House and vacay updates

GUUUUUUYYYYYYYSSSSS!!!   This month has completely flown by… wait.  Did I say this month?  Last month.  That’s what I meant.   Sheesh.   ;)

I know January is usually a busy month for most and for us it was no different.   We’ve had a smattering of smaller house projects/additions that I didn’t think were truly worthy of full blog posts, so I’ve been posting on Instagram to keep y’all updated.   Right now, I’m working on a, well… unexpected project.  You may have seen (if you follow me on Insta), that we recently transformed our front bedroom into a workout space.  I’ve only shown tidbits of the room because I wanted to put together a full post about it.  And I would’ve had that post for you right here and now, except, well….
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Most people rest when they have gnarly upper respiratory infections.  Me?  I get bored and start picking at things.

It’s a problem.

I need to sort it out.

But, I won’t.  :P

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This pic is one that I recently posted on Instagram of the new workout space.   But, ya see.. The desktop shown in this built-in above has always irked me.   Well, lets be honest… the BEIGENESS of the entire built-in irked me.   I’d always guessed that the paint job was of poor quality judging by the many chips in the paint, so I wondered how much effort it would really take to strip the desktop to bring it back to it’s original beauty.  On a whim, I chipped away at the paint in a corner with my fingernail.   And the paint came up easily.   So, I grabbed some tools and continued this quest.  And the paint practically FELL OFF with the exception of one teeny spot.  It was embarrassingly simple and literally took no strength.   Just a little exact-o knife with a flat blade (it was all I had)…

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Yes, that’s me Vanna-Whiting an Exact-o knife. I’m not sure why. I guess, in my medication-induced haze, I suspected that this is usual practice in the stripping of desktops?  We will never know.

On a funny note, as I was working on this, I thought I might need stripper for that stubborn tiny spot up front (I didn’t) and the following conversation ensued:

Me (to myself): “I think I need a stripper.”

Lucas: “He’s outside.”

Me: “Who?”

Lucas: “Daddy.”

I nearly keeled over laughing.  I swear, he does NOT know what a stripper is at five years old.  I’m not sure what he thought he heard, but it sure played out beautifully.

So anyways, back to the project, I’d love to tell you that I have a neat before and after for you this post, but thanks to this little chipping-of-the-paint discovery, I’m mid-project restoring the wood top.  AND IT’S FLIPPIN’ SPECTACULAR.   I mean, don’t get me wrong, I get covering up ugly 1970’s wood tones, (like I did here and here) but this desktop is pah-retty.

I’m going back and forth as to whether to paint the beige built-in’s white first, or just to show y’all the space after I finish the desktop and do that later.   I guess it depends on how excited/patient I am. Thus, I’ll probably just show you when it’s done.   Because… ME.


Second update: Joey’s SOMEHOW convinced me to embark on a full-gut renovation of our kitchen.

Like, everything GONE.

All new cabinets, counters, appliances, lighting, backsplash, paint, you name it.   I was all for painting the cabinets and updating everything else, but he made a good case for stripping (harhar) everything and starting fresh.  Plus, the clincher was when I experimented with the Ikea Kitchen Planner and discovered just how affordable their cabinetry is.  I mean, I’d always heard it was but when I actually planned out an initial version of what we may want, the total cost was WAY below what I’d thought it’d be.  Sold.  Well, soon to be sold anyways.  We want to hold out for their annual kitchen sale to pull the trigger.   We’re still in the planning stages, but once we actually get closer to getting started, I’ll fill y’all in on the plan.  I’m scared.  Seriously.  The thought of not having a working kitchen for (potentially) months is totally unnerving for a cook-at-home gal like me.  It’ll all be worth it in the end, I’m sure, but gah…

Lastly, one of the more exciting adventures we’ve had lately was a family trip to Puerto Vallarta.   Joey’s grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and took all of their children and adult grandchildren to a gorgeous all-inclusive resort.   It. Was Stunning.

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And I’m not gonna lie, I miss waking up to this view…

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And gazing at this from outside the elevator…

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This vacation was so relaxing and MUCH needed.   Joey and I got some great quality time together and we got to hang out with his family which was a blast.   We decided not to go on any excursions in favor of relaxing at the beach and pool, and I didn’t take a ton of pictures while we were there, but on the last day, we had Joey’s cousin Christine take some pics of us on the beach.  This is one of my faves…

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And I doubt you’ll find a pic that more accurately defines us than this one…

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Seeing these pics makes me wish I was here (warning: crummy iphone quality (but still fun) pic alert) …

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…On our first day of vacay.  Enjoying our first meal with the entire stay in store.  But, that’s okay.  Being back home means we’re with Lucas, who was definitely missed on our trip, though adults-only is really nice upon occasion for sure.  On a side note, I’m not normally a hat person, but for whatever reason I didn’t take that hat off much during our trip.  Weird.

