30 December 2013

Wrapping Up the Holidays: Fun Facts

What a fun-crazy-beautiful time of the year Christmas is! I hope that you were able to spend your time much like I did -- surrounded with fun, family and laughter.

With the holiday season and 2013 coming to a close, I thought I'd take a minute to share with you guys some fun little facts about how my family spends the holidays and what some of our family traditions are -- hope you enjoy!

04 December 2013

Double Take: Lane Cedar Chest

At the end of September, I wrote a post about buying a Lane Cedar trunk from a yard sale – see here.  It found a new home at the end of our bed (which has been moved upstairs to the guest bedroom because we got a new mattress!!), but it needed some sprucing up. Hello makeover time!

02 December 2013

Dog Days: Dining Room Makeover

Holy hiatus – my life is no longer my own.

Nick and I decided after much thought and debate over our schedules that we were ready for a fur-child. So, the week before Thanksgiving (great timing right?) we got to bring home our little man!  I feel like a new mom; sleep deprived and wide eyed.  A good day is now defined by my ability to dress myself in matching socks and remembering to apply deodorant.

Please prepare yourself for the excited photobomb…Knox!

20 November 2013

Deck the Halls

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…Thanksgiving? I realize it is a tad bit early, but I officially have my first Christmas decoration up. I just couldn't help myself! It’s fun to have a new house to decorate and besides I just love this time of year.

Our last house didn't have stairs, so this past weekend I went on a hunt for garland to go on the banister. And there was much success – thank you Homegoods. Immediately when I got home mom and I got to work putting it up and it definitely makes it feel like the holidays are here. (Christmas music may have been played. I wish I was kidding.)

18 November 2013

Abra Kadabra! -- Disappearing Wires Act

Happy Monday, everyone!! This weekend was a very successful “getting things done” weekend.  My mom and dad came up and helped us start to build the bookcases on either side of the fireplace. I was hoping to get them both done because I am so ready for that space to be complete (finishing a room would feel so good), but unfortunately it just didn't happen. However, the boys were able to get the one built that hides all those stupid wires – I mean honestly how many wires does it take for a TV to work; apparently a lot.

31 October 2013

Mantle Magic: Disappearing Wire(s) Act!

Well, it’s almost November. (What?!) Not sure how October has just gotten away from us, but it has. House projects are still getting done….blog posts, not so much. The big thing I have been focusing on lately is our stairs, but I don’t want to give you a sneak peek; you are just going to have to wait for the finished product!

BUT here is a small update on the whole fireplace/TV/bookshelf project we are still working on. I don’t know if you remember way back in June I did a fireplace facelift post where I briefly talked about future plans I had for that area at the end of the post. Well we finally got around to mounting the TV and hiding the wires in the mantle.

22 October 2013

This Little Piggy [Became a Magnet]

It’s been a hot minute since we've posted anything – oops! October has been a busy month for us with celebrating anniversaries, life, work, etc.  Lots of big projects going on – which I hope to post soon, it’s all those little finishing touches that hold things up [UGH]!

Long story short I have a thing with pigs, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I looked like the spawn of the Michelin Man when I was born. You know; fat baby problems.  Anyways, my mom gave me pig corn spears when we moved into our home, super cute! Too bad we didn't use them until July and when we did, one of the spears came out.  I wasn't really keen on that ending up in someone’s hand or mouth…why not re-purpose them? DONE!

09 October 2013

I Do, I Did -- I Will

Kevin and I just celebrated our 2nd anniversary (and I really can’t believe it.) Where the time goes I just don’t know, but I am FOREVER grateful to be blessed with such a wonderful husband who loves and supports me unconditionally – I know, I know so mushy!!

07 October 2013

Workspace [Upcycle]: Recover Your Chair

Where does the time go?!  Nick and I have plunged head first into getting our home ready to host some (quickly) approaching holiday festivities – which means my “wish list” of things I want done before thanksgiving has been growing longer by the minute.

Our office has been a point of contention, catch-all, and close-the-door-don’t-look kind of room since we moved in.  At this point, it’s been about a year, we need to start getting it together!  The bookshelves are built, of which will be another post once they are organized…still trying to find the boxes of books!

