Girl Boss Feature: Home Décor Signs by Sarah Phulps

Sarah Phulps, aka @shes.scripty (go follow her!) makes and sells the CUTEST décor signs for your home and recently ventured into drinkware. With a million little shops out there, I felt it was my moral obligation to share her with you all because there’s something special about her lettering that sets her apart from the rest. I’m not even kidding when I say that looking at her handwriting puts me in a good mood. Is that weird? Her lettering is like art so I feel like it’s not THAT weird.

Plus, I love supporting other women (especially moms) and her story hit home when she told me “I needed something to do outside of burping babies and changing diapers.” Can I get an amen? That is exactly why I started this blog after realizing PR freelancing made me want to jump off a cliff.

She has a bunch of stuff available at shesscripty.com, but when my friend got this personalized sign I knew I just HAD TO HAVE ONE for myself. I hung it over the hallway entry. IMG_2754.JPG

Here’s another one I have that I love because I was tired of annoying solicitors waking up my kids, but I hate the ugly standard “no soliciting” signs.

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And here are a few more for you to see here before you check out her website and buy some for yourself or a friend 😉

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xo,

Bethany

 

 

*photo cred of the last 3 pics: Sarah Phulps

 

DIY Sofa Table

I recently decided to sell my coffee table and go with this round ottoman my friend found for me via @whimseygirldesign’s daily farmhouse décor deals, available at Wayfair. I was excited for the change, but I knew I needed to find an alternative place to put my coffee in the morning, and wine at night.

I follow several interior designers on Instagram; one particular favorite is Rachel at @shadesofblueinteriors. She’s definitely worth a follow if you’re looking for some inspiration. One day I noticed this sofa table behind her couch and I became obsessed. I asked her where she got hers and she responded letting me know that she and her husband actually built it themselves; she did her own design (as they often do), but pointed me in the direction of where she knew online plans were for something similar. You can find those plans here via @jennasuedesign and give her a follow because she’s also super inspiring.

Ryan and I have gotten pretty handy over the past three years of home owning, but building actual furniture is something we hadn’t attempted. Ryan’s a civil engineer, so he has the right skills needed to follow a design and I was confident he could do it.

Here are some pictures of the process from start to finish.

We definitely learned some things along the way and will be slightly altering the design if we decide to build another one. A friend of mine wants one, so we’ll likely tweak the design to our liking. Not to say there’s anything wrong with Jenna Sue’s – her design totally works.

I mixed my own stain to give it that rustic Restoration Hardware look. After I was done staining, I went back over it with 220 grit sandpaper to rough it up a little. I then used Finishing Wax and did another light sanding job to rough it up a little more. I used Benjamin Moore paint in White Dove for the legs.

Since I’m sharing so many of my favorite Instagram accounts for design inspo, I should also include Aly McDaniel at @thedowntownaly – her feed is super inspiring and it helped me style my new sofa table. Give her a follow if you like farmhouse décor and also her Instagram stories are hilarious.

 

Preston’s Nursery

I was deprived of the pleasure of decorating Porter’s nursery since we moved into our house less than two months before he was born and were undergoing multiple larger scale house projects at the time (first world problems, I know). It felt like torture with him being my first baby. I wanted so badly for him to have the perfect room, but I just didn’t have the physical energy to pull it off AND unpack our house. Once I adjust to being a mom of two, I’ll take on curating Porter’s little boy room.

So of course I had so much fun decorating Preston’s nursery! Unfortunately for him, he got stuck with the smallest room in the house, which made me even more determined to make sure it was cute. Living in a small space is all the rage these days right? 😉

I was originally inspired by a room I saw in a Restoration Hardware Baby & Child catalog (below), which gave me the idea to go with a nautical theme. I didn’t want your typical nautical colors (red, white and blue), so it was nice to see nautical decor with more muted tones.

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My version of this room evolved as I started putting it together. I wasn’t trying to replicate this room — it was just my inspiration. The first major purchase was the rope pendant light and from there, things just slowly came together. I included sources below for anyone that’s curious about where I purchased what! So excited for baby Preston to be hanging out in his room instead of inside my belly haha. 🙂

Scroll down for sources.

