Rustic Stick Snowflake Wreath {& other Christmas Photos to Melt Your Heart}

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

Christmas has been pretty low-key around these parts.  I mean, I’m sure Evelyn is singing Jingle Bells at the top of her fetal lungs, but we have been so busy and wrapped up with getting ready.  This project was so fast, so easy, and most importantly FREE.

I walked around my back yard and gathered an armful of sticks, like a crafting  pioneer woman.  Except those poor ladies didn’t have hot glue.  How terribly unfortunate for them.  Nor did they have Netflix.  2 of the things I needed for this short little craft.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My good buddy Reggie suggested that I watch a documentary called Children Underground.  Sounded great.  Here’s the description:
“…a profoundly intimate and heart-wrenching drama about homeless children struggling for survival on the streets and in the subways of Bucharest, Romania”

A very eye-opening film, however, might I suggest not watching something that will make you cry whilst hot-gluing.  Because you will forget you have hot glue on your fingers… and you will wipe your eyes.  And then you will cry more, because HOT DANG, it burns.  But as suggested by Reggie: follow it up with this on Netflix to feel better.

Back to the wreath.  It was easy.  I drew out a snowflake on a piece of paper and laid out the sticks accordingly.  Some of them I broke or bent to make the shape.  Then I hot glued it, and wrapped the middle with some twine to hold it together extra good.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

When I finished gluing the stick snowflake wreath together, I actually thought it looked REALLY dumb.  Kinda like an elementary school Christmas craft.  It was uneven and just kind of janky looking.  It didn’t look AS bad when I hung it from the light to take pictures, but on the front door I was like “K, this CANNOT stay.  GET OUT!”  But newsflash: It stayed.  And it has grown on me.  And when people come over, they like it.  So I guess it doesn’t suck as much as I thought.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I think one of the things throwing me off about the door, is that the wreath is right over the window.  I dunno, it just is “off.”

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

My very un-festive and small front porch.  One of these times I’ll paint the door, and put up a garland on the railing.  But not this time.  We’re just lucky to have a snowflake on the door this year.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

I finished it just in time to match the weather.

DIY Stick Snowflake Wreath

And since I’m so behind on blogging, I’m going to dump all our other Christmas photos into this post.  I don’t go crazy with holiday decor.  We put up a Christmas tree, a garland, and stockings.  But it’s enough to feel our home with Christmas cheer and warmth.

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Easy Christmas Decor

Painted IKEA Billy Bookcases

We all know that painting the backs of bookcases are all the rage.  It’s a great way to add a pop of color without going too crazy.  I searched all over the classifieds, but couldn’t find anything that would suit the vision I was having for the nursery.

Two skinny IKEA Billys would do the job just fine though!  AND painting the back would be easier this way, since I could paint it all in one sweep, instead of taping off, and cutting in.  Ick.

Using the boxes the bookcases came in was a great way to not get paint everywhere, if you ever plan on doing this project.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

A rich deep purple was my color of choice for this project.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

The plan was one on either side of the crib.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

However, with the flood of light in this room, everything is either extremely over-exposed, or wildly under-exposed.  I’m still working on my photog skillz, so don’t judge me for sucking at room pictures!  The color balance isn’t quite right, but this is the correct shade of purple, pulled straight from Sherwin-Williams’ site.  “Fully Purple” is her name… even though it almost looks a bit navy in my pictures.  I promise, IRL it’s a gorgeous purple.

Sherwin Williams Fully Purple

Aw, symmetry.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

These two are wondering when they get to use the fancy new dog bed/crate…  They are going to be so disappointed.

Paint Back Of Bookcase

Board & Batten with a Sprinkle of New Furniture

This isn’t going to be an informative tutorial on how to install board and batten or baseboards.  Just an editorial of a ugly duckling turned swan.

We didn’t go with traditional baseboards because they are curved on top.  We knew we would be doing board and batten, so we wanted something flat to work with.

Primed MDF boards for baseboards and board and batten were the best route to go.  Baseboards are pretty easy.  Cut them on a 45 degree angle and use a brad nailer to secure them to the wall.  Easy.  That’s your baseboard tutorial.  End of tutorial.


My dad brought over his laser level to make sure my chalk line was straight.

Board and Batten

AS AN ARROW.  I don’t need no laser level.  I don’t want a part of your country club…

Board and Batten

The top rail was super easy.  My dad and I did it in an afternoon.  Same as baseboards.  Make cuts on a 45 degree level, and nail the to the wall.  Make sure they’re level.  End of top rail tutorial.

Board and Batten

The slats were easy too.  Measure, make straight cuts, put some calking glue on the back, level them, and nail.  End of tutorial.

Board and Batten

Look how wicked cool my dad is.  He’s all the good parts of Norm Abrams mixed with a dash of Bob Villa, and the good looks of Scott McGillivray.  But most importantly, he’s a bunch of fun wrapped in layers of awesome dad jokes.  Like your resident Phil Dunphy.  I’m always the luckiest when him and Aaron team up on projects.

Board and Batten

And for dramatic purposes…  Here’s the difference simple board and batten molding can make.  Before.  (Oh hi Chester!  Welcome to the living room.  Hope you like our bums your new family!)

