I see your bathroom has a nautical theme…

but, how did you find all that decor?

Bathroom After 6I recently had a reader ask if I could update my bathroom ‘before/after’ post (the one from wayyyy back when) with a little list of where I got everything I used to decorate the space. For a request like that I’m more than happy to oblige! Gotta help spread that nautical decor around. 🙂

Here’s how it all breaks down:

Bathroom After 6 with details

1. Distressed wooden block with a painted anchor: sadly, it looks like this item is no longer available on Etsy, but I got it from this shop, here.

2. Lantern for a tealight: found that little gem at Ikea, of course.

3. “Never a ship sails…” print: this shop is closed on Etsy now, but looks like you can still find that quote in other Etsy shops!

4. Faux floral bouquets: found those at Hobby Lobby. Each bouquet was $4.99! (no link available) The blue and white pots were both found at Ikea.

5. Anchor hook: also from Hobby Lobby and it looks like it’s on sale.

Bathrom After 2 with details

1. “Bath” sign: also a Hobby Lobby find. Looks like they still have the sign online, but it might be a slightly different color.

2. Striped anchor print: courtesy of Etsy, but it looks like that exact print may no longer be available. However, you can check out the Etsy shop I got it from, here.

3. White shelves and brown storage baskets: both finds came from trusty Target.

Seems like if you shop on Etsy, or at Ikea and Hobby Lobby then you’ll be set. Apparently that’s all I did!

Hope you all found this helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions.


I’ve been meaning to post these updates for a while…

so much so that you probably don’t even remember this little room we started working on before I ever moved in with Jeff.

office 4

I’ve put off this post because I keep telling myself I’m going to do more decorating, fixing, changing, etc…but I’m finding no room is ever going to be 100% complete. A few months ago, I swore to myself I’d never live with working projects, and that I’d complete each room before starting a new one. Wow, how the times change.

So for now, this room is the closest it’s going to come to finished! I’ve actually featured a few DIY projects from this room already, so see if you can spot them.

Finally, for the the “finished” product…

Office Before and After

office before and after 2

You may remember that Jeff and I decided to make this my office/dressing room/closet because we don’t really have enough space in our bedroom for both of our stuff, and this was the best use of the room when we moved-in together. I have to say, it’s been really nice having our “separate” spaces. Though if you just ask Jeff, he’ll claim that I really just have two rooms. 🙂

Dressing Room - Office 1 Dressing Room - Office 3 Dressing Room - Office 2

In order to get the room in tip, top shape we spray textured and painted the walls and ceiling, added and painted trim, put up new wood blinds, and finally added a new door. It’s amazing how much work one room can take!

As I mentioned earlier in this post, this room also features a few DIY projects we’ve talked about previously on this little blog and they’re all really just at my desk space, or as I like to think of it, Less Than Average Height World Headquarters.

Dressing Room - Office 4

Not only did we refurbish the desk, but I added some budget friendly wall art and push pin boards. I also bought the mirror at HomeGoods for under $70. So all in all, this desk area cost me just under $250!

vintage vanity chair

^^^I have one major thing left and that’s to figure out what to do with my grandma’s old vanity chair.^^^

I haven’t decided if I want to attempt to reupholster it myself or take it to a professional. If anyone has any advice let me know!

I hope you like all the changes!

A little DIY project via trial and error…

but, I guess that’s what DIY is all about.

Last week, I sat out to create three small push-pin boards to hang in a row near the desk in my office. Remember? The one we refurbished. Well, as with most projects around the house, thankfully Jeff was there to help. In fact, I looked at him while we were making these and said, “is this what you imagined you’d be doing when you bought this house?” He just looked at me with a scowl, so I took it as a no. 🙂

As the title hints, after a little trial and error we succeeded! The first one had no batting in between the fabric and the canvas, and the second one had too much, but by the time we made the third one it was just right. Needless to say we had to redo those first two failed attempts.

Since I think we finally got it right, I thought I’d share our steps in case you wanted to give it a try.

