DR – Before & After

Good morning, beautiful souls!  I can’t believe how chilly it is in New England right now!  I had to pull out the pea-coats for little Miss Evey and myself this morning.  I think the cold weather makes most of us want to just stay in bed and snuggle instead of going to work or school.  A hot cup of coffee is definitely welcomed on these cold mornings!

Now that I’m all warm and had my first cup, I’m ready to get to work.  I know that I mentioned last week I was planning to do a new post every Wednesday but it just seemed to make more sense to post them up in honor of #TransformationTuesdays!  This week, I wanted to show you the changes we’ve done in our dining room.  Here are the before pictures of the room:

Dining room 3Dining room 1 Dining room 2  dining room wall

When I first walked in, naturally I wasn’t completely impressed.  (It’s those shows from HGTV that ruined it all for me!  I was hoping maybe Chip and Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper came in and decorated it all for us!  Lol, dream, dream, dream!) But I started to notice that it was a good size and could accommodate a larger dining room set.  We love to entertain so that was important to me that we could fit a good amount of our friends!  Since moving in for a little over a year, we’ve gathered in this room many times and have already made quite a few memories!  (Ghost pepper challenge and Spartacus games nights come to mind!)  It is also where we get all our homework done, haha.  I loved the chair railing because it added character to the room and was so happy the trim was white! Of course the chandelier was a little outdated for my taste but with a little tweaking, I knew I could turn this room into a spectacular one.

Also, I just wanted to point out that we got really lucky that the house itself was in GREAT condition (at a price we could afford, which was the most important part!).  We didn’t have to do any major reno’s , like knocking out walls to make the room feel more open, at least not right away.  I think when you’re looking for a home, it’s important to look at the “bones” of the house and make sure you like the flow.  Unless you want and can do the major renovations, I say “Go for it!” Our goal was to find a home that was sort of “move in ready”, that all we needed to do was cosmetic. But we also wanted a place where we can put our stamp on it.  We love projects so this house had a little bit of it all for us.

So with all that said, here are the “after” photos of what we’ve done to the dining room so far from the same angles as above:

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Just like the living room, we removed the carpet, sanded down the orange-y stain that was there and kept the natural color of the pine by putting 3 coats of polyurethane to seal it from spills.  I wanted the dining room and the living room to feel like it was one big cohesive space since they both aren’t huge rooms by any means.  I kept the wall color the same throughout (Sparkling Lake by Valspar) and to add just a little dimension and separation in the dining room, I painted below the chair railing the same color white as the trim (Bistro White by Valspar).  We changed out the chandelier to something a little more glam and I found it at Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hampton-Bay-Maria-Theresa-6-Light-Chrome-Chandelier-C873CH06/202184534).  It’s not crystal but everyone thinks it is, haha!  I LOOOOOVE chandeliers and will put them in every room/hallway if I can.  I don’t think I’m a girly-girl but I just can’t say no to chandeliers.

We built the dining room table and buffet side table ourselves from being inspired by Anna White and the ladies from Shanty 2 Chic (and many otheres) on Pinterest!  Plus, the table that I really want is like $1500, which we can’t afford.  I will be posting those projects up soon on #DIYFridays!  We kept a natural palette, similar to the living room, so that both rooms look united.  And I don’t know what it is, I just adore natural/wood furniture.  It just warms a place up like nothing else.  The 4 leather dining chairs are from an old set we had that I will eventually make slipcovers for, and the club chairs are from Overstock.com (http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Christopher-Knight-Home-Malone-Beige-Club-Chair/6808259/product.html?CID=228583).  They were originally for the living room but once I purchased the living room set, they became dining room chairs.  I love the look but after about a year, they’ve become pretty beat up with so much use.  We’re going to have to replace them soon, which is a total bummer.  So only get these chairs if you’re not planning to use them often and want to just pretty up a corner.  The mirrors I got from Michaels at 70% off during one of their sales (I think it came out to about $20 each if I remember correctly), which I thought was a total score!  They really jazz up the room.  And no dining room would be complete without family photos, a wine rack (that I found at Christmas Tree Shops on sale for $10), and some words to “Eat, Drink, Cheers”!  I will work on the how-to’s for you to get the look.  What I highly recommend is become friendly with your neighborhood sign shop.  A lot of times, you can make treasure out of trash and this was one of those instances!  I used to work at FastSigns in North Attleboro, MA and Joe has always been so generous and simply an amazing boss/person.

Below are a couple more photos from different angles.  We really love how the rooms turned out and since the furniture/decor is a natural palette, decorating for the holidays is so easy because the colors don’t clash.  Also, I don’t know if you’ve noticed or if you’ve heard this before, but if you don’t have high ceilings, hang your curtains starting at 2″ from the ceiling and let it hang to the floor.  It gives the room the illusion of being taller than it really is. I got those curtains at Ikea and I used them in both the living room and dining room as well (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30090117/).

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So there you have it!  Is there anything you like most about the transformation?  Which room do you use more, the living room or the dining room?  Thank you so much for stopping by today and please leave a comment if you enjoyed this post!  Look out for a new DIY post this Friday!  Until then, stay lovely!


LR – Before & After

Good afternoon!  I hope you’re having a splendid day so far.  We had rain this morning and it looked like it was going to be a dreary day.  But now, the sun is shining and it looks gorgeous out.  Isn’t it funny how things can turn around when you least expect it?

Speaking of things turning around, I wanted to share with you the progress we’ve done so far to our first room that we worked on before we even moved in: The Living Room. Well, technically I started painting in the dining room first but it’s pretty much the same thing since they’re connected, haha.  Here are some before photos:

living room 1 living room 2 living room 3 living room 4

As you can see, it was dark and dingy.  The layout was really awkward and the dark green trim wasn’t doing anything for the room.  But still, I saw the potential and loved that it was sort of “open” to the dining room.   I know most people really like the open concept look but I’m a traditional girl and I love the fact that our house has separate rooms.  The front porch took away a lot of the natural light coming in so we needed to figure out a way to make the room feel air-y, without removing the porch.  So what we did was painted the walls a light blue/green/grey color called “Sparkling Lake” by Valspar.  I love how the color changes throughout the day and literally goes with any color!  We painted all the trim white to brighten up the space and removed the carpet.  We got really lucky and found the original wood floors under the carpet and buffed it out.  It was an orange-y color with lots of scratches and stains before.  I wish I had taken more photos…I didn’t realize I was really going to be doing this blog!  I really wanted to stain the floors a dark color but after seeing the raw pine color, to help keep the room bright, we decided to keep it that way.  So my husband just put 3 coats of polyurethane and we called it a day on the floors.  But the biggest difference in my opinion to make the room bright was investing in some recessed lighting!  (cue the angel music)  What better way to make a room bright than to add light bulbs, duh!! Haha.  But seriously, best idea ever!  I wish I could afford to put recessed lighting in every room!  We’ll get there eventually.

So here you go, some photos to show you what our living room looks like right now.  Photos were taken with my camera phone which has a cracked lens, haha.  Can you tell?  I took a couple with the recessed lighting on and a couple with it off.

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We love our sofa and love-seat set we got from Bob’s Discount Furniture (the Renee set).  Because the room isn’t very big, I decided to go with a light color.  I know, I’m crazy for doing a light color since we do have 2 kids.  But they’ve been really good and we got the “goof-proof” insurance on it, haha.   To help “ground” the room, we added in some dark/wood furniture like the dresser we stained (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10221421/)  and the black metal bookcase (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20213312/), both from Ikea.  And to pull the look together, we did a large navy and beige area rug (http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Safavieh-Indoor-Outdoor-Courtyard-Navy-Beige-Dhurrie-Rug-8-x-11/8059862/product.html?CID=228583) from Overstock.com.

So there you have it!  What do you think of the progress so far?  Isn’t it crazy how much paint changes everything? I don’t think we did anything too drastic and they were all projects that I think most people can handle themselves.  We are not general contractors by trade (my husband is in accounting and I’m in sales), but YouTube and just a “go get it” attitude can go a long way!  What changes would you like to make in your home?  Have you done anything that completely transformed your place without a major reno?  Tell me about them in the comments section! I’d love to hear your story!

