4 I’ve moved!

>> Monday, April 1, 2013

Not physically—Lord knows I have plenty left to do around this construction site—but if you are looking for more Live The Home Life adventures, I’ve made a blog move. Head on over to www.livethehomelife.com to see what I’ve been up to. See you there!



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8 Hello old friend.

>> Thursday, February 21, 2013

I know you all are tired at looking at my mushy gushy Valentine post as the first post, so here’s a replacement.

 



No new DIYs this week BUT this weekend I am determined to put my laundry room back together. Right now we’re dealing with so many sheetrock holes that the laundry room walls look like swiss cheese. Here’s to a pretty laundry room in t-minus 4 days!…that may be pushing it but a girl can hope.

 



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1 Dear Boyfriend,

>> Thursday, February 14, 2013

Today I'm taking a few minutes to remind you just how wonderful you are. It is Valentine's Day after all.

You are the best. You are the greatest. I know I'm not the easiest to live with. When all you want to do is watch football on Saturday, I drag you off the couch to help with my latest spur of the moment DIY project.

You are the best. You are the greatest. When my little June Bug wants to chase squirrels in the backyard, you are right beside her plotting the best plan of attack while I watch, smiling.

You are the best. You are the greatest. You let me be exactly who I am without apologies. You love me when I'm covered in saw dust and cheer me on when yet another crazy idea pops into my head.

My nail polish is always chipped, I dig through toolboxes more than purses, and finding a pair of jeans in my closet that isn't covered in paint is a struggle, but you wouldn't have me any other way. You are the best. You are the greatest.

Cara



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1 Gotta get that bloom bloom BLOOM!

>> Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Every year around this time, I get a serious hankering for spring. Warm temps, green yards, a chance to dust off these pasty white legs.


Last month, I feed my gotta-have-a-little-springtime-in-my-life craving by planting a few amaryllis bulbs. Being the brown thumb I am, I was more than pumped when they actually bloomed! Check out the stems on these gals.

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I seriously only watered these bulbs three (maybe four) times since I planted them one month ago. Long legged, super low maintenance—what’s not to love?

Want a few of your own? Click here to snag a bulb or two.


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2 Thrifty Finds: Chevron pillow covers

>> Monday, February 11, 2013

When Michael moved in last fall and I started man-ifying then den for him (missed that mini makeover? Click here to play catch up), two things happened: 1. we found compromise with the whole mounting-a-deer-head-on-the-wall issue and 2. the front living room began to inch closer to girl-land.

Without much thought, I started picking up girly finds. A floral scented candle here. A pretty coffee table book there. All of which somehow found their perfect resting spot in the living room.

Now, when I happened upon pink and cream chevron throw pillow covers at Hobby Lobby for only $6.99, there were no words. They had to be mine. I know some over you are soooo over chevron, but I’m still onboard that train—catch them on a half off sale week and just you try not to pass out from excitement. These beauties (and their handsome buttoned up friend) were destined for my girlier-by-the-minute living room.

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In case you gals are thinking to yourself  “my boyfriend/husband would never go for such a girl-centric pillow cover on his couch”, Michael is actually a big fan of the new red and white pillows in the living room. The boy may be colorblind, but I’m cool with it if it means the pink pillows are safe.

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19 The $25/10 Minute DIY Wreath

>> Thursday, February 7, 2013

There are two things that I desperately want to be in life but know myself well enough to know will never happen : Backup singer extraordinaire for Celine Dion who is called up to fill her stilettos when the Canadian songbird loses her voice in front of a sold out crowd & the girl who has a new front door wreath for every holiday. That being said, I still belt a few notes in the shower so why not take a crack at a new spring wreath?

This lovely little berry friend of mine has been hanging on my front door for well over three years.

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Time to give him a rest. Off to Hobby Lobby I went on a cheap & easy DIY wreath mission.

 



Frame: $6.99

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Pre-made fabric flowers for $4.00 a pop @ 50% off. Can I get a Hobby Lobby Halleluiah!

