ORC Week 3 – Fresh White Walls

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can you believe it’s already the halfway point of the One Room Challenge?!?! The past few weeks have flown by and I’m definitely nervous about finishing in time. I need to kick it into overdrive for the next couple of weeks! Fortunately, we had a productive weekend and I actually have some noticeable progress to share today.

Our biggest accomplishment of the week was painting the garage walls. They didn’t seem that bad until we moved everything away from the walls and started painting them a brighter white. I picked Whisper White from the Home Decorators Collection by Behr and I’m really happy with the color. It looks so clean in there now!


The door and door trim are the original color and everything else is the fresh, new white.


You guys, painting a garage is no joke. It’s already getting hot in Phoenix and we don’t have any fans in there, so we were getting pretty sweaty by the end. Luckily it only needed one coat plus touchups!


In other news, I’ve started my paint project. I’m condensing all of the leftover paint cans into glass mason jars. It’ll save SO much space and keep the paint fresher. I’m writing the room on the top of each jar and I have a file on my phone and computer with the rest of the details (brand, paint name, sheen, formula). Although now I’m wondering if I should have written the paint name on the jars and listed the room in the file instead…


My goals for this week are to paint the door (and possibly add trim), plank the wall for the entry area, and change the beige switch and outlets to white ones. The pegboard was delivered yesterday, so hopefully we can get that hung too. I just need to buy the workbench and get it set up so I know where I need to hang the pegboard.

Don’t forget to check out the official participants (here) and the other guest participants (here)! There are so many fun room makeovers going on! I’m seriously so impressed by the progress that everyone is making on their spaces. Seriously, some people took on such huge projects and I’m seriously in awe of what they’ve accomplished in a just a few short weeks!



Exploring Petrified Forest National Park with Dogs

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A couple weeks ago Adam, Ringo, Abby and I took a weekend road trip to Northern Arizona. After work on Friday we drove up to Flagstaff. We enjoyed a beer at Dark Sky Brewing (dogs are allowed inside!) and stayed at an Airbnb for the night. The next day we headed east towards our main destination – Petrified Forest National Park. We picked Petrified Forest National Park because it’s one of the few national parks that allows dogs on all of the trails…and because we have an annual National Parks pass.


Oh wait! I have to mention another stop first! On our way from Flagstaff we stopped in Winslow, Arizona so we could get our picture standing on the corner (if you don’t get the reference, read this and listen to this). It was so windy there (and for the rest of our trip).



Anyway, it’s recommended that if you’re driving eastbound, take US 180 to the south entrance and drive north in the park. If you are headed west bound, exit on the I-40 and drive south in the park. You can pick up the highway/freeway on the other end so you don’t have to back track. We were coming from the west, so we started at the south entrance.



The Rainbow Forest Museum is the first stop in the park and the start of the Giant Logs and Long Logs trails. We walked the Giant Logs trail so that we could see Old Faithful – the largest log in the park (10 foot wide base). The trail is only a 0.4 mile loop and it’s paved, so it’s the perfect way to stretch your legs after the car ride.





From there we drove north to the Crystal Forest trail. The trail is a 0.75 mile loop through badlands landscape surrounded by colorful petrified logs. It was a really pretty walk and a great way to see some of the petrified wood up close.



The petrified wood comes from trees that were deposited over 200 million years ago. The petrified wood is now mostly quartz and is very hard – 7.8 on the hardness scale (diamonds are a 10). It’s also super heavy weighing in at 160-200 pounds per cubic foot.



Our next stop, and our favorite trail of the day, was Blue Mesa. At this point the landscape starts to change from Petrified Forest to Painted Desert. There’s still petrified logs on the trails, but the desert starts to become the focal point.



Blue Mesa is a 3.5 mile loop drive though some of the prettiest areas of the park (in my opinion). There’s also a 1 mile trail that you can take to explore further into the canyon. The trail in (and out) is steep, but the rest is fairly flat.



The colorful layers of the formations are so beautiful. The blue of the layer is made up of bentonite clay and the rest of the layers are silts, sandstone, mud, and gravel. The clay swells with moisture and shrinks as it dries creating the elephant skin appearance.




After making our way back up the trail and finishing the loop drive, we continued north to Kachina Point for one of the best views of the Painted Desert.



