Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas Week at Casa di Graziano

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Yes, it's still Christmas to us!  This is my favorite week of the year, between Christmas and New Year.  The stress is over and all that's left to do is enjoy all the hard work!  I took some pics of our house when it snowed, not on Christmas, but it put me in the spirit all the same.  

We had some kitchen remodeling done this season, and although the builder was finished a few weeks ago, I just finished up organizing the cabinets and clearing out the clutter.   It involved removing a wall, so I'm pretty darn happy to see the fireplace and tree from the kitchen now.   
(Plus I can watch my Hallmark movies while I clean up the kitchen, so it's a win-win).


Our house is decked, not perfect, not Instagram and Pinterest ready, just looking completely festive and well...happy.  I started to take pictures and realized there is endless amounts of dog hair and kid belongings everywhere.  You know what?  I don't care.  We live here.  I can't do fake, I just can't.   We are blessed to have these five beautiful kids, I refuse to apologize.  I am rebelling against all the internet decorating chicks and showing you what a loved, lived in house looks like.  I'm a firm believer in trying to make the most of each moment, live for now, not for tomorrow, or a month from now; try enjoying now.   This isn't easy to do, I have spent years of not living in the moment and realized it isn't as joyful as doing so. 

So anyway, let's get on with it.
C'mon in...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

DIY Knock-off: Magnolia Market Good Tidings Sign

Hi Loves...
We are wrapping up a kitchen makeover here.  I can't call it a remodel, but we had a wall opened up and the cabinets redone; to me it's an AMAZING event!  Anyway, in between restocking the cabinets and rearranging things, I stumbled across a beauty from Magnolia Market and I was super giddy because it is so easy to make.  I just so happen to have a similar screen print stencil from Chalk Couture that I used to make a few signs this season, but when I saw the price of this sign, I was so making this one for way less.  

Here's how mine turned out...cost me nothing because I had the stencil and extra wood around.

The inspiration...for $125!!!  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Store-Bought Wreath to Custom for Under $25

Happy First Day of December!
Today officially kicks off my advent; it's my mental cut-off to start Christmasing and stop decorating.   What isn't up after today, isn't getting put up.  In an effort to stop and smell the Christmas trees, I am determined to enjoy the season, without decorating bins laying all over for weeks.  
Does anyone else feel like it's way too close to Christmas, yet it's only December 1st??  
Deep Breath.  

Today I'm sharing a quick post on my rules of how to beef up a store-bought wreath to a custom cutie...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Scaling Back: Why I Cut the Arms Off a Sofa

Hi Lovelies.  
Yes, I cut the arms off of our sofa.  
Admittedly, we have a room we never use.  Not because I want a "formal" living room, by far, it's just not the gathering spot for anyone except the dog.  I read out there once in a while, but it is basically my dog's room.  He likes that he can see out at the neighbors and make a quick dash for visitors at the front door.  If you've read my blog before (Hi Mom), you know about the Italian Stallion Sofa we purchased soooo long ago.  (Hey, I'm not embarrassed).  I quickly hated what it looked like and gave it a very unprofessional reupholster job.  Fast forward a few years, several kids, and one large dog later, it's still comfortable and sturdy-just need a remedy.  

Here's what I finished with.   

 I Googled for some ideas and came up usual.  So I'm sharing my tactic and crude phone pics of how it was done, just in case any of you want to cut off your sofa arms.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Stop and Smell the Turkey

People, I'm going to do something seriously crazy here. 


Call me a nut, talk about me later, but I'm actually going to celebrate Thanksgiving before Christmas.   Yup, I said it. Celebrate what is happening NOW.  I love Christmas, don't get me wrong.  It is my absolute favorite holiday.  I have a billion bins of decor; it takes me days to put it all up.  I love the flutter in my stomach when the Christmas music plays, the baking, and planning.  I love that it is my Lord's Birthday, because of Him we are saved,  and have been blessed with this wonderful life.  However, I want to enjoy this life and stop wishing for the next best thing.  I mean, I'm still planted and blooming girl, so c'mon.  

Monday, October 23, 2017

DIY Pipe Shelves

Seriously, this is a quickie!  Who doesn't love one?  You'll knock this project out in an hour including stain if you don't mind the smell.  I shared the stenciled floor details here and the rustic vanity plans here,  but for the shelves,  I cheated and ordered the brackets on Amazon.  This saved me a trip to Lowe's or Home Depot, saved me several aggravating conversations with all of the men who work there and assume women are always wandering aimlessly waiting to be asked if we need "help finding anything?" (what's with them???)  and saved me the money I would no-doubt spend on crap I stumble upon and don't need.  (Ok, bad photo alert, but this PR is camera shy).  

