Home Improvement

mommy-ramblings-home-improvement

 

I think I am going batty trying to pick out backsplash tile for my new kitchen. I am closer than ever to making a decision. I am however, a bit confused on some of the components. I had given up on trying to find a cream subway tile. Every time I found something there was no coordinating trim to do what I wanted. I brought home a piece of beveled white subway tile and it didn’t look too bad with my countertops.

You can imagine my surprise when, after giving up on finding cream, and picking everything in white, I found out I could get it all in a royal cream color. Shopping for tile is very confusing. So, now I am going with cream. I mean, I think I am going with the cream, lol.

I like a 3″ by 6″ subway tile that is beveled, and glossy.

I don’t need much bullnose or trim pieces in my kitchen. I only need two small pieces where the tile comes up on the sides of the sink on either side of the window. I plan to top it with this piece of crown trim.

Gloss Cream Crown Molding 2.25″ by 12″

The other area I need a trim piece is on the side near my french sliding doors. I am not sure which trim piece to go with there, but there are a variety of trim pieces available. I will check with the installers, on what they think would look best. Here are some of the choices beyond the piece above. I know the colors don’t all look the same, but that is not accurate, they are all the same brand and same color.

Bead Wall Tile Trim 1″ by 6″

 

Bullnose 2″ by 6″

 

Bullnose Long Side Trim Tile 3″ by 6″

Bullnose Short Side Trim  3″ by 6″

1/2″ by 6″ Tile Trim

Dome Trim 12″ by 3/4″

Okay, at least there is an abundance of trim, the only thing they do not have, is the double bullnose corner piece. It is however available if I go with the white. I am not sure that it is necessary, but if it is, that will be my sign to go with the white, lol.

So now for the special accent behind the cooktop. I was inspired by this photo I found online on Pinterest or Google Images, I cannot even remember, I have looked at so many.

So, this brand also has a 4.5″ by 4.5″ tile that I could use in this design.

4.5″ by 4.5″ Square Tile

I would use the crown trim for the frame.

Crown Molding in Royal Cream 12 in. x 2-1/4 in.

 

The part I am stuck on is what color to use for the mosaics for the border and for the deco between the square tiles. Some that I think would be good are:

 

Natural Seashell Mosaic

 

Honey Polished Onyx Mosaic

White Natural Seashell Mosaic ( I think this may be too light to be an accent.)

 

Mini Tundra Glass and Stone Mosaic

My countertops are Cambria Quartz in Nevern.

My cabinets are Wood Mode in Vintage Bright White.

Ugh, as I am writing this, I am not thinking maybe I should go with the white. The cream is not a beige but really a bone that my kitchen designer said would look good. I am so conflicted. lol Here is the white:

White Beveled 3″ by 6″ Subway Tile

And a close up of it:

Close Up of White Subway Tile

And now the Royal Cream close up:

Royal Cream Close Up

My cabinets are not a bright white they have a glaze that makes them vintage, and more of a creamy white.

So, what are your thoughts on this? I really would love to hear, this has been the hardest decision of the entire kitchen project.


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If you have not seen Part 1 of our Kitchen Transformation click HERE.  You can also see our video constructions updates for a more in-depth, up close and personal look at everything, including the lessons we learned along the way.

So, the was the first piece of quartz installed. Sorry for the poor lighting, they still had not installed all the lights at this point. Also, outside the kitchen window is a temporary storage shed that will be moved, once we can move our stuff back in.

There will be a false drawer front that matches the cabinets surrounding the farmhouse sink. It is still being made in the factory, but we will show you what a difference it makes when installed. Again, the shed in the back is just temporary.

That is my plumber checking out the island top. I noticed after they left it was not even so they had to come back and redo that and the sink. Fun times.

The opening for the cooktop is cut on site. They bring in a fan that sucks out the dust and through an attached large tunnel tube it is blown outside. They also have a vacuum running.

Once the sinks had set, the faucets were installed along with the dishwasher and cooktop. We also installed the 3 pendant lights over the island and the one over the sink.  Then, the rest of the cabinets could be installed.

We need to get the crown molding installed on top of the cabinets and most of the interior cabinet lighting as well as the under cabinet and upper cabinet lighting. The cabinets still need to be aligned and the hardware installed. My biggest problem is, I cannot find a backsplash tile I like. Hope to do that this weekend. We have some more work to do but we have come a long way.


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So, if you don’t follow us on YouTube you might have missed all the construction updates on our house. If you would like to catch up, you can go to the Construction Update Playlist. In those videos, I share all the goofs, mishaps, mistakes and problems we encountered along the way. Here are some photos to show you where we started and how far we have come.

This was the kitchen before as is, it was a mess when I took these photos because we were in the middle of moving out.

This was during the demo of the kitchen, after the tile floor was removed.

The soffits were coming down, so they had to rip them out. We found a surprise under them.

That pipe near the window was our surprise. At first they thought it was a waste line from the upstairs bathroom that could not be moved, but they found out it was not, and we were able to move it!

Some new electric lines were installed and then they started putting the new insulation in. The recessed lighting also was moved.

Next, the sheet rock was put up and spackled.

Then they had to paint. They installed Hardibacker Board in preparation for the tile.

Next the tile floors needed to go in.

 

After the tile was in and grouted the cabinets were delivered.

There were a lot of cabinets, moldings and trim delivered.

These were the first cabinets installed.

The new ovens were ready to be installed.

 

We had to wait to install the upper cabinets on the other side until the template was done for the quartz countertops because the cabinet in the corner sits on the countertop.

That is the end of this update, I will get the rest up in another post tomorrow. If you want to see more check out our YouTube Construction Update Videos.


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We are almost ready for our bathroom renovation reveals. When renovating and remodeling, there are so many decisions that need to be made, we talked about choosing the toilet, WASHLET and vanity for the bathroom, but I did not mention the faucet yet. When choosing a faucet there are several things you need to consider.

Faucet Type

First off, if you are updating and keeping the same vanity top and vanity, you are limited to what you can choose. You cannot install a single handle faucet if you have widespread faucet. Well, you can but it will have to have a plate that covers the other holes so you won’t have the same look. If you are starting from scratch, you have all the options you want. I chose a single handle faucet because I like the sleek look and find them easier to clean.

Sink Type

The type of sink you have is also a factor, if you have a vessel sink, make sure you choose a faucet that will work with it. The type of mount and gallons per minute are other things to keep in mind when choosing your faucet.

 

Finish

The next choice is the finish. Again, if you are not starting from scratch, you need to consider the colors of the other fixtures in the bathroom. We had a clean slate to work with so I went with the brushed nickel.

Style

Next, the hardest part. What style faucet do you want? There are so many styles to choose from! We could not believe all the choices we had in front of us when we were checking out TOTO USA’s website for a bathroom faucet. With so many great styles to choose from, it was hard to decide. In the end, we went with something traditional and elegant. We choose the Guinevere faucet and just had it installed. It is absolutely beautiful.

About Our Faucet

Guinevere as we call her, is more than beautiful, she has a durable brass construction with a ceramic disc cartridge. She has a WaterSense Approved Low-Flow of 1.5 gpm. Guinevere comes in three fabulous finishes: polished chrome, polished nickel and brushed nickel. A metal pop up drain is included.

Our plumber told me that he was very impressed with the faucet. I laughed and told him to handle her carefully and that her name was Guinevere. We both had a good laugh on that, but we still call her by her name. The faucet and pop up drain were easy for him to install without any issues. Guinevere works flawlessly. I will show you how well in a video as soon as we do the reveal.

If you are looking for a new faucet check out TOTO USA. You can also follow them on Social media on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube to see more of their products and here the latest news.

Stay tuned, and subscribe to our newsletter and social media channels so you don’t miss the reveals. Let me know what you think of our choice.


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The following is a sponsored guest post that may or may not represent the views of Mommy Ramblings.

As a homeowner, it’s easy to shell out a nice chunk of money keeping your home in good condition. However, that doesn’t mean all your hard earned cash needs to go into home maintenance. Instead, you need to think about ways to save on home maintenance, and then actively work towards doing so. While everyone’s situation is slightly different, the following are a few simple ways you can save on home maintenance and put your money away for something you’ll enjoy.

Opt for DIY

When you want to save money, consider doing some maintenance on your own instead of hiring someone else to do it. There are plenty of small jobs around your house that you can easily do yourself, such as install a sink, replace a light fixture, or even update your front door. Before you get quotes on different jobs, be sure to look at the task at hand and see if it’s something you can spend a few hours tackling. By investing a little bit of time, you can end up saving a fortune.

Know when to hire a professional.

Although you can save money by doing things yourself, it’s also important you realize when you need to hire a professional. After all, putting certain jobs in the hands of trusted professionals can ensure the job gets done right the first time and can save you from spending more money trying to do it again. For instance, if you have an intricate plumbing problem, it’s smarter for you to hire a trusted plumber than to do the job yourself and do it wrong. If not, you’ll end up spending almost twice as much having someone come in to fix your mistakes.

Don’t put it off.

One of the biggest reasons home improvements are so expensive is because homeowners put them off until they’ve become too big to tackle. When this happens, the cost inevitably goes up. Make it a point to inspect your home thoroughly at least once a year, if not more. This way, you can make note of areas that need your attention before they get out of control. If you’re ever unsure, have a professional come in and do a home inspection every now and then. This can make you aware of underlying issues you may not have known existed, and it could save you a ton of money in the end.

Make smart decisions.

Unfortunately, there’s not a product out there that will look good and last forever, but there are products out there that are better than others. For instance, if you are building a home, opting for materials like brick or stone is a good choice. They will hold up better and stay looking newer longer, even when exposed to harsh weather conditions. By making the investment in stone or brick, you are helping your house stay in better condition with a product that doesn’t need as much maintenance. If you make smart decisions like this throughout your home, you can save money on home maintenance in the future.

Maintaining your home may not be the most enjoyable thing you have to do as a homeowner, but it is a necessity. If you make smart decisions and follow these tips, you can end up saving money on your home maintenance, which will make you happier in the long run as well.


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This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not reflect the views of Mommy Ramblings.

Most of us have a vision of what we would imagine to be the perfect home. Whether you want it to be modern, have amazing landscaping, or have a spectacular pool, customizing your home is one of the many rewards of home ownership.

If you need help in sparking your creative side, here are 10 amazing ideas to help make your home awesome.

  1. Moat Pool

At first glance, these pools may seem like some kind of home protection strategy, but the fact is they provide a great look and can be quite popular in the right situation. If the idea of a moat pool surrounding your home conjures up images of Medieval castles and drop-down bridges, take a look at modern moat pools and see how far they have come.

  1. Hanging Bed

Here is a trend that has been popping up lately. Suspend your bed from the ceiling and swing yourself to sleep. The bed can be made from wood, concrete, or plastic, but you’ll definitely want strong beams and a professional installation.

  1. Automatic Window Shades

There are few things more convenient than being able to hit a button and have all of your window shades go up or down. Motorized blinds and shades allow you to manage the ambience, privacy, and sun level of each room quickly without the fuss of cords and pulleys.

  1. Interior Cat Transit System

If you are a fan of cats, then you already know that they like to live in a world of their own. The cat transit system allows them to travel the house in the privacy of their own little tunnels.

  1. Glass Floors

How about a glass floor in one of your rooms? It can make some people a bit nervous standing on one, but having a glass floor adds a coolness factor to most homes. Instead of glass you can also have smooth concrete floors with tile or glass features combining the best of both worlds.

  1. Retractable Pool Table

Imagine having a few guests over for dinner and all of a sudden, a full-sized pool table appears from out of the wall. That is high-speed to say the least.

  1. Concrete Crib

There is a company called “Concrete Crib” that can make custom concrete furniture like tables, benches, pools, and counters. Any of their unique creations would be certain to add that special wow factor to any home. Concrete products are popular because not only are they unique, they are easy to clean and durable as well.

Minimalist dining room with table; chair and two closed doors – rendering

  1. Outdoor Movie Screen

Everyone loves going to the drive-in and enjoying a giant movie screen outdoors, but they really don’t compare to having one in your backyard. You can invite friends and family over to see the latest and greatest movies without having to drive anywhere.

  1. Skateboard Room

This might appeal more to the younger generation but how about a room with built-in skateboard ramps? How many times have you seen something like that? If you want to impress your friends, add one of these to your contemporary house.

  1. Spiral Wine Cellar

You don’t have to be a huge fan of wine to appreciate the beauty of a spiral wine cellar. Your guests will be impressed at this amazing feature in your home.

Regardless of which route you take in personalizing your home, it’s always exciting to seek out fun and new things that you can add. Whether it’s a small bowling alley, or a rooftop tennis court, the options are practically limitless.

 


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This is a sponsored post through the Mom It Forward Influencer Network. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

We are transitioning into spring in New York and the massive snowfall we were buried under, is finally melting away. As the ground becomes visible, I am filled with excitement about being able to see green grass again.

Grass evokes so many emotions, there are songs about grass, we relish the smell of fresh-cut grass and love the feel of grass beneath our feet. Our yard has a large lawn and it is where we spend a great deal of time. It is a place where our children practice their baseball skills, we gather on a blanket for a picnic, our dogs happily sprawl out for an afternoon nap, we watch the squirrels and birds frolic, entertain our friends and family and sit at night gazing up at the stars.

