March 2013 archive

What Easter is to me…



MATTHEW 28:1-9   (NIV)

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.   The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.   Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Google Reader is goooooing, gooooing, gooooooone…..

Google Reader vs. Bloglovin


Mkay.  Did anyone else totally flip out when news surfaced about Google Reader shutting down???!   WHAT!?!?!?

I subscribe to over 150 blogs for crying out loud!  How was I to follow everyone now?


What I didn’t know was that there were actually other options out there!  And so, because I was moderately ticked off at Goggle Reader, I decided to explore the other options despite the fact that it doesn’t actually shut down until like JULY.  “PSH!  Google Reader!!! Who needs that?!?”



I chose Bloglovin’.  And…. Despite a very slight learning curve… *gasp*  I like it BETTER than Goggle Reader!!! (Whaaaaat?)

It’s true.  I love it.

It’s super easy to transfer your Google Reader list.

It’s easy to navigate.

It has an awesome iphone app.

Yeah.  Not all change is bad!  (Take that Google!)  I waited to review it till I’d used it a couple weeks to see if it really was going to work for me and whatdoyaknow?  I’m still happy with it!



There’s also another popular one….  Feedly.  I was so happy with Bloglovin’ that I didn’t really check into it that much…  But here are links to a few posts where other blog-reading-addicted bloggers posted the difference between Blogger and Feedly.

Nosh On It did an article on “Which RSS Reader Reigns Supreme?” (They actually rate Feedly higher.  Mostly because of the smartphone app.  They test with Androids, not iPhones.  Since I have iPhone, their assessment of the smartphone thing doesn’t really apply to me.)

Revolution of Love did a Pros and Cons post on both Bloglovin and Feedly

A Bloglovin’ Tutorial by Nutritionella


Good luck with the transfer of readers!  I have a feeling you’ll really like it in the long run!!! 😉

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

The DIY I’m going to concentrate on in this post is the numbered top on this awesome bench!


Even though I did build the bench myself out of pallets…

Even though I do love it a lot…

And even though I am proud of the end result…


The step-by-step process of building it is appalling.  LOL!

I don’t think I measured much of anything…

totally eyeballed as much as I could…

Few screws here…. Few screws there….  Eh!  Looks good!!!  🙂

Oh!  And I built this before I was blogging.  And didn’t take pictures!  That’s a good excuse!   Just forget I said anything!!!


can’t blog step-by-step DIY on building the pallet bench because I neglected to take pictures!!! Haha!!  That totally sounds better, right?!?!


Really though…. It was SUPER easy to build.  It took 2 pallets, some 1×4’s that I had on hand for the base underneath, and some random 2x’s I had in the basement for the top.  Suuuuuuper easy and FREE for me since I had everything on hand!  Yippee!



After I painted 1 coat primer, and 2 coats of a semi-gloss latex paint, it looked really pretty good!  But I had something even better in mind!



I was inspired by this piece from Sisters of the Wild West.  And they were inspired by a Pottery Barn wall piece.  Dont’cha love how inspiration works?!?!?


Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by I simply printed a document of the numbers 1-9 in like 5 different fonts in various sizes.  Typically one number per page.  This is simply going to be a matter of preference.  Then I spent the next couple hours watching “Psych” and cutting out numbers.  Yeah.  It was awesome.  😉


After they were all cut out, I randomly arranged and re-arranged the numbers in various directions all over the top till it was completely covered.  Absolutely no method to the madness, just in case you’re wondering!!! 😉

I taped them down and then put various weights around the edges of the numbers to get a crisper line.  I wasn’t too worried about getting a super crisp line since I would be distressing it a bit.   If you were really particular about it, you could do this in vinyl too I suppose?



Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Next step: Have a Handsome Man spray paint the top for you.  I mean, you could do it yourself, but as for me…. I let him spray paint whenever possible!  It’s one of his secret talents! 😉


Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Again…. I wasn’t too worried about getting a super crisp line since I would be distressing the top later.



Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Hello happy numbers!  🙂

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

This is right after the numbers were painted.

 It was at this point, Handsome Man calmly stated, “it looks like something from a horror movie.”

“It looks like WHAT?!?!?”  I said.

