A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary // Trial and Error

It's that time again - time for our latest Apartment Therapy Renovation Diary update.  This week we're wiring new lights and switches...and trying to pass an electrical inspection.  How many times do you think it'll take us to pass?

 Stay tuned next week where we tackle drywall - oh what a difference covered walls make!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY // Faceted Table Lamp

What is a 9+ month pregnant lady who suffers from constant false labor pains to do to keep her from going crazy?  Fold a thousand little fortune tellers of course. 

This waiting around for baby to arrive is literally the worst part of pregnancy.  I've always had contractions and some days they're just little annoyances and other days they're pretty strong and regular and then all just up and disappear.  Most.Annoying.Thing.Ever.  To keep from obsessing over every little sign of labor I set out to give a basic table lamp a fun textural update - inspired by this faceted pendant light project.

You'll need to make a crap ton of fortune teller origamis for this project.  To start, you'll need square pieces of paper.  Save your pennies and forget about buying origami paper - you can make your own out of cheap copy paper.  I created (4) 4.25" squares from one sheet of paper.  The easiest way to make this size is to cut off 2.5" from the long end of a piece of basic 8.5x11" copy paper - leaving an 8.5" square.  Fold into fourths and cut - leaving four 4.25" squares. 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary // Refueling the Fire

We're chugging along on this mudroom renovation.  Check out our latest installment on Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary.

I love looking back at this renovation project - it's amazing how it all came together and how much family played a part in the whole process.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Curb Appeal // How to Paint Your Home's Exterior

You know that house - the one that's right in the middle of some big outdoor project but then is stuck in limbo for one reason or another and there it sits unfinished for months on end. We were that house.

At the end of June, I started painting the exterior - knocked out 5 of 7 walls with a roller and brush and had only two left.  Mind you, they were the two sides of the house that were tallest and required a much taller ladder than this pregnant lady was comfortable climbing. So, the last little bit was saved for the hubs who, unfortunately, hightailed it to Alaska before the job could be finished leaving it half painted for 4 months.

Don't worry - it wasn't left in this literal half-painted state. I did get the entire front finished (with help from my brother on the extra high parts.)

With the arrival of the baby right around the corner and the fact that fall is in full-force we knew we had to get this job finished. Fortunately we had all our go-to painting supplies on hand and even more fortunate - our neighbors had a paint sprayer leftover from their house painting project - so we were able to bust out the last two walls in no time.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

DIY Monogrammed Tote Bag

I love screenprinted tote bags, but I'm just too lazy to try out the whole DIY screenprinting thing, myself.  It seems so labor intensive and intimidating.  So, instead I created this easy handpainted version for my son Luke that's pretty much just as awesome.

You'll need:

1 // Tote bag
2 // Fabric Paint
3 // Small Paint Brush
4 // Circle template
5 // Pencil


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary // Bringing in the Professionals

Our next installment of Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary is live.  Let me just say...it's pretty electrifying!

Oh, I just crack myself up.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Nesting // DIY Maternity Photo Shoot + Tips

Well, ladies and gents...I'm officially full-term - 37 weeks and 3 days to be exact.  That means any day now we could become a family of four.  Yikes!  I know everything will be fine and we'll adjust, but the thought of it sends me straight into a Nick Miller freakout.  Before we're swimming in a sea of diapers and sleep is just a sweet, sweet memory, I wanted to capture this exciting and slightly scary moment in time.

I'm all for professional family photos but it's just not in the budget, so I broke out the camera and set up my own little photo shoot to capture my last (mark my words!) pregnancy.  I don't have any fancy photography equipment - just a regular ol' point and shoot camera, a small tripod and some good ol' natural light.
Our bedroom is one of the best places to catch some good filtered light which is what you want rather than direct light which casts unsightly shadows.  I started out the photo shoot in front of one of the windows which is draped in sheer, white curtains from Ikea and is the perfect backdrop to get that gorgeous soft backlit effect.  I also placed a small bench in front of the window so I would be elevated and would have a comfortable place to sit for these first few poses.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Spooky Spaces // A Halloween Mantle

I'm not one to go all out for the holidays and decorate every room in the house, but I do like to update the mantle from time to time.  Using a budget-friendly combination of crafty projects and home decor pieces I already own, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to change things up.  So, when Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Stores contacted me to participate in their Celebrate the Season campaign, I jumped at the chance and created a spooky Halloween inspired mantle fit for any sinister character.

All it took to transform my everyday mantle into a spooky space was a quick trip to my local Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Store for supplies to create a simple craft and a couple additional Halloween decor items, plus a few more pieces I already had laying around the house.

