July 2013 archive

Q & A: Question about Paint Color?

A while back, I was asked a popular question by “Melanie….”  I replied to her question in the comments, but I thought I’d post about it here, too!


She commented in relation to the Cheap 80′s Light Fixture to Restoration Hardware Knock-Off…

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

Q: “Looks great! I just found the same light at a thrift store. I’m trying it with brushed nickel spray paint, but I think the nickle spray paint is coming out cheesy looking. Can you tell me what color paint is on the walls in that room. I really like it.”


A DIY Coffee Bar by www.DIYinRealLife.com


A: “Melanie!
You might try painting it black first, then painting it again with the nickel paint. It might cover better? Just a thought anyway!!!

As to the color in the dining room… I actually got a whole bunch of free paint and so I mixed 5 or 6 various partial gallons of red paint, crossed my fingers, held my breath and painted it. And it is the PERFECT red, which is awesome because reds are notoriously kinda hard to get! So… I wish I could tell you what this perfect color is, but sadly I can’t.

That’s actually how I’ve done most of the house. I think I’ve bought a gallon of black paint, 2 gallons of semi-gloss white for trim, and a gallon of primer for this entire house since we bought it. Everything else we got from a place in Omaha called “Under the Sink.” Everyone takes their unused paint there and then you can go and pick out whatever paint you want. Mixing paint works well for me because I’m not really the type to buy 10 different sample sizes of paint to see EXACTLY what shade of gray I want. I’m more of a mix this and that and see what we end up with kind of girl. Knowing the color wheel and what happens when you add this color to that color helps too. And since it’s free, if it doesn’t work out, I haven’t lost anything! It works out really well for us! And did I mention, we’ve painted the entire interior of our 3 bedroom house for almost free? Can’t beat free. 😉

I guess I figure, it’s just paint… What’s the worst that can happen?? :)”

Favorite Pins of the Week…

So… I never knew having a baby around would result in so many quotables from Handsome Man.  I guess I should have assumed that since pregnancy resulted in a fair number of them.  My favorite being,

“Me: It’s kinda nice… I don’t really feel like I have body image issues yet… I mean, I don’t really feel super fat, just pregnant.

Handsome Man: Really? ‘Cause if I looked like that, I’d feel fat.”

The odd thing? He was actually trying to compliment me!  Haha!!  Almost as good as several years ago when my cousin told me his sisters were built like sports cars and I was built more like a tank.  He was totally complimenting me too! And I’ve neeeever let him forget that comment!!! 😉  Poor guy!


But my favorite baby quotables from Handsome Man are:

“This is AWESOME!  Now I get to kiss TWO girls every morning!!!”  

Wait!  Whaaaaat?


“You know, she looks so much like you when she’s mad!”

Thanks Hon.  You’re sweet.




Anyway… How about a few awesome inspirations for the weekend??  Get ready for my Favorite Pins of the Week!!!

PINS of the Week







There’s just so much I love about this room!  First of all, the rug?!?!?  DROOL!

Then there’s the happy turquoise wall, which is an awesome color color as it’s happy, yet muted enough to be sophisticated!

And the choice of pattern mixes are awesome!



Love this idea for a pantry…  You know how I feel about doors like that… and it would be awesome to build something like that if you had the space on an otherwise blank wall.  You’d only loose 12 inches of depth or so and gain a whole lot of storage!



How’s this for an easy non-wreathy wreath?  Fun for a summertime door, no?  This is the source, but I can’t tell you anything about it ’cause it’s in Turkish!  Whaaaat?  I’m gonna guess pool noodle wrapped in burlap wrapped in rope wrapped with strips of white cloth and words stenciled on the top! 😉



This just seems like such a pretty and elegant way to do “place cards!”  And inexpensive too!! Oh So Beautiful Paper showcased these!



Yes… I am a TOTAL sucker for anything from the Lettered Cottage!  This concept is pure genius though!



This is for my next house… Where we’ll have a garage!  A garage is definitely a nonnegotiable next time!  Gotta have one!!!  Loving this organizational idea from Shanty 2 Chic!


We’re getting closer to Fall so I’m starting to see more along those lines popping up on Pinterest!  This is kind of an adorable idea from Fun Home Things!