“You know… it looks like something from that movie…. Oh what’s it called?  It’s about a guy who deciphers codes and stuff?”

“A Beautiful Mind???”

“Yeah.  That’s it.”

Because “horror movie” is exactly the genre I put “A Beautiful Mind” in.

Granted I wasn’t a big fan of the whole story line…  Can’t say it was my best use of 2 hours.

Man deciphers codes for the government until the end when you find out he’s not deciphering anything for the government after all.  He’s just schizophrenic.

Anyway!  I decided that maybe if there wasn’t quite so much contrast between the gray numbers and the white top, it wouldn’t look so “HORROR MOVIE-ISH!”

So out came the glaze.  I just used whatever I had on hand.  It was a clear glaze that you use sponge painting walls, etc. mixed with some gray paint.

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by


Brush it on. Wipe it off.

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

LOVING the finished product and Handsome Man doesn’t even seem to mind the numbers now!!  (Not that he’ll admit, anyway! lol!)

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Need to get big baskets, etc. to style the bottom…  But I love the space down there!!

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

*happy sigh*

Not bad for FREE, eh?!?!

Easy DIY Numbered Pallet Bench by

Creating with the Stars: Week 3 Link-up


Home Stories A2Z

Power of Paint Linky Party at Domestically Speaking
Beyond The Picket Fence


Favorite Pins of the Week….

Well!  It’s the weekend again!


That brings us to this week’s Favorite Pins!


Without further ado… Enjoy! 🙂



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Scout and Nimble did this awesome tutorial on making this knock-off light using an old chandelier and 2 wire hanging baskets!!!  LOVE doesn’t even begin to describe it!!!   Can you say new hallway light??!

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Two twin mattresses, some plywood, and a great playroom that doubles as a guest room or sleepover room. Love it!

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Loving these Makeshift Mudrooms and other Drop Zones when you lack an actual mudroom!!

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Kiiiiiiller piece of furniture.  Love. This.

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Rope shelves?  Wouldn’t this be awesome for retail??!

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2 words.  Chevron lust.  😉

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Pretty cottage kitchen {and I love that mug holder!}



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Easiest. Design. Transfer. Method. Ever.      Tutorial by Makely School for Girls.

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Sawdust Girl had some A.W.E.S.O.M.E. cabinet door upgrades!

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Savvy Design West did a tutorial on how to make spray painted items glossy!

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Bring “Brown E’s” somewhere for April Fool’s Day???  Priceless!!!

36 Things to do with Bottles, Mason Jars, and other Glassware!

Do you ever find yourself perusing your own Pinterest Boards late at night?


Reminding yourself of all the projects that you fell in love with and want to re-create for your own home?


As you’re drowsily browsing, you forget that you’re looking at your OWN board and find yourself thinking, “Wow!  I love this girl!  I’ll bet we could be really great friends!!!”


Then… Suddenly you recognize a few too many pins and in your hazy stupor realize that yes… You are indeed looking at your OWN BOARD.


*cough cough*


That’s a hypothetical situation, of course.



Anyway…. With that out of the way…

I was browsing in a hazy, tired stupor  INTELLIGENTLY looking over my past pins and thought it would be awesome to do a round up of some of my favorite things you can do with bottles, jars, glassware, etc!!!

Round Up of 36 AWESOME ways to use Bottles, Mason Jars, and Other Glassware!  DIY in Real




So without further ado….




Pure and Noble did a tutorial on these adorable bottles…  Hot glue gun? Bottle?  Spray Paint?  I have all that!!!



Design Mom did a tutorial that involved how to drill through glass…



Gorgeous Shiny Things on using looking glass paint on bottles.  Loving this!!!



Crafts by Amanda did a tutorial on using epsom salts to make these lovely jars!  Don’t they just scream icy wintry-ness???



Now the link on pinterest gives me an error that says it contains “inappropriate content.”  *cough cough*  Whatever that means?   Anyway… I’m a sucker for numbers and this totally doesn’t look that hard to re-create. 🙂



Rubber bands and frosty glass spray paint.  Brilliant.



