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- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with black-eyed peas? These 17 dishes pair perfectly with this Southern classic.

The post What to Serve with Black Eyed Peas - 17 Delicious Ideas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to eat with jerk chicken? Jerk chicken is a Caribbean dish with really unique and bold flavors, and it pairs perfectly with lots of different side dishes. Here are 17 delicious ideas for side dishes that will bring out the best in your jerk chicken and make your meal even more mouth-watering.

The post What to Serve with Jerk Chicken - 17 Tasty Ideas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Get ready to delight your taste buds with our blueberry cream cheese muffins with sweet blueberries and a creamy cream cheese swirl.

The post Easy Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Elevate your Thanksgiving feast with our homemade turkey rub recipe. This blend of aromatic herbs and spices will infuse your turkey with an irresistible flavor and create a mouthwatering crust. With just a few simple ingredients, you can take your holiday centerpiece to a whole new level of deliciousness.

The post Homemade Turkey Rub (Perfect for Thanksgiving) appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Homemade butter mints are an old-fashioned sweet treat everybody loves! These delightful little candies are not only incredibly easy to make but also melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

The post Easy Homemade Butter Mints Recipe appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Bacon Ranch Crack Pasta Salad is a flavorful explosion of crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, and a pop of ranch seasoning; all combined for the perfect side dish. Once you try this easy recipe I'm sure it will be one of your favorite pasta salad recipes, and the hit of every summer potluck.

The post Bacon Ranch Crack Pasta Salad appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Turkey bone broth is an easy and delicious way to use leftovers from your holiday meals. This simple recipe can be used for sipping or as a tasty addition to soups, stews, and more.

The post Turkey Bone Broth - Stovetop, Instant Pot, or Slow Cooker appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Take your turkey to the next level with this easy smoked turkey injection recipe.

The post Best Smoked Turkey Injection Recipe appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Slow cooker turkey noodle soup is an easy and delicious way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey with minimal effort!

The post Slow Cooker Turkey Noodle Soup appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Chicken pot pie soup is a cozy, comforting dish that is easy to make and tastes delicious. It's like a deconstructed pot pie in a bowl. Creamy, hearty, and packed with tender chicken and veggies, this soup is perfect for chilly nights.

The post Chicken Pot Pie Soup appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to eat with jambalaya? You've come to the right place! These 15 delicious side dishes are perfect for pairing with this classic Creole dish.

The post What to Eat with Jambalaya: 15 Tasty Sides appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Bacon-wrapped green bean bundles are a delectable side dish that marries the smoky richness of bacon with the crisp freshness of green beans. They are the perfect appetizer for holidays or special occasions or an easy side for weeknight dinners.

The post Bacon Wrapped Green Bean Bundles appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to eat with mashed potatoes? We are sharing 17 of our favorite recipes that pair perfectly with this hearty and delicious side dish!

The post What to Eat with Mashed Potatoes - 17 Best Recipes appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Turkey Pot Pie with puff pastry crust is a tasty way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey for the ultimate comfort food meal!

The post Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with burritos? These 15 tasty side dishes are the perfect pairing for this classic Mexican meal.

The post What to Serve with Burritos - 15 Delicious Side Dishes appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Cilantro chimichurri is a versatile sauce with countless possibilities! Whip up this effortless sauce for salad dressing, a flavorful dip for grilled meats and veggies, a marinade, and much more. However you decide to enjoy it, this easy cilantro chimichurri will elevate the taste of your dishes in a big way.

The post Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce Recipe appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Crock Pot Acorn Squash is an easy way to prepare this tasty veggie. Make this easy side dish with just 5 minutes of prep time, perfect for busy weeknights!

The post Slow Cooker Acorn Squash Recipe appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with smoked turkey breast? There are so many delicious options! We are sharing 17 of our absolute favorite sides for this tasty meal.

The post What to Serve with Smoked Turkey Breast - 17 Tasty Sides appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with shrimp cocktail? These 15 appetizers are the perfect complements for your next party!

The post What to Serve with Shrimp Cocktail - 15 Tasty Ideas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to eat with hummus? From the usual ideas to some surprisingly tasty, we have 15 ideas that pair perfectly with this chickpea dip!

The post What to Eat with Hummus: 17 Tasty Ideas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Looking for an adorable Halloween truffle recipe? These adorable mummy truffles are easy to make, delicious, and sure to be the hit of your Halloween parties!

The post Halloween Mummy Truffles appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with Chicken Parmesan? This classic Italian dish is made even better with these 13 delicious side dish ideas!

The post What to Serve with Chicken Parmesan - 15 Tasty Sides appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Get ready for a simple and delicious Shepherd's Pie made easy with instant mashed potatoes. This easy recipe combines savory meat, veggies, and creamy mashed potatoes for a comforting and quick homemade meal.

The post Easy Shepherds Pie with Instant Mashed Potatoes appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

This oven-cooked beef brisket gives you the taste of Texas-style smoked brisket, without an actual smoker. A juicy beef brisket is coated with a tasty dry rub and then baked in the oven until tender and juicy.

The post How to Cook Beef Brisket in the Oven appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Wondering what to serve with chicken fried steak? We have the 10 best sides for this classic Southern dish!

The post What to Serve with Chicken Fried Steak - 10 Best Sides appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Slow Cooker Pot Roast is is a tender comfort food meal made even easier using onion soup mix! Carrots, potatoes, celery, broth, and beer round out this easy crock pot roast recipe packed with flavor.

The post Slow Cooker Pot Roast (with Onion Soup Mix) appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Cajun Turkey Breast is a moist and flavorful choice for when you don't want to cook an entire turkey. With the perfect blend of Cajun spices, this easy recipe is delicious enough for Thanksgiving but simple enough for weeknight dinners.

The post Smoked Cajun Turkey Breast appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas are an easy, 7 ingredient dinner that takes only 20 minutes to prep. Skip the takeout and make this crock pot Mexican dish at home, even on busy weeknights!

The post Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Looking for recipes to make with leftover Thanksgiving turkey? You've come to the right place! From breakfast to dinner, these recipes are creative ways to use up leftovers!

The post Leftover Turkey Recipes - 17 Delicious Ideas appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Melissa Riker

Looking for ideas of what to serve with bacon wrapped scallops? We have the tasty sides that perfectly complement this delicious dish, from flavorful salads and colorful veggies to soups and starches.

The post What to Serve with Bacon Wrapped Scallops - 10 Best Sides appeared first on The Happier Homemaker.

- Maegan Tintari
DIY Oversized Rubik’s Cubes for Epic 80’s Party Decor
Happy Friday Lovecats! I have been MIA for a while, busy with Dogwood business as of late, and just kind of trying to get back to some sort of baseline normal emotionally and physically since the insane storm last month and it seems like things are starting to come together… FINALLY! All that said, Dogwood’s …
- Maegan Tintari
UpCycle DIY // Reuse and Recycle Comforter Carry Bags into Laundry Bags
I come from a long line of savers, which mostly has equated to frantic, jump-inducing yelps on holidays like DON’T RIP THE WRAPPING PAPER, WE CAN SAVE IT and DON’T THROW THAT AWAY, WE CAN USE IT AGAIN and SQUEEZE OUT THE SPONGE!… okay, the last one happened to be a running joke in my …
- Maegan Tintari
DIY Crystal Studded Pillbox for your Handbag
I realized the other day when I opened my bag and hadn’t zipped up my little side pocket after using my lip gloss, that at first glance, all you could see was my ORANGE PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE OF PILLS, which is technically only filled with Tylenol (and maybe a few Xanax just in case) in an …
- Blanca
What are upcycling benefits and why is important? DIY home decor ideas for sustainable living You’ve heard the terms, upcycling and repurposing. What do they mean? In upcycling, we create products from discarded materials or old items. The goal of upcycling is to improve the original material’s quality, appearance, and use, giving it a whole...
- Blanca
I’m now accepting guest posts. Below are a few details you should know before contacting me: Topics I accept for this blog include home cleaning, decluttering, organization, laundry tips, smell hacks, DIY beauty, home decorating tips, and DIY home decor. Your article should be original, well-written, and exclusive to my blog. I value creativity, depth,...
- Blanca
15 minute a day schedule and routine to clean and shine in a flash Whether you’re a busy mom juggling multiple responsibilities or someone working long hours, finding time to clean your home can seem near impossible. Fortunately, you don’t need hours to achieve a cleaner living space, with these 15 minute cleaning hacks a...
- Blanca
What not to mix with bleach? What not to mix with vinegar? Are you following or creating a DIY cleaning recipe but are unsure if it is alright to mix different household products and ingredients? It is wise that you want to be well-informed as it can be dangerous to mix certain household ingredients. So,...
- Blanca
Vinegar is one natural ingredient I use often to clean my home because it really gets the job done. But If, for whatever reason, you don’t like cleaning with vinegar I have a DIY all purpose cleaner without vinegar that you can use on most surfaces in your home. There are different ingredients and combinations...
- Blanca
Clean black mold and yellow stains naturally in the shower tiles and bathroom with these remedies Do you want to know how to remove mold from tile grout? I have black mold and yellow stains in the grout of my bathroom and I have been looking for ways to remove them, especially in the shower....
- Blanca
Find out if DIY toilet cleaning bombs really work and how you make them fizz I’m always on the lookout for natural solutions to clean my house and I was happy when I discovered that I could make my own cleaning toilet bombs with just a few ingredients. If you want to stop using chemicals...
- Blanca
How to add more space to your work desk even if is small Do you have a desk without drawers in need of organization? Organizing a desk is not a difficult task but if the desk has no drawers you need to find organizing solutions that fit well in the available space. I’m in the...
- Blanca
How to remove caramelized sugar from pans and pots with stuff you probably have in your kitchen Whether you make a recipe that needs caramelized sugar or sugar wax to remove hair, there is always a chance of the sugar burning and sticking to the bottom of your pan. Burnt sugar is tough to remove...
- Blanca
What are the best ways to remove old oil stains from clothes? With home remedies right from your pantry, like baking soda and vinegar. If you’ve got an oily mess on one of your favorite garments, it doesn’t need to ruin the day. There are numerous do-it-yourself methods available to remove these stubborn stains from...
- Erin Spain
DIY Toy Storage Bin

If you have kids, then you know you can never have enough toy storage solutions. Today I’m teaming up with Kreg to bring you build plans and a tutorial for this DIY toy storage bin! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own. For this project, I used my Kreg Jig...

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The post DIY Toy Storage Bin appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Wooden Jewelry Stand

DIY jewelry standI’ve been meaning to build a jewelry organizer for quite some time, and I finally put something together that works well for me, and I’m happy to share the build plans with you! I’m teaming up with my friends over at Kreg to show you how to build this DIY wooden jewelry stand. Disclosure: This...

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The post DIY Wooden Jewelry Stand appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Wooden Planter

DIY wooden planterLooking for a simple woodworking project? I’ve got you covered. I’m teaming up with Kreg to bring you a tutorial for this DIY wooden planter! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own. With this project, you can insert a pre-potted plant or you can add lanscape fabric and soil and...

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The post DIY Wooden Planter appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Rolling Toy Bin

DIY rolling toy binOne thing that plagues my home is toy clutter, even as my boys get older. I decided to build a DIY rolling toy bin to corral some of their things, and I’m teaming up with Kreg to share the build plans with you! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own....

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The post DIY Rolling Toy Bin appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Wooden Tray

DIY Wooden TrayI’m back with another simple woodworking project! This one is great for beginners and it’s budget-friendly too. I’m teaming up with my friends over at Kreg again, this time to bring you a tutorial for this DIY wooden tray. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own. You know I love...

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The post DIY Wooden Tray appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Bench with Hairpin Legs

DIY Bench with Hairpin LegsWhen I first moved into my house two years ago, I built a cute little bench for the end of my bed (you can see it here). Well, my now 8 year-old promptly did a front flip off the bed and broke it. Rather than repair the old one, I decided I wanted a different...

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- Erin Spain
DIY Vase Holder

It’s been a while! I’m back with another fun little project. This one is a great beginner woodworker project (you know I love those). I’m teaming up with my friends over at Kreg to share the build plans for this DIY vase holder. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own....

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The post DIY Vase Holder appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Tool Caddy

DIY Tool CaddyThis week I’m teaming up with Kreg to bring you a fun little woodworking project. I’m going to show you how to build this easy DIY tool caddy! Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own. You know I love a good beginner woodworking project, and this definitely fits that description....

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The post DIY Tool Caddy appeared first on Erin Spain.

- Erin Spain
DIY Book and Toy Rack

DIY book and toy rackToday I’m excited to share another easy beginner woodworking project! I recently built this DIY book and toy rack for my boys’ room. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are my own. I like the fact that this book rack is narrow and doesn’t take up much floor space, so it would...

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- Erin Spain
DIY Rolling LEGO Storage Tray

DIY rolling LEGO storage trayWho’s tired of stepping on LEGO pieces? I know I am! Today’s project is a great solution and also happens to be an easy beginner woodworker project. I’m sharing a DIY rolling LEGO storage tray, perfect for sliding under the bed when not in use. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Kreg. All opinions are...

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- Flipping the Flip
Actual Trip:  Scotland, Week One.
 red door at Glenfarclas DistillerySo I know this isn't DIY or home improvement or project related or even a Web Trip but I did promise I'd share more about my actual trip, my Scotland travels.  And since it's been a year to date, this seems a very overdue yet fitting time.  Here's week one, Scotland!
Whooo, it took a year to get to this, jeez louise my goodness, yikes!

My cool woodworking friend Scott and I also made a brief jaunt over to the Faroe Islands because, well, it's close and utterly stunning.  I'm hardly going to scratch the surface of the trip but I'll do three posts: week one, week two Scotland, and then Faroe Islands with tips we learned there.
I have over 1200 photos FYI, so count yourselves lucky for this barely-scratch-the-surface overview.  It was very hard to pick so few for you.
What's my biggest tip when traveling though?  At the end of every day, write down where you went, what you did, what you saw, where you ate, what you ate if it matters to you, as little or as much about your day as you want (but lean more).  Trust me, you will be so thankful for the notes later.
So yeah!  Let's kick our feet up and do some real travel with my Scotland September 2022 trip!  I feel horribly bad sharing in a sense, it hurts my heart, as Mike didn't get to go (someone had to stay for hates-everyone Finn despite multiple attempts to find him a sitter).  (Sorry, babe.)  
Someday Mike and I will be there.  Or move there.
map of route traveled through ScotlandMap is trimmed and adapted from OnTheWorldMap.Yes, this map is our Scotland tour.  Yes.  Right?!  
How do I know this?  Travel tip two:  a mileage tracker app on my phone.  I use DriversNote.
We saw a lot.  A lot.  Scott and I casually walked over eighty miles these two weeks.  How do I know this?  Travel tip three:  the step counter in the Health app on my phone.  Over 177,000 steps.
If you read my DIY Wood Dowel Hooks post, you'll know the reason for this once-in-a-lifetime, tremendous trip.  Airfare and week one were courtesy of John Grant and Glenfarclas Distillery.  Yes you read that right and as such, buy all the Glenfarclas Whisky.* antique Glenfarclas whisky bottle unpackedI stressed for months on how to pack this 1930's-ish bottle to travel 3000 miles in two cargo holds.  Photo courtesy of John Paul Photography and shared with permission.John himself personally picked us up at Edinburgh Airport and off we set on our incredible journey.  
First on the agenda was driving along the Fife coast up to St. Andrew's.  Having grown up with a Dad who golfed, I saw this course on the television set annually, so it was quite special to see it in person for him.  Then actually walk on the 18th fairway too.  Iiii know.
me standing on bridge at 18th fairway of St. Andrew'sRunning on fumes, Coca Cola, and excitement after having not slept on the plane, here I am on the bridge at St. Andrew's.We next drove north through Dundee then west through Perth.  No stopping, we were on our way to our first of two nights' stay in Pitlochry at the Old Mill Inn.  Highly highly recommend both Pitlochry and the Old Mill Inn.
street in Pitlochry, ScotlandPitlochryNext day, up and at 'em, and after a nice warm bowl of Scottish porridge* (oh my Word, infinitely better than meh American oats) (someone please send me bushels of Scottish oats), we were off.
On tap:  Queen's View then Blair Castle, back down to Dunkeld and the best hot chocolate ever, through the House of Bruar, and The Hermitage.  Maybe not in that particular order but that was our day with a few stops between.  Out-freaking-standing.  Had a can of Irn Bru* and I liked it, whatever the flavor may be.
Queen's View in ScotlandQueen's View
Blair Castle, ScotlandBlair Castle with John and Scott.
The Hermitage, ScotlandThe HermitageThe next day it was off to the Highlands and Glenfarclas with a quick stop at John's antique auto repair shop and the gate at Balmoral.  The Queen had died two days before our flight over.  
flowers at BalmoralFlowers piling up at Balmoral.We checked into The Dowans Hotel (holy omg).  With no time to gussy up to not look jet-fried, we were whisked off to a three-hour, four-course personal chef champagne, wine, and whisky lunch with John, his delightful wife Ishbel, Managing Director Douglas, Distillery Manager Callum, and International Sales Executive Debs.
Yes.  Wow is an understatement.
The Dowans Hotel, ScotlandThe Dowans Hotel.  Holy heck, right?!Not before a photo shoot with John, me, and the bottle though.  Then lunch.  
photo of photo shoot at GlenfarclasThanks, Scott, for the photo!  Left to right:  me, John, John Paul, and Debs in the still room.Oh my heavens.  Oh. My. Heavens.  What a day.  What a day!  
I tasted whisky as old as me.  My jaw discreetly (I hope) on the floor the Whole Entire Time.  Was this all real?!  I cannot even begin to describe the experience, especially as I had no idea any of it was coming.
Glenfarclas DistilleryDebs told us later that the afternoon-long lunches with John and Ishbel are exclusive and legendary.  What an honor to have been at one.          Wow.....          Right?!  I'm still speechless.
The next two days we spent with hilariously fun Debs starting with a personal tour of the distillery.  Hopped in the van for a stock-up at Walker's factory store, Telford Bridge, then off to Elgin for lunch at Johnstons (by the way, the Scottish are huge fans of mac and cheese), over to Lossiemouth and the North Sea, through Forres, then back down to The Dowans for the night.
view of the North Sea from LossiemouthWow does that look cold.  And wow, I could stare at this photo all day.
Debs picked us up the next day to take us to Fort William but took us a diverted route through Inverness then down along Loch Ness.  We lunched at Fiddler's and then yes, found the Loch Ness monster.  Didn't you see the news report?! 
The next morning was our Jacobite Steam Train trip despite not being Harry Potter fans but, fans of great scenery.  Mallaig was incredible.  So were the baked goods at The Bakehouse.  You must hit up every local bakery, by the way.  And you must drink your weight in proper hot chocolate.  Trust me.
boats in Mallaig
baked goods at The Bakehouse in MallaigOne of each please.The Grants picked us up at the station back in Fort William and took us to Port Appin where we stayed and dined at The Pierhouse.  Nothing short of downright mind-blowing.  And here is where I could no longer escape John's insistence that I try haggis.  Um, let's just say I might not be making it at home. view from The Pierhouse in Port AppinHoly cats and dogs, the view from The Pierhouse.....Off we were the next day for a driving tour, first through Oban and now I know how to correctly pronounce it along with many other names.  Drove along Loch Lomond and over to Stirling Castle where I got to stand beneath a statue of my Great times-multiple-generations Uncle (or something) Robert the Bruce.  
statue of Robert the Bruce at Stirling CastleSee the resemblance?I read, FYI, that it does irk some Scots if you mention your very long and deep line of Scottish roots but live elsewhere so I kept mum.  But, turns out John could have arranged a dinner with other Robert the Bruce relatives and seemed more irked that I hadn't mentioned it until too late.  
Yes, John knows everyone.  He went to school with the now King.
We next headed to Falkirk Wheel, then the Kelpies, then to Champany Inn, John's most favorite place in the country where we dined like royalty and soundly slept.
view of Falkirk WheelThe Falkirk Wheel
The KelpiesThe Kelpies
The Champany InnThe Champany InnThe next day John and Ishbel dropped us off in Edinburgh for the start of our second week's adventures.  I got a little teary, it was a bit embarrassing, but I couldn't help myself.  I was so overwhelmed but in the good way.
I never foresaw being shown, via all back roads even, Scotland personally by the chairman of an award-winning, highly-regarded the world over company.  I mean, didn't he have better things to do than tote my butt around his country?  
One of the most interesting facets of Scotland is that it's like a small town.  Outside of the major cities, it's like a tight-knit community.  Everyone seems to know everyone else and it feels so warm and welcoming.  
John's, and everyone at Glenfarclas' generosity continues to blow my mind daily.  I honestly cannot thank them enough and I tend to become speechless when it comes to John and Ishbel.
It is pretty damn cool to know that my family's old Glenfarclas bottle is on display in their visitor center too, back home where it belongs.  Be sure to drop by and say hi to it for me, would ya?  Debs wrote up the nifty byline for the display.
So there's Actual Trip, Scotland Week One!  So soul-filling for me to relive it by typing this up.
Thanks, Uncle Wes; thanks, person who gave my Uncle Wes that bottle.  Thanks, Mom and Dad for keeping it for decades.  Thanks, John, Ishbel, Debs, Douglas, Callum, and all of Glenfarclas.  John Paul Photography, too, thank you.  Thank you, Scott.  Sorry, Mike, for the gut punch but thank you for holding down the fort.
Scotland is an exceptional country.  Truly truly remarkable.  I can't get back there soon enough.
And hopefully it will not take me a year to get to the rest of these actual trip posts.  Stay tuned!
*The Glenfarclas Whisky link is a Drizzly affiliate link.  The Scottish porridge oats and Irn Bru are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info. 
- Flipping the Flip
Light and Paint it Up:  How to Have a Fun Bathroom.
 painted wall close upSometimes you realize you're heading in the wrong direction design-wise.  And that is a-okay.  Both the realization and the wrong direction.  So today, let's light and paint it up with how to have a fun bathroom!
See, everything that can be done can be undone.  And, as we've discussed many times, a mistake is not a mistake; it's an opportunity to learn and a chance to do it again.  
Don't freak -- I didn't dismantle any of the jet tub cover-up!  I merely made a paint mistake.  Which, now corrected, Mike has proclaimed, "it's your best paint yet."
To say I was beaming is an understatement.  Ahhh, beaming, a pun, you'll see.
See, I had picked up a metallic paint in an effort to create a cool sort of faux finish for the mirror wall but it wasn't panning out the way I envisioned.
primed wall ready for paintI primed over the metallic so here's a new before.You know how when you open a can of metallic paint and the top is swirly and mottled?  That's what I wanted large scale on the wall.  And, after smearing on the color, I lost interest in the steps it would have taken.
Plus too, despite hoping it'd be a refined, sophisticated, upscale finish, that metallic paint, I realized heh, it wasn't me.  I mean, I am those things but I lost sight of fun.  
Fun is what I want this house to be about.
Fun, happy, cheerful, uplifting, colorful, and joyous.  Hence now, light and paint it up, how to have a fun bathroom.
I must mention that my painted wall is part of a Hometalk shoppable tutorial with Feit Electric and while this post is sponsored and I did receive Feit lighting products, these opinions are mine oh mine.
So!  On the Instagrams I spotted this which pounded the fun realization home that I had lost my way.  I required a version of that in our bathroom instead.  You'll even see my comment there.
So that's what I did.
First though, because I was spending loads of time in said bathroom on said paint project:  a pair of Feit Speaker Bulbs.  Have you seen these?  Oh my, they are way super cool.  They are LED light bulbs that have speakers in them and you need to get some, stat.
Where?  Easy!  Pick them up at my second home Menards, or order them for speedy delivery from Amazon* or drop by Ace Hardware* or swing through Walmart.*
Feit Electric speaker bulbsNo hub, no wires, just pair your phone to them via Bluetooth, open your music app, and atmosphere amplified by one hundred percent.  Pair two together for a stereo effect!  You can use them in lamps plus they have a thirty foot range, too!  A major bonus is that you won't have a clunky speaker hogging valuable space.
It's the details that improve your life, "the details are not the details," and this detail does it.  You'll seriously wonder how you lived without them.
Your bathroom, your kitchen (ooOOhhh!), your office, anywhere in the house, these Speaker Bulbs rock.  Ahh, pun! 
installing Feit speaker bulb and pairing to phoneThe Feit Speaker Bulbs change the atmosphere of the whole room instantly -- a giant enhancement of our daily life.  Just twist, flip the switch, and pair.For me, some moments were Jazz in 1965 or my friend's O'Rourke's list.  Other times it was the 80"s haha or Jane's or Led Zepplin, and sometimes it was Pure Calm if Finn was lying in the doorway because damn fireworks.
It was exactly what I needed.  Fun life improvement check mark number one!
Ok, so paint!  Definitely not complicated.
After measuring the wall, I drew it all in AutoCAD* (paper and a ruler by hand easily work too) then scaled up the proportions large.  Key to interior design is proportion, balancing small and large, and in a small space, large proportions visually enlarge a room.
wall drawing with grid and colors mapped outWith my rectangles and colors mapped out and after priming the wall, I transferred the design using my spiffy level, a long ruler* and tape measure,* and a simple pencil.  And an eraser* of course because I am not perfect.
Time to tape.*  
starting to tape walls for paintFollowing the pencil lines exactly, I tried to do as many same-color-spots as I could but discovered very rapidly an error of my ways....not spacing the colors enough for efficiency.  Doh.  Eh, no biggie, I had the Speaker Bulbs.
Personally, I smooth the tape exceptionally tight to the wall and have at it.  If you paint away from the tape not into it and you're careful enough, you won't have paint bleed.  You can, I hear, prime the tape edges with the base color and let dry then paint to ensure very crisp lines.
My paint needed two coats as most higher-saturation colors do.  Do let everything dry overnight thoroughly before moving ahead with new tape. starting to fill in taped areas with paintOh right, I marked each rectangle with a wee speck of tape noting the colors so I wouldn't get confused and mess up a. the taping and b. the color pattern I hadn't entirely thought through.
painting the baseboards to matchAlong the way I decided to do the baseboards too to further visually heighten the room.Oh and right, here are my colors:  Spashed Blue, 136-7DB from Dutch Boy; Big Sky Country, 136-4DB from Dutch Boy; plus for a little sheen-y shine, Krylon's Brilliant Metallic in Pearlescent*
more painting and taping of patternAll right, then just keep going!  Paint, remove tape, dry dry dry, tape along the edges of the open spots, paint.  And dance to your music.
continuing to paint and tape
yet more taping and painting of wallOnce everything was said and done, tape peeled, a gigantic deep sigh of satisfaction, several butt wiggles, it was time for the icing on the cake:  Feit's While Filament LED bulbs.  
Feit Electric White Filament bulbs in boxWhy go to all this effort if you don't have flawless lighting, right?!  I mean, we're enhancing our lives here, this detail brings it full tilt.
new Feit Electric White Filament bulbs in vanity fixtureThe White Filaments, I have to say, are unbelievable.  Seriously the best light I have ever experienced.  It is so crisp, so clean, so true, and holy cow do they make the wall colors pop exactly the way they should which in turn makes me feel so good every time I'm in this room. Feit White Filament bulbs on and offSee?  Beautiful on and off!A major key standout is that the filaments are white, blending into every single decor no matter what your style is, unlike yellow filaments.  That means these bulbs are beautiful whether they are on or off and that they are!  finished painted wall patternThat's what we all want, right?!  After the effort for this painted wall, after any effort to make a space happy and fun, lighting is the jewelry of the room.  Seemingly such a small thing, easy to forget, but it makes or breaks any design.
I am absolutely putting these White Filaments in our kitchen.  And everywhere.  They're dimmable, incredibly efficient, look great, and *chef's kiss,* that
view of painted patterned wallSo when you get the Speaker Bulbs,* stock yourself up on White Filaments at Home Depot* or from Ace Hardware* because they are jaw-droppingly amazing.
painted bathroom wall in grid pattern in bluesI have to say, between the fun new paint, the Feit Speaker Bulbs, and their White Filament bulbs, the way we experience this room improves our daily existence to the max.  Fun, happy, cheerful, uplifting, colorful, and joyous.