Girl in Air did a tutorial on how to make those glass insulator pendant lights! I think 3 of these would be way cool hanging above an island or bar!



Well, this is kinda C-R-A-Z-Y cool!!!  Want to do this now!  DebbieDoo did a really great tutorial!


Aaaaaand now you know!!! 😉

70+ Lighting Inspirations!

 Whew!  These round-up posts take forrrreeeeevvvveeeeerrrrrr to put together!

*Imagine me saying that in the dark with a flashlight shining on my face and said in my best “Sandlot” voice*

If you haven’t seen the movie don’t even try to get that last part.



AnyWAY!  Here’s a round-up of all my favorite lighting inspirations and DIY tutorials!

We all know I’m a TOTAL sucker for good light fixtures, so there are quite a few!  ENJOY!!!



Round up of 70+ Lighting Inspirations and DIY Tutorials by www.DIYinRealLife.com








Loving this light you can purchase from Serena & Lily.  And… It almost looks like something one could knock-off with an old fixture, some twine, and some pretty beads?


The before and after on this chandelier from In My Own Style is pretty impressive! A tutorial on how to transform an outdated brass chandelier with paint and crystals!




Anyone else crushing on this kitchen that Home Bunch was showing off? It’s from Restoration Hardware which totally explains why I like it!  And whadoyaknow? It’s on sale!  Only $1750.00 right now!  Yeah, I know… In.  My.  Dreams.  🙂



I’m not immensely into shabby chic but I do like this lamp makeover by My Blessed Life.  A great way to inexpensively upgrade those totally dated lampshades!



Brilliant update by Apartment Therapy.  I’m more keen on buying a drum lamp shade than making one, but more power to ya if that’s up your ally!!  Love the concept!



Another great, cheap update by The DIY Village! Liking the 2-toned idea!!!



Liking the pop of color here on this update on Ladies Home Journal!  Fun!



My eyes lit up and I’m pretty sure I audibly gasped when I say this DIY tutorial by HommeMaker.   Love.



Digging the pop of color in these light fixtures!  So easy to re-create with a couple outdated fixtures!



This tutorial from Scout and Nimble has been circulating across blogland and Pinterest for a while, but I would be remiss in not including it!  It really is genius!



Lipstick and Sawdust made these awesome lights by marrying the guts from some outdated fixtures and garden lanterns!  Smart!



Sarah M. Dorsey Designs did this fantastic light… A great twist on the other drum shade lights!!



Love this light from Not Just a Housewife! 



Imperfectly Polished did this ingenious tutorial on How to Make a 3-Light Pendant from a Recessed Light.



Love this driftwood lamp!  Couldn’t find the original source on this one but it looks like an easy enough DIY!



Vintage Revivals did this fabulous tutorial on making a custom pendant light…  Totally digging it!!!



Pudel Design did this fun twist off some of the drum shade lights previously added in this post.  Love the clear orbs!



Simplicity in the South did an awesome knock-off of this Restoration Hardware light.



I would be remiss if I didn’t include a tutorial on making a mercury glass lamp!  Check out this tutorial by Decorated Chaos! 



The Concrete Cottage did a tutorial on this DIY French Script Lamp Shade.





Unfortunately the link on this pin was bad and I can’t seem to find the post… But re-creating the lampshade concept with an old shade and strips of burlap seems easy enough!




LOVE this combination of chinese lantern and pulley to hang it from the ceiling!



This waterfall spiral mason jar chandelier is awesome, upscaled twist to the other mason jar lights!!!



Wouldn’t this idea from dogpile be just stunning for a wedding cake table??!



This light was made out of paint stir sticks!!! Awesome!!!



Purely inspiration photo here… But again I just love the elegant pop of color here!!



Love the POLKA DOTS of course… But the flowers add a whole lotta cuteness too! Awesome lamp by Pink and Polka Dots!





No original source but I think the concept of threading ribbon in and out of a shade woud be easy enough!!



There’s so much about this I love!  The painted floor… The mismatched chairs… And of course the happy colored lights!



FUN light that is an impressive mix of art and function.  It’s just plain pretty!!!







Wow.  Eye-catching, no?  Super easy to recreate too!

2 wall hooks, galvanized pipe, mirror garlands and christmas lights!  Lovely!