Our last stop was Tawa Point for one final view of the Painted Desert. You can take the Painted Desert Rim Trail between those two points, but it was getting late in the afternoon and Ringo was over it, so we just stopped for pictures at both spots instead.



From there we exited the park and hopped on the freeway to our hotel in nearby Holbrook. You guys, we didn’t stay in just any old hotel, we stayed in WIGWAMS!



There were seven Wigwam Villages built between the 1930s – 1950s and spanned from Florida to California. Only three of the villages are remaining today (Kentucky, Arizona, and California). The Wigwam Motel in Holbrook is located on Route 66 and is made up of 15 concrete wigwams. The wigwams are dated, but everything was clean. It’s definitely worth the experience of staying there one night. It’s also dog friendly too (although they charge a dog fee, I think it was $20).



There’s not much to do in that area, so I wouldn’t plan spending much time there. We got to the hotel around 4 and just hung out in the wigwam (except for a quick pizza run) for the night. The dogs were exhausted and we were fine with a relaxing night in. It was so funny watching Ringo try to stay awake! He couldn’t keep his eyes open and his head kept falling and startling him awake (I’m sure we’ve all done that in a class before). Abby was asleep and snoring the whole night.

The next morning we packed up and headed home. It was a fun weekend trip and so nice to get away for a couple days. We loved that could bring our dogs along on this trip…and the dogs loved all the new smells and getting to pee in so many new places.

A few tips for visiting this area:

  • Bring food to the Petrified Forest National Park – There’s a diner on the north end and snacks on the side side…and that’s it! 
  • Bring plenty of water – It’s a desert and there’s not a lot around. You don’t want to get stuck out there without any water.
  • Pick up after your dog – Bring poop bags and use them! Places will only stay dog friendly as long as people are responsible. Don’t ruin it for others!
  • Leave the Petrified Wood – You can buy pieces of petrified wood in the gift shops. Please leave the pieces on the trails and in the desert for everyone to enjoy.
  • Make reservations – If you want to stay in a wigwam, call to make reservations ahead of time. I’ve read that they book up a couple weeks in advance (although you might luck out). Also, you can’t make reservations online and the office is only open for a few hours in the late afternoon to make reservations over the phone.

Have you ever been to Petrified Forest National Park? What’s the last National Park you’ve visited? Our pass is good until the end of September so give me some ideas!



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ORC Week 2 – Cleaning the Garage

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It’s the second week of the One Room Challenge and I’m already starting to stress. We were out of town last weekend (and I didn’t start anything in advance) so the only time we’ve had to work on the garage has been after dinner the past few nights.


Our trash is picked up on Tuesdays, so we spent about an hour Monday night clearing out anything that needed to be trashed. We filled up the trash bin plus filled up my car with a load for Goodwill. We also moved all of the gardening items to the shed and moved all of the cement pavers to the backyard. That was my workout for the day! 


We spent more time cleaning on Tuesday night and finally started sorting through some of the boxes. My sinuses are seriously hating me right now. My allergies are already really bad this time of year, but going through all this dusty stuff is killing me. I can’t wait to be done with this!



It doesn’t look like we’ve made much progress and we aren’t as far along as I’d like to be at this point, but I’m happy that we’ve at least started. Cleaning out the garage after working all day is the last thing I want to do, but we are really pushing ourselves to make a little progress each day. We have dinner plans on Saturday, but nothing else other than that, so we’ll finally have time to make serious progress in the garage.


My goal is to finish cleaning out the garage, add trim/paint the door, and paint the walls by next week. I also want to get all of the old paint organized and condensed into new jars. That should free up a lot of space. 



In shopping news, I’ve decided on this wood bench from Home Depot and I’ve ordered this metal pegboard. The metal is more expensive than the typical pegboard, but it’s supposed to hold heavier items and last longer. It also comes with all of those accessories (plus free shipping), so I feel like it’s a good deal for what we need. We already down those shelves.




Other than that, I really don’t have anything else to share. This makeover is off to a slow start and it’s stressing me out. I’m just really thankful that Adam is completely on board for all of this. I definitely couldn’t do all of the projects I have planned by myself in six weeks. So yay for Adam! Anyway, if you’re looking for rooms with more progress than mine, check out the official participants here and the other guest participants here.




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