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DIY - How to Whitewash a Brick Wall

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A few weekends ago we decided to whitewash our brick wall in our kitchen. We originally had plans to take part of this brick wall out, but after talking to our contractor, we decided against it. It would be very costly (thousands of dollars) and time consuming.

I had done some research and decided that we should try whitewashing it. After talking to our contractor about it, we decided that it was a project that Rory and I could complete ourselves and save some money on our kitchen remodel.

The process seemed pretty easy from my research and it was exactly that. Pretty easy.

What You Need:
Paint Brush(es)
Large Sponge
White Paint (Behr Premium Plus Ultra)
Paint Cup/Bucket
Painters Tape
Drop Cloth/Painters Paper
Cheesecloth/Clean Rag
Step Stool (optional)


Since we were replacing our flooring in our kitchen, we were not too concerned with the floors getting paint on them. We did put down some painters paper with tape and then put a drop cloth over that. We took out our refrigerator and put painters paper around our microwave.

We also spent the day before filling in the holes from the previous owners and some of our own. Lowes recommended that we put a cement caulk in the holes and then put grinded brick flakes on top of that. I didn't have much to do with this process, but my husband got it done fairly quickly.

Once we were ready to paint, I used cheesecloth to wipe down the wall of any excess dust or spider webs.
Whitewashing a brick wall
Whitewashing a brick wall

We mixed half water and half paint for our first coat. I used a red solo cup and measured out a cup of water and drew a line on the cup to designate the 1 cup mark. Then I added 1 cup of water and 1 cup of paint to my painters cup. I used the stir stick that we got with the paint to mix it up. Make sure it is mixed well. You will want to mix it several times during your painting.

From there, we started painting strokes left to right, right to left. Be sure to have a sponge on hand as you will want to wipe the excess paint drips. You will want to move quickly as the paint will dry pretty fast. You will also want to make sure you got the grouted areas. Sometimes you need to paint the grouted areas as swiping the brush back and forth will miss those areas.

We finished the first coat in about an hour and a half.
Whitewashing a brick wall - 1st coat
After 1st coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 1st coat

We loved the look after the first coat, but felt like we wanted to cover a little more of the red brick to match our proposed renovations. We waited for about 30 minutes in between coats to let it dry and make sure we wanted to proceed with another coat.

For the second coat, we used the same half and half mixture, but some say 2/3 water to 1/3 paint. We did add water to the second coat as we went so that the paint mixture stayed watery (but not much). The second coat took about an hour and we were very happy with our results.
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
 2nd coat - much better
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat
Whitewashing a brick wall - 2nd coat

As you can see, there is still some red that shows through and it added so much light to the room. We love this wall and our contractor was really impressed with how it turned out.

Paint - $33
Large Sponge - $2

Total $35

* We had everything else on hand from other paint projects.

Since we finished the wall, we have our new floors in and the kitchen has been gutted. I can't wait to share the next part of the remodel with you all. Stayed tuned.

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.
How to whitewash a brick wall

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European Trip Part 5

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I figured it was time to finish my European trip recaps, so I am here for the final installment: Gibraltar. You can find parts 1 through four here, here, here and here.

I had never been to Gibraltar, but heard it was pretty amazing. The flight in was pretty cool as I found out that they close down the road to let planes fly in and out. And there is a cemetery right next to the runway since they don't have much space for one in the country. Gibraltar is tiny, but full of so much history. If you know anything about Gibraltar, then you know that the country mostly consists of a large rock with swiss cheese like holes in it. These holes were used throughout many wars.

We arrived on Sunday September 18th in the afternoon. After taking a short taxi ride to our hotel, we settled in and I hit the uber small and awfully hot gym. The gym overlooked the pool and I would have much rather been there than in the gym. After a good run, I showered and got ready to walk with my co-worker to dinner.

We headed to Raj's Curry House for some amazing Indian food. Seriously soooo good and cheap. After dinner, we walked around a bit. We went through their main drag (shops and restaurants) all the way to their center square area.
Gibraltar Hesse's Demi Bastion

After walking off our Indian food, we headed back to the hotel. Since my hotel room had about 8 channels and most of them were British or soccer, I decided to hang out in the bar downstairs with a glass of wine and people watched. So many interesting people came through the bar and lobby.

