A Special Rocking Chair

I really try to live by a motto of making the most with what you have.  I don’t always stick to it, but I really try. I don’t like to be wasteful.

It’s fun and challenging to take something old and reinvent it and give it new life. Take this rocking chair for instance.


Andy’s rocking chair.  Yes, you read that correctly.  This is Andy’s pink rocking chair😉

Here’s the low down. Andy’s mom bought this chair along with another one at an antique shop many years ago.  Andy sat in this one and he liked it. He asked his mom if he could have it.  She said yes.  And that is why we have this old rocking chair.

Now, I’m not against using the rocking chair somewhere in the house, but I’m not crazy about the pink and I have had a difficult time deciding where it should go.  It’s been sitting in our bedroom for a while, just taunting me with the ugly, old pink fabric.

Well, one day I remembered I had some drop clothes from another project that didn’t turn out quite how I wanted it to.  (I attempted to make my own roman shades with cheap mini blinds that came along with the house.  I’ll spare you the details of how that turned out:  cringe :/) The chair sat for a few days with the drop cloths just laying over it, while I tried to convince myself to take the plunge to take the fabric off the chair and actually make a new covering. I have a hard time committing to completely altering a piece of furniture that has sentimental value, so the chair just continued to sit there.

But today was a new day! And I was feeling motivated! I said to myself, “Hey! You don’t actually have to commit to completely taking the chair apart just yet.  Go grab some scissors and safety pins out of the bathroom and let’s make a temporary cover.” So off I went to get scissors and pins, and thirty minutes later, this happened…IMG_1826

Now before you get to judging me too hard, I do see the wrinkles and don’t intend on leaving it this way forever.  BUT, it surely will do for now! What a difference it makes!  I added a coral throw and sea foam pillow (both from Target) that I had on hand, added a little table from another room (it was my grandmother’s back in the day), and added a lamp from my storage room, and wallah!! A cute little nook!IMG_1824

This project cost me $0!!  Everything I used, I already had.  It’s not perfect, but remember, it doesn’t have to be!  Be creative and make use of the things you have! You will be glad you did!

Aaaand…I hope to share the master bedroom makeover pictures with you soon!  It’s all coming together!

Until then, see if you can dig deep into your creative side and bring life to something you’ve been wanting to revive!


It’s been a while…

It’s been a very long while!  I do realize that it’s been 5 months since my last blog post.  Here are my excuses:

1. When Christmas ends, and wintertime sets in, I lose all motivation. The cold weather and early darkness make me SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

2. We did so much work from May to October that I honestly just didn’t want to work on any big projects for a while. FYI, it is very overwhelming to live in a house that you are trying to completely remodel!

3. Several projects couldn’t be completed until we decided on flooring, and we are JUST now deciding on what we want! There are just way too many choices out there.

4. Once nice weather finally arrives, I want to be outside as much as possible.

So today I don’t have any major updates, but I DO have a few little things we’ve been doing over the last 5 months.

First, we have decided on flooring for the den, hallways, and kitchen! We went back and forth between whether we wanted to lay unfinished hardwoods and sand and stain them ourselves, or just go with pre finished. Of course, there are pros and cons to both, so we had to weigh out what would be best for us.

  • We both love the look of wood that has been sanded and stained on site.  It just has a smoother more natural looking appearance. And you don’t have all the seams that you get with pre finished.
  • However, there is way more mess and time involved with laying unfinished wood.  After all the sheet rock work we had done (which I’m STILL cleaning up dust from that), I’m just not sure that I am ready for all that mess again. Plus, all furniture would have to be moved out and WE would probably have to move out for a couple weeks, if not longer, while the floors are being finished.
  • With all that being said, pre finished flooring can pretty much be laid in a weekend, if we are feeling extra motivated🙂 So pre finished flooring it is! And the prices are pretty comparable for pre finished vs. finished on site.

We still wrestled with the decision for a long time, because we definitely want to make sure we get the best product for our money, but we want it to be what we want, as well. At one point, we even looked at laminates, vinyl, engineered, etc. just to cover all our bases.  There are some pretty good looking options out there in these categories, but we decided solid wood flooring better suits our taste.


Mocha Oak Scrape Solid Hardwood Flooring from The Home Depot

We plan on buying it in the next week, letting it acclimate to our house for a couple weeks, then we will get to work! Andy can’t wait!!! (sarcasm)

I also purchased my dream sink this summer! Well, maybe it’s not my dream sink, but for the price it will do.  Ikea has an awesome apron front, farmhouse style sink for an excellent price! I’ve been hunting this sink for over a year, because Ikea was having manufacturer issues followed by new design issues.  When the sink finally came back out on the market, I jumped on it like white on rice!🙂 I planned my trip to Ikea, checked the stock prognosis everyday like a mad man, and once I arrived at Ikea, made a bee line to the kitchen center to get MY sink before they were all gone again.IMG_1009 IMG_1010I know you can’t really experience the full gloriousness of this beauty from these pictures, but trust me! Just wait til you see it in it’s natural habitat…a beautiful kitchen!

