Sunday, July 5, 2015

12 Frame Gallery Wall for $25

This is an easy way to style a wall if you're on a budget. My dining room really only has one wall that can make an impact. One wall is a big window with curtains, and the one across leads into the dining room and is very small. The wall behind the table is quite large and I knew I wanted a gallery wall. The only problem was even inexpensive frames from Ikea in the size I wanted are $12 each, and I wanted 12 frames so that's easily $144 just for frames alone. 

I found these Malma mirrors for $1.99 each at Ikea, and I saw on a couple of other blogs people printed pictures and used Mod Podge or other glues to adhere the pictures to the mirrors. I love the look of the chunky white frame and the small picture, plus I saved a lot of money because I printed six pictures on one piece of paper. You can use regular printer paper, but I have matte photo paper that is great for printing on. I chose 12 of my favorite pictures from tea parties that I've hosted, and I printed them in grayscale. I cut one picture until the size was perfect, then used that to trace and cut out the remaining 11 pictures. I didn't secure the pictures with anything because there is a gap between the frame and the mirror, so I sort of shoved the edges of the pictures in that gap and they stay put perfectly. As great as the idea is for this gallery wall, the way I hung the frames is really what is wonderful. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

DIY Crate Centerpiece

I wanted a centerpiece for my table where I could display some greenery. Vases with flowers are so beautiful when you have fresh flowers, but that doesn't happen all the time. And I didn't want a big bouquet of faux flowers because I really like the natural look of plants. I also didn't want to mess with real plants indoors because I can barely take care of my garden in the front and back yard! I had a crate from six years ago that I got when I ordered organic tomatoes online. I kept it and it was usually used to store cleaning products or whatever we had extra of at the time. It was just a plain crate, all I did was stain it with the same dark espresso stain I used on the dining room table, then went over it with the same gray stain. It absorbed the stain really well and I like the weathered look I achieved. I'll break it down here in steps.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dining Room Reveal

When we originally viewed our house, the previous owners had the dining room painted tan with a dark brown accent wall. The crown molding was an off white color with little paint splatters on it. I saw so much potential and the thought of having a formal dining room was a definite plus. I say now that that room is finished, but I know I'm never really finished with a room. I'm so excited to share the changes we've made, so even though things will probably change in the future I'm happy with it right now.

This is what the dining room looked like for the past seven months. The table was tiny, walls were bare, and the only item with any style were the curtains. Here is what we have for now:

Monday, May 4, 2015

House Update!

I haven't updated much about the house, so I thought I would share some before and after pictures of a few rooms. If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read a bit more about the house here. Honestly I feel like everything is taking forever. Dramatic, I know. I was so motivated right before we moved in, and right after we moved in. My husband and I would stay up late painting, cleaning, and unpacking. Then he got busy with work and school, and I kind of lost my motivation there for a while.

So far we've managed to paint the kitchen, dining room, living room, entryway, hallway, master bedroom, and laundry room. And I've pretty much, on my own, repainted the crown molding and baseboards as well as touched up the white molding around things like closet doors and doors. We also used a product to restore the hardwood floors. We did not refinish them; it would have cost too much, and we didn't want to take on that big of a project. So we basically cleaned the floors really well, stripping off any previous residue. Then we used microfiber bonnets on a couple of sponge mops to apply the product. The results were amazing and the floors are holding up really well. 

I'll go ahead and get into some of the before and after pictures. I, stupidly, forgot to take a before of every room before we changed anything. So some of the pictures were taken after painting had already begun.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Baked Ziti with Meat Sauce

Oh my goodness this is so delicious. This week was all about using up leftover ingredients. I had a big hunk of whole milk mozzarella, and a container of ricotta. I used some of the ricotta to make rolled eggplant, but had almost an entire container left. I didn't have lasagna noodles on hand, but I always have a few boxes of penne.