A Little Glass Box wrote a letter to her son on a lampshade in his room.  Adorbs!!!



What a CREATIVE twist on chinese lanterns!







Style Me Pretty showcased this awesomely impressive chandelier!



I think these wire lights are pretty crazy cool!



So, I couldn’t exactly read the original source on this one… Cause it was in Spanish, and I only know a few words in spanish.  “Si” is “yes.”

“No Habla Espenol” is “I don’t speak spanish.”

And that’s right… I watched Sesame Street as a child.  So I can count to 6.







Not sure what intrigues me more… The awesome potential to recreate this light using unique materials! Wire trash can, perhaps?

Or perhaps the glass jar on the side table full of light bulbs? 😉



This could totally be recreated with a plain glass shade. Simply spritz glass with vinegar water then spray with Krylon “Looking Glass” spray paint!



Total sucker for Edison Bulbs!

Oh… And the light is pretty cool too!



Again with Restoration Hardware and their awesome lights!  Adoring the pulley!



Simple way to add polka dots in 5 minutes to an ordinary lampshade!



Emily A. Clark did an AWESOME update on this brass habitat light fixture!  It’s gorgeous!



Check out these fun lamps from All Things Thrifty!!  You really can make a lamp from anything!



Buttons add some flair to these otherwise boring lampshades!



Okay… I’ll admit it… Drooling of these light fixtures by Twenty Eight 0 Five!!!



Love this tub lighting!  So awesome for a wedding!



Love these insulator lights featured on Apartment Therapy!



Love these headboard lights by Southern Fried Chicken.   How cute is this? They have their own individual switches!



Digging the knotted rope cord by Design Sponge!



Fan-TAS-tic before and after by The Painted Hive!!!   You know how I am about industrial!  Adore this light re-do! Brilliant!



Love all the various sizes and shapes of bulbs!



Love the vibrant color and sheen of this painted lampshade by Little Green Notebook!



Anyone else digging these hanging basket pendants? Rawr!!



Be-YOU-tiful fixture!!!



Wouldn’t this be perfect in a little girl’s princess room???!



Ha!!! Lights made from whisks from a commercial kitchen mixer. Featured on Brooklyn to West.



Check out this lamp project by the Nester!



Super easy DIY tutorial by Domestically Speaking!



Similar idea… Different basket….



Wouldn’t this be adorable on a lampshade in a little girl’s room??!



I would love to try this with glitzy clear beads!!!



Majorly drooling!

That’s all.



Looks easy enough, right???!



What a beauty!  Love this mercury glass light fixture!!!



You can get these 10-light strands off of etsy, or if you’re brave, try DIY!!!



Absolutely love this twist on a simple chinese lantern by Glue Arts!!!



I know, I know… Again with the Restoration Hardware light fixtures!  I’m addicted to them, I know!  But I think you could take any number of outdated fixtures and with a little rope, get a similar look!



Another lovely way to dress up a plain lampshade by Pretty Petals! 



A tutorial on dying lampshades by Little Green Notebook!



How hilariously creative is this??!  You’ll never ever guess what she used to do this!  Check out the tutorial on Matsutake!



Wouldn’t this light fixture be so pretty in a hallway??



Stunning pop of color!!!



So fun and beach-y, isn’t it??!

Miss Mustard Seed wrote this tutorial for HGTV.com.



Same concept as the previous one, only a different shaped lamp and thicker rope.



Cardigan turned lampshade!



Okay! Okay!!!   I promise!  This is the LAST Restoration Hardware fixture I’ll drool over.  In this post anyway!!!

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

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own tutorial on transforming an outdated brass light fixture

Round up of 70+ Lighting Inspirations and DIY Tutorials by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Painting Pillows??

I had someone ask about my striped pillows that you kinda saw in the background of this post.


How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com


They’re actually painted!  Spray painted that is….



How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

First I cut the squares of fabric the size I needed to make the pillows…

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I taped off random stripes with painter’s tape…



How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I spray painted them with this paint…

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I removed the tape and sewed them into pillows.  I used this tutorial by Chalkboard Blue.  Super simple!