There we have it my friends, light and paint it up, how to have a fun bathroom.  Or any room!  You deserve it.
*The Speaker Bulbs are Amazon, Ace Hardware, and Walmart affiliate links.  The erasers are an Amazon affiliate link.  The AutoCAD link is an AutoDesk affiliate link.  The long rulers are a Joann Fabrics affiliate link.  The tape measures are a Home Depot affiliate link.  The White Filament bulbs are Home Depot and Ace Hardware affiliate links.  The painters tape and Krylon paint are Lowes affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
It’s Web Tripping Time!
 web tripping clip artWhew, whooo doggie, it's been a flurry of activity around these parts of late, eh?  I may be pooped but my head is a’-whirl with a zillion projects while some are languishing (ugh) or mid-point…or, just not presentable here yet, so it’s web tripping time!
Web trips are fun!  As always, I stockpiled a cool and interesting collection of random or whatever nifty stuff from around the internet for you.  And as usual, I see I have quite a collection so it'll be tough to narrow things down for today's web trip!
Let's bake up some Cinnamon Rolls and cozy in!  Or jeez, bake up anything and cozy in!
Should we start with color?  Yes, let's start with color!
garden coneflowers with bee and butterflyGo Mike with the fantastic bee, butterfly, coneflower photo in our backyard!Because, I'm realizing, or really I should say remembering, I am a joyous fan of big bold color, think it should be used everywhere and often, and it's important to live colorfully.  It's happy.  Color is happy.  
And thank goodness Mike is a fan of bold color too, whew!  I knew I loved him for a reason (well, many reasons!).
It's not that I forgot per se, but ya know, sometimes we all get a little tunnel vision and things slip through the cracks.
Dwell has a delightful little tour, 9 Homes in a Range of Hues that are Anything But Barbie Pink.  Fun!  Super fun.  Love all the bright happy copious amounts of color.
Next up, Apartment Therapy has this brief ditty, a before and after:  B&A:  A Gutted Bathroom Gets a Candy-Colored Redo Full of Clever Ideas.  Not many pictures of this space which was a bit of a disappointment, for me anyway, but what is shown is exciting and inspiring.
Sometimes, again for me anyway, all it takes is a small snippet of something to get hyper-inspired and take that in my own direction.  Keep your eyes and mind open!
Looking to sell?  Or just paint in general?  Entrepreneur has this:  These Paint Colors Up Your Chances of a Higher Offer Price on Your Home, According to a New Zillow Study.  
Seems they could have tightened up that title to just say, hey, use darker colors, make more money.  Either way, I wholeheartedly agree about using darker colors because they're awesome and about living life boldly.  Do it even if you aren't selling!
black eyed susans in the gardenThe Family Handyman has a tip with Amazon's Paint Finder Makes it Easy to Pick the Right Color.  While I have not tried this tool or other similar color picking apps, hopefully it's a great suggestion that works for you!
Hopefully too that little color tour has encouraged you to whip out the paint roller and get at it with some happy happiness in your space!
All right, what else do I have for our web tripping time today....
This, now don't get offended, was an engaging read.  Part amusing and part oh well yeah that's true and makes sense and I can't disagree.  After all, they are trying to appeal to as many viewers as possible:  HGTV is Making Our Homes Boring and Us Sad, One Study Says, from The Washington Post.
Well here, House & Garden knows me:  Why You Should Accept That Your House Will Probably Never Be Finished.  
I mean.  That's me.  My house will never ever be finished.  Especially since it's an ongoing experiment.  As it should be.  It keeps things interesting and lively among a myriad of other great motivations, hahaha.
No but really, there are a variety of very valid reasons for this so don't ever feel bad if your house is not "finished."
ranunculus in the gardenThis kind of rolls into Museum of Failure's  The Museum of Failure Challenges How We Think About Mistakes.  
First, I never knew there was a Museum of Failure.  Huh.  Second, spot-on article given my opinion that mistakes are not mistakes, they're learning.
All right, let's wrap this web tripping time up with some humor.
This is funny but mostly heartwarming and sweet so it should bring a smile to your face:  This TikToker Built the Most Elaborate House and Pool on His Fence for a Frog by Apartment Therapy.
I used to rescue frogs out of my parent's deep window well all the time so this was extra touching for me.
purple flowers in the gardenOur yard really blew up nicely this year despite the drought earlier in the season.Buzzfeed comes through with yet another listicle, 13 People Who Tried to Improve Their Home and Failed So, So, So, So, So Miserably.  They used more "so"'s than I do but they're so right.
And lastly but definitely not least-ly, an update on the big goofy boy Finn!  
Chemo visit number four (of five) was a nerve-wracking appointment.  It was ultrasound and x-ray day with a smidge of twilight before his dose which also meant an early morning drop-off, all of which sucks for all of us.  Thankfully the vet hurried and we got the most fantastic phone call from the doctor:  no cancer spread!photo collage of big boy FinnOh man.  What a relief.  What a huge huge huge relief.  Huge.
Post-appointment has not been fun, poor guy is a bit messed up from the twilight but hopefully things will clear up ASAP.
Otherwise, fabulous news, right?!  Iiiii know.  What a good boy!
Ok!  Catch you real soon with an incredibly cool project!  Meantime, dig around for lots of cool projects!
- Flipping the Flip
Spring Cleaning:  Master Closet Part IV:  How to Deepen and Extend Shelves.
 shelves made deeper with pine lumberSo to be quite frank, this was the project that originally kicked off the master closet Spring Cleaning design rabbit hole in my wee brain:  how to deepen and extend shelves. 
Specifically, obviously, the main ones in our closet where the stunning WE Cork wall is now.
Because.  Heh.  Because, back when I put these up, I cheaped out on the extra couple bucks for deeper shelves. 
I have kicked myself ever since.  Near daily.  And near daily, I'd been pondering how to remedy the error of my cheap a** ways.
Because.  Folded clothes droop over the edge of standard depth shelves and it makes me batty.  It’s sloppy, it’s messy, it’s terrible.  Bat. Tee.
So!  I guess thanks to my past cheap a** self for being a bonehead, I now have this excellent opportunity to deepen and extend them.
And really, this is way better than deeper, plain all white boring store-bought laminate shelves.  Especially given this swanky lux spring cleaning design upgrade!
Bonus?  This is reuse; nothing was trashed.
Before all the shelves came down, I did some measuring and found I had a little less than three inches of depth to work with, of add-on shelf space, given the trim around the closet window.  No problem.  It's exactly all I needed.
Off to my second home Menards I scrambled, selecting some one by three finer grade pine, six pieces.  They were maybe four bucks a piece?  Super cheap.  Way way way waaayyy cheaper than buying all new, pre-made deeper shelves at eighteen bucks per.
$24 > $108.  Absolutely.
existing shelf and new pine lumberRight?!  Quite proud of my cost-efficient self there.  Further proud later because this turned out spiffier than I envisioned!  Hang on, patting myself on the back.......
Ok.  So, what was my supply list to deepen and extend these shelves?6 pieces of 1x3x8' nicer grade pine lumberwood glue*pocket hole jig*pocket hole screws*pocket hole plugs*clamps*sanding blocks*wood patch,* optionalWeatherWash Aging Wood Stain, walnutWeatherWash Dead Flat VarnishNow, wait what the heck is WeatherWash and where did that come from?, you're wondering.  I had some left from a wildly cool project that I'll elaborate on soon.  WeatherWash is an exceptionally nifty water-based stain that ages wood as it dries.  *Pew* mind blown, right?!  It is fun, very very fun.
All righty!  Let's continue spring cleaning the master closet and deepen them darn shelves already!
So easy, I almost feel weird making a whole giant post about it.
Grab a shelf, lay one of the sticks of lumber on top then trace underneath the overhang where you need to cut with a pencil.  My shelves are in the neighborhood of six feet long.
With my spiffy miter saw, a quick zip and the lumber is cut to length.  If you don't have a spiffy miter saw, you can use a hand saw and miter box.*   I weirdly seem to be short a few photos, my apologies.
Now, the pine wasn't the exact thickness of the shelf, it was a hair shy so I tried to ensure whichever side was facing up aligned.
My goal was to strategically hide pocket holes as best as possible so about three or so shelves, the pocket holes faced up while on the other shelves, they faced down.  Based on my short stature and eye level.  Yours will vary.
Spread an even line of wood glue along the edge of the pine, smear it even so it coats the whole plane then clamp everything tightly together making sure the top facing sides align.
gluing edges to connectRun a bead of glue along that short 3/4" edge.With the pocket hole jig, I drilled out holes of random placement and quantity then darted in screws.  Blob some glue into those pocket holes and slip in the plugs.  Then, let everything marry up for the night or so.
creating pocket holes in pine lumber

clamping pine and shelf togetherShelf sandwich.Next day, pop the clamps off and voilá!  Deeper shelves!  I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I was about this.  Something so dang simple yet will make such a giant difference in my daily life.
Given I still haven't mastered the ol' pocket hole jig and plug business, I had some areas to patch with wood filler.  No problem.
pocket hole plugs in pineThis was the very top shelf so eh, no big deal that this wasn't perfect.Once everything was dry, a sanding of the patches, surfaces of the pine, and the corners and edges to make them less severe was in order.
Finishing time!  Here you can do whatever works for you and whatever you've got going on.  Paint, stain, leave the wood as-is and seal it up, whatever look and finish you want.
On went my WeatherWash stain, a couple heavy coats as the more you lay on and soak the wood, the richer the color.  
WeatherWash walnut stain on pine lumberNo need to wipe the stain either, merely let it dry.  Seriously, no wiping!  Stand there and watch it age!  Cool, right?!  It dries super fast too.
Once it was dry, time to seal up my deepened shelf extensions with the varnish.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
applying WeatherWash Dead Flat varnishNow, the scary part:  reinstalling the shelves atop the cork.  Omg, big stressing out through several days of reinstallation contemplation as I did not want to damage the brand new, gorgeous cork in any way.  But, I desperately needed those dang shelves back on the wall.
finding wall anchors behind cork panelsI had mapped out, I thought, all of the existing wall anchors before adhering the cork panels but only found the first two.  I used dots of painters tape to mark them, a t-pin found them inside the wall and wow, I was hella impressed with myself until I realized I didn't map the rest well at all.My math was off, things are a smidge awry, the shelves aren't in the same spots as they were but, alas, it's close enough and we have shelves again.
deepened shelf re-installedOne down, five to go!  Waaayyy swanky, yah?But now, nicer, deeper, fancier shelves!
And guess what?  
Nothing hangs over the edge!  Everything lays flat!  It's not a mess!  No flopping, droopy, sloppy stacks of visually chaotic clothes! deepen and extend shelves diy complete
Myyyyy goodness I am so over-the-moon overjoyed about this.  Holy cow.
closer view of deeper shelf extensionsSeriously, I know, I know, it's a just simple simple project but it has such an enormous impact.  And the stain is perfect with the cork.  
That's right, you know I did a butt wiggle dance or four.
master closet spring cleaning how to deepen and extend shelves close upSo there ya have it!  How to deepen and extend shelves while spring cleaning your master closet!
Here, a little video might fill in some of my photo gaps....
What's next now that my four main projects in this closet have been accomplished?  Whooo, slow-pat myself on the back and nap, that's what.
But yeah.  Suddenly my project list feels empty.  Ooohh ho ho, we both know it's not though haha!  A lingering one or two left in this here closet but let's get back to the bathroom!

*The wood glue and pocket hole jigs are Lowes affiliate links.  The pocket hole screws, clamps, and wood patch/fillers are Home Depot affiliate links.  The pocket hole plugs, sanding blocks, and miter boxes are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Paint Can Planter with Dowels.
 paint can planter with dowelsBack at it with more dowels, fun!  Today I've got this nifty little paint can planter with dowels and it is oh-so-adorbs super cute!  A home decor project that comes together in minutes!
Mike has a propensity for buying me flowers and little plants which I love.  He always has and hopefully he always will because it warms my heart and brings me smiles.
Recently we escaped the city around the July 4 holiday because Finn, our sweet boy, my Trusty Furry Assistant, is utterly terrified of fireworks.  It's bad.  
The fireworks are excessively, obscenely ridiculous around us.  And by excessively obscenely ridiculous, know that the fireworks start around two in the afternoon on the 4th and go punishingly, unceasingly, incessantly, until five or so in the morning.  The neighborhood is a thick blanket of smoke.  It's horrendous.
Every year, for weeks leading up to the holiday too, it's an absolute nightmare for Finn.
We do everything we can to keep him calm but very little does.  We've tried the Thundershirt* which is a big fat nope.  That didn't help Hailey either, actually.  We reached the point of Trazodone.  Sigh.
However, I always worried the pills made things worse for him.  It makes him dopey but that's it; I could see in his big sweet brown eyes he was still a wreck.  
Pills also take planning too but given our area, ya just never know when some bozo is going to shoot one off in the alley, or remote distance even, and ruin Finn's day.  We have Rescue Remedy for Dogs* in those instances and that does take some edge off.
Finn being my assistantAwww, he came downstairs to resume Assistant duties for this project!  He looks sad and skinny in this photo but he's completely neither.  He's doing really well actually, thank the heck goodness.The last time I gave Trazodone to him was disturbing.  I don't know if something changed in his system after his surgery and resultant illness but things were different.  He had brief shivers which has never happened before and when I looked it up, yeah, let's just say that was a terrifying read.  
Into the trash the pills went.  Never again.
He didn't have any other symptoms that warranted an emergency vet visit but let's just say I watched him like a wide-eyed hawk until the pill was spent.
I found these calming chews* which, in my opinion, seem to work way better than Trazodone.  Combined with the Rescue Remedy, he's pretty good, or good-ish, or at least not a total mess nor doped out but still panicked.
This is all to say, we took Finn out of town for the holiday.  We did so the year before and decided to again, this time heading to Wisconsin, aka Land of Cheese, which is a new travel destination for us.  And we are not complaining about our fridge filled with cheese.
Anyway!  Long long roundabout way to say Mike bought me this cute little begonia plant on one of his grocery runs.
begonia beforeI know it's mostly an outdoor plant but I'm keeping it indoors because it's cute and pretty.
The wrapping though yellow?  Ehhh, not so much.  Hence this Paint Can Planter with Dowels to make it cuter!
I spotted this project on Instagram a while back, to give credit where credit is due, but lo, no instructions so I've set out to set that right.
What do we need for this project?a quart paint can*spray paint, if desiredseven 3/8" square dowels*hot glue sticks*hot glue gun*stain or paint, if desiredShort, inexpensive supply list, eh?!  Yeah!  Love it!
paint can planter suppliesOk, let's make a Paint Can Planter with Dowels then.  Seriously, this comes together in a jiff so you can make oodles of them!
The hardest part of this project of course was math.  Oooohh math.  Yeah.  It was circumference, pi, division, multiplication, fractions...oy, math.  Yikes.  But I handled it for you so dive right the heck in.
First, I spray painted the quart paint can with some flat black spray paint.  You can do this, skip it, or pick a fun color though note, very little will be seen except maybe the top.
flat matte black spray paint and quart paint canSecond, cut the dowels.  
This paint can is 4 7/8" tall so I cut twenty six pieces at 5" long.  This gave me an eighth of an inch overhang which I planned for the top.
creating stop on miter sawCreated a stop on the ol' miter saw so that all twenty six pieces would be exactly the same.Decide how many you want for the taller footed parts and cut those to length.  I went with 6 1/4" tall and a total of nine pieces of those, three for each leg/foot/whatever.
If you don't have a powered miter saw, a hand saw and miter box* handle the task easy peasy.  
Next, give any ragged edges a quick sanding.  Yesss, sanding is boring but necessary.  Sigh.
sanding the endsNow next, to make my life easier and to eliminate any possible chance of confusion or mistakes, I laid out the whole thing flat first.
laying out dowels on tableThis way, I knew where the legs were going to be.  The math wasn't perfect so there are nine shorter pieces in two sections and eight in the third but you'll never know when it's done.  Trust me.
All you gotta do next is power up that hot glue gun and start sticking on your dowels.  Could not be any damn more effortless.
hot gluing dowels onto paint canBefore you know it, you're done.
finished paint can planter with dowelsGah!  A Paint Can Planter with Dowels!  Cute, right?!  Omg, so cute!  High-end style for cheap!  Applause all around!
You can stain or paint your dowels any which way you please, or just seal up them up as-is and leave the wood bare.
paint can planter with dowels and plantLastly, plop your plant in your spiffy new Paint Can Planter with Dowels and bring your home decor to new heights.
paint can planter using quart can and square dowelsSuper adorable, right?!  Seriously, you'd pay way more for this in a fancy schmancy home decor store.
paint can planter with square dowelsMy little dollar store dowel vases are hiding behind heh, yet another dowel project!So cute it went on a parade around the first floor with streamers, fanfare, and cheering!
finished paint can planter with dowelsI love it!  Hope you do too! Hey!  Want to make one but don't want to shop and cut and sand?  No problem!  Purchase the DIY kit direct to your front porch from me!  Fun!  See it here!
*The Thundershirt, Rescue Remedy for Dogs, the calming chews,  are Amazon affiliate links.  The quart paint can is a Home Depot affiliate link.  The hot glue sticks is a general Michaels affiliate link.  The dowels and hand saws with miter boxes are a Lowes affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Spring Cleaning:  Master Closet Part III, A WE Cork Wall.
 WE Cork bark wall panel close upMore spring cleaning in the master closet with part III and today I bring you a WE Cork wall.  And holy moly my goodness, oh my word, it is glorious.  Glorious.
Yes.  That's right.  A wall of WE Cork bark panels.  So yes, I took down all of the shelves because I am a loon but it was so worth it.  So.  Wow. closet shelf wall beforeYes, all this came down.As I've mentioned before, I am a fan of cork.  A huge fan, in fact.  Ok, I'm big on materials in general but cork is stupendous, especially these cork bark panels, and I'll tell you why momentarily.
I must mention that my WE Cork wall is part of a Hometalk shoppable tutorial and while this post is sponsored and I did receive the panels as part of it, I would breathlessly cover the whole house in them.  Please note, these opinions are all my own.
To backtrack and catch up a second, here is spring cleaning master closet part I with the Photowall mural and part II with the Stikwood ceiling.
So cork, right?  It's truly an exceptional gift from nature.  And I love it.
WE Cork bark wall panel closeNot only do I love the way cork looks, as a uh ahem, child of the 70's or ok let's go with lover of 70's design, cork wins every race.  
Don't get me wrong here though.  There is absolutely nothing dated about cork in the least.  It's unquestionably a modern material, ripe for a zillion modern applications, and as it's sustainable, it fits the times now more than ever.  
As such, I am here to sing its praises from the rooftops.
Go, check out WE Cork's website, you'll see how cork can be used from flooring to walls to even bags.  I want all of those bags.
Cork is, as I said, sustainable, but it's also renewable; it's environmentally responsible.  It provides excellent sound and acoustic benefits, it's soft, comfortable, hypoallergenic, anti-fungal, stable, moisture-resistant, resilient, lightweight, easy to work with, and a major plus for me in the case of our closet, it's insulating.
Every single box is checked in the positives column.
See, given this flipper was brutally neglectful in his insulating duties, this particular shelved wall exemplifies his neglect the most of any wall in our house.
It is downright freezing in the winter and in the summer, you can practically cook an egg on it.  Ok, the latter is a bit dramatic but you catch my drift.  As a perma-cold human, nothing like grabbing a shirt in winter, moving it to another room, and shaking the cold out of it for five minutes.
You can tell where I'm going now, right?  My goal with this wall, as part of the whole spring cleaning master closet, was to not only make it the best wall in the house but also to insulate without having to open up the wall in any way.
WE Cork's bark panels to the rescue.  Check and check.  And check for I looove it too.
another close up view of WE Cork bark wall panelWhy order from WE Cork?  They are super nice people, oh my gosh.  WE Cork is a family-run business out east in New Hampshire and just the coolest folks.  I probably scared them with my uncontrollable cork enthusiasm but thankfully they trusted me despite my weirdness!
Ok!  First, measure measure measure measure.  I was looking at about sixty square feet for this wall.
The box of ten panels, about sixty three square feet, arrived on our porch along with a quart of WE Cork's recommended contact adhesive, 3M's Fastbond 30-NF* and I was out-of-my-skin excited.
Now, I've used many a contact adhesive in my time, but never the Fastbond so I will admit, I was anxious.  Kind of a bit extra more so having watched a demo of the product on YouTube, but, contact adhesive is contact adhesive.  Right?  This is just stickier.
Ok!  Let's install!  So easy!
WE Cork's cork bark panels are wonderfully large at two foot by three foot so they cover a lot of surface in one panel.  I started at the top left with a full panel.  
starting cork bark panel installationI outlined the panel on the wall with a pencil for contact adhesive spreading guidance, that's what the arrow is pointing at.With a chip brush,* I cut in the Fastbond, leaving a bit at the top and side un-glued to make it easy for positioning.  That video did have me mildly paranoid about the stickiness level.  
rolling contact adhesive on wall
Next, with a little sponge roller,* roll the contact adhesive on the wall then on the backside of the cork bark panel.  And now we wait.  The Fastbond is good to go at about thirty minutes and you have up to four hours of open time.
rolling Fastbond contact adhesive on cork panel
When it's ready to go, do a little positioning and then merely push the panel onto the wall.  That is it.  Could not be easier, I swear.  
Grab yourself a rubber roller, like the laminate roller type,* and firmly but not aggressively, no need for the latter, roll the panel to ensure a nice grip.  Voilá!
laminate rubber roller on cork bark panel on wall
To cut a panel, which might seem scary but it's completely not, measure measure measure, then map it out on the backside.  Here's a hot tip that helped my temporary forgetfulness:  place a little piece of painters tape at the top of the panel.  This way you won't get mixed up about which end is up, which direction everything goes. labeling top of cork panel with painters tape
Grab a cork-backed straight edge* heh more cork and with a very sharp utility knife* (even the cheapy ones are fine) start slicing.  Go slow and do not go through in one pass.  Do multiple slices until it separates.  Too, make sure the cutoff end is on the outside in case the knife slips. trimming cork bark panelTest fit your cut piece, then apply the contact adhesive, and keep going!
WE Cork bark wall panel progress
Watching this come together, I was seriously weak in the knees bursting.
more cork bark wall panel progress
Isn't it outstanding?  I swear, it's the best wall in the house now.
Already I've noticed that our bedroom is quieter at night which is incredible.  I was expecting a quiet, peaceful closet despite our crappy windows but the whole room is now more peaceful.  I mean, jaw-heckin'-drop. finished wall covered with WE Cork bark panelsdrool....I can't say I am looking forward to winter in any way, shape, or form as a spring/summer lover, but I have to say, bring it and our no longer frozen attire.
Most of all, I am going to exist permanently in this little closet now.  The WE Cork bark panels are so luxurious, they're exquisite, stunning, just stunning.  The coup de gras of my closet design, absolutely.
Thank you, Chad, Tina, and WE Cork, thank you.  *curtsy.*
There are a few more projects left in here, notably the shelves as they get a makeover next so be sure to come back for that!
*The 3M Fastbond 30-NF contact adhesive, laminate roller, chip brushes, sponge rollers, cork-bakced straight edge, and utility knives are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info. 
- Flipping the Flip
Spring Cleaning:  Master Closet Part II, A Stikwood Ceiling.
 Stikwood Minimalist Fir Wood Planks ceilingYou guys.  We have the coolest closet ceiling, ever.  Ever.  We're pressing on (ah the pun) with the spring cleaning, master closet part II, and I am here with a Stikwood ceiling.
And again, it is The Coolest.  
When I first envisioned this spring cleaning closet redo, as I wave my hands about, the whole look hit me all at once (thank the heck goodness, unlike the bathroom) so when Stikwood was with me, I about passed out in elation.
What's Stikwood?  It is the most impressive and easiest-to-install product I have used in a good long while, maybe ever, that's what.  It's peel-and-stick wood planks.  Yes, real wood.  Real actual wood that's peel and stick and it's gorgeous.
Stikwood Minimalist Fir wood wall planks and Photowall muralNature-made art for your walls.
I must mention that my Stikwood ceiling is part of a Hometalk shoppable tutorial and while this post is sponsored and I did receive free peel-and-stick wood planks, I would buy them out of stock if I could.  Do note, these opinions are all my own.
But yes, Stikwood.  Holy cats and dogs.  It is an outstanding wall decor product and I am shouting from my rooftop, if I could get up there, but you get my metaphorical point.
Just look at Stikwood's site and see, I'll wait.        ....Right!?
Here are a few facts about Stikwood for you:it is real wood, as I mentioned, real reclaimed, authentic lumberthe adhesive is strong and guaranteed for ten yearschange your room in less than a day with fast, easy installationit's safe for the whole family with no VOC emissionsthe wood is stable; butt the joints right togetherStikwood is certified sustainablethe quality wood is sourced and milled in a virtually waste-free manner in Grand Rapids, Michiganyou buy straight from the manufacturer, shipped directly to you Where can you use Stikwood?  Well obviously if you're spring cleaning your master closet, there.  Nearly anywhere actually, even in a bathroom!
Let's get to this because I'm over-the-moon breathless about this Stikwood ceiling project, I can barely stand it.
closet ceiling beforeCeiling before, yawn.For this project, I chose Minimalist Fir which is stunning in the photos but wow, knock-your-socks-off even more so when in your hot little hands.  Fill out this form, get yourself two free samples and by golly, you absolutely should because they have a slew of terrific finishes.
Stikwood Minimalist Fir real wood planks in boxNow.  Vertically challenged as I am, ceilings and being on/working on my lil' five foot ladder are not, let's say, my favorite activity.  But.  Ceilings are the fifth wall, beg for inclusion, they deserve a design touch, and can be the linchpin of a room's whole design.
First, I waited for more wall materials to arrive (omg come back for that upcoming post very soon) to start as I'm a stickler for how materials meet, align, adjoin, and layer.
Based on that blow-me-out-of-the-water material (I'm into hyphens today it seems), I traced a quick line on the ceiling to note where it will be then with my laser measure,* found center of the ceiling.  
It's not necessary to do it this way; Stikwood's site has lots of incredibly helpful tutorials on how to apply the wood planks.  Scan the box's QR code for on-the-go details.  Nice.
The wood planks, they're what some people might incorrectly frown upon as thin; at 1/8" thick, I think they're perfect.  That combined with how lightweight they are makes them jaw-droppingly simple to manage, maneuver, cut, and have flexibility for wanky walls like ours.
Stikwood Minimalist Fir real wood wall planks thicknessTherefore, unlike maybe other wall planks, the thickness also doesn't invade into the precious square footage of your room.  Win win.
To get going, I measured the length of a plank, exactly four feet, and aligned a full plank on center then seriously, so easy, peel the paper strips and stick it on.  Yeah.  Ha.  That's it!  Peel and stick at its utter finest, my friends.
installation beginnings of Stikwood Minimalist Fir authentic wood wall planksStikwood advises using a little roller, like the kind you'd use for wallpaper* to give the adhesive an extra little grippy push onto the surface.
Now, you can cut the wood with a sharp utility knife* which I tried and obtained raggedy edges definitely due to user error so instead I went up and down the stairs, up and down up and down, I was ridiculous but need the exercise, and used my miter saw with its insanely fabulous Diablo blade* for instant, super clean cuts.
You can use a miter box* and hand saw* with zero issues for sure too.
Cutting, I should mention as my workbench area smells like a densely woody Fir forest, mmm mm.  Real, authentic, natural products, huge thumbs up.
installing more Stikwood peel and stick wall planksThe cool thing about cutting the planks is ultimately you can get to zero waste.  Use your cutoffs.  Going this route gives you a more spontaneous (or ouch, mathematical) layout which I am on board with.
Do note, the adhesive on these Stikwood peel and stick wood planks is migh-tee sticky, very very sticky!  Align the edges without touching the wall surface with the adhesive, then press into place.  Easy-damn-peasy, no joke.
Stikwood Minimalist Fir reclaimed wood plank adhesiveEventually I got to the anxiety-riddled tricky parts:  the ceiling light and the pathetic vent cover, the latter of which was hanging on by a thread.  Where, who...every one of our ceiling vent covers is screwed into drywall and how does one not know that this does not work?  I don't get it.
ceiling vent cover and light fixtureAnywhoo, remembering that the ceiling light gave me grief putting it up, thank goodness I have this rockin' blog and can re-read what went down in order to come at it with intention this time.
Power off, undo the light a bit, trim the Stikwood around these openings with my band saw and my jigsaw, then *smush,* onward!  Anxiety disbanded.
Note, that though I shockingly did not muck up a single cut thereby not wasting a single plank, truly a first for me, just like purchasing tile, wallpaper, or the like, add an overage percentage such as ten to your order to ensure extras in case of error or bad math.
Cannot believe I nailed every cut.  Probably because these Stikwood planks are so darn easy to work with.
junction box extender for ceiling light fixtureAfter losing an hour of my life I'll never get back putting in a junction box extender* for the light and then getting everything reattached, it was walk-off home run time.
beyond ceiling fixtures with peel and stick wall planksDue to ya know life popping up here and there, I did this over two days but in compressed time, dropping out that light fixture quarrel and my personal choice to leave the miter saw in the basement, it took maybe two hours at best to accomplish this.  Fast.  Lightning fast.   Stikwood peel and stick real wood wall planks on ceiling completeChange your room in mere hours.  Yeah.  As I guffaw in astonishment.
Extra bonus for us here?  This closet is freeeezing in the winter, so this additional layer of real wood planks on the ceiling, even though it was insulated, adds just that much more distance between us and cold.
Stikwood peel and stick reclaimed lumber wood wall planksSpring cleaning at its finest, wouldn't you say?  A Stikwood ceiling, my friends!  Oh my, I am taking a bow for myself and sending air kisses to Stikwood.  What a phenomenal product, my goodness, thank you.
Stikwood peel and stick wood wall planks corner
Now hurry yourself over to their site because for a limited time if you buy now, you can get ten percent off your order with the code FLIPPING10 and buy them out before I get there first!
Stikwood real wood peel and stick planks installed on ceilingLove Love Love it, don't you?!