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Wall Color – Benjamin Moore Gray Owl in Matte Finish

Rope Orb Pendant Light – RH Baby & Child

Antique Spindle Crib – RH Baby & Child

Wood Plank Nautical Art (on either side of window) – RH Baby & Child

Mini Mariner’s Table Lamp (next to chair) – RH Baby & Child

Anchor Print Crib Fitted Sheet – RH Baby & Child

Crib Bumper – RH Baby & Child

Chambray Whale Mobile – RH Baby & Child

Nautical Wheel (above crib) – Hobby Lobby

Circle Mariner’s Mirror – Hobby Lobby

Floating Shelves – Old shelving I’ve had sitting for years

Rack containing books – “Spice Rack” from Ikea painted white

Yachting Magazine from 1943 -Antique Store

Sail Boat decoration (on shelf) – used as decor at my Sprinkle

“AHOY” banner – Etsy

“My Little Boy” print – Alice and Ivory (follow @aliceandivory on Insta)

Changing Pad Cover – Pottery Barn Kids

Chair/Glider – Wayfair

Faux Fur Pillow – Amazon

Dresser/Changing Table – Purchased in 2013 from Salvation Army for $70, painted Benjamin Moore White Dove in Semi-Gloss Finish

Diaper Crate – Home Goods

Toy Crate – Home Goods

Blanket Ladder – Made locally

Striped Curtains – Tuesday Morning

Faux Sheepskin Rug – Home Goods

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Remodel Update

Our holiday season started out in an ideal way; the day after Thanksgiving, we made the trek up to Apple Hill’s Smart’s Tree farm to cut down our Christmas tree. We got apple donuts and met up with family – Porter had a blast. That was our first real break from working on our house in weeks.

Back to reality on Saturday morning as we pawned Porter off to Nana and continued to frantically try and finish the kitchen remodel before the arrival of baby #2!

The hurdles we’ve run into during this project have been plentiful. It really is true what people say about embarking on a construction project – you will run into problems – especially if your house is 45 years old and had questionable owners who’ve cut corners over the years. We are trying to update our house built in 1970, but at the same time, we’re fixing what other people did wrong.

We still have lots of work to do. But to give you an idea of what we started with, below is a “before” picture of the kitchen. I forgot to take one myself, so this is the kitchen photo that was included in the real estate listing when we bought the house (which means all the ugly crap on the counter is not mine). Don’t you just LOVE that golden oak haha.

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And here it is now…

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It’s so exciting for us to see our vision for this ugly kitchen start to become a reality, but you can see we still have much to do. I sanded and painted the sink and corner base cabinets at the height of my second trimester energy burst. I found a great method that really works well and will eventually write up a step-by-step tutorial. Every other cabinet is new, but we bought them in unfinished oak, which saved us a ton of money. I’m super anal about paint color anyway and really wanted my cabinets to be White Dove by Benjamin Moore, so buying white stock cabinets was unappealing to me.

We were gifted new appliances for Christmas from my parents during a sale at Pacific Sales in Roseville. We are beyond thankful and excited to have brand spankin’ new LG appliances – I realize we are lucky ducks to be gifted something like that.

We also have new quartz countertops, a sink and a new kitchen faucet. The quartz was leftover from my parents’ big remodel they recently did (major score). I ordered brushed gold cabinet hardware to match the faucet. The fancy William Sonoma soap set that matches the Palladian Blue wall was a gift from a thoughtful friend.

We added pantry cabinets to either side of our new refrigerator; we still need to add an upper cabinet. One of my pet peeves was that we previously had random snack crap on top of our frig and I’m so excited for it to be clutter free now that we have enough storage.

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After we Ryan knocked down all of the upper cabinets (funny story involving a crow bar and major destruction), we were left with a pretty hideous drywall situation, but it was fine, because I saw this picture on Pinterest and felt inspired to cover it with bead board, which will then have open shelving over it. We also installed white subway tile for our backsplash.

