When picking out our lot for the house we built, we were very excited to back up to a church park. Hardly anyone uses the park and we have access to it through a gate in our back yard. The bad news? The back fence is chain link, not exactly my favorite. It is dipped in black rubbery paint, but still not my dream. In order to give ourselves a little privacy, some shade, and a lot of drama we decided to plant three Madame Galen Trumpet Creepers or Trumpet Vines. For around $25 each, they are a steal of a deal.
This lush green vine has been planted for about 5 years and is spectacular. The flowers are a bright sunset orange and bloom like fireworks around the 4th of July.
From the day we planted the trumpet vine we have weaved it through the chain link fence spreading it as wide as possible. Then, as the vine Read more [...]
Let me start off by letting you know I live in the BEST neighborhood. Seriously, I love my neighbors, their kids, and the fun activities we do together. A few years ago one of my neighbors started having "Monday's Marshmallow Movie Madness". This was a great activity where in the summer our cul-de-sac would gather in their yard, the kids would watch a movie projected on the side of their garage while the adults roasted marshmallows and had hilarious conversations around their propane fire pit. Those nights bonded us together as neighbors and friends and I loved them. I also fell in love with their propane fire pit.
Why You Should Get a Propane Fire Pit
NO Smoke-no more moving from seat to seat depending on the way the smoke is blowing in the wind
Easy to move around-It fits great on a deck, patio or I can Read more [...]
A few weeks ago I wrote a post called the 37 Builder Upgrades You SHOULD Do. Today I am going to share 13 Builder Upgrades You SHOULDN'T Do. Most of these are things that are easy DIY's, don't save you money in the long run, or are better personalized on your own.
When your builder asks if you want the following tell them you Don't want:
Accent paint-I have done a lot of painting in my time, and now I can plan on about one day to prep, paint, and clean up an entire room. It usually costs under $100 and can completely change the feel of a space. Check out my favorite wall mural HERE.
Drawer pulls-Usually a builder has a limited selection of drawer pulls or cabinet door knobs. Don't rush, check out retailers like Home Depot (especially their Martha Stewart special orders), Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, Read more [...]
A while back I showed you how to make casual easy frayed applique pillows shams and I showed you this great fabric that I found. Well, I also used that giant floral to recover my ottoman for my basement rec room. This colorful no sew ottoman cover was a snap and gave new life to my tired old ottoman.
I purchased this large ottoman at a local discount store and paid about $200 for it. The top was chocolate leather. I thought the sides were leather too, but...they were vinyl. They tore quickly and easily and my toddlers at the time thought it was fun to stick their fingers in and stretch the holes out even bigger. That was when I covered it with a simple stripe as pictured below.
The great thing about this ottoman is how EASY it is to change it up. Just flip it upside down, unscrew the wood base and remove Read more [...]
I did a post on how to make camp bottle cap pins last year and have now updated it for 2013. Click HERE for the previous post and instructions.
Click HERE to download the 2013 Camp Bottle Caps
These are very simple and easy to make and don't cost a lot of money, so they are perfect for camp! Download the free templates and print them off at home, cut them out and take them to camp for a fun memorable craft.
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It is officially SUMMER here, and the kids are out of school! As usual I have changed out my family room's decor into a summer theme. It is similar to last year's All American Beach theme. This is my Nautical Mantel.
I already had the old pallet up on my mantel from past designs and decided I'd leave it up to add texture and depth. Then I used silver thumb tacks from the dollar store to attach each of the nine nautical flags to the pallet. I love how the pallet acts like a frame for all of the small flags and makes them feel like one large piece of art.
Since my family room is two-story, I needed a huge mantel to balance the space, the over sized pallet helps fill the space above the fireplace.
A bunch of random nautical, beachy or just cool antiques got layered in front of the pallet.
In a niche Read more [...]
So you've decided to build a house. What an exciting life event! All the builder upgrades will be awesome! But wait, what if I screw it up? What if I forget important details or my builder doesn't have the designer's touch? Should I build the largest house I can or should I build the nicest house I can afford? Well fear no more. I LOVE the building (and remodeling) process, have been through it many many times, and am here to help. Builder Upgrades: What you SHOULD and SHOULDN'T upgrade (because of the huge volumes of information I am sharing on this subject, this will be a mini series, so stay tuned for follow-up posts on what upgrades you shouldn't do and what you may want to change that could cost you nothing). UPDATE: Read the 13 Upgrades You SHOULDN'T Do HERE.
