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Archive for the ‘ Our Home ’ Category

The Great Stairway Makeover of 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve done a home improvement post. It’s probably because my home hasn’t really improved in a while. It’s a bit stagnant. Like the scary pool when we moved in. Stagnant. Remember what that looked like? Click here for a little reminder…..

One evening I was going through old photos. I decided it’s silly to only hang the newest, latest, greatest photos. I have some fabulous pics of the kids when they were babies and I was an actual heifer, errr….heffer… I have family photos from eons ago that belong on my walls. I also have all these walls with NOTHING on them.

Solution: Put pictures on walls.

Problem: All my old frames are from other houses with the color matching the wood in each house…oak or maple mostly.

Our current house, mostly old and moldy, doesn’t really have a “color” associated with it. I have however, painted many of the walls, mostly tan/brownish tones. Oh, and I painted the front door red. And I have painted most of the trim white.

So, in my garage, I have a plethora of paint.


I dug out all the frames, and went wild. I painted about 30 frames a variety of colors, all from the leftover wall paint.

I was so excited to have all these fun frames that now matched this house perfectly. I decided I was putting them all up in this massive collage type setting. I was torn on the location until I glanced at my UGLY barren stairway. PERFECT!!!

Then I glanced at the UGLY BARREN stairway again. EWWW.

I have avoided this area for a reason.


The walls were scraped and scuffed. The paint was old and dirty. The handrails were gross and 80′s…. UGLY.

This then naturally led to a complete stairway makeover. I had to borrow one of those fancy ladders that bend and fold and twist all about in order to accomplish this.

I also had ALWAYS wanted to write on the back wall of the stairway.

Though it is not complete, take a look at the transformation.

Old (from waaayyy back):

Dark green walls, old brown handrails











This is now such a fun central focus of the house. You can see this hallway from so many places in the house.

I love it. I can’t believe I waited so long to do it.

I am not completely done with the writing on the wall, but it’s a good start! In case you are wondering, I used chalk to lightly draw lines, then write the words. Fruit of the Spirit yo!

By the way, the red I used on the back wall is called California Cabernet. How AWESOME is that!

Oh….how we have been BUSY.

From camping to beach housing to laking to swimming to visiting with friends to yard working…. oh wait… one of these is not like the other….

B. U. S. Y.

Like you. Everyone I talk to is busy. It’s summer. Time to do everything. Twice.

Apparently Yes is the new No.

Ok, maybe I am the one who keeps saying Yes.

But guess what I’m NOT doing.


That’s right. I haven’t done laundry in WEEKS. Why?

Because of this.

My closet broke. My laundry bin is UNDER that giant pile.

So, we have avoided the closet. When we run out of clothes we will deal with this situation.

Thankfully it’s summer. We can virtually live in bathing suits. Occasionally, we throw something on over the swimwear. But that’s usually only for a short period of time. (you know, like a 2 hour church service, or…. actually I can’t really think of any other example…)

A towel is proper cover up, right?

At one point, the husband said he wanted to throw everything in the closet away and start over. I’m hoping he was serious.

I do see the near future involving us being unable to leave our house. And we might not be able to invite you over.

That, my friend, is when we will all be sitting around playing bingo. Yes, that’s right. BINGO.

Why, you ask?


1 – I don’t need clean clothes in order to play online games
2 – It’s NOT Facebook
3 – It totally has the word CHEEKY in the name
4 – Who doesn’t like BINGO?
5 – It’s NOT Facebook!


We’ve been TP’ed.

We really have a great house for toilet papering. It’s not even our house that they get, its our trees in our front yard. We don’t mind, its actually funny! Especially since I learned the best way to clean it up is to light the streams of toilet paper on fire. The neighbors aren’t crazy about this….

We got Flamingo’ed.

Still to this day, we are baffled by the way they did it and the fact that they were hiding somewhere in our front yard WHILE WE CAME OUTSIDE to see the four or five flamingos in our yard. We looked outside about 30 minutes later to our front lawn being COVERED! Within the next couple days the flamingos were removed in the middle of the night. I was sad to see them go….but not sad enough to go buy my own flamingo’s to decorate my front lawn with.

