1 Cakes & Louie

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thanks to Pinterest: House Dreams

What a week. I turned the big 3-2 on Tuesday and have pretty much been willing myself not to succumb to the summer cold I think I'm getting ever since. Work is crazy busy, we're having people over tomorrow for my birthday and Tuesday for a work thing, and we leave for vacation shortly after. Thankfully, Pinterest helped me pull together a quick little board today of recent inspiration shots for the house. Behold -

Clockwise from top left:
Our front door badly needs a paint job. It's an awful beige/yellow color and just gross in general. Since the outside of the house is dark brick, off white and brown I think blue is going to be the way to go on the door. Navy is another option!

We whitewashed the brick wall in the family room but never got around to doing the same with the brick post on the other side of the room. This image has me rethinking painting! There's a giant wood beam that goes across the ceiling, similar to this picture, and I think framing the brick out in matching wood and adding some cool chunky crown molding at the top could be incredible, and shouldn't be too pricey!

I'm recently obsessed with the idea of wallpapering accent walls around the house. The floor plan is open enough that some rooms aren't completely split off from one another, so I'm thinking accent walls with bold wallpaper could help break it up some.

And finally, I'm dreaming of the perfect little reading nook in our bedroom. A tufted chair actually wouldn't work here since the new bed is tufted, but I love how cozy this looks and the lamp is great.

Happy Friday friends! Hope your weekend is full of much less rain than it looks like ours will be.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cheeky + Comfy

I am 110% a total sucker for a t-shirt with a fun little phrase on it, specifically if it's in a super simple font and able to be dressed up or down. My new favorite was a whopping $10 at Target and says "WILL WAKE UP FOR BACON" on it, but I'm still looking to expand my collection and I think these recent finds from Old Navy fit the bill. Add in some seriously comfy pants and you pretty much have my attire from the second I get home from work on Friday straight through the weekend. Looks like I need to do some shopping.

And speaking of the weekend, we've got a fun one ahead of us! We're spending Saturday meandering around granite warehouses trying to find the perfect slabs for the kitchen, and Sunday kicks off my birthday week with the hubs treating the 2 of us to a magical event they call Lobsterfest in the city. I've been promised my favorite donuts for breakfast if I get up early enough… which is, of course, yet another good reason to go out and buy pants with an elastic waistband. 

Happy Friday friends! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hello, Beautiful

Waaaaaay back in October, I posted about the most beautiful bed you ever did see - the Brompton tufted upholstered bed in navy blue velvet from my mecca, Target. I originally found the bed through an Emily Henderson bedroom makeover post, and I have been pretty much obsessed with it ever since. Now that we have our snazzy new house with a bedroom that is so big I'm not entirely sure what to do with it (not complaining), I figured it was about time we got ourselves a grown-up bed and I began campaigning to the hubs about how it was an absolutely necessary purchase. To say that I have checked in on the bed compulsively for the last few months would be an understatement, but my patience has paid off and I finally hit "COMPLETE YOUR ORDER" on my shopping cart the other night and purchased the bed - on sale, of course.

Isn't it lovely?

Target's current furniture sale offers 20% off purchases over $175, there was an additional $15 off coupon code, I found another $5 off code (hey, every little bit helps!), I saved 5% by using my Target card, and we had a $100 gift card from Christmas that I've been hoarding waiting for this purchase. With the "oversized handling fee" that I cursed a few times and tax, I got the pricing down enough that I didn't have a complete panic attack when it was all said and done. Hey-o!

Unfortunately, this beauty isn't scheduled to deliver for a MONTH - womp womp. But, that gives me time to find a great deal on a king size comforter and new pillows, so I'll take it. 

And so begins the master bedroom makeover… 

Monday, August 11, 2014

If I had a Million Dollars: Birthday Wish List

I'm back. For real this time. I miss blogging, I have lots to blog about, and so I'm going to blog. Shooting for a few posts every week while I get back in the swing of things, starting with a nice little roundup of goodies since my birthday is coming up next week. So here ya go friends, my wish list for the big 3-2!

Oh How He Loves Us phone case  //  donut cake  //  Kate Spade watch

Monday, July 7, 2014


Believe it or not, I think about blogging ALL the time, and thanks to us maintaining a pretty steady level of productivity around here I actually have a TON to blog about. But I put a lot of pressure on myself to live up to other bloggers that have beautiful, amazing, professional looking photos of the projects they do, and end up thinking that since I don't have those I should just not post anything at all. Well friends, I'm pretty excited about everything we've been doing around here, so I've decided to suck it up and post about projects regardless of the fact that my good camera hasn't come out in months. My iPhone photos will have to do for now, but I figure it's better than nothing right?

