Monthly Archives: August 2013

House Makeover: John Deere Bathroom

In our year long home makeover journey, the guest bathroom is the room we were most excited about…. because we had a theme… John Deere. You may not believe me, but it was my idea. Really so that we had a place to store display all my hubby’s John Deere paraphernalia. I think it also helps people who come to our home get a better sense of who we are.

We debated the color for a long time, whether to do brown or go all out and do John Deere green. We finally decided to go all the way and had the store mix up the John Deere green paint formula. When we first started painting I was beginning to question our decision…


(Please ignore my painting clothes and hair….)

In the end, it turned out better than I could have imagined. We started with a plain, white bathroom:

2012-04-12 guest bath before (2) 2012-04-12 guest bath before (1)

…and turned it into a John Deere extravaganza


One of my best friends made that adorable button “M” with John Deere backing. Love it so much! I spray painted the light switch cover and the soap dispenser yellow- love the little touch that adds to the whole thing. You can’t see it very well, but that is a John Deere hand towel.


My mom made this amazing shower curtain with fabric from Hobby Lobby. Love it so much and it really helps to tie the room together.


I wanted to be sure to incorporate a personal touch, so in the shelf above the toilet (another father-in-law creation!), I displayed pictures of my husband and us with some of his tractors. The little toy tractors were on his “tractor show” groom’s cake.

We love how it all turned out and are excited to show it to our guests when they come over. Definitely a great snapshot of who we are and my husband’s hobby!


See Related Posts:

Master Bedroom

John Deere Birthday Party

Master Bathroom

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House Makeover: Master Closet

At the end of December 2012 we had completed most of our house projects, and it was time to deal with the master closet. I had put that off until the end because it isn’t seen by many people, and because I knew it was going to be frustrating! Our closet had become a catch-all with zero organization. Every day I would get very frustrated with it… but I felt overwhelmed at the thought of how to tackle it. So, one day I decided to just start, and within a week it was painted, my father-in-law built and installed a new cabinet, and we had a new organization system for the way-too-many shoes I have and all the random items me and my hoarder husband have held on to (I’m a hoarder too, but he’s way worse than me. Love you, babe!).

I wanted to paint the closet a color, just to make it more fun. So I chose gray. That became a pretty difficult first step- choosing the right gray color… There are so many variations!, but I finally settled on one and spent a couple days painting.

We replaced the builder-grade, ratty, half-painted rods with some pretty cheap metal rods we found at Lowes. We also took out most of the shelving and replaced it with a gorgeous cabinet my father-in-law built (LOVE having a carpenter in the family!!). The thing I hated most about the closet was that my shoes were just all in a pile, so we bought a shoe rack. The one we got is kinda cheap so the shoes fall off it continuously… but it’s still better than the pile. At least there’s an attempt at them being organized? For all our “junk”, I bought black baskets and put them on the very top shelf. I like the “clean” look that gives.









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30 Presents for 30 Years

In addition to loving birthdays, I LOVE giving gifts. Especially to my husband. I ran across this post on Pinterest (where most of my ideas come from…) and decided to do a similar thing- give him 30 gifts on his birthday! It definitely took some effort first coming up with thirty items that weren’t just junk, and then going and purchasing them all. But when he arrived home after work on his birthday and saw them all on the table, it was so worth it! He was in awe.



I wrapped them in different papers to create a more “festive” feel. I love how they all came together. It looks like SO MANY presents!! I made those cute number tags so he would know there were 30 total, and so he would unwrap them in a specific order (just because I’m OCD).


