Tag Archives | decorating

bathroom redo. for the kids. much better.

Do have that one room that you know you should start because every time you look at it you cringe? The kids’ bath was one of those rooms for me. Not so bad you couldn’t use it, but it was quite the eye sore. And, I am not one for eye sores. Why didn’t I do it earlier? Uh, who knows. But, I wish I would have because it took a total of two weekends to get er’ done. Oh well.

Here’s the before. A lot more maple, fake marble with lovely sinks that had the same faux look. Goodbye, tired old bath.

kids bath before

A few changes and voila. Look at the beauty now.

kids 7

bath 2

kids 4

kids 3

And, do you see that lil’ cutie in the background? Shadow likes to follow me wherever I go and never passes up an opportunity for a little photo op. What did we change? Just a few simple, inexpensive tricks that make a bathroom transformation seem a little closer to a reality than a dream.

{love it? want it?}

Wall Paint: Sherwin Williams ‘Moody Blue’
I am not one for color, but I figure the kids bath is as good a place as ever. So, we went for a more ‘colorful’ look that had a little vintage twist.

Cabinet Paint: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White with ClearWax
If you follow along, you know I heart Annie Sloan. And, I HEART the new cabinets. We painted the cabinets white to keep it clean, brighten up the space and have some consistency with the kitchen and hallway cabinets. We sealed it with a clear wax and friends, this huge change took hardly anytime at all. I think I had all the cabinets finished in two days. Big difference. Not a lot of time. Amen.

Cabinet Hardware: Marshalls & Target
I said it once and I will say it again, a little hardware goes a long way. I found the round cuties at Marshalls, sorry folks, that ‘s one of those places that is hit or miss. Keep your eyes out for them, they are cute and cost me a whopping $5. The larger pulls I found at Target a few years ago and used them on our hallway cabinets, but had a few leftover I was saving for a rainy day. They come in a 6-pack and are so versatile and cute.

 Tile for Floor: Natural Timber Ash Porcelain Floor Tile at Lowes
This just might be my favorite part of all. I can’t get enough of it. Porcelain floor tile that is made to look like old barn wood. Which basically means I can easily clean it but not sacrifice the look I love. Seriously, die. We used the same tile as in our master bathroom which you can see here.
We chose to use 8 inch planks in a repeating pattern. Best part? Less than $3.50 a square foot. You can find a link to the color and product we used here. It was worth the extra time it took to get straight lines because I absolutely LOVE it.

Tile for Backsplash: Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic
Another favorite and easy on the budget. This Arabesque Lantern White Porcelain Mosaic was found at Floor & Decor for just $3.79. Booya. And, when you only need three sheets it’s a happy day. A little white grout, elbow grease {thanks, hubs} and you have a new backsplash.

 Countertops: Black Galaxy – honed by our granite subcontractor
This was a freebie, kind of. We had extra from one of Paul’s projects that had been sitting in our garage for about forever. Kids and shiny granite? Uh, no thanks. But, we were able to hire our granite guy to ‘hone‘ it for us, which took away the shiny look. Now it looks a little more like soapstone {a fave for this girl} and a little less like your traditional granite. Does it leave crazy spots? Yes, but I am teaching those kids to use a wipe and keep it clean. We shall see how long that lasts…

What do you think? Way better? An updated version that looks a little more like the rest of our house. A few quick changes and it looks like new. Well, almost new. Perhaps your bathroom is calling you to try a few of these tricks out yourself.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other diy related posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{master bath redo.}

{kitchen makeover on a budget.}

{powder bath makeover..}

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a {how to} ikea hack. an upgrade to bookshelves.

The other week I shared about the shelves in our bedroom that went from boring black to something that makes your heart skip a beat. It’s true that they were originally found among the aisles of Ikea, but now I think they have a little nod to Restoration Hardware. Ahhh, a little more my style.

1-ikea hack

Remember, I was on a budget? The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. And, when they were placed in the room with love they took up a whopping six feet of wall space.

It really was super easy and didn’t cost a lot of money. But, you have to be willing to take on a {paint it on, look at it, decide to add more} approach. A little trial and error approach. Just a few things will get you started.