Next up:  rocking chairs! A friend of Andy’s gave us these rocking chairs for free!! They were going to throw them away! Can you believe it?! I’ve been wanting rocking chairs FOREVER! Can you tell I was excited about them?🙂IMG_1263

After a little sanding and a couple of coats of Drizzle from Sherwin Williams

After a little sanding and a couple of coats of Drizzle from Sherwin Williams.

I also made a little canvas gallery wall from some pictures we had made back in the fall.  I was so happy with how they turned out! I plan on building a shelf underneath to fill up the space and allow for a little more decor.IMG_0594 IMG_1650

I bought some new chairs (from Ikea of course) for the living/piano room and moved the love seat to the den.  The chairs in the living room added something that the room had been missing, and now there is more seating in the den. Win/win!


Of course, Tobie and Katie had to be a part of the picture!


The chair and ottoman were where the love seat is. Now we can accommodate a few more people!

And finally, on the outside of our house!  A couple weeks ago, on a whim because that’s how we roll, we decided to pull up all the shrubbery along the front of the house.  I have to say that we have been talking about doing this, we just didn’t plan on doing it this soon.  Basically, this is how it went down…

Andy borrows the hedge trimmers from his dad to clean the bushes up a little.  He ends up scalping them.  I don’t like them. Andy says, “do you want to go ahead and pull them all up?” (There were 13-15!!) I say, “we might as well.” Andy pulls the truck around, attaches the chain to the first bush, puts me in the driver’s seat of the truck, and away we go! I have to admit, I had fun pulling up each boxwood and holly bush that have probably been there since the 70’s when the house was built🙂


Pre destruction. Notice the scalped bushes.

And of course, then we had to decide what we were going to plant, and being our indecisive selves, it was much more of an ordeal than it should’ve been.  But we’re almost done and it’s going to look so fresh and updated.IMG_1549

I also added some flowers to my planter, bought a spring-y lantern, and made a bow to spruce up the front porch.  You can read all about how I made my planter here.IMG_1598

We closed in between the brick columns underneath our deck, which improved the look of things so much! (I don’t have any good pictures of before/after on this project.) This project also provided me with a good bit of scrap wood for more crafty things. One of the projects that came from that was this monogrammed board that a friend asked me to make for her.  It was a hit and I’ve now made over 20 boards for friends and family! (Psst…be on the lookout for more projects this summer that will be for sale!)IMG_1139

Wow! It feels good to get all of that out! I guess I haven’t been as lazy as I thought! I’m sure most of y’all don’t care about all the little details, but writing sure does make me feel better! You should try it sometime:)

I’ll leave you with one more thing before you head off to do whatever it is you need to do.  One thing I’ve learned this past year as we started the renovations, is that I don’t have to be in a hurry to get everything done!  I have a house to live in. Some people don’t.  I have heating and air conditioning and running water. HOT water! Some people don’t.  Of course I want my house to be pretty.  I think most of us girls can agree to that, but we are never going to be satisfied.  I follow a couple different designers on social media and their houses always look perfect. THAT’S NOT REAL LIFE!! There’s so much more to life than having a perfect house! So enjoy where you’re at! Whether your house is brand new or 100 years old. Whether it’s clean or messy. Whether it looks like it’s stuck in the 70’s (cough, cough) or it’s got the latest and greatest in style and design.  Be thankful!

Happy Memorial Day weekend!




It’s THE Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Don’t you agree?! The leaves have all fallen, lawns are brown, and there is a gloominess in the air, but the beauty of Christmas brings new life to everything for just a few weeks.

With all the renovations that we’ve been living in for the past few months, we’re finally to a point where the house is somewhat back in order. I’ve managed to clean up sheetrock dust approximately 1,578 times now, and I think I’ve ALMOST got it all…well, probably not, but a girl can dream can’t she?!

I’ve reached a creative road block, so Christmas couldn’t have come at a better time to allow me to take my mind off of all the projects that need to get done around the house.  Although I know the true reason for the season, it’s still so much fun to decorate for this special time of year, and I want to share our Christmas home with you! So come on in!

Our front door. There's just something I love about the red bow against the blue green door!

Our front door. There’s just something I love about the red bow against the blue green door!

Let’s start in the living room!DSC_1058The woodland theme, which I love, is so popular this year, so I thought it would be fun to go with that in the living room.  I also added a red and white pillow to a few pillows I already had to give a more Christmasy feel.

My grandmother made the tree skirt many years ago, so it has special meaning.

My grandmother made the tree skirt many years ago, so it has special meaning.


