Front Porch Entry Transformation

One of the first things you see when you look at home is the front porch or front door entry area. From the street, it looked like it was falling apart because of the wear patterns and peeling paint. All it took was some DIY to make the front porch entry transformation a reality.

Front porch before
Front Porch Before
Prep Work is Key

In order to get it back to decent shape, I took a scraper and tediously scraped all the loose and bubbling paint from it. Then, I used a pressure washer to clean it thoroughly. A helpful hint I can give you from my years of do-it-yourself home improvement is to never skip the prep phase of a project. This is often the most important and will greatly affect the finished look in ways you can’t imagine.

Entry before
Entry Before

After the prep work, I checked the weather conditions and made sure that it wasn’t supposed to rain for at least the next 48 hours and that the temperatures were going to be good and warm. The paint I chose was the Glidden Porch and Floor Paint in a Dark Gray that I purchased from Walmart. I used a roller to roll on the paint as that made quicker work than if I’d just brushed it on. I used a brush in smaller areas as well as to
cut in the areas around the siding and door.

Glidden porch paint
Glidden Porch Paint
A Lovely Entry

There’s still a texture to the porch though it looks great from the street and for visitors. I’m totally okay with that. This video was taken today and the front porch entry transformation was actually complete about 3 years ago. The dirty spots are from a rain from earlier but will sweep right off as soon as it’s good and dry. It’s holding up nicely! You can use this product and method with confidence as long as you prep the surface well.

Front Porch After
Front Porch after

If there’s something at your home or property that needs some attention, don’t be afraid to research to see how you can fix it yourself. If it seems too difficult, leave it to the pros but I’m betting you find a few things you can improve all on your own. Have fun!

Walmart Links for Products Used

These are Walmart links for each item and all products are made in the USA. These are affiliate links for this project:
Scraper: https://bit.ly/35St5F8
Glidden Porch & Floor Paint: https://bit.ly/35UpGFL
Pressure Washer: https://bit.ly/3fPbC5h
Paint Roller Kit: https://bit.ly/3bsithe

Live Video Footage

Here’s the video version if you’d like to see live footage of the before and after. Since I did this by myself, there’s no “during” footage.

Please keep an eye on The Cozy Loft website for more of my DIY projects. 🙂 See you all again very soon.

xoxo Rhonda

Giveaway Winner + Fun Week

winner-1548239_960_720

The giveaway for the 3 hand painted ornaments I mentioned wrapped up last night with the winner being Regina Pruett. Congratulations Regina!

This week was fair week here in town and I have to say, I really painted the town so to speak with it this year. I went a total of 3 nights and stayed almost until it closed down last night. With so much fair food, I’m quite sure I won’t come down from this sugar high for a week or so. And, yes, there is an unopened bag of cotton candy on my kitchen counter but I’m sharing that with my family…I promise.

IMG_1681

For several years, I didn’t go to the fair at all. I lived in another town and didn’t come back here for it even though it really wasn’t that far away. When I moved back here to my hometown and started going again, I’d forgotten how much fun it was! Since I’ve been back, I’ve not ridden anything but if someone were willing to ride with me, I would just have to do it. Let’s just say there wouldn’t be a need of any arm twisting.

A couple nights, I went with two of my cousins and we had SO much fun. We laughed until we almost cried so many times. It’s always refreshing to be around happy, positive people. Something tells me there will be more fun adventures in our future…and I can hardly wait.

IMG_E1610-001

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Much love!

xoxo, Rhonda

Pretty Little Topiary + County Fair

If you know me, you know I can’t go too long without painting a Shabby/Cottage Chic painting. While on Pinterest, I was searching for something else and came across a picture of a topiary in a vase which inspired me to paint this:

IMG_E1030

Many of my friends and family encouraged me to enter it in the county fair this week. It’s a good think I listened – it received a 2nd place award! It’s still on display at the fair but I’ll have it back after Sunday and it will be available for purchase.

IXRI7854-001

 

Each time I paint a Shabby Chic inspired piece, I fall in love with it all over again. I’d say it’s a safe bet to think that you’ll see similar pieces very soon. 🙂

xoxo

Rhonda

Giveaway Information & Official Rules

Hello!

It’s been a while since I’ve hosted a giveaway and since I’ve decided I’d like to try it on Instagram, I’ll be conducting the contest there. Between now and the end of the year, there will be a giveaway each month, so be sure to follow me at: www.instagram.com/thecozyloftofficial so you’ll see the contests.

This is what will be given away:

IMG_1562

Three fan art creations – Mickey, Minnie and Mickey & Minnie together. You can keep them all for yourself or gift them. Each of them can be personalized on the back, too!

