Friday, May 24, 2013

Using Beadboard Wallpaper on Ikea Billy Bookcases

When I first moved into my house I had this large niche in the great room that I really had no idea what to do with. And by large I mean large: 10 feet high and 15 feet wide.

The man had a vision of a cordless mounted TV, but he didn't want anything to cover the cords-- he wanted them behind the wall. He worked tiresomely for days removing drywall, running electric wires, installing new outlets, and then the patching drywall and repainting. It looks PERFECT. If you ever came to my house you would never know it wasn't built that way. That's one of the reasons I adore him. :)

As you can expect, I was browsing on Pinterest trying to find ideas what to do with that niche and I saw a few build your own built in bookcase by using Ikea Billy Bookcases. Brilliant! They are cheap, labor is cheap (the man works for cookies), and it really didn't seem all that hard. 

So I went to Ikea and bought four Billy Bookcases in white and the man lovingly assembled them for me. I then went to Lowes and I bought four rolls of beadboard wallpaper because I had no idea how many I would need. Let's be honest-- I mess up a lot. After I bought the wallpaper, then I waited 9 months to put it up. This has been the most I've ever procrastinated in my life. I think. 

This is why I decided to write this blog post in parts so that it'll actually get done... slowly.

Here are the planned steps:
  1. Beadboard the backs of the bookcases 
  2. Fill the holes of the bookcase 
  3. We will build doors for the lower part of the bookcases
  4. We will build an entertainment center to hold the DVR and DVD player. 
  5. The man will remove the existing trim and replace it onto the bookcases. 
  6. Both of us will trim out the entire bookcase system to cover an gaps where wood meets.
  7. Sand and paint! 
It sounds like a lot when I put it down like that, but I swear the lady on the original blog post made it seem like it took her 3 hours to do. Granted, she was only making a built in with two bookcases and not an entertainment center, but man!. ::sigh::

The things that I do to myself....

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Landscaping: Backyard

I love looking at Pinterest for ideas on what to do in my house, landscaping ideas, hardscaping ideas, but the problem is that the majority of the pictures would either take a lot of money to replicated or it would need a lot of space and a million dollars to replicate. I don't have any of that.

It has really taken me a while to decide what I wanted to do with the backyard. I knew I wanted to kind of section it up like rooms so that each place had it's own function. I knew I wanted to have edibles, but I also wanted it to be pretty. I also wanted something that would encourage the wildlife to come to my backyard.

This bottom picture was the first part that I did and it kind of happened by mistake. I bought the birdbath for the hardscape in the backyard, but once it was built I figured out that I didn't want the bird bath out there. I decided to make it the focal point of this small space in the backyard.

There are boxwoods in the back and in the front with lavender in the middle. The area right in front of the bird bath is mondo grass, a type of ground cover which will eventually ill in that little space. I'm waiting for the boxwoods to grow a bit more before a trim them into a hedge. 

I hated looking at my AC so I found these panels at Lowe's and planted Iris plants at the edges.

This is soooooo much better. 

This is my sitting area across from the AC unit. I'm growing honeysuckle up the fence and I decided to be creative and use fishing line and command hooks for it to grow up.  The honey suckle is still trying to get bigger, but it's not a very aggressive vine. That's great for when it gets to be where I want it, but I'm impatiently waiting for it to begin to grow a little faster!

There are rosemary bushes on each side but they are hard to see because they are so small. At the far end is a Banana Shrub-- omg! It smells so good when it's in bloom. I planted it next to the patio in hopes that the smell will blow over to the sitting areas over there. 

This is part of my vegetable garden, but it's mixed in with some shrubs. It's a cantaloup plant and it's flowering like crazy. I'm kind of excited to see what happens with it.! I'm trying to trellis it so I have more room to grow more. I think a vertical garden is the best kind if you can do it. Mine looks less vertical and more horizontal though. Yikes!

I've been getting a lot of Monarch butterflies in my yard. This guy just happened to land next to me while I was outside taking pictures.

Here are my backyard crape myrtle and my red knockout rose bush. I love the knockout roses because I just have to prune them back every now and then and they bloom really well! 

