Category Archives: House Projects

A few more things I’ve done lately

In addition to the library that we updated, I also updated our living room.  Of course, it’s all new IKEA furniture because we may have an IKEA addiction problem (although is it a problem, really?)

I was looking for some before pictures of the living room and realized that I, for some odd reason, didn’t take those pictures.  The best I could do were the pictures I took when we had our floors redone.  It didn’t look much different on day to day basis, really.



Also, I got a new Christmas tree that I put up before I took the after pictures.  I have been waiting five years for a 7.5 foot tree. I just wanted a tree that was as tall as the room because I just love big Christmas trees (and, yes, there are presents already under the tree as we are having a Thanksmas celebration this week with family).

Michael calls this room our grown-up room.  I do feel like a grown-up in this room.  Gone are all the college and newlywed hand-me-down pieces that were falling apart.  And it’s so cozy (though to be fair, the Christmas tree is making it feel extra cozy).  And it has a rug!  This is the first rug I’ve ever purchased (unless you count bathroom rugs and of course, I got it from IKEA).  

I think we are done for a little bit on all the updates.  But I’m so happy with how everything has turned out!

What I’ve Been Up To Lately

I mentioned in my Anticipating November blog that I’ve been working on a few projects.  Mainly, it’s been a bunch of purging, but I’ve also been updating a few rooms.  One of those rooms is our library/my office.  Just last year, we turned my office into a library, but I took it a step further this month and now it’s more library than an office.





All of the new furniture is from IKEA.  The chair is Ecktorp and the bookshelves are Billy. I love curling up in that chair and reading a book.  And, there is room to grow and room for some of Sam’s toys (because we spend a lot of time in here). The puzzle that I did a month or two ago is now framed and above the chair.  I still have a few things to put on the wall, but I’m really happy with the way it all turned out!

House Project #2: The Floors

A couple weeks ago, we completed a second major house project that has been on the books for a couple of years.  We got the majority of our floors replaced.  And by we, I mean we hired a company to do it.  Between busy season and baby season, if we tried to DIY this one, it wouldn’t have gotten completed.  But we are really happy with the result.

So, first, we wanted to replace/remove the carpet in our living room downstairs.  The rest of our downstairs is this ceramic tile.  Since I started fostering dogs with the SPCA and pet-sitting, I have wanted to get this carpet out of here.  It’s just easier to maintain when I have canines all over the place.



See?  There is even a dog in this picture.  The carpet has got to go!



I love this floor.  It’s a water-resistant vinyl.  And, by removing the tile in front of the fireplace, it has really opened the room up.

The second major project was to remove and replace all of the carpets upstairs, including the stairs.  It’s all the same carpet upstairs, but it’s super soft and a little darker than the previous carpet.  I will use the stairs as an example of the change.



Well loved and used carpet.


The guys hauling away the old carpet and bringing the padding upstairs.


The new carpet being hauled upstairs.



We love the fact that this took literally two days to complete, both the living room and the upstairs.  Of course, the upstairs is still in a bit of a disarray because only a few days after the project was completed, I was in the hospital, so I don’t really have any of the rooms to share with you.  I mean, I just got the books back on the bookshelves today.  It’s going to be a process.

It was really nice to have this one marked off the books.  As for other house projects, we have a few here or there that we might get to, or we might put them off for later in the year.  Right now, the baby is starting to take center-stage, so we are focusing on that!

House Project #1: The Shed

Last summer, Michael and I started talking about getting some things accomplished around the house.  We created a budget and plan and worked on it all through the fall and winter.  And this month, we are going to get the bigger projects accomplished, just in time for the arrival of our little one!

The first project on the list was a shed in our backyard for Michael’s aquarium hobby.  A few years ago, he had a frag tank where he grew coral frags that he would sell to friends and at frag swaps.  This is one great way to get involved in the aquarium community, and he really liked doing it.

But he closed up shop, so to speak, after our second daughter passed away and took a year off.  He definitely wanted to do it again, but wanted to make sure he had the proper space and time to do it.

And that’s when he got the idea for having a shed in our backyard to move his frag growing tank.  He also wanted to build it in such a way that it could be used for other things down the road.

We ended up hiring a contractor to do the work, since it is busy season for Michael, and I’m, you know, pregnant (could you imagine me building this right now?).  So here was the process last week.

Before.  This was where my garden was last year.  We moved the garden to the other side of the yard, which actually will work out better.


After the first day (you can see the platform).


During the second day.  I stayed inside with the pups during most of the construction, so that’s why these look like sneaky pictures from the window.  Because they are.


The final product!


I refer to it now as our barn because of the big door in the front.  Michael still has to paint it to match the house, and we have an electrician coming to wire it, but it’s neat to see the project come together!

Final Summer Projects

The last few summer projects that I wanted to complete this year were not as creative as my jewelry holder project.  And they weren’t as big as turning the office into a library.  But they have been on the back burner for so long, and they needed to be done.

