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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dining Room Artwork

Two weeks ago I brought y’all along with me on a shopping trip to Hobby Lobby. I shared 1 of the 3 items that I bought (a lamp) and teased 2 more purchases. Well today I’m going to show you the other 2 items that ended up in my cart.
If you read the title of this post you already know that I bought some artwork for my dining room. The wall in the dining room has been blank since I moved in. I couldn’t decide what to hang and never found a piece that called to me…and then I found this set of pictures:

I love the modern pattern of the background mixed with the classic lettering and vintage pictures. The pictures were $69.99/each, but were on sale for 50%-off. So, I paid $69.99 for the pair!
I was so excited to hang them up until I realized that I couldn’t hang anything in the middle of the wall (at the correct height) without that light switch getting in the way. So I used brown craft paper and tape to figure out the best spot to hang the pictures. This is the placement I ended up with. I know it’s not centered, but it’ll have to do.   

Next I measured everything out and secured the pictures to the wall with screws/anchors. Finally, something on the walls!

I like this look, but it seemed a little too…traditional? I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but it seemed to dark and classy (also not the right word) for the rest of the house. So I taped off the glass and spray painted the frames white. I didn’t like the look of the bright white frames with the dark mats, so I also painted the mats. I just used some leftover white latex paint and a small roller. The key is to do multiple thin coats. After all of that, here’s the final product:

I’m so happy to finally have something hanging on this wall. It’s been way too long! As promised in my 2013 Home Goals, I’m really trying to get the house put together this year. Obviously it won’t be all done this year, but small steps like this will really help make it look less random.
(I'm still debating if they need to be hung a couple inches lower...)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Doggie Door

This post is about the best $42.75 I’ve spent in a LONG time.
Both dogs have been sleeping inside the house for the past couple of months. We’ve had a few really cold nights lately and felt bad about leaving the dogs outside (even after last year’s incident). We’ve finally established a routine – they get to stay in bed until one of us is ready to go to sleep, then a quick trip outside for any final business, and finally they curl up in their own beds …of course they both end up in bed with us at some point in the night. Also a part of that routine- Ringo waking us up in the middle of the night needing to go outside. The first couple weeks I was just happy he was waking us up instead of pooping inside the house. But then I got tired of getting out of my nice warm bed and having to stand out in the cold while they did their business. So we decided to get a doggie door.
I ordered this one from Amazon and it arrived a couple days later. We were both nervous about cutting into the door, but we decided just to go for it. It was pretty simple to install – we used the insert to determine where we wanted the door, traced the outline, drilled holes in all four corners, and then used a jigsaw to cut it out. I wish I would have taken a picture of the inside of the door. It was aluminum on both sides, but styrofoam in the middle….pretty interesting. Ringo supervised the installation.
My parents have a doggie door, so Abby learned how to use one while staying there during Thanksgiving and Christmas break. She jumped through right away and was bouncing around the house with excitement. Ringo wasn’t sure about it and just stared at us through the door waiting for us to let him back inside. After a little practice he figured it out and now thinks it’s the best thing ever. Plus they love that the door is see-thru so they can check out what’s going on in their yard.
*I still need to touch-up the paint around the door. It got scuffed by the jigsaw during installation.
We’ve made it three nights without either of the dogs waking us up and no accidents. I’m calling this project a success!
It’s not the prettiest before and after picture, but it might be my favorite!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Garage Sale

The clutter has been cleared! Well, most of the clutter has been cleared…

Our subdivision hosted its annual community garage sale this past Saturday and we decided to participate (yes, a garage sale in January…it’s too hot in Phoenix to have them during the usual summer sale season)! My boyfriend’s sister-in-law came over to help out and brought a bunch of kids’ clothes and toys to sell. The sale started at 7 a.m. and we lasted until about noon.
I forgot to take pictures of all our junk until we were a couple hours into the sale, so this isn’t everything. And sorry about the crappy cell phone pictures…