Lawn games are fun too, our neighbor just gave us a bocce ball set and my kids cannot wait to play. Our lawn adds beauty to our home; it is like a gorgeous carpet that compliments my perennial flower gardens. I am so thankful to live in a community where lush, green lawns are plentiful.

Lawns are beneficial too! Living on a hill at the top of a mountain, our lawn helps prevent erosion from heavy rains and wind. Beyond that, grass is beautiful and naturally calming. The visual appeal of green grass helps our mental health and reduces stress levels.

Having a nice lawn does not mean you need to be a slave to it. Sure, lawn maintenance is important for a healthy-looking lawn, but it does not have to consume your life. Did you know that the best season to revive and repair your lawn is spring? If you follow five simple steps now, you will ensure an amazing, summer ready lawn!

Rake

I like to enlist the whole family for this. We each grab a rake and get to work removing old leaves, dead grass and other debris that accumulated over the winter. Raking allows us to easily see any areas that need attention as well as providing more soil contact when seeding, which helps grass grow more easily.

Aerate

This is very important if your lawn is like ours, and has been buried under snow which causes the soil to compact. My dad used to joke that by walking on the grass wearing his golf shoes, he was doing his part to aerate the lawn. Seriously, there are core aerators you can rent or you can hire a professional lawn service to do this for you. Aerating will pull small plugs of soil out of your lawn which allows increased movement of water, nutrients and oxygen into the soil. It will also help to promote growth of new seeds by providing more soil contact.

Seed

Spring is the ideal time to seed any spots that are bare or thin. If you are planning on expanding your lawn, spring is the best time for that too. When you start in spring, the grass has ample time to grow healthy and strong before summer. Selecting the right seed for your area is imperative, ask a turf specialist at your local garden store or university extension office for guidance. After seeding, water lightly and regularly to ensure the area stays damp until the new grass grows.

Control Weeds

Did you know healthy lawns will squeeze out weeds? They will, but damaged lawns that are overrun with dandelions and crabgrass may need some help. Talk with your local garden specialist to decide what weed control options are right for your lawn and your family.

Tune up That Lawn Mower

Get your mower in top shape with an annual service including changing the oil, replacing the spark plug, cleaning or replacing the air filter and sharpening the blade. When the grass is about 3 inches high, it is time to mow. Newly seeded areas should be mowed when they reach 2 inches in height until the new grass is established. Mow with a frequency that allows you to cut less than one-third of the height of the grass. An easy-to-follow rule is to not let grass grow taller than 3 inches and not to cut it shorter than 2 inches.

Following the steps above will leave you with a lush, green lawn to enjoy this summer. I can’t wait to kick off my shoes and feel that grass between my toes! What do you love most about your lawn?



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I am back with an update on our new kitchen. I am happy to say, that 2 weeks ago we signed on the dotted line and our cabinets went into manufacturing. Since they are custom cabinets, they will be made to order and take at least 8 weeks. We ended up going with a brand new Wood-Mode finish called Vintage Bright White. The Vintage finish is a distinctive glaze that is applied over the base color and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements. It also tones done the bright white and is just beautiful. The cabinets below are in Vintage Bright White. This is not the door I picked but I wanted to share the color with you.

We are also really excited about the integrated Häfele LED lighting matched to custom-fabricated Wood-Mode cabinetry. This lighting is brand new and we are the first kitchen that has it. I cannot wait because, I love light and I was forever saying I needed better lighting in the kitchen. This lighting will be in every cabinet and every drawer.

An industry-first, the Wood-Mode Integrated Lighting Program featuring Häfele LED solutions is a collaboration between two industry leaders to meet and drive the growing demand for integrated lighting design. The program utilizes the very best 12 volt, 3rd generation Loox LED options from Hafele. LED lighting is specified in 80% of kitchen projects overall (according to the NKBA) and offers energy-efficient, controllable, and discrete illumination with unlimited creative possibilities. You can read more about it HERE.

Beyond that, I have all the tile at the house and ready to be installed. I still need to pick the tile for the backsplash and that is where I am conflicted. The kitchen designer I am working with told me that it did not matter if I was having second thoughts on the color/pattern of the quartz now, because we have a lot of time. She said they will not  be coming to do the template until the cabinets are installed. That made me breathe a bit easier because I have been going back and forth with my choice. I selected Cambria Quartz in Nevern. I have a very large sample piece and I love it!

The problem is that Cambria Quartz does not photograph well. At least the Nevern does not. In almost every photo I see of it online, it looks like a dull, flat, ugly laminate countertop. The picture below is the one I hate the most, it does nothing to sell this countertop.

That frightens me beyond belief. I know, I like Cambria Quartz, because I had it in my kitchen for almost 10 years. It is just that they need to do a better job in showing the beauty I see in this sample. I have heard other people complain about the same thing. Most said that they had second thoughts based on photos, but were happy in the end when it was installed. They said that the photos did not do it justice at all.

So I was thinking, I should play it safe and go with something like Ella.

On my way to sign the contracts, I kept thinking about it, but my heart and my head were not sold on it at all. I was so glad that when I told my kitchen designer  I was thinking about Ella, she said, “Oh no, you do not want to go with Ella. You want something to make things pop!” I thanked her so much! It was the advice I needed! So Ella got kicked to the curb but I still am second guessing my choice.

I went on the Cambria Facebook page and asked them about my dilemma, but received as Verizon would say, a “half fast” answer. It was like they did not even read my question because they responded that I should look for a larger sample. I guess they missed what I wrote about having a large sample and the photos not looking at all like what I see in front of me.

I don’t know, I know I have time, but until I decide on the countertop, it halts the selection of the backsplash tile. Speaking of being halted, we have been halted for weeks with the demo crew. They should have completed everything by now. We have been held up for over 3 months, but let’s not even go there. Hopefully, work is going to begin next week. I feel like we are behind the 8-ball in getting everything done before the cabinets are ready.

Anyway, I guess this is not much of an update, but I wanted to let you know that things are still moving along slowly. The bathroom renovation has been halted a bit by this whole situation as well. I will have a post up about the faucet we chose for the bathroom in the next few days.

If you made it this far, thank you. If you would like to add any insight on the countertops, please do so in the comments. I would like to hear your thoughts. I will tell you one thing, if I do go for the Nevern and I love it, I will do everything in my power to get great photos of what it really looks like. I don’t want anyone else to have this uncertainty due to poor photos.


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Happy New Year everyone! I hope it is off to a great start for you. You have probably heard people use the adjectives shiny and new to describe the new year. Feeling shiny and new is exactly what I want to share with you today. I bet you don’t know where this is going. We are going to take this into the bathroom. I don’t want to talk about spring cleaning but do want to tell you about another kind of cleaning. Let’s call it personal cleaning.

I am not talking about a bidet. Quite frankly, I think bidets scare a lot of Americans who do not know what they are or how to use them. Not to mention, they take up a good footprint of space in your bathroom. So is there a better way to get that shiny and new feeling that is easier and faster than taking a shower every time you use the bathroom?

There is, it is called a Washlet. The Washlet was introduced in Japan by TOTO back in 1980 and has become one of their signature products. The first Washlet had 3 functions: rear cleansing, dryer and a heated seat. 10 years and numerous innovations later the Washlet came to America. In 2016 a milestone was reached when 40 million Washlets were sold worldwide.

So what is a Washlet and what’s in it for you? A Washlet is a bidet seat and you will be amazed at everything it can do for you. Do you get upset if the male members of your household do not close the lid after using the toilet? That is one of the first ways a Washlet will help you. The Washlet lid opens and closes automatically, so no more unpleasant surprises. If you worry about chilly seats, the Washlet has that covered too with a cozy, heated seat.

I love that it has an eWater+ system, that uses electrolyzed water, a proven, chemical free disinfectant to mist the bowl after every use. No need for harsh chemicals which are already banned in my home.

The wand of the Washlet is automatically cleaned before and after each use.
Eliminating waste effectively is easier when you are not starting with a dry bowl surface, the premist feature uses the incoming water supply to mist the surface which is 80% more efficient.

 

Next, let’s talk about rear cleansing, I know you are chuckling but also intrigued. The rear spray is designed to provide your derriere with a targeted, pleasant yet strong water stream to get you squeaky clean. The front wash feature provides cleaning in the way of large, soft drops for a comfortable wash that leaves you feeling clean as a daisy.

TOTO is not going to make you drip dry, they have thought of everything! The warm air dryer will make sure you are nice and dry before you go on your way.

Finally, there is an effective deodorizer that cleans the air around the toilet using powerful filters. Air is drawn in, passing through a catalytic deodorizer to eliminate unpleasant odors.

If you want a Washlet with all those features, the S350E is the way to go. It is available in round or elongated and comes in cotton white or Sedona beige. If you would like to see videos of all the features, visit TOTO on YouTube.

We are putting one of these awesome Washlets on our Guinevere Toilet. I will show you more on both as we are further along in the renovation of our bathroom. You have to love constructions delays. In the meantime, if you want to see more about the toilet we chose or some things to consider when choosing a toilet, you can check it out on our post HERE.

To learn more about Washlets and all their fabulous features click HERE. Do you have one of these in your home? Have you been thinking about getting one? Is this the first time you have heard of it? Let me know what you think or about your experience.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with a Washlet S350e for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

 


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When you ask people what their least favorite household chore is, at the top of the list of most people is cleaning the toilet. Can you imagine if there was a toilet that would take care of that dreaded task for you? Well, you can stop dreaming about it because American Standard’s ActiClean toilet is real! This toilet cleans and removes stains at the touch of a button.

I will admit, I was very shocked to learn about this toilet a few months ago. We actually have one and cannot wait to install it. Our “little leak” in our kitchen that caused extensive damage to our home, has delayed our bathroom renovation projects just a tad. We will update with all the details as soon as we are ready to resume that project. I thought I would share my joy with you in the meantime about this amazing toilet.

How does the ActiClean System work?

American Standard provided us with an ActiClean Toilet for our project. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Happy New Year everyone! Hope everyone’s year is off to a great start. I have some updates on our new kitchen. While the demo and everything in the house is going to take another 8 weeks at least, we are making headway with our kitchen decisions.

I believe, I shared our choice of Wood-Mode Custom Cabinetry for our kitchen. We are going with their Brookhaven line and our door style is Winter Haven Raised.

The first time I went into the kitchen design center and started working with Regina, our kitchen designer, I was sure I was going with Antique White. Yesterday, when my husband and I were there together making final decisions, I changed my color choice. I am going with Vintage Lace.

Wood-Mode’s Vintage Opaque is a distinctive glaze applied over the base color which in our case is Lace and adds a brushed appearance to the surface while highlighting the details of the door style and architectural elements.

It is funny because the first time I was there, I was sure I did not want that look and yet, the second time, I was sold on it. I feel that is why it is so important to meet with your kitchen designer multiple times in the planning stages of your project. So far, we have been to the kitchen showroom 2 times and Regina has been out to our house once to take measurements.

Now, that we are getting closer to putting the order in, she will come out again to make sure everything is correct. It is so nice to work with a kitchen designer who has experience and guides you along through the process. Yesterday, I remember clearly  saying to myself, “Wow, I am so glad she thought of that!”

The other thing is, they can give you great advice that can save you money and headaches. For instance, since my cooktop is mounted against an outside wall, she advised me not to go with a pot filler. I was not sold on one either, you may remember my earlier post.

The reason is, living in upstate New York, there is a danger of the pipes freezing which would cause extensive damage to our kitchen. Dealing with the damage from a leak is something we are familiar with and do not wish to deal with again if we can help it.

I know you can mount them on deck but I don’t want that sticking out of the counter top. Truthfully, the more I read about them, the more I am glad to have that reason for not putting one in. You still need to carry the water back to your sink. We decided to add an island prep sink which is behind the stove area. This will allow us to fill pots even if someone is at the kitchen sink.  I am good with that.

I am really excited about how I was able to utilize a lot of what I considered dead space in my old kitchen. My kitchen did have a lot of bells and whistles but there were some things  I wanted to change. We have so many baking trays, cookie sheets, cutting boards, cooling racks etc. In my old kitchen, I did have a tray cabinet but it was not large enough for everything we had.

It is not a matter of getting rid of some of it because we cook and bake all the time and use it all. So we added more slotted storage to our kitchen. The cabinet above the refrigerator is one that we hardly used. It contained some light bulbs and a container of glue. We  added tray storage up there and I think it is going to be great.

We also have a bottom tray cabinet next to the stove as we did before and over the ovens we put more slotted storage. We have an oven drawer under the double ovens as we did before to handle frequently used pans and sheets.

Something else I am super excited about, are the great pull out cabinets we put on the other side of our cooktop. If you think our tray situation was excessive, our collection of spatulas, ladles, cooking spoons and other cooking tools rivals it. Currently, we had two large utensil drawers and 2 large crocks on the counter. I wanted to find a more useful and out-of-sight way to store what we needed.

Browsing Pinterest, I found these great pull out cabinets with crocks built-in. I showed them to my kitchen designer who incorporated them into the design. Next to that we have another pull out cabinet that can handle our cooking oils, sprays etc. In an upper cabinet to the right of the cook top we have a swing out spice cabinet.