Thanks again for stopping by!  Until next time…

Stay lovely,


Where it begins

There you are, world!  Welcome to Lovely on a Dime and this is my FIRST blog post!  Eek!  My purpose on creating this blog is to share all the things that I’ve learned so far, and all the things I will learn along the way, to make your home beautiful, comfortable and stylish.  And our first home will be the guinea pig!!  We’ve had our home for a full year now and have done lots of changes, but we still have a long way to go.

Our first home, before picture

Our first home, before picture

I truly believe you can live in a home that looks like a page out of a magazine…just not with the same price tag.  With a little “out of the box” thinking, savvy shopping and elbow grease, I’m slowly turning our over 100 year old house into a showstopper.  I’m always taking on new projects or adding some (meaning a ton) on my husband’s to-do list, as well as helping plan loads of baby showers/bridal showers and weddings.  So I’ll be showing before and after photos of rooms, and little tutorials of how-to’s and some neat tricks to get a high-end look without spending too much. There is inspiration everywhere I look, especially on other blogs and Pinterest!  They inspire me to create and put a twist on it to make it mine.  I hope that I can stimulate some inspiration for anyone out there that wants to make their home just a little bit more lovely.

So please join me on my journey!  I’ve been talking about starting this for a long time now and I’m looking for some friends to come along for the ride.  I hope you will share with me your projects and journey as well!  Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope to chat with you soon!

Stay lovely,


p.s. I’m still trying to get a handle of creating with site and the look might change a little as I progress.  Please bear with me through the changes. 🙂

12.4.15 DIY Friday

Good evening!  Today’s post is going to be short, easy and sweet!  As you saw on my post on Tuesday, I went with some text for my front door instead of a wreath.  It’s my way of telling the world what we’re praying for this holiday season.  And it’s super easy to do, too!  Here is how you can get the look:


All you need are:  Thick ribbon, letters (you can get from Walmart for $2 each), spray paint, bows, safety pins, glue gun, decorative red flowers (I got at the Dollar Tree).  You can customize the colors to your decor.

I wanted to go with black letters because my hand railings are black.  I had some scrap material I got from FastSigns and decided to cut out the letters myself, to save money.  But, it didn’t come out as perfect as I would like to so I may end up swapping the letters I have now for some from Walmart, haha!  Until then, this is what I did!

Got my materials (minus the glue gun in this picture).


Spaced the letters out evenly, making sure it will fit within the height size of the door as well.  Once they are where you want them, glue them down to the ribbon.  Make sure you glue it down on a surface where you can scrape off the glue if it goes through the ribbon.


Add the decorative flowers and bow (not pictured).


Then I wrapped the ribbon around the door.  I used a few safety pins to hold the ribbon ends together, and then I put a bow over it to cover the ugly pins, haha.

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And that’s it! I will tell you now I’m planning to do a little bit more to change it up a bit because I’m not 100% in love with it.  And I thought I was done, haha!  Can’t wait for Sunday, it’s supposed to be a very mild day so it will be great to do things outside!  I hope you all enjoy it!  See you Tuesday!

Stay lovely,


Outdoor Holiday decor makeover

Good afternoon! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!  It was a bit of a whirlwind, I can’t believe how fast this weekend went.  Did you do any Black Friday shopping?  I went out twice, I was such a nut!  The early 7am one I almost didn’t make because I only had 3 hours of sleep.  But Michaels was having a deal on their plain garlands and wreaths for only $1.99 each!  Since I was banking on it going on sale that morning and I had to buy a bunch anyway, I made myself get up and go.  I’m so glad I did!  I had fun at Christmas Tree Shop and Carter’s, too!  I got a lot of my Xmas shopping done so definitely felt accomplished.  Now that the holidays are in full swing, I’m not ashamed anymore that we have our Christmas decorations up, haha!  I definitely want our house to stand out and I think we achieved that.  I got lucky on Friday because the weather was so nice, I got half of the decor done.  Yesterday I was not as fortunate because it was FREEZING out, but thankfully I finished!  Now we just get to enjoy the decor for the rest of the season!

Let me start by showing you what the house looked like when we bought it.  Honestly, I wish it didn’t have vinyl siding.  But, what are you gonna do?  There’s definitely plenty of things still need to be done (remove awning, landscaping needs major help, painting it a different color, fixing concrete walkway, adding window boxes…to name a few), but there are a couple changes we did so far that has made a big difference.

Our first home, before picture

Our first home, before picture

I hate that our sidewalk in front of our house is so damaged.  People used to park right on the sidewalk, especially during football games across the street.  I hope the town will fix it eventually.  And as you can see, LANDSCAPING NEEDS MAJOR HELP, lol!  I tried really hard this summer to make it look pretty but it just wasn’t helping.  I think I will need to hire a professional this Spring if I still can’t figure it out.   Until then, we worked on projects that we COULD handle.  We cut down those large bushes on the side, which uncovered a hand railing.  (And if you remember last week’s post, those bushes were the inspiration for my “natural” tree theme.)  All that brown fence I stained white in September.  Essentially I painted over it.  I love painting fences as much as I love painting bookcases…which is not very much.  Wow, did I get hand cramps!  Of course it was well worth it in the end because after that, it really stood out.  I never knew I wanted a house with a white picket fence but it totally works for me!  And of course, about 7 hours total of prettying it all up with the holiday decor this weekend.  Here it is!


The sun was setting when my husband took this photo so it looked so pretty!  Doesn’t the awning make it look like the house has eyelids? Lol!  My sleepy home.  By the way, I get so embarrassed when I’m outside and taking photos.  I don’t know why, lol!  Because we live on a main road, we get so many cars driving by and I don’t know what they’re thinking.  Like maybe, “Who does this girl think she is?  Her house ain’t all that!”  Just my insecurities talking, don’t mind me!  Anyway, here are some close up photos!

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When I think of a color that represents Christmas the most, I think of red.  The red stands out so much against the white, and I love it!  So playing up the color and making it a focal point really makes everything pop.  What I basically did was reused all the red I used last Christmas and ornaments from previous Christmases.  I did run out of ornaments but I got some more at the Dollar Tree.  Here is pretty much all the materials I used:

From Michaels: Plain garlands and plain wreaths, red mesh, ribbons, ornaments and branches from Christmas past. From Dollar Tree: red/white/green ornaments, red bows on wreaths, fake red poinsettias, over-sized ornaments.

I love a good pretty wreath but for the door, I wanted to do something that was a little different.  I saw this photo on Pinterest and that’s what gave me that idea:

Do some for inside. DIY Letters for Christmas Door Decor.:

I love how unique it is and what a great way to kind of “send out your message” to the world.  With all that is going on in the world right now, we definitely need a little peace on Earth.  I might end up “jazzing” it up a little bit though since I don’t feel like it stands out enough, haha.  I’m going to share on Friday how I made it.

Here are a couple more photos.  I loved how the planters on the steps came out with all the old ornaments I reused.  I have sand in them and all I did was stick the branches in.  Talk about easy!  And we have a small tree off to the side of our driveway and I dressed it up by hanging some over-sized ornaments from it.  So cute!

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And here are a couple photos from inside our kitchen and mudroom that I didn’t get to show you last week.

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There you have it!  We are embracing the holidays full force!  I’m such a Christmas person, haha.  It’s the only thing I love about winter.  I hope you enjoyed what we did!  Hopefully I’m able to bring some smiles to anyone passing by, and hopefully some inspiration to decorate as well!  And, you don’t have to spend a whole lot to make a big impact.  I’m looking forward to relaxing with my family and swapping gifts, and watching the kids’ face light up.  I hope you all have a happy holiday season!  I’ll talk to you on Friday!

