Pinterest Challenge: Jewelry Organizer

So, I decided to take the Pinterest Challenge a step further. I already put together a gallery wall earlier this week (read part one here and part two here). I had so much fun, I tackled another project!

I had been drooling over some jewelry organizers on Pinterest, so I finally chose this one. I LOVE how it turned out!

Materials needed:

1 large picture frame

1 roll of twine

1 can spray paint, any color

I got my frame at a garage sale a few months ago. I didn’t know at the time that it would become a jewelry holder.

I bought a can of Rustoleum spray paint in a dark, bold teal (my favorite color). I sprayed on two thin and even coats, and let it dry while I took a trip to Michaels with a 40% off coupon to get a roll of twine. Luckily for me, the tabs that usually hold a picture were still attached to the frame. I just double knotted the twine around them and bent them outward to secure the twine.

As soon as I was finished, I hung it up on the wall in our bedroom!

Then I spent the next half hour arranging my jewelry on it. I LOVE how it turned out, and the bold teal makes me SO HAPPY!

Cost breakdown:

Garage sale frame $0.30 (I bought 3 for $1)

Can of teal spray paint $3.99

Roll of twine $3.21 (after coupon)

Total cost: $7.50

What have you created from Pinterest this week?

Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:

Pinterest Challenge: Gallery Wall (part 2)

So I mentioned in my post yesterday that I decided to do a gallery wall for the Pinterest Challenge. What I didn’t mention is that I actually got all the frames up on the wall in March. I’ve been taking my sweet time to fill them up instead of just randomly filling them as fast as I could. I’m glad I took four months so much time to think before filling up the frames. I absolutely love how everything turned out!

Here’s the finished gallery wall!

I wanted the frame across the top to have a family sign. Since I don’t have a Silhouette, I searched for some letters to spell out our last name on Pinterest and found these beauties:

I cut them out by hand & glued them to a piece of pretty scrapbook paper. Then I wrote “est. 2010” on the bottom, waited for the glue to dry, and then popped it into my Dollar Store frame. I LOVE how it came out!

One of my Ribba frames was sitting pretty with scrapbook paper, but it felt like it was missing something. Then it dawned on me – these are perfectly sized to be shadow boxes! I had my husband’s dried wedding boutonniere sitting on top of a bookshelf waiting to be preserved in a shadow box. I simply just taped it in and stuck it in the frame. It looks lovely on display.

I had no idea what to fill my last frame with, but it needed to be pretty and vintage-looking. I decided to look through one of my vintage hymnals that was falling apart. I carefully picked out one of my favorites, cut it to size, and put it in the frame. It totally completes this frame that I got at a thrift store & painted white.

In case you’re wondering, the hymn is “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”

Here are some other close ups of the gallery wall:

Top left: Picture of my best friends & me at senior prom

Top middle: “Beards” book cover (printed from Pinterest)

Top right: One of my favorite pictures from my first trip to New Zealand

Under that: Picture of my favorite sunset from the same trip

Middle: Our church directory picture

Middle right: Ikea Ribba frame before the boutonniere made it in

Bottom left: LOVE written on scrapbook paper

Bottom middle: Antique keys (printed from Pinterest)

Top middle: Picture of my husband from the internship where we met

Left: Yellow “I Love Us” printable

Top left: Ikea ribba frame with scrapbook paper

Middle left: “House Rules” printable

Middle right: Engagement picture

Bottom left: Anniversary picture

One more time, here’s the whole wall:

For this project, I used:

9 Dollar Store frames

3 Ikea Ribba frames

1 thrift store frame, painted white

4 Target frames

I have no idea how much I actually spent on this, since it was so long ago. But it was a fairly inexpensive project. I’m totally in love with my living room wall. Please excuse me while I go make out with admire it.Thanks for reading! And thanks to Sherry, Katie, and Emily for this challenge!

I’m linking up with:


Tickled Pink at 504 Main

Pinterest Challenge: Gallery Wall (part 1)

If you haven’t heard, Sherry at Young House Love and Katie at Bower Power are teaming up with Design Star winner & host of Secrets from a Sylist Emily Henderson in a Pinterest Challenge! The challenge is to take just one of your pinned ideas & do it this week!

