The “Nurfice”

It is hard to believe that our baby just recently turned three! Her nursery also doubles as our office. (Hence, the title “nurfice”.) I distinctly remember when the two realtors showed us our house for the first time said, “And here’s a room that could be an office or a nursery!” I naively thought to myself, “yes, it could, but it won’t.” Little did I know!

The nurfice has gone through several changes over the years… like we all do, I suppose.

It was our homeschool room at one point.IMG_6909

Later it became an office/den with the cursive alphabet cards moving up to the playroom. IMG_1262

Then it became the “nurfice”. It’s really a functional room that is cozy for Joy, but also is great for working on the computer when needed.


My sister-in-law gave us an office chair that was in really good condition, but I didn’t love the color. So I decided to give it an update.


I started by removing the seat and reupholstering it with a pretty gray fabric. Next, I spray painted the body white and put it back together. It’s amazing what a little coat of paint and some fresh fabric can do! Is there a simple makeover you’ve done that’s made a big difference?


A Simple Christmas Gift

I have a confession: I didn’t know what Black Friday was until I dated my husband. Growing up in the boonies, there was no such thing as Black Friday. Prices were the same the day after Thanksgiving as they were the rest of the year. There was no online shopping back then, so Black Friday was unknown to me. Some of you avid Black Friday shoppers are probably shocked, but that’s the truth. However, this Black Friday, I was going to be brave and stopped at Target to find a bargain or two. I walked in, assessed the crowd, took a deep breath, grabbed a cart and started browsing the $1 and $3 section. Only to put my cart back and walk out the door five minutes later! It was too much. Couldn’t handle the bustle. Oh well… I tried.

Christmas is really about Jesus, and spending time with family and making memories anyway, right? I’d rather be able to do more of that and less time browsing crowded stores trying to find the “perfect” gift. 

After the Target fiasco, I decided to make gifts. Something simple. Perfectly imperfect maybe. I really enjoy simple, homemade Christmas gifts. Even the dish cloth Grandma crocheted can be appreciated. It’s the time and effort someone puts into crafting something special that counts. And if it’s either useful or beautiful, that’s an added bonus! 🙂 

A couple summers ago, I came across an ad on Craigslist for free wood. Someone was tearing down their old barn. And wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t far away! I excitedly drove my car over and loaded as much beautifully weathered Ohio barn wood as I could into the back of old Betsie. I didn’t necessarily know what all the wood would be used for, but I knew there were projects in the future where it would come in handy.

Like today. My simple Christmas gift. Totally doable on a cold, snowy day.IMG_0627I found a couple boards of varying width and used my saw to make them the size I wanted. Using gorilla wood glue, I made the cross and put a bunch of library books as weights to hold them while they dried for a couple hours. Then I looped jute string around the center, with just a little bit of hot glue on the back to hold it in place.

Christmas is about Jesus humbling Himself, coming to this earth as a baby in a manger (can you imagine?), and thirty-three years later, dying on a cross to redeem fallen mankind. What better way to remember what He did for me?


“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame. And I love that old cross where the dearest and best for a world of lost sinners was slain. So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down. I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.” (The Old Rugged Cross, by George Bennard)

Big Girl Room Part 2 (Furniture)

Hello! It’s been awhile! This part 2 is only a year and a few months in coming… my big girl is even bigger now, and she’s welcomed a baby sister since I last wrote! 🙂

This is baby Joy. She was born January 9th. Complete perfection.08-dsc02851

So now two girls will be sharing the room. 🙂 I even snagged a matching bed off Craigslist for $100 delivered to our door! It is stored in our basement until Joy is big enough to need it.

Did you ever watch “White Christmas”? It’s the ultimate fun sister movie! My sister and I used to watch it every year at Christmastime. (Along with “Little Women”… another classic!) There is a song the “White Christmas” sisters perform… “Sisters, sisters, never were there such devoted sisters… Caring, sharing… every little thing that we are wearing…” My sister and I used to belt out that song together and act out the parts. It is so much fun to have a sister to grow up with! Anyway… back to our makeover.

