Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Favorites 12/16

I'm going to start something new this week. I'm linking up with with these 3 gals, (Andrea, Erika, Narci) and sharing my 5 favorite things from this week. I'm going to try to do this weekly to jump start back to blogging. So here goes...


Better than Sex Chex.

This is my new go to holiday treat. I've made this recipe twice already. It's the perfect thing to take somewhere or give as a gift. It's so easy to make. No cooking, just some melting in the microwave. Perfect for kids to make. You can find the recipe HERE.


I have done almost all of my Christmas shopping here. Even stocking stuffers. I actually just finished all of my shopping this morning with no fear that my items won't make it in time for the big day. Avoiding the crowds at the stores is just another bonus to shopping online. In the new year I'm going to try their pantry service. I'll let you know how I like it.


My oldest son turned 18! I can't believe it!!! Time goes so fast. One day you think they're never going to be potty trained, learn to read or be old enough to not be in the nursery at church, then you blink and they're seniors in high school with a job, preparing to enlist in the Marines after they graduate. Sometimes it's too much for this mom to handle.


I know this is a cheesy sitcom, but I like it. It reminds me of my childhood watching the original. I'm not binge watching, but it's a nice little break when I'm eating lunch or just want to relax for 20-30 minutes.


My tree is finally finished! My prelit tree did not work properly when I took it out of the box this year. More than half of the lights were out. So frustrating. It looked like this last weekend.

See that pile of lights by the fireplace? It took me about 6 hours to cut off all the existing from the tree. Then many more hours to restring it with all new lights in sections so I could take it apart and store for next year. I am leaving the new lights on the tree so I don't have to go through that again. Now if a strand goes out, I can just replace that one strand and all will be good. I even bought a couple of extra strands to stick in the tree box just for that purpose. The tree now looks like this!

See you next week!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Gallery Walls

One of the trends I am loving this year is the gallery wall. I love the visual interest and dimension a gallery wall can bring to a room. Here are a few gallery walls I have done this year. Some of these are in my own home, and some have been for others.

 This was in our previous home we rented. In a rental 3M Command strips are your friend!

 My son's bedroom

 My entry. I think this is one of my favorite gallery walls. I like that the items on the shoe cabinet become incorporated into the wall.

 Teenage son's room. I still need to fill the photo frame.

 Wall I did for my parents. They had a large empty wall in their kitchen that needed some love.

 Entry for a friend. 

I normally arrange the walls I do in a square or a rectangle. So I thought I would try a little more freeform for my recent One Room Challenge. It worked great because of the roof line in my master bedroom. I think I'll do a little more freeform in the next gallery wall I do. 

If you haven't tried a gallery wall, here are a few tips:

  • Choose a common theme, color scheme or design aesthetic for your wall.
  • Arrange the items on a flat surface.
  • Add some dimension with a shelf or an item with some depth.
  • Choose pieces with different shapes to add visual interest
  • Most of all have fun with it. There are no hard fast rules.
I'd love to see if any of you try your own gallery wall.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

ORC Week #6- The Final Reveal

Well it is here! My Master Bedroom final reveal. I never knew 6 weeks could fly by so fast. In another 6 weeks it will be Christmas Eve. EEK! Just some food for thought. I am not ready at all for Christmas, are you?
I did not post anything for week 5 because I was having connection issues and couldn't get my computer working. Sorry about that.
Make sure you check out all the other guest participants over at Linda's Calling it Home blog. I have my favorites and I can't wait to see how they did.

Here goes! Let's get to the pictures, because that's what really matters. First we can take a look at where we started.

This was the listing photo. That wallpaper came off easily, but the glue took days to wash off.

Here is the After

I created this this vanity area because my bathroom is smaller than a closet. It is very difficult to get ready in there. I really like sitting down and taking time to do my hair and makeup. That little door on the right you can barely see is my husband's walk in closet. It is surprisingly big on the inside and gives him plenty of room to keep all his things.

I like that I can see most of my jewelry hanging here. It makes picking out what to wear much easier. My favorite thing about hanging the jewelry here is it is hidden from view when you are standing in the doorway.

Here is the other side of the room. I painted all the doors Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams. I can't wait to paint all the doors in the house this color. It really makes a big difference.

The bed is definitely the focal point of this room.  The reason I did the panels over the bed was to hide the small off center window. The valances and bedskirt were custom made by me, but the panels are ready made. I also fabricated the euro shams and large lumbar some time ago. We have moved so many times recently I never got a chance to do anything else. Thankfully we are settled here in the Pittsburgh area for a while now.

