Monday, November 25, 2013

Bathroom Reveal!!1!

Here is a picture of the bathroom-that-was to refresh your memory:

 More before pics here

And now! 

Step 1: Prime walls. I used Valspar Bonding Primer (Lowe's, $25) because it is supposed to adhere well to glossy surfaces, such as gross plastic tile.

Step 2: Paint with Faint Flicker (Olympic) ($30)

Step 3: I purchased two identical shower curtains from TJ Maxx for $15 each. One went up on the shower (which is impossible to photograph because of the narrowness of the room) and the other I cut down to the size of the closet opening, then stitched down the rough edge. 

Then I installed a tension rod in the closet doorway (Target, $6) and hung up the curtain using some hooks I had leftover from another project. 

With the remaining fabric from the shower curtain I whipped up a valence for the window. 

Oh, also got the bathmat from TJ Maxx. $7.

Step 4: Storage. I solved the storage problem by putting two stackable plastic drawers under the sink for our toothpaste, combs, deodorant, and whatnot. (Lowe's, $9.48 each)

Step 5: Install new flooring! I went with Style Selections Luxury Vinyl Plank in Antique Oak ($1.18/sq ft, Lowe's, $53.75 for the whole project). It's hard to believe this floor is a stick-on! It doesn't look any more fake than a laminate does, and that's good enough for me.

This was the first time I've ever done stick-on flooring. I actually liked the process, although there were some ridiculous cuts to make, such as around the door frames.

They took forevvvver.

On the whole it was fun, like doing the world's simplest jigsaw puzzle.
HOWEVER. As a result of cutting 2mm vinyl all day, I got a nasty blister/cut/wound on my scissor-wielding hand that has yet to heal, and I finished the flooring nine days ago! If you ever do a project like this, be smart like I wasn't and pre-Band-Aid where the scissors come in contact with your fingers!

Total expenditures for the project = $164.72
I'd say that the bathroom's aesthetic has improved at least that much!

PS No affiliate links in this post; I'm just trying to be as specific as possible. But if Lowe's wanted to adopt me, I wouldn't hesitate to leap into their arms:P

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Catholicaversary! {WIWS}

Today is Christ the King Sunday!

Interesting factoid: In the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Sweden, this day is referred to as "The Sunday of Doom". Wikipedia wasn't explicit as to how it came to have such a hilarious nickname, so I will make cookies for whoever can tell me the story behind that. 

If I'm doing my math right, today marks eighteen years since I entered the Catholic church. I was raised in a dual-faith household--dad is Catholic and mom was Lutheran.

I was baptized in a Lutheran church and me and my siblings typically attended services with my mom while my dad went to Mass all by his lonesome. However, I was drawn to the Catholic Church from an early age. I blame Sister Mary Benedict.

Anyway, I started attending Mass with my dad every week in addition to the Lutheran services with my mom.

When I was eleven years old I was ready to take the plunge, and I took my first communion and had my confirmation on the same day, Christ the King Sunday!

Today being my Catholicaversary and all, I had hoped for a positive Mass experience. Both CJ and Noni are going through an "only mommy" phase. At least, I hope it's a phase. Someone please tell me it's just a phase! They both insist on being held, which is fine--except Noni loves to push CJ's buttons and he is only too happy to scream bloody murder when she does. Plus it looks silly for me to stand in Mass holding sixty pounds of babies while Nemo holds the hymnal. People might get the wrong idea.

Anyway, our Mass experience devolved into one broken necklace, two facial  injuries, innumerable shoving matches, zero comprehension of the liturgy, and tears from three-quarters of the Humblebee family.

But the good news is we still got to be in the presence of Christ the King.

The outfit:

Dress: Thrifted (Dress Barn). It was presumably donated to the thrift store because the stitching on the hem had come undone. I reattached it just before we left for Mass. Good as new!

Necklace: Acquired yesterday from a vintage jewelry dealer at a craft show. Too bad Noni broke it during it's maiden voyage. Nemo MacGyvered it back together for the picture:)

Belt: Kohl's, I think. I belt everything I can so I give the illusion of having a waist!

Random white thread on the leg of my tights: my sewing room. I got half way through editing it out of the picture and then I was like, you know what? That thread happened. Gotta keep it real.

Happy Sunday, everyone! Don't forget to check out more Sunday Bests over at Fine Linen and Purple!

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Friday, November 15, 2013

7 QTs - The Blahthroom

Linking up with Jen, who is making me wish I lived closer to Austin.

