Front Door

This front door update has been a LONG TIME in the making.

The original door was beat to crap when we moved in. No seriously. The doorjambs were cracked. The fiberglass had been ripped out, hammered back in, given a deplorable paint job and you could see daylight through the door. My dad (Hi, Dad) told us, “That’s a glorified bathroom door. You need something more secure.” He was right. There was no deadbolt. A toddler could have kicked our door in.


We ordered the new door from Home Depot in the beginning of December 2015. It was a prefabricated, pre hung door. It was only supposed to take the door 2 weeks to arrive. We opted for it to be delivered to Home Depot to save the $300 delivery charge and to install it ourselves to save $1,500. As it turned out, the manufacturer didn’t communicate with Home Depot that they would be closed for inventory for 3 weeks and their Christmas Holiday. It took them almost 6 weeks to get the door to us, but by the time it arrived Brian was in a terrible car accident and broke his collar bone into 4 pieces. Due to Brian’s condition and surgery we were unable to pick up the door. Eventually Home Depot got annoyed about storing it for so long. They were calling me regularly to pick up the door. I explained to them about our situation and they dropped the door off FOR FREE! It’s amazing how God works out even the tiniest little things for our good.

It was a few months before Brian was able to install the front door with the help/guidance of two of our amazing friends.

My guy cutting out the molding 🙂

5 hours later the front door was in and HOLY COW did it make the house look amazing!

glamour shot

We also installed updated lights and got rid of the original bronze ones from the 80’s. YUUUUCK.


We wanted a black door so I started to paint. I ended up only painting the door because I wasn’t positive if I wanted a black door with white sidelights or all black. It was getting late and I wrapped up what I was doing. The next day was too ungodly hot to go paint again. The following 12 days poured. Obviously you can’t paint without a clear forecast. Then it got hot again. Then we got sidetracked with the back yard. Then I got sick and required surgery. So our door looked like this for quite some time….


Not the worst, just not what I wanted. Until today! I was feeling so much better and the weather was begging for an outdoor DIY. So I finally wrapped up the exterior front door project. The outside of our house is nearly finished!!


What a beauty! 🙂

Master Bathroom Reno

When we bought our house it had been empty for 5 years, so we knew there were going to be problems. That’s the charm of a fixer upper. So we tackled this bathroom reno head on. We did the demo (minus the floor and tub) and a friend of ours finished out the demo and did the construction. Here’s a picture of what our bathroom looked like when we bought our house.

So it wasn’t the worst. Builders grade everything from 30 years ago when the house was built. It was totally white, mostly clean, but completely unusable. The shower had a really bad patch job. Basically a huge portion of the wall had such bad water damage that we could push the wall tiles and the entire wall would bow. They waterproof sealed the tiles. A bandaid on a bullet wound. The tub faucet was completely corroded and the plumbing leaked as long as the water was on in the house. Another huge water problem. So for the first 6 months that we lived here we shut the water off to the master bath and opted to use the hall bathroom while we were saving to execute our dream bathroom.

Here’s some reno fun:


It took us some time to agree on a style. Brian prefers a more modern look, where as I am more french provincial/shabby chic blend. However, since this is a shared space it’s important that we incorporated both our styles.

So here’s the final product:

We opted to not replace the tub and have an oversized walk-in shower and linen closet (something our bathroom was missing). My favorite part of this entire bathroom is the pony wall next to the toilet -don’t judge me. I insisted on having that since there is not a separate room for the toilet. We chose White Metal by Behr as the paint color to play off the grays in the tiles. During the day it looks gorgeous, at night it presents as a little blueish. Naturally, Brian loves that. I’ll live with it!

Here are the details:

We chose to run the two accents of tile mosaic in the shower vertically, against the larger horizontal tiles to add texture to the space. The 4 x 8 NY Soho brick tile is so timeless. The imperfections look genuine without looking dilapidated. We chose 24 x 24 floor tiles to add simplicity by balancing the room since the walls are so busy. We chose black to hide dirt, but mostly to hide my hair because I shed worse than both dogs. The vanity and the mirrors add a ton of character to the bathroom. Brian got this from Home Depot on serious discount (over 50% off) because they were discontinuing the style. If you know you’re going to be doing a project and need big ticket items, start shopping early. You never know what will go on sale and you won’t feel so pressured to buy because you’re not running out of time!

How to Hang Stuff, Like a Girl

I have the worlds greatest husband. But sometimes, and I completely understand, he doesn’t feel like hanging things for me when he comes home from a long day at work. You’re probably saying “seriously, you can’t hang your own stuff?” The answer is quite simply “no.” I know where I wants things to be hung, however, I’m really bad at hanging for the simple reason of measuring. You have to measure the whole wall and remember what number is the center. Then you have to measure ceiling to floor. Then measure where the hanging pieces are so the frame ends up where you want it, and if it’s one of those that has two holes on opposite sides of the frame in order to be hung, forget about it.

So I did a little problem solving. I’m a super visual person. Numbers frustrate me. I want to see how it’s going to look and feel, and I just don’t get them from microscopic pencil marks on a wall that I can’t find 5 mins after I make them. You catching what I’m saying? So.. here’s how to hang stuff, like a girl.