Here are the official rules:

No purchase is necessary and a purchase does not enhance your chance of winning. This giveaway is being hosted by Rhonda James, Artist of The Cozy Loft. Winning artwork does not transfer rights. Contest void where prohibited. 

Contest begins September 8, 2018 at 8:00 pm CST and ends on September 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm CST. After all entries are compiled on a spreadsheet and assigned a number, the random number generator will be used to determine a winner. Winner will be announced on September 15, 2018 at 8:10 pm CST. 

To be eligible, you must be a follower of www.instagram.com/thecozyloftofficial, liked and/or shared the prize photo and have commented on any post during the contest times and dates as mentioned above. One entry per person per day. This contest is open worldwide to all ages 3 and up. It is your responsibility to determine if glass ornaments from Tennessee, USA are permitted in your location. If the winner is disqualified, another winner will be selected. 

September’s prize to be given away: 3 glass fan art ornaments, hand painted. One of Mickey & Minnie together and one each of Mickey and Minnie for a total of 3 ornaments. 

By your entry in this contest, you are giving your consent to The Cozy Loft to use your name/user name in the same manner of which you entered the contest as well as the general country and/or state in which you reside. Otherwise, all information is kept in confidence.

Odds of winning depend upon number of entries. One winner will be chosen for the September giveaway. Once the winner is determined, it will be announced on www.instagram.com/thecozyloftofficial and you have 24 hours to contact The Cozy Loft with your name and complete address (including country). 

Good luck and thank you for entering! Please be sure to check back often. There will be more giveaways to come between now and the end of the year. 

Warm wishes from The Cozy Loft! 

Run Away to a Cozy Reading Nook

 

Stress. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t have stress on some level at some point. To find a stolen, quiet moment here and there seems like such a faraway dream. While most of us can’t just drop out of life and run away to a relaxing vacation as often as we like, we actually can do a few things in our homes to plan an escape of our own.

book-3101151_640

Reading is highly recommended for our mental health. According to a 2009 study at the University of Sussex, it can reduce stress by 68%! Fascinating, isn’t it? Consider it brain cardio and brain strengthening. It’s important. So, if we create a cozy little place in the corner of a relaxing room, we can escape there with a good book…completely guilt free. After all, we have to take care of ourselves first and that’s an excellent way to start.

 

Reading nooks can be elaborate or simple, depending upon your space and your vision. Any office or living room immediately comes to mind as generally those are areas with chairs and lighting present. There are many options, though. If you have a porch or 4 seasons room, perhaps it’s there. Perhaps you have other family members who might crowd your space, a nice corner in the bedroom might be the ticket. And, yes, a rock outdoors can totally work, too.

 

blond-1866951_640

For the most comfortable space, we’ll need to start with good seating such as a chaise, chair or even a good spot on the floor. A nice large basket nearby is an excellent decorating choice. It can hold a blanket for keeping a chill off, a couple of pillows for comfort, some reading glasses if needed and, of course, books. It will keep everything inviting, as well as organized and stylish.

still-life-1037378_640

Recently, I set up an escape in my living room that consists of a chair and a large basket holding a fluffy throw and fuzzy pillow. I can tuck the books and my reading glasses down into the basket or I can leave them on top of the chair – either way is a beautiful display and also a conversation piece when guests are visiting. Books and reading are fascinating to discuss…especially really realllllly good books.

IMG_1860-001

Of course, it’s enjoyable to read in different places and even to read outside our homes in coffee shops, libraries, even in our cars. There’s nothing like being comfy cozy in our own homes…in a place created just for us.

xoxo
Rhonda

Country Farmhouse Decor

How much are you loving the Farmhouse Decor style that’s so popular right now? Everywhere I turn, I am inspired by this decorating trend. It’s clean, yet stylish and personable. There’s no doubt that we owe this to Chip & Joanna Gaines and Fixer Upper/Magnolia Market. The design style is perfection…at least to many of us.

Being inspired by something – I mean genuinely inspired by something – is such a blessing! I’m talking about the truly inspired, down deep in your soul, moving kind of thing. Recently, a friend suggested I join a DIY farmhouse inspired group and since then, all sorts of new ideas and plans have filled my head and my notebooks!

If asked, I would sum up the idea of the Farmhouse Style with the warmth of wooden signs that speak of family, practical pieces that have function and a cozy aspect that makes a house into a home. Did I miss something?

Here’s a brand new item coming from The Cozy Loft I’ll have available very soon:

 

IMG_1876

This is a standard size mason jar with a silver lid and I’ve hand painted a goat on there along with some black dots for contrast around the piece. This would be beautiful for kitchen storage and decor or would also be perfect on a desk, vanity or really anywhere your imagination can place it.