We had a pretty successful sale, but the best part was getting rid of all that stuff. I finally sold the microwave that I replaced almost a year ago, plus the bookcase that’s been sitting in the garage for a year. The stuff that didn’t sell ended up at the Goodwill or on the curb with a free sign.
Now I just need to decide what I want to buy with my garage sale money...hopefully something that doesn't end up in next year's garage sale pile!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shopping Trip: Hobby Lobby

Time for another round of shopping! Grab your carts – today we are stopping at Hobby Lobby! One of my favorites! I’m sure you already know this, but you should never pay full price at Hobby Lobby. They run 50%-off sales every week and the items are always rotating. So if it isn’t on sale this week, it probably will be 50%-off next week or the week after. Or if you don’t want to wait, print the 40%-off coupon from their website. Anyway, let’s look at what I found:
I love this picture – the chandelier, the color, the burlap…*swoon* Also available with a red metal trim and slightly different chandelier if you prefer red…or if you want a pair of pictures. On clearance for $34.99.

I really like this clock! I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but it’s huge and would make a big impact on the wall…plus you would be able to read the time from the other side of the house (ha!). On clearance for $59.99.

These sconces are amazing! I love how they are rustic, but are still a fun pop of color. $34.99 for the short ones, $39.99 for the longer ones.

 These crates would be great for organizing. They are a nice size and there are removable dividers inside each one. I’ve been thinking about buying one in each color for my craft room. $44.99 each.

Hobby Lobby has a great selection of fabric (usually marked 30%-off) – like this turquoise chevron. They also had a gray/yellow/white ikat print and navy/white greek key print that caught my eye. $8.99/yard.

These metal letters would look great in a gallery wall or placed on a bookshelf. You could also use them to spell out a word to hang on the wall, such as EAT - $24.99 each.

I think these would look really cool hung in a grid – and would fill a large space for a fairly small price - $13.99 for the small size and $19.99 for the large size.

I think this metal jack would be fun piece to finish decorating a bookcase/shelf/table top. It’s solid and weathered, but still charming and quirky - $15.99. I think I’m going to buy it on my next HobLob trip.

Now the fun part – what ended up in my cart! I bought 3 items, but you’ll have to wait until Monday to see 2 of them. They need some customizing, but the weather has been too cold. It’s supposed to warm up later this week, so hopefully I can get them finished up then.
The item I can show you is this lamp, specifically the one on the right:

But it didn’t stay that color…I spray painted the base white and now I have the perfect lamp for my console table. The lamp was $79.99, but was 50%-off, so I paid $40.00 for the lamp plus shade. I already had the spray paint on hand, so the makeover didn’t cost me anything extra.

I love how this wall is starting to look. Oh, and don’t mind the artwork – it’s a placeholder until I start/finish what I really want hung there. Someday soon…

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Insta-16: Take Three

It’s time for another round of Instagram pictures! You can see the first round here and the second round here
If you have an account, you can follow me at: SAMTJH22.  If not, this recap is for you! I’ve rounded up my last 16 Instagram pictures for you here today. Yes, it’s been 3 months since my last recap post. And yes, that means it took me 3 months to take 16 pictures on Instagram.
As always, my plan is to share a pretty collage of all the pictures and then pick my top 5 in different categories: Abby, Ringo, Cutest Couple (Ringo and Abby), Yummy (Food or Drink), and Wildcard (Non-Food and Non-Puppy).
OK, enough talk! Here’s the second round of Instagram pictures: 

As always, mostly pictures of Ringo and Abby. It was hard to pick favorites, but here they are:

Abby likes to make herself VERY comfortable while she’s laying in bed. We don’t let her sleep in bed with us anymore, but they are allowed on the bed while we are just bumming around watching TV. I wish the picture included sound so you could hear how loud she snores!

Ringo loves hiding out in my closet. He likes to get behind the clothes hanging on the bottom rack and pretend we can’t see him. We call it his bear cave…yes, that’s one of my shirts that he knocked down and is laying on.

Cutest Couple

 Yeah, they love each other. Abby was laying there first and Ringo laid down next to her. At first he was laying on her arm, but she got it out from under him and put it on top of him. Is there anything cuter than dogs spooning? I think not.

