Our Downstairs Bathroom Renovation

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Happy Monday, y’all! I wanted to share the progress we’ve made on the downstairs bathroom because we are officially done with the demo part! The plumbers are coming this morning and I’m super excited because that means we’re one step closer to putting everything back together.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a lot of updates and videos of the bathroom already so thanks for following along! This is our first bathroom renovation ever so we’re learning a lot. This project has already become my favorite and I can’t wait to move onto the upstairs bathrooms once we complete this one!

WARNING, sappiness coming - I just have to brag and shout out to Chance real quick because he is my hero! We weren’t even going to touch this bathroom for a while, but when the pipes froze and burst we didn’t have a choice. Chance is the best because he lets me pick all of the finishes and does all of the heavy lifting for me. I got in there and started demoing the small stuff while he worked at night and he would come home on his lunch breaks and help out. For my birthday, he removed the big tub and completely ripped off all of the remaining floor tile and backer board! I love him so much, he is my hero and biggest motivator.

Before you look at the demo, take a look these before photos from the listing and when we made our changes later on to the vanity.

 

And now finally onto the demo! Scroll below to the see photos in chronological order detailing the progress we’ve made on the downstairs bathroom.

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Before I jump into the next part of this post, I just have to share the tools we used because a lot of y’all asked on Instagram and after some trial and error, we definitely found our favorite combination.

This Estwing Steel Brick Hammer is basically our new best friend. This tool helped us easily rip up all the tile - and we had A LOT of tile to get through.


Now back to the fun stuff!

We originally wanted to move the laundry room up from the basement and into this bathroom, but after seeing how nice it was to have extra space we’ve officially decided not to do that. Instead, we’ll be adding a tub to this bathroom and moving the laundry room to the second floor (where the master and other bedrooms are) because we have an entire unfinished room that we’ll be able to transform into a laundry area that won’t feel cramped.

The inspiration for our downstairs bathroom comes from our friends over at Hartley Home. I saw her bathroom and fell in love with the tile choices she made. We’ll be going with some really similar choices, grey tile for the floor and white subway tile for the shower with a white vanity.

The tile she used for the floor is sized 6 x 24 which I love! Since Lowe’s no longer carries this style or size, I had to do some research and found a really great alternative at Wayfair here. I’m so excited to finally order the tile and get to work.

Hopefully, I’ll have more updates next week (or maybe even this week) after the plumbers come.


Disclaimer: A few of the links are affiliate links, which means that I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog!

Send Your Valentine's Day Cards On Time Guaranteed

Anyone a last minute gift giver? I’ll admit that I have definitely been known to be a last minute gift giver, but hey who hasn’t fallen victim to this at least once? I try to plan well in advance for holidays, but sometimes this thing called life happens - luckily there’s Paperless Post to help us get a little something special out the door that says, “Hey, I’m thinking of you,” totally stress free! This year, I’m getting out some last minute Valentine’s Day cards using Paperless Post!

I love that they have so many different cards to choose from, whether you’re sending Valentine’s Day cards to your besties or your significant other. Paperless Post is so easy to use, you literally just sign up for an account (it’s free) and then start making your cards! My favorite part is that you can make cards anytime and schedule when you’d like them to be sent via email - this definitely helps me out because my brain is bonkers and I’ll be thinking of someone’s birthday like 3 months in advanced.

I’ve include the super simple steps below to walk you through the process - it’s super straightforward and you can choose from free cards or buy coins to pay for premium designs.

STEP 1 - Choose Your Card

Once you’ve set up your free account, you can browse hundreds of different cards. I went straight to the Valentine’s Day section to begin picking out my card designs for the year.

STEP 2 - Customize Your Card

Once you’ve picked out your card you can start customizing to the recipient. Pro tip: I loved so many different cards, but you can only design at one a time, so I added a bunch to my favorites list so that I could go back and customize them later for people.

STEP 3 - Enter One or Multiple Recipients’ Names

The cool thing about Paperless Post is that you can make one card and then send it to multiple people, which is great for party invites or holiday cards. You can also build out your address book and save people so that you don’t need to manually keep re-entering their name each time you want to send them a card.