I love that I can offer so many things to make others happy. It’s what drives me and what pushes my creativity. Just wait til you see the other new goods I’m working on.

xoxo,
Rhonda

Resolutions – New Year 2018

Picasa-2B3-2B172018-2B45747-2BPM

Hello Lovelies! Happy New Year! I hope this year is off to a wonderful beginning for you and that you are doing well on your resolutions if you decided to make any.

As for me, I made several and I’ll share a few with you.  My main one is to get closer to God. I plan to study my Bible more and listen to more sermons as I’m going about my daily work. This past year, I continued writing daily in a prayer journal and added a short daily devotional to that. So, this year, I’m adding in listening to a sermon per day of some sort. If you have recommendations for any audio books that would be a blessing, please feel free to share. I would love that!

Another resolution I made is to try new things. This one can mean anything so it can’t be planned as the other one can. I don’t want there to be structure because I want it to be spontaneous and exciting. Just like writing this post…I just suddenly decided to do it. No structure, no plan, no real topic in mind. Then, I decided since I’m still within the first week of the year, perhaps I can add a goal of at least one post per week. That should be fun, too!

I’m still in the planning stages and in prayer for exactly what this website will become. Other than knowing I needed to grab it when it finally came available (I’ve waited patiently for it for years!) and other than getting the graphics design for it, I’m waiting for direction.

In the meantime, just know that I wish you all my best for this year. I’m excited to be on this journey with you.

Lots of love!
Rhonda

Schwarzkopf Hair Color Review

I know I don’t typically do reviews here but I thought this might be something to share because I know plenty of men and women who color their hair. A couple of weeks ago, I joined Ibotta and had seen a $2.00 rebate on Schwarzkopf Hair Color.

Since I’d seen this at Walmart the last time I purchased hair color there, I had been interested in trying it. While I’m not unhappy with other brands I’ve tried, I am always willing to try new ones. The Schwarzkopf brand at $9.97 was something I wanted a coupon on to try it out, so when I saw the Ibotta rebate, I jumped on it. Specifically, I purchased the “Color Ultime” 3.1 in Espresso Black. Having naturally black hair since birth, I always want a natural black color with no blue tones.

Truly, I apologize for this photo. I’d not originally intended to do a review but after it was all said and done, I felt it was necessary. This box was in my trash and I’d thrown the plastic gloves on top of them after I’d rinsed them off so that’s why the box is wet:

IMG_7277

All instructions were followed except for the allergy test. The directions always seem to be contradictory on hair coloring. I mean do I do the allergy test like they say or do I apply it immediately after mixing as it also says? Alas, I never do the allergy test and that’s just being honest about it as anyone who knows me knows I’m not going to say I do when I don’t.

The smell is not off-putting at all while coloring. It’s light and not chemical smelling as many hair colors are. Since my hair is black with significant grays (I started getting gray hair at age 18), all hair colors I typically use say to leave it on the max time so I did this one no less. I left it 25 minutes on the roots and then 10 minutes all over. I did use all the mixture. For the temple/ear/forehead areas, I put extra on my gloved finger and targeted those areas with extra color mixture to be sure it was covered as I always do.

A little about my hair: it’s thick, naturally wavy and about 4 inches below my shoulders. I use a blow dryer approximately three times per year. I use a flat iron or curling iron approximately two times per year. I don’t use styling products of any sort more than twice a year. I wash it approximately twice per week and condition it each time. Typically, I switch up shampoo and conditioner brands each month. Any beautician who has ever cut or colored it has commented on how healthy my hair is. My normal routine is wash it, pat it dry with a towel as much as possible, use a non-damaging hair tie to pile it up on my head and let it dry on its own. Because it’s thick, I usually remove the hair tie a couple hours before bedtime to make sure any dampness is gone.

After the total 35 minutes coloring time, I ran the warm water and created the emulsion and washed it as if it was shampoo. The more the color was coming out, the dryer my hair felt. It truly felt brittle

 

Red White & Black

Have you noticed how drab the house looks when all the Christmas decorations come down? It’s sad to me to see all the pretty red and green things long gone. While my decor has some color to it and isn’t drab, I think it’s those pops of color that really keep the winter season from becoming drab.

For this very reason, I’ve expanded my Valentine’s Day decor to add some beautiful red and white…and even a little black…to my home. I created a Valentine’s Day initial flag a few years ago and am always so excited to pull it out. They are available in my etsy shop here  if this is something you might like to add to your holiday decorations.

img_0434

Then, I made a wreath for the carport door using white mesh, different ribbons, pipe cleaners and a heart wire wreath form.

img_2712

These things make me so happy and I think the touch of black is unexpected yet it adds some unexpected boldness to the pieces. What do you think? Let me know if you try it out! 🙂

Jetted to Soaker Tub Conversion

One of the big struggles I had with my house was the non-working jetted tub in my bathroom that I inherited when I purchased my new house. In the first photo, the “before” photo was the picture I took the day I looked at the house. This began my research for a jetted tub to soaker tub conversion.

