Monday, 19 October 2015

Spray painting your kitchen cabinet knobs

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This will be quick. It's past 10pm and I am trying to teach myself to go to bed at a reasonable time these days, because, well I'm tired. I think the residual effect of painting a million doors and door knobs for a whole month has caught up with me--BUT, before I go to bed, I thought I'd give you the good news...

If you want to change the look of your kitchen knobs, it's not as torturous as painting a million doors in your house. It takes all of a few minutes, and they can go from frumpy, dingy, old knobs, to something new and beautiful. This little project took all of a few minutes. Literally, I would call it fun. Maybe.

My knobs weren't horrible. This kitchen was put in just 2yrs before we moved into the house, so they were manageable. Just not what I would have chosen myself unfortunately. And although this new kitchen may look decent from a quick glance, I secretly wish that the old homeowners had never touched it--if it was a complete gut job I wouldn't feel so bad tearing it out and putting in my dream cupboards, granite counter tops, island and tile floor. But for now, I have to live with it until we decide what our next major project will be. So I figured if I have to live with the laminate floors that I'm not in love with, the cupboards that I don't love and the counter top that isn't granite...well, I may as well try to change the little things that I can, without spending a fortune.

So, knobs it was.

I just wanted them to match the now black hardware and knobs that are now throughout the rest of our house.

Because they used to look like THIS...

So, with a few minutes of work, I transformed these little scratchy brushed nickel knobs into shimmery black, just like the rest of the knobs in our house.

Here is what you need to do:

Just grab a drill, take all the knobs off of your cabinets (expect about 3 seconds per time at all). Then take them outside or into your garage, with the garage doors opened of course, and grab THIS spray paint (same exact spray paint that I used to paint my door knobs)

Then flip your knobs UPSIDE DOWN and spray paint under the knobs first...

then walk away for a while (I let them dry for about an hour), then come back and flip them over and spray paint the tops.

Do the same for these long knobs...paint them upside down first, then flip them over when dry and paint the tops.

Then get your drill back out when they're good and dry, and screw them all back on...and watch your kitchen transform into something a little more beautiful.

Have a great night to bed.

Erica xox

Monday, 12 October 2015

Spray paint your old door knobs and it'll look like you have brand new doors!

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I've been staring at these little screws for almost a month now. Twisting them snug into old cardboard that is now drenched in black paint by this point, and watching in awe as the spray of black over them instantly transforms them into something new. 

Spray paint and I are pretty much best friends by this point. This magic paint transforms everything and anything from old to new. From ugly to beautiful--in only a matter of minutes. Instant gratification at it's finest. And I love it. 

From painting all of our kids dressers (bought each for about $40 or less) this one...

to transforming chandeliers from dark brown to crystal white, to painting our dark mirror to a light white--spray paint can pretty much do it all. 

So when we moved into our new house last summer and we were faced with a million gold door knobs staring at us every time that we opened a door, I knew I had to figure something out. Gold and I are not exactly on the same page--but I found out very quickly that if I wanted to change out all of our gold door knobs and hardware it was going to cost us a fortune. A really cheap set of door knobs was about $40 for one knob, and the ones that actually looked nice were even more ridiculously expensive. So as I started calculating how much it would cost for us to change out all of those gold knobs...well I pretty much shut the idea down in a quick minute. 

Until I did a little digging online, and discovered that spray paint could be the answer to all of my gold problems. And after doing even more research into it, I discovered that people have spray painted their knobs and they held up for YEARS. Maybe a few scratches or wear marks here and there after a long period of time from doors that were used constantly, like the front door (which could be easily touched up by spraying some paint into a bowl and using a tiny paintbrush to fix it)... but overall, the results from others who have tried this have told me that the spray paint holds up for a good while. So, for me, it was worth a shot. 

But you can't just use any spray has to be THIS spray paint. 

So for about $10 a can, you've got yourself a bunch of new looking knobs and hardware. 
Which means that you can go from these goldies...

to these black beauties. 

And you can go from these worn out, gold hinges and screws...

to these brand new looking ones...

in only a matter of minutes. 

And you can go from doors that look like this...

to doors that look like THIS.

I can't even tell you how happy my doors make me now. I mean, really--ridiculously happy. 

And no, it hasn't been easy. I wouldn't even call it fun. But I'm so glad that I did it. 