First up is some family room progress in the form of our AWESOME whitewashed brick wall, which finally got finished a couple weekends ago largely thanks to my mom who came over and literally spent all day helping me paint. Thanks mom!!! And of course, thanks to Dan, who was also a huge help despite thinking the wall was just fine the way it was.

I read a bunch of other blogs that talked about how whitewashing is so insanely simple, so my expectations that this project would only take a few hours were waaaaaay off. First up was grabbing a gallon of paint and some extra cheap brushes. I used Simply White by Benjamin Moore, which I picked because a ton of bloggers swear by it as the perfect white and picking out ONE white paint color out of the millions available causes serious anxiety for me so I just went with it. (Spoiler alert - it's the same color we used on the kitchen cabinets and I love it immensely, so, another high five to the blogosphere!) The paint should be mixed half and half with water, and then all you have to do is brush it on a couple bricks at a time and then quickly follow up with a rag and dab over it all. Easy, right? Well, if you had a normal brick wall, sure! But our brick has the mortar set deep in the cracks between each piece, as you can see in the image below... which meant every single little crack required us to wedge a 1" brush in there with messy watery paint and I promise you that was absolutely miserable to do, oh, about 1,427 times. Twice.


After a couple hours of work on day 1, a whopping 1/3 of the wall had one coat of paint on it, and I knew right away it was going to need at least 2 coats. This was about the time that I started wondering if this project was worth it at all, and I maybe swore at myself a lot about it considering there was obviously no turning back at this point.

If I'm being completely honest, the wall sat just like you see it above for at least a week while I pouted about how annoying it was. I spent a couple evenings tackling little chunks here and there, but it took my mom coming out and spending the day with us to crank out 95% of this project.

After a full coat on the whole wall, I watered the paint down a little further, but we decided to forego the dabbing with a rag step in favor of having the paint cover just a bit more the second time around. This was not only a huge time savings on the second coat, but I really think it was the right move for our VERY dark brick in the end.

There are a couple of spots and cracks that I need to touch up with a tiny artist's brush, but all in all the wall is finished and I cannot believe how much it brightens the entire room up! As I'd hoped, the variations and coloring in the bricks still shows through the paint, which helps keep this looking a little more "natural" than completely painted brick. And while it was a frustrating project, I'm thrilled with how it turned out in the end!

We've made a couple other fun purchases for the family room since completing the wall, but I'm not quite ready to call it finished just yet... so stay tuned for more updates soon!

Friday, June 20, 2014


Ladies. It's Friday. It's probably payday (holler!!!). And it's been so humid all week a decent hair day is strictly out of the question. Ok, I don't usually care about good hair days either way, but still. In the spirit of keeping things not completely house focused over here, I thought today was just as good a day as any to tell you about my latest obsession - the PopSugar Monthly Must Have Box! And what better way to do that than to call it a new "series" on my blog so I feel some level of pretend internet pressure to keep it up in future posts?

Introducing.......  Treat Yo Self!

So I figure most everyone has tried or at least heard of the monthly subscriptions like Birchbox or NatureBox that send you a little box full of goodies every month for a fee, right? I got Birchbox for a couple years because it was only $10 a month and it was fun to see what kinds of beauty products would come each time. But, eventually I had to admit to myself that I wasn't using half the stuff - I would get nail polish colors I'll never use, face products I was afraid to try on my super sensitive skin, and teeny little samples of shampoos and body oils and whatnot that I liked but would never pay full price for. So I cancelled. I also tried NatureBox once but their customer service was so awful I cancelled before my box even showed up. The PopSugar Must Have box is waaaaaaay different, and after two months, I can't rave about it enough. 

This box is a bigger investment at $40 a month, but it's a lifestyle box that comes with full size products that are ultimately worth way more than you pay for the subscription. Here's what came in my first box in May:

I pretty much won't leave the house without the water bottle, the perfume screams summer, the skinny sticks taste just like funyuns but aren't as awful for you, and the DVD is probably amazing but I have yet to learn how to use our DVD player so you'll just have to take my word for it for now. I'm honestly too big of a chicken to sleep with the mask on (what if the boogieman comes in the middle of the night?!?!?), but I have a feeling the hubs will steal this come winter when it's dark all the time and I need to turn the bedroom lights on at 7am to get ready for work. 