Jetted Tub Before
Original photo when I bought my house

The Unpleasant Discovery

For many reasons, it is important to me to work with the tub as it is if at all possible. Is there a way to convert a jetted tub to a soaker tub? I love the large tub but not the jets and the uncleanliness of them. I had stopped using the tub when I noticed unpleasant odors a few hours after each use. Originally, I thought it was the drain but upon researching I learned how water goes into those jets and stays stagnant. Each time I used the tub, old water was coming back in there. Ewwww, I just shudder at the thoughts! Not to mention I’d occasionally find a small piece of black trash in the tub which I’d chalked down to that it must have come from the old water pipes.

Figuring out which way to go with this was not an easy decision, and in my typical over-analyzing fashion, I researched every option. The option that was ideal (jet covers) just is not available. After countless hours and numerous days of researching, I found this question by a patron of the houzz.com website. Going through the 78 comments, there were a couple of solutions but the easy one seems to be the door shield project.

The Supplies

I foundd 5 Door Knob and Wall Shields (3 1/4 inches) from Home Depot. Then I purchased 1 Marine Goop Sealant tube from Walmart and I was ready to do this.

Supplies
Door shields and Marine Goop

It seemed crazy to put the door shields inside a tub but when I purchased them and took them out of the package, the hard plastic was convincing. “What do I have to lose??”

The Process Begins

My tub has 4 jets and then the intake.  I remove all foam backing tape from all 5 shields so that they are flat and clean surfaces. Next, I clean the tub and all jets and allow them to completely dry. I take the Goop and apply it liberally to four of the shields.  (Please be sure to ventilate as much as possible and/or wear a mask as the Goop is quite strong.) Then I adhere each shield to a jet. I use masking tape in an “X” formation over each jet to be sure it doesn’t slide or move around while drying.

Adhesive Process
The adhesive is in the process of curing

(Please note, the “before” picture was one I took the day I purchased my house. The cabinetry and the faucet and hardware were converted from the old brass/gold to brushed nickel so it may appear slightly different in some of the older vs. newer photos.)

The Trickiest Part

For the intake, this is a bit tricky. The size is too large so I use a Dremel to cut the excess off and then sand the edges. It does not have to be perfectly cut, just as long as it fits under the intake cap and is large enough to cover the opening.

Intake Cap
Process of trimming down the intake cap

So now I cut the notches out for the screw holes on the intake, using the Dremel. I took a little off at a time until it fit in the opening snugly.

Intake Cap with Notches
The trimming of the cap is complete

Then, it fit perfectly over the opening. (Please note, this is clean, but that’s some sort of adhesive on it. It was bleached multiple times.)

Intake Cap Fitted
This was bleached multiple times and is just discolored.

Next, I purchase some Kwik Seal Ultra Premium Siliconized Sealant for Kitchen Bath and Plumbing applications at Walmart. See my post here how I learned the hard way about getting good caulk.

Dap Kwik Seal Ultra
Don’t skimp on caulk…ever. Get the good stuff.

Because the recommendation was to allow the Marine Goop to dry for 72 hours, I went on to the next project, the intake cover.

Intake Cover
Lots of holes to fill in the intake cover

Since the cover is full of holes, I decide to cover the holes with silicone sealant. First, I take the cover and squeeze sealant into each hole. Then I use my finger to make sure each one is full of the silicone and smooth. I make sure not to get any sealant in the holes where the screws go. I let this dry 24 hours and then I turn it over and do the outside the same way.

Finishing It Up

After 72 hours go by, I caulk around each door shield, as well as around the notches I cut for the screw holes of the intake cap. After 24 hours for that to completely dry, I screw on the intake cap and caulk around that.

Jetted Tub Intake Cover Finished
The intake cover is caulked and reattached

And the Result Is…

I’ve been using this tub for over a month with not one single issue noted. Not one whiff of an odor or one spec of any trash anywhere in the tub. SUCCESS!!! (You’ll notice I replaced all the hardware to brushed nickel in the after photos, but I promise it’s the same tub.)

Soaker Tub
The conversion is complete from jetted to soaker tub!

Door shields are around $1.69 each, Goop is around $9.52 and the silicone is around $6.32. Total cost for converting my non-working whirlpool jetted tub to a soaker tub totals out to $24.29 (not including tax). Here are the links where you can find each one:

The Video Footage

Final Thoughts

Sometimes you have to be bold and make a decision to try something you are unsure of trying. This one works, so I wanted to share it in more detail. I’m so grateful to jasond7123 on the Houzz website for pointing me in the right direction. Hopefully, this blog post serves you well with your jetted to soaker tub conversion!