Bathroom Bar Cart

Remember my post on the bar cart revival? I do have a slight obsession with them. So when I finally finished painting my master bathroom, I decided that the perfect shelf for that space was a bar cart! And I bet you can’t guess where I got it. Yes, of course it was at the West Bottoms Flea Market!

Bar Cart Shelf -

Bar Cart Shelf –

She’s perfect, don’t you think? I topped her with white towels, a pot from Anthropologie ($10), a tray on top from Target ($17), and some vintage glass (also from West Bottoms – $15).

Master Bath Updated

Master Bath Updated

Vintage Glass

Vintage Glass

And then I needed a piece of art for over my bathtub. I decided I wanted something that had “good morning” and “good night” sayings since my bathroom is the first place I go after waking up and the last place I hit before bed. I asked my artistic mom to help me out, and thankfully, she said yes. We brainstormed what we wanted it to say, and then she just did her thing.

Master Bath Redefined

Master Bath Redefined


DIY Artwork -

DIY Artwork –

I can’t even express how much I love it!! It’s so personal because we created it together, and the colors couldn’t be a better fit for the room. It makes me happy every time I see it. Thank you, thank you, thank you mom!

The last thing I have to finish in the bathroom is framing out our mirrors, and then I can show you the whole thing! Soon, I promise!

Table Setting 411

Entertaining is Erica’s forte no doubt.  So much so, she probably has the correct way to set a table in the back of her mind.  But for those of you like me – that are constantly trying to remember fork on the left?  Spoon where?  Knife in or out?  And who am I kidding, with the small kiddos their small forks and plates don’t necessarily fit into the “formal” place setting.

BUT with Thanksgiving right around the corner – EEK – two weeks from today, I thought I would share a quick reminder on how to set your table for those of you hosting the Thanksgiving feast.

And while you are at it – don’t forget the place settings.  Two of my favorite that are simple DIY projects…

For step by step instructions on these DIY projects – Visit Almost Makes Perfect  for the DIY gold dipped pear place cards and visit Spoon Fork Bacon for the rosemary spring place cards.

Kansas State Song + Paint = Art

A little tribute to the my home state of Kansas of “Home on the Range” – written by Dr. Brewster Higley (1876) was my inspiration for a recent Sunday art project.  This one took a tad longer than expected thanks to my oldest wanting to help and my indecisiveness with the background color.

Progression shots as you can see how I started off with a much lighter, more aqua toned background… IMG_6451




Did you notice the mister super excited holding the painting in progress above?  He wasn’t super stoked about me changing the background color three different times.  Sorry I didn’t take a photo of me free handing the words – I was in major concentration mode.  All in all it ended up to be a huge success and I was happy with the result.  Don’t be made at me if you are singing “Home, home on the range…” the rest of the day.

DIY Abstract Painting

I channeled my inner Jill and Kathy (my mom) this weekend. Of course I received help from my mom on this project, but we don’t need to dwell on that. What did I do, you say? Well, I created my first real painting! I had a big open space in my master bedroom that I just couldn’t figure out what to do with. My mom had purchased a large, framed painting from Tuesday Morning a while back because it was on clearance for $20 – the frame alone was worth more than that. Several times, she has taken paintings like that and just painted right over them to get what she was looking for. So, I decided that an abstract painting would be perfect for that open space in my room, and she helped me get exactly what I wanted!

Here’s the painting she originally bought.

Original Painting

Original Painting

And here’s our inspiration photo. I wish I could give credit to whatever magazine it came out of, but I simply can’t remember. Sorry about that!

Inspiration Photo

Inspiration Photo


We popped out the canvas and painted white acryllic paint all over.

Making a Clean Slate

Making a Clean Slate

Once that dried, we used a coral color, a make-shift mint (I mixed a greenish color with white and a bit of yellow and blue to get the right shade), and a charcoal grey. All I really did was create large, square-ish sections. Then I’d blend each section into each other a bit so that it wasn’t an exact pattern. The original painting already had a great texture to it, so it added to the effect perfectly.

DIY Abstract Painting

DIY Abstract Painting

Back in the frame, it looked absolutely fabulous!

DIY Abstract Painting - DIY Abstract Painting –


DIY Abstract Painting Closeup - DIY Abstract Painting Closeup –

I’m so excited to get it up on the wall this next weekend! One more project for the master bedroom off the list! And I feel like I’m ready for more painting, don’t you?