Stay lovely,


MB Before & After

Howdy, everyone!  Thank you for stopping by!  It’s been so cold this week, I’m freezing my tush off whenever I go outside!  Winter is finally here…womp womp.  I’m supposed to do outdoor decorations this week and I have no idea how I’m going to do it with this weather.  I hope it warms up a little!  Have you started on your holiday decor outdoors yet?  I love driving past by people’s homes and seeing all the festive decorations; it always brings a smile to my face.  I’m hoping now that we have our own home and decorations, we can bring a smile to others as well!  But I need to buy just a tad more wreaths and garlands so I wanted to wait until Black Friday to buy all of that, haha!  Since I can’t show you the outdoor decor just yet, I’d like to share with you the changes we’ve done to our master bedroom!

I think one of the major points that got us sold on this house was the size of the master bedroom, and two separate closets.  For an older home, the closets were really big and we really liked the layout.  Of course if we had a master suite, that would have been “suite-er” (see what I did there? hehe) but we knew that was not a reality for us.  I definitely have come up with plans in my head to make room for an en-suite but until we have the budget for it, this will have to do for now, haha.  Actually, I’d personally would like to make the attic our Master bedroom and en-suite like this one from Candice Olsen!

Drool!  Yeah, I would be totally happy with that! Ok, coming back down to Earth now…haha.  Here are photos of our bedroom when we bought the house and how the old homeowners had it:

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Master 1 Master 2

Of course the mustard walls had to go (it looks orange in the first two photos)…so we changed it to a blue-grey.  And then I added a navy accent wall.  But for some reason, I just wasn’t quite feeling the colors.  The room is really dark because it’s a South/Southeast facing house.  We only get good light in the mornings.  And we have awnings covering our windows, which isn’t helping.  It’s been on my husband’s to-do list since we moved in to take them off but they’re still up.  It has something to do with him being afraid of heights but that shouldn’t stop him, right?! Lol…I always say I’m going to end up doing it myself.  Hopefully we’ll get them down by next summer.  Back to my story about painting…Oh yes, so I started hunting on Pinterest again to find some new inspiration.  I saw this photo and was smitten with it!  It seemed so simple and easy to replicate, and of course I wanted to put my own spin on it.


photo cred: lushome.com

I liked the dark, cozy and romantic vibes I was getting from the photo.  So first, I had to find the right paint color.  I settled on Shenandoah Taupe from Benjamin Moore.  Here are a couple photos that got me hooked, and it’s also one of Sabrina Soto’s go-to colors as well:

Benjamin Moore Shenandoah Taupe master bedroom paint color | Involving Color Paint Color Blog:

photo cred: http://involvingcolor.com/blog/honey-fitz/

Love this room - Complete w/ DIY Table and benches! Dining Room Bench Tutorial:

photo cred: dear lillie

I’ve definitely become a bit of a painter since moving here.  I don’t even use tape anymore, unless I have to paint stripes or around hinges and door knobs, haha.  I think because color changes everything so fast and it’s pretty much the cheapest thing to do to get the biggest bang for your buck, I always decide to change the wall colors first.  Once painted, I wanted to do an accent wall so I decided to paint stripes behind where our headboard was going.  Up until this morning, we had gold stripes on the wall.  I literally just painted the cream stripes this morning, lol!  The gold clashed but I thought maybe I’ll fall in love with it eventually. I didn’t and that’s why I’ve been itching to change the room, AGAIN!  Since we now have cream stripes (which I used a color we already had; BM Revere Pewter), we may be keeping our MB this way for a little while longer.  It just doesn’t scream “rustic glam” the way I want it to but it will do for now!  Anyway, here are the photos of our bedroom:

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I like how it’s really clean…for now, lol!  I always have to do a mad dash to clean the room before a reveal, because of course I want to put our best foot forward!  For the most part, the room looks like this…and then add a couple more laundry baskets and things scattered on the dresser and nightstands.  I know that once our budget allows it, I want to get recessed lighting and a nice chandelier to replace that ceiling fan that we currently have, haha.  And a new bed with night stands!

Most of the items we got at Ikea – surprise, surprise!  I actually got those dressers when they were having a sale for 15% off! (Links to products below.)  That mirror and chandelier painting we got from HomeGoods, (mirror $30, painting was a splurge at $50 but I loved it!) and we made our headboard ourselves with some plywood we found in our basement.  All I had to to get that made was grab was batting, nail-head trim, a drop cloth and a staple gun.  I wanted a taller headboard but then we would have to spend money on a taller piece of plywood…so I went with free instead, lol.  And with the remainder of those materials, I covered some canvas frames and made the “G” and “J” signs over my dresser.  Our bedding set we got from Wayfair.com.  We warmed up our feet in the morning with some faux sheepskin rugs.

Now that I see that cream colored stripes, I really like it!  We’ll see when I start itching to change the room again, haha!  We have that one big wall that I want to build a shelf or “mantle” that I’ve seen plans for from Shanty2Chic.  Or add a photo collage with a vinyl text.  Of course I will keep you guys posted on the changes!  Here are a couple more photos for you guys to see!

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Do you think I nailed it on the cozy and romantic look?  Let me know in the comments below!  With Thanksgiving coming up this week, I hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday spent with your family and friends.  Just remember that it’s not happy people who are thankful, it’s thankful people who are happy.  I’m thankful for a blessed year, good health for my family and friends and everything we could possibly need (food, shelter, and love).

Stay lovely,



Bedding set: http://www.wayfair.com/Colonial-Textiles-Sasha-7-Piece-Comforter-Set-AMRA1641.html?ds=14986&refid=TEM_WF_732&mmid=255885142&csnid=839ECB0A-2876-4043-B8E0-618543EBD0C9

Dresser: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40239274/

Tall dresser: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20245370/#/60239268

Curtains: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30156486/

Rug: http://www.wayfair.com/Mohawk-Home-Hamilton-Beige-Shag-5-x-8-Rug-86093100155-MOH2984.html?ds=11571&refid=EH&mmid=205893623&csnid=839ECB0A-2876-4043-B8E0-618543EBD0C9

11.20.15 DIY Friday

Thank goodness it’s Friday!  We have a busy week and a half ahead of us with Evey’s 4th birthday, Thanksgiving, and my little’s sister’s 30th birthday so definitely had to be extra productive this week!  I’ve been scrambling around with my to-do lists and making sure we’ll have all that we need.  For Evey’s party, as well as Thanksgiving, we are having all our closest friends and family to celebrate, which I’m so looking forward to!  But my biggest concern for these gatherings are: “Where will everyone sit?!”  I’ve been eyeing these dining chairs from Target for a while now but at $100 a pop, there’s no way we can afford to get these, especially since it’s the holidays!

Morris Oval Back Dining Chair with Arms

Morris Oval Back Dining chair – Target.com

Aren’t they awesome?! But since we can’t afford it, I’ve decided to make a bench instead!  I’ve seen plenty on Pinterest to help with my creativity but I just don’t have time to get all fancy with it.  So today, I’m going to share with you how I made this REALLY simple bench!  I spent only $12 on this but I’m sure you can make one for less than $30 in lumber.  We had these old 8′ 2×12’s laying around from our yard because we removed it from an old garden the old homeowners used to have.  Some of them were in pretty rough condition.

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I originally wanted to make a “Welcome” sign with is but thought that we needed a bench more than a sign, haha.  I went down to Home Depot and grabbed some 4×4’s ($12) and asked them to cut it down to 16″ lengths.  Make sure the post is straight and as little imperfections as you can find.  I was able to get 6 pieces out of it but saw that one of them was a smidge shorter than the others.  So I decided to just do 4 legs, instead of 6.  (I wanted to do 6 for extra support but since the board is really rigid, I figured I only needed 4.)

Other things you will need:  A power drill with phillips head bit and a drill bit to pre-drill the holes, 3″ nails, sander/sand paper, stain/paint, protective/safety gear.

I started off with sanding the legs and the 2×12 board that I had.  If you are buying a new board and it’s in great condition, it will take you less time sanding and you might not need a sander like I did.  Because the board I have is in rough condition, I had to sand for a good hour before I was OK with it for kids to sit on it.  Once everything is smooth the way I wanted it, I just stacked the legs side by side and then put the board on it.  I just made sure it looked even from each side.