*Disclaimer: we’re not experts, we’re just thinking of these things as we go along.

1. Start with blank canvases. I started out with three 6×6 inch canvases, but you can use whatever size you like.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 1

2. Get a package of batting from a craft store. Lay out the batting and fold it in half to create a double layer that will cover the top of the canvas.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 2

3. Measure the batting and cut a half-inch shorter than the top of the canvas on each side.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 3

4. Lay out the fabric of your choice, then lay the canvas over the top and cut out enough on each side to fold over the back of the canvas. In our case, we cut an additional three inches on each side.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 4

5. Pull the canvas tight over each side and use a staple gun (I found one for $10 at Michaels) to staple each side tightly to the back of the canvas. Wrap it similar to a present, folding two parallel corners in a triangle.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 5 DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 6

6. Iron each side on a medium heat using a light amount of steam to help flatten each corner.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 7 DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 8

7. Lastly, and this one is optional, but since I was hanging them on the wall we put picture hooks on the back of each board. Those hooks can also be found at any craft or home improvement store.

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 11

And last, but not least, the finished product…

DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 9 DIY Mini Push Pin Boards 10

I added a few pictures and ticket stubs to start, but I’m sure I’ll add more as I go. My apologies to my family for putting that old photo front and center. 🙂

Also, I found the little rosebud push pins on Etsy, here.

Let me know what you think. Feel free to share any of your DIY tips. I’m always looking for new ideas!

Wall art for 16 dollars in 16 minutes…

and it’s as simple as it sounds.

DIY Wall Art 1

I will readily admit this is not the most original idea, but for anyone needing something to fill a blank wall this is an easy fix.

DIY Wall Art 2

All I did was take a four dollar piece of wrapping paper I found at a craft store and cut it down to fit the twelve dollar frame I found at HomeGoods (my second home lately :)) and low-and-behold, I got a nice little piece of framed art out of the deal.

DIY Wall Art 4

It may not be to fancy, but hopefully it’s a tip you can use in your own home! I’m planning on doing this in the living room too. I’ve been searching far and wide for affordable art, but with the right paper I think this will be even better.

A two cent fix…


Two Cent Fix

So remember the desk we bought off Craigslist a few weeks ago and refurbished? Well, one of the hitches of buying used furniture is sometimes it’s not perfect. For example, the uneven space between the drawer and the top of my desk.

Desk After Cropped

And because this was the first time EVER in our relationship something minor like this drawer bothered Jeff more than myself ;), he came up with a cheap and easy solution to fix the problem.

Two pennies and some super glue later, all was right in the house. Well, pretty much. 😉

Desk Drawer Fix

Thought I’d pass along this little trick in case you come across some furniture where a few pennies might just fix the problem.

P.S. stay tuned for lots of dog photos later this week. In fact, I can barely contain my excitement!

Refurbishing a desk in six easy(ish) steps…

it depends on who you ask. I thought it was a little challenging at times, but for Jeff it was a piece of cake.

Jeff Sanding Desk

In case you were wondering (I’m sure you were on pins and needles), this is the project we worked on in the SUN last weekend that I bragged about sharing with all of you. I might have oversold it a tad, so I hope you’re not too disappointed. 🙂

Last week, Jeff and I took to Craigslist to see if we could find a small desk that would work for my little room. Luckily, we ended up buying the first one we found for only $30 dollars! Doing this instead of purchasing a new desk is more time-consuming, but definitely more budget-friendly. And these days, Jeff and I LOVE budget-friendly solutions. It’s all part of that being young and poor thing, right? At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

Desk Before

Since this project is more user-friendly than some of the others we’ve worked on, I thought I would walk you through our process in case you wanted to try your hand at a desk or other piece of furniture. If you’re as lucky as I am, you have your own version of Jeff around to help.

