My New Bed


Or at least new to me. My brother gave me this old bed over a year ago that they had decided they didn’t have the patience to refinish. But someone had started to use a stripping agent on the headboard. It had some build up on it from where they tried to strip it previously but didn’t get all the agent removed.

I ended up using CitraStrip to get most of the old stuff off. Lots of stripping and hours of sanding later I uncovered beauty.

But no matter that I used steel wool with the stripper, or that I even tried flexible sandpaper, I could not get the grooves clean. I even thought about just painting the posts black. I really wanted to keep it this natural.

I ended up getting General Finishes gel stain, knowing it would cover it all anyway. They didn’t have as light of color as I wanted, so I went with one that looked really good on both of their samples. Once I used it, I thought it was too orange. So days after staining, I then painted the whole piece with a light grey. Only one coat. Then I lightly sanded. Then I got out a grey and a brown stain. I sponge on my stain and then wipe off with a cloth. Working on big sections at a time, I did a patch of grey and then while it was still damp, I did the same with the brown. The resulting color is a greyish driftwood look. And I love it (just not as much as I loved the natural color). Then I sprayed the whole thing with Varanthe. I didn’t like the texture of that so I waxed both pieces after. (All in all, this took me like 9 months.) Eventually, both of those tables will be different colors as well and I will finish painting from the bluer color to the grey.


Because this is an old bed, it doesn’t fit both a pillowy mattress and a box spring, so we treated this as if it were a platform bed. Boards are under the mattress. It’s very sturdy but still a little small for this type of mattress. It is extremely hard to make the bed.

I want to get rid of the foot board to make it easier to make and it is not all so cramped, but it is also a frame so to speak. The footboard and headboard are attached together with metal sides. Not sure exactly what to do.


Upcycling Old Shutters

What do you do when you find sets of old shutters? You decorate them of course. I had found 2 sets of these right before Christmas a few years ago. I was looking for them to make something for my mom. I was lucky to have found them that day, at the first place I stopped. I have plans for all 6, but I also keep thinking I should paint the 2nd set (keep all 3 hinged together) a lighter color and hang them above the sofa. It is such a long wall. I can always find more for the other projects.

This is the one I made for my mom for Christmas. inspired

I took apart one of the sets and used the 3 separately. The “evergreen” is this felt like stuff and then a really soft wispy thing I found at Hobby Lobby at Christmas time. I wish I had bought more when it went on sale because it was only Christmas time stuff. I needed more and they don’t sale it right now. Bah humbug.

Then I made a Valentine’s shutter. I took another one of the 3 and lightly spray painted it with the same off white. I wasn’t really intent on it being perfect because if it chips a little that will add to the charm. (Sorry, I didn’t take any during pictures, terrible of me.)

Then I hot glued on the battery operated lights (that you find in the craft area of Hobby Lobby). I like these because you don’t have to worry about plugging them in anywhere. I also can attach the battery box with command strips (the type that is sort of like Velcro) for easy removal to replace the batteries.

I glued down the wispy greenery I had, I only had 3 and they are thin stalks so I also needed some filler. I found these white paper flowers at At Home and cut off a few stems of those and had another little plastic green stalk I cut down. I found the pink hearts before I started the project but can’t remember if they are from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. All these got glued down strategically, to make it look more appealing.

I had another bag like the one used for my mom’s but decided the gold dots weren’t what I was looking for (bags are $1 at Hobby Lobby). These inexpensive bags are a way easier solution to wrapping burlap around the shutter. All you have to do is cut off the handle of the front side. But turning the bag around left me with a blank slate. I was going to find hearts to stamp on there or something but came across these yo-yos I had already put together and thought those would be perfect. I stitched those onto the bag and then glued sequins on top of those and all over the bag. I then pull the bag up onto the shutter and hot glue it onto the back and just a little on the sides of the front and top. Doing it in a way that makes it look slouched and so that you have an opening at the top for the battery box of the lights big enough to stick your hand in.

I found the “love” sign at Michael’s when I was there for something else and painted it pink then glittered it. Hot glued it to the top of the shutter. Finished off the whole thing with the pink ribbon I found in my stash.

