Posts Tagged ‘DIY projects’

Creating with the Stars 2014

First off, I just want to thank you for all the sweet comments on my Spring Bedroom Reveal that I shared yesterday! You guys always make me blush!!

Creating with the Stars Contestant

Now for the BIGGIE! Did you hear? Creating with the Stars 2014.  I am one of the 12 contestants on Creating with the Stars this year!! I spent my morning yesterday in a state of shock…and then I was excited…followed by more shock…and then I had the sudden realization that this is happening now and my first project needs to get done this week!!!!

Being pretty new in the DIY/design blogging world, I caught last year’s CWTS just after Week 1 began. I was HOOKED. Are you a DIY junkie? Do you love creative projects and really fantastic design?? When someone says these words: PAINT  FABRIC  POWER TOOLS — do you get all hot and bothered?! These things make my heart go pitter-patter and if this is you– YOU NEED TO FOLLOW CWTS!!!!

CWTS is a 4 week competition hosted by Monica and Jess from East Coast Creative. Yep, these girls are amazing. They make DIY look easy and even have their own TV show “Knock It Off” to prove it!

Each week of CWTS has a different theme. There are 12 contestants who each get paired with a Blog Star. It’s pretty much the Hunger Games of all DIY competitions except no one wants to kill me and I’m not hearing strange whistling in the background (well, except from Dave). Oh, and did I mention the competition is FIERCE!! 12 contestants….12 districts– maybe a coincidence?  I will stop making Hunger Games comparisons… starting now! In all seriousness though, this is some major talent! You can check out the 12 contestants and the Blog Stars here.

The Hunted Interior || B @ H


I am so lucky and beyond stoked to have Kristin from The Hunted Interior as my Blog Star and mentor!!!! She has been a favorite of mine and I am so thankful for her help in this competition. Her work has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens: Do It Yourself Magazine, and her blog was named one of Better Homes and Gardens Top Ten Decorating Blogs. She’s sort of big deal!!! She’s a DIY rock star and design goddess!!

Here’s my DIY project that got my foot in the door:

DIY fireplace makeover || B @ H DIY Fireplace Makeover

You can see all my DIY projects here:


This coming Monday, March 24th kicks off the competition. Week 1 the theme is “KNOCK OFF” so you will see 12 fantastically DIY’ed knock offs.

Here’s where you come in! You get to vote for your favorite!! I had so much fun looking through the projects and voting each week last year. You don’t know who has done what project, so that makes the whole thing even more interesting! Sometimes it was hard to choose because the projects were just that good!

I will be busy the next 4 weeks (like insanely busy sunup to sundown!!) so I will not be posting as much on the blog.  I do have some posts lined up still, so I won’t be completely MIA. I will be giving you guys CWTS updates from time to time too on the blog and of course on Instagram with hashtag:


If you are diehard (Oh my gosh! I love it!), be sure to connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter too.

If you want to find me follow the scent of paint fumes and the trail of saw dust…I’m somewhere around there!

I’m ready! Let’s do this thang!!!

CWTS 2014


Lust List || Favorite Finds of the Week 1/31

Two weeks until Valentine’s Day!! Here’s my Lust List Valentine’s Day edition for this week. My favorite finds from around the web. If you feel like getting your craft on, check out my DIY Heart Arrows. I shared the full tutorial yesterday.



|| one || These Love Me Knot Stud Earrings from CWonder come in a great color palette. I love knot earrings. They are a fun way to mix up your regular studs. || two || I love Michelle Dwight Designs shop, especially the pillows! Add the XO pillow in gold to bring a little fun to your decor. Just in time for Valentine’s Day and great anytime of the year. || three || A romantic Valentine’s Day would be complete with a festive drink to share with your loved one. I love this clear wine rack from Target.         || four || You guys know I love gold prints and this new love print from Made by Girl is super cute!        || five || One thing I would love is a set of these Threshold Tufted Ottomans in pink and gold for my office makeover. They come in other colors too, but these pink ones would work so well in my space. I would totally use these in place of a coffee table.

Have a fantastic weekend friends! I will be working on some more Valentine’s Day projects to ready for our big dinner.

You can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine!! Enter here.


DIY Heart Arrow

Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away! I love it! I know there are some V-day haters out there, but I say a day to celebrate the ones you love and do special stuff is alright by me!

Every year, my little family and I do a very special Valentine’s Day dinner. We decorate the table and make one of our favorite dishes full of carbs, my Vodka Cream Pasta Recipe. I love holidays, don’t you? An excuse to mindlessly consume carbs and fattening foods with zero guilt! Gotta have something to live for, am I right? All joking aside, I do look forward to the occasional indulgent meal. I am on the auto-immune paleo plan and it is pretty much rabbit food and meat. I will be ready to have something sinful by then.

In preparation for the feast, I made an easy Valentine’s Day craft. These heart arrows– or if we want to get all lovey-dovey– these ‘Cupid’s arrows’ are going to be used on our table and I will share how a little later. For today, I am going to show you how I made these little babies! heart-arrow-craft


For this craft you can get everything you need from the craft store. I went to Michaels. They had a great selection of papers to choose from. They also had the heart punch that you see pictured below. I used kebab skewers for mine. If you are really nice and smile really big, the employees at your grocery store’s meat counter will give you some for free. I’m all about smiling and not spending money when I don’t have to!



2 3/8 inch extra-large heart punch || one 12×12 sheet of fun cardstock || kebab skewers || Liquid Leaf or paint of your choice || small paint brush || super glue || scissors for trimming (only if needed)

The first thing I did was paint my kebabs. I set up a little paint drying station with a couple of the kebabs underneath the ones I painted.


While your kebabs dry, you can use your heart punch. I punched 5 hearts for each arrow. You can do a total of four arrows from one 12 x 12 sheet of cardstock.


Take 3 hearts and fold each one in half. Then you are going to glue the sides together to form the end of the arrow.

fold-and-glue-hearts When all 3 hearts are glued together you can attach them to the end of your kebab. I used the pointed end and applied glue to it and slid it in the center of my hearts.


All you need to do for the point of the arrow is glue 2 hearts together and slide the other end of the kebab in the center of them. From trial and error, I learned it is easier to glue the bottom of the hearts first– then add your kebab. You glue the top after the kebab is in place.


That’s it! You could totally make this a kid-friendly craft and use non-toxic paints and glues so little hands can help you.





I will be sharing our Valentine’s Day table the week of the day of love and kisses!

Linking to: Design It Friday, The Inspiration Gallery

Just a reminder you can still enter to win a Home Right Steam Machine! That thing is amazing!!

Workspace and Office Pretties

Today, I am sharing my organized and freshened up workspace. With a new year, I wanted to be on top of my game. I organized all my desk drawers and added a few things to keep me tidy.


On top of my desk, I like to have flowers– especially roses. They don’t cost much for 3 or 4 and I love the fragrance while I have to sit at the computer. I found some good things in the Target dollar spot like that pen you see there. I decided to use my DIY chalkboard as an inspiration board and hung a few things on it and will add to it as time goes by. I added my by Luciana print.



Another Target find is that striped basket. I am using it to hold my files right now. I don’t have a file cabinet and I’d like to keep it that way for now. That little vanity stool I picked up over the summer at a resale shop for $7. It is really comfortable and the right height. I don’t want anything too large for this desk. My brass Goodwill lamp works great here too. I just added the new shade and finial to it.

desk-organization That little pencil holder was another Target dollar spot find. I like to have little things that make a more personalized space. Fun pencils, pens, and gold paper clips. I picked the clips up at Staples.

desk-styling It’s not a huge space, but it works for what I need it for.

desk-blogger Have you refreshed your office space for the new year?

Enter to win a Mohawk area rug of your choice. Click below to enter:


DIY Winter Scarf Trees + A Holiday Table

I’d like to thank FloraCraft® for sponsoring this project. 

DIY sweater trees

I was happy to partner with FloraCraft® for their Foam for the Holidays campaign. I was sent a mystery box of Make it: Fun® Foam and a surprise element to add into my design. I was excited to see the box contained Make it: Fun® Foam cones of all different sizes and some Design It:® Simple Style® LED lighted branches and string lights.

styrofoam cones


led-lighted-branches led-light-strand

My dining room table came to mind when thinking about my design.  I was thinking of ways to cozy it up for the holidays. It was playing a little cold to me, partly because there is hardly anything in it right now since we are still remodeling that part of the house. We will be using our table for our Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas morning pancake breakfast. So, I wanted to make it festive for our celebrations. Nothing says cozy holiday time better than sweaters and plaid. Whenever the temperature plunges, I love a chunky sweater or woolen plaid blanket. Those thoughts became the basis for my table design.