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Then all I did was pre-drill the holes from the top and screwed the nails in, 2 nails per leg.  I went in with the sander again with a fine grit sandpaper just to make sure ain’t nobody gonna get splinters from sitting on my bench, haha.  Then it was ready to be stained.  I always flip it over and start at the bottom first when I stain or paint.  Once I am done with that, I flip it right-side up and stain the top.  If you are not going for the wooden, rustic look, you can always paint it to match your decor.

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I let it sit in the garage for a couple days to air out the fumes from the stain.  Now, the bench is in our dining room, ready to be used for the parties!  So easy and simple!  If I bought a new 2×12 board, I wouldn’t have spent so much time on it but that’s what I get for wanting to be cheap, haha!  I have to put in extra elbow grease.  But for what it is, it was so worth it.  Now I have extra seating for 4-5 people in our dining room.  Imagine I bought the chairs?  That’s close to $500!  The weight has been lifted from my shoulders and now I’m just ready to party and have fun with the kiddos!  Here is the bench in our dining room:

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It fits right in!  That’s it for this week, guys!  I hope the weather is gorgeous wherever you are and that life is good, and I hope you’re enjoying every bit of it!  Til next time!

Stay lovely,


Holiday decor makeover

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…!  Anyone else got holiday music on already?  I love this time of year, can you tell?!  One year I started listening to Christmas music in September, hahaha!  But, it was Michael Buble’s Xmas album, I can listen to that guy any time.  *sigh*  He has the voice of an angel.  It definitely gets me in the mood for the holiday season.  Apparently I’m not the only one that’s getting into the seasonal decor.  Let me share with you some of the other, more famous bloggers out there that have already got their tree/decor up:




Centsational Girl


What a gorgeous Gold Christmas Tree! Love all the details.

A Night Owl Blog

So much inspiration out there right now!  As you can see, I’m loving the rustic and natural look for Christmas this year.  What got me thinking to go with this theme was when we took a trip to Vermont for Labor Day weekend, we stopped by the Vermont Country Store and I saw this twig ornament that just stopped me in my tracks.  I don’t know why I didn’t take a photo of it because I just adored it so much!  I can’t even find a photo online of something close to it that justifies the one that I saw but here is something just to give you  an idea:

It’s not even close to what I saw but it will have to do, haha.  Anyway, a light bulb came on when I saw that ornament because over the summer, we cut down these large bushes in front of our house.  We haven’t thrown away the branches because our town is not picking up our yard waste.  And since we just didn’t have time to borrow my brother’s truck to get rid of it, it’s been sitting on the side of our yard.  I’ve been wanting to get some use out of the branches and I figured it would have to be for the holidays.  So it was perfect when I saw that ornament.  Plus, with seeing all the rustic theme decor that’s so popular right now, that’s why I was so excited to get started on decorating, haha!

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I wanted to keep it as simple as I can but with a little bit of gold for the “glam” because I NEED to have something shiny, haha.  I used mostly bare garlands and wreaths.  I decorated with gold ornaments, burlap and gold ribbons, pine-cones and, of course, branches.  I reused some stuff I used for last year as well so it helped cut down on the cost.  I like to switch it up each year for the look and theme but what I try to do, instead of buying all new stuff EVERY year, is reuse some old stuff from the year before.  Last year our theme was red, gold and silver.  The decor that I used last year will be used for outdoor decorations.  Gotta use all that I have since there’s a lot of space to decorate!  This week, I will be showing you what I did to the living room, dining room, and stairway.  Here we go!

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I love how the tree came out!  I am sure I will be adding a little bit more to it as we head into Christmas but I’m so happy with it as it is.  I want to make ornaments with the kiddos.  You can see the branches sticking out, those are the ones from our yard.  I threw in some pearl branches that I had from my wedding decor.  Evey and Prestyn helped me decorate and Evey kept putting all the ornaments on one branch, it was so funny.  You can see the sign that I made last week as well as the pom-pom and garlands above it, and our little blanket ladder that I got from a country shop a few years back.  We rearranged our living room a bit to accommodate the tree to be in that corner.  I kind of like the layout the way that it is right now, we may keep it like this for a while, haha.  We are going to be holding a couple get-together’s the next couple weeks so I’m hoping this layout will work best! IMG_1574 IMG_1586 

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Next up is our media station.  You know, I really wished our house had a fireplace.  But with our dresser, I guess we came close to it, haha.  I always wanted a mantel to decorate with all these candles so that was the look I was going for.  I got these 3″x6″ candles at Christmas Tree Shops for $2.99 each, which was the cheapest that I found locally.  And I loved that they had a gold option too!  The thinner tall candles are from the Dollar Tree and I got those metal white candle holders at the Dollar Tree, too!  Aren’t they so cute? I haven’t had a chance to light them all up yet but will share that photo once we do, hehe!  And those little gold holly picks in the glass vase on the coffee table I got from Michaels!  They are on sale for 60% off right now so they were a steal at less than a dollar each!  I love how the two window garlands frame the dresser and TV!  It was so simple but it makes it look so grand.

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We have this archway that connects the dining room and living room and I wanted to highlight that by adding lights to the garland.  And as you can see, I used branches to decorate the ceiling.  I was a little worried about not being able to pull off this look but I’m so glad I tried it!  I saw this one photo on Pinterest a while back and I was hoping I can recreate the look and I am so happy with the result! I was able to achieve this look with just some clear scotch tape, clear command  hooks and fishing wire.  This is the photo that inspired me.

Of course I had to add the garlands to the windows and over the mirrors as well.  I don’t now if you can tell but I love bows!  They’re so simple to make and adds a touch of festivity to the overall look.  It’s probably because bows are representative of presents, which is a major part of the holidays.  You just can’t go wrong with a bow to dress something up.

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And the final room for today’s transformation is the staircase.  You can’t get any simpler than a bare garland and bows!  I think the extra long tails makes it look more elegant.  It makes up for not having all these crazy ornaments on it. Here are a couple more photos of the room to leave you with!

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We’re enjoying the decorations so far and can’t wait to finish with the rest of the rooms and outside!  I am working on a couple projects as well and look forward to sharing them with you!  Hope you enjoy the rest of your week and that you were able to get some inspiration for your holiday decor with me today!  I’ll see you Friday!

Stay lovely,


11.13.15 DIY Friday

Happy Friday the 13th!  So ecstatic that it’s Friday and we’re getting ready for the weekend!  I was at Michael’s on Wednesday picking up some things for the holiday decor that’s going up this weekend and can I just say how adorable some of their stuff is?!? I am loving all the glitzy and glam ornaments that they have in stock!  I had to contain myself from buying everything that I saw, lol!  I wish money was no object!  I want our decor to be simple and rustic this year so I had to talk myself out of buying a lot of stuff, even though they were all so pretty to look at.   Instead, I picked up ribbons, pine-cones, and a couple plain garlands and wreaths.  There was a lot of self discipline going on that night, haha.  You guys should definitely check the store out!  Also, I picked up a paint pen to finish up my project for this week’s DIY Friday.


The inspiration for this project came when I saw this sign on Pinterest.  I loved the color scheme, and of course the saying and how it was set up.  I think it will be a good reminder for not just the holidays, but also year round.  I wanted to make it for the holidays because I think this time of year just makes us feel so much more giving than we usually are, right?  And with all the awful things we see on the news every other day, it feels like this world is so full of evil and horrible people.  It scares me when I think of what our children’s lives are going to be like.  Unfortunately we cannot control all the bad things that happen in life.  But what we can control is our actions and the positive things we can contribute to the world.  That is why this sign makes me smile every time I see it!  I’m not saying to be a goody-two shoe, but we have a lot of good in us to offer to the world.  And the best way to show that to our children is by having them follow in our example.

