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Kitchen Stencil (cooler than it sounds)

20 Feb

Every winter we end up doing a few home makeover projects since we have to look at the inside of our house so often.  We have recently tackled our dining room with painting a wall, painting a table top and just recently I painted this above the patio doors:Image

I think it ties the room together and I love that this is the first thing people will read when they walk into our house.

Here is how it’s done:

First print off the quote in whatever fancy font you prefer, then rub the back with a pencil:


Sucker your mom into taping the words to your wall and then trace each letter:


Magically, when you pull off the paper, the letters will be outlined


Grab your headlamp- you know it’s a good crafty project if you are forced to wear your headlamp.


Very seriously stare at your letters until they are complete.  And have tons of fun!

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All in all this project took one or two hours for three nights- so 4 hours total.  It was fairly easy but took some patience and a steady hand to paint in the letters.

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Hudson’s Room

8 Nov

We painted the wall of Hudson’s room teal and then painted the trees in white and it all looked wonderful.  BUT I thought the rest of the room kinda felt left out, so I painted the white wall with a teal tree.  I got halfway done with the tree and then got nervous.  Where should the next branch go and why do my leaves look to demented?  I decided to wait for my skilled little sis to come up for Halloween so we could finish it together.  Or, I kept the kids from sticking their hands in the paint can while she finished up =)

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Here is how it turned out.   Don’t you think it ties the room together?

Hudson’s Room

21 Sep

Here is a pictures of Hudson’s bedroom before the trees:


I am so glad my mom was in town to help me with painting his room.  His room looked fine the way it was- with the teal wall and then the deer head picture.  But I was thinking about painting a few trees on the wall but this seemed a bit daunting to me.

My mom was the one who told me to use chalk to draw the outline of the trees- otherwise I don’t think I could have done it.  It was reassuring to know that if I didn’t like the shape of the tree I could just wipe the chalk away and make the branch go another direction.

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I wish I got a picture of my mom and I painting this together because it was definitely a team effort.  Thanks mom!


His room is so happy and I love sitting in his room, staring at the picture and trees while nursing him to sleep.

He is already four and a half months, can you believe it?  I can’t, not at all.

Loving this little boy and loving his new room.  His crib now sits underneath the picture and he can lay and look at this beauty of a wall when we wakes up.


Outdoor Shower

8 Jun

By Jared

We’ve written before about our rain barrels, and the satisfying experience of collecting water as it cascades from the sky, flows from our rooftoop, and splashes into our barrels that wait anxiously beneath the downspouts.  We made it through the entire drought-stricken summer last year without ever using the outdoor faucets to water our gardens or fill the backyard kiddie pool.  A short burst of rain, diverted from the rooftop, is all it takes to fill a 55-gallon barrel, and even our chunky 330-gallon tank only needs an hour or so of heavy rainfall before the water gurgles and gushes out the top.

DSCN1209But this post isn’t about rain barrels.  This post is about our latest experience with the joys of collecting rain water:  Our outdoor shower.  Anyone who has spent much time with me in the summer knows I far prefer a quick dip in the lake or a rinse in the river to clear the dirt and sweat, rather than spend any unnecessary time spinning circles in the bathroom.  And with so much success rain-barreling last summer, I thought I’d convert one of our barrels to an elevated outdoor shower.

The only labor-intensive part was putting together a stand for the barrel to sit on.  First I constructed a pedestal, similar to an old-fashioned water tower stand.  I used cedar posts for the legs and constructed a pallet platform from scrap wood and small cedar logs.  I mounted the pallet to the cedar posts at a height that would allow the barrel to sit directly beneath the gutter.  I ensured stability and balance by shimming and adjusting the ground on which the pedestal sits.  Lastly, I anchored the cedar posts by driving iron rebar into the ground alongside the posts and then chained the posts to the rebar.  Don’t want my shower falling and squishing me while I scrub.

The conversion of the rain barrel into a shower was quite simple.  I purchased an adapter at the hardware store that would allow a standard shower head to fit my faucet.  I re-claimed a shower head from an old cabin that was going to be torn down, and I painted my barrel dark brown in hopes of absorbing a little more heat (and giving the shower a more natural aesthetic.)

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As a final touch I graded a flat area beneath the shower and laid yard brick for the shower floor.  I had spent my first few showers sliding around on the wet, grassy slope, so the brick floor is a nifty addition.


We’ve had trouble even reaching 70-degrees this summer, so my showers have been quite cold thus far.  But I look forward to those hot July days, staggering over from the garden, reaching up and turning on my refreshing rain rinse.

Little Library

17 Apr

We love our little downstairs nook.  It is cozy and cheerful and full of wonderful books to explore.DSC_5493 DSC_5495

Many nights we head down there with the girls to read a few stories before heading to bed.

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Can it please stop snowing and start melting so we can start the hesowed part of this blog!?!?!?

Bathroom Makeover

13 Mar

Growing up, me and my sisters had a bathroom of our own.  We would clean it up every once in a while but mostly we would keep it a bit of a pig sty.  Clothes everywhere, shampoo and conditioner out the wazoo, and the counter so covered in makeup and hair supplies you couldn’t actually see the counter surrounding the sinks.

