Thinking Outside the Box Because I Hate Propping Things Against Walls

Master Bedroom Curtain and Curtain Rod

Master Bedroom Curtain and Curtain Rod–stay tuned for a master bedroom reveal! Be sure to follow me on social media for sneak peeks ūüôā

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living! If this is your first time visiting, let me explain quickly what we do here. It’s simple. Go grab a good cup of coffee or a nice glass of wine, sit a spell with me, and enjoy my randomness–everything from home renovation projects to chats about living with type 1 diabetes and Celiac. That’s all there is to it. Now, let’s get to chatting about thinking outside the box–using things for other than their intended purposes.

My new house has a lot of big windows, which I absolutely love; however, I am not much of a curtain girl–but my power bill says that I need to be. So, I got curtains for the bedrooms upstairs…hoping that will satisfy the hubby’s need for privacy and lower the power bill. Long story short. After my curtain hanging party, I had extra curtain rod brackets…I am thinking that this is normal when one orders those really long rods…the rods seem perfectly secure, and the curtains are not sagging…so, I am going to say that it is normal to have leftovers.

Now, I am a saver of the junk…and I cannot throw away perfectly good items…so, this is what I decided to do with the extra curtain rod brackets.

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Thankfully, I have a handy hubby who knows how to take my excited chatter and turn it into my vision…and that is what he did. The hubby stopped his project to come help me with mine…and the end result was double fabulous because I used the extra curtain rod brackets AND my ironing board was no longer propped against the wall. Now, I just have to decide what color to paint the laundry room and get the hubby to hang an old ladder–but that is a story for another day.

Think outside the box

A few weeks ago, I bought a shower caddy thinking that it would be perfect for my shower…nope…it was not. Why not return it? Well, I not only threw away the receipt, but I also threw away all the packaging that came with it. Against everything in me, I propped it against the wall in the master bath because I really did not want to make a trip to the basement.

Yesterday, I was sorting through the chaos in my art studio when I had the best idea ever…well, all my great ideas are the best ideas ever…where was I? Oh, yes! My great idea for the shower caddy…I needed a place for bigger paints and such, and the shower caddy was perfect for storing those items. It fit just right in a tiny, awkward space…right behind my podium (which I must tell y’all the story behind my podium). It was a win. The shower caddy has a home, nothing is propping on my walls in the master bath, my painting space is better organized, and I did not waste $14.78.

bought this

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today as we looked at ways to use things for other than their intended purposes. Now I am off to tackle the chaos in one of my guest rooms…but before I get too involved with that, I am going on a Starbucks run *smile*

tackle this mess

One Blonde and a Stan: The Genesis of the Basement Renovation

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The basement project is in full swing even though we are short one blonde. Abby has been a bit under the weather and has been really busy being the VIP…so it has just been Stan and myself.

The plan to renovate the basement started innocently. I thought that it would be a simple project. ¬†There was really no other choice because the room was dark, dingy, and scary. ¬†I have shed many a tear walking down the carpeted stairs into the pit of carpeted filth. ¬†Our bad weather safe zone was not really “safe”…it was frightening. ¬†Something had to be done.

I thought, “How hard could it possibly be?” ¬†Get in. ¬†Get out. ¬†Done. ¬†No, I am afraid that is not how it went.

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Apparently, we love living in a mess and on a prayer…thank you, Bon Jovi, for your musical inspiration…

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Now, grab a cup of coffee (iced coffee is pretty delicious), and sit a spell with me, as we take a look at the genesis of the basement transformation…Note: ¬†it is not finished yet…but one blonde and a Stan are getting close!

First, we had to get the disgusting carpet out and the dried glue removed…it was so gross…and that is all I want to say about it. ¬†To read more about this ordeal, check out my article “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales: ¬†Thoughts While Scraping Glue” at This is Real Media¬†http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/05/31/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-thoughts-while-scraping-glue/

My plan was to start painting immediately after the last inch of glue was scraped, but that is not what happened. ¬†The original basement renovator did not tape the sheetrock joints…and probably did not use or even own a tape measure. ¬†So…we had to do a little sheetrock repair. ¬†Then we had to do a little “drylocking” on the concrete blocks…

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Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Stan doing a little sanding...notice that I put a little art on the wall...it was serving as inspiration.

