Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Um, here I am

Oh. My. Goodness.

Really, I am that blogger.

I have about a million things going on (like everyone), but the thing that falls to the bottom of the list is my little blog.

I have nothing to say, except dang.

As I bounce around the internet, I am loving all the Christmas posts on decorating, treats, gift ideas, ways to celebrate, yummy foods, advent calendars and so much more. 

I do not have that kind of post today. And I may not have that kind of post at all this Christmas.

Dang again.

If you needed to know that you are not the only one who does not have it all together at Christmas time (or anytime, really) trust me when I tell you I am all over not having it all together. 

But I have gotten really good at 'enough'. Enough really is enough.

 How cute are these cookies? 

They represent several fun hours goofing around with my daughter and grandson. We giggled and made some terrific memories. We ate way too much sugar and I even tried to feel bad about it, but I didn't.

I really do not like the idea of stressing out over perfection. I am so happy with enough, especially when enough comes with a great experience.

We named the yellow ginger bread girl "Macaroni and Cheese Girl" and the friend on the right "Ugly Fred" (even though I think he is super cute with his green jimmie pants).

Have a Merry Week Before Christmas.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Holy cow - How is it Thanksgiving next week? 

I love this time of year. As much as I like to scale back, I still like to make our home more festive when necessary. Like for holidays.

I wanted to make a simple Thanksgiving decoration this year. I also wanted to use glitter. So glad they both came together in this fun little project.

I love this website - Jones Design Company - She is so clever and creative. I just love her artwork - So inspiring.

Here is a fun diy for Thanksgiving (or anytime really. - just pick a different word) I found on her website.

I printed the letters out and had to transfer them to card stock. (Not sure why my printer will not print on card stock.) After I cut them out (at a fun ladies get together to work on project stuff) I was ready to get them all sparkly.

Only the best in supplies - a broken Aldi can box. But it totally worked fine. And I'm sure the recycle guys thought it was pretty fancy all glittery.

I sprayed the letters one at a time with awesome spray glue. I really strongly suggest wearing gloves for this. This stuff is sticky. But it's supposed to be, so not complaining. Just saying - wear gloves.

And then the hard part - sprinkle the glitter on the letter. Lay it on thick and then shake it off.

Piece of cake.

Love projects like this that are super easy and super cute.

All of them cut, glued and sparkled. And ready to be strung. 

We have a giant roll of string. A really huge roll. So I use it for everything I can. 

I just taped the string on the back of each letter to make it stay in place. (You can see how difficult this project is.)

To make it fancier, you could use pretty ribbon to glam it up.

It's hard to tell in a photo, but the light makes them sparkle just a little. I like the simpleness of it, with just a little bit of something special.

Yeah, the photo really doesn't do anything for it. Trust me, it's nice.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, spending time with those you love and making great memories.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014



I know it's been a few weeks. 

People ask me what we are working on around the house, and all I can say is "just some little stuff." Nothing spectacular. Nothing Pin-worthy. Just little stuff.

But here is something so fun, you are going to want to try it, too.

You know how sometimes you just look at something and think, "Alright. Today is the day I am getting that done. No more putting it off!" That happened with my plates and bowls recently.

I love my white dishes. I got them for my birthday a million years ago and I still love them (and have most of them). Before we moved to the big house they were always white. That's because we got our first dish washer (automatic that is) with the  big house. The dishes always stayed nice and white and I didn't even know how great that was.

Until we stopped buffing them every day.

Now that they get a bath in sauna, aka the dish washer (and have for the last several years) they tend to look a little haggard. Which is too bad, because you would think spending that much time in a spa, they would look fabulous.

Anyway, the problem is our silverware. 

We use real silver (coated) ware every day. I don't like the idea of saving all the good stuff for special days. I love our silverware. (Remember I showed you how to polish that up super easy?) That is what we use all the time.

And that is what is causing the grief to our plates and bowls:

A stack of white dishes that look like we beat them with chains, without the dings and cracks.

This one is actually one of the better ones.