Board and Batten

(It was a rainy day=bad bad light.  Sars not sars.)

Board and Batten

So much pretty.  We did our boards 30″ apart.  I think 2 and a half feet was the perfect spacing for the scale of the room.

Board and Batten

And the stairs wall before (including the coconut gumball light) …


A sexy after (with the orb-licious light).

Board and Batten

Oh, and we got our new couch and rug.  This trunk came from grandma’s garage.  And those chairs are borrowed from the basement.  We’re trying to decide if we want them to live upstairs, or if we’re still going to shop for the perfect piece.  So far, nothing has jumped out.  The trunk is going to get a better “coffee table makeover,” including legs and glass.  But for now, it’s a good place to toss your tired feet.

Board and Batten

Oh, and the board and batten isn’t 100% done.  It needs to be caulked and painted still.  But, you know, I really just couldn’t wait.  You know, bloggers and their patience.  Do those words even belong in a sentence together?

And for the sake of drama, this picture was begging to be included.

Board and Batten

Can you believe how far we’ve come?!  We are almost done-sies.  Seriously, we have TWO inside things left to do.  TWO.

Tree Removal of 120 ft Cottonwoods 

New roof 

-Build new fence (STILL in progress!  But the leveling, post setting, and retaining wall part is done.  It should be a breeze from here on out)

Paint ceiling & walls

Install flooring 

Baseboards + board & batten

-Build new banister (Newel post is in, if you gathered that from the pictures above)

Counter top install

Back splash (Tile and supplies are bought, just need to do it!)

Woodland Pumpkins

Pumpkin Parade

Well, I guess I’m next up in line for the pumpkin parade.  I’ll be sure to throw some taffy at your face as I pass by.

The first pumpkin decision: real or fake.  What it comes down to is cost vs durability.  Do I want these to last more than one season or not?

JoAnn’s had their fake pumpkins 50% off, plus the coups I had for them.  So the cost wasn’t too bad.  I got all 3 for the price of 1.

Woodland Pumpkins

I decided to go with a “woodland” theme.  Maybe because we watch a little too much “What does the fox say” at our house.  (Is there even such a thing as TOO MUCH?!)

I just spray painted the front of the pumpkins only, because once I got the design taped on, I was going to spray them a difference color.  For those of us not cool enough to have a Cricut or Silhouette cutting machine, we do the hoodrat thing and cut some FrogTape into a pattern.  Yeah?

Woodland Pumpkins

Then you spray paint it a different color of course.  There is no other way to be creative. 😉

Woodland Pumpkins

And then you peel the FrogTape off.  Except, it really screwed up the fox.  Which I was sad about.  I’m not sure why the tape peeled paint off the fox, but not the other 2.  I was really excited about that fox.  I thought the feather would look the worst and the fox would be the king.  But turns out I was way off with my hypothesis.  Like that time I thought 1/3 cup siracha would be yummy to cook chicken in.

Woodland Pumpkins

And the last step is to put them somewhere you can see them.  I, predictably, put them on the hearth.  Because that’s what fireplaces are for.  Seasonal decorating.  The thing I suck the most at… as you can see by my staging a crooked tower of woodland creature pumpkins.

Woodland Pumpkins

Remember, the Pumpkin Parade Link Party is tomorrow!  And I WANT to see all your pumpkin crafts.  So please please come back.  And be sure to check out all these rad-action blogs for their wicked pumpkin designs.

Shift Ctrl Art
Primitive & Proper
Decor and the Dog
A Little Bite of Everything
A Swell Place to Dwell
Newly Woodwards
Boxy Colonial
Wills Casa
Bliss at Home
Go Haus Go


High/Low Project: Dining Set

Hey friends.  I’m pretty behind on blogging.  But I’ll do my best to catch you up quickly to where we’re at.  Think of this as your DVR’ed IBK.  You can even fast forward the commercials.

Do you ever get stuck when it comes to designing a room?  I have one philosophy that always rings true.  A good design is a mix of high and low price items.  Oh the things you learn from Sabrina Soto.

We had this outrageously large 8-seater dining table… for 2 people.  We didn’t need it, and most importantly, it wasn’t fitting well in our space.

Dining Room - Before

Now I have a confession.  Where did this table come from?  It came with our house.  For those of you newbies to the blog, our house was previously owned by The Salvation Army.  If that doesn’t make us the ultimate thrift shoppers, I don’t know what does 😉  Macklemore would be proud.  The Salvation Army left this table behind, and for the past 2 years we’ve been using it.

But with our huge changes being made upstairs, we knew it was time for a new table.  We listed our dining set on the classifieds and were able to get $500 for it.

Table shopping isn’t like couch shopping.  You have the option to either DIY it, or buy it.  I knew I would get flack for being the world’s worst DIY blogger by not building our own amazing farmhouse table or refinishing something from the 90’s into something rustic.  But it just wasn’t going to happen.  We still have SO much to finish with our open concept reno, AND the baby coming, AND my rough pregnancy.  So buying a ready-to-go table was the plan.