Stan showing off his mad sheetrocking skills…notice the wall art…it was serving as inspiration…and hope….

While we were waiting for the sheetrock mud and drylock paint to dry, we started priming and painting the tribute to Roll Tide doors and trim. ¬†I have never encountered such…but we persevered…and the crimson became Ultra White (Behr–Home Depot).

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We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights.  I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  The room is so much brighter.

We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights. I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  Good call, Stan!

IMG_9603My goodness!  I must be getting back to my basement.  There is still work left to be done.  Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me, and be sure to join me next time for all the details about wall colors, floor color, how we hid the plumbing, and much more.

Also, check out my latest article at This Is Real Media, “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales: ¬†How to Eat and Paint an Elephant”…guaranteed to make you smile…and it has a few tips about choosing paint sheen¬†http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/06/07/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-how-to-eat-and-paint-an-elephant/

Be sure to ‚ÄúLike‚ÄĚ Sweet Sorghum Living and Lolly Molly Art¬†on Facebook to keep up with the latest randomness and blog information!¬†www.facebook.com/lollymollyart

For sneak peeks and cute photos of our precious dogs, follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thelollymolly

Big Hugs xx,

Chasidy

It’s All About Location and Laundry

Happy Cloud

Happy Cloud

If I have learned anything from the many years of watching HGTV, especially House Hunters, it is that one can change a lot of things about a house–but not its location.

I have had to remind myself of that daily (well, numerous times daily) during these past couple of months of home renovation–location–view–location–view. ¬†I am not going to lie. ¬†This project is overwhelming. ¬†Some days, I think this house is trying to kill me. ¬†Other days, I feel like it is a money pit…one rot problem after another. ¬†Thank you, previous homeowners.

A little more rot...we have to decide if we want to replace the old windows with new windows or replace the old windows for French doors...decisions, decisions.

A little more rot…we have to decide if we want to replace the old windows with new windows or replace the old windows with French doors…decisions, decisions. ¬†Do you see Mattie and Ziva’s laundry basket full of toys? ¬†They love looking out the windows.

Mattie looking out at the living room windows...I am thinking that French doors would be lovely here...

Mattie on the inside looking out–She had gone inside to get a drink of water and a toy. ¬†Hmmm, I am really thinking that French doors would be lovely here. ¬†I am pretty sure that Mattie agrees!

Today…as I was spraying my 16th gallon of poison ivy killer (make that 18th gallon–I took a break from writing to go kill stuff)…I thought about how focused I have been on completing the house…that I have not taken the time to enjoy it…just as it is…mess and all.

Often times, we are all so focused on the daily routines that must be done, we are all so focused on perfection and how our lives look to our Facebook friends–that we forget to just be happy…like a real happiness. To be happy with the little accomplishments…to be happy with the fact that there is only one load of laundry left to do–at this exact moment…knowing that there will be two more later on this afternoon…to be happy because God has blessed us in so many ways…even the troubles and struggles are blessings.

Love the view from my laundry room...the

Love the view from my laundry room…sure, the floor moulding needs to be painted, the walls need a bit of art, and the clothes need to be put away…but sometimes there are just more important things to do…

Abby and Ziva enjoying the beautiful weather--I spotted them out the laundry room window and just had to snap a photo!

Abby and Ziva enjoying the beautiful weather–I spotted them out the laundry room window and just had to snap a photo!

We decided the day was too gorgeous to stay inside doing projects.  Ziva really enjoyed eating Abby's snack!

We decided the day was too gorgeous to stay inside doing projects. Ziva really enjoyed eating Abby’s snack!

Sure, I would love to wake up and my home renovation be completely finished. ¬†I would love to have a laundry fairy…but what I do have is this exact moment to be happy with my location…and with where God has placed me.

View from the breakfast room--Abby traded her computer for the pool today.  Do you see the brass table feet on the window sill?  Yep, that project will have to wait another day!

View from the breakfast room–Abby traded her computer for a book and the pool today. Do you see the brass table feet on the window sill? Yep, that project will have to wait another day!

View from the upstairs landing--Note to Self:  (1) get taller ladder (2) finish painting

View from the upstairs landing–Note to Self: (1) get taller ladder (2) finish painting

View from the screen porch area--going to rip out this screen, replace all the molded and rotted wood with vinyl deck, posts, and rails

View from the screen porch area–we are going to rip out this screen, replace all the molded and rotted wood with vinyl…deck, posts, and rails

Thank you, previous home owners, for the Christmas lights...I wonder how long they have been hanging there????

