It’s been a long time, but I can finally say I started my Christmas decorating!  So, today I am sharing a lovely Burlap Christmas tree that literally took minutes and cost hardly anything.  Being that I decided to change my entire theme this year, I have had to literally start from scratch.  So imagine how happy I was to find out that ribbon was on sale for 70% off at Michaels, especially considering I had to buy everything.  Somehow last year's burnt orange and turquoise just doesn’t go with red and green plaid.  

So, now that I have finally finished shopping for all the supplies, I am hard at work finishing my overly ambitious list.  My husband actually called me a great “visionary” the other day.  Of course,  he then went on to say “but you don’t always finish what you start.”  What?!  So, you already know what my goal is for 2016…I aim to be a “finisher”!  However, I’m still waiting for my husband to pick up the Christmas tree from the local fire department…that is just a couple of miles from our house…that stays open late hours…but who cares about his “procrastination”?  Ok, jokes aside, back to decorating.

I see these little "cone" shaped trees in all the stores, at a pretty hefty price tag no doubt.  So, I decided to make my own, for a LOT less.  And the best part is this tree is so versatile.  Just simply changing the size of the cone or the ribbon, adding some embellishments, or even a different topper can completely change the look to fit just what you need.  

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Do you need an awesome cupcake recipe just in time for Thanksgiving?  Well you have come to the right place!  I was in the kitchen taking inventory for any last minute grocery shopping that I may need to do before the big day when I noticed this one lonely can of sweet potatoes.  Knowing that there is NO way that small amount would ever feed my brood of seven, I decided I needed to use it.  My husband always wants a dessert after dinner, so why not make cupcakes I said.  Yummy, and I am so glad 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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Okay, so I will admit that I don't really do that much for Halloween, except take my children around the block for some good ol' candy.  I always have good intentions, but they just never work out too well.  Of course, that happens to people that tend to procrastinate...like me.  Being that I am past the "put up decorations" phase, I had to think of something useful.  Guess what?  I did it!  


This super quick and simple DIY Halloween GRAB Bucket will be sure to scare anyone who dares to attempt to take a piece of candy.  You simply stick your hand into the glove from underneath, and when lie in wait.  When someone reaches in to grab a piece of candy, you reach up and enjoy the fright you just created!

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It's really nice to know that the temperatures are finally dropping (well at least in my area), and fall is officially in the air.  It was very hard to be motivated to decorate during the extreme heat and then let's not forget the unrelenting rains.  All of the crazy weather was not leaving any room for creativity.  So, while the sun is shining and the wind is blowing that cool, crisp breeze, I want to share some amazing rustic fall creations that I have found while browsing my favorite place...pinterest!  I know I have not shared of any my stuff...and maybe that is just because I have yet to put anything up (ughhh!).  However, I have been seeking some motivation and inspiration and think I have found some in these wonderful decor pictures.  Now, I just need to get busy preparing some of my own!

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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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Last year for Spring I decided that my porch needed some major sprucing, so I used some leftover wood from our partition fence to create a bright and beautiful monogrammed bench.  It was so quick and easy to build, and not to mention my favorite...budget friendly, that I decided I would revisit the post for anyone that may have missed it.  We have soooo enjoyed this bench since adding it to our home last year.  We literally went from having no where to just lay back, relax, and enjoy watching the kids play to having a comfortable bench that's not only purposeful, but also just the pop of color the porch needed.  The best part is, I was able to add my own little creative touch and monogram it for our family.  It is a super simple letter...but that letter means something to us, and I hope that you can make it mean something for your family also.  So, if you want to see just how I made this bench in less than 3 hours...

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I decided that I would try my hand at decorating some Easter Eggs with nail polish using the water marble technique.  It should be simple right?  Well, let me tell you the answer…not at first!  It really took some trial and error to figure it out, so I decided that I would share ALL the tips and tricks so you can make these wonderful eggs easily because they are beautiful when finished.  I mean the possibilities are endless!  And the best part is they work with all types of material such as real eggs, paper mache eggs, and even Styrofoam or plastic eggs.  You can put these designs on anything...that you don’t want to eat of course!  Once I got the process going it was really fun creating different designs and seeing how they turn out each time.  No matter what material you use, the water marble nail art makes beautiful eggs that you can use to decorate anywhere!


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