A year in the making – 1 Year Blogiversary

365 days ago, a dream of mine became a reality.TFP Sign

It started probably a year before that when I stumbled across a blog called House of Hepworths. Who even knew DIY blogs existed? It was the first one I’d ever heard of and I was instantly infatuated with Alison and her amazing DIY skills. I was hooked. I read every post she’d ever written and waited anxiously for new posts to be published (yeah. . . I was kind of a creeper). I began to dream and really think, I could do that!

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At the time we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom duplex whose owner barely let us install a ceiling fan (it had NO ceiling fans. . . in the middle of west Texas. . . . yeah, not smart) so I knew a DIY blog was out of the question as long as we lived there. Time went on and I began to follow other blogs like I Heart Organizing and Primitive and Proper and as the DIY bug grew within me and I worked on small projects around our home.


In January of 2012 this all changed when, through a series of God sized events, we bought our first home. I was ECSTATIC. Long before we moved my head began to spin with renovation ideas, paint colors and flooring options. (Side Note: I didn’t join Pinterest for a long time because my friend Katie told me it was like my brain on steroids. She was right.) I immediately knew the time had come to launch my very own blog, and that my friends is how it all began.

I was so excited I had probably 2-3 posts written before we moved. That’s right, in two weeks time I packed our entire house, we cleaned our new house, did all the techy stuff that goes along with starting a blog and I wrote several posts. Maid Easy offered a good house cleaning option. Oh yeah, and we both worked a full time job. Needless to say, we were pumped about this dream coming true.

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Over the past year we’ve learned a lot. A LOT. We’ve learned about working together and communication. We’ve learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink. We’ve learned that I am a mouse. . . .and I want a cookie. We’ve learned that I have big dreams and can always see the final product where as Phillip never sees the final product and often says things to me like,

“You aren’t finished with that project. . . are you?”

“You want to paint what?”

“Those things don’t match.”

Yet he always loves the result. It’s been an entertaining year of growth and discovery.

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I’ve learned 3 things about myself over the past 12 months;

  • I love to dream up big projects and see them through to completion.
  • I love writing about what I’ve done. I do the staging, shooting and editing. . . .so that I can write.
  • I love that there are people out there whom I’ve never met who actually read the things I write. It never ceases to amaze me.

So to you, faithful reader, thank you. Thank you for reading, dreaming and learning with me. You are the reason that I continue to write so thanks for the encouragement and love.

Speaking of love . . . . wouldn’t you just LOVE to win a new purse?? I thought so.

Daily Tote Giveaway - thefrontpoarch.com

Without further adieu, the winner is. . . .Heather Jernigan!

Heather be sure to check your email for prize details.


Here’s to many, many more DIYing years to come!

Bathroom Paint Reveal

We found a paint color! I’m so excited to share this some-what of a reveal with you! Before we see the after, let’s remember what we began with. Here’s the bathroom as we saw it in the House Tour I did this summer. I like to call this phase the “plaid wallpaper saturation” phase.

Please also notice the blue curtain rod and blue shower curtain.

And who could forget the hideous light fixture with not 1, not 2, but 3 different light bulbs!

Whew! This room was in desperate need of a rescue. We then ripped down the wall paper and went through the great paint fiasco of 2012.

That brings us today, where I’m happy to announce that we finally found a paint color that we LOVE! We ended with Kelly Moore’s Castle Rock. Aren’t you just dying to see it? Here it is!

Ahhhh. . . doesn’t it just make you feel relaxed? We also found a light fixture that I liked and that lit the whole room.

Blue & gray. It could be my new favorite!

The master bathroom also got a fresh coat of paint.

It however, still has the ugly light fixtures. One step at a time. At least these all have matching bulbs.

For now the master bath is done but I’ve got big plans for the guest bath before the end of the year. First things first, we need a new shower rod and I hope to paint a new shower curtain.

Also on my list is refinishing this original to the house vanity stool

What do you think of the new paint color? Could blue and gray be a new color combo in your home?

Update: Bathrooms

I feel like the title of this post should be Update: UGLY Bathrooms! After we finished tearing down the wallpaper in the kitchen last week during the in-law visit we set out to do the same in the bathrooms. The front bathroom went rather quickly but had not one, not two but in some places 3 layers of wallpaper!

The master bathroom however was another story. It’s the room that all homeowners dread. . . . it was the room where wallpaper was adhered directly to the sheet-rock without priming or painting first. Yeah, it was pretty much a nightmare.

After debating for a day about how many layers we should try and remove I got frustrated and decided to prime and paint the whole thing. Lucky for me things turned out great!

We picked out the a light fixture that I absolutely LOVED and Phillip installed it for me.

But it was too dark. WAY too dark. As in cave dark.

So it came down and was returned.

Then we began what I’m calling the great paint fiasco of 2012. I really wanted the bathrooms to be a lite gray so we picked out Kelly Moore Gray Mare. Before we even finished the first coat I knew it was going to be a disaster. Turns out blue/green tile makes gray paint look baby blue. Yuck.

So Phillip went back to the paint store and got the next darkest shade, Rain Nation and it was still too blue. He went back and got the next darkest shade, Cold Steel and it was ok. . . . ish.

Despite making trips to the paint store 3 days in a row, for the past couple of days our bathrooms have looked like this:

Let me just say, you don’t want to brush your teeth in this mess. Learn more at PHXHomeRemodeling.com.

