Sneak peek to the week ahead – Inside Emma’s room

Hope everyone is have a great weekend so far. It is a really cool fall weekend here. The Hubby and I are celebrating our 17th Wedding Anniversary this weekend and he surprised me with a night away in a small quaint town a couple of hours away where we got engaged. We try to go back when we can….We had a great time and it is back to reality.

I thought I would throw out a teaser for some of the posts we will be featuring next week. Emma’s room is finally done!!! It really came out cute, and I think represents the vision she had in her head of the use of color and a little bit of her Diva side as well….She sure does have different taste than me, she loves colors that are loud and patterns that are even louder! But all in all it really turned out cute and a great way to start her teenage room!!

sneak peak at Emma's room

We will have two posts that will talk about the furniture we picked which is all vintage, and then a blog to talk about how we tied in all the accessories.

Looking forward to the week ahead! Are you ready for Halloween?


Fashion Friday – The Skinny Jean…my new BFF

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are going to enjoy this last weekend in October – I can’t believe it will be November next week…

So I don’t think it is any secret that I love to shop!! It is something I get from my Auntie! I went to stay with her when I was 12 for a week and she  showed me this awesome place called the mall.
I think the way you dress has a lot to do with your design choices in your home – if you tend to be more formal in your attire, you may be more traditional in your choice of furniture…..

I have noticed lately that my style is changing both from a furniture point of view and from a clothing perspective as well. I think one of the influences is that now that our offices for WC are virtual and we plan on keeping it that way for awhile I don’t have to worry about dressing up or buying high heels (though I do love a good pair of heels, don’t get me wrong).

As fall is approaching I am in the mood for jeans, a warm sweater and a good pair of ballerina flats. Since your design style is influenced from what is around you I thought a couple of times a month I would share a blog or two about my clothing style. I would say I am a traditional when it comes to the clothes that I wear, in my closet you will see items from Banana, J.Crew, Ann Taylor and a new one: White House Black Market.

As I get older and my body starts to change (not something I am crazy about) I really like how White House Black Market jeans fit and feel. I am a lover of the skinny jean or boot cut. When skinny jeans first came into style I was like – those are not for me – but boy was I wrong – I think I have about 7 pairs, all from the stores mentioned above and I would have to say WHBM have the best ones. Here is the link to the ones that I am in love with. Why the skinny jean is so awesome, you may ask you can dress is up or down, they go with anything.

Chernee VItello - Soccer mom outfit one

My style trend right now is to pair the skinny jean with a longer shaped sweater. Like here, or here, or here. I love Banana or J.Crew sweaters, they last forever and don’t seem to go out of style.

Grey sweater, shirt and scarf web

I tend to be a person that layers clothing since I am always cold. I tend to wear a solid or stripe shirt (for some reason patterns really don’t look good on me) and then layer with a great sweater and then throw on a scarf and finally some great flats…

My red flats web

Here is a look that I wore last week to Emma’s last soccer game – it was a cold one – I love to add a little fun to my outfits, so since I was wearing so much grey I threw on a little red with my shoes to add some depth. Just like in decorating you don’t want to be too matchy matchy with your clothes…

What is your sense of style – what stores do you like to shop in – are you a fan of the skinny jean?

How to Fake a Roman Shade


Hope everyone had a great weekend! Ours went by super quick, but don’t they all? We had our daughter’s cheer competition where her squad came in second place!  We are very proud of them!  Go Blue Devils!  And, we had a wonderful time celebrating our friend’s 40th birthday.

view of kids window web

Last week I shared with you the updates that I made to our kid’s bathroom. I promised to share how I made their super easy roman shades for the windows. I love the look of a Roman shade but to really make a traditional version with all the pulls etc. is way over this beginner sewers head. So instead I pulled a couple of ideas that I saw on other blogs from Young House Love and Bower Power and made it work for me.

As I mentioned I am in love with the Premier Fabric line on where I have been purchasing a lot of fabric lately. I measured my window which is 22 by x42. Then I cut my fabric. I allowed for an inch extra all around (top, bottom and sides) then, turned them over to sew. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could use fabric tape as well. Once all the edges were sewed it was time to hang them.

Jamie using table saw web

My sister helped with the next couple of steps.  Anytime I mention that there might be drilling or cutting needed she comes running!  Jamie brought some extra wood she had lying around her house and we measured the width of the window from inside the pane. Then we cut the 2×4 in half and to size for each window’s width.

stapling fabric to wood kids bath web

I took the fabric and rolled it around the piece of wood once. Then I stapled it to be secure. Like this. Then Jamie drilled two screws through the wood and we marked the holes in the window casing. Finally, we drilled it into place….presto!

jamie drilling kids bath web

Some of the recommendations were to take another scrap piece of wood and role the fabric around to make the fabric taught at the bottom. Instead we used the tension rod I had hanging the old shades.

Side by side shades web

All in all, a pretty easy project with a great effect. Love how the shades turned out and the aqua anchor print looks awesome in their bathroom!!