Now that I have the stencil, I kinda wanna make chevron ones! 🙂


How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Favorite Pins of the Week…

Little Miss Emma has been sleeping better lately, which means less Pinterest browsing while up with her in the wee hours of the night!  Yay for sleep!!!

Nevertheless…. There are plenty of good Pinterest finds this week!


Speaking of Emma, we’ll kick it off with a picture of her and an inspiration idea for her as well!




Cutest little thing ever!!!  Just when I thought she couldn’t be any cuter, she started smiling at us this week! Melts. My. Heart!!!



Gotta love Etsy for inspiration…. Wanna re-create this for Emma! It’s so hot out making socks or shoes nearly impossible… And they’re just so stinkin’ cute!!!



This is such a pretty way to have something so awesomely functional! GREAT inspiration by Growing the Home Garden!  I so want to do this now!!!



How’s this for a clever organizational idea??



Isn’t this SUCH a pretty way to wrap presents??!  There are several great ideas in this post by Whipperberry!



This isn’t a DIY, but I just couldn’t resist showing it off…. Not really a “pink” girl, but this is GORGEOUS! That chiffon is so soft and pretty!!



Isn’t this window valance ridiculously cute?!?!



Speaking of window coverings…  Check out this tutorial on How to Create a Valance from a Pillow Case by Beneath My Heart.



These are such fun statement pieces!  So adorable!!



This is highly genius!  Wanna do this for the bedside table in our room!  Awesome DIY project by Dagmar’s Home.



Raised planter box along fence that doubles as a bench.  Love this awesome example of working useful things into the landscape and blending functional AND pretty!


Fantastic way to dress up boring pillar candles for next to nothing!  Brilliant idea by Knock It Off Crafts!


DIY Swimming Pools.

I seriously can’t stop giggling at this. So. Funny. 🙂

Making Antique Looking Mirrors….

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Home Heart Craft did a great tutorial on this…  *cough cough*

Admittedly, I read through it quickly once and then just went at it.  Thankfully this is one of those reeeeeeeally easy projects that isn’t too complicated at all! 😉


You only need 4 items.

*Looking Glass Spray Paint – (I got mine at Hobby Lobby… I know it was hard to find there for a while, but if all else fails, look online!)






*Glass – I used a picture frame and just took the glass out, did the project, then put it back in the frame.



How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

All I did was mix the vinegar and the water in a small spray bottle and spritzed the glass…


How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

As you can see in the top left corner, some of the water pooled up there making some super awesome antiquing action going on. Love when that happens.

Then I sprayed a thin coat of the looking glass paint and continued to alternate those 2 steps.  Sometimes I’d do a few coats of the paint for every spritz of water.

It actually takes quite a few coats of the paint.


When you put the glass back in the frame, you will want a darker colored backing behind it as some of that peeps through.



How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

I made a couple of the mirrors and put them on my “free shelves” that I built a few months ago.  In addition to all the pictures I put up there, I have a few quotes as well.  I happen to love this one! 🙂



How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And I want to go back THERE sooooo badly!  🙂

Beach anyone??!



How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com


Non-alcoholic Mojito Mocktail Recipe

Like I said before…

This is less of a Non-alcoholic Mojito and more of a Mint Limeade.  I just feel so much cooler saying the first one.  😉


Whatever the case, this is delicious and super refreshing!


Mojito Mocktail

Serves 4



1 lime
2 tbsp sugar
1 can sprite
4 c. Water
Crushed mint

Quarter the lime, squeeze the juice into a pitcher and drop each quarter into a glass.  (Yes, it’s just for looks. 😉 )

Add the sugar, sprite, and water. Stir.  (You could also eliminate the sprite and water and just use club soda.  This is just what we had on hand.)

Add a sprig of crushed mint into each glass along with the limes.  As to the crushed mint…  Ideally you’d use a mortar and pestle I suppose, but we didn’t have one.  We just used a cutting board and a rolling pin.  Anything to get it crushed to get the flavor out.  Word to the wise: Don’t chop it into little pieces.  Tried that.  Once. 😉 )

Add ice to glasses and fill with drinks.

For best results, serve with a striped straw.  ENJOY!


This goes good with the Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce on pasta.  I happen to know that first-hand.  😉


Favorite Pins of the Week…

DIYinRealLife.com - Favorite Pins of the Week

All right people!  You ready for this week’s favorite pins?








