DT DIY – Candlestick Vase


Today, I’ve decided to start a series of posts entitled DT DIY’s.  I have done several DIY projects using products from the Dollar Tree in the past.  I just love that there are so many possibilities and that the projects are super cheap!  The first installment features my DIY candlestick vases.  These could not have been easier to make!  All you need are: mason jars (any size), DT candle sticks, and a hot glue gun or E6000 glue.  Here’s how you do it:

Step One: Clean candlesticks and jars so they are nice and sparkly!

Step Two: Carefully center a candlestick to the bottom of a jar and attach with glue.

Step Three: Fill with any flowers and admire!!

I used a variety of mason jar sizes and glued multiple candlesticks together to vary the height of my vases.  This is such an easy and elegant project!

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Seven Tips to Stay Motivated Every Day


I have thought a lot about habit and motivation over the last few months. It is extremely important for me to develop habits in order to stay motivated. If I do not plan ahead, it becomes much more difficult to accomplish daily tasks. Here are seven tips that have helped me to stay motivated and be as productive as possible.

Tip One – Make a to-do list! People function differently, but for me to accomplish what I want, I need to make some kind of list. I do have a tendency to add way to many things to my list, but that is ok. I don’t have the expectation that I will always complete everything on the list. If I need to, I will move an item to another day. It is important to place the most important tasks near the top of the list. I find it extremely satisfying to actually cross the items off the list and see my progress.

Tip Two – Make your bed! This may sound a little silly to some, but making the bed can set the tone for the rest of the day. I notice a significant difference in my mood and energy level on days that I do not make the bed. It only takes about a minute and can be the first thing you accomplish for the day. This will lead to accomplishing more tasks.

Tip Three – Get Dressed! It can be so tempting to stay in your pajamas all day if you’re not planning to go anywhere, but it is something that should be avoided. Wearing clothing that is appropriate for sleep is going to keep you in that mindset all day. Dress for the activity you are planning that day.

Tip Four – Build routines! The easiest way to make sure that something gets done consistently is to make it a habit. There are a number of household tasks that I hate doing. Laundry is one of these tasks. I find that if I wait to do it once a week, I end up skipping steps like folding the clothing and then not putting it away. This is because I have overwhelmed myself with the amount I have to do. I started doing one small load every day. It doesn’t take long because it’s a small load, and it has been so much more manageable for me. I have built this into my daily routine. I build other household chores into my routine as well. I also have a cleaning schedule in my command center.

Tip Five – Exercise! This is so important for overall health both physically and mentally. I notice a marked difference in my energy level when I am not exercising regularly. This is something that should be worked into a routine. Dressing in workout clothing is really helpful also because it puts you in the mindset of exercising.

Tip Six – Get enough sleep! Each person is different and you can figure out how much sleep you need to have a good day. For me, I need at least seven hours of sleep a good amount of energy the next day.

Tip Seven – Hold yourself accountable! I need to have some sort of accountability to meet my goals. I accomplish this with to-do lists and even rewards. If I complete an important task, I will reward myself with something I enjoy like watching Netflix or reading a book. I am also going to start holding myself accountable by using social media. I’m a huge fan of the channel HowJennDoesIt on YouTube and she has an Instagram tag to help with planning things at night for the next day. It is #nighttimecleanandprep. I am going to start using this tag at night to hold myself accountable.   Writing this in the blog is another way of holding myself accountable as well.

I hope some of these tips were helpful to you as much as they have been to me.

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Dining Room Floor Update

MainOne of the first updates we tackled in our home was removing the ‘oh-so-seventies’ dining room carpeting.  We started the project thinking it would be as easy as pulling the carpet out and removing some track strips.  We were so wrong!  The carpeting had been glued or rather cemented to the beautiful hardwood floor beneath.

IMG_0898_editedRemoving the carpeting was fairly easy, but revealed the messy, challenging layer.  The grey carpet pad (as seen above) was fused to the floor such that it was extremely difficult to remove.  The first thing we did was scrape as much of the pad as we could with a medium putty knife.

IMG_0909_edited IMG_0897_editedI did some research to see how we could remove the glue from the floor.  A few articles and videos recommended using a wallpaper steamer, but they are a little pricey.  I thought maybe our handheld shark steamer might be perfect, and it was!  The small pointed attachment was the best to use.  We used the steam to melt the glue and then wiped it away with damp towels.  We used old rags because they quickly became saturated with the glue.

Hubby did most of the work with this step.  We would work on it for an hour or so after work and on weekends.  It took about a week to finish.  We will be sanding and refinishing the floor eventually as this process was definitely not gentle on the wood.  All of this work was so worth it though, and our floor looks amazing!


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Fun Frugal Family Command Center

I just finished one of many small projects that will be part of a series on our dining room décor and organization.  Check back soon as several posts are in the works.  I’ve pinned so many photos of lovely family command centers, and have wanted to create one for some time.  Looking back, there are a few things that I could have simplified, but I am extremely happy with the end result!