STEP 4 - Schedule Your Card For Sending

My favorite feature in Paperless Post is that you can schedule when to send your cards! I love this feature because I’m often thinking so far in advance when it comes to birthdays and holidays. This helps me make sure I get cards sent out in time and relieves some stress because I don’t have to be like, “OH MY GOD, I need to remember to send a card on XX date!” Anyone else have a brain like functions like mine?

I scheduled my Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day cards with Paperless Post this year as well a few birthday cards for friends and family that have upcoming special days! I hope you all found this post helpful!

Please leave your comments below and let me know if you’ve tried Paperless Post!

The 4 Reasons Why We Chose to Elope

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Well hello! I’m Anna from Anna Mae Health and I’m new to Chaos with Coffee but I’ve been friends with Madalyn for 13 years. I’ve watched as she has put so much hard work into her career and this blog and I love seeing her thrive! Madalyn invited me to be a part of Chaos with Coffee around Christmas time and we decided starting 2019, I would contribute here and there.

So I am writing this about 2 weeks ahead of my wedding day. You’re reading this shortly after it actually happens. Why? Because we eloped! Now let me start this off by saying, however you choose to get married, you should never feel the need to explain yourself or give excuses. Do it exactly how you want, whether it’s just the two of you or with 400 of your closest family and friends (lol that’s brave).

No one knew we were eloping except for a select few important people. Brett (my husband!!!!!) and I got engaged only a little over 3 months ago after 3 years of dating. He and I had discussed eloping many times prior to getting engaged but were still undecided. Once we actually got engaged, I immediately started looking into wedding planning.

Of course, there are soooo many options. We could run away for a destination wedding, we could just go to the courthouse.

Do we invite our families?

Do we include a few friends?

4 Reasons Why We Chose to Elope

1. DISTANCE
We went through all of these scenarios. I am a planner (that’s what I do for a living plus I’m extremely Type A) so I made pros and cons lists and went through all the details of each idea. Brett’s entire family lives in Florida while mine is in Virginia. We have a few other friends scattered around the country, but the majority are in those two states. If we chose to have a wedding in Florida, the entire Virginia family would have to travel, and vice versa. Brett and I really did not want to burden so many people with that decision. So that was reason number one for eloping: distance.

2. COST
We just moved to Naples, FL, about 175 miles south of where we previously lived in Dunedin. We are hoping in the next few years we can save up enough money to buy a home with a really great down payment (we've been getting tons of great home-buying tips from Madalyn!). So we weren’t too excited about the possibility of spending at least $15,000, up to $40,000 and beyond for a wedding. For some, this is exactly how they want to spend their money, but for us, it just didn’t seem as important. This is where your priorities come into play. We had to decide what was most important to us, not everyone else. There’s reason number two for eloping: cost.


3. LARGE FAMILIES ON BOTH SIDES
The third reason kind of goes along with the first one. We are both Italian. Need I say more?

Let me just tell you...I thought I had a big family until I met Brett. He has a very large and very tight knit family. So some people might be able to say, “I didn’t invite that cousin I barely know”. Well that doesn’t exist in our families. We were both raised very closely with a lot of our cousins and that’s only scratching the surface of the number of family members we’d want to invite to a “real” wedding! The number of people was starting to scare me. That also made it difficult for us to plan an intimate wedding. If we wanted to invite our siblings, we felt we should invite our grandparents, then we thought about one or two cousins that we’re closest with, and then it just snowballs from there. We were having a hard time drawing that line. So that’s reason number three: large families.


4. YOUR WEDDING SHOULD BE ABOUT YOU
There are a ton of other small reasons that validated us further once we made our decision, but the last reason that I’ll list is the best one. I love going to weddings. They are beautiful and so much fun. But for some reason I didn’t feel like a big wedding would feel like “us”. Brett and I are private people and love private moments together. I don’t think we really realized it before planning this, but we really love romantic, intimate memories together. I was so excited to marry him in the most romantic setting with just our parents (yes, we decided to invite them). It would be incredibly memorable and very personal to us. We both like being different and not following what’s “normal”. I think it’s really important to do what YOU want, whatever that might be. So reason number four: us.


Stay tuned for details about our actual ceremony and tips for planning an elopement. I’d love to share it all finally and help anyone who may be interested but is hesitant to elope. Don’t forget to follow along over at @AnnaMaeHealth for more updates!