*The seam rollers, utility knives are an Amazon affiliate link.  The Diablo blades, hand saws, laser measures, and junction box extenders are Home Depot affiliate links.  The miter boxes are a Lowes affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info. 
- Flipping the Flip
A Variety Pack.
 outside a closet rod with copper pipeA Variety Pack!  Yay!  It's been a while!  Boy, I'm getting spotty with my Variety Packs, yikes.
Well I'm back with another one then!
Which is great because I've got hot tips for you, cool ideas, and this post will contain two, yes two, recipes!
Let's hop to it!  Variety Pack!
First, an oh duh moment.  A problem that needled me daily but as soon as I'd walk away, I'd forget to do something about it.
I shared this hot tip over on the ol' Instagrams and it's truly one of those why did I not think of that before's:  adding little motion-activated puck lights* in dark cabinets.  (Or really, anywhere that's light-deficient with no available wiring.)
Yeah!  Right?!  Duh!  I had one of those push-to-turn-on-and-off ones in the abhorrent corner cabinet and switching to a motion-activated one, total boon.  Flips on when I reach in, shuts off on its own.  I tell ya, sometimes it's the little things for the win!
motion light inside kitchen cabinetLoathe this cabinet.  Loathe.  Someday, I've gotta hit upon a resolution for this.And it's bright!  Well, definitely much brighter than the push on push off one.
The ones I ordered from Amazon* are a thumbs up.  But.  The magnet and sticker suuuuck.  As we found out recently in the middle of the night, of course, as two fell off the wall in the stair, banging down the wood treads, and it took three hours to peel me off the ceiling.
In the instance of the kitchen cabinet, I used this heavy-duty removable tape* to stick it instead.  This tape rocks by the way, total win.  It's what's holding those DIY Dowel Decor Recessed Can Light Shades up and still going strong.
So are my little 15-minute DIY Pot Lid Racks in there.  Yep!  Three cheers for scrap wood!
Whooo, that was a lot of info already!
All righty, let's keep going.  Variety Pack!
Oh, yes, I finally got to installing another outside a closet rod, this time in the bedroom above my hanging clothes closet.
outside bedroom closet before and afterLeft, before.  Right, yay!Yes, ok, yes, we each have our own hanging clothes closets.  I mean, when you've got extra bedrooms and it's just us, you spread out a little.  Hey, what can I say.  I need to do some spring cleaning in this one too, hmph.
I'd been itching to get to this second rod, itching and when that one time I really wanted it there and it wasn't hit, I'd had enough of pokey myself.
Up it went in exactly the same fashion, manner, and materials, hence buying a four-pack of brackets.  Only difference here was I left the brackets white as matching the wall color with spray paint would have been a headache-inducer.
outside a closet rod before and afterYep, there are the dowel hooks!  The murder of crows is by John W. Fesken.By the way, Bar Keeper's Friend* cleans copper like a champ.  A bit of the powder and a scrubby pad,* I was able to get that fingerprint smudgied humble plumbing pipe back to a sparkly, shiny clean.
outside a closet rod copper pipe cleaned upShiny!Have I tried the curtain rod out?  hahaha, no not yet but I will next week!  I'm sure it'll be awesome.
Mmk, what else do I have on my Variety Pack list?
Ahh, yes.  Cracked concrete.
I happenstance noticed late last fall that the concrete around one of our deck posts ugly cracked in three places.  Yikes.  I was displeased.   Big gaps.  Water.  Getting into the post foundation.  No no no!
And of course, as is my Murphy's Law life, the weather was already too cold to address it.  Soo, I spent the whole entire winter stressing over it.
Finally with warmer, concrete setting weather upon us, I went right at it.
Dashed downstairs for my bag of concrete patch and poured a pile into a zipper bag.*  This will make sense.
Back outside I drizzled some water into the bag, zipped it shut, squished it all around to mix.   patching cracked concrete pier deck foundation postZig zag -- top left, before.  Top right, prep.  Bottom left, mixed concrete patch in a zipper bag.  Bottom right, all patched!Yep, just like a piping bag!*  Snipped off a corner, squeezed the concrete into the offending cracks, and voilá, patched and water-collection-free!  Whew, now I can sleep!
Then obviously, clean up is simple:  there is no clean up -- just wait for the bag contents to harden and dispose.  Maybe not the most eco-friendly but it's easy, mess-free, a controlled application, simple, and stress-free.  I patted myself on the back for that one.
What else on my Variety Pack list for you...
Back inside, ah, the shower glass.  While I absolutely love our spiffy glass shower doors, man, do they get dirty fast.  
Here's what I clean them with and then I RainX* but still, the time between cleanings is oh-so brief and aggravating.  I've got sh*t to do.
As we know, those daily shower sprays* are pricey, the bottle empties way too fast so I did the research for you on a DIY version.  Having run into too many "try this!" or "this works!" or "this is the best!" and they're all untruths, here's a daily shower spray that actually truly honestly works:
Saving Grace Daily Shower Spray:1/2 cup (118 ml) hydrogen peroxide1/2 cup (118 ml) rubbing alcohol1 teaspoon liquid dish soap1 tablespoon dishwasher rinse aid*2 cups (473 ml) waterShake everything lightly in a spray bottle* of choice, squeegee* post shower, spray that glass with this no wipe, no rinse, no residue, no harsh chemical schnizz, walk away and get the heck on with your life!  
Speaking of cleaning, have you guys tried Zote Soap*?  Omg, where has this been all my life?  Mike strew a bunch of chili across one of his dress shirts recently.  The wince on his face when he came home...
Zote soapI opted to test a bar, see if the praises people sang of it were true.  Holy cats and dogs people, it got that dried chili out of his shirt in one go.  It's a white shirt too and there is zero trace that he made a monster mess of himself.
Zote Soap, 10/10, highly recommend.  There are two types, white and pink and in looking into the difference, there doesn't appear to be much of one so if you find one or the other, either way, you'll be spot-free.
Chili.  Amazing.  I know, right?!
Okey doke, it's not a Variety Pack post without a tasty recipe!  Of course, everything baking is over at The Bake Dept so head there immediately.  Lemme dig through my way-too-big stash...
Mmmmm how about Fresh Pasta!  Love love love this recipe for ravioli.  I know, it calls for cake flour* which seems bizarre but trust me, this pasta is delicate, light, and so so so good.  If you've hit the site's paywall, email me.  Or, if you're new here, subscribe and it's yours!
An update on the Finn-meister by the way:  he's been feeling so fantastic, he's so happy, gained weight, is super playful, loving, his surgery shave is growing in, he needs a bath, and then in unnerving news, had his first chemo dose this week.
To say I'm freaked out is an understatement.  I cried most of that morning.  So, hoping it doesn't hit him like a ton of bricks.  siiiighhhh
Finn on deck couchFinn enjoying his deck couch* recently.  Sweetie boy, so handsome.  Cedar window frames with floating planters, freshly planted for summer!Please donate to the National Canine Cancer Foundation if you're able.  I'd be so thankful.
Ok!  That's it for today's Variety Pack! 
*The motion-activated puck lights, heavy-duty removable tape, Bar Keeper's Friend, scrub pads, zipper bags, piping bags, RainX, daily shower sprays, dishwasher rinse aid, spray bottles, shower squeegees, Zote soap, cake flour, and outdoor sectionals in wicker are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Modern Dowel Curtain Rod.
 modern dowel curtain rodLook, I admit there's nothin' revolutionary about making a curtain rod out of a dowel, for sure.  Making a modern version?  Mmm, maybe?  So that's what I'm here with today, a modern dowel curtain rod.
Creating a curtain rod with dowels is super easy to do, especially as dowels are affordable, coming in oodles of diameters and lengths.  
FYI, when you're at the ol' home improvement store, you may have to wander to find the longer than four foot ones.  No biggie; you can envision more projects while there!
But I know.  Dowels.  Hey, they are darn cool, uber versatile, and little sticks of fun.
wood dowels for curtain rodThis curtain rod I assembled is for a narrower, single window on our stair landing.  The landing, ahhh yes, I must finish that project sometime in my lifetime then do a big fancy stair reveal.
Close.  I'm close.
stair window beforeAw, my sweet Hailey there.  *sniffle*See, in general, I'm not a big window-covering person, as in, covering windows over.  I like the light and seeing out.  But ya know, I get it, privacy is kinda important sometimes.
Too, despite everything you've seen in this house to date to the contrary, I'm a minimalist at heart.  And have a rampant dust allergy.  Thank goodness for allergy shots.  Sooo, more things that collect dust are not high on my priority list.
I know, I know, decorative, layers, texture, finishing touches, frames windows, yep, gotcha.  Still.  Not really a curtain person.  Except maybe in the basement to contain visual clutter.  Still.
What prompted this lil' project though?
Well.  Our neighbors to the west moved out but have kept the building as a rental.  New neighbors have moved in which of course is not an issue.
What is?  Well.  Both floors of new neighbors leave their bathroom lights on twenty four/seven.  Yep.  Both.  24/7.  And those bathroom windows face our house.
During the day, eh, who cares, other than wasting massive amounts of electricity but at night, that's where the issue is for me.
I like to sleep, when I can, in full darkness.  Hence of course those blackout curtains I made once.  And the second round too.
Any tiny itty bitty seemingly insignificant light on some electronic gizmo or anywhere is too much for me to bear.  If I can, I tape over those lights with electrical tape.  Yeah, what can I say.
So if we have the bedroom door open at night which we are wont to do when it's toasty out, get those cross breezes going, let Finn wander off to his bed in Mike's office, this new light comes streaaamming through the window on the landing and straight into my brain.
parts and supplies for modern dowel curtain rodParts and supplies to save my brain.In perusing the ol’ interwebs for inspiration, I came across quite a few cool ones on Etsy.*  
Ya know, Etsy is great, you can find a tremendous amount of really really cool stuff which is fantastic.  What gets me on occasion?  Pricing.  I get it, obviously of course handmade but, I mean….crazy easy things to DIY for excessive prices?   …yeah, no. 
So the idea I ran with,* they’re asking about a hundred and twenty.  Sorry.  Can't. 
Instead, I saved about a hundred and thirteen, built my own.  Yeah.  For seven bucks:one 1” x 4’ poplar dowel*pair #8 hanger bolts*On hand, I had a hunk of inch and a quarter diameter dowel which I used for the off-the-wall posts. 
So first, easy peasy, measure a million times, cut once.  Solid rule. And I designed from there. 
I went with four inch long pieces for the posts and cut the rod piece at thirty two and a half. 
Next was drilling the itty holes in the post ends.  First, find center of the post dowel with a straight edge,* measuring across the full diameter width in two places and drawing a handy X.  Marks the spot!
I tried to be all carpenter-y and make my life easier as drilling straight holes here is kinda key. 
Took a piece of scrap wood, screwed it to my table, and with a Forstner bit,* drilled out an inch and a quarter hole using my portable drill guide.*
dowel holder for drill guideMe trying to be clever.This allowed me to plop one of the posts in there while I balanced the drill guide over it.  Yes, use larger scrap next time, now I know.
With a drill bit,* zip zip holes.  Were they straight and center?  Ehhh quite close enough.  Time to save for a drill press!
Tighten those hanger bolts into the holes and I was on a roll.  Ah...roll...dowel pun.
tightening in hanger boltUntil, math.  Ahhh math.  Maaaaath
I spent a good several minutes standing at the workbench staring blankly.  As we had our chemo consult for Finn earlier in the day (who is doing soooo much better now, thank you!), I was not at my best.  
Turning to trusty AutoCAD,* I drew the wall placement which determined this whole modern dowel curtain rod’s assembly. 
See, I used CAD to dimension everything for me, no guessing, no muss, no fuss, no unreliable brain-powered math needed. 
Armed with information, I aligned the dowel rod piece over a post piece, measured measured measured then poking around, found some 1/4” dowel remnants to use as connecting pins so a 1/4” Forstner bit* it was. 
Trouble with dowels, heh, ya know, they're round, they roll, so I clamped* as best I could. 
clamping everything to the table to drillDrilled* through the curtain rod piece into the post piece, did a big wipe-my-brow whew, it worked, then did the second one. 
drilling and pinning pieces together
Temporarily pinned it all together and hot damn, I was proud of myself!
ends pinned together
finished modern dowel curtain rod ready for installation
Now, time to install this modern dowel curtain rod!
A little freaky standing on a ladder with the entire stair trailing down to my left, but, focus focus. 
Holding the modern dowel curtain rod up on the wall, eyeballing for level (though I did check for real), I smacked the hanger bolts into the wall to make hole-drilling dents.
checking placement on wallOne into a stud and one into a metal screw-in wall anchor* after some minor trial and error, the posts are twisted in, the rod laid across the top, the dowel pins pounded in,* and wow, I did it!
modern dowel curtain rod installedI had picked up two curtains from the thrift store, one that shockingly matches the wall color, layered them together and with some wired jute from the Dollar Tree,* up they went.  
wired jute cordThe green one is short which isn't horrible to me (yet) and the natural color one is very very long which also isn't horrible (yet) but we'll see how this works out when I get the landing done.
finished modern dowel curtain rod DIYOk!  There we have it!  A modern dowel curtain rod!  Sure, it's not total blackout but drawn, it is darker so I’m gonna go sleep now!
modern dowel curtain rod closer up

modern dowel curtain rod complete
ETA:  Figures.  This goes up and they finally turn the lights off!  Regardless, this actually made a bigger difference than anticipated so yay darker sleep!
modern dowel curtain rod detail view
*The Etsy links are Etsy affiliate links.  The dowels, drill bits, and mallets are Lowes affiliate links.  The hanger bolts, Forstner bits, portable drill guides, and cordless drills are Home Depot affiliate links.  The straight edges, Forstner bits, clamps, and metal screw-in wall anchors are Amazon affiliate links.  The AutoCAD link is an AutoDesk affiliate link.  The Dollar Tree link is an affiliate link for Dollar Tree.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Spring Cleaning!  Master Closet Redo Part I:  Tips for Wallpaper.
 Photowall Weaving Wood White wallpaper muralAh ok, see, heh, this is what happens, SMDH.  I walk into our master closet and ugh it's flipping a wreck.  I should really do some spring cleaning and.....(pause) (slo-mo) oh but what if....what if...(wave of hands) redo!, ooOhh wallpaper!, and this and that and that too and kapow, I've redesigned the closet.
I spy something, it morphs out of control, even if I've already done it once, twice, five times, and off my brain redesigns.  Pew, gone.  Then it has to happen.  
This isn't entirely a redo I should say, more of a do.  All because spring cleaning.
messy closet beforeHoly heck this is so embarrassing.  So.  Sooo.  But, as are before's.  Hey, bottom left, the hoodie racks!And I must be pretty you-know-what crazy because just after we moved in, I installed shelves up the wall.  And then installed more shelves, then a couple more.  So two walls are fully shelved, wipes hands, done.
So therefore, anything wall.........yeah.  The shelves have to come down.  And then go back up.
labeling shelves and screws for later re-installLabeling everything you take down will make putting it back up much easier!Bat.tee.  I am batty.
When all is said and done, this thirty six square foot space will be a divine design knockout, as in I may move into this lil' room and never come out.  I am that giddy excited.  
Though, it might be a hot competition between this closet and that bathroom, once I finish repainting it for the eighth time.  Either way, man, it's gonna be a helluva Sweet Suite with capital S's.
This master closet spring cleaning event kicks off large with Photowall* and a super swanky wallpaper wall mural on three walls.  Yeah!  I ain’t messin’ around!
Photowall mural in shipping boxesTiny boxes!  Tremendous impact!If you remember, Photowall* so graciously sent me a huge, fancy pants wall mural previously.  And guess what, they did it again.  I need to mention while I was not paid for this post, Photowall* did generously send this wallpaper mural at no charge.  Opinions are solely mine.
Now, I'm not going to blather on about how to wallpaper as, I mean, this is the internet, there are a bazillion zillion tutorials online.  What I am going to do here is share tips for wallpaper that will lead you to success.
Because wallpaper seems fiercely intimidating.  While I can't say it's the easiest thing to do on the planet, it really is not as terrifying as it may seem.  Patience, that's my first and probably biggest tip, have lots of patience.
Wallpaper though.  Love love love it, how it immensely elevates a room, your house, you.  Color, pattern, texture, and if you're lucky, shine.  Wallpaper is delightful, exhilarating, fun, and happy, everything your home should be.
In the case of our previously yawns-ville ol’ master closet here, given it is (ridiculously) packed with clothes, I stuck with subtlety, whites, grays, background pattern otherwise it we’d have a visual cacophony.
Little did I know until the paper arrived that the grays in my Weaving Wood White* mural were actually a checkerboard of cute little animals.  Ha!  Pretty sweet!
close up of wallpaper mural from PhotowallOk, next tip, get yourself set up right for frustration-free installation by collecting every single thing you need upfront to have on immediate hand so you’re relaxed, no frantic searching for anything:ladder*plastic tarp*bucket for mixing and storing the included pastemixing stickkitchen scale* if you’re not mixing the entire bag of pastemeasuring cup*adhesive primerroller and roller cover*chip* or any non-fancy paintbrushX-acto knife* and lots of blades* or similar cork backed metal ruler*lightly damp towel (I prefer microfiber*)level*penciltrim guide*Ok!  We're set!  There are oodles of other tools* you can get for this task but I personally find my hands are my best tools.  Find what works for you though.
Let's do this!  Spring cleaning!
First, and I'm always going to strongly encourage this, a coat or two of adhesive primer on the walls.  This helps in case there's a day you want to remove said wallpaper, making the process way way easier.  Let that dry.
bottle of Sentinel adhesive primerIn the case of the Photowall* wallpaper mural, as I mentioned, the paste is included which you apply to the wall.  While the goo stays wet for several days in the bucket, mix up only what you need.  In my case, I needed only half of one bag so weighing the powder paste with the kitchen scale nails the right ratio.
mixing up wallpaper mural paste and toolsTop, mixing up the paste.  Bottom, getting prepped with tools to prepare for any scenario.Ok!  Key to success is the first panel.  Measure the width of the panel, mark that dimension on the wall, and draw a full floor-to-ceiling straight, plumb line using the level and pencil.  If you start crooked, you end up in wallpaper hell.  
drawing plumb line and installing first panelCan't really see the line I drew with spiffy level but it's there.  And then, woot, first panel up!  How exciting!My next tip?  Make sure you skootch the top edge of paper up past your highest point to start.  Meaning, if you’re starting at the juncture of ceiling and vertical wall, push the paper an inch or two above that meeting point.  This covers your rear if walls aren’t true, straight, square, or plumb, like ours.  
The tip means if you’re ordering a mural from Photowall* which you should because they're terrific, the paper is top-notch quality, and their designs are outstanding, order it a few extra inches tall.  Which I did, but forgot my own tip and sorta screwed myself.
staging next panel on doorAnother tip?  Stage your next panel with the top easily reachable.  Here I draped it over the door.Aligning the seams as you go is the next key to success.  Align the pattern then the seams, smush them snugly together, don't overlap.  As you smush the paper to the wall, use the lightly damp towel to push the bubbles out the other side, up and out, down and out.  
Then just keep going!  You're doing it!  Look at you!
using chip brush to spread wallpaper paste next to panelUse that cheap chip brush to spread the paste right up to the previous panel edge.Doors and windows will be thorny.  Change out your knife blades wastefully constantly to make sure they are brutally sharp and trim fat of any corner or turn then nip away until the paper is flat.  Try not to stab yourself.  I did.  Of course.
cut panel below windowCarefully cut the panels wide for above and below windows so you're sure to match the pattern.Always always always trim on the opposite side of the good side.  Yes, that entails crunching down low at the baseboard.  When trimming, start in the middle and run the knife out to the edge.  Starting at the end runs the risk of tearing, crumpling, and a ratty messy cut.
trimming wallpaper mural at corner and baseboardTake your time with corners and trims!Another important tip?  Work cleanly.  
Clean up errant paste blobs, especially on that tarp you've laid out to catch those blobs.  Clean up paper scraps right away, keep tools in the area of work limited to solely what you need so you're not tripping over them.  Rinse out the towel often.
Schedule several hours for this, more than you'll need so you're not rushing, take deep breaths, don't panic as you're fine, peel and reposition as needed, go slow, re-wet with paste as needed, be methodical and patient, deep breaths, take your time, and don't give up because you can do this.  
last panel going around shelvesNothin' like leaving a tricky corner for last when you're pooped, whoo.And voilá, spring cleaning has begun in our master closet redo!  Part I in the books!  These tips for wallpaper will position you for the win, I promise.
mirror wall with Photowall mural finishedIf you're still super nervous to try wallpapering, order some extra or get an inexpensive roll and practice on a piece of scrap something before giving the wall itself a go.
hoodie wall with Weaving Wood White muralThis closet is rockstar cool already, right?!  Sooo eye-popping excited.  Thank you so much, Photowall!*
Weaving Wood White wallpaper mural from PhotowallI cropped out the messy clothes piles, that's why you can't see the corner.Oh, and Mike?  He was away when I did this, he didn't know it was happening.  He came home, went upstairs, I waited, waited waited waited, nothing.  No response, no nothing.  Nothing!
staged shelves with Photowall wallpaper muralHours later, I couldn't take it.  "Hey babe, what about the closet?"  "Oh, the closet?," he said.  Pause.  "Yeah.  Looks good."  
That was it!      ?!?!
That guy. 
I think it rocks.  Woot, go spring cleaning with tips for wallpaper!
Jump to the ceiling next!
*The Photowall links are Photowall affiliate links.  The ladders and levels are Home Depot affiliate links.  The plastic tarps, rollers and covers, and microfiber cloths, are Lowes affiliate links.  The X-acto knives and blades are Michaels affiliate links.  The kitchen scales, measuring cups, chip brushes, corked back metal rulers, trim guides, and wallpaper tools are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Outside a Closet Rod.
 copper pipe outside a closet rodOk, this surely sounds confusing and bizarre, an outside a closet rod, but hear me out.  And once you do, you’ll want one, or several, too.
Generally speaking, this is similar in concept to say, a valet rod, but given our bifold closet doors or, in the case of Mike’s office, above the room’s door itself, a valet rod wouldn’t work.  Or, I guess it would there but it wouldn't as he'd hit his head incessantly and break the darn thing within a day or two.
Regardless, those valet rods are best installed in roomier closets or ones with a swinging door, or some such, neither of which we really have.
Ok, so what prompted this seemingly whack-a-doo outside a closet rod idea?  
copper pipe outside a closet rod over doorwayWell.  I saw something online somewhere briefly, very similar though I don’t remember where or who or how or what, and ugh mistakenly didn’t save it because I was tired and not thinking.
Too, every day Mike irons a dress shirt for work and hangs it off a door, or door trim, any convenient spot.  He twists the hanger* hook which invariably breaks the hanger.  And, I love him, but he leaves the hangers, and parts, everywhere.
Then in pondering this idea a bit further, I realized oh, how many times have I pulled something from the closet I intended to wear but had nowhere to stage it, if you will.  Huh.
So this solves a multitude of aggravations, probably not the hangers everywhere matter though.  And, however you want it achieved, this wee project can run the gamut of super affordable to as expensive as you can handle.  All in about a half hour's time!  Sweet!
door beforeIn pondering how to accomplish this little DIY outside a closet rod, given I didn’t save what I saw and don’t remember how that was done, I realized how crazy easy this is to do and there are so many flippin' options at hand.
Heh so first was narrowing down those options based on functionality as well as appearances and I went with...deep curtain rod brackets*one piece of 3/4" copper pipe*copper pipe caps*metal screw-in wall anchors*spray paintWhy the deep curtain rod brackets*?  So that I could clear the trim around the door handily and shirts or whatever can hang freely.  Too, I picked ones that have those itty screws that tighten up onto the pipe, keep the pipe from slipping out.  Because I know Mike.
taping screws together to not lose themHot tip:  tape the little screws together so you don't lose them as these are key!Why the copper pipe?  Because I intend also to put one a' these up in our bedroom and it will match the other copper pipe I've already got going on.  This is a trial-run in Mike's office.  Lucky guy! supplies for outside a closet rod valet type rodPlus, metal, no painting required and no touching up paint as it wears from hangers sliding.  Plus too, I like the look of the copper.  But, feel free to paint away as desired.
Easily a wood dowel will work, galvanized pipe, PVC pipe, and if you don't plan to slide hangers across, a stick or a piece of rebar will also do the trick.  You get it.
How much did this project cost me?  Fifteen for the copper pipe, about four bucks or so for the pipe caps, and eight dollars for one set of brackets.  Quick math...twenty seven bucks.  Not too bad.
All righty, first step in my process, and you may or may not need or want to do this, was spray painting the curtain rod brackets which I did so with the very last dying gasps of my can of dark blue with a bum sprayer top.  That was a panic moment; can't buy spray paint in the city.
spray painted curtain brackets in dark blueHard to tell these aren't black, heh, but actually dark blue.Anyway, ok, sprayed and dried and ready.
Next was determining where around the door in Mike's office I wanted this sweet little outside a closet rod to sit.  He's taller than me, longer arm reach, but I also wanted to make sure shirts and sh*t swung freely and easily.
Mike, again, I love him, but he has zero patience in the world for less than easy-peasy functionality.  If it don't work, he ain't usin' it, and this wonderful helpful thing I'm doing for him would all be for naught.
Right.  So ok, time for some figuring, some head tilts, measuring, lining things up, finding studs* as necessary though I had a vague sense of the door construction.  Though, ya know, who knows with this dumb flipper, right?!
placing curtain rod bracket outside door trimAligning things so that the pipe lined up with the door jamb, the top of the door frame, or, in overexplaining, the bottom of the horizontal trim.Zip zip, up went the brackets.
curtain brackets installedMeasuring the length for the copper pipe was next.  I wanted it to overhang the brackets a bit and since my piece of pipe was five feet long, I had plenty of wiggle room to work with.
measuring pipe overhangTrimmed that up with my grinder* and, for the twelfth time of going up and down, I was back upstairs (holy cow how things have changed in seven years since that post).
Slid the pipe through the brackets and tightened down the little screws to hold the pipe in place.
tightening copper pipe in bracketMake sure to orient the hole for these little screws so it faces up, that way you don't see it.Last but not least, slip the pipe caps on and voilá!
copper pipe outside a closet rod over door doneHalf hour later, it's an outside a closet rod!
outside a closet rod over a doorway installed
Super handy, right?!  See, outside a closet rod, it's a thing!  Have fun!
shirt hanging from outside a closet rod
*The velvet hangers, curtain rod brackets, and metal screw-in wall anchors are Amazon affiliate links.  The copper pipe, pipe caps, Zircon stud finders, and grinders are Home Depot affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
About Finn.
 FinnYou may not be interested in dogs, or maybe dogs having surgery, but Finn did recently, as Hailey did several years ago though hers was different.  I wanted to chat about Finn here today.

First and foremost, nothing can prepare you for when your beloved four-legged best friend, vigilant protector, your Trusty Furry Assistant aka TFA, and literal shadow gets sick, like big sick.  And then, the after part when they come home.
Finn assisting on screen repairHelpful as always, here with screen repair.Of course coming home is an ecstatic moment but it’s also freakin’ terrifying.  And anxiety-riddled, frustrating, hard, messy, filled with fear, yet more tears, and, well, just plain exhausting.

You can be all big and tough and smart (and you are), but until you pile inside, try to settle in, look at their sweet sad face then start reading the doctor’s lengthy instructions, it hits you.  
Finn adopting day photoFinn on adoption day.You are not a vet, do not know what you’re doing, do not have any answers, things do not go as described, and any slight wind direction change sends you into a (internal) screaming panic…you find out fast how small, helpless, clueless, terrified, and terrible you can feel.

Finn came down with the Big C.  Something was awry around the beginning of the year with a (sorry) runny rear and throwing up.  We went to the vet a couple times, things cleared up but it kept coming back.  X-rays and ultrasounds didn't lead us to answers.
 Finn looking at laptop screenI have what??We next went to the vet hospital, mainly because our regular vet felt he saw some kind of unknown blob near Finn's abdomen.
More x-rays and another ultrasound later, the blob indeterminate, most likely his spleen folded over for some reason, but that's when they said we think he's got other issues, let's test.

Test they did and cancer it was.  Cancer in lymph nodes around his abdomen and in an (again, sorry) anal gland.  His spleen was mottled but they felt it wasn't cancerous.  Let's operate, they said.  Distraught, upset, scared, we agreed to do so.

The cancer surgery went smoothly, we were told.  Did his parents handle it well?  Hard to say but we managed somehow.  
Finn on the front porchHe’s short a lymph node or more, that gland, and that non-cancerous spleen now.  Bonus, he even got a slight tummy tuck so it wouldn't expand into the now-vacant spleen area and cause (be careful reading this upsetting link ahead but knowledge is power) life-threatening bloat.

Finn is not a normal dog.  The post-op medications messed him up.  He's a delicate flower in his daily existence already so this was hugely unsettling.

As a parent, you're trying so hard to do everything right but life is not a straight line like that.  The unyielding stress, fear, tension, and exhaustion you feel…like an aneurysm is imminent.

But.  Finn is here.  
Finn caught nappingPre-surgery several years ago napping on a floor vent.He gave us a few tail wags, a couple kissies, happy-to-see-you ear drops between the what-on-earth-did-you-do-to-me why-am-I-broken yet something-seems-better-but-I'm-not-happy-with-you looks.

We corraled him into his corner in the living room with air mattresses* and slept (ha) surrounding him to be close, reassuring, comforting, and to keep an attentive eye on him.  I spent 24/7 sitting next to him, tending to his every need for a week solid.

Well, Finn was here, I should say.

Things took a turn after that week was up and went downhill from there.  We brought him back in because he was vomiting, not eating, blood present in places it should not be.  We overheard that the surgeon was quite booked that day and they were short-staffed.  Mike and I stared at each other with tense, distressed apprehension.

Several hours later, Finn was released, sent home with some pills.  Stop with the antibiotic, the surgeon said, and Finn's incisions were fine (that wasn't the issue).  But he wasn't fine.  That's why we were there.
Finn being his weird self on the couchHe is such a weird dog.Well.  Things turned to sh*t directly.  And by sh*t, I mean sheer hell.

He stopped eating entirely and a laundry list of other concerning things was piling on.  He's a pain in the a** to feed in general but this was not normal.  His breathing was weird, he was lethargic, something wasn't right.  What was missed on his drop-in visit?

Finn on the beach with MikeFinn and Mike on the shores of Lake Michigan.We didn't know if it was the new medicines causing his problems or what.  Every living minute was harrowing.  We just didn't know.

When you're just a regular person, not a vet, you're constantly second-guessing everything, your grip on reality slips, feel like a rotten mom, drowning in fear, don't know which way is up.  

And yes, we could have gone right back over there but we thought if we waited out this medicine or that one, things would improve.  And absolutely not that money > Finny, but this place is a wallet destroyer too.
Finn at top of stairsHow he was greeting me for a while there after I'd been out.  Weirdo.  And the wall organizer too.By the weekend, he was sick.  Very sick.  Scary sick.  His back legs stopped working, he was coughing, his breathing was was not the medicine.
Look, we are well aware there are risks involved with surgery, absolutely.  We're aware things may or may not happen, that Finn could fall into risk categories.  He did.  Rare ones.

We brought him back in.  He went directly into ICU.

He had septic pneumonia. 

He spent a week in the ICU.

......a week.
Big Finn on the bedOn oxygen then onto high flow oxygen, pumped full of antibiotics, a feeding tube, a myriad of tubes, fluids, drugs, things, stuff.  Tests, x-rays, tests, I meannn....

As in, we've got like fifteen pages of invoice stuff.

Every day we thought we were going to lose him.  Multiple times a day, in fact, we felt that crushing terror.  

We frequently called to check in, one or both of us visited him two, three times a day, the doctors and techs called us several times a day.  

Finn made progress at first then took a dip backward then finally, thank every deity that has ever existed, he made a big bounce forward.
Keep your head up graffitiThere have been bright spots in this darkness.
The critical care team was beyond exceptional.  Beyond.  There are zero appropriate adjectives to describe these astonishing people.  They honestly cared, understood his weirdo-ness, and several of them even had goofy nicknames for him.  They texted each other on their days off for updates.  They were all pulling for him.  Hard. 

As much as Finn dislikes people, he was a good boy for them and he won all their hearts.

Our friends and relatives poured love, support, and good wishes Finn's way.  We could not have gotten through without them. 

My pal Sabrina gave us a pile of towels and a handful of treats.  Strangers on the internet in our local Buy Nothing Facebook group came through with more piles of towels.  The LG washer and dryer set* down in our spiffy laundry room valiantly powered through three to five loads of said towels daily. Finn and I in the parkFrom Finn's early years with us, hanging in the park.  No, I'm not a Jager fan, just a fan of that hat, heh.Still though, I honestly don't think I've ever been so stressed in my life. 

Everything is a massive blur.  What day what happened, what day it was even, what I even did in a day, days felt like years but also felt like thirty seconds long. 

I have gotten nothing done.  My life went on hold.  Frozen.  Only in moments where I was feeling ok-ish enough about Finn's progress was I able to do something like start repainting the bathroom after I had just repainted it two weeks prior.

I have projects languishing, duh, of course.  I'm now a Hometalk Ambassador which means I'm on the prowl for products for shoppable tutorials.  This means I have some hot damn super seriously cool projects percolating.


This was brutal.  I'm torched.  Emotionally and physically destroyed.  I probably don't realize how so given I have to keep going.  A walking ball of knots.  My hands are drier than the hottest, driest desert from washing them incessantly (please tell me your go-to curative hand lotion, please!!) but also relieved and optimistic.
Finn on the new Interior Define couchJust pre-surgery.  With all the attitude of a regal king too, haha.Today he got on the couch by himself which is a very happy leap forward.

