coffee clicks,  design + style,  house reno

Coffee clicks + bathroom pics

Snappy, yes?

There’s a nesting bug infestation at our house right now, so at the end of this week’s list of must-reads from around the Catholic inter webs, I’ll regale you with a tale of two vanities. It was an endeavor of monumental proportions (mine) and really pleasing bang-for-buck, because our master bath and the kid’s bathroom look utterly transformed by about $50 in paint and supplies. My kids have become accustomed to mommy disappearing to the nether regions of the house to paint things for most of their short lives, so the only real advice I have to other aspiring DIY-ers out there with small children underfoot is “paint early, and paint often.”

Also, Netflix.

But first, our list. In honor of the upcoming observance of All Hallow’s Eve and the great Feast of All Saints, this week’s offerings are a tad diabolical in nature.


Italian exorcist: “There is a demon that targets the family.” Anyone who gives even a cursory glimpse to the headlines most days could confirm that suspicion, much as it’s out of fashion to attribute suffering in 2017 to the existence of evil. Still, a chilling and appropriate read this time of year. How do you talk to your children about the devil? About the existence of evil, and about the spiritual warfare we are involved in as baptized Christians?


This one hits close to home – literally. We live about 5 blocks between the two schools featured in this piece, and in fact I’m writing this from a Starbucks adjacent to Arapaho High School, where posters promoting “Offline October” adorn the community bulletin board. Archbishop Aquila touches on some really crucial points in the battle for our children’s hearts and minds, particularly in supporting burgeoning young adults learning to navigate a profoundly different world from the one even we oldest millennials came of age in. Take a quick moment to say a prayer for someone who is contemplating suicide today. You never know where those prayers could be directed.


I think this piece is always worth re-running this time of year. I had an interesting conversation on Facebook with a Latin American reader yesterday that got into some of the differences between the way Halloween is celebrated outside the United States. Obviously I’m writing from an American perspective, but what I’ve observed about the holiday over the years (and participated in with my own kids) bears little resemblance to anything dark or demonic. We don’t do witches or devil costumes. We don’t do chainsaw killers or Harry Potter or grotesque decorations. But I see little harm in dressing as a super hero or a princess (or heck, recycling that saint costume you’re going to be putting on again in the morning) and mingling with the neighbors for candy. Plus, there are some decidedly Catholic origins to the way we practice Halloween today.


Not everything that pops up around this time of year is harmless, however. Ever heard of the cult surrounding “Saint Death?” Drug lords, folk religion, and a pinch of superstition all wrapped up in one ugly package.

And now for some lighter fare. Actually, it’s still pretty dark. I went with a charcoal-ish navy blue to bring these sad, 70’s oak bathroom vanities into the light of the present day, and I think it turned out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself. And I’ve got the pixilated cell phone shots to prove it:


This is not my bathroom. Every time I got close enough to the scene of the crime (carpeted toilet-surround) I had to back away lest I vomit. I think we ripped the carpets out 5 hours after we closed, a week before we moved in.
Progress shot. The friendly gentleman at Home Depot recommended a thorough chemical stripping and sanding. I opted for a biodegradable cleaning solution and a baby wipe. Progress over perfection, that’s my motto.

Midway point:

This is always when I run out of steam and think, gosh, can I just skip the topcoat of polycryic and get on with my life? (Short answer? No. Not with 5 kids.)


And, voila, after:

Kids’ (didn’t my father in law do an amazing job on our tile? It was super cheap, too. Under $100 for both bathrooms, though I can’t promise that’s accounting for the toll on his knees and back.)

Nesting for me literally manifests as “oh my gosh, what should I paint today????” And meanwhile, barely cooking dinner. PB+J but a really nicely coming-together house, that’s my 3rd trimester MO.

(And guys, don’t worry, the paint was low VOC. Definitely safer than bleaching baseboards.)

Colors, for anyone who cares:
Mirror: Valspar chalky finish in Oxford White
Vanity: Behr premium plus in Night Sky

Happy weekend to you and yours!




  • Ellen

    I love the vanity! I want to paint my ancient kitchen cupboards but I’m nervous about the job holding up. Does the polycryllic seem to really finish well considering all the moisture?

    • Jenny Uebbing

      It has been great in the bathrooms so far, but I used in our kitchen to seal chalk paint and am not thrilled with the resulting finish. So, great over latex, but not over other paint mediums.

  • Emma

    “We don’t do chainsaw killers or Harry Potter or grotesque decorations.”

    There’s nothing wrong with Harry Potter; he’s as harmless as a princess costume. Yes, he’s a magician, but Hogwarts students don’t exactly summon the devil. They don’t sit around a circle at midnight, stark naked and smearing blood all over their bodies.

    Harry Potter is harmless fantasy. It’s also a good story.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      HP isn’t harmless, attractive to children though the stories may be. We have had enough conversations with priest friends (several of them exorcists) to decide that for our family, we’ll be leaving this series on the sidelines. There’s hardly a dearth of good children’s literature in the world, so I think the kids will be alright. Former HP superfan here myself, so not a decision I came to lightly (or willingly).

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