Being tall, I hate having to stoop down to see all the way to the back of lower cabinets. In my current kitchen, there are only three cabinets I had to do that. The rest all had roll outs or were drawer units. In this kitchen we made sure that there are no cabinets that would cause me to lay on the floor or crawl into to see what is in the back.

I eliminated the desk area and glass door cabinet that was above it from my current kitchen. We did not use the desk and it was a catch-all for everything as were the glass door cabinets. In its place we added some more pull out pantry storage which I am crazy about.

The new refrigerator is being set into cabinets to give it a built-in look. On the side of my fridge in my other kitchen, I had decorative raised panels that matched the cabinets. In our new kitchen design we added some useful storage.  We are putting in a functioning cabinet that will have lower storage for our broom, dust pan etc and upper storage for cleaning supplies, garbage bags etc. Something similar to this design I saw on Pinterest.

In the new kitchen we have extended all our upper cabinets to 42″. This extra cabinet space will give us the room we need to store appliances that we don’t use every day. We are removing the extended sofits to make room for the taller cabinets. On top of the cabinets we will add a very nice crown molding.

We are in the process of picking out our new quartz counters. In my old kitchen I had quartz counters and I love them. However, I want a little more movement in the new ones. I think I have found my countertop but not 100% sure.

Regina had me bring home my door sample and a large sample of the counter to look at it in the kitchen to make it easier for me to decide.

We are putting in a Farmhouse sink from Nantucket sinks and it has a really nice drain that we also chose from their website that never lets your hands touch the mess in the drain. Really cool and that is not all!

The sink has two front sides so you can choose what design you want. The smooth front of the Hyannis or the decorative side of the Chatham. I still have to pick the faucet. Oh, all the decisions!

We love the built-in butcher block we have in our old kitchen and so we went with one in this design also. It will be built into the side of the island to the right of the prep sink. We placed the pull out waste and recycling underneath so you can peel and chop and then just shove scraps right into the trash. To the side of the cutting board we put a large knife storage drawer and next to that, we put our utensil storage.

Another big change we are making is using one of the large island drawers to hold our dishes with a peg drawer insert. This will make it easier to set the table and for the kids to get dishes themselves without having to climb up to reach them in upper cabinets. We added about 9 inches to the length of our island and this allowed us to put a 12 inch cabinet on the end with doors to store serving pieces, dishes and glasses.

Over the cooktop we have an English Country Elliptical Range Hood that matches the cabinets. I am not certain we are going with this style but I am leaning toward it.

The microwave will be hung over the counter next to the double ovens.

All of the cabinet doors and drawers are soft close and the doors are the full overlay style. We picked out our hardware too and I really like the way it looks and feels. The drawer pulls are nice and large and can accommodate hands of all sizes.

We have a large storage pantry in the same spot we did before but instead of having those wooden racks that pull and slide out to hold cans, we have added slide out shelf pull outs that our designer tells me I will find much more useful.

We are using commercial style appliances and I will update you on those in another post. For the flooring we are going to do a wood look porcelain tile. It is someone like the one I have but darker which I think will make the cabinets pop!

I think this is a long enough update for now. We have some exciting things to share regarding lighting with you soon. Let me know what you think of what we have picked out so far.

 


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If you are designing a new kitchen, you probably know all about pot fillers. You might be wondering how we lived all these years filling our pots at the kitchen sink and carrying them over to the stove. Maybe you are thinking, it makes no sense because you still have to carry that pot of boiling hot water over to the sink to drain or empty at some point. There is also a point to be made that it is  another source of a potential leak, problem and of course expense in what already is a very expensive project. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why they are becoming so popular.

Less Strain on Your Body

Water has a weight of about 8 pounds per gallon. If you are filling up a large stock pot with water at the sink it can put a strain on your back as you carry it. However I don’t sit my pot in my sink and fill it, I usually set it up at counter height and fill it with my extended spray arm. If you are setting a large pot down in a deep sink and then hoisting it up and out, that could strain your back, especially if you have issues. However, most people have been doing this for years and are just fine.

Saves Time

The other point that is made to the advantage of a pot filler is that it saves time. I like to save time and work more efficiently but really, I doubt I am saving that much time to really make a difference. It is true you can turn it on and fill your pot on the stove and then go back to your sink to wash veggies or prep other foods. That could save you a few minutes, as long as you remember to keep watching the pot and run over and turn the water off before it overflows. I can see the advantage that you can easily be sauteing or cooking another part of the meal while you have a pot filling up on the stove. Not sure if this really is enough of a reason to convince people they need a pot filler.

Adds Style

I think this is the biggest reason you see them in more new kitchens today. It adds a touch of style and sophistication to your kitchen. I think many would say it adds a certain status to your project. I was speaking with a woman a couple of weeks ago and she was telling me about her son and how well he was doing. She went on to describe his house and said, “You know he even has one of those pot fillers in his kitchen.”

 

The facts remain that you need to carry that pot of water back to the stove which can strain your back as can hoisting it and pouring over a colander to drain pasta or other foods. That kind of negates the first reason. Sure, it may save a few seconds to minutes but does that truly justify the additional cost and of course potential source of a problem like a leak? I think the reason people put them in is based heavily on the third reason. Pot fillers look nice and they add a wow factor to your kitchen.

Some other cons are that they collect grease from cooking and it is another thing to clean. Cleaning the pot filler is something you would not have to do if you did not have one. Cleaning the pot filler will actually take longer than the time you saved in filling the pots on the stove. For those that like clean lines, having a pot filler extending from the backsplash may be an eyesore. There are deck mounted pot fillers as well but that is another permanent fixture protruding from your counter top.

I am still deciding if I am going to put one in my new kitchen. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 


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I cannot tell you how long my husband has been suggesting we get a TOTO toilet. Truth be told, he has gone beyond suggesting and was well into the nagging phase when we began talking about the renovation of our powder room.

I have seen TOTO toilets in many of the upscale resorts we stayed in this summer like the Mirror Lake Inn. Seeing them used like this was another indication they must be superior quality. So I decided to look further into them.

Their website is very easy to navigate and you will find so many styles and designs to browse. They have a special tool called My TOTO that allows you to view, save, compare, and share products for multiple design projects. You can learn about a product’s features and specifications, save it to a folder for future reference, compare its features and price and even share your favorites with friends and family through social media.

The first thing you need to figure out is whether you want a one-piece or two-piece toilet. A two-piece toilet is generally lighter than a one piece toilet since the tank is separate.  This can help if you have to carry it up to the second or higher level in your home.

One piece toilets can usually fit in tighter spaces and they are easier to clean than two-piece toilets. They also tend to have less issues than two-piece toilets. One-piece toilets generally have a higher price point than two-piece toilets.

TOTO also has a third choice, wall-hung, which opens up bathroom space but you need to have an in-wall tank system.

Your style will be the next choice you will need to make. For residential use, you can choose from modern, transitional or classic styles. Other choices you will need to make are whether you want an elongated or round bowl shape, flush rate, flushing system and color.

I knew, I wanted was a skirted toilet. If you are not sure what that is, it means that the trapway is covered, is so much easier to clean and has a smoother appearance. I also wanted a classic design, elongated bowl and powerful flushing system.

I was able to find exactly what I wanted in the Eco Guinevere. This is a uniquely sculpted one-piece toilet with a 1.28 GPF and elongated bowl. It also features  TOTO’s highly efficient Tornado flushing system, which uses a powerful combination of gravity and centrifugal force and CeFiONtect, an extraordinarily smooth, ion-barrier surface to help the bowl stay cleaner longer. I also chose the brushed nickel trip lever.

Eco Guinevere® One-Piece Toilet

Let me know what you think of our choice and I will be posting something else we picked for our toilet. Something that is pretty special! However, you will just have to wait to hear all about it. Feel free to take some guesses and leave them in the comments.

Special thanks to TOTO for all their help and for providing us with this exceptional toilet for our project. As always all my words and opinions are 100% my own.

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Right now, my home is under construction in a few areas, one is my kitchen. I literally have had to remove everything in my cabinets and kitchen in order to get ready for the demo that is going to begin there. Having all my cabinets empty is so strange. I should take a photo because it is a rare thing. Normally, I think of ways to maximize storage of my plastic containers, pot lids, spices and more.

Are you looking for ways to organize, condense and maximize your storage space? If so, I just discovered some great products from YouCopia.

kitchen-storage

I knew I had to have the StoraStack because I really need to organize my food storage containers. I used to spend so much time digging around the drawer looking for the right lid.

drawer-storastack

The StoraStack smartly organizes food containers in your kitchen drawer. Two clip dispensers can be positioned as needed to hold two container stacks in place. Individual slots keep matching lids upright so everything stays tidy and easy to find.

storastack

 

My next issue was pot lids sliding around in my roll outs. That is why I like the StoreMore Lid Holder.

lid-holder

The StoreMore Lid Holder organizes all of your pot and pan lids in the cabinet or pantry. Strong wire dividers can be adjusted to keep lids upright, separated and easy to retrieve. Save space and reduce clutter by storing lids vertically!

 

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Last issue for me was how to deal with all the spices I have. I have so many spices that the built in spice cabinet is not enough. I ended up using 2 cabinets to store them all. The problem is that smaller spices get lost and so when I saw the spice steps, I knew I had to try them.

spice-stairs

The 24-bottle SpiceSteps™ is the easiest, most affordable way to organize spices in the kitchen cabinet. Maximize space with four tiers instead of the standard three. Label the bottle caps with included stickers to quickly find spices.

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Would you like the chance to win a product of your choice from YouCopia? If so, enter the giveaway below and you could win your choice of product from YouCopia up to a $40 value. Good luck!!! Open to US residents.

YouCopia Product Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

(read more…)


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We have 2 new renovation projects underway. Our kitchen and the renovation of our powder room with a new vanity, lighted mirror cabinet, new toilet and new paint. We made our decision on the vanity and medicine cabinet and want to share our choice with you.

We are happy to be working with Strasser Woodenworks  and love their selection of bathroom vanities, vanity tops and medicine cabinets. We chose the 34.5″ height vanity in the Montlake Collection. For our door style we chose the miter and for our finish we picked satin white.

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The vanity size is 48″ and we went with a 49″ pearl white quartz top with rectangular sink. We ordered the top to be customized for a one hole faucet.

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For the medicine cabinet we went with the traditional tri-view with the matching miter door style in the satin white finish. We chose the model with the LED light bar.

medicine-cabinet

I think this is going to look great and really update the space nicely and give us a so much more useful storage space. Stay tuned to see the progress of this new project and for the update on the toilet and faucet we chose for this bathroom.

If you are looking for a new vanity, check out Strasser Woodenworks. I have been working with Peter and he has been very helpful through the process. Strasser has over 10,000 combinations of door styles, finishes, knobs, pulls, granite, quartz and vitreous china tops.

Everything is made in the USA to order! It takes about 2 weeks for the vanity and medicine cabinet to be built using hardwoods sourced in the USA and Canada. They build with quality hardware and their soft close hinges are the highest quality and durable. Their cabinets are built with hardware not glued!

Strasser Woodenworks products come with a warranty to be free of defects in workmanship, materials and finish failure for as long as you own the product. That makes me feel really good! You can stay in the loop with Strasser Woodenworks on Facebook, Google +, Pinterest and Houzz.

Let me know what you think of our choice by leaving a comment here. I would love to know what you think.

 


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If you love the look of a farmhouse sink and want one in your kitchen, you are not alone. The farmhouse sink with its apron front was designed for the comfort of women who spent long hours in front of them. By eliminating the countertop in front, women did not have to lean forward over sink. So, what is it about these sinks of yesteryear that appeals to us today? I think there are a number of reasons they are so popular. The size is larger since the apron front extends over the bottom cabinet. This makes them ideal to wash even large pots, pans, cookie sheets and more.

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Besides looking beautiful that apron front means that any drips will not be falling on the cabinet but onto the floor eliminating the chance of water damage to your cabinets. Without having to reach over the countertop it is much more comfortable than a conventional sink. I think there is a certain romantic quality to a farmhouse sink that beckons us to simpler times and tugs at our heartstrings.

When you are considering a farmhouse sink there are some factors to consider. Material is a major one. Farmhouse sinks are available in white porcelain, cast iron enamel, Fireclay, stainless steel, copper and more.

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For me the look of the white Fireclay along with the durability make it a strong contender. I do have a more modern stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room but I still find myself longing for the true farmhouse look of the Fireclay. There are sink grills available which will help protect your sink. I love sink grills and would highly recommend them. If a Fireclay sink does chip, it can be repaired with a repair kit.nantucket-sink-grill

 

Fireclay sinks are heavy and some require that the sink cabinet is customized with extra support to handle the weight. You will also need to decide on a double or single bowl. For me it is a no-brainer. I want the full experience of the large sink and don’t want to split it into 2 bowls.

nantucket-brown

Since I grew up with a dishwasher and don’t hand wash anything that can go in the dishwasher, I just did not see why I would want 2 bowls. The things we hand wash are large and so I know a double bowl would not be able to handle them with the ease of a large single bowl.

Even after you have decided on a sink material and bowl size there are still other decisions like the design. This is the hardest for me. I have been working with Jake from Nantucket Sinks and he has helped me tremendously. I finally made my decision and I choose the Hyannis 30″ Fireclay Sink.

hyannis-30-website

So that is one decision down for our kitchen and about 1,000,000 more to go! What do you think of my choice? If you have any questions please let me know.

