Sunday, December 13, 2015

DIY: 1970s Fireplace Facelift

When we bought our home just under two years ago, we knew that we would wait several years before doing any major renovation work to it. But that was fine with us because the bones of our house are great and we also knew that there were plenty of projects for us to accomplish on our own!

The first time we saw the house we were a little confused. South Florida is definitely an unlikely place to find a 1970s stone fireplace. 
fun fact: it's actually never even been used according to our home inspection.
so it's a 'brand new' 1970s fireplace!

Odd? yes. Awesome opportunity to put our own mark on the house: you betcha!

I used these images for inspiration:




Here's our before:

Paint: Benjamin Moore 'Simply White' (my fav bright white) flat finish mixed in Valspar Signature
Wooster Paint Brush (my fav brushes)
ladder, painters tape and plastic drop cloth

The first step was to caulk the two vertical seams on either side of the fireplace where the stones and drywall meet. This step took a few days because some of the gaps were deep and required multiple coats of caulk. When caulking over the same area, I had to wait for the previous caulk to dry. If you apply too much wet caulk in an area, the weight of the caulk will pull itself down and sag. Some of the deepest areas required 3 or 4 layers of caulk.

For the most part, I'll tell anyone who asks that I am a huge believer in primer. Priming your surface allows the paint to adhere better and more evenly, allows you to use fewer coats of paint (depending on the project) and less paint per coat. Primer is also considerably cheaper than paint so you can invest in better paint knowing you'll need less of the good/more expensive stuff.

I knew this project was going to require lots of time up on the ladder so I only wanted to apply one good coat of primer and one good coat of paint. I spent the time making sure my coverage was even and excellent knowing that investing the time to do a good job would mean much less time going back over problem areas to fix them. I am so glad I did!

^Primer going on^ 

For the flat part of the stones I could paint normally but the cement between the stones took some time to figure out a good technique. I ended up having to press extra paint (somewhat forcefully in the deeper areas) into the crevices and carefully check for drips. It worked really well but it was hard on the paintbrushes. 

Throughout the entire process I went through 3 paintbrushes. I did try using a cheaper paintbrush after ruining the first good one, but the lower quality brush wasn't standing up to the force of the painting or the harsh stone surface and the bristles started shedding like crazy! While it wasn't ideal to destroy three brushes in the process, it was definitely worth how it turned out in the end and much cheaper than redoing the entire fireplace facade.

I taped off the firebox with a plastic drop cloth. Eventually I'll go back and paint the firebox with black firebox paint so that the ivory candles will really stand out. 

In order to get good coverage at the very bottom I decided not to tape off the tile floor and just plan to clean up any paint drips after I was finished. 

^Totally primed but not yet painted. Making sure that the coverage was excellent made a big difference for the coat of paint!^

^All painted!^


I think I logged 15+ hours up on the ladder. 
David had to help me with both the primer and paint on the top 18" on right side - even on the top of the ladder my t-rex arms couldn't reach.

{wall color: Behr Mineral mixed in Valspar signature, rug: Overstock (this is a 10x14 which appears to be sold out in this color), candles: ikea, throw: Nordstrom (same brand, different color), camera pillow: Nordstrom, curtains: west elm (similar)}

We're super happy with the end result! It looks much less dated, freshens up the room and adds a really nice bright focal point.

Eventually we want to add a mantel shelf (something similar to the middle inspiration picture), mount our TV towards the top and install some shelving on either side.
I will update with progress as we check more of those things off our list!

Monday, October 19, 2015

DIY: No-Sew Roman Shades

I am jumping for joy, y'all! 
A year and a half after buying our house, the playroom is finished! 

When we bought the house we knew there was a bit of water damage in our 'Florida room'.
{For those who don't live in Florida - think sunroom meets screened in porch for a kind of outdoor/indoor room}
Ours had been fully enclosed by previous owners so it was more like an extra room in our house. 
A large space with a sightline from the kitchen and tons of natural light from six windows {yes, I made six shades. On my first attempt at window treatments...#classicoveracheiver} we knew it would be perfect for a playroom.
{A whole room in which to contain the kids' mess...the things moms' dreams are made of!}

First thing's first...before we could consider it livable space we had to fix the water damage, ensure it wouldn't happen again and add some serious insulation. David and I, with my dad's help (thanks, Dad!!) took down the ceiling, put multiple layers of insulation and then redrywalled with mold and mildew resistant drywall. We removed all of the drywall below the windows and insulated there as well. After caulking, priming and painting {paint color is Benjamin Moore Simply White, mixed in Valspar Signature at Lowes}, the room was finally functional. Now time to turn it into a playroom ready for countless memories to be made!

