Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hall Bathroom is Finished!!

Our hall bathroom is finally finished!!! I am so excited, can you tell? It's been quite a long process, but the end result is definitely worth all of the blood, sweat and tears! Here are the before and afters of the space... it's really hard to believe how this bathroom used to look compared to now... Judge for yourself.

Before
After
Before
After
Before
After
Before
After
Before, we were embarrassed to let guests use our hall bathroom. Now, we can't wait to show it off :) Next step, decorating! 

<3 Lauren

(Check out the home renovation label to see all of the work on our house)

Friday, September 21, 2012

DIY Quick and Easy Touch Up for Outdated Frames

Today I want to share with you a quick and easy makeover for your outdated frames. I have a couple beautiful prints of Ukrainian street paintings. However, they were previously professionally framed. I didn't want to spend the money to buy new custom frames, but couldn't live with the look the frames had. 
The outside of the frames were good; very simple, a pretty light wood. The matting is what I had a problem with. They were cream colored with brass lining... Brass is one of those fads I will never understand. 
To fix these frames, I simply painted over the mats with white paint. It's a quick and easy update, but it makes a world of difference.

For this project, you will need: 
White Acrylic Paint
Paintbrush
Exacto/Utility Knife
Painter's tape


Outdated brass lining
To start, line the part of the frame you wish to keep the same with your painter's tape. Make sure to get right on the edges and firmly push the paint down. Line the inside of the mat around the painting. Be careful not to press too hard on your painting/print if it's delicate.


Paint in the open area. Make sure to use nice even strokes. Let dry. Add two more coats, drying in between. 



When your paint is dry after the third coat, get out your exacto/utility knife. CAREFULLY, and not too hard, line straight down the frame where your tape was. Try as hard as you can to get right on the line; so as to remove the tape from the paint rather than cutting into the tape. 


Remove all of the tape, and voila! The paintings look great, I love the fresh, new look of the frames! I can't wait to hang them up!


I love the bright white mats :)

How do you update outdated artwork and furniture? 


<3 Lauren

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Sorry for my absence as of late... I have been busy busy busy. I am applying for Grad School to start Spring 2013 and am currently knee deep in study material for the GRE. Studying is starting to hurt my brain a little bit, but it feels good to relearn so much material that I've forgotten over the years... 

Welcoming my brother home :)
Another time consumer is planning a big family dinner in the next two weeks. I started to plan a big dinner while my brother was on deployment in Afghanistan. Now that he is safe and sound back home (thank the Lord!), it's getting time for the big day. I am very nervous and excited; not only will I have my parents and siblings, but I will also have my in-laws over. Lots of people to impress! I'm planning a big meal to incorporate the Ukrainian traditions I've picked up from my new family as well as the traditions I was raised with. Not only will this be a great time for everyone to enjoy each other's company, it will also be a time to reveal our finished house! 

We've been kicking the renovation into high gear. Now that we have a set date for everything to be done (which is less than two weeks away) Vladimir and I have been working endlessly. The bathroom is finished (mind the lighting fixture that needs to be hung); our corridor has fresh paint, new doors and new hardware; both of our guestrooms have beds made up with fresh linens.... It's all coming together! Hopefully I'll have time to sneak away from studying to get some good house update posts on here soon!

Are you working on any home renovation projects? Have you hosted a dinner for your parents and/or in-laws before?

<3 Lauren

Monday, September 17, 2012

RVA Color Run 2012


Valentina and Vladimir after the race
This past Saturday, my husband and niece ran in the Richmond Color Run. Running is something I've always wanted to love, but never could. I have bad knees for one, but mainly could never run enough on a regular basis to actually start enjoying it. After watching this 5k though, it made me want to start trying. My husband and niece did a wonderful job.
Valentina and Vladimir met up with our friends Sarah and Andrew, great running team!
The color run is unlike any other race I've seen before. It's not timed, which takes off the pressure. They really encourage you to go out there and have fun. There are several checkpoints along their run where runners get splashed with color. I still haven't figured out exactly what the color is, but the best way I can describe it is like paint in powder form. 
Valentina covered in colors :)
When you register, you're given a packet that includes a white color run t-shirt (which many use as their racing shirt), a headband, race number, a packet of color, and some other goodies. They tell you to save your packet of color for after the race. 

The most unique running outfit at the race, a wedding gown :)
Partying while throwing color
Dance Party
After the runners make it through the 5k finish line, they gather in front of a stage where they blast dance music and encourage the runners to party and throw around their color packets. It was such a wild thing to see from a distance. They did a countdown for everyone to throw up their color packets at the same time. The colors being thrown into the air looked so neat, but then the colors mixed, turning it into a cloud of brown, like a bomb just went off... All the while, loud dance music blasted and everyone dances. It was a giant, colorful moshpit, hah!


It really looked like a lot of fun, I think I'll definitely try it out next year. Hopefully they'll come back to Richmond!!

Do you participate in running events and races? If so, which is your favorite?

<3 Lauren

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Office Update

My little office is almost complete. It's quickly becoming my favorite room in the house :) 
Here's what it's looking like so far :) 


Trying to keep my desk as simple as possible. We hung up a small pin board with just enough room for a calender and small notes. The office light has my Rosetta Stone headphones hanging from the top... trying to learn Russian, slowly but surely :) 


Hanging up artwork seems so permanent to me... I've been pushing that off until I'm absolutely finished with each room. Instead, I've been placing little frames with pictures everywhere. :) 


I organized the small drawer in the cabinet fixture with an organizing tray from Target. 

I've just found enough room on my desk for all my supplies; scanner, printer, paper cutter, hard drives, etc. Hopefully in the next few weeks, I'll be able to find some cute items for organizing and spicing this space up a bit.


Cat & Lucy love playing on the rug... still one of my favorite purchases from Ikea, at only 20 bucks!


We finally have a window treatment! We bought these cute white fabric Roman Shades from Lowe's. Great price, only about 25 bucks  :)


I'm very happy with these shades... They do have some wrinkles; so I gotta get out my steamer and get rid of those. Otherwise, they're just perfect. They let in just the right amount of light.

We put in this storage organizer from target. I filled it up with fabric basket cubbies I already had. Hopefully I'll replace those with some cute wicker baskets, Ikea has a ton of adorable ones. (can you tell I shop at Ikea too much?)

Almost done... maybe it's about time to get over my fears and hang up some art! Any ideas for how to hang art on wallpaper without ruining the wallpaper?

<3 Lauren

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

What's in Season, Virginia - SEPTEMBER



Here's a list of produce in season for the month of September:
Apples
Basil
Cabbage
Celery
Chard
Chiles
Collard Greens
Cucumbers
Escarole
Fennel
Grapes
Green Beans
Green Onions
Kale
Mushrooms (wild)
Nectarines
Peaches
Pumpkins
Radicchio
Radishes
Scallions
Shallots
Shelling Beans
Squash (summer)
Tomatoes
Turnips
Winter Squash
Zucchini

And here's a list of the produce available year-round in Virginia:
Arugula
Beets
Carrots
Cilantro
Leeks
Lettuce
Mint
Mushrooms (cultivated)
Onions
Oregano
Parsley
Sage
Sorrel
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Thyme


Have you bought local produce this week?

<3 Lauren