Loving the various shapes of the vases, yet how they’re unified by the color.  Also love the look of “painted from the inside” as opposed to painting the outside.  Sugar & Charm did a tutorial on this!



I Love This and That did a tutorial…  I like the idea of using sheet music even better!  Although this is pretty sweet too…



Between Naps on the Porch did a tutorial….  I totally want to do this with shells from our honeymoon to Cancun.



DIY Tutorial by Centsational Girl.  Same idea as the other vases painted on the inside only SWIRLED.  Sweet!!!



Same idea as the mirror spray paint, only Villa Barnes used liquid silver leaf.  Interesting!  And those bottles are just awesome.



So THIS is how they do it!!  A tutorial by Picklee on how to cut glass bottles using Cotton String, Acetone Nail Polish Remover, a match, and a pot of ice cold water.



Twigg Studios did a tutorial on how to make your bottles look like sea glass.  THIS is why I love re-looking at all my boards!!! I totally forget awesome projects like this that I want to try!



This isn’t a tutorial… And you can actually buy them for $20 each… But it DOES seem like an easy enough DIY!



Here’s another one that doesn’t look too hard to DIY!



I’m kinda totally digging the wooden tag/jar combo.   Homeroad did a tutorial on the wooden tag.  <3



My Design Folder did a tutorial on how to color glass.  Since she didn’t use modge podge and food coloring, it’s waterproof too!



LOVE this.  The downside? I think the tutorial is in French.  😉



Fox Hollow Cottage did this tutorial.  So simple, yet brilliant!  A GREAT instant gratification project!



Liking how they combined bottles & twine and then pulled 3 of them all together for an awesome centerpiece.  Tutorial by Pressing On.



Same concept but I’m loving the various sized bottles!!!  (Can’t find a link back to original project.)



Loving Shanty 2 Chic’s tutorial on this wine bottle wall vase!  Looks totally easy with supplies you could get at any home improvement store!  This is the best tutorial I’ve seen for this type of project!  Love!



Jar.  Burlap. Twine. Key.    Yes… That’s a great combination!  Making Home Base did a tutorial on this simple project!  Adore.



A Creative Mint.   Again.  Loving the concept of various sizes/type of containers all tied together with a simple coat of spray paint!  With the glossy white paint, these all look like milk glass!



  I would be remiss if I did not include at least one project with chalkboard paint!!! lol!   No tutorial, but it looks easy enough to diy!  Inspiration from



b.r.i.l.l.i.a.n.t.l.y. simple way to etch polka dots. One of those “Why didn’t I think of that?!?!” moments! 🙂  Tutorial by the girls at Beautiful Mess.  They definitely get the genius award! 😉



So simple…. But is it just me or is this one of those projects that make you want to say, “Awwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!” to???



Cuteness!!!  Loving the paint job too!  You can buy these for 12.99 or DIY! 🙂  They look pretty easy to re-create and oh. so. cute.



Elmers glue, food coloring, and water painted onto clear glass jars will turn them whatever color you’d like! The non-waterproof yet much simpler option to tinting glass jars!  Check out Craftberry Bush’s tutorial!



Now for some organizational ideas for jars/bottles!    Jars made from spaghetti sauce jars–spray paint lid and add knob!  Nice!!!    Unfortunately the pinterest link is bad and I can’t read the watermark to see who to give credit too.  Anyone have better eyesight than I do??!  Whatever the case, this is an awesome organizational idea!



This is very much like what I did in my office.  I love it!!!  No tutorial in the link, so I’ll try to get a tutorial made up of how I did mine anyway! 🙂



Ha!  This is awesome!  Loving this organizational idea.  It’s Overflowing did a tutorial.  Liking this a lot!



Wouldn’t this be so awesome for camping??  Totally another AHA! moment! 🙂  The Burlap Bag details this easy project out!



Ha!  Loving this!!!  Simple yet awesome!



Mason Jar Twine Holder tutorial by A Casarella.  I have so many stray rolls… this would be an awesome fix!



Annnnnnd! I’m going to leave you with this very gross-looking yet incredibly effective option to catching morbid amounts of fruit flies!  Passionate Homemaking did a tutorial.  I can vouch for it!  Handsome Man showed this to me years ago and it does really work! 😉

So there you go!  My top 36 things to do with bottles, mason jars, and other glassware!  Now go do one of the projects!!!!!!