I have quite a few projects that have been brewing in my mind on my Pinterest. Since I don’t have a whole lot of extra time this week due to preparing for the party, I decided that finishing my gallery wall would be the project for me!

Here are some inspiration pictures:
(via Pinterest)

(via Young House Love)

(via Young House Love)

(via Young House Love)

That last one is my favorite. I actually followed this tutorial from Young House Love to create my gallery wall layout. It took me a few tries to get it the way I wanted.

Take 1:
Take 2:

Take 3:

The final arrangement:

Check back tomorrow to see what ended up going in all the frames!Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:

Garden Paint ($20 mini makeover)

We’re still chugging away at that to do list (posted here)! Yesterday I hung a few pictures and the hubby changed a few doorknobs. We like to do things together. You know, teamwork and all.I also went shopping with my mom at Lowe’s for some “garden paint” – the stuff needed to make your garden pretty in a snap! We came home with two lantana plants, one carpet rose, a roll of weed blocker, and 4 huge bags of humus (mulch).

It was too hot yesterday to do anything in the garden, so tonight after the weather cooled down a bit, I decided to put the carpet rose in the planter. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good “before” pictures of the exact planter I worked on. I do have this one from a month ago.

See the arrow? It’s pointing to the planter I just redid. A few days ago, I dug up that massive dandelion & pulled out as much bermuda grass that I could.

Today, I finished pulling up the bermuda grass, tossed out rocks, dug a big hole, rolled out the weed blocker, planted the rose & covered the rest of the planter with humus. The entire project took just over an hour. I’d say it looks pretty fantastic now. 🙂

Project cost breakdown:
1/2 roll DuPont organic weed control $5.77 ($11.54 for entire roll)
1 1/3 bags of humus $5.20 ($3.90 per bag)
1 carpet rose $9
Total cost of project: $19.97

Thanks for reading!

I’m linking up with:

Housewarming Party: The Final Crunch!

So as I’ve said before in all of my to-do list posts, we have a housewarming party of sorts coming up very soon. In fact, it’s only one week away! AHH! There’s still so much to do! I am SO glad I worked to get things done before my father-in-law came to visit last month, and even more glad that I did the 10 tasks in 10 days challenge. I would be so miserably overwhelmed if I hadn’t!
Here’s the final task list before the big BBQ party next week!


  • Laundry
  • Dishes
  • Dusting
  • Clean mirrors
  • Clean toilet
  • Scrub grout in shower
  • Clean shower rod
  • Clean sinks/counters
  • Clean microwave
  • Clean out/re-organize fridge & freezer
  • Sweep floors
  • Mop floors
  • Clean the litter box
  • Vacuum carpets & rugs
  • Change out foil under oven coils
  • Empty trashes
  • Make bed
  • Clean carpets (if time & money allows)
  • Clean windows (inside)
  • Oil wood furniture/kitchen cabinets


  • My desk area
  • Husband’s desk area
  • Spare room (as much as possible)
  • Spare room closet
  • Basement (as much as possible)
  • Master closet floor
  • Tops of dressers in master bedroom
  • Movie shelf

Outside projects:

  • Wash windows (outside)
  • Spot-weed pulling in front yard
  • Replace dead pansies with vinca
  • Dig up massive weeds in back yard
  • Plant a few flowering shrubs in backyard planter & along fence
  • Roll out weed blocker into planters & cover with humus
  • Transport old Weber grill from friends’ house & clean up

Other tasks:

  • Buy cover/hood for litter box
  • Finish gallery wall (even if it’s with scrapbook paper)
  • Hang more framed pictures in hallway
  • Paint empty frames & turn into jewelry organizers
  • Hang hand towel ring in bathroom
  • Put up house numbers
  • Replace doorknobs in hallway

All this on top of planning out the party! Honestly, I’m so pleased with everything that was accomplished before, so the rest (other than cleaning) is just icing on the cake. I’m off to start cleaning!

Thanks for reading!

