I can honestly say that this is the first week that I’ve felt the progress on our kitchen (besides just feeling it in my sore muscles.) And, it FEELS GOOD! No more road bumps like termites or asbestos.  I’m sure from this picture you are thinking, “What progress? When the heck is she going to put her kitchen back together?” Well, come on in and I’ll show you some of the forward movement that’s been made! Read more

Upcycled Wood Grain Coffee Table ~ using Vinyl as a Stencil {Sawdust and Embryos}

Hello! How is your week?! I’m sorry I missed y’all on Wednesday. I spent the day at the permit office interviewing the director and filing for a building and mechanical permit for our kitchen. I learned oodles and will have a post for you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I have a very special guest for you today! Beth from Sawdust & Embryos is here to share a tutorial for making that beautiful decorative coffee table you see above!

Read more

Oh yeah Baby! Are you ready to fight for your right to create? Get ready because Creating with the Stars is coming! East Coast Creative has picked up the most popular contest in blogland and has polished it with a new name and brought in new stars (me included). Now all they need is new talent. Are you game? Can you bring your creativity and blow the blogosphere on it’s rear end? Yes?! Well then, I want to be your star! I promise to be here day or night to help you hone your ideas, give you tips and support. Then I’ll cheer — no wait — yell until I’m hoarse for your sweet victory!

It’s time to show off those handy skills and flex your creativity to win…

creating with the stars

Here’s how it all works:

Submit one project that shows everyone your best stuff into the linky party on East Coast Creative that will begin on February 5th. Projects must have been made October 1, 2011 or later and must be your own work.  You have until February 21st to enter. From those entries, 12 of you will be chosen by the blog stars and EC2 as contestants and will be randomly paired up to work one-on-one with a Blog Star, to duke it out in a four-week competition to see who’s the most creative.  The Star will give suggestions, ideas, encouragement, and help so you can come up with the best project possible.  Each round will have a theme and the bottom three will be eliminated based on reader votes.  Once the contest is started, weekly projects are anonymous, so big blogger or rookie, everyone’s on the same, even playing field!  Find your favorite project to link up and be prepared to put your best foot forward if you want to survive!

Get those projects ready because I can’t wait to work with you one-on-one…face-to-face (on Google Hangout or Skype)…and ear-to-ear (on the phone.)

The contest is over, but feel free to view the results!

Let’s take a ride in that DeLorean parked outside and go back in time. Back to a time before there was Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. Before chevrons, mercury glass and ombré were hot. And most importantly, before there were blogs!

We’re going back to when these DIY gals were worrying about how high they could get their hair, was there food in their braces and oh no…not another zit! Talking on the phone for hours meant stretching that long spiral cord beyond its limits and tying up the only phone in the house. Common purchases for these DIY gals may have been the latest cassette tape, neon bracelets, a swatch watch and a tube of clearasil. You wouldn’t catch them dead in the hardware store, totally unheard of to the max!

Are you there yet? Do you see leg warmers or jelly sandals? You’re getting closer…the time machine has stopped so step out of your DeLorean and behold…the time before blogs: Read more

I have to share something that happened to me on Friday. It’s long so pull up a chair and a cup of peppermint hot cocoa (a yummy recipe from Tauni at SNAP!)

A few weeks ago Pretty Handsome Guy made up some bags for homeless people with our 8 year old for a Y Guides service project. The bags had warm gloves, water, snacks, canned meat, socks, etc. He put two in my car and said we should give them to homeless people we saw. Living in suburbia, I don’t see many homeless—except this one man who I always see at the same time everyday as I drive to pick up my boys from school. He is always walking on the road carrying three large bags (two big army sized duffle bags and a backpack.) You can tell he’s hauling around all his possessions (including a ratty tarp that I saw peaking out of the hole of one bag.) Read more


How are y’all holding up in this holiday rush? The boys and I ventured to the mall to see Santa on Friday. The 2.5 hour wait quickly helped us decide to skip the big guy’s lap route and attempt a last minute letter to his greatness. The boys were a bit crestfallen, but I told them that they could see Santa from the fence and wave to him. As luck would have it, a family was just getting off his lap and he happened to look our way. I nudged the boys and told them, “Go ahead and wave.” They snapped out of their shock at seeing the Big Jolly Fella and gave a wave (which of course he returned.) CHECK!

