Lust for Bust…ing down walls.

Oh today was a great day.

Today, Mike took down the wall between our living room and our kitchen. A.k.a. Mood killer. A.k.a Mommy can’t get mad when she’s doing the dishes because she can’t see us. A.k.a. Willow humps the couch pillows while I prepare dinner. (That would be our dog, not a human. Fear not!)

So, it started with this:

As you all know from this post, we’ve been slowly trying to finish up the wood stove…BUT, wanted to wait to do the back splash portion until we had taken down a large majority of the wall next to it.


  • It always feels really dark in the living room, even though we have a gigantic window in there.
  • The small door way into the kitchen is closed in by our oven (which you can see the corner of from the above picture) and fridge on the opposite side.
  • I can’t watch the kids while I’m doing dishes or anything else for that matter.
  • Making dinner feels so very isolated. 😦
  • For some strange reason, (even though our house is a mere 800 sq feet) the wood stove has issues circulating heat around the house. It stays trapped in our little living room and feels like LAVA after a while, even with the ceiling fan on.

So off Mike went to grab his tools from the garage and away he went.

First he penciled out where we wanted our new opening to go. Then removed the molding away from the door frame.

And then the scored the pencil marks with a razor blade.

At this point, my heart is jumping around a million times a minute. I wish I could explain the excitement, knowing that soon. our living room would be more open.

We decided to leave that little ledge you see above of cement board, almost making a step up and then going straight up to the wall. It’ll give us a little texture to the wall and two different levels of counter, along with a more “fireplace look” once we install the white washed brick on the wood stove back splash.

Once the living room side drywall was removed, it was time for the kitchen wall side to be removed. Piece of cake.

THE FIRST BREAK THROUGH HAPPENED!!! Mason was laughing because Mike was sticking his eye through the drywall and saying “hello there” to him. Pretty cute dudes if you ask me. 🙂

At this point, I am officially the designated drywall cleaner. Dusty job, but someone’s gotta do it! Immediately the sunshine started pouring into both rooms….amazing what a little wall being ripped down can do!

And then we got to this ^ little diddy. Mike spent the majority of the time trying to remove it. Apparently they don’t make houses like they use to, because it must have had a zillion nails sticking every which way in it.  Maybe that’s why they say to stand under a door way during an earthquake?  Luckily there are no load bearing walls in our house, as all of the tresses hold up our house instead of walls. This make projects like this MUCH easier…and fun. 😛

This would be the view in the corner.  Giving you a rough idea of where we’re putting the brick and where we plan on going all the way up with it.

There you have it folks! Our Saturday project, brought to you by the Santerres.

  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Total Cost: Zero Dollars
  • Total Injury: None during construction, one splinter while taking wood to the garage and one gash on the finger while opening a drawer.

We’re saving a lot of the studs Mike pulled out to move around on the wall, we’ll need one on the corner next to the wood stove for sure. The rest, shall be upcycled. We’re hoping we have enough time to finish drywall and mud before x-mas, but with two kids and presents that still need attention…time will only tell.

Stay tuned!!

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Posted by on November 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Brick Toc The Mouse Ran Up The…Wood stove?


As most of you know, Mike and I have been slllooowly, but surely working on our wood stove this summer. Let’s say it’s been a project.

You can check out our progress here.

We’re currently left with the back splash to put up. LUCKILY, we found an awesome score (via craigslist) for some tiles, which are great…but they do not match the tiles we have on the hearth. By a lot…so. Yeah.


We’re going for a rustic, homey, cottage, warm feel in the living room. So why not brick? We’re brick lovers here at the Santerre Abode. So the next question, would be color…as I’m a little worried that deep dark red, might be a bit dark for our tiny living room.

As you can see below, the tiles that we were given (for free, WOOT) are detailed in a design that limits our possibilities for something on the wall. It has to be something simple…and beige, off white, or…(granite —> Which isn’t going to happen.)

As I was drinking my morning cup-o-joe….the light went off. It was a spark of genius!!

We need white washed brick. Like this:

Or maybe more white….like this:


So I decided to play around in Paint on my puter….yes I need photoshop, yes it’s on my christmas list. Just try to envision more awesome and less…horrid paint skills.


I’m thinking it could be rad. Super rad…the question is: Should the brick go all the way up to the ceiling or end here:


So there it is folks. We need your input!



Posted by on November 13, 2011 in Uncategorized


I Got The Blues, Baby.


The first coat is up!

I REALLY like the color. I’m closing my eyes and envisioning the beautiful blue on top, white bead board on the bottom and beautiful white furniture….ahhh!!! If you’d like to see the sorta-before-pictures, click here.

Sad to say, my progress did take a quick halt when I realized I had an issue with the top window:

With wooden windows, there isn’t an inset on the window seal for mini-blinds. The previous owner had them, as I vaguely remember pulling them down when we moved in. In order for the blinds to open and close all the way, they needed to be pulled away from the window itself…so…..this was their idea of fixing the problem. A 2×4…yup. Anywho, both windows in the room have this “decor” on them. Which means I’ll need Mike’s strong muscle skills to drill them out of the studs.

With that being said, I do want blinds for the room. (I’ve flashed my neighbors one too many times!) I’d like to figure out some type of over-the-window shelf that has a wooden bracket. That way, we can drill a hole into the bracket to hang the curtains and the blinds can sit back on the trim without being visible.