He’s going to be ok.  Well, the pneumonia part.  The cancer is going to come back though, as the surgeon and ICU doctor no-holds-barred made upsettingly clear. 

I know, I was leading you toward a happy ending there but there won’t be.  All we can do is our best, give Finn even more Best Life Ever, and love him like mad in every moment because we don’t know the future.

In the meantime, I'm sedentary.  Back on 24/7 Finn Duty.  Keeping a keen, tight, and very watchful eye on him.  Working on getting him back on his giant feeties, back to his independent, shadow-of-me, Trusty Furry Assistant self.  I can't guarantee regular posts or any fun projects yet but I'll give it the ol' college try.
Finn trying to be helpfulTrying to help me paint the stair, or, mad that he's not allowed to.In the meantime too, please delve into more posts, rifle through the Flippin' Topics in the right sidebar there, hit up the search bar for specific topics, shop my links, shop my in-the-works revamped shop, get inspired to make, do, fix, and create the life and home of your dreams.  
Finn back home on his deckBack home on his deck earlier this week, breathing in all of the warm spring outside air.Most of all, slow down.  Be like Finn and sniff the flowers then love on your furry ones with reckless abandon.  xo

*The air mattresses are an Amazon affiliate link.  LG laundry machines are an Abt affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Taking a Brief Break.
Just a quick note to let you know I'm taking a brief break and hope to be back soon.
Our big boy Finn, my Trusty Furry Assistant, has some spots of cancer and as I sit here writing this, Wednesday, March 22, he's having surgery.
It'll be a couple of weeks before he's healed up so I will be taking good care of him, smothering him in kisses, and getting him back on his big feeties.
In the meantime, please poke around, fall down a rabbit hole of projects, shop with my links, make something cool that makes you happy, hug your furry ones, and I'll be back with more soon.  
Thanks for your understanding.  xo
Finn the GSD Trusty Furry Assistant

- Flipping the Flip
A Controversial Master Bath Project:  Jet Tub Cover Up.  Part III:  Towel Bars and Shelves.
 finished shelves and towel barDoes this take the cake as the longest blog post title I've composed to date?  So yeah though, come join me back in the bathroom with this Controversial Master Bath Project:  Jet Tub Cover Up Part III, Towel Bars and Shelves.
Last we left off, the bathroom took a dramatic turn with the cedar walls.  
cedar slat wall DIY in bathroomRight?  Drama!
If you're just joining me or need a refresh on this doing-everything-backward bathroom adventure, you can check out Part I here!
Ok so back at that boxy jet tub cover up shelf unit area there, I had plenty more work to do.
Since I am doing everything backward and totally out of order, I realized after I (we, I needed Mike’s help) put a big slab of plywood up to enclose the soon-to-be shelf area and hide the shower head/tub filler stuff that oh dang it, I didn't want to put that up just yet.
hidden support pieces for plywoodHere's how I attached this large piece by the way -- I screwed a 2x4 down to the jet tub plywood cover, a piece near the top, slid the vertical piece up against it, nailed it into the 2x4 and 3/4" edge of the other vertical plywood.Why?  Towel bars!  DIY red oak towel bars.  Gahhh.
So, heh, I yanked that big plywood panel back off.  Because, planning, or doh, all my lack thereof.  This is the way.
Some projects are, just, ya know, like this.  As I shrug and hang my head in embarrassment.
All right, towel bars.  Back over at my second home Menards in the fancy pants wood aisle, I grabbed two sticks of one by two by eight foot red oak.  
tools and supplies for towel barsHow we're not all on first name basis' by now is confusing.  I do see some folks there who look at me like ah, there she is again.
Anyway.  The two sticks of red oak were definitely less expensive than purchasing two ready-made towel bars.  And, you know me, I like unique-to-me.
Real simple here:  I made rectangles.  Of course my first go-around, yes first, I made the depth too short and it was a super stupid struggle to get bath towels in and out.  
Not prepared to admit defeat in the error of my ways, this took me a bit to re-address.  Because...
Yeah....based on my know where this is going....I had to take that big plywood panel off a second time, uninstall the towel bars, rebuild them, and then reinstall everything.  Hence my hesitancy, you see.
Surely no surprise there are lots of this is how we learn and SMDH's goin’ on over here.  Never a dull moment.
But right, the towel bars!  I cut four pieces at thirty inches and in the end, the wood block spacers to a depth of two and three quarters .  Just glue* and nail.*  I used pole barn screws* on the front to add a lil' jazzy pizazz and well, because I have nearly a full box left.
cut pieces of red oak for towel bars
Sure I could have gotten grandiloquent (what is that word, thesaurus?!) and cut the ends at forty-fives and not do lame butt joints.  Maybe another time.  To be honest, I was pressed for towel bar completion and forty-fives on such small pieces made me skittish.
assembling the red oak towel bars
 finished custom made red oak DIY towel barBack upstairs, I measured the towels* folded in half then oy me, math, I then calculated where to attach the towel bars based on what I shorty can reach and what tall-y Mike can reach, along with sort of aesthetically spacing them on the plywood panel.
Yeah.  Ouch.
From the inside side of the plywood, I pilot drilled* holes and yes this was challenging with a large flopping piece of plywood, me on a ladder measuring and drilling* and holding things with insufficient-for-this-project arm length.
But, that's when resolve kicks in because I did not want to see attachment devices from the front good side.  
I have no photos of this for now-obvious reasons.
So I screwed the towel bars from the hidden inside onto the front side.  Mike says his bar is a bit loose now, likely due to my temporarily insufficient arm length so now, with everything since assembled, stained, and sealed, I need to uh figure that out.  Hm.
Ah backward.
Right, ok, so the towel bars are on and they look darn cool if I do say so myself.  Right?  Custom oak towel bars!  They're not perfect but still, custom DIY oak towel bars.  Right?!  Look at me go.
You would if I had taken pictures then too but alas, I suck.
So once the towel bars were on, it was time to finally reattach that darn plywood panel.  Which I did.  With my spiffy Bostitch air compressor and nail gun.*  Sweet.  
Since that was a go, I was able to take steps forward instead of backward!  Whew.
Time for shelves inside my newly shaped err reshaped and reshaped boxed out unit!
Here I cut down a one by twelve better-grade pine into four pieces.  Why pine and not matching plywood?  I was essentially out of the plywood, one-by is solid wood, and since I figured out how to stain pine nicely, I opted to save money.
preparing to install shelf piecesNo harm no foul, you’d never know.
Ok, so on the underside of two shelf pieces and the tops of the other two, I drilled out pocket holes* then dashed upstairs to install.
The two pieces with pocket holes facing up (yes I know there was no difference between any of them until installation thank you) were for the upper shelves and then, well, holes down, the rest is obvious.  This way no holes of any kind would be seen.  
Get the idea I like hidden stuff?  Yeah.
For the upper shelves, I did glue in pocket hole plugs* just because why not.  Mike’s tall enough; I didn’t want to fire up any OCD-related hackles.
installed shelf pieceI know, not the whole view as I was really spacing on the photos overall but more will come, you'll see.And voila, with two small seemingly insignificant concoctions, I finally advanced this controversial master math jet tub cover up project with some rockin' functionality!  
The devil is in the details, and as Charles Eames astutely stated, “the details are not the details.”
installed DIY red oak towel bar and shelvesClearly I'm posting this project backwards and totally out of order too as this is several steps ahead by this photo!
*The PC Universal glue, bath towels, flip drill bits, and pocket hole plugs are Amazon affiliate links.  The Bostitch nailing and air compressors are Lowes affiliate links.  The pole barn screws, Dewalt cordless drills, and pocket hole tools are Home Depot affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
How To DIY:  Tufted Floor Cushions.
 how to DIY tufted floor cushionsAll righty!  Yes!  How to DIY tufted floor cushions!  
This project, well, this dilemma was long overdue in resolving.  Long.  And now it's resolved!  Yay!  I'm really excited about this one, if you hadn't noticed already.
First, mostly, I'm shocked.  Why?  Because these turned out exactly like store-bought floor cushions.  Somehow I didn't muff this up and was able to pull them together in stellar fashion.  I'm super proud of myself a. for a job well done and b. I finished a project.
We've all seen these floor cushions around, they're all the rage and I must admit, I'm a long time fancier.  So much so I was waffling whether to just purchase and be done with the dilemma but honestly, I couldn't justify the forty dollar plus per cushion price tag.
handmade tufted floor cushionsSee, we used to have some pillows we'd plop our butts on on the floor to watch television and eat.  I'm unsure what transpired with those pillows though I feel they disappeared after we lost Hailey.
Sore hearts and sore butts since.  
With the arrival of our Tumble rug, our butts are a wee closer to the hardwood floor so the floor cushion need bubbled up to the Pond of Things-to-Do surface sloshing in my head.
Perusing the interwebs for solutions, I of course was yet again drawn to these dang tufted floor cushions and yet again, meh, pricey.
Until.  Until I ran across several tutorials online where omg I could make them!  And they'd be custom!  The size, the fabric....omg!  Get to the store!
Excitedly off I ran to Textile Discount Outlet where I proceeded to spend two hours roaming only to unbelievably leave empty-handed.  Well, other than a huge bundle of weird batting for twenty bucks. roll of battingI know.  I'm weird.  But this will make sense.Forlorn, I bucked up and dashed over to Joann Fabrics.
See, I was hunting for a fabric that was fun, easy to work with, durable, easy to work with, reasonably priced, and easy to work with.  
In the end, I hit three of the four, compromising on the fun as anything that was fun was holy heck like sixty bucks per yard.  What the......When did fabric prices go gaga?!  Jeez louise.
laying out fabric for tufted floor cushionsSeem familiar?Anywhooo.  Right, here's what I used to DIY these tufted floor cushions which may vary depending on how you decide to accomplish this:fabric*thread*straight pins*fiberfill*a long doll needle*curved upholstery needles*embroidery floss*Many of these items were on hand already, only needing the fabric, fill, and embroidery floss so my total project cost was in the neighborhood of twenty bucks.  
Yes, to DIY tufted floor cushions, my expenditure was half the price of a single store-bought one.  Niiice.
Ok, so this is not complicated but does require a smidge of patience.  Not in bad way.  I mean c'mon, in the end you've got custom DIY tufted floor cushions!
Start by determining the size cushions you want.  In our case, though I goofed and went 24" square first then realized my mistake when it came time to stuff (oy me holy seam ripping*), I needed 24 x 18.
If you have enough fabric to do the side pieces all in one length, go ahead and cut those first otherwise, as in my case with my 60" wide fabric, I cut four strips at six inches wide then stitched* the ends to make two long pieces.
cutting and stitching side panels for floor cushionsLeft, cut the strips and right, stitched them together.All right.  Next, cut your cushion panels and don't forget to add a half inch for seam allowance on each side.  So for mine, I cut four panels at 19 x 25.
measuring and cutting fabric for cushion panelsTime to pin!  Aw man, pinning, bleech, but, it's key to keeping things aligned so gotta do it.  Pin a strip of the side pieces along the edges of the cushion panel with the good sides together.  Yes, the corners will be the trickiest.
pinned fabric for floor cushionMy first go-around here, wrong size, but pinning is shown.Next, stitch the side piece to the cushion panel with a half inch seam.  Yes, again, the corners will be the trickiest.  It's a matter of creatively flopping fabric around.
stitched side panel to cushion panelSame deal, wrong sized one but stitched nonetheless.  I left the side pieces long, uncut then stitched them at the right spot for the fourth corner because I goofed, math error, and cut them too short.  Doh.Once that's done, repeat with the other cushion panel but this time, make sure to leave a decent sized opening at the end to flip the fabric inside out and for cramming full of stuffing.
Which is of course the next step!  This huge roll of batt was thumbs up for me but if you're doing fiberfill, it may take three to four bags per DIY tufted floor cushion to fill, depending on the size you made.
Next, stitch the stuffing opening shut with a blind stitch.  Truly the best thing I ever learned in junior high.  Probably the only thing I remember learning in junior high.
blind stitching tufted floor cushion closedNice, right?!  Almost there!
Now to decorate.  
To decide how many tufts in the cushion body I wanted, I used some pennies and switched them around.  
using pennies to lay out cushion tuftsOnce I had a design I liked, I measured in six inches from the short sides and five from the long then also at center, made some Sharpie* dots, and grabbed the longest needle I had which apparently are called doll needles.
creating tufts in cushion panelsTop, long needle to make cushion tufts and bottom, upholstery needle for ease of knotting.From here I used bright yellow embroidery floss in the hopes of seeing little snippets of color but you can use butch thread.  Thread up your needle, poke through the mark to the other side, pull through, tug tight, then stitch back and forth through a couple times.  Knot off (which I found switching to a curved upholstery needle helped tremendously).
Make sure you've knotted the start end with a big bulky knot so it doesn't pull through, fyi.
Ok, for the part we've all been waiting for, the DIY tufted edges!  Who knew this was so freakin' easy?!
Here I used the curved upholstery needle again but a straight needle works fine.  Start in a corner to hide your knot, sweep through the inside to about an inch from the seam into the cushion panel, pull through.
Make a small straight stitch across then sweep through the inside on an angle about an inch away from the seam on the other side and about an inch away from the small stitch, pull through, and yank taut.  You'll be yanking and tightening as you go which forms that beloved tuft.
using upholstery needle to form tufted edge on floor cushionClockwise from top left:  start at the corner; make a small stitch then go under the seam on an angle and out into the side; repeat and pull very tight.You can measure out and mark the spots ahead if you're looking for exactness but given tufted's nature, I winged it.
Once you get to another corner, knot off then continue on.
Then wow!  Holy schnizzbit, you've got store-worthy tufted floor cushions that you DIY'ed and you should be so very very proud!
finished custom DIY tufted floor cushionTada!  Voila!!  Wow!And darn it, I'm proud!  I cannot believe how well these turned out.  Mike as well as our butts were suitably impressed too, yay!
finished DIY tufted floor cushions in front of Interior Define cobalt couch
Tada, a how to DIY:  tufted floor cushions!   Finn crossing in front of camera
Finn!  Gosh darn it, haha!  He is my shadow, obviously.
completed DIY tufted floor cushionFinn does love this couch!
So easy, right?!  
DIY tufted floor cushions stored under coffee tableBonus!  They store perfectly under the coffee table out of the way!Have fun with this one!
DIY tufted floor cushions

*The fabric, thread, straight pins, and fiberfill are Joann Fabrics affiliate links.  The doll needles, upholstery needles, seam rippers, sewing machines, and Sharpies are Amazon affiliate links.  The embroidery floss is a Michaels affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Updates to Updates:  Joybird and Interior Define.
 Interior Define Tatum sectionalShockingly, so quickly, we have updates to updates:  Joybird and Interior Define!  And exhilarating ones at that!
I'm not gonna lie, and as it's well established that my life generally rolls as a textbook version of Murphy's Law, I, despite not doing it, normally have to keep my expectations and hopes in check.  I know that sounds grim and dismal; it's not meant to.  I merely have that kind a' luck.  *shurg*
Catching back up with this Joybird and Interior Define update today though, as last we left off I chattered on about how aggrieved we were with that Joybird Hyland sofa.
Joybird Hyland sectionalWhen it first arrived, it was disappointing off the bat and as such, Joybird sent us a replacement which was fine enough and appreciated but over time, it was not.
While I had no ulterior motives behind communicating our couch status three-ish or so years in on social media other than to inform others about our experience, wildly, Joybird saw my Instagram post.  And emailed me.
I know.  I was completely surprised.  
Even more surprised when they wanted to make it right.  Wow!  Iiii know!
First, under their warranty policy, they offered to send a repair person to figure out the squeaking.  The busted zipper wouldn't be repaired.
Mere moments later though they sent a follow-up email saying they wanted to send us an entirely new replacement couch.
Whaaaaaat......?  They volunteered that.  Yeah, I know, I was stunned too.
I should qualify:  a replacement couch within their specified budget which is fine and very generous.  Perusing their website with that budget parameter, there wasn't anything that would work for us plus everything would be smaller than what we already had.  
Have you seen the size of our couch loving dog?
But regardless and more importantly, we had long moved on by this point.  We ordered our Interior Define Tatum sectional back in March 2022, stilllll awaiting its arrival that December.
Huh.  Generous offer from Joybird indeed and I absolutely appreciated it.
Got to thinking though, so I asked if they would be willing to send something else within that budget range though I had no idea what.
First they said ehhhhh that's not normally our policy but what would you be interested in?
Perusing their site again, I landed on two Catalina patio chairs, under budget.  How 'bout that, I inquired.
In yet another incredible twist, they said yes, we'll do a one-timer exception and send you two of those chairs.  I kinda really couldn't believe it.
Within two weeks, the chairs arrived and wow holy cats and dogs, I had not checked the dimensions of these chairs which is very atypical of me since that's something I always do and wow, they're huge, ha!
Joybird Catalina outdoor patio chairDon't let this photo fool you, this chair is huge!But they're actually pretty cool. Mike even gave me a hearty nod of approval.  
They're exceptionally roomy, heh again because I hadn't checked the size but they'll be terrific on our patio once warmer weather hits.  Great for games and firepit time!
The cushions are, as par for the course, a bit firm and stiff but for outside, that'll be fine.
In the biggest astonishing twist of all, Joybird offered to come pick up that old Hyland couch and haul it away at no charge.  ................Right?!  
And they did!  We didn't have to move it, didn't have to figure anything, and best of all, we didn't have to resort to the worst option of hauling it out to the alley (where it would not have disappeared so easily) or have it go to a landfill.
Wow.  So in the end, while we did not enjoy our Joybird Hyland sectional and we regret that purchase, Joybird did bend over backward to make things right with us which I deeply respect.  They stepped up to the plate.  Thank you, Joybird!
Now we'll see how the Catalina chairs work out!  It was a trick finding patio furniture covers* in a large enough shape to fit them but *bow,, wink* I got it.
In yet another big startling twist, I am so dizzy with all these twists, the Inteiror Define Channing Tatum couch arrived.  Un-freakin'-believable.  
Interior Define Tatum sectional in CobaltI mean, if you're gonna name a couch Tatum, naturally Channing, right?
I had been following the on-the-ground saga in Facebook groups which was terrible for my mental stability as duly noted by Mike who looked at me side-eyed anytime I mentioned anything Interior Define.
If you read some of the articles I shared in the previous post, you'd know that Interior Define had a monster meltdown, aspects of their business were purchased by Havenly, and the rest went to liquidation.  
Meaning too, many people who placed orders and paid in full were not getting their orders, maybe not their money back either.
Panic consumed me.  We weren't hearing much of anything though I did have one elusively vague contact who was trying to assist as best he could given the situation.  Every Interior Define employee who was left was left out of every loop and I was stressin' hard.
But it showed up.  It's here.  I think I'm still in shock.
another view of the Interior Define Tatum sectional sofaIt's been here a couple weeks now and I'm still in shock.  Finn's not, he love love loves this Tatum sectional.
And it's beautiful.  The color is rich, deep, luxurious, glorious, and gorgeous.  Mike picked it, Cobalt.  He wanted their green velvet but I uh, it was a lot of green for me.  Very pretty but mm, a lot of green.  The velvet fabric is lush, plush, and super soft.
corner edge of Interior Define Tatum sectionalHow 'bout that Tumble washable rug too?!(Oh, is it a dog fur highlighting, dog slobber magnet, this Cobalt?  Yes, yes it is.  Is it already covered in defensive blankets?  Yes, yes it is.)
Thankfully there was zero damage, no moldy mildewy smell as some others had reported since all the furniture had been held hostage in unconditioned shipping containers for four, five, six or more months.
And while I definitely measured our space, the old Hyland couch, and made sure to note the Channing Tatum dimensions, I forgot how expansive it was.
That storage ottoman is freakin' enormous.  Gigantic, omg.  And I think we ended up with foam instead of the down-lined cushions like the rest of the couch.  But, it's ok, Finn's very into it.  That's all that matters as that corner spot with the ottoman is His Spot, his home base.
Interior Define Tatum sectional storage ottoman openSeymour raawwrrr, hahaha.Have I stored anything in the ottoman yet?  Nope.  I'll get there.
But I do have that Chom Chom* at the ready and I highly highly recommend you get one too.  Couches, rugs, people, that thing is magic.  That's almost a Channing Tatum movie reference.
I will note, just like the new vacuum,* Finn abhors the Chom Chom and flies into a murderous rage when either comes out.  Gonna order me some of them knife gloves* and maybe a chainmail suit to protect myself.
In the end, despite the horrifying sh*tshow with Interior Define, and trust me, I know we're one of the very very very lucky ones despite waiting ten and a half months for our sectional to arrive, I love it.  
living room view with Interior Define Tatum sectionalThat tv wall is so blank, sigh.  Still love the console though.It's so comfortable.  The deep cushions are enveloping.  The couch feels sturdy and well-built.  Now Mike and Finn er we, torture the poor thing and see how it stands the test of time.
And it better stand a good long test of time because I am utterly drained from four years of couch stress.
Interior Define Tatum sectional from behindWould I recommend ordering from Interior Define?  No, absolutely not now.  Maybe Havenly will straighten things out, do right, we'll see, but I will absolutely be removing myself from keeping tabs for, fingers crossed, a while.
This living room has come a long way but c'mon it's me, it's never done.
Interior Define Tatum sectional corner with view into foyerOther projects to read about:  the DIY foyer light fixture, the painted wall, and the 99 Cent Shelf!
In the meantime, find me napping with Tatum.
What?!  No, ha, please, are you kidding?!  I've got sh*t to do.  See you next time with another project!
*The patio furniture covers, Chom Chom rollers, Dyson vacuum, and knife gloves are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
A Tumble Washable Rug.
 Tumble washable rugWell!  How exciting, right?  A rug that’s washable!  Whaaat?!  I know it sounds cuckoo but what a boon!  And thanks to Tumble, we get to test one out!  Thanks, Tumble!
First and foremost, I’m required to let you know that Tumble* sent me this awesome rug free of charge which is remarkably generous.  I was not otherwise compensated for this post and the opinions forthwith are mine. 
All right.  So who couldn’t use a washable rug, amiright?!  Think about it.  We all spill.  We all drop stuff.  Life is crazy messy. 
Many of us have pets, ya know, major mess makers.  We absolutely love our goofball Finn but let me tell you, he’s a slob.  Muddy feeties, slobber, food spiller, treat crumb spreader, fur...Dog. 
Some of us have husbands.  Ahem and uh, while I most certainly love mine, he’s a human Pigpen, and he knows it.  He spills, drops stuff, muddy feet, ya know, a mess maker as well.  He's not a slobber-er though.
Some folks have kids and while we do not, I have seen them and I have seen what they can do. 
Across the board, rugs take a monster beating and let’s be frank, despite our best attempts at keeping them clean, they end up worn and filthy.  It's a fact of life.
It’s exceptionally challenging to find a quality rug that will last, that’s affordable, resilient, and stain resistant.  And the one thing greater-we routinely compromise on is washable as that has always been laughably unrealistic. 
Why have we always compromised on the one thing we all really, desperately need out of a rug?
Well, not anymore.  Thanks to Tumble washable rugs,* we're set.  It’s tremendous.  view of Tumble washable rug from aboveWhat's that blue thing??  Yes.  Yes, the new couch arrived.  Omg yes, it made it!!No longer do I fear that bowl of cereal-colored milk tipping off the coffee table.  Or that towel-averse, wet, muddy dog dashing amok.  I am immensely excited and relieved.
Pet-friendly, people-friendly, kid-friendly, life-friendly, washable, spill-proof...I mean, they've solved every issue and I am not joking.  It's real.
In very short order, less than a week, our new Tumble washable rug arrived and guess what, it arrived simply:  in a flat cardboard box.  While it was a bit heavy, it was not hard to manage. 
Tumble washable rug delivery boxYes, everything must be inspected.Inside the box you’ll find the rug of course but also a cushioned rug pad which, from what I understand, other washable rug brands do not include.
Right, so open the box!  The rug!  It's nice!  It's so soft and clearly very well made.
contents of Tumble washable rug boxInside the muslin bag are the instructions for assembly, for care, and a package of rug grippers.
What's the first thing I did after unpacking the rug?  I washed it.
Why?  Because it's washable and that's a key feature here, well, aside from the attractive designs* too.  I wanted to know right off how it handled being washed.  Plus, in reading up online, I hadn't seen mention of the rug actually being washed.
Hoofed it down to the fancy pants laundry room and, considering the Petra Silver we received is an 8' x 10', it did take some maneuvering to get it into the washer but in it went.  The whole rug.  In the washer.  Wow.  Right?!
It washed up lovely, looked exactly like it came out of the box, so then into the dryer it went on low.
Out it came and.....?? 
Perfect!  Not a wrinkle.  No curling edges or corners.  Still just like it came out of the delivery box.  So, a thousand percent yes on the washable aspect of the rug.  Seriously.  Holy. Cow.
Do note, because it is washable and meant to fit into washing machines, the rug itself is on the thinner side, similar to an Oriental-type rug.  Not that that's bad because it's not.
Now to install.
This is easy.  
Pick your spot and start laying out the rug pad.  
Here we pre-planned for our future couch, shifted the old rug a hair then placed painters tape* in two corners as a guide to align the new in the spot we wanted.
taping corners of old rug for new rug placementGot me some spiffy new slippers* too.The waterproof, cushioned rug pad is similar to those rubber puzzle piece floor mats but obviously much higher quality.  Make sure you do this in the exact spot the rug is going as the non-slip aspect is very much that; it won't slide once assembled.
laying out rug pad foam piecesEach piece is numbered and there's a map on the instructions for layout making this very easy.
connecting rug pad pieces togetherI lucked into an assistant!  Thanks, Mike!
foam rug pad assembledLook at Finn's cute little face watching me take a picture, so sweet!Next, lay the rug over the pad.  What's extra excellent about this rug are the corners because everyone knows corners curl.  
laying rug over padYou'd never know this rug had been washed and dried in machines.  Amazing.Here, on the underside are little corner pockets that you tuck the pad into.  That keeps the corners flat.
Tumble washable rug corner pockets for padHallelujah.  
Tumble considered every aggravating thing about a rug and fixed it.
If you've got some creases from shipping, don't panic.  You can either wait for them to relax, which they will, or you can use a low-heat iron to knock them out.  Easy peasy.
Move your furniture back and enjoy!  And by enjoy, I mean en-freaking-joy your new low-maintenance, easy care, washable Tumble rug that resists spills and stains like nobody's business.
new Tumble washable rug and new Interior Define couchWho's a happy boy?!  His parents are ecstatic!  More on the couch later...And this rug sheds liquids.  For real, it's 100% spillproof which I inadvertently tested doing some light clean-up to prep for these photos.  Finn haaaates our new vacuum* with a raging passion so he knocked over a plant and some water trying to attack me and the vacuum.  
spilled plant dirt on new Tumble washable rugThe water beaded up, did not soak in at all, and the plant dirt sat on the surface, didn't burrow deep into the fibers.
So you merely blot liquids up!  Plant dirt?  Yeah, that vacuumed completely out.  No harm, no foul.  The care instructions say avoid being aggressive with a vacuum which is fine by me.  I loathe vacuuming.
Tumble washable rug in living roomI have to say, I am quite looking forward to our time together, us and our spiffy new Tumble washable rug.*  It's going to be a dream.  For a limited time, get $20 off your order using this specific link!*
new Tumble washable rug and Tatum couch with FinnSweet dreams, buddy!
*The Sorel slippers, painters tape, and Dyson V8 vacuums are Amazon affiliate links.  The Tumble washable rug links are affiliate links for 3 months from publishing date as well.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Dollar Store DIY Decor:  A Skewer House.

 dollar store decor skewer houseAll righty, joining back up with the recurring Dollar Store DIY Decor segment:  A Skewer House.  This thing is dang quaint and cute and adorable and dang easy to make too.  Make one, make a few, make different sizes or shapes, use different bits and parts....ahhh you get the idea.
You can hang it/these on a wall.  You can set them on a surface like a shelf or a mantle or piece of furniture.  Versatile home decor, yep. 
And so dang cute.
I mean, even Mike likes it.      ........Right?!
Riffling through my way-too-big stash of project supplies for something else...I've really gotta get to using up this ridiculous mountain of project supplies...I inadvertently came across wood house shapes I had picked up at Dollar Tree* a good while back with no premeditated use and tada, voila, new idea hatched.  dollar store decor skewer houseHatched idea!Maybe I've really gotta stop buying bits, pieces, and parts of project supplies.  Cannot help myself though.  It's that buy-it-when-you-see-it thing as the it-most-likely-won't-be-there-next-time issue routinely plagues me.   
Or the buy-it-when-you-see-it-otherwise-you're-gonna-regret-passing-this-up-at-some-point thing.
Now, I realize I purchased these wood house shapes from Dollar Tree so long ago that they may not have them currently.  To replicate this idea without the dollar store house shapes, you might have to assemble a little house on your own.
Don't panic.  It'd be real easy: 
Just use some flat stock wood trim for the sides, or some balsa strips and some balsa wood for the back.  Balsa* is easy to cut with a utility knife.*  Make sure you use a sturdy metal ruler, preferably with cork* on the back to avoid slipping and slicing up your hand.  Ouch.  Yeah, don't do that.
I realize making this base shape takes more time and makes this project more expensive but now you'll have extra wood to create more house shapes or other cool projects.
Ugh, see?  I clearly have a project supplies problem.  Among many others.
It's not my fault, ahem, I don't know what's happening when it happens.  I have too many ideas and too little time.
Moving on.