After all, “what’s the worst that can happen?!?!”

Random Lighting Inspiration….

Because sometimes you find lighting inspiration in the least expected places….


Lighting Inspiration - DIY in Real

Like at JC Penny’s at the mall…

Lighting Inspiration - DIY in Real

I’m gonna say I was one of the only people stalking and taking pictures of their lighting… 😉

Lighting Inspiration - DIY in Real Kinda bad cell phone pictures… But I was trying to sneak shots of it. 😉

“Act casual, Nicole…  Act casual… People probably do this all the time….”

It really is awesome though, isn’t it???!

Cheap 80’s Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off…

What do you do when you’re drooling over Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware’s light fixtures but spending that much is totally not in the budget???


Make a knock-off!!!! 🙂



Say hello to my little friend!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Here’s the run-down.




All I needed was a bolt of this….



It lasts foooooorever….  Probably coulda done 30 lights with this! 😉



One of these did 2 lights….



And 2 lights that looked something like this.  Not a fan of the 80’s brass myself and kinda prefer the black look!  I paid $15.00 each at Habitat for Humanity.

I just hand painted all the brass with some black latex paint I had on sale.  You can actually take some of these lanterns apart, take the glass out, and spray paint them.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t with these, so I just hand painted and then scraped any extra paint off the glass with a glass scraper.


After the paint dried, Handsome Man installed the lights for me.  They looked pretty good but I didn’t like the chain.  Still a little too 80’s for me.


So… That’s when I twisted rope around the chain and I TOTALLY LURVE it now!!!!  Looks like something from Restoration Hardware or Ballard Designs without the hefty price tag!  😉  I think it was easier to wrap the rope after it was installed, even if my arms WERE killing me by the time I was done! 🙂

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

I simply looped the rope around the top hook and used a white cable tie to secure it. (Otherwise known as zippy strips.)   Then I wrapped the rope REALLY tightly around and round the chain securing it at the bottom with another white cable tie.  Then I used the thin sisal string to cover up the cable ties by wrapping it around and round on top of them top and bottom.


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

All said and done, each one cost less than $20.00 and some time!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

I kinda love the reflection that shines up on the ceiling too! 🙂


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Yes…  Try to ignore all the dust I didn’t bother to scrub off before I took the picture… 😉


80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

(Observe the “mood lighting” (AKA: rope lighting) that Handsome Man installed above the crown molding.  It’s kinda awesome at night for just a low light!

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real

Not a bad price when you compare to these favorites from Ballard Designs and Restoration Hardware.

T_WithoutZoom{Ballard Designs}



{Restoration Hardware}

On sale for $569.99


{Restoration Hardware}

Between $150.00-$350.00

So yeah.  Pretty happy about my very inexpensive knock-offs!!! 😉

Check out the original Dining Room Post.

80's Brass Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off - DIY in Real


Home Stories A2Z

Beyond The Picket Fence

Favorite Pins of the Week….

Another Session of “Favorite Pins of the Week!”





Is this not awesome??!   Someday I want an attic/loft that has lots of guest beds… And to look as cozy as this?  Yum.




Loving this simple DIY tutorial on how to age shiny wire baskets to look like old locker baskets by It All Started With Paint!  Like seriously LOVE!




Brilliant, no??  Loving this and thinking it would be an awesome way to jazz up my curtains without a whole lot of work! 🙂  And they’re just kinda awesome!




Totally digging this super cheap option to a projector!  So until I find a cheap one on a garage sale… Hmmmm!




Turquoise? Polka Dots?   Ummm yes.

Check this out in it’s entirety at Chrissie’s Collections…




Get the same effect as painting the entire wall without being fully committed to the pattern. Although who couldn’t be fully committed to chevron? Seriously.




Great way to cutesify 5-gallon buckets for growing tomatoes.  Yes… SPRING is calling me! 😉




Cool closet idea. Attach rods to side of a bookshelf!  Brilliant.




Just love the wainscoting and everything above! Mwah!




5 Second Rule.

This makes me laugh.  Like a lot. 😉

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