Here’s a picture of where I stopped the paint and where the bead board should go. I think it’s going to be (In the words of Tony the Tiger) GRREEAT!!! <– insert cheesy sense of humor here.

Please excuse the huge basket of laundry right there. ^  Like my tie dye hoodie?? I got that bad boy in Forks…because I love Twilight. Hush. 


Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


Don’t Judge


Why do we always leave the master bedroom for the last house project? I always wondered this. Afterall, it’s where the magic’s the reason why you have a house’s the butter baby!

That’s why I’ve decided the bedroom needs to be the first project. Mike and I have shared a room for almost 8 years…and it’s always looked like poop. The anti of romance, the opposite of shmexy.

What I am about to show you, may blind you. It may cause trauma. It’s bad…



This would be where the lovers sleep. Yup. Purple walls, red curtains, tattered blankets. It’s gross. I know.

A ray of sunshine!

The one piece of the room that leaves hope for a new room! The dresser that Mike and I refurbished. We still have the head-board and mirror that goes over the dresser to paint….we’re trying!

The view from the window. Boring and poopy.


The wooden windows. Still contemplating if I should paint these along with the trim white to match our furniture.

Mike’s side table. I painted this nearly 9 years ago… It is complete with a cup (the cats refuse to drink out of anything else, wtf?), special rocks that Mike thinks cleanse the air, and his dads old clown penny bank that gives me nightmares.

Our super awesome, really crooked ceiling fan…that…apparently…I need to dust.


My super cool, overly stuffed-with-books, night stand that was found in our attic. (temporary score!) …and the drawer is broken. AND YES, that’s Vicks. I got the sick. 😦

My grammys rug…still contemplating if that should still be in here. The vacuum doesn’t like it much.

Fear not! I bought paint. This little gem would be call “Americana” in Olympic paint. It’s a bit more gray than this picture is showing. The idea is to paint the upper half of the walls this blue/gray and then we’ll have white bead board trim on the bottom half. Along with white trim, crown and the doors.


That would be 20 yards of upholstery fabric that I bought for…brace yourself…10 bucks.

I’ve been holding onto it, with the hopes of one day re-upholstering our couch and sofa chair..but it just so happened to match the wall color we bought. I think it’ll make great curtains. 😉 Now I just need to figure out how to use my sewing machine.


So there it is folks! The big “BEFORE” show. Hope you’re not dry heaving your lunch up.

Tonight, we begin taking stuff off the walls and filling in holes. Hoping to have the room done by next week. Stay posted!


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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


Soopa Sneaka

If you have a child under the age of 25, you know they can be picky eaters. This. Is. A. Battle. in our house. Big Time.
Last year I bought the book Deceptively Delicious. Which you can purchase here.
Oh yeah, and I love it.
So yesterday I baked up and puree’d some butternut squash to sneak into the kids dinner/snacks/stomachs.

The process.


Did I mention it was super easy too? Well it is..

Anyways, I made pizza last night and before adding my pizza sauce, I put a heavy coat of said “orange sauce” right underneath.

Guess what? They ate it. All.

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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Uncategorized


Ballz and Wood Stoves.

I’ve got to admit, I made this blog several weeks ago. The intent was to start blogging about the MASSIVE amount of DIY jobs my husband and I have in our new (not so new, circa 1964) home.

This is her:

Since making said blog, we’ve done a few projects…yes. BUT, I’ve been a little scared to post any pictures or update. Mostly because:

A) Lazy.

B) Feels like it isn’t good enough.

C) Feels like my pictures aren’t good enough.


Recent revelation: Who gives a poo.


SO….here’s our first project.



The Wood Stove.

This was AFTER we had a huge gaping hole in our living room for nearly 3 months. As you know, all of our projects are paycheck by paycheck…and unfortunately, that concrete board is PRICEY.

Once that was up, we needed some tiles. Lucky, my daddy-0 had some super sweet granite tiles just lying around in his garage. (Seriously). We grabbed those, took a trip to Lowes and picked up a few smaller, beige tiles (33 cents a pop) and began our first tiling project:

This would be the practice run, prior to the grout. Mike wanted to make sure he had all his little ducks in a row.

Once that was complete, we moved onto the grouting. (Can you say filthy mess?)

Needless to say, it turned out GREAT!

Next up was the wood stove.

We have been so very lucky in the “gift giving” department these days. Along with the lovely granite hearth we installed for a total of $60.00 we were also gifted this little gem:

YEAH THAT’S RIGHT! A rusty stove. But you wanna know what? It was free…and there’s nothing this lady cannot fix up.

SOO, off to Lowes I went and picked up some of this:

Which was not cheap. Roughly $7 a can, but I knew I would need at least two.


After several days of sanding down the rust and then giving it a bubble bath (I also talked to it, whatev)…it was time to spray.

Nerves set in. This was it. This was the test. Would we have a decent stove sitting on our beautiful hearth, or a rusty piece of poo???

5 coats later….

Boom. Perfection.


Aaannnnddd that’s all you get folks.

Last week Mike and I found a really sweet lady up the road selling a crap ton of tiles for only 10 bucks. By Thursday evening, I’m hoping our back-wall-hearth-thingy will be tiled and ready for show!

Until then! xoxo



Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

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