 


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I love growing things, I have been growing mango trees from seed all summer. I have germinated 10 or 11 trees now that are doing wonderful! I am growing pineapples too from the pineapple top and it is so much fun and so rewarding. I love to garden and also plant and maintain many perennial gardens on my property. I have a vegetable garden too and one of the things I hate about winter is the drabness that seems to take over. Sure the white snow on evergreens is pretty but the long winters can leave me longing for color.

That is where silk flowers come in. They can give me those pops of colors that really cheer me up and make me smile. I also like to use them in areas where it would be hard to maintain real flowering plants. I recently picked out a gorgeous Dancing Orchid. It is 32″ tall and comes in a beautiful ceramic pot.

 

purple-flowers

purple-flowers-1

purple-flowers-2

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I am really happy with it and plan to put it around my whirlpool tub in my master bathroom. I like to take a lot of warm baths in the winter and having that colorful orchid there will just help me to feel that spring is not too far away.

Do you decorate with silk plants? Would love to hear your thoughts.

I received the dancing orchid to facilitate my review. As always my words and views are 100% my own.


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Kitchen renovations are much different today than they ever have been before. It used to be that when someone did a kitchen renovation or a remodel the only real options they had were the design and architectural features of the room such as arches/doorways, walls/ceilings, and flooring or additional space options.

These days, though, you have many other elements you can add such as smart appliances and products for a smartly designed kitchen. If you are curious about the different smart kitchen ideas available, consider reading the article below for some cool and technology driven ideas to make your kitchen more forward friendly, convenient and comfortable.

smart appliances

Smart Appliances For A Smart Kitchen

Most appliances in the kitchen are already pretty darn smart in terms of timers and knowing when to stop cooking a product. But, you also have a lot of other different “smart” options available to you, such as:

– Touchscreen Stove Tops: Not only is this a really cool type of cooking technology, but it can also be used in a kitchen with children as well, since it’s a very safe product to use. Essentially the cook top uses conduction to heat things like pots and pans. But, the other parts of the stove stay cool – to the touch. You can actually use the touch screen to browse the internet, look up recipes to make, check out cookbooks in digital format and more.

– Home Chat: This cool little app is meant for specific things like the fridge. It will essentially keep track of items and ingredients inside the refrigerator and you can ask it questions such as: Do we have butter and it will reply back via text yes two sticks or no we do not. This is really efficient because you can use the app even out of the house.

Smart Fridge

This is a really cool option but in the near future, we will also have an even cooler option (it’s a concept right now) that will actually order food, keep track of what’s in the fridge and alert you when you are running low, and do a plethora of other cool options. For now, though, you have these smart refrigerators. The LCD display allows you to watch TV, listen to the radio, check the news, leave memos for yourself or other family members, check out the calendar and leave notes on specific days and more. It’s quite expensive, at around $3600 but if you want a tech driven kitchen, this might be the addition for you… for now anyway, until that higher tech fridge comes along!

Pair 3D Design Application

Okay, this is a really cool app and unlike any other smart application above. It’s only an Apple App right now, though. Essentially what you do is you bring up the camera on your iPhone and the app will give you different furniture options for that camera viewer. In the camera viewer, you can see how that piece of furniture or an appliance would fit in your space, what it would look in a 3D manner and more. The app can also be used by brands and businesses as well. But it’s also a great design tool for home owners that allow you to set up a room in real-time.

Radiant Flooring

In a lot of cases, you see radiant flooring done in a bathroom. But, since more and more people are also using porcelain in the kitchen as well (its durable, budget friendly and beautiful) some manufactures have started to make radiant flooring options for the kitchen too. This is a perfect option for any flooring in the kitchen, but especially stone or tile like porcelain because even though it does have a lot of benefits, one of the disadvantages are that it can get quite cool to the touch in the winter. In order to fix this, you can use radiant heating underneath the flooring to warm it up before you ever set foot on it.

Radiant flooring can be set on a timer so that it turns on every morning before you wake up to make the floor nice and toasty so when you come down for breakfast or coffee the floor is already heated up. You can also use Wi-Fi with a lot of radiant flooring systems so as soon as you wake up you can turn on your app – and have the floor heated so by the time you make it downstairs it’s warmed. Tile flooring like porcelain is a great conductor of heat. In fact, the two best materials to use a radiant floor on are porcelain and wood. Porcelain is a really good option though because it won’t expand as it warms and cools which means it won’t crack which means your flooring will last for longer!

radiant flooring

There you have it, kitchen renovation ideas that you should know before you start your project.


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What do you think of having your garbage or recyclables at your fingertips but also out of sight. Check out these great products from rev a shelf trash. I think it is an awesome idea if you have enough room and are not sacrificing cabinet space you need. I think under the sink would be a great place. There are so many neat options for the bathroom too. I am getting a lot of ideas!

trash under cabin

 

trash under cab

 

 


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So happy to be seeing some nice weather, spring really arrived because Sunday I saw my first Robin Red Breast! The trees are budding and the daffodils are coming up. I love watching all the birds that visit our home and feeders throughout the day. I think one of my favorite things to do is to sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and my camera and spend some time with nature.

robin red breast

birds

birds 1

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We love to be outdoors when the weather is nice. We are planning a lot of outdoor projects and enhancements to make our yard, deck, porch and gardens more of an outdoor oasis for family, friends and entertaining.

We will be re-staining our deck as soon as the weather is consistent enough for that. So once the deck is all revitalized we thought since it is so large, it would be nice to have a shady area since it gets a lot of sun.

That was when I started looking for a shade type gazebo awning. I found one I liked from Abba Patio and it was available right on Amazon. that was nice since I have Amazon Prime and it would be shipped to my house quickly and for free.

gazebo

It is very nice quality and was not hard for my husband and I to put together. We set it up on the lawn since we have to stain the deck but we will update with photos when we have it set on the deck. The nice thing is you can secure it through the feet so you don’t have to worry about severe weather causing it to topple or get thrown around.

It is heavy-duty and the canvas top provides UV protection and is fade resistant. The light color works well to reflect heat and it provides a large enough space for a patio table and chairs or an outdoor seating group underneath. We are really looking forward to having everything set up on the deck and entertaining with our family and friends this spring and summer.

 

Product Features:

  • Beige polyester top-long lasting, fade resistant, easy to clean and 98% UV protection
  • Quick and easy set up with 2 or more people by easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions
  • Foot pads are installed to the canopy legs for added stability and easy access to secure anchor points
  • 2-1/5 inch diameter powder coated steel leg tube resists chipping, peeling, rust and corrosion and provides increased stability
  • Heavy-duty bungee cord tightly secure the tarp cover to the fram

Check out the video below of how we assembled it and to see more of this great portable, tent gazebo by Abba Patio.

Would love to know what you have planned for your home and garden spring and summer projects. Let me know in the comments. Enjoy the season!

 


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Designing a child’s room can be a challenge. It can be tempting just to utilize an adult bedroom set for them, especially if you already have one you can use. Using adult furniture sets can present several issues. Often, the furniture is not suitable for children, it may have sharp corners, lack safety features or just be the wrong size to be safe or functional.  Children’s rooms tend to be smaller than what many adult size sets were made for. This can leave a child’s room overcrowded, cramped and lacking in style, functionality and fun!

You might be scratching your head trying to figure out how you can create a child’s room that will be functional, fun, stylish and grow with them.  I am happy to tell you that it’s not so hard.  You might want to take a look  at modular childrens’ bedroom furniture as an option. Modular furniture is the perfect choice when trying to maximize storage and function for kids, even in small spaces.

bambini bedroom set

The versatility of having some pieces with wheels that can be moved when needed and rolled back when not. Modular pieces provide storage for what you need most. Create a unique storage solution for your child’s things by combining cubbies, cubes, shelves, drawers, hooks etc to get exactly what you need. Wardrobe units can be added and are a solution for more than clothing storage, they can be customized to fit many purposes.

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Modular pieces also let you work around oddly shaped spaces where more traditional furniture just won’t work. Other advantages are the ability to add  bold punches of color in a drawer or bin that draws the eye and gives the room flair. If your child is old enough, letting him/her plan their room with you and decide on pieces and colors will empower your child and makes them so much more in tune with their room.

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Bunk beds or loft beds with desk space underneath  add function and style in any space.  As your child grows, pieces can be added, colors swapped, pieces rearranged  and more to adapt to their changing needs.  Changing the color of walls and textiles will also give the same pieces a totally different feel as your child grows.

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If you have a budding artist adding a fold down modular wall cabinet that transforms into an art table with smaller cubbies and drawers above for art supplies would inspire and delight any budding Picasso.

Bambini Childre's Room

NIDI-Solutions2015_014-015-300x400

If you have a child collector, there are great options for storing and displaying sports memorabilia, dolls, cars and more. What are your greatest challenges in your child’s room? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 

nidi-childrens-bedroom-ro-21


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Don’t you hate writing with messy, dusty, chalk that gets all over your fingers?  I remember in college one professor hated to write with it, any time he absolutely had to, he would always say that he was risking getting cancer to write on the board.  He was talking about the chalk dust.  Anyway, with most chalk boards you don’t have many options besides using white or colored chalk. If you’re looking for an easier option, one that is colorful, neat, non-toxic, eco-friendly and FUN…I have the answer. Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers take chalk to a whole new level.

fun chalk 1

 

Here are just some of the benefits of these Chalk Markers:

* 8 Bright, Eye Catching Colors
* Long lasting, quick drying ink
* Clean-up is quick and easy. Simply wipe off with water and a cloth.
* It’s dust free making it a prime choice for those with asthma or allergies
* Non-Toxic, xylene-free, odor-free

Plus, FUN CHALK’s Chalk Markers are environmentally friendly and conform to all the requirements set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials and the European Standard for Toy Safety Testing.

FUN CHALK has been tested and APPROVED by moms, kids and teachers. It’s time to let your imagination and creativity take flight. BUY our Chalk Markers now and receive FREE SHIPPING! Just click add to cart. Your purchase will be backed by a 100% money-back guarantee.

IMPORTANT: All liquid chalk is meant to be used on non-porous materials. We recommend that you test FUN CHALK on a sample or inconspicuous spot on the material you are going to use.

 

fun chalk 2

I recently test drove the 8 piece broad liquid chalk markers. There is a little trick to get them started.  First you push down on the tip to release any pressure, then you shake it vigorously and then depress the tip while holding it on a piece of paper until you see the color filling the tip and it flows.  After that, it is time for fun!

Fun Chalk Box

 

Liquid Chalk

 

fun marker dry erase

I used them on my black dry erase board and they worked great! The eye-popping, vibrant colors made leaving messages or drawing pictures really fun!  You can use the markers on non-porous blackboards, mirrors, windows and plastic.  Use them at your next business meeting, on  your family message board, to decorate windows or whatever. The easy, wet cloth erase will  make cleanup a snap. There’s also a set of 8 fine tip fluorescent colors available.  You can purchase the high-quality chalk markers on Amazon.

 

Enter The Giveaway!

Fun Chalk is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a 8 pack of broad Fun Chalk, Liquid  Chalk Markers.. Thank you to Fun Chalk for the review chalk markers and for sponsoring this vibrant giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Fun Chalk, Liquid Chalk Markers


New From: $13.99 USD In Stock


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I would consider myself to have a green thumb, two in fact, but when it comes to orchids, something changes them both to brown. I love the look when I see them in the store but take them home, and soon all I have to show is a planter. Recently, I found a beautiful orchid that will stay that way.

At Silk Flowers Direct, I can shop online from a vast selection of silk flowers, plants, topiaries, palms, trees, containers, custom items and even commercial products. I love you can choose from various  filters that let me find items by the type of flower or plant, color, shape, quantity, material and more. Silk Plants Direct offers the largest selection of lifelike faux plants and trees for your home or office decor. They not only offer a collection of stocked products, but they also manufacture plants and trees to each customers exact specifications for turn-key solution.

Here is the beautiful Orchid I received and it is so pretty.  I put it next to my tub and it is a gorgeous, tranquil piece that is perfect for gazing at when relaxing in the tub.

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Exclusive Discount Code-Save 10%

So take a look at the huge assortment of beautiful flowers, trees and plants at Silk Plants Direct  and if you decide to purchase use the exclusive discount code, BLOGGER10  created for Mommy Ramblings’ Readers to save 10% on your order!  Follow Silk Plants Direct on Facebook and  Twitter to stay in the loop on the newest products and promotions. 

 

 

 

 

I was sent the orchid silk plant to facilitate my review by Silk Plants Direct.  As usual my words and views are 100% my own!


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Epson Logo

Are you trying to get more organized?  Do you ever pack things up in boxes and totes and forget what’s inside?  Do you ever want to do something crafty like create professional looking monogrammed or personalized ribbons  for cards, wedding favors, hair bows and more?  If you answered yes to any or all of these things, I want to introduce you to the Epson LabelWorks LW-600P Label Printer.  

Epson-LW-600P-Label-Printer

This compact desktop label printer will let you create original labels that you can customize with clip art, your own photos and even your own handwriting or drawings.  You can also take a picture of what is in the boxes you are packing and create a bar code label to stick on the outside of the box.  If you scan the bar code label you will see a picture of what is inside the box!