Anyways, so now we’re now back to reality and ready to properly tackle 2016.  Let’s do this.  :)

What are your goals for 2016?   Any recent trips or adventures?  Any DIY plans happening anytime soon?

Breakfast nook! Done! …For now.

Ya know when you finally decide you want something, and you think you’re gonna just bite the bullet and get it, but then a bunch of stuff happens and you never get around to actually purchasing said item, but then it’s Christmas time and your mom buys it for you anyways?

I do.

Because that’s how these pretties ended up in my possession…

Hello, gorgeous. 😍 #merrychristmastome #diningchairs @overstock

A photo posted by Operation Home Blog (@christina_spragins) on

They’re the Lucas Wood Grain Accent Chairs from Overstock.

And I LOVE them.

I will say, that when they arrived, there were a few surprises.  Not necessarily bad surprises, but just aspects that I wasn’t expecting.   First, the “wood grain” that they speak of is not on the legs as I’d assumed.

It’s the texture on the seats…

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At first, I was sort of put off by this as I was expecting smooth plastic, but it’s actually kind of grown on me and now I’m totally fine with it.

The second surprise was that it turned out that the wood legs are much lighter than they appeared in the pictures online.

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I was expecting more of a walnut tone, but they’re almost blonde.   They’re not offensive by any means, Thus, I’m living with them as is right now.  I might consider darkening them with Polyshades at a later time… or possibly even lightening them with the Sunbleached Polyshades that I purchased in this post to make them blend more with the table.  Right now, they’re slightly more yellow than the table.  I’m not sure if you’ve gathered this about me by now, but “accidental yellow” isn’t really my thing.  Either way, something will eventually get done.   I’m fine with them for now, though.

Functionality-wise, the chairs are pretty comfortable.  And they’re lightweight which is nice.   The one issue we’ve had so far was that Lucas sat on the edge of a chair, and it tipped right over.    Hopefully, this isn’t an ongoing thing with stability.  It’s only happened once, so maybe it was random.

In any case, stylistically,  they’re EXACTLY what I wanted for this space.  I can’t wait to show you!!!  But before the grand reveal, let’s take a look at the evolution of this space, shall we??

After moving in, the nook consisted of a mish-mosh of stuff we had from our last house.  And the layout confused me as the lighting fixture wasn’t centered (It was too close to the doors, so a table couldn’t be directly underneath it while still allowing the doors to open) and I wasn’t certain of the traffic flow as of yet, which lead to this uncomfortable weirdness…


After a few months, I realized that a table could easily be centered and still allow adequate flow in the space.  We installed a new lighting fixture and swagged it farther away from the door so that it could be hung directly above the table…


Next, I found a beat-up pedestal table for $40 on Craigslist and refinished it a lovely sunbleached color.  I’m still completely enamored with how it turned out.  Plus, the circular table GREATLY improved flow and the pedestal helped to reduce visual clutter in the space….

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But those red bird chairs, just weren’t doing it for me, so as an interim step until we could afford new dining chairs, I recovered the seats with a neutral fabric (and added a thrifted pot and awesome sauce vintage shoe mirror)…


And now, the piece de resistance, the cheese to my macaroni, the peas to my carrots… Our new dining chairs…

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I have to say that I’m pretty happy where we’re at right now with this space.   I love the dimension and style that the chairs offer.
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And the black metal accents on the chairs really tie into the lighting fixture nicely.

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I pretty much want to stare at these pictures forever like a total creeper…

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Aerial shot!!!

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Heart bubbles are coming out of my eyes right now.

That’s strange, right?



Anyhoo, now that this area of the room is close to completion, we’re hoping to set our sights on the outdated kitchen portion of the room that I’ve conveniently not included in these shots.   Hopefully soon we’ll be getting estimates for new countertops.   Then, FINALLY we’ll be replacing the appliances.

So, wish us luck with that!   In any case, we’re LOVING the breakfast nook where it’s currently at and can’t wait to create a a kitchen that compliments it.

You guys have a great weekend and stay warm!! :)

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