The Ultimate Cure To SUPER Dry Skin

The air in the Hudson Valley is WAY more dry compared to Virginia. I never had dry skin before moving to New York - I very rarely used moisturizer up until recently. Since we move here, my skin gets so dry and flaky every November that I don’t even know what to do with myself! It’s honestly super embarrassing because it’s THAT dry and I feel like you can see it from a mile away - plus dry skin makes you look older so the struggle is real y’all!

That said, as I promised many times on Instagram, I’m sharing a ton of moisturizers that I have tried over the past few months and the method that has finally cured my SUPER dry skin! I hope this helps some of y’all out if you’re going through the same thing.


THE PRODUCTS


1. Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion - recommended*

This stuff works! It’s the best drugstore facial moisturizer I’ve ever tried and it wears really well under makeup! This Cetaphil Lotion is super affordable and Frugal February friendly y’all!

I discovered this product last year right after I had the flu. My nose was so running and chaffed my upper lip and the area around my nose so bad that it was constantly red, dry and flaky. If you’ve been following for me a while, then you have definitely seen me rave about this moisturizer. I will literally let gobs of this stuff sink into my face at the beginning of winter, but luckily it works fast and really the key factor here is that it wears SO well under makeup and doesn’t run.

2. L'Oreal® Paris Hydra Genius Glowing Water Cream Normal/dry Skin

I tried this last year, but wasn’t a fan. A few celebs have raved about it, but it didn’t seem to absorb well on my skin and it actually irritated it and make my face all red. It felt super oily too and didn’t wear well under makeup so I wouldn’t recommend this one if you have dry, sensitive skin.

3. Equate Beauty Daily Facial Moisturizer

This is essentially Walmart’s “off-brand” version of the Cetaphil moisturizer - super cheap if you’re on a budget (or doing Frugal February).

This seemed to work okay for a few days, but then it really began to irritate my skin (my skin is super sensitive in the winter if you haven’t caught on to that already) so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with sensitive skin. It’s probably worth testing out if you have tougher skin that doesn’t get irritated easily because it does wears well under makeup!

4. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Moisturizer - recommended*

Okay, y’all I absolutely fell in LOVE with this moisturizer. It’s great for sensitive skin and it really does help with redness. I used up the entire jar pretty fast and will definitely be keeping in this my beauty bag.

It doesn’t wear well under makeup so I would recommend this as a night cream because it takes a while to absorb into your skin and is pretty thick. Seriously though, if you have sensitive, dry skin I would highly recommend adding this into your nightly routine! It’s a little more expensive, but the women at It Cosmetics know what they’re doing y’all - buy this moisturizer!

5. Clinique Dramatically Different™ Moisturizing Lotion+

I actually used this moisturizer back in high school and college so I gave it another shot since the bottle says it’s for SUPER DRY skin. I have mixed feelings about this moisturizer.

For starters, it smells really weird, which really threw me for a loop because every time I put it on my face I sort of felt more dirty. I just couldn’t get used to the smell - it’s not necessarily a bad smell, it’s just a very strange scent - not for me. However, this moisturizer does wear well under makeup and it was super light.

I still felt like my skin was too sensitive for it and that it actually brought out the redness, but I’m planning to give it another shot in the summer when my skin isn’t quite as sensitive.

6. Tarte Double Duty Beauty Base Tape Hydrating Primer - recommended*

Not to sound like broken record, but if you follow me on Instagram then you know I’m pretty obsessed with Tarte right now!

This stuff is amazing! I actually use the Double Duty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation on occasion too! The smell is great (v. important IMO), it’s super lightweight, absorbs into your skin quickly, excellent for sensitive skin and wears amazing under makeup! I use this on the daily and I’ve even included my routine in the details below!

7. Tarte Double Duty Beauty First Step Prep Moisture Reset Cream - recommended*

Super lightweight, smells amazing and highly recommended for your morning routine even if you have sensitive skin! I love this stuff and it’s become my go-to moisturizer in the mornings. It’s the first step in my skin routine each morning after I wash my face. I lather this stuff all over my face and neck.

It feels thick and dense in the jar, but I swear it’s ultra lightweight as soon as you spread it onto your face. It absorbs fast and it never irritates my skin. This stuff is GOLD you guys!

8. RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Anti-Aging Crème

I’m neutral about this creme. There’s actually nothing bad about it, but I prefer Tarte’s moisturizer since they are vegan and absorb quickly. This creme is a great nighttime moisturizer, it doesn’t really have a scent and it felt lightweight, plus is was definitely hydrating! If you’re brand loyal to RoC or just want to switch things up, then this moisturizer is definitely recommended!

It’s more affordable than Tarte and It Cosmetics, but you still get quality skincare from a well-known beauty brand if you want to raise the bar and upgrade from your drugstore moisturizer.

9. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Spf 50+ Full Coverage Anti-aging Moisturizer - recommended*

As much as I love Tarte, I have to admit this is one of the best “foundations” I’ve ever tried. It’s actually just a tinted moisturizer and I was honestly skeptical because it says it’s “full-coverage” and so many tinted moisturizers are more like a thin veil, but this really does replace foundation y’all!

Highly recommend if you have dry/sensitive skin, although be careful around irritated acne/broken skin because the bottle says don’t apply overtop. It will irritate acne more if you try to use over a (sorry for the TMI) freshly popped zit.

10. Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation

I mean, what can I say? I love Tarte! This foundation isn’t full-coverage, but it’s lightweight and almost like a moisturizer because it’s so hydrating. It can get streaky if you try to apply it before letting your moisturizer absorb so definitely only use when you’re skin is feeling super dry or your moisturizer has set in - otherwise it will run.


THE SOLUTION

MY DAILY SKIN ROUTINE

I’ve highlighted my recommend products above and even though I change it up a little bit each day depending on how my skin did through the night, here is my general morning routine - don’t forget to wash your face with a washcloth FIRST - the washcloth is key (a tip I learned from my friend Kali) because it will get all of the dirt/grime and prevent breakouts:

STEP ONE: Apply Tarte First Step Prep Moisturizer Reset Cream; let absorb

STEP TWO: Apply Tarte Hydrating Primer; let absorb

STEP THREE: Depending on how dry/hydrated my skin is when I wake up, I’ll apply the following:

  • If my skin is dry: I usually opt for the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll even skip the Tarte moisturizer in steps one/two and go straight for this usually because it’s super hydrating and sometimes the combination of all three leaves my makeup runny/streaky.

  • If my skin is hydrated: I’ll opt for Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation SPF 15! I love this full coverage foundation because it’s oil-free, vegan and really knocks it out of the park when it comes to foundation. It’s basically a giant blur tool in real life. However, be wary because this stuff is basically a clay foundation so it can be a little drying, which is why I only wear it when my skin is hydrated. I can’t wait to try it this summer when I have tougher, hydrated skin!

STEP FOUR: Sometimes I will apply a light power if my skin is very hydrated or I need some extra coverage. I love Tarte’s Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation. I also really, really love It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder - this is powder seriously amazing and offers FULL coverage - more than the Tarte one previously mentioned to be honest.

And that’s it! It’s rare that my skin gets super dry these days now that I’ve found products that work for me! I only wake up with super dry skin if I neglect it for a few days on accident. No more flaky, gross skin you all!!!

Other products to consider:
If you need more coverage, try Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Waterproof Concealer or Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Industrial Strength Concealer - I used this stuff for YEARS and honestly the only other concealer that comes close to comparison is the Tarte concealer linked above.


NEXT ON MY LIST TO TRY

All of that said, I still have ton of other products that I want to try out based on my experience with Tarte and ones that you all recommended! Here is the list of beauty products to come next - let me know if you have others you’d like me try out as well!

  1. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

  2. Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Setting Powder

  3. Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Matte Foundation

  4. It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream Moisturizing Super Cream

  5. Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20

  6. Tarte Clay Stick Foundation



If you enjoy this post, please let me know in the comments below! And follow along with us on social media using the links below :)

Disclaimer: A few of the links are affiliate links, which means that I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog!

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

I wanted to do this post in December and I feel like being too busy really isn’t a good excuse, but that’s all I got for right now as to why I didn’t post. I wanted to slow down and really enjoy what little time we had to spend with family and friends this year so all of Q4 was very light in terms of blog content. That said, I like to share with y’all a recap of my year and my resolutions, but it’s also something I do for myself so that I can look back and see how far I’ve come or what I should work on for the following year. I love self-reflecting!