1-Recently Updated4

For all of those type-a people this may not be your favorite {how-to} diy. I literally painted a little on, wiped a little off and then sat back and stared at it. I kept doing that throughout the week until it looked the way I wanted. I know, eeek. Sorry, folks. If you are in the mood for a little trial and error, {and I assure you there is no way to mess it up} follow along.

 {step 1}
take off glass shelves and prepare work space.
Pretty easy. Prepare space. Enough said.

 {step 2}
use dry brush technique with
brushed pewter metallic paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint. 
Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth {or a hub’s old white t-shirt} to remove a majority of paint on brush. Haphazardly and in quick strokes, paint the piece in various directions. Try not saturate one area. At this point, less is more. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves, while trying to achieve a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 3}
use dry brush technique with
medium gray paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Clean out brush or use a new one. Squeeze paint on to a paper plate. Dip brush into paint and use wiping cloth to remove a majority of paint on brush. Continue applying paint in a haphazard fashion, remembering that less is more and you will continue this process a few times with each paint color. Continue dipping, wiping brush and painting on shelves with second color. It should still have a very “rough, unfinished” look.

 {step 4}
use dry brush technique with
french linen paint, wipe off areas that are saturated with paint.
Repeat steps 2/3 using that same technique, but with the french linen paint. Use this paint very minimally or exclude all together. This allows for a gray hue to be layered, but only small amounts are necessary. More will be used on the bottom shelf.

{step 5}
repeat steps 2 – 4 until piece has a layered, brushed
Continue repeating steps until you have achieved the weathered, iron look. I used the metallic paint and gray the most and continued to alternate between paint coats several times. Paint it on, step back and look at it to decide what areas need additional paint or layers.
You’re probably going to love this part… I let it sit in the bedroom for a week and would add layers of paint a day at a time until I had it just the way I wanted it. Sorry for those out there who love instant gratification.

when you’re done it could look something like this…

{step 6}
painting the base of the shelf.

For the bottom shelf I used all three paint colors, but used 2x more french linen than the other two. I used the dry brush technique, but also used a painting block I have to spread the paint in a “chipped” fashion. Again, I used the dry brush to wipe on layers of paint and continued this for several different layers.


To be honest, the shelf is not my most favorite part. It didn’t turn out exactly how I envisioned because it is a different material than the shelving unit. Next time around, I might add a stained wood shelf to the bottom or leave it black. Fortunately, I had some crates and larger items that do a pretty good job of hiding my least favorite part. Phew.

{step 6}
looking glass spray on glass shelves.
I repeat. Totally optional. I only did this because I already had the Looking Glass spray and I have a secret crush on anything that has a mercury glass look. Totally not necessary, but I totally did it anyways.

Using Krylon Looking Glass Spray, give the shelves a mirrored, mercury glass look using a vinegar and spray technique. You can see directions and how I achieved the same look on a chandelier here.

looking glass

I mean, come on. How amazing are? I would say they are a huge improvement and turn something that is a little ho-hum into something that makes you just want to smile. A few days of painting and there you go. So. Much. Better.
thx cards & bookshelves

Looking for some styling tips and a way to fill those shelves on a budget? Find some tips here. Maybe a simple transformation can change up a boring piece into something a little more jaw dropping. Make a statement. On a budget, of course.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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styling shelves. tips and tricks.

Earlier I shared about the ikea shelves that I turned into something a little more me.  You can find more about it here. Today is a day all about styling. I seriously heart styling anything. Shelves. Mantels. Tables. It’s a serious problem, but it could be good news for you.

I think I have said it a million times before, but I am all about making a statement, albeit while being on a budget. Don’t get me wrong, I could style a room and make it cost big bucks, but that’s not real life for me. The bright side is that there are simple ways to make a shelf look a little prettier without spending oodles of money. A few simple tips that turn it from blah to a little bit of fancy.

  styling tip 1

Truth. Do all things in 3s. My mom taught me this. Make a trio and all is well. This simple trick will make any shelf look a little more polished and a little less thrown together. Believe it or not, in styling odd numbers are your friend.

styling tip 2

 Add some depth and dimension by making sure that you have items of different heights. Adhere to the “rule of thirds” so that everything looks proportionate to one another. Did you know this applies to clothes too?  Varying heights will turn something a-ok into something pretty amaze-ing. Try it. Love it? Hope so.

styling tip 3 As you have heard, I am a total bookworm and I have a huge collection of books. But, I am all about style and sometimes the books don’t actually go with my decor. I have a few tricks to solve that problem that are easy as pie.

