A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How To Choose the Right Sheen of Paint

Paint is paint, right?  Well, not exactly.  There's different colors, brands and qualities which all factor into the the final outcome of a project but did you know that sheen is just as important?  Check out this handy guide from Ace Hardware's Clark+Kensington line of paint which is sure to keep your next project looking its best.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse...And Stop Being Lazy

Our home is a bit chaotic at the moment.  We're in the midst of a renovation project, plus we have lots of normal house/work things going on and we haven't quite figured out how to manage all of them. One key part that's fallen to the wayside, to my regret, is our recycling.  It's shameful, really.  Instead of sorting and taking our recycling the one block walk to the transfer bins, I side with convenience (or laziness) and just toss it out in the garbage.  Horrible, I know.  At least the hubs is still doing his part to save our junk from the landfill, but his effort involves piling it on the counter or in a stack on the floor where it sits until he takes it out to the transfer bins which drives me crazy and makes me want to throw it away even more.  What's even worse, I know what happens to all that stuff that I throw in the garbage and it's awful that I still do it.  My conscience is reeling.

So in honor of good ol' Earth Day which was this past Monday, I'm getting back into the swing of things and saving the world one costco sized milk carton at a time.

We have three recycling storage bins, that we picked up at Ikea, but we haven't found a convenient place to store them.  I WISH we had some sort of setup like these pegboard storage systems in a closed off utility room so the mess was out of sight and it was organized and beautiful but that's just not in the cards.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Breakfast Nook Lighting

Lighting totally transforms a room which is why making a decision is so scary to me.  It can be a make or break situation and I really don't want to fail.  I've been hemming and hawing about what to do about the lighting in the nook.  As it stands, there is a hideous boob light (aka builders grade flush mount) overhead and it has to go.  I wanted to install something pendant style in its place but I didn't want something that would take away from our view to the backyard, so a big drum shade or the industrial style shades were out.

I finally found a lighting option for our nook that I think will work.  It's the Eldridge Rectangular Chandelier from Ballard Designs.  This light is gorgeous and is the right combination of modern design with a vintage feel.  It's glass frame is perfect - it allows us to have visibility to the backyard plus it won't seem too bulky and overpowering in our small nook.  We still have to make sure the size will work it's 30"W x 5"D, but I am pretty much sold.

The $399 price tag has both Josh and I a little on edge.  Maybe there's some sale coming up?  A girl can hope.  Josh even said, "I could make that."  Oh, how I wish he could, but I think we're going to have to bite the bullet or do some hardcore internet searching.  Anyone know of any less expensive options out there that are similar in design?


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In the Kitchen: Copycat Rice A Roni Recipe

I try to keep things home decor/DIY related around here but there are times that I stumble upon or come up with a recipe that I can't help but share.  I had a hankering for some rice-a-roni (you know, that san francisco treat) which was pretty much a staple back in college, but in my old age I've become a bit anti-processed foods plus the grocery store was just sooo far away.

I've never been one to curb a craving, so I set out to make my own.  Here's how I made a copycat recipe that tasted exactly like the store bought brand without all those crazy preservatives.

What you'll need:

Monday, April 15, 2013

My 5 Must Haves for DIY Projects

Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it, whether it's a meal at a restaurant or a brand of clothing, and DIY tools are no different.  Here's a list of my top 5 tools that I use when I'm working on a project.

3M Scotch Blue Painter's Tape -

I use the blue painter's tape to help me with difficult painting projects like the striped walls in Luke's room and the painted rug.


Friday, April 12, 2013

In The Pages Of A Magazine: Flea Market Decor Summer 2013

Seriously.  In. A. Magazine.  I've been counting down the days until I saw the finished product and I absolutely love how it turned out.

So how did I end up in the pages of a magazine?   One day (January 2nd, to be exact) Elaine, editor at Flea Market Decor (a Well Styled Home publication), contacted me out of the blue and asked to feature two projects in their Summer issue.  Well, hell yeah you can feature them, is all I could think.  As I jumped up and down with excitement I fought the urge to call, post and shout from the rooftops that this small town girl with a little ol' blog was going to be in a freaking magazine!  Four months later and I'm finally able to share it with all of you.

You might remember this first project, Vintage Postcard Art, from when I gave our bedroom a quick update.  Rather than shooting the photo on my bland cream walls I chose the soft gray-blue of our living room and think it looks amazing.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What I'm Loving: Young Alexander

The month of March was a little sparse in the blogging department.  I've been a slacker and I apologize.  I blame it on the new job, a sick child, some home projects that we're keeping secret for a little while longer and a nasty sinus infection.  To make up for it I thought I'd share one of my new obsessions with you - Young Alexander.


Young Alexander was founded in 2011 by Na Kim & Dierdre Shea, two young artists transplanted from Baltimore to Brooklyn.  Every cheeky ceramic piece they make is individually hand painted and absolutely gorgeous. I don't know if it was their egg crates or how they described their inspiration that won me over, but I am a fan:

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's My Party And I'll....

Have cake for breakfast, eat my weight in Indian food and go to bed early.  That's how I'm celebrating the big 3-1...just the way I want it.  Party animal, I know.  Now, if I had my 2-1 year old self's energy and some super human powers to travel through space and time things may be a bit different.  I'd relive all of my past birthdays with all of my favorite people - even the one where I partied up a bit too much and spent the latter part of it laying in a parking lot singing "Back in Time" - you know the SNL Daney Carvey version? Good times.


How do you guys spend your birthday?  Do you like to go all out or keep things casual?


Monday, April 8, 2013

Feeling The Love

While I've been a bit MIA the past month you guys probably weren't feeling the love, but I sure have.  Two of my projects recently got some press and I'm absolutely honored to be featured in both the new HGTV Gardens and SheKnow's Home & Garden.

Check out my quote in Front and Center:  Bring Curb Appeal to Your Front Yard.

Also check out my Garden Arbor project which is featured in Best Face Forward:  Front Yard Design.


Check out my small living room office in Corner office: Add a small work space to your living room.

These two features were the perfect motivation to get me out of my funk.  Now I just need a quick and easy project to really get me back in the swing of things.  Any ideas?

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