The Holiday Decorations Spider Web Mantle Scarf, Martha Stewart Happy Halloween Banner, paper-mache witches hat and paper-mache tombstone were each on sale at Jo-Ann's and only ran me a total of $14.26.  Not too shabby!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary // Demo Begins

It's hump day!  Get over that mid-week slump and pop on over to Apartment Therapy to catch our first Renovation Diary progress post  - we're diving in and tearing down walls.

So thankful for all the help we received on this project.  Definitely couldn't have done it without our family!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DIY: Replace Your Kitchen Faucet // Houzz

Can you say icing on the cake? (Mmm...cake.) Our basic kitchen faucet got the job done, but it wasn't grabbing anyone's attention, that's for sure!  With all the amazing changes we made to the kitchen and adjoining rooms it was leaving much to be desired.  So, when the amazing folks over at Moen contacted me about installing a new bathroom faucet from the 90 Degree line, which is gorgeous but a bit too modern for our traditional style bathroom, I shared our kitchen remodel and our need for an updated faucet and they were totally on board.  Little did I know I'd be getting the faucets of all faucets.


Our new Moen Woodmere faucet is in a classic stainless finish and includes a pull-down spray nozzle which eliminated our need for our old spray nozzle.  It also is a single hole installation model so we were left with three additional holes after we removed our old faucet.  We'd love to add a soap dispenser and a water filter at some point but for now three stainless hole covers from Home Depot will do.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Change Is Good // A Living Room Update

I'm in deep, folks.  My nesting urges are taking over and my home isn't safe.  I went a little crazy the other day and rearranged our entire living room.  Sure, as a 9-month pregnant lady I shouldn't be moving around heavy pieces of furniture but good luck trying to talk me out of it.

Our living room has always felt overstuffed.  Our sofa is too large and the chaise just doesn't work with our layout.  As it initally sat, it was smack dab in the middle of the room's flow between the front door and the kitchen.  When we first moved in we tested it out in every section of the room and for some reason we settled on that location.  We've had to weave our way through furniture to move from one room to the next and our available floor space is pretty much nonexistent.  Throw toys into the mix and whoa nelly!  On the flip side, the tv console is much too small for our 46" tv.  It should be about 6-inches or so longer on each side and it's placement flanking the fireplace is all wrong.

It's a room where nothing works and we're just living with it.  Oh but we have plans...future plans.  I won't even begin to start talking about busting through the walls - that's a dream for another day.  But with the addition of built-ins flanking the fireplace, updated carpet like this Comfortably Classic carpet from Mohawk or this Martha Stewart Living Shaw carpet, windows above each built-in to bring in more natural light and a smaller sofa it will be a more functional and better designed space. But it's going to be awhile until any of those changes are made.  So we're stuck...at least with the main elements of the space.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary // Mudroom Renovation - The Budget

Our latest installment on Apartment Therapy's Renovation Diary is being featured today.  We're sharing our (measly) project budget for our mudroom renovation.  Check out how we broke down the budget and plan to tackle this project for as little money as possible.

Stay tuned next week for our very first mudroom renovation progress post!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Baby on Board // How to Prepare for Baby...Or Not!

On Friday I'll be ringing in 36 weeks of pregnancy and it just dawned on me that this little baby could arrive anytime. And we are not ready! 

Scratch that.  We're slightly ready.  In an effort to clean up the upstairs and make it usable, the hubs installed the infant car seat in the car and the baby stuff was located and haphazardly piled in a corner to get to later....hopefully before the baby actually arrives.  Luckily we saved a good supply of clothes and swaddle blankets so the only necessities we're lacking is a place for the baby to sleep and some diapers.  Kind of left the important stuff, huh?

The one effort we have made to get ourselves ready for baby was probably the least important of all - in terms of necessities - but it is one of the most important for this Mama. 


We replaced our little living room office area with "the best rocking chair in all the land" which we've been storing upstairs for the past 2 years.  Seriously, this chair blows your dad-chair out of the water.  It does it all - rocks, swivels and reclines.  Plus, it also has a matching rocking ottoman.  And my favorite of all....the head cushion is freaking comfortable.  Whoever built this chair found some way to capture a cloud and stuff it into a chair.  It's a miracle I don't fall asleep as soon as I plop down into it.  I spent many hours in this chair when Luke was a baby and I suspect I'll be spending just as much time with our new little one.  Although I guess I will have another kid that will require my attention...two kids?!  Is it strange that I still haven't fully comprehended what's in store?
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