In the photo, the sign looks like it was made out of old pallet wood.  I tried looking for one since that would make the project almost free but I didn’t have any luck.  Booo….so I decided to go to Lowe’s to buy the lumber.  I picked out a 1×6 12 footer and had them cut it down into 4 pieces of 3′ lengths.  (I don’t think they charged me for the cutting, woohoo!) I also purchased picture hangers so I would be able to hang this up after I’m done.  A couple other tools were: liquid nails, nails, hammer, white paint pen, black sharpie, 220 grit sandpaper, wood stain, and a thin sheet of plywood.  I spent about $20 for this project but I happened to have the thin sheet of plywood in my garage, haha.  If you have an old pallet, then it would be cheaper for you too!

First, I laid down the 4 boards side by side and made sure they are lined up and squared off.  Then I put on some liquid nails on the back of the plywood and laid it on top of the 4 boards making sure that it fits within the 4 sides.  I sat on it to help put pressure on the glue, haha.  Afterwards I just nailed down the plywood to the boards.  I didn’t do a good job at making sure the boards underneath didn’t shift while I did that.  Now I have a gap between the top 2 boards.  I think eventually I’ll fix it, but today is not that day! LOL

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Then I just sanded down the rough edges from the cut and make sure there’s no splinters.  Once I was done, I stained it with the stain that I had already.  Do you see the gap?  It’s not as noticeable now but you wait and see! Haha!

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Now if you’re good with free-hand drawing/writing, this may be a great project for you to do.  Typically (and truthfully the smarter way to do it), I would get a stencil to write the phrase on the pallet.  Better yet, I would just get vinyl letter, apply it and call it a day!  Buuuuut…I was feeling “adventurous” that day, lol! Why, oh why!!!  I said to myself, I could free-hand this!  Which is what I ended up doing and I kinda regret it since I ended up spending so much time on it.  I drew it in with a pencil first, then traced over it with the sharpie and white paint pen.  I only had to do one layer with the black sharpie but I had to do 2 coats of the white.

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I messed up a couple times with the spacing and my “THERE” is a little uneven, plus that gap…But overall, I love the sign!  I think I may take it down and fix it up a bit in the near future but for now, I love it.  I goes with our decor (although I love that yellow in the original photo!) and it’s in the perfect spot because it will be next to our tree.  Once I was done, I just had to add the picture hanger on the top 2 corners so I can hang it up.  Just make sure you put it on at the same height.  I went about 1″ in from the top.  It is somewhat heavy so I would make sure that you’re hanging it on nails that are going into studs.  So there you have it, the final product (for now), hehe.

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It was kind of therapeutic to draw it all out and then frustrating when I messed up, haha.  I can’t wait to add the missing link in this corner…our tree!  Definitely excited to show you guys the changes on Tuesday!  And I’m happy I can use my ladder to fit into the decor!  Finally got to pull that thing out of our garage.  And just in case you missed my FB post about how easy it was to make those garlands, here are the photos!  All you need are ribbons and scissors!

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Well, that’s it for this week!  I hope you have lots of celebrating and good times ahead this weekend!  Please share any DIY projects that you’re doing in your home with me, I’d love to see them!  Have a wonderful weekend, my pretties!

Stay Lovely,


Hallway – Before & After

I hope y’all are having a terrific Tuesday so far!  We had a very eventful weekend getting ready for my best friend’s daughter’s first birthday party!  The other Aunties and I put together the vision that our friend wanted for the party, a Minnie Mouse light pink, gold, polka-dots and chevron theme!  (Shout out to Aunties Dayna, Tee, Sophie, and Phet!) It was so cute and elegant at the same time, and of course, totally done on a tight budget!  We were able to reuse some stuff that my sister, Phet, used for her wedding.  The Minnie Mouse glitter heads were kind of a pain to do but they were so worth it in the end!  Here are some photos of the details for your viewing pleasure! The kids had such a blast!  Happy 1st Birthday, Olivia Rose!

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And now, onward with Transformation Tuesday!  Do you know what kind of style your home is?  I adore Victorians,  farmhouse, colonial, and craftsman style homes!  After we had moved in for a few months, I finally found out that our house is a Center Hall Colonial.  It was one of my dreams to have a traditional home like this, although I didn’t know the technical term for it, haha!  I love the stairs and that I can decorate it during the holidays.  And I can just picture our kids walking down those stairs while we take pictures of them during prom! (*tear*) For today, I’d like to share with you the changes we’ve done to the hallway so far.  I was finally able to do my wall collage that I’ve been wanting to do since forever this past weekend.  Here are a couple photos of what the hallway looked like before and I found a photo of Gen working on the floor.  That was the color of the pine underneath throughout the whole house before Gen sanded it down!  By the way, he also had help from my BF’s husband with finishing the floor also.  Thanks, Raffy!

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There’s really nothing super special about a hallway, especially this one.  But ever since I saw this one photo on Pinterest from House of Turquoise Parade of Homes (http://www.houseofturquoise.com/2014/11/highland-custom-homes.html), I just couldn’t get over how much I loved the colors and just how bright it was!  It just made me so happy looking at it!  I knew this is what I wanted our hallway to look like!  Isn’t it beautiful???  I wish we had as much space and natural light coming in but we’re gonna work with what we got, haha! And so this was the inspiration of our hallway.

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 Then we got to working!  As you know, we sanded down the floor to the color of raw pine to keep it the same throughout the first floor and also to help keep that light and airy feel to the house.  The original color of the wall was a light blue, which was pretty but it just wasn’t doing it for me.  I wanted a warmer, neutral color.  Can you believe I painted these hallway walls twice?  I was trying to be frugal and mixed some leftover paint that I had from our Master Bedroom with white paint, but it came out beige with a pink undertone, which I wasn’t a fan of.  When I looked into the hallway from the living room, the colors just didn’t mesh well.  We also have an upstairs hallway so yeah…make sure you love the color first if you’re doing a big job, haha!  And so I went hunting for the right paint color on Pinterest and took home some chips and compared it to the rooms next to the hallway.  I finally settled on Winds Breath by Benjamin Moore and I am ecstatic with the result!  It’s a light beige and it’s so neutral, it goes with everything.  Here is the what the hallway looks like now:

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Since the sun is setting behind our house at this time of year, I can’t get a good photo with lots of lighting.  But still, I’m loving it so far!  We painted the door Robin’s Egg Blue by Valspar and it just makes me smile every time I see it!  I loved it so much I decided to paint our back door the same color, haha.  It brings such a nice pop of color into our lives.

The painting to the left of the door I got at Christmas Tree Shop for about $20 if I remember correctly.  The gold little mirrors were $12.99 and the white wooden mirror was $29.99 at HomeGoods!  All total steals!  We also put a flushmount chandelier in here to fancy it up a bit (http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Indoor-6-light-White-Shade-Chrome-Flushmount-Chandelier/5809761/product.html?CID=208011).  And that grey moroccan pattern curtains at the top of the stairs? $8 at CTS! But my favorite part is the photo collage and vinyl quote I got from FastSigns in North Attleboro!  (Thanks again, Joe!)  This is probably the corniest thing you’ll read today but that line is from a 90’s song called “I Swear” by All-4-One.  I always think back to the moment that song was on in the car and I was with Gen.  We were together for maybe a year or two at that point.  I just remember him singing that part to me “I’ll build your dreams with these two hands…we’ll hang some memories on the walls” and I just knew, that he REALLY meant it.  It still brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it, but it’s so sappy, lol!  Anyway, ever since then, I wanted to put those lyrics up around a collage in our own home.  It’s so great looking at the photos each day, and having a reminder at how blessed we are to have the memories that we do.  The frames I got at Michaels and I wanted to make it all look like one big piece so I picked out the same frames in 2 different sizes.  I got a really good deal on them, only $5 each!  You just have to make sure you keep your eye out on those sales!

And here is how I put up the photo collage.  This is a great technique for any type of collage you want to create as well.  I saw some different ways to of putting up photos and I just married them together to get this project done.  Less measuring and leveling to do, which is how I like to do it!  Of course you have your blank wall, your photos in picture frames, and your materials.  I used a hammer, nails, masking tape, scotch tape, newspaper, measuring tape, pencil, scissors, vinyl quote, squeegee/credit card/ID, and a ruler, in my case a leveler.  I wish I was able to use the leveler for what it was intended for but I found out my wall was not flat/even, haha.  That’s what happens when you have a house that’s over 100 years old!