What you’ll need:

  • paper
  • tape
  • scissors
  • painters tape
  • screws
  • drill
  • laser leveler
  • anchors (if you’re not hanging on a stud)

First, on a clean, flat surface, flip all your frames over. Take a few pieces of paper and line them up so that they cover the back of the frame completely. The goal is to have a perfect representation of the size of the picture you’re trying to hang up.

make sure you’ve aligned the paper perfectly on the corner of the frame
My frame is pretty big, so I needed multiple pieces of paper.

Once you get the paper aligned, tape each piece to the other so it stays the shape you need.IMG_2323

If you’re hanging multiple pictures, it’s helpful to label them.
This gadget is AWESOME. It’s a laser leveler and it’s available at Home Depot for less than $20

Put your laser leveler on the wall in a position you think you want your frames to be hung at.


Make sure the top of your frames are touching the line you want them to be level with. If you look closely in this picture, you can see a black squiggly line under the blue painters tape. I’ve marked off where the hanging clip on the back of this frame is so I know exactly where to drill when I’m ready and since the frame is even where I want it to be hung, I don’t need to measure that distance.


HELLO, this is WAY too far apart, but no worries, because (this is the best part) you can move around your frames to a position that you like!!


Ahhhh, that’s much better! I can see that the center frame is slightly larger than the other two, I like the way they’re positioned and I’m happy with the height between the top of our bed and the ceiling.


Alright, maybe this the the best part, remember about that squiggly line I told you about? Drill right on top of that!! How easy is this?!


Remove the paper outline and insert the anchor, and the screw! Repeat for every frame you have.

Here’s the final look!


And that’s how you hang stuff, like a girl!

Half Bath Reno

We have a 2.5 bath house. This 1/2 bathroom was more like a .25 bath. Completely bland and totally unappealing. I saw a fun post on Pinterest that had a ton of color and lots of natural wood that inspired me to transform our bathroom.

Here’s the final result:

Here was what we were up against:

Here’s how it’s done!

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Willing husband (this is typically a necessity for me)
  • Small table saw or really good hand saw
  • Sander
  • Nail gun
  • Old sock or stain sponge
  • 3 different color stains
  • 3 different sized woods (this is up to you. I like the mix and match look)
  • Behr paint and painters tape
  • Knobs of choosing for cabinets (depends on your design choice)

The Vanity:

You’ll need to sand down the cabinets until it’s a smooth surface and the outer coating or wax has been removed.

Stain sponges can be a few dollars. An old sock that is missing it’s partner will work just as well. I chose a stain that I planned on using on the accent wall so everything tied together. use the sock to coat the cabinet. I used 3 coats to make sure I covered by surface and got a consistent color throughout. Wait 15 mins between coats.

When it’s completely dry install your hardware of choice!

The Wood Accent Wall:

We got 3 different width planks from Home Depot to add character to the wall . I wanted all pine wood so it absorbed the stain in the same way and had the same veining in the wood. Before Brian cut the wood, I grouped different pieces based on the color I wanted them to be stained, to ensure there would be a variety of widths and colors.

After a few coats of stain I handed the project over to Brian. He measured the wall to find out the length of wood we would need to cover the wall from side to side. Cut the pieces as you go, don’t try and do a ton of math and figure it all out ahead of time. That can get confusing and you can end up with a ton of little pieces that look choppy instead of fluid. Start at the top left and work your way down to the bottom right.

We used a Ryobi nail gun. It’s awesome. It’s the easiest way to install the wood planks. Please be careful using powertools!

Diamond Accent Wall

This was the very first project I did to make our new house feel like home! Admittedly, I was really excited to do something adventurous because I was finally the boss of my own space -minus Brian. This was fun and simple and it took two days! Here’s the finished product…


I would recommend doing this on a wall that has very little interruptions. Avoid weird shaped walls, fireplaces, and tons of vents and electrical outlets (square walls are definitely the easiest to work with). The fewer the obstacles, the simpler it is to do this! This wall is in our family room.

Here’s how it’s done.


  • 1 Willing Husband
  • 1 Roll of painters tape
  • 1 pint of Behr Waterscape from Home Depot.

Starting from the top right corner, make a mark every 24 inches. From the bottom right corner, mark every 12 inches. These are going to be your guides.

Take the painters tape and tape off the wall like you would for regular paint job. Then start to lay it out diagonally. It’s easier to start in one direction, move all the way across the wall. Then go back and do the opposite diagonal direction on top. Doing a basket type weave with the tape is only going to get annoying and make it difficult to adjust the tape. YOU WILL NEED TO ADJUST THE TAPE. Make sure it’s not bowing and you have straight lines.  When you’re finished it will look like this…

FullSizeRender copyDisclaimer: even after you adjust the tape, it will never be perfect. The good news is the wall is so busy, no one will ever notice.

Make sure all the tape is completely adhered to the wall, if there are bubbles or creases the paint will find its way in there!

You’re ready to paint!

Let the paint dry 90% of the way before taking the tape off. Don’t wait until it’s completely dried or the paint can chip when you’re taking the tape off!