  • Rip off the book covers. Gasp. Yes, I really do this. In fact, I just bought 40 books for a women’s ministry event at a local thrift store and ripped off every single cover. Grab those covers, rip them off and tie a few together with twine. The neutral palette of the pages will go with just about everything. Can you find the cover I ripped off on my shelf?
  • Cover with something you have lying around. I have used dictionary pages, atlas pages, newspaper, and even fabric from a ripped laundry basket {that was a cheap one}. When using paper, tape it to the inside covers of the book securing tightly on each side. If you go the fabric route, invest in some spray adhesive and glue it to the cover.
  • Visit a thrift store or Habitat for Humanity. Head over to the hardback cover books {I get mine for $2 each} and start looking underneath the dust jacket covers. Find a color palette or hue that would work in your room and look for books that have similar spine and cover colors. I walked out of our Habitat for Humanity with a stack of light blue and pale pink books for less than $10. Stack them and you have a great addition to any shelf without spending a whole lotta’ money.

What makes you smile? Find an item you love and go on a hunt for more. I stumbled across these two phones at thrift stores and couldn’t get over how cute they were. The white one was a steal for $10 and the black one had to come along too. They are the perfect accessory and add a little interest. For me, it’s phones and scales. Look around my house and you might find a few of those gems hidden. What about you? What makes your heart skip a beat?

styling tip 5

Yep. It’s that simple. Don’t worry about hanging and putting nail holes in the wall, instead find a few frames {notice my trio on the right?} and rest away. An easy way to showcase art without having to worry about symmetry and makes changing out frames a cinch.

Can I tell you one of my favorite parts of these frames? That cutie on the top left is my Grandma. After she passed in November, I found this picture of her working on a Boeing plane in the Seattle factory during the war years. Each day I’m reminded of this special lady who was quite the fashionista, even during the war years. Oh, g-ma. I heart you.

 Are you sold? Did you learn a few new styling tricks? I hope so. Try a few of them out at home and let me know how it goes. This post is a special shout out to my girl Mrs. Barcello who thought I should do this post about five years ago. Here you go, this one’s for you AB. xo

Coming up next week… how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves for a just under $20.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

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bedroom shelves. my own ikea hack.

Our bedroom is huge. Why do they do that? It totally annoys me. For a personality like me, it means that I have to spend more money buying furniture to make it look ‘done’. Well, after almost three years it is finally done. Deep breath. Then a smile.

I need a statement piece, but this girl is on a budget, so I found something at Ikea and made it a little more me. The whole project cost me under $200, including all the paint. I love when things just work.  Here’s the {before}.

ikea shelf

I started with {two} black bookshelves from the Vittsjo series. Each shelf cost $79 and I was out of that place for just about $160. But, the best part was that my shelves took up six feet of wall space in our room. What could be better?

DSC_0009 After a little bit of styling, some thrifting for books at a Thrift store and visiting ‘my store’ for some unused items, I now look and smile. What started with something that wasn’t really me has turned into a piece that I am smitten with.

thx cards & bookshelves1 thx cards & bookshelves

A few coats of paint and some stylish pieces make any bookcase better. Are you looking to fill up a large space in your house, too? Maybe these will be the perfect addition for your space. A little sweat and then a lotta’ smiles.

Coming up… simple tips for styling shelves on a budget and how to achieve the restoration hardware look on your own shelves.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO


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hello, 2016. it’s going to be a good one.

Have you heard? It’s 2016. New year. New memories.

The theme for this month? A BRIGHT new year with our latest thought… #GOLDdiggers

Who us? Just a bunch of lil’ #GOLDdiggers.
Our focus for the year isn’t on New Year’s resolutions, but goals. You know those things that are actually attainable. I’ve always been one for coming up with a few very ‘doable’ things that make the year a little better than the last.

On January 1st, we sat down to dinner as a family and came up with three goals for each of us that we could focus on for the year. It was one of the best dinners ever. The kids were adorable and it was so darn cute to listen to what they wanted to focus on. Here’s what we came up with.