Next order of business was to secure that gift for Handy Boy #2, who decided at the last minute he wanted a Build-a-Bear. As we entered the store and I shooed the kids to the back, I turned around and assessed the 15 person line being attended to by one (count that, ONE!) cashier. Nope…not gonna happen. I quickly got an answer from the employee, who was busy stuffing the innards into the dead lifeless animal skins to make them real for the little girl eagerly clutching the plastic heart for her animal. “Yes, you can buy an e-gift certificate online.” CHECK! We were out of there faster than my boys could say, “Look Mom! I want that…..”

We made it safely out of the parking lot without a scratch or fender bender (a Christmas miracle, I know!)

After we left the insanity of the mall a little something happened to us. I will share it with you tomorrow. Today, it’s all about the laughs. Enjoy this video I made for you! You do open one gift before Christmas morning right? Well, if not, it will be our little secret.

If you can’t see the video, you are probably reading this post in your email. You can view the video directly on YouTube.

Merry Christmas Eve!

It’s the homestretch before Christmas. With less than a week away, those procrastinators amongst us (ahem, me) need to get crackin’.

These were a few of my favorites from the DIY Gift Idea link party.

DIY Instagram Necklace by Mod Podge Rocks

DIY Photo Ornaments by Making Lemonade Blog

DIY Pocket Hand Warmers by Practically Functional

DIY Map Coasters by The Country Chic Cottage

3 Ingredient Lemon Salt Scrub by Eclectically Vintage 

You’re So Hot! DIY Potholder by Flamingo Toes

Christmas Light Canvas by Ask Anna Moseley

DIY Wine Gift Basket by Bonfires and Wine

Chalk Painted Thrift Store Bucket to Gift Basket by Thrift Diving

I hope you have some more inspirations for those last minute gift idea! Good luck.


Chocolate Gift Basket

I love making my own gift baskets. They cost less than a store bought version. Plus, they don’t need to be wrapped!

A pair of Goodwill pants and an ugly tin bucket get the royal treatment in this spa themed gift basket:

Chocolate Gift Basket

Chocolate Gift Basket

Lavendar Spa Gift Bucket

I seriously seek out the opportunity to make one whenever I can. Nothing is safe from a gift basket. A simple gift certificate for a round of golf? An old wire basket, come Craig’s List golf balls and—BAM—Now it’s a gift basket. Read more

I cannot claim authorship of this DIY Gift Idea (Family Fun Magazine), but I can tell you that it is one heck of a fun way to entertain the kids for 15 minutes AND they make great gifts for the kids on your list. Read more

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US readers. This year I am thankful for so many things. But, mostly I’m thankful for a roof over my head, heat, electricity, running water and a sense of humor.


The long list of things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful for good neighbors who graciously let me do multiple loads of laundry a week while our machines sat unusable in the garage.

I’m thankful for our good friends and family who brought us meals while our kitchen was torn apart.

I’m thankful to my in-laws for helping us through the first week after being evacuated from our home.

I’m thankful to our good friends who helped take care of Buddy while we were homeless.

I’m thankful to all the rest of our friends and family who called or stopped by to check in on us and make sure we were surviving.

I’m thankful to be back in our own home with the ones I love.

I’m thankful that I have a husband who understood that I couldn’t let someone else be in charge of putting our kitchen back together again. And a husband who is willing to live without while we push through the process of demolition and renovation.

I’m thankful for my two boys who have been helping demolish the kitchen and are entertaining me with lots of ideas on how the kitchen should look and function after the renovation. (I know they will be sad to see that their scooter rink plans won’t be in the finished kitchen.)

I’m thankful to all of you for reading, commenting and letting me know that this kitchen fiasco was just a small bump in the road.

I’m thankful that I have the guts to decide to take over building back our kitchen on my own terms!

Most of all, I am thankful for this life and all that amazing things that it is filled with and for where it will lead me.

I hope you enjoy this short one minute video I took during some of the demolition. I’m hoping to start giving weekly updates to keep you up to date on our kitchen renovation progress.

How about that little engine that could attitude? We had a hard time getting him to stop. I think  he’d still be up there beating on the soffit until it finally came down. (Hmmm, I wonder where he gets that from?)


Coming up: How to Remove Soffits Tutorial

You can read more about our kitchen disaster and renovation in these updates: