Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Boys' Bathroom Progress

It's been a while since I've shown you the boys' bathroom, so I thought it was high time for an update. We've been busy in here lately and this bathroom is actually functional...well at least the toilet and sink are. While these pictures might look like complete crap and mayhem to some, it's definitely encouraging to us. Things always look worse before they look better, so we've learned from personal experience when it comes to house projects (see here). So I'll include some current pics of the bathroom and some inspiration pictures of what we want it to look like in the end. Put on those "see-the-potential" glasses and let's dive in! (Warning: long post. Grab some coffee.)

So far, Mitch has removed the ceramic tile flooring (which literally took forever). He had to scrape down as much of the backing that was left on the subfloor as possible, trying to even everything out so he could put the vinyl flooring down (it's the same as the rest of the house). I love the natural look of the "wood" floor. Plus it flows right into the bathroom making for a seamless look.

Once that was done, he moved onto the sink. We bought the IKEA vanity off Craigslist probably a year or so ago. I think we paid around $30 for it. (It's the Godmorgon Odensvik discontinued style, but here's the updated version.) I knew I wanted a double sink in here (shoot, I was hoping for a triple) so the boys would have a little extra room (i.e. not fight when they're brushing their teeth...imagine that).

The top of the vanity as well as the faucets we purchased at our not-so-local IKEA store. While I always want think outside the box when it comes to design, I thought it would be safest to get the actual pieces that go along with this specific base, that way we knew everything was snug and fit accordingly. One awesome feature about this vanity is the storage. Open it up and inside is this crate-like drawer to store everything a boy could need (IKEA also sells additional smaller storage pieces to fit inside these drawers, for things like q-tips, etc). Plus the drawers have a soft-close feature, so there's no possibility of slamming drawers (not that my boys would EVER do that. Ha.)

I'm still contemplating swapping out the gray drawer front with a wood panel something like this guy. We'll see...

Our Favorite Bathroom Upgrades:

We may end up going the more rustic route with the vanity front like this. I like to mix things up, baby!

DREAM HOME: Geremia Design’s 25th Street Residence | Rue:

At first I really wanted to get antique-like brass fixtures, but we settled for easy: these guys from IKEA. They're super simple for the boys to turn on and off, and I like their modern look. I still may try DIYing a brass look for them...not totally 100% sure yet. The sinks look shallow, and honestly I was kinda afraid water would be splashing all over the place, but it's totally fine. There's a filter on the end of the faucet that allows for a nicely controlled stream of water.

Inspiration picture. See, aren't the antique brass faucets awesome-looking?

 marble, brass, wood, white subway tile:

We're still not sure what we're doing with the mirror(s) in here. Here's some inspiration. I'm leaning toward two mirrors. I really like the rounded corners of this one.

White bathroom with two mirrors and sinks:

Also digging round mirrors right now.


So we'll see about that. We bought these lights from IKEA that I'm thinking about painting (maybe gold?) Love their fun modern shape! They'll probably go above the mirrors.
VITEMÖLLA Wall lamp IKEA Gives a diffused light which is good for spreading light into larger areas of a bathroom.

We're planning on hanging a barn-like door on the outside of the bathroom, so this cheapy hollow core door will eventually go. The reason for the barndoor is so that we don't have to account for the inward swing of a door that eats up precious space inside a small bathroom. That'll probably be the last thing we tackle.

I really like the design of this door--something with a chevron/herringbone pattern would be fun. Not sure if we'd paint or stain it.

The toilet. Ha. We actually bought a really nice used Kohler one on a Facebook sale page but when we went to install it, it leaked. Come to find out, there was a big crack underneath, most likely where water was and froze, resulting in a crack. Dang it. So Mitch ran to Lowe's and picked up this one which got amazing reviews. It was $100 so it didn't break the bank. It looks as good as a toilet can (we swapped out the cheap white flusher with the one off the Kohler we had) and we're so far very happy with the quality (good strong flush!). 

This is our bath area. Remember we stole some space from Ry's closet to make room for a tub? (see here for that post) The tub is in...has been in for quite some time; what's left is tiling and installing the fixtures. All the plumbing has been done.

We'll be using classic white subway tile with a darker grout (probably light gray) to make the tiles pop a bit. Notice the tile as well as the floor in this picture...same look we're going for. 
 Claw foot:

On the same wall as the bath, we made way for a small linen closet, since we took the existing one out to make room for a double vanity. Not 100% sure what we're doing here...I'd like to put a built-in hamper on the bottom half with shelving on top, but it's pretty narrow so not sure we'll be able to do that.

Here's the inspiration:


And finally--the ceiling and walls. Mitch just put up these strips last night. We're planning on doing some sort of wood (maybe?) treatment on the ceiling (we have a thing for that). 

Something like this?