On Monday I began a spruce-up of our main bath. I thought I would be done by now, but SOMEONE (I won't mention who) is having sleep issues.
Funny how other people's sleep issues sap all of my energy...

Anyway, progress has been slow. But I am going to take a minute to share with you the "before" pictures and the plan of action. What follows may disturb you.

Get over the fact that we cannot do a complete renovation at this juncture.
In order to properly do it, we would need to rip everything out down to the studs, move a wall, and move plumbing. I mean, would you look at this silly layout?

That's as far as the door opens because the bathtub is in the way. Ideally we would move the tub to the wall at the far end (where the closet it), which will make the bathroom feel more like a room than a hallway.
To be fair, it's not THAT bad. We've had a lot worse.

 This was the bathroom at our last house at the time we bought it.

Alas, we don't have the time or the money right now. Plus we are still working on the kitchen.

So! A spruce-up it is.
Paint trim.
I don't have a picture that illustrates this very well, but the trim is painted a semi-gloss white. I know you are supposed to use semi-gloss in bathrooms because it is easier to clean, but I HATE the way it looks. The glare gives me a headache. I am an eggshell finish girl, for trim and walls.

Prime & paint walls

The walls are fake plastic tile over top of plaster.
 I don't actually hate the pattern but it is looking a little tired these days. Plus there are nail holes everywhere. Some primer & paint should perk it up nicely.

New shower curtain, bathmat, & window treatment.

Yay, shopping!

Do SOMETHING about the closet.
We took the door to the closet off the hinges because the way the room is laid out makes it terribly incontinent to get the door open. Plus we keep the litter pan in there and as the cats don't have opposable thumbs they can't open the door when they need to go.

While it is much better without the door, something has to be done so it isn't so gosh darn ugly.

Do something about the storage situation.

There isn't a medicine cabinet, so we keep a lot of our requently used items (toothpaste, soap, lotion, etc) in a storage bin on the back of the toilet. Classy. Also highly disorganized and slightly dangerous for little ones (Q.E.D, there are CJ-sized bite marks on my deodorant stick).

Put down new stick-on flooring tiles.

They're exactly the same as the ones that were in our former kitchen,

 Boy, do I get a kick out of the kitchen "before" pictures!
and they don't look any better in the bathroom. I want to go with some stick-on plank flooring I saw at Lowe's.

Whew, I can do it, right? Right?! Just say right.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

That 70s What I Wore Sunday

Linking up with the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple again this week!  I just have to say that, without the WIWS linkup I would still be wearing yoga pants and hoodies most of the time, and that doesn't do much for morale. So thank you, WIWS hosts and all the ladies who link up. I've learned so much from you!

The Mass

We went to "Daddy's work church", aka the University chapel, again this week. Both the kids get very high marks for behavior, despite the fact that they are both sick and snotty and we forgot the church bag in the car. Then, CJ was showing signs of being well-disposed to church today because he specifically asked to watch Brother Francis during his morning tv viewing, rather than his usual LeapFrog fare.

So yeah, two sick kids, no quiet toys, most enjoyable Mass in a long time. Who would have thunk.

The Outfit

For the first time together onstage! This outfit is made up completely of stuff I have had in my closet for years and yet never once put them together into an ensemble.

Sweater: St. Vincent de Paul

Shirt: ummmm...Goodwill? Can't remember. It used to be part of my "career" wardrobe.

Skirt: Hand-me-down from my little sister. Who is actually taller than me, but luckily we are the same size otherwise. Even though we live 350 miles apart we still share clothes.

Boots: Keen Ferno High Boot. You're going to be seeing a lot of these boots this winter, folks. They are my only pair and I love them so much I don't really see a reason to add to my collection.

Necklace: Acquired at an accessory swap at my MOPS group last year. It reminds me of my grandmother for some reason so I wear it all the time.

Earrings: Made by my talented sister in law, who has an Etsy shop, by the way.

I feel like I should be in a knitting magazine from the 1970s. Don't care. I CANNOT believe it took me so long to discover this outfit that's been lurking in my closet.

Blessed Sunday, everyone!
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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

5 Faves

I haven't posted very many of these because whenever Wednesday rolls around the only favorite things I can think of are chocolate and scotch. I imagine that would get kind of monotonous, posting about Snickers and Glen Morangie week after week. But here I am, finally, with a legit Five Favorites! Head over to Moxie Wife for more awesomeness.


I am not a person that enjoys scary movies or tv shows. When I was about thirteen years old someone told me the plot of Poltergeist and I slept with the lights on for weeks. Scary just isn't my thing. (Except when it is The X-Files. Who doesn't love The X-Files?)