I made a snowman out of the 3rd shutter. But I just don’t find it as cute as the inspiration. Again, I only lightly sprayed it with the white paint. It even sprayed blotchy but I thought that would okay since it would look like snowflakes. Then I sprayed the black with an idea of where I wanted the hat. I think the hat rim is a paint stick. The nose is a piece of wood I found in my stash and cut and sanded before painting it orange. The buttons are pieces I had in craft stash and painted black. Everything else I had laying around. Maybe I need to add a smile?

What to Read this Year

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)At the Water's EdgeSummer at Little Beach Street Bakery (Little Beach Street Bakery, #2)The NightingaleLetters from SkyeA Hundred SummersThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietyThe Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)Big Little Lies

I posted previously that I was following along with Popsugar’s 2017 Reading Challenge. And with this, I learned about Goodreads. Which is a great way to keep track of what I have read, what I want to read and what I want to read again. I have learned to only go to the used book store every other month, and go to the library more often. However, I love this used book store I found in Bernalillo, NM. Here are 10 books you should add to your reading list, if you haven’t read already (by far my favorites). (The descriptions are either from Amazon or Goodreads.)

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole: A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen: After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith: After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

I also recommend continuing this series with Silkworm and Career of Evil.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarity: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams: Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.

Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan: Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle.




Advice for the Pantry Color

This is my we built it pantry. I got a paint that matched the cabinets my brother used to build my island. I got the wrong sheen so this is all I have painted. IMG_1654I don’t like the color. I love the white on the wall but it makes the white on the pantry look yellow. (Eventually the sliding door will be gone and a wall will be there.)

I decided I think I might like the pantry to be navy blue (and I would use the color on the back of the island as well). So I got on Shermin Williams and played around on the paint visualizer. It wasn’t being very helpful though, I couldn’t paint the whole thing. But what do you think?


Salty Dog

Loyal Blue

The Two Year Progress: Or Lack Thereof

Two years ago I bought this house. A house that a lot more work was put into than initially anticipated. In fact, I still haven’t shared every completed room in the house. Because not every room is completed. So now that I am at the two year mark, I decided it’s time to break down what to do to each room. It’s still going to be a slow process. Money is tight. And I have no energy when I get home from work. More like a work in progress on the weekends.

I decided I need to concentrate on one room at a time. Maybe that way I would get them done. But I also have to borrow the nail gun from my brother so I guess it’s best to do all the projects that require that machine. This is why it’s taken me two years to decide to finish these small projects.


Take for instance, the wall that was removed from the beam

The removed wall/exposed wood stayed like that for over a year. It finally looks like this nowkitchen beam now

  1. Finish the beam. The wood pieces are cut and have been stained forever. I had to wait for a windless day to shellac them. Now I just need to wax them, so they all look the same. I love how it came it.
  2. From this picture, you can see I also need to finish painting the pantry. I accidentally got the wrong paint sheen, so I have been waiting to get the right paint from Shermin Williams. I guess I just need a coupon. I am trying to match the pantry to the cabinets on the island, and eventually will paint the rest of the cabinets to match.
  3. I also want to add faux brick sheets, and German smear the brick, to the soffits. If I like it, I might do that as a backsplash as well. The brick would look like this.2016-06-05-11.35.032
  4. Remove the sliding door and wall in.kitchen5
  5. Remove cabinet to the right of the sink, above dishwasher, and put in shelves. I have been having a hard time deciding what kind of brackets to use but really like these from The Mountain View Cottage (but with black brackets) 
  6. While I have that cabinet down, I can experiment removing the laminate overlay and painting it to see if I can do that to the rest of them.
  7. Build new doors and drawer fronts for the rest of the cabinets. Or maybe just replace them bottoms and then tops. If I had an Ikea nearby, that might be an easier feat.
  8. Paint counter top to look like marble.


den now

  1. Touch up paint the brown paint in entire room, especially by missing door frame.
  2. Paint the shiplap white.
  3. Attach the door frame.
  4. Add some type of wall art over the sofa.
  5. Paint the dark furniture lighter.
  6. Make Geni a food station.

Master Bedroom:

  1. Repaint room a lighter, truer grey.
  2. Expand baseboards.
  3. Add board and battan wall behind bed
  4. Frame in window.
  5. Finish bed.
  6. Lighten up furniture and ceiling fan blades.
  7. Hang mirror over dresser.
  8. Install barn door over bathroom door frame. I am digging this door

    Master bath:

  1. Move shower ceiling to open it up, but still have to work around pipes.
  2. Cover ceiling with beadboard like this but use the same baseboards from bathroom as the molding
  3. Get shower finished.
  4. Trim in bathroom window and add a curtain to block sun from the evening.
  5. Make one of these
  6. I’m sure there will be touch up painting to be done after everything else.

I am actually making more work for myself in my bedroom. But I think it will help to make my room look bigger, airier and more feminine.







Ode to the Men thru my Life 

My normal readers may want to skip this post. Just saying. Nothing to do with DIY or photography. Just need to vent. And I wasn’t about to do this on Facebook because it’s too real. 

To Adrian Sanchez, Poncho Gonzales, Jason Weill, Jesse Solomon, Jimmy Mascari, Steven Sanchez, Jason Morales, Mike Plante, Felix Tafoya and Manuel Herrera; a few of you I loved. One of you, my first love, I was too afraid to let you know how much I loved you. That you would run. Ironically, not telling you may be why you never stayed. 

Some of you I didn’t really know. Some of you used me. A lot of you led me to believe we were having a relationship or at least flirting into the direction. One of you gave me my son because of your pure selfishness. 

A few of us never left friendship, but not because I didn’t want to or think we weren’t going there.  Most of you never even got to know my finer qualities. I would have been a great woman to have had in your life. Yes I may be a little quirky but that’s probably what got your attention initially. 

All of you broke my heart in some way. 

I am not a girly girl that gets fancied up. But will get dolled up in a heartbeat for the right occasion or the right man. I work hard. I get my hands dirty. I am fiercely protective of anyone that gives back to me. I love deeply. I can take care of myself but would love someone to share life with. To laugh with. To cry with. To just hug on a bad day. 

But shame on me for letting those of you that did, hurt me. Or let you believe it was okay to lie to me. Or let you believe I was buying the bullshit. 2 of you really got my lot of giving, for years each. My stupidity was seeing the good and thinking it was enough to forget all the crap. Shame on me for not just walking away. Shame on me for giving too much of myself. 

Maybe I should write a column about this. What not to believe. I don’t think I am naive. Just stupid and not letting go when I should. Giving too much of myself to a man that clearly doesn’t “see” me. 

There is absolutely no excuse for men to not text back. No one is ever too busy, especially when you see them on the phone all the time. Don’t ever believe that excuse. If after a few weeks of the one way conversations, or you are the one always starting the conversations, say goodbye and walk away. They will never change. 

Telling you they aren’t ready for a relationship or to date, means they only want the sex and don’t want to date you. When they say they haven’t been with anyone in so long, usually they are in another non serious situation. I only wish I didn’t have to keep hearing these excuses from every man that hits on me first. What’s the point?

I’m 42 years old. And just wondering where I can find a man that doesn’t give me all this bullshit. Or just gives for that matter.  All of these lovelies were in New Mexico. Maybe I need to move to another state. 

Hello Again

…its been awhile. I’m just lame. A manager (the only one that seems to notice how hard I work) said yesterday “maybe it’s time for new scenery”. I couldn’t have chosen better words. I have been doing the job I do for 4.5 years now.


The constant walking (that is last weeks pedometer on my phone, which is only in my pocket at work), lifting, pulling and pushing is starting to wear on my body. I don’t want to admit that I may be too old for the constant brutality to my feet especially. I really really don’t want to lose $0.60 an hour and have to cashier instead, and lose my weekends off, so I have no idea what to do.

I started off this morning on Bloglovin. I haven’t been on there is so long Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 9.20.04 AM

My blogfeed was at 20+. But I was surprised at how many blogs I follow had less than 5 posts. So I am not the only one not posting these last few months. I blame the winter blues.

A few weeks ago, I came across a reading challenge by Popsugar. I decided to follow along. I am 2 books in. So I am going to start a new series of my book reports. Here is the list


15 Creative Christmas Container Decorating

8 squared.jpg

I will not start decorating my porch for Christmas. For me, Thanksgiving weekend is the perfect time for that. Right now, I still have living flowers. And I want fall decorations out for a little while. But I thought I would round up some great ideas for Christmas porch decorating now, to be ready. Of course, I let a week go by since I started this and Thanksgiving weekend is next weekend. Some of these ideas shown are inside but there is no reason each can’t be used inside or outside.

