Muscle and A Lot of Hustle: ORC Week 5

Alright, so I was supposed to post an update on the playroom yesterday…but C has been home sick for the past week and I had very little to show for the days we spent at home.  Yesterday he was back in school, so instead of posting about my lack of progress I decided to make some progress instead.  If you’re just tuning in, I’ve been busy making over my three-year-old’s playroom as part of the One Room Challenge, a link-up event where bloggers and designers transform one room in their house in just 6 weeks.  Be sure to catch up on the entire series, beginning with Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4 and don’t forget to check out the other fabulous rooms by visiting Calling It Home!


What did I do yesterday, you ask?  Why, I built myself a train table.  Not that I already had a perfectly good one or anything.

You see, my original plan called for staining C’s old table a nice oak color.  With the birch bookshelves on the wall behind, an entirely birch train table was just too. much. birch.  But of course, when I took a closer look at the table I discovered it was made of MDF, so staining was a no-go.  I contemplated leaving the table as-is and just painting the drawers beneath white (as planned), but my heart was really set on that oak! So, being a perfectionist rational person with no carpentry skills, I decided to make a new one that I could stain.  Obviously.

It took some troubleshooting.  I made mistakes, and had to go back and re-do certain steps, but I’m so happy with the result! Not to mention, this is the first substantial thing I’ve built…and boy, does it feel good.  When I finished I definitely had a beat-my-chest-and-yell-like-Tarzan kind of moment. Or two.


Stay tuned for a DIY post on this train (or activity) table next week!  And now here are some glamour shots:



And, just for fun (and so you believe me when I say you do NOT want to see photos of the playroom this week), here is what it currently looks like:


Have a great weekend and a very happy Halloween! C is going as an astronaut, and I have to scrounge up two alien costumes for Austin and I by this evening.  And then the next couple days will be spent busting my butt to pull this room together in time for the BIG REVEAL next Thursday!

Simple + Stylish Halloween Decor

I don’t normally decorate for Halloween beyond the typical jack-o-lantern on the front stoop, mostly because non-kitschy decorations that actually look good are so hard to find.  But I was inspired yesterday by Dana’s Halloween post over on House*Tweaking–she made it look so easy!  So C and I headed over to World Market after school to see what we could find, and I was pleasantly surprised.  As Halloween is only a few days away, we needed something fast–DIY was not an option.  Fortunately everything is currently 25% off, and we came away with a good haul!


My favorite item we found were these bats.  I turned them around to keep the look simple, and taped them to the mirror in the living room.


We also found this spooky skull candle…


Which will apparently burn like this:

Bleeding Black Skull Candle, $7.49.

Bleeding Black Skull Candle, $7.49.

Creepy.  Then there were these candles, which make crazy-cool wax drippings (beware!):


Finally, I scattered some small white pumpkins around the house and added more of the bats and this hanging skeleton to our front door.  It’s not much, but it definitely feels spookier in the house.  C and I had so much fun last night putting it all together!