Built-Ins: Round 2

Do you guys remember the built-ins we made for our first home? Here’s a little reminder if you don’t remember. I was so in love with them, and they worked so well for the space.


When we purchased our current home, I knew I wanted built-ins for the living room. Once you have them, you just can’t go back. The living room in our current home is much more open than our last place, and so I decided I would try to find something pre-existing that I could modify. Here’s the before shot:


I ended up scoring these solid oak bookshelves on Craiglists for $250!


I slapped some homemade chalk paint on them, and then sanded down our existing sideboard on each side, and they just fit the space like a glove. Here’s the beautiful result:



I have to say, I actually like these built-ins more than our first ones. I think it’s because the space is more open. I miss having a fireplace, but we’re hoping to built a mantel shelf to hang in the center, after Match mounts the TV. He’s also going to put reclaimed wood behind the tv, to give it a pop of color, and to tie it in with our closet mud room.


I love how the space looks now! It’s exactly what I wanted, and it was half the price of our first built in project.


Summer Projects

Welp, I had all these high hopes of blogging a lot during my summer break, and here I am finishing up my first week back at work, finally getting around to my poor, neglected blog. I’ve missed you bloggy friends! This was my summer break of projects. Since we are homeowners again, I had quite the list of things to get done.  Here’s what I managed to accomplish during my month off:

  1. Repainted the deck
  2. Painted the front trim
  3. Re-painted all the doors and inside trim ( are you sensing a theme here? I’m so sick of painting!)
  4. Swapped out outlets and switches for the more modern ones. I love being able to hit them with my elbow to turn them on or off.
  5. Scored bookcases off Craiglist for our faux built ins in the living room.
  6. Worked on the yard, took down a lot of ugly bushes and stumps
  7. Made Piglet a couple of train shelves
  8. Guest room makeover-found an incredible $10 goodwill desk and chalk painted it. Then added a fun sign to the room, new comforter, drapes, and redecorated a bit. I love how it turned out.

I will post pictures of everything soon, but here’s a sneak peek of the pretty new built ins.


In the middle of all of these projects, I also had my dad, stepmom, brothers, nephews, niece and grandpa visit. We had a great time, but it was exhausting.


I also made sure to do fun things with Piglet, and try to soak up as much family time as possible. We had my 15 year high school reunion, then Miss PhD’s wedding, both on the coast, so there was a lot of driving.


There was also an incredible emotional rollercoaster involving my mother’s mental health. I won’t blog about it, but I will just say that things are not good, and I’m praying she gets better.

In happier news, my brother got engaged! I’ve gotten to know his girlfriend and her son, and I’m so so so happy they are going to be a part of the family. She’s an amazing influence on my oldest brother, and it makes my heart happy to see him so happy.

I’m tired from all the vacationing, but so satisfied with my month off. We packed in a lot of life!

Deck Make-Over

It’s my summer break (yay!) and I dove right into my house project to do list. First up was repainting our back deck. We love hanging out in the backyard, especially in the summertime. The deck was in pretty sorry shape when we moved in.


I am so happy with the new look. It’s a blueish gray, and it compliments the interior colors of the house. I feel like it makes the deck look bigger too.


I am hoping to refinish the deck chairs this month as well, and hopefully add some fun solar lights to the awning. We also have a lot of landscaping left to do, but it’s coming along.


As you can see, Piglet didn’t waste any time grabbing his toys to play on the rug. I love how he lined them all up for the picture.

Painting with a Toddler

We had the keys to our new home since Wednesday evening, and we’ve been hard at work. We have the luxury of having a few weeks before we have to move out of our rental, so we’re getting stuff done before we move in.

First on my list was painting the kitchen cabinets. They are nice cabinets, but in the ugly honey builder grade standard. I am so, so, so excited about these white cabinets. I’m also a complete monkey when it comes to home improvements. Heigh challenged be damned!


We also got to work painting over the avocado green and banana yellow in the living rooms, not to mention the burnt orangey-red color in the master bathroom. Again, I didn’t let my shortness get in my way. Here’s my solution when a ladder just wasn’t cutting it.


The pictures of the house paint don’t really do the color justice. It’s a light gray, and after the second coat I think the true color will come out. Right now it kind of looks white, but I promise in person it isn’t.

Piglet has been incredible during our weekend of DIY and home renovating. Here he is being absolutely adorable. Wouldn’t this be a great ad for paint? Just saying.


Our secret to getting him to cooperate was a combination of lots of toys available, some extra video time, scheduled play date breaks, and just having an awesome kid. We also brought all his stuff (bed, stuffed animals, sound machine, monitor, the works) for nap time, and used those 2 hours to our full advantage each day. But we are also lucky that Piglet is a really good self entertainer, and not a destructive toddler.


We still have so much to do, but I’m amazed at how much we were able to finish in just a few days. We are hoping to move next weekend! Ack, I can’t wait to be in our new home!

How to Have Your Unique Wedding on a Budget

Soon the lovely warm summer will be upon us, and that means one thing – wedding season. If you’re planning a wedding, you’ll know how much there is to do, and how much work it is. You want to make your wedding day your own, but do you sometimes think that everything starts to look, a bit, well, samey? After months of reading bridal magazines and going to wedding fairs, at times, it can all seem to seep into one big confetti shaped blur.


So how do you add your own stamp to proceedings? If you like to be different and stand out from the crowd, an off the peg wedding is not going to be your ideal big day. Your wedding day is meant to represent the beginning of your new life together, so you should make it reflect you as a couple.


The thing is, getting married tends not to be cheap. It can cost a lot. Dresses, venue, food, it all adds up and can make a considerable dent in your wedding day budget. And if you want something that’s a bit quirky and not run of the mill, it tends to incur a premium. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some really awesome tips to help you save cash and be true to you on your big day!

If you’re not into the schmaltzy shop standard invitations, then why not have a go at making your own? Even if you’re not the most crafty of folk, you can cheat a little. Check out these clever DIY wedding invites by Pure Invitation. You can design your own invites with minimal skills – there’s no card cutting or scoring required. It’s so simple to do, and you can design something that you really love. They aren’t too expensive either so it’s great for saving a little bit of cash. Even better, you don’t have to sacrifice giving the impression you want.

When you’re looking for the dress, it can be daunting knowing even where to start. The choice can be overwhelming. And some dresses are so expensive. If you love vintage and retro clothing why not see if you can find something preloved? From eBay to local charity shops you’ll find fabulous wedding dresses for a fraction of the price you’d pay most other places. If you love the retro look but sizing is an issue, or you can’t find a dress you love, check out vintage style wedding dresses at Vivien of Holloway. Their reproduction styles are stunning and surprisingly affordable.


When it comes to decorations for your wedding day, you can’t go wrong looking for inspiration on sites like Pinterest. I wish Pinterest had been around when I was planning my wedding! Some of the most stunning decorations are really simple, and can be cost effective. Black boards look great and can be used for a variety of purposes. Simple arrangements can be elegant and striking. Don’t forget to include elements that reflect all the things you love. If you aren’t that good at making things, why not enlist the help of crafty friends and make an evening of it? Not only will you have fun, but you might also find friends have hidden talents! You can buy all sorts of odds and ends on eBay to help give your decorations a professional touch.I had a lot of fun designing my guestbook tree, and it cost very little to make.


It’s not difficult to stamp your own unique style on your wedding. Have you got any tips or tricks on how to keep your big day individual and save money? Drop by and let us know in the comments below!