If you can see the straight line made of masking tape on the stairway wall, the height is at 44″ from the trim.  I felt like this was a good line-of-sight height for us.  That line was going to be my anchor to make sure the whole collage will be spaced evenly.  I knew I wanted the lyrics to be staggered so I cut them into two lines and eye-balled the middle of the wall and spaced them out.  Then I made a template of each picture frame from newspaper so I can get a visualization of what the overall collage would look like.  Based on the frames I had, I wanted 3 on top, 2 in the middle, and 3 at the bottom.  I taped them up and definitely had to play around with it for a while until I was sure I loved where everything was going to be.

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Make sure you mark off which photo is going where, in case you forget.  Write it on the back or on a piece of masking tape and tape it on the frame.  Once I decided where I wanted everything to be, I started with the top frame template and placed it over the back of the photo that was going there.  With the “back” of the newspaper facing up and lined up with the frame, I felt for the hook and poked a hole where the nail was going.  Then I taped the template back up on the wall to the height I wanted it to be hung (about 2.5-3″ above the 2nd row).  I wanted the vinyl letters and frames to all be about 2.5 – 3″ spaced from each other.  So now all I had to do was drive in the nail where I poked the hole.  I went ahead and did the same thing with the 2 frames below the top frame.  To make sure the height of the frames will be the same side by side, I took the ruler and made a line so I knew where to line the frame up to.  After you hammer the nail down, just erase the line.  It should look something like this when you’re done.

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Continue doing the same thing to all the frames until you’re done.  Once you have all the nails down, you can pull off the templates and the masking tape.  It should look something like this:

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Notice our little model Evey? Whenever she sees me pull out a camera, she just goes and says, “Cheeeeeese!”  Although 70% of the time she doesn’t even look at the camera, haha!  Now it’s time to lay down the vinyl letters onto the wall.  Start off from one side.  I’m right handed so I taped down the left side of the vinyl securely, removed the backing paper from the right side, cut it off, then slowly squeegee’d the vinyl down and pressed down hard to work out the air bubbles.  I recommend going in at an angle.  Once that side is done, remove the tape on the other side and do the same thing.  Then you can peel off the transfer tape slowly, making sure the vinyl is adhering to the wall.  Here is a video of another method of installing vinyl wall graphics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lw-196CHvWU.

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Once you have your vinyl down, it’s time to put up all the frames!  Just remember which goes where! Haha!  I forgot to mark off my frames but fortunately I had the photos to look back on to see what size frames goes where.  Because when all you  have are nails, you just can’t tell!  Here is the final product again.  I think it’s Evey approved!

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I still want to paint the hand rail black, and next year, remove the carpet and re-finish the stairs.  We’re hoping they’re still in good condition!  I’m still keeping my eye out on the right runner within the right price range for the bottom of the stairs, and I want to add a little shelf right underneath the white wooden mirror so we can add some decorative knick-knacks.  As always, I will keep you all updated with the changes!

So what do you guys think?  Am I corny or what?  LOL!  I know I’m a total dork and that’s totally OK with me.  We definitely have made some wonderful memories so far…I am looking forward to making many more with my family and friends!  And I think making a wall collage as a grouping like this helps you make a statement out of your memories.  It’s inexpensive wall art and intimate to boot!  I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s transformation.  I’m getting excited for the holiday decor that will be going up soon.  I’m planning to make a wooden sign that I’ve been dying to do ever since I laid eyes on it.  I hope I can make it happen this week and share it with you for Friday. Until then, my loves!

Stay lovely,


This entry was posted in Hallway.

11.6.15 DIY Friday

Hello, peeps!  It’s Friday, what what!!!  Ok, maybe I had a little too much coffee this morning!  But, it’s because I’m so excited to share with you how my husband and I DIY’d one of my favorite projects so far, our buffet table/sideboard!  We were in need of a buffet that fit the rustic glam feel that I was going for in our dining room and I found so many that I loved at HomeGoods (don’t you love that store??)…but I didn’t want to spend $300 or more on it.  That’s still actually a REALLY great price but I just didn’t want to spend the money, haha! I’ve been all over Pinterest for the longest time, eyeing all the projects that others have done and I got so inspired from this photo by Ana White.  She is so amazing, she comes up with plans and builds all of these amazing furniture and projects.  And she’s a single mom…what?!?  How inspirational is that?!  Here is the link to her project and plans: http://ana-white.com/2012/05/plans/rustic-x-console


Isn’t it beautiful???  I love the fancy X on the ends, haha!  She does call for some pretty nifty tools, which I didn’t have.  So I had to keep looking for something a little more simple.  Jennifer from Dear Lillie used Ana White’s plans as well, but her steps got me thinking of what I can do to make it work for me.  She also did a wonderful job on hers!  Here is the link of what she did. http://dearlillieblog.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-sideboard-for-our-kitchen.html?m=1

I liked that she took photos of the process because it gave me an idea of how I can build something similar without the fancy tools.  So after I wrote down my game plan and list, I took the hubs with me to Home Depot and we got our shopping on.  We like Home Depot because they typically cut the wood down to size for us without charging us, haha!

Based on the size of my dining room wall where it was going, I wanted the buffet table to be large enough for us to place serving dishes for parties, as well as storage for our pretty platters and wine glasses.  So the size I went with was 6’w x 20″d for the top x 31″h.  As for the middle and bottom shelves, they were going to be 12″d.  If you want to build your table the same size as mine, you can just go with this list and have the hardware store cut it to size for you.  We took a couple 2×4 home with us that weren’t cut to size (like the support ones) because we weren’t entirely sure it will all work out, haha.  So glad we did though because it wouldn’t have fit.  Here are the materials and tools I used:

6 – 30″ length of 2×4 (legs)

4 – 28″ length of 2×4 (front and back supports)

2 – 72″ length of 1×10 (top)

2 – 66.5″ length of 1×12 (middle and bottom shelves)

5 – 11.25″ length of 2×4 (inside supports)

16 – “L” brackets

Power drill with phillips head and a pre-drill bit about the size of the screws, leveler, measuring tape, lots of black wood screws (2″-3″ lengths), sander, sand paper, stain, pencil, drop cloth or any old sheet

We wanted to keep the same “outline” as Ana White’s plans.  Since we didn’t have the tools to make pocket holes and such, you’ll be able to see the screws and we were totally OK with that.  We definitely didn’t have the money to buy all the tools just yet, lol.  Make sure all the wood that you buy are nice and straight though, that is soooo important.  We didn’t know that at the time we built our dining room table and the top of our table is uneven, haha.  And before you get started building, please make sure you are working on a clean flat area with plenty of breathing room.  And don’t forget your safety gear (safety glasses, respirator, gloves, etc)!  Have fun but remember, safety first!

Side note: If you do not know this already, the 2×4, 1×10, 1×12 (etc) is not their actual size.  For example, if you measure a 2×4, it’s actually 1.5 x 3.5.  Why? I have no idea!  I used (2) 1×10 pieces for the top of the table side by side and instead of getting 20″ in depth, I got 18.5″. So keep that in mind when it comes to final measurements on all projects, haha!

So here we go with the plan!  It is hand drawn and I took a photo of it…lol!  That’s as pretty fancy as I get, people!


First off, you want to build the front and back legs of the table (don’t forget to sand out the rough edges after it’s been cut before you get started!).  So you pretty much make a 2 big “E” with all (6) of your 30″L, (4) 28″L 2×4’s and your “L” brackets.  Put the corners together and mark off where the holes are going for the “L” brackets so you can pre-drill it.  It makes it much easier to screw them in.  You want to try to get the brackets as centered as possible.  Once you finish with all the “L” brackets, you can see that it is a little flimsy.  So we grabbed some 3″ screws and screwed them in from the top into the sides and middle legs.  That helped make it more sturdier.  Don’t screw the nails in too far or else your “E” is going to look like an “M”, haha. If it still feels a little flimsy, that’s OK.  Just make sure that when you have it standing on the ground, that it is leveled.

