How’s that for a title that will make you nervous?? Ha!!!


No actually, that just happens to be the subject I posted on my personal Facebook this week! 😉



Emma's Eviction Notice!

Apparently she didn’t take the news of her eviction notice well.

“Dear Miss Emma Lyon,
We now inform you that you are required to vacate the premises. (AKA: Your crib) All belongings must be removed within 28 weeks as the new tenant will be arriving on or around March 23, 2015.

Thank you for your cooperation.

The Management”



And so yes!  We are getting ready to do this whole baby thing again!!!  More details will follow soon *hopefully!* now that I’m close to 2nd trimester and feeling human a bit more often now!  Ha!




And since I’ve gotta leave you with a happier picture than that last one of Emma, here you go! 🙂



Love this girl!!

LOVE this girl!

Trunk Overhaul!

So I had this trunk… This cool, old, ratty looking trunk.  It was awesome.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Yes this trunk.

And in true Nicole fashion… I forgot to take a good before picture.  This was the only rather old picture I had of it.

Anyway… It was a little dark colored, but I really loved the natural patina. (Anyone else feel extra sophisticated saying those last two words together? No? Just me?)
I was happy to leave the trunk exactly as-is.

That is until the munchkin came along.  When they say, “kids change everything” they aren’t joking.  Even little things like trunks.

So when Emma first started scooting, she decided that for whatever reason, she liked the taste of the slightly deteriorated burlap type fabric on the outside of the trunk.

That awesome patina I once thought the trunk had became nasty-gross-stuff-I-was-constantly-fishing-out-of-my-child’s-mouth.

The trunk was no longer a source of delight.

My slightly mobile child was drawn to it like a moth to a bug zapper.

Like a flea to a hound dog.

Like a cockroach to a…. I’m just gonna stop.

We’ve been cleaning out two of the rentals where we had some bad tenants.  I obviously have bugs on the brain. Ew.

Anyway, I digress.

I decided I needed to do SOMETHING about the trunk in order to save my daughter from herself.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

First I ran some vaseline along the edges of the wood strips with the tips of my fingers.  Then I painted all of it (burlap material and all) with a light turquoise color I had.

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I glazed it with the same stuff I used on this table.  Which was awesome because it showed off all the texture and gave made that turquoise a tad less bright.  It deepened it to an awesome color!

Trunk Overhaul at www.DIYinRealLife.com

After adding industrial looking casters on the bottom, it makes a PERFECT side table in the living room that I keep chock full of games!

I love it SOOO much now!

Isn’t it awesome how sometimes circumstances force you to change something you loved only to find out you LOVE it even MORE afterwards??

SCORE!!!! 🙂

5 Simple Daily Routines…

Five simple routines that help me keep my sanity! www.DIYinRealLife.com

So… I was down at Emily’s (You know, my awesome friend Emily? We did this project and this project.)


Well Emily has this knack for asking questions that really make me think.  Last time I was there, she asked what were some of my “routines.”  Things that I generally do in my day to make things go smoother and things that generally contribute to a better and happier frame of mind! 🙂


She also sent me an article to read at about the same time… 15 Tips for the Highly Sensitive Parent.  I read it and several things struck me.


Go read it!!!!! 15 Tips for the Highly Sensitive Parent.

You see… I’m a pretty extreme introvert. (Interestingly the writer is an extrovert, but I still found many useful things to implement)  I need a bit of quiet time. Overload things too much and…. Oof!  It’s rough on me.


If Emma’s had a bad day and has been excessively loud and angry…

The trash is full of stinky diapers and banana peels and the invasion of the fruit flies has hit in full force…

I just find myself getting upset at… Well… Pretty much anything.  And I don’t want to be that wife and mom for Emma or when Handsome Man gets home from work.


So here are a few simple things that keep me in a better frame of mind throughout the day.  Some of these things are pretty no-brainer, and some won’t work for everyone, but it sure helps me! (The following in no particular order! 🙂 )

Flavored water at www.DIYinRealLife.com

1. Make a pitcher of flavored water.

It’s summertime, so with it comes all the delicious additions I don’t normally have or get. Also, I find that I’m better about drinking water when I have a delicious pitcher of goodness in the fridge.


So far, my favorite concoctions have been:

*Sliced strawberries, fresh basil, a bit of Truvia, and a few lemon stevia drops.

*A squeezed lemon, some fresh ginger root that I squeeze through the garlic press, a bit of Truvia, and a few lemon stevia drops.

*2 squeezed limes, fresh mint, a bit of Truvia, and a few peppermint stevia drops.