DSC_1063DSC_1064I added a few things to my shelves, like the JOY light up sign, the NOEL candle holders and the miniature nativity scene. Let’s just talk about that nativity scene for a moment.  Back in the day, my mom and I used to go to something called ceramics.  Do y’all remember doing this??? We went to this lady’s house and we would paint all these ceramic figurines and then she would bake them for us. I must say, I remember having lots of fun! What a fun little trip down memory lane!DSC_1068DSC_1070 DSC_1073 DSC_1075Then there’s this sweet little tree that one of my parents’ neighbors made so many years ago. Isn’t it cute?!DSC_1078Let’s head up to the Master Bedroom! There’s really not too much to see there, except for the cute little Charlie Brown Christmas tree my sister gave me last year.  It was just what I needed to bring a little Christmas cheer to the bedroom!DSC_0001I should add that y’all are getting little glimpses of the master bedroom and den that we’ve been working so hard on, but I haven’t had a chance to give a full room reveal. I can’t give away all my secrets just yet, though!😉

On we go to the den! This time last year, the den was full of dark paneling and the mantle was a dark cherry red. I really didn’t have the motivation to decorate it at all.  But THIS year is a different story! I love how it’s turned out so far! (Pay no attention to the curtainless windows and bare walls. That’s where my creativity has failed me in recent weeks)

DSC_0002 DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0007 DSC_0009 DSC_0011 DSC_0012 DSC_0015 DSC_0016 DSC_0017 DSC_0024 DSC_0028I’ve come to the conclusion that every girl should have some lanterns and chalkboards in their decorating arsenal.  They are so versatile and easy to change with each season!

And just for fun, and so you know that my house is far from being in perfect order, here is the other side of the den…DSC_0030Leftover sheetrock, a door that wasn’t installed properly, a ladder, a yard sale box, a box of mail, etc., etc., etc.  Honestly, it doesn’t bother me one bit…at the moment😉

If you don’t read any other part of the blog today, I hope you will stay with me for this part. As beautiful as Christmas is, and as much fun as it is to decorate and shop, and go to Christmas parties and concerts, we wouldn’t be able to do any of this if it weren’t for Jesus.DSC_1081He came as a baby, to live with us on Earth, so that he could die a horrific death so that we could live with him for eternity.  One of my favorite Christmas songs is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” In the last verse, it says

The Child, The Child

Sleeping in the night

He will bring us goodness and light

DSC_0023I hope you enjoyed my little mini Christmas tour and I hope you each have a wonderful Christmas season! I’ll leave you with a couple sweet pictures🙂DSC_109110404404_10154831628100456_8757383206741899797_nMerry Christmas!!!

DIY Headboard & Ikea Bed Hack

Sometimes remodeling a room doesn’t just involve removing wallpaper, painting walls, or replacing flooring.  Sometimes it involves reinventing a piece of furniture as well.

Warning: this is a long post, so pull up a chair and get comfy!

Let’s talk about this bed for a moment.DSC_0973

I’m just going to go ahead and throw this out there: I HATE this bed!  I know hate is a strong word, but I really, really don’t like it.  I’ve been told many times that I approved this purchase several years ago when we bought it at Ikea, but I honestly can’t believe that I would have approved this! However, I do remember that we were there to purchase a different bed, similar in style, but they were out of stock. We were still fairly new to Ikea and didn’t know to check stock status online before we made the 2 hour drive. So since we were already there, we just HAD to buy something😉


Our boxer, Katie! And Tobie’s tail🙂

I should also mention that this bed was going in Andy’s room.  I “let” him (you ladies know what I mean🙂 ) have his own bedroom,  since he worked third shift at the time and needed to sleep during the day. He was all about making the room as dark and gloomy as possible.  He also wanted to put the mattress on the floor.  What is it with guys wanting to sleep on a mattress on the floor?! Anyway, this bed was our compromise. I will admit that it is nice to have the extra storage (it has 4 drawers), which means I get more dresser space.  Look for the positives, right?

I’ve been able to make this bed work…somewhat, for 5 years now, but it’s time my friends. It’s time for a makeover. And this is my inspiration…

If you have never visited the girls over at Shanty-2-chic, you should go visit them RIGHT NOW!  They have so many great projects to choose from with detailed plans on how to build each one.

I have debated on painting the bed for a couple years, but I never felt very settled on that idea.  I also knew that if I was going to be forced into keeping it, I would want some sort of headboard for it.  This inspiration bed ties both things together perfectly.

So I got to sanding with my handy dandy palm sander. In case you care, the technical name for it is a Ridgid 1/4 Sheet Sander that we bought a while back at a local tool sale. DSC_0978

First, I removed the drawers and began sanding the outer shell. This part of the frame had a clear coat finish on it that needed to be sanded off before staining. Once that was finished, I applied the first coat of stain. DSC_0982 IMG_2048It turned out a little splotchy in spots because it was hard to tell if I sanded all the clear coat off on the first go round. I was able to wipe the stain right off those spots. Once it was all dry, I sanded those spots again, then stained again. It turned out better with the second coat. Still a little splotchy, but better than the first coat. I guess it gives it a nice weathered look🙂

I then sanded the drawers, which turned out to be much easier because I could see where the black paint was coming off and where it wasn’t.  They took the stain VERY nicely!