 

 

 

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Epson-LabelWorks

 

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Labels are not the only thing it prints.  How about printing on beautiful ribbons.  What a great way to make wedding and party favors, your own cards, custom ornament hanging ribbon, hair bows, and so much more.

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It’s so simple to start printing with the bluetooth capability.  I was able to create and print from my laptop, iPad and iPhone in a flash.  Just download the app and I was ready to roll.  I cannot wait to use this to organize our home which is in the middle of at least 4 major home improvement projects at the same time.  I am so excited to start taking back some order and taming the chaos around here.  I will update with more of my own projects and organization examples very soon.  You can find the Epson LabelWorks LW-600P on Mommy Ramblings’ 2014 Holiday Gift Guide!

More about LabelWorks LW-600P:

Print labels smarter

Now, it’s easier than ever to print customized labels — virtually anywhere — with the LW-600P portable label printer. Print labels from your smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. Print date labels for food items, QR code labels, or labels to organize cables. Create ribbons for gifts, or even labels with symbols or hand-written messages. Preview labels before printing. Or, use smartphones with voice recognition2 to create labels fast. Download the Epson iLabel app for iOS or Android devices or choose from other compatible apps3 available. With multiple tapes to choose from (up to one-inch wide) and an automatic cutter, you’ve got all you need for customized labels on the go.

Connect smarter

The battery-operated1 LW-600P can print wirelessly from iOS and Android devices, via Bluetooth. Simply download the Epson iLabel app or other compatible apps.3 Use your mobile device to create handwritten labels, iron-on labels, ribbons and more. This compact printer can also print from Windows® and Mac systems via a USB cable.

Enter The Giveaway:

Epson is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win an Epson LW-600P Label Printer. Than you Epson for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Epson LabelWorks  LW-600P Label Printer Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter to win using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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As someone in the middle of several home improvement projects with extensive tile work involved in 2 of them, I am excited to share a new guide to make choosing tile easier.  One of the most daunting parts of picking out tile is trying to find what you like, staying in your  budget and choosing tile that is right for the application you are using it for.  Walking in a tile showroom can be positively overwhelming!  There are so many patterns, colors, materials and finishes that it may cause your eyes to glaze over or make you have a panic attack.

Tile ModernBath

Last year at this time, I was picking out the tile for our master bath and I remember being so overwhelmed.   I just wanted to be in a room with 3 choices and make a simple decision.  Tile is something you don’t just change on a whim, you know it’s going to be with you for a long time and that’s why picking something that is going to go the long haul for you on style and  durability is paramount.

Tile Backsplash

If you wished an expert could be with you, holding your hand and guiding you, I may have the next best thing.  The Interior Design Tile Style Guide from Drury Design will help you understand everything you need to know when making a tile purchase. From the basics of whether  to choose glass, ceramic, porcelain, natural stone or exotic tile based on where it will be installed, durability, maintenance and your budget to lots of interior design ideas simple and ornate. Armed with the proper knowledge beforehand makes picking out tile a much easier and pleasurable task.

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

Tile Steamer_in_kitchen_drury

You can browse great design ideas for bathrooms, kitchens, backsplash trends and more for inspiration.  Check it out today and see what you think.  Let us know your thoughts.


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concealed cabinet logo

Have you wondered what part of the master bath ren0 we are up to?   Did you think we were finished and going to do the big reveal?  I wish we were finished.  We have so many home improvement projects occurring simultaneously in our home right now, it feels like we are living in an episode of Hoarders.  What I mean by that is, since we had to empty rooms and closets, we are now storing so much in towers of boxes and bins it feels like our stuff is taking over.

Concealed Cabinet image

I cannot wait until the master bath is finished and it almost is but there have been such delays with the tile contractor and things have been done backwards.  He needs to finish the tiling of the stairs around the whirlpool and grout certain areas and then he still has to finish prepping the walls for paint which is going to get dust over everything again and should have been finished but let’s not even go there!

Anyway, you probably remember posts about the medicine cabinets and how we decided to go with Concealed Cabinets. If you missed that, you can read about it HERE and HERE.  We installed 2 of the extra-large concealed cabinets on either side of the vanity.  It was an easy install and they look great.  Concealed Cabinets  look like a picture frame and you can add whatever art work you like to the door front and change it whenever you want too!

For this review and update, I just put some scrapbook paper in the back of some prints I had.  I am changing them to something that fits the entire space and will be using photographs I took of our lake and gardens.  I tried two different papers with the prints but decided to use the print and changed the one that had the solid green-blue metallic paper. Until, the other prints come in, these will do and it’s just as well since we still have a lot of dust and construction to come.

this was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors.  That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.

This was a very stiff metallic paper and it looks very weird in the photo because of the way it reflected the light and it looks like two different colors. That is not how it looks in real life but I did like the look of the print paper better so changed them.

 

Concealed Cabinet 2

I have not put anything inside yet, since as you can see the walls still have to be finished.

 

This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.

This is the print background that I decided to put in the other as well until the enlarged photo prints come in.

 

Concealed-Cabinet 5

Concealed Cabinets are made of REAL WOOD, no plastic and come in different sizes and finishes.  We choose the white in the extra-large size. If you are looking for a change from the traditional look of ordinary medicine cabinets, a concealed cabinet could be just what you are looking for.  Right now they are having a SIZZLING SUMMER SALE and you can save 20% at www.concealedcabinet.com.  You can follow Concealed Cabinet on Facebook  and Twitter to see the latest news and updates on their product line.

 

Stay tuned for more updates and hopefully very soon the big reveal of the Master Bath!!!  I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will not be much longer.

Innovators sponsored our project by providing us with the 2 Concealed Cabinets, as always, my views and words are 100% my own.

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csfts new logo

Do you ever feel like you have so much on your plate you can never catch up?  I feel like that most days.  I always look around and feel that I just have so much going on.  With a house in chaos because no less than 5 major home improvement projects are happening, a very busy career as a marketing director, busy blogger and writer, brand ambassador, and handling a few businesses that my husband and I have, added to the fact that we have 5 kids and a big house (ever see the movie The Money Pit?), where there is always something to be done, I can feel like things are swirling out of control.  I am blessed to be able to work from home but I still work and work a lot!  I make time to play but probably not as much as I should.

When I was picking out books to review from Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, I chose The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide.  Do you wonder how I made that decision?  I didn’t think so.  I love this book because it’s filled with stories with moms like me, some who juggle and wonder how to keep all those balls in the air just like I do.  I have found that it’s okay to give yourself permission to say, “I am done for the day” and leave whatever for tomorrow and if it doesn’t get done then so be it.

 

I know that I need to prioritize what really needs to be done, my family needs, my needs, jobs that have deadlines are all first.  Then the things we want to get done can come next, but if I don’t get something done, I’m going to stop beating myself up for it.  The opposite is true to that too.  I read in one story in the book, we are told over and over the importance of playing with our kids, that messy houses are signs of great moms, but our kids need to see that we do have to work. Whether it’s for a job or doing the laundry, we teach them important things by showing them we have responsibilities that need attention too.  That really allows moms to release some of that mommy guilt  we all carry in one or two large suitcases with us.  Let’s unpack some of that today!

Stories that show the importance of a mom taking me time strike a very strong chord with me.  Often times I want to put my needs last but really, when I do the things for me I need to do or just spend some down time doing something I enjoy, it really helps my mood, spirit and productivity.  It’s just recognizing that if we don’t take care of our needs we can’t do a good job taking care of anything else and risk becoming resentful.

Stories about slowing down, learning from our kids, juggling a career and laughing after the fact among others will show you how other moms are surviving their multitasking years.  Read some great tips, funny disaster stories, and fill your mind with great ideas for your own life.  Best of all, you will know you are in good company and not alone.  You can purchase the book on Amazon.com.

CSFTS Mom's-Multitasking-Survival-Guide-Front-Book-Cover

Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! 3 lucky blog readers will win their own copy of The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide!  Thank you to CSFTS Publishing for the review book and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Chicken Soup for the Soul; The Multitasking Mom’s Survival Guide Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Although you can’t do any major remodeling when renting an apartment, you don’t have to put up with living in a dark, dreary place. There are all kinds of ways to brighten up even the darkest abode, and there’s no need to spend a fortune to make it happen.

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Put These Six Tips to Work to Transform Any Gloomy Apartment

  1. Reflect the Light – If you’re maxed out in the lamp department, have limited amounts of natural light and still want to make things brighter, invest in reflective decor. Mirrors, glass tables and shelves and metal furniture and accent pieces all reflect the light to make it brighter and more dazzling. As an added bonus, mirrors make rooms seem more spacious too.
  2. Ditch Dark Floors and Walls – Light-colored paint works wonders when it comes to brightening up a room. If your lease doesn’t allow you to repaint the walls, invest in light-colored artwork and decals. The same applies to floors. You can’t install new flooring, but adding a few light-colored rugs into the mix should make a major difference.
  3. Get Creative with Pendant Lamps – Again, the terms of your lease may or may not allow it, but installing pendant lamps and hanging them at different heights is a terrific way to add significant amounts of brightness to a room. With bulbs shining at different levels, even the most cramped spaces seem a lot roomier. There are all kinds of beautiful pendant lamps out there too, and brightly colored models pack a major wallop.
  4. Make Windows Look Larger – Installing new windows isn’t an option, of course, but it’s easy to work with what you have. One of the best tricks for making windows look larger is to get creative with curtains. Invest in floor-length curtains, and then hang them so that they precisely flank either end of the window. At a glance, the window will appear much larger than it actually is. While this won’t actually bring more light into your apartment, it will create the illusion of doing so.
  5. Use a Light Touch with Furniture – Large, bulky pieces of furniture increase the darkness of a room. Invest in lightweight chairs, sofas, coffee tables and other types of furniture instead. Seek out items that have sleek, slim profiles, and choose pieces that have lots of open space underneath. Finally, use furniture sparingly in general. The more space there is, the brighter your apartment will seem.
  6. Add Brightness and Visual Interest with Flameless Candles – Regular candles are lovely, but they’re also safety hazards. With flameless candles, you can enjoy the benefits of candlelight without the risk. They come in many shapes, sizes and designs, so finding suitable pieces for your place should be a breeze.

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From mirrors to flameless candles, there are all kinds of ways to bring your apartment out of the darkness and into the light. Try one or all of the preceding tips to revamp your place in a big way.


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Natural light flowing into your living room makes the room feel spacious and inviting. Therefore, it is beneficial to your overall decor to allow the maximum amount of natural light into the room. When natural light is limited, you can do make some creative design and decor choices to brighten up the room.
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Window treatments
Using the minimum amount of window coverings will allow the natural light to flow more freely into the room. Light weight window covering fabric is a good design choice. You could choose window treatments such as blinds that can be raised to leave the majority of the window uncovered during the day and lowered for privacy at night.

Mirrors
Hanging a mirror across from a window is a smart design trick that helps brighten a room. Choosing a mirror with a gold or silver frame gives you an additional reflective element in the room. Mirrored tables are an ideal accent piece in any room that you wish to brighten up.

Decorative accessories
The accessories you incorporate into your decor can help brighten up the room. Clear vases such as those found at different online shops are an ideal choice. Shiny gold and silver vases add elegance to a room while providing a surface for light to bounce off of. Clear vases can be used in a variety of ways in a living room decor. If you want to include a unique accessory in your living room that will both reflect light and allow light to flow through it, you should check out the metallic vase as well. Metallic items add casual elegance to a decor. That is often an ideal combination for a living room.

Color
One of the simplest ways to brighten up your living room is through the use of vibrant, energizing colors. You may want to paint an accent wall a brilliant orange, bright yellow, energizing red or shocking green to brighten up the room. A bold colored fabric on an accent chair, pillows made with bright floral print fabric, magnificently colorful wall art, vibrant colored rugs or painted accent furniture are all great ways to use color to enliven your living room. 

Furniture placement
When you place your furniture in the living room, be sure that none of it blocks a window. A room that is overcrowded with furniture is not visually appealing. Using a minimal amount of furniture allows any type of lighting to flow more freely throughout the room. 

Lighting
The lighting you choose play a large role in determining how bright your living room is. You get a bonus when you select lighting such as a chandelier, mini chandelier or lamps with clear shades. The light they emit shines through and sunlight reflects off of them. 

Flowers and plants
Placing a vase of fresh flowers in your living room is a wonderful way to brighten up the room. At various online shops you can find some very attractive vases that would be the perfect container for a bouquet of fresh flowers. As an alternative to fresh flowers, you can include some lush green plants in your decor. A large single leaf, showcased in an attractive glass bowl or vase, looks lovely sitting on an accent table in the living room.

Brighten your room with black accessories
When you are searching for ways to brighten up your living area, you are likely focusing on bright colors. However, you should not overlook the powerful way black can enliven a room. You might consider black slip covers for your furniture. Accent pillows in almost any color would pop against the black fabric. Silver or gold decorative items command attention when placed on a table with a black top. A clear glass bowl with a colorful candle or festive candy in it is a cheerful accessory for a room. Place a small colorful accent rug over a black area rug and the room will immediately brighten up.

By implementing some of the previously mentioned ideas, you can easily brighten up your living room. Work with the flow of natural light as much as possible. Beyond that, let your creative decorating skills have unlimited freedom and enjoy the results.