Heat Wave

Granted we are used to HOT days here in the great state of Kansas during the month of August, we were spoiled a bit when mid-month temps dropped into the 50′s for the low and 70 degree days were here for a week.  We actually haven’t hit 100 yet on the thermometer but with the humidity this week feels like 100 degree plus outside.  And we are talking all week it has been HOT and it looks as though that continues through the weekend.  I guess summer is here to stay for a bit longer and that means soaking in the sun a bit for the long Labor Day weekend.

Here are a few items that we will be enjoying over this long weekend.  Although I am still on maternity leave, it will be nice to have the mister around for the long weekend – perhaps I can coax him to finish some of the many projects we have started around here…(PLEASE and thank you honey!)

Other than that – we plan to spend plenty of time in the pool…

Pool Fun

Pool Fun

Me – not so much.  This lady here is not exactly pool side ready being 5 weeks post baby…but I love to eat – and eating on the side of the pool with yummy ice cream sandwiches sounds fun – so I WILL try to attempt making these

Full recipe found here.  NO, I am not vegan but they sound pretty yummy and look incredible.  I’ll let you know how they turn out.

AND – since swinging is plain out awesome no matter how young / old you are – we will spend some time on my parents farm doing this…


We bought this tree swing for my mom’s birthday last year and it is amazing.  You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this simple activity and the surrounding on the farm are beautiful and peaceful.  We have a large tree in our backyard and in time I may just talk the mister in to making our own tree swing.  I found a great DIY for this on A Beautiful Mess.

If you are feeling optimistic and are in need of a tree swing, you can find more info on the great DIY here.

We have a little volleyball and football mixed in our schedule which makes me think FALL but for now we will be holding on to our summer activities with those listed above.  I know it is only Thursday and I am getting a bit ahead of myself by talking about the weekend but what do you have in store this Labor Day weekend?

More Than Just a Book

Two weeks ago my beautiful mother celebrated her birthday.  Not just any birthday – this year was a milestone birthday – my mom turned 60 years young.

My mom and I

My mom and I

I know by the picture you would think we could be sisters.  She is one hip mama – I am one lucky girl to have such a cool mom.

SO, I knew I couldn’t just get her a typical present from J.Crew like I usually do for her birthday this year.  I got to thinking and decided I would try and compile a book of meaningful letters, notes, pictures, memories from many of the people who my mom has touched over the years.  Of course we had to get at least 60 cards, notes, letters to represent her turning 60, but wouldn’t you know by the end of it we well surpassed the 60 mark and that just means she has more letters and notes to grow on.

With the help of my Dad hitting the phones and me emailing family and friends the letters and notes came pouring in and I had so much fun myself receiving all the fun mail over the span of a couple weeks (much better than bills!)

Then the task of compiling all the notes, letters, cards, photos into a book – enter my sister in law Nancy – a.k.a. master scrap booker to the rescue.  After many hours of hard work and a lot of learning on my end we put together one heavy book of what I call love for my mom to cherish.

Pages and pages filled with handwritten letters, photos and love from family and friends

Pages and pages filled with handwritten letters, photos and love from family and friends


And I think (correction I know) she LOVED it!

Opening her birthday book - happy tears

Opening her birthday book – happy tears

Happy tears were flowing and I know the book is definitely coffee table worthy and one true keepsake.  It is more than just a book – but a book of love for one fantastic lady who means so much to so many people.

Have you made something recently for someone you loved??  Please share…


Meet Jonah

I missed you last week – but for good reason.

Last Wednesday, July 24th at 1:03p.m. we welcomed our little guy into this world.

Jonah Dorsey Hall.  A whopping 9lbs. 1.5oz.  He was 21 inches long and as perfect as can be!

Jonah Dorsey Hall

Jonah Dorsey Hall – one day old in the hospital in his baby carrier

As you can imagine I am spending as much time snuggling with him and just enjoying the newborn stage.

Lack of sleep – bring it on.  We are very blessed to have family in town and around us helping to make the transition from two to three easier.

I promise to post more pictures soon of the little man but I also wanted to share with you his nursery.

When I designed the nursery I did so with the intentions of it lasting through all of our children.  Therefore, I splurged on a couple items knowing I would get great use out of the key elements in the room.

My jumping off point for the nursery was the Missoni fabric I had ordered and had a seamstress customize the crib bedding.