So for all of those mornings where I'd wake up after being up literally all night long with Sophia, I'd splash some water on my face, get the drill out, take a door off and carry myself a nice ol' heavy door right down the stairs and into the garage, ready to be painted at some point during the day. And then when the baby went down for a nap, Carter and I would work together and I'd fulfil his daily dream of being able to use power tools and he would push the button on the drill (and be THRILLED) and we'd take every last screw out of those hinges and race to get them outside so I could spray paint them when he went down for quiet time that afternoon. Or there were MANY nights when I'd be out in the garage at 10pm painting away, because having little kids means that you have to do pretty much everything when they're asleep. 

So, sure, this was a tedious job. 

But, the good news is that if your doors are already beautifully white, this little job will take you no time at all. Spray painting door knobs and hardware is easy and fun. But painting every single door in your house and all of the door frames is NOT fun. But it was a must for us, since every door was at one point years ago painted a dingy, creamy white--not exactly the look we were going for. So I painted them all a crisp, stark white...and they now look beautiful.

So, in a quick nutshell, here is how I did it:

First of all, start by NEVER counting how many doors you have in your house...or you just won't even start this project. Because it turns out I had 21 to do--and I only started counting once I got to about the 15th door and I was starting to lose steam. So spare yourself some grief and just don't even count. Because the good news is that it was TOTALLY worth it. So, hang in there with me...

This is what you have to do: 

Start by choosing a door that is not necessarily a main door--so I chose one of the kids closet doors as my starting point (my practice door) since I didn't know what I was doing and if I was going to mess up a door it may as well be one that wasn't really noticeable..tucked away in a bedroom. And I'd suggest doing just one (maybe two) doors a day. Don't just start to take all of your doors off or you'll get all of the hardware mixed up and you'll be overwhelmed and it'll just be a mess. So a door a day is how I managed it. Mainly since I knew I'd be doing this by myself during the day when Terry was at work and when I had both Carter and Sophia to look after. So one door a day was all that I could manage. 

Once you have taken your hardware and knobs off, take them outside and put them on cardboard. 

and (it only took me about 12 doors to figure this one out)...but it's much easier to spray paint the knobs that don't have the little metal pole sticking out of them (like this one below) if you put them on an old cup or toilet roll holder. This way you can get underneath and spray the entire knob more evenly.

A few tips: Take your time. Don't spray too close to the knob and don't spray when there is wind. Spray them, then walk away. Don't try to fix a spray paint mistake over and over again when the knob is wet or you'll end up with a ton of spray paint dripping from your knob (true story)--but hey, if you mess it up, the good news is that if it dries and you think you've completely ruined your knob (another true story), have no fear! ..just get some steel wool and scrape it off running it under hot water. The paint will all come off and you'll be good as gold (pun intended), and you can start over again. 

Make sure you spray once, then wait until they dry and come back and do a second coat. Once you have finished your second coat leave them to dry over night (at least). They will still be a bit tacky for a few days, so just handle them carefully and don't use them a ton in those first few days if you have already put them back on your doors. The longer they have to sit, the better. 

You'll get a feel for how to get an even coat on the knobs after doing a few, so just be patient and take your time. 

Because, when you're done, it will look like you have brand new doors. Because spray paint is flippin' magical. 

Thanks dad and Terry for helping me to put all of these millions of doors back on. I couldn't have done it without you.

Happy painting everyone!! 
Erica xo 

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Carter is 3!

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This is what 10:30pm scrambling to blow up balloons and get the table set for the next morning looks like--because if you put out some fun party plates, fun straws and cups and blow up some balloons, you all of a sudden have a quick breakfast party, right before school. 

Because our boy turned 3 yesterday. 

"I know I have fun party straws somewhere" I told Terry as I ran around at the last minute trying to put things together. He looked at me like really, do you need party straws?....

"It's all about the details. He needs a fun straw to drink his milk out of in the morning. It'll make him feel like this day is different than normal, like it's YES I need the straws--and I need those fun pirate cups. He'll love drinking from a pirate cup". 

I wanted him to walk down and feel excitement. Feel like this was his birthday. 
Because a few cheap, simple things like balloons and party plates can seriously make someone's day.

So waffles on party plates were had.

And big sisters reaped the benefits of Carter turning 3, because ice cream for dessert--at 7am, was also allowed on this special day...because you only get one birthday a year.

And the best surprise of all? ..Well, he got exactly what he wanted for his special day. The one thing that he would tell everyone he wanted for his birthday--a skateboard. Like the big boys on our court have, he'd always say.

So we wrapped him up in knee pads, elbow pads and a helmet (birthday presents from Nana and Papa)...and he was thrilled.

And when you're the big sister, and your birthday is only a couple weeks away, you get an early birthday present too...because they both wanted nothing more than a skateboard to call their own. So Grandma made sure they each got one (thanks Judy!).

So look out world--here comes danger on wheels.

