Come And Knock On Our Door – Picking The Right Paint Color

Isn’t the front door of a house the most fun (and easiest) to makeover?

It’s such a quick fix, you can nearly change it with the seasons.

It’s also the first thing you normally see when you come to someone’s house. It sets the mood before you even get inside.

When we first moved in, the mood was gray. Literally. A dark and and uninviting gray.

At the time I wanted to paint it a color that matched the brick, so that’s what I did. I found myself a color, orange in this case, and took to the door.

It was an improvement for sure, and I liked it for a while until it struck me that contrast and complimentary are your friends, and matchy-matchy is not.

So, away to the store I went. Blues are complimentary to oranges, and since our brick color wasn’t going to change, I hit up the blue paint swatches and picked out the first one that caught my eye.

I don’t have any photos of the painting process because I wasn’t thinking, and it was 1am. But here she is in all her bluish/turquoise afterglow.
It’s modern and fun, and plays really well off of our brick color.

It’s growing on me! And you can totally see it from the street. Before you couldn’t see anything down this short, dark hallway.

And see what I mean about the pillar color? Needs to be darker. Maybe I’ll go drastic and pull color from the darkest tone in the brick. The dark brownish/gray? That would be a statement!

You Clean Up Nice, Curb Appeal: A Timeline & An Armadillo


Let’s talk curb appeal.

In the 4 years we’ve lived in our house we’ve sort of just worked with the curb appeal we’ve been given. Besides adding a few annuals here and there, these over grown bushes were put in by the landscapers that were hired to landscape our brand new home back in 2009.

Here’s a little shot of them back then.
March 2009: Ha, just kidding. Here we have NO curb appeal/landscaping of any kind. Our overgrown bush convention we have going on now doesn’t look so bad compared to this.
April 2009: Ah, there’s those baby bushes.

June 2009: There’s the grass. The stone border we put in ourselves when the new section of the subdivision was still in the “breaking ground” stage. We went (with permission) and grabbed a bunch of limestone rocks to line our bed with.


March 2010: Starting to fill out. I’d like to note, about 1/3rd of these bushes didn’t make it.

April 2011: A whole year later from the last photo, the bushes are thriving and growing faster than a weed. Although this photo actually is showing Tree fatality #1 during the replacement process. In the flower bed, just right of the shovel is our baby Mountain Laurel who isn’t so much a baby anymore. It’s a little over 4 feet tall now.

Now jumping ahead to June 2013.

Just a mere 4 weeks ago we hired someone to cut our grass(since our weed whacker was out of commission) and we had him trim up our bushes while he was at it. Then they looked like this…
The big bush on the right used to be half ways up the pillar.

Skip 4 weeks ahead to now… here, we have every hedge trimmers dream. Or demise. However you look at it, it’s.. bushy. And in a rather short amount of time.

Here’s a front view. Or a rear view, in Pete’s case. :)
It appears we may lose the house.

You’d never know we have a front porch..

Or a sidewalk. These were taking over our valuable walking space, and apparently had gotten Chloe! Ruby got away just in time.

Time to trim those suckers up!

But first…

The main reason we quickly jumped on trimming the bushes.

Do you see what I see?

We had a visitor the night before last who was hanging out under our bushes. We were out, just enjoying the 70 degree weather on the porch. All of a sudden this thing came out of nowhere, ran after the dogs, hissing and making a thumping noise and generally freaking us all out. Because of the hissing, we thought it was a cat at first. It was pitch black out and I was barefoot.. you could hear it’s claws ticking on the driveway as it ran all over. *shiver*. Nope, not a cat. I had one foot on the chair ready to get to high ground when I was instructed to get my camera. This was all I could get of the little bugger.

This is the first alive armadillo I’ve seen in Texas. Normally they’re roadkill by the time we cross paths.

My in-laws scatter moth balls around the foundation of their house to keep these little guys away. They will dig big holes around your house if you let them. We didn’t want to resort to those right away… the smell can be quite intoxicating, and not very welcoming. Thinking about it now, it may weed out more of those dang solicitors!

So today we took to the bushes with the trimmer. Clearing away all the branches around the base, and attempting to not provide these critters enough of a hiding spot to come back. Hopefully.

They could just be laughing at us too.

At least that’s how I feel when we come outside most days to this mess on our porch…

Rawr. On to the trimming!


AH, I can breath! Or… the bush can.