I’ve been forked. (in Idaho)

I was home alone one night and not feeling well. I kept getting text messages from a couple teenagers from our youth group. Finally, I went outside and saw our lawn had been forked. It was awesome. The girls said they took all the forks from a fast food place. I reminded them that stealing was bad! The girls helped me clean up the forks a few days later. Yes, it says We heart U!

Yesterday, I walked out our front door to a fish.

I’ve never even heard of this prank.

Problem here is I hate fish. I think they are kind of lame pets. Maybe I should clarify…GOLDFISH are pretty dumb. Unless they are food for a piraña or something….Exotic fish are cool. But not in my house. I don’t want the responsibility of keeping anyone or anything ELSE alive.

We got this fish on Sunday morning.

This was the status on Monday morning.

RIP doorstep fish. Your 1 day on our porch was nice. Your 1 evening in the fish bowl was apparently not so nice.

Betcha we don’t get ‘Fished’ again!

I finally Hung the Canvas o’ Awesome!

Remember way back….WAY back….like March or so….I entered this killer contest by @sthrnfairytale.

I won that contest. YAY ME!


I won a 16 x 20 Canvas Print (which I upgraded to a 30×24 cuz..well, duh) by Canvas Press which then offered people a discount code of 10% off called JENN10 (YA, I totally got my OWN discount code at a REAL place!).

I’m such a BIG deal!

Well, since my house has been under construction since the day we moved in, I hadn’t haven’t wouldn’t didn’t had not (please send english teacher to help me) hung this print of AWESOME because I wanted to figure out the very best location.

I was waiting this whole time to paint the back wall of my staircase….


My mother-in-law was over the other day.

Her: why haven’t you hung that picture?

Me: Cuz the back wall of the staircase is dirty and gross and needs to be painted

Her: Hang it next to the brick fireplace.

Me: Ummm, we don’t want people to walk into our house and that be the first thing they see. Won’t people think we are dumb and arrogant??

We are certainly not pompous people who flaunt our Apple products….that often….

She INSISTED that it would look great and would NOT make us look like IDIOTS.

So, I hung it up. And I LOVE it.

It kind of looks like it was supposed to be next to the brick!




I guess it’s not the FIRST thing you will notice when you walk in the front door. Maybe that will be our garage sale tables…??? ;o)

What do you think?

Temporary AWESOMEness in Shower Form

We are ALL ABOUT bringing the temporary awesome!

Or in this case, temporary whitetrashyness. (wait…is that rude? or offensive? cuz I am DEFINITELY not trying to offend anyone!)


On paper, we have a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath house. In reality, we have a 3 GIANT bedroom, 3 toilet and 1 shower house. So, this means, we have a TON of room to sleep (beds for 8 people, floor space for another 5 or so and a couple of couches if you wanna sleep in the living room) and only ONE……get that

O. N. E.


Well, because we are pretty fun (SUPER AWESOME) people, whenever people come to town, they OBVIOUSLY want to stay WITH us! We ALWAYS invite everyone to stay here…because we like to party and like to be the party….

So, this weekend we have visitors arriving to stay with us for a week. How many visitors is exactly what you are wondering, right? 9.

Yes, you read that right.


So, let’s do the math. 9 + 4 (that’s how many people LIVE here) = 13.

Back to my first point…..we have 1 shower.

Not diggin the people vs shower ratio here.

So……… we came up with a temporary solution…..


Here is the upstairs bathroom situation. It has a regular tub against the back wall, but there is a window in the center of that wall, so we couldn’t just attach a shower to it.

I went to my favorite store, Home Depot, and explained my “situation”.

I told them I wanted a round shower rod thingy like they put above claw foot tubs. They don’t carry those in the store….PLUS, this was temporary, I didn’t want to spend too much.

So, here is what I bought:

10 foot long 1″ piece of metal conduit for like $7
10 foot long 1/2″ piece of metal conduit that they put 2 90 degree angles in for me $2.50
2 metal brackets for closet poles $4.00
2 metal brackets for curtain rods $3.00
A new tub faucet that had the shower attachment $16
A shower head with a hose $17
A bracket to attach to the wall $1

I spent about $50 on hardware/supplies.