*Sliced cucumbers and raspberries

And today I sliced a white peach and a handful of bing cherries… We’ll see how that one tastes shortly!! 🙂

I’ve started THM (Trim Healthy Mama) the first diet I’ve actually liked.  I mean really? A diet in which you are never hungry, eat most things you like, AND you loose weight?  I’ll have it!!! Anyway… By using Truvia and Stevia in the water, I can drink lots of it all day long and it doesn’t spike my blood sugar at all!  But you could easily add just a wee bit of sugar to give it that extra sweetness!  Mmmmmm!  I love that such a small thing like taking 5 minutes to makes lightly flavored water totally makes my day a little brighter! 🙂

Revive Our Hearts Podcast

2. Listen to an Encouraging Podcast.

My friend, Grace came for a visit (See? I have so many inspiring friends!)  and she was telling me about how much she enjoys podcasts.  Revive Our Hearts podcast in particular.  So right away I downloaded the  Podcasts app on my iPhone and added Revive Our Hearts.  Every day it automatically downloads the daily podcast.  They are only 20-30 minutes long and sooooooo good!  Today I put Emma down for her morning nap, got it playing on my phone and stuck it in my pocket. I listened to it as I put dishes in the dishwasher, threw a load of laundry in the washer, and swept the floor.  It’s so good and those days when I find it hard to get into the Word, I feel like I’m still getting some encouragement!  Last week, they had several days on contentment…  I love the real life application and how it ministers to my stage of life!

Master's Hand Candles @ www.DIYinRealLife.com

3. Light a candle. 

I pretty much light a candle every single day.  If you don’t do candles, do something!  Even if dishes aren’t done and toys are strewn everywhere, if it at least smells good, my frame of mind stays so much better!


4. Go outside for a bit. 

I’ve been trying to hang out on the porch for a bit everyday. Handsome Man built a porch gate, so it’s nice to take Emma out there to play and not be constantly getting up to carry her back up the stairs she has descended in order to stuff her mouth full of potting soil! Ha! I love my outside time most days.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust – Low Carb and Gluten-Free

A total favorite!!

Lemon Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread Crust recipe from All Day I Dream About Food. 

5. Always have snacks.

Preferably sweets! haha!  As I mentioned before, I am doing THM, so a private Twix bar stash is out.  But I can have lots of other sweets.  Skinny Chocolate made with truvia… Berry Whips made with stevia… Even Lemon Cheesecake! And if I don’t have anything on hand? Life is sad! lol!  Making time to make sure I have tasty sweets is vital! lol!

Other than those few routines, every day is different! Some days I feel like I have it all together and some days I totally don’t.  But I do find that if I do a few simple things, my frame of mind stays so much happier! 🙂


Five simple routines that help me keep my sanity! www.DIYinRealLife.com

What is mommy hood?

So in my last post…

The awesome one…

The one that disappeared and is nowhere to be found…

I wrote a bit of what’s on my heart lately in relation to mommy hood.  But now that’s gone.  Soooo…. How about a Take 2? 🙂

The DIYinRealLife.com gang at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO



Now don’t get me wrong… I LOVE motherhood!

And I LOVE her!

But you know me… I also LOVE to accomplish things.

I live off of lists and crossing things off.  I even tend to write completed jobs on my list just so I can cross them off even if they weren’t originally planned!

I love knocking projects out one by one! LOVE it!

The DIYinRealLife.com gang at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO

But with a kiddo, I find that even the easiest tasks are SO hard to complete.

Unloading and loading the dishwasher?  Nearly impossible when she’s awake.

As soon as she hears the dishes rattling, BOOM! She’s scurrying into the kitchen as fast as her chubby little legs can crawl so she can climb on the dishwasher door! (Have I mentioned her funny little crawl? Hilarious.  She crawls on her feet, not her knees like a normal child! But let me tell ya… She can move QUICKLY!!!)

Laundry? Forget it. That’s out of sight in the basement.  No eye contact – No laundry.

Anyway… You get the drift.


But I’m slooooowly coming to the realization (and I hear these things over and over, but learning them for myself is not always so easy)

This is the stage of life I am in!  I am a mommy. And I totally realize I’m a mommy of only one.  And those of you with more children are probably laughing and thinking “Oh Honey… Just you wait.”  But this is where I am now.  And I’m learning this all for the first time!  I just pray that God continues to give me grace and teach me with each added challenge child! 😉 lol!

Life at www.DIYinRealLife.com

The goal isn’t necessarily to accomplish HUGE projects in a whirlwind fashion.  I can’t paint whole rooms in an hour or two or singlehandedly build a wall full of shelves in an afternoon any more.  And that’s okay!

Sitting on the rug in the living room and playing with blocks?

Playing chopsticks on the Little Tikes piano that Handsome Man found on a garage sale for 1.00 (Score!!) while Emma giggles at me?

Even this post has taken me 3 separate times to get it hurriedly typed out! 🙂

Life at www.DIYinRealLife.com

It doesn’t feel super productive.  It doesn’t feel like I’m accomplishing anything. But that’s okay!  I guess I’m learning that mommy hood isn’t always about getting oodles done… Sometimes… Just sometimes…  It’s just chilling on the porch swing while Emma splashes in the water table. 🙂

UPDATE: The feature picture being in a jail on the post about mommy hood was unintentional… And ironic. 😉  I didn’t notice it until later when I was on Bloglovin’. Haha!!

No. Words.

Just another good reason I haven’t posted lately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




I had this nice long post typed out.  It was good.  And full of reasons I haven’t posted lately.