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rustic Wood Vanity: A pedestal sink surround

Hi There, last post I shared my inexpensive (as in almost free) powder room makeover, although the stenciled floor may be the showstopper for me, I decided to break up the bling and find a vanity that was rustic and had some character.  I had no interest in taking on the removal of that sink, not now.  So I went on a quest to find a pedestal sink surround that resembled a built in vanity.  I searched the web for a solution to the dreaded builder grade, zero-storage sink, but I came up dry ;)  So I decided to build one.   Apologies for the bad photography here, there is zero light in this little P.R. !!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Paint a Tile Floor & a Rustic Powder Room Makeover

Hi folks!  I'm sharing my cheap and simple rustic powder room details today.  Our powder room was a neglected little place. The floor was dated and (like all projects I start) I decided to experiment.  I wanted the floor changed and needed storage because we actually use this little powder room, a lot.  I was determined to put a big band-aid on this room.  

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

DIY Rustic Pet Dish Stand

Hi there! 
I tried out my basic wood-shop-from-Jr. High skills this past weekend.  After stumbling upon a few Rae Dunn pieces recently, including these pet dishes,  I quickly realized they were worthless without a raised stand to hold them.  I need a tall stand because the beast is large, and the bowls need to be displayed so that the wording will show.

 I came up dry, so I decided to use some scrap wood and make a trial frame, but it turned out cute enough to keep!

You can see the little sketch I made to try to map out a frame.  Now... I am no carpenter...this project is supposed to be rustic and old looking.  I could care less that the 45 degrees are misaligned and I even had my little lady child distress all of the pieces for me.  

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Closing Off a Two Story Foyer and Wallpaper on the Ceiling...

Welcome!  Come on in..
I have been a slacker about sharing this project, but I'm excited to show you the new foyer.
Our "Cookie-Cutter Colonial" was designed with a strange, small two story foyer.  It lacked impact because it houses a standard double-hung window, which from the street looks uniform across the front of the house, but was not the dramatic "open foyer"  that some homes have.  For years, and years, and years (11 of them) I have dreamed of having it floored off. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

DIY Rustic Kitchen Peninsula: A Joanna Gaines Inspired Kitchen Copycat

Hi Y'all...
(okay it doesn't work because I'm from Jersey).

I painted my kitchen cabinets last year with homemade chalk paint, and have never really loved the way the backside of the peninsula looked.  Baby got back, ya know?  It's a huge white elephant in the room.  It's the first thing you see when you enter the back door and it's nearly eye level from the family when you have a seat.   Normal people could care less about stuff like that, but it bothered me..bad.  

Even with stools in front of it, it looks out of place.  I had plans of adding reclaimed wood but decided against it, then I fell for Chip and Joanna's reclaimed church alter island.  I have a peninsula in my kitchen not an island (and no access to reclaimed church parts).  

So I faked it.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 Mission: Declutter

This month I've been following Laura @ and trying to keep up with her  30 Days to Less of a Hot Mess Challenge.  I will admit I feel like I'm making some headway here and can't wait to say, "it's done!"  
Check it out here, it's not too late to start!

  I've discovered some tried an true rules to follow on my kid room clean-out jobs:

1. Schedule a donation pick-up before you begin.
This sets a "deadline" for your clutter and stops you (or anyone else in the home) from digging through the donation bags while they are waiting to be picked up!  I use the Vietnam Vets at They come in 24 hours on most dates.  They have been to my house three times this month already, maybe I'll leave them a snack next time.

2. Be picky about what you save for "hand-me-downs" between kids.
I have four boys, so naturally I saved everything to pass on to the rest...not knowing how different their build, height, and fashion sense would become.  I discovered 3 bins of out-of-style clothes I saved that have been taking up precious space in a closet.  Take it from me and only keep dress clothes and dress shoes.  (These don't seem to vary much in a few years time, and the cut in dress shirts/pants are pretty consistent for all builds).

3.  Start with storage areas first.
This is pretty obvious, yet I never start with an area that people can't see.  My first reaction is to pick up what is out and put things away.  You can't effectively put anything away if the storage area is full of too small, old, unused clothing.  Organize the closet and dressers, then focus on filling them. 

4. My final rule..Don't try to build Rome.  
Focusing on just one room or one closet at a time has made the task seem achievable.  Don't try to clean out all of the closets or everyone's dresser drawers in one shot.  You'll just get overwhelmed and give up.
After my home is all tidied up...I've got some fun blog changes to share, including a new site that's under construction! 
Thanks for visiting