Home Improvement: Wall stencils, I need your opinion.




At my sister-in-law Holly’s suggestion (thanks, Holly), we are thinking of stenciling the Great Wall  that I blogged about on Monday.

My husband is actually on board with this idea which surprised me, but now I can’t decide which direction I want to go with it.

Regardless of the pattern we choose, I am going to keep the colors pretty neutral.

Probably a cloudy white and grey or navy.

You can check out all the options on Cutting Edge Stencils.

What do you think?


My sister’s Ikea Hack- glass door pantry

My sister recently moved into a new house.

She needed extra pantry storage.

She already owned a Ikea Hemnes Glass Door Cabinet (she has the older version of this cabinet) which would work as a pantry, but she didn’t like that you could see what was being stored inside.

So she lined the interior of the glass with a vinyl “lace” tablecloth purchased by the yard at Walmart.

I love the vintage look.

And it completely camouflages the “pantry” in her dining room.

Great idea, Annie!




Home Improvement: Stained Glass Window Project

My husband and I picked up three old stained glass windows at The Tobacco Barn on our honeymoon a few weeks ago.

I wanted a unique way to hang them in our sun room.

And thankfully my husband is good at taking my ideas and making them happen.

This weekend we finally finished the project.

Here is what we did.


Super cheap hardware from Home Depot, 50 cents per pack plus 14 cents for the over-sized washers.


Toggle bolts, clothesline hooks and rings, and over-sized washers.


Spray painted hardware.


Hardware all assembled.


We laid the windows out on craft paper to determine the layout.

Then Joe traced around the windows and taped the kraft paper to the wall for easy placement.

He is a smart one:)

The dog continued to beg throughout the process. He does not like when the attention is shifted away from him. Spoiled.



Pre-drilled the holes for the rings.



This is his arm, not mine. I don’t have hairy arms, in case you were wondering.




Making sure the hooks are level. He said, “Hmmm close enough.”



Yay, it worked.


14 (2)



Completed project.


I love that we purchased the windows on our honeymoon.

And every time I look at them it will remind me of our trip.

Yay for a handy husband.

Update: I shifted the room around.


Home Improvement- Our kitchen space problem.

First of all, I know there are far more pressing issues in the world than my kitchen space problems.

World hunger.



And this is a personal issue I have been dealing with lately.

Keeping everything in perspective.

Which is why in two weeks we are having 35 people over for a holiday party…

Even though our house is nowhere near being ready for guests.

But it will be good for me.

Life is not perfect, and trying to appear like I have it altogether all the time is exhausting.

So we are having a party even in our imperfection.

And it will be fun.

And there will be good food.

Moving to the issue of this post.

We had a counter space problem because of a land hog microwave.

Kitchen cabinet drawer space problem.

A non-functional kitchen exhaust hood problem.

And a lighting problem over the cooktop.


A built in microwave, with exhaust hood and light built in.

$177 on sale at Lowes.


The new hood I had considered buying was over $200.

So we saved some money and solved our space problem in one shot.

Kill two birds with one stone.

Light two candles with one flame.

Brighten two hearts with one smile.

Make two wishes upon one star.

You get the picture.:)

Speaking of pictures.

Here is our kitchen in progress…




pic 2

See the weird opening above the cooktop?…the hood that was installed there was WAY too small for the space.



pic 5




Joe surprised me on Friday by doing most of the installation while I was at work.

I gave the exhaust hood a workout this weekend while making quesadillas. Oops. But wow did it work well.

Yay for home improvement progress.

Installing cabinet hardware and painting (walls and cabinets) are our next major projects.

The battle of the garbage cans

I hate Joe’s bachelor pad garage worthy kitchen garbage can.

He hates my tiny apartment sized kitchen garbage can.

We will see who wins.

Or we may just go buy a new garbage can we can both agree on.:)


And we have made so much progress on the moving/home improvement/unpacking front.

The living room is starting to look like a living room again.


I Heart Waste Management’s Bagster

So we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel….hardwoodflooringwise (hey I made a new word).

Now we just have to get married next Saturday.

But the big project is almost over. (insert sarcastic tone)

Demolition of existing the flooring and then laying 1200 sq ft of hardwood flooring is a lot of work, especially when working a lot of overtime and planning a wedding all at the same time.

Joe said the other day that the nice thing about this project is that it will make all the other home improvement projects seem tiny in comparison:)

But this post is not about overworking ourselves. Its about home improvement  project garbage.

We had not such a great experience at the landfill a few months ago so we opted to use another option, drum roll please…….

What can I say? I love getting rid of stuff:)

Instead, we opted for the product called The Bagster. ($29.95 @ Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon)

I love love love this product.

We filled our 2nd and 3rd Bagsters this weekend.

I called to confirm that it was okay to put a sofa in the bag. They said, “Sure, as long as it fits in the bag.”

So we filled our bags with almost 1200 sq feet of old carpet, an old 7ft sofa, vinyl flooring, bathroom fixtures and lots of other odds and ends (even old shingles that the regular landfill won’t take).

I paid for the pick up over the phone.

Both bags will be conveniently picked up this week between Monday and Wednesday.

And I don’t even have to be there when the truck comes to pick up the bags.

I mean seriously, can it get any easier than that?

If you are planning a home improvement or clean out project, this is the product to use when you are ready to get rid of stuff.

Common Sense note: We also took several trips to Goodwill. Nothing went in the bags that was worthy of donating.

Retail Therapy- TJMaxx and TP

Sorry I have had so few and far between posts lately.

Currently, I am just trying to keep my head above water.

Yesterday after church, I spent most of the day doing laundry ( 7 loads!) and packing my apartment.

Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday, I took two huge bags of stuff to Goodwill and three huge bags out to the garbage.

Yay for getting rid of stuff!

I have 2 1/2 weeks until I move and less than four weeks until I get married.

Eek I still have so much to do.

Anyway, Friday night my sister convinced(does not take much to convince me) me to take a little trip to TJMaxx for some retail therapy.

While I was there I spotted one of my favorite items.

A big glass vase.

Do you know what I do with big glass vases like that?

They are the PERFECT size to hold 3-4 extra rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom.

$6.99 to $9.99

Cheap, functional, chic and unexpected.

I had planned to show you how I have one in my apartment, and then I realized I was out of toilet paper (probably because I have not been grocery shopping in 3 weeks).

So you will have to trust me.

Happy Monday!



Love Language and Transparency

From the same office that we both work in, this sweet man goes out to buy breakfast every morning.

He has done this for all five years I have worked with him.

And every morning he returns with two bottles of water.

One for him and one for me.

He checks the caps on the bottles to see which is cleaner.

Opens the cleaner one for me and then goes about his business for the day.

Sometimes the humblest of actions speak the loudest.

The reason I blogged about water at work today is because last night I had a huge pity party about how this flooring project is not going to get done in time

(in my time frame anyway). Because life is all about me, right?

Mostly the pity party involved visions of me living out boxes and furniture chaos for the first few months of marriage because the house could not be put back together until the hardwood was finished. Hardwood that could have been laid months ago.

And I was so rebuked this morning when this sweet man, placed a clean water bottle on my desk and said, ” I know you are stressed about the floors, but I promised you three years ago that it would be done before we get married; and it will get done.”

Thrifty Gift Wrap

I am a firm believer that gift wrap makes the gift.

A little humble gift in great packaging is no longer humble.

Side note: In my opinion the only exception to this is an engagement ring. I didn’t care what shape or form that ring came in. :)

And sometimes the humblest of packaging, done in the right way is no longer humble.

Personally, I almost always have a roll of kraft paper and twine on hand. It’s fun to see how creative I can be.

And I come by it honestly.

When I was a little girl, I vividly remember my mom using kraft paper to wrap a baby gift. Then she carefully made a potato stamp.

She stamped little carrot shapes all over the package  (the nursery theme was of the anticipated baby was Beatrix Potter). And then tied the packaged together with a big twine bow. It was the simplest wrapping, but definitely the cutest gift at the shower (in my five year old mind anyway).

Example: Potato Stamps on White Computer Paper

Example: Kraft and Constructions Paper with a little twine.

Example: Cupcake Liner Flowers

Example: Burlap and Twine

Example: Clear Jewelry Bubble Pouch and Homemade Label

Example: Candy Bar, White Wrapping Paper and Craft Supplies

Example: Week Long Care Package Made of Evelopes via Martha Stewart