Tuesday, December 29, 2015


I had this lonely photo above my couch and knew instantly I wanted to create more of a gallery wall there.  But I didn't want to just throw up a few pics and call it a day.  I really wanted to incorporate a little watercolor text and maybe a marquee light.  So this winter break, I finally decided to sit down and draw out a few things.  Super easy, just had to make the time to do it.

So here's the wall that needed a bit of help and was looking a titch boring!

.....so I started collecting a few things to use......a marquee arrow from Michael's and a few watercolor ideas....

got this for 50% off, but figured it needed a bit of dry brushed white paint to make it more at home in my place :)

No big science to this for me......I just keep moving things around until they look right.  I also do not intentionally have any thing line up too correctly, so it saves me from measuring.....I'm more of an eye-baller, so this little trick works for me.

Love it so much more now.  I wanted to keep all the finishes light, gold or natural so they would all work together and not look too busy, even though there are lots of different pieces together.

Found this quote about family on Pinterest so simply hand wrote it.  Made a little heart, which took about 5 seconds and 2 brush strokes.  All created with watercolor paper and paints/brushes from Walmart.  So no big investment.

Light, bright, and more interesting than that one lonely photo from before :)

Rethink some large walls in your own home and decide if a gallery wall might be right for you!

Saturday, December 26, 2015


We recently had a little games night at our house and thought it'd be fun to give away some sort of little prize to all the kids.  Just didn't want to spend a bunch of money that I don't have kinda thing!  So I remembered seeing different ideas out there on Pinterest that dressed up little jars, and thought that might work.  So this is what I did to create a super easy, inexpensive and pretty darn adorable little "prize!"

I bought some baby food jars, got rid of the baby food, cleaned the labels off and was left with the perfect size jar.....

decided on some colors.....also ended up using a white, not pictured here.....

I bought some dollar store animals and glued them to the lids.  I tried gorilla glue, assuming it'd be strong, but after 4 hours, it still hadn't really "stuck" so just opted to use hot glue as a quick fix.  Didn't use it originally because I assumed it wouldn't be quite as tough as the gorilla glue.  But it seemed to work.  Then gave them a coat of spray paint!

Filled the jars with bulk candy from the grocery store, and voila.....a delicious little treat.

Once the candy is gone, the jars could be used to hold other small items, so a win win :)

Cute hey?!  

If you don't want to miss out on posts, make sure to SUBSCRIBE to my blog and find me on Instagram for more day to day inspo!

No go create a little something!

Monday, December 21, 2015


Who doesn't love OREO's?
So if you like baking, like I do.....why not make them from scratch?
Of course they don't taste "exactly" like the storebought....but that's kind of the point too!  Fresh and delicious!

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar .....................mix these 5 ingredients together with an electric mixer.
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons room temp butter...................add into the above.
  • 1 egg..............add into the above.  It will appear very dry.  Keep mixing....even use your hands.
  • Form very small balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.  With damp fingers, press down cookie balls, slightly. Bake 7 mins in a 375' oven.
  • 1/2 cup room temp butter
  • 1/2 vegetable shortening
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(You will probably need about 3/4 of the icing recipe.....I usually end up with a little left over and I do apply a generous amount to each.  So you can opt to freeze it for another time or cut back on the recipe)


Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Ok guys, time to show off a ton of hard work!  Our kitchen!  It's not 100% done, but little finishing details can take a while, so thought I'd share now.....because who knows when the baseboards will all go on!
Here's a quick look at what we've done below:

But you gotta see where we started.....here's the real estate's brochure photos of the previous owner and configurement of the room:

sunshine ceiling, small eating nook, small kitchen....

here's some nasty before pics of when we first moved in and started demo'ing:

we knew right away we had to take that wall down between the kitchen and the formal dining room! little did we know how much money and time it would take!  but seriously, so worth it!

this wall just had to go!

a little child labour ;)

starting to visualize a large open space....

a large steel beam was necessary because a small section of the kitchen ceiling was load bearing

we framed right over the dining room windows so we'd have a space for the fridge and pantries.  sad to loose windows, but storage was more necessary and the strange angles of that wall would've been impossible to work with.  and there's light transfer from the front to the back and vice versa, so no big light loss....

LOVE IKEA cabinets.....just lots of assembling....that's why you save $$$

wanted as large an island as I could squeeze in!

so much oak!  so much priming, sanding and painting :(

but all the hard work started to pay off!

we now have a truly open concept on the main floor.....3 rooms connected without walls!

we just bought more of the same hardwood and continued it.  i'm assuming with some time, sunlight and wear and tear, it'll start to look like the original in the house.....or if we get real ambitious, we'll refinish it all at some point!

this is where the dining room windows and bump out were!
and yes, i still have to put some filler above the fridge to fill the gap!

because we had to put in a beam and the large pantry cabinets were higher than the beam on either side....we were left with a gap......but we also had a left over gable, so we chopped it up into a cool little display shelf in between the two.  it's literally where the previous wall we tore down was!

still have to silicone the edges of the tile and put in a bit of filler in the corner cabinet, but we're getting dangerously close to being finished :)

herringbone tile patter.....cheap tile made to look more impressive, but BEWARE, it's time consuming and painful to install!!  gorgeous in the end tho!

love this gold faucet!! (delta)

the gold hardware is my favorite.....searched on pinterest for exactly what i wanted and was able to get connected with the company!  (school house electric)

thank you urban barn for discontinuing these!  snagged for $23 each!!

baseboards still needed on this side!

spray painted this little table gold....  "EAT" sign from Michael's

knew i wanted to save money on lighting because we needed to do the entire house.....but wanted a white antler chandelier, i created money in the budget for this beauty!

we already had this sectional which we had bought for our previous home, so it's a tad large for this space.....especially when the bar was still in.  so we opted to take that out, and just paint chalk board paint on the walls....freed up some walking room and allowed us to squeeze this mammoth sectional in, which we still love!  (urban barn - coffee table, kitchen table and sectional....rug - walmart)

we also extended the kitchen/eating nook out a few feet so we'd have room for a larger table, since we now had lost the formal dining room in lieu of a larger kitchen.  measuring everything was so needed to make sure we knew what we'd end up!

we really didn't have money for new railing......but knew that the old had to go.....so we bought new posts, kept the handrail parts.....then my dad came up with an ingenious way to create a cable railing system for a fraction of the real stuff!  i'll post about it later!  but what a shocking difference it makes hey??  a little nautical, a little modern.....a little "beach house!"

 Ok, that's it!  A big post I know, I know!  But a seriously big job!!

Some quick sourcing info for ya:

Antler Chandelier: The Shabby Antler
Island Lights, Kitchen Table, Island Stools, Family Room Coffee Table, Sectional: Urban Barn
Cabinets:  IKEA
Kitchen Table Chairs:  Target
Range Hood:  IKEA
Kitchen Sink:  Blanco
Blinds:  Hunter Douglas
Decorative Items:  Chapters and Homesense (majority)
Kitchen Hardware:  School House Electric
Wall Color:  Ralph Lauren's "Brilliant White"
Trim, Built-in's, Panelling:  Behr's Ultra Pure White (untinted)