Four years ago and the bedding still looks amazing.  I went with gender neutral colors in case we were to have a girl but now with our third boy the colors still work.  I have just added more of the turquoise, grey and yellow into the room.


I have also played off the building block shape in the pillows and custom blocks that the mister made.

Here is a shot of the nursery in our old place when Liam was born.  It has evolved a bit in the last four years but the main elements we are still using and loving.


For more information on the entire nursery and a full rundown on all the items in the room check out Project Nursery where the nursery was featured.

Here are some more photos of the room in its current state.  Featuring my old baby dresser refinished.  Custom lamp shades using extra Missoni fabric.  A fabulous budget friendly light fixture from Ikea and our motto for the next couple years of “keep calm and carry on” because we do know that beautiful chaos will ensue with three boys under 3 in the house hold.

And of course Jonah gets his very own “love letter“.

IMG_5738 IMG_5732 IMG_5730 IMG_5729 IMG_5728


Make Your Own Magnetic Chalkboard

For years my mother-in-law had this sad little corkboard hanging off the side of her fridge loaded with receipts, invitations, baby announcements, etc. The only reason she had that was because she had filled her entire fridge up with photos, so that stuff had no where to go. So for Christmas last year, I made her a framed magnetic chalkboard so she could at least replace the corkboard hanging from a string.

I searched blogs to find out how to make one, and of course, blogs came through! On Less than Perfect Life of Bliss, blogger Julie talks about the best way to make a magnetic chalkboard (click here for step by step directions). My first step was to find an inexpensive frame, so where did I go? The West Bottoms Flea Market of course! They have tons of cheap frames without the glass or back, which was exactly what I needed. I got mine for $8 and gave it a nice coat of black glossy spray paint.

Julie recommended a specific kind of sheet metal, but I wasn’t able to find it at my local Lowe’s, so I just had someone point me in the direction of pre-cut sheet metal. I found some magnets in the store to test and make sure that what I was buying was magnetic. My husband cut it to fit the frame, and I sprayed chalkboard paint all over the front of it. Since it was an open frame, I wanted to make the back sturdy, so we got some inexpensive craft wood from Michaels and used clear tape on the seam – we’re really professional.

Back of Magnetic Chalkboard

Back of Magnetic Chalkboard

Then I found some hardware at Michaels that secured everything into the frame.

Hardware for Magnetic Chalkboard

Hardware for Magnetic Chalkboard

For the magnets, I bought the standard round magnets that you can find at any craft store. To make them pretty, I bought some round, designed stickers that are supposed to be used to seal envelopes. I say they work pretty well as magnet decoration!



My mother-in-law loves her magnetic chalkboard – at least she tells me she does. And I want to make one for our kitchen but just haven’t had a chance yet. Hope you find the time to create one for your home! They’re such a fun addition to your kitchen, kids room, or office.

Making a Magnetic Chalkboard - Middle Redefined

Making a Magnetic Chalkboard – Middle Redefined


Magnetic Chalkboard DIY - Magnetic Chalkboard DIY –

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July! Jill and I will be taking the next two days off for some R&R with our families, so we won’t be updating the blog until next week. Stay safe and cheers to a fun-filled long weekend!



Liam’s Lair

Once our son Liam turned two years old, we quickly transitioned him into his new “big boy room”.  I was pregnant with our second and I wanted to get him situated before his brother arrived.

Luckily for me at the ripe age of two Liam was not yet too opinionated about the decor in his room so I got to design his room from scratch.  (oh how that has changed now!)

Liam's room before

Here is Liam’s room AFTER -

Liam's Room -

Liam’s Room –

My inspiration for this room started when I spotted this rug on West Elm.

[caption id="attachment_1056" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Inspiration for the room - colorful statement rug Inspiration for the room – colorful statement rug

I waited patiently until they had a 20% off all rug sale and then had to wait even longer because it was back ordered but it was well worth the wait.   I am obsessed with the fact that it is 8″ square in size.  (I officially have a thing for items perfectly square in dimension).

My next favorite thing in his room was the DIY light fixture we made.

DIY Light Fixture

DIY Light Fixture

This could be the easiest- major impact-DIY lighting project EVER.

No joke – here are the instructions…

Branch Light Fixture

I first spotted this DIY on Little Green Notebook and immediately printed them off and handed them over to the mister to execute.  I love the outcome.

Another very simple DIY I made for his room was his “L” crayon artwork.  I first spotted this project on Pinterest.  It was super easy and really fun to do.  Buy a box of crayons – cut them – glue them in preferred letter shape- frame – done.