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Well, it is time for another curb appeal update.  The master bath is slowly coming along. Our tile contractor still has about a week to finish but things are finally shaping up. Tomorrow they are grouting the shower and finishing more walls.  After all the walls are done they will tile the floor, then put the new toilet in, install the tub and we can get the shower panel and frameless doors on, the vanity installed, countertop and sinks, all the trim and the paint.

Here is a look at some of the progress since last time:

master bath

 

master bath 1

 


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Very noisy and busy day in our household today.  The tile contractor finished the rest of the tile demo and started tiling the area that will be around the whirlpool tub.  Things are taking shape, of course we have a huge amount of work left but for the first time we are seeing the start of our new bathroom.

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These are 2 of the walls that will be around the tub.

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This picture shows the two walls in the picture above plus the third wall that is tiled to the ceiling since it is attached to the other floor to ceiling wall where the shower will be.
You can also see the niche that was tiled with the mosaic accents in the back of it.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

A little better view of the niches by the whirlpool.

With the walls demoed we were able to try the Concealed Cabinets for placement.  The cabinets are being installed in the walls on the side of the master vanity.  They will look a picture and hide a large medicine cabinet.  The walls will be tiled around the cabinets.  Above  each sink will be a large mirror and then we have new lighting that will be installed above the mirrors along with all the recessed lighting already installed.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Now that the walls are all demoed we are trying to figure the placement for the 2 Concealed Cabinets.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

Seem to fit how the studs are perfectly without any major changes.

I am sure there will be more updates tomorrow along with more noise but it is noise with a purpose.

 


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Curb Appeal LogoWell, the master bath/master bedroom renovation project has officially commenced.  We already had the tile floor demoed and removed  back in the fall.  This week the tile contractor removed the old whirlpool tub, had to tear down the old platform and steps because there was a height and size difference with the new whirlpool.  He then ripped out the rest of the 5 foot high tiled walls in that section.  He is leaving us the shower, sinks and toilet still useable until the whirlpool section of the bathroom is finished. This week that area should be completed and he can start the rest of the demo and reconstruction/remodel.

New Platform Curb Appeal

Now, I thought about recycling the old whirlpool, since it worked and was in good condition but the color a bit dated. I know the components like the pump etc could be offered for a small fee or free via Craigslist or Freecycle, but what about the tub?  What could I do with that?  That is when I got a great idea.  I wondered if I could use it as a Koi pond.  I went downstairs and did some reasearch and indeed I could. It can be covered with a heavy-duty pond liner and set into the ground.  So that will be saved and we’re going to take you through that project as soon as the ground thaws.  Please tell me that as we brace for yet another snowfall that we will experience spring soon! Now lets talk about the tile, this is some of the tile we choose for the bathroom.  It was shipped straight from Italy and was delayed in customs, but finally arrived.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

Tile

 

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Tile 1

The colors are a gold/ivory color and the wall tile is a subway style, the floor has the same tile  but in 12″ by 12″ squares and then the gorgeous mosaics will be installed near the top in a 2 row width and finished with a row of the bullnose subway tile.

schluter logo

 

Niches, niches, who has the niches?  We do, and we have lots of them thanks to Schluter Systems and their prefabricated shower niches.  We will be using these in more than just the shower!  The largest niche is going in one of the walls surrounding the whirlpool.  It is a full tiled to the ceiling wall and will have the 12″ by 28″ niche installed with the subway bullnose tile and the mosaics in the back that will make it pop off the wall.  It also has a floating shelf that will be set midway and tiled.

Schluter Shower Niche

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Schluter Shower Niches

 

Installed Schluter Shower Niche

 

Floating Shelf Schluter Shower Niche

I thought it would be a great accent as well as useful storage that was handy for bath products. A shower niche is an ideal spot to keep shampoos and soaps in a tiled shower. Building a fully waterproof, properly sealed tiled shower niche can be a detailed and time-consuming task. Schluter-Systems has developed four prefabricated and completely waterproof shower niches that are ready to tile. Made of Schluter®-KERDI-BOARD, the shower niches are completely compatible with surface applied waterproofing systems, such as the Schluter®-KERDI and KERDI-BOARD shower assemblies. All four shower niches feature a 1/2″ (12.5 mm)-thick by 2″ (50 mm)-wide integrated bonding flange that sits perfectly flush with the surrounding wall area. The larger sizes include an optional prefabricated shelf that can be installed at any height to create separate compartments within the shower niche.

The preformed shower niche provides installers with increased speed during installation, combined with complete waterproofing dependability. The corners of a traditional shower niche are the most challenging area to waterproof and can be very susceptible to standing water and mold growth. With pre-sealed niche corners this challenge is completely eliminated. The niche complements an already wide array of preformed shower components available from Schluter-Systems, including shower trays, curbs, ramps, and benches. All of these components help installers build waterproof and vapor tight tiled showers more quickly and effectively than with traditional construction materials.

The shower niche is available in four different sizes and we have all of them so we will show you how they not only function so well in the shower but we will install them in areas you might not think for some great design option.  For instance the install in the tile wall by the whirlpool and we also plan to install two in the tiled wall above the new vanity to hold soap and other frequently used products neatly off the countertop.  We will of course be also using one of the larger sizes in the shower as well as one or two of the smaller sizes.  We will take you through the progress of the installation of these great products.  To see more about the niches or anf the other great products from Schluter, just visit their website and be sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

 


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It gets very real tomorrow with Operation Curb Appeal! The rest of the demo of the master bath and then the reconstruction begins early in the morning.  I can’t wait to take you through it all and ask you to bear with a little absence in some of my posts the last few days.  I will catch up and bring you lots of great content, DIY and of course giveaways.  Tonight though, it’s off to prep for tomorrow’s start of all the work.  I am having a bit of anxiety and even though I know it will be worth all of it in the end, I am teetering on a tightrope right now.  So I promise to catch up and draw winners for the ended giveaways and much more if you all just hang in there with me.  Hope you had a great Monday and it’s the beginning of a super week for you.


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If you remember my indecision on the master vanity, mirrors and medicine cabinets, it may amaze you to know that the vanity is not only finalized but ordered and being shipped. The mirrors are here and the medicine cabinets are as well.

We toyed with the idea of constructing our own recessed storage cabinets on the sides of the vanity, but the more we looked at components we would need and the work involved, especially given the amount of projects we still had to complete, it started to make sense to go with something finished.   I did try, even went to Hobby Lobby and other stores for something that would work as a door but look like a nice piece of wall art on the wall concealing a medicine cabinet. Concealed Cabinet design In the end we went with The Concealed Cabinet because we can still make custom tweaks like add a power  strip inside the cabinet, but the basics are done.  The other great feature is that we can customize the door with a print, photograph, artwork from our children or whatever we like and we can change it as often as the mood strikes.

I am so excited to tell you and show you more on these great cabinets.  We are going to take you through the entire installation process not only of the cabinets but of the entire master bath and master bedroom renovations.  Feel free to share any ideas and tips you have or tell us about any projects you are working on.  We chose the extra-large size and will have one on either end.  So now the next decision  is picking out the art to display on the door frame.

This is the extra large cabinet we choose and we get to customize with our own choice of art work to make the design original and truly "us"

This is the extra-large cabinet we choose and we get to customize with our own choice of art work to make the design original and truly “us”

The other news is that the new whirlpool tub is being delivered on Wednesday.  I have been holding off demo until then but it’s almost time to get the rest done and start rebuilding.  I tell you I am so looking forward to a long relaxing soak in that tub.  We are having some design brainstorming sessions regarding the freestanding tub filler and its placement.

My husband assures me all is good, but I have to tell you, I’m a bit stressed by some placement issues we have.  I still need to make a decision on the vanity lighting.  The bathroom has recessed lighting in most areas except by the vanity area. I have been looking at so many different styles of lighting and my brain is on overload.

I picked up a great mirror I want to use as an accent in the bathroom at Hobby Lobby the other day.  It is huge, heavy, and gorgeous.  It is nearly the same color as the vanity I refinished for my sewing table last year and I have decided to use that color as an accent color in the bathroom.  I see that color everywhere and yet I am so stressed picking out towels and rugs. #hobbylobby Got it #hobbylobby My daughter and I went to Home Goods a few days ago and I picked out some towels that I thought were in the same color family and bought them to hang on the towel bars that will be around the tub. When I found 3 rugs that also looked to be perfect I was ecstatic but a little perplexed.

I was so stressed if I had the right shade and then my daughter told me to chill out because there was a 30 day return policy if they weren’t.  I get home and now, I don’t know if I am losing my mind or if the lighting in the store affected it, but they look more like a sea-foam greenish type blue than what I thought they were.  Not sure what I am going to do yet, but I need to decide before my 30 days are up!


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spacetospare

Are you frazzled by your family’s hectic schedule and chaotic household? Then try Debbie Lillard’s “A Mom’s Guide to Home Organization.” This book walks you through simple processes and tips for organizing your time, your stuff and your space. The second half of the book addresses how to teach your children the life skill of being organized. Written by a busy mom for busy moms. Buy Today on Amazon in Kindle or Print editions!

Mom's  Guide To Home Organization

Create a Happy, Clutter-Free Home!

Do you dream of having a clutter-free kitchen, organized closet, tidy toy room and stress-free schedule? All of this and more is within your reach when you follow the practical and effective organizing advice in this book. In this ultimate home organization guide Debbie Lillard, professional organizer and mother of three, helps you gain and maintain order in three key areas of your family life:

  • Your Time: Learn how to get more done in less time by streamlining everyday duties, creating morning, after-school and bedtime routines, and effectively managing extracurricular activities.
  • Your Belongings: Use Debbie’s simple but effective C.P.R. method (Categorize, Purge, and Rearrange) to organize, toys, clothes, children’s artwork, paperwork, photos, collections and more.
  • Your Home: Follow the step-by-step instructions for organizing every room in your home, plus find help for keeping your child’s schoolbag, desk, locker, and home study area organized.

Follow the book from start to finish for a complete home makeover, or dip in here or there for help with one problem area at a time. The tried-and-true advice will help you simplify your life so you can spend less time struggling to keep up and more time savoring everyday moments with your family.

spacetospare

spacetospareafter

 


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I’m excited to share something with you.  I have heard about Ready To Assemble Cabinets (RTA), but never tried them. When I built my home, I went to a full service kitchen designer showroom and all of my cabinets were custom-built and designed exclusively for my kitchen and my needs.  Along with that service came a pretty hefty price tag.

I know that it’s hard for most families to fork over a huge amount for cabinets and being that I had some projects going on that were going to include cabinetry, I thought it would be a good idea to try some RTA cabinets. I not only thought it would be great to see the amount you can save as well as judge the quality and ease of assembly but knew that my readers would appreciate the in-depth look.

There are many places you can buy RTA cabinets from and I knew some things going in.  First I wanted cabinets that had all wood construction without any particle board.  I wanted to deal with a company that provided upstanding customer service and I wanted the cabinets to look good, have nice features and be easy to assemble.  I didn’t want a nightmare with boxes sitting on top of pallets in my garage  because they were just too difficult to put together.  So, I was lucky to find CSH- Custom Service Hardware and work with one of their wonderful representatives named, Howie. Howie worked with me extensively, he never once said a word as I changed designs but came up with rendering after rendering of my ideas.

The first project we worked on was the laundry room, where we are adding some cabinetry and a 36″ stainless steel farmhouse sink for a sort of butler’s pantry.  I picked the Wheaton Cabinetry by JSI and recently we assembled them.  I want to share the assembly process of  2 of the units with you.  I will share an upper cabinet and a lower drawer unit. The upper cabinet is quite large as we went with a 42″ tall cabinet that is 27 inches wide.  The drawer unit is 30 inches wide.

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JSI_3Dlogo_blue

wheaton-rta-cabinets-

Below you will find the description of the Wheaton Series Cabinets from the CSH Website:

These Wheaton Series kitchen cabinets feature all wood construction in a cream painted maple with a light brown glaze for a soft and traditional look. The full overlay, solid raised panel doors and matching drawer fronts add to the appeal. Some notable features include plywood sides, tops, bottoms and shelves, solid wood dovetail drawer box and full extension, soft closing, undermount drawer glides. Our easy assembly is perfect for those who love to DIY and save some cash!

JSI-Wheaton-Kitchen

 

Once the boxes are open the pieces should quickly be checked against your instruction sheet to make sure everything is there.  The Wheaton cabinets are a simple assembly using cam locks and some screws.  The cam locks are not what you find in particle board furniture you get at Walmart but a very easy device that is simple to secure.  Right out of the box we were impressed with the quality, the shelves are nice and thick and finished with a poly type varnish for durability as is the inside of the cabinet.  The cabinet doors are thick and substantial with beautiful details and finish on the raised panel doors.  The drawers are dovetailed and they are comparable to what I have in my custom Amish built cabinets that you don’t see even in many other custom cabinet lines.  They have heavy-duty soft close drawer glides not some thin metal glides like you may have seen elsewhere.  My husband and I were really impressed.

Wall Cabinet Pieces

Wall Cabinet Pieces

JSI 1

Wall Cabinet Front ready to add the sides.

JSI 2

Simple Easy To Understand Instructions.
Installing the cabinet sides using the CamLocks.

Installing the cabinet sides using the Cam Locks.

JSI Wheaton Cabinet Assembly

Next add the cabinet top and then the cabinet bottom.