I would just like to say I didn’t just stand around and take pictures. :) I raked while he did the bulk of the trimming, and then I did a little shaping afterwards.

We have to clean out our bushes a few times a year with how much trash blows down the street and collects in them. BK anyone?


2 big bags of trimmings later and the bushes look awesome!

It feels like we just trimmed the mustache of the house. Yep, just said that.

Much better! Now our ground covers need to start taking off to fill in that void in the middle. IMG_4406[2]web

But in a month it’ll be back to this..

One last ‘before’.


Let’s hope this keeps the armadillos away! If not, we’ll have to figure something else out. But for now, the progression of our landscaping sure is drastic. We’ve had these bushes since they were babies, and now their out of control teenagers. Gotta keep them in check.

April 2009

July 2013

Now, who wants to help tackle all that bland cream trim?! I tested the privacy wall gray color on the pillars, but I think the gray needs to be darker. We will have to see if the white trim makes a difference first.

DIY No Soliciting Sign – For Reals


Today we had a solicitor come to the door. We don’t get them too terribly often. Once, maybe twice a month. That’s still too often for me.

I never answer the door, because they are never worth my time unless they are cute little girls who sell thin mints. :)

Today’s solicitor was too eager and obnoxious.

The first (yes, I said first) time she came, she woke Pete up around 1pm. Pete works 3rd shift from home, 11pm-7am, and if work goes late, he sometimes doesn’t get to bed until 9am.

Not only did she ring the doorbell, but she waited a solid 20 seconds before she proceeded to pound on the door.

Strike one.

Early evening around 5pm she comes back. The doorbell rings, and then the pounding. I had just gotten done with my workout and wasn’t going to open the door all sweaty.

Strike two.

The same person, twice in one day. That’s a new one for me. I’ve never had a double hitter like that. You only get two strikes in my house.

About 3 years ago after the first time I was sick of dealing with our new neighborhood influx of solicitors… nearly 3 a week, I bought a vinyl sticker and had serious intentions of sticking it on a plaque of some sort. Well I couldn’t find a plaque the right size to save my life. And I didn’t want to stick it directly to the door because I wanted to be able to bring it with when we move. So it got shoved in a drawer and forgotten. I bought the vinyl sticker on Etsy about 3 years ago. I just looked and it doesn’t seem to be sold on there anymore, and I was unable to locate the store either. Sad. So sorry I’m not able to give you a link!

I dug that sucker out around midnight (yawn), and slapped her onto a piece of wood in haste with frustration fueling my rage.

Okay, so not so much, but slightly.

It was midnight.

You can kind of make out the cut out letters. No Soliciting. For reals.

I’d also like one that says, No Soliciting. I’m Serial. (You know.. like “serious”)

Or not.

Anyways, I had leftover wood from my privacy wall, so I cut my board down to size, and got out my paint. A sample of a color from a while back, and Martha Stewarts Metallic Paint from Home Depot. It has awesome coverage.


First a coat of gray to prime it.

Then the metallic..

After the paint dries, I grabbed a spoon and got busy.

I pressed it on there as best as I could, and then peeled off the areas I didn’t want.

After I stuck the letters on….

I was able to save the pieces I didn’t need, so I can use it on another plaque, possibly the one I have been searching for, and not this out-of-desperation plaque. :)

I stuck it back on the sheet it came off of, and used my blue painters tape to tape it down so the little pieces wouldn’t get lost.

It’s all ready for another time!

I then got out the mod podge and sealed it.

I let it dry, and stuck a few command strips on the back, and wham bam, straight to the door!
I’m curious to see if solicitors will respect this sign. Of course around Girl Scout cookie time, I will hang an exception sign just for them. :)


Oh by the way, I have a new door color! This last photo most accurately depicts the current hue. Stay tuned for a post about that, and the painting of the porch ceiling!

Here is a shot during the day.
IMG_4355[2]2 If you don’t have time to order a sticker, you could totally print off what you want your sign to say on a home office printer, or have Office Max do it. Then do a print transfer to wood, as shown in some tutorials from Pinterest. Check out this Pinterest board for more ideas.

Hey Slim, Where’s My Shoes?

We had a serious problem.

It was taking over our lives, and tripping us up daily.

Yes, it’s true. Shoes were slowly taking over our home.

Apparently they accumulate over time if you don’t give some the boot. Haha, punny.

Exhibit A:
And this is my “organized” version. I counted 13 pairs lined up in the hallway last month. This photo only has 8. Only.

