Recycled Concrete Patio

Ever wanted a unique durable DIY patio?  Well my awesome neighbor created a recycled concrete patio using broken up pieces of concrete from another neighbors torn our driveway!  So here are the pieces that Erik picked out from the torn out driveway.  He laid them out on the grass to make sure they fit together alright and that he had enough pieces for the new space. Then he tore out the grass for the new patio. He laid down some landscaping fabric and a layer of yard gravel to set the concrete and began around the edge of the existing rectangular pavers. Erik continued laying the concrete, working to be sure that each piece was level in the sand and gravel.  This was especially difficult since the concrete was not perfectly equal in thickness.  Then with a push broom he filled the spaces with more gravel and Read more [...]
Aug 23, 2013 - Crafts, Recycle & Reuse, YW Camp    7 Comments

DIY Leather Bracelets

Leather working has always been a hobby I've wanted to get into.  Then a few years ago I found my in.  It was time to get rid of an old leather jacket of my husbands and then shortly after that I inherited a suede jacket from my in-laws.  I decided to save both of them and repurpose them.  Once again I took on the task of "Camp Crafts" for our annual girls youth camp.  Our camp craft budget is small and this year we had 35 girls planning on coming.  So, these old jackets would become new camp DIY leather bracelets. The following are a few that I made up as examples for what the girls could make.  This colorful cuff bracelet was very simple to make.  I just stitched a design into the leather with embroidery thread.  To fasten this bracelet I stitched on a decorative bead and made a loop of threat to slip it through Read more [...]
Aug 16, 2013 - Crafts, YW Camp    11 Comments

Bleach Out T-Shirt Tutorial

Last week was our church group's annual girls camp.  For our group t-shirts we decided to do a bleach out design.  The following is my Bleach Out T-Shirt Tutorial.  {The original inspiration for this T came from THIS AWESOME POST, for ANOTHER BLEACH TUTORIAL click HERE} The coordinators of the camp (our stake) purchased these green T's and had a small Celtic knot over the right arm to go with our B.R.A.V.E. theme (Believe, Repent, Ask, Venture, Endure).  Each group (ward) was to decorate the rest of the T how ever they wish. We thought about silk screening, and after a lot of tries I suggested we go with the easiest cheapest option...Bleach!  I did a practice at home and then brought everything to the church and each girl made her own shirt on a table outside.  You'll need the following supplies AND a blow drier: A Read more [...]
Jul 29, 2013 - Planted, Recomendations    13 Comments

Trumpet Vines Pretty Up a Fence

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 [...]

Why You Should Get a Propane Fire Pit & The Best S’more Tip Ever

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 [...]

13 Builder Upgrades You SHOULDN’T Do

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 [...]
Jun 19, 2013 - Crafts, Recycle & Reuse    10 Comments

Colorful No Sew Ottoman Cover

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 [...]
Jun 11, 2013 - Crafts, YW Camp    14 Comments

Camp Bottle Caps

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.       Read more [...]
Jun 3, 2013 - Design Steps, Open House    10 Comments

Nautical Mantel

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 [...]

37 Builder Upgrades You SHOULD Do

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 [...]
May 20, 2013 - Organization    5 Comments

1 Hour Closet Organization

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 [...]
May 8, 2013 - Open House    11 Comments

Amy’s Beautiful Traditional Open House Tour

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 [...]

Update Your Kitchen with The Home Depot

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!     Read more [...]