I am very pleased with how the room turned out. The only thing I didn't get checked off my list is the planked ceiling. It was the one job I could not do on my own. Since my husband has been traveling or busy with work most evenings lately, he did not have time to help me. I am still planning on doing it, because there is a hole in my ceiling from moving the light fixture to center over the bed. You can see it in one of the pictures above. It cannot easily be patched so it will get covered up. I think it will take about 2 more weeks before that's complete. I hope you will return to my blog to check up on my progress. I have a whole house to complete and will be posting updates here. You can also follow me on Instagram @ Charla_Szweda. Thanks for joining me on this wild and crazy ride! And thanks to Linda for all she does to promote the One Room Challenge.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

One Room Challenge Week 4! Master Bedroom

Holy Moly I have 14 days to get this Master Bedroom finished for Linda's @ Calling It Home's One Room Challenge! Can you hear the panic in my voice!!

If you're new here, the One Room Challenge is a twice yearly event where bloggers pick a room in their home or someone else's home to redo in only 6 short weeks. You'd think 6 weeks is a pretty good amount of time until you ONLY HAVE 14 DAYS LEFT!!!!!

This week started off with a big disaster. Painting of the the doors. Silly me I thought I could just clean the doors and then slap that paint right on. Well BIG FAIL! After 2 coats on the closet door the paint was not sticking well at all. Turns out you have to prep shiny surfaces before painting. I've gotten used to chalk paint and have forgotten that regular painting is all about the prep. So the closet door looks like this right now.

 I'm in the process of sanding off all the dark paint to start over. Then I'll use a liquid sander to remove the gloss. Hopefully that will work and next week I'll be able to show you beautiful dark doors.

After the paint debacle I decided to take a break from the painting and do something fun. So the rest of this week was all about fabric and sewing. I love sewing and haven't really done too much lately. When we lived in Atlanta I owned a workroom and sewed almost every day. So sewing is my first love. I haven't had room to set up an official sewing space anywhere else, so when I am sewing my dining room usually looks likes this.

Luckily my husband is out town for business this week so the kids and have been eating at the coffee table most of the week. This is the beginnings of my bedskirt. I can't decide if I want to pleat it or gather it yet. I need to make that decision today.  Anyone have any thoughts on that? My valances are pleated. If you follow me on instagram you saw this photo of one finished valance awaiting installation.

This will actually get installed up into that little window nook. Do you like my makeshift stand? I was trying to see how it will look and no one was around to hold it for me. I also have a second valance that is longer that will be going above my bed with panels behind it. I'm trying to cover up a window that is off center. That's pretty much all the progress I've made this week. I did make a decision on how I was going to plank my ceiling. Lowes has these tongue and groove boards I'm going to use.

 I'll need 15 packages, so at about $10 a package, that's pretty economical. I'll be priming and painting them before installation. Painting on the ceiling is tough on the arms. I'm sure after installing it all, my arms will be plenty tired!!!

On tap for next week is getting all the doors painted, finishing up the bedskirt and my electrician is coming to install new lighting in all the bedrooms and upstairs hallway next week.Yay! Can't wait to get rid of the old light fixtures everywhere. Normally I can do things like that myself, but this house has old and confusing wiring so I'll let the professional do it this time. I'm also moving the master bedroom light a little to center it up over the bed so I definitely do not want to tackle that job.

That's it for me today, gotta finish sewing. Go check out all the other guest participants at Calling It Home. Can't wait to see everyone's progress.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

ORC- Week 3 Master Bedroom

If this is your first time visiting here I'm participating in the One Room Challenge or ORC put together by Linda at Calling it Home. Trying to redo a room in 6 weeks is crazy. I think everyone looks at their room in week three and thinks it CAN'T be half over already!!! Where is the time going?

This week I was MIA almost the whole week. My husband and I bought a vacation house in Ponte Vedra, FL. I spent 6 days there stocking dishes, bedding, and all the necessities so our family could spend Christmas there. The weather was great. And of course I took a little time out for fun with some friends too.

While I was gone I got some deliveries for my master bedroom. My vanity and light fixture both arrived. I put the vanity together and it fits perfectly.

Yesterday I found the perfect tufted chair for my tushie while doing my hair and makeup.

I was supposed to paint the doors and trim this week, but I'll be doing that today and tomorrow. My house has these amazing solid wood doors. Check out that detail.

 I can't wait to change their color. I'm thinking some Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams.

Also, this week will be all about fabric, fabric, fabric. There will be a bedskirt, draperies and a pillow or two.

