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, July 31, 2014

Goodbye Oregon Coast, Hello Columbia Gorge


We're saying sayonara to our beach digs and saying hello to life in the Columbia River Gorge.  While we're sad to leave this wild and gorgeous area, our friends, and the little home that we've put some much blood and sweat into, we're excited to live closer to family and find our next project!



For a full rundown of all that we've accomplished with our home in Chinook visit our Home Tour page and stay tuned!  We'll be back with more DIY projects, home renovations and randomness.



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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 and rented it out; only to have to replace the carpet and paint the walls after the tenants destroyed the place.  I totally get the frustration of having to fix what you've just repaired but using a paint sprayer while frustrated really does no good to anyone.  Drips are not attractive or easy to remove once they've dried.  The same rings true for wallpaper that's been painted over.  Unfortunately, we inherited both as well as 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.
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful DIY Ceilings // Armstrong Residential Ceilings Review

For most people, ceilings aren't the first things that come to mind when they're considering their home renovation. A basic drywall ceiling is the standard, but when there are so many gorgeous options out there for every style of home basic just seems, well, basic.



Armstrong Residential Ceilings has an amazing resource called Ceilings 101 for DIY ceiling repair and updates. There you can learn about the selection, purchasing, and installation process for your ceiling project.  Whether you're interested in installing basement ceilings or just want to refresh what you already have - it covers it all.  For those that require a little more assistance, helpful online video tutorials are available.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

DIY // Craft Stick Geometric Pendant Light

March is National Craft Month and to celebrate I'm taking part in Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores' National Craft Month Campaign.  I've been a little unmotivated lately so coming up with a cool craft was not the easiest of tasks.  Luckily, Jo-Ann.com has an amazing spring crafting inspiration website to help get those creative fires burning.



Inspired by the whole geometric trend and my math teacher husband, I decided to finally tackle something I've been coveting for awhile...the good ol' geometric pendant light.




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Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY // The Kitchen/Mudroom Renovation - What We Love & What We Don't

It's been a good 6 months since we finished our Kitchen/Mudroom renovation, so I thought I'd share a breakdown of what we have loved and what we kind of don't.



Let's start with the positives and a good ol' before and after as a refresher of how much this space has changed since we first moved in back in December 2011.


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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Uncovering the Hardwoods

Just peeking out of my unmotivated state (have you noticed?) to share a funny little story.

I know I've mentioned this before but sometimes I get in a manic I-need-to-change-something-NOW mood.  You'd think that I'd learn to not give in to these crazy episodes.  There's lots that I could do...like finish peeling the wallpaper border off our bedroom wall (which is a result of another day where I let the crazy get the best of me), paint the trim, touch up paint in the living room where we removed the baseboard heaters or deep clean the house, but none of those would satiate me.  I.wanted.those.floors. I've dreamed of wood floors since the day we moved in and when I discovered them a couple months back it's been itching at me to uncover them.

So the other day, during a very rare two kid nap, I set out to pull up the carpet. I moved the furniture out of the way as best I could, unassembled the sofa (the chaise detaches and the pull out bed comes out) and started pulling it up - moving things around as I went.  It was exhausting.  But I was fueled by grand thoughts of refinishing this beat up flooring to a more beautiful state and had visions of Nicole Curtis egging me on.


I rolled up the carpet (very unprofessionally) and pushed it out the front door.  Then I grabbed the pliers and small pry bar to pull up the tack strips, nails and staples that were left behind.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Cold House // Replacing Our Baseboards With Envi Convection Heaters

Old houses - what they offer in charm, they lack in warmth.  Or at least ours does.  This little 1900 cabin is a drafty bugger.  It just might have something to do with it's lack of insulation on the walls and floors.  So when it's cold it is darn cold.

Last spring, when we opened up the kitchen nook to the mudroom, we pulled out our baseboard heater that was mounted along that wall - and the three others that were in the living room, kids bedroom and our bedroom.  Our choice to pull them out weighed on the fact that they take up so much wall space.  With the living room baseboard removed we could move our couch to be placed along that wall and we had already run into issues of Luke sticking toys into them - something sure to repeat with Cal.  So the decision was pretty easy - potential house fire and increased usable space meant they had to go.


Rather than live 1900s style and just rely on our wood stove (that isn't even functioning at the moment) we had to find replacements.  Size, safety and high-efficiency were all things we hoped to find in our new heaters.  I had seen the Envi Wall Mounted Convection Heaters advertised in the back of my home magazines and was intrigued.  After reading a few reviews, like this one, we decided to pull the trigger and ordered 4.  The price wasn't too bad about $120 each (check those home magazines - sometimes there are 15% off coupons in the advertisements section.)

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Get Fresh // The Bouqs Co. Review

Free flowers in exchange for a review of "The Most Epic Way to Buy Flowers Online. Period." Well, consider me intrigued.  

The Bouqs Co. (the new floral kid-on-the-block with awesome South American flowers picked from the side of an active volcano as well as U.S. grown flowers for those sustainably conscious folks) contacted me about doing a review.  After a quick scan of their website I was in love...with their wit (their flowers were pretty nice too.)  I don't know about you guys but a good sense of humor wins me over in nothing flat.  Don't believe me...see for yourself.


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

DIY // How To Steal Art For Your Home (And Not Get Caught)

No matter your budget there are ways to decorate your home to show off your personal style.  It's obvious I'm a thrifting addict and I find tons of decor items and art at my local thrift stores.  I'm also not against stealing, repurposing or even making art from scratch.  Yes, I said steal but not in the "dress in all black slink into a museum and caper that Monet you've been coveting" way.  Things like magazines, cards or finding free illustrations online are all fair game.  Just take the art from our DIY industrial shelves for example.


Internet // The framed whale illustration I found online, printed on cardstock and stuck in a crate and barrel frame is one of my favorites. The camera print on the opposite shelf (scroll down for photo) which is another favorite is available online as a free download from Design Editor (as well as a photo of a vintage brownie camera.)  Both can be printed up to a 24x36 inch print.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Photography Tips // How To Edit Portraits Like A Pro (Photoshop)

Something about kids makes me want to snap a million pics and share them with the world. Maybe its how fast they grow up or how freaking adorable they are. Either way, I can't put the camera down. And lots of camera time usually means lots of time behind the computer editing the images. So, I thought I'd share a few of my post-editing tips with you that help make the process quick and painless.

If you're lucky you'll have the perfect lighting conditions matched with the perfect settings on your camera to produce a professional-quality image where no editing is needed.  Other times a little post processing can help a not-so-great photo look a whole lot better.  I use Photoshop and by no means am I even close to being an expert but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to make my photos look their best better (I'm still learning.)

Not too keen on forking over the big bucks for post-editing software?  Try these free photo editing programs.



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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

DIY // Faceted Baby Mobile

It's amazing how much stuff you can acquire with the sole purpose of keeping a tiny little baby entertained.  We have a rocker, a vibrating bouncy chair, a play mat and about a million little jingly, rattly and straight-up noisy toys.  So it's funny that with all that gear Cal is most content just laying in his crib and staring at his mobile.


And boy does that make me happy.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY // Wooden Alphabet Wall Art

Did you catch the boys' shared room tour a couple weeks ago? You might have caught a glimpse of my latest DIY project.  I've long been a fan of letter decor in children's rooms.  I've even pinned a few inspirations here, here and here.  So it was only a matter of time before I tackled a project of my own.


I picked up the white 6" MDF letters, a staple gun and some velcro from Jo-Ann Fabrics and Craft Store.  Each of the letters were on sale for half price and I used a coupon for the rest - grand total: around $60.

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