Archive of ‘DIY’ category

Happy Birthday House | part 4

The entrance and landing had a very light (and thick!) wallpaper with a small diamond pattern, this was the first section (beside the kids rooms) that I started to work on in the house and it was really hard, it was pulled from some of the edges, the corners and around the light switches had a plastic protector, these were the only sections that were in better shape, I have never seen those plastic protectors before, so they were removed.


We started using whatever the liquid and tools are usually used to remove wallpaper but it was not working and it was still very hard to remove, so I opted for plain soapy water and soaked sections of the wall and little by little the wallpaper was coming off, this was tedious but worked better.

As I was removing wallpaper I started noticing the conditions of the walls, they were sticky and there were many holes and cracks… it was gross to remove the glue and at time it looked like, and pardon the grossness mucus, lots of mucus dripping from the walls.… not pleasant. Once that was done then the “fun” part started, filling up holes and cracks with joint compound, it became my BFF, what I didn’t like was the sanding part and If I had known about having to sand everywhere I had used joint compound I would have been less picky about tiny holes… Oy!

I do love how the chrysanthemum vase looks in that little nook by the stairs.


We sanded all the stair rails, trim, stairs steps; it was an off-white before, after everything was cleaned, we painted the walls Chocolate Froth by Behr and the doors and trim is Ultra White by Glidden, updated the switch covers with white ones and the last thing we need to do is to update the light fixture…


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I am leaning toward the allen + roth pendant, even though I kept looking at the globes styles for months, I think it fits the classic style of the house, although mixing styles is very tempting.

Happy Birthday House | part 3

Pink toilet, pink sink and pink grout…. yes, you read it right, pink grout.


I see the trend in kitchens of having blank grout and I think it looks great, but it 20-30 years someone is not going to be too happy using a little knife to remove that black grout.

Our bathroom has glass tiles, really large glass tiles, and I get the idea of preserving something unique to the house, so when it came to redo this bathroom I wanted to keep it… this is not entirely true, okay, my original thought was to gut the whole thing out! This very small bathroom has very interesting “nooks” too, from the “very” small section to storage your tooth brush and toilet paper compartment which we kept and it had two very small and weird cabinets, I don’t think a regular bottle of hand soap could have fit there.

We had someone doing some of this work since we had to gut the wall and cabinets, took the pink toilet out and really had issues figuring out the sink. There was wallpaper on the walls and on the ceiling too.

The result, moving the door to a different side, new toilet, new walls, new sink, we originally wanted to have a smaller sink, but the floor tile in the bathroom was done around the sink, so we decided to keep a cabinet sink, then the fun part started…removing the pink grout and we did that ourselves… it was tedious and it took forever. We painted the walls and added a light fixture that I really don’t like anymore. The weird window that faced the family room was removed about two years ago when we decided to demo the wall on the family room, we assumed the family room was a later addition otherwise why would you have a window that opens to a family room?


We kept the glass tiles and the interesting compartments… they add charm. After 6 years we are still getting the final details done, a light fixture (surprise?) and a few things that need to be replaced since it has been 6 years… a little industrial look, but I like the simplicity of it.

light | soap dispenser | tissue house | hand towels

Winter Tablescape + Holiday Dinner

Our christmas dinner was last week and it was so much fun as usual… We pretty much moved rooms around in order to fit 16 people in one table, well two tables as one and it was great to do that, every year we struggle with lack of space and adding kids to the mix has increased our need to figure out a new way to accommodate everyone, we have a pretty large family room that will work great but this year we used the living room so we could fit the two tables together and that was enough this time, I know that next year will be about 18-20 people, so we’l have to figure out something different.
The menu was simple this year and everyone bring an app or dessert, we used to have so many apps before, but keeping it to a few makes more sense,

  • cheese/crackers
  • mozzarella skewers
  • pigs in the blanket (kids love this stuff… I hate it)
  • homemade calzones


(Why haven’t we made this more often for the ladies dinner? it was so easy!)



  • Sea salt caramel brownies + ice cream
  • Pumpkin cheesecake (vegan & the best cheesecake you could ever have!)


I arrange the table with a simple decor using the paper stars I made last year (I made almost 100… I will use these a lot!) and greens from a christmas swag I bought and pulled apart to use the different branches. As much as moving our dinning room/living room and putting a separate table together sounds like a lot, it really wasn’t and it was perfect to have everyone sitting in one table (10 adults + 3 teens + 2 kids + 1 toddler); moving the xmas tree to the family room worked out great too and that way everyone was able to be in the room for opening presents.

I made some flower arrangement for the dinner holiday and to have around with bunches of Dusty miller greenery and Baby Eucalyptus that I bought at Whole Foods, it looked so pretty and simple. I will be using this greenery thru the winter. I also made a little xmas tree for outside with some extra branches I had leftover from our tree and I used one of our tomato cages… so easy and pretty much at no cost, since we have the tomato cages from our summer garden and the branches Lowe’s give them away for free.


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