The first issue was the flooring; the ugly orangy/red outdoor tiling had to go but it wasn't in the budget to totally redo the floor. I knew, with two boys, it wasn't an 'if', but a 'when someone falls on the hard floor and gets hurt' type of situation. I found these awesome wall to wall foam mats and cut the edges to fit snugly against the walls. They're super functional and make the floor really comfortable to sit on but let's face it: they're ugg-ly.

I had pinned several images for a 'primary color' themed playroom {because even though right now I only have boys, I didn't want the playroom to sream, "boyyyyy playroom"} and scored this awesome rug on sale on Overstock.

Once I brought some color into the room with the carpert, I was hooked and knew I wanted bold primary colored curtains with a contrasting print. And since it's a playroom, long flowing curtains were just about the worst idea ever.
{You thought I would never get back to the point of this post, didn't you?}
Anyways, thus began the weeks long online search for the perfect roman shades.
{Spoiler Alert: They did not exist.}
Why, oh whyyyy are there no beautiful yet affordable roman shades?
{Unless I wanted to pay for custom-made window treatments. I did not.}
It didn't help that I would need six. SIX!
{Ugh, who am I, Rockafeller?}

Enter, life motto: Champagne taste, Beer budget!
And back to the pinterest (drawing) board...

I stumbled upon this no-sew tutorial and decided to give it a try. The only thing I did differently is that I added a blackout liner.

My materials:

Fabric from Hobby Lobby (on clearance, score!)
Blackout liner from Joanne Fabrics
Mini-blinds from Lowes (my windows are 36" x 49")
Liquid Stitch (this stuff is seriously awesome)
Rowenta iron
Fabric shears (good fabric shears are worth it, trust me)
{not pictured: fabric tape measure, pencil, plastic clips)

For me, the major challenge in this whole project was adding a black-out liner. Eventually I'd like to put a 'day bed' style trundle or high-riser in the room to use for reading and also give us extra space for guests. Having the blackout liner will definitely be appreciated by future guests because six windows = tons of light! I couldn't find a tutorial adapting a liner for the way I planned to construct these so I kinda had to wing it. I think it came out really well!

Step 1:
Measure, cut and iron blackout liner.
(I measured 36" x 50" to give a 0.5" seam allowance in the length - you'll see why I didn't give an allowance for the width.)

Step 2:
Measure, cut and iron fabric. 
(I measured 37" x 51.5" to give a 1" seam allowance for the width and a 2.5" allowance for the length.)

Step 3:
With fabric print side down, lay liner on top ensuring that there is an equal seam allowance on all sides. If need be iron out any last large wrinkles.

Step 4:
Squeeze a thin line of Liquid Stitch onto the printed fabric so that when you press the liner down onto the adhesive it will adhere approximately 1/4" in from the edge of the liner. Do this one side at a time until all four sides of the liner are glued to the printed fabric.

Step 5:
Prep the fabric by ironing down the hems before securing with fabric glue. Iron down all four sides of the printed fabric so that the edge of the blackout liner sits right in the folded crease {this is why I didn't leave a seam allowance for the width of the blackout liner. I wanted it to sit perfectly inside the printed fabric}.
Pay special attention to the corners to ensure they will lie flat.

Step 6:
Starting at the first corner you glued the liner to the fabric, apply a slightly thicker line of liquid stitch (be careful not to use too much as you don't want to be wiping up excess, but you want the seam to hold up well and the liner to be reinforced). You want this glue applied at the place where when you fold over the seam the glue will hit 1/4" from the outer edge of the fabric. Do this for all four sides. Make sure all corners are properly secured down. You might want to use plastic clips or clothespins to reinforce the adhesive as it dries. I generally left this step to dry overnight but you can just wait the recommended time on your fabric glue before moving on.

Step 7:
Take out your mini-blinds and lay them on top of the curtain you've assembled so far.

Using a scissor or flat-head screwdriver, pop off the three plugs from the bottom of the mini-blinds. Put the plugs in safe place, you'll be putting them back at the end.

Untying the pull cords, remove the from the bottom piece and set aside. Cut the ladder cords (the thin cords on either side of the plastic blinds) to remove them from the bottom piece.

Cut the ladder cords ONLY (DO NOT CUT THE MIDDLE PULL CORDS or your mini blinds won't work!) Take all blinds off pull cords and set aside.