Blogiversary: One year in the Blogosphere

One year ago on July 13th, I posted my very first blog post (here).I still haven’t been able to gain enough momentum to post every day, but I’ve had so much run reading through the archives of blog posts! I’ve decided that I really should blog more often, especially about personal events. Since I don’t journal or scrapbook (maybe someday), it’s a good way of tracking down and remembering things that happened over the past year.

In honor of my Blogiversary, I wanted to share a few of my must-read blogs!

Favorite DIY blog

Young House Love
Young House Love
These two crazy kids teach themselves as they go in the world of DIY. They’re thrifty, have chic taste, and overshare every single detail of their lovely life (and I love it). Oh, and their daughter is pretty much the cutest baby to ever exist.
(I reserve the right to change that statement after we have kids, just so you know.)

Favorite Foodie blog

How Sweet It Is
Sarcasm, bacon, cupcakes, & delicious. What more could you ask for?

Favorite Money Management blog

Money Saving Mom
This site helps save my wallet with meal planning guides, recipes, coupon finds, great deals, and video blogs. I love it!

Favorite Organization blogs

I have more than two favorites, but these rank top-notch.
A Bowl Full of Lemons

Toni’s weekly party helps remind me to keep chipping away at my to-do list, even if it’s just one project at a time.

IHeart Organizing

Jen loves color, photography, her boys, and (of course) organizing. I love her simple, low-cost solutions that inspire me to try them out in my own home.

Favorite Inspirational Blog
Being the Hero
This is one of my husband’s blogs. He writes challenging, thought-provoking posts. Take a look (& follow him while you’re there)!

If you’re one of the featured blogs and you’re reading this, I’m so honored that you took the time to pop by my blog! You are truly inspiring to me!

Thanks for reading!

Freezer Cooking – How I Made 25+ Meals in 2 Hours!

I first heard of freezer cooking from Money Saving Mom. It’s where you take an hour or two, or a whole day, to cook and assemble meals for the week so you don’t have to worry about cooking something in a pinch. It also helps to save money when you’re making things in bulk. After all that grocery shopping the other day, I wanted to do some freezer cooking to save me some cooking time later.

I spent about 2 hours making everything (while cooking dinner for that night & including a 5-minute break to eat).

Here was the time breakdown:
4:35 – chop & sauté veggies for breakfast burritos
4:47 – assemble marinade & chicken in freezer bag
4:54 – chop bacon & add to burrito mixture
4:55 – crack & beat eggs, add to mixture
5:00 – break for dinner
5:05 – mix dry ingredients for cornbread
5:18 – take burrito mixture off heat & add cheese
5:20 – add wet ingredients for cornbread
5:26 – assemble corn dog muffins & put in oven
5:36 – assemble breakfast burritos, wrap in foil & place in freezer bags
5:47 – clean up, process dishes
6:00 – take corn dog muffins out, put 2nd pan of cornbread muffins in
6:15 – set out ground turkey to defrost, chop onion & sauté
6:16 – cook 1 box pasta
6:18 – add ground turkey to onions, peel & chop garlic
6:20 – add sauce, boil, add dry box of pasta
6:35 – assemble Italian pasta bake in pan, cover with cheese
6:40 – clean up
6:45 – DONE!
So for a little over 2 hours, here’s what I ended up with:
12 corndog muffins (6 snacks – 2 per serving)
12 cornbread muffins (3 meals – 4 per serving)
14 breakfast burritos (14 meals)
2 dinners’ worth of cooked whole wheat pasta (2 meals)
5 marinated chicken breasts (2 1/2 meals)
1 pan of Italian pasta bake (4 meals – 1/4 pan per meal)
That’s a total of 25 1/2 meals and 6 snacks!
The only thing that didn’t turn out great was the cornbread. I over mixed the batter, so the muffins are really tough. But they taste good!I definitely recommend you try freezer cooking if you haven’t. You’d be surprised at how much you can make in a short amount of time! For another great resource on speed cooking/freezer cooking, visit Make Five Dinners in One Hour! It’s a great blog & if you subscribe (3 months’ worth of dinner plans for $15) she will send you the plans in a pdf! It will save you the time of planning the menu & it comes complete with a shopping list per week, & step by step instructions!

This was all in the same day as my grocery shopping trips! Can you believe that after all that, I still managed to make some homemade laundry detergent? Call me crazy. I’ll hopefully be posting about that soon.