Image Via: Crush Cul de Sac:

The walls will be board and batten. It's a crisp, clean look that I love (same look as our exterior). 

mosaic tiling + gold/brass accents + white bathroom // converted church by HSH Interiors:

Mitch has been able to get a lot done lately thanks to these guys. This was his Christmas present from me. He loves them! (I knew he would...duh!) Prior to these, he had to run next door and borrow his dad's drill. Can you believe that? He only ever had a cheap $20-something drill before that that died a long time ago. So now he's well equipped to tackle projects. Yay for steppin' it up! I bought the DeWalt ones because he already has a few DeWalt tools that he really likes. It's a quality brand that should last him for years to come--hopefully forever! (Finn's plastic hammer, seen in bottom right corner, has been a big help too...ha!)

So that's where we're at, guys! Long detailed post...hopefully not too boring. Just thought you'd like to be caught up. All the inspiration pictures were taken from my Boys' Bathroom Pinterest board. You can follow along, if you'd like. Also, stay connected via Instagram for little updates we do along the way. Or for you Facebook users, here's where you can follow along.

 To see the transformation of this bathroom over the years, go here.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A Magazine Feature

Happy New Year, guys!!! Let's just jump right in here--about a month or so ago, I was contacted by an editor of Country Living magazine asking permission to use one of my photos for their upcoming "Decorating with White" edition. The photo is one of our dining room, which includes a couple awesome DIY projects we did (our barnwood table and chalkboard). Obviously I was thrilled the editor asked and whole heartedly agreed for them to use my photo. Not only was I pumped they wanted to use a picture of a room in our house, but I was honored because I actually took the picture. It's always neat when your work is recognized and appreciated. This image has been pinned a ton and has been featured over on Design Mom as well as Better Homes and Garden's website, but now it's in a magazine! Pretty cool. 

People always ask if I get paid when stuff like this happens. This time I actually did. While I didn't start my blog to make money, it's always a perk when you do ;). So with the money made, Ry and Bryce will get swim lessons and I'm going to buy myself a Le Creuset Dutch oven...ha! Thanks, CL, for that!

You can find the picture in the Jan/Feb issue of Country Living. It's a great issue altogether, so I really recommend your getting a copy. Lots of eye candy! 

Anyway, I wanted to thank YOU GUYS for your continued support of this here blog. As 2016 commences, I'm trying to figure out where this blog is headed and what's in store. Definitely the boys' bathroom WILL GET DONE THIS YEAR. I promise you that! But in the mean time, follow MLST over on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again, guys!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas House Tour

Hey guys! Hard to believe it's Christmas week, isn't it? Especially here in PA where its supposed to be in the 60's all week. Crazy. But whether the weather feels like Christmas or not, it is upon us. I wanted to show you some Christmas pictures of our house. This year has been very stress-free in regards to decorating. Last year I decided to let the boys decorate the tree and it went so well that that's my plan from now on. It's really taken the pressure off for that "perfectly staged Christmas look." And I'm totally down with that. So here we go...

I was really craving color this year--fun, bright, blues, PINK (ever since our front door!)

Guess the blue couch had some influence there too... ;) 

Always room for a little plaid...

Getting ready to make some sugar cookies (that were seriously good)

Hope you enjoyed that little tour.  Stay tuned to see the progress we're making out front. We're almost done...EEK!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

In between posts, follow MLST on Instagram and Facebook!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Hey guys! Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I'm here today blogging with a recipe that I don't want to forget about. It's a pumpkin cake I made for our Thanksgiving dinner. And it was pretty amazing. But before I get into the recipe, let me tell ya a bit about our Thanksgiving. We shared the day with Mitch's brother's family. It truly was a great day with awesome food and family--exactly how you picture a festive Thanksgiving celebration. 

The boys loved playing all sorts of games with their older cousin, Cole. Baseball, hockey, and golf kept them busy all day!

 Finn was especially into golf. It was so fun watching him get all excited about the game. 
Anyway, like I said, I made this here pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing and it was a hit! Can you go wrong with pumpkin and cream cheese? 
I tweaked the original recipe a bit to incorporate coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, but if you don't have any coconut oil, feel free to use what you typically use. I also used a cup of brown sugar instead of all white sugar. To me, cakes like these are made for brown sugar! It just gives it a bit more flavor, that's all. 
And let's talk about that icing for a oh man. It's light and creamy and seriously delicious. I used Philadelphia Cream Cheese, which in my estimation is the best (has nothing to do with the fact that I was born there! Ha.) #phillyproud

So this cake will definitely be made again. And probably in the near future. There's just something about pumpkin and cream cheese that get me every time...I could eat it year-round. I think you should make it soon. It's sure to be a hit at your house too!

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Icing


For the cake:
4 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 cup coconut oil, melted
15 oz. pumpkin puree
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

For the icing:
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
4-6 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat together eggs, sugars, oil, and pumpkin puree in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add in dry ingredients a little at a time, until just combined. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

For the icing
Beat softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until well blended. Slowly beat in powdered sugar and beat until nice and fluffy. Spread icing over cooled cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keep leftovers in the fridge. 
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