Monday morning we met up for breakfast and it wasn't that great, so I walked across the street for a large latte and called that breakfast. We worked all day and then walked back from the office.

Side note: there is a barrier wall in the middle of Gibraltar and we had to get some directions on areas you could walk up the stairs so we didn't have to walk to the end (almost the entire country) just to make our way all the way back.

We stopped in a beautiful park which is one of the only areas that has green grass on it.
Gibraltar park

Since we had the evening off, we decided to go on the Rock of Gibraltar tour. My co-worker had been on it, but I had never been. So we took the group shuttle up the rock and made four stops. The first was a beautiful look out.
Rock of Gibraltar tour
 That is Spain across the way
Rock of Gibraltar tour
Rock of Gibraltar tour

Next, we headed up to the caves. These caves were used in many wars and now is the area where you can have concerts, weddings and events.
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
 The caves with amphitheater seating
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves
Rock of Gibraltar tour caves

On the way out of the caves and back to our shuttle, we saw this guy hanging out on the stairs.

There are monkeys all over the Rock of Gibraltar. We were told to not bring food on the trip, to not touch the monkeys and to keep our belongings close to us. They love to steal food, purses and backpacks.

We got back in the shuttle and headed to the top lookout point. There were a ton of monkeys here and  the views were beyond gorgeous. My co-worker had a monkey jump on his back at the very top.
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco
 Looking out towards Morocco
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco and Egypt
 Looking out towards Morocco and Egypt
Rock of Gibraltar tour Morocco and Egypt
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys
Rock of Gibraltar tour monkeys

We got back in our shuttle and headed to the last stop, the tunnels. These tunnels were also used during the war and overlook the airport runway and Spain.
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 View from a lookout point
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 The tunnels go way down
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels
 Spain and the airport runway
Rock of Gibraltar tour The Great Siege Tunnels

We got back in the shuttle and headed back down to our drop off point. During our shuttle ride, the driver told us a bunch of history on Gibraltar. It was well worth the $25 or so US dollars.

That evening, we went to Paparazzi Cafe and Restaurant for pizza, pasta and beers. We also walked around and grabbed gelato while we were out shopping.

Tuesday morning, I went for a walk to grab coffee and pick up a few last minute gifts for the girls. Then it was time to head to the airport. We had to fly back to London and stay the night as it is hard to get out of Gibraltar....like two flights a day on British Airways hard.

We got into London and spent 2 1/2 hours going through customs just to get our bags and walk to the Hilton that was connected to the airport. We had the concierges lounge, so we had drinks and appetizers in there before having dinner in the hotel. No many options around. You have food in the airport or your hotel. After dinner, I watched some tv and then headed to their gym for a quick workout.

Wednesday morning, we were up bright and early to meet for breakfast. After breakfast, we got notice that our flight was 3 hours late. So we hung out in our hotel rooms until it was closer to the time to leave. Only to find out our flight ended up being 4 hours and 2 minutes late. Luckily we had a 5 hour layover in San Francisco and we barely made our flight home.

We got home Thursday and it felt great to be home, with my family and not living out of a suitcase. But it was seriously one of the best work trips I had been on....minus the food poisoning.

And there you have it. My European Trip concludes. Now I want to go back and explore even more.


Monday, October 24, 2016

The weekend is over, I am exhausted, sick, but so thankful for a short work week! Hello Nevada Day (Friday)!

We had a pretty busy weekend and it flew by in an instant.

Friday after work, I headed to Wine and Cheeseboard to treat myself to a yummy lunch. You may have seen this on IG. I had the grilled cheese, cup of curried cauliflower soup and a salad that was covered in fruit and nuts. It was soooo good and a great way to start the weekend.
Wine and Cheese Board The Trio

After a quick lunch, I went about a block away to get my hair done. I was able to relax, chat with my friend, have a glass of wine and get my hair fixed. My hair felt amazingly soft that night.