Thanks for reading!

Menu Plan Monday (& grocery shopping)

I figured this week would be a good time to start working on menu planning again. Instead of picking what to have on a specific day, I just made a list of options for us to have so we can eat what we want from the list.

Breakfast burritos
Cereal & milk
Hard boiled eggs
Corn bread muffinsLunches
Corn dog muffins
Caesar salad
Make ahead marinated chicken (x2)
Smart Ones

Italian pasta bake (x2)
Make ahead marinated chicken
Chicken and rice casserole

Granola bars
Greek yogurt with raspberries & honey

Fruit smoothies
Peach or blackberry turnovers
Homemade baking mix

So that’s my list. Our pantry, fridge & freezer were pretty empty, so I did a lot of grocery shopping yesterday. After a few hours of coupon clipping, organizing, list making, and planning, I headed out for the first of three grocery trips – the 99 cent store!

Here’s my haul:
2 dozen eggs
1 bag croutons
5 bags shredded cheese
3 packages flour tortillas
1 bag corn meal
1 box pop tarts
4 cans tomato sauce
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 bottle Italian dressing
1 bag Romaine hearts
1 green bell pepper
1 bottle mustard
1 box (2 pkgs) dry onion soup mix
1 roll aluminum foil
1 package of cupcake liners

The beauty of the 99 cent store is that everything is only $1!
Total spent = $25.07

After we put the groceries away, I had some lunch, and then went back out for grocery trip number two – Target!

Here’s my haul from trip #2:

5 bananas
5 Smart Ones frozen dinners
1 package turkey bacon
1 can green beans
3 2-liter bottles of Dr. Pepper
1 package ground turkey
2 large tubs Fage Total 0% plain Greek yogurt
1 bottle ketchup
2 boxes whole wheat rotini
1 lb butter
2 packages Ball Park beef franks
1 bag whole wheat flour
1 Axe deodorant
1 Dove deodorant
1 bottle Febreze fabric refresher
1 bottle Febreze air effects
1 Venus Embrace razor
4-pack Venus Embrace razor refills
2-pack First Response pregnancy tests (I’m married, okay??)
3-pack Scotch Brite refill sponges
2 boxes Nexcare Shrek bandaids
2 bottles Up & Up face wash
Not pictured: 25-lb box cat litter that I accidentally left in the bottom of the cart. 😦

Here were my good deals from the trip:
Venus razor & refills – on sale for $8 & $14.99 (respectively)
One $2/1 Venus razor coupon (P&G insert)
One $2/1 Venus razor refill coupon (P&G insert)
Target deal: buy 2 select Venus products, get a $5 gift card
Total cost for the two: $13.99!

Febreze fabric refresher $3.34
One BOGO free Febreze air effects (P&G insert)
Air effects normally priced at $2.69
Total cost: $3.34, or $1.67 per item!

2-pk First Response Early Response pregnancy tests, normally $7.99
One $2/1 Target coupon
One $2/1 manufacturer coupon
Total cost: $3.99, or $1.99 per item

2 boxes Nexcare Shrek bandaids, marked on clearance for $1.60 each.
Two $0.50/1 Nexcare item (Target printable)
Two $0.55/1 Nexcare item (newspaper)
Total cost: $0.55 per box!

Total cost of trip: $82.34
Total savings: $50.65
That’s a savings of 38%!!!!
I’m still pretty mad about leaving the cat litter in the cart though…. that was $10 of what I spent. GRRR.

After some freezer cooking (which I will post about hopefully tomorrow) and having dinner, we had a nice evening with some good friends. After they left, we went on a date to the third and final grocery shopping trip to pick up what we missed – Save Mart!

Here’s the leftovers we picked up there:
1 quart milk
1 bottle honey
1 box powdered milk
1 package peanut butter fudge cookies (for the hubby)
2 packages raspberriesThe raspberries were on sale, normally $3.99 per pack, they were marked down to 2 for $5.
The cookies were on sale as well, normally $2.19, marked down to $1.99.
Total cost for trip: $17.16
Total savings: $3.38

So, today was expensive. I spent a lot on groceries, but they were badly needed. Money has been tight lately, so we’ve mostly been eating box meals or dinner with my parents. It’s nice to have a full pantry, fridge, and freezer again.Thanks for reading!