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Once you have your two legs built, this is where you decide which of these will be the front of your buffet and which will be the back.  When you’ve decided, mark them with a pencil so you won’t have to try to remember which is which.  Lay down the front legs, with the front facing the floor.  You will mark where the “L” brackets and support blocks will be going for the middle and bottom shelves.  What I did was take a measuring tape and from the top and I marked off at 14.75″ and 27″.  Since all the legs should be 30″L, they should all be at an even height.  (“Should” being the magic word…doesn’t mean that it will work though but we will get back to this.)  We used the “L” brackets on just the ends of the middle and bottom shelves because we wanted to use the (5) 11.25″L 2×4’s for the top and middle supports.  We felt that it would be much sturdier, which it was.  With the 2×4’s, we lined them up to make sure they were flushed with the top of the legs, and that they were an even height with the brackets since the shelves will sit on them for support.  Once we had that, we just screwed in 3″ nails from underneath sideways into the legs.  We used 2 per side and sometimes 3 if we didn’t feel like it went in far enough.

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Next, we slid in the (2) 1×12 shelves.  LUCKY for us, they fit!!  Well, width-wise at least, haha!  Once those were in, we put the back on and screwed everything in.  Since it’s the back which will be facing the wall, we just screwed them in from the side.  The only issue was that since one of the boards weren’t straight, we have to move one of the “L” brackets up 1/4″ to account for the bend.  Fortunately it wasn’t that big of a difference for anyone to notice, haha. We screwed the middle part of the shelves to the middle support blocks.  This made the structure super sturdy.  Just make sure the nail isn’t sticking out in case you hit it with your wine glass or what not!  Once we were done with it, the “body” was pretty much all done.  When we stood it upright, we made sure that it was leveled, and luckily for us, it was!

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So now we had to put on the top and make sure that is centered.  I just took one of the 1×10 and marked off where the middle of the board was.  I also marked off the middle of the body (where the center of the middle legs were) and just lined them up.  We then screwed the tops right into the frame from the top.  To make it looked decent, I eyeballed it to make sure the nails looked evenly space out.  We used the leveler again and made sure it was even, and it was.  We were so happy and gave each other a big high five (and maybe even a chest bump, haha).  I took our electric sander and sanded it down with 220 fine grit.

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Now all we had to do was stain it and style it!  We used the same stain that was used for our dining room table.  I like that it matches, haha.  We decided to forego the “x” on the sides because I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of cutting the angles perfectly right.  Shortcuts!

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I couldn’t be more happy with it!  We didn’t use any crazy tools, although some day I hope I will learn and own them all!  And the best part is that we spent about $75! (not including the stain since we already had that)  Now I had a place to put our pretty platters and cake stands on display, which made more room in my cupboards.  It’s also that feeling of accomplishment when you finish a project and say to yourself, “I did that!”  Just like the Minwax commercials, lol!!!  Anywho, I really think anyone can do this project.  I’m definitely no professional and I’m sure I did some things wrong that I don’t even know about, but we now have a table that serves its purpose and beautiful to look at!  I don’t know about you, but I’ve come across so many things in life and think, “Wow, that’s way too expensive but I love how that looks.” Or, “I can never afford that!”  And yes, there are quality things that definitely is worth the price!  But that doesn’t mean you can’t let it inspire you and for you to turn something into your own with whatever resources you have.  We are all capable of having creativity and making wonderful things!  On that high note, I’m going to bid you adieu until Tuesday!  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and enjoy this wonderful weather that we’re having!  Please let me know if you have any questions and I can’t wait to hear your feedback on this project!  Take care!

Stay Lovely,


KB – Before & After

Welcome back to #TransformationTuesday, friends!  It’s finally November and the holidays are now going to be in full swing soon.  I’m looking forward to all the projects and decorations I have planned and can’t wait to get into the holiday spirit!  Of course, this is the children’s favorite time of year, but I think Thanksgiving is more of a “grown up” holiday, while Christmas is the “kids” holiday, haha.  Are there certain traditions you keep with your family each year?  Our group of friends usually do a potluck and we usually take turns hosting.  This year, I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving so I want to make sure I get some of my projects done for that day.  But you know how some things just seem to look better on paper?  Lol, well, I hope it works out because some of my ideas tend to be harder to make happen in real life.

Since it’s been getting colder, it was time to start packing away all the summer clothes for the kids.  Although today, it’s supposed to reach up to 68 degrees so…welcome to New England! (Speaking of NE, how ’bout them Patriots?! Sorry, had to throw that in there, ahaha!)  I think keeping up with my kids’ clothes is the hardest part about keeping their room clean.  And I definitely get teary-eyed when their clothes are too small and I have to put it in the donation pile… :*( They grow up too fast!  Do your children ever get into that awkward size that one size is too small and the next size up is too big?  It happens ALL the time with Prestyn!  So I tried organizing most of their stuff and figured it would be a good time to reveal their room.  Here is a photo of what the room looked like when we first saw it before we bought the house:

kids room

I’ll add more photos to it when I am able to get them out of my old phone…lol.  We were very happy that we didn’t have to do much to the floors for any of the upstairs rooms.  Just paint and we were good to go.  But as you can see, it’s a teeny, tiny room.  The challenges were that I had to fit 2 kids into this very small room (about 10′ x 9 1/2′), and there is no closet.  Here’s how I did it.  First of, we needed to get a bunk bed that was sized appropriately for the room.  We had a bunk bed from our previous home but it was too tall and too big.  Here is a photo of the old bunkbed…and a couple photos of some things I did in their old room in case you wanted to steal some ideas, haha.

 bunkbed bookcase butterflies and tree

So we sold that old white one and got a new one.  As for the “no closet” situation, I saw something on Pinterest that got me thinking and came up with a solution for a makeshift closet.  And so we headed to Ikea!  That place really is the best!  Here is what the room looks like now:

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The scale of the bunk bed really helped in making the room feel spacious.  So if you ever feel that it’s so crowded in a room, it’s most likely because the furniture is too big for the space.  As for the “closet”, all we did was get a shelf, 2 towel bars, 3 shelf brackets and we were able to hang the kids’ clothes!  It was so easy and worked out really well, and was less than $35 to do.  Just make sure you nail the shelf into studs!  If not and if it gets too heavy, the whole shelf will rip out of the wall, haha!  That would be no bueno.  The bookcase below the shelf is for their books and clothes in the white bins.

I decided to go with a unisex color scheme, polka dots for the girly side and dark furniture and textile for the masculine side.  The paint color is Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore.  I loooove it so much I also painted our upstairs bathroom and porch this color.  I got their bedding, curtains, and rug all at Ikea as well.  I was able to go on a shopping spree for their room last Christmas because all the aunties chipped in as a gift for the kids.  Thank you Auntie Pong, Jeip, Koy, Pisey and Grandma!  I’m so thankful!  And what I absolutely love most about the room is the gold confetti wall!  I had FastSigns cut out 3″ round dots for me out of gold vinyl (about 250 of them) and just went crazy with it.  I even had Evey help me out with putting them on where she can reach, haha.  And you just gotta showcase their artwork from school!

In another corner is their TV to play their games and a place to keep it organized.  Evey and Prestyn don’t really play much in their room.  The TV is used for Daddy, Uncle Pedro, or their cousins to play when they come over for the most part, haha!  I still need to figure out what to do to “finish the look” off on this corner but I definitely want to keep that simple and fresh look to the room.  Less things means less clutter, especially with kids!

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And here are the rest of the photos of the room.  Can you tell my kids love My Little Pony?

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Here is the list of things we got for the room:

Bunk bed: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50269029/

Shelf: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10282179/#/70159100

Towel bar/rail: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50072645/

Brackets: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/80167473/

Rug: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70256158/

Shelving unit/bookcase: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60282520/#/20275885

Storage box: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30300318/#/10300319 (They had these in white at the store for $4.99 each)

Curtains: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/70297559/

It does not look like they sell the grey/white polka dot bedding set anymore.