Last year I did a nice, brief recap on 2017 - you can read that here - so below I’ve pulled out the resolutions I made and what I was able to accomplish:

2018 New Year’s Resolutions: 

Try out a vegan or vegetarian diet
Well, I didn’t quite get to this, but in December I did start back on my pescatarian diet - baby steps right? I definitely want to eat healthier and cut back on sugar in 2019.

Do Kayla’s BBG on Sweat every week
2018 started our strong, but I pretty much gave up on SWEAT and started running for the majority of the year, but Kayla’s new challenge starts in a few weeks so maybe I’ll pick this back up, but I’m not going to renew this as a resolution for 2019.

Budget properly
Finally, a resolution that I can say I was able to accomplish! I worked really hard at the end of 2017 to start the year off with no debt (with the exception of my car payment) so that I could build a healthy savings and I can honestly say that I am starting off 2019 with a larger savings account than I had when 2018 began! This would make for a great blog post of it’s own so stay tuned for that!

Be kind and patient
You can always improve yourself and while I was kind and more patient than I usually am, I still think I can always improve this year after year. I want to practice more patience in 2019 and I also want to practice listening more instead of talking. 

Volunteer at least once
I didn’t get to volunteer my time this year, but I did manage to connect with local businesses and help them to grow through my experience with social media and digital marketing!

Read 12 books
I definitely didn’t read 12 books, I think I only read 2 this year, but I’m going to reset this goal for 2019 and make my goal a little smaller. I used to read at least 2 books per month when I lived in NYC and was on the subway half the time. I need to pick this good habit back up and watch less TV!

Travel to Europe
Sadly, we didn’t make it to Europe and I honestly don’t think we will this year either because we already have a semi-full travel calendar, but someday I will make it and post all of the lovely photos!

Explore 20+ new cities  
Let’s see, we may have accomplished this one! I’m going to count with you now - here are all the cities we visited in 2018:

1. Richmond, VA
2. Annapolis, MD
3. Lexington, VA
4. Oxnard, CA
5. Santa Barbara, CA
6. Santa Monica, CA
7. Santa Clarita, CA
8. Venice, CA
9. Ventura, CA
10. The Catskills, NY
11. Manhattan, NY
12. Brooklyn, NY
13. Beverly Hills, CA
14. The Palisades, CA
15. San Diego, CA
16. Austin, TX
17. Fishkill, NY
18. New Paltz, NY
19. Paramus, NJ
20. Washingtonville, NY

So, technically, we hit this one, but a few of them aren’t new cities. At least I can look back on this list next year and see what new cities we make it to in 2019!

Be more creative
I feel accomplished in this one, but just like I was saying earlier, you can never stop improving and I want to continue to be more creative in 2019!

Run a half marathon
Nope, didn’t make this one, but maybe I’ll set a smaller goal to run a 10K in 2019!

And now, DRUMROLL PLEASE, here are my resolutions for 2019! We’ll look back next year on this post and see what we accomplish in December - or January 2020 if Q4 2019 is anything like it was this year!

2019 New Year’s Resolutions: 

Eat healthier, cut back on sugar

Run once a week

Build savings, pay off a portion of the car

Volunteer at least once

Read 10 books

Travel to Key West

Explore 10+ new cities  

Blog twice a month

Run a 10K

Since I love lists, I also wanted to keep track of the things I want to this year that aren’t necessarily resolutions, but more so things I want keep track of and not forget that I started out the year wanting to do. Here we go:


Travel to Charleston

Blog about beauty

Do more pilates

Help plan by BFF Jordan’s wedding

Pay off half my car payment (goes with my resolution above)

Obtain more clients for my business Talos & Theory for digital marketing and branding

Make my blog more profitable

Pay off my credit card

Journal 2-3x per week (I’ve been journaling since I was in elementary school!)

Build my resource section with spreadsheets and things that help me daily

Travel to Naples to see my BFF Anna

Take a vacation Key West

Travel to Austin for my friend Jesse’s 30th birthday in April

Visit Pippin Hill in Charlottesville

Go camping (or glamping)

Go snowboarding

Do more blog post collaborations

Thanks to all of you for a wonderful 2018 and here’s to an even better 2019! Your continued support throughout the past year has been massively appreciated and I’m inspired by y’all each day!




The Best Affordable Engagement Gifts

The Best Engagement Gifts vis Chaos With Coffee

‘Tis the season for engagements! This year, 3 of my best friends got engaged and 2 of them were within the past 2 months! That said, I’ve been scouring the internet for gifts for all of them and thought I’d put together a gift guide of my favorites that have been hits. Hope you enjoy these ideas!