DIY Art - "L" made out of crayons

DIY Art – “L” made out of crayons

I already shared the DIY ‘letter of love’ which are nestled on the main wall among other great art and prints that I collected on Etsy.  You can find the LA Blueprint map here, Kansas chevron print here and the large US map here.  The tractor art I grabbed at HomeGoods.

Upholstered Trundle Bed - Collage of artwork above

Upholstered Trundle Bed – Collage of artwork above

As for the bed / bedding – we found the upholstered trundle bed at Nebraska Furniture Mart.  The other bedding is vintage (I actually used the double sided denim comforter in college along with the Tommy Hilfiger euro cases).  The green euros and throw pillows are Ralph Lauren from HomeGoods.  (Again, we have a store approximately 2 miles from our house – DANGEROUS).

The sheet set I grabbed at HomeGoods and bought two sets (critical for a toddler going through potty training time).  I also wanted a custom look on his window in the room so I decided to take an extra pillow case I had from the extra sheet set and appliqued his monogram on a roman shade.  For less than $20 on a very inexpensive simple roman shade I LOVE the impact it makes.

Monogram Roman Shade - applique done with extra pillow case

Monogram Roman Shade – applique done with extra pillow case

Liam's Room - Dresser / Art

Some more fun art grouped above his vintage dresser.  I giggle every time I read the “my bike is my Benz” piece of art – mostly because it was a simple bike and I added the saying to the print.  (yes, I am laughing at myself).

This dresser is from my late grandmother and it reminds me of her which I love.  It even smells like her and her house in a way.  I was planning on doing a massive DIY map modge podge project over the wood but I actually love the vintage distressed look and plan on leaving it.

Side Table - Stores books / Vintage airplane

I used the other side table that matches the one in our guest room on the side of his bed which stores books.  The vintage airplane is from Pier 1.

And what would a room be without some sort of additional storage?

Soft Storage - Captures extra pillows - stuffed animals

Soft Storage – Captures extra pillows – stuffed animals

I grabbed two of these soft storage buckets at HomeGoods.  The “love you to the moon and back” pillow was a gift from my mom to Liam.  The saying is used in his nursery rhyme which my mom customizes.  More on her skills as a nursery rhyme developer here.

And our little Dax man is super stoked because he thinks he gets to share big “brobers” room when the newest arrival is here soon.  We will see…not sure the two of them in the same room together would ever fall asleep!

My little helper Dax - his "big cheesy smile"

My little helper Dax – his “big cheesy smile”

Rug – West Elm
Light Fixture – DIY Instructions
LA Blueprint Map – Etsy
Chevron Kansas Print – Etsy
Large US Map Print – Etsy
Bedding – Vintage
Upholstered Trundle Bed – Nebraska Furniture Mart
Dresser – Vintage
Vintage Airplane Accessory – Pier 1



Young House Love – Kitchen Remodel

One of the blogs I go to often for inspiration is Young House Love. This couple is now in their third house and have completely DIY-ed each house they’ve lived in from the inside out. In fact, they’re so creative, they’ve published a book and are sought out as DIY experts. For anyone remodeling or decorating on a budget, they are a must-have resource.

I was checking out their site this week to get some inspiration for our friend Molly’s house. As I mentioned recently, she and her family just moved into a new home and Jill and I get to help them decorate! The first task on our list is their kitchen/family room area. This space is just a bit dated, with lots of honey oak, so they’re wanting to brighten everything up with whites and grays. Jill is an expert with transforming a kitchen, so be sure to check out her post here.

And on Young House Love’s site, they show their amazing transformation as well that we think could be great inspiration for Molly’s kitchen.

Here’s their kitchen before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

And after…isn’t it fabulous?

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot

The other side before.

Young House Love - Kitchen Before Shot

Young House Love – Kitchen Before Shot

It’s crazy how just a bit of white paint and some new, fixtures can make a space feel completely different.

Young House Love - Kitchen After Shot 2

Young House Love – Kitchen After Shot 2

Finally, one more angle.

Young House Love - Breakfast Area Before Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area Before Shot

Can’t believe this is even the same space!

Young House Love - Breakfast Area After Shot

Young House Love – Breakfast Area After Shot

While Molly’s family won’t be needing to do this much of an overhaul, this kitchen re-do provides some ideas for us to get started with. Do you love Young House Love as much as I do?



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