The frames used for this project were purchased at goodwill for about five dollars each.  If I were to do this again, I would have simply purchased cheap frames.  These are good quality frames, but I had to remove the art and paint them white.  The paint was a cheap simple white from Wal-Mart.


I masked off with painters tape before painting the frames with my favorite Purdy paint brush.  It took two paints to get a good finish.


I printed all of the inserts at home using Microsoft Word.  I can’t print larger than 8.5 by 11 so I had to cut and paste with the larger frames.  They turned out great!  I used washi to hide the seams and decorate the frame shown above.  The same tape was used on all the frame to contrast all the white.


I set the frames out on my dining room table before hanging them on the wall, so I could figure out the layout.  They were hung with picture hanging nails, but command strips would work as well.  I just wanted to use what I had.

The command center hangs on the wall to the right of our side door.  This is where we enter the home, so it fits perfectly.  It is going to be so useful for our family to help us keep appointments organized.  I also added a cleaning and meal planning section because we need this to keep us accountable.

I hope everyone is ready to enjoy one of our last weekends for this summer.  🙁 Talk to you soon!

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DIY Custom Vanity

IMG_1507With the summer season comes a ton of free time for DIY projects!  I have almost a million (hardly an exaggeration) ideas and all the time in the world to work on them.  This project has actually been in the making for a while now.  It all began when I spotted a beautiful solid wood desk at our local mission.  Thirty five dollars later and she was heading home with me!

IMG_1055This feels like it’s becoming a trend, but I forgot to take a proper “before” photo.   I did manage to snap this one of a couple of the drawers before painting.  I have a couple of during shots as well listed below.  I used the same chalk paint that was used for my Entertainment Center.

IMG_1054Here it is before adding the drawers. I painted two coats of the Americana Chalk Paint mostly with a foam roller and a brush in the detailed areas.  This paint is extremely easy to work with and a little goes a very long way.  I only needed an 8 oz. container to cover this entire desk.

IMG_1278The above is the desk before my brother kindly attached the mirror.  This was a mirror that was originally attached to my bedroom dresser.  It was mounted with the frame that held it to the original dresser and some additional screws for added support.  I also changed out the knobs with cute yellow zig zag pulls from Home Depot.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the result of this project.  Look out for a post on how I organized the drawers (still working on it).  I still haven’t painted the mirror frame as I haven’t decided if it would look better white or silver.  I thought I would paint the chair to match!  What do you all think?  Leave a comment below!

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DIY Lazy Susan


For several years I have been an avid fan of Youtube.  There are several youtubers who I have followed for some time.  About a week ago, I was working on organizing my kitchen and decided to implement one great idea I learned from Alejandra.tv.  Here is a link to her post.

This was such a simple project and only took a few minutes!  It only cost three dollars to make, and each item was obtained from the dollar tree (one of my favorite places).  All I did was place a bag of marbles between two eight-inch cake pans.  This Lazy Susan spins perfectly and helped me to organize my spices and also my oils/vinegars.

I haven’t tried this yet, but I think this could be adapted to a larger Lazy Susan by adding a flat round plate on the top.  I will let you know if I try it.

I am extremely happy with the results of this project as well as the project that was the subject of my first blog post.  A Lazy Susan would normally cost at least ten or fifteen dollars and I made this one for three; that is a definite win!

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Entertainment Center Makeover


The previous owners of our home left a few items behind, and the best was this large dresser. I knew the moment I saw this dresser that it would be the subject of my first furniture makeover. It is a quality, solid wood, piece that I knew would make a perfect entertainment center. Here is what I used to create my masterpiece:

Microfiber Towel
Deco Art Americana Chalky Finish Paint
Deco Art Americana Decor Creme Wax
Wooster Paintbrush, 2-Inch
Crystal Glass Cabinet Knobs Drawer Pulls

This project, unlike many I choose to undertake, turned out to be much easier than I thought. The process was extremely quick and easy largely thanks to the type of paint used. The reason I chose to use chalk paint is that YOU DONT HAVE TO SAND! This was my first time using this type of paint, so I was a bit skeptical. This paint, however, completely lives up to the hype. I used a more economical brand, and it was still amazing. Here is a “during shot” for your viewing pleasure. I wasn’t really careful about protecting the floor which of course led to a mess, but it wasn’t difficult to clean. Just do it fast! I didn’t need to worry about moving the piece outside because this paint doesn’t give off any fumes!


This whole process literally only took a couple of hours. After removing and discarding the drawers, I simply applied one coat with the short handled brush (this brush enabled maximum control). By the time I had finished the first coat, it had already started to dry. I was able to move immediately to the second and final coat. I was much more careful and neat with the second coat. After I had completed painting, I applied a layer of the wax with a dry microfiber cloth. I then drilled holes into the back panel for cords. After this all that was left was to change the door pulls.post1B

I did later decide to paint the spaces inside the drawers white as well. This has to have been my most successful DIY to date! It encourages me to create hundreds more. Stay tuned for more projects! 🙂

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