Here are the steps we took to refurbish the desk (with Jeff’s consultation of course):

1. Remove the old handles and knobs. I knew a head of time I wanted to replace the old ones, but if you plan on reusing them that’s great. Besides, you’re probably doing the environment a service too. 🙂

Removing Desk Knob

2. Sand off the old finish. Jeff says you can do the entire desk with sandpaper, but it’s much easier to use an orbital sander (don’t worry, that’s a new term for me too). Start with 80 girt sand paper and follow-up with 180 grit. Sandpapers with lower grit like the 80 we used are best for removing old stain. The 180 grit sand paper is best for preparing furniture for the stain and finish.

Jeff with Sander

3. Apply the stain. On this particular desk we used two coats, but it’s totally up to your discreation. You brush on the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and then wipe it off.

Staining Desk

Wipping Off New Stain on Desk

Wood Stain Can

In case you’re wondering we used Minwax Wood Stain in Driftwood

4. Apply the polyurethane. Once the stain is completely dry brush on a coat of polyurethane. Jeff also says to look out for dripping, because you don’t want drip marks to dry on the furniture.

Polyurethane Can

5. Let the polyurethane dry overnight, do a light sanding with a high grit sandpaper, and apply one more coat of polyurethane.

Polyeurathane on Desk

6. Last but not least, put the knobs and hooks on the drawers. I chose ones from Anthropologie, which you can find on their website, here and here. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that these cost more than the desk, but I guess that’s what happens when your desk is only $30.

New Desk Knobs

7. And this is completely optional, but show it off to all your friends! In 3, 2, 1…

Desk After 2

I’m still not 100% sure if this is going to serve as a desk, vanity or both, but as soon as I figure it out you’ll be the first people to know!

Desk Before and After

Hopefully this post came just in time for your own weekend DIY project! Let me know if you have any questions or advice for others.

A Look at the Lavatory…

yep, you read that right. Besides, it’s the only room in our house that’s 100% complete (please don’t ask Jeff his opinion, he might disagree).

Bathroom Before and After

It all began last May when we shipped Cosmo off to Jeff’s parents in Texas (trust me I was pretty dang sad about it too), while we (mainly Jeff) began the big bathroom remodel of 2012. It was something Jeff had been wanting to work on since he bought the house, but it’s not very practical to ask your roommate to go without a bathroom for a few weeks. So Jeff waited for a time when he was without a roommate and dog where he could pick-up and stay at his wonderful girlfriend’s place, (see what I did there ;)) while his house remained bathroom-less.

Jeff being the brave guy he his even let me tag along to Home Depot to help make tile and vanity choices. We tend to have differing opinions on home decor – Jeff prefers the modern look and myself less so – but we survived the trip with ease! And I’ll never forget walking out of the store and Jeff saying, “now don’t take this offensively, but you were surprisingly agreeable.” He’s a real charmer that one.

Now bear with us, because when we took the ‘before’ pictures we weren’t thinking about this little blog of ours, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of what it used to look like.

Bathroom Before 1

Bathroom Before 2

So over the course of four weekends and some weeknights, Jeff managed to replace the window, shower and floor tiles, vanity, shower head, toilet, faucet, and towel racks. Once all that was complete, he gave me the green light to start accessorizing the place. You might remember, I talked about my vision for this room a little while ago. In case the abundance of anchors didn’t give it away, I was going for a nautical theme.

Bathroom After

While I promise I asked for his opinion every step of the way, Jeff assured me that he didn’t care what I chose. I wanted to clarify that for the record, in case you’re all reading this thinking I just came in and took over. (That doesn’t even sound like my personality ;))

Bathroom After 3

Bathrom After 2

Jeff made sure to point out that he was glad we put that “Bath” sign up, otherwise he might not have known what room he was in. Always love that sarcasm of his.

Bathroom After 6Let me know what you think! So far, I think we’re liking the outcome. Just writing this post helped me appreciate how far this little room has come.

We also made our 100,000th Ikea run this weekend, so it’s fair to say it’s all slowly coming together.

Painting Trim…

is NO fun at all.

