The Current State of Our Living Room

Our living room finally has a clock! When my in-laws were visiting, they peeked at my wish list and surprised me with this gorgeous wooden clock off my list.  Thanks guys! It looks even better in the room than I hoped or thought it would.Big Clock - Birthday PresentWhile that side of the living room is looking pretty good, we’ve got a bit of a mess on our hands between the couch and the bar.  I decided, more than a few months ago, that I’d like a big L-shaped sectional in the living room when we finish the basement and move the current living room couch (which is a sleeper sofa) down stairs. After measuring everything out multiple times, the Karlstad in Isunda Gray had the right dimensions, look, and price tag, so we knew we’d be getting it eventually. But then Ikea had to go and put it on the friends and family sale this month.  At 15% off, we couldn’t leave it at the store, so now we’re storing it behind the couch until the floors are down. (Andy didn’t think my idea of setting it up an having a giant square of living room furniture was a good one. He’s kind of lame, no?)

Don’t worry, we can still get to the wine! Hopefully this mess is the kick in the pants we need to get the basement DONE!

The Current State of our Living Room - Karlstad Boxes


And while we’re on the theme of turning the living room into a mess, Target ALSO had to go and put some gorgeous lamps on sale.  I think these will be perfect in the basement space (white wood plank walls, dark wood floors, lots of green and blue accents).  At half price, I couldn’t leave these at the store, so I grabbed two which are now sitting on the dining room buffet.

Three lamps are totally normal in that amount of space, right? (Maybe if I actually cut off the tags, removed the cellophane, and unwrapped the cords.)

Target Lamps for the Basement Target Lamps for the Basement - Price Tag


Any big renovating-in-progress messes in your house? Please tell me I’m not the only one!

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Basement Floors

Sticking with the basement theme, I’m back today to talk about the floors.

This is Take Two (btw)! As you may recall, initially we wanted to use peel and stick plank flooring in the basement, but our inability to get the glue residue from the original sheet vinyl off the concrete foiled those plans.  We considered a few other options, but we really wanted the flooring to feel more cohesive in this home, so we were set on a dark wood look-a-like.

Basement Flooring #thissarahloves

We picked up the boxes from Home Depot and dropped them in the living room to acclimate while we finish the basement walls. This is a floating vinyl plank floor which we settled on after reading lots of reviews about this floor and others like it. We decided on the hickory finish, which appears closest to our exiting oak floors on the main level.

Basement Flooring - Closeup - #thissarahloves Basement Flooring - Closeup 2 - #thissarahloves

The floors obviously won’t ever be directly next to one another, so it doesn’t have to be an exact match – just the same overall feel. The major difference will be that we have narrow planks upstairs and these planks are 6″ wide. (You can see our existing floors in the photo below).

Original Hardwood FloorsNow we just need to prime and patch the walls and door molding, paint the walls, hang the crown molding (?), and then we can lay the floors. Our goal is to have the basement DONE before Christmas.

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Basement Progress: DIY Planked Walls

Remember how we started the basement remodel, oh, about FOREVER ago?  Well we’re still going!  The walls have all been planked, all the doorways (and the window) have fancy new craftsman style molding and we’re busy priming ever square inch.Basement Progress - Primer - #thissarahloves

We’re pretty happy with how the walls are looking.  It was a massive job! We used 17 4’x8′ sheets of thin plywood, cut into 8″ strips to cover all of the walls and thousands of nails (sorry future homeowners).  We’re particularly proud of how we framed out this odd little bump in the hallway (there’s a support post behind there, so it had to stay.)

