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!


Vase Painting

I stopped into Goodwill the other day and picked up a few of these beauties from the glass department.


I think it was about $3 or $4 for all four jars. This chic, feather-patterned guy is my favorite.


The intention was to follow this tutorial on how to make some fancy/modern decorations at home for cheap. I’m thrifty like that. I used paint we had in the basement and also picked up a $3 sample pot of Behr’s paint at Home Depot.


Basically, you pour the paint down the INSIDE wall of the jars and rotate them (mouth of the vase up!) until the inside is completely covered. Then you can flip them mouth-side-down onto old newspaper. They take a while to dry, but I’m loving the result!


They are not quite as “pastel” in person, that’s probably a camera flaw. I’ve already set them on display on my little accent table of the living room. I’m constantly futzing over what should sit on that thing. It changes weekly. And I’m actually thinking of sanding the drawers down and painting them white for a little pop of brightness in that little corner.


Oh yeah, I finished one of my designs! It’s a personalized family print. Here’s a closer shot:


It makes me happy… Any paint-related projects going on out there in the world? Tell me about them! Or link to them! I’d love to see your DIY projects.

Outdoor Updates

Unfortunately, they deemed our little hub here in Wisconsin “Tree City, USA”. Which means every homeowner gets a fantastic tree rooted in the terrace in front of their house. I don’t have a problem with trees. I actually am a huge fan. But it’s just that the city doesn’t take care of them. The wait-list is a few years long if you want someone to come out and trim them back (and I don’t have a cherry picker to do it myself). The root system breaks up the sidewalks, and messes up underground pipes and such. The shade of mature trees doesn’t allow our roof to dry properly after it rains. And, oh yeah.


The branches break off and hit our house. It’s not a ridiculous amount of damage, but enough that we wanted to contact the insurance company to see if there were any unseen casualties. The adjuster who came out declared that our roof needed replacing… on one side. And one side only. The front side. They are giving us half of a roof. I don’t want to seem ungrateful here… but I have never heard of this. The shingles are pretty old… it’s not like they are going to match them up to anything you can buy in the store. Half a roof is sort of an embarrassing idea to me. And I REALLY don’t want to shell out two deductibles if in 6 months the backside gets demolished by another branch. Am I out of line?




Okay. Whine-fest over. We chopped up the branch and set it on the curb. Here’s a shot of the offending tree that got all aggressive and tossed a branch at our house:


Do you like how I personify everything?


Here’s the back of the house. We had to do some re-grading and while we were at it, we took the opportunity to throw in some boxwoods. I love that plant. After we raked the dirt smooth and sloped away from the foundation, it was time to add the eye candy.


We actually picked these up about a month ago and have been keeping them watered and taken care of. I have been meticulously perusing the boxwood sections of landscaping stores all summer, and have been really disappointed with pricing. BUT THEN we happened to walk through the gardening section of Home Depot and they had a 50% off sign near the boxwoods. They were only one gallon bushes, but I was psyched. Psyched enough to grab 8, and then later come back for 2 more. We managed to snag them for $3.50 apiece. Which means a grand total of $35 for one long row of boxwoods in my backyard.



We spaced them out according to the instructions on the card attached to them (these required 36″ of what you might call “breathing room”). When we had them how we wanted them, I took my shovel and dug some holes.


And then de-potted them…


And then packed soil around them.


Afterwards, we got about 8 bags of a dark mulch to cover up the dirt and some decorative looking bricks. I still have to level them out, and am considering mortaring them together, but that might be next year. Sorry for the night shot, I just grabbed the camera and snapped a pic about 10 minutes ago. Teehee!


I’m hoping they hedge together and we can try to shape them at some point. I realize we will have to be patient…. like a few years patient. But I’m really happy with the improvement. Another reason for the upgrade is that we plan on removing that exterior back door pictured above and replace it with a window (probably the size of the far right one). We will have to have a mason come out and match up the stone as close as possible, but I’m pretty confident that it will look kind of patchy. SO, I’m thinking that mature boxwood will cover up any weird seamless-ness that the change will cause. Hopefully. What updates are you guys doing? Any end-of-season deals that you’ve seen? Tell me about it!

Something for Nothing

I know that I briefly brushed on the fact that I’m really into graphic design. It got me thinking that I’d love to incorporate that here more. That means good things for you awesome people that are reading. Hold on for some FREE stuff!


This is one of my favorite verses from the sermon on the mount (Matthew chapters 5, 6 and 7). Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God. Here’s a closer snapshot of it.


I didn’t realize how much went into a little bit of text and font. So much tweaking! Good practice though, because I’d like to keep these freebies coming. At the bottom of this post, you’ll find three different files for download. I made this image in yellow, red and black.



When you print the PDF file onto 8.5″ x 11″ paper, it will have crop marks that you can use to chop this print down to a final size of 5″ x 7″. Perfect for frames! I use a cutting “machine” that I found in the scrapbook department of Hobby Lobby for about $7 a few years ago. If you have steady hands, I’m sure a scissors would work just fine too.




Click on a color file that you think would work best in your home and COMMENT to tell me where you’re going to use it!