It took a long time for him to unwrap them all, which was fun. Usually it doesn’t take long to unwrap presents and then it’s all over with! He opened half before dinner and half after. So if you’re wondering, here’s the list of all 30 gifts:

  1. A card
  2. His memory book
  3. Gummy candies
  4. Flossers (y’all, he likes this specific kind of flossers that I feel are expensive, so he doesn’t get them on a regular basis.)
  5. Old timey sodas (from Cracker Barrel)
  6. Otterbox for his new iPhone my parents got him
  7. Slim Jim
  8. Special shampoo (Again, the shampoo he likes is not in the regular budget…)
  9. Cedar grilling plank
  10. Moon pies
  11. Gum (If you do this, buy more than one pack…. I only bought one and it seemed a bit paltry)
  12. Soap on a Rope
  13. Czech cookbook
  14. Whataburger Spicy Ketchup (This was by far his favorite of the presents. I probably could have just bought 30 bottles of this and been done with it)
  15. Hershey bars
  16. Taco Bell gift card
  17. A DVD of eight Westerns
  18. Reese’s
  19. Brylcreem (Another expensive product….)
  20. Altoids
  21. “Take a day off work and let’s go to the Blue Bell factory”
  22. Shiner beer
  23. A John Deere puzzle
  24. Peanuts
  25. Subway gift card
  26. T-shirt
  27. “Take a day off work and let’s go tour the Shiner brewery”
  28. Polka CD
  29. K-cups
  30. A small frame to put on his desk at work with pictures of me and Oliver


He was very happy.

See Related Posts:

30th Birthday Party

30 Letters for 30 Years

Anniversary Presents

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30 Letters. 30 People. 30 Years.

I knew I wanted to do something really big and really special for my hubby’s 30th. After running across this post on Pinterest, I knew it was the perfect idea. Have thirty people each write a letter about my husband sharing memories about him and aspects of his character that they notice and admire.

In June, I typed up a note to send people:

As you may know, Michael will be turning 30 in August this year! I have been pondering something special to do for him, to let him know how much I love him, and how much others love and appreciate him as well. I know this idea is usually reserved for later years, but I thought it would still be fun now, and will really mean a lot to him.

I am asking 30 people/families that have been important to him to write a note to him in celebration of this big birthday. Rather than be purely focused on him turning 30, it would be great if the note included a funny story, good memory and/or a way he has impacted your life. I want to celebrate moments in his life that he may or may not remember, and I want him to know what he has meant to others.

I have included a sheet of paper for you to do this on. I will put them all in a book and give it to him on his birthday. Feel free to also include a photo if you would like. If you don’t want to participate in this for whatever reason, please let me know as soon as possible so I have time to ask someone else.

Please return this to me by August 1. And of course, this is a SURPRISE for Michael!

Thank you!! I am so excited to see what everyone writes and I know this will mean so much to Michael!

I knew I wanted to book to have a John Deere theme so I purchased green and yellow scrapbook paper and sent a sheet to each person/family. In total, I asked 36 people/families to participate. I wanted to make sure that I received at least 30 back!

I sent them out and gave people six weeks time to return them. And I waited. In just a few days the first letter appeared in the mailbox and as I read it I knew I had made the right decision to do this. It was amazing! And then as the weeks passed more letters came, each one bringing more memories, and for me, insight into this man I’ve only known for four years, but these people had known for much longer. What a treasure it was for me to read how all these people feel about my husband! Checking the mail became my favorite part of the day, eagerly anticiapting what new memories I was going to read and new character traits pointed out. So moving. I could not believe people were actually taking time to sit down and think about Michael and express what he meant to them. Amazing.

I ended up with 32 letters total. Pretty good percentage! I was so pleased. I had purchased a scrapbook to put all the letters into. I alternated the pages so it would be green, yellow, green, etc. And I made a cute decoration for the cover. On the first page I printed out the note I had sent to everyone so he could better understand what this was (and he could see how controlling I was about it….haha).

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I chose to give it to him at his party because everyone there had taken part and it just makes it all the more special for them to get to see him receive it. He tried reading some at the party, but was so moved that he stopped and waited until the next day to really sit down and absorb all these special words.

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I am so thankful for everyone who participated in helping to create this lasting book of not just his 30th birthday, but the many memories that have led up to it. I know he was so encouraged by everyone’s sweet words of love and affirmation.

IMG_2533 Even Oliver wrote one!