I just love gardenias. It's one of my favorite plants and it always makes me so sad that they only bloom for such a short period of time. And not to mention those beautiful white flowers turn brown so quickly. I just had to take a picture of this perfect gardenia flower. Isn't it beautiful? 

Here is my hardscape project that I did a couple of months ago. I really wanted something that would attract butterflies so everything in this garden was marked for butterflies. Much to my delight, I have made friends with a hummingbird who comes around nearly every day and zooms around my garden.

I also have a dwarf lemon tree in the raised garden. It has quite a bit of green fruit and I'm waiting for the color to change!! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Easy Recipe To Make Your Own Glass Cleaner!

Ready to get your mind blown? You can make something that is even BETTER than that name brand glass cleaner at a fraction of the price.  And it only takes 4 ingredients mixed in some water. How easy is that!?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

DIY Garbage Disposal Freshener

I have a love hate relationship with my garbage disposal.

Mostly hate. It smells... a lot.

I have been buying these not so environmentally friendly tablets to throw in there about once a week to help clean it out and stop the smell. I decided that maybe I'd try to make my own.

I looked online and did a little research and came across a recipe that had pretty much everything I had already so I figured that I'd give it a shot.


  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap
  • 1 lemon

Monday, May 6, 2013

Painting Clay Pots: Easy DIY Cheap Pots the Way You Want Them!

DIY clay pots for by front doors

I was really frustrated because I was trying to find two medium size pots for under $50 to use by my front entry way. I originally wanted something that was NOT plastic and was either a dark gray or a dark blue. IMPOSSIBLE.

All the nice pots are $50 or more for one! The cheapness inside of me scoffs at such thievery! So I decided that I'd make my own pot my own way.

DIY clay pots for flowersThis Is How You Do It: 

  • Tera-cotta pots
  • Clay Sealer
  • Paint

On a sunny day or in a well ventilated area, sprayed the pots with clay sealer completely both inside and out (or as much as you're willing to paint). This will prevent the paint from soaking into the clay, so it is essential unless you want to use a gallon of paint! 

After it dries (usually 24 hours), painted the pots whatever color you want! You can add stencils or designs, paint in your address. Have fun!

It was so easy, so cheap, and it looks perfect! And, yes, it was under $50 for both. Win!

Clay pots: $14 each = $28
Clay sealer $7
Paint-- I already had it (and no you do not need fancy paint, but outdoor paint is recommended if they will be outside)

Total: $35.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

DIY Basic Body Butter Recipe

I have dry skin and I HATE using chemical ridden synthetic moisturizers! Nope, hate is not strong enough. LOATH! So many beauty products are full of harmful ingredients that get absorbed directly into the blood stream! Eck! The skin is the largest organ of your body-- it probably should be given a little extra TLC.

So to take matters into my own hands, I decided to make my own body butter! It's made out of oils so it won't mold and it'll last for months. If you're thinking "It's made out of oil. Won't that make me break out or be bad for my skin?" The answer is no.

How do you like them apples? ;)

A lot of research has been shown that your body needs oil. If it gets stripped of oil, then your body makes too much. If you apply oil to oily skin then it thinks it's made enough and it stops production. For dry skin, it will help lock in moisture and lessen redness. Most people don't know that oil actually help to clean your body by getting into the pores and pushing out the bad stuff.

How to make a simple homemade body butter #DIYbeauty

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Home Tour: The First Year

Welcome to my home! I love my house and I can't wait to share with you it's progression into my dream home! Do you want a tour? I'd love to show you around! 

Exterior of the house when purchased:
When we bought the house it looked ALMOST like this-- just imagine this house with a bile green door. {barf}

It's the perfect size house! Just shy of 1900 sq ft, but who wants anything bigger than that?! Someone has to clean it (aka me!). 

Since we bought it (about a year ago) we repainted almost the entire inside of the house (previous owner's fido's fur was attached to the walls), painted the shutters, changed out all the doors, put in new windows, mounted TVs, screened in the back porch, added fans, build some furniture, improved the irrigation system, upgraded kitchen hardware, added hardscape, and changed all the lighting.

Whew! I'm tired just thinking about all of that. 