Skirting the Issue

Hope everyone is having a great Thursday! This is crunch week for us, last week of soccer and cheer for the kids….we have almost made it!! Had a little time to do some quick updates last week….

Do you have a utility sink in your laundry room? Our first house did not have one so when we built Vitello 2.0 I was thrilled we were getting one. To me that seemed very high-end.  Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference. Now it is just another thing I have to clean. How times change.

At the time I did not realize there were utility sink options. Look at all the wonderful pretty choices out on Pinterest today! I just thought one style fit all. Now there are so many cool options. So we have the standard looking sink.

The utility sink before web

It mainly holds dirty laundry but there are times when it is empty that I can use it for cleaning brushes etc… I never get closure when it comes to laundry – do you? You think you are done and then you turn around and there is a sock on the floor that you did not see….

The utility sink  is placed right by the door in the laundry room and if the door is open you do see it when you enter the house. A big ugly utility sick – to say “Hi” to the guests.

So you might ask why I am taking about my utility sink?  I have started thinking about updating the laundry room. I was never a big fan of the plain white shelf that the builder installed and the room needs more storage and better use of space. So this winter the laundry room is on the update list!! More about the plans later.

Laundry room before web

Last week I was really missing being able to do some projects – we are really busy at WC – which I am grateful for but it is not allowing me much DIY time. Which is making me cranky. So I was thinking what is a quick project that I could do that could really make an impact! And it hit me:  let’s skirt the utility sink.

I first saw this done by my BFF – she owns a spa business and redid the space. In one of the vintage bathrooms she has a beautiful skirt, which she put around the sink basin.  It made the bathroom fab!!

Waterlily skirt sink web

When I had my office the bathroom sink had exposed pipes – which was not to pleasing to the eye so I created the same look there – not sure if I have a picture of the bathroom anymore!! But it was pretty cool looking! Plus this is before I started sewing so I was pretty proud that I made the skirt myself and that it looked good.

So when I hit up Joann’s looking at fabric – which I have not been in over 2 months.. I found this print!! Maybe not what I would pick normally – but have you noticed lately that I have been leaning towards this aqua/sagey green color?  like here and here and here… The pattern also had some great greys and yellows and it made me think of my laundry room. Which is the only room in my house that has a yellowish color – which is Pear by Laura Ashley.

The fabric actually compliments the colors of the hall as well, tying  the flow of the two rooms together well. In looking at our hall color, which is called Sparrow by Benjamin Moore, I thought at first it was more of a brown base but really it is grey.

I know that was a lot of back story for this simple project but you can see where my mind comes up with these crazy ideas sometimes. So to  make the skirt I measured the sink. The way the sink is placed in the room I just needed to go in about 3 to 4 inches on the sides because it runs against the wall and the washer. The sink measures about 23 inches long and 35.5 inches high. I allowed an inch for each of the sides and an inch for the top and bottom.

Sewing the utility skirt web

Then you just turn the material over on the sides and the top and bottom and sew.

Putting the tape on the tube web

Super easy. To adhere the fabric to the sink you need to purchase self-adhesive Velcro – you can buy this at any craft store or Wal-Mart.

Sticking the fabric to the tub web

You peel off the label and sit one side to the sink and the other to the fabric and then, violia, you have skirted your sink.

skirted sink web

Creating a skirted sink does a couple of thing to the space:

  • Makes it look pretty with the fabric
  • Hides the pipes that are exposed at the bottom
  • Creates additional storage underneath the fabric

utility skirt from another view  web

This took me about 30 minutes from measuring to sewing to adhering. So when you are looking for something quick to do but makes a dramatic change to the space – think about skirting your sink.

I will be linking up with Give me the Goods,

Not just a Housewife

The Gender Neutral Bathroom – Nautical Style

Are your kids good at sharing or working together?  My kids are at the stage where they are like oil and water – they start at each other from the minute they wake up to when they go to bed! Just love this stage…..and we make them share a bathroom too – which just makes them love each other more. Teenagers!

Growing up I had to share the bathroom with my brother and younger sister too. Though we had two bathrooms there was still issues of who was going to use which one, how long you could be there etc…

view of kids mirror web

So when looking at house plans I wanted to make sure since our kids would have to share a bathroom that is was practical and multifunctional and could handle them getting ready at the same time. For example, their bathroom has double sinks and I put in a pocket door breaking up the sink from the tub and toilet.  The pocket door and double sinks really have worked out nicely. That is when they don’t want to be using our bathroom.

So now that they are older – I decided to do some quick updates to their bathroom. When Peter was born my mom made this shower curtain, I loved the print; we love boats in our family so it fit the bill perfectly.

Kids shower area web

This is a sheet that I found at Garnett Hill – now there has to be something said when you purchase a high quality sheet because they do last – it is in great shape and it is 14 years old!!

When I was looking at material for their bathroom Peter goes to me – “Mom – you are not taking down the shower curtain are you?” “ Because I love it!!”  Now who can say no to that?  Emma does not seem to mind the boats either….so that is staying.

shower curtain kids cv

Since I love the bathroom color as well – I did not have to paint – I have to admit painting bathrooms is not my favorite thing to do.

