Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pinterest Challenge: Magnetic Scrabble Board

It's that time again...

It was time to get my (our) butts off the couch and diy something. Since listing our home for sale in January, our projects all came to an end and we didn't want to 'dirty' the house in case of a showing. That led to lots of lazy nights and weekends on the couch watching tv and movies. Can't complain, we have been soaking it up. I am sharing my challenge with the creators: Sherry and Katie, and also with Megan and Michelle.

This was inspiring me months ago when I originally pinned it from The Twice Remembered Cottage. It just so happens, about two weeks ago, I snagged some Scrabble tiles from ebay. Perfect, let the challenge begin.

We started looking over the weekend for trim to make a frame and picked up some sheet metal while out at Lowe's. Their trim seemed very overpriced, and Greg suggested checking some thrift stores for an old frame we could paint. The weekend was not very productive. We picked up a few supplies, but that was it.

On Monday, I stopped by a few thrift stores in the area. No luck finding a frame, but I did find an old dictionary to use. I checked Michael's and Walmart for a cheap frame, still nothing. While at Michael's, I grabbed a pack of magnets to glue to the Scrabble tiles. They only had one pack of 50 left, so I will need to check back in this weekend.

I met Greg at Home Depot and we found some decently priced trim. Greg decided (because I am so indecisive) to make the frame 2' x 2'. We picked up 10 ft. of primed pine for around $15. This is where my hubby comes in. I had to get home for a video lecture for class. Greg went back to his shop at work to build the frame. He loves me :)

Greg measured and cut the trim down to size, then used wood glue to secure the ends to each other. He cut the sheet metal down to size using tin snips and used liquid nails to secure it to 1/4" thick luan. He clamped that down between two pieces of wood to set and dry.

While he was busy at work, I was ripping pages out of an old dictionary and gluing magnets to the letter tiles.  I had purchased 3 complete sets of letter tiles from ebay, but only glued 50 to the magnets that I had. I will probably end up using 100-150.

Greg got home and I painted a light coat of white eggshell on the frame and went to bed.

The next thing that needed to be done was to glue the dictionary pages on the sheet metal. I spread a very thin amount of Elmer's all over the sheet metal using a brush and randomly put the pages on. The first layer I made sure everything was covered. The second layer I turned the pages and made it more 'random'.

Once that dried, Greg attached the painted frame to the sheet metal/luan using liquid nails and placed something heavy on it overnight.

The frame and paper still needs to be sprayed with a clear coat to make it durable. I forgot to pick some up at the store, but it doesn't change the look of the final product.

Cost breakdown:
Sheet metal- $8
Trim for frame- $15
300 Scrabble tiles- $12, I will use about half of them, so $6
Magnets- $3 per pack
Dictionary- $1
Paint, liquid nails, luan- already owned

Total: $33

Not the cheapest diy project, but it made a big impact and will be used a lot. My plan is to incorporate it into a gallery wall in the new house. If that doesn't work out, I will be putting it in a high traffic room so it gets a lot of use!

Special shout out to my hubby -- I couldn't have completed this without him. I have the visions, and he always helps me execute them. We make a great team! He said next challenge needs to be completed all by myself, we'll see if he sticks to that :)

xo, Erin

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy 1-Year Blogiversary {to me}

It was a year ago today when I started this little blog. I decided it would be a good time to revamp the blog a bit and change a few things up. During the past year, I shared our home renovations, vacations, recipes and life! This blog is an outlet for me to document time and share with long distance family and friends who may not be able to visit often.

It's crazy to think that in just a short month, we will be saying goodbye to this house and starting all over again. I am ready for a change and to bring my style into a new home that needs some love. I think there will be some bolder color choices in the wall color, curtains, pillows and accessories. I'm not talking yellow and orange walls... more along the lines of navy, gold, darker grays, etc. Greg and I have so many ideas running through our head, we are excited to execute them and blog along the way.

Sit tight. We will be back in full DIY force soon.

xo, Erin

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Changes

I spent a few hours this weekend changing my blog around. Things are still under construction.