The 10 in 10 challenge: Review

Well, we’ve come to the end of this challenge! Originally, I made a list of 20 tasks. After a few productive days, I expanded the list to 40 tasks to choose from. My original goal was to accomplish 10 tasks in 10 days. Looking back over the past 10 days, I am amazed at how much got done! Here’s a little recap of how everything was accomplished.

Day 1

I took advantage of the random cool weather to weed 3/4 of my front garden.


Day 2

I worked on filling our gallery wall with a framed engagement picture.


Day 3

I busted out the iron & hung up our living room curtains.

I hung up our photo collage near the master bedroom.

My husband hung up the closet doors in the spare room.


Day 4

I cleaned out & reorganized the spare room.

I organized my coupons.

I cleaned up a small antique window that I had & used it to decorate the top of the china hutch.

I cleaned up & painted an antique chalkboard easel.

I moved the carpet remnants from the basement to the garbage.


Day 5

I went thrift store shopping and found a mirror & bookshelf for our hallway.

I edged the back lawn.

My mom & husband cleaned up the carport.


Day 6

I painted the bathroom vanity.


Day 7

I organized the bathroom vanity.

My sister finished painting our front door red.

I also applied & got rejected for season 5 of Win, Lose, or Blog (oh well).


Day 8

My mom replaced my dead pansies with fresh impatiens on my front porch.

I donated the random textbooks from the back of my car.


Day 9



Day 10

My parents moved the spare dresser to their house.

I changed out the vanity hardware.

All in all, I was able to cross 24 tasks off my list! In the end, I accomplished way more than I thought I would. It just goes to show that if you do a little every day, it will add up to a lot! Thanks for sticking with me until the end!

Thanks for reading!

The 10 in 10 challenge: Day 10

For the final day of the challenge, I was able to get two more things crossed off my list.
The first was that my parents came to pick up the dresser that was moving to their house. So that’s another thing cleared out of the spare room! Woo hoo!

The other task was changing out the hardware on the bathroom vanity! It took me about 5 minutes to do. It’s the easiest update!

Here are our old ceramic white knobs:
And here are the new sleek stainless steel beauties:

Here’s the vanity before:

And here’s the after!!!!!!!!

Obviously, we need to borrow a Dremel from someone in order to get that last knob off that’s glued to the screw, but that will happen some other time.

1. Steam & hang other living room curtain
2. Pick up photo from Target & hang in gallery wall frame
3. Hang picture collage frame near master bedroom
4. Edge back lawn
5. Pull weeds in garden near street
6. Pull weeds in garden near neighbors
7. Pull weeds in garden near house
8. Pull weeds in garden near carport
9. Organize coupons
10. Replace dead pansies with impatiens (front garden & pots on front porch)
11. Hang closet doors
12. Organize spare room
13. Clean up carport (rocks, grass, furniture pieces)
14. Replace dead marigolds in back yard with living ones
15. Move wedding arch wood pieces to back yard
16. Paint bathroom vanity
17. Organize bathroom vanity

18. Paint dining chairs
19. Paint dining table
20. Pull/dig up weeds in backyard
21. Donate the three random textbooks in the back of my car
22. Clean up/paint antique chalkboard easel

23. Apply for Win, Lose, or Blog season 5
24. Clean up small antique window
25. Clean up large antique window
26. Decorate on top of china hutch
27. Paint frames & hang up
28. Take carpet remnants from basement stairs & put in garbage
29. Find a mirror to hang in hallway
30. Finish gallery wall
31. Get rid of dirt pile in driveway
32. Paint front door red
33. Bring grill over from Wrights’ house
34. Move tall dresser to my parents’ house
35. Replace hardware on vanity
36. Hang a towel rack/ring on wall in bathroom
37. Replace the remaining door knobs (bathroom, spare room, office, master closet)
38. Add curtains to master bedroom windows
39. Build/sand/paint a bookshelf from reclaimed drawers
40. Hang photos in hallway

Thanks for reading!