Go check out the rest of the participants here. I can't wait to see how everyone else is doing, and if they're freaking out as much as me!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ORC- Week 2 Master Bedroom

Week 2 of the ORC came and went. I have a plan! Yay!  I made a lot of progress this week. I primed and painted all the walls. I've used this same color in 5 different rooms in the past 3 years and it looks different in every single room. Sometimes it looks more gray, sometimes it's beige. This time it's more beige but that could change when the lighting gets switched. Here is the wall color, Anew Gray.

 On the ceiling I'm going to do either planking or beadboard in a light blue similar to Cay.

I've also done a bit of shopping this week. I got the artwork for above my bedside tables behind the lamps. I had originally bought one of these for my family room, but tried it above the nightstands. It looked so good I had to run out to Hobby Lobby to try and find another. I got lucky. They only had one left. 

The pillows I made about 2 years ago. The blue silk with the dots will also be a bedskirt. The large floral will be the main fabric for draperies. I've had this fabric forever, but never made any window treatments because we've been moving so much. So HAPPY to be settled somewhere for a few years!!!!!

The desk will be my new dressing table. I'll need to get a nice girly chair to go with it.

I really wanted a nice wood beaded chandelier, but my ceiling are not very high. I was searching for a semi flush mount and found the wood beaded one above. I love the larger bead that hangs from the bottom.

The headboard is difficult to see in the above picture. Here it is from Joss and Main. I lived without a headboard for over a year in our previous rental. I have a large four poster bed frame, but sadly with low ceilings and a smaller room it doesn't fit in this master. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to like the headboard. It was very inexpensive and had good reviews so I thought I'd try it out.  What was there to lose? I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived. I actually really like it. It's kind of a tweed fabric and looks more expensive than it really is. I'm very thankful my pillow is no longer falling off the head of the bed! So annoying!

So what's on the agenda for week 3? Not a whole lot. I'm going to Florida for a couple of days. We bought a townhouse in Ponte Vedra to be able to escape the cold winter months of PA. I'm going to get the place stocked with the necessary supplies so our family can spend time there this Christmas. I'm also going to be seeing my besties while I'm there! I miss them all and am so happy we'll be spending more time there. My husband took a truck load of furniture that didn't fit in current PA home  (including my big four poster bed) to our FL townhouse a couple of weeks ago. So now it's time to get all the bits and bobs and make it livable.  With all of that going on next week, I'm still hoping to get a little work done on my ORC. I've made a tentative weekly schedule for the remaining weeks.

Week 3:
  •  Paint doors and trim
  •  Schedule electrician to move lighting and install fixture and replace some outlets.

Week 4:
  • Sewing, Sewing, Sewing!
  • Assemble Furniture
Week 5:
  • Ceiling (this will be the most challenging part of this room makeover
  • Shopping
Week 6:
  • Finish any undone projects
  • Styling
  • Photographing

Voila! I actually think this is doable, but the ceiling frightens me. EEK! 

Can't wait to see how everyone else is progressing. Go check out the rest of the participants at Linda's blog, Calling It Home.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

ORC- Let's try this Again!

It's my favorite time of year! The One Room Challenge from Linda @ Calling it Home.
Well last you heard from me it was week 4 of the Spring ORC. I'm sad to say I never quite made it to the finish line with the shared boys room. Waiting for the floors to be refinished did me in. Check in with me tomorrow and I'll give you an update on that room. We did move into our new little tudor house and the next day the kids and I took off for the most of the summer. We had great adventures but I was itching to get home and get this house in order.

This time around I'm going to do the room that always seems to get left for last. It's the MASTER BEDROOM. Here is how the room looked in the listing.

I already removed the wallpaper and washed the glue off the walls. The wallpaper was so old the pink stripes turned to peach over the years. I'm sure it was very stylish in its day, but YUCK!

So what's the plan for the next six weeks?
  1. Paint the walls, trim and doors
  2. Order a headboard, rug and desk for dressing area (See that tiny master bath? It's too small to do my hair and makeup. It will get an update starting in the next month or so.)
  3. Remove lovely chandelier and replace with something updated.
  4. Sewing, Sewing, Sewing. Window treatments, bedskirt and a couple of pillows to go with ones from my previous room.
  5. Cool treatment on the ceiling. You can't tell, but there's some kind of wallpaper product on there and there are creases and lots of bumps. I'm thinking painted beadboard.
  6. Then there's the styling and photographing for the big reveal.
I'm sure I'll have a few hiccups along the way, but there will be a reveal this time around. Come back next week to see how things are going, and stop over at Calling it Home to check out all the other linking participants. I can't wait to see all the talent out there.