First, I had a couple of pillows to repair.  The first was a pillow for Valentine’s Day that I bought on Amazon.  It stayed out a bit longer than it needed to and developed a hole on the side.  So, I pulled out my sewing machine (literally dusting it off) and repaired the hole.


The second pillow was in disrepair because a dog (ahem, Teddy, ahem) chewed the buttons off.  Thankfully, he didn’t swallow them, but the buttons were chewed up goners. So, I went to Joann Fabrics, bought a new set of buttons, and sewed them on.  RedPillow

And finally, I received a beautiful lighthouse from my mother-in-law that she had in storage, so it had a thick layer of dust everywhere.  I used dusting spray and a cloth for most of the surfaces, but for the delicate wire on top, I used a dry toothbrush to get the dust off.  It looks all shiny and new, perfect for my little nautical corner of the bookshelf!


So, they weren’t major projects, but they have been hanging around for quite some time.  I’m glad to check them off my life (and get a little more space in my closet!).

Have you ever had small projects hanging over your head like this before?

Turning the Office Into a Library

I have always had a list of things that I’ve wanted to do in our house.  Lately, Michael and I have been watching seasons of Fixer Upper since it showed up on Hulu, and that has sparked some conversations between whether or not we wanted to move or focus on renovating in our current home.  After a lot of thought, and a lot of time on Zillow and Houzz, we decided to stay where we are for now and focus our energy here.

So, Michael told me that I need to create a bucket list of things I want to do to the house.  A lot of it will require some research and planning, but one thing was just going to require some elbow grease and rearranging.  And that was moving the bookshelves upstairs into my office and creating a library.

This room has gone through a lot of transitions.  First, it was my office and craft room.

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I don’t know what I was thinking with the camo walls.  I also had a little library there in the original room.

In 2013, we decided to combine both of our offices, and I took that opportunity to do a complete overhaul.  I painted the desks white, the walls gray, and I covered the chair to match the new office space.  016.JPG

I actually wrote more about this transformation here, and there is a video room tour.

But what I’ve always wanted was a library.  Originally, the downstair front room was the library, but with Michael’s growing aquarium hobby, it was getting a bit cramped. Michael hasn’t worked from this desk upstairs in over a year, so we decided to forgo that office space and turn my office into more of a library, giving Michael more room downstairs for his aquarium things.  It’s the best of both worlds!


So, I didn’t start taking pictures before I had already done some of the work.  I moved the chair and my office chair out of the room and began wiping down the baseboards and vacuuming as I moved things around.  Wiping down baseboards make such a difference to me.  It makes the room look clean, even if the baseboards need to be touched up (and they do, but that’s a different project and a much bigger one since all of our house’s baseboards probably need to be touched up).


You will also notice that I have an oversized crate in the picture.  I use that crate for various things like behavior fosters from the SPCA or the occasional pet-sitting client (Depending on what that dog is comfortable with.  Sometimes, they come with their own crate or sleeping arrangement).  The crate was moved downstairs into a new space, and Michael’s desk chair and the white bookshelf moved out of the room altogether to make space for the new library.

And here is the finished product!


I moved my desk in front of the window so that it helps with any video conferences I do (like the summer bible study I’m doing right now).  I also hope to make more spontaneous videos in the future and I know that this will enable to do that because I don’t have to work out some weird set up for lighting.  I can just make it at my desk!


And I love my little reading nook.  In April, one of my goals was to organize my books.  I got rid of a lot of them, and Michael was surprised that we actually don’t have a whole lot of books.  None of the bookshelves are extremely full.  That’s not to say that it will stay this way, but for right now, I like the way it all turned out.  Very happy with my new library!

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Do you have any house projects that you completed this summer, or are hoping to complete?

Jewelry Hanger Project

One of my summer goals is to get three projects accomplished that have been on my list forever.  One of those projects is creating a hanger board.  Originally, this was for the baby’s room, but in the meantime, I plan to use it for my jewelry.  It’s a versatile enough piece to do both.

And I’m not kidding when I say this has been in the works for a while.  I bought all of the knobs from Anthropologie back in 2012 (I still had them in the original bag with the original receipt!).


I wanted to use some reclaimed wood of some kind, and I sort of did.  My husband built a stand for his aquarium, and he had some wood leftover, already stained!  So now it was just a matter of putting all of the parts together.


First, we measured the wood for the bolt holes, and we measured each knob’s bolt to make sure we weren’t making the holes too big.  One of the bolts was actually smaller than the others.


Then he widened the holes in the back to accommodate the nuts.


We placed each one, and then he sawed off the extra bolt parts from the back of the wood.


And after adding some hanging fasteners, voila!  I now have a jewelry hanger for my room!  Project #1 done!





