How to get notifications when I post…

Hey friends and family. I’ve had a few of you ask me how you can get notified when I post to the blog. There are a few ways. When you’re on the computer, on the bottom right side of the page should me a button you can click to follow me. You can enter an email address and the WordPress site will email you each time I update. I haven’t tested this out.

Or you can sign up for a blog reader like Bloglovin. Bloglovin is my personal favorite. You can download the app on your smartphone or tablet or just sign up for an account on a computer.

Once you create an account, go to the search bar and enter my blog URL:

Hit enter. My blog will come up, click following and that’s it! You will get an email when I post something. If I post more than once a day, you will only get one email, so it won’t flood your inbox.

Hope this helps!!



Leon’s Project…

Leon’s not interested in blogging (it would take away from his gaming time) but I thought I’d show off his project for the weekend.

My dad and Leon built a workbench!!

This is just the start of the garage love  that is needed… but it’s a great start!!

Right now our garage is a huge pile of boxes, meaning zero organization which drives me BATTY!

Here is the spot where they wanted the workbench to go:


Here they are …. hard at work:


and here is what they made:



Nice huh!? Leon’s working on a shelf for underneath and when he’s done, I’m going to paint it black and yellow for him. 🙂

He’s having my dad make him a Steelers decal for the top.

I can’t wait until it’s done and we can start organizing this mess!!!

It’s hard to do real projects when there is no room in the garage to stand, much less sand down a bookshelf or paint an old coat rack. 🙂

More pictures to come when it’s all done!

Kitchen Before and After photos!!

Hey folks! Thanks for being loyal readers! I hope you’ve enjoyed the projects so far! Not to worry they will keep coming.

I finished grouting the tile backsplash this weekend so I thought I’d share the pictures… along with some before and after shots of the kitchen. 🙂 I think it’s pretty remarkable.

First things first… I have to brag about my dinner tonight.

It was ahhhhmazing. I made Vegetable Tortellini Soup for me …


 and a Creamy Pesto Chicken and Broccoli Tortellini for Leon…



Let me know if you want either recipe… I kind of made them up!

Oh… one more thing before I get to the backsplash…

Here I am at 14 weeks.



Now… The fun stuff!!

Ok so first for a few true before pictures. These pictures were taken before any work was done to the kitchen.






Ugh… I had forgotten about the blue wall next to the pink countertops…. Yuck!!

And here are the after photos.

Work we’ve done:

Granite Countertops, Tile Backsplash, Cabinet Transformations, Hardware on Cabinets, New sink, new faucet, Painted the outlet covers, and removed the tile floors to replace them with the beautiful wood laminate. Leon removed the reverse osmosis under the sink that was leaking, replaced all the plumbing under the sink, replaced the “floor” of the cabinets under the sink (damaged due to water), fashioned and installed a toe kick where one was missing, replaced the dishwasher, stove, and microwave….. I think that is it… I may be missing a few small things. 😉

So here you go:










Please excuse the mess. 🙂

Crazy right?

I love this space now. It was so hideous and even laughable before… But now… it’s pretty! 🙂

In case you’re curious, we chose “charcoal” grout and I spray painted the outlet covers to match.


What do you think of the transformation?

A weekend project that will add value to your home…

This weekend with my new found burst of energy, I decided to tackle a project I’ve been wanting to do since we bought the house.

I finally did the backsplash in my kitchen!

I have to say – I now strongly believe every single person should have a tile backsplash in their kitchen. 🙂 It ups the elegance and adds value to your home. And it was easy to do!!  When we had our granite installed we asked about the backsplash. It would have added another $300 to the price to have them install it. I love to consider the cost of having someone else do things when I DIY- it. Makes me even more proud of my accomplishments when I think about not only how I’ve made our house look better, but that I saved money!

If you remember from previous posts, I wanted to wait to do the backsplash until we got granite… I had purchased a beautiful backsplash a year or so ago before I had picked out the granite. Unfortunately, once the granite was installed it really didn’t match. It was just too busy.

This is what I originally bought:


Obviously I didn’t go with that granite sample, so it just didn’t jive.

I returned the 18 sheets I bought and went on the hunt to … you guessed it…. Home Depot!!

I wanted something light and not too busy. Oh… and nothing against anyone with subway tiles… but I didn’t want them. They look too “bathroom” to me and I didn’t want a bathroom vibe in my kitchen!

Here is what I picked. There is a hint of this tan in the granite and it compliments it nicely.


I already had most of my tools I needed since we bought it all when we bought the tiles for the bathroom.

The hardest, most time consuming part is laying out how you want the tiles to go. This took me probably an hour an a half. Just measuring, and picturing the layout in my head. You want to think about what will be on the ends of your rows, how you will transition around a corner, and how to get around those pesky electrical outlets. Which reminds me! Before you can start take the outlets and light switches out of the wall. I let them hang there but I made hubby turn off that breaker… you’d be shocked at how easy it is to shock yourself!

My first vision was to go with a brickwork pattern, but Leon suggested I lay the tiles at an angle.

I liked his idea so I started to measure them out and draw lines for cutting.

Make sure you use a wax pencil so the lines wipe off.


My super awesome amazing hubby made my cuts for me. It helped so I didn’t have to stop tiling to do it. We had a good assembly line going.


This is where we ran into our first (and only) snag.