And that’s all folks!  I’ll keep you posted on anything new I add to the room.  What did you think about this transformation?  How do you keep your kids’ room organized?  And what do you do with the overflow of clothes?  Do you get teary-eyed like me when your kiddos grow out of theirs? I’m hoping this room will last them a few more years until I have to separate them.  By then, I want to have the basement finished so Prestyn can have a room down there.  He’ll be a teenager by then…oh my god, I don’t even want to think about it!  Let’s just stop right now, haha.  I hope you have a fabulous week and can’t wait to share with you the buffet side table for DIY Friday!  Take care!

Stay lovely,




10.30.15 DIY Friday

Hello, world!  Welcome to the second edition of #DIYFriday!  It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend, perfect for trick-or-treating and parties!  I made a couple more costumes this week for myself and my sister but I’m not going to bore you with any more costumes this week, haha.  Here are a couple projects that I think are just lovely, since they’re so pretty and girly!

The first project I want to share is something that I don’t think is typically needed, but I thought it gave our office an extra “oomph” in adding that extra gold to our theme.  Our desks also looks great when the laptops aren’t there!  Here is a photo of the two laptop place-mats I made for our desks:


Aren’t they darling?  And with this project, you can change out the color to whatever your theme is.  I used some leftover gold vinyl that was going to be thrown at out FastSigns and a piece of 1/8″ 12″ x 16″acrylic that I also got from there.  You can definitely go to a sign shop and ask for them to cut out some strips of vinyl for you in your desired color. Another option that you can use are gold or washi tape.  There are so many different varieties of washi tape out there, the possibilities are endless!  You can really go crazy with this project if you want and pretty much make your own work of art!

gold tape washi tape

The look I was going for was simple, clean and modern.  That’s why I decided to go with stripes.  I’m a fan of Kate Spade designs and they use a lot of stripes so that was my inspiration!

For the clear mat part, you may have some picture frames that have plastic/acrylic pane.  I know Ikea and Michaels has some if you don’t.  Or, you can use the glass from your picture frames that you’re not currently using, but if you have kids, I wouldn’t recommend it.  Just make sure the mat is bigger than your laptop so you can still see the design when you have your laptop on it.  Here are a couple other things you’ll need:

  • Ruler/measuring tape
  • Exacto knife
  • Washable marker
  • Squeegee or credit card

Once you have all your materials, the first thing you want to do is measure out the total height of the mat.  Then decide how thick you want the space to be between each tape.  The thickness of my gold stripe was 1/2″.  I knew that I didn’t want the space between the gold stripes to be too thin.  So I started by marking a spot at the center between top and bottom of each end of the mat.  This is where I will align my tape.  Since the total height of the mat was 12″, the exact middle pint is at 6″.  So I put a black dot at the 6″ mark and did the same thing on the other end.  Then it was time to place down the first strip.

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I flipped the mat over, that way when I was done, I can just wipe off the back.  Cut off a strip of your tape and make sure it’s a couple inches wider than your mat.  Here comes the tricky part.  I’m sure there is a more technical way of doing this but I didn’t have any desire to measure any more…(remember how I like shortcuts?)  Well, I just eyeballed it and made sure the gold strip went directly over the dots and was spaced evenly.  Meaning the dot had to be right in the middle of the gold strip when I turned it over.  I was pretty close! LOL, like I said, I’m not that much of a perfectionist! It was good enough for me!

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Once the tape was down and straight (sometimes it might take a couple tries so make sure you don’t put a lot of pressure on it in case you need to pull the tape back up to realign it), just go over it with your fingers for now.  Next is the second strip and I went down 1 1/2″ from the bottom of the middle stripe.  I turned it over, marked where 1 1/2″ was from the bottom of the middle strip is, then flipped it over again.  This time it was easier because now all I had to do was align the top of the strip to the marks.  When I finished with that line, I did the same exact thing, marking off 1 1/2″ from the bottom of the 2nd stripe and align the top of the strip to the marks.  Once I finished that side, I turned the mat upside down and did the same exact thing.

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Once I had all the stripes down, the next step was to make sure there were no air bubbles and that the tape was firmly on the mat.  So I took my credit card and slowly pressed the vinyl into the glass and tried to push out any air bubbles.  You may have a couple bumps under the tape due to dust or any random small particles that accidentally got under there.  It happens and hopefully it doesn’t bother you too much!  If not, try to make sure the glass is VERY clean before you put down the tape, haha!  After that, it was time to cut off the ends where the tape hung over the mat.  Ideally you would use an Exacto knife.  But me, being the super organized person that I am (#sarcasm), I couldn’t find mine.  So I found a pair of scissors that got the job done, haha.  All you have to do is press the sharp part of the knife (in this case scissors) to the edge of the mat and push forward.  It will easily cut through the tape/vinyl.

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Once you’re done, you just gotta flip it over and wipe off any black marks you made and you’re all done!  Ta-da!!

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As you can see in the first photo, I made one for each desk.  It took me about 30 mins to do both.  I also created a make-shift calendar for myself so it matches the room as well.  I think I want to spray-paint the black frame to gold, but other than that, it’s super useful!


Next up, the floral crown!  I really adore this project!  It came out way better than I imagined and it was so cheap!  My sister is having portraits done and she asked if I can make a floral crown for her.  She showed me some ideas of the style she liked and we headed off to Michaels.  We found these pretty light pink roses and some baby breaths that looked real!  It was nice that we had a coupon but they weren’t having any sales on the flowers that we wanted so she ended up spending about $23 for 2 stems of the roses and 2 stems of the baby breaths and the stem  wires.  I will warn you that this is not an “easy” project…you have to find the right spots to put the flowers and leaves strategically and there’s no “how to step” that I can show you when it comes to that.  You kind of just have to feel you way through it.  Hope I didn’t scare you!

Here are the materials that you’ll need:

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  • flowers – sprays of small flowers might be best but I don’t see why you can’t use larger flowers, make sure they have leaves
  • wires
  • glue gun with glue sticks
  • wire cutter

Step 1 – Take 2 wires and measure out how big of a halo you want it to be.  I put it on my head to get a rough idea.  Keep in mind the hairstyle you will be doing too!  Once you have your size, twist the remainder of the wire around each other, making sure the twists aren’t too tight.  These spaces will help you secure the stems onto the halo.

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Cut off the flowers and leaves from the main stem.  Notice I tried to keep as much length as possible.  I know I purchased 2 of each rose spray and baby breaths stems, but in the photo above, I only cut one of each.  I wanted to try to make the floral crown with just these 2 stems first.

Step 2 – Start with the leaves.  Use the spaces in between the twists to hold down the bottom of the stems and then glue it down.  Be careful with the hot glue gun, I definitely borderline burned myself a couple times, haha.  Once you put it on, you have to wait about 7 seconds where it’s still hot and you can manipulate the glue.  I push the glue in or wrap it around the wires so that I know it will stay in place.  The first layer was the leaves wrapped around the whole halo but make sure you don’t use all of it.  I had 4 leaves stem left over.

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Step 3 – The second layer are the roses.  Just like the first, you need to find little holes to poke the stem through and utilize the stem from the leaves to hold down the roses.  Once you have them in place, glue them down and wait a few seconds so that  you can push the glue down or wrap it around to secure it.  After you are done with the second layer, it should look something like this:

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Step 4 – This is where you add the baby breaths.  Just like above, try to squeeze them in between the existing stems.  By now, you should be able to tell which side is the top of the crown and which is the bottom.  The bottom one is where you see all the glue being used, lol!  Once you’re done, it should look something like this:

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Step 5 – As you can see, it’s nice but it doesn’t look “full”.  That is why you saved the last 4 stems of leaves.  Look and see which parts look the most sparse to you and add those last 4 little stems.  Of course you have more if you need to, but we didn’t want to use those so we can return them.  So in total, after the return, the project cost us only $12!  Here is the final product!

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I cannot wait to see the portraits that my sissy is taking with this floral crown on Monday!  I’ll be sure to share those photos as well!  I hope you guys love this as much as I do!  That’s all for this week!  Can’t wait to share the next room and DIY with you next week!  Until then, stay lovely!