We did a wine tasting/wine making event for part of my friend Christina’s bachelorette party. They started us off with a cheese plate and snacks plus 10 wine samples. We got to pick our favorite and then make our own batch of that wine. After it ferments for 90 days, we’ll go back and bottle our wine. I can’t wait to taste our creation!  

If you didn’t already know, I L-O-V-E hockey! There’s a minor league team in Prescott, AZ and my parents have season tickets (although, I think they only bought a partial package this year). We sit on the glass, behind the home goal. Best seats in the house during a shootout. They ended up losing this shootout, but it was still exciting…and a good opportunity to watch some hockey during the NHL lockout.

OK, who else is on Instagram? Leave your username in the comments, so I can follow you.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Blog Goals

Earlier this week I shared my 2013 Home Goals (plus 1 personal goal), so I’m back today to share my 2013 Blog Goals. Yep, the ol’ blog is getting some much-needed attention this year.
I’ve been posting about 3 times per week for the almost-2 years I’ve been blogging…except for the last few months. I really slacked off and was good for maybe 1 post per week. I had a stressful couple months at work and really lost myself my motivation during that time. Anyway, I want to get back into my 3 posts per week schedule this year.

I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to have DIY/craft/room makeover posts ready to share multiple times a week. I work full-time and try to have a life outside of blogging, so I just don’t have time to finish everything that I’d like to. However, I’m also trying to be a consistent blogger. So in 2013 expect to see more personal posts (puppy updates, vacation, living healthier, etc) and more recipes/cooking posts. Did you know that I cook a full, sit down meal every night except Friday and Saturday? I love cooking and I spend a good portion of my night preparing dinner and lunch for the following day, so I figured I should incorporate a little more of that into this blog. That being said, I don’t want to post fluff just so I can say that I post 3 times a week. So if I don’t have anything to write about, there won’t be a post that day. Simple enough.
I want to make The Junk House easier to navigate and quicker to load. The navigation bar needs to be updated so it loads faster – and now I know a better way to create a navigation bar, so that should be good soon. I also need to update my house tour page with more recent pictures and update my project gallery. I also want to add an Instagram and favorite posts section to my sidebar.

The look of The Junk House has come a long way since I started blogging 2 years ago, but there’s always room for improvement. I’d like to update the sidebar labels, change some of the fonts, get a new profile picture, etc. I’m still pretty happy with the look overall look of the blog, especially since I designed pretty much everything (except the button) myself. So, I’m not talking full re-design…just refinement of my current look.

I’m just going to say it: I suck at managing my inbox. I read all your comments and save the e-mails planning to respond, but I only follow through about 25% of the time. I try to either reply via e-mail or stop by your blog and leave a comment about one of your posts. Speaking of, do you guys have a preference? E-mail replies to your comment or stopping by you blog and leaving a comment on your post? Regardless, I’m going to try to be better about responding to comments and staying on top of my inbox, but no promises. Oh, and don’t take it personally, I suck a managing my personal and work e-mails too…

Do you have any other blog suggestions for me? What do you like/don’t like about what you see now or what I have planned? I really want to make The Junk House entertaining and user-friendly, so please let me know if you have any suggestions to make things better/easier.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Break Project #1: Mirror + Bonus

So I only finished 2-ish projects on my Christmas Break To-Do list. I blame it mostly on the fact that I made that list without considering how little time I’d actually be home during the break.  After spending time with my parents and a couple days in Las Vegas with my boyfriend, I was only home for about 3 days of my break…not enough time to get everything done that I’d planned. Regardless, I had a great Christmas Break and didn’t lose all my money in Vegas!
Of course I started with the easiest project…I only really put it on the list so I’d remember to do it. Anyway, my boyfriend has to use the guest bathroom because the master bathroom is so small. I’m 5’4” so I originally hung the bathroom mirror at what I considered to be a reasonable height. Well, he’s 6’3” and couldn’t see the top of his head in the mirror, so the mirror needed to be raised a couple inches.