I then headed over to the tile store since the back splash we had picked out was 5 weeks out. I wasn't too keen on any of the samples we received, so I needed another look. Plus I wanted to pair the samples with the sample of my floor tile and my counter tops. The good news is, I found a replacement and it is only a week and a half out!!
Kitchen remodel samples

After the tile store, I headed home to meet with my contractor and crew to see the progress. Let me tell you, it is looking beautiful. The tile is in along with the grout and I am one happy camper about that. My vision is coming together nicely.

Rory and the girls arrived home not much later. I just locked the house up (the area the crew wasn't working in) and we headed up to my in-laws house for dinner. The girls were a bit sassy that evening, but we did manage to have a wonderful night. Avery took full advantage of grandma's dinner.
toddler at the dinner table
toddler at the dinner table - toddler eats

Saturday morning we headed out to breakfast and Costco. We didn't do too much after that as the girls needed their naps and we had some things to do around the house (like winterize our sprinklers). At 3:30, my sister came over to watch the girls while we went to the tailgate and football game. Her boyfriend came over a little later to help out.

We had an amazing time at the tailgate complete with a huge taco bar, but then had an upset at the game. The Pack lost their QB in the second quarter, but it ended up being better for us. Our second string is playing pretty well despite our loss. The game was on ESPN so we got home pretty late (11:30 pm).

Sunday morning we headed out to breakfast and then home so Rory could drop some stuff off at SPCA and another local charity. We donated so many clothes and furniture. Since we are renovating, it is easy to go through stuff and donate. Plus it makes more room for the new furniture we bought.

The girls and I were watching football and they ended up falling asleep in my arms and I enjoyed every second of it. Rory came home to this.
toddler naps

A little while later, we loaded the car up with all of our laundry and headed to my in-laws house. We had a quick bite to eat and then put the girls back down for a longer nap since they didn't nap too long on my lap. We also did a few loads of laundry and watched the awful Niner game. After naps, we took a long walk.

Around 4:30, we left to head home and drop off our laundry and then headed to Rory's cousins house for dinner. We were celebrating Rory's cousins birthday with an amazing spread. The girls dug right in!

Eating dinner with their cousin

We capped off the evening with some football and New York cheesecake! The girls even stayed up until 8 pm at their cousins house.

We headed home shortly later to get the girls ready for bedtime and get all of their stuff ready for the week. We watched some tv and fell asleep pretty early.

A few hours later, I woke up to check on Sutton (she has a cough) and I had the worst sore throat. Like razor blades cutting my throat. Needless to say, my body is ran down and I need to take it easy the next few days. But overall, we had the best weekend.

How was your weekend?

I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston.
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Friday Favorites

Friday, October 21, 2016

It's Friday and life is still chaotic, but I managed to squeak out a post just in time for Friday Favorites.

ONE. I saw this on Facebook and I want to try ALMOST every single thing. These three were my favorites.
Talenti Gelato Pumpkin Pie
Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Squares
Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

TWO. It's game day weekend and Homecoming at that. We almost had to skip the game, which would have been my second of the season (we have season tickets). But we get to go and we get to tailgate as well. Thank you to my amazing sister for watching the girls in our "currently being renovated" house. 

THREE. Buying appliances using my ebates account has been the best. I am so bad about using my ebates account (sign up here) until recently. It is seriously so easy to make money back when you have a shopping problem like me. Yesterday I bought a fridge at Lowes, but went to ebates first so I could earn 1.5% back on my fridge. I earned $10.96. Super easy and I need to remember it for all of my online shopping.

FOUR. I have shoes on my mind lately and I can't get these three pairs out of my mind. I want them all.
Pink Bow Flats
Static Sneakers
Black Booties

I am linking up with Karli, April and Erica.

Confessional Thursday

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday is here and that means confessions time. Grab the button, confess away and come back here to link up.

grab button for Sparkles and Lattes
<div class="sparkles-and-lattes-button" style="width: 250px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://sparklesandlattes.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1061.photobucket.com/albums/t472/lmalex13/Confessional%20Thursday.jpg" alt="Sparkles and Lattes" width="250" height="250" /> </a> </div>

/ that I almost forgot to do this link up, let alone write this post. I have been so busy at work this week and then dealing with renovations at night that I am lacking on the time.

