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Wow!  I am super excited to be sharing this post with everyone today.  I had the luxury of picking out this very beautiful new pendant light fixture for our dining room renovation from the good people at Parrot Uncle.  Can I just say I am in love?


Of course after seeing all the lovely varieties of pendant lighting and tiffany lamps they offer, I couldn’t resist reviewing one.  The light fixture arrived on time and very well packaged.  I was also quite impressed with the quality, as all the parts were very sturdy and well made.  Or if you need layman’s terms….there was nothing flimsy to this package!

Now, I have a confession to make.  This was my very first electrical project, and I was just a little scare.  Well, maybe a lot, but only because I did not have a handy multimeter to confirm there was no electricity flowing through those wires.  Once I got past the “I know the electricity is off for sure because I’m still alive” point, I was good.  I did try to ensure my safety by turning off power completely at the breaker box (not at the light switch only) and making sure that the light did not turn on.  However, I do recommend always testing with a multimeter to ensure no current.

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How many of you guys have those wonderful wire shelves in every closet in your home?  Well, we do, and I’ve decided they must go.  Everything is all good when you are storing large items on the shelves, but as soon as you put something smaller on them it is a disaster.  Stuff starts falling through the gaps, things won’t balance on the shelf evenly, and forget about “sliding” anything over because it is not going to happen.

So, during our small bathroom makeover guess what I did…

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Towel Rack
We have been remodeling our downstairs bathroom, and I am soooo happy to say we are almost finished.  You read the problems we had when we first started…our yucky mold, replacing our drain pipe, part of our subfloor, and toilet flange…and ALMOST calling in outside forces.  We did manage to see it through though, and we couldn’t be happier that we have that project under our belt…and we’re still married…yah! 


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toilet flange repair
Has it been a long time since I’ve had a chance to write or what?!  And of course, my first topic would be about a TOILET!  Unfortunately I have been a little down from surgery, but things are moving in the right direction finally and I’m back to doing what I love.  I deal with chronic medical issues daily, but I believe in the power of positivity for both body and spirit and….this DIY blog helps me keep my sanity!

So, back to the toilet and how it all began!  Well, a couple of weeks prior to my surgery my husband decides that he wants to help tile the bathroom with me.  Realizing that I would be a little down because of my health, he decides to take on a bigger role that normal.  So what was the problem?  We are like oil and water in the world of DIY.  While “opposites attract” like Paula Abdhul taught us in her music video, it doesn’t quite always work that way when you need to tile your bathroom…for the first time ever!

Everything started off smooth, we had our plan, we had our supplies, but as soon as the original linoleum was lifted the plans were out the window and so was our budget.  There was massive mold around the toilet…UUGHHH!  I’m not talking about the small amount like we found when installing laminate in our kitchen (which led to my post about “Why Not to Install Laminate Over Linoleum”), but I’m talking about a “rotten” subfloor type of mold.  

My husband, studying to be a general contractor, decides he feels super confident in cutting out the subfloor portion and replacing the molded area.  (This is after we tried bleaching it and other less invasive methods, of course).  He did a great job, but our real problem, and the cause of the leak was a broken, and now severely molded toilet flange.  So, at this point Google is now my friend and I’m researching how to replace it, how to get it off…etc.  I then run to Home Depot to try to find some supplies to help.  However, my husband decides he has figured it out and decides to move forward in “removing” the toilet flange. (And might I just add in that it took at least 5 trips to both Home Depot and Lowe’s, and 2 additional trips to return unused supplies)

Sorry, I keep digressing.  Back to the story.  So I get home and my husband has started to cut off the toilet flange with a reciprocal saw because it is cemented on and there is no “removing” it easily without damaging the PVC drain pipe.  Of course, I’m still on Google going “Wait, wait, you can’t do that!”.  

I had read that there were 2 methods possible other than cutting the PVC drain pipe.  The first was to chisel off the toilet flange (ummm, didn’t work successfully),  and using a chemical solvent to help loosen the cement’s hold (could not find it, and was scared to use it because of lack of ventilation, and it didn’t matter at this point because my husband had already chipped the drain pipe).

Now, finally to how to replace a toilet flange that is broken beyond repair and a drain pipe!