We are only two people.

It became an apparent problem when I brought home 4 new pairs of shoes I got for my birthday from my last trip to Minnesota. I guess it is the year of the shoe.

We have 10 imaginary house guests staying with us 24/7.

You believe me right?

Okay, I don’t even believe myself.

The time had come to face the music. This wasn’t working for us anymore.

So I hit up Google to find out what my options were for styles. I didn’t really like anything I saw. When you google “shoe rack”, most of the results are actual racks with metal bars. Although, I did happen upon a post on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, and found the best idea ever! Leave it to Ikea. Plastic recycling bins that can double as shoe storage!
Via Young House Love

How perfect those are… not at all deep so they wouldn’t take up a lot of space.

I hit up Ikea a little while later and found a set of 3 drawers for $39.99. That was a little more than I had wanted to spend that day so I passed.

And I’m so happy I did!

I searched Craigslist to see if anyone was selling what I needed and couldn’t believe my eyes, I found something better!

This gem! Also from Ikea, but no longer sold there.
Hello, Slim! Where have you been all my life?

I love the furniture piece feel vs. the simple white bins, but I really would have been happy with either. Turns out the extra drawer was needed because we have way more shoes than I thought. Time to get rid of a few pairs I think!

It fits snugly behind the laundry room door.

I almost forgot the best part, it was only $35!!!

At a modest 6.75 inch depth, it’s the best space saving and space utilizing piece I have in the house! I’m slightly sad it’s hidden behind the door and I can’t show it off.

I’m guessing the original price was over $100 because the 2×2 version of this was $99.

Had to make sure there would be room for the washer door to open, and then we bolted it to the wall with an L bracket the previous owners had used on the top. You cant see it… or at least my 5’4″ frame isn’t tall enough to! Thats all that matters right?


Now let’s get to the whole reason I bought this!

For this clutter….

And especially for this clutter in the bottom of my closet. They say bins help you organize…. perhaps you need more than one? IMG_4105[2] Yep… all full of shoes. I take full responsibility.

I may also have a slight purse problem.

Don’t judge me. Too much.

I grabbed up all those shoes, and threw them into the new shoe cabinet.

They all fit! With the top drawer left to spare! Because I’m too short to actually see in the top drawer, that was left for last.


Ah, organization. A weight has been lifted off this house. It was only a matter of time before they got a mind of their own and turned all Bed Knobs & Broomsticks on us.


Clean, beautiful, and organized, just how I like it.

As for the hallway, let’s review…
I’m sure guests were wondering, “How many feet do you have!”, and/or “What a pretty display of shoes…?”

Ahh….I don’t know about you, but I feel more relaxed. Sandals, left out appropriately for the summer. My husband informed me there would be at least one pair of shoes left out because he wasn’t THAT trained. I like the assumption he was already at least partially trained. We will continue to let him think that. It may become true one day!

Harmonious DIY Artwork

My ever changing gallery wall has finally reached maximum capacity!

For bigger frames, I don’t usually just jump on any old artwork to fill the space.

Artwork with meaning is my favorite. If it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it, I know I’ve got it right. The kind of artwork that makes you dip into your memories for a split second as you cruise by during the day is what your home should be filled of!

Call me sentimental, but sometimes I just stare at my gallery wall. It makes me smile, and helps me keep focused on what’s most important.

If you move around a lot, you could focus your art around your memories and good times. My thinking is it would be easier to get less attached to a certain ‘place’ knowing that the things you are really attached to, your memories, some in the form of artwork, can be taken with you where ever you go, and always preserved.

I’m not just talking about photographs.

OKAY! On to my quick DIY.

I’ve been holding out for the perfect idea to fill my last frame. I had seen so many personal artwork ideas on Pinterest and decided on one I knew I could do with things I had at home.

My most favorite song from my wedding was the one I walked down the aisle to.

Waltz For Zizi from Cowboy Bebop. You can listen to it here.

Ahhh… warm and fuzzy.

I found the sheet music online, and carefully pieced it together in photoshop.
Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 10.17.51 PM

I was too excited to wait and have it printed, that I printed it off at home on 4 pages, meticulously cut and taped it together, and threw it into my frame as quickly as I could.

And, I love it.


It’s so classic and simple.


It’s perfect!

For another idea on personal artwork, you can see my simple map artwork DIY here.

Now if I get asked about this piece I can tell a quick little story of where it came from and what it means, and relive it all over again. :)