Whether you are building a large custom-house Read more [...]
Ar you interested in 1 hour closet organization? Well, my sister and sister-in-law both put their houses up for sale the same month! I immediately knew how I could help. I begged both of them to let me reorganize their master closets. I know, I'm really weird. I followed as many of the steps from my post "From Blah to Boutique: Organizing a master closet". Here is closet #1 before:
Pretty typical for a master closet. Built in shelving that is not adjustable.
all kinds of crazy colored, covered, plastic, metal and wood hangers (even the "free" ones from Target)
Shoes piled on top of each other
clothes facing different directions
I feel like these clothes are being disrespected when they are inside out, barely hanging on to a scrappy hanger. Check out all of hangers poking out between the clothes. Read more [...]
This is my sister Amy's beautiful traditional home. I have wanted to share her fabulous design talents with you since I started my blog, but wouldn't you know it, it took her putting her house up for sale for me to actually give you a traditional "Open House" tour. The great news? You can buy it!
The entry is very open. Straight ahead is a great staircase and is open to the living room to your right.
The entry is adorned with a huge black and white gallery wall.
The entire main floor is covered in a medium tone hardwood that flows into the living room in the front of the home.
A set of two marbled columns define the space between the living and dining rooms. We have played a lot of games in this dining room, especially after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
If the family room and kitchen is the heart Read more [...]
This post is sponsored by Home Depot and Blogher.
My idea of a great date with my husband is a stroll around a home improvement store. I know, kind of weird but true. We build our house 8 years ago in a track neighborhood. Our kitchen didn't come with any bells and whistles so we added a few items that we purchased at...Home Depot. Here are a few ideas of how you can update your kitchen with The Home Depot.
Read about my "Midnight Beach Kitchen" HERE
These drawer pulls and cupboard handles are from Home Depot.
This classic white subway tile is from Home Depot.
Right now I have Corian (available at Home Depot) but I hope to soon have marble or granite from my local Home Depot.
Be sure to check out the video below and see why Home Depot is my go-to place for home improvement!
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Recently our church youth group held a group date with a waffle bar. I was lucky enough to be a part of it so I'll share how it all went down so you can recreate this really fun date night for any age. We started with long tables covered in brown craft paper. Then decorated the area around with some fabric pennants that I had made for another event. Then we placed four waffle irons on the paper and all the toppings. One of the young women wrote with a black sharpie instructions and labeled the syrups and toppings.
Long tables were set up in a U shape. We found these to work better than rounds since everyone was closer together and their dates sat right across from them. The tables were also covered with brown craft paper and simple mason jars and flowers were added for decor. Groups of sharpies of all colors Read more [...]
Today's post is not a normal "project". This is the note my eight year old son brought home about donations for Boston:
Instead of his usual "I'm going to my friend's house" line, he asked if he could go door to door canvasing our neighborhood asking for donations for Boston. Who cares that the fundraiser is for 6th graders and he is in 2nd. He has such a huge heart. So after a couple of hours of going door to door, he raised $91! he was so excited but really wanted to reach $100, so he ran up stairs and took $9 from his wallet and added it to his pile. Here is picture of him running out the door to deliver it to school.
He is my inspiration to do a little more, help others, and your are never too small to make a difference. And thanks to all of our neighbors who trusted him to take their donations safely Read more [...]
I can't wait to share my DIY Suitcase Dog Bed with you! Okay, this post is really just a way for me to introduce you to my adorable new puppy! We got him just in time for Easter and the whole family is in love with this little fluff ball. His name is Chancho, as in "I would never leave you Chancho" from the great "Nacho Libre". Can you tell I have all boys and a 13-year-old named him? Oh well, I love it too. Now for the dog bed.
My awesome father in law found this old suitcase for me. When he gave it to me we didn't have a pup yet so I imagined it sitting on a shelf somewhere adding charm to my house. But, once Chancho came in to our lives (literally later that day), I knew it would make the perfect dog bed. This is not a new idea, but new for someone like me with my first dog ever. The sandy colored exterior Read more [...]