Once the bed was finished, we were ready to start the headboard based on the plans over at Shanty-2-chic. (They have several other cute headboards to choose from so be sure to check out their site.)  We built ours a little differently than they did, but theirs was a great basic outline to get us going.

First, we cut a 2×6 into two 5 foot pieces for the sides of the headboard, as well as a 3/8″ piece of plywood for the center section. DSC_1004

We then notched out the 2×6’s where the plywood would fit flush. (This is one part of the plan that we did differently. They used pocket screws to attach the plywood instead of notching out the side boards.)DSC_1000

Then we glued the plywood to the 2×6’s and added a little extra support by screwing them together as well.DSC_1013

I then cut 1×4’s to different lengths for the middle section. I didn’t make specific measurements for these boards. I just tried to alternate joints so that it would look like a random pattern. I have to admit that this part was kind of fun because it was like putting together a puzzle.🙂 Nerd alert!DSC_1020

After I had the pattern laid out, I removed all the boards, being sure to keep them in the same order. We then glued them to the plywood and put a screw in from the back for extra measure. I ended up having to number the back of a few of them because we ran out of daylight and had to finish another night. DSC_1023 DSC_1026After all the boards were attached, it was time to stain! I used the Minwax Dark Walnut that I told you about in my post about the DIY Planter.DSC_1032

We then added a 2×3 (ripped down to 3″ from a 2×4) and a 2×4 as a topper. This is another part of the project where we strayed from the original a bit.  We felt like it needed a little more of a chunky top piece than what the original plan called for.IMG_0011Finally, we attached the headboard to the bed frame with 3 inch long 3/8 carriage head bolts, lock nuts, and flat washers. There are definitely other options as far as bolts, washers, and nuts go, so there is some flexibility there. For what it’s worth, Andy would not use carriage head bolts again. IMG_0010 IMG_0012So now let’s take one more look at the before…DSC_0977And here is the after…IMG_0022IMG_0021I mean, it’s no Pottery Barn bed or anything, but not too shabby right?!  And I think I will be able to live with this bed for a few more years now that it’s a little cuter😉

This project cost us about $100, which is way better than the several hundred you would spend at a furniture store. And we have the satisfaction of knowing that WE made it!!

Now that the bed is finally finished, I am that much closer to having our master bedroom finished.  I’ve got a few more little details to take care of and then I can reveal the entire room makeover!  I’m so excited for you to see it!

A few more details for you:

Sheets and turquoise throw pillows: Target

Duvet, throw pillows, blanket: Ikea

Bed: Ikea

Materials for headboard: Lowe’s

Happy creating!!!



DIY Wooden Planter

A couple weeks ago, I showed you my new mantel and a little bit of fall decor, and I told you I had one other fall project I wanted to share with you.  Well, here it is. My new front porch planter!

IMG_1958One Sunday afternoon, a few weeks ago, I was feeling inspired and had been trying to come up with some new front porch decor.  I’ve been wanting some cute wooden planters for a while, but just wasn’t willing to pay what the stores were asking.  So being my creative self,🙂 and remembering that we still had some scrap wood left over from some other projects, I got to work!



You’re impressed with my sawing skills🙂

I really wanted to use 1×4’s, but didn’t have any on hand.  So I used 2×4’s instead. I determined the size of the box based on the pots I was currently using on the porch.  They were 12 inches in diameter so I decided I wanted the inside of the box to be 12×12. Since 2×4’s don’t measure exactly 2 inches thick, (they measure 1.5 inches thick, just so you know) I had to take that into consideration when figuring out how long to cut each board.  I will spare you all the calculations and just tell you that I cut each board to 15 inches.

IMG_1887After I made all my cuts, I was ready to start building. IMG_1892Even though I feel pretty comfortable using a saw, I’m still a little leery of nail guns, so I had Andy step in to help me with this part. We nailed the first layer together, then continued adding each layer, alternating how the corners line up.

IMG_1893We then nailed two corner pieces inside the box for extra stability.  These were some scraps we had from tearing out the cabinets in the den. Andy gives me a hard time about keeping scraps, but look how handy they end up being! My dad, being from New York originally, would call this yankee thrift!😉IMG_1894After all the nailing was finished, I was ready to begin staining. I used Minwax Dark Walnut for this part.  This has become my go to stain color of choice lately.  I’ve been working on another project using this stain that I’m almost finished with and can’t wait to show you!IMG_1897And here is the original finished project. It turned out a little bulkier than I would have liked for it to be, but I was liking it so far.  I just felt like it was missing something…DSC_0878Let me pause here for a moment and tell you about what I filled it with🙂 I knew I didn’t want flowers, although I know some bright yellow mums would look amazing.  I just didn’t really want to fool with making sure they stayed watered.  So I opted for a shepherd’s hook with a lantern. I added an LED candle that is on a timer, so it comes on every evening around 6 and stays on for 4 hours.  It looks sooo cute at night! I spray painted some pumpkins that I had in storage, threw some sticks and pine cones in around them, and topped it off with a bow.  Let me just say, my mom did not pass her bow making gene on to me, but it’s not too horrible, right?! I’d also like to add that it was very difficult trying to find pine cones! During my search I realized that this is the first house I have ever lived in where there are no pine trees! But I digress…

