DIY: Porch Makeover

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When we bought our house I loved that it had a double decker “party” porch.

When we moved in it had green turf carpet, the screens were covered in plastic and the wood paneling was starting to warp. We immediately ripped up the green carpet and removed the plastic from the screens in our initial house demo. This got us through a few years. This year, the wood paneling started to fall off,  get moldy and just fall apart. Not to mention our demon dog [Darth] tried to chew his way through the house. It was time for a face lift. 

If you have a porch and it’s starting to look a little dingy or dated, follow these easy steps to give it a brand new look that’s easier on the budget than an entire new porch!  Continue reading

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How To: Chalkboard Art Tutorial

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Chalk art makes my heart happy.

This week has been crazy, and it’s only Wednesday. Sure a glass of wine [or 3] at night can help to de-stress after a long day, but sometimes I like to start the day off relaxed by letting my creative juices flow. A little chalk dust and a few cups of coffee later and I was ready to start my day.

I’ve posted previously how to make your own chalkboard wall, but I figured I’d do a quick tutorial on how I actually create my chalkboard art for the average person. [let’s be real – no one has time or sanity for that elaborate fancy shit] I’ve seen people print out their designs and cover the back of the paper lightly with chalk dust then trace over it, I prefer to do mine all by hand. I find it therapeutic to see what you picture in your head come to life.
Continue reading

DIY: Hand-painted Wall Pallet Art

We’re doing something a little different this post – a guest post!

13055297_10209548199326906_6413409663848052651_n.jpgMy sister and her fiance are moving so that he can attend dental school. [excuse me while I go cry] She’s been busy buying and crafting away to fill their new apartment. We come from a family of crafty ladies.

She recently made this amazing hand-painted, antler silhouette, wall pallet art to hang above their bed. Check out how she did it below!

Take it away, Kaitlyn!


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When decorating, you typically have an idea in your head of what you want the space to look like. It’s frustrating when you can’t find the perfect piece of art or furniture to make that vision a reality. In this case, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make it myself! Here’s how you can too – and you can customize it with any silhouette of your choosing – you could do your initials, last name, child’s silhouette – the options are endless!

The piece I was pulling inspiration from was about $300 at Pier One, this one cost us about $75 total.

  1. Map out about how big you want your finished art to be so that you know how many boards to buy. I ended up purchasing 4 of these boards from Michael’s that have 5 planks each. They come in all different sizes.
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  2. To save money – gather up any extra or left over paints / stains you have lying around and use those. Or determine your color palate and go buy paints / stains.
  3. Using those colors map out your design so that you don’t end up with the same colors next to each other, etc. I also included the painting technique I wanted to use and how big each section would be.
  4. Choose a color to start with and paint all the sections of that color at one time. It’s easiest if you tape off the boards and sections you’re painting with painters tape to keep the lines crisp and clean. Use different brushes, sponges and painting techniques to give the art character and texture! Also, purchase some fun stain colors to stain your boards a darker color to give the illusion of different types of wood. We also taped the boards off into two sections at all different levels to give the appearance that some boards were split into 2. This really gives it the pallet / hardwood feel.

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  5. Arrange your sections into the order to create your desired pattern. Attach the brackets to the back to connect them all together creating one piece. Using a 4 hole bracket and 4 screws, place 2 screws in each board section to connect the two. Continue until all are connected.

     

  6. Measure the boards to determine what size stencil you need. Find a picture of the silhouette you are wanting and download it onto a flash drive. Bring it to Office Max and tell them what size you need the image. They will be able to print the large image for you, that will become your stencil. Ours cost only $7.00.
  7. Cut the inside [black portion] out to reveal your homemade stencil. Place this on your board and paint the inside to reveal your silhouette. Do this step very carefully and use little paint so that your paint doesn’t bleed under your stencil.
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    You now have your completed artwork that you can proudly display because it’s one of a kind and you did it yourself.

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Happy 4th!

Wishing you & your loved ones a very Happy Independence Day!

What are your plans / traditions on the Fourth of July? We typically have a family cookout, sometimes go out on the boat and always walk down the to the beach to watch the fireworks over the ocean. No matter what your day includes – I hope its filled with fun festivities and love!

Our chalkboard is now sporting festive art to celebrate as well!

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Would you like me to do a tutorial on how I do my chalkboard art?

DIY: Bride Binder

Being a bride is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times of your life. You have a million things to decide, a million other to keep track of and a never ending to do list – all while maintaining everyday life! If you’re lucky like I was, you have a super supportive family and amazing coordinator [shout out to Jill at Sunkissed Events] to help you through it.