Organizing My Nightstand

One of my goals this month was to organize my nightstand.  I’ve done this before in the past, but I really liked what I did with it this time and I’m excited to show you!

So, here’s a typical look at the top of my nightstand pretty much every day.  Oh, and you will have to forgive the quality of these photos.  It’s super dark in our room due to the blackout curtains.


I usually have some amount of books, journals, notepads and/or planners piled on the top, along with lotions or a cup of tea.  And my headphones, since I usually listen to music at night before going to bed.

And when I clean off the nightstand, the first or top drawer looks like this:


There is no rhyme or reason to the drawer until I went to Ross one day and had an epiphany.  Instead of trying to find a multitude of random, or matching, organizer sets for the drawers, why don’t I use a silverware organizer?  The one I found fit perfectly!


So, from top to bottom, I have my lotions – one for everyday use, one for a little more pampering on the weekends.  Then my candle lighter for my candle on top of the nightstand.  Then, I have two handheld warmers, chapstick, and nail care.  And colored pencils below that.  Then there was a compartment for my fit bit and headphones.  And a final compartment for pens (I found a lot in that drawer) and highlighters.

Now, there were some things in that drawer that went other places – cards that went into the office, other small things that I threw away.  For the other two drawers, there really wasn’t that much in them in the first place.  Drawer two had a bunch of things I used when I was pregnant – carpal tunnel braces, wraps, things like that.

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Instead, I now use that drawer to hold all of my journals, planners, notepads, and books that I’m currently reading or using.  I don’t get to all of them every night, but I do like to have them on hand to use as I wind down from my day.

For the final drawer, I did very little because there was very little in it, to begin with.  20170527_135928.jpg

The frames are for a continual wall art project that I add to each year, and the snuggle hottie is used during that time of the month.  It’s fragranced with Lavender and Chamomile which help me sleep as well.

So, that is the entire project completed!  It’s so nice to have everything accessible again.  And it helps my bedtime routine to go a lot smoother as well!

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Cleaning out the closet

For the month of January, my home goal was to clean out and organize the coat closet downstairs.  This closet has been an electronic catch-all, plus any boxes the electronics come in, plus a lot of paint cans (which you soon shall see).  So, let’s begin with the before picture, shall we?

I wasn’t kidding about it being a catch-all.  This is also a safety issue, as this closet is where we usually go when there are tornado warnings.  With all of the junk left in there, we would hardly fit!

First, we removed everything from the closet, vacuumed and dusted all of the walls.


The word for this particular project was “purge”.  There were just a lot of things we didn’t need and probably just needed to be recycled. Here were a few of the collections.

All of the cables, cords, and even cell phones since we have been together.  Check out the blackberry!  In addition to the cables and cords, you will see several routers that we have inherited over the years.  Those are also going to be recycled.  We kept the extension cords, outlet extenders, and a few of the cables, but the rest he is going to take with him to work, where there is a computer recycling place.

Also, all of those paint cans include pretty much every color we have used on our walls and every paint color the previous owners used as well!  I ended up taking a picture of each sticker on the top of the paint cans so that we could have that information instead of housing all of these huge cans in our home.  Some of the paint cans have dried out by now, and some of the paint cans were pretty much empty.  It was time for them to go.


As I was going through everything, Michael built these basic shelves in the back of the closet.  I wanted something vertical so everything doesn’t end up on the floor.  Once I had gone through everything, it was time to put everything back.


I got rid of all the wire and random hangers, keeping a few of the same kind (and one that is a little more sturdy for my winter coat).  I put all the cables in the small box on the top shelf, along with a backup fire alarm and some carpet cleaner (since we house the vacuum in here too.  On the second self, I put another bin of extension cords and my husband’s toolbox.  And then, on the third shelf, there is a bin that holds all of the things on my mantle when I decorate for holidays (and I need somewhere to put the things that I take down) as well as some computer bags for travel.  We also house the air filters in here.

Now we have plenty of room, and we can access everything in the closet.  It was a lot easier than I thought it would be since most of the things were purged.  Sometimes projects turn out that way.  I’m glad I can check this one off my list!

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Finally Done!

So, this year, I wanted to finish some projects in my master bedroom.  And now I’ve finally finished and taken pictures to show you!

So, the first thing I completed was my drawer organization.  I bought all of the baskets from Target, and I organized the sock drawer, underwear drawer, and pajama drawer20151217_123843.jpg

The next thing I worked on was updating the bedding for our bed.  My pup is nicely modeling for us as well.  I finally got a duvet insert and cover, something I have been wanting to buy for years.  I also got holiday pillows for the bed.  I plan to get another cover for the spring and summer time, but that will be something for next year!


This is the final project I worked on.  Each picture represents a year we have been together.  I had fallen behind on the frames the last couple of years, but now I’m all caught up and have a plan for the next ten. 🙂

Did you accomplish any goals/projects this year?