/ that I miss cooking, but not really. I hated my oven so much that this is a blessing. Now not having access to my sink or other things is a pain in the rear. I have to wash sippy cups and bowls in the bathroom sink which is not fun.

/ that I had use a dish towel to cover my bottle rack in the bathroom because hairspray and make up. I don't want all that on my girls stuff.

/ I wish that I could have a fancy big fridge, but the opening is way too small in our kitchen. To fix that would require thousands of dollars to cut a ton of brick out or remove said brick wall. If we were staying for 15 or so years, I would do it, but we don't plan to. At least I get a new fridge. #silverlining

/ that I am sad we are not (most likely) going to Apple Hill with my family and our family friends this weekend. We always go with them and I know we already went earlier this month, but I can't get enough of the place.

/ that I am inquiring about cutting my girls bangs at my hair appointment on Friday. I don't want to cut their hair AT ALL, but their bangs, especially Sutton's, are always in their face and are getting really long. And I refuse to do it because they will be semi straight across and won't have that natural look. So to the salon they will go soon.

/ that we had an Active Shooter Training Class at work yesterday and it kind of freaked me out. I can't, nor do I ever want to imagine something like that happening to me, my family or friends. So crazy.

/ that I need to get back on my running game. I am only running about once a week. Ever since my shin splints, I have no desire to feel that achiness. But I do want to train for Tough Mudder. Such is the life of a runner.

/ that I need new recipes for baking, for cast iron skillets and Fall recipes in general. With my new kitchen in a few weeks, I want to do all the things that I wasn't able to. Send me your favorite recipes.

/ that we have to change our back splash tile due to the one I chose not being available for 5 weeks. Let's hope I can pick and like one of the samples I will receive tonight. Fingers crossed!
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Kitchen Remodel Part 1

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

So we all know by now that I am in the midst of renovating my kitchen. Not just my kitchen, but the flooring and cabinets in my laundry room, creating a mud room where extra cabinets used to be and the flooring in our half bathroom.

This has been something that I have wanted to do since day one of moving into this house. If I had it my way, I would have bought a house that had a renovated kitchen. But that was the past and this is the present. So kitchen renovation it is.

I am about to show you my 1960s kitchen complete with a vintage double oven (that I hate) where only one oven works. I am also going to show you what my contractor and his crew did on their first day. This project seems promising. We shall see how I feel a few weeks in.

Most of our stuff is out of this area as we had it prepped for our contractor. We had a few things left to do and put away before they arrived. This is why I was cooking mac n cheese at 7 am.

1960s kitchen
1960s kitchen
linoleum in 1960s kitchen

Yes that is linoleum and the worst kind of flooring. This stuff is NEVER clean. I can sweep and mop and then still wipe water off the floor and the paper towel will be dirty.
1960s kitchen remodel
1960s kitchen remodel
Our future mud room and pantry area

As you can see, not my dream kitchen, but it has so much potential.

Day 1:
Half Bathroom getting new flooring
 Half bath will have new flooring and counter top
kitchen remodel photos

We had carpet removed from this area as we are extending the tile out to be in line with our wider breakfast bar.
kitchen remodel photos
 Counter tops removed, flooring removed
double oven replacement kitchen remodel
 Where the double ovens used to be
kitchen remodel photos
kitchen remodel photos
 Kitchen gutted other than the cabinets
kitchen remodel photos
Future mud room with floors removed

What We are Doing:
Cabinets - We will be refinishing our cabinets since they are all wood, custom and in amazing condition. We will have new hardware (outside and in) and a fresh look to them. This includes the cabinets in the pantry, laundry room and kitchen.
Flooring - New tile floors
Counter tops - Quartz counter tops and extending our breakfast bar to be wider.
Back splash - Subway tile.
New appliances.
Getting rid of the double oven and turning that area into a cabinet.
Changing our stove top to a full range.
Farmhouse sink.
New faucet.
Adding pendant lights.

We may add some stuff during the remodel depending on how things go and cost wise. This renovation is costing a pretty penny, but I can't wait to see the results.

I am linking up with Jenn and Jessi.
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