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Well here it goes…my husband was right!  There, I said it.  So what was he right about?  NOT to install our new laminate over our existing linoleum.  Of course, I had done all the research that said it was perfectly ok.  I watched videos.  The floor was straight, the linoleum was not damaged. 

My argument was that the linoleum was going to be a terror to remove (we are talking about 450 sq. ft. of flooring) and not to mention the fact that it was glued down to a 1/4” sheet of plywood that I thought was also glued to the subfloor.

Installing the laminate over the linoleum would mean that the floor would be 3/8” higher, but I had researched this also and I was going to simply use a transition molding.  Aesthetically yes, being that it is an open floor plan, all one level would look better, but like I said, I was thinking it was way too much work when there was an easier option.  

My husband, being the persistent man that he is, showed me that the laminate was already pulling up on it’s own after we removed the shoe molding, and that the plywood was only tacked down with staples and not glue like I had originally thought. 

I decided to listen to him, and I was soooo glad I did.  What we found underneath our linoleum convinced me that installing laminate over linoleum was not the greatest idea.

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When you really look at it, building a project is just a small part of the work.  I spend the majority of my time sanding, painting or staining, and then applying a finish to my project.  So, you can imagine that the choice of product is very important, and of course each has its own pros and cons.  As always, I want to share the pro’s and con’s with you guys so that you can save time and make the best choice when starting your project.

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garage organization shelves
Even though it feels like spring will never get here, I have decided to share some garage organization DIY shelves that would be perfect for spring cleaning.  Whenever that may happen!  I actually installed them in our garage last spring (pre-blog), but they have made such a huge difference in space and storage that I had to share.  The best parts are they are super strong, and they are budget friendly at under $200 for all of them! And we have a lot of them. 

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How to Make and Install Wooden Stairs on a Budget
I wanted to share with you our new wooden stairs that we installed around Thanksgiving!  Yes, I know, I’m a little late.  I’m currently recuperating from a minor surgery so hopefully I’ll be able to get even more of my finished projects online to you guys. The bad news is I have a lifting restriction that is driving me crazy! So, let’s get back to the stairs.  We decided to replace our dirty, worn carpeted stairs with wood that we both cut and stained ourselves. I know initially when I wrote transitioning carpet stairs to laminate flooring that we had decided to keep carpet for the budget and kid safety, but the carpet really started to wear down and need replacing, and the kids are getting a little older, so now was the time.  Of course, I didn’t skip out on making it budget friendly.  I literally replaced the whole staircase for under $250.00!  Let’s see how we did it…


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how to caulk, caulking made easy, caulk, how to caulk around built-ins, how to caulk around shoe molding
I feel like it has been forever since I have posted anything, but I am really excited about all the upcoming projects I have going on.  I have just been really busy with….well life.  Of course, I rang in the New Year with no voice and a horrible cold, but I did it with family so that was awesome.  If I were superstitious I would think that was bad luck for my year, but I am claiming really great things for 2015.  I am also excited about all the projects I have been working on and excited to get those things out to you guys.   

Some things I am looking to add this year are more crafting projects, recipes and organizational posts in addition to my DIY furniture building.  We have five kids, if you count my husband six, so I do have to have some shortcuts in life to make it all work.  I am really looking forward to getting some of those things out to you guys.  I want this year to be a year that I grow in my skills and am able to help others grow in theirs.

So today I want to begin by sharing how to easily caulk around built‐ins, baseboards and shoe molding.  Seriously, a quick and easy way! Of course, after building our new entryway built‐in (which I'm totally in love with), I was left with some little gaps here and there that needed filling.  Why can't walls just be perfectly square?  Anyway, I digress. Caulking makes everything look smooth and like it was all formed together just perfectly.  It is the magical finish to any project.

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how to install a floating floor, floating floor, flooring installation, laminate floor, installing laminate, tips on flooring, flooring tips, how to install floors
About three years ago I decided to try my hand at my first flooring installation, and it went so well that I have completed four more rooms and two hallways…by myself.  Well, my husband may have cut a few boards, but I hand tapped them all in.  It was really easy and went quicker than I could have ever expected.  Not only that, but I get to enjoy a beautiful floor and say goodbye to my allergen trapping carpet.  Everyone is happy.  So, I wanted to share some techniques I learned along the way and give you guys step-by-step instructions to make installing your floor a smooth process.


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