SPRING CLEANING: a 4-week guide to sprucing up & cleaning out!

springcleaningFinally… the winter is almost, almost over with.  At least, in NC it is.  A couple more cold fronts will come & go, and then we’ll be facing the dog days of summer head on. Well, let’s not put the cart before the horse.  There are still plenty of things to do to get ready for the lovely season of SPRING!!!

Every February or so, I come across a gazillion different tips/tricks guides on how to effectively spring clean without driving yourself crazy or breaking your back (or the bank.) Then I happened upon this beautiful article on www.wisebread.com and what a life-changer it appears to be!  Seemingly large tasks are broken down into smaller, manageable jobs, and suddenly by the end of March, you’ll be done & onto the next!  For the full article, click:

Your One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning

The tasks are broken down as follows:

Week 1: Kitchen

Week 2: Bedroom

Week 3: Home office

Week 4: Outdoors

I plan to take on these chores as well.. looking forward to getting a fresh start to spring.  How do you like to spring clean?!



Sunday Funday: weekend wallpaper project

Maybe you’re sleeping in. Maybe you’re heading to the gym.  Or to brunch.

Or maybe you want to take on a little home DIY project: WALLPAPER!

I came across a great article on houzz.com today & I wanted to share… along with some amazing photos to ogle, it’s full of ideas on how wallpaper can transform a room.  These tasks range from easy (done in a day) to moderately intense, and includes ballpark pricing & whether to hire a professional.

Check it out, and enjoy your Sunday, however you choose to spend it!


LAUNDRY MAKEOVER! before & after.

So, if you remember a few weeks back, we decided to give the laundry room a facelift. (See the original post here!!  I wanted to get it done in a day or 2, but life happens (and laundry gets piled to the moon) and so although it took a bit longer than I’d hoped, I’m happy with the results!

Let me remind you of the “before” shot:


And take a look at the “after”:


OK! So here’s what we did:

  • we went to Lowe’s home improvement to buy some unfinished cabinets, a metal hanging rod, some peel & stick backsplash tile & a hook rack
  • after installing the cabinets & the rod, I painted the cabinets (Valspar Woodlawn Snow) & hung the backsplash, and only had to make a few cuts around the outlets. This was a pretty painless job, but the most time consuming. (I used 32 squares.)
  • finished the project by painting the rest of the room (Olympic Stormy Weather) & then hung the hooks.

I will add a cute little “laundry” sign or something, as well as our family calendar & some hangers, but I am excited about the transformation! And all for about $350.  Not too shabby.


Happy New Year, Y’all!!!

So now it’s 2017 & everyone is making resolutions.  I personally don’t make resolutions because in years past they never stuck, and I figure why not just keep trying to be a better human every day (ie: make good choices, learn from mistakes, try not to go insane) rather than set a bunch of unattainable goals just because a sparkly ball dropped down a pole?

OK. Anyway, one thing that often goes overlooked is resolving to make changes in, and to, your home!  I don’t mean, complete demolition & rebuild. (Unless it’s in your plans and you have the cashflow.) I mean, small things from maintenance (have you had your HVAC serviced lately?) to undesirable chores (when’s the last time you cleaned your ceiling fan blades?) Resolving to do some kind of job, chore, upfit, downgrade, replacement, repair is a great way to save yourself $$ in the long run, but also it gets things DONE, and there’s nothing greater than the feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT!!!

Today we decided to give our laundry “room” a bit of a facelift.  Our laundry room is tiny; about 4×6. It’s tight.  Moreover, it doubles as the entry area from the garage into the house, so it’s also sort of a mud-area/wet stuff drop zone.  But if you’re trying to move a load from the washer to the dryer and someone walks in from the garage and nails you in the buns with the door… let’s just say, I wish we had more space.  But knocking down walls isn’t in the plan right now. So we need to create some storage and maybe gain a few inches.

Currently, our laundry room looks like this:img_3528

One long wire rack is all we have for storage.  Not gonna cut it anymore.  So we spent some time on New Year’s Day at Lowe’s Home Improvement grabbing some supplies to create new spaces.

I’m drawing inspiration from the following:

It’s not going to look as polished as these do, but it will certainly be a better solution than our current one.


AUTUMN decor: the Front Porch

Fall is a perfect time to think about curb appeal.  Even if you’re not going to sell your house, you should always want your home to look it’s best.  How excited do you get to decorate the front porch (or, if you don’t have a porch, even just the front door!) when it’s finally autumn?!

So for us here in the south, it pretty much *just* turned fall.  (As we like to say, HAPPY FALL Y’ALL!)  It’s the first week of October & the weather is cooperating — cool at night & mornings, nice and warm during the day. It makes you want to get out all your autumn decor & get to work!

I’m a huge fan of a big, simple item (like a wreath or a door hanger) with some smaller items around to accessorize.  Others love to go all-in and let fall explode over their exterior– to each their own!!

I found these front-porch how-tos for some inspiration… hopefully you can get some ideas from here, and let your front porch celebrate!!

HGTV: Fall’s Best Porches & Patios

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Good Housekeeping: Fall Porch Decor



Architecture Art Designs: 30 Adorable DIY front porches



Farmhouse Chic: the Dining Table

The trending update for dining rooms is the Farmhouse Table. Since HGTV’s Fixer Upper has taken DIYers by storm in recent years, the table has become one of the most popular projects.  The rustic, well-worn look (perfect especially for families with tiny humans who like to spill) and added length over the traditional table (and no leaves necessary!) are just 2 reasons why folks are flocking to lumber yards & hardware stores alike.

It always makes me happy when I get to photograph farmhouse tables for my real estate photography. They’re so unique & beautiful, no matter how the room is decorated:

Of course, farm tables are readily available for purchase (check out Cottage Home Furniture, Wayfair, and World Market, just to name a few.) But they often come with a hefty price tag, and isn’t the whole point of DIY to save a few bucks?!

Hence: take a look at some super fun and [seemingly, if you’re handy enough] easy woodworking plans to DIY Farmhouse Table. They include lots of photos, notes, videos, links, and most importantly INSPIRATION.  Why wait?!

Ana White | Build a Farmhouse Table

The instructions are super easy to follow — and includes the list of all materials/tools needed with lots of helpful links.


DIY Pete | How to build a Farmhouse Table

This plan from DIY Pete includes tons of photos & an instructional video, and as a bonus, includes the plan to build the matching benches!


Domesticated Engineer: Farmhouse Table

This one might be my favorite because it comes straight from a normal human’s blog! She is uber organized in her instructions! #iloveorganization