All the furniture in our big girl room was given to us and now it’s being enjoyed by another generation of girls.

Jenna was excited to help me take the handles off the drawers. She thought it was pretty grown-up to use my mommy drill.  IMG_8049

After the handles were removed, we painted them pink.IMG_8051IMG_8055

Some of you will cringe at this, but for the dresser, I used spray paint… I think it was a combination of feeling lazy and not having enough white paint on hand.IMG_8053IMG_8054

The drawers also got a coat of white.IMG_8050IMG_8052

For the bedside table, I used a roller and did it right. 🙂IMG_2379IMG_2495IMG_2538

Next up was the spindly four-poster bed. It looked rough, but had great bones for an adorable outcome. IMG_7973

I rolled and brushed on a couple layers of paint and watched the transformation. IMG_7975

After it dried, we carried it upstairs and got ready to assemble it. Can you tell Jenna is excited about her new big girl bed? 😉IMG_7986

Unfortunately the frame I bought off Craigslist wasn’t the exact kind we needed, so I had to make it work. The “art of making do” we call it around our place. “Making do” typically employs the use of duct tape, super glue or baling twine. This time though, I used some old hardware I had lying around the garage and it worked great!IMG_7987

I will insert here that I am no professional DIYer. (Chip and Joanna would probably  definitely fire me!) 🙂

Some DIYers would return the frame and get the correct one. Some might go to Lowes or Home Depot and buy new hardware to install the frame. Not me. Although I’m not a professional DIYer, I’m a professional at using what I have to make things work. And almost always, it works! IMG_7992

Drumroll, please…. heeeere’s the fiiiiiiinished big girl room!!IMG_8291

A couple before and afters, ‘cuz who doesn’t love before and afters? (Please excuse the messy before…little girl’s rooms aren’t always perfect, are they?) 🙂DSC_4770img_8290IMG_3965IMG_8046

Big Girl Room Part 1 (Paint and Accessories)

How many times have you heard an older person say, “Enjoy these days! They go by so fast!” And you glance down at your little one sleeping in your arms. Looking back at old pictures always makes me remember how little they were.

Here’s Jenna in the NICU soon after she was born (that’s a story in and of itself…)IMG_1270Here she is now!
IMG_8588 This is Josiah when he was a few days old.IMG_4938 And now!IMG_6178From baby to toddler to big kid. Crib to toddler bed to twin bed. As they grow, their room changes with them. This is the story of Jenna’s room.

When we moved in, the room was a blank slate like the rest of the house. The walls were a cream color. IMG_3961In my excitement for each of the kids to have their own room, I hastily chose colors for the walls. Naturally, blue for the boy and pink for the girl. Only the pink that was chosen was (like the lime green elsewhere in the house…) slightly electric. And we only painted one wall. It was fine for awhile. But then I got the itch to repaint. This time, I really did my research.IMG_3965


Here is an old picture of Josiah’s room.

And a more recent one…IMG_2872

A few years ago during a Black Friday shopping trip, I picked up this twin bedding set, I think from JC Penney’s.IMG_2385It was unbelievably cheap and had sweet ruffles and cute patterns. In the throw pillow, there is a sprinkling of a pretty blue. I also love this beautiful little quilt my mother-in-law made for Jenna and I saw the same soft blue.IMG_3869That was my inspiration. I tried the ruffle pillow against blue and also the green wall, as we made sure on the color choice.