As I said a moment ago, I loved how it was shaping up, but it was just still missing something. That’s when I came across an old wreath with our initial on it and I knew exactly what the planter needed!IMG_1958I still need to actually attach the ‘P’ to the box, but I think it was exactly what was needed! The bow has not held up very well as you can see in this picture, but it’s hanging in there.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out and I can’t wait to decorate it for Christmas!! Which, by the way, is not that far away!!! So exciting!

How are your fall decorations coming along?  Have you tackled any DIY projects lately?





And I am sooooo happy! Fall is my favorite time of year! The weather is perfect and refreshing after the long hot summer! It’s also fun to decorate for the fall season.

As we continue working on the big projects around the house, I’ve been working on a couple smaller projects lately that I’ve been wanting to share with everyone.

First up is our mantel! If you remember from previous posts, our mantle was dark with lots of red undertones.


(You also get a little sneak peak into how the den is shaping up, because if you can remember, this room had lots of paneling…AND IT IS GONE!!! You don’t know how excited I was to get this room sheet rocked and painted!)

But let’s get back to the mantel.  I thought long and hard about what to do. Andy’s dad built it 15 or 20 years ago when they lived in this house.  It really is beautiful, but I’m just not all about the reddish color of the wood.  And over this past year of living here, I found that it was really hard to decorate because nothing really stood out against the dark wood.  So, I searched Pinterest and brainstormed for days and I came up with a few different options: I could sand it back to its original color and stain it a darker, browner color; I could try out this new gel stain that I’ve been reading about that you just stain right over the existing finish; or I could paint it white.  Sanding was soon out of the question because that would have taken way too long for my very impatient self.  I also wasn’t sold on the idea of a dark mantle.  So do you wanna guess which option I went with?

Yep! I went with the white!  You just can’t go wrong with white and it’s so classic and timeless.


After the first coat I quickly realized that this was going to take SEVERAL coats of paint to cover…and there are lots of corners, edges, nooks and crannies to get to.  As I painted each coat, I kept thinking to myself, “Well, if Andy’s dad gets upset about me painting over his wood mantel, maybe it will be a little consolation to him knowing how torturous it was having to paint this thing so many times!” We shall see.


And here it is after FOUR, yes, four coats of paint!  All the hours of painting were definitely worth it and I was really happy with how it turned out.  However, that mirror just wasn’t working for me either.  As you can see in the picture, all you can really see in the mirror is the ceiling fan. Anything I tried to decorate with just kind of got lost in the mirror because of the fan.  So, again, I searched Pinterest and brainstormed for several days on how to fix this mirror crisis.

Andy can pull the trigger on decision making a little faster than me sometimes, so last week when we were doing some priming he said “Why don’t we just paint over the mirror?” and then he started painting it!!! Without my approval!!

But it was ok, because guess what?  If I really didn’t like the mirror painted, we could always scrape the paint off with a razor blade. Of course, I would probably make Andy do that part since he painted without my permission anyway🙂


I definitely liked it better after it was primed, but there was still something about it that just wasn’t right.  And once again, I set out on a Pinterest search (when in doubt, just search Pinterest :)).  After browsing through a few fall pins it didn’t take long to decide what I should consider doing with that mirror…chalkboard paint!  And luckily, I already had a can of it on hand!

IMG_2015In my excitement to start drawing fun little Fall pictures, I forgot to take a picture of it without any artwork.  Which, by the way, that is some fancy drawing, wouldn’t you agree?😉

I LOVE how it turned out.  It will make decorating soooo simple, because I can just draw something seasonal, and throw a couple cute little decorations up there and be done with it!  And in a couple years when chalkboards aren’t cool anymore, I will have my loving, wonderful hubby scrape it all off🙂

Now there’s only one more issue I’m having, and it is what to do with the brick.  I know! I can’t be satisfied!  The red brick is just a little too traditional for my taste, but painting the brick is a very permanent solution, and a risk that I’m not willing to take yet.  I thought about doing a very thin, light white wash, that way you still have a little bit of the natural brick look and not just a solid color.  I have to think on that one a little while longer.  Your thoughts?

I can’t wait to show you the rest of the room, but we’re still working on some final details.  Seeing such a huge transformation has been so much fun! Now if I can just keep my father-in-law from noticing the white mantel, life will be great!🙂

Be on the lookout later in the week for more fall projects!