See Related Posts:

30th Birthday Party

30 Presents for 30 Years


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Hubby’s 30th Birthday- The Party

I LOVE birthdays. Love, love, love so much. It’s so important to take that one day a year and celebrate someone and make them feel special. I try really hard to make sure my friends and family feel loved and cared about on their special days. This week, my husband turned 30! Thanks to Pinterest, I have been planning this big birthday for well over a year. Kind of crazy, I know. But I have just been SO EXCITED.

This past weekend I threw him a party. In my original plans (like, a year ago) it was going to be a massive party with all his friends and family. But, when it came down to practicality, that was going to be really expensive and a lot of work. So, we chose to have a gathering of his closest family and friends. And I was still able to use some of the ideas I have been gathering.

My husband is a tractor guy. Ever since he was a little kid he has loved working on, restoring, and driving antique tractors. His favorite day of the year is the annual local tractor show. He currently owns six antique tractors, two of which are fully running and restored. He owns a John Deere, an Oliver, a Farmall, a Ford, and two Cases. I had planned to do a “classy” antique tractor themed party, but it eventually turned into just John Deere themed. That’s what most people think all tractors are anyways.

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For decorations I did simple crepe paper and balloons. And I loved the John Deere banner that I found at the local party supply store! My in-laws had the great idea to make a photo display of pictures from when he was younger. Everyone so enjoyed looking at all those photos and reminiscing!


I bought some mason jars and put ribbon around them and used those to hold the knives and forks. I chose to put them on the tables so they could play double-duty as centerpieces and functionality!

I am really into baking and decorating cakes. So that is always my favorite part of any birthday/gathering. I had thought about how to do the cake for this party for a long time. Since my 4th of July layer cake, I have been into doing layers of different colors, so I thought it would be neat to do chocolate, green, and yellow layers. I used cream cheese icing in between the layers and for the crumb coat, and chocolate icing for the outside. (I used a total of six cans of icing! Maybe too much?).  The little tractors I added were some that were used on Michael’s groom’s cake at our wedding and now reside in our John Deere bathroom (I cleaned them really well!!).

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I wanted to have some games on hand to help make it a more “party atmosphere”. I didn’t know if the group of adults would really be into games, but it went so well! Everyone seemed to be enjoying the games. We played 1983/Michael Trivia and Tractor Bingo. I used an online bingo card generator to make the bingo game.

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For food we had bbq from one of Michael’s favorite places, along with cookies and cake. Everyone must have been having a great time because most stayed for over five hours! I’d say that’s a successful party.

See Related Posts:

30 Letters for 30 Years

30 Presents for 30 Years

John Deere Bathroom

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House Makeover: Master Bathroom

As we did with our bedroom, we began painting our bathroom right after we moved in. I was ready to get that done! Just like the rest of the house, the bathroom was white- plain white. I chose a light teal color that matched the shower curtain we already had. I LOVE the color we chose. Definitely my favorite color in our house.

2012-03-25 master bath before paint (2)

The best picture before we started painting….

After painting, we also changed out the builder-grade light fixtures and framed the mirror. (“We” as in my husband and father-in-law.) This was the biggest change, and so needed. I love the look that it gives.

DSC01077 2012-5-13 bathroom done (1)

DSC01078 2012-05-13 bathroom done(3)

For “decor” I added that bath canvas under the clock that is from Hobby Lobby (my FAVORITE store ever). I also found some square frames (much harder to find than Pinterest makes it seem) and framed scrapbook paper. I keep thinking that I need to paint the frames white to make them blend in better, but it’s been over a year since hanging them up and I still haven’t done it…

2012-05-13 bathroom done (7)

My father-in-law is a carpenter and built us this awesome cabinet for above the toilet!

2012-05-13 bathroom done (5)

We are so pleased with how the makeover turned out. We have some future plans that will hopefully happen someday: knobs/drawer pulls, paint the cabinets, and maybe change the counter top.

See Related Posts:

Master Bedroom

John Deere Bathroom

Master Closet

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Cleaning Up and Cleaning Out!