I had a couple of old cream scarves that I haven’t worn in quite a few years and decided to use them for this project. If you don’t have scarves, you could always stop in thrift shop for a few or some sweaters. This was so insanely easy to do! You don’t even need glue!

Supplies to make DIY Winter Scarf Trees:

your sweater material || straight pins || Make It: Fun® Foam cones in a variety of sizes


OK, this was RIDICULOUSLY easy folks! All I did was roll the scarves around the cones. I cut the scarf to size just leaving about a 1/2 inch on top and bottom.

I pinned the starting end about every inch. The straight pins worked excellent. They didn’t wiggle loose at all, I didn’t even need glue.


Then you just pin the end of your cut. The pins don’t stand out at all once placed and I like that if I want to reuse the cones in the future I can remove the sweater material without damaging them.


You just need to pin the tops and along the bottom. So easy, right!?!


I decided to work the LED lighted branches and string garland into my tablescape. I added fresh-cut greens and worked the lighted branches into them. I wrapped a couple of the scarf trees with the string lights.


I added touches of plaid with a scart as a table runner and some tartan fabric I scored at a flea market still on the bolt with the old tag still attached.


The rest is just a combination of collected plates and glassware. I went with a vintage look to continue the cozy feel. I also added the mittens to hold the silverware for a fun holiday touch.




Here is the table all ready for our holiday dinner!



I played around with the lights a bit too using the string lights in the branches too.


I can’t wait to enjoy our Christmas Eve dinner here!!

For more holiday inspiration check out and the Crafts ‘n Coffee blog.

Only 6 days until Christmas!!!

A Desk Makeover + More Blogger Stylin’ Christmas Home Tours

Hi Everyone! I have one more day until I share my Holiday Home Tour and I was able to squeeze in a little furniture makeover.

desk-makeover We were given a desk a while back. We were going to use it for our son, but we have had lots of new developments with what’s going on with our boys, their rooms, and the layout and function of our home. I’ll share more on that later.  As my grams says, to make a long story short, I needed to find a home for this little desk or give it away. Well, it has a new home in our living room. Now that I’ve floated the furniture,  I have space behind the sofa for a little workspace. My office nook for the present.

Here’s the Before:

before-desk-makeover In its defense, it used to belong to a little girl. So the lavender is fitting. It was in good shape except for some dents on the top. I used the same painting method as this desk makeover. Basically, patch, sand, prime, and paint with a foam roller brush. You can get all the specifics in that post I just referenced.



The hardware is really the star of this makeover. I used these brass pulls from D Lawless Hardware.



I am always amazed at what a little paint and some new bling can do to an old piece of furniture!



Oh, and just FYI– these brass lion pulls are on sale for 75 cents!!!


brass lion head pull


Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing how I’m using this space in my Holiday Home Tour. I hope you enjoyed Day 1 of the Blogger Stylin’ Christmas Home Tours. Check out Monday’s tours here if you missed them or you can see the complete list of participants. We’ll be sharing our homes all week long!

Here’s todays tours:



Cassie – Primitive & Proper
Caitlin - Desert Domicile
Carolyn - Sweet Chaos Home
Shavonda - A Home Full of Color
Come back here tomorrow and I will be sharing my Holiday Home Tour along with some fabulous bloggers!!
Enjoy the tours!

Holiday Mantel 2013

I have been doing a bit of holiday decorating this week, and today I wanted to share our holiday mantel. It is the first year I have had a real mantel to deck out! You can see our before and after of our fireplace or check out how we added tile to it here.


This year we are adding to our silver and gold with some black too. It’s so rich and lovely! Our white and marble fireplace makes the perfect backdrop for this combo too.


For a little fun, I added the gifts to the fireplace instead of wood. I told the kids Santa had an accident, but they didn’t buy it. Can you believe that!  They informed me Santa hadn’t been here yet.


I love the white gifts popping out of the fireplace. It probably won’t stay like this for long since the weather will insist we have a fire soon, but for now I think this is just lovely.