Paint Can

It’s time consuming, tedious and boring (Jeff warned me of all these things beforehand, but I chose to ignore him). I take back what I said last week about how much I love new trim.

Taking Off Paint 2

Jeff took off about 50 years of paint with a heat gun! Trust me, it needed to be gone.

Taking Off Paint

However, after a full-day of painting, we’ve pretty much finished my entire dressing room/office! Once we get furniture in the room I’ll post before and after pics. Who knew one small room could take so long to renovate?

Painting Trim

For all those young couples out there looking to test your relationship, try spending an entire Sunday in a small room concentrating on paint, and I promise you’ll find some things you disagree on (not that we would know 😉 ). Also, pointing out flaws in each others work will definitely help things go smoother. 😉 It’s all part of the growing process, right?

Dogs Playing Outside

Don’t worry they’re not attacking each other, it’s just how they play.

I wish I could say the dogs (namely Piper) were complete angels all weekend, but we have a few chewed-up DVD boxes, a shoe, and a head band to prove otherwise. The perils of having a puppy! Don’t worry though, of course I snapped my weekly quota of dog photos. I wouldn’t want to disappoint all of you. 🙂

Piper and Cosmo Outside

Cosmo’s growing increasingly self-conscience of his graying facial hair, so don’t mention it next time you see him.

Besides, I can’t think of a better excuse to take a break from painting than checking on these two. Jeff might disagree, but hey, someone’s gotta do it. 😉

Today was just a quick glimpse of what we worked on over the weekend, but hopefully I’ll have some more detailed before and after shots for you soon!

Hope your week is off to a good start!

P.S. and I hate to admit this on the World Wide Web, but the weekend did end with me having to utter the words “you were right” to Jeff. Turns out I don’t know as much about home repairs as I thought I did. Don’t worry he hasn’t let me forget it.

Now all we Need is Wine and Whisky…

So feel free to send some our way! 😉

Joking aside, I want take a moment to brag about Jeff and all of his talents (he’s rolling his eyes at this post). In addition to singing in TWO choir concerts this weekend, he also found time to finish a beverage tray (Jeff’s the liquor drinker in this duo) and wine rack (that’s all me). And well, I’m just loving the finished products!

Jeff Working on Tray

Tray 1

If you’ve been on Pinterest lately, you’ve probably seen similar wine racks, but when you have a handy boyfriend like mine, turns out you don’t need to spend extra money to buy one. He even took time to cut slits for wine glasses. 🙂

Wine Rack 1

I told you we needed wine to help fill the rack. It’s in a pretty sad state right now.

Wine Rack Glasses

Someday we’re going to spring for some matching glasses.

Now the tray wasn’t quite as labor intensive, but we can’t have a ‘sophisticated’ bar without one. Imagine the travesty! 😉

Whisky Tray

Not a lot of bourbon there yet, but we’re working on it.

So after all that work, Jeff still made it to his choir concerts. How did I find such a talented and hardworking guy?

Jeff and Elaine

Jeff and his mama before the big show.

If you’ve made it to the end of this post and you’re wondering what I contributed to the house this weekend (I’m not sure I have a real answer for you) well, someone’s got to take all the photos, right?


Cosmo Lake Yard

I don’t know why, but its felt like one of those weeks and I’m so glad it’s coming to an end.

While this weekend might not be too productive in the home improvement department, thanks in large part to Jeff’s choir concerts, (I’ll try to snag some photos and video if  I can) we’re going to try our hardest to get a few things done.

The dogs are enjoying a relaxing weekend at the lake with Jeff’s parents, (their lives are pretty stressful, so a vacation was in order 😉 ) and I’m going to try to drag Jeff to the thrift store to see if we can find a few items to refurbish for the home. If I find anything good, I’ll of course snap some photos and share them with all of you.

I hope you all have a great weekend and if you’re reading this from the New England area, good luck with the blizzard!

P.S. I’ll leave you with this story I came across today that is sure to make your heart melt. 🙂