Rose Gold Monogrammed Wine Stopper
I’ve purchased this one for several of my newly engaged friends! I always get one in the initial of their new last name and it’s a hit every time. Who doesn’t love a monogrammed wine stopper?

Wine Stopper via Chaos With Coffee

Engagement Wine Labels
Another simple, but effective idea is custom wine labels! These go perfect with the wine stopper and add a thoughtful tough when celebrating your friends.

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Ceramic Ring/Trinket Dish For Engagement Rings
These are perfect because you can really customize a ring dish to fit your friend’s personality. I purchase the cat one for my friend Morgan who loves cats and she absolutely loved it! I’ve linked others below.


Heart Monogram Ring Dish

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Velvet Monogrammed Ring Box
A little bit more expensive, but one of my favorite gifts! These velvet ring boxes are stunning and safe, stylish place to hold engagement rings and bands forever!

Velvet Ring Boxes vis Chaos With Coffee

Write here…


Easy, Affordable Master Closet Renovation

Easy & Affordable Master Closet Remodel via Chaos With Coffee
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You’ve probably heard me talk about our master closet for weeks now on Instagram, but WHAT AN UPGRADE! Funny story, we actually weren’t planning to redo our master closet but when they came to do the floors Chance went into major home renovation mode and the next thing I knew our closet was completely ripped out and we needed a solution FAST.

We lived without a closet for almost 3 months! I didn’t even start planning until almost month after Chance removed it, but I have to tell y’all this was definitely one of THE BEST spontaneous decisions we have ever made. PLUS, this CUSTOM CLOSET was designed completely by ME and it was affordable and SUPER EASY to install!

I designed the closet using the Home Depot Closet tool by Martha Stewart and it was WAY easier than I expected. All I had to do was measure the dimensions and input them into the system, then the closet tool spit out a recommendation and I was able to customize it by adding drawers, shoe racks, etc. I just want to call out that I did a lot of research before going with this option. Home Depot has more tools that allow you to build a closet, but this one was the easiest to use and the most affordable. I also explored having someone come in for a consultation, but even that seemed so daunting and I was afraid they’d come back with a price that was way over my budget. I liked this tool because you gives you transparency into how much it’s going to cost, although keep in mind it doesn’t include shipping and that was almost $500+.

The great part about this closet system is that it’s totally customizable so when it arrived and I started putting it together, I changed my mind on the configuration and shifted things around. You can adjust all of the shelves and racks at any given time and it’s super easy to do.

Hardest Part

The most difficult part was hanging the rack that holds the units to the wall. If I can do it anyone can do it. But I didn’t have a stud finder so I was using my hand to knock on the wall to find the studs, which resulted in more work. Having a leveler is KEY to this project - I basically had it resting on the rack the entire time I was installing it so if you chose this route, by all means invest in a leveler if you don’t have one. I’ll even link one for you right here it’s less than $7.

It was much easier than I expected!

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My Closet Inspiration

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My Custom Closet Design

Left Wall

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Back Wall

Right Wall

I ended up putting the shoe racks on the left and right walls instead of the back wall because it began to feel too clutter with so many clothes hanging right as you walk in. Another major reason I would recommend this unit! You might start putting it together and decide to change things once you see how everything fits. We have double racks on the left and right sides of the back wall now, which works much better.

Bringing My Design To Life

The first photo is from the listing when bought the house, I hated the closet so much that I never any other pics of it until we started ripping the carpet and shelves out. Scroll down for the rest of the before/after photos.

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Before & After

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I am super thrilled with how the closet turned out! As I mentioned, what I love most about this is that it’s completely customizable and I can move things around as needed whenever I want, which is extremely important if you change wardrobes often or switch things out by season. I ended up with extra shelves and racks as well so there’s so many options for adjusting as needed.

How To Paint A Metal Front Door

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When we moved in, one of the things I wanted to do was replace our door - not just because I don’t like it, but because it wasn’t even installed properly in the first place and always has to be deadbolted. I really wanted a entirely new door because ours is metal and I would love to have a wooden door, but after doing some research it was more expensive than I anticipated so I decided to focus on other projects and just save this for another day. That said, I started to consider painting it and was able to do enough research around painting a metal door that I felt pretty confident in doing so! My best friend Chrissy, who’s a realtor and has a contractor husband, gave me some tips and quickly convinced me in like 5 minutes to just pull the trigger and paint it, so VOILA! We now have a coral-colored front door and it was SOOOOO easy!

