Christmas Tour 2012

I’m going to take you on a little tour of Christmas at our house this year!

Let’s start with the tree. I planned on getting a real tree this year…but ended up putting up my old skinny tree again. I do like her, but don’t you think a nice big fraser fir would look nice here too? Ohh well, maybe next year. I haven’t been able to find the right topper for it yet.  So, I made a wreath out of music pages. I plan on posting a tutorial for how I made that in a few days, so stay tuned. I used most of the same ornaments that I have been collecting over the years.  I had a bunch of burlap left over from a  bench reupholster  project so I just cut long strips and used it as garland.  Yes, that’s real popcorn garland. I strung some while watching Christmas movies one day.  I usually tend to stay with the neutral colors…someday maybe I will step outside the box and do a bright colored tree.

Sadly, I only have a few presents purchased and wrapped so far. I’m totally finishing up this weekend! (I hope). To wrap these gifts I just bought some craft paper and Michael’s for like $3.  I got the ribbon at St.Vinncent’s for .90 each and added some twine that I already had laying around. Emily over at  Jones Design Co. has great free printable gift tags. I suggest you stop on over and print some for yourself.

I tied a little of the flannel ribbon around my coffee table books to dress them up a bit.

This year I wanted to keep my mantle nice and simple, so I just used white and cream pillar candles.  My original plan was to start buying and collecting the flameless candles.  But that turned out to be a little harder than I thought, and those babies are not cheap.  So I bought some here and there from Target, thrift stores and a bunch from my trip to Ikea.  It would be pretty if they could all be lit, but I think that might be a bit of a fire hazard.

My favorite quote from the movie Elf. I made and printed this using PicMonkey.

And of course my Christmas decor would not be complete without a little mistletoe in the entryway.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a tour of some of our Christmas Decor!

How much do you guys Christmas-ify your homes?

Here is where I’m linking this post:

Liz Marie Blog


Meeting Young House Love!

OK, so its no secret that John & Sherry are like THE A listers of home improvement blogging, at least in my book.  They always have the best ideas and information to share and are pretty darn funny too. I have been reading their blog pretty much everyday for about a year. It’s weird that I feel like I totally know them and we have  had never met.  But that allll changed when I found out that they were going to be doing a book tour for their new book “Young House Love. 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love”.  They just so happened to be making a stop in Minneapolis, MN, which just so happens to only be 3 hours and 59 minutes away from my home. I know what your thinking…what kind of crazy person drives almost 4 hours to see two people who they don’t know, and they probably will never remember you.  Well… that would be this crazy person. And I also conned convinced another crazy person to join me. My little sis, Shea. 

Yep that’s us, shes on the left. She was a little skeptical about the whole situation, but I totally convinced her into coming when I said that we would be able to go to the Mall of America AND Ikea.   So it was set, we were going to meet YHL.

I knew that there was going to be a lot of people at this event. So I wanted to get there early enough to not have to stand in line forever. It was held at a West Elm store and started at 6:00 pm. We thought if we got there an hour early we would be in pretty good shape. WRONGO! The line was soooo long! 

There is Shea looking so thrilled to be standing in line. There were probably 300 people in front of us. But at least it was a nice 55 degrees! Believe it or not, that’s nice for winter in WI and MN.

3.5 hours later we were there. At the table. And you can bet I was pit sweating nervous. It all went by so fast and is really a blurr. But at least I have a few things to remember it by. A signed copy of their book and an adorable hand made paper-mache bird.

It was such a fun trip and I am so glad that I was able to take it with my sissy.
How far have/would you travel to meet someone “famous”?Are there any other crazy YHL lovers out there?

Bathroom Vanity Makeover

Hey Guys! Today I want to share a bathroom vanity makeover with you that I did a few months ago. Patrick’s mom, Daun, wanted to change her builder grade vanity and came to me for help. She is always so supportive of me, and just the sweetest person you ever could meet. She wanted her new vanity to have a more “custom” look and obviously I jumped at the chance to help her out. I want to apologize in in advance about the pictures being terrible, I took most of them with my phone. Here is what we had to work with:

I did some research online first and sent her a few inspiration pieces.  Here are a couple that caught her eye…




She liked the first image the most and thought that look would work well with her existing counter top and mirror. We did plan on changing the handles though to give it a more updated look.  Here is a list of steps I used for this make over:


  1. Remove all the doors, drawers and hardware.  I removed the drawer fronts only, so it would be easier to paint. It was as simple as removing a few screws. I recommend taking a picture of the way the hinges are attached to the drawers, for some reason when I go to re-install them it takes me like 3 tries, don’t ask me why. So whenever I’m working on a project with hinges…I always have to take a picture. I guess I’m just one of those visual people.
  2. Tape down newspaper or canvas to protect the floors. Tape around the counter top and walls to protect from paint. 
  3. Lightly sand the front and back of the drawers and doors. Also lightly sand the frame of the vanity. I used 100 grit sandpaper.
  4. Prime the doors, drawers and frame.  I pretty much always use Kilz Premium Latex White Primer, its like $20/gal at Home Depot. I use a primer on most of my projects, unless I am using a chalk or milk paint where one is not needed. I’m sure any type of latex primer will do the trick.


  1. I set up a little painting station in the garage and used old deck railings to rest the drawers on so they wouldn’t stick to the table or paper.
  2. When priming and painting I recommend you start with the back or inside of the doors first, so when you turn them over if there are any marks they will be on the back.
  3. Once the primer is applied I mix my paint with a paint conditioner to reduce brush marks. I use Floetrol that you can pick up at most any hardware or big box store. Just follow the directions on the back of the bottle. 
  4. I used a small roller and a good quality paint brush to paint. I recommend you spend the money for a good paint brush, it makes a huge difference to reduce the brush marks and some chepo ones tend shed a lot.
  5. I applied 2 coats of paint and let each one dry over night.
  6. To distress the drawers I just lightly sanded them with 100 grit sandpaper where I wanted them to look distressed.

Choosing Hardware:

I think hardware can almost make or break a piece of furnitre.  Daun wanted something that would be different, yet still tie in with the rest of the room. We took most of our inspiration from her glass tile border.

 So I searched, and searched for the perfect and reasonably priced glass knobs at Hobby Lobby, on Etsy, Amazon and other random websites.  Finally I found the perfect knobs at Anthropologie for only $8 each!

I re-installed the doors and drawer fronts, added the hardware and voila! Here is the beautiful final product

What do you think? Looks pretty good huh? What does your bathroom vanity look like? Could it use a simple update like this?

Buffet Transformation

Something you may or may not know about me is that I love to paint furniture.  I know there are some people out there who are the “wood savers” and believe it’s almost a sin to paint wood. Don’t get me wrong, I think wood is beautiful…but don’t things just look so much better with a little color?

For a while now, I have been looking for a nice buffet table to add to our home.  Obviously I didn’t want to spend a whole lot and it had to be something that fit in with the other pieces in our home.  So I searched and searched AND searched, Craigslist, and auctions and thrift stores for what seemed like forever.  And eventually I found THE ONE! Finding the right piece does take some time, so patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to this type of stuff.

I finally found her on Craigslist and how convenient it was…she was only about 10 miles away from home.  All I had to do was convince The Muscle ( aka Patrick) to come with and help move her.  And when I say help move, I pretty much mean do all the work and I will just stand around and supervise, ‘cus I’m good like that . We got her all loaded up, and brought her home and of course I neeeeded to start working on her like that minute, so my before picture isn’t exactly what she looked like when we got her.

(Sorry for the blurry phone pic)

I wanted her to look shabby chic so I dug in my leftover paint stash and found the perfect color, Irish Cream from Sherwin Williams. I’m pretty sure that I got that quart of paint out of a free bin at a garage sale, SCORE!  We have a cherry colored mahogany dining room table, and I wanted this piece to fit in with that so I sanded the top all he way down to the original wood.  I just gave the bottom a light sanding to get off the poly.  I gave her one coat of primer and painted 3 coats of Irish Cream.  The top was stained with Red Mahogany by Min Wax and sealed with the Min Wax buff on sealer.

To give her the distressed look I waited about two days until she was fully dry and then lightly sanded with 100 grit sandpaper the areas that I wanted to look distressed.  It turned out especially well on the middle drawer that has decorative carvings in it.

Since I planed on changing the hardware, I did have to fill in the holes with some wood filler prior to painting . I found my new hardware at Hobby Lobby on sale, of course, for $1.99 each.  If you ever shop at Hobby Lobby don’t buy it if it isn’t on sale. They pretty much just rotate their sales each week, so if you weren’t lucky this week, wait and it will most likely be on sale the following.  They also have 40% off coupons you can print off their website.

I’m sure you are all waiting to see the after picture by now. I love her and think she turned out so beautiful and I love changing up her decor for the seasons.

Here is a before and after comparison.

Anyone trying a furniture painting project of your own? Or are you one of those anti-wood painters?