IMG_2399In the end, blue won. We decided on Olympic “Fond Farewell”.
Rummaging around in the garage, I found some sparkles (Valspar paint crystals) that I’d forgotten about. What could be more perfect for a big girl room than soft blue walls with sparkles?! I bought one more package of sparkles at Lowes when I picked up the paint.DSC_5048

The pictures really don’t do the sparkles justice. It’s a very subtle glimmer that you have to see in person to really appreciate. 🙂
DSC_5045Here’s the progress…DSC_5047


IMG_2433It’s amazing how the blue instantly softened the tone of the room.
DSC_5050After the pink and cream were covered up, it was time to work on the accessories. I already had most of the things for the walls, but some of them needed painting.IMG_2426Here’s the colors of spray paint I used.DSC_5033I had picture frames, round mirrors, a “J”, a little red ladder, a black shelf, and a name sign that all needed painting. Most I spray painted. The name sign got a coat of white paint with a brush.





Name sign:DSC_5032



DSC_5040Next came the fun part of putting it together. IMG_2639


Next up… part 2… furniture! Stay tuned!IMG_2611


Our Outdoor Oasis

Do you ever get inspired? You get a real itch to make something happen. Stat. I recently was feeling this way after reading about Miss Mustard Seed’s antique potting bench and deck redo. Seeing an adorable chippy table with gardening gloves, a shovel, and some pots on a friend’s porch soon after only solidified my need for an outside spruce-up of our deck.

We are blessed to have a nice sized deck, but it’s rarely used because it’s just not inviting. You know, the kind of place where you are drawn to sit, relax, and drink an Arnold Palmer? A place where you can notice the beauty all around you, and sit and soak it in for awhile? Our deck was not this. In fact, it was quite the opposite of inviting. IMG_6123 IMG_6124

This makeover is made up of… wait for it… not one, but three side-of-the-road finds! That’s right. The first find was this “perfectly good” rocking chair. You can probably guess why it caught my eye. 😉 (It’s green!) The rocker sled on the one side is rotted part way off, but I propped it on a piece of wood, and it works just fine. IMG_2438

I scored the umbrella a few months ago. (There were actually two that I brought home, but one broke during a storm since it didn’t have a proper umbrella stand.) Kinda a funny story behind the umbrellas. When I spotted them sticking out of someone’s trash can and did the slam-on-the-brakes-find-the-nearest-place-to-turn-around move, there was a guy in a red pickup coming the opposite direction. He had his blinker on and was turning into the same driveway. I motioned him to go first since I thought either he was coming to do some work at the house, or he lived there. He motioned back for me to go. I reluctantly pulled in and sheepishly snagged the two umbrellas. As I pulled out, I watched him turn in and start to sort through the trash piled there. “Another treasure hunter!” I told the kids. “Nice that he let us pick what we wanted first!”


The third score were the green patio chairs. They were old, dated, and faded, but I saw potential. Plus, they were free! The kids and I stuffed them into the back of our car one day on our way home from the gym. IMG_6113That brings us to the deck. As I swept off the leaves and dirt, the kids pounded in all the nails that were sticking up enough to poke your foot if you stepped on them. IMG_6131We moved our new little potting bench into place. I found it for $30 at an estate sale down the road.
IMG_6128And I began decorating it. I had some ideas of what I wanted, but it came as I went. If you remember my “peculiar treasure”, then you’ll recognize the wood sign I painted for the potting bench. The casket had rotted out and fallen apart, so it was time for a repurposing. Another new life.IMG_1975DSC_5358

I found a few small plants for $1 each in the clearance section at Lowes and planted them in various containers to add some life and color. (I’ll obviously move these inside during the wintertime.)

Sunday afternoon was spent at a favorite antique mall where I picked up the coca cola box. I’m still deciding on a practical use for it, but I like the way it looks.DSC_5364


Next, I spray painted the lovely green chairs and bought new cushions for them. (No easy task, I’ll say… locating outdoor cushions this time of year was a challenge!)IMG_6122IMG_6732

Hard to believe those are the same chairs, huh? 🙂

So here’s the final reveal of our own outdoor oasis. (We ate dinner out there tonight! So nice!)DSC_5337 DSC_5338 DSC_5343 DSC_5354

Even though I’m incredibly happy with how the makeover turned out, it wasn’t without a mishap. Oops.IMG_6173As I was trying to remove the umbrella from its stand, I accidentally broke the table… yeah. Super bummer. So Josiah helped me put together the new one. Even though we accidentally left the stickers underneath the glass… I told him it would be a good memory of us building it together. 🙂

Mudroom Makeover

On a farm, a mudroom is essential. It’s where you take off your muddy boots and hang up your coat after you’ve done the chores. Honestly, most of the muddy things get left in the garage at our house, but the mudroom is the next place you step into. And when you’re not muddy, it’s nice to have a place to hang your coat and leave your shoes.

