Something for Nothing: Cleaning Checklist

As a nod to my goal of pumping out a weekly freebie for you guys, this week I designed a cleaning checklist of sorts. I know there are quite a few of these out there, but I wanted to create one that worked for me and my cleaning habits. I’m not one to make sure every Tuesday the toilet gets scrubbed down, or vacuum the floors three times a week. So I went with this “less accountable” approach. I just jot down a few tasks that need to get done sometime soon and tackle them as my schedule allows. Easy-breezy.


It’s an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet, so no crop marks or cutting required! My favorite kind of printable.


I’m hoping it will help me stay on top my spring cleaning this year.


The color inspiration was from my all-time favorite swatch source, a site called Design-Seeds. It was this picture to be precise:


Geode Brights, love those colors! I always tweak them just a bit to get exactly what I’m looking for. I think they are nice and spring-y. Here’s the cleaning checklist file for you, it’s a PDF. Hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Cleaning Checklist


26 before 27

Earlier this month, I turned 26. I am officially closer to 30 than 20. Some days I don’t even think I’ve crossed the threshold to my twenties, and yet here they are- half over. Sob. Only joking, I’ve never had anything against aging. It has a certain beauty. I did want to do something special to mark the occasion here in blog-land. I got the idea from another blogger to create a list of goals equal to your age before your next birthday. 26 things seem like a lot. And I’m sure this next year is going to a roller coaster ride of emotion and learning curves. We’ll see what happens. Here’s the list:


1. Find 5 new meals Kevin and I like.

2. Get better at using my Nikon camera.

3. Can/jar my own fruits, veggies and jams… Um, what else can be canned?

4. Make a raised garden bed.

5. Learn how to make delicious fried rice. Like at Katsuya or Nakashima’s (our best japanese cuisine restaurants). Drool.

6. Make 50 new items for my Etsy shop.

7. Make a “freebie weekly” for the blog. Like this one and this one.

8. Create a better layout/system for the hall closet.

9. Work on my calligraphy.

10. Tile the kitchen backsplash.

11. Make going our local farmer’s market a habit on Saturday mornings this summer.

12. Get back to (or below!) my pre-pregnancy weight/image.

13. Read the entire New Testament.

14. DIY some of our Christmas gifts.

15. Find groups/activities on the cheap for Baby Kelly and me.

16. Make a frame wall.

17. DIY some wall art

18. Take monthly nature photos and create a calendar from them.

19. Make a successful cheesecake!

20. Expand on my vocabulary/sentence structure skills.

21. Make my own baby food/recipes.

22. Go disc-golfing with Kevin and Baby Kelly at least once.

23. Learn to make a good-looking fishtail braid.

24. Organize and backup all of my photos on the computer. A daunting task.

25. Get better at recognizing an artist’s voice on the radio. #tonedeaf

26. Start learning French.


So that’s it. I’ll keep you updated on what get’s crossed off the list.  Wish me luck to finish it all before my 27th birthday! Ahh!


I haven’t been out much this October, while I usually enjoy kicking up leaf piles and soaking up as much outdoors time as possible. I shudder just thinking of those long, cold months ahead. However, I did get out at least once. I took some engagement photos for some friends at a local nature center. This beauty is one of my favorite in the bunch.


Enjoy your autumn, wherever it finds you!

Accent Table

Awhile back, I found an accent table I liked at Target. It was a bit dark for my taste, but I needed something that would spruce up a corner in our living room. So I sprung on this dark wood, modern table and added accessories over time:

Accent Table

Looks decent, but it was just sucking up tons of natural light that we couldn’t afford to lose. I decided to play around a little bit.


I took of the front drawers and unscrewed the hardware. Oh, I should mention that my FIRST attempt to lighten this piece was to spray the hardware gold, to match some various accents on the table already (like the picture frame, the vase and the mirror). And it was a good attempt, but it wasn’t enough!


I brought the two drawers to the garage and used 60 grit sandpaper on a palm sander to get the darkness off. Then I went over that with 150 grit. I would have used 3 different grits and ended with a higher (like 180 grit) finish, but I felt that it was sufficiently smooth with what I had available. Once it was sanded I used odorless mineral spirits and rag to wipe off the dust and debris leftover on the drawer front. 



Once the drawer fronts had “dried” (the wet look that the mineral spirits left) it was time for primer and paint. I usually use Kilz Primer. We pick up a big bucket at Home Depot whenever we’re low. Then I went over it with Behr Ultra Pure White in a semi-gloss finish (which was left over from another project). I trial-ed a foam roller this time around while painting, and I must say: I will never go back! They are perfect for a smooth surface. Probably would have looked even more amazing with self-leveling paint. Next time…




I popped the hardware back on after everything had dried nicely. And I’m VERY happy with the results.



It’s like a brand new piece of furniture! Very awesome DIY for cheap. What is everyone else working on? Anyone updating with paint?


This weekend was full of family, friends and pears! My parents recently moved to a new home, and in the backyard, they have a very fruitful pear tree. So what do you do with hundreds of pears and a lazy Saturday afternoon? Start canning of course!






That’s the family and the process, here’s some of my photos from the pear tree.



Love me some scarred, character-filled fruit!



Yes, I was pretty much that close to the bees. Did I mention I want to be a photographer when I grow up?

Something for Nothing: Sympathy Card

In light of recent events, I was compelled to design a card for those suffering a loss or are recovering. Check out the bottom of this post for your free printable!


It’s a card to give to friends, relatives or someone close to you. Ideal uses would be for those in grief, pain, sickness, or are suffering a loss. The outside says “Believing, Trusting, Hoping, Praying” and the inside is blank. I always find that a personal, handwritten message means much more to someone in pain. Even if you feel like you’re not good at writing something personal. Something short and sweet is always good to hear, like  “I can’t wait to see you back on your feet” or “I miss our conversations!”. Maybe even jot down what you are hoping for or a quick prayer.


This card is to be printed on 8.5″ x 11″ paper and has the crop marks to trim it down to the correct size of 10″ x 7″. Once you have your 10″ x 7″ card cut out, use a scoring pad to create a fold mark down the middle, right at 5″, like pictured. You could also fold this by hand.


And now you should have yourself a nice, folded sympathy card! As for the color inspiration of this card, I found an image at the website “design-seeds” called milk tones (pictured below). I always tweak the colors a bit to work for me, and that’s how I ended up with gray, wavy oval and fun dotted “confetti” border.


Here’s the free sympathy card printable link:

Sympathy Card

Hope you enjoy it! Feel free to tell me how you’re using it!




This week has been tough. My dad was in a car accident this past weekend that landed him in the ICU. He is on the mend, but his injuries are pretty severe. We are optimistic that he will make a full recovery in the coming months, but there are a few struggles in the now. Above is a picture of my dad and I on my wedding day. We all truly love him, and your support and prayers are appreciated. Thanks all!