This board melts my heart because it is a true depiction of each of my little babies. They are all so uniquely different, which can be witnessed in their own little chalkboard section.

Grayson is my lil’ perfectionist who is a realist in all ways and never deviates from the course. Sawyer, on the other hand, thinks outside the lines and has a serious vision in mind that requires none of my advice or help. Lil’ Londyn was determined to do it ALL BY HERSELF because her older bros did it. No changing her mind. Did it take over 45 minutes? Heck, yes. But, the proud smile was worth every second.

Are you going to be a #GOALdigger too? Come along on the ride and share some of your goals. Remember, a resolution can always be broken, but a goal is something we can continually work towards achieving. Start digging, folks.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {december} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{january 2015}

{january 2013.}


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chalkboard wall. merry you. merry christmas.

I’m late. Way late. The wall got done, but the post never happened. I think December happened. And, I am still trying to keep up.

For this month, I went the easy route. A chance to take a deep breath and spend time remembering what the season is all about. A little shout out to why I heart December.

The theme for this month? It’s the season of giving.

Part 1. A wreath makes everything easier.
Crunched for time? A wreath makes everything just a lil’ bit easier. I love to use anything decorative if I’m ever in a bind for time. I found this treasure at Home Goods and not only is it adorable, but it smells heavenly.

I also re-used the template from my Thanksgiving board, making my life a little easier as well. Hooray. Just like I shared last month, grab some dictionary pages or something from an old book. Trace the needed letter templates that can be found here. Cut it out and add some twine. Hello, beautiful.


2. Keeping our eyes on the reason for the season. 
Two of my favorite lyrics from songs. And, a simple reminder of why  we are celebrating this glorious time of year.

I know, I am a little late to the game. But, who knows, maybe you can use it next year. In the meantime… wishing you a blessed season filled with family, friends and cherished time together.



try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {december} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{december 2013}

december 2013.

{december 2015.}


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diy headboard and reading lamp. perfect for the boy.

My boy is getting big. Time for a big boy bedroom. Earlier this week, I shared our inspiration. You can read more about it here. My little man and I worked hard to get this {summer} project done and he was seriously the cutest little helper eva’. Oh, and the new piece is pretty gosh darn amazing too.

Just a few simple materials will get the job done. A little something I like to call… easy, peasy.

fence boards {total of 6}
Pine 1×4 ripped down to 2″ wide {total of 1}
white paint
red paint
stain {i used special walnut}
ruler or 2×6 to measure straight lines
first aid stencil template
sconce {optional}

bed materials

bed 1

{wish i would have… used painters tape to tape the outside and then filled it in. would have made life a whole lot easier and a little less stressful while grayson was painting away. whelp, now i know.}

Seriously adorable, right? I love it. He loves it. I love it. What could be better? Oh, I know. The entire project cost me a whopping $38. You heard it… THIRTY-EIGHT DOLLARS. Fortunately, I have a lot of goodies hanging around the house and extra paint for days, so I only had to purchase the wood {$15} and the sconce {$20} plus a little tax. Sigh. Clap. Smile.


Maybe a new piece of art or a reading lamp for your room too? Who knows, maybe these will end up all over my house because I love them so much.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

I linked up at Moonlight & Mason Jars. Won’t you follow along too? Find it here.

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bedroom for boy. new version. the inspiration.

Holy cannoli. My first born. My baby. My lil’ G is… OLD. When did that happen? He is seriously growing up before my eyes. Can you hear the tears rolling down my cheek? He officially started 2nd grade and this mama is having a few {okay, maybe more than a few} issues with that. So sad.

Well, this summer it was our goal to transform his room a bit. The little Lulu got his old bed and he got a chance to upgrade to a bigger bed and a more {mature} twist on his room. Gulp.

The room reveal will come later. For now, the inspiration that started it all. Mr. Grayson was all over helping, giving ideas and being a part of the whole process, which required some serious mommy patience. Painting with a 7 year old? Need I say more?

Step 1. New bed.
The man of the house built him a new platform bed which we stained. More the come later.
Bed? Check.