They get a little bit worse with each scrape of a fork. And the deep cleansing spa treatment does not do a thing for them. 

Time to exfoliate again.

And I found a super easy way to get them looking sparkly:

Baking soda.

Really, I just sprinkled a small pile (really - the stuff is so cheap. Be generous.) Used a wet scrubby sponge (one that does not scratch. Mine are purple ones I find at Target.) Scrubbed around and around front and back (how does the back get so icky?) And rinsed.

Like brand new!

Seriously, another one of those projects that are soooo motivating. The reward is instant - It ended up being fun. 

And I was looking around the house for more white dishes to scrub to whiteness.

What the heck? Why did I wait so long to get on that?

This was such a great "little stuff" project. What little stuffs are on your project list?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

plate windows


Cannot even believe it is almost Halloween. This will be the first year in 25 years that we don't have a trick-or-treater. (Liam isn't going out this year.) 

So strange.

We do have a Halloween party to go to this weekend at church. Not sure if I am going to pull out a costume or not. I am excited about getting candy though.

Speaking of dressing up,  I worked on a little project recently sprucing up one of our previous fun projects:

These awesome window plate racks:

I love these. Hero rigged them up to safely hold platters out of the way (out of the cupboard) and to give this blank wall some character. 

Win - win.

A few months ago, I found these yard sticks in the attic at my mom's house. I love the printing on them. I wanted to use them in a somewhat functional way, but it took a little thinking to figure out what the heck to do with them. After walking around the house with them and asking for suggestions, I was ready to get to work.

She had three good ones and one broken one.

And Hero had one hanging out in the garage.

I just cut an end off each one to make them fit. I measured the length right on there. How handy!

(Note - Hero got a few things out for me, but I actually did all the work on this project. Yes, I used the table saw.)

I did save those little ends - They are so dang cute.

Once they were cut, I just glued and clamped them right to the braces that were already there. 

I love the chunkier look and bringing in the warm wood tones.

And the character. I love it!

This was so easy, I didn't even take the plates down.

Demonstrating the proper way to level. Lean way back and eyeball it.

Not my feet.

And not sure why Hero was in on this project. Maybe taking the clamps off. He does nice things like that.

So cool, I love the contrast.

This one has measurement marks on it. I like thinking that this was really useful to someone.

I love re-purposing things.


And After:

Gives it a whole new feel, doesn't it? 

Any projects going on over at your place?

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

finishing the kitchen door

Our kitchen feels like a new place with this door.

 That is quite a statement after all that has been done to this room!

From this view, it looks like we are pretty much done here, right?

Not so much.

When the moldings came off, some of the layers of wall and paint came with it. 


Those things have probably been there for 40 years - or at least since the last wallpapering job. Yes, we found wallpaper under the trim. Surprise, surprise.

Hero put the trim back up temporarily until we could get the rest of the job done. Seems like extra work to put them up just to take them down again, but he only tacked them up there easy, no  big deal.

This wall never got done. Remember how we finished the rest of the back splash? We knew we were going to get that door (someday) and we wanted to wait until that was installed to cut the paneling and trim to the right size. 

(It didn't look the very worst because we painted the wall to sort of look like it was what we wanted. The problem with that trick is that you may take FOREVER to get back to it.)

But now that we were ready for one project, we could finally finish the other. Yay!

Much better. 


And the wall is all patched up.

Much better.

I am the trim painter in our house.

Painting trim makes the whole project come together swimmingly. 

Of course it is usually the last thing you do, but there is nothing like pulling the tape off to reveal the freshly painted results.

Much better.

Finishing up a project like this feels so terrific! 

Finally getting it off the list, finally seeing how your vision becomes a reality, and finally enjoying the full results of your work is the best!

So many times I hear of people finishing up un-dones just before selling a house (and honestly, we have done that, too) But don't! Get on them so you can love the result.

Much better.

See that little spot just above the left corner of the window?

It's a bell.

It's from my mom. It makes the best little (meaning not obnoxious) jingle.

I've always wanted a bell on the door. Hero made a little bracket to hang it up. He does things like that for me. Love that man.

I Finally hung that picture up, too.

It is so special to us. Hero's dad found this for me years ago at a flea market. I'm sure he thought it was junk, but he knew I would love it. 

And I do.

It's a concept drawing of some kind of factory.

And it's called "MURPHY & CO."

(Sorry - Hard to take a photo of it.)

I love how the changes and updates we have made make this place feel much more like home.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

kitchen door

After all the outside work we tackled this summer, I am so glad to be back inside.

I like outside. I really do. But outside work feels a lot more like work to me. 

And I usually end up killing plants. It's just one of my weaknesses.

Inside work is still work, but I like it - So it is better.

At least in my mind that makes sense.

We moved to an inside project that we have been just putting off forever - The back door.

Hero and I were absolutely not in love with this door:

There is nothing wrong with this door. Not really. It's a fine door.

But it has a few problems -

One - It's all door, with a little tiny window. It sucked the light out of the kitchen.

Two - It opens into the house. I know this is normal, but we really wanted a door that opened out, because this is what happens when we open the door:

There is no place for the door to go with the cabinet behind it. There is just not that much space in this small kitchen for this to work well. It was like an awkward dance trying to get in and out while closing the door and taking off shoes. It didn't improve things if there was more than one person.

Three - When the door is closed, the refrigerator door will only open so far (A hazard we anticipated when we moved the fridge to that spot, but really - what a pain.)

And Four - This is what we were looking at on the outside:

Could be worse. 

And this thing's mechanism was totally shot - It either didn't close all the way and the wind would bang it around or it would slam shut. We really had to watch our ankles coming in.

So we jettisoned the doors. You know by now, that "we" is code for Hero.

I have the best husband! 

Hero and I like to go on dates. We love to spend time together. We love doing fun projects together.

We called this a date, so we get to spend time together and get a fun project done. 

It's a win - win - win.

Have you ever tried to take a picture like this? You cannot really see much detail, but it's kind of cool  looking. Just thought I would throw it in.

And from the outside.

This door opening is not that big - Just like the rest of the house. 

We scouted out doors and found the best price at Lowe's for the one we wanted. We wanted an out swing door, all glass with the panes and the blind inside the glass. It was about $700. 


I knew from our research that that was the going rate. Hero had two $100 Lowe's gift cards that helped bring the price down, so we were ready to go for it.

But before we did, Hero had a genius idea.

Did you know that one of Hero's hobbies is Craig's List?

That man will look for and sell all kinds of things on Craig's List - cars, bikes, furniture, dish washer - So of course he checked it out to see if by some chance there was the exact door we were looking for out there for our home.

And there was! It was just what we needed and so was much less money. The person who was selling it had ordered the very same door from Lowe's and he got two in delivery by mistake. Lowe's told him to keep them both and he decided to sell one on the List. As a bonus, he was willing to accept the 2 gift cards as part of the payment. Yay!

(You just never know what is out there on Craig's List - This door is not a regular size, it is out swinging and had to open the correct way. What are the chances? You should totally look at other options when you are ready to buy. It might be out there.)

Ever wonder what your house would like like without a door? It might be something like this.

Even without the trim, we are IN LOVE! What a difference!

This door addressed all our wishes - Lot's of light streaming in (except when we don't want it to, then we pull down the shade), it opens out, so there is no blocking the way in or out of the house, the fridge door opens like a champ and it is so great looking:


Here it is with the shade down - It is a piece of cake to bring on the shade.

Holy cow - This door really changed the way the kitchen looks and functions. Sure, we've come a long way on improving the kitchen (check it out here, here, and here), but this door has done wonders for the feel of this space.

Sometimes those projects that get put off make a pretty big impact, and then we wonder why we put it off for so long. Go ahead - finish up the projects that need to be finished! You will get them off your list and you get to enjoy them.

We still need to trim it up correctly and then we can finally put the bead board up on that wall. I'll show that next time.

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