Top and Bottom on and now ready to add cabinet back.

Top and Bottom on and now ready to add cabinet back.

 

Cabinet Back is first slid onto the unit.

Cabinet Back is first slid onto the unit.

Next, you secure using 4 screws and the cabinet is built!

Next, you secure using 4 screws and the cabinet is built!

 

Adding the door cushion protectors.

Adding the door cushion protectors.

Installing the adjustable interior shelves.

Installing the adjustable interior shelves.

All done, ready to hang and add our cabinet hardware to.  This unit will also have a decorative end panel applied to the right hand side.

All done, ready to hang and add our cabinet hardware to. This unit will also have a decorative end panel applied to the right hand side.

 

Wheaton Drawer Unit Ready for Assembly

Wheaton Drawer Unit Ready for Assembly

JSI 12

Other pieces for the drawer unit.

Sides and bottom attached

Sides and bottom attached

Ready to install the soft-close drawer glides.

Ready to install the soft-close drawer glides.

Soft Close Drawer Glide Installation

Soft Close Drawer Glide Installation
Almost Ready For the Drawers

Almost Ready For the Drawers

 

Time to get The drawers

Time to get The drawers

Drawers are fully assembled dovetail units and you just add the drawer front with four screws.

Drawers are fully assembled dovetail units and you just add the drawer front with four screws.

Beautiful Drawers and Love The Soft Close Glides.

Beautiful Drawers and Love The Soft Close Glides.

Just about done and ready to install.

Just about done and ready to install.

The cabinets were simple to assemble and took no more than 15 minutes from start to finish for the large upper door cabinet and since this drawer unit was our first it took a little longer to figure it out, but once we did it was a cinch and now we will be able to do the other drawer units in the same time as the upper cabinet.  We also went with decorative end panels for the exposed sides of the cabinets to give them a custom high-end look and Howie helped me pick out some great knobs and pulls.  I can’t wait to show you it all when we have it completely finished which should be in the next week or so but until then take a look at some of the cabinet assembly.  Let me know if you have ever used RTA cabinets and what your experience has been.


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I’m feeling refreshed from some much-needed down time with the family. However, it’s full speed ahead into the new year and time to get the party started with our home renovations.  We’re midway through the laundry room renovations.  I know I haven’t mentioned them but we’ll be taking you through it all.  Right now we’re relocating electrical and plumbing to accommodate the design changes.

The rest of the demo in the master bath and reconstruction will be starting in a few days and so we have some updates.  We picked out our bath sink faucets and they arrived the other day. The sink faucets we choose are manufactured by KWC. They are part of the ONO collection and for the finish we went with Splendure™ Stainless Steel.

kwc_faucets_thumb

 

KWC Bath Faucet

kwc ono single hole faucet

KWC faucets successfully combine Swiss innovation with technology, precision and fascination. KWC is Water Performance.  We went with a single hole faucet for a few reasons. It’s much easier to clean with the single hole design, and we like the sleek, modern look and how it complements the sinks and the shower doors.  We were very impressed with the product when it arrived.  It was impressive even in the box, securely packed and protected, with quality we could see and feel.  We’ll be updating you as we move forward and show you the entire installation process.  We’re still finalizing the vanity and the whirlpool but must have that done no later than Monday!

So, I hope you’re ready for lots of home improvement in the new year!  I cannot wait to actually bring you our real-time projects and best of all the complete reveals!  I would love for you to comment on any projects you’re planning as well.

 

 


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homeright logo

I am so excited to share the HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer with you.  This great steamer will be a lifesaver around the house and whether you are getting your home spic and span for the holidays or are in the middle of renovations like myself ,this little buddy will be your best friend!  It comes with lots of accessories to help you get in every nook and cranny, to do your floors, windows, even remove wallpaper.  It’s so simple to get started right out of the box, all you do is add water and plug in.  When the on board light signals it’s ready, you are good to go.  I have to warn you though,  you may get addicted once you see how great it works and want to steam clean everything!

SteamMachine included in box

0314-12 StmMch_Project_Mudroom

I use it on my quartz countertops to sanitize them prior to rolling dough out on them, to clean my cabinets, stainless steel cooktop, sink, refrigerator and so much more.  I’m thrilled to have this steamer to care for my brand new shower doors!  It will be a breeze to keep them looking great with this trusty machine.  It has safety features that parents with little ones will appreciate, if you have to step away, you can lock the steam gun and the lever cannot be pressed. There is an onboard compartment that stores a variety of attachments so they are secure and handy.  That gives me great peace of mind.  Use the attachments to extend the arm and attach the brush head with the floor cloth that will let you easily mop your floors.  The germophobe in me  appreciates that you can sanitize and clean so easily.

 

120917_SteamMachinePlymouth 2462
120917_SteamMachinePlymouth 2588

 

Looking for a quick and easy way to remove wallpaper? The SteamMachine is the absolute fastest and easiest way to remove wallpaper, plus its chemical free! Simply use the steam plate to apply steam and peel the paper away. Get the most out of this multi-purpose steamer by using the attachments to sanitize and clean floors, stovetops, ovens, bathrooms and grills. The SteamMachine leaves behind no chemical residue and kills 99% of all germs and bacteria.

Use the steam mop to sanitize your hard floor surfaces; such as tile, vinyl and linoleum. The high pressurized steam blasts the surface clean and the cleaning pad wipes the surface clean. The canister comes equipped with two wheels to move with the attached floor steam mop as you clean.

The SteamMachine uses pressurized, high temperature, steam to loosen and dissolve dirt, grease, grime and kill bacteria. Its many uses include; kitchen counter tops, ovens, stovetops, bathroom fixtures and barbecue grills.

SteamMachine HomeRite 3

 

SteamMachine HomeRite 2

 

SteamMachine HomeRite 1

HomeRight is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer .  Thank you HomeRight for the review steamer and for sponsoring this steam-powered giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

HomeRight SteamMachine Multi-Purpose Power Steamer  Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

(read more…)


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american_standard_logo_detail

Well, I heard from our tile store that they’re just waiting on our tile to clear customs as it shipped right from Italy!  So, it looks like it will be full speed ahead on our master bath very soon.  We are still finalizing the vanity.  I can’t tell you how much stress it’s creating for  me.  I have the bottom the way I want it, but cannot find what I want on top.  The company I am working with is fabulous, but the renderings never match what I have in my head and keeps sending us back to the drawing board.  I have to finalize today or tomorrow or we will have a big set back.

Toilet Pic American Standard

Good news is the toilet we decided on will be arriving tomorrow.  I went with American Standard since they are the brand I have right now for all of the toilets and sinks in our bathrooms.  We knew we had to have certain features.  We needed a 1.6 gallon per flush, elongated bowl, had to have a trap size of 2-3/8 in,  but the most important thing is the flushing power.  I wanted one of those toilets that you see them dumping everything down and it just flushes without a problem, I am talking ping-pong balls, dog food etc.

So working with the good folks at American Standard they recommended the Champion Series.  I was very impressed at what I saw.  There were fewer choices with the 1.6 gallon that we needed, but we found a one piece with everything we wanted and even had the soft close toilet seat with quick release hinges as an available option.  The only thing I could not get was the concealed trap area.  It’s not such an issue since it’s our master and our little ones usually use the other bathrooms.  The Champion 4 Right Height Elongated One-Piece 1.6 gpf Toilet we choose also comes with the EverClean Surface, Power Wash Rim that cleans the bowl with each flush and it’s a chair height which they call right height.

EverClean Surface

We chose the flush lever in the brushed nickel to match our faucets, shower panel, and sinks.  The reviews we read on the model we chose were excellent and that made us feel really good with our choice.  I had to laugh when I read a review about the right height feature, one guy said it was so comfortable he could sit there all day, lol!!! So, we’ll let you know more when we receive it and get to the installation in the next couple of weeks.  It’s getting exciting but now I must run and finalize the vanity.

 


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Denton Dragon Logo

Do you worry about the poor values and morals our kids are exposed to?  TV shows, music, performers and celebrities do not always present the kind of values we want to instill in our children.  Jeff Hutchins a father of 2 girls as well as a retired inventor and businessman, is the author of Denton the Dragon in Tales of Bubbleland.  This newly released book was written by Jeff to help parents and teachers teach children universal values like honesty, gratitude and how to treat others who are different.  The book contains 19 character building  stories  aimed at children 4-8 years old.


Bubbleland Collection

The book is available in both home and school editions.  The school edition is made with the teacher in mind and comes in three over-sized, beautifully illustrated storybooks with an 18 week curriculum guide.  Designed to be read aloud to one child or an entire class,  they include the unique ability to show pictures to the children while the text remains visible to the reader.  The home edition is a beautiful hardback book with 19-tales featuring Denton the Dragon and his friends.  Both books were written to help parents and teachers teach character development in a fun and engaging way.

Denton

Children will be captivated by the stories and illustrations while parents and teachers will appreciate the large, easy to read book and the powerful discussions they act as a springboard for.  School editions are perfect for homeschooling moms and dads too!  Denton is a lovable and naive dragon that lives in Bubbleland.   Children are able to  easily relate to Denton and  understand and discuss life lessons based on his silly yet insightful experiences.
Denton dragon

I recently read one of the included stories, Hilwin, the Boy with Wheels.  This story was about differences and Hilwin is a little boy who uses a wheelchair. Denton was curious and through his curiosity we learn about some of the things Hilwin experiences, like people looking at him funny.  In the end it’s less about the ways they are different and more about how much they  have in common that resonates with kids.  The end of the book even includes a way to expand and get children engaged in conversation about the story.  You can download, Hilwin, the Boy with Wheels for free HERE!

 

denton and jeff

A safe entertainment section for kids is coming soon to the website.  The music section of the website features a collection of songs inspired by the Tales of Bubbleand produced by Jeff Hutchins and George Scott and performed and written by singer/songwriters like Billy Jonas, Jane Kramer, Timmy Abell and the Swayback Sisters.  You can check out the song section yourself HERE and even download a free song!!!  You can find Denton The Dragon on Facebook, and Twitter .  Check it out for yourself and leave a comment letting us know what you think!

 

 


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Exciting news from Sherwin-Williams!!!  The 2014 Color of the Year is Exclusive Plum!!!  

Sherman Williams Color of the Year

Exclusive Plum (SW 6263), a sophisticated violet, is Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year 2014. The hue, a balance of cool blue and feisty red with a splash of gray, pairs well with a variety of styles to create color schemes suitable for any room.

“This dusky, filtered violet is refined without being stuffy, elegant yet easy, and layered with romantic potential.”
Jackie Jordan, Sherwin-Williams director of color marketing.

sw-img-coty-livingroom-hdr

Exclusive Plum has an amazing quality and can be adapted for nearly any space, whether used as an accent or for an entire room. Here are some design ideas for Exclusive Plum:

  • For a cozy, masculine look, they recommend pairing this color with accents of copper and well-worn leather.
  • Exclusive Plum can also be layered with gold, gray and white for an elegant, dreamy space.
  • It’s great highlighted against white subway tile and chrome fixtures for a statement space.
  • Pops of magenta and chartreuse can liven up Exclusive Plum for a more energetic space and when paired with creamy whites or other neutrals, the mellow yet purposeful purple can turn any space into a refreshing retreat.

Check out Exclusive Plum (SW 6263) before picking up a brush with their Color Visualizer.

Inspiration Pairings for Exclusive Plum: Dynamo, Sassy Green, Relic Bronze and Sealskin.

We will be receiving a gallon of Exclusive Plum from Sherwin Williams so stay tuned to see what we do to showcase the color of the year!!!

SW 6841 Dynamo


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vigo-industries

The words shower panel still make some think of some sort of fiberglass panel used as a shower surround, but a shower panel is quite different.  A shower panel is actually a system of  a shower head and jets that is mounted in an enclosed shower.  The panels vary in amount of features they offer and there is a wide variety of options.  Vigo has a great selection of shower panels and I will admit it was hard to choose and that’s where their great customer service came into play.  I was directed to the newest models and was able to choose the perfect shower panel that had all the features we were looking for.

You probably remember the frameless shower doors we chose from Vigo Industries.  We went with a shower panel from Vigo Industries as well.  We chose a massaging shower panel with rain shower head and spray.

Shower Panel Full

The shower panel system is made of solid stainless steel which is designed to be lightweight, durable and corrosion resistant.  It perfectly matches the stainless steel trim of the coordinating shower doors.  An invigorating shower is what you get with six fully adjustable body spray massage jets.  The rain shower head and hand shower will ensure you are squeaky clean from head to toe.

Shower Panel Spray

Shower Panel Top

The massage jets are made of solid brass . Hot and cold integrated thermostatic valve control will ensure the perfect temperature and three individual volume controls allow you to regulate each function independently as well as the ability to use the shower head and the hand shower simultaneously.  Unit is pre plumbed for easy installation with stainless steel supply hoses and reinforced pipes on back.  Best of all it’s covered with a limited lifetime warranty.

8008 Shower panel

I cannot wait to show you the shower come together step by step so stay tuned to our curb appeal series as we are getting close to that point.  So what do you think?  Do you have a shower panel?  Have you thought about getting one?  Let me know your thoughts.  If you love this you can see all the Vigo Industries Shower Panels on their website as well as follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to get the latest updates.