Step 2. Light issues.
G is totally into reading right now. Oh how that makes my heart smile. So, we needed a way for him to read, but also some type of headboard to offset the low platform bed. After some brainstorming we came up with an idea… a framed out piece of art that would hold a plug-in sconce.

Aha, inspiration. G and I got to work brainstorming some different options and came up with our top seven. Stop it. Too cute.


| 1 schoolhouse electric princeton | 2 world market ethan3 ikea ranarp |
| 4 schoolhouse electric radar | 5 restoration hardware industrial era | 6 ikea ranarp |
| 7 barn light electric lovell |

Let’s be real. I have expensive taste and apparently my son inherited it from me. Our first choice? Number 4. I mean, die. It is ADORABLE. That was the one we HAD to have.

But then my voice of reason, otherwise know as the husband, gave us a big fat n-o. Why is it the cutest? Well, because it is a whopping $205 buckaroos. Oh boo. The husband won again. He reminded me that our 7 year old will not appreciate a $200 sconce. Well, I guess I will just have to find another place for it where I can appreciate it.

So, we settled on Grayson’s second choice and most inexpensive. Holla.

Just a little sneak peek…

{ikea ranarp plug-in sconce.}

Seriously in love with this one-of-a kind art piece. When I walk by Grayson’s room my smile gets a little wider. Later this week, find out how to make one of your own. Get excited.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

did you miss other similar posts?
Take a lookey loo at what you may have missed before…

{striped linoleum floors. amaze-ing.}

playroom floors collage

{master bath redo. on a budget.}

{mercury glass chandelier.}
mercury chand 1

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chalkboard wall. school style.

It’s hard to believe, but another year is here. What??? I swear my babies should still be in diapers. But no, a little tear is shed as they head off to 2nd grade and kinder. Boo. Can’t they just stay little forever?

I’m thinking that’s a no, so I better make the most of it. A real winner of a chalkboard wall to get them geared up for the school year. Here it is…

For this month, some school inspiration and a reminder of what school is all about.

Our back-to-school chalkboard wall. A place where we get to look at those lil’ cuties all month long. 

The theme for this month? First day excitement and a {repeated} memory verse.

Part 1. Memory Verse.
I’ll admit it. It’s a repeat. Partly because I told my kids they have to memorize it and we are still not there. But, mainly because I was laze-y. Regardless, they will learn it, live it and memorize it by the end of September. That’s our goal.

Part 2. School Rocks. 
It’s official. School has started. Say, what? A little shout out to my boys as they enter into their kindergarten and 2nd grade year. And, a reminder that they must ‘go there’. Well, wherever that may be.

A little washi tape, first day pictures and some old-school flashcards make this chalkboard wall virtually effortless. Hooray.

The start of the school year is my favorite. Yours too? Wishing you a {stress-less} start to the school year and a chance to celebrate those little ones as they head off to school.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

want to see some other {september} chalkboard walls?
take a lookey-loo at some of my past boards.

{september 2014}

september 2014.

{september 2013}


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chalkboard wall. summa’ time.

Summer is here. Reminds me of a little song from my younger years… summa’, summa’, summa-time. You know what I’m talking about, right?

For this month, summer fun and summer scripture.

Our summa’ chalkboard wall. A place where we pour all those summer to-do’s in our BUCKET. 

The theme for this month? Our bucket list {get er’ done} and a memory verse.

Part 1. Memory Verse.
Yes, they will know it. Learn it. Live it. Well, at least by the end of summer. A little something to keep us all on track, especially with us spending virtually every waking moment together. Mama Bear says we can make it happen.

Part 2. Summa’ Bucket List. {kids love this part.}
We are working our way through the bucket list. When one task is complete we are adding it {with a magical magnet} to our bucket. It’s too cute. We have already moved a few, added a few and started our list. The best part of summer.



Love the printables? You can find them here. An ode to last years’ printable list and a quick print. Voila. Your own bucket list items. Enjoy.

Wishing you a {kind and loving} summer and a chance to bask in the sunshine with your own little ones.

try. enjoy. share.

Letter J  XO

{If you missed it, learn how you can make your own {DIY Chalkboard and Magnetic Wall}. Take a quick peek {here} to find out just how easy it is to transform an empty space into something that will make you smile.}

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