Next big thing is installing the open shelving on either side of the microwave. We found this great local place that will cut new wood for you and gave us some stuff to make it look like reclaimed wood, saving us a ton of money. Apparently actual reclaimed wood is pricey. I pulled this look from Pinterest as my inspiration…

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Couldn’t find the source to this, but the pin caption said it was from Countryliving.com

Other than the shelving, crown molding, finishing the cabinets by the frig and a few other finishing touches, we’re done. We’re just going to keep plugging away until it’s finished. In the meantime, I’ve finally started working on the nursery 🙂

 

Bar Stool Redo

Thanks partly to the crash of 2008 and Pinterest, millenials have perfected the art of taking cheap thrift store (and in some cases, perhaps even side of the road) finds and transforming them into stylish furniture pieces worthy of a chic home. It’s become so common, I almost felt it pointless to even bother writing about this — but every time I complete a project, I get questions as to what I did, step by step. So here it is.

To be honest, I sort of rushed through this particular piece. We are in the midst of a kitchen remodel (with a side project of tiling the bathroom floor), so I’ve been sort of drowning in projects lately.

I’m in my 24th week of pregnancy, and my second trimester energy burst is already starting to decline. That’s actually the only reason I did this project — I needed a form of seating in the kitchen and a single bar stool seemed like the best option.

If I had it my way, I would have just ordered this one from Restoration Hardware in antique white. But alas, we’re putting money into the kitchen and I’m a stay at home mom, married to a civil engineer, not a man with a trust fund (side note, I wouldn’t trade my Ryan for ANYONE).

So on a random Wednesday, Porter and I went to the Habitat for Humanity Restore and I immediately spotted this beauty:

Ok, maybe it’s actually quite hideous, but then I turned it into this:

It’s super easy, but you’ll need these items:

  • 150-ish grit sand paper
  • Rubbing alcohol or vinegar and a rag
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Scissors
  • Fabric
  • Screw driver

Here’s how to do it:

1) Unscrew the cushion. You can usually find the screws by turning the chair upside down (probably one screw near each corner), remove the cushion, set aside.

2) Lightly sand the wood (just rough it up a little) using 150-ish grit sand paper. People hate sanding, but it really helps the adhesion and it honestly doesn’t take that long. Like I said, it’s a super light sand. Shouldn’t take you more than 3 minutes.

2) Spray it down with alcohol or vinegar and wipe debris away.

3) Add a layer of primer. I used this one. I love spray primers for projects like these because they’re so convenient. Let it dry for 30 minutes or so, then it’s ready for your first layer of paint.

4) Pick your paint. I used a sample paint I had leftover from picking a wall color for baby #2. The color is Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist and the cane back section is Benjamin Moore’s White Dove (my most favorite white paint EVER). I applied it with a brush and I actually didn’t notice any brush strokes after the second coat. I just buy middle range brushes from Home Depot. They’re nothing too special, but they’re not the super cheapo ones.

5) Reupholster the cushion.

  • Remove the nasty 80’s material using an exacto knife and try not to think about how many gross butts have sat on it over the years.
  • Decide about a foam replacement. In my case, the foam was actually in pretty good shape, so I decided to keep it. Again, drowning in projects over here and didn’t feel like driving to Michael’s to buy a new one. But in some cases, you will need to. Just ask an employee where to find chair cushion foam.
  • Place your chosen fabric upside down, place your cushion on top of that. Cut the fabric into the shape of your cushion, but leave 3 inches or so extra fabric on each side so that you have enough to pull over and secure with a staple gun. If the fabric ends up covering the screw holes (mine did) then just poke a hole through the fabric right at the screw hole so you can get the screw back in without twisting the fabric. Tip, pull the fabric as tightly as you can, then secure with staples.

6) Place the cushion back onto the chair and screw it it. I recommend waiting a full day to do this so that you don’t scratch your paint in the process.

I was much more meticulous about painting my kitchen cabinets, which I will be writing about soon, but this was a quick project that enabled me to have a place to sit as my pregnancy continues to limit me physically. The first time I redid a chair, it took me longer to do. But once you do a couple, it becomes routine and easy.