I am hopelessly devoted 2 Sleepy Hollow.

Is it the feisty female cop?
Is it the time travel?
Is it the vague connection to a literary classic?
Is the New England scenery?
Is it the bearded male lead who reminds me a leetle bit of my Nemo?

Who knows. Who cares. I love it forever.


A while back my grandma gave me an old serger and it has made making my little dresses a breeze. 

 I pretty much spend all of my free time on them. I think my favorite part of the process is going to thrift stores multiple times per week to make sure I snap up all the cute tees before someone else does.

The problem with this is that I now have wayyy more dresses than Noni can reasonably be expected to wear. So I've put a couple up in my Etsy shop to look for their forever  homes:)


It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am a sucker for tv shows with awesome costumes. I don't watch Game of Thrones for the birds and the bees, you know.

When my mom was in town recently she introduced me to Bomb Girls, a series centered around a group of women working in a Canadian bomb factory during World War II.

Besides the gripping story lines and well-developed characters, you should watch it for the totally cute dresses.

Language Development

I am pretty stoked that CJ is moving beyond the mimicking portion of language development and has started expressing his own thoughts in his own way. Everything he says is no longer a direct quote from me! Yay!
For example, he can give my mom a guided tour of his bedroom, tattle on his sister, and request something specific for lunch.

Of course, he still walks around saying, "Oh trap! Ipad broken!" Which is a direct quote from me. Trap.

Resusable drinking straws.

I have sensitive teeth, which makes drinking cold liquids notmyfavorite. I usually fill my mason jar of water in the morning and let it sit around until it reaches room temperature before attempting to drink it.

But now that cold weather is upon us and we are complete skinflints when it comes to utilities, the temperature in our house is not room temperature. Which means I have to choose between hurty teeth and dehydration.

Then a couple weeks ago I had the idea to drink my water with a straw. I know, I have astounding mental powers.

I didn't like the idea of using and throwing away a new plastic straw every day, so I got these reusable ones off Amazon.

I am happy to say that the problem is solved.

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dr. Frankendress (What I Wore Sunday)

It all started with this dress:

 It was in the same Salvation Army haul as my last WIWS outfit.  The size tag had been cut out of this turquoise dress and there wasn’t a dressing room in which to try it on, but I really loved the color and I really REALLY loved the stretchy jersey fabric (so comfy) so I took a gamble and bought it.

As it turned out, the bodice was way too small. I hung it up on my “to upcycle” clothing rack in my sewing attic and focused on some other projects. Completely by chance it ended up hanging next to a pink top with black polka dots, and I thought they looked pretty great together. So I decided I would try to combine them together into a dress.

Here is the shirt layered over the dress.

When I was a teenager my dance instructor told me to reconsider my enrollment in his class because dance “wasn’t my thing”. True story.

I cut the bodice off the dress and I gathered the remaining skirt so that it fit well at my waist. I didn’t need to gather it much because Scarlett O’Hara I ain’t.

Then I cut off the bottom of the t-shirt so it was early 90’s length.

I took in the sides of the tshirt a bit with my serger. So interesting, I know.

Then I sewed the top to the bottom, and voila!

The fabric around the waistline ended up getting a bit stretched out so it looked a little funky, but since I was planning to belt it, it didn’t much matter.


Everyone oooh and aaah at Nemo’s new piano. He bought it at Goodwill with his birthday money. A very big thanks to the friends and family who helped get it into the house! He’s been playing it ever since.

Noni was looking very cute at Mass in a jumper that I found at the St. Vincent Store. I also found a hat that I knitted for my niece a few years ago in a box of baby clothes I borrowed from my sister. I’m glad I found it because it was almost too small!


My mom is visiting us this weekend! We usually hit up the 7:30am Mass, but I thought it would be a bit rude to make her get up at dawn to go to church with us, so we hunted down a Mass at a more reasonable time. We ended up going to the University’s chapel, and I just loved it! It reminded me a lot of the Oratory we used to go to in grad school.

It was pretty small, I’m guessing only about 100 people were there, if that. It was so small that everyone, and I do mean everyone, could hear CJ saying, “No church!” and “Allllllll done” over and over again. Not his best week. We’ll have to work on that.

Blessed Sunday, everyone! I’m going to go hang out with my mom.

Be sure to stop by Fine Linen and Purple for some more Sunday finery!

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Postscript: There's more Humblebee on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Hope to see you there! Especially on Instagram. I love Instagram.