Our Board and Batten Room-Part 2

The moment you’ve all been waiting for! I’m just going to jump right in with pictures, because if you’re like me, that’s the part you really care about! Also, if anyone would like to bless me with some photography lessons, I would love you forever🙂



So a little about this room. It’s where I teach piano lessons everyday, but it’s also a part of our home, so I have a few different goals for this room.  Since I have students (and sometimes parents) coming into my house everyday, it needs to be a professional space.  But since it’s our home, I want it to feel homey too.  I want it to be fun for the kids, yet not feel like I’m walking into a classroom every time I walk in my living room.  I tried to stick with basic furniture styles while adding fun pops of color, but keeping it grown up by mixing patterns and decor.

Now for some of the little details.


This is framed sheet music that my grandmother passed down to me years ago.  Some of it is from the 1930’s or earlier.  This might be my favorite part of the room.

DSC_0811This old window is from the house where I grew up, and where my parents still live.  I keep thinking I need something on either side of it, but sometimes simple is the best option. By the way, boxwood wreaths are expensive!! I splurged and bought one at Target.:)

DSC_0841This was my chair when I was a little girl.  I still haven’t quite figured out how to decorate around it, but I’ll get to it soon  Sometimes you just have to let something be for a little while before you do anything with it.

DSC_0848There’s a fun little story behind this box.  If you know my husband, you know he is really into guns.  Well, he drug me to a gun shop one day and I looked over and saw this little gem sitting there, and being the wheeler and dealer that he is, Andy got the store owner to throw it in with his purchase.  So I took it home and threw a coat of paint on it, sanded the edges a little, and painted the hardware with some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint.  I can’t remember the color of the paint I used, but I got it from Lowes. This is also the same paint I used on the old window. And since I believe in not only making things pretty, but also functional, this box holds my spray paint stash🙂



Product List:

Paint: Sherwin Williams Extra White and Studio Taupe

Furniture: Chair, Couch, Bookcase-Ikea; Chest of drawers-Farmhouse Furniture

Other Items: Poufs-Target (clearance); Throw Pillows-Target, Ikea; Rug-Home Depot (clearance); everything else-Hobby Lobby, Marshall’s, Target, Ikea

You can check out how we made the Mason Jar Sconces here and our front door here.

This room is by no means complete.   We still have some dingy yellow switches that need to be replaced with white ones and we need to put shoe moulding down.  And of course, decorating is always evolving.  I’m sure I will walk into that room in a couple weeks and see something that I want to change, and that’s ok.  I’m still trying to figure out what I want to hang over the blue chest of drawers.  I just haven’t really had a grand idea yet of what needs to go there, but it will come eventually.

I would like to leave you with a picture of what the room looks like on a daily basis, because I can guarantee you I don’t keep a perfect house.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!  DSC_0847

In my attempt to keep the dogs off the furniture, I put the poufs on the couch while we are gone.  But it never fails…when we get home one of the girls is on top of them with their paws on the back of it looking out the window, so excited that we are home. It makes it pretty hard to get mad at their cute little faces.🙂

You could probably even tell from some of the pictures that it isn’t the picture perfect room you will see on Pinterest.  We have to keep the couch covered  because we are bad dog parents and haven’t done a good job of teaching them to stay of the furniture. It’s ok! You probably saw a few dust bunnies because I don’t sweep and dust everyday.  It’s ok! There are constantly finger prints, kitty paw prints, and dust on the black piano.  It’s ok! My point is, don’t waste your life away worrying about your house being perfect.  I love decorating and making my house pretty, but it doesn’t have to be perfect.  You will never be able to make it perfect.  And what’s the fun in perfection anyways!😉

So which room is your favorite room in your house?  Is there a room that you’ve been working on for a while, but haven’t quite figured out all the details yet?  Share some pictures and ideas! We’re in this together!


Our Board and Batten Room-Part 1

Wow! It has been a while since I’ve posted anything, but the last few weeks have been so extremely busy! Last time you were here, I gave you a little tour of the house and some Before/During pictures to get you up to speed on what’s been happening around here.  We are slowly (I mean SLLOOOWWWLLLLY) getting everything put back together.  Three of the five spaces that we had mud work done on have been primed, and 2 of those have had their final coat of paint: the den and the master bedroom. YAY! You would think we would be close to having at least one of those ready to move furniture back in to and get back to normal, but no. We  I decided that I would like to replace all the trim with something a little simpler and craftsman like.  Andy LOVES doing trim work!🙂  We also have to replace all the old black and mismatched outlets and switches. So I really want to get all of that done before I try putting an entire room back together.

Sooo while you all are patiently waiting for me to reveal some big changes, let’s go back in time for a moment, shall we?

When we moved to our house last summer, we knew we wanted to live in this house for a while before we made any major changes. However, I was going to be teaching piano lessons from home now (I was previously a traveling piano teacher, so to be in one location was such a great opportunity!), which meant that I needed the piano/living room to be somewhat in order when lessons started….in less than a month from when we moved in!!

