We made four little updates around here, so I thought I’d smash them all into a quick recap post for ya. First, we have been meaning to convert our master bathroom toilet to a dual flush version for a while (we already did it to the one in the hallway and the one in our first house) but when we gave it the ol’ college try, it turns out our new toilet isn’t compatible (apparently the angle/shape of the bottom of the tank kept it from attaching correctly).
So we padded down the hall to the guest room and installed it there instead. Oddly enough, that tiny toilet that is most likely original to our 60′s house worked just fine with it.
Now at least we can save water when our guests come to stay (and a dual flush button helps that small outdated bathroom feel a smidge more modern – haha).
Another little easy upgrade that we did was that we finally (only 20 months after moving in, har-har) found a place for our shredder, which had been cluttering up our closet forever. The solution? Our built-in desk cabinets. Except we had to figure out how to make it fit in there (we really wanted to keep that storage drawer on the bottom).
So our first order of business was to remove the pull out shelf, which just came down to removing the tracks and the drawer itself with a screwdriver (they were held in with simple screws along the track).
Then we drilled a hole right into the back of the cabinet, so the cord for the shredder could be fed through the back of the cabinet without having to come out the side or the front or anything wonky.
Bada bing, bada plug.
Then we shoved her in there on her side.
Oh and at first we worried that it wouldn’t work well on it’s side, but before we went through all this drawer-removal and plug-drilling trouble, we laid it on it’s side and used it like that for about three weeks before committing to “building it in” to the desk that way, and it worked like a charm. One tip would be to empty it pretty frequently just so the shredded stuff doesn’t build up around the front since there’s not as much gravity to pull things down as there is when it’s standing up. But other than that it seems to work great so far. And the best part is that with the door closed it all looks nice and organized. Hooray for hidden contraptions and fewer messy-looking wires.
Another little update that we finally got around to was rehanging our kitchen mirror on two super strong hooks (they each have 100lb capabilities) since a few kind folks with professional framing backgrounds commented on this post about hanging it on a wire (they said that over time a wire – even a heavy duty one like we used – can slip or lose strength, so two hooks used individually with something strong (like a heavy duty screw & anchor ensemble) would be best. Pardon the weird duct tape (more on that here).
So we just added a heavy duty anchor system on each side of the wall to line up with the new hooks that we added to the back of the mirror…
… and hung things back up. Now it should be nice and strong for the long haul. Oh and you might notice that I got some bird friends from HomeGoods for the mantel. Yes, more animals. Our house is a veritable ark these days.
And our last little thing was that John brought home some pretty yellow tulips when he went grocery shopping. Isn’t he sweet?
I put them at the table in the living room since I see them every time I walk through that room (and also get to enjoy them whenever I’m sitting on the couch and Real Housewives of NY makes me roll my eyes, which is surprisingly often).
Close up. Bam.
There you have it. Four things. What little updates are you guys up to around the house? Any toilet-pimping, shredder-hiding, mirror-re-hanging, or flower-enjoying going on in your neck of the woods?
Psst- We’ve gotten a bunch of questions from people about how Clara’s liking preschool, so there’s a post over on Young House Life all about it – complete with the way we’ll be documenting her first day of school each year. Aw shucks, they grow up so fast.
Things I’m great at: making up words to songs when I don’t know them, eating Oreos, dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld.
Things I’m bad at: loading the dishwasher, remembering to get haircuts more than once every few years, and apparently doing monthly budget bloom posts.
I used to do them once a month for over a year, but then I fell off, struggled to get back on it six months ago with one measly post in February, and just never got it together in any sort of regular pattern. So here’s a random Budget Blooms post after over half a year of absence in that department. Won’t you forgive me? In return I played around with these sweet tulips that John brought home from the grocery store for $5 in not one, not two, but three different “vases.” That’s in quotes because only the first containment device is actually a vase…
It’s one of those free ones I got when a good friend of mine sent me birthday flowers a while back.
It was really simple and pretty, but then I broke out my metal thrift store pineapple urn, just because I thought the shape was sort of penny-tile-ish with that going on in the background.
Crazy diagonal shot:
Wannabe-artsy cropped shot:
And here’s my third “vase” – which is actually a tin lantern from HomeGoods a while back that usually lives on the dining room built-ins. It even came with a clear glass cup in the middle of it (maybe for a candle?) so it was perfect for tulips and water too.
Which one’s your favorite? And while I’m asking questions, is anyone else being better about treating themselves to inexpensive monthly budget blooms or doing some other monthly blogging feature? Have you ever done something for over a year and then just inexplicably gotten terrible at it? What’s my deal?
Psst- You can peruse a whole mess of Budget Bloom posts from the good ol’ days here.
Pssst- You might wanna check out the update that we added to the bottom of our homemade basket light. It’s such a small world!
Yes, that is a succulent pun. And no, I’m not proud of it.
I’m sort of on a greenery kick (both outdoors and apparently indoors as well), so this is the story of four cheap-o succulents that I impulse-bought from Home Depot and then decided to plant in kind of a weird way.
The two small ones were $2.98 and the two middle ones were $3.98 a pop. Oh and I used to have a red cactus for years throughout middle school and high school. Seriously, I couldn’t kill that thing if I tried. So that’s why he’s in the mix for nostalgia’s sake.
Then I hunted around or some planters or baskets or old boxes to plant them in (Anthrophologie had some great succulents planted in old wooden boxes with pebbles around them and they looked super cool). Then my entire idea sort of shifted when I came up empty on boxes (and didn’t happen to have any cool white pebbles around either) but laid eyes on these old vases just sitting around in my cabinet.
How weird would it be if I planted them in something see-through? Probably pretty weird, but I’m ok with weird. Heck, I embrace weird. I paused to worry for a second that they wouldn’t have any drainage in these glass containers, but I realized that the ceramic pot that my wouldn’t-die red cactus from high school didn’t have any drainage holes (nor do any of the white Ikea plant pots that we have around the house) so I went for it. But they clearly needed more dirt.
So I went outside with a spoon (yes, a spoon) and used it to scoop some more dirt into my transparent little vessels. The verdict: I think they look pretty cool!
I mean, people mulch their gardens for a cleaner look, right? I think the dark brown tone of the dirt looks so pretty against the green of the plants. Plus a lot of our surfaces are white (and nearly all of my plant pots are white) so maybe my eyes just appreciate the contrast (my eyes are such rebels).
As of now two of them are hanging out in the hall bathroom (on the white counter, which definitely makes them pop) and one of them is on the white fireplace mantel in the kitchen (my little red cactus, since he’s quickly becoming my favorite for sentimental reasons). I’ll have to snap a picture of them in their new homes for ya soon. Although plants and pillows tend to migrate a lot around here, so they might pop up somewhere else next week anyway.
Have you ever planted something in sort of an unorthodox way? Or owned a red cactus in high school that straight up refused to bite the big one, even when you forgot to water it for months?