What you'll need:wood house shape (buy it or build your own)wood skewers*various wood dowels* orwood balls* or other shapesstrong, sharp scissors* or snips*hot glue* or other gluedrill bits*hanging hardware* or twine or leather cord* if wall mount or hanging is desiredThat's it.  Oh, and any flora you'd like to display which in my case, snippets snitched while on a walk with Finn through Humboldt Park in winter.  
Yes.  I brought scissors with me on a walk in the park with Finn.  I am that person.
The general idea came from something I spotted on Pinterest.  It's adorbs.  Just a cutout of plywood in a house shape (as in the kind we drew as kids) with a sort of shelf at the bottom, wood beads and flora as decor.
So you could do that if you're not interested in building a shadow box house shape.  Great way to use up some scrap wood which huh....I might do too.
Ok, let's get started on this dollar store DIY decor skewer house.  
Generally speaking, this entire project is completely flexible; this here is merely a guide to unleash your imagination.
dollar store decor skewer house suppliesFire up the ol' hot glue gun.
Grab a skewer, set it on your house shape frame to measure, and just snip it to trim to fit.  Try to get moderately close to the angle.
dollar store decor skewer house trimming skewersHere I started in the center and worked my way out.
A few itty bitty teeny tiny dabs of hot glue on the skewer will hold it in just fine.
Once you get one side done, fill in the other side.
dollar store decor skewer house half done skewersCould not be easier, right?  
Skewers!  They're artful, who knew?!  Yay, haha!
dollar store decor skewer house finished skewersIt's a dollar store skewer house, ha!Now, decorate your little skewer house any way you see fit!  You could paint this, stain it, gold leaf it, ya know, whatever.  I opted to leave the blonde wood as-is mostly as a point of reference for you and well, it was my preferred look anyway. dollar store decor skewer house arranging displayTrim up some dowel pieces, hefty diameter ones, into various lengths and gather up whatever other shapes you plan to use.  Do some test arrangements in there before you hit the glue to see what composition you like best.
In some cases, like the dowels and my other wood shapes, they needed a small hole drilled in order to stick in the flora.
dollar store decor skewer house drilling holesEasy peasy, use a drill bit in a screw gun* then gently and carefully, don't go hog wild, drill holes as desired.
Next, simply glue your prearranged arrangement of wood pieces into the skewer house shape.
Lastly, glue your flora into the holes of the wood pieces and you are set, my friend.
dollar store decor skewer house finishedLook at that!  How cute, right?!
Such an easy, and mighty quick, maybe fifteen minutes, piece of home decor to fill that one spot that's missing something.
Tada, Dollar Store DIY Decor, it's a Skewer House!
dollar store decor skewer house displayOk, I should really head off to the basement and use up more of these darn project supplies.  Until next time, happy creating!
*The Dollar Tree link is a general Dollar Tree affiliate link.  The balsa wood is a Michaels affiliate link.  The screw guns are a Home Depot affiliate link.  The utility knives, cork backed metal rules, skewers, dowels, wood balls, scissors, snips, hot glue, drill bits, hanging hardware, and leather cord are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Ciao to 2022:  Variety Pack.
 custom aspen shelves inside sheet pan cabinetIt's been a year, 2022, amiright?!  Ciao, buddy!  I don't even speak Italian.  Either way, I thought I'd close out the year with a spiffy Variety Pack.
In reflection, as one is wont to do this time of year, again and as usual, it feels like a mix of lots and nothing got checked off the ol' to-do list.  Confusing for sure.
Weirdly, I don't write anything down on a list anymore.  And honestly, I haven't even looked at my list binder in probably years which is extra weird as I nevertheless rely on handwritten paper lists.
Well anyway.  Let's see what's on the docket for today!
Ah, an update on the ol' metal front stair steps as, if you remember this past spring, some rust came back.  I finally got it cleaned up and patched prior to the winter yuck.
Pretty much did the same as the original clean-up, prime, and paint though here I stuck mainly to areas that had failed.  
First, and key to our outside survival, slather on the Picaridin.*  This stuff is the schnizz, like, ain't no mosquitos getting through this barricade.  It's one of the very few things that work for me.  That and a Thermacell.*  
Get the lotion version of Picaridin.  There's no odor, you're not sticky or gross, it lasts hours, and it works.  Trust me.  Mosquito magnets, we are.
Right, ok, first bug stuff then grinding* away at the parts that rusted or peeled, a little steel wool* action too.  Brush that away and it's time to hit the Rustoleum Rust Reformer.*  Let that do its work though I do wonder if this stuff does actually work.  Hm, seems a research project.
cleaning up rust and peeling paint from metal outdoor stair stepsProbably doesn't appear too bad given the lighting here but letting it go another winter was not in the cards.Next day, slap on more Picaridin as it's time to alkyd prime.  Didn't do the whole plane of tread, just hit wide of the spots that were cleaned up.  Mosquitoes buzzed but flopped away hungry.
priming metal stair with alkyd primerHeh, all right, fine, I did do quite a bit of priming after all.Day three, it's paint time.  Unlike the Rustoleum* I insanely kept using, the alkyd paint did not dry out in the can over the winter.  Nice.  Yet another coating of Picaridin on me and then one coat of alkyd paint for the stair, fully painting each tread.  Let dry overnight.
Slather slather more Picaridin as it's the next day, paint coat two.  Mosquitos are hovering.  Pissed off.  No free lunch for you, ciao suckers!
One last Picaridin dousing and one final coat of paint for good measure.  Mostly I wanted to taunt the mosquitos one last time.
And voila, scrubbed, reformed, primed, and repainted!  Fingers crossed!  As of this writing after a smattering of snow and ice (no salt!), all is holding steady but we'll check back next spring. repaired and painted front metal stair steps with alkyd paintVariety Pack onward!
In acknowledgment of a couple of comments over on the spiffy wood lath wall project, I picked up some different extenders a long while back for the switch/outlet on the wall.  Was it necessary?  Maybe, maybe not.

Now, look.  Before we move ahead.  If you're going to be helpful and leave helpful comments, I appreciate that, thank you very much.  Just don't be nasty, mmk?  
In fact, if you have the urge to be rude on the internet (another charmer elsewhere called my lath wall job, rather jealously actually, "shoddy" and mansplained that "wood burns"), don't.  Just don't.  It is 1000% possible to convey reasonable information without being a smug a**.  
Too, if you're gonna be rude, don't be wimpy anonymous; leave your real name.  But honestly?  Just don't be a d*ck, ok?   Why this ever needs clarifying is beyond me.

Right.  Extenders.  Ok.  There are many different types* to work gaps safely between a wall and an electrical box:  the kind I used in the kitchen, frame types, and a sleeved box type.
spacer outlet extenders beforeBefore.I bought a mud ring* since I was skootching scarcely not even a quarter inch out and a whole plastic box/sleeve type* seemed pointlessly excessive.  In this case, they both accomplish the same task.  If you're in need of more depth, one of the box sleeve types is the way to go.
mud ringNot complicated here, really.  I shut off the power at the breaker, unscrewed the switch and outlet, attached the mud ring to the electrical box, then screwed the outlet and switch onto that.  Voila.  Bam.  Done.  Rude people begone. mud ring electrical box extender afterIf our house burns down and inspectors check that outlet, will this type of extender really make a difference over the extenders I had in there prior?  Did I really need to do this?  Who's to say.  Safety is paramount especially when it comes to electricity.**  But don't be a d*ck.
Ok.  Huff puff over.  Onto more Variety Pack.  
Let's do something fun:  functional organizing.  Like making little custom storage shelves in a narrow cabinet with aspen.
We have two of those sheet pan cabinets in our frustrating kitchen.  One is filled with baking sheets of course and the other, when we moved in, I tossed in some temporary shelves to hold things like aluminum foil, etc.   narrow sheet pan cabinet shelves beforeBefore.The shelves were so temporary that they kept falling which heh, obviously gets annoying so I finally did something about it.
Using little wood lath leftover bits and a piece of half inch by eight by six foot aspen I picked up, I wedged in a jungle gym of shelves.  
preparing piece of aspen for shelvingCounter clockwise from top left:  cutting the shelf pieces; cutting cutoff leftovers into shelf supports; sealing the shelves with paste wax.*First though, I took everything out of the cabinet, edited, then designed around what stayed thereby making it custom to fit my needs, thereby ensuring success.  I will say one more shelf would have been helpful but so be it.  This works.
Measuring for shelf height spacing I then cut vertical pieces of wood, accounting for the thickness of the shelf pieces, then a cross piece of lath to wedge the verticals snugly into place.
assembling custom shelves inside narrow kitchen cabinetIt's reverse Jenga.*I didn't use any fasteners, by the way.  This is all held together by force, cutting pieces extremely tight.  A couple light dabs of glue* for the top horizontal shelf but otherwise this is completely collapsable and removable.  Perfect for renters!
closer view of cabinet shelvesHey, why not use those pre-drilled holes you see on the right for shelves, Becky?  Because they were only in the front, not in the back.To assemble, all I did was place a shelf piece atop my base structure which was then secured in place by continuing to build up.  Rinse, repeat.
finished shelves inside skinny sheet pan cabinetAnd voila!  Hallelujah, no more floppy shelves dropping all the time!  Yay!
All righty, since we're leaving off in the kitchen, let's get to that Variety Pack recipe for you.  Ah!  Slightly weirdly, maybe misnomered but this Deviled Pork Chops recipe is delish.  Then pop on over to The Bake Dept for dessert!
Ciao 2022!  
Wishing you and yours all the very very best in the new year!
*The Picaridin, wire grinders, Rust Reformer, extenders, mud rings, paste wax, and Jenga are Amazon affiliate links.  The sleeve/box type outlet extenders and Rustoleum paint are Home Depot affiliate links.  The steel wool and wood glue are Lowes affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
**Disclaimer:  Electricity is dangerous.  It can hurt you.  It can kill you.  Bad wiring can burn your house down.  It's best to hire a qualified, licensed electrician if you don't know how to wire things.  Do not attempt to wire anything without the proper knowledge.  Do not ever take wiring advice from me.  And do not blow your house up.
- Flipping the Flip
A Controversial Master Bath Project:  Jet Tub Cover Up.  Part II.  Cedar!
 cedar slat wallMoving ahead with the controversial master bath project, jet tub cover up, onto part II here.  Cedar!  Kind of in a slight holding pattern as I sit here but, let's catch up regardless!
Because, as I mentioned last time, this has been a uh, how shall I say, a design on the fly adventure.
I'd designed and redesigned and redesigned and designed this space in my head sooo many times, the trash can in my brain is drowning in crumpled papers.
But I arrived upon this partial idea to work with, hoping the remaining pieces *waves hands around room* would fall into place around it.  And they are.  
Surely too slowly for Mike.
I've gotten the "when's the bathroom..." and the "maybe work on the bathroom....?"'s here and there.  I'm tryin' babe, I'm tryin'.
That's the thing about home interiors, home decor, etcetera etcetera though.  They take time.  And taking time is a-okay.  There's no need to ram through a design, clamor to get every last piece and part together a flurry.  Taking time ensures you get it right.
Or, if you don't get it right, it's not the end of the world.  Anything that can be done can be undone.  And as I've said before, mistakes aren't mistakes, they're opportunities to learn.
In this case, as I go along, hitting the occasional trouble for not having a full-on plan, things shake out in ways that create other dilemmas so there's oodles of problem-solving happening too.  
*shrug* it's fine, I don't mind.  This is how we learn.
So right, continuing this controversial master bath project jet tub cover up with part II.  Cedar!
Last we left off here, I had a piece of ritzy plywood covering the unworkable jet tub itself, ritzy plywood panels up for a shelf unit, and masonite on the walls covering the (gag) tile.
Progress!  And lots of it.  Albeit confusingly awful and very questionable, but progress.
Next was math.  Oyyyy me, a lot of math.  I wish I knew where math and I veered from each other!  Thank goodness for AutoCAD* to save my math-addled a**.
design elevations for master bath cedar wallsMath as I was making a wood purchase and we all know we don't want to goof up a wood purchase.  
Cedar wood to be exact, one by two strips of sweet smelling cedar.  For as long as I can remember, and that's a mighty long time, I've loved the scent of cedar.  These pieces don't smell much though, sadly.
First was laying out the cedar slat wall design shown above which is a long-standing mid-century pattern, and ok, seeing quite the resurgence these days.
For such a trend-avoider, I know, it seems I incorporate a few trends.
But as I've mentioned, while trends come and go, get dated fast, it's quite all right to thoughtfully choose a trend or aspects of a trend that you know you'll love a long time.  
Designing and decorating a home is all about personalizing it for yourself, not the Jones', so if you love something, go for it.  Thoughtfully, heh.
Riiight, bathroom, topic at hand.
First the masonite and drywall bump outs got a lovely coating of my perennial favorite paint, black.  Of course.  Shocker.   painting everything blackIt's always darkest before the dawn....bear with me, I know this looks horrifying.  And oophh, cannot stand acrylic latex paint which is what this black unfortunately is.All right.  Time for the sweet sweet cedar.
Oh riiight, yeah, no, I did not stain or seal the cedar by the way.  It's naturally moisture resistant so in a humid condition like this particular bathroom, it'll be fine as-is.  And if it changes color?  Cool.
Ok, so based on the real dimensions of the cedar, after several math attempts let's be real, I planned the gap spacing between them and made a little template of sorts to squish between the slats as I was installing so I wouldn't be measuring each individual gap space. making spacer template for between slatsA screw or two in the spacer template worked as handles.For the area above the toilet which is the actual wall, the math came out differently but not too much so.
small wall spacerSmaller handheld spaer.Hauled my handy dandy Bostitch air compressor up from the basement, ugh whoo, plugged it in and it was go time.
With just-long-enough brad nails,* I started tacking the cedar into the drywall starting in the righthand corner facing the toilet wall.  Not too dissimilar from the hall bathroom lath wall install, I know.
tacking cedar slats onto wallSlipped the spacer next to it then tacked the next piece of cedar up.  Repeat, rinse, repeat, turn a corner, two walls covered.
continuing installing the cedar slatsThe shelf may be a little bowed.  It could be the camera.  Sorry for the continued shots of our dang toilet.When I got to the areas where the masonite was covering over the tile, I obviously couldn't and did not want to nail into the tile itself so I tacked each piece twice up top, once near the ceiling, once just above the tile, and then toe-nailed once into the plywood covering the tub.
More images to come once I get to the full room reveal. meeting the wall with the tubLittle bit of trimming here to meet the tub wall.In the end, well, not the end per se as I'm clearly not done, this, as a result, has now evolved into a sort of whole room overhaul.  
close up of finished toilet wall with cedar slatsCan't do just one thing and expect everything to work around it, haha.  
Next share on this jet tub cover up project, wrapping up the shelving unit, a spiffy towel bars DIY, and staining.  OoOooh yay!
finished cedar slat bathroom wall
On tap currently though?  Repainting is next (can't help myself with the paint) and a new vanity light fixture because of uh, the new paint.  While I love the one we have, it'll look peculiar with its pending new surroundings.
closer view of cedar slat wall in bathroom
I am taking a chance with the paint so we'll see.  
Much like designing it, I’ve repainted this wee room in my head about twelve hundred times before settling on this forthcoming choice.  It'll be its own post as, if you know me, it won't be just a slap-some-paint-on-the-wall deal.
cedar slat bathroom wallThen, haha, hopefully this controversial master bath project jet tub cover up design will stick around for a bit, right?!  That's my goal anyway!
close up of shelf and Fisher Price people

 *The AutoCAD link is an Autodesk CAD affiliate link.  The brad nails are an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Joybird Review Update.  Plus, Interior Define.
 poor quality Hyland sofa from JoybirdSo back when....goodness, only 2019, we ordered a couch and rug online from Joybird and I wrote up a spiffy post with my initial review.  Now it's the end of 2022 and I've got more s'more words.  Since, we've moved onto Interior Define.  Strike two.
Crazy, right?  To only have a couch for just over three years?  Yeah.  Absurd.
But, I'll tell you why.  That Joybird couch is a piece of crap.  I'm wholly dissatisfied and ticked about it.  
Finn walking by Hyland Joybird sofaEven Finn is sticking his tongue out at this couch.There's even an angry Facebook group, Joybird Sucks.  And it's true.
In my original Joybird review, I pointed out how they delivered a couch to us and it was so poorly made that when they sent a follow-up questionnaire, I griped.
Shockingly, a real person replied to my griping and they sent us a replacement couch.
Full disclosure, we paid a not-small sum, in the neighborhood of three k for the whole order.  That's not an insignificant expense.  Given too that I had some serious convincing of Mike in order to go the Joybird route, the sum felt even weightier.
It didn't take long for this Joybird couch to reveal its true self as pretty piss poor.  Hence, Joybird review update.
joybird hyland sofa when first arrivedBefore, when it first arrived.Within a month, the zipper on the chaise portion was unzipping itself.
I kept zipping it back up when, within a few more months, the zipper gave way entirely.  
That's Finn and Mike's favorite spot so naturally, it takes a major beating as neither of them are gentle with, well, anything, except me.  Awwww.
Before long, the fabric was peeling off the foam and now it's a train wreck.
failed zipper on Joybird Hyland couchNow, I'm showing you how our couch exists on a daily basis.  I have not done anything to make it worse or make it better.  I only took the throw pillows which I have since re-covered numerous times off for these photos.In short order as well, within the same time frame of barely a couple months, the poorly designed legs were dinged up.  By themselves.  Like, they are degrading on their own for the most part.  
I was already irritated at them since they hadn't devised a way to mask the installation pocket holes.  Hugely unattractive, a glaring design detail omission that is embarrassment-worthy. 
Bump a leg with a vacuum, or just look at them, and they ding, dent, and scratch.  A wild dog on a toy chase, Finn has scratched them up with his big dog nails.  
joybird hyland couch leg showing wearHow does it wear all the way up there where nothing touches it?The dog-proof fabric we picked?  Nnn nnnn.  Not so.  For most of its time here, and frustratingly it's still here, I covered it with blankets to protect the supposed indestructible fabric to help keep it cleaner.  See the initial review postweird wear on the joybird hyland sofaSure, I'm super picky and critical but this was expensive, gosh dang it.  Buckling seam, not sure how and how are these threads underneath coming undone?  Nice legs.  Well, one is.Sometime in late spring, after we gave up on this dumb Joybird piece of sh*t, I yanked the blankets off.  It absolutely did not take long for Finn to work his dog magic and the chaise is gross; the fabric is flattened, dull, sad, and worn the heck out.
fabric wear on Joybird Hyland couchLeft, cushion that had a blanket covering it all this time.  Right, blanket covering chaise was removed in May.  So, this is how the fabric fares after only seven months.Worst of all (maybe worst, hard to rate?), the damn thing squeaks.  Squeaks!  Insult to injury.
Mostly really though, the couch is uncomfortable.  It's bonkers firm and given that it's the main, only, piece of living room furniture we spend time on, have, in this house, it's aggravating.  It has never softened up and never gotten comfortable.  
shifting cushions on joybird hyland sectionalThe cushions refuse to stay in place.Plus the seat height is a little higher than average making it weird for someone of shorter stature such as myself to get onto.  Nothin' like tripping up onto your couch.
view of joybird hyland sectionalI can't imagine what horrible shape it'd be in if I hadn't kept the cushions covered by blankets.  But what a way to live, keeping the couch covered, right?I mean, if you like a very firm couch, this is for you but for us, no thanks.
All in all, let's just kindly say in this Joybird review update, that Joybird is junk.  Do not buy it.  Do not recommend.
It was our mistake too, my mistake, I'll own it, for purchasing from a place where you can't see the piece of furniture and sit on it.  I know these online furniture places are all the rage but we will never make that mistake again.
This thing is one foot out the door into the alley.
Onto what we did do.  Or have tried to do, rather.
Back in March, after anguished deliberation, we opted to get something else, vowing this time to actually see things in person and sit on them.
After sending many many many options to Mike, we popped over to the Interior Define store in Lincoln Park.  It helps that there's a Fatso's Last Stand over there too, side note.
Things we saw online we saw in person and didn't like until we came across one we had skipped online but liked in person:  the Tatum sectional.  Or, as we and our sales person called it, the Channing Tatum.
I'm purposefully not linking to their site, fyi.
We liked it.  We loved it, in fact.  So we ordered it.  
Super easy, the whole process.  Our salesperson was terrific, she was fun, loves This Old House like me, she advised a Chom Chom roller,* and she said Channing (never got to meet him while working on this) will arrive by September.  Ok cool, thanks!
Beautiful velvety fabric in Cobalt.  Feathered cushions, a storage ottoman, and sooooo comfortable.
 Interior Define Tatum couch in cobaltHere's what we ordered.  Photo from Interior Define's website.Loved it.
As I sit here late November, it's not here.  Supposedly it got to Los Angeles in August then was awaiting customs.  Has been for four months.  Yes, awaiting customs for four months.  It plainly should not take that long.
Interior Define is having a boatload (ah pun, turns out they're made in China) of issues and they refuse to be transparent, forthcoming, responsive, or helpful.  Notably, heh, there's also an Interior Define Sucks Facebook group.
Every month since we get a "it's definitely coming by the end of the month" response and they only give monthly updates.  Yet.  It's not here.  We're not sure it exists, though they have all our money.  They can't track it; they don't know where it is currently.  
They did give us a five percent refund, and now another fifteen percent, based on, well, the obvious but like thousands of other disgruntled customers, we're always waiting to hear from someone who most likely won't ever reply.
They don't answer phones, don't reply to emails, and you can barely get a chat person on their site.
Based on some internet sleuthing, there are hoards of irate Interior Define customers out there in the same situation as us.  Just look at their Instagram, the comments on their posts.  Or look up Interior Define reviews online.  It's disturbing.
The sleuthing turned up info that they aren't paying vendors, laid off a huge portion of the company, and have a myriad of issues all around.
Hugely worrisome.
So we're panicked.  
We ordered the Channing Tatum the first week of March.  We're being told "with confidence" delivery is at the end of December.  Oh.  Wait.  Early January now.  Hmph.  September, then October, then November, then December, now January.  Mm hmmm.  Meanwhile we're stuck with a piece of Joybird junk that's dissolving.  
Sounds like until Interior Define straightens their sh*t out, we're sh*t outta luck on getting our delivery, Channing is a hostage.
We shall see what our next steps are.  It is beyond maddening, beyond irritating, my head is about to explode.  *sigh*
Interior Define Tatum sectional in cobaltArrrrggg, show up already, jeez louise!  Photo from Interior Define's website.Not living the charmed life buying couches, heh!
In the interim, I wish I had some great modern couch options and trustworthy places to suggest in this price point.  We looked at the usual suspects such as Crate & Barrel, Dania, and skipped others that had bad reviews or bad customer support like West Elm.  
We either couldn't find anything we liked or they were out of reasonably priced reach.  And Mike is still a solid no on revisiting Ikea.
I suppose my TL:DR point here is that it's easy to forget to be savvy.  It happens.  It's ok.  Let's not pointlessly beat ourselves up.  Sure, we feel bad about it afterward but, ouch this is how we learn.  Ultimately my hope is that this has been helpful, in more ways than one.
So that's my review update on the ol' Joybird.  Crap.  And Interior Define?  Not a winning decision either. Sigh.
Eta:  Stay tuned and come back for an update about Joybird after I posted this review.  I'll link it here soon!
*The Chom Chom roller is an Amazon affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
A DIY: The Stair Project. Part Three, Risers.
 creating risers with hardboard, skewers, and screen mold trimSo, yeah, it's been a stitch since I mentioned the ol' DIY Stair Project I see.  Time to update with part three, the risers!
It's not quite done, this DIY Stair Project.
Of course.  
Maybe someday I'll start and complete a project in a timely fashion.  But, *shrug* seems to be how things roll around these parts:  in parts.  World's longest reno here.
But!  Most parts are done with the landing yet to be installed, (mmm, started) along with touching up the damage I wreaked, plus one last riser to finish.
So frustratingly, things a'-linger along still.
Last we left off, I was hard at work working on the spiffy, gorgeous, old-growth 1890's pine from a church in Bridgeport that I bought at Great Lakes Yard.
Here and there on the internets I've been given a small raft of sh*t for planing the surface to reveal the wood, in that I've erased history.
I get it, but, giving this wood a new life, resurrecting it, where otherwise it could have been destroyed thereby completely lost to history, is not only worth the effort but worth scraping off a smidge of timeworn, and in some cases burnt, outer shell.
Please don't give me any more sh*t for it.  Thank you.
Soooo, ok.  
Part of the hold-up with installation for this stair project was the risers.
A good while back, Mike and I dreamt of an open stair so I re-floated the idea to him.  Having yanked up a couple a' treads, it was revealed that there was no middle stringer which meant an open stair was whooo, totally a viable option.
stair before*gag,* the stair before I started ripping it apart.  How did we live like this?!In the end, while an open stair so tugs at me, we decided eh, let's not.  And in the end, further into demo, I discovered there would have been some minor odd spots and bits and such to hide, complicating a streamlined look.
Not to mention the patching, fixing, the sanding patching sanding and overall (albeit temporary) mess.
Having settled that, which I know is gigantically disappointing, risers were back on the table.
And I cannot tell you how many images of risers, DIY risers, riser inspo, riser options, modern risers, riser this riser that, that I scrutinized online.  Days, months, years worth.  
Because, I'm me, annoyingly, and slathering on a lick of paint, brush-mic drop, was not an option.  
Especially white paint...I can't understand that infatuation -- risers get kicked and dinged and beat up.  They'd be destroyed, dirty, and beaten up in an hour between Mike and Finn.  Holy cleaning nightmare to keep it looking sharp and pristine yet I see it everywhere online.  Do not get it.
After too many images, magically a plan formed.  Really truly, magically.  But, finally.
What did I do?  
Took some eighth inch thick Masonite, cut strips, glued on some bits, painted them black, sealed them up, and bam, done.
What were the bits?  Screen mould and skewers.
I'll give you a second.