Namely this newly one-year old reason…



And after typing out this long, entertaining, extremely well-written post,

(Let me talk it up a little since no. one. will. ever. see. it!!!)


I clicked “save draft.”


Because it seemed like a good thing to do.  After all… It’s not like I want to loose this post, right??



—–Blank Screen—-


“Hmmm…. That’s odd.  I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted… But I don’t remember it ever doing that before.”



—General Error Message—



“You have GOT to be kidding me!  Please please don’t let me loose this post!”



—Back Button—



—Blank Post—



“Seriously.  What are the odds.  Seriously.”






And that’s pretty much the story of how THIS post came into being.

Special, right?



Regardless…. I’m back.

And maybe I’ll get back to those reasons I haven’t posted lately.





Also… I’m copying and pasting this into a document before I push PUBLISH.  I obviously have trust issues with WordPress now! 😉

Photo-Book Gift Idea!

So I’m posting this a bit late for Mother’s Day gift ideas… Especially since it takes a while to create since this is a low cost/highly time consuming present.  But I love – love – love how it turned out!


Photo/Recipe Book gift by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 It’s chock full of old pictures…

Recipes that we made over and over when I was growing up…

And lots of memories that are tied up with those recipes…


Photo/Recipe Book gift by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 I used Shutterfly but there are lots of really great companies to use for photo books!

Check out the full version of the book!

Click here to view this photo book on Shutterfly!

How to easily update an old refrigerator using wainscoting!

So when I posted about our sexy new refrigerator, I realized that I never posted about our old one!


Right after we got married, we needed a refrigerator for our old house.  And with a “just married” budget, we needed somethin’ cheap!   And so a $60 old black refrigerator entered our lives. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!


And if necessity is the mother of invention… Then ugliness is the father of creativity! 🙂



And so started the update that made this refrigerator workable for 2 more years!

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com



How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

First we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man sanded the front like crazy with an orbital sander.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man removed the handles, smeared heavy-duty adhesive all over the front and started covering it with wainscoting.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.comThen… And I missed a picture.  But just imagine ratchet straps like these around the top and bottom.  Great way to keep the wainscoting snug up against the refrigerator while the glue dried since we weren’t able to use nails.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I just caulked all the cracks and it was ready for paint.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

I (and when I say “I,” I actually mean I!) painted it a couple shades lighter than the cupboards to avoid so much of the same gray…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Re-attached the handles…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And boom!  Customized refrigerator!

It wasn’t ideal perhaps… But it made a $60-dinged-and-dented-paint-splattered-old-refrigerator last 2 years.  PLUS we sold it for $40 on Craigslist after we got our new one, so I’d say that’s a SCORE!

Of new refrigerators!

So I haven’t shown off our new fridge yet.  I seriously love this thing!!



Craigslist find of the month!!

And yes, we now have 3 different colors of appliances. lol!

Our goal is to slowly replace all our appliances with stainless steel.  That way when we move and either sell or rent this house, it’ll show better with SS appliances. 🙂

So… Refrigerator down… Microwave, stove, and dishwasher to go!!


Bonus: I get to watch this guy in snoopy pajamas put the doors back on! 😉


Yes.  Be jealous ladies.


Painting… Painting… Painting…

So apparently I had just enough time to come up for air and write my last post.  After that I became lost in catch up… and… well…


Have I mentioned Handsome Man owns duplexes?  Yeah.  So one of the tenants moved out last week.  Usually not that big of deal. We’ve had a pretty good streak of tenants that are super clean. But this time we had to repaint all the walls in the entire place.



I’m telling you, there were little tiny lip prints over. almost. every. single. wall.




Girls. Haha!

Now if only I’d thought to take a picture of Olaf they drew in the closet!! 🙂

Just finishing up and if you know anyone in the Lincoln, area that needs a 3 bedroom duplex, give

Ohmygoodness… I’m alive?!?!?

So you might have missed me lately…


…Or maybe you didn’t even notice I haven’t posted in a while?





Anyway… I just got done with a weekend of NCHEA. (The annual Nebraska Homeschool Conference.)  I am on staff for the Kid’s Conference side of things.  Basically we take care of 300+ homeschool kids for 2 days while their parents attend the adult conference to purchase their curriculum, listen to speakers, and just generally be encouraged.  It’s a total blast!!!  We plan for it 6-8 months prior to the Conference each year, but it’s COMPLETELY all-consuming once it gets close!




In hindsight, a heads up that I would be tooootally falling off the map BEFORE would have been better, but by the time I realized I was a goner, it was too late.


Kinda like riding a roller coaster.

When you’re going up that enormous incline, make sure to start screaming BEFORE you go racing back down, otherwise you’ll be petrified and unable to make a sound.  And if you’re unable to make a sound, generally you’ll look like this guy third from the front.

roller coaster



Or maybe that’s just me? Cause I’m pretty sure that’s how I look on roller coasters.  Wanna laugh?  Check out The 31 Greatest Roller Coaster Pictures.



Anyway… I digress…


I’ll return shortly with my regularly programmed posts.


Let me just recover from the roller coaster ride! 😉

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