Basement Progress - Support Post Bumpout - #thissarahloves


We realized early on that we were going to have to embrace the imperfection of this project, so we purposefully did NOT line up all the seams.  This was surprisingly easy to do since neither our floors nor our ceilings were level. Basement Progress - Walls 1 - #thissarahloves


Next on the to do list:

1. Finish priming walls and molding

2. Patch the 2 million nail holes

3. Paint the walls and molding (it’s all going white, although the molding will be a higher gloss)

4. Install crown molding

5. Install floors

Other things we want to do (which are not on our pre-December to do list):

  • Build in a desk in the nook near the exterior door
  • Paint the exterior basement door (I’m leaning toward navy blue right now)
  • Add molding to the interior doors

Favorite Finds: (Early) Christmas 2014

Okay, okay, I know it’s only October, but I couldn’t resist sharing my favorite Christmas finds. All of my go-to stores have Christmas decor on their websites and I just can’t help myself. (At least I’m not listening to Christmas music, yet!)Favorite Finds - Early Christmas 2014

from Left to Right, Top to Bottom:

1. Birdhouses

2. Birds

3. Bird Side Plates

4. Reindeer Dish Towel

5. Vintage Dish Towels

6. Gold Stripe Table Cloth

7. Gold Table Runner

I’ve been remarkably restrained in purchasing Christmas decor, especially given how cute everything is this year! However, I did sneak these cute little birdies into my basket when we were at Ikea.Christmas Decoration - Little Birds

Are you ready for Christmas yet?

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Fall Nails {The Clumsy Girl’s Guide to NOT messing up a manicure}

A little off-topic today – hope you don’t mind too much!

I’ve never been big on painting my nails with anything other than clear polish (and not even that often). Not because I don’t like it, but because I’m pretty bad at actually painting my nails and even worse at not ruining the polish within seconds of putting down the bottle of nail polish!

However, behold the manicure below. My nails were a) NOT done professionally and b) were done more than 12 hours before.  So, what magical thing did I do to stop from smudging my polish in seconds?

Fall Nails - Closeup


I got a consultation from my nail polish-hoarding friend Ashley, who strongly suggested a quick-dry top coat and sticking my hands in the freezer for a few minutes. I had already realized that using high quality nail polish makes painting your nails much easier, and I love Essie’s color choices (I used Chinchilly this time).  I grabbed some Essie top/base coat in one and since Target was out of their quick dry top coat & I’m too scared to try to drying drops, I grabbed some Sally Hansen insta-dri. I followed the instructions on the box, and Ashley’s of sticking my hands in the freezer and had no smudging!  Thanks Ashley!

Fall Nails - Clumsy Girl's Guide to NOT Messing up a Manicure - #thissarahloves



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Penelope Poodle Turns 3

On Saturday, Penelope Poodle turned 3. We thought it would be fun to spoil her and stage a little photo shoot. She got a cute new sweater from her grandparents, and a couple of toys from us.  She did NOT count the balloon or the party hat as gifts.  Oh and we also gave her some broccoli (her favorite food) with her dinner.
Penelope Poodle Turns 3 - Official Birthday Picture - #thissarahloves
Something tells me she was only barely tolerating this torture.  Not that different from any three year old, I think.Penelope Poodle Turns 3 - Official Birthday Picture 2
And this is probably my favorite outtake! Just look at that look she’s giving Andy. Penelope Poodle Turns 3 - If Looks Could Kill - #thissarahloves

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Halloween 2014: Phase II

As I mentioned last week, I didn’t go home from the HomeGoods shop-a-long empty handed.  While I showed remarkable constraint (really, I’m just waiting for the basement to be done before I start buying ALL of the things), I did find this great stylish Halloween hand towel.

Halloween - Toil and Trouble Dish Towel - #thissarahlovesSince the bathroom is painted blue, the traditional orange and black Halloween color scheme wouldn’t work too well in this bathroom.  But when I found this grey and silver towel, I knew it would be the perfect accent!  I also love that it’s a bit more sophisticated than the usual Halloween fair.  Oh and at $2.99 I hardly broke the bank!

Halloween - Toil and Trouble Dish Towel 2 - #thissarahloves

Which rooms do you decorate for the holidays?

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