Yes.  Screen mould trim (screen mold, whatever) and skewers.  Yes, skewers.
Hear me out.
I was looking for texture, a hint of pattern, and a third.  A third meaning that oft-trotted-out design theory that things harmonize best in threes.  Along with the color, pattern, texture, and shine theory.
One is of course the pine itself and I obviously did not want to detract from or compete with it.  Two is the gloriously rich paint color in the stair.  So three was the risers.  
The screen mould and skewers add an itty hint of texture and pattern, a tiny lil' nod to mid-century modern, all without competing with anything else.
Why the F skewers though Becky I mean c'mon that's just absurd, you're thinking still.
The thin line, the round shape, and the pointed end, I say to you, for that mid-century nod.
Ok.  Just truuust me, you're gonna love it.  
Or hey, if you don't and you still think I'm a total nut job, so be it but hopefully you're inspired.
hardboard strips, skewers and screen moulding trimI didn't go with the round dowels.Real easy to pull these risers together for this here DIY Stair Project.
What I used:1/8" thick Masonite (aka pressboard, fiberboard maybe, hardboard/tempered hardboard*)1/4" x 3/4" x 8' strips of pine screen moulding*wood skewers*glueprimer*black paint*Floetrol*matte finish water based polyurethane*Now, I used that PC Universal Glue* which I had attempted to use on the foyer light fixture as I desired its supposed extra grippy-ness but regular wood glue* could work.  Gorilla glue,* while it obviously would work, I suspect you'd find cleaning up the foaming outbursts to be a royal pain in the a**.
First I did several tests including testing the Classic Teal* stair color before settling on black.
testing colors for risersIt's always darkest before the dawn -- what a mess.Next was measuring the existing risers.  Here I opted to cut the strips of Masonite taller than the exposed area, thinking ahead to installation.  Somehow magically they were pretty much all the same width.  Very bizarre.
Once the strips were cut to size, about seven plus inches tall by about forty two-ish wide, it was time to lay out the screen mould and skewers which I did so randomly.  Randomly cut lengths, randomly trimmed the skewers, just random random random. laying out screen molding trim randomlyOh, right....why Masonite?  Because if you scroll back up and look, the existing risers were pretty rough with staple holes, dings, what-have-you, and Masonite was a swift, easy route to a smooth surface, to avoid patching, sanding, eh all that junk.
Ok, so when everything was laid out, which I did before gluing anything despite not marking riser pieces for designated spots, I then began gluing everything down.  
gluing down pieces of trim and skewersJust a tiny bead of glue, cleaning up squish-outs and blobs as I went to ensure a tidy finish.
gluing everything downA day or two later, back down to the basement I zipped and primed everything with two coats.
See how easy this is?
Next was the black paint.  Given that paint is paint and I opted to brush the paint on, I was concerned about brush strokes, hence giving Floetrol a whirl, see if it stood up to the rabidly rave reviews.
bottle of Floetrol and can of black paintOddly, in my zillions of years of painting things, I have never tried it once.  I went with a tablespoon of Floetrol to eight ounces of latex paint which may not have been enough.
Did it help?  I think so?  Sorta?  Not really?  Would I go out of my way to use it again especially as I have essentially a whole bottle left?  Eh, not sure?  I might try it again but can't say I'm a Floe-head. 
So, I did three coats of black paint, let that dry up and then two coats of water based polyurethane.
finished riser installed with skewers and screen moldCan't show ya too much, ya know.Then voila, tada, The Stair Project Risers!  A DIY!  Woot!
another view of the finished riser
Am I still nutso?  Maybe.  But hey, Mike and I love love love it.
*The wood skewers and PC Universal Glue are Amazon affiliate links.  The tempered hardboard, screen moulding, primer paint, Floetrol, and Gorilla glue are a Home Depot affiliate links.  The black paint, water based polyurethane, wood glue, and Classic Teal from Valspar are a Lowes affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
Fall DIY:  Leaf Sun Catcher Wall Hanging Thingie
 close up of fall leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingieI'm probably a tad late with this fall DIY leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie.  I'm a punctual human, early even, but it appears never so with posting timely or seasonal projects.  Heh, my apologies.
Maybe you still have time by you though.  Or, if worse comes to worst, you can save this for next year.  I'll be sure to reshare when the season is nigh.
Or, you could possibly use faux leaves from the craft or dollar store maybe.
Right, ok, first, what the heck am I talking about?
Flying back from Scotland, we had a layover in Heathrow which allowed for browsing.
All my life, I've been a shopper.  Would go shopping with my mom.  Worked professionally for years shopping props for theater.  Shop for stuff for the house, ya know, shopper.  My skills are honed.  
Shopping is great but it is abusive to one's wallet.  Especially when you happen to be overseas and shopping opportunities abound.
Anyway, I pointlessly digress.  
I don't get to fly much but when I do, I'm an old-school weirdo and enjoy a pile of actual paper magazines to peruse.  I had intended to buy a few at home and definitely intended to for the return trip.
Well lo.  American print magazines at the newsstand, for one issue, costs more than a year's subscription in many cases.  Couldn't justify it.  But, can't help myself, bought three at Heathrow as they were more sensibly priced.  And from England.
One, in particular, I devoured for literally half the flight.  Yes, four hours.  Modern Gardens.  I realize we're not in the same zone but still, I was enrapt.
There was a selection of leaf crafts in this issue, one being this leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie.
I'm not normally one for seasonal decor; in fact, I personally am not remotely.  Where to store it off-sesason, more things to dust, clutter clutter clutter.  Nope.
Since returning home and walking big Finn boy in the park again, it's been an eye-candy bonanza with the trees, omg...explosive color.
picking up leaves in the park with FinnFinn's a shopper now too!So I thought hey, ok, let's make that leaf catcher wall hanging thingie because it's an easy, inexpensive decor craft to make in a flash and who knows, we'll see. *shrug*
So I did.
Here's what you need:handful of fall leaves in bright colorsa stick or dowelglycerin*string, thread, or twine*any other embellishments such as grasses, as desiredleaves and glycerinNow note, you can vary up everything here:
...the string or twine, use thread, use embroidery floss, clear twine,* use whatever you want or have on hand.
...use a piece of bamboo as the magazine suggested to hang everything off.  Use a freebie stick like I did.  Use a wood dowel.  Use a wood spoon.  Rebar.  Whatever you'd like.
The glycerin is the key for this, my only expense, so I was out four bucks on this project total.  You can use beeswax* I understand too.
In reading up on the best thing to use though, glycerin holds colors better plus it's waaayyy less messy, less of a hassle for a leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie.  But, downside, the goo does take three to six days.  I know.  Sorry.
So once you've assembled everything you're using, and in going the glycerin route, grab a bucket.*
leaves in bucketLeaves in a bucket go round and round.Pour the glycerin into it and pour in some water.  It's a two to one ratio:  two parts water to one part glycerin.  As I had four ounces of goo, I added eight ounces of water.  Stir it around.
Drop the leaves in that bucket and weigh them down so they're completely submerged.  Wave at it, come back in three to six days.  I know, this is a major plan-ahead project.
submerging the leaves in glycerinExtra bucket atop and a hunk of 4x4 weighing them leaves down.  If you go this route, be careful to not push down too hard or all the liquid will spurt out.  Guess how I know.Pull your leaves out and either lay them out to dry or dry them off.  They probably need an extra few hours or a day to set up.  I came back to them a day or two later out of no-rush choice given my tardiness in being seasonal.
leaves drying from glycerin and water soakNow the fun part, assembly!  
Truly you can do this any-which-ever way you want.  I am merely your artsy craftsy guide here.
leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie assembly suppliesI set down my stick, grabbed a length of regular jute twine and tied it to the stick.  Grabbing a leaf, I then tied the twine around the leaf stem.  You can hot glue* it for added security if you'd like.  Or cut the stem, just use the leaf and hot glue it on.
starting assembly of leaf sun catcherIf you've got embellishments, stick them in and on as you see fit.  I grabbed some fluffy grassy bits at the park (I know, I probably looked like a serious oddball while walking the dog) then tucked them in at the top and in with a couple of leaves.
In total, I ran three strings down.  Ideally, vary the twine lengths, the sizes and colors of the leaves, and leave a spot of space between each dangling length.
Now just go hang it up!
leaf sun catcher in window glowingUse a clear suction cup* on a window and an extra piece of twine at the top to hang it from or if you're heading for a wall, use a nail or Command Hook.*
leaf sun catcher wall hanging on wallAnd tada!  Voila!  Fancy pants indoors fall with a leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie!
close up of leaves on sun catcher in windowAs Finn is Destructo-Dog at most every window he can reach, well, every window then, I eventually hung it on a wall.  And I gotta say, I kinda really like it despite being rather seasonal decor averse!  We'll see how long it, or I, lasts!
DIY fall leaf sun catcher hanging on wallMike hasn't even noticed it.  It's right by the dang tv too.  Unless he has, but he hasn't said anything.
close up of colors of the fall leavesHave fun with this!
fall DIY leaf sun catcher wall hanging thingie
*The glycerin, jute twine, and hot glue are Amazon affiliate links.  The clear twine is a Joann Fabrics affiliate link.  The beeswax is a Michaels affiliate link.  The bucket and suction cups Lowes affiliate links.  The Command Hooks are a Home Depot affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
DIY Wood Dowel Hooks
 wood dowel display hooks for barrel staveRight, there are a bazillion tutorials online about how to DIY wood dowel hooks quickly and easily, say in 15 minutes, or I suppose in this case these are more like wall display pegs, but this DIY is different. 
How so?
Well, maybe not technically different and no doubt the process is nearly the same but these specific DIY wood dowel hooks/display pegs hold something extraordinary. 
Spottily I’ve mentioned in extreme passing, and more directly, that I had something special, that something special was going to happen.  And it did.  
So ultimately this post is briefly about these wood dowel wall display pegs, heh, but mostly about what’s on them:  a wood barrel stave piece. 
Huh?  What’s so exciting about this wood barrel stave piece?  It came from Glenfarclas Distillery in Scotland and I was there and brought it home. 
outside and inside of wood barrel stave piece from GlenfarclasTop, outside.  Bottom, burnt inside.  It still smelled of whisky when I got it home.What's a wood stave?  It's a piece of the wood barrel used to age whisky.  In this instance, barrels made in Spain used for sherry then used for whisky in Ballindalloch.
See, back in the 1940’s, my great uncle Wesley Polk was the Chief State Highway Engineer downstate there in Springfield, Illinois.  I discovered in my research that he even worked on a portion of Route 66.  
Anywhoo, he passed away in 1965; I never met him. 
My parents went down and collected items from his home and brought them up north.  For some unknown reason, they grabbed some of his liquor collection.  
As it turns out, people would stop in to visit him, bottle of liquor in tow, um, seeking.........ok, they bribed him for contracts.  And he didn't drink so he just held onto them.
My parents are not interested in liquor either, so, odd they grabbed them, therefore the bottles sat and sat and sat.  For decades. 
Until their big move when one day they offered Mike and I two crates filled with old bottles, "take them otherwise we’ll toss ‘em".  I am so happy we brought them home. 
After poking around online, I came to understand one bottle in particular held interest:  
Glenfarclas whisky bottle in still roomPhoto credit:  John Paul PhotographyWhat makes this particular bottle special?  Initially I was told because a.) it's old and b.) it's a single malt.  Additionally, I suspected it might have been part of a small shipment back in the 1930's to East St. Louis but wasn't positive.
Online, people were offering me attractive monetary sums for this bottle, one even going so far as to not reveal the name of the interested buyer (pretty sure I figured it out).  
This got me thinking.  These are random people and I don't think I like knowing that some rando' will have a part of my family history....lemme just drop an email to Glenfarclas, see what they say.
I heard back from the Chairman of the distillery himself, Mr. John Grant.  Yes.  I about fell on the floor.  
He said yes, this looks good, thank you for contacting us, we are interested.  We'll pay you what you've been offered.  
I said terrific (all the while thinking to myself holy sh*t, ok this is outstanding, the bottle will go where it's cherished, where it originated; I like this way better) and I'll use the funds to come visit someday, hopefully meet you, see the bottle on display.
Oh right the DIY wood dowel hooks.  Here's my supply list:
wood dowel pieces, any size and shape you'd likedowel screws* or hanger bolts*wall anchors* (if going into drywall)
John Grant writes me back and says all right, we'll buy the bottle from you but too, we'll fly you out and take you around Scotland for a week, all on us.  
Now.  This kind of thing does not happen to me.  I am the walking definition of Murphy's Law, as we've well established.  My jaw hit the floor.  I about passed out.  I could not believe it.  I still cannot.
We emailed back and forth for about five years.  First Mike and I tried to find someone who could watch mean ol' Finn.  Impossible.  Then the pandemic hit and still no help on a dog sitter.
Then Mike said, babe, you should just go, go without me.  That broke my heart in THE Worst way.  I really wanted him to go.  My cool woodworking friend Scott went in his place.  Lucky Scott, right?!
Needless to say, the hardest part of the trip was Mike not going.  That and next to it, packing the bottle to go in my checked baggage.  Dammit, TSA.
Additionally special about this bottle is that at the time, back then, no one was really making single malt whisky, it wasn't popular so it was made mostly for blending.  To find a single malt of this age, that is rare.  Talk about extra paranoid packing it.
So off I went to Scotland.  
I'll continue the story in another post as I should really get to these DIY wood dowel hooks, these display peg thingies.  In the meantime, please buy lots of Glenfarclas whisky.*
Right!  DIY!  Ok!
First I measured up my piece of barrel stave then measured how far it would stick out from the wall by holding it up against my workbench.  
Based on that, I cut three pieces of 3/4" dowel:  two at 1 1/2" long and one at 2 1/2" long.  When you cut these, you can cut them straight up and down as I did or in the case of a hook, cut them on an angle.
Yes, more dowels.  They're great, what can I say?!
Using a ruler,* find the center of the dowel by drawing an X, meaning connect opposite corners to form the X which finds you center.
finding center on square dowelsI tried dowel screws first, the only size Menards had at the time, and they were too fat for wall anchors so I went with hanger bolts eventually.With a drill bit just barely matching the diameter of the dowel screws* or hanger bolts* you're using, drill out the holes.
tools for drilling the dowel holesIf you can drill straight, I am cheering you on but I used my drill guide.*  Tip:  measure the end of the hardware going into the dowel and tape off your drill bit* with painters tape* so you know how far to drill.Twist one end of the dowel screw or hanger bolt into the dowel.  Feel free to paint the dowels, stain them, seal them up, what-have-you.
screwing in hanger bolts to dowelsBack where you want to hang your item, do some measuring and ugh some math.  In my case, I found center of the wall.
Drill out the hole in the wall and pound in your wall anchor.  As my wood stave piece isn't heavy, I went with just regular wall anchors, and in this case #12 to hold the #10 end of the hanger bolt.  
After putting the middle in, I whipped out the laser level,* skootched it down to center of the dowel then measured equal distances in from the wall sides for the remaining wood dowel hooks/display pegs.
placing DIY wood dowel hooks/display pegs on wallThen just screw in your DIY wood dowel hooks!
screwing in wood dowel hook into wall anchorDue to the lip of the wall anchor, they'll unfortunately sit a little proud of the wall.Set the item you're displaying on your new display pegs and voila!  Super cool!
displaying wood barrel stave on DIY wood dowel hooksNow I get to wake up every morning, see this wood barrel stave...
wall display with wood dowel hooks and barrel staveThe murder of crows is by John Fesken.....and think of my great uncle Wes, the bribes.....
close up of wood dowel hook peg and wood the bottle came to us....
close up of barrel stave end and wood dowel wall display peg
....the adventure of learning more about the bottle, the emails back and forth, planning the trip...
view of completed wall display with DIY wood dowel hooks
...going to Scotland...
view of wall with artwork...John and Ishbel Grant, Debs, Douglas, Callum, John, Chloe, Donna, and Steve, to name a scant few of the exceptionally remarkable people I met at Glenfarclas.
What a way to wake up, huh?!
*The Glenfarclas whisky link is a Drizly affiliate link.  The dowel screws and hanger bolts are both Amazon and Home Depot affiliate links.  The rulers, drill guides, drill bits, painters tape, and laser levels are Amazon.  The wall anchors are a Lowes affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Flipping the Flip
How to DIY:  Detachable, Portable Fence-Mount Outdoor Television.
  detachable portable fence mount outdoor television All right, yeah, this is going to seem strange but hear me out.  This here How to DIY post is about a detachable, portable fence-mount outdoor television.  Ok, maybe it still sounds strange.
And yes, with an indoor TV.  Hence why it's detachable and portable.
For game time, right?
Oh hey, let's cross this with The Bake Dept so you can supplement your viewing pleasure with tasty baked goods!  Here's a link for a few appetizer-related recipes, pizzas, and shortly I'll whip up a delectable game-time snack so check back as I'll link here.
Where the heck did this idea come from?  Mike, of course!  Well, generally our cool neighbors Anne and Renee, frankly.  Mike has desperately wanted a television outside for goodness knows how long.  For-freaking-ever. 
Personally I think one TV is sufficient but I get that folks like additional TV's around.  Foot is solidly down at a television in the bedroom though; not happenin'.
One midday Friday, quite last minute obviously for a Sunday noon kickoff, Mike rings me up:
M:  Hey babe.  Sooooo I was thinkin'....
B:  (uh oh)
M:  ...we had such a nice time hanging out around our fire pit the other day, I was thinking... we could watch Bears games out on the patio with a fire, ya know, just hang, me, Finn...
B:  ...mmm hmmm....(Cautiously curious.  Where is this going?)
M:  Sure would save money over going to the game or out....(dramatic pause as he waits for me to respond in some fashion)...
B:  mmm hmmmm, ok so...?
M:  (slightly nervously) So I found an inexpensive TV and thought you could ya know, rig up a thing to hang it off the fence and then all three of us could hang out by a fire, watch the game.  What do you think?  Sounds fun, right?
B:  Tell me when to pick it up.
I could practically hear him jumping for joy on the other end of the line.
An hour later I'm at Best Buy* picking up the 32" Roku* indoor TV he ordered for this DIY outdoor portable detachable fence-mount television thingamajig.  Yes, the Roku is built right into the television, way handy!
Westinghouse Roku 32" tvPretty cool that the Roku is built right in!Then Mike (I love him) pestered me incessantly about it.  Several times a day.  For a day and a half.  "You're gonna have this ready, right?"  "You know the game is at noon on Sunday -- you on this?"  "Got this under control?  You know you don't have a lot of time."  "You sure you're going to get this done in time?"  
Even after it was done, "You sure you got it?  Really?  It's ready?  Did you test it?"
I got it.  
Got this fence-mounted television rigged and ready in no time flat, for less than twenty five bucks even.  Lightweight, easy to hang, easy to carry, detachable, portable, and inexpensive to boot!
What I used: scrap plywood wall mount double-u utility hook/hanging bracket various nuts, bolts, washers low profile tilt and swivel TV mount various drill bits cordless drill* scrap wood block scrap bit of cork the television*   supplies for outdoor fence mount TV Now, a few tip-py notes.  I can't seem to find anyone who carries exactly the utility hook I used from Menards but Amazon* has hooks that will work, as does Home Depot* and scrolling through Lowes' site,* stuff there will work too.  I swear I've seen the same hook at a Dollar Tree,* or something similar.
The hook is what's key here.  Obvs.  And a very lightweight television.
And the TV mount.  Ok, each aspect is key, haha.  The mount I found at Menards was a boon -- it swivels, it tilts, it's small, it's light, it has a low profile, and was very affordable.  Here are some on Amazon.*
Too, I found you could skip this whole contraption entirely and get a quick-release TV mount.*  But.  I was crunched for time.  And what's the fun in that?!
First things first, locate where you want to hang your detachable, portable fence-mount outdoor television.  For us, it was right at the metal fence post on the patio.  Measure around, note things, ya know.  I did a quick sketch, added key dimensions and such.
before Mike said here. Back inside I yanked out a slab of 1/2" plywood that was perfect.  It needs to be wide enough for the hook/hanging bracket, long enough to provide stability plus room enough to hold the TV mount.
Now, I used scrap wood as again, trying to use up crap I've got laying around but you can get as fancy and swanky or as utilitarian (like me) as you'd like.  My purpose here is to provide the inspiration.
Next I attached the double-u utility hook hanging bracket thingie to the top.  After doing it once and testing it outside, I discovered my bracket is bent meaning it was tweaky out of level therefore inspect and adjust as necessary before moving ahead.
double u hanging bracket hook and parts Make sure to use bolts, washers, and nuts here, and to tighten everything down nicely so as to not have a detachable-in-the-wrong way disaster.  If you're acutely worried, you could use a thread locker.*
double u hanging bracket hook bolted to plywood Yes, this could be much more attractive. Next I grabbed some brown kraft paper, my newly hooked plywood, painters tape,* and a pencil then dashed outside to figure out an ideal height for the television to sit at.
Hooked the thingie onto the fence, folded up an approximation of the TV's size then shabbily taped it up, stood back, head tilt, sat, adjusted, etc. blah blah, guestimating a good height.  With my pencil, I made sure to mark the top and bottom of the paper TV on the wood.
testing tv height with brown kraft paper Back inside, a little measuring, a little math yikes, and it was time to attach the TV mount.  Trace the holes with a pencil then drill them out.  Same again:  use bolts, washers, and nuts and tighten that sucker tight. Attach the other mount half to the TV; follow the product's instructions there.
attaching tv mount to plywoodFound center on the plywood and based on the back of the TV mount area, marked up where the mount base went.
finished detachable portable fence mount outdoor television bracketThere it is!  And yep, that's all it is!A quick trim up so the bottom was hidden by the TV, a quick lick of black paint to semi-match the fence and back outside to finish assembly.
 detachable portable fence mount outdoor TV hanging bracketPaint is drying here but, voila!  So simple!Hang your detachable portable fence-mount outdoor television gizmo on the fence.  Nice, right?!  
Yet, doh!  My fence-mount thingie wasn't perfectly plumb; it had a natural tilt to it already so back inside I grabbed a scrap block of 2x, spray mounted* some cork* to it, then back outside, slipped it behind cork side out, screwed it in from the front.  Problem solved.
Last but not least, attach the TV to the mount.  Be safe and rope an extra pair of hands in to assist then just follow the directions as they're all different.
detachable portable fence mount outdoor television afterYep, still got that modular patio coffee table!And voila!  Ha!  It's an outdoor television extravaganza for game time that's detachable, portable, fence-mounted, pops right on and off quickly and easily, no muss, no fuss, and we're rarin' to go!
detachable portable fence mount outside TV hangingMike could not contain himself when I told him game time was a go.  First thing he did when he got home was look for the setup.  First thing.  Not even a kiss hello.  Second thing he did was a kiss hello and third was to scurry outside with his new favorite toy.
We have a wifi extender* up in Mike's office now and it works shockingly well for backyard and deck activities.  Shockingly, like almost better than the router itself so a quick link up to that, extension cord from the garage, and....
Mike setting up the detachable portable fence mount outdoor televisionWe spent the evening outside on the patio with Finn, a nice fire going, bundled up in blankets and hoodies, watching some whatever random college football game.  Mike could not stop the ear-to-ear grinning.
detachable portable fence mount outdoor television
Despite the Bears losing the next day, our setup was a tremendous victory.  Again we had a fire going, blankets, hoodies, snacks galore, no line for the bathroom, comfy clothes in our own backyard.  Only issue?  We just need to find a good storage spot inside, heh.
So there we have it folks, a fine how to DIY for a detachable, portable fence-mount outdoor television!
Let me know how yours turns out!
*The Best Buy and Roku links are Best Buy affiliate links.  The Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowes links are their respective affiliate links for the products mentioned.  The other televisions, quick-release tv mount and cork are Amazon affiliate links.  The spray mount is a Michaels affiliate link.  The cordless drills and thread locker are Home Depot affiliate links.  The painters tape, Lowes.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.
- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

I’m excited for the DIY Market Shop Painting that we’re making this week in the Creative Haven! With this project, I’m going to show you how to use a simple...

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- Michelle A

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- Michelle A

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! I am sorry I have not been around. I can blame it on other things like we have been having internet issue and ended up having to order another route. But in truth I have just been plain lazy, and lacking motivation. But we did get started working on the laundry room makeover. [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! This week’s post is going to be something quick and simple for my garden, Thrifted Items for the Garden. The past couple weeks have been a little chaotic so I haven’t gotten much done in the way of crafting. My little fur baby has been sick and had a procedure done where she [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am going to share some farmhouse windmill décor. I found the little windmill at Goodwill, and I already had the wooden candle holder. I decried to try the Elmer glue crackle paint technique. And I got to say I am liking it so much better than the store-bought crackle paint. With [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am sharing a finished project instead of a craft tutorial, some rustic farmhouse décor made from thrifted items. This past week I have been getting ready for a plant and craft sale. And was in so much of a rush the last two days before the sale getting my crafts ready [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am going to share some DIY Wood coasters. These wood coasters are soooo easy to make and they make the perfect gift idea. Who can’t use a set of coasters! This is the second set I am making the first set that I made and posted in my Etsy shop sold [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am going to share some funny face tin can planters. One of my favorite items to upcycle is tin cans, their free and I always have some on hand. And there is so many things that you can make with tin cans. I’ve made pencil holders, patriotic décor, wind clankers, pumpkins [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am sharing two diy Dollar Tree Welcome Signs. Super quick welcome signs made from two different colored metal pigs that I purchased from the Dollar Tree, and two different welcome fonts. ***This post contains affiliate links… We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am sharing a quick repurposed tea tins project. These tea tins are from Harney & Sons fine tea. LOVE their Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea! It is sooo delish, very cinnamon. Had several tins saved and decided to repurpose them into planters. For a plant sale I’m having with a friend in [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am going to squeeze in one more Easter project, a mini Easter Cutting Board Décor with hand-painted carrots and a carrots 5 cents print transfer. I’m usually lucky if I am able to get one Easter holiday craft project in before the holiday is here. I’m always in a rush, but [...]

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- Linda @ Mixed Kreations

Hi all! Today I am sharing another fun Easter Craft, and Easter Door Knob Hanger. Made from wood beds and a wood slice with a hand-painted Easter Bunny. Perfect for hanging on a door knob. ***This post contains affiliate links… We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program [...]

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- astrollthrulife
How To Make Fall Decor Work For Halloween & Thanksgiving

How To Make Fall Decor Work For Halloween & Thanksgiving

How To Make Fall Decor Work For Halloween & Thanksgiving.  I love to add seasonal decor to my home, but I would like for it to ease itself into the next season too.  Taking fall…

The post How To Make Fall Decor Work For Halloween & Thanksgiving appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
Friday DIY & Finds

Friday DIY & Finds

Welcome to Friday DIY & Finds.  I love being able to share some of the amazing projects you guys create each week.  Check out these that I found last week. Little Things Make A Big…

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- astrollthrulife
How To Create A Cozy Fall Bedroom For Now

How To Create A Cozy Fall Bedroom For Now

This year it seems like Summer just doesn’t want to give up.  We still have temperatures in the 100’s and above with an occassional under 100 day.  September makes me in the mood for Fall…

The post How To Create A Cozy Fall Bedroom For Now appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
698th Inspire Me Tuesday

698th Inspire Me Tuesday

Welcome to the 698th Inspire Me Tuesday party.  So many pretty links last week.  Check these few out. Farmhouse Style – $5 No Sew DIY Curtains. Easy Flannel Shirt Pumpkin Pillow DIY Mini Bundt Pumpkins.…

The post 698th Inspire Me Tuesday appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
I Love The Enticing Smell Of Warm Pumpkin Bread

I Love The Enticing Smell Of Warm Pumpkin Bread

I love Fall, the hot summers are finally over, and around here fall weather couldn’t be more perfect.  I also love fall colors and of course pumpkins and mums.  This recipe is one of my…

The post I Love The Enticing Smell Of Warm Pumpkin Bread appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
2023 Fall Home Tour Review

2023 Fall Home Tour Review

All week 25+ wonderful ladies opened the doors to their homes to share their amazing Fall Home Decor.  Each of these homes are so different and so full of tons of inspiration.  I know you…

The post 2023 Fall Home Tour Review appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
2023 Fall Home Tour – Friday Lineup

2023 Fall Home Tour - Friday Lineup

Today we finish off this years Fall Home Tour with 3 of the nicest ladies in blogland opening their doors and sharing their fall decor.  You are in for such a treat. White Arrows Home…

The post 2023 Fall Home Tour – Friday Lineup appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
2023 Fall Home Tour – Thursday Lineup

2023 Fall Home Tour - Thursday Lineup

Welcome to the Thursday lineup for the 2023 Fall Home Tour.  We have 6 of the most beautiful homes to show you today.  These ladies have gone all out and are opening the doors to…

The post 2023 Fall Home Tour – Thursday Lineup appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
2023 Fall Home Tour – Wednesday Lineup

2023 Fall Home Tour - Wednesday Lineup

Welcome to the 2023 Fall Home Tour – Wednesday Lineup.  Today we  have 6 more amazing homes opening their doors to share their beautiful Fall Decor.  There’s something for everyone with tips from small space…

The post 2023 Fall Home Tour – Wednesday Lineup appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- astrollthrulife
2023 Fall Home Tour – Tuesday Lineup

2023 Fall Home Tour - Tuesday Lineup

Welcome to the 2023 Fall Home Tour – Tuesday Lineup.  Today we have 5 beautiful homes sharing their fall decor.  I know you will love each of these home and will find some amazing inspiration…

The post 2023 Fall Home Tour – Tuesday Lineup appeared first on A Stroll Thru Life.

- chanie
Herbed Apple & Date Salad
Herbed Apple & Date Salad I was lucky enough to spend the last week of the summer in Israel to join a close friend in celebrating a Bar Mitzvah (full itinerary to be posted after the Chagim!), but also for some inspiration for both my body (food!) and soul. What’s amazing about Israel is that you don’t have to seek those things out – they...
- chanie
Busy In Italy
Busy In Italy Two years later, back at the Trevi Fountain! Ever since my first trip to Italy in 2021, I’ve been dreaming about going back! I was over the moon when Judy Gruen Travel asked me to partner with her on a  Busy in Italy trip this summer and I counted down the days to my return. Those of you that followed...
- chanie
Roasted Baby Elote (Mexican Street Corn)
Roasted Baby Elote (Mexican Street Corn) Welcome summer! After a crazy busy winter that flew by faster than I ever thought possible, it’s corn season – my favorite! There’s nothing quite like crispy corn on the cob, and I love it in all forms – raw, roasted, grilled, steamed, and even made into ice cream and pudding. Baby corn though? It doesn’t get much love. But...
- chanie
Liliane’s Dafina
Liliane’s Dafina Ever since I had dafina at the home of Moshe and Titi Haliwa in Marrakesh a few months ago, I’ve been dreaming about it. Unlike bean-heavy Ashkenazi cholent, dafina is a Morrocan stew that’s loaded with meat, bones, chickpeas, rice, wheat berries, potatoes and eggs! I love that the components are cooked separately in little packets and that there’s something...
- chanie
Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef
Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef This week, my foodie friends and I decided to throw a dumpling party, where each attendee contributed another dumpling from around the world! You can watch a roundup here! I decided to go with tamales since I’ve always wanted to learn to make them the authentic way. First, I researched barbacoa recipes for the tamale filling (which you can also...
- chanie
Sheet Pan Lasagna
Sheet Pan Lasagna Well hello there old friend!! I’ve been busier than ever in Brooklyn – well, everywhere really! It’s been a whirlwind tour ever since the book came out in March and time just got away from me – but here I am, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. (Well I’m not actually home, but home is where the heart is, and it all...
- chanie
Totally Kosher Passover Guide + Bonus Recipe!
Totally Kosher Passover Guide + Bonus Recipe! While my new cookbook, Totally Kosher, is not a Passover cookbook, there are lots of great Passover options included in the book, as well as lots of recipes that can be adapted for the holiday (of course depending on your customs and stringencies), so lets dig in! BREAKFAST & BRUNCH crispy kale and egg skillet for one tahdig toast with...
- chanie
Cabbage Hamantasch Knish
Cabbage Hamantasch Knish I’ve been on quite the cruciferous kick these days, and I thought I’d have given up by now, but no! I’m having fun challenging myself to new cabbage creations, and thankfully my body loves cabbage as much as I do, so it works for me! Growing up, my mom always made cabbage knishes for Shabbat and the holidays. She would...
- chanie
A Week of Cruciferous Crunch!
A Week of Cruciferous Crunch! It’s been a cruciferous week here, and not on purpose! I had been eating all the wrong things, and my skin (and clothes!) were showing it, so I decided to clean up my diet a bit. I started with an apple cider vinegar detox – 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (raw, with the mother!) mixed into 8 oz. of water...
- chanie
How to Save Money on Groceries
How to Save Money on Groceries I love cereal. I can hoard cereal day and night but the cost of cereal these days…are you kidding me?! $7.89 for Corn Flakes at my local kosher supermarket! I took to Instagram with my shopping woes recently, talking about rising food costs and what we can do to save money on groceries. The feedback came pouring in strong! I...
- Beth – Sew DIY
Sewing the Eva Pattern Bodice — Sewalong Day 4
Welcome to the fourth installment of the Sew DIY Eva sewalong. In today's post, we will sew the Eva we'll be sewing the skirt and peplum. We will make the gathers, sew the peplum or skirt to the bodice, sew the hem, and the pockets. There are time stamps in the description, if you want to skip ahead to a particular section. If you're not familiar with this pattern, it is a zero-waste friendly crop top, peplum top and sun dress. The pattern features a square neckline, bust darts at the side seams, shoulder straps and is fitted at the back with narrow elastic and loops and ties. The peplum and skirt are both gathered at the waist and the skirt has options for a gathered ruffle and patch pockets. Check out the link below to get your own copy of the pattern or learn more in our intro post.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Sewing the Eva Pattern Bodice — Sewalong Day 3
Welcome to the third installment of the Sew DIY Eva sewalong. In today's post, we will sew the Eva bodice, from start to finish. This pattern has three views, a crop top, a peplum top and sundress. If you are making the peplum top or sundress, you will need to come back for the next installment when we sew the peplum, skirt and patch pockets. If you are making the crop top, you can follow along with this video, then hem the bottom, add the lacing and you will be finished.. Let's get started.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Preparing to Sew the Eva Pattern — Sewalong Day 2
Welcome to the second installment of the Sew DIY Eva sewalong. In today's post, we'll talk about measuring yourself and selecting a size. Then we'll print out the pattern and I'll show you two different methods for cutting out the rectangular pieces of your sewing pattern. And finally you'll cut out all the pattern pieces and interfacing. Let's get started.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Fabric and supplies for the Sew DIY Eva Pattern
Welcome to the first installment of the Sew DIY Eva sewalong. Today, we’re going to be talking about fabric, notions, tools and supplies. We’ll share our favorite fabrics to use with this pattern, the fabrics we used in the samples and a few of our favorite online fabrics picks. Plus, we’ll talk about the notions needed to sew the Eva and tools and supplies we recommend having on hand to make sewing the Eva easier.
- Beth – Sew DIY
New pattern launch! Introducing the Eva Tops and Sundress
Eva Tops and Sundress PDF Sewing Pattern Eva Tops and Sundress PDF Sewing Pattern $14.00

Today, I'm very excited to announce the launch of a new sewing pattern, the Eva Tops and Sundress. When designing this top and dress, I wanted to create a summer garment that was a little bare but still loose fitting and comfortable. I thought back to some of my favorite garments of the 1990s and decided to incorporate a square neckline and lacing in the back, for a bit of a vintage, prairie feel.

The Eva features a square neckline, side bust darts and is fitted at the back with a combination of narrow elastic and criss-crossed lacing. View A is a crop top that ends at the waistline, View B has a ruffled peplum that ends at the high hip and View C is a dress with a calf-length skirt and ruffle at the hem.


The pattern is a hybrid of a traditional pattern that you need to print and a zero-waste style pattern. You will need to print (or project) the front bodice and front facing pattern pieces. The remaining pattern pieces are rectangles that you can draw directly on your fabric (or paper) and then cut out, saving you paper and fabric.

This pattern is rated as an Intermediate level but I believe it can be sewn successfully by an adventurous beginner. Each individual step is fairly easy but all together it's more involved than some of my other patterns. If you're a more advanced sewist, I think this will be a really fun pattern to sew. There is just enough of a challenge to keep things interesting but nothing too daunting.