And here's some iPhone pictures of June:

Seriously awesome. The lotion is bordering on decadent, the ponytail holders are perfect (and look cute on your wrist), the wipes smell amazing and are in some of the best packaging I've ever seen, the fancy beach wrap/towel feels incredibly luxe and the book is perfect for a summer read. There were also BBQ potato chips in the box but, well, I ate them all.

Besides the fact that the box that comes in the mail is huge and incredibly exciting to get, when it shows up it basically feels like getting a birthday present from your best friend full of things that she hand-picked just for you because she knows you would like all of it. You can sign up for one month to try it out or several to get a bit of a savings, but I couldn't recommend this box enough. I've justified the cost by (mostly) knocking Starbucks and unnecessary crap in the dollar spot at Target out of my spending, and you should give it a shot too!

Check it out!! And, of course, Happy Friday :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Be All There

Well folks, I am officially the worst blogger on earth lately, aren't I? Forgive me - it's been busy around these parts! The weeks since I've written have been a bit of a whirlwind, but also strangely calming in a bit of an odd way. I think that is because I have quickly decided that I was absolutely, positively made for the suburbs. My level of love for this new home of ours is inexplainable, and a huge part of that comes from the overall feeling I get when I'm here - in our yard, taking a walk with the hubby and Buddy Louie, driving home (a whopping 10 minutes!) from work. I just LOVE it. I love that when I'm in my backyard, I feel like I live in Wisconsin, but 5 minutes later I can decide I want to be back to reality and swing around the corner to Starbucks. I love that Target is just a couple miles away, but so is the absolutely gorgeous riverwalk. A friend from my last job also lives in our town and I love every time she posts a picture on instagram of something here that I haven't discovered yet - my list of things to do and see this summer is quickly coming together!

I'll have to do another walk through the house this weekend and take more photos of our progress, but honestly, it's been a bit slower than the first couple weeks here simply because I have forced myself to just BE here and not feel like I have to constantly be doing a project. Sure, there are plenty of messes still to be taken care of, plenty of boxes that are yet to be unpacked. There's nothing hanging on the walls yet, I somehow have an abundance of end tables with nowhere to go, and truth be told - there's an entire corner of our bedroom with boxes and bins I'm just flat out too lazy to go through right now. But we're settled into actually living here, and it really is great so far.

As promised, more pictures will come, but in the meantime here's a quick recap of what we've been up to around here! 
- We bought a paint sprayer for the kitchen cabinet doors. I'm not sold on it being an incredible time savings, and I think we'll still have to do one coat of paint with a brush to get in all the little crevices of the doors. We've been using the kitchen constantly sans-doors, so I'm unfortunately not in a terrible rush to finish those up.
- Dan put in an electric fence for Louie, and it is both hysterical and AWESOME. We have it on the very lowest setting that literally barely vibrates, and our poor anxious little guy is still terrified of it. I'm still not sure on how well it will work if another dog or a stranger comes by, but we'll see how it goes.
- I scored 2 West Elm bookshelves on craigslist for $45 each instead of the retail price of $350 a pop. They look perfect in the living room and I'm in the process of planning a gallery wall for above them!
- We bought a couch! An amazing gray comfy sectional couch to be exact. It delivers next week and I am giddy excited for it to arrive.
- I have half of a whitewashed brick wall in the family room... with the rest to come as soon as I find the motivation to tackle it. This project is waaaay more time-consuming than I was anticipating, but I can already tell it will be worth it in the end. My goal is to have it done before the new couch arrives, so keep your fingers crossed for me on that one.

I'm anxious to get to a point where I'm doing more fun little projects that I can post about, rather than massive undertakings like painting the kitchen cabinets. Hopefully this will come sooner than later!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Full Disclosure

This week's reminder that some people still read my blog is courtesy of my dad, who pointed out that I haven't posted any pictures of the house since we moved in. Good call dad! Just for you, here's a photo dump of the house as of this morning. It's messy and still full of boxes, but it's starting to feel like home.

We'll start in the family room, which is sitting pretty with my new favorite things - the craigslist sideboard from a mile away and my new snazzy gold shelves, which my mom and I spray painted last weekend in the garage. I looooove them.

The dining room is the main reason for the "full disclosure" title on this post. Full disclosure - this is what the table currently looks like. Tools, paint, sandpaper, and I think my keys are probably in there somewhere. Hoping to get this cleared off this weekend since we'll finally have a functioning kitchen, which means no more fast food for dinner! 