Shortly after I got engaged, my sister made and gifted me a Bride Binder. It was full of checklists, worksheets, information, etc. I’m not sure if she knew at the time but it ended up being one of the best tools I had while on my bride-to-be journey. It gave me a place to organize all my brochures, contracts, notes, torn out magazine pages, etc. [better than tagging everything “wedding” in my email] Now that she’s engaged, I’ve made some updates to it and gifted it back to her to carry along her bride-to-be journey.

Have a bride-to-be in your life you want to help stay organized? Here’s how to create the perfect Bride Binder – downloadable worksheets and checklists included!

Find a 3 inch+ fun binder, something she’d be happy to carry around and keep her excited for her upcoming wedding! You could even find a fun decal like my sister did to affix to the front. The word bride, her wedding date, new last name – get creative!

Inside mine I added a few items I found helpful and I knew she would too. A fun zipper pouch to hold all the things, a 3 hole punch – those contracts don’t come pre-punched, fun pens, post-it tags to mark all those finds in bridal magazines and a small notebook to keep in her purse to jot down any questions, ideas or notes as she thinks of them.

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When my sister gave it to me she had it all divided out into sections to keep everything super organized. Pick up some binder dividers and pre-fill them out for her. Ours included the following sections:

  • Budget
  • Venue
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Wedding Party
  • Guest List
  • Flowers
  • Dress / Tux
  • Invitations /
    Save-the-Dates
  • Cake / Food
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Registry
  • Rehearsal
  • Contacts
  • Honeymoon
  • Misc

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Lastly, include some worksheets and checklists to help her stay on top of things and organized. I’ve created blank versions here for downloading.

I also kept in some of my contracts, brochures, collected save-the-dates, etc. for her to look back on or compare to.

What are some things you found helpful on your bride-to-be journey? 

DIY Bathroom: Updating the 80’s to 10’s

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Our house was built in the 80’s and I don’t think our hall bathroom had been updated since then either. Every time I walked past it and saw the faux marbled sink, orangy wood vanity, pink rose linoleum with pink walls to match, I would shudder. When we first bought our house we updated almost every room except this bathroom. Money was tight from all the other updates so instead of a full overhaul, it was time to give it a face lift.

Here are some before pictures so you can relive the 80’s style in all its glory.

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The first step was to take everything out! Since the vanity was in good condition I knew we could re-purpose it. We carefully removed the sink top and then the vanity. Next was the mirror, light and toilet. The wall cabinet was attached to the wall really well so we left it to just paint around. The tub/shower was in good condition and since this was just a facelift – it was saved from my sledgehammer. We then primed the vanity, wall cabinet and baseboards and painted the walls a lovely shade of tan. [we weren’t thinking of needing to see when we originally removed the light -ha!]

 

Now to tackle those hideous dated floors. We decided on a large tan/grey and white glossy porcelain tile. We first installed the tile cement board and nailed down all the creaks. Then it was placing and cutting the tiles and adhering them to the floor. After many years of watching and helping my mom remodel her house and do tile – I had a general idea of how to. Just apply a generous amount of tile adhesive to the floor and mark ridges using the trowel. Do the same to the back of your tile and stick them together! Using spacers to allow room for grout and a level and more adhesive to keep things even. Once all your tile is in and set a day or two – apply your grout using a float and then a large sponge and water to wipe away the excess. Boom – beautiful tile.

Note – Keep a damp cloth over the hole for the toilet – this well help trap the odors a bit! 

We then painted the vanity and cabinet a light Robin’s Egg Blue and reinstalled the vanity. We topped it with a pure white sink and new brushed silver faucet and hardware. We installed a new light fixture, white toilet, towel rod and other accessories. Our mirror isn’t pictured because it took us a while to find the right one… but I finally found a white framed mirror at TJMaxx.

Here is our updated 2010’s hall bathroom. We were able to complete the entire revamp for less than $500 and in about 4 days!

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May the 4th be with you

May 4th was always just another day, until I met this amazing man…

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Now May 4th is known as “Star Wars Day”.

Before meeting Leep I had never seen a single minute of a Star Wars movie. [gasp] Now, I’ve seen all 7 [there’s currently 7, right?] and Star Wars has become a part of my everyday life. I’ve made Star Wars cakes, hosted Star Wars birthday parties, dressed in Star Wars clothes and even had a glimpse of it at our wedding.

So in honor of today, and my amazing husband Leep, here’s a photoblog of some of our best Star Wars moments.

May the 4th be with you.

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R2D2 cake – homemade


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Storm Trooper Cupcakes


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Lightsaber Wedding Entrance


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Lightsaber Wedding Entrance


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Lightsaber Wedding Exit


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Lightsaber Wedding Exit


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Star Wars themed Christmas ugly sweaters


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Star Wars themed Christmas ugly sweaters


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Storm Trooper onesie


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Leep’s Star Wars birthday


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Leep’s Star Wars birthday


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Leep’s Star Wars birthday