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houzer

Well, the tile is officially ordered and boy was that scary.  I always over think it and then wonder if I picked the right thing, lol. I know it will be great, it’s just such a big and highly permanent decision.  We also made another decision on the under mounted sinks.  I went with something a little bit different and chose 2 under mounted stainless steel oval basins from HOUZER.

One of the reasons I chose them is because with the shower doors and shower panel in the stainless, I think they will go perfectly.  I know it’s not something you normally see used, but I think it will work well.  What I really like about them is their quality, HOUZER sinkware is made from durable Type 304 stainless steel, an optimal mix of nickel and chrome, making their sinkware exceptionally resistant to corrosion and stains for the life of the product. It provides a hygienic, scratch-proof and resilient surface that requires minimal care and maintenance.  Each HOUZER sink is covered by a Lifetime Warranty to the original purchaser against any possible defects in materials and workmanship. HOUZER is not  satisfied unless their customers are totally satisfied with their products. A beveled edge on the outer rim of the under mount sinks provide increased structural rigidity for the entire sink span, and creates a smooth and finished look.  SpecPlus Edge is found only in HOUZER sinks.

And for the record my countertop is not blue like this.  It is going to be a granite or quartz and I have not picked the color yet.

And for the record my counter top is not blue like this. It is going to be a granite or quartz and I have not picked the color yet.

We also chose the  design with the overflow and they are already here at the house.  Now we just need to finalize all the other decisions and that needs to happen quick.  HOUZER carries  all kinds of sinks for kitchens and baths.

Houzer Black Sink

 

Houzer Bar

 

Houzer Farmhouse

 

Houzer Copper

 

Houzer Bar

 

Houzer Sink

You’ll find a HOUZER sink to match any design theme you have in mind; country to classic, transitional to ultra-contemporary. With arresting designs and sculptural details, HOUZER sink achieves a dazzling presence for your kitchen and are the perfect complement to professional-grade appliances set against today’s rich palette of stone, quartz, and solid surface counter tops.

Combining the highest quality materials and artisan’s attention to line and detail, HOUZER sinks are painstakingly crafted to satisfy the sophisticated consumer who demands the very best. Every aesthetic detail is enhanced on every sink we produce to provide lasting beauty and value to your home for years to come.

For over three decades, they’ve been improving millions of kitchens across America and overseas, one sink at a time.  At HOUZER, it’s their deep-seated belief that our sinks can make your life in the kitchen easier and more enjoyable. For more information or to browse their website and see all the products visit www.houzersink.com.


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‘We are making progress on our master bath remodel.  There are so many decisions to make regarding tile, colors, vanities, tubs, showers and more that it can be overwhelming.  I really want to make choices that will enhance our home, add value and functionality. Having built our home, I have been through this before.  At that time there were so many decisions to make about everything it definitely got overwhelming, and there was no internet or Pinterest to help with great images or inspiration.  So last I updated we chose our tile and now I have picked our shower doors.  I like the way clear shower doors look in pictures but to tell you the truth, I do not think they would suit our bathroom. First off, my bathroom is large but when you walk in you look straight across to the shower.  If the glass were totally clear it would be the first thing you see and there would be no privacy if someone accidentally walked in on someone showering. Also, if the shower was not perfectly arranged I think it would look messy because the clear glass shows everything.  I also think the clear glass would be tiresome to take care of because of the spots and streaks that would show if you were not meticulous.

Frameless Clear Shower Doors

I love frameless doors but I decided on frosted glass and I am very comfortable with my decision.

Framless Frosted Shower Doors

Even after deciding on the glass there were other decisions on the doors to make such as the finish on the door trim and whether I wanted a sliding door or one that opens out.  I chose the sliding option just because I would be afraid of my little ones coming in and slamming it accidentally and I know it would make me a wreck.

Outward Opening Frameless Shower Door #curbappeal

 

The sliding option cost more but not as much as my sanity.  There were only 2 choices for the trim and I chose the stainless steel over chrome, again pricier but I think easier to care for and more high-end than chrome which is fitting of a master bath.

Stainless Steel Accents Shower Doors #curbappeal

 The company I dealt with for the shower components was Vigo Industries and they were excellent and the gentleman that assisted me was helpful and answered all my questions.  He even preferred the frosted glass as well which made me feel even more secure with my choice.  So what are your thoughts on shower doors? Do you have clear glass frameless?  Do you love or hate them or have a love, hate relationship with them?  Do you have frosted frameless doors?  Are you happy with them or do you regret having picked them?  Share your thoughts with me on the comments for this post and keep following because we are going to cover every step of the way the progress of our bathroom and show you from start to finish how our bathroom comes together in our curb appeal series.

 

 


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         SHOUTKIDS HASBRO

It’s Time For Holiday Hijinks!

             Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks

Pound Puppies Holiday Hijinx

      Bring Home the Holiday Fun November 5th

                      from Shout! Factory Kids

 

The holidays are almost here and no one is more excited than these lovable Pound Puppies! On November 5th, 2013, Shout! Factory Kids, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will release Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks on DVD.

Can the Pound Puppies gang — Lucky, Niblet, Cookie, Strudel, Squirt and Mr. Nut-Nut — make sure that every pet has a family of their very own this holiday season? Find out in this merry-filled disc, packed with five of your all-time favorite holiday episodes!

Winner of the 2012 Humanitas Prize in Children’s Animation, the Pound Puppies series is currently airing on The Hub in the U.S. and YTV in Canada and stars the voices of Eric McCormack, Yvette Nicole Brown, Michael Rapaport, John DiMaggio, Alanna Ubach, René Auberjonois, and M. Emmet Walsh.

Episodes Include:

  • I Heard The Barks On Christmas Eve
  • I Never Barked For My Father
  • Barlow
  • Good Dog, McLeish
  • Prince And The Pupper

Shout Kids Factory is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings.  Two lucky blog readers will win Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks DVD!!!  Thank you Shout Kids Factory for the review DVD and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Pound Puppies: Holiday Hijinks DVD Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below.  Good Luck!!!

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Monday morning they are going to start removing tile from our master bathroom.  We had a leak in our house and it caused a great deal of damage and so we have to have our whole master bath redone as well as our master bedroom, part of our family room and downstairs hallway.  We are going to be covering it in our curb appeal series.  My master bath is pretty large and has a very long approximately 12 foot double vanity, shower, huge whirlpool, very large linen closet and a separate room for the toilet.  It has imported Italian tile five feet up the walls in most areas and straight up to the ceiling in the shower and whirlpool areas, of course there is a tile floor and tiled steps leading to the Jacuzzi.  We designed and built this house so it is very nerve-wracking to see the destruction of something I have such fond memories of creating.  However, picking tile was one of the worst parts.  There are so many decisions when building a house, especially when you design it yourself.  It is not like you buy in a development and they sit you down with certain colors of carpet, tile, appliances etc and you just choose.  That’s easy!
Picking New Tile

I truly remember completely breaking down in the designer kitchen showroom over all of the choices and decisions.  Anyway, a few years ago when I had to choose tile for a backsplash, I actually told my kitchen designer to come with what he thought would look best.  He brought over 2 styles he liked best and I choose the one I liked.  I  was so happy not to have to browse and sort through panels of tile in a showroom.  In the end I love my backsplash.

Tile Choices

 

So today when I had to go and pick out new tile for the master bath, I started to get very panicky.  When in the showroom, I looked at every sample, panel etc..  They asked me if I saw anything I liked and my answer was, “too much!”  In the end the owners of the showroom helped me choose when I showed them a few styles and color pallets I liked.  They even helped me switch out the borders for a glass tile with lovely bronze metal accents that looks so great.  The owner is also installing the tile, as he has worked for me before and does gorgeous work.  I ended up going with a subway tile for the walls but not shiny, it is more of a stone subway tile and a 12″ by 12″ in the same collection for the floor. He is doing something different all around the whirlpool and the stairs, then we are going to do the glass border and top it with bull nose trim.  I feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders with that decision.  That’s not the end.  I still have to pick out the granite for the vanity and finally decide on the design of the new vanity, the shower is picked out and will be tiled with the subway tile and border with gorgeous frameless glass shower doors and marble ledges and massaging shower panel.  Still have to pick mirrors and vanity lighting but almost at the end of picking and choosing.

Glass Tile

So what do you think about buying tile, do you go for trendy?  Bold colors or warm neutrals?  I don’t go for trendy even if some of you may think subway tile is trendy, it is not the trendy kind that will scream 2013!  The stone look of the porcelain makes it look classic and timeless.  That is what I want and I am really happy with it.  It is an Italian Porcelain Tile and with the glass and metal border it really pops in a classic way.  I think having the image in my mind will help me deal with the destruction of my bathroom and all the feelings that brings up.

So anyway back to the title of my post, my advice for picking tile is to back away from the truly trendy and crazy colors because those kind of looks are so yesterday so fast, and tile is something that you’re not going to want to replace every couple of years.  That won’t  be easy on you wallet because tile is expensive!!!  Remember when making the purchase it’s something you’re going to  be living with for a long time, make sure it is something that you won’t tire of. There are lots of designs that may seem  fabulous in the store, but are they really something you want to see every single day?  Maybe they are just  nice if they were in someone else’s home that you visit a couple of times a year.  After you decide on the perfect tile, make sure you have a knowledgeable installer.  Nothing worse than a beautiful tile that is installed by someone who is less than experienced and you are left with crooked tile, or bulges because of too much thin set etc.  Don’t skimp or cut corners where it counts.  I will keep you all updated on the progress.  Are you working on any home improvement projects right now?  Comment and let us know, we would love to hear about your adventures.


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Let’s Talk About Sinks!!!

Well, we are in the middle of a bunch of remodeling projects. We will be bringing you them in their entirety in our curb appeal series.  Some of our remodeling was planned while the master bath and master bedroom was not our choice but due to a plumbing leak we were left with no choice.  I will fill you in on all that later in the series.

However, I have been thinking about sinks.  I have to tell you I hate vessel sinks, I absolutely abhor them. I know that may sound harsh but all I think about when I see them is what a pain they would be to clean and how messy they would get.  It could be because I am a mom of five, but all I see are globs of toothpaste running down the side, gooey sticky messes all over that have to be cleaned and wiped down constantly.  I also see it as a trend that in a few years will scream “Dated!”  I am more into classic, traditional, nothing that is too out there but styles that stand the test of time for the most part.  So rest assured you will not see vessel sinks in my new master bath.

 

Yeah, so not happening.  It makes me feel crazed just looking at it like a bowl I need to put away.

Yeah, so not happening. It makes me feel crazed just looking at it like a bowl I need to put away.

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However, you will see a huge, stainless steel farmhouse sink in my laundry room remodel.  I cannot wait for that laundry room to be finished so I can use that sink.  We still have quite a bit of work though so my farmhouse sink and super cool faucet stay in their boxes for now but I cannot wait to show you the progress of all the projects right through to the final reveals.  

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So your turn weigh in on vessel and farmhouse sinks and let me know where you stand.


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Wow, it has been busy here.  You will  soon be seeing the first of many Curb Appeal Reveals and that means lots of painting, staining, cleaning, clearing, spiffing, polishing, washing and rushing.  Almost ready to show you the shutter and exterior lighting reveals.  Getting close to the deck reveal, which if I have not mentioned has been days of powerwashing,  replacing of some boards and then staining.  The porch project is a little further away but steadily getting there and today we had delivery for 2 interior projects we are soon starting.  You can see below that we definitely have a lot to keep us busy.  I have also been collecting lots of river rocks for a bunch of great projects and pine cones that are going to be used for some great crafts I want to share with you.  So get ready for some big reveals!!!

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We have been very busy power washing, painting, staining, cleaning, and updating.  We are going to give you a sneak peek of a couple of the first Curb Appeal feature posts.  First we are going to show you how easy it is to give your outdoor lighting fixtures a whole new look.  I have 10 brass lights on my house so believe me I get to really explore this to bring you great tips that will get you stunning results.  This update cost us a little under $3 a light so for $30 it really packs the bang for your buck! I cannot wait to bring you all the details and of course the great reveal of all the new hammered bronze lights.

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Next we really wanted to give our poor tired blue vinyl shutters a big lift.  I will tell you all about how we picked the paint and the color and lots of painting tips to make sure you get excellent results.  I have so many shutters on my house I am just about halfway through or at least that is what I am telling myself.

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So stay tuned for the full posts and reveal of the lights and the shutters and we have so much more we are going to be bringing you.  Hope you are in the mood for a bit of spiffing up around the house.  For reference all the Curb Appeal posts can be found on the Curb Appeal page of our blog.


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Curb-appeal copy

I am so excited to announce that Mommy Ramblings will be debuting a brand new series of posts.  Our first one will be Curb Appeal.  Curb Appeal is going to highlight great DIY projects big and small the homeowner can do to give their home a face-lift and increase its value.

Some projects we will be featuring in the series will be:

  • Painting tired, faded vinyl shutters
  • Painting and changing the look of brass exterior lighting
  • Painting and Staining projects
  • Landscaping

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We will then have other series featuring interior fixes, decorating, painting, interior lighting upgrades and more. The posts will run with the main posts but will have their own page so they can be referenced easily.  We hope you will enjoy this new addition to our blog and we will do our best to give you step by step instructions, full product information and more to help you recreate what you see.

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So stay tuned it is going to start very soon!!!


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