Urban Landscape and Porch
Nantucket Gray exterior with Mysterious trim by Benjamin Moore

Low Carb and Dairy Free Challenge?! Accepted! (with recipe ideas)

God help me! I'm swearing off carbs. I should state that by carbs I mean starchy grains like bread, cereal, rice, noodles, potatoes and all things delicious. Now, this is an INCREDIBLY difficult challenge for me because the above mentioned carbs are basically my one true love in the food world. I eat carbs at every meal. EVERY MEAL. I love them.

This is why I decided to try this diet for only one week and see how I do. I am making an exception for gluten free carbs in extremely low quantities because if we are being honest a completely carb free diet is not good for you. I will add a few healthy carbs back in after the first week or two, but my goal is to reduce the amount of carbs that I do eat... forever! ::gasp::


America is a carb loving country and I fit right in, but I know that as a nurse we, as a country, eat too many carbs. That contributes to a multitude of ailments like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even cancer. But I also know that our body does need carbs. After all, glucose is a by product of carbs and it is the main fuel for our brain. The recommended minimum intake of carbs is 50 grams a day. If you're like me, that doesn't mean very much. I need examples! So I found you some...

One cup of lettuce is 5g, while a single bagel is 70g, 1 cup of whole milk is 11g, an egg is 1g, 2 tbsp peanut butter is 7g, 1 cup of all purpose flour is 88g, an apple is 20g, 1 ear of corn is 30g, 1/2 cup of broccoli is 2.3g, brownie sundae is 50g....  you can see the wide difference between different food items. And what's scary is that some of those are more than the minimum requirement in just one meal.

I am not a scientist or I dietician, but based on research I believe that we should aim above 50g, but below the recommendation that 50% of your caloric intake that should come from carbs. Personally, I'm aiming for 30% during my fast and then I'll maintain myself at 40%.

It's simple to find out how many grams of carbs would come from 50% of your diet consisting of carbohydrates. Simply use your ideal calorie intake (ex: 2000) divide it by 2 (2000/2= 1000) and then divide that by 4 (1000/4 = 250g of carbohydrates).

Also, remember that carbs will convert to glucose and glucose is sugar and unused sugar (energy) will turn to fat. So it makes sense to that if you limit your carbs you could lose weight. It's just important to not be extreme about it so you stay healthy.

I believe that we will be healthier if we pick our carbs from produce like fruits and vegetables or complex carbs/whole grains (quinoa, oats, barley) rather than from simple carbs like white breads, bagels, or desserts. Those simple carbs will spike our blood sugar quickly and drop us just as fast which is not a good thing for anyone. It can cause damage to our bodies and make us more susceptible to diseases like type 2 diabetes.

From a medical standpoint, we aren't helping ourselves if we lower our starchy carbs, but increase the amount of meat (aka fat). A small amount of protein should be in every meal and it can come from beans, eggs, cheeses, nuts, seeds, or meats, but in a healthy portion size. If you look closely at weight watchers or any of the popular weight loss programs you'll see that they are actually based on eating small amounts starchy carbs and a normal portion of meat.


I did a little research and gluten isn't just in breads. It's in a lot of things! You can read these websites if you want a little more information about what could be hiding in your pantry.

List of foods containing Gluten

Newman's Own Allergy List


About a year ago, I decided to do a dairy free fast for 6 weeks. 6 looonnnnnnngggg weeks, but it was worth it! The redness on my cheeks improve, my sinuses cleared up, I lost 5 lbs, I didn't feel bloated at all, and I had a lot less gas. Since then I've fallen off the wagon and I've hated how I felt so I went dairy free again, but I will say that this time I have experimented with adding things back into my diet in small amounts one at a time so I can find out what I really have a problem with. Let me tell you that butter, cream and cow based cheeses do not like me. I can have a very, very small amount of cow based cheese with no problems, but within minutes I can feel a difference if I eat just a little bit of butter or cream. I found out that I tolerate goat and sheep's milk cheeses much better. It's been a big adjustment, but there are a lot of good substitutes out there.

Some people even tolerate hard cheeses better than soft cheeses-- so if you're just starting to think about going dairy free, you can even just try to cut down on the soft cheeses and see if that helps you feel better.


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You rock for reading all of that. {pats you on back}