On a side note, I started two more grad classes this weekend and we have about a month until we close on the new house. Things may get real crazy over here! I may need a few reminders to chill out and make this moving adventure fun, not stressful. 

via: Super Swoon

xo, Erin

Friday, February 22, 2013

5 Highlights

This week was a whirlwind. Having Monday off, the days kept getting mixed up and blended together. Greg and I don't have much going on right now to keep us busy, so we started watching The Walking Dead on Netflix. It's one of those shows you don't want to watch, but keep watching because you are hooked. It's intense.

Check out my top 5 highlights from this week, and link up with FMGD to share yours.

1. I convinced Greg to take a quick trip to the outlets that are about 45 minutes away. They had some great President's Day sales going on and I took advantage

2. I picked out my Valentine's Day gift and I'm obsessed! I can't stop wearing them which makes going to the gym more fun :)

3. So I just 'discovered' nutella. By discovered, I mean I dragged Greg to the grocery store and he put it in the cart. I have ate it for a snack with pretzels almost every day since. Making up for the past 25 years of my life without it...

4. The weather has been rather chilly this week, including an ice storm last night. I am looking forward to spring, but don't mind wearing cords and a sweater for a few more weeks

5. One of my class grades from last term was submitted. Pretty proud of myself for working full time and doing my Masters part time. Can't get much better than that. \/

xo, Erin

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pinterest Planning

I can't stop. There is so much inspiration floating around Pinterest and it just makes we want to dive head first in to our new house. Yes, we are going to take it slow, but I need a starting point. In order to pick some paint colors for a few of the main rooms, I need a vision. Pinterest makes that very easy, yet difficult because there are SO many choices. Here's what I'm currently loving:

This wall color, window trim, and patterned curtains
Pinned Image 

These calm, neutral colors and patterns for the Master
Pinned Image

Darker walls and an assortment of pillows
Pinned Image

Striped accent wall in a bathroom
Pinned Image

Dark cabinets, white island, light wood floor
Cherry Kitchen Cabinets With White Island Design

Pins { great room - bedroom - living room - bathroom - kitchen }

And these paint colors, love them all!
Pinned Image
paint colors }

Where do you get most of your inspiration?

xo, Erin

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

The perks of being a teacher allow me to have random 3-day weekends. I spent yesterday cleaning, running errands and going to the doctor for an annual appointment. Most importantly, I had time for some quick baking. This Cake Batter Cookie recipe was calling my name, and the ingredient list was so simple, I only needed to pick up a box of cake mix.

Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Box of cake mix (15.5 oz)
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix and baking powder. Add in the eggs and vegetable oil and stir until well blended (make sure cake mix clumps are broken up). Stir in chocolate chips, or another add-in of your choice. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to cookie sheet. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until edges are slightly golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

These are the softest, easiest cookies you will ever make! Delicious too!

xo, Erin

Monday, February 18, 2013

Goodbye Woodgate

Back in January, I shared that we de-cluttered the whole house and that all the rooms had been renovated. We were partly excited to just sit back and enjoy our home, but kind of sad because we really did enjoy most projects.

And then this happened:

After looking at all the pros and cons, we decided to sell our house. We are both very happy and content with our jobs, and were ready to pull the trigger and settle in Ohio. We always knew this wouldn't be our forever home so the timing just felt right. We wanted to move to a better school district and a town closer to more amenities. Interest rates are also very low, so we started our search. 

We had casually been looking online at houses for the past few months, just seeing what was out there in our price range. Pictures online are very deceiving and make the house and rooms seem much bigger than they actually are. There were also some houses that the pictures didn't do it justice. They only showed a few pictures and left you wondering. We knew we wanted another house that needed some love. We also had a major list of must haves for a forever home.

We had been really excited about one house in particular for a few months. We watched it sit on the market and the price continue to drop. We tried to find another house that was better or comparable for the same price, but we just couldn't. So we went for it, we put in an offer and waited.

Click Photo To Enlarge

The process was extremely stressful and didn't go exactly how we wanted... but the house is ours! We are not excited for the whole moving process, but super excited to start this new adventure together.

In the meantime, we had lots of traffic on our house and we accepted an offer, just shy of asking price.

