home improvement dreaming

I was never much of a “Pinterest person” until I became a home renter. Now I’m a huge fan! For me, being a home renter is a different ballgame from apartment living.

For one thing, apartment living seems more of a temporary thing, plus our last apartment didn’t allow us to paint the stark white walls which didn’t make it feel like home. I like painted walls!

Anyways, my mind is churning with ideas to make our new home feel like home. Rory had a few weeks to help with some of the bigger projects around the house before starting school. We started with painting our downstairs a lovely light shade of sea foam green.

living room before living room after
Excuse the clutter! I assure you it’s not there anymore!

And our other project was giving our dining room set a makeover. The table and chair set was sort of a wedding gift to us from Rory’s parents. Its roots date back to gathering a very young Rory and his brothers around family meals. They got a new one when Rory was a teenager, and it had just been sitting in storage until we got married. So it’s that dark 1980s wood that doesn’t make much of a statement besides “I’m almost an antique.”

So we used beach inspiration from our new city to update the look. We first spray painted the wood a sea foam green color (actually just Rory did this part), then we painted over it with white chalk paint. Then we sanded the edges to give them a rustic antique look. They’re still awaiting their finishing coat, so I’ll be posting pictures of those later. I can’t wait for them to be finished; they’re going to look great!

There are still a few things I’m wanting to do.

1. Get a white entertainment center. We’ve always used a coffee table as our entertainment center. It’s getting less practical as our little climber gets bigger.
I’m eyeballing pieces like this:
white entertainment center 1

But I’m also keeping my eye open for some cheaper relics and doing this:
white entertainment center 2

We’ll see!

2. A wall collage
I made a deal with Rory that I could decide what goes on the walls since I’ll be spending more time at home than he will. Is that wrong? Let me backtrack and say that Rory likes to be the brains behind home decorating. Different, I know. But if I’m being honest, Rory and I have different tastes as far as what goes on the wall.

But he is all for a wall collage. There is a perfect blank canvas for one in our entrance way.

stair wall

Here are a few ideas I’m crushing on:

wall collage 1

wall collage 2

wall collage 3

3. A vertical garden

I have a blank wall in my kitchen/dining area and I’ve been trying to decide how to fill it up. Then the vertical garden idea came to me. I’m still not completely sure how to do it, but I love both of these looks:

vertical garden

vertical garden 2

I love the possibilities with this idea. Fresh herbs? Ferns? Flowers? A mix?

So that’s what I’m cooking up as far as summer projects go. I’m excited to see how it will all turn out!


P.S. Rory started dental school today! It’s technically orientation day, but I’ll keep you updated on how it all goes!


happy floors

Today I got the impulse to mop my floors. See, I’d been putting it off since I’ve neglected to buy a new mop and without a mop I have to do the whole Cinderella-hands-and-knees method which I HATE.

Finally I couldn’t take it anymore, so I took on the Cinderella look, dress and all (except Cinderella didn’t have a toddler splashing in the bucket).

Another obstacle I faced was having no good floor cleaner, so I took it to the Internet to find a “recipe” with cleaners I already have.

The recipe I settled on was:

1 gallon warm water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/8 cup mild liquid dish soap

And I added a few drops of Bergamot essential oil for fun. (It’s supposed to inspire creativity brighten one’s overall mood. We could all use that.)

Let me tell you, my floors look so shiny and happy, they look brand new. My whole downstairs is a beautiful light hardwood. I’ve never had such nice floors in my life, and now that I’ve seen what this beautiful homemade cleaner can do, it will be all I use on them.

Bonus: I used the cleaner on my baseboards as I went, and they look great as well. The previous tenants left the house in less-than-clean condition and I was shocked to see how much grime and stuff came off when I got up close.

I wish I’d taken a before picture, but here’s the finished product.


Looking good! Try this cleaner out sometime!


here goes nothing. . .

Good news for the Furrows family: those long hours of my husband studying for the DAT are over, the money for applying to 12 dental schools has been paid, the interviews have been done, and the acceptance letters have been mailed.

Now all we have to do is start dental school.

That’s three days from now.

When I say “we” I really mean my husband. My husband is attending his four years of dental school at the Medical University of South Carolina. That’s in Charleston. Yep, we live in Charleston! Honestly, I LOVE where my husband goes to school.

We could have ended up in Creighton, Nebraska or Detroit, Michigan or Downer’s Grove, Illinois. Enough said.

We’ve had a month to explore the city and get ourselves settled in our new home. Now that time is already coming to a close, and the first day of school is right around the corner. As I mentioned earlier, getting here was no easy task.

Where to begin? My husband, Rory, started studying for the DAT in the summer of 2014 in between full-time college courses and working full-time. During that time, our daughter, Melissa, was about eight months old — extremely mobile and extremely grumpy. A lot. And it was just me and Melissa every day from 8 am to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday. All summer. And not a nice summer. It rained for the majority of the time. That was the year of the great Rexburg Flash Flood.

Now, that’s just how it was on my end. Meanwhile, Rory shut himself away in an empty classroom drilling himself on chemistry formulas, biology. . .I don’t know. . .things, and many other things I don’t understand in order to make himself a strong competitor.

He didn’t eat much, he just stayed in his room and studied until he needed to come home for dinner. Then he went to sleep, woke up early and did it all over again. Every day from 8 am to 9 pm. For months. Finally the time came for Rory to take the DAT.

Boom, over. We could relax.  (I’m going to take a second to brag about him getting a 29 on the PAT portion of the test. A perfect score is a 30, and we’ve never met anyone who has come close to getting a 29. Look up PAT practice tests and you’ll see how hard that stuff is! And he finished it in half the time allotted. My husband is so smart.)

And then the first interview invitation came from MUSC. Then another from A.T. Still University. Charleston or Mesa? We were ecstatic for either possibility, but deep down we had a feeling it would be Charleston.

Well, you know how it turns out.

So here we are. I am personally fretting juuuuuust a little bit about sending my husband off to dental school. I’m pretty much preparing myself to never see him again. I expect no fairy tale; I know how it will go. Those days of him being gone between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm will be back. Ha, 9 pm if I’m lucky. I’ve had people tell me the first year of dental school isn’t too bad, and I can expect him home almost every day at 5. But Rory can’t study at home; he gets too distracted. He will be studying on campus a lot. And we intend to have more children while he’s in dental school, so I will be a mother without her partner every day except Sunday. Maybe Saturday. Maybe.

My incentive to be the best stay-at-home-mom ever will be blown into full force. I want my husband to come home to an orderly, calming home every night and eat a hot meal every night. I also want to be the best mom I can be to our ever growing 18-month-old daughter.

The good news is, Charleston is a great city. There are so many possibilities to spend my day taking Melissa to fun places. More good news: I have a house that is currently a blank canvas. We’re renting so I can only do so much, but we are allowed to put things up on the walls and decorate, so that I will do.

And dental school is, what? Only four years? So I’ll be posting my latest projects around the house, recipes (because I love cooking, and I WILL learn some southern cuisine), adventures in Charleston, and how it is being a young dental school family. Here goes nothing!