So yeah. . . we will eventually find the right paint color and get things wrapped up. Until then, welcome to our mess!

Update: Kitchen, Part 2

Once we got the kitchen painted and added a service water heater, Phillip and his dad had a few more projects for the kitchen. For a few months now I’ve been dreaming of an eat-in kitchen and after several days of hard work, measuring, adjusting and cutting (again, mostly while I was at work) this beauty now sits in our kitchen!

Here it is with trim and the baseboards put back on. During the building process we realized that we were going to cover up 1 of my 3 kitchen outlets so we were able to move it over, do you see it there on the end?

The coolest feature? The lids lift up and there’s built-in storage! I will be painting the bottom white and staining the top in a dark finish so be sure to look for the finished project in a few weeks!

I also had 1 more project in line to finish up my pantry makeover. . . I left a teaser on my Facebook page today and if you guessed a screen door you would be correct!

When we moved in there was a screen door on the garage side of the kitchen door which I thought was a rather strange place to put a screen door. Phillip took it down and I’ve been saving it ever since for the pantry. He was able to peel the screen back, cut the lateral slats down to size and reattached the same frame piece.

Isn’t it just dreamy??

So what’s left in order for the kitchen to be “done”?

1. paint and stain the eat-in bench

2. purchase and refinish chairs from Exquisite Living to complete the eat-in kitchen

3. paint the screen door

4. Rehang all of my gallery art

5. sand and stain my newly-discovered kitchen desk

Can you believe that this beautiful wood was hidden underneath that ugly blue laminate for probably years! One day I was just really disgusted with it so I decided to start peeling off the trim piece and wouldn’t you know this beauty was underneath.

6. sand and paint my vent hood (which is currently MIA) (and by MIA I mean in the garage)

Update: Kitchen

Finally an update as promised! Last week Phillip’s parents visited us from Florida and helped us start a few renovation projects. Since the kitchen is the closest to being done, I thought I’d start with it!

The last time I mentioned the kitchen was in our house tour and we left things looking like this:

The floral wallpaper is a nice touch, don’t you think?

And now, after days of hard work, this is the sight I come home to each day.

Isn’t it just a ray of sunshine??

Most of the wallpaper was taken down while I was at work (thanks Brenda!) so I don’t have many pictures but once the wallpaper was down I had a mostly beautiful blank slate.

After washing the walls I came in with joint compound and textured the walls. We purchased this high-texture roller and after some trial and error on the wall behind the fridge I found it best to transfer the joint compound to a small trough and use a drywall trowel to spread an even coat in small sections. I then gave it another pass with my roller and . . . .

I ended up with this amazing texture! I did use a small, cheap paint brush to reach the sections that the roller couldn’t reach.

We let the texture dry for 24 hours and then Phillip helped me paint. The color is Kelly Moore’s Country Sun.


More updates are coming soon!

We bought a house!

{Myself, Phillip and our fabulous realtor, Patty}

Yup, it’s official, as of September 7, 2012, Phillip and I (and the bank) own our very first home. Here it is!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t you buy this house is February? Isn’t that why you started this blog in the first place?”

For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s the short answer: yes and no

If you like to read, get comfy because you are in for a great story! Here’s the long answer.

Background: Since our graduation from ACU in 2009, Phillip and I had been working vigorously to pay off our student loans. We’d made good progress and were on track to be debt free by June of 2012, which went that we would hopefully be looking to buy a house in the spring of 2013.

In January of 2012, our church participated in what’s known as the Daniel Fast. The concept is like that of any other fast, abstaining from certain foods and seeking God’s heart. We went into this 3-week fast asking God to reveal to us his plan for us in terms of location, specifically asking if we were supposed to be in Abilene long term or if He was calling us to another city. During these 21 days we didn’t really hearing a resounding “Yes” or “No” but the day after we broke the fast things began to fall into place quickly.

The Daniel Fast ended on a Sunday night and Monday afternoon Phillip happened to be in a co-worker’s office explaining how we hoped to be in the market for a house in the coming year. She immediately replied, “Well my family has a house for sale, would you like to buy it?” Phillip was hesitant at first and tried to explain again how we weren’t looking for house right now, how we didn’t have any cash for a down payment, etc. (Side note: this house belonged to the co-worker’s mother-in-law and we had actually been to the estate sale in the fall of 2011.) In a series of unexplainable events, that I can’t accurately remember, Philip came home after work and told me the story, we went to see the house and the family offered to rent it to us for a few months and close by the end of May. We found a real estate agent first thing the next morning made an offer on the home (with a delayed closing) and they accepted!

We moved in the middle of February and things were going great!  We even did some minor repairs and had the home appraised. We were in perfect shape to close by the end of May until one really, really rainy night, we discovered a small hole in our roof as part of our living room ceiling began to sag. The seller graciously agreed to fix to roof but the repairs (as always) took longer than expected and we missed our May 31st deadline. The closing was then set for the middle of June until the family discovered an error on the deed which had to be corrected and like everything else, it just took time. July was looking good until we ran into more legal issues and had to wait for a will to be probated.

So that brings us to today. Today, after months of waiting, after expecting to close and being delayed by situations where we had no control, after patiently waiting for God’s perfect timing, today. . . . we are home owners!

So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Front Poarch!

PS – If you live in Abilene and are looking to buy or sell a home we HIGHLY recommend Senter Realtors and especially our Realtor, Patty Knight.