A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Smaller Home Proves Size Does Matter

I had the pleasure of working for one of the most ground-breaking organizations in terms of green building back in the day.  There was never a moment that went by that I wasn't amazed by the people I worked with and the passion they had for a more sustainable built environment.  Because of that amazing influence, I've always been driven to the "tiny house movement" and the idea that great design is the key and you don't need a large home to live comfortably or happily.

In a time when the U.S. home size averages to roughly 2,000 square feet - which is 4 times the international average - I love seeing the development of these tiny homes which are sustainably built.  They are absolutely beautiful, well designed and are proof that the right design and efficient living makes all the difference.  We try to live under that philosophy - keeping our ownership of "stuff" to a minimum when we can and using our vertical space to take advantage of every inch of space our home has to offer - but for a couple of book lovers, sentimentalists and my fascination with furniture we aren't always successful.

These homes by Tumblweed Tiny House Company range in size from 65 square feet to 874 square feet.  The B-53 and the Whidbey are two of my favorites for the larger sized options.

B-53 - 3 bedroom home with 874 sq. ft.  Estimated cost to build:  $58,000
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Hey there!

In a week we'll be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary which seems like only a blip on the map when you consider that this year both sets of our parents are celebrating 31 years together.  While it's not 31, it is every bit as significant especially these days when separating or getting divorced is the norm.  I am feeling very lucky and accomplished that we've held strong and looking forward to following in our parents' footsteps.


We've been by each other's side through ridiculous, joyful, sad and frustrating times and weathered some not-so-perfect storms.  We met as young, fun and slightly immature kids and evolved into older, slightly less fun and still pretty immature parents.  While we're not the same people we were when we met and are still learning who we are, there's absolutely no one I'd rather have by my side.

We have plenty of traditions.  For every year we're married I get another diamond set in my eternity band.  It's an inexpensive but monumental occasion when the tiny stone is set in my gold band.  It's also a constant reminder of where we've been and where we're headed. Josh usually gets a handmade item like the beer labels for his homebrew from our first anniversary, although this year I'm at a loss.

We're celebrating by spending a few nights of adult time at one of our favorite places, Edgefield.  It's a perfect combination of many of the things we love - beer, history, games and music.  We've had some good times there and I couldn't think of a better place to ring in 4 years of married life.

What do you guys do to celebrate?  Do you have a sentimental place you like to visit or an activity you like to do?  Have any suggestions for a good handmade gift to signify 4 years of marriage?  {I love these ideas compiled by TiptoeThrough.}

Until next time,







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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

11 Fascinating Faceted DIY Projects

Hey there!

I'm on a faceted kick.  Maybe it's because school is back in session and my husband is up to his elbows in geometry lesson plans or maybe it's just the simple fact that I like the surprising use of texture and shape. Either way, I've got it bad.

What's faceted you ask?  Simply put, it means having many non-parallel surfaces.

I first stumbled upon this faceted pendant lamp and have been in the process of making my own but that process has been stretched out weeks upon weeks.  My choice between making a million little cootie catchers or just lazily sprawling out on the sofa to watch some garbage tv (my favorite kind) has been a bit one sided as of late.


Not only have I been gaga over this lamp, but I've been coveting some origami art in my husband's classroom.  It's been hard not to just slip a few of the best pieces into my bag when we're sharing lunch.  I suppose I could just make my own, but first I'm thinking about busting out all of these beautifully crafted projects.
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Sunday, September 23, 2012

How Do Monsters Tell Their Fortune?

Their Horrorscopes!

I try to hold off switching out my spring/summer decor to fall until the beginning of October.  I've always been in a state of denial in September - holding on to the last bits of summer like a couple of Nicholas Sparks lovebirds after they've reunited.  That includes all things from sandals and tanks to decor, but this new 9-5 job that I've been working has me itching to get creative.  So this weekend I decided to say adios to a season that is far too short in this area of the world and ring in the first day of fall with an homage to the scariest of holidays.

Our mantle got a whole lot scarier with some vintage finds like these apothecary bottles, medical prints, a window and some handmade items like the bats and the cutest little felt witch hat, plus a few other items that show up on the mantle rather frequently.  This vignette is much more Hogwarts than Hades, which is just the way I like it.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Houzz: Quick Fix: Repair Cracked Bathroom Grout

Hey there!

With any home purchase, there are plenty of positives and hopefully few negatives — and ours was no exception. Our home has great potential and good bones, but with those positives we also inherited many flaws, like banged-up walls, scratched laminate flooring and a dilapidated porch. Another unlucky feature was cracking grout in the corners of our shower where tile meets tile. Not only was this an eyesore, but if left unfixed, it could have caused water damage to the home's structure.


Due to a house shifting and moving throughout its life span, cracking in inflexible materials is a given. In this case, grout had been used in the corners of our shower where each side of the shower meet, resulting in large cracks in the water barrier.
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Friday, September 14, 2012

Vintage Sofa Reveal

I love myself a good ol' trash to treasure transformation and while I wouldn't necessarily consider the sofa trash before the update it was a jaw dropping transformation, nonetheless.  Our last "Ask Michelle" Q&A had us considering reupholstering our old hand me down furniture as opposed to dropping it off at the local thrift store.  Michelle shared her ideas for updating her own family heirloom and I'm stoked to be able to show you the results of her (and her team's) hard work!


Michelle's grandparent's sofa, an item overflowing with sentimental value and lacking any actual monetary value, had made its way through the family after her grandparents' passings and she was the next in line to take ownership.  The sofa was originally purchased in 1971 and had gotten an update with a striped fabric in the 80s. Rather than keeping it in its retro state and subjugated to the basement, Michelle knew that this sofa, with its clean lines and a few updates, could be a key piece of furniture in her own home.
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

It's The Little Things

We're finally getting back into real life from our camping trip to Takhlakh Lake and nothing got us there faster than the shock of the hubby's dismal fishing season.  There's nothing like a drastic cut in your income to snap you back to reality and have you re-evaluating your spending habits.  I don't know if it's a bleak sign that the fish population has been decimated or that the fish have wised up to our tricks, either way our family is feeling the pain.


We've buckled down and cut our spending.  No longer are we making impulse buys or buying things just because we want them.  Everything must be planned out and big things must be scrimped and saved for.  Our groceries require a bit more research and planning on our part (something I despise) and we've now dove into full on meal planning.  Plus, I've refrained from renewing any of my monthly magazine subscriptions.  Every little thing helps, right?
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