The gift wrap is all about the ribbon. Simple white boxes or packages wrapped with old wrapping paper give a nice white shape. I just save old birthday paper and flip it over to the white side to make some easy wrapping. The ribbon adds the elegance and I adorned some of the packages with gold leafed white feathers and pheasant feathers.


I found these fur stockings at Target. We have one for each of us, including our little puppy Zoey. She kind of looks like one of these stockings…if we put her in there we may not find her!


The ornament trees are a project from last year. Just a simple garland and some disco ball ornaments are the only other things I added. I cluster the ornaments in groupings. This is a great idea, especially if you don’t have enough ornaments to fill up the entire garland.

disco-ball-oranments The final touch is some firewood stored in a tall basket. The little chalkboard label is fun to change with the season.





Today I am linking my mantel design over at Ten June and Our Fifth House for the Holiday Cheer Link Party:


Also, next week I will be joining 50 bloggers for another Blogger Stylin’ Home Tour hosted by Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Co. We are all opening our doors for a week of Christmas home tours!! Today’s post was just a preview of the holiday happenings to come!!

BSHT Christmas Graphic copy


Linking to: The Inspiration Gallery

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!



How to Tile a Fireplace

I’d like to thank The Tile Shop for sponsoring this project by supplying the tile and tiling supplies for this makeover. 


Thanks for all your lovely comments yesterday on our Fireplace Makeover Before & After!!! You guys made my day! Today, we are going to share how we tiled our fireplace…uneven stone and all.

This was our first time tiling EVER. Not going to lie, I was a bit intimidated at first until we got some guidance. We took a trip to The Tile Shop a few months ago to make our selections and attended their free DIY Tile Class. This was AMAZING. We got to get some tiling expertise and hands on experience. Our tile expert even took the time to give us pointers for our specific project and even said we could call him with any questions we have along the way. I like my hand being held when I take on new projects so this was so great! You can see our visit to The Tile Shop here.

So, let’s get started! Here is the Before of our fireplace:


As you can see, we had our work cut out for us! After we removed the glass doors and weird staggered stone shelves, we had to make a level surface to tile on. The stone is really uneven and where we wanted to tile it had a difference of up to an inch in different parts. This we took our time doing. If the surface isn’t right your tile would be a mess! You can’t rush this part.

First, we cleaned the stone. Then, we measured our dimensions of the area we wanted to tile and drew directly on the stone with chalk.


Here is what we used for this part of our project:


 Pro-Bond No Sag Thinset Mortar||Margin Trowel for mixing|| 3/16 Pro Series V-notch Trowel||Bucket||Level||Straight Edge

All products are available at The Tile Shop

To start, we mixed our thinset by hand. Some people use a drill attachment but we mixed small batches at time and were not sure how much we would use. Once it is at the right consistency, you should be able to put some on a trowel and turn it upside down and it will stick. We were very slow on this part. Part fear of messing it up, and the part waiting between applications for it to dry. Not going to lie. This was tedious, but necessary to ensure a level foundation for our tile.


Between layers we used a 2×4 and a level to check our progress. This allowed us to see where we needed to add more thinset. Once we achieved a level surface, we smoothed it down with a smoothing stone.

 Now we are ready to tile!!!

We selected some beautiful Carrara marble tile for the surround. We used 10 tiles (12×12 size)  for this. We also used matching Carrara bullnose tiles to finish off the edge of the fireplace.



657360 Let’s Tile!!!

Lay it out-

The first thing we did was lay out our tile in a pattern and arrangement that we thought looked most appealing. Then we marked our cuts.


We had to cut the pieces on the outer edge so they were even and we used those pieces on the inside edge. We marked our cuts, and pulled those tiles off the backing. Just make sure when you reuse those pieces flip them so that the manufactured edge is showing.


Having a dog around is not necessary when you are tiling. They are helpful if you want someone to sit on your back while you are working. Poor Zoey just wanted to play when we were busy doing this. We had to call in the kiddos to babysit.

Make Your Cuts-

You will need a wet saw to cut your tile. You can rent them at any home improvement store or you can buy one if you are going to tile a lot.

348578-wet-saw We used one very similar to the one shown above. It had the adjustable table which was really handy. Wet saw blades last a long time, but if you are cutting delicate tile you may want to put a new blade on your saw. The store we rented ours from was nice enough to put a new blade on for us. One trick we learned at the tile class is to use packing tape on the tile. This protects it from chipping and breaking. We had a new blade and didn’t have to do that with this tile. Another tip we picked up that we used was to have 2 buckets handy. One for clean water and one for the used dirty water instead of using it in the tray under the saw.

using-a-wet-saw We also cut the bullnose tiles to equal lengths based off the inner measurements of the fireplace.

