The Fogue Abode: January 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Lowe's List - #ProjectBathroomReno

I really wanted to start this blog back up to share our hall bath remodel.  It's our first big project in our house.  Well, besides just general decorating and painting.  This is the first project that the Mister got to do some destruction on!  (I begged him to do Chip Gaines style, but he refused to jump through the wall.)  So, in sharing our bath room remodel, I want to be 100% honest with you about what steps we are taking in completing the remodel.  It's easy to see an after picture and go "Oh wow!  I want to do that."  But to actually show you the when, why and how we did something as first time bathroom remodelers is the goal of The Fogue Abode.  I want you to see all the steps we went through, and hopefully learn (and laugh) from our mistakes.

So, todays post is going to be all about finalizing our Lowe's shopping list.  Someone is going to scrutinize us for this financial advise I'm about to give (Mr. Bob I'm looking at you,) but it has worked for us in the past. We are really terrible savers, but we are really good at spending.  The Mister and I sat down and looked at the finances of our project, and how we could easily pay for this.  Our Lowe's card has an 18 month no interest promotion if you spend over $600.  Therefore, we plan to purchase as much for this project as we can from Lowe's to give us 18 months to pay off.  Our plan is to actually have it paid off within 12 months.  We have a little in our savings that we will use towards stuff we wont get at Lowes, such as lighting and paint.  So, we budgeted $3,000 for our project (give or take.)  

I talked a little bit here about our plan, after a recon mission to Lowes.  We spent a Sunday afternoon looking at options, taking pictures for references.  And then we chewed over it.  For two whole weeks.  Finally, here is our shopping list.

  • Bathtub -    American Standard Right Hand tub $255.  Make sure you know if you are going to need a right or left hand tub.

  • Shower Tile - We plant to use a mix of subway tile and decorative tile. $200.8

  • Shower Faucet -   I like the look of the large shower head.  Something like this one from Lowe's would be perfect to wash out babies hair.  $ 229
  • Shower/Tub Misc - Backer Board, Grout, Chalk, etc $150+
  • Floor Tile & Grout - Going with a larger chunkier subway tile, this smaller more squared tile will give it some balance. $200
  •  Vanity Counter Top - US Marble Evercor Solid Surface Aspen - $1060
  • Sink Faucets - I'm liking the look of the chrome against the whiteness of the bathroom.  $149
  • Misc Finishes - We will need chunky molding, paint on the walls, ceiling, cabinet, reinstall the toilet and I'm sure the Mister will need some new tools.  With our all in budget of $3,000, that would leave us with $750 for the finishing touches.
Now obviously, I'm figuring that some things will be more than this.  We certainly planned in some wiggle room because we would rather have a nice looking bathroom than to cut corners and something look out of place. 
Next stop, our big shopping spree!
Lots to disclaim here...I am not a financial advisor, so don't take any of this advise to heart.  Do your research and discuss what you are comfortable doing.  Make sure you can afford any project before starting.  It's sad and frustrating with a half way renovated room.
Next, I am not in any way, shape or form affiliated with Lowe's.  They did not pay for this article or project.  We like to keep our projects real and show how real families can accomplish projects such as this on a real budget.
Finally, I am not responsible or liable for the excessive amount of "so" I used in this article.  I even cut some out while proof reading.  It's so my favorite word today. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What Say You? #ProjectBathReno

Alright guys and gals, I wanted to give you the floor today!  Give me your opinion!  Let me have it!  Good or Bad.

We are debating the sinks that will go in our bathroom.  What's your opinion, what's your experience, which do you like?

The countertop we have selected to go with is the Evercor Solid Surface Marble top.   

The counter top seen here on Dear Lillie.
But, the Mister and I can't agree on the sink.  I prefer the square under mounted sink that is featured here.

The Mister loves the look of this raised under mounted sink here.
So to settle our debate, and keep our sanity here at the beginning of this project, let us know which sink you prefer and why! 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Big Cyprus Lodge in Memphis, TN

Happy Wednesday Guys and Gals!

Today, I wanted to share our trip this past weekend to the Big Cyprus Lodge at the Bass Pro Pyramid in Memphis, TN and do a little review on the Lodge. 

For my birthday weekend (a few weeks late,) the Mister booked us a suite at the Big Cyprus Lodge in Memphis, TN.  The newest Lodge in the Bass Pro family.  When we arrived, we were greeted by Christopher, our valet, who was quite helpful during our stay.  I felt a little Downton Abby-ish having staff waiting on us.  It was fun to see how the other half live. 

From the outside, the pyramid does looks a little dated.  I've always thought the pyramid looks like it needs a good washing, and even with the change to Bass Pro, I still think it looks the same.  What doesn't look the same is the inside.  Walking into the Pyramid we were greeted by a huge stone fire place and the entrance to the Lodge itself.  Christopher helped take care of getting us checked in and took us up to the third floor Junior Suite. 

Walking through the double doors brought us to a foyer area where the rooms divided off.  To the right was a double queen area with a fire place and separate bathroom.  To the left was the sitting room, dining area, king room and separate bathroom.

The d├ęcor was very rustic and beautiful.  Beams were used throughout the suite on the ceiling and encased the fireplace/tv.  The room was lined with huge windows to look out over Memphis.  Right out the windows, was a private and huge balcony for our suite.  If it hadn't been such a cold weekend, it would have been a nice place to relax.  But I was having too much fun relaxing in the actual room.

The bathroom was very spacious and had a slipper tub and a large walk in shower.  The sink included two cooper bowls and industrial faucets that I was eye-balling in Lowe's just a few days before.