Sizing for the Eva Tops and Dress sewing pattern (Multiple cup sizes!!)

The Eva pattern is drafted for sizes 0-32 and includes three cup size options for all sizes, just like our Miri Tank Top pattern. You can choose from an A/B cup, C/D cup or E/F cup for a customized fit through the bust.

The instruction booklet will take you through the steps of selecting your size, sewing a quick muslin and evaluating the fit. Plus, throughout the construction the instructions call out points where we recommend doing a “Fit Check” before proceeding.

When selecting your size, you'll start by finding the size closest to your high bust measurement (it's ok to round up or down). Then go down that column to find the measurement that most closely matches your full bust (again, it's ok to round up or down). The pattern instructions have additional information on how to select your size.

If you're interested in the technical bit of what exactly an A/B cup is, let me tell you. So, in the world of pattern drafting, the bust cup is determined by the difference between the high bust measurement and the full bust measurement. A 1" difference is an A cup, 2" difference is a B cup, 3" is a C cup, etc. The A/B cup is drafted to be right in between a sewing A-cup and a sewing B-cup–a 1.5" difference between the high bust and full bust. During testing, I was pleased to find that these in-between cups really worked well.

You can learn more about our size charts here.

Fabric and supplies

This pattern is designed to be used with light to medium-weight woven fabrics such as linen, chambray, cotton lawn, poplin, double gauze, rayon, and crepe de chine. For the samples shown here, view A is made in cotton double gauze and views B and C are sewn in rayon challis. I really like using a rayon challis for this pattern because it provides nice drape, gathers nicely and it’s easier to turn the ties right side out.

Additionally, you will need thread, interfacing and 3/8” (1cm) wide elastic. For interfacing, you'll want to use a type that has the same weight as the fabric you are using. For example, if you're using a very lightweight fabric such as rayon crepe, you'll want to use lightweight interfacing. If in doubt, I recommend using a lightweight interfacing. Using an interfacing that is heavier than your fabric can make the garment feel very odd. So, lighter is better!

The elastic is used to fit the top of the center back and you only need a small piece (see the fabric chart). One of my testers recommended cotton swim elastic as being very comfortable.


I don't usually recommend special tools with my patterns but there are a few things that will make sewing the Eva much easier. The most important one is bodkin or tube turner for turning the tubes right side out. The pattern also gives advice on when to check the fit during construction and it's helpful to have a couple of small safety pins to hold the elastic temporarily in place. Additionally, I like to use a wooden dowel when pressing the seams open for the straps.



I have created an Eva sewalong page with all of the blog posts that could be helpful when making this pattern. You'll find posts on interfacing, darts, gathers and printing your pattern. I’m also planning to put together some video posts for how to sew the Eva. I have everything filmed, I just need to find the time to edit and post (not an easy task!).

The best way to stay up to date on all my blog posts is to sign up for my weekly newsletter.

Eva Tops and Sundress PDF Sewing Pattern Eva Tops and Sundress PDF Sewing Pattern $14.00 Add To Cart

I hope that you love this pattern as much as I do. It’s really fun to sew, and perfect for summer. To celebrate the launch, we are offering 20% off this pattern with code HELLOEVA. Offer expires Wednesday, August 23, 2023,  at midnight, Pacific time.

Click here to grab your copy of the pattern. Happy sewing!

- Beth – Sew DIY
DIY V-Neck Caftan — A review of the Seamwork Micah
Hello sew-friends! Today I have a quick, summer-friendly finished make to share with you. I made this caftan at the end of last September, and now that summer is officially here, I think it's time that I finally shared it! This project was one of those last-minute, before-a-trip projects that so many sewists get stuck in to. My memory is a little hazy but I think I saw the fabric at Joanns and thought it would make a great caftan to match the animal print swimsuit that I made. We can call it a case of unexpected inspiration striking. And honestly, the swimsuit plus this caftan made in black double gauze, is a match made in heaven.
- Beth – Sew DIY
DIY Button Front Dress — A review of the Belle Dress by StyleArc
This dress has been a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out. I first started planning this dress in 2022 but then got sidetracked with other projects. But, I still had the vision of this dress in my mind and I particularly wanted to take it with me on my trip to France last month and the deadline combined with that vision gave me the push I needed to finally sew it up. (Maybe there's a benefit to last minute travel sewing, afterall? 😉
- Beth – Sew DIY
DIY Striped Wrap-Front Jumpsuit — A review of the Rowena Jumpsuit by Victory Patterns
Hello sew-friends! This jumpsuit is the SECOND time I've used the Rowena Jumpsuit pattern by Victory Patterns. Using a pattern more than once is a very good sign that it's an awesome pattern. I loved my first Rowena Jumpsuit (blogged here) so when found yards and yards of this fabric, I couldn't resist making it again.
- Beth – Sew DIY
DIY Gathered Yoke Blouse — A review of the Aims pattern by Seamwork
Hello friends! Today I'm happy to (finally) share a blouse that I made a few months ago. I think I actually started it in December of 2022 and then finished it up around late January or early February. All that is to say that I took my time with this make. The fabric is sheer and rather delicate so I decided to enclose all the seams and to use French seams throughout. I'm really glad that I took the extra time to enclose the seams and I love the blouse. It's already gotten quite a few wears over the past few months. So, let's dive in for all the details.
- Beth – Sew DIY
DIY One-Shoulder Evening Gown–Self-drafted
Today's post is all about a personal project, a DIY evening gown. I share all the details of making the dress, from inspiration to pattern drafting, fabric shopping and sewing. Plus, I made a matching clutch. Obviously, I could have gone to the mall and bought myself a dress but I'm a sewist through and through and that means when a big even comes up I have to, or rather get to, make my own dress. Plus, I've always found it challenging to find clothes that fit me well. In part, it's because I'm taller than average but it's also because I have a larger bust. Sewing my own dress is more fun and I know that I'll end up with a style and fit that I really love.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Free Printable Download — Fabric Shopping Checklist
Have you ever gotten to the fabric store and realized that you have no idea how much fabric you need to buy? Or worse, you just got home, after battling rush hour traffic, to realize that you forgot to buy matching thread or that particular width of elastic? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven to the store to buy matching thread and realized that I forgot to bring a swatch of the fabric. Or how about the realization that the fabric you bought won’t work for your project?
- Beth – Sew DIY
Pattern Fitting: How to Adjust the Shoulder Slope of a Pattern—Video Tutorial
Hello sew-friends! Today we're talking about how to make a shoulder slope adjustment to your sewing pattern. This is a simple adjustment that makes a BIG difference in the fit of tops, blouses and dresses with a shoulder seam. I didn't discover this fitting adjustment until many years into my sewing journey and now I'm kind of obsessed with it. I have rather square shoulders, meaning my shoulders extend from the neck at almost a 90 degree angle. Most patterns are built with some downward slope to the shoulder seam so on my shoulders, tops would jut up at the neck. There was one shirt in particular that would stand up away from my body when I sat down that made me realize how ill fitting it was at the shoulder.
- Beth – Sew DIY
How to Color Block Sewing Patterns
Hello sew-friends! In today's post, we're diving deep on the subject color blocking in sewing. Color blocking is a fun and easy way to add contrast and personality to a garment or other sewn item. It's also a great way to enhance existing style lines or add new style lines to a garment. Color blocking is easy enough for beginners to tackle and a great way to use up smaller cuts of fabric. In this post, I'll explain what color blocking is, why you might want to do it and a few methods for color blocking your handmade garments and other sewing projects.
- Beth – Sew DIY
How to Transfer Pattern Markings onto Fabric
Hello sew-friends! Today's video is taking a deep dive into marking tools for fabric. After you cut out your fabric, the first thing you need to do is transfer all the pattern markings from the pattern to the fabric. Trust me, you don't want to skip it! In this post, I'll chat briefly about pattern markings and why they're important. Then, I'll share a variety of tools that can transfer marks to fabric and the pros and cons of each. Plus, I'll demonstrate how to mark a dart using a tracing wheel and transfer paper and how to mark a dart using a hole punch and chalk. Let's get started!
- Beth – Sew DIY
5 Things To Do Before Cutting a Sewing Pattern
Hello sew-friends! We're going back to basics today to talk about patterns. There's nothing more frustrating than making a garment and finding that it doesn't fit. The most common answer is to make a muslin first, but today I'm going to share the five things that you should do before you make a muslin and even before you cut or trace out your pattern. These are my tried and true tips that will help you get closer to making a first muslin that is the right size for your body as well as for your style and fit preferences.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Roundup—Tips for Getting Started Sewing

Hello sew-friends! It’s the start of a new year, which as usual has us thinking about starting new projects, learning new skills and maybe even venturing into new hobbies. So, for those of you who are just starting your sewing journeys, I thought it would be helpful to roundup some of my most helpful posts for beginners.

I’ve been sewing for about 25 years. And with all of that practice, I’ve learned a lot about what works, what doesn’t and some techniques and tricks for making sewing easier, happier and more fun. Scroll down for excerpts and links to my top blog posts for getting started sewing with ease. I hope that you find these posts useful. For more sewing tips and tutorials, check out the Learn to sew page for LOTS MORE.

- Beth – Sew DIY
Free Printable 2023 Monthly Calendar
Hello sew-friends! Today, I'm very pleased to share that my annual printable calendar is back for 2023. One of the best things about the start of the new year is getting to start a fresh calendar. A calendar can be used as a decorative object or they can be used for planning and tracking. You can use a calendar to put some goals on paper, give yourself reminders or record what you've done. A great way to use a calendar for sewing is to record the projects you started, worked on or finished during the month. Read on for all the details, including how to download the calendar for free.
- Beth – Sew DIY
Everything I made in 2022 and my final vlog for the year
Hello sew-friends! It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the end of another year. It wasn’t an easy year for me, between struggles with migraines and the loss of my cat. But, there were a lot a great parts too. I was really busy with my freelance work. I got to work with a lot of great people and I had some really interesting projects. (Both of those are worth mentioning, because it’s not always the case.) And, I got to do a lot of traveling and to visit friends and family that I haven’t seen in a long time. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to cherish our time together, to cherish the hugs, the intimacy and breathing the same air as our loved ones.
- Beth – Sew DIY
How to Add a Patchwork Star to the Sew DIY Stocking Pattern
Hello sew-friends! This is the third and final installment in my two-color patchwork star series and today, I’ll be showing you how to add this wintery block to the Sew DIY Stocking pattern. I really love how these stockings turned out and I think they’d be great with different patchwork designs too. You could even do an all over design with multiple blocks. There are so many possibilities!
- Beth – Sew DIY
How to Add a Patchwork Block to the Quilted Slippers
Today, is the second post in my series showing how to sew a patchwork star block and add it to the Quilted Slippers or the Sew DIY Stocking patterns. In yesterday’s post, I shared how to sew the two-color patchwork block and today I’ll be showing you how to add it to the Quilted Slippers.
A Little Pumpkin is on the Way Baby Shower Gender Reveal

Plan the perfect fall gender reveal baby shower with our Little Pumpkin is on the Way theme! Our vintage orange truck is heading into October full of colorful pumpkins ready to deliver. Shop our favorite fall invitations, gender reveal voting fans, favor tags, favor stickers, cookies, cake toppers, favors, maternity dresses and more!


This beautiful pumpkin gender reveal baby shower invitation is perfect for any Mom-to-be! We love this vintage orange truck holding beautiful fall pumpkins. Send your family and friends the details for your October gender reveal celebration.

Beige Floral Pleated Short Sleeve Maternity Dress

A chiffon maternity midi dress featuring a rounded neckline, short ruffle sleeves, a pleated skirt, a keyhole back with a button closure and double lined for added coverage. Look your best as you reveal the sex of your little pumpkin on the way!


Cheer on Mom & Dad as they reveal their boy or girl on the way! This is a fun accessory for your little pumpkin on the way gender reveal party. Easy to assemble. Sold in sets of 10.

A little pumpkin is on the way baby shower cookies

Celebrate your little pumpkin on the way with these festive cookies. A dozen of cookies are 3 to 4 inches tall. Cookies are carefully wrapped in heat sealed bag, bubble wrap puches and places inside a sturdy shipping box.

Little Pumpkin On The Way Favor Stickers & TAGS

Say thank you to your family and friends with these lovely thank you favor stickers and tags. Perfect for your gender reveal baby shower! Place on candles, gifts, treats, and more.

Little Pumpkin Baby Shower cake topper

This adorable glittery and sparkly cake topper would add the perfect touch to your little pumpkin theme baby shower. This sparkly floral glitter cake topper is made with high quality card stock and the choice of colors you want for your flowers.
The cake topper size is about 7H, and 6W.

Little Pumpkin on the way baby shower welcome sign

Greet your guests to your little pumpkin baby shower with this foam board welcome sign. Several sizes to choose from. Easily edit with your event details and to say “gender reveal.”

Mini Pumpkin Candle favors with Custom Labels

Send home your gender reveal guests with a little pumpkin of their own! The candles are 100% handmade and produced specially for you in the scent you choose. Their length is 3 cm. Packed in 4x4cm boxes. All candles are produced with 100% vegan Soy Wax. Cotton wicks are used. It is ecological and environmentally friendly.

little pumpkins gender reveal
Gender reveal smoke
little pumpkin gender reveal tshirts
little pumpkin he or she poster
Little pumpkin gender reveal decorations

Finish off your little pumpkin gender reveal party with these fun decorations. Shop social media photo props, smoke bombs, tshirts and voting posters.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Spooky One Halloween Birthday Theme
Spooktacular Fun for Your Little Monster

Are you looking to celebrate a memorable birthday in the enchanting month of October? Embrace the spirit of the season with a captivating Spooky One birthday party! Grab your broomsticks and jack-o'-lanterns, because it's time to celebrate a very special milestone with a Halloween-themed first birthday party! This eerie and enchanting event will combine the joy of a first birthday with the spooktacular essence of Halloween, creating a memorable experience for the whole family. Shop our favorite invitations, signs, cake toppers, favors, favor tags, cookies, party hats, outfits, high chair banners and more!

Spooky One Halloween Ghost Birthday Party Invitation

Everyone will love this spooktacular first birthday party invite template! Can edit for any age! The perfect theme for your October first birthday. Add your favorite photo to the back of the template. Try it before you buy it.


The perfect treat for your spooky one halloween birthday! Cookies are vanilla sugar cookies topped with vanilla royal icing. Each cookie will be individually wrapped and placed in a bubble wrap sleeve before being placed in a sturdy shipping box.


This adorable spooky one halloween birthday sign is the perfect way to welcome your guests to the birthday party! It’s easy to edit and print at your local copy shop. Four sizes Included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36".

Spooky one halloween birthday 3D letters

Add a fun backdrop to your Spooky One Halloween Birthday party desert table. These pink 3D letters are decorated with spiders, ghosts, bats and pumpkins are made out of cardstock paper. Each letter is 6 inches tall and about 2 inches in thickness.

spooky one birthday evite
spooky one birthday thank you
spooky one halloween birthday evite and thank you

Don’t have time to mail your Spooky One Halloween birthday invitations? Email or text this spooky invitation template to all your family and friends. Then after the party email or text a matching thank you!

Spooky one halloween birthday party hat

Mini light peach glitter party hat with a fun ghost accent and light pink trim. Attached with black 1/8 in skinny elastic to be worn behind the ears (not under the chin!) Perfect for cake smashes and birthdays! Hat measures 2.75" x 4.25". Each purchase also comes with a free matching gift as my way of saying THANK YOU!

Halloween Spooky Ghost Birthday Cupcake Topper

Your Halloween birthday guests will love these cupcake toppers and the delicious cupcakes! Easily create beautiful 2" round or square cupcake toppers! No special software required! Easy to edit and print!


This Spooktacular Little Boo is Turning One Halloween themed ONE first birthday high chair banner is sure to be a hit with your guests. It is so incredibly cute with its satin ribbons and tulle accents. It includes beautiful shades of lavender, baby pink, black and peach in both tulle and ribbon cuts. Perfect for a “the Spooky One”, First Boo Day Party, little ghost or Halloween Birthday themed first birthday party.

100pcs White Pumpkin Candle Favors

This is a cute favor for your birthday party guests. The candles are 100% handmade and produced specially for you in the scent you choose. Each one is packaged with the label of your choice. Their length is 3 cm. Packed in 4x4cm boxes. The boxes contain colored scraps of paper. All candles are produced with 100% vegan Soy Wax. Cotton wicks are used. 

Spooky Ghost Halloween Birthday Party Tags

Send your halloween birthday party guests home with a spooky treat. Quickly and easily create as many favor tags as you need with this great template! No special software required! Easy to edit and print!

spooky one birthday cake topper

Put the finishing touch on your spooky birthday cake with this topper. This cake topper is made from glitter cardstock. Cake topper will be attached to a clear acrylic stick with food safe adhesive. Size: 7.5 inches [width] 4.2 inches [height].

Halloween Spooky Ghost Custom Sign Template

Create all the table signs you need with this spooky halloween birthday party editable table sign template! 5x7 and 8x10 sizes included!

Spooky One Birthday Outfit in light pink and black

Celebrate her birthday in style with this Ghost outfit!! She will be the center of attention all day in this cute pink and black birthday outfit! Choose either Gerber size 12, 18 and 24 months from the drop-down menu when purchasing. Please be aware that Gerber does run a little smaller than average. Tutu bloomers have a diaper cover underneath and are approximately 15 inches around with a stretchy waist. 

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

"Little Boo" Pink Halloween Baby Shower Theme
Plan a spooky girl baby shower this fall!

This might be the best girl baby shower theme for the fall Halloween season! Your friends and family will love this cute pink ghost design. Celebrate your little boo with matching invitations, balloons, welcome signs, cupcakes, champagne labels, favor tags, hot cocoa bombs, pumpkin favors and fun baby shower games!

Cute Little Boo Shower Invite
A Little Pink Boo Baby Shower

Boo! This adorable baby shower invitation is perfect for any Mom-to-be! Easily edit the wording with your baby shower information. Size: 3.5” x 5”. Standard white envelope included.

White Ghost Halloween Mylar BALLOON

Add this spooky white ghost balloon to your baby shower desert table. Each pack contains 1 balloon measuring approx. 19 inches x 27 inches.

100pcs White Pumpkin Candle Favors

The cutest baby shower favor for your “Little Boo” halloween celebration! The candles are 100% handmade and produced specially for you in the scent you choose. Their length is 3 cm. Packed in 4x4cm boxes. The boxes contain colored scraps of paper. All candles are produced with 100% vegan Soy Wax. Cotton wicks are used.

Little Boo! Baby Shower Welcome Sign

Celebrate the Mom-to-be with this fun baby shower welcome foam board sign! Easily edit all the wording to create unique baby shower decor! 3/16" thick white foam board.


Add these adorable and charming pastel straws to your little boo baby shower theme. Made with premium glitter card stock and black paper straws. Pack of 12 Pastel Pink glitter Ghost straws. 6 of each Ghost pictured.

Pink cupcake frosting rounds
Pink Hot Cocoa Bomg
pink ghose champagne labels
Little Boo Cocktail Napkins
More “Little Boo” Pink baby Shower decorations

Finish off your “Little Boo” baby shower decorations with these fun matching items. 50 4.75” x 4.75” 3 ply cocktails napkins, 15 2” frosting cupcake rounds, 12, 2” hot chocolate bomb favor tags and 10 3” x 2”matte champagne bottle labels.


These Little creamy dreamy pumpkin soap favors are made with detergent free goat milk soap. Each soap will be individually wrapped in saran wrap to keep them clean and out of moisture. You can choose unpacked, packed in organza bag or in cellphone bag with gold or white ribbon, twine or greenery twine.

“Little Boo” Pink baby Shower yard sign

Let everyone know they are are the right place with this fun welcome yard sign! Easily edit the name and event! Dimensions: Narrow Rectangle (12" x 18"). Printed on lightweight & weather resistant 4mm white corrugated plastic.

Baby Shower Advice Cards
Baby Predictions and Wishes
baby shower games

Get all your family and friends interacting at your baby shower with these fun games. Make your predictions and wishes for the new baby on the way leave your advice for the parents to be.

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12 First Day of School Photo Prop Signs You’ll Love

The first day of school is an exciting and memorable moment for both parents and children. One way to mark this special milestone is through the use of first day of school signs, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. These signs provide a creative way to capture the emotions and anticipation surrounding this important day. From preschool to high school, these signs showcase the child's grade level, age, and other fun details to preserve the memory forever. Whether it is a colorful chalkboard, a personalized wooden plaque, or a printable template, first day of school signs serve as a tangible reminder of the child's growth, both academically and personally. Parents proudly share these photos on social media and in family albums, cherishing the journey of their child's education. As the years go by, these signs become cherished keepsakes, evoking a sense of nostalgia and pride. So on that much-anticipated first day back, don't forget to grab a first day of school sign and capture the excitement for years to come.

Back to School printable photo prop template

Get everyone in your class excited for their first day of school! Kids will love taking photos with this fun Back to School photo prop! Print at your local copy center on foam board and cut out the center square. Use year after year for your students!

first day of school pennant template

DIY your own first day of school pennants! 14 page pdf file with instructions (2 Back to School Styles, Hooray for the First Day, First Day of School, Daycare, Homeschool, Preschool, Pre-K, Kindergarten, plus 1st-6th grade). Digital flags each approximately 7.8" x 5.5". Add wooden dowel or straw & ribbon or embellishments for fun!

Personalized First & Last Day of School WHITEBOARD Sign

Very cute reusable personalized first day and last day of school sign. This first and last day of school sign will make a great prop for your back to school photos! Can be reused year after year and make endless memories. Approx. 5.5” x 8”. Laser cut and Engraved from 1/8” Maple Wood. 

First Day of School Pennant Flag

Commemorate the first and last day of school in a special way! You never want to forget those special moments in time and these pennant flags will help you not to. Each kit will include a "First Day of School" and "Last Day of School" Pennant Flag as well as a wooden dowel and ribbon bundle. Once the first day of school is over, switch out the flags by replacing it with the last day of school flag and reattaching the ribbon so it is all ready to go when you need it again. Flags are printed on high-quality canvas and hand stitched to create a flap to secure it to dowel, ensuring long lasting use if you wanted to keep it for all children!

First Day or School Chalkboard Sign

Our First Day Last Day of School chalkboard sign is perfect for your school photos! This can be used for more than one kid and throughout the years! These signs make the perfect gift, keepsake and yearly photo prop. 1/4" Thick, 11” x 14”, High Density PVC that will not crack, fade or splinter. Weather resistant

Back to school reusable interchangeable prop

Are you looking to announce and show off your child's school milestones? How cute are these? We are loving these interchangeable kits to let let you use them over and over. The apples and pointer are all applied with reusable tape to interchange easily. back piece (notebook paper) is approximately 12x10 and total size including the add on pieces is approximately 13x11.

first day of school reusable chalkboard sign

Enjoy picture perfect memories with our reusable First Day of School Sign! It is a real reusable chalkboard that can be personalized and quickly shipped right to your doorstep. Crafted with a premium chalkboard surface and adorned with a charming wooden ruler, it's the perfect prop for adorable photos that will make your heart swell with pride. This sign can be used for any grade including Preschool, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade and beyond!

Hello first day of school customizable tshirt

Back to school photos will be a snap with this fun shirt! Customize with your grade number, school name and colors for an extra special touch. Order for all your kids for a fun family photo.

Reversible First Day and last day of School circle Sign

Our printed reversible First Day of School/Last Day of School sign is perfect for your school photos! These signs make the perfect gift, keepsake and yearly photo prop.
Each piece in our collection is unique and one-of-a-kind, just like you. We craft every sign carefully, with love. 8" Diameter, 1/8" Thick and Premium Birch Wood.

First And Last Day School wood Sign

This back to school sign is the perfect photo prop for your child on the first and last day of school. To capture those important memories and details! This sign comes with interchangeable names, Interchangeable first/last day of school attaching with magnets and is reusable every single year for their entire school years! Just use a dry erase marker on white acrylic and wipe off with a tissue when done! Also, Customize colours of name(s) with lots of different colour options. Choose your design, from plain, western, rainbow, smiley and peace signs or daisies!

First Day of School Photo Prop

The customizable back-to-school sign is designed to be easy to personalize and reuse year after year. The sign comes in two sizes, 10"x8" and 12.5"x10". It serves as a great photo prop for various school-related milestones such as the first day of school, 100th day of school, and last day of school.

First Day Last Day of School Double Sided Sign

No need to keep track of multiple boards, our double-sided design allows you to photograph the first day of school in August, then simply flip it over for the last day of school in May. 12" x 7.9" sign boasts a sturdy construction so you can use them for multiple kids every year. A simple dry erase finish works great with standard liquid chalk markers, clean up with an eraser or damp cloth

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15 Dazed And Engaged Bachelorette Party Ideas

The Dazed and Engaged Bachelorette Party is an unforgettable experience that celebrates the bride-to-be's impending nuptials with a groovy girls weekend. Get inspired to plan your party this our themed invitations, signs, banners, games, favors, t-shirts, sunglasses, can coolers, fanny packs, scrunches and more! Our Dazed and Engaged design features a groovy font, dazed mushroom, flowers and engagement ring.

Shop our designs on Etsy or Zazzle! SHOP ETSY SHOP ZAZZLE Dazed and Engaged Retro 70s Bachelorette T-Shirt

This tshirt design features a groovy 70s vibe dazed and engaged retro flowers, mushroom and ring. Get matching shirts for all your girls! Made from 100% cotton, this t-shirt is both durable and soft.

groovy daisy bachelorette party sunglasses

Adult daisy sunglasses Ideal for bachelorette parties, weddings, groovy themed parties. Get a pair for all your girls! Each pair of shades are sold individually and come in an organza bag with candy and bubbles. Colors available: pink, yellow, white, blue and mint green.

Dazed And Engaged Bachelorette Invitation template

Easily create this Dazed and Engaged bachelorette party invitation on your computer, tablet or phone! No special software required! Easy to edit and print!

Bachelorette party Slim Seltzer Can Coolers

Keep your slim seltzer cans cool and in style with these fun bachelorette themed coolers. Choose “Dazed & Engaged” or “Boozed & Confused” design. Fits 12 oz. Slim Cans.

Dazed And Engaged Bachelorette Party Welcome Sign

Set the mood for your dazed and engaged bachelorette party with this groovy welcome sign! Perfect sign to greet your girls at cocktail hour. Sizes Included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36".

Dazed and Engaged Bachelorette Banner

Create a fun backdrop for your bachelorette party with this groovy banner. The letters are made from extra heavyweight paper. Each letter is 6 inches tall. We include more than enough clear nylon string so you can adjust the size and look of the banner. You can hang it all on one line or make multiple lines. 

bachelorette buy the bride a drink cards
bachelorette bingo
bachelorette scavenger hunt
bachelorette drink if cards
bachelorette party games and drinking cards

Get the party started with these popular bachelorette party games and drinking cards. These are a fun way to get all your girls interacting and having fun during happy hour or dinner.

Dazed & Engaged bachelorette Fanny Packs

Say hello to the most practical bachelorette party gift ever - the fanny pack! With three zippered pockets and an adjustable waistband, our bachelorette party fanny packs are the perfect place to store your party essentials while simultaneously being the coolest bride squad at the bar. Pair with coordinating decorations and accessories to complete the theme! White, hot pink, or teal.

EOS Lip Balm Bachelorette Party Favors

Your guests will feel the peace & love with these dazed and engaged retro style bachelorette party lip balm favors! This is fun DIY favor you can create with your bridesmaids.

Tie Dye Groovy Babe Retro Bride Scrunchie

These soft velvet tie dye scrunchies are the perfect hair flair for your dazed and engaged bachelorette party! Include them in your hotel gift bags for your girls weekend.

Dazed And Engaged Bachelorette Favor Wine Labels

Greet all your girls on bachelorette weekend with a mini champagne bottle with your dazed and engaged custom labels. This design features a groovy 70s vibe dazed and engaged retro flowers, mushroom and ring. Dimensions: 2" x 3".

dazed and engaged balloons

Create a fun backdrop for your dazed and engaged bachelorette themed party. What you will receive: 1 x Dazed & Engaged letter balloons, 1 x ring balloon, 1 x rainbow rain curtain, 30 x latex balloons, 4 x stars balloons, 2 x daisy balloons, 2 x disco ball balloon.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

The Ultimate Marvel Avengers Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Are you ready to assemble the ultimate superhero celebration? Look no further than an Avengers-themed birthday party! Transform your space into a world-saving headquarters, complete with heroic decorations and thrilling activities. From Hulk-sized balloons to Amazing Spiderman shaped piñatas, every detail will transport your little heroes into the Marvel universe. Invite your guests to dress up as their favorite Avenger and watch the excitement reach new heights as Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and the rest of the gang mingle and share their superpowers. With a delicious spread of superhero inspired snacks and a cake adorned with the Avengers logo, this celebration is bound to be remembered as an epic battle against boredom and a marvelous triumph of fun. It's time to call upon Earth's mightiest heroes and create memories that will last a lifetime!


Jump into action with our amazing Avengers Super hero balloons set which is a hit for any super hero theme birthday party, you will have their favorite superheroes at the birthday party with Marvel's Avengers. 9 pieces Avengers Balloon Set includes (4 super hero balloons, 1 shield balloons, and 4 star balloon)

Amazing Spiderman BIRTHDAY Pinata

The Amazing Spiderman Pinata is the perfect addition to your party. Available in 18 inches tall (18"length, 14" height, 4" width). Decorate your tables, give them as party favors or break them open!


Officially licensed Disney and Marvel Studios trunk set. Have your birthday party guests take turns dressing up in their favorite characters: Hulk, Black Panther, Iron Man and Captain America.

Avengers Inspired Cake Topper

This Avengers Cake Topper is the perfect addition to your cake and to your birthday party. Cake topper is a shaker and it lights up! Measurements (approximately): Cake topper: W 6.5 X H 6.5.

superhero birthday cookies

Add these sweet cookies to your superhero birthday party desert table. Order includes 12 cookies, with a max of 4 super hero characters per dozen.

Avengers birthday party invitation
Avengers Birthday Invitation 2
Iron man birthday invitation
Avengers Assemble Invitation
Marvel Avengers Birthday Party Invitations

Avengers assemble for the party of the century with these cool birthday party invitations! Get ready to party with Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Captain America and friends! Customize with your child’s name and details and order as many as you need for your birthday friends.

superhero birthday balloon garland kit

Easily create an insta-worthy centerpiece or backdrop for any milestone event with one of our DIY Organic Balloon Garland Kits. It includes everything you need to make a beautiful balloon garland - No helium required. 