Our girls have a bathroom outside of their rooms that they specifically use and Jared and I have our own bathroom in our bedroom.  This is a mostly great set-up.  Except that when we have day guests their bathroom is what these guests use.  It is always nerve wracking trying to remember if that bathroom has been checked recently for gross kid stuff.

Here is the bathroom after it has been thoroughly cleaned and picked up.


After we painted almost every room in this house we got a bit overwhelmed with paint choices.  We decided that after taking down the wallpaper to simply paint the walls white and decorate it when we felt inspired.


After a few months of living in our house, this is what we came up with.  I like that if we get sick of it- a change would be very easy to achieve.


This window came from a garage sale a few summers ago.  I loved the color and shape so much that I kept hanging onto it even through all our moves.  And the dresser came from the dump, don’t judge us- there was nothing dead or dying in it AND it was the prefect color- how lucky are we?


The pictures are canvas boards covered in a shower curtain. (can you tell I kinda like shower curtains =)


Sophi’s Gray and Yellow Room

9 Mar

This will be the room the two girls share when the babe graces us with his/her presence.

As you can see the gray and yellow room is a bit bigger than the pink room.  Aleah and Sophi claim they are getting bunk beds when they move in together.  Not sure who planted this idea into their head but I suppose it is something that could happen someday.


The framed pictures are copies from an old nursery rhyme book my mom and I found at a flea market.  Since it is so old we don’t have to worry about copyrights.

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We got this bed and other furniture pieces from a friend of my grandma who was moving out of her big house into something smaller.  Aren’t they beautiful?


The rug came from IKEA for about $20.  The curtain is actually a shower curtain from Target.  Soooo much cheaper that buying fabric from a craft store.  I covered the safety bar on her bed with a vintage sheet to coordinate with the walls.  We’ll see how this all works out and looks when they move in together and start sharing.

Aleah’s Pink Room

6 Mar

When baby comes this spring Aleah and Sophi will move in together and share a room.  They have never before shared a room because of different sleep schedules.  So this will be a new endeaver for them and for us.  Wish us luck.


Aleah will be moving out of her pink room and into Sophi’s gray and yellow room(the yellow room is a good size bigger that the pink room).  If baby three is a girl, we will keep the room pink but if we have a boy then the pink will have to go and we will paint the accent wall something a bit more manly.

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I thought I should show you Aleah’s beautiful room since it has a 50/50 chance of being repainted.

Isn’t it a happy place?

Aleah painted on some canvas board with the leftover paint from her room.  I painted the canvas in the middle white and then cut out some pink flower fabric and glued it on.  The painting on the far right is of a little ballet dancer that I got at a cute antique shop nearby.  She also painted the knobs of her dressers.

New Bathroom

6 Dec

DSC_5060The downstairs guest  bathroom had not been finished until just a few days ago.  Right when we moved in to stripped the wallpaper and it has remained that way until now.

We really couldn’t get a grasp on what we wanted the bathroom to look like and we really never use that bathroom so it was easy to forget that it needed some attention.

We found a sale on dark brown bath towels and decided to paint the walls a rich teal color.  It was a bit bright for my liking so I took the paint back to Sherwin Williams to have them tone it down a bit, but unfortunately they couldn’t.  Ah well.

The girls painted the towel holders dark brown.  I was busy supervising and didn’t get a picture, sorry. I rolled the teal onto the walls and Jared cut the paint.  Aren’t we a good team!

It is growing on us and we can call that room, done!  Yay!


I found this fabric and made a little runner

Making this took me about 5 minutes and adds a nice touch


Jared took some pictures out of some old books and put them in brown frames

The colors are growing on you aren’t they?


Now we can have some more company I guess =)


the soap and candle holder complete the look nicely

Wallpaper Woes

16 Jul

The parsonage had quite a bit of wallpaper.  So we decided to do some squirting, peeling and scraping during the re-modelling process.

Do you know how long it takes to take wallpaper down?  Well I do now and it is not a fun process.  It is extremely time consuming.  While there was about a billion other things I should have been doing.  I was squatting in the dining room trying to get wallpaper down.

I guess my dad and I have the same sort of technique

The actual process of removing wallpaper is very straightforward.  Spray the wall with hot water.  Or better yet use a spray bottle full of fabric softener AND hot water.  Okay I am boring myself already…just google it.  It takes more muscle power than brain power to deal with stripping wallpaper.

This being our first home decorating experience, we have learned quite a bit about our likes and dislikes (we even made several paint choices we weren’t thrilled about, and ended up repainting soon after.).  But one of the biggest lessons we’ve learned is that wallpaper is probably never worth the work – wether it’s the application or the removal.  Chances are whatever style you are going for won’t be in style in 5-10 years, and when you have to take it down you will be very angry at your past life decision to put up wallpaper.  A repaint will take  about a half hour to do, but a wallpaper stripping job will probably take you a couple days.  Just don’t do it.  Take it from me, someone who has this job fresh in her mind– it is NOT fun and NOT something I ever want to do again.

when you get a big sheet to pull off like this one, you are in luck

Do you like my wallpaper stripping shimmer pants?  These are essential (just so ya know)