The hubs got the washer and dryer all installed last night (on top of the other million things he's been doing around the house - seriously, this guy is the best), so I decided to sit down on the toilet this morning (fully clothed, mind you), to show everyone how they can check themselves out in the mirrored dryer door when they pee in our downstairs bathroom. You're welcome for that.

Another full disclosure: I hit the power buttons on both the washer and dryer no less than 6 times each last night just to hear the little tune they play when they go on or off. It's the little things, people.

And speaking of that functioning kitchen... here it is this morning all beautiful and painted white just waiting for the new appliances to get installed!

I'm obsessed with the dark gray island. Definitely one of my favorite decorating decisions to date! It will be topped with butcher block eventually.

Upstairs we have Stuart the Elephant chilling in his rocker in one of the extra bedrooms. We will be adding a futon for guests to this room for now thanks to the bestie having one she's looking to get rid of. 

The other extra bedroom (also known as Bridget's room) is all set up and ready for guests! (Pending clean sheets, of course).

I finally took the time to get the dresser for the big bathroom all organized last night, so it now houses all of our toiletries and medications and whatnot. It's going to look fantastic once that little half wall next to it gets ripped out.

The small bedroom is on it's way to being transformed into an office/craft room, and I'm loving how it's coming along. I need to find some desk chairs that I both like and am willing to spend the money on and put a few more things away, but this just might be the first room that's completely organized and ready to go.

 Our bedroom is also coming along nicely, although we haven't put up our headboard yet and I need to buy knobs for the nightstands so we can actually close the drawers.

...and put a bunch more clothes away and in storage for the summer.

And here's our amazing closet!!! Thanks to, once again, the hubs, who got all of these shelves up right away so we could get our clothes where they belong. 

For the final full disclosure, here's what the front of the house looks like - COVERED in weeds. I'd like to get these pulled up this weekend, but we have to get some siding work done above the brick so I don't think it's worth planting anything just yet as it will probably get trampled on by contractors and scaffolding. 

So that's the house post-moving! Lots more progress to come (I hope) thanks to the upcoming long weekend, and also to come - bringing Buddy Louie home! He hasn't seen the house yet thanks to my wonderful gramma who has had him all week for us while we try to minimize the messes, disasters and dangerous materials laying around, but we're planning to pick him up tomorrow morning. Happy weekend friends, enjoy the holiday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

If I had a Million Dollars: Spring Dream

I should be packing up the last of my things at my gramma's, going to bed early, or browsing around online for things we need for the house... but instead, I'm blogging. Surprise! I figured it was time to treat myself to a little "window" shopping online since I've done very little besides house stuff lately. And we all know that fitting all these little pictures into a square box calms me, so there's that.

blazer  //  necklace  //  desk lamp  //  end table

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I've said it before and I'll say it again - buying a house is a major time (and energy) suck. We haven't even moved yet, and I am exhausted. But we close on THURSDAY, and I couldn't be more excited.

Here's some tidbits from lately... all of which are house related (surprise!) and cost a lot of money (sigh).

Scored this beauty on craigslist for $250, and it's only a half mile from the new house, so I'll be meeting a neighbor as well when I pick it up! Planning on putting this in the family room for the TV. It's going to stay gray for now, but I'm also planning on a gray sectional couch, so long term this could end up a different color. I reallllllly like the gray though.

Also found an Ikea Docksta table for $50 on craigslist, which will most likely be a craft table, but could potentially also go in the breakfast nook we're planning to build down the road. Definitely kicking around the idea of faux marbling the top.

In keeping with our trend of spending money like we're made of it (we're not), we also dropped a nice chunk of change on brand spanking new appliances over the weekend, and I am beyond giddy about them. The fridge has the ice maker and water dispenser on the outside of the door (I'm a real grownup now!), and the washing machine plays a little tune when you hit the power button. The stove is gas, which will take some getting used to, but the burners are wide and cover the entire range and I kind of think it looks way fancier than it actually is. And it all gets delivered right away Friday!

Tonight we spent a decent amount of time in the shelving aisle at Home Depot planning our closet out, since it is currently just an empty room with not even a hanging bar. I think we figured out how to really utilize the space as best as possible, and I've decided the pricing on closet shelving is a total scam, much like I feel about table lamps and decent mascara. More money spent, but a fantastic new closet to come!

In other news that's not house related but still involves money, I have a lot of heart for this week's Sevenly campaign. If anyone feels like buying me a present that I just can't justify right now (because, um, see above), I'll take this in a medium ;).

Happy Wednesday!