Thank you, previous home owners, for the Christmas lights…I wonder how long they have been hanging there???? Do you see the 1980s intercom?

Rotted and leaning deck rails...this is the no-no zone...but the view is fabulous...and the deck will be too!

Rotted and leaning deck rails…this is the no-no zone…but the view is fabulous…and the deck will be too! ¬†Stan brought home a little sneak peek of the material he will be using. I am so excited!

Progress on Abby's bath area...one day at a time...one day at a time.

Progress on Abby’s bath area…one day at a time…one day at a time.

It is a nice place to set up shop...all the deck will be vinyl...you won't recognize the backyard or deck when we finish!

It is a nice place to set up shop. The new deck will be vinyl. ¬†I promise, you won’t recognize the backyard or deck when we finish!

No progress in the master bath...same as we left it two months ago...

No progress in the master bath…same as we left it–two months ago…

A little sheetrock dust art...it is a losing battle haha

A little sheetrock dust art…it is a losing battle haha

Thank you previous home owners for never replacing anything...in thirty-one years.  The deck is in poor condition...very poor condition...but I know a guy that is really talented in designing and building decks!

Thank you, previous home owners, for never replacing anything…in thirty-two years. The deck is in poor condition…very poor condition…but I know a guy that is really talented with designing and building decks!

Flooring for the master dressing room...yes, it is right next to Stan's side of the bed. Hopefully, we will be able to get to that project soon...but until then...I am going to focus on what we have accomplished!

Flooring for the master dressing room/closet…yes, it is right next to Stan’s side of the bed. Hopefully, we will be able to get to that project soon…but until then…I am going to focus on what we have accomplished!

Today, I took a little time to go outside with Abby and the dogs to remember why we bought this fixer upper, to remember that sometimes it is good to be lazy, and to remember that kids grow up quickly...and laundry will always be a constant.

Today, I took a little time to go outside with Abby and the dogs to remember why we bought this giant fixer upper, to remember that sometimes it is good to be lazy, and to remember that kids grow up quickly…and laundry will always be a constant.

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by abby

Wall art by Abby:  this piece is hanging outside her room

Even though, we are still living in a mess…living out of boxes…and living on a prayer; we are happy. ¬†And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me.  Have a blessed day!

Chasidy

Two Blondes and a Stan: Demolition Time

Abby having a bit of fun demolishing the "hers" side of the master bath

Abby having a bit of fun demolishing the “hers” side of the master bath

We began our new adventure…more like massive undertaking…hours after signing our names and initialing here (no less than fifty times).

The tasks before us were no surprise. ¬†We had the inspection…we read the report…we could see all the problems with our own eyes, yet we were drawn to this place and its charm.

The living room required the least amount of work. ¬†The fireplace renovation has been the main project. ¬†We had a bit of a leak…that required us to tear out all the woodwork and mantel.

Since this photo, the bricks have been painted and glazed, a new mantel has been built and installed, and the TV has been mounted above the mantel. ¬†There are still a few more finishing touches left to do…hopefully, soon.

Stan working diligently on the removal of the floating cabinets in the kitchen

Stan working diligently on the removal of the floating cabinets in the kitchen

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The master bedroom and bath are the largest of the projects that we face. There were two separate master baths…a his and a hers, both with large walk-in closets. ¬†We decided to create one large master bath and a dressing room. ¬†For now, the master bath is studs and bare floors because I have no inspiration for the design direction!

Removing the mirror surround...carefully!

Removing the mirror surround…carefully!

Abby stopping for a pose while Stan works...and there I am in the mirror...taking the photo...

Abby stopping for a pose while Stan works…and there I am in the mirror…taking the photo…

God has blessed me with a wonderful little family. ¬†We took a leap of faith, accepted the challenge, and demolished. ¬†Now, it is time to use the talents that we have been given to restore this house, to use our money wisely in its restoration, and to share with y’all the ups and downs and everything in between.

The "hers" side of the master bath...we are repurposing the cabinets for a workstation in the basement.

The “hers” side of the master bath…we are repurposing the cabinets for a workstation in the basement.

