DIY Yellow Ribbon Wreath!

We’re on week 1 of our very first deployment, and, well, we’re getting through it. Before hubbs left, I found an awesome tutorial to make a ribbon wreath, and then promptly lost it and was unable to find it again.  After about 2 weeks of trial and error, I figured how to get the look I wanted! So here it is, my yellow ribbon wreath! And I’ll tell you how.  Continue reading

Master bedroom on a budget!

I wish I’d taken a before picture to show how hideous the master bedroom was. But for the past 2 years (since we moved into this house) I’ve made sure no pictures were taken in that room, because it was so horrid. So, there are no pictures of the sadly neglected master bedroom. But I do have pictures (iPhone pictures, I’m afraid, in low light) of the newly redecorated bedroom! Check it out:


Other than the dresser, which hubbs splurged on (Ikea, $249, I think), the rest of the room was my thrift shopping.

5′ x 8′ rug: $49 at Old Time Pottery

Comforter with 2 matching shams: $13 at Salvation Army

2 coordinating shams: $0.79 at Value Village (thrift)

Coordinating throw pillow: $1.49 at Park Avenue Thrift

Remnant upholstery fabric for headboard: $4.50 at Old Time Pottery (and I have enough for valences! – later )

Foam mattress topper for headboard: found it in the basement – used to be on one of the kids’ beds.

Button covering kit for headbard tufting: $8.00 at Hancock Fabric

Quote above the headboard: $14.99 at Old Time Pottery

Total: $78.77, plus hubby’s dresser


I no longer cringe walking into my room. I think it’ll need some color on the walls at some point, and I’ll install a closet organizing system at some point. But for now, I’m pretty happy with my <$80 redecoration!

A place for everything…

And today, we have Prednisone project #2 – cleaning the boys’ room! You see, we had a bad case of post-Christmas explosion: IMG_2072


Toys everywhere. Nothing had a home. The truth is, very few things had found a home even before Christmas, but once all the new Christmas stuff arrived, the situation was, well, disastrous. As you can see. So, hubbs and I sent the boys downstairs to play. See, when there aren’t any children around we can easily dump things into the trash… Sneaky? Perhaps. But efficient. In the end, there were 2 large bags of trash and 3 boxes for Goodwill.

IMG_2073Now, all their toys have their own home. Everything is put away, and most of it is labeled. Because I love labels. We’ll see how long things stay put away, but for now, the post-Christmas explosion has been dealt with.


Whitewashed fireplace: disaster and fix

Bronchitis for the few weeks leading up to Christmas can be a real downer – that is, unless your doc prescribes you an upper! Sleepless nights and bounding energy have turned me into the energizer bunny. Browsing around Pinterest I found some awesome pictures of whitewashed fireplaces and decided to make that my Prednisone Project #1. Here’s the inspiration:

Whitewashed Fireplace from

To start with, this was my fireplace:

Red brick

Plenty of character, but with the nice hardwoods and the large oak built-ins on the wall, it made the room look dark and dingy. So, I followed the instructions from The Yellow Cape Cod, mixing my paint with water, and brushing on. But, seeing as how the prednisone had me going a mile a minute, I didn’t take time to do it slowly and check my progress. So I ended up with a white fireplace. Much whiter than I wanted. Boo.

White fireplace

So, back to Pinterest I went. How do you un-whitewash a fireplace? Pinterest was no help. Neither was google or a handful of do it yourself sites. The best advice I found was to repaint it another color. Yikes! Could I really have ruined my fireplace? A little more research, and I found that I could pick up some denatured alcohol or paint stripper at the hardware store and remove some of the paint. And, a bottle of Motsenbocker LiftOff and some old towels did the trick. Spray on, leave for 1 minute, then rub with a towel. Here’s the finished fireplace:

IMG_2050The natural patina of the brick is back, but the lighter finish really brightens the room. I may go back over it in a few places with the LiftOff to bring out the natural brick tones just a bit more, but for now, I’m quite happy with it.

New Year’s tradition

Can I just say that hubbs is the smartest man ever? At breakfast this morning he asked the kids to tell us what they were most thankful for in 2011. When everyone had talked about specific toys and events, he said that we need to make room for 2012.

Get it? Make space. Get rid of clutter. And he got the kids on board. Because if they want 2012 to be as awesome as 2011 was, they need to have space for it! So we spent the morning cleaning out Little Man’s room. And the afternoon was spent cleaning out Bean’s room. Of the two, Bean’s was much harder. While on first glance it seemed like the cleaner of the two rooms, Bean has a knack for turning other people’s trash into her treasure. And hiding it.

One conversation with her went like this:

Hubbs: “How about this Burger King crown. Why don’t you wear it more often?”

Bean: “Because, um, it’s cardboard. And it’s not pretty.”

Hubbs: “So, maybe you can throw it away now?”

Bean (as she puts the cardboard not pretty crown on): “NO!!!”

The crown eventually did make it to the trash today, along with a very great deal of the rest of her “treasures”. The good news is that Bruiser is only attached to a few things, so tomorrow will likely be an easier day.

Loving our brand new tradition! I think it’ll be back every year.

Settling in

We moved in 6 months ago and, while our house is definitely homey and ‘ours’, it doesn’t look like it yet. There are still plenty of things that don’t have homes – some days I’m tempted to call it clutter. Other days it seems more like the normal output of a family with 3 kids under age 8.

Last weekend I bought 2 seagrass area rugs at a friend’s garage sale. It’s really amazing how an area rug can make a room seem more homey. Then I started looking for a solution to organize all the necklaces laying cluttered on my dresser. My original solution was a shoebox under the bed – but they kept getting tangled so I’d lay them out on the dresser. Hence, clutter. Problem identified, in step Pinterest. Have you seen pinterest? It’s like an online bulletin board to organize and share pictures and ideas. I found all these ideas to hang jewelry on magnetic boards, framed bulletin boards, and so forth. With a handful of ideas I added my own – I pulled out a bunch of shower curtain loops and hooked them into the slats of my closet door. Now we have this:

Feeling domestic

I’ve been pulling weeds bit by bit every day this week. While the kids ride bikes and go wild outside, I fill up trash bag after trash bag with weeds. It would seem that there is no grass in our yard. Just weeds.

Well, we made a trip to Pike’s nursery today and picked up some things. A little (very little) gardenia bush that I planted next to the front walk; a Veggie Tales growing kit for the kids to grow tomatoes and banana peppers; seeds for zinnia and other flowers that Bean picked out; and a slew of veggie seeds. As long as there’s no groomed yard, I don’t see why I should waste good backyard space with weeds. So this morning I planted Bean’s flowers (since, after all, she doesn’t like dirt – which she told me after we bought ‘her’ seeds). I planted my gardenia. And the boys and I did the Veggie Tales planting kit. Tomorrow I’ll get to work with the rest of the seeds. Tomato, cucumber, zucchini, pumpkin, watermelon, eggplant, and chives. You can probably guess which ones I picked out and which ones the kids picked out.