It’s FINALLY August. August means that we have *almost* survived the summer and the lovely cool fall temperatures are coming soon. August means Back to School time! I always loved school, which is probably why I ended up with a master’s degree that I don’t want to use. School supplies are one of my most favorite things in the world and I can’t stop myself from buying a spiral, pens, or folder every time I step in Walmart these days.

August also seems like a time for cleaning out, cleaning up, fresh beginnings. Since moving into our house, I’ve thought a lot about how often and how well I should be “deep cleaning”. We do a good cleaning every two weeks. But an all out deep clean? That sounds like soooo much work. I have also been really into cleaning things out, I guess because I am in disbelief that we completely fill a three bedroom house. We don’t even have room for a baby someday!

So, I’ve spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for good “cleaning lists”. But, being an avid list and plan maker, I decided to make my own. At first my plan was to take a month and deep clean and clean out every single room in the house. I soon realized that was a bit completely crazy. So, I am instead aiming for one room each month. I will make a list of all the things that need to be cleaned and cleaned out and have the whole month to make it happen. That seems manageable.

So for August, my room is the office/craft room/”Oliver’s room”. At the end of the month I’ll write another post detailing what all I cleaned/cleaned out and maybe some before/after pics if I get to really tackle the closet like I want, and need, to!

See Related Posts:

Office Cleaning

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House Makeover: Master Bedroom

When my hubby and I moved into our first home together in March of 2012, our new house was fine… but needed some serious “updating”. For starters, the entire house was painted white. So from the day we moved in up through just a few weeks ago (over a year!) we worked on house projects almost every weekend trying to get our new home to where we wanted it. I wish I had blogged during that time to record all we did, but since I didn’t, I’m going to do “home tour”, using several posts to cover each room in the house.  (Keep in mind that when I was taking “before” pictures I didn’t intend for them to be on a blog… I do wish they were better!)

The journey of our bedroom makeover began the night we moved in. We tested paint samples, and the next day bought the paint and started covering up those bright white walls!

2012-03-25 master before paint (4) DSC00990

After painting, we moved on to other areas of the house and didn’t finish our room for several months. But we had quite a few elements to get completed before the room was all put together! We refinished two pieces of furniture:

DSC01388 DSC01488 This dresser was my dad’s when he was growing up, then mine when I was growing up. We “updated” it some.

DSC01419DSC01491 We bought this piece of furniture from an online consignment type group. Was in pretty bad shape and smelled awful. But we did a pretty great job fixing it up!

I had my heart set on a new headboard and nightstands. So I begged my husband and father-in-law to build them for me. I scoured Pinterest and finally fell in love with these headboard and nightstand plans from Ana White. We didn’t use “reclaimed barnwood” because where do you find that? And my husband works at a lumber yard so we get a pretty good discount on lumber. Also, it took about a month, not just a few hours. Also, we had to make some height adjustments on the nightstands to better fit our bed. I wish that I had pictures from the process, but they didn’t want me nagging them hanging around too much during the process.  That was better anyway because it made seeing the finished products even more exciting! They did such a good job. It’s been several months and I am still in awe!




Amazing! It looks so classy. As for the other aspects in the room, I couldn’t find gray lamps, so I bought black ones and spray painted them. The wall hanging on the right is a frame with our vows handwritten and pictures of us saying them.


I made these canvases to go over the bed. All are verses from Song of Solomon. The references are 5:16, 3:4, 2:16. I painted the stripes on canvases using tape to make the lines, then painted a thin canvas to go on top. I used scrapbook stickers for the letters and then cut out hearts from different scrapbook papers.


On Pinterest I had seen the big “love” over the headboard, but since I wanted to put my canvases there, I chose to spell out “love” here.


Beside the furniture, this is my FAVORITE aspect of our room. Pictures from each anniversary! I bought enough frames for many more years, just didn’t want to hang that many empty ones up! I plan to take a picture each year with us holding the number for that year.

We are so in love with our room and all the aspects that we’ve added to it. Thanks for reading out the journey of this room and stay tuned for the others!

See Related Posts:

Master Bathroom

Master Closet

John Deere Bathroom

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