Are you ready for this amazing after picture?

Yeah, it looks almost exactly the same…

Of course I can’t write a post that’s only about raising a mirror 2 ½ inches, so I’m throwing in a bonus. You might have already noticed it in my last post:

Yep, I finally found something to hang in the kitchen. I bought the Bon App├ętit sign in October at the Lolly Jane Crafty Bloggers De-stash Bash (aka yard sale) for $3. Eventually I’d like to make my own sign, so I can make it longer for the space, but I’m loving this sign for now. And let’s be honest: it’ll take me a year months to make my own sign, so I’ll definitely get my $3 worth out of this sign.

Now I just need to find something for the dining room wall…

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 Home Goals

Last week we reviewed my 2012 Home Goals and so now it’s time to share my 2013 Home Goals. You’ll see a lot of similarities from last year’s goals, but I’m also going to list a few specific projects and rooms that I want to work on this year. I’m officially calling myself out on a couple projects that have been on the to-do list for way too long.
#1 Make Decisions and Kick Fear to the Curb
Usually I have a really hard time committing to a decorating decision. It’s partially because I’m indecisive and partially out of fear. My goal is year is to make decisions and not let the fear continue to do my decorating. I will hang more stuff on my walls and not fear nail holes. I will buy what I like (within reason) and not fear that I might get sick of it at some point. I will decorate my house and not fear that someone else won’t like it…my opinion (and my boyfriend’s) is all that matters.

#2 Stop Procrastinating and Start Spending
This isn’t an open check to buy whatever I want, but a push to stop procrastinating and buy what I’ve already saved for. It’s mostly about being lazy – too lazy to stop by furniture stores to look at sectionals, too lazy to list my stove on Craigslist, too lazy to get time off work to meet delivery people, etc. But we need a new couch and I want matching appliances, so it’s time to get my act together! These 2 are leftover from 2012, so I really want to get on it early this year.
#3 Live and Let Go

I live with 2 dogs that shed, drool and have muddy paws…and a guy who doesn’t care about decorating and has been known to leave dirty dishes around the house – our house isn’t going to be perfect. Things will get messy and out of order…and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We live in the real world not in a glossy magazine. And so this year I’m going to try to stop obsessing (and getting mad) and just let go. Obviously that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop cleaning and let everything go to ruin, but it does mean that I’ll relax and enjoy myself more. I want to spend that extra 30 minutes in bed on the weekends cuddling with my boyfriend and dogs instead of jumping up to clean the kitchen. Those are my favorite moments and I don’t want to miss out on them because of some dirty dishes.

One Bonus Personal Goal:
Live Healthier

I’m not committing to losing a certain amount of weight, going to the gym so many days a week, or cutting out all carbs/sugar because those resolutions never work out for me. I simply want to start exercising more and eating healthier. I eat fairly healthy for the most part, but there’s always room for improvement (baked goods and/or sweets are my weakness). The biggest part of this is being more active. That doesn’t just mean working out at the gym – it’s taking the dogs on more walks, playing Just Dance 4 with my boyfriend’s niece until I drop, and actually using that treadmill I bought…

Now it’s time to call myself out and list some projects/rooms I want to work on:
Painting my china hutch has been on my to-do list since I bought my house. I put it on my Christmas Break to-do list, but didn’t have enough time to work on it – so I’m giving myself the whole year! Time to act!
Our backyard is huge and has great potential, but right now it’s downright depressing. It’s full of dirt and weeds...and it’s embarrassing. I’d love for it to start looking presentable. However, it’s going to be a challenge because of the dogs, specifically Ringo the Destroyer. He’s destroyed everything I’ve tried to plant back there and pretty much everything else he can get his teeth on, so this is going to take some creativity and a lot of effort.
Lastly, our guest room and office aren’t cutting it – using those two rooms the way they are currently set up isn’t working for us. You’ll hear more about this later, but basically my plan is to turn the office into a man cave/guest room (daybed) and the guest room into a guest room/office. It’ll be a lot of work, but it’ll fit our needs a lot better.

