Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Holidays! Cards & More from Zazzle

The holiday season is full of traditions and ours is no different.  Each year we spend time with family watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, playing card games, listening to holiday music and eating until our bellies burst.  We also are sure to send out a photo card to wish everyone a good season and a happy new year.

Shutterfly has been our go-to for our photo cards.  Their paper is nice and thick and their printing is high-quality.  We usually find a coupon for our stack of cards but the price is still a bit more than the generic holiday cards you can find in-store.  Always the budget-minded shopper, this year I stumbled upon an amazing groupon for a new company so I thought I'd give it a try.

Zazzle is an online marketplace where you can create, buy and sell custom-printed items.  Want a custom protective case for your smartphone?  Done.  Want to print that hilarious cat-meme you created on a coffee mug?  No problem.  Want to send out holiday cards with photos of your adorable family.  Perfect timing!

Customizing our cards was super simple with their online customization tools - just upload the photos, edit the text and colors and complete the order.  We received our cards about 3 days after we ordered through Zazzle.  We received 75 double-sided printed cards on heavy cardstock for less than $40.  Not too bad.

Plus, right now Zazzle is having a holiday sale so stock up on those holiday cards and tell those you love howdy!  (P.S. Use the code personalcheer at checkout for 50% off your cards!)

Happy Holidays!

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

When My DIY Failure Turned to Success // CraftFail The Book Giveaway!

Another emergence from my blogging hiatus to share some great news and a fun giveaway!

The one thing about DIY blogs is you create, you share and then you look back a few months later at your once-prized creation and wonder…what the hell was I thinking?!  Whether it's a copycat DIY project that just didn't work out or an all-out bad design choice the blog is a constant reminder that you've got a lot to learn.

During the whole animal bust craze I fashioned a stag out of copy paper, tape and papier maché and mounted it to a painted wood plaque…only to find that papier maché and tape aren't a great combination.  Luckily there's a place where all of these failures can be celebrated and live out their days in infamy…CraftFail!  With the rise of Pinterest, and all those pretty, pretty pictures, CraftFail has taken on the task of juxtaposing the idealized images found online with the realities of basic crafting skills. As a “friendly fail” book, CraftFail will help people showcase their own failed projects so we can all laugh together and celebrate a spirit of creativity with a whole lot of LOLs.  And my little creation was selected for the first ever CraftFail book - "Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong by Heather Mann.

Now only did my Papier Maché Animal Bust make the book, but it was among the first two pages of Chapter 1, baby!  Probably the first time in my life I'm proud of a failure.  Check out page 9 to see it in all its glory. 

Can't wait to see the rest of the world's worst craft failures from Home Decor to Food?  One lucky reader will receive their very own copy of CraftFail - just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, tell me, what's been your biggest craft fail?  I promise not to laugh…too hard.

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Friday, November 14, 2014


Hi!  **Crawling out from beneath my rock….I've missed you guys!  The wine business and two busy boys has me running ragged!

While I'm not quite ready to jump back into blogging I did want to stop in to share a fun new line of tote bags at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores!  The Good-To-Go Totes are  amazing - durable, large and pretty too.

With two boys, size is always an issue when it comes to their day bag.  This tote from Jo-Ann's is the perfect size to lug around all of my kids' stuff and there's still room to spare.

You can pickup a bag of your own, which come in a fun patterns and in stores or online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for only $9.99 with a minimum $30 in-store purchase or $75 online purchase!

Okay….now back to my rock!

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY // How To Repair Your Walls with 3M DIY & A Bedroom Makeover

Our house was previously a rental property that experienced some abuse from tenants.  The owners had fixed it up, rented it out only to have to come back in to replace the carpet and paint the walls because the tenants destroyed the place.  I totally get the frustration of having to repair what you've already repaired but using a paint sprayer while frustrated is not the answer.  Drips are not so attractive or easy to remove once they've dried.  Unfortunately, we inherited the drips and oh boy, were there a lot of them in our bedroom.  We also inherited a painted over wallpaper border and flower appliqué in the middle of the wall and a million nail holes all over the room. What on earth were they hanging?  I will always wonder...

After living here for 2 1/2 years and staring at the eyesores, I finally gained the motivation to tackle it all.  Actually it didn't quite work out that way.  My curious little 4 year old noticed a piece of the wallpaper peeling so he pulled at it....and kept pulling at pieces.  He took most of it off and I finished the rest for him with my trusty knife from the kitchen. Hey, it was quick to grab and I was impatient.

Then, I used hot tap water in a spray bottle to wet the paper backing which came off really easily.

With the wallpaper border removed, I broke out my trusty supplies from 3M DIY Website and my paint scraper to tackle the rest of the problem areas. I scraped off the paint drips using a paint scraper and used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to sand down the raised paint runs as well as the edges where the border and the flower appliqué used to be.  I made sure to wear my 3M™ Safety Products (Respirator, ear protection, safetyglasses) when I was scraping and sanding to help protect my eyes from flying particles and my lungs from that nasty paint dust.

To fill all the nail holes and random dents I used 3M™ Patch plus primer which was easy to apply, plus I loved that it already included primer.  Then there were a few spots in the wall that were in really rough shape and required application of joint compound.


Once the spackling was dry I sanded it smooth with the 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and wiped the walls down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust to ready the room for paint.
// TIP //

When you have less than perfect walls, choose a paint that has a low sheen -flat paint hides most blemishes and a high-gloss will highlight every single eyesore.  I usually buy an eggshell finish.  It's a bit easier to clean than flat but hides more than a satin.
 When we moved in the entire house was painted a creamy white color and little by little I've moved through each room of the house to completely rid our home of that color.  The bedroom was the last room left - I chose to paint it the same color as our hallway 1) because I'm low-budget and we already had the paint on hand and 2) I just really love the smokey blue-gray color. 

The wall below was definitely in the worst shape and these photos show how much better it's looking now.

I still have some work to do in here - painting the closet doors, crown and ceiling white, plus replacing the carpet but it's already feeling like a whole new space.

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I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY Website . Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. Follow 3M on 3M DIY Twitter , 3M DIY Facebook , and 3M DIY Pinterest .

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful DIY Ceilings // Armstrong Residential Ceilings Review

For most people, I think ceilings don't really come to mind when they're considering their home renovation.  A basic drywall ceiling is pretty standard, but when there are so many gorgeous options out there for every style of home basic just seems boring.

Armstrong Residential Ceilings has an amazing resource called Ceilings 101 for DIY ceiling repair and updates. There you can learn about selecting, buying, installing, and repairing your ceiling project.  Whether you are wanting to install basement ceilings or just want to refresh what you already have - it covers it all.  For those that require a little more assistance, online video tutorials are a'plenty.

Ceilings 101 offers great inspiration photos - like this wood ceiling. WoodHaven Wood Rustic Pine 5" x 84" Plank ceiling adds a lovely warm texture to this traditional home. 

My favorite style of all?  The coffered ceiling.  

I love this before & after of the tiled ceiling transformation thanks to the Easy Elegance Coffered ceiling tiles.

If you have a ceiling project coming up or are interested in learning more you should definitely check out the Ceilings 101 page at Armstrong Residential Ceilings.

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This is a sponsored post for Armstrong Residential Ceilings, but as always, all opinions are 100% mine.