Our inexpensive bathroom update.

It was March 2013 when I first learned we were expecting. It was also March when I went into turbo gear trying to get last minute household projects complete because I knew after Baby Battin was born, there would be little time to do anything.

We were in desperate need of a bathroom update. It has truly been the bane of my existence since we moved in. It started off as a room with chair rails, awful textured walls above the chair rails, green speckled paint and wallpaper border.

Before BathroomSince October of 2010, I’ve spent a lot of time in our bathroom – not doing doing the obvious, but painting. In the past three years, this room has been about three different colors. I just couldn’t get quite the right color that I wanted. But by golly, I think I’ve got it now!

Before we began our bathroom update, we established a budget. I didn’t want to spend more than $700 which was tricky because there was a lot I wanted to accomplish.

  1. Remove the chair rails
  2. Sand the walls
  3. Paint the walls
  4. Paint the vanity
  5. Remove medicine cabinets
  6. Replace light fixtures
  7. Replace floor
  8. Tile shower walls

Whew! That was a long list for our tiny budget. But I was confident that it was doable. My husband was in charge of removing the chair rails. While this would have been a simple project, the original homeowners thought it would be a fantastic idea to texture the top half of the walls above the chair rail. After a few days, and a nose full of dust, we had two items checked off our list.

Sanded wallsStill in need of my husband’s help, we both removed the two awful medicine cabinets that took up way too much space and replaced them with a large mirror we bought for $40 at Old Time Pottery. We also added in a new light fixture to complete the look.


Next up – paint (again)! We opted to play off the color of our shower curtain which is a variety of browns and tans.

Another eye-sore of our bathroom has been the marble counter top on the vanity. Because we wanted this bathroom update to be as inexpensive as possible, I thought I would give a Pinterest project a try and painted the counter top with a sponge and acrylic paint and then sealed it with Polycrylic from Minwax. To my surprise, it turned out pretty good. I did it in stages with four different colors. I’ve had to do a few touch-ups here and there, but for the most part I like it. Eventually, we will replace the entire vanity, but that wasn’t in our budget just yet.

Marble countertop

Marble counter top before paint.

After we accomplished all we could, we called in some help from my father-in-law to install tile shower walls. We saved money on the tile because we were given free tiles from my cousin. All we  purchased was the border, which wasn’t entirely necessary, but really completed the look. The original walls were an acrylic inlay that was cheap and cracking. It took about three full days to complete the project. At the time of this construction, I was about eight and a half months pregnant. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. Thank goodness our friends offered up their shower so I was able to feel somewhat human. We ran into a bit of a hiccup when our old piping wouldn’t fit the new fixtures we purchased. Because our house was built in the 50’s, there was no way around it – we had to call a plumber. This is when our budget was tossed into the shredder. $700 later, we had new fixtures. Just goes to show, nothing is ever easy! But I must say, it was all worth it!

I am saddened to say, we never got around to replacing the floor before our peanut was born, but we do have the tile in-hand. So while our inexpensive bathroom update isn’t 100% complete, at least now I can walk into it without cursing everything about it. And the final cost, without the unexpected visit from the plumber: $773.  Not too shabby!


Baby tales: road tripping with a little one.

We survived our first road trip with the little man! Last weekend the three of us traveled down to Cincinnati so I could attend the bachelorette festivities for one of my dearest friends. I was a tad anxious to see how Liam would behave during the 3-1/2 hour car ride, but I should have guessed he would be an angel! The trip there and back took about an extra hour because we stopped to feed/change him so he would stay on his routine, but the end result was a very happy baby!

Packing for the trip was quite the experience. I started making my list on Monday to ensure I wasn’t forgetting anything. Judging by this picture my husband took, you may have thought we went a tad overboard, but I assure you, almost everything we brought was necessary….almost.

Packing for babyHere is a quick rundown of what came in handy, what we could have done without and what we wished made the trip with us.

So glad we packed it:

  • Bottle Brush & Dish Soap: Rather than packing one bottle for all of Liam’s feedings (6 per day), I packed just enough for one day’s worth of feedings and then cleaned them once we got to the hotel. It was much easier than packing 12 bottles.
  • Pack N Play: Though this was a no-brainer, thought I would list it anyway.
  • Stroller: My husband and I went back and forth on whether or not we should bring Liam’s stroller. In the end, we were happy to have it. When it came time to devour the continental breakfast at the Hyatt Place, we were able to roll Liam right up to the table. We probably could have gotten away with a simple umbrella stroller though.
  • Cooler: A small cooler full of ice was essential in keeping Liam’s milk fresh and cold during our trip,
  • Bath Wash & Towel: We planned to take Liam on his first dip in the pool during our stay and didn’t want all that chlorine on his skin. We brought his body wash and bath towel to give him a bath afterwards.
  • Bottle Warmer: Since we stopped to feed Liam while on the road, the bottle warmer was a must. We have a travel warmer we bought from Target that plugs right into the adapter.

Traveling with babyWhat we could have done without:

  • Video Camera: I brought our video camera with the intention of filming Liam’s first swim, but there ended up being quite a bit of people in the water and I didn’t want them thinking I would catch them on film. We opted to take snap shots with our camera instead.

baby swimmingBath Tub: As mentioned earlier, we intended to give Liam a bath after his swim. Unfortunately, our room just had a shower so using the tub really wouldn’t work.  We opted to stick him in the sink instead, which worked just as well.

  • Formula: We’ve recently had to start supplementing Liam’s feedings with formula and though it was a must to bring, I went a little overboard. Two bottles a day is all he gets. I packed enough for nine. It may have been too much, but at least I was prepared.
  • Toys: We probably could have gotten away with packing only a few toys. One of which would have been his plush toy from Target which we have loving named ‘buddy’ and his teething rings.

Target ToyWhat we should have brought, but didn’t:

  • Burp Cloths & Bibs: Sure I brought these, but I underestimated the recent drooly-ness of my peanut. A few extra would have been nice to have.
  • Noses Sucker: I totally forgot this and felt awful. Luckily, Liam wasn’t too stuffy despite the lack of his humidifier.
  • This last item really isn’t an item, it’s more of a packing lesson. We packed the water and his diaper bag in the back of the SUV. When it came time to feed Liam, it would have been nice to have the water and other essentials at arm’s reach so we could have warmed his bottle prior to stopping the car.

All-in-all, I think I did pretty well! And though my husband loathed multiple trips to the car, I assure you, everything was necessary.