Now, about the Bass Pro.  I was very much impressed with the shop and the entire lay out.  It was a beautiful and fun facility.  There were water ponds all throughout the ground floor and you walked over docks and along the shore.  They had many live animals/fish including ducks and 3 alligators. 

In the center was the elevator to The Lookout.  It is the world's tallest free standing elevator.  Admission to The Lookout is $10 per person, but you received free tickets with your room purchase.  The elevator was glass, so we were able to look out as we climbed up into the ceiling of the pyramid.

It went higher!

And higher!

And higher!

And higher! 

 Until we disappeared into the ceiling and arrived at The Lookout.  The Lookout is a bar area that also had balcony access to look out over Memphis.  We timed it to go out at sunset and even though it was extremely cold, it was a very cool experience.

We sat at the bar and enjoyed some treats while watching the giant catfish in the fishtank at the center of the room.  It was well worth the $10 if you were not staying at the Lodge.
For dinner, we ventured over to Uncle Bucks Fishbowl and Grill.  It was a fun atmosphere with dinning and even had a bowling alley right in the middle with giant fish swimming right above you.

When we made it back to our room, there were Mississippi Mud Pie Cookies waiting on our pillows.  The Lodge had also sent up a delicious birthday cake for me.

Over all, I can rate The Big Cyprus Lodge an excellent choice for lodging!  It is a great resort and the shopping and eating at the Bass Pro Shop is enough to fill up an entire weekend.  If you are ever looking for a weekend or night get away, Memphis, TN is your next stop. 
I am not affiliated with Bass Pro or The Big Cyprus Lodge.  This review is based on my own personal experience.  Bass Pro or The Big Cyprus Lodge did not pay for these accommodations or this review. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Pink and Gold First Birthday For Our Sweetheart

I'm finally getting around to sharing the first birthday party shenanigans from earlier this month. I must admit, I'm beyond excited to share this post with you guys! By far, this party has been the most fun DIY project to date, if your into the planning, stressing and hot gluing craze. So ,let's get down to business shall we?

I selected a Pink and Gold birthday theme with lots and lots of hearts. A is the love of our lives.  So I wanted to really show that throughout the party.  

To start, I found this awesome little website, The Little Umbrella, that offered a large selection of printable for a small yearly fee.  After doing a ton of research on invitations, I decided that this was the best deal as far as price and what we were able to access. If you have a party coming up, I highly recommend checking them out. They had a beautiful ombre hearts suite that was perfect for our party.  And creating our own custom piece was a breeze.  

*One piece of advise I want to share with all you moms out there. I've noticed this dilemma with several birthday parties lately and I made sure to take note when selecting the time for our birthday party.  I chose a time that was in between A's natural nap times.  Even though she didn't get a great nap, we still avoided that fussy period and everyone enjoyed them selves.  Since I selected 11AM, that helped me decide to go with a brunch for food selections. I will touch on that more a little later.

Decorations were kept simple and easy to DIY.  I used a gold heart bunting to drape around the counters and tables.  You will see a how-to for this project a little later in the week. This is also a perfect little project for valentine's which is coming up soon.  So make sure to check back often.

I also found this love sign at Hobby Lobby and used some gold craft paint to give it some color.  Then I just tossed A's pictures from her First Birthday Photo Shoot into some white frames to top off our "love" theme. 

I was very much on the fence about having a chalkboard sign created for A's party.  But, while I was browsing through the Dollar Tree one afternoon, I saw some black poster board and decided I could give it a try myself.  If it turned out crappy, no money was wasted.  I loved how it ended up turning out.  It was quite simple to do myself.  I just used a couple of chalk pens and a straight edge.

I also created this cute little heart wreath out of some pink yarn, a foam wreath and glued an extra gold heart to the bottom. 

We used the mantle to display all of A's monthly photos I had taken throughout the year.  I used a piece of jute and some small clothes pins to pin them up.  A very cute and simple project.

In our family room, I set up a little area for A to unwrap her gifts.  Thanks to her Pepaw and Mimi who helped create this cute little pink and gold teepee, we flanked it with furniture pieces we needed to move for the party as Gift tables. 

Brunch was served to all of our guests buffet style.  I chose simple to make and store bought items to help me stress less.  The only item we actually cooked were the heart shaped pancakes, which I cut out with cookie cutters, and the palmiers. 

What was on the menu?

  • Donut holes
  • Sausage Balls
  • Cinnamon Palmiers
  • Heart Pancakes
  • Very Berry Cheesecake Salad
  • Monte Cristo Sliders
  • Blueberry, Chocolate & Gluten Free Muffins
  • Make Your Own Parfait
With the many diet preferences, I wanted to make sure all of our guests enjoyed some fun treats.

For the cake, we went with simple, help-yourself cupcakes in Red Velvet and Chocolate. 

We also included a drink station with water, orange juice, coffee and hot cocoa with all the fixings. 

Then, we made it to the cake smash event!  A had a little practice earlier in the week on her actual birthday.  That made this smash so much more fun.  She really dug in.


And finally, as a special treat to all of our guests, we had Thank-You Cookies for everyone to take home.  (I mean, why do the kids always get the goodie bags?)

Now, to share the love with all the wonderful people who helped make A's day so special!!

Invitations & Menu Cards - The Little Umbrella
A's Birthday Pictures - Avis Rubra Photography
Cakes and Cookies - Courtney's Creations
Party Signs - AM Designs VIP

If you are loving what you see and have an event coming up but need help planning, organizing and/or setting up, contact me.  I would love to help in any way you need.