Then I hit up the ol Walmart…..(remember, this is TEMPORARY….)



It’s a bit white trash….but it works GREAT. Massive water pressure, no leaks and fully functional.

And one last photo for you……..

When the curtains are closed……it sort of looks like a scene from……..


you know…..




Her Reaction!

My heart melted!

This is my girl. Her surprise when she got home from camp. A new room!

A Room Fit for a Princess…A SURPRISE!

My girl.

She’s my first baby. She’s 9 years old. For the majority of the last 7 years, she has shared a room with her little brother (7 years old) because we have had family members living with us.

She is a patient girl. RARELY complains.

Since we moved into this home in Northern California a year ago, we promised to eventually build a wall to split the huge bedroom that her and her brother share. The other large bedroom upstairs was used by my parents while my dad was fighting cancer.

Once my dad passed away and my mom moved back to Florida, we turned their room into our spare room/office.

Well….a couple of weeks ago, hubs had a brilliant idea. Why not turn that huge room into her princess suite. She totally deserves it. We can then eventually split the other room into son’s room and the office/spare room. It’s a win/win.

So, we shipped our baby girl off to Mt Meadows Summer Bible Camp for 5 days and we are working like mad to create this ‘room fit for a princess’.




Another view of my mad flower skillz…..

At approximately 11:30am, she will be home from camp. We will make up some excuse for her to go up to her room. She will see she no longer has a bed the room she normally sleeps in. We will have a camera set up in her new room to catch the reaction. She’s not a wildly emotional girl, so I don’t expect a big outward ‘freak out’…but I’m sure what we get will be amazing and totally worth it!

I love my Lexi-bug and I just know she is going to love her new diggs!

I can’t wait!!

HUGE THANK YOU to Aaron Picton and Nicolle Larkin for spending EVERY night here for the last week helping us. You two made this project happen!!



Temporaryville! Ever been here?

We are visiting Temporaryville, CA.

And we will be here for WEEKS!

You see, we ordered new kitchen cabinets. Which obviously means new countertops cuz…well….who puts old countertops on new kitchen cabinets. The manufacturer says they will ship on June 17th to the delivery agent. So I start working backwards because we said we would do all the demo ourselves and prep the kitchen.

THEN…{LIGHTBULB}….I had a BRILLIANT idea! What if…..JUST WHAT IF….someone wanted to BUY my current kitchen cabinets AND as part of the deal I would have THEM tear them out! Worth a shot, right?!?

I posted them on craigslist. I got several calls. Then one day a nice lady came by. She said her son wants cabinets for his garage. She made an offer….. BUT……





Ya, she said he could only buy them IF HE COULD TAKE THEM OUT THIS WEEK.


I have WEEKS until the new cabinets arrive AND then another 4 weeks after the cabinets to get my countertops. It’s not like I have a spare kitchen to use in the meantime. I mean this house….piece of crap…ONLY has 1 kitchen. What was I thinking. 1 kitchen. I bet NEW houses have more than 1 kitchen.

So…they came. They destroyed. They took.

Now, I have this fancy get up:

That’s right. My sink is mounted on 2 saw horses.

I gots several shades of paint. Portions of a tile backsplash. Remnants of wallpaper. Holes. And mold.

I have a rickety cabinet holding my microwave. Another little island on wheels.

My pantry is on shoe racks. I have PROOF.

Last but certainly not least.

Our front porch.

Now this…this is HIGH CLASS!

Yes that is the sink, which we actually just mounted on the saw horses and an old nasty dishwasher.

Everyone should have a dishwasher on their porch.

Thems decorations!

I had a moment today that was a mix between heartache and amazement. It was over a trampoline.

No, I did not master the post-childbirth ability to bounce….

I was working in the back yard today, planting flowers and stuff. I went to a section to get some dirt and saw the trampoline sitting there in a pile. I decided right then to stop what I was doing and put the trampoline together.