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One roll of burlap ribbon for $6.00

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Now for the hardest part of this crafty adventure. I just stuck the stems of the flowers into the wreath and tied a bow of burlap ribbon around the bottom of the flowers…I just said it was the hardest part, not that it was hard. If you feel like adding an extra step to give you a better sense of accomplishment on this no-brainer DIY, add a little hot glue into the mix for extra security.

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1 Quarter Round Install How-To

>> Thursday, January 31, 2013

Back at it in the kitchen! You only thought you were free of my floor reno ramblings.

Last I left you, the tiles were freshly grouted, but one huge eyesore was keeping this floor from the finish line. Time to add quarter round along the edge of the baseboards.

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While I’ve heard rumors of some installing quarter round with a good old fashioned hammer and nail, a brad nailer and air compressor knocks this project out in practically no time. I found this 2” brad nailer on Amazon for around $40 and it has worked like a charm for my simple purposes.

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I was lucky enough to have a hand-me-down air compressor given to me a couple of years ago…

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…and the miter saw that I picked up as a little happy birthday gift for myself a few years ago.

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On to the cutting. I started in this corner where the laundry room door ends and cabinets begin. I had to add a small piece of new base trim before I could get started with the quarter round since my door demo got a little out of hand.

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I cut the quarter round at 45 degree angles where they met at the corner. The edge of the quarter round that ended where the door trim began, I cut at a 22.5 degree angle. Why 22.5? I seem to remember a DIY quarter round YouTube video that told me to do this, so I went with it. I’ve also seem tons of homes with quarter round cut straight at the edges.

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A few pops with the brad nailer and these babies were secure.

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Next on the agenda: wood filler, caulk and PLENTY of paint.


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1 It’s a grout party…and you’re invited!

>> Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy House-iversary to my little construction site! Three years ago, I moved into my 1960s ranch house complete with filthy carpet (that has since been removed to uncover the original hardwoods), a dark and dated kitchen (which has since been lightened and brightened), a terribly leaky master bathroom (that has since been gutted to the studs & remodeled) and a Pepto-Bismol pink guest bathroom…that is still Pepto-Bismol pink.

 



Technically, yesterday was my 3 year house-iversary but sometimes a girl just gets busy. We’ll count today as the birthday party, and I can think of no better way to celebrate than by grouting the newly tiled kitchen floor. Who’s with me?!

Last I left you on this project, the groutable vinyl tiles were set in place and looking fine. I’m actually super pumped with the way they turned out. If you are looking for a less labor intensive (and less expensive) flooring option, give these guys serious consideration.

Here is an up-close glimpse of the kitchen floor post tile install/pre-grout…

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Now for the tools: Pre-mixed grout (you can mix your own for slightly less money, but I was up for the shortcut), a grout float (more detail on this in a bit), a sponge and bowl of clean water.

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Whoever wrote the instructions on the box of tiles was very insistent that the novice grout applier (ahem, me) not smear grout over the entire tile but only as close to the tile joint as possible.

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They spoke, I listened. Terrified of ruining the new tiles that we’d so carefully placed, I used a 2” margin float for this gig.

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Time to get to work with a little maneuver I like to call the scoop, slap, swipe & scrape.

SCOOP a hearty clump of grout onto the float.

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SLAP the grout on the corner joints.

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SWIPE grout into the joint. I used small diagonal motions to make sure the grout filled the joint without smearing grout all over the tiles.

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SCRAPE the excess grout from the tile. I just held the float at a 90 degree angle and, well, scraped.

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I repeated the process over a few tiles but as the back-of-the-tile-box man told me to, I stopped every few feet or so to remove the excess grout so that it would not dry on the tiles.



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Using a sponge & clean water, I rubbed the tiles in a circular motion to remove the extra grout.

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Once all of the tiles were grouted, I made sure to grout the gaps between the tiles and door trim, since those portions won’t be covered by new quarter round like the edges of the room would be.



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24 hours later, the grout was completely dry. I carefully walked on them well before the 24 hours was up, but furniture and puppy toenails dare not set foot until the grout was completely solid.

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