Mattie and Ziva decided that they would help with the demolition.

Mattie and Ziva decided that they would help with the demolition.

Mattie says that it's enough work for one day...and blogging!

Mattie says that it’s enough work for one day…and blogging!

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today. ¬†Be sure to keep up with all the peeks into the renovation on Facebook (press the “like” button on the sidebar to keep up with all the action), Twitter (press the “follow” button on the sidebar to keep up with all the randomness), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/thelollymolly).

Love and Hugs,

Chasidy

A Big Fixer Upper: Challenge Accepted

photo 5-2After many months of prayer and searching, the Hathorns finally found a place to call home in Alabama. It was not the move-in-ready, cute-little-cottage that was on the list; however, the deal was too good to pass up and the location was absolutely perfect.

The ideal location and gorgeous views will make all of the work ahead of us totally worth it. A big fixer upper? Yes. Do the Hathorns accept the challenge? Yes! Now, it is time to get this reno party started *wink*

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This photo was taken the day of the open house. Stan’s job was to inspect, measure, and figure out if the project was doable. My job was to document with photos, take notes, and figure out how to turn the ugly into pretty. Abby’s job was to be silly, assist, and use her Holmes on Homes skills to point out possible disaster.

After months of house hunting and countless hours of looking on the internet, we decided our ideal, move-in-ready house did not exist. We would either have to build (which really wasn’t an option) or buy a house in need of some love (which is really code for lots of renovation).

So off we went to an open house that would change everything.

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This is the before picture of the kitchen. Good news is new stainless appliances; bad news is pink Formica countertops and a section of floating cabinets that block the view!

Before and During Peek of the kitchen

Before and During Peek of the kitchen

We accepted the challenge of restoring this home to its former glory.  There was no doubt it was once the jewel of the neighborhood.  The bones of it are strong, the views undeniable, and the potential ever so glorious.

This is a little before peek of the master bedroom. The room goes beyond the French doors...once again something is blocking the view!

This is a little before peek of the master bedroom. The room goes beyond the French doors. Once again something is blocking a gorgeous view!

Abby having a bit of fun with the destruction of the master bath. Don't worry...Stan was near and supervising carefully.

Abby having a bit of fun with the destruction of the master bath. Don’t worry. Stan was near and supervising carefully.

photo 2-2Lots and lots of leaves had to be raked and bagged. Seriously, lots. Around 100 contractor-sized bags.  Honestly, we lost count! **p.s. that number does not even include the leaves Stan blew to the curb.**

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So far over eight tons have been hauled away...by far the old, dirty carpet was my least favorite item to remove...just yuck!

So far over eight tons of dated and ugly have been hauled away. We all agreed the old, dirty carpet was the least favorite item to remove. Gross + Yuck!

First project on the very first night...removing all the mullions...

First project on the very first night–removing all the mullions.

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 Hello, gorgeous new floors! More details in future posts.

All baths were stripped back to bare bones...four full baths and a powder room...

All baths were stripped back to bare bones. Four full baths + a powder room.

photo 2-1Stan, Abby, and I did all of the demo work ourselves, and we are planning on doing most of the renovations ourselves. I do believe we accepted the challenge *wink* I also believe we are going to need lots of coffee!!

The backyard captured our hearts...it will need new landscaping and a deck, but we are up to the challenge.

The backyard captured our hearts. It will need new landscaping and a deck, but we are up to the challenge.

Another peek at the kitchen-the island that Stan built is amazing and I cannot wait to share it in a upcoming post!

Sneaky peek at the kitchen and the island Stan is building 

The before photo of our new place...stay with me as we reveal the during and the final photos.

The before photo of our new home. 

It has been 78 days since we accepted this challenge. ¬†There are many more days–more like months to go before the mission will be completed. ¬†We have accomplished many projects since day one, and I will be sharing some of them with all of you in future posts.

I want to say a big thanks to Joyce Tippen of Re/Max Marketplace, Trussville for being such a caring and patient agent!  We also enjoyed meeting Bonnie Hicks (Re-Max) at the open house.  Those ladies do an awesome job.  If you are in the Trussville/Birmingham area or looking to relocate to this area, check out Re/Max Marketplace at www.trussvillemarketplace.com and give Joyce or Bonnie a call!