No more excuses to have ugly chairs now haha. Xo

#MitchellBackyardRedo

When I started this blog, I decided I was not going to stick to any sort of a publishing schedule because to me (at the time) it felt too calculated/disingenuous. One of my goals in starting this blog was to keep it 100 percent authentic, so forcing myself to write x times per week/month regardless of whether I felt inspired to do so didn’t seem like the right way to accomplish that.

With that being said, I’m disappointed that I’ve been on such a blogging hiatus this summer. I’m mentally telling myself “bad blogger!” So maybe there’s something to this whole editorial calendar idea. Whatevs…moving on.

Things have been pretty crazy lately over at this House of Mitchells. Since May (when Ryan passed the PE and Porter got his tubes) we kicked our house projects into high gear and decided to tackle re-landscaping the entire backyard. I’ve made no secret that we bought a fixer to anyone who asks me about my house. Before we even moved in, we went into construction mode.

Here’s what was done prior to moving in last summer:

  1. Removed a wall
  2. Popcorn ceiling removal/retexturing
  3. Installed new flooring
  4. Installed new baseboards throughout the entire house
  5. Rewired all the outlets and light switches and installed GFCIs (also replaced each light switch and outlet cover)
  6. Replaced all the lighting throughout the house
  7. Installed a new front door handle/lock
  8. Purchased new door knobs for all doors in the house (we still haven’t finished installing them all) 😀
  9. Painted every square foot of the ceilings/walls/trim
  10. Spray painted all AC vents white (they were yucky 70’s darn brown)
  11. Installed mirror closet doors in bedrooms (also straight from the 70’s, this house had fake wood paneled closet doors)
  12. New window treatments

I think that’s it, but I’m probably forgetting something. I was at the end of my pregnancy when this all was happening, so my memory is a little hazed from being full term in 100+ degree heat. My naive first-time-mom self thought I’d be able to jump back into #projecthouse mode by the time Porter was three months old. Ha. WRONG. Little did I know, I was about to have Mr. I have reflux/I have constant ear infections/you won’t sleep for eight months mommy.

Here’s what we’ve been working on this summer:

  1. Killed the “lawn” (I put lawn in quotes because it was more like mowed crab grass/weeds)
  2. Used a rototiller to rip up the dead lawn and loosen up the dirt
  3. Built two 4×12 planter boxes and installed underground taping irrigation systems in both (had soil delivered, planted a few things)
  4. Installed a french yard drain system – there were so many boring steps involved in this, so I’m omitting the details; It was a lot of work…we’ll just leave it at that
  5. Surrounded the planter boxes with shredded redwood (wanted to avoid walking in mud when tending to the garden, but I’m not really into the gravel look)
  6. Prepped a section of the yard for sod (again, lots of steps involved in this, but they are boring so skipping the details)
  7. Laid the sod

As I read over my list, I feel like it so doesn’t do justice to all the work we did. SO SO SO much digging and dirt moving! I definitely helped as much as I could, while juggling taking care of P, (we also had a few other helpers here and there) but so much of this work was done by Ryan. His stamina truly amazes me and his engineering skills came in handy when designing the french drain. He took measurements, wrote and equation and made a graph so he could make sure the slope was absolutely perfect. As someone who’s never been very good at math, I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw what he was doing (but also gazed wide eyed in admiration). It’ll all be worth it – we love being outside, so it was a major priority for us to transform our yard into a desirable hang out spot. Our next project is the fire pit section of the yard, which I’m so excited for.

the "before" pic - we hadn't done a thing to the yard at this point - I hadn't even furnished/decorated the patio when this was taken

The “before” pic – we hadn’t done a thing to the yard at this point – I hadn’t even furnished/decorated the patio when this was taken

Going to town with the rototiller

Going to town with the rototiller

Constructing the planter boxes

Constructing the planter boxes

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Done 🙂

The trench for the french drain

The trench for the french drain

The final (for now) product

The final (for now) product