Step 8:
Position the mini-blind mounting bar on the top of the curtain where you want it to be secured so you can determine your spacing. If you want the curtain aligned with the top of the window then place the bar at the top of the fabric; if you want a lip of fabric over the top of the window, place the bar down slightly. Turn over and apply a generous coating of Liquid Stitch to the side that will be glued to the curtain. Press well to ensure even distribution of adhesive and contact with fabric. (Optional: Secure with plastic clips or clothesline)

Step 9:
Here is where you have to determine based on how big your window is, how many pieces of blind you want to use and how far apart you want to space them. Keep in mind that the placement of the blinds is where you will get the folds in the roman shades, so if you like more folds, use more blinds and vice versa.
My fabric measured 49" from bottom of mounting bar to bottom of fabric so I divided that amount equally and used 6 blinds 7" apart and used the bottom part of the mini-blind track as my 7th piece.

Step 10:
I positioned each blind in its' place, flipped it over and applied my line of glue directly to the liner. Then I flipped my blind back down on top of the line of glue. DO NOT LET THE GLUE TOUCH THE PULL CORD! You need the pull cord to be able to move freely to raise and lower your shades. After I adhered each blind, I went back to double check that I could still move the pull cord freely. I secured the ends with the plastic clips and let each piece dry for 5 minutes before I moved on to the next.

Step 11:
(I got distracted and forgot to take a picture of this step, sorry! It's basically the opposite of how we started with the mini-blind track.)
Position the bottom piece of the mini-blind track so that the bottom of the track lines up with the bottom of the curtain, thread the pull cords back through the holes, and tie off at the fully extended length for your window. Trim the excess cord if you need to. Press the plugs back in place.
Apply an even coating of glue to the track and press onto bottom of the curtain. Make sure there are no bubbles in the fabric and secure at the ends with your clips or clothespins if you want. Let dry for several hours or overnight before installing.

Step 12: 
Install using directions that come with the specific set of mini-blinds.

The playroom is far from finished, but in the interest of documenting along the way, I thought it'd be fun to show all the curtains from the different angles and to do an update in the future on any changes.
{Plus if I were to wait until the room was finished I'd be writing this post, ummm...never!}

So here you have it - the six finished DIY no-sew roman shades!

I would say that this project is definitely more time-consuming that difficult. These took me several weeks to complete, but I was only able to devote 2 hours a night a couple times a week.
{Although, if you're only making a few it wouldn't take more than a few days}

In terms of skill-level, this project is somewhere between beginner and intermediate so it's definitely worth trying for anyone looking for custom window treatments without the custom price tag ;)

And as always, if you make them, share the pics with me! I always love to see everyone else's projects! 
Email me at modestlyfashioned(at)gmail(dot)com and follow me on Facebook and Instagram at Modestly Fashioned.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fav Beauty Buys No. 4

Fav Beauty Buys No. 4


I've had several emails recently asking about my skincare and makeup routine. Since I haven't done a Fav Beauty Buys round-up in a while, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share what I'm currently using and loving!

ONE: I like that this scent is slightly floral-y but still classic, perfect for everyday or a special date night.

TWO: Two words: Game Changer. It keeps my signature shade of eyeliner (Make Up Forever S-20) in place all day - no smudging or running! A must-have for colored eyeliner.

THREE: A fun, flattering semi-sheer coral color that looks good with most skin tones.

FOUR: Love this lash primer! Separates and lengthens and such a good price point.

FIVE: This illuminating BB cream has a touch of shimmer, a touch of bronzer and spf-30 for a sun-kissed glow without exposing your skin to the harmful rays.

SIX: Slightly shimmery and super shiny, I like layering a coat over a more pigmented color.

SEVEN: This one's definitely a splurge and I started with this starter pack to see if I even liked the products enough before I committed to a larger size. Maybe it was my most recent birthday that lit a skin-care regimen fire under me, but I find myself upping the ante on the anti-aging skin care products I try. This serum did not dissapoint - it's light but thick enough to feel like it's absorbing and I love that I'm not exposing my skin to unnecessary chemicals.

EIGHT: I love this preppy, strong scent! Also, I'm a sucker for tortoise shell so I love this bottle.

NINE: I don't wear waterproof mascara that often but when I do, this is my fav! It doesn't budge while it's on and taking it off is sooo easy compared to the nightmare I'm used to with other waterproof mascaras.

TEN: My NARS lipstick collection is growing, but the red I reach for again and again is Red Lizard. It's a rich, true red that's great for medium skin tones.

ELEVEN: For everyday makeup removal I used Costco brand's makeup remover wipes (I've tried tons of pricier brands and none work as well as Costco!) but for a very made-up eye or with waterproof mascara, this is my fav eye makeup remover! It's oil based but I like that it doesn't leave a heavy-feeling greasy residue.

TWELVE: My face always feels super refreshed after using this toning cleanser. I used to be scared of toner since it left my skin feeling dry and tight but this one has totally changed my perception!

THIRTEEN: Love love love this mascara! It's easy to build coats that look long and full without major clumpage.

FOURTEEN: This light coral color was my summer go-to.