My goals this year are definitely ambitious, but I’m hoping they’ll motivate me over the next 12 months.
And just for fun, here are a few pictures of my living room/dining room/kitchen as of right now. I thought it might be fun to take pictures of the same areas next year to compare the changes. Oh, and don’t mind the mantle…I just took my Christmas stuff down and haven’t had time to decorate it.

(Looks like I missed the giant nutcracker while I was putting away my Christmas stuff!)

What are your goals/resolutions for 2013? Or do you skip making resolutions because you never keep them?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2012 Home Goals Finale

2012 is officially over, so it’s time to look back on the goals I made at the beginning of the year to see what I’ve accomplished/what I slacked on. My original goals and comments are in blue.
You can see my original 2012 Home Goals post here and you can see my mid-year recap here

It’s almost been a year, time for my house to stop looking/feeling like I just moved in!
This means I will finish unpacking boxes and actually make some decorating decisions.  Instead of waiting for the perfect piece I need to start using what I have. I can always update/replace things, but for now, something would look better than nothing.
I still have a lot of work to do around the house, but I’ve accomplished quite a bit over the past year. The house doesn’t look/feel like I’ve just moved in anymore. The boxes are all gone and there’s actually some decorating going on.

In my 2012 Home Goals Revisited post I mentioned the huge empty wall in the living room. We’ll that wall finally got some attention and now has a piece of furniture that fits the space (although there’s still more work to be done). I’m happy with my progress from last year and can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in 2013!

Stop being a cheap ass and spend some of the money I’ve been hoarding!
I’ve been saving money for a couple big projects/furniture pieces, but I’ve yet to act on any of them. I’m planning to:
Extend the Back Patio
Buy a New Couch
Buy a New Entertainment Center
And I’m planning to use my yearly bonus (depending on the amount) to replace my stove and microwave to match the other kitchen appliances.  
OK, so I’m about 50/50 on this one…and I haven’t made any progress since my 6-month recap post. Just as a reminder, I had the back patio extended, bought a new entertainment center (seen above) and replaced my microwave to match the refrigerator and dishwasher.

And although I haven’t bought a new couch yet, I have been looking around for one - I just haven’t found exactly what I want yet. I also have my new stove picked out, but I haven’t felt like dealing with selling my old one on Craigslist or getting time off work to meet the delivery guys. This will be on my 2013 list!

This one is going to be hard because I love stuff!
However, I don’t like dusting stuff. And I’m starting to feel like I’ve accumulated too much stuff! My boyfriend and I recently dropped off 2 boxes and 1 trash bag full of stuff to the Goodwill…it’s a good start, but I’m sure we have more.

I’ve been working really hard on this one and I think I’ve done pretty well over the past year. I’ve taken a lot of stuff to Goodwill and now I’m purging the house in anticipation of our upcoming community garage sale. Yeah, we have garage sales in January in Phoenix…it’s too hot during the typical garage sale months.

Stop apologizing for my house!
We work full-time and have a puppy - our house isn't going to be perfect. It will get messy and things will be out of order. I need to remember that.
And I think we all know DIY projects take time. I can’t expect everything to happen overnight. This year I want to stop being embarrassed about the things that need to be fixed and start enjoying the fact that I have my own house. I know I’m very lucky and I want to try and be more appreciative of that.

I think I’ve done pretty well with this over the past year, but it will always be a struggle for me. I like things to be clean and in order, but my boyfriend and the dogs don’t necessarily feel the same way. I’ve been trying really hard to let things go and not let it bother me as much, but it’s still a challenge. I’ve been working on a cleaning schedule and so far it’s helped keep the house from looking like a complete wreck and it’s kept me from losing my shit over a dirty glass left on my clean kitchen counter. This will always be something that I can improve on, so expect to see something similar on my 2013 list!

Overall, I’d say I did pretty well keeping to my goals. I’m definitely happy with my progress over the past year. I’m putting my 2013 Home Goals together right now and I’ll share them next week.
Did you make any 2012 Home Goals? Were they successful?