The mudroom walls started out off-white, just like the rest of the house. And when the painter asked me if I would like it painted, I said, “nah”, with a wave of my arm. (Silly me.) I thought it would give some dimension. Instead it looked like we forgot to paint the mudroom.

IMG_9883Years ago, I picked up this cute little bench at a garage sale for $10. It had caught my eye (since it was green and had cute hearts on the sides), but I decided after bringing it home that I wanted it blue. It fits perfectly in the space between the garage door and laundry room door and serves as a space for my husband’s shoes (which, quite honestly, are too big to fit in the closet neatly)! 🙂
IMG_9882 Several months after we moved in, I couldn’t take the “unfinished” look anymore and decided to paint the mudroom.
IMG_9881This was one of those afternoon projects that I’d been procrastinating starting. Once I saw the color on the wall, it was so gratifying to just get it done! (So just start!) 🙂

IMG_9887IMG_9886After the walls were done (in Olympic “Royal Palm”), my blue bench no longer worked. It clashed like maroon damask and aqua polka dots. So I painted it white. (Spray paint with a satin finish.) Ah… much better! And I just love this sign that I picked up at Hobby Lobby-  it covers the alarm box perfectly.DSC_5281

May I introduce you to Greta? She’s my black angus cow. My brother-in-law is a welder and made her.

Here’s the wall before Greta.

DSC_3277Here’s the wall after Greta. I love looking over there and seeing her when I’m in the kitchen. She’s a happy cow.DSC_5283

Just a few hours of work, and our mudroom is stylish and welcoming. IMG_9881DSC_4714IMG_9883DSC_5267

Coffee Table Spruce Up

My husband and I started out with very little, like most newlyweds. We had our clothes, cars from high school, and each other! We were so blessed to end up with my aunt and uncle’s old dining table and chairs and hutch (of which you’ve already heard the story). They also gave us these 2 coffee tables. Here they are in our first little apartment. All those doo-dads on the table are most of the home decor items we received for shower/wedding gifts. 🙂 (The couch and chair were also given to us by generous friends…more on that later.)

random 024After graduation from college, we moved to my husband’s home state of Florida. At that point, I figured the table needed a little makeover. On a warm summer day, I hauled the table out by the pool in the hot sun and slathered on a layer of gray primer first, then painted it glossy black. (I really had no idea what I was doing back then, but you learn as you go, right?) 🙂 It dried- very quickly- complete with bubbles from the sun. But it was usable. And we did use it… for another five years or so. 100_5581Then one day, I ran across this. It kinda looked like our table and I liked it.

First, I measured the top of the table and figured out that I needed 4 4×6’s cut to 52 inches. The guy at Lowes quickly made the cuts for me.

Next, using a rag, I applied one coat of Zar stain. I love the dark, rich color!DSC_4411DSC_4413 DSC_4412Lastly, I put the boards on the tabletop, planning to glue them down later. (Still haven’t glued them…) But it looks great! And it’s easy to dust underneath. 🙂 (For some reason, the wood looks a little reddish in these pictures, but it’s darker in real life.)

DSC_4473 DSC_4477

A Little Bit of History

The last couple times I’ve visited my childhood home, I”ve been fascinated by all the treasures there. Growing up surrounded by history, I never even realized that so much of the “junk” in the barn, the shop, the garage were treasures! Now, my sister and I go “treasure hunting” whenever we visit. During one trip, I discovered boxes of old books, letters, and ticket stubs in the barn. My parents were high school sweethearts and my dad was a bit of a sentimental packrat and saved every scrap of paper with a memory attached. I collected many of these artifacts that are now a precious part of my heritage (since my dad went to Heaven eight years ago) and brought them home with me. So, thanks to him, I have a bit of history tucked away for safe keeping.