FIFTEEN: This moisturizer has mended the love-hate relationship I've had with moisturizers for years. If they were light enough, they really didn't moisturize my skin the way it needs and if they were heavier, I would have a mini-breakout a few days later. This one feels thick and hydrating as it's being applied but dries feeling superlight and my skin loves it!

I hope you'll share any products you're currently using and loving and as always, thanks for reading!

Also check out my other Fav Beauty Buys: 1, 2 and 3.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

On Repeat.

With these summer days long and the temps high, 
there hasn't been a lot of time to think about outfits...
but when I do want to feel put together this outfit has been on major repeat!

I just love how the front of the shirt looks put together while the back is flowy and fun.
yeah, let's go there...this is a total 'business in front, party in back' shirt.
we'll just call her the 'mullet shirt'. done.

{Outfit Details: Blouse: Banana Republic - old (sim-tank), Skirt: Kosher Casual (sim), Shoes, Watch, Necklace: J.Crew (old), Earrings: gift frommy sweet friends, S & C!, Bag, Sunnies: Warby Parker (limited edition style - sim), Bracelet, Lips}

What do you have on repeat lately?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We have a winner: Spotlight on Freshly Picked - Review and GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)!

Hey Y'all!

You might remember last year, in honor of Yishai's 2nd birthday, I collaborated with Freshly Picked for a review and awesome moccasin giveaway for my amazing readers.

It was so much fun the first time and Yishai turned 3 last let's do it again!

{can we just talk about chubby baby leg rolls for a minute?!}
Freshly Picked was kind enough to send both boys a new pair of moccs and this time I decided to get matching brother moccs.

{yes, I love to match them every chance I get. yes, I know they will kill me when they get older. 
hey, it's my mom-given right! right?}

One of the best things about Freshly Picked is the amazing color choices! Seriously, check these out:

so many choices, right?! love it!

They're always adding new seasonal colors and patterns and now have a smaller 'crib mocc' size for newborns and a clothing line.

The boys took their new moccs for spin when we went strawberry picking a few weeks ago. 
How's that for perfect?! Freshly picked strawberries while wearing their gorgeous Freshly Picked moccs!

{Ok, I admit was D's idea. He's good at that kinda stuff. 
Let's not tell him I said that. I don't want it going to his head.
Deal? deal.}

{All ready for our tractor ride!}

Yishai and I started off our visit with a tractor-pulled tour of the Bedner's Farm Fresh Market and all of the produce grown there. D stayed behind while Nafi napped in the stroller.

Followed by silly strawberry faces :)

 And then...we picked so.many.strawberries! Yishai had an amazing time and after we explained which strawberries were ready to be picked he shrieked with happiness every time he found a "great, big strawberry for me!"

We had 3 pint baskets to fill and we stuffed as many sweet berries as we could in them. Not to mention, the boys ate their fill sitting right on the strawberry rows! 
{who am I kidding? we all left red-faced and red-handed!}

We had an amazing time and in the end I was the one who had to be pulled away to go home :)

{It was so cute watching how focused he was looking for the ripe ones.}
{so proud that his basket is starting to fill up!}
{Nafi was mesmerized!}

One of my favorite things about Freshly Picked is that despite not having a hard sole, they can be worn outside! 
They start out exactly the same (uni-foot? is that even a word? let's pretend it is. go with it), but after a few wears they molded to each of their feet and I can see slight toe outlines, so I know which shoe is which :)
{"Wook, Nafi! It's a stwa-bewwy. I gonna show you how to eat it!}"
{Once big brother showed him what to do he must've eaten his body weight in strawberries!}

I do love how well these moccs stay on - especially on Yishai - they can definitely stand up to an extremely active toddler!
The sizing guide is easy and accurate and I got the fit I expected both times. 

Both boys are wearing the "Cherry" color - I absolutely love them and the boys get so many complements whenever they have them on!

Now...the AWESOME part you've all been waiting for...

Freshly Picked has graciously agreed to gift a pair of moccasins to one lucky Modestly Fashioned reader!

Even if you don't have kids, these would be an adorable gift for a niece, nephew, grandchild, baby shower gift, friend's kid's birthday, etc!

You can enter using the rafflecopter widget below - the winner will be chosen at random and announced on May 1st and will be able to choose the size and color of their preference :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Congrats to Avital Davidi! Please email me at modestlyfashioned(at)gmail(dot)com so I can send you the info to receive your moccs!!!**

A HUGE thanks to Freshly Picked and good luck to y'all!

Giveaway open only to U.S. readers - but Freshly Picked does ship internationally.

FTC Full Disclosure: I was gifted these moccasins for free but all opinions are my oen. I would never write about a company in which I did not truly feel passionate. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Modestly Fashioned!