Side note: For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook, you have probably already seen this transformation, but don’t leave me just yet.  I have a few updates and surprises in Part 2 coming up later this week😉

Here is how the room was when we moved in. IMG_0587All white everything.  Walls, trim, blinds. Blah and boring. Prior to moving to this house, I had been dreaming of board and batten.  I was seeing it everywhere on Pinterest and I just knew one day I would have a room with board and batten….and as soon as I saw this room, I knew I had struck gold.  I could already envision just how amazing this room was going to be! We had one dilemma though: we didn’t want make any major updates to the house for appraisal purposes before the house was actually ours. (Long story, but it was a family house and we were very lucky to be able to move in before we had to purchase it.)

I went back and forth with the board and batten idea versus just throwing a neutral coat of paint up, because I knew we didn’t have a whole lot of time to do anything before the first week of lessons.  And then Andy said the magic words, “I think we should go ahead and do the board and batten.”  Squeal!!!  Ladies, you know when your husband says things like that, you don’t hesitate, you don’t think about it, you immediately take him up on the offer and get. to. work!!

Now there are many tutorials out there on how to do board and batten so I will try not to bore you with too many details, so here goes.

Obviously, you have to measure.  We decided to start on the longest wall and work our way around the room.  Honestly, we kind of did a rough measurement, talked about how far apart they should be based on different blogs we had read, made a couple spacers to help with laying it out, and just went for it.  IMG_0594

Haha! He loves me, can’t you tell?!

We also debated on leaving it with just one horizontal rail like in the picture above, but once we started the second rail, we knew that was definitely the way to go.



We continued on around the room until we met back around at the doorway where we started.   I have to admit, it was a bigger project than I thought it would be.  Andy is a machinist, which means that he is used to working with metal parts down to the hundredth and thousandth of an inch, so he is very precise with measurements. Which is annoying, yet wonderful all at the same time🙂 We measured every single vertical piece to make sure that everything stayed level, because as you may know, houses tend to settle, which means walls and floors don’t stay level.  It reeeaallyy makes things fun! We also realized that we were going to have to caulk every board edge that was touching the wall.  The caulking was probably the worst and longest part of the entire project. One thing I would have done differently is that I would have painted the wall behind the boards before we put them up.  It would have made life a little easier when it was time to paint all the boards.  But oh well. You live and learn.

So here is what the room looked like when I started piano lessons last September.  I had not finished painting all the white trim, but it was good enough to get me by for a little while.  I wish I had better pictures of the process, but you get the general idea. Also, meet our cat, Gilly! She oversees all our projects🙂

IMG_0603Then here it is at Christmas.  In the months between September and December I was able to give it a little more of a homey feel. IMG_0822Such a huge difference!!! This is definitely my favorite room in the house to be in. Probably because it is the only pretty room in the house…but that will change soon!!

Since Christmas, I have done a lot to this room so check back later this week for part 2 where you get to see how the room looks now, now that I’ve added a few pieces of furniture and a little of this and that.  I don’t think a room is ever finished, but this one is getting pretty darn close.  And I LOVE it!! I can’t wait for you to see it!


The End is in Sight!

Well…kind of. At least an end is in sight to this particular part of the renovation. The good GREAT news is we are making progress!! There is no more wallpaper at Dogwood Lane and that in itself is something to celebrate! I wish I could say the same for the paneling, BUT we are getting pretty close on that too.

Countless hours of peeling, scraping, pulling out nails, more scraping, climbing on and off step stools, and a little more scraping have now come to an end, and we are well on our way to having sheetrock that is free of the hideous decor of the 70’s and 80’s.  YAY!!!

Our sheetrock guy started last week on the master bedroom, both hallways, and kitchen, and will hopefully be hanging the sheetrock in the den this weekend. Paneling that was glued to the walls and 30+ year old wallpaper can really wreak havoc on some sheetrock, so we felt like this part of the job would be best left to the professionals. And he has done a great job so far!

You might be wondering “Are there any downsides to having sheetrock work done while you are living in the midst of it all?” I’ll let you be the judge…

DSC_0779 DSC_0778

Hey! Who needs a kitchen anyway? And guess what. The dust still gets underneath all the plastic that you so carefully lay out. It’s ok though.  It will give me a good reason to do some major cleaning (at least that’s what I’m telling myself).  Gotta look at the positive in things, right?!🙂 It honestly hasn’t been TOO horrible. We’ve got enough space where we can hang out in other parts of the house while the rest of it is being torn apart and put back together again.  But we have stuff crammed everywhere!  It is absolutely ridiculous! I can foresee a yard sale in the near future.

Here’s where it gets fun: before and after pictures!!  Well…I don’t have any after pics for you YET, but before and during are fun, too, right?!🙂

So here is the kitchen beforeIMG_1214 IMG_1215 IMG_1217and during

DSC_0779Isn’t it so much brighter and more open feeling already?!  I can’t WAIT to start painting!