Our desk chair was craving some love. It was pretty gross; no padding…it needed a facelift.  Since I’m cheap thrifty, I decided to just take a stab at a little bit of cosmetic surgery myself.

26 September 2013

Treasure Hunting: Yard Sale Edition

Today we are going to talk about yard sale-ing. I love it. Searching, hunting, finding that forgotten treasure and then making it shine again. I think a mix of new and old pieces make a home comfortable and “lived in.” 

I mean don’t get me wrong, I love (love love love) shopping for new things for the house. Hello, Homegoods is like my favorite store ever! But there’s something about the stories and the details and the character of old pieces.  And when you can take that oldness and make it fit again; there’s nothing better!

Here are my tips for scavenging:

24 September 2013

Plate Up The Panache: Croutons & Roasted Tomatoes

I've been on a food kick lately.  Making and eating the same meals every week can become all kinds of boring.  Maybe you have a big dinner party coming up, a special date or your in-laws are coming to town and you want to add some panache to your plates.  If you’re looking for a couple of easy (read: cheap) ways to bring your food flavor to a new level, check out these tips!

20 September 2013

Light on the Subject: Back Splash Glam

I want to start off by saying that TBW’s thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of the shooting in DC. A horrific, senseless act. We pray they feel the support the country is sending their way.

This past weekend (as promised) a lot of progress was made at mi casa! And what I am really excited to share with you today is the kitchen progress. We have a back splash!!!! And a new light fixture!!!! (I really hope my excitement is projecting through this blog post.) The reason I’m so thrilled is because we have done a lot of high-impact projects (painting, new appliances, new counter-tops), but these last two projects have really pulled everything together. We still have some work left, but I can see the finish line….at least in the kitchen…

19 September 2013

Stairway to...Heaven?

I’m not sure if it’s because I have DIY ADD or if I’m just crazy, but it seems like I always start a project before I finish the previous one. Thus I end up living in a permanent “this will be nice once it’s done” state. Perfect example: our staircase, this past weekend.

Before we moved in the previous owners put new carpet in. It’s pretty lackluster and inexpensive, but it was new and there wasn't a lot of it (our master bedroom, the downstairs hallway, and the staircase) so we figured we could live with it. Well our indifference has turned to distaste. Especially when it comes to painting the baseboards because it is shag carpet AKA a pain in the butt to paint around. So I have been painting trim, I get to our staircase and decided you know I don’t like the carpet and I HATE painting around it…maybe there is hardwood under it and I’ll just rip it up!

13 September 2013

Ladies, Grab Your Tramp: Meatball Recipe

I love food – whew, feels good to finally confess!  Cooking and baking are hobbies of mine.  However, it seems that a disdain for authority has even injected itself into this particular vein of my life…recipes are merely suggested starting points in my book.  Chat with my husband and he’ll say that I have a “penchant for wanting to make things my own.” Probably a nice way of saying I have issues!

Anyways, the other night I really wanted Italian food.  We’ve been trying to be more health conscious so first thing scratched off the list was eating out.  That’s like death to a carb lover. SOOOO, I decided to make my own version of meatballs.

Disclaimer: I’m not a pinch Italian, and while this may seem like re-inventing the wheel, it was quick & easy – make it your own :)

10 September 2013

Long Live Your Paint Brush! [Life Extending Tips]

Okay everybody bear with me on this post. Maybe it is all of the paint fumes, but I had a light bulb moment and thought I would share my discovery with all of you. (And please if this is common knowledge and EVERYBODY already uses one of these….just let me be blissfully ignorant of my, well, ignorance.) See we – and by “we” I obviously mean me and mom, because Kevin dislikes loathes painting – have been doing a copious amount of painting and I feel like my paint brush cleaning has declined drastically since we first started (the clean up is the part I hate the most.) With that decline, I felt like I was starting to go through paintbrushes at a rate that our wallets could not keep up with.

Enter the paint comb. I had never heard or better yet never taken the time to know what one of these was, but let me tell you, our paintbrