A New Year, a New Mixer! 

Here we are on January 15th, 2017. I’ve just now, finally, taken down all the holiday decorations (thank you, 4-day weekend) and begun to reflect on the last year. For our little family 2016 was expensive (new water line, HVAC, and windows, plus a major truck repair) and emotional (my parents’ divorce, the birth of our baby). I’m looking forward to a fresh start and planning new projects for 2017! 

The long-terms goals for this year include a guest bedroom remodel (paint, chair cover, furniture updates) and an end table that looks like a card catalog for the library. For the time being, though, I’ll be taking on little projects here and there and spending the majority of my free time with our little crawler! Crawling?! It’s crazy, I know. 

Plus, I have to recuperate from that giant wardrobe! …The one that I built to hold all Tony’s tools, but I don’t want to put any tools in now because they will mess it up… Goodness. 

Anyway, here’s my first project of the calendar year:

I’ve wanted one of these Kitchenaid Stand Mixers for some time. When we got married I didn’t cook much, so it seemed silly to register for such an expensive kitchen appliance. Over the last few years I’ve really upped my culinary game though, and I began to dream about one of those beautiful mixers. Tony found one that was nearly new for me for Christmas, and I’ve been whipping up cookies, pizza dough, scones, more cookies, guacamole, baby food, shredding chicken… Basically everything! It’s been a blast. To personalize my new machine I added some subway art vinyl and sewed a cover for the bowl that will keep all my attachments dust free. 

The bowl cover was the first project I’ve ever done with elastic too, so I may have to come up with some other elastic-based projects in the future!  

Happy baking, and Happy New Year to you from us! 

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Merry Christmas! And the Wardrobe is done!!

I hope you are having a joyous holiday season! EO is enjoying his fourth straight day of Christmas celebrations- that’s a lot of paper to try and eat! 

It hasn’t been all elves and mistletoe around here though. I’ve had a big deadline to try and meet in terms of my wardrobe project, and there’s nothing better than a deadline to get a girl’s bee-hind in gear! 

And boy, was I cutting it close on this one! Just an hour before guests arrived I was vacuuming saw dust and snapping these pictures!

I’m happy to say, this beautiful beast is 95% done! All that’s left to do is some trim work, but it’s totally usable for this weekend’s out-of-town guests.

If you’d asked me on Wednesday if it would be ready, I would have grunted out a frustrated “no.” Last weekend mom came over to help me finish painting the doors, so on Wednesday, our first day of winter break, I prepared to install them. That’s when I realized they were an inch and a half too short. For real! I still have no idea where I went wrong. When I called Tony to tell him the problem, I was sure my inlaws would be sleeping in a room still under construction.  Then I told myself to put my big girl panties on, and just get it done. That night, after I put EO to bed, I went to Home Depot for some 1x3s and headed to Dad’s to fix my error. We ended up building a frame with the 1x3s, cutting the MDF doors down even more, and fitting them into the frame. Sorry, there are no photos, because there was no time! We finished the doors the next afternoon, so I primed, painted, and installed hinges on Friday. That left Saturday morning for the install. Thank you, Tony, for routing out the grooves for the hinges and helping me hang the doors!

I am so glad this thing is finally (almost) done. And I absolutely love it. The only problem is that I can’t see it from the hallway! I guess I’ll be hanging out in the guest room a little more in the future.

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Sofa Table Gifts

My grandparents have this little black table in their entryway, and apparently my mom and her sisters have coveted it for years. 

Well, Mom decided it was time they all had the table, and that surely I could build it. So on Black Friday I took a break from my wardrobe project, and we went to Home Depot. We were there at noon, and it was still a zoo, but luckily the lumber side of the store was mostly calm and quiet. That afternoon we cut all the wood and Mom used the electric sander to smooth down the tabletops and the electric drill to make the pocket screw holes. 

The tables really went together quite nicely! I think the key was my new Kreg Jig for the pocket screw holes. We used it to build the legs out of a 1×3 and a 1×2. We just joined the pieces with the 1×3 facing the front, so you can hardly tell it’s two pieces of wood put together. 

Mom took the tables home for wood filling, 2 coats of black satin paint and light distressing. 

Then she added the words we’d cut on my machine and finished them with a clear topcoat. Here they are all lined up in her hallway. 

Mom saved one table for herself and took the other two up to Green Bay to give to my aunts. That’s why I couldn’t post about them earlier – couldn’t spoil the surprise! 

Aunt Beth sent a picture of her table in place in their living room. 

My aunts were so surprised! It was fun to FaceTime with them right after they saw their tables! 

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Wardrobe Work

So… it’s been nearly a month since my last post. Yikes! I guess that tells you just how much I’ve been able to complete since I returned to work… Besides the regular craziness of transitioning to working momhood, we’ve had some wonderful weekend visitors and even a baptism for little Lovebucket!

Love that little bow tie!

And then, Thanksgiving Break – Oh how I love you! I love the extra time with family and friends, of course, the delicious food, and the push to focus on all the many blessings I’ve received…


But I also love that I finally had a little time to focus on my wardrobe project! 

To be fair, there has been some work happening. Right after I went back to work, Dad helped me cut the dados (pronounced day-doughs) for the drawer bottoms to slide into. A couple weeks ago I painted and put the drawers together, but then they sat in the dining room for awhile.  

So I was very thankful that Miss Shirley came over to watch the little turkey on Wednesday so Tony could do homework at the library, and I could get in 4 uninterrupted hours of wardrobe work! 

That’s not to say it was a blissful project experience. The wood for the drawers was a bit bowed, and they didn’t fit together quite as tightly as I’d planned, so everything was around an 1/8 of an inch off from my original measurements. And I didn’t install the slides level with oneanother the first time… Let’s just say there was significant grunting, muttered profanity, and even a frustrated tear or two as I tried to correct my various mistakes. At one point I just hammered the heck out of a screw that was too stripped to pull out. It was cathartic. In the end, I learned how to use another new tool (the planer) so I could shave down my drawers to make everything fit. And just 5 hours after I began, my drawers were all installed. 

They are massive, by the way. Before this is all said and done, I will be snapping a photo of EO sitting inside one of these!

Climbing inside this cabinet to install the drawer slides brought back memories of the sliding shelves I made for the kitchen cabinets last January. It was much easier to do without a baby growing in my belly!

Up next: The face frame for the drawers is all ready to install, then I can do drawer faces and closet doors. Getting closer!

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Happy Halloween! 

I’m a big fan of homemade Halloween costumes. Its sort of a requirement for a DIYer. So, I spent months wracking my brain, and Pinterest, for a cool costume idea for EO and me. He won’t be trick-or-treating this year, but I wanted to take him to school for the costume parade! 

The top costume contenders were Winnie the Pooh and Piglet (but I didn’t buy the Pooh onesie early enough) or a couple of bumble bees. I wanted something we’d both be comfortable in, and something EO could wear in the stroller, which ruled out the really adorable dragon and scuba diver costumes. In the end, I kept coming back to this Pin of an octopus made from women’s socks. I found some polka dot and striped socks that perfectly matched a onesie that EO already had – decision made! And to make it a coordinated costume, I would be a coral reef!

I followed this woman’s tutorial exactly, with just one modification – instead of stuffing, I used old plastic shopping bags. I’m not even kidding. I just stretched out 4-5 old plastic bags and shoved them into the socks. They make a little crinkly noise when you move them, which EO loves, and it was one less item to purchase! 

I just used pinking shears to cut the leggings, and I left some of the foot of the sock so they would cover most of his feet. I did have to sew the sock legs though, so they could just slide onto the elastic and remain repositionable. 

My costume is just a men’s tshirt with a coral reef painted on it. It had to be easy to put on!

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Road Trip – Petit Jean 

We’ve just returned home from our first family vacay! Tony’s leave was able to overlap with mine for a few days, so we  visited Petit Jean (French for Little John) State Park in Arkansas. Legend has it that a French explorer was sent by the King to explore the Louisiana Territory. His fiancé asked to accompany him, but the explorer said it was too dangerous. Unwilling to be away from her love, the woman dressed as a boy and secured a job as the Cabin Boy for the voyage. The crew loved the diminutive Cabin Boy, and nicknamed him Petit Jean. They all enjoyed a lovely summer with the natives of the area, but as they were preparing for the return trip to France, Petit Jean fell ill and asked to be buried at the top of this little mountain, thus the park’s name. 

Though the locals definitely pronounced it Pet-it Jean, so I can’t get that out of my head!

We rented an adorable, little, overnight cabin for a few nights. 

It was pretty cramped in there with the pack’n’play, the kennel, and the stroller, but so worth it that the 4 of us were all there together! I think we did a decent job with the packing!

Petit Jean has some fantastic hiking trails that center around the beautiful Cedar Creek and Cedar Falls, a 90 foot waterfall. 

 The water level was pretty low, but the hike to the Falls was still beautiful. 

On a different trail, we went above the falls and along the creek that feeds it. 

We spent each morning hiking the various trails. EO did great for about 3 hour stretches. He just fell asleep on Tony’s back when he got tired. In fact, he’s asleep in almost every family photo I tried to take, but we got a few of him awake too! 

Charlie led us fearlessly on each path. He absolutely loved scampering up and down the rocks! 

Then we spent the afternoons napping and taking it easy. 

There were two spots in the park that were less trail and more natural playground. The first that we visited was Bear Cave, a collection of massive boulders that you can walk around, over, and through. 

Even EO did some climbing!  

It was a great spot for photographs. 

The other spot was Rock Cave, a natural shelter with Native American pictographs. 

Walking back from Rock Cave, you can really see why these are called Turtle Rocks! 

The boys were completely wiped out on the drive home. I was able to snap this pic of them napping together in the backseat – warms a momma’s heart!

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Wardrobe Part I

Most of my projects lately have been knock-offs of things I saw on Pinterest, but I’ve been working up a more original idea – a wardrobe in out guest bedroom. We’ve added closet space in our bedroom and EO’s bedroom, but we’ve hardly touched the guest room since adding the full bath a couple years ago. That room doesn’t have a closet of any kind, but the more traditional closet we put in EO’s room was such a mess with the mudding and sanding, etc. For the guest room, I’d decided a wardrobe was the best choice, but to maximize space and avoid carrying giant, heavy furniture up our narrow stairs, I wanted a built-in wardrobe that went from floor to ceiling with drawers and shelves and hanging space. This was my original plan: 
 I’d decided this would be my maternity leave project, and with only a few weeks of leave left, it was sure time to get started! 

So, EO and I went to the hardware store with my list of items. We picked up the little thing first – painting supplies, hinges, screws, etc. Then we went and got one of those lumber carts with the slot in the middle to hold the big sheets of plywood. I pushed EO in the stroller and pulled the big cart behind me. It was pretty humorous, and I got a few funny looks. The lady at the register told me I was amazing. Luckily, by then  Tony was off work and swung by the Depot to get the little man. 

Anyway, progress on this honking piece of furniture is predictably slow, but steady! Mom helped me prime and paint the first two coats on the MDF. Dad helped me cut the wood on his table saw. Tony cut out the baseboard for me. So it’s construction time! I can’t get a whole lot done while EO’s sleeping, as nap times have shrunk to 40 minutes or so. 

But I’ve had the babysitter come over a few afternoons, and that has allowed for a lot of progress!

Two more weeks. Let’s see if I can do it!

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Shade-y Business 

Lamp Shades, that is!

I’ve had this lamp in our front hall for ages. I love its height and detail, and I initially loved the beaded shade as well, but now it doesn’t quite match the room. I’ve tried replacing the shade, but the way it connects is really funky. It has these extenders on the bulb holder, so if I try another shade, the bulb sticks out the top! I’ve actually tried several different shades, but they’re all the same. I’d resigned myself to keeping it as is, until I came across this pin last week where a lady covered an existing lampshade.

So simple. Burlap, hot glue. Done. 

I had some burlap ribbon leftover from past projects, so I cut it down the middle, peeled a few strands away to make the frayed edge, gathered it, and glued that sucker on – a one nap time project!

This other lamp shade I did over the summer. It’s in Tony’s library so there can be no frill applied, but I have this issue with things that are plain. So I added a detail I knew he wouldn’t object to – a raven! (In case you’ve been living under a rock, or if you’re new here, Tony’s got a bit of a thing for the world of Edgar Allen Poe!)

I cut the image out on my machine and just stuck it on the inside of the shade with scotch tape. I put my hand in there too, and it wasn’t hot, so I’m sure it’s safe!  : )

Charlie helped me take pictures, and he wanted me to take one of him too. Such a sweet boy!

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Super Simple Wreath

Fall has certainly been in the air recently! The temps have cooled (for a few days at least) and the Fall Festivals have begun, so it was time to pull out the fall decor. I like to do a new project or two each year, and this one caught my eye on Pinterest! It looked simple enough to do during naptime. It was! And I even got a nap in myself. 


  • 1 grapevine wreath, I went with an 8 inch
  • 10-12 floral stems of your choice, I’ve always had a thing for the orange and red ones
  • Wire cutter 

Step 1: Cut your stems to about 3 inches from the bottom bloom. 

Step 2: Jam the stems into the wreath. I did two and two opposite one another first and filled in from there. 

Step 3: There will be an inch or so of wire that pokes through the back of the wreath. Twist it at an angle to hold the bloom in place. Use the wire cutter to help tuck the pokey part into the grapevine. 

Step 4: Gently bend and separate the stems to ensure they’re full and even. 

Step 5: Hang! This was the trickiest part – I still can’t quite decide where to hang it!

It’s been fun pulling out all the pumpkins and deciding where to put everything this year! Here’s a quick look:

The dining room table: It twas tough to get a photo of this with all the light from the windows, but I just love those black ribbon bats. That Pinterest has some good ideas! They’re on mini clothespins so they’re easy to put away after Halloween, but the pumpkins will stay out through Thanksgiving.

The front hall table: 

And the front porch:

Happy Fall!!

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Road Trip!

I know I’ve been MIA for awhile, but THIS was happening! 


And, not to mention, all this too!

Anyway, school started, Tony went back to work, and I got to start maternity leave! On the first full day of school EO and I hopped in the car with Mimzy to see the extended family in Wisconsin. He was incredible on the 14 hour drive – calm and content. What a relief that was! He met many relatives for the first time – great aunts and uncles, second cousins, and one of his great grandmothers!

We had a great time visiting, going “up north” to the cottage, and exposing a fourth generation (my grandparents, my mom, me, and now EO) to Green Bay’s Bay Beach amusement park. However, the real reason for our trip (Seeing family was the bonus!: ) was a bedroom makeover. My aunt and uncle’s bedroom has looked much like this for the last 20 years (but with drawers), so she was looking for an update – something simple and not too expensive. This project was right up my alley! 

Aunt Beth had picked out a print years ago that would inspire her whole bedroom makeover, so we went shopping with this picture on our phones. The idea was to update the existing furniture and change the accessories to create a space as inviting and serene as this image while keeping the room functional. 

The project was a true family affair. Aunt Beth cleaned and organized, Lissy helped me paint furniture, Mom painted the mirror and the hardware, Uncle Bob moved the super heavy bed and loaned me the necessary tools. Even EO helped me install drawer pulls on the jewelry holder! 

I’ll be honest, though, they all basically just sat and watched me while I installed the new curtain rods!

There was more than one concern raised about my choice of “stepstool.”

In the end, I think we totally achieved our goal with this space!

So, what did we do? 

1. Painted just the drawers of the furniture, the mirror, the inset of the headboard, and the base of the bed (It’s a solid, wood frame to hold their sleep number mattress.) a neutral taupe. Spray painted the brushed gold hardware a beautiful hammered black.

2. Installed new curtain rods and beautiful, soft, linen-like, floor-length curtains to frame the windows. Also bought a new bedding set.

3. Rearranged the furniture, swapped out the chair for one in another bedroom, and got rid of the dated mirror over the long dresser.

4. Added some pretty stellar accessories and artwork to the walls. 

Moving left to right: White Slat Double Frame – Walmart, Weathered Shutter and Jewelry Organizer Shelf – Hobby Lobby, Tiered Jewelry Organizer – DIY, Frame for the print that inspired it all – Hobby Lobby, Just Add Water framed print – Michaels, I think??, Funky Knobs for the Jewelry Organizer Shelf – Hobby Lobby

The Tiered Jewelry Organizer was an especially cool project, because the silver candlesticks were used in Beth and Bob’s wedding. They’ve been sitting in a closet ever since, but now they’re on display every day!

As with so many home projects, it was down to the wire to get this project completed. After we left, I know Aunt Beth filled all the empty frames with favorite photos and added a beautiful cross and sign to the little shelf above the bed. I’m so happy she likes her “new” room! 

Posted in Bedroom, Decor, Furniture, Vacation | Tagged , , | 1 Comment