 Apply thinset and tile-


Pro-Bond No Sag Thinset||Margin Trowel||3/16 ProSeries V-notch Trowel||Bucket||Grout Float||Tile Spacers||Level

All available at The Tile Shop

We mixed our thinset ‘hot’.  This means it sets faster. There were some raps we made up while we were doing this that I will spare you from. We made small batches at a time. Applying the thinset you want to have an even application. Hold your trowel at a 45 degree angle for the best application. Place your tile. I recommend using spacers even with mosaic tile. It will want to move around on you, especially on a vertical application. Check your placement with a level as you go. Press the tile down with the grout float to make sure there are not any air bubbles. Let it dry for 24 hours before you grout.


Grout it-


Pro-Grout Sanded||Flexible Grout Admixture||2 Buckets (1 for grout/1 for water)||Margin Trowel||Grout Float||2 Sponges

All available at The Tile Shop

Make sure your tile is clean and free from debris. You can clean the stone with stone cleaner before you grout. Mix your grout by pouring your flexible grout adhesive in first and then mix in grout with you margin trowel. Using your margin trowel or grout float get your grout and apply it to the spaces between your tiles. Again, it is good to use 45 degrees angles with your grout float. You can remove the excess from the tiles with the grout float.  It is really good to have a buddy and a couple of sponges and water ready to go to get the excess grout off. You can turn your sponge on each swipe using all the sides and then swap it out for a clean one.

Caulk and Seal it-


Caulk Gun|| Pro-Caulk Tile & Grout Caulk|| Superior Premium Gold Sealer for Marble Kit

Since our tile was touching the wooden mantel we built, we needed to properly seal it. We used Pro-Caulk along all the edges that the tile met the wood. Once everything thing dried we gave it all one last cleaning with the marble cleaner.

Here is the after:



Those bullnose tiles really do a nice job of finishing off the edge.


Friday we will share how we built our mantel to fit along the uneven stone. I also have been starting my holiday decorating…


This project is sponsored by The Tile Shop, but as always all opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Fireplace Makeover || Before & After Reveal


I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! We spent our Thanksgiving in Chicago visiting family and spending a day at The Field Museum. We had another family dinner on Saturday and we now feel like a bunch of stuffed turkeys! It was a lovely time off and we ended our weekend starting to decorate for Christmas.

Today I’m excited to share our before and after of our fireplace. We tiled, built a mantel, and painted and I love how it turned out! Our fireplace was a little outdated. Here is how it looked before we touched it.



The little staggered shelves were really awkward to me and I didn’t care for the glass doors at all. I’ve always wanted a mantel so I designed one and we got to work. We tiled directly on the stone by using the thinset to make a level surface.  We selected some beautiful Carrara marble subway tile from The Tile Shop.

See how we tiled our fireplace here


This was our first time tiling and our first time building a mantel. All and all I am really happy with how everything turned out. I will also be sharing the details of how we built our mantel and made it fit to the stone this week. The finishing touch on the mantel is the greek key trim. I purchased the trim from O’verlays.



Our living room is really coming together now. I changed the layout a bit so that our sitting area is closer to the fireplace. I floated the furniture and anchored it with the area rug centered under our chandelier. I have space behind the sofa for a sofa table and my workspace and bar cart. The room feels bigger now and we can enjoy the warmth of the fire.





Such a huge improvement! I just love that tile. I picked up some stockings today and can’t wait to hang them up. Holiday decorating is going to be so fun this year!


We are so happy with the transformation and it just makes the room.



You can see how I made this DIY Mondrian Inspired Art to add some color to my mantel.


Linking to: TDC Before & After Party, Give Me the Goods, Creating with the Stars 2014

Fireplace Makeover Sneak Peek



Coming Soon…


Well, hello there! Did you miss me?

I am excited to share the before and after of our fireplace!! It turned out so gorgeous and Monday after the holiday I will be sharing all the details. It was also our first of 3 tiling projects we have up our sleeve. In the meantime, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels to all of you who will be out and about!!

See you Monday,

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