Avengers Birthday Party Paper Plates
Avengers Birthday Party Paper Plates
Avengers Birthday Party Paper Plates

Throw a spectacular party with fully customizable paper plates to match your theme! Dimensions: 7" diameter. Each set of eight paper plates is printed on durable paper stock.

24 Piece Superhero Birthday Party Gift Bags

Send home your birthday party guests with these fun superhero gift bags filled with superhero themed treats. Made of high quality 150gsm kraft paper, strong enough to hold toys, cookies, chips, candy and any other gifts.

Marvel Ultimate Protectors Figure, 8 Pack

This a great gift for your child or to add to your birthday favor bags. This pack of eight Marvel figures that includes The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Spider-Man, Marvel's War Machine and Marvel's Falcon.

Black Panther Disney Gift Card

Every Black Panther fan will be excited to get their claws on this Disney Gift Card. Featuring the Marvel super hero in a dramatic stance set against a night cityscape, it's available in a choice of denominations.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Wedding Vow Books and Cards for Your Ceremony and Lifelong Keepsakes

Wedding vow books serve as cherished repositories of promises, intimate reflections, and heartfelt emotions exchanged between two souls embarking on a lifelong journey together. These elegant and personalized books hold the power to encapsulate the depth of love, commitment, and shared dreams within their pages. Whether adorned with delicate calligraphy or adorned with the couple's photographs, these vow books become treasured artifacts that capture the essence of a couple's unique bond. As the pen glides across the silky pages, eternal promises are etched in ink, spelling out the devotion and unwavering commitment that will withstand the test of time. Wedding vow books are not mere stationery; they are tangible reminders of the profound love shared between two souls, a testament to the enduring power of love and the beauty of lifelong promises.

Shop our favorite Vow Books and Cards! Set of 2 Gray & Gold foil Wedding Vow Books

These personalized wedding vow books make a perfect wedding keepsake. Size: 4" x 5.5", saddle stitch binding, card stock cover, foil options, rounded corners and 24 lined pages.


Transcribe your thoughts and feelings in this cherished keepsake. The cover of each book in this set of vow books is available in several colors and with or without foil text on the cover. Each set includes: Two 4" by 5.5" books, Saddle stitch stapled binding, card stock cover with rounded corners, matte finish on cover, 24 lined 70# pages in each book and gold, silver, and rose gold foil upgrade for text on the cover.

2 Vow HARD COVER Books Promises

These beautiful vow books are available in 8 colors! 2x Vow books w/ gold gilding, Pocket Size: 5.75 x 4 x .5 inches, Thick Pages: 40 lined pages 120 gsm, Built in bookmark for easy page tracking and professionally UV printed cover.

set of 2 white wedding vow books with ribbon

Get this Modern Vow Book Set to help you capture your heartfelt promises so you can make your wedding ceremony a true celebration of your unique love story. Size: 4.25” x 5.5”, Cover: 110lb matte white cardstock, Cover design is flat printed in black, 12 unlined pages to write in, Hand stitched to prevent pages from falling out and Each booklet comes tied with ribbon.

Set of 2 Rustic Wedding Vow Books

These personalized wedding vow books make a perfect wedding keepsake. Size: 4" x 5.5", saddle stitch binding, card stock cover, foil options, rounded corners and 24 lined pages.

His and Her Wedding Vow Booklet printable Template

Need last minute wedding vow cards? Easily type your wedding vows, print and fold! 
Two PDFs included!

Boho Mountain Wildflower Wedding Vows Card

This wedding vow book features grey watercolor mountains and muted tone watercolor wildflower florals paired with a simple serif font combination. This vow book is perfect for your bohemian mountain themed event.

Wax seal His and Hers Vow Book Set - Ivory and Gold

A set of His and Hers vow books with wax seal embellishment. Ivory handmade paper with a matte gold print, 4.25x5.5 when closed, 4 double sided interior pages in a natural color and bound with a navy thread.

Minimalist Beige Wedding Vows Book Vows

This minimalist vow book has a soft moleskine® cover. Design features an handwritten font and modern minimalist design. Made from sustainable eco-friendly material, sealed with vinyl laminate. Dimensions: 5.75" l x 3.75" w.

Vow Books for Wedding & Vow Renewal

For your special day, you want wedding vow books that reflect the love you feel for each other – but many his and hers vow books turn out to be disappointingly cheap looking and poorly made. Crafted with a luxe, soft-touch coated cover, the Artesori Couple’s Vow Books Set features elegant raised gold-foil lettering for the tasteful, sophisticated look you want for your ceremony – and will cherish as a treasured keepsake.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Last Disco Rodeo Bachelorette Party
Let’s Go Girls!

Plan a memorable bachelorette weekend in Nashville, Austin or your local bar with a mechanical bull! Our Last Disco Rodeo Bachelorette Party theme is full of fun invitations, signs, itineraries, printable games, gift bags, pins, shot glasses, cowboy hats, disco balls, cowgirl boots, bandana’s, beer can cooler cozies, t-shirts and more!


Easily create this bachelorette party invitation on your computer, tablet or phone! Perfect theme for a Nashville or Austin bachelorette party! No special software required! Easy to edit and print! Try it before you buy it.

last disco rodeo bachelorette party gift bags

Desert cactus burlap totes make cute gift bags for bridesmaids, bachelorettes, destination weddings, or any girl who likes pretty things. Each tote comes with a cute desert cactus design. Add a custom name for an additional charge. Size: 12" x 12" with 7.75" gusset.


This great sign is the perfect way to welcome your guests to your disco rodeo themed bachelorette party! Sizes Included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" or 24" x 36".

Cowgirl Mini Piñata bachelorette Treat Box

Saddle up and get ready for the hottest theme of the year! These mini piñata style treat boxes can be filled with all the treats your gals could ever need. From candy and mini liquor bottles to gift cards or lip gloss, fill them up to make sure everyone walks away with a smile on their face! Amazing welcome bag or hangover kit idea!

bachelorette party printable games bundle

Have a blast with these printable bachelorette party games! Download the PDFs and print as many as you want for your party. Play “Dirty Minds”, “Drink If”, “How Well Do You Know The Bride”, “Over or Under”, “What’s on Your Phone” and “Scavenger Hunt.”

Cowboy Hat Disco Ball bachelorette party Cup with straw

If you have been searching for some fun party props, look no further! Each cowboy hat disco ball cup includes clear straw! Get the party started with these groovy fun disco tumblers! Size: 9 " x 4.5" 16 oz, Clear Acrylic Straw and BPA free!

Cowgirl personalized bachelorette Bandana

Personalized bandana's are the perfect addition to your pre-wedding bash! Add your girls names to our bandana's for a fun gift at your next bachelorette! 22 x 22 inches - 100% cotton bandana | Has a soft feel and is a thinner not heavy fabric. Lettering adhered with vinyl, not embroidered.


Easily text the itinerary to everyone with this great editable weekend itinerary! Great for bachelorette parties, girls weekends or a fun getaway with friends! No special software required! Easy to edit and print!


This white pearl cowgirl hat is just screaming to be taken to your Nashville or Austin bachelorette party! The perfect party hat for the bride to be and a great statement piece for photos or a night out on the town. 

Let's Go Girls Can Cooler Cozies

The perfect can cooler coozies for your last rodeo disco bachelorette party. Keep your favorite beverages cold in style. Choose your can cooler color + text color.


Finish of your last disco rodeo bachelorette party planning with these fun accessories. Shop buy the bride a drink fans or pins, shot glasses and gift bags on Zazzle. Have these fun designs printed and shipped to you!

Cowgirl Bachelorette Party Shirts

These comfort colors bachelorette shirts would be perfect for a Nashville or country themed bachelorette! Choose from the white bride shirt or the violet bridesmaid shirt.

Let's Go Girls 12 pack bachelorette party cups

The party cup package includes 1 white "man, I feel like a bride" cup, 11 "let's go girls" pink cups, which are exclusively designed with star and cowgirl hat. These groovy party favors will give your bachelorette theme party a big hit.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Dog Themed Birthday Pawty Ideas
Throw a colorful party for kids or dogs!

Plan a fun party for your kid who loves dogs and puppies or for your dog who loves to party! Invite all the kids and their dogs to celebrate with treats for everyone! This theme starts with colorful “Let’s Pawty” invitations full of illustrations of cute Dalmatians, Dachshunds, German Shepherds and more. Shop our favorite signs, favors, balloons, party hats, cake toppers and more!

Dog Birthday Pawty Invitation Template

Get the pawty started with this cute dog birthday party invite! Two files included: Digital (for texting) & 5x7 (for printing). Try it before you buy it!

dog birthday party hat

Dogs want to celebrate too! Create your own custom mini party hat for your dogs. Size 2.5" diameter x 3", Confetti glitter hat, Trim aqua and Bubblegum pom. Number added it will be as shown in a Glittery pastel ab white. 

Puppy Pawty Balloon Garland

Our DIY balloon garland kit makes it easy for you to recreate a Pinterest worthy puppy dog party without any of the guessing work! Balloon garlands are the perfect party backdrop and will leave your guests in AWE! Our kits include EVERYTHING you need to create a beautiful balloon garland for your party! *Please note this listing is for the balloon garland and optional "TWO" balloons only.

dog birthday pawty welcome sign

Greet your pawty people with this fun dog themed birthday welcome sign! Easy to edit and print! Sizes Included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36".

Dog birthday cookie treat box

Birthday box for a special pup, 9 hand decorated and oven baked cookies that vary in size: Bone is 5 Inches, hat is 3.5 inches, minis are 2-3 inches. Choose your colors!

dog birthday pawty cake figurine toppers

These adorable dogs are ready to party on the top of your birthday cake! Choose your color scheme of the pups to match your party's theme. Dogs available: Dalmatian, Golden Retriever, Labrador and German Shepherd.

Dog Birthday thank you Tag Template

Thank your pawty people and dogs for celebrating with you! These printable thank you tags can be attached to your party favor bags or treats. Two invite sizes included: 5x7 & 4x6. Tag Size: 2" x 3.5".

Dog birthday party Bubble Favors

These cute dog party favor bubble wands are perfect for a theme party. These dog theme bubble wands are approx 4 inches long and 7/16 inch diameter. They contain approx. 0.14 fl oz of bubble mixture. 

Dog Themed Birthday Party Supplies

Raise the woof! These vibrant and adorable dog party supplies are sure to make kids squeal with excitement and can’t stop talking about it.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Sweet Little Peach is on the Way Baby Shower Theme

Sweet Little Peach Is On The Way Baby Shower theme is the perfect option for parents-to-be who want to celebrate their little one's arrival with a cute and fruity twist. This theme is inspired by the sweetness of peaches, featuring soft peach hues, playful peach designs and cleverly combined with other fruit elements. With Sweet Little Peach Is On The Way Baby Shower theme, it's guaranteed to be a fun and sweet celebration to welcome the newest addition to the family.

Shop our favorite peach themed invitations, thank you cards, printable games, welcome signs, favors, tableware, cookies, baby gifts, outfits, nursery decor, banners and more!

Two ways to shop!

Shop Zazzle for printed/shipped designs or DIY printable designs on Etsy.

Shop Zazzle SHOP ETSY a sweet little peach is on the way baby shower invitation

Invite friends and family to celebrate your sweet little peach on the way! This invitation design features a painted bunch of sweet peaches hanging from a branch. Along with a lovely combination of modern and rustic fonts.

12 peach is on the way baby shower sugar cookies

The cutest sugar cookies for your sweet peach baby shower! Cookies are bubble wrapped upon bubble wrapped. Then carefully nestled in a bakery box within a shipping box. 

Sweet Peach Baby Shower Foam Board Welcome Sign

Greet your baby shower guests with this sweet peach themed foam board welcome sign! 3/16" thick white foam board. Several sizes available. DIY and hang your sign from a copper pipe like shown or place on a wood easel.

peach Stretchy Swaddle Blanket baby gift

This is an ultra-soft, single layer stretchy knit baby swaddle, personalized with your baby's name in thin black script letters with light colored peaches and greenery scattered around an ivory background. Measures 42 x 38 Inches Wide and Tall.

sweet peach baby shower welcome yard sign

Place this sweet peach sign in your yard to greet your baby shower guests! Easily edit with your baby shower information. Several size options. Choose your stake stand.

Peach Baby Mobile Nursery

Peach baby mobile is a versatile, reusable, and beautiful decoration that will add a fairy touch to your nursery. Best present for a baby shower. The nursery crib mobile includes 7 peaches and 3 flowers. They are strung on a strong white cotton thread.

sweet peach baby shower lip balm favor

Create a unique baby shower favor with our DIY eos lip balm template! No special software required! DIY instructions included.

Baby Peach Top and Bloomer Set

We love this basic baby doll top because it is easy to fit and comfy to wear! This set looks so cute together and is the perfect out for a spring or summer day. Perfect for everyday use! These watercolor peaches are so fresh and looks cute on everyone! The back had elastic and makes for an easy fit. This dress is made of organic cotton poplin and is lightweight and breathable-it gets softer with every wash!

peach baby shower favor sign
peach baby shower gift card sign
peach baby shower circle stickers
peach baby shower bingo
Sweet Little Peach is on the Way Baby Shower

Add more matching sweet little peach designs to your baby shower theme. Shop books for favor signs, gift & cards signs, favor stickers and baby shower bingo cards!

Sweet as a peach plastic party cups

Add the perfect touch to your peach theme celebrations! Use for favor cups or to hold cold drinks. Disposable, BPA free, 12 ounces, Peach strip straws and Straw slot lids.

Peach Baby Shower printable Games Bundle

Get all your baby shower guests interacting and having fun playing these printable games! It’s easy to download and print as many as you need for your peach themed baby shower! Play BINGO, emoji game, predictions & wishes, who’s my mama, the price is right and baby ABC games!

Sweet As A Peach Flag Banner with Peach Pom Poms

This handmade "Sweet as a Peach" banner is the perfect decoration to hang for your little one's sweet peach baby shower or in their nursery! Made with 4" x 3" white felt pennant flags, white cord, peach letters, and peach pom poms with olive leaves. Sure to make any space special. Easy to hang with loops ends.

peach thank you cards
peach thank you favor bags
peach baby shower paper plates
peach baby shower plates
Sweet Little Peach is on the Way Baby Shower

Finish your sweet little peach baby shower decor with these matching thank you cards, favor bags and paper plates!

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

How to Create Wedding Program Fans
DIY the Perfect Program Fan for Your Outdoor Wedding

Add a personal touch to your outdoor wedding with our program fan templates. Beautifully display your wedding details on your fan and your guests will thank you on a hot summer day. The program fan templates are 5” x 7” and double sided. Display your name, event date and location on the front. List your ceremony schedule and wedding party on the back. Invite your bridesmaids over on a Saturday for lunch and assemble all the fans while you talk about your wedding day.

Watch our YouTube video to learn how to purchase, collect supplies and assemble your program fans.

How to create Wedding fan programs? Supplies You Will Need:

110lb white matte card stock

Double sided tape

8” wooden Craft sticks

Scissors of an Xacto knife

A ruler (preferably metal)

Self Healing Cutting Mat

Shop our wedding fan designs SHOP ETSY FANS Wedding Fan Program
Wedding Fan Program
Wedding Fan Program
Wedding Fan Program
Wedding Fan Programs
Wedding Fan Program
I absolutely love how these programs came out! I was a little skeptical doing it on my own but the template was so easy to use.
”” — ADRIANE Zazzle or Etsy? Where to buy your fan programs?

Printed fan options on Zazzle or DIY printable fans on Etsy? Which is right for you?

  Shop Printed Fans on Zazzle!

Shop our Zazzle store for pre-assembled wedding fan programs!

SHOP FANS ON ZAZZLE Wedding Fan Programs
Wedding Fan Programs
Wedding Fan Programs
Wedding Fan Programs
Berry First Birthday Theme Ideas

A strawberry first birthday party theme is a delightful way to celebrate your little one's special day. This theme revolves around the sweetness and vibrancy of the beloved fruit, making it a perfect choice for a spring or summer birthday party. To set the tone for the party, start with the invitations. Decorate your party space with vibrant red and green accents. Use strawberry-patterned tablecloths, cups, and napkins to create an eye-catching table setting. You could also include red and green balloons, hanging streamers and other decorations that complement the theme. As for the food, offer a variety of strawberry-themed dishes to delight your guests. From strawberry shortcakes, cupcakes, and milkshakes to strawberry tarts and fruit salads, the possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating this delicious fruit into your party menu.

Shop our favorite Strawberry Themed Birthday Designs and decorations!

Shop berry first invitations, banners, signs, cake toppers, paper plates, headbands, outfits, cups, balloon garland and birthday treats!

Berry First Birthday Invitation Template

The sweetest invitation for your berry first birthday party! No special software required! Easy to edit and print! Two sizes included: 5x7 & 4x6. Try it before you buy it!

Strawberry Gingham Double Bow Nylon Baby Headband

These strawberry themed nylon headbands are the perfect headband for your little one. These darling headbands are one size fits all are ultra-soft and stretchy to grow with your newborn to any age. This darling nylon headband has a strawberry print throughout. Each bow is 3” and tied on.

Berry Sweet Editable High Chair Banner Template

Create the cutest berry first high chair banner with this easy printable template. 5x7 editable banner. Can be set up so 2 cards print per 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper. You can edit using your computer, tablet or phone.

Pink Strawberry Romper Bubble Birthday Outfit

The perfect outfit for your berry first birthday party! Your little one will look adorable taking photos in this romper bubble! 97% Cotton, 3% Spandex.

Berry Sweet Editable Birthday Party Welcome Sign Template

This beautiful berry themed sign is the perfect way to welcome your guests to your event! Sizes Included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36". Print at your local copy center. Try it before you buy it.

Berry First 9 oz. Clear Birthday Party Cups

Celebrate your berry first birthday with these cute strawberry party cups! Use them to serve beverages or fill them with candy, party mix, trinkets, coloring pages, and stickers for the kids! Quantity: Sets of 4, 8, 12 or 24.

Editable Berry First Birthday Milestone Sign Template

Easily create this keepsake milestone birthday sign for your child's birthday! Easy to edit and print! Sizes Included: 18" x 24", A1 (59.4 x 84.1 cm) and 24" x 36". Try it before you buy it.


Dress up your favorite cupcakes, cakes and desserts with these ready-to-use strawberry sugar decorations! The subtle colors of these edible sugars will add a little pop of color to your delicious treats. Made of finely granulated sugar and painted with edible food color. Choose 12 or 24 pieces.

Berry Sweet Strawberry Cupcake Toppers TEMPLATE

Your guests will love these cupcake toppers and the delicious cupcakes! Easily create beautiful 2" round or square cupcake toppers! No special software required! Easy to edit and print!

Strawberries Balloon Garland

We love this berry themed balloon garland to set the perfect backdrop for your first birthday party. This will definitely make your guests say WOW! he garland can be hung, draped, etc for a party backdrop. Each kit includes everything needed to create your very own balloon garland.

berry first birthday party paper plates

This berry sweet paper plate design features a basket of freshly picked watercolor strawberries. These plates are perfect for serving dinner, appetizers, or salads. Dimensions: 9" diameter. Fully biodegradable; printed with vegetable-based inks.

Strawberry Cream French Macarons

Don’t these macarons look delicious! Add them to your berry first birthday desert table! Choose boxes of 6, 12 or 24 strawberry cream french macarons! Free shipping. 100% gluten free.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Minimal Aesthetic Black and White Wedding Ceremony Theme
Less is more with these wedding ceremony ideas!

Keep it simple with these minimal black and white wedding ceremony designs. Shop our matching wedding welcome signs, itinerary, programs, menus, seating chart and signage. Easily edit and print these templates to save time and money on your wedding budget.

Minimal Wedding Welcome Sign Template

We love this simple, black and white sign to greet your guests at your wedding ceremony! It’s easy to edit and print! Try it before you buy it! Sizes included: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36".

Minimal Aesthetic Wedding Itinerary Template

Create these amazing welcome letters and wedding day itineraries! Change the colors of everything - even the icons! Easy to edit and print! This card measures 5" x 7".

Crystal Rhinestone Barrette COMB

This brilliant barrette features sparkling rhinestones in a cluster pattern of round and marquise stones that is the perfect accessory for the bride or any special occasion event. This piece is perfect as a side or back clip accessory. Measures a more petite size at 3" wide and 1/2" tall and has a clip on the back to securely place into your hair. Now available in gold and rose gold!

Minimal Wedding Program Fan Template

These minimal wedding fan programs are perfect for any wedding budget! The perfect program for an outdoor wedding. This easy editable template can be printed at home or a local copy center! This fan program measures 5" x 7".

Minimal Black and White Wedding Ceremony Program

This 4x9 double sided wedding program is perfect for any wedding! Easy to edit and print! Try it before you buy it! Fully editable wording, layout, colors.


Pair of simple crystal leaf earrings for that special occasion. Perfect for weddings or special events. The earrings have a sterling silver post making these perfect for everyone. Matching necklace available.

minimal black and white wedding menu template

Quickly and easily create a beautiful menu for bridal shower, rehearsal dinner or wedding reception with this printable template! No special software required. Try it before you buy it. Easy to edit and print! Two menu sizes included: 4” x 9” or 5” x 7”.

Wedding Gifts and Cards sign
Photo Guestbook Sign
In Loving Memory Sign
Wedding Guest Book Sign
Minimal wedding reception printable sign templates

Don’t forget your wedding reception signs! Print and frame these signs to direct your guests where to place their gifts, sign your guestbook and more!

Satin lace bridal playsuit robe set

Be the star of your own romance in our Pia Short and Cami Set. Crafted with love in our exclusive Le Rose satin fabric developed by us for you. Your order will arrive beautifully packaged in a gift bag with ribbon and gift tag illustrated exclusively for Le Rose by 'The Blacklist Studio'. Made from a premium polyester luxe matt satin with just the right amount of stretch that makes this set super comfortable.

Minimal Wedding Seating Chart Template

This is a lovely and unique way to display the seating arrangement for your event!
Easy to edit and print! Sizes Included: 5x7 Hanging Cards, 4x6 Hanging Cards and 8x10 Header Card.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

10 Cute Baby Shower Cookie Favor Ideas on Etsy
Planning a baby shower? Start with the cookies!

If you are like me, cookies are the main attraction at any party! They are a great desert, favor or gift to the mother-to-be. We put together our favorite baby shower themed cookie ideas from some of the best cookie designers on Etsy. You won’t find cuter sugar cookies in baby shapes like strollers, cribs, rattles, bibs and onesies. Shop fun themes like “moon and stars”, “little cutie on the way”, “we can bearly wait” and more!

baby girl pink lace and gold baby shower cookies

These are the most adorable cookies to help celebrate your baby girl on the way! The details are amazing! Order includes: baby onesies, crib with blanket, stroller, baby shoes, abc blocks and “baby” wording. Color can be changed.

Boho Baby Shower Sugar Cookies

Love the color palate of these boho baby shower sugar cookies! 12 or 24 cookies comes in each set. Cookies are personalized to name and color palette of choice.

Moon and stars mini baby shower cookies

The perfect treat for your moon and stars themed baby shower! Each order comes with 12 Mini Cookies- 4 of each design. Each cookie is approximately 1.75-2" in size and are individually wrapped and placed into a reusable food safe pouch for easy sharing or storing.

Teddy Bear Baby Shower Cookies

The cutest Teddy Bear Baby Shower Cookies! Look at these bears, bottles, carriage, onesie and bib! 12 or 24, 36 cookies comes in each set. Cookies can be personalized and you can pick different colors.

Oh Baby! Sage and Gold baby shower cookies

This cookie set is perfect for your Oh Baby Sage and Gold baby shower! Highlighted by hand brushed gold or silver details set against a sage and white background. Designs include rattle, "Baby" in script, jumper and bib with eucalyptus accent, hexagon with text and eucalyptus branch (2 each, per dozen). An elegant, statement dessert to serve at your party or as a take-home favor for your guests to enjoy later. 

boho ray of sunshine baby shower cookies

Love the colors of these ray of sunshine boho baby shower cookies! 2- Sunshine 2-Name Cookies 2-wooden bead pacifiers 2-knotted gowns 2-rainbows 2-Floral BABY cookies. Choose solid or rainbow/sunshine knotted gowns. Gluten Free (Rice Flour) and Dairy Free options available. Sugar Mama uses plant based food coloring.

Blue Elephant it’s a boy Baby Shower Cookies

Love these cute blue elephant sugar cookies! Order is for one dozen. All cookies are made from scratch. Each cookie is 3.5-4 inches. Customize for boy or girl and color options.


These are great cookies for a boy or girl baby shower. All cookies are a large 3-4 inches in size. Made to order and individually packaged, heat sealed. Cookies are customizable.


You will get so many compliments on these cute orange and green “little cutie” baby shower cookies! Handmade and sold by the dozen. Standard size 3” to 4”.

greenery and blush floral baby shower sugar cookies 

This cute blush floral cookie set would be a great addition to your baby shower as a treat or even favors! This listing is for MINI decorated sugar cookies. Cookie size: Rattle-2.5”, Romper- 2”, Greenery leaves- 2.5” and Circle- 1.75”.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

17 Berry Sweet Baby Shower Ideas You’ll Love
Strawberry Summer Baby Shower Theme

We are in love with this berry sweet baby shower theme. Nothing says summer like red and pink strawberries in a cute little carton. Start planning your berry sweet baby shower with our matching invitations, enclosure cards, welcome sign, plates, napkins, favor bags, thank you tags and more. Complete your berry theme with strawberry cookies, cupcake toppers, balloons, banners, baby gifts, jelly jars and more!

Two Ways To Shop This Collection

Printed/Shipped versions available in Zazzle. Printable versions available in Etsy.

SHOP ETSY SHOP ZAZZLE Berry Sweet Baby Shower Invitation Set

Everyone is going to love this berry sweet baby shower invite set! Invite, thank you card, diaper raffle, and books for baby cards included! Two invite sizes included: 5x7 & 4x6, 2x3.5 Books For Baby Card, 2x3.5 Diaper Raffle Card and 5.25x5.25 Thank You Card.

Strawberry Swaddle Blanket with Coordinating Hat

Looking for the perfect baby shower gift for your sweet berry on the way? This high quality swaddle set is a super soft blend of premium cotton and lycra spandex fabric. Swaddles measures approximately 31"x31". Choice of coordinating knotted beanie hat.


Greet your friends and family to your baby shower with this sweet welcome sign! This berry sweet design features a basket of freshly picked watercolor strawberries in a berry basket. Along with a playful heart script font.

Strawberry Fabric Baby Shower Banner

Hang this cute strawberry fabric banner near your baby shower desert, gift or favor table. This banner/bunting has (11) Eleven large pennants measuring 7 inches wide by 8 inches long. The white ties on each side measure approximately 12 inches which is great for displaying. The total length of the banner portion is 77 inches with 12 inches of ties on each side making the complete total length 101 inches. This is a single sided banner. 

strawberry and onesie baby shower cookies

The cutest treats for your berry sweet baby shower. Each order includes 12 cookies. 6 strawberries and 6 strawberry onesies. The sugar cookie recipe is based off my Italian grandmother’s cookie recipe. I then added my part by decorating each cookie with delicious royal icing. I take pride in using only the finest ingredients and putting detail into every sweet treat.

strawberry paper plates
pink plaid paper plates
strawberries paper plates
Berry sweet paper 9” round paper plates

Serve your favorite strawberry themed food and desserts on these fun 9” round paper plates. One customer mixed and matched styles for their baby shower.

Strawberry Baby Shower Cupcake Toppers

Add these adorable pink and red strawberry toppers to your baby shower cupcakes. Place them on your cupcakes or use them for sandwiches, meatballs, and appetizers. Sold in sets of 12. 4 1/2" tall from top of the cupcake topper to the bottom of the stick.

strawberry balloon garland arch

Create a fun backdrop to your Berry Sweet baby shower with this balloon garland. Choose your length from 4ft - 12ft high quality matte balloons. Includes all the the supplies you need including hand pump option.

berry first baby shower favors sign

Let everyone know where they can grab their sweet favor after celebrating at your baby shower with this cute favors sign.

strawberry minky faux fur lovey

This is a lovey, it is approximately 17x17 in. The print is a strawberry watercolor print. It is minky, which is super soft, vibrant, and fade resistant. The backing is a blush faux fur. The ribbon is a pink satin. Lovey's are the perfect size to stash in your diaper bag, your babe to tote around everywhere, for the car seat, and stroller rides.

strawberry baby shower napkins
strawberry thank you favor bags
strawberry baby shower thank you tags
strawberry mailing labels
Berry SWEET baby shower matching designs

Complete your Berry Much baby shower theme with these matching designs on Zazzle. Shop matching strawberry napkins, favor bags, thank you tags and mailing labels.

15 Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves 1 Ounce Jars

Add these cute little strawberry preserve jars to your baby shower favor table! The sweet richness of cooked strawberries creates a perfect texture and brilliant flavor. Like all Bonne Maman flavors, it is made with natural ingredients including the highest quality strawberries available. Made in France, our products are formulated with no high fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, no added color and are gluten free, nut free and non GMO.

We love to suggest other products that can help make your event more fun. Recommended items contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

Main Squeeze, Tropical Citrus Bridal Shower Theme
She Found Her Main Squeeze

Planning a bridal shower in spring or summer? We have the perfect, colorful, tropical citrus theme full of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and papaya! Shop matching bridal shower invitations, signs, favor tags, favor stickers, favor bags, plates, napkins and more. Complete your citrus theme bridal shower with tropical drink dispensers, dried citrus garland, citrus cocktail favors, toasting flutes, citrus soap favors and more!

Two Ways To Shop This Collection

Printed/Shipped versions available in Zazzle. Printable versions available in Etsy.

SHOP ETSY SHOP ZAZZLE She Found Her Main squeeze bridal shower invitation

Everyone will love this beautiful editable tropical citrus bridal shower invitation template! This design features a lush arrangement of oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and papaya! Two sizes included: 5x7 & 4x6.

tropical fruit everloom dress

This dress has such a fun print to match your citrus themed bridal shower! Midi length with v neckline with tie feature.

1-Gallon Glass citrus fruit Beverage Dispenser

Serve your favorite citrus beverages in these 1-gallon glass beverage dispensers with stainless steel spigots. Contained in the package are two hanging wooden chalkboards for naming your homemade drinks especially when you have special recipes.

Citrus bridal shower welcome sign

Greet your friends and family with this beautiful bridal shower welcome sign. Four sizes included in this template: 8" x 10", 16" x 20", 18" x 24" and 24" x 36".