Please hang tight. Over the next month and a half things may get crazy with packing and moving, but I promise I will be back. There are SO many projects to be done in this house, we don't even know where to start. We will definitely be taking things slow and start off by just painting a few of the main living spaces. We want to be 100% sure with each decision we make. In the meantime, I will be scouring Pinterest and starting to get lots of inspiration. I will share my ideas along the way!

Here are some of the blank slates I get to transform:

Formal dining room

Kitchen and eat-in

Master bedroom

Back patio... perfect spot for a hot tub :)

Let the craziness begin!

xo, Erin

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentine's Day {5}

Five great things happened all in one day, Valentine's Day of course. Greg proposed to me four years ago so it holds an extra special place in our heart. Here is the recap:

1. I got my hubby {2} Mumford and Sons CDs and tickets to their stopover this summer in Ohio. Best wife ever, right?? 
He bought me new Nikes, I just need to find the perfect pair

2. Homemade pizza (heart shape of course) for our romantic dinner + a bottle of wine. Simple and perfect

3. Late night dessert run to pick up our first Shamrock shake of the season. Now that's true love

4. My other special Valentine, so spoiled

5. And to make my day even better, my Birchbox arrived today. I'm excited to try all the samples, but unfortunately can't eat the Ghirardelli because I gave up candy for lent!

Link up with FMGD to share your 5

Looking forward to another relaxing weekend, plus an extra day off! Oh, the perks of being a teacher. 

Also, check back next week for an extra special, exciting announcement!

xo, Erin

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blogging Block

Here I am. I finished up classes and have a two week break. Everything seemed to come to an end smoothly and I am optimistic about my grades. We had a super relaxing weekend, like the only thing we did Sunday was go to church. It was really nice, but at the end of the day, Greg and I both said how bored we were. Our to-do list around the house has been exhausted and I'm left blogging about nothing.

Do I have a boring life? This blog was intended to show friends and family all our work we did around the house. Now that it's done, I feel like blogging has taken a back seat. This isn't a fashion or cooking blog, just a short documentary on our life. And right now, I seem to be coming up short.

At times I feel like I need a new hobby or something I enjoy doing that can bring in extra money. I tutor one day a week and would love to pick up some more families. I just don't have the resources and know how to get my name out there. I also really enjoy crafting and making things and have thought about Etsy as an outlet. But nothing has really sparked my interest.

I'm hoping for a change.. or something exciting to happen. For now, I will leave you with this...

Why you ask? Because Michigan State made a statement last night. They beat Michigan, the 4th ranked team in the nation, by 23 points. That is all.

xo, Erin

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I'll Be Back..

Classes end on Saturday and I still have to do a group project, take two quizzes, read 150+ pages, take a final and write a paper.

Please excuse while I go hide in my office for the next 5 days (minus my time at work).

Forgive me. Hopefully I will be back next week, stress-free and ready to blog!

xo, Erin

Friday, February 1, 2013

5 Highs

Sorry I have been slacking on posts lately. I have been pretty busy with my classes coming to an end and just busy with life. Greg has been out of town since Tuesday morning so I am excited for him to come home tonight. It has been very quiet around the house with just Murphy. We have spent a lot of time on the couch.. reading for class, working on a project and watching tv. I would say a sushi date is in order for this weekend to make up for his time away!

Besides some crazy weather, it was a good week for me. I am linking up with FMGD to share my 5 favorites.

1. Spontaneous shopping trip to the Loft. All clearance tops were $10 and pants were $14. Don't worry Greg, I narrowed the pile way down :)

2. This guy cracks me up and always makes me smile. Earlier this week he was caught laying next to his bed, this time head hanging out. That doesn't even look comfortable.

3. The weather was 65 on Wednesday, then dropped to 25 on Thursday... so weird. Definitely called for some cozy leg warmers

4. Dinner date with my friend Ashley at El Rancho. It's always fun to catch up with a friend and I was feeling pretty lonely 

5. Snow! I was at the gym for 45 minutes and walked out to a steady snowfall and the ground covered.  Snow looks so pretty :)

xo, Erin