Powder Room Remodel: Demo

The house has a half bathroom downstairs that for the past 20 years has been decorated with a lovely ivy motif. Time for an update.

Powder room before remodel

powder room remodel update

On the demo list:

1. Remove wallpaper border.

wallpaper removal tools

2. Remove everything else.

powder room demo

Update coming soon!

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Sign Made from Pallet Wood

My dad brought home some old pallets to cut up for fire wood…

old pallet wood for sign

… but I took a few pieces and decided to make a sign.

pallet wood painted for sign

I followed these awesome instructions which involve printing out the lettering, scribbling on the back with a charcoal pencil, tracing the outline of the letters, and then filling in the letters with a paint pen and/or paint and brush.

pallet wood sign trace letters

pallet wood sign charcoal pencil trace

pallet wood sign letters painting

I lightly sanded everything after the paint dried and I think it turned out pretty good.

pallet wood sign distressed

pallet wood vintage distressed sign

Posted in gift ideas, graphic design & printing, home accessories | 3 Comments

My Own Upholstered Headboard

I decided to make my own upholstered headboard. I used some scrap plywood found in the garage (free), a queen-sized foam mattress topper ($25 at Target), quilt batting ($13 at Joann’s), and a black & white cotton tablecloth ($10 clearance item from Marshall’s).

headboard plywood chalk outline

headboard plywood cut out

headboard foam cut out

I traced the headboard outline and cut it out of the foam mattress topper. Then I flipped it over and used spray adhesive to attach it to the wood headboard.

headboard foam spray adhesive

I wrapped the batting and fabric around the headboard and stapled it to the back of the plywood and trimmed the excess pieces off. This part of the process took a couple hours.

upholstered headboard finished

headboard upholstered black and white fabric

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Upholstered Headboard Inspiration

I’ve been seeing a lot of cool upholstered headboards lately:








I think I’m gonna go make my own now.

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Bathroom Renovation: New Floors

The bathroom has new floors!

upstairs bath new floor

upstairs bath oil rubbed bronze fixtures

upstairs bath black and white stripes

The cabinets also have new hardware (the same hardware used on the kitchen cabinets)

upstairs bath striped rug

upstairs bathroom almost finished

There are still a few changes to come in the bathroom: framing out the mirror, replacing countertops, and installing new faucets. Maybe a new backsplash too. But for now it’s functional.

Posted in bathroom remodel, room redesigns | 1 Comment

Bathroom Renovation: Painting Cabinets

The upstairs bathroom cabinets were pretty sad looking. After years of being in a high moisture environment the wood grain wasn’t in the best shape.

upstairs bath paint cabinets prep

To update the space without replacing the cabinets I decided to paint them just like I did the kitchen cabinets.

upstairs bathroom paint cabinets

upstairs bath painting cabinets

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Bathroom Renovation: Painting Walls

A few weeks ago the bathroom walls finally got painted. Since some of the drywall was new it needed a couple coats of primer rolled on before it could be painted.

 upstairs bathroom paint walls

The color I chose is the same as the hallway outisde the bathroom – Churchill Hotel Wheat – in a semi-gloss finish.

upstairs bath paint walls

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Bathroom Renovation Progress

Some progress has been made in the upstairs bathroom in the past few weeks. We now have a brand new tub with new, non-leaking plumbing!

When our house was built, the tub/shower units were put in place before the walls are finished because they’re too wide to fit through doorways. So to get rid of our old tub/shower we had to cut it into pieces that could fit out the doorway.

bathroom demo remove tub-shower

This also presented a dilemma when we tried to figure out what kind of new tub/shower we’d be able to  put in its place.

There are tub/shower units that come in multiple pieces. The tub is seperate and then the shower walls are in three or five pieces. The concern with this approach is that wherever there are seams there is the potential for water leakage. We considered installing tiled shower walls, but that probably wouldn’t be the best solution since our hard well water would make it extra hard to keep the grout clean.

The option that my parents ended up choosing was a one piece tub/shower unit that was just narrower than our original tub/shower unit. To install it my dad removed the door and frame from the wall, and the tub barely squeezed through the space.

bathroom renovation cutting door frame

We had all the plumbing done and added new oil rubbed bronze hardware and it looks great! We also had all the drywall put in, and it’s ready to paint.

bathroom renovation tub and drywall installed

Next steps: Painting walls and bathroom cabinets.

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Advent Calendar

My sister was looking on pinterest for some Christmas decorating ideas a few weeks ago and ran across this awesome Christmas advent calendar:

advent calendar inspiration


She decided to make her own version and bought a set of Christmas themed scrapbooking paper to put it all together.

advent calendar with pockets

The best part is that under each day there is a fun family Christmas related activity to do – like drink hot chocolate, watch a Christmas movie, go look at Christmas lights, etc.

advent calendar activityadvent calendar close upWhat a great way to count down the days till Christmas!

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Baklava is kind of a big deal in my family. For as long as I can remember my Greek grandma has made baklava every year around Christmas time, and sometimes just randomly throughout the year. In case you are one of those unfortunate people who don’t know what baklava is, it’s a sweet Greek dessert made up of layers of phyllo dough, butter, walnuts, spices, and covered with a honey syrup.

My parents have been continuing the baklava making tradition every year at our house, and when they made a random batch this summer I documented the process.

Baklava fillo phylo dough

This recipe is for a 12″ x 16″ pan, but with a little bit of math skills it can be modified for a 13″ x 9″ pan.


  • 2 packages fillo dough
  • 4 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

Walnut & Spice Mixture:

  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Honey Syrup

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon peel
  • 1 tsp orange peel
  • 1 cup honey

Baklava assembly:

Defrost the frozen fillo (phyllo) dough in the fridge. When you get ready to start assembling the baklava keep it covered so it doesn’t dry out.

Melt the 4.5 sticks of butter in a saucepan and then clarify it.
Baklava melting butterBaklava melted butter

Combine the ingredients for the walnut spice mixture in a food processor until it is very finely ground.

Baklava walnut spice mixture

Brush the melted butter on the bottom of the pan and then lay the first layer of fillo dough. Then layer seven more sheets of dough, brushing melted butter between each layer.
Baklava assembly

Sprinkle about 1 cup of walnut mixture on top of the eight layers of dough.
Baklava spreading walnut mixture

Layer eight more layers on top, always brushing butter between each layer.
Baklava sheets of phyllo fillo doughBaklava layer phyllo fillo dough

Continue this process until there are four sets of eight layers of dough (32 layers of fillo dough total), and there should be three layers of the walnut mixture between those sets.Baklava brush melted butter

Score the top eight layers with a knife. My parents use a ruler to measure out the rows before they cut so all the lines are straight and even.
Baklava scoring slicing

Baklava scored through top layers

Bake the pan in the oven at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.
Baklava lemon juice

Simmer all the syrup ingredients (except the honey) in a saucepan for 10-15 minutes, then add the cup of honey and let simmer for 10-15 more minutes.

Once the Baklava is out of the oven, let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes before pouring the syrup over the top. Then cut the pieces all the way through the layers.Baklava pour syrupBaklava finished ready to eat

Then eat a couple pieces of the baklava to make sure it’s delicious.

Check out some other great holiday treats over at Centsational Girl’s Cookie link party!

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