Our requirements:
-Must be solid wood
-Must be round
-Must be durable

Sounds easy.  But our search was bringing EXPENSIVE results.  Sure there are affordable dining set options, but they are particle board covered in veneer.  So we realized we were going to be realistic with our table budget.  $1000.  Couldn’t find anything that I liked online, Amazon, Overstock, Ebay (and so on).  The big box furniture stores had dining sets, but they weren’t quite the right style I wanted.  This one was $1134.

RC Willey Dining Set

Ug.  No.  Just not the right style.

If you know anything about me you know that I would move into Restoration Hardware if it weren’t illegal.  I wanted so badly to look at their tables, but you know, when you think Restoration Hardware, you think a gazillion dollars.  But I have the self control of Honey Boo Boo, and I looked anyway.

And I found this table for $845!  And Restoration Hardware is always having some kind of sale.  At this time, it was 20% off your purchase.  Hello perfect table for $676.

RH Table

I was able to score a brand-new, in the package stain-resistant rug on the classifieds for $50.  And I bought a set of 4 dining chairs on for $262.99 (which is cheaper than the similar IKEA chairs we were looking at!).  That brought our entire dining set to a total price of $988.99.

RH’s “white glove delivery service” brought this baby over and put it just where I wanted.  And then they warned me.  “This water stains VERY easily.”  So the panic set in.  NO ONE was allowed to use the table until we got a piece of glass for the top.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

I started calling around to different glass shops.  Why has no one told me how expensive GLASS is?!  The quotes were from $170-290 and going to take 3-5 weeks to be manufactured.  I was so confused because, this was a pretty standard shape and size.  48″ circle.  ???

So I took to the classifieds, and found a lady selling this table:

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

I called the lady to see if the glass came apart from the base, and if it was in good condition.  I told her I just wanted to buy the glass.  And she sold it to me for $50!

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

Now we can eat comfortably.  Not that this wasn’t comfortable…

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

But this was much better.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

And of course, it was absolutely perfect for my birthday dinner of Karl’s homemade bbq chili.

Restoration Hardware 17th C Monastery Round Table

We have the light fixture that we’re going to hang over the table, but we haven’t hung it yet.  We’re making sure the table is in the exact spot it will live before we center the light above it.  The room is really starting to come together.  The baseboards are almost finished, which means the board and batten will be done soon too.  That will probably be the next post I write 🙂  So stay tuned, fine people of the interweb.

Oh, and keep your eyes out for this fall pumpkin project I’ll be a part of!  Hopefully you’ll come back with your pumpkin posts ready to link on up.

Fall Pumpkin Parade

Rustic Utah Design

I thought I’d do something a little different today.  We’ve been focused on the really big parts of our open concept renovation.  “Cabinets this daylay flooring like this paint all the wallsbuild a half wall…” etc.  But we haven’t really talked about the design of it.

What’s our flavor?

I feel like our house used to be a collage of different colors and designs all over the place.  Not much “flow.”  We’re trying to think of our house as a whole, and not each room individually.  But that has evolved into tying in the design to our surroundings.  Aka, what’s outside the door.

Wasatch Mountains

There are so many styles of design to love.  There’s Hollywood Lux, East Coast Beachy, Asian Zen, Tropical Bamboo, Southern Cottage, and so on.  I decided I really needed to tap into the inspiration all around me in Salt Lake City.  When I said “Rustic Utah” this horrific image flashed in everyone’s mind:

Rustic Utah

To everyone’s relief, I had some different, and more up-to-date ideas on how to incorporate some Utah Design into our lives.

The name of our granite counter tops is “Pebble Beach.”  Outside our front door are the most gorgeous Wasatch Mountains.  They are beautiful, and part of our every day lives.  If you are a Utahn, you have a weird attachment to the Wasatch Mountains.  There’s a granite quarry in these mountains 20 minutes from our house, where all the granite was pulled for the Salt Lake Temple, probably the most iconic building in Salt Lake.

Wasatch Mountains

Temple Quarry

Salt Lake Temple

We wanted our granite to be a color and pattern native to our area.  It’s pretty dead on!

To the West of our house, the view from our backyard is the Oquirrh Mountains.  They are a little smaller in height than the Wasatch, but they are home to the Copper Mine, the largest open pit mine in the world.  The Oquirrh Mountains inspired us to incorporate copper accents into the picture.

Oquirrh Mountains

The State Motto of Utah is “Industry,” so having industrial elements was a must.  Mixed metals, woods, and leather.  It needed just a sprinkle of tribal to touch on Utah’s Native American history.  And that’s how we came up with our Rustic Utah design!

Rustic Utah Mood Board


What do you think?  Is it tacky to decorate based on your surroundings?  Or do you think it helps tie the inside and the outside together?

2 Rugs, 2 Dogs, 2 Much Trouble

This one time, not at band camp, but online shopping, I found this rug from Urban Outfitters that I crushed on.  It brought out my inner hipster.  And I was mad hot that they didn’t have it in my living room’s size.  It was like shopping for a prom dress, and only finding it 2 sizes smaller.  Luckily, I thought of a solution that would work with rugs, and not so much prom dresses.  Buying two, and putting them up next to each other.

And it seemed to work.

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