I suppose there are many different ways to display paper treasures, but I thought it would be fun to try my hand at mod podge.

We had one of those flimsy particle board side tables you can buy at Wal Mart for $10 in our music room. It lived with a round white tablecloth over it that had seen better days, thanks to Milo, the playful cat.IMG_8927DSC_4800The flimsy table was a good candidate for my first mod podge project. If I messed it up, oh well. So I hauled it to the garage and gave it a coat of antique white paint. After it dried, I rubbed on a little Zar stain with a rag.


Instead of using the original letters, I made copies. Also, some were written on blue or pink paper and I wanted all black and white. I also made copies of some of my favorite sheet music. Using brewed coffee and a sponge brush, I brushed each copy with coffee, then baked it in the oven at 170 for a few minutes to dry. This gave each piece a vintage look. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of this process.

Next, on a cookie sheet, I mixed the mod podge with a little water (enough to be able to soak it up with the sponge brush) and began painting each piece. Mod podge is incredibly sticky and when it dries, you end up with a film on your hands. But it is really cool stuff! After I had arranged and placed each piece down on the tabletop, I painted the corners with more mod podge and smoothed them down with the sponge brush. Some of the papers were hanging off the edge, so I trimmed those flush with the edge of the table.

This is the table when it was still wet. You can see how it lightened when it dried.


If you have an old table (or dresser or trunk or whatever!) that needs to go from drab to fab, this is a fun way to add a little character to the piece.DSC_5030DSC_5029

Burlap Lampshade

There is a little consignment shop in Loveland that I like to visit from time to time. They are very reasonably priced and occasionally you can score a great find. I got these hotel lamps there for $4 each! She probably had a dozen of them. I picked up two, then went back the next day and got 2 more. They were gold and that color green that makes my toes curl a little. Very Marriot-ish, if you know what I mean.


Although the bases looked a million times better after I spray painted them white, the shades turned out terribly. Especially when the lamp was on, you could see the wrinkly fabric and uneven lines where I had wrapped it around the shade (without properly measuring…). I’ve never been proud of them. That’s why when I came across thisit was obvious what needed to be done.IMG_8128

So I tore off the green and burlap and got busy cutting out circles. Lots and lots and lots of circles. I would admit that this has been one of my more time-consuming, tedious projects of late. But it was worth it.

I used this ribbon spool as a general size-guide for cutting out the first circle. DSC_4964DSC_4966To find the center of the circle, I bent it in half, then in half again to make a kind of flower. Then I just put a drop of hot glue on the center of the bottom. I tried to space them about an inch apart or so.


I began with a line down to the bottom, then came back and started going round and round. DSC_4968DSC_4971

Until…DSC_5021DSC_5019DSC_5011Much improved, don’t you think? 🙂IMG_6072

Pallet Sign

There are so many adorable and creative ideas out there for pallet signs!

Our garage was home to several pallets that I had saved from different deliveries for just this purpose. I was planning to make a special sign for my mom and step-dad. Simple and rustic, with an inspiring message.

My husband helped me maneuver the sawz-all to cut the pallet apart. We used the demolition blade and cut right through the nails. There are many ways to deconstruct a pallet, but this worked for us. (I don’t recommend doing this in shorts and bare feet, by the way…) 🙂 Go, Babe!IMG_2783

After the pallet was deconstructed, I nailed 6 horizontal boards to 2 vertical boards.

IMG_2795With a stencil, I traced the words lightly in pencil to make sure there was room for each phrase on each of the boards. Then I got out my paint and small sponge brush.

IMG_2796Some of the words would be a different color, so I left those for last.


Here’s the finished product. Once again, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect and made with love.  🙂 IMG_2798