So while my sister and I were updating our mirror in the master bathroom we became very confident in our abilities and decided to keep rolling to the kid’s room. Women power!

jamie installing mirror web

Instead of using the decorative squares we mitered the edges for this mirror. I wanted the mirror to look a little less formal and the miter look achieved that. For the most part it turned out ok, With some minor caulking that needed to occur in one area.

We did not get our edges to line up in the upper left hand corner – so what I did was keep layering the caulk until it was the same level as the rest of the wood. I painted the molding in Journal White about 3 coats to give it a fresh crisp feeling. I did not have to prime since the molding I purchased came already primed.

Then I updated the curtains – as I have mentioned before most of our windows are custom, which is a pain for purchasing off the shelf window treatments or blinds. For the tub area I did install (way back when) a blackout shade from smith & noble that fit the window. Then from Potterybarn they had sheer roman shades. I do have to say they held up pretty well but over the last couple of months the sheers were starting to show their age and yellow…So I liked the roman shade look for this space. I wanted something that would be gender neutral for the kids – when looking at fabric online  I kept coming across this pattern from it is part of their Premiere fabric line – and I love it and love the anchors….

Kids window in the showere area web

So instead of going with the blue they had I went with the aqua which does three things – it pulls the color in from the hallway, it ties in the theme of being nautical and the color adds a little bit of femininity to the space. I will be putting up the directions on how I did the shade this week.

view of kids window web

In addition to new curtains I bought new towels at Homegoods.  Each child has their own patterns. Emma’s has pinks, purple and white.

emma's corner bathroom web

Peter more blues, reds and browns. Both go great with the space. Plus it is OK to mix and match your bathroom décor too…

peter's corner bathroom web

Since the kids are now in that stage of beauty and making sure we look good before going out – I updated their caddy in the bathroom as well – to have all their supplies at their figure tips. The key with teenagers I am finding is having all the items they need everyday accessible. It makes everything much smoother.

kids caddy web

I am lucky this bathroom has a lot of storage with 3 drawers and two door cabinets underneath to hold all their supplies and linens.

So all in I think this bathroom update only cost me $100 dollars. Here is the breakdown.

Trim for the mirror $20.00 from Mr. Seconds.
Material for the window – $14.00 from
Towels 60.00 – from Homegoods
Caddy – $5.00 Target
Paint – free – from other projects.

How do your teenagers get along – do they argue when they get ready in the morning – are they sharing a bathroom too – how have you created a gender-neutral space?

Don’t Touch That Switch!

Ok, so we already established that I am not handy.  But, there are some projects that I have attempted, with a certain level of success, that I don’t mind repeating.  Doorknobs, hanging curtains (I know, that one is no big deal) and some other small stuff.  One thing that made that list, much to my own surprise, is replacing light fixtures in the house.

Steve investigating a part web

Right now, I am thinking the same thing you are:  “light fixtures!  This guy is nuts!”

Now, having watched a healthy amount of Saturday morning cartoons in my younger days, I remember my fair share of “Schoolhouse Rock.”


Who could forget? “I’m just a bill, yeah I’m only a bill, and I’m sittin’ here on Capitol Hill.”  The one that springs to my mind right now is the light bulb that used to sing about playing it safe around electricity.  I usually head all warnings of singing, rolled up legislation or light bulbs, but at this point the wife’s Honey-do list trumps my public safety message cartoon memories.

In a previous blog Chernee discussed the transformation of our mudroom with some new paint and stencil.  In order to complete the transformation she wanted to replace the “boob light” fixture (her words, not mine) with a new fixture that had a lot more character.

The first step was removing the existing boob light.  That was a simple process.  The fixture came apart quickly and I made sure to “tie-off” the wires for safety.

Trying out the light and the water spot web

We had some water damage on the ceiling from a small leak we had in the master bath last year; so, the second step was to touch up that ceiling paint to cover the water damage.  Once that dried I had to install the new fixture.

Steve w drill and installing light

I know what you are thinking……Steve forgot to mention the step where he goes to the panel box and shuts off the power to the switch in the mudroom.

You would be right.  The electrician that wired our house when it was built was not the most detail oriented it seems.  When I open up the box downstairs I can see that the big stuff is labeled, like “A/C’ or “Stove”.  But all the other switches are labeled the in the same way:  “lites n’ plugs.”

Switch box

Here is what I did and I would not recommend:  First, I demanded that NO ONE come into the mudroom while I installed the light.

Mudroom switch web 2

Then, I made sure to keep looking at the switch to make sure it was “off” while I wired the new light.  It worked well and I was able to install the new light without killing myself.  A big bonus!

Steve with his light all up web

The new light looks great and I now have a follow-up project of going thru the house to correctly label the panel box switches.

New Hallway light on web

That way if (when) Chernee wants to replace any other fixtures I am ready to shut off the power the right way.

Remember, to quote the singing light bulb,  “you gotta play it safe around electricity”