Totally LURVIN’ this closet laundry room makeover by Home with Baxter.  So classy and functional!!!



Pretty sure this idea by Day2Day Super Mom is sheer brilliance!



This Crock Pot Pesto Ranch Chicken by Picky Palate looks killer!  And we all know how I feel about pesto…. Yuuuuuuummmmmm!



I mostly love the sign on the fireplace…  The fireplace makeover by A Glimpse Inside is pretty impressive too!



I kinda look at this with sheer delight… Imagine what kids would think!!!



The color of these cabinets totally makes my heart go pitter-patter!  Awesome inspiration photo from BHG.com



I am always a sucker for built-ins like this one from Addicted to Decorating!



Love this simple arrangement idea from Four Generations One Roof for my new sofa table! (Post about that coming soon!)





Bacon?  Cheddar Cheese? All in one dish?  Uh-HUH!  Loving the idea of cheddar and pepper stuffed bacon wrapped chicken by Sweet C’s Designs!


Ummm… Yeah. True.

Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce Recipe

Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce by www.DIYinRealLife.com


I’m back with today’s edition of Cooking with Nicole in Real Life… 😉 lol!


As promised here’s one of the things I did with the Summertime Basil Pesto I made a few days ago.  This. Was. Delicious.

As a disclaimer though, Handsome Man’s words were, “I’m sure it’ll be good, but it looks like puke.”

Thanks Hon.




On to the good stuff!


Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce



4 Tbsp. fresh pesto

4 diced tomatoes

1 clove minced fresh garlic

1/4 c. milk

1 jar alfredo sauce


Simmer diced tomatoes, pesto, and garlic on stovetop on medium heat for 10 minutes or so.  Add alfredo sauce (homemade alfredo sauce would be even better, I’m sure… But I was lacking both the supplies and the patience. 😉 )   I used the 1/4 milk to put in the alfredo jar and shake to get as much sauce out as possible.   Resume simmering and serve on pasta.


I sautéed mushrooms and threw those on top but next time I want to add shrimp or sea food of some sort on it. Deliciousness!!!


So there you go!  Just one way I’ve used the pesto this week besides dipping bread in it.  My hips are going to hate me for all the carbs this week! Haha!


Stay tuned for the recipe for Non-alcoholic Mojitos next!  Okay, okay…. So it’s more like Mint Limeade… I just feel cooler using the first term.  😉


Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Summertime Basil Pesto Recipe…

Summertime Basil Pesto Recipe by www.DIYinRealLife.com


Okay…. After these next couple posts, you’re going to think I’m turning into a food blogger.


Stop laughing.


I can cook!  Kinda.



ANYWAY….   *cough cough*


With the whole post-partum recovery thing, projects aren’t as easy to complete…

And now that my stomach isn’t wrestling a small human for space and loosing, I can eat regular helpings of food again!  It’s awesome.  😉


(Don’t even let me get started talking about having my bladder back! 😉 lol!)



Okay!  On to food!


While recovering, I didn’t really go outside.  At all.  So my tiny little basil plants became enormous, full basil plants by the time I went out again.

I was suuuuuuper excited.  ‘Cause me?  Basil?  We’re tight.  Really tight.

I adore, love, and cherish basil.  If there were only one herb in the world, I’d pick basil.  I even had strawberry basil sherbet once? Mmmmmmmmm!!  Anyway…. *cough cough*


There was so much basil that needed to be used that I decided to make pesto!

I didn’t really use a recipe and decided to make my own.  And now I’m blogging about it because it was so good and I don’t want to loose the recipe!  And blogging it is the surest way not to loose it.  😉


Summertime Basil Pesto 



3 c. tightly packed basil leaves

3 cloves fresh garlic

3/4 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 c. olive oil

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

Simply throw basil, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil into blender and pulse until blended.  I added the parmesan cheese after blending and mixed by hand.  Enjoy on bread or crackers, use on pizza, mix with softened butter, or any number of delicious ways!  Use your imagination!

*Spoiler* Another post coming where I use this pesto to make cheesy pesto sauce for pasta! Yum.

Summertime Basil Pesto Recipe by www.DIYinRealLife.com

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