On Sutton Place

I love the fresh trees in the olive baskets. Hobby Lobby is selling olive baskets and the fresh trees can usually be found at Lowe’s or Home Depot.


Remodelando la Casa

Cristina even shows how to make these planters, but I think any wooden crates would work too. I like all her little add-ons too. Simple and rustic.

Postcards from the ridge

I wish my parents had saved our old Radio Flyer. And I have drooled over sleds for year. I need to just make one already.

Two Twenty One

I too have a pot that is not movable (although with a dolly I probably could), so I did this last year. I even did it again for just winter and for Valentine’s day.

To Work With my Hands

Great use of an old crate too. Don’t have an old crate, these crates can be gotten at Michael’s for under $10 with a coupon.

Home Stories AtoZ

Another way to use a wooden crate, but also love the boots as planters.

Hospitality Designs

An old watering can never looked so good. Don’t have an old one, make one look old and rusty. Cinnamon doesn’t just work in the kitchen, you can use it with glue or paint to make metal look rusted.

Finding Home Farms

I love these galvanized buckets. I am sure you could fill them with real or fake greenery and put them on steps outside too.

Nina Hendrick

I love everything about this spot in Nina’s house so I couldn’t just share a photo of the crock filled with Christmas goodness. I think you can find birch branches at Lowes or Home Depot and use real or fake greenery again. But Nina even used the old printer’s drawer to fill with Christmas items. I seriously need to find me one of those.

Uncommon Designs

Another use for galvanized buckets. Did you know that you can find buckets pretty cheap at Tractor Supply. They are pretty shiny, but you can learn how to age them from Bonnie.

Rusty Hinge

Not only does Maria use an old sleigh to hold trees, she also uses a glass vase to hold a smaller tree and a birdcage to hold miniature trees. She has loveliness all over her house.

Clean and Scentsible

Great use of an old ladder by Jenn. She also has other creative holders around her house.

The North End Loft

I loved this rustic centerpiece so much, that I made my own with fence posts I had saved from the downed fence. (I wish I had saved more.) Right now I have it full of fall decorations.

On Sutton Place

You can use lanterns for any time of year, and Ann shows you how in this eBay post. I have found large lanterns at a reasonable price at Home Goods. Its so fun and easy to go through your holiday decorations to fill it up.

Jenna Sue

The three-tiered tray is also something that can be filled all year round. I have seen them decorated for the holidays like Jenna Sue did here, used as a coffee bar and many other ideas. I have seen them made with pie plates and candler holders, metal, wood, ect. An easy DIY project. I have been eye balling the one at Sam’s Club but can’t decide if it is too big.


8 squared.jpg

DIY Kitchen Inspiration

We got the 2×4 braces up for the wooden beam. Yea!! I stained one piece of wood. My dad removed the florescent light. I was pleasantly surprised I don’t have more than just two screw holes to patch.

I have to make myself a to do list if I am going to get this done. But first here are some of the kitchens I am keeping in my mind as I work on this space.


My all time favorite do it their-selves kitchen renovation. I LOVE the backsplash.

Refresh Restyle

I never thought I would like white cabinets but I am loving the crisp, clean look of them. Plus, my island has white cabinets and I really love it.

A Burst of Beautiful

This gives me an idea of the white cabinets, with a wood top island and darker countertops.

Via Better Homes and Gardens

Then there is the open corner shelves I want to put above the dishwasher.

What I need to do to finish this room:

  1. Fill in all the holes and gaps on the ceiling
  2. Paint ceiling
  3. Stain boards for the beam
  4. Install beam
  5. Buy (or get as present) new kitchen light and install
  6. Get the right paint (shinier) to finish painting the pantry (same paint will be used on cabinets)
  7. Remove cabinet over dishwasher
  8. Install corner shelves
  9. (I am going to use this removed cabinet to test if I can remove the laminate from them so that I can then sand and paint the cabinets already there)
  10. Build new cabinet doors/paint
  11. Faux brick the soffits (I think I might use mortar for texture, and paint this with stencils instead of the paneling) so it looks like exposed brick
  12. Paint the countertops
  13. Trim out the bottom of the island and the cabinets
  14. Remove sliding glass door and wall in the hole (I would love to put a double sided fireplace for here and the porch if I could afford)

Not sure if I want to do a backsplash since I am doing the brick above. But subway tile is a thought.