Happy birthday to our sweet, adventurous, dare-devil little Carter. We love you to the ends of this Earth.

Love, mom and dad xox

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Preschool and Growing up

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I stare at my kids sometimes when they don't know I'm doing it. I stare at them and I can see them as teenagers. I try to envision what they are going to look like 10yrs from now. Mya will sit there, her wispy hair falling down to her shoulders, blue eyes staring straight through you--and I'm grateful that she'll have a brother by her side when she hits that age in her life, because when the boys come knocking--Carter will be there to greet them, shotgun in hand while extending his hand like a gentleman. Of course.

I look at Mya and I can see past the little 4yr old baby face that greets me each morning. I can see past the tiny shoes and cute hair bows. I can see a young woman sometimes...a young woman who has skills, passions, an education and a life of her own. I dream sometimes about what her life will look like years from now. Who will she be? Who will she love? What will she love? What experiences will she have? My daydreams for my kids fill my brain when I'm sitting staring at them.

And when I look at Carter, I can see a 16yr old boy in him all the time--hair all styled just so, because he's already in love with his hair gel and will ask everyone he meets if they like his "spiky hair". And when I watch his adoration for sports--when I watch him swing a bat and crack that ball across our court, or when I see his determination to get that puck into the net or try to master skateboard tricks that are far beyond his reach, I dream about what he will excel in and I'm excited to see where life leads him. What will he be interested in? What will he teach us? Who will he love? Where will life take him?

And I look at our sweet baby Sophia and I can't help but try to picture what she will look like as a toddler, running through our house, sleeping in a big girl bed and developing her own little personality just as her siblings have. In so many ways I wish I could keep her just as she is right now--that sweet tiny little baby. But I also can't wait for what her future holds for her.

I love dreaming of who they will be one day. I love dreaming of where our life will lead us through our kids. I love dreaming of where our family will end up years from now. Because life and growing up is a pretty wild experience and you just never know where it will take you.

So when I see them growing up right before my eyes, it doesn't make me sad. It doesn't make me want to go back--it doesn't make me want to stop it. Instead, it's exciting. Because one day Terry's and my life will be very different than what it is today. One day we won't be in this place of sleep deprivation and toddler craziness. One day we won't be reminding our two year old (almost 3yr old!) to be careful as he speeds off on his bike and tries to do crazy stunts off of skateboard ramps...we won't have to tell him to PLEASE stop climbing things--you're giving your mother a heart attack...because this is our life right now. Whatever the big boys are doing...well, that's what he thinks he can do. No fear. Complete confidence. He just goes for it. And if he falls? Well he barely takes notice--he just wipes himself off and gets right back up again.

It's hard to believe that he was once a tiny baby hooked up to machines in the NICU just after he was born.

So one day these days of having toddlers won't be here anymore. We won't be willing him to sleep in past 5:30am and we won't be shaking our heads laughing (or lots of times sighing--let's be honest here) every time that he shows us how he fits so perfectly into the stereotypical mold of a "little boy". Dirt. Danger. Speed. Loud. Funny. And that little popped collar, swagger that he has always had since the time that he started walking is why people jokingly called him our little frat boy--because he looked the part. Had the swagger. Had the style. Had the confidence. Had the big personality--the let's have a good time...and in case you didn't notice, I'm pretty hilarious kind of personality that we of course love him for. So as we travel through these toddler years of wiping the tears of 2yr old meltdowns, of putting band aids over scraped knees, and reminding him that not everyone wants to wrestle--no really, not everyone thinks it's fun buddy. I know--hard to believe. We will definitely miss all of the good, sweet, amazing stuff that comes along with it.

The hugs, the kisses, the way that he crawls up onto my lap and snuggles right in, and the way that his eyes light up every time that he sees me. I want to bottle those things up and never let them go. And yes, little boys can give you a run for your money--they can be loud and tiring. But he has my heart, and always will.

Our baby boy is growing up. And I kind of like it.

So yesterday was the start of something new. Something where this little boy of ours got to feel big.
He got to wear a backpack. Big deal stuff.

He started preschool.

So we packed his water bottle, an extra set of clothes and a snack, and he excitedly jumped around the house that morning willing the time to speed ahead until it was actually time to go.

And the expert school-going sister tried her best to help as she ran over to her little table and scribbled down something quickly then handed it to him---"Just in case you're a bit scared Carter at preschool can keep this in your backpack".

 Love this.

So, he did great. He waved goodbye without even a glance back as I dropped him off, and I got a big thumbs up and "he did awesome" from his teachers when I picked him up a few hours later.

Life is a changin'. And it's all for the good.

Happy Thursday everyone,

Erica xo

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