The most important piece is the prep, I used a kitchen degreaser to clean the whole door and then tapped up everything with painters tape before I started spray painting. I went with Krylon spray paint because it goes on really smooth and is a paint+primer for metal surfaces. The whole process probably took me less than 30 minutes, which is super exciting because this basically means I can change our front door as many times as I want if I ever get tired of the color.

So, don’t be afraid to paint that metal front door! I think the pop of color really makes our house and I’m so please with the result! Hope you enjoyed the quick tips! 

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5 Ways To Use Chalk Paint

Many of you have seen some of my chalk projects and asked questions about how to use, when to use it and more. I wanted to share some different ways you can use the paint as well as some of the ways I have used it in my own home. I hope this gives you all some inspiration to knock out any of the paint projects you've been dreading or holding out on.

I use Annie Sloan Chalk paint and Annie Sloan wax for my projects. You can usually find them at a local stockist, such as Thrill of the Hunt in Ashland, Virginia or Knot Too Shabby in Beacon, NY. Find your nearest stockist by searching the Annie Sloan site here, or if you don't have stockist near you, you can shop her products through my affiliate links below:

SHOP ANNIE SLOAN PRODUCTS

Buy Pure White Chalk Paint (use on kitchen cabinets below)

Buy Graphite Chalk Paint (used on stair railings below)

Buy Provence Chalk Paint (used on hutch below)

Clear Wax

Dark Wax

White Wax

Paint & Wax Brush

Alt. Brush Set of 3

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STAIR RAILINGS

Most of you probably saw that we had our floors redone, but usually, contractors leave out the railings because you're better off just replacing them since they are nearly impossible and too intricate to sand - so I opted to chalk paint ours! It was in perfectly fine shape but just needed to match the rest of the house. I got the idea from my mother-in-law, who has her stair railing painted black and it looks gorgeous! I went with Annie Sloan Graphite chalk paint and used black wax to get it nearly black.

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KITCHEN CABINETS

If you've been following my blog for a while, then you know I recently redid our kitchen cabinets using chalk paint. Before knocking out this big project, I did tons of research on latex paint vs. chalk paint and ultimately ended up going with the chalk paint because it takes WAY less prep, it's easy to work with, and it fills in the grooves of the oak without having to sand everything down. You can read more on how I redid the cabinets here and here.

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TRIM/FIREPLACE MANTEL

When we first moved into our house, the mantle and trim of the fireplace was a blonde colored wood - very 90's/early 2000's and we knew we had to change it since we were having the floors redone. First, I tried painting it white and several months later after having the floors refinished, I switched it up and went with black. That's how easy chalk paint is to use AND the brush makes getting in all of the grooves of the wood so easy.

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FURNITURE

Furniture is SO easy to refresh with chalk paint. You can see my tutorial on this upcycled hutch here where I completely transformed this piece with chalk paint and some new hardware. 

LAMPS

I actually first heard about chalk paint from my mom, who refinished furniture and designs light fixtures over at Suzanne Parr Home. She's the chalk paint pro and even came to New York to help me finish painting and clear wax the kitchen cabinets. She primarily uses chalk paint on metal for light fixtures! Another reason why chalk paint is so amazing - it's very versatile!

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10 Shows You Need To Watch Now

Top 10 Shows via Chaos With Coffee

We've been working on the kitchen remodel and refinishing the floors, which inspired us to remodel our master closet as well. I was up all night researching and designing plans for the closet that I hope to build someday. This morning I woke up and revisited my plans to start working on Chance's side and pricing out the lumber we'd need and while doing this I discovered a great Hulu Original decided to share my top 10 "must see" shows as of lately. Enjoy this list and get to watching! 

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1. The Sinner (Netflix & USA)

2. Castle Rock (Hulu, currently watching)

3. Pose (FX)

4. Mindhunter (Netflix)

5. Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

6. The People vs. O.J. Simpson (Netflix)

7. The Killing (Netflix, my all time fave!)

8. Bloodline (Netflix)

9. Rosedale (Netflix)

10. Slasher