The tiles kept chipping on the ends. We tried everything: going slower, going faster, switching sides (cutting half way – backing the tile out and cutting the other way)… We even used a diamond blade. We read online that cutting tiles corner to corner like that tends to chip the tiles. We wasted 10 or 15 tiles trying to get it right:


Eventually I decided to default to my original plan to lay the tiles in a brick pattern.

Once this decision was made, the project progressed much quicker!

I whipped up the mortar (thinset)…


And I prepared my workspace. I wiped down the walls to make sure I had a clean surface to adhere to.

You can see what I meant about the outlets in this picture…


You’ll want to use a level to determine if your countertops are level. If they are not, you would have extra work to make sure you keep the tiles level. I was lucky because my countertops were level so I didn’t have to try to keep my tiles level.

Here are a few more action shots:


Always make sure you have a wet cloth handy because it can get messy and it dries fairly quickly so you want to wipe up any spilled, dripped or glopped mortar right away.


You want to use spacers so that the tile doesn’t sit directly on your countertops.


Once I got to the outlets the cuts got a little more fun. Here is Leon, after handing him a fun one.


Once I got to the other wall, behind the stove, I had to get creative. The tiles I laid behind the stove didn’t have the counter top for support and they wanted to slide down the wall. So I used tape to hold them in place while they set. Once they were dry I was able to remove the tape and continue to tile.


I finished laying the tile this morning so I have not been able to grout yet. You have to let the mortar dry at least 24 hours before grouting. I will do a fantastic before and after post once the grout is done (tomorrow or later this week) but here is a sneak peak.


I can’t wait to show you the finished product! Now that this is done I think it’s time for a true before and after… as in.. before I did anything to the kitchen and after. 🙂 The difference is really stunning. I’m so proud of our house. We’ve made so many improvements, once the bathroom is done we are going to get it re-appraised. We’re confident we now have 20% equity and can get rid of the mortgage insurance.

Speaking of the bathroom… we’ve had a little change in plans. Remember how I said I was going to tile the shower? Well… we learned this weekend our tile saw is good… but it’s not great. The tiles we chose are granite so I’m not confident in our ability to cut them well. Plus the guy we hired to hang the Hardie Backer (the drywall that is water resistant) really messed it up so it needs to be redone by a professional. So we called the guy who did our granite countertops to see if he knew someone he could refer us to (since he was awesome). Turns out his first talent/skill is tiling so he offered to come take a look at it. Initially we told him we just wanted him to fix what the other guy messed up… because I still wanted to do the tiling.

After he looked at it, and me, he said “You’re NOT going to do this while you’re pregnant!”

So Leon and I asked him how much he’d charge to do it for us… after a little conversation we agreed on a price… and he’ll be doing more than just the tile in the shower…

Remember our guest bathroom?


Well.. see the part of the countertop that extends over the back of the toilet? It’s super close to the toilet (like we can barely lift the top of the toilet tank). And we’ve been talking about getting a new vanity for in here because we just don’t love this bathroom. Turns out, the guy who did our granite can get us a great deal on black granite for in here! It will match the shower tiles PERFECTLY and tie the whole thing together. (Holy cow we are getting granite in the bathroom!!!)

I’m also going to refinish the cabinets in here just like I did the kitchen ones.

Aaaannndddd… remember me complaining about that mirror? I mentioned how much I hate it in this post.

Well, he’s looking at the shower and the countertop and the mirror with concern, and I say, “What’s wrong?” He says, “I’m concerned that the mirror is in the way, but I see it’s glued to the wall, so I can’t take it down.” I start smiling and say, “If it makes your life easier, you’re welcome to take it down… I hate it!” He seems pretty happy with that solution.

All of this is going to be VERY affordable. He is giving us a great deal. And it will be beautiful. He’s supposed to do it at the end of the month so I’m counting down the days when I can take a bath again!!!

Stay tuned for more!!

13 weeks!

I’m just 3 short days away from the 2nd trimester and I’m feeling so much better already!! I have more energy and the nausea has subsided for the most part.

I’ve noticed a few random pregnancy side effects. They are the lesser known but equally puzzling ones.

  • Bizarre, wacky and completely inexplicable dreams. I have read that this is normal. Something about the hormones. Whatever the cause… woah! I dreamt that I was swimming in the pool at my parent’s house and there were giant black scorpions swimming around in the water with me. A different night I had a dream that I was grocery shopping when the store was robbed by armed gunman who held everyone hostage… but I was smart enough to hide in one of the lower shelves behind cans of spaghetti sauce. (?!?!?) I texted everyone I knew to call 911 but no one believed me. The gunmen somehow knew I was hiding and were searching for me like a morbid game of hide and seek. I’ve had dreams of my husband doing various terrible things (beating me, leaving me, and forcing me to sleep on the couch.) Of course after these, I wake up and slap him. 😉 Man… the dreams are crazy! I’m telling you… when I used to take Tylenol PM  I had crazy dreams but these are worse!
  • My sense of smell is… well… let’s just say my husband has to eat dinner in another room of the house if I don’t like the smell of whatever he is eating.
  • I have no appetite! Which speaking of…

I have been losing weight (my doctor is not thrilled)… They threatened to insert a pic in my stomach and make me carry around a bag with fluids and medicine if I don’t start gaining weight. Seriously, I think it’s a bit overboard but hey… I’ll just eat another piece of that ice cream cake we had for my birthday! 🙂

We should find out the gender of our baby in a month or so and we’re excited! What do you think we’re having?