You see, it was 2 years and 1 month ago that our lives where flipped upside down and I got on an airplane and NEVER went back to my home in Idaho. My husband and kids where left with everything to do and everything to take care of. It was April 2nd 2009, and my dad was just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. He lived in Florida.

Bry (the husband) had to make a bunch of decisions. He started packing He hired a moving truck and had our entire home in Idaho packed up and moved to a storage unit in California, where his mother and brother had just been diagnosed with cancer as well.

Just days before the moving truck arrived at the house, Bryan took apart the trampoline. The kids were very emotional about it. They realized at that moment how real everything was. They were being uprooted from everything they knew.

School, church, friends, life.

Since that day, we have lived in 5 different places and drug that pile of trampoline parts to each location… (except Florida)

Today I rebuilt that trampoline. (yes, all by MYSELF!)

These two were overflowing with joy today as they bounced. For hours.

They made it through the last 2 years barely asking any questions. Through the loss of 2 grandparents. Through 5 moves, 2 of those being in RV’s… Feeling like yo-yo’s, with no place to call home. No backyard to call their own. They made it through it, smiling almost the whole time.

We (hubs and I) were emotional roller coasters.

But today, 2 years and 1 month later….we have a new place to call home. We are together and stronger than ever.

*SIDE NOTE* This trampoline is the very same trampoline that I grew up jumping on here in Northern Cali. So, if you are one of those philosophical types…you might say…what goes around comes aroundor what goes up must come down…it has come full circle!

They don’t make trampolines like this anymore!

Before Important Evening Activities….

Friends! I’m not sure where to start….

It’s about this house we bought. The adorable dollhouse on the outside, but totally 80′s Mrs. Nesbit inside.

There are some super RAD features inside, like flower shaped toilet seats and rose embedded bathroom sinks…but this friends….THIS takes the cake. I am pretty sure when this house was built in 1983, these features where top of the line….

The master bathroom.

The jetted tub. Now, I haven’t done my research, but by the look and layout of this jetted tub, I’m pretty sure they had JUST BEEN INVENTED. Check it.

The color. The tile. The step. The fact that it is only about 8 inches deep. The giant bay window flower garden setting…or whatever that is called.

BUT…that’s not all.

On the wall to the right of the tub, completely OUT OF REACH from in the tub is the “Control Panel” for the tub. This is A LOT like the hot tub at your finest Super 8 motel….you walk around the corner turn the dial and you are ready to rock…

This…friends is AWESOME.

Let’s break this down cuz you all need to know what this dial in MY master bathroom actually says.


Turn timer to the desired length of Ultra Jet massage. If the water is hot, the RECOMMENDED LENGTH OF BATH IS 5 MINUTES. <– Ahh, how wonderfully relaxing. I can really unwind in 5 minutes.

If you plan to use the Ultra Jet to stimulate and refresh before a busy day or important evening activities, use warm water. <– BAHAHAHAHAHA……REALLY?!? Directions…..REALLY?? Wait..maybe they just mean like before dinner at IHop or something. But wait….they don’t tell us HOW LONG we can be in warm water?? What do we do???

Use hot water only when you plan to use just before bedtime and want an exceptionally restful night’s sleep. <– but ya only get 5 minutes…so make the best of it.

Do not use directly after eating. <PAUSE – WHAT!?!> DO NOT USE SOAP OIL OR BUBBLE BATH BEFORE OR DURING YOUR HYDROTHERAPY TREATMENT. <– Yelling again, awesome! What is soap oil? “hydrotherapy treatment” – could I charge for that service…I would totally be willing to rent out my 80′s garden jet tub out for treatments….

Turn the air head counter clockwise for more action. <– HAHAHAHA! This thing says “for more action”. (I know…I’m like a 12 year old)


This tub situation puts me in a tight spot. I really wanted to remodel my master bath….but after breaking down the features/rules of this tub, I might have to keep it. I mean, what if I forget how long I am supposed to be in HOT water. What if I forget how to get an exceptionally restful nights sleep…. What if I forget….well…you know…. I have too much to lose if I get rid of this tub…

Friends don’t let friends get rid of The ULTRA JET Hydrotherapy Systems.