carolina

By now everyone has heard about the record rainfall and devastating damage that our state endured over the weekend.  It has been so hard turning on the news and seeing familiar roads and buildings in Columbia that are totally ruined.  The ballet school that I grew up going to was completely flooded and destroyed.  It's all just absolutely heartbreaking.  Thankfully my family and good friends in Columbia are all okay, and so are their houses.  They truly lucked out.

It has been amazing to see how our Upstate community has come together to support the Midlands and Lowcountry.  I've been working with several local women to gather water, toiletries, clothing, and blankets and we've already taken 5 car loads down to Columbia so far.   They are in need of SO much more, but every little bit will help.

If you're local, please feel free to email me ( and I can provide you with drop off locations of where you can bring donated items.  Anything you can bring would be appreciated.  I'll be driving down tomorrow with a car load and would love to have more to bring.

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