The downstairs hallway opened up soooo much when we took the paneling down.  Luckily, there was already sheetrock behind it and the paneling wasn’t glued to the walls, so that left very little mudding that had to be done.

Before-dark and gloomyDSC_0725

During-bright and open!! In case you can’t tell, this pic was taken from the other end of the hallway.  That angle really shows how much of a difference it makes getting that paneling out of there!


The upstairs hallway isn’t as dramatic of a change, but it’s still pretty fun to see the transformation.

Before-ugly textured wallpaper and dark paneling.


DuringDSC_0757A couple things that are really going to make the hallways pop are new floors and bright white doors.  And hopefully some more lighting! These two hallways have zero natural light so I’ve got to use other elements to bring “bright and cheery” into the space.   And don’t you just love the attic fan? So stylish😉

Our supervisor


Next, we have the master bedroom. As you may recall, this room was floor to ceiling wallpaper.  You can take a look back here for all the details, but for now, here is the before

IMG_1291During-this is after one layer of skimming. DSC_0783

And finally, the den. This room is going to be so amazing to see the transformation because the entire room was paneling with dark trim, doors, fireplace, mantle, and cabinets.  I mean, could they not have chosen a color other than brown for any of those elements? Sheesh!

So here’s the beforeDSC_0788
DSC_0789Yes, there are three dog beds. “But you only have two dogs,” you say? We seem to be dog magnets and you just never know when another one might show up.🙂 And isn’t that mantle so great! Andy’s dad built that back in the day!

And sans paneling. The first pic is kind of dark, but it’s looking over toward where the built ins were, and the second is looking toward the fireplace. DSC_0803 DSC_0804

I told Andy last night, as we pulled down the last piece of paneling and stood among studs and insulation, that there’s no turning back now.  And I thought it was funny that he was wearing this shirt, but working in flip flops and not wearing safety glasses.  That’s how we roll around here!


And for all you safety minded people out there, you will be happy to know that Andy put on safety glasses not long after this picture was taken to assure that there were no rogue pieces of wood flying into his eyes🙂 Safety first people!

BUT, sheetrock is being hung as I type this.  SQUEEL!!! I’ve been making myself stay upstairs and not go look at their progress because I want to get the full effect when I first walk in.  I can’t wait!!

Wow! That was a lot of pictures, and I’m sure your brain is on overload like mine.  But I just had to share the progress! As I’m living in the mess, I’m reminded that there is always the end product to look forward to. Is it a hard and long road getting there? It definitely can be, but with a little patience and perseverance , anything is possible🙂  (Hmm, there’s kind of some spiritual parallels there). So no matter what season your life (or your house) is in, know that there is a bright finish coming your way!

Until next time, go be great!


Finally!!! My 5th Pinterest Recipe

I’m FINALLY getting around to posting my 5th Pinterest recipe! I really wasn’t inspired by anything I had pinned…until my father-in-law gave me some fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes! After a couple of amazing tomato sandwiches and a conversation with my friend, Alicia, I knew what my final recipe would be…tomato pie!!!

Now to some of you this may sound gross.  When I told Andy what I was going to make he had two thoughts for me:  “ew” and “that sounds gross”. He’s my encourager🙂 I have to say, he isn’t a fan of tomatoes so he probably won’t be trying this one out with me.  And to be honest, whenever I heard someone talk about tomato pie, I thought the same thing: “ew!” Pies should be made of apples, or blueberries, or some other sweet goodness, NOT tomatoes.

Well, I decided to do some Pinterest searches for Tomato Pie recipes, and of course I found many! You can find the recipe I used here. However, I did make a couple changes.  It calls for a “good quality mayonnaise” like Hellman’s. Um, she must not know that Duke’s is the king of mayonnaise in these parts😉  Also, I used a mexican blend of shredded cheese, because it’s what I had on hand, and a regular pie crust rather than deep dish.  Not major changes, but changes nonetheless.

I’m just going to cut to the chase here and tell you that you need to make a tomato pie NOW! It was so good! Why have I never had this before?!

DSC_0759  DSC_0770

Two things:  It is very rich! I think she even mentions that in the recipe, so eat it in small amounts.  Also, I noticed someone made a comment in the comments section that the bottom of their pie didn’t cook completely.  I had the same problem.  I cooked mine for 25 minutes, but I’m thinking 30 would’ve gotten the job done. And I may have needed to dry the tomatoes out a little more.

This is a perfect summer recipe and you should definitely give it a try!  By the way, Andy did not partake in the tasting of this pie.  Tomatoes are just completely out of the question for him. He doesn’t know what he’s missing🙂

Now that my Pinterest recipe posts are finished, be on the lookout for more posts from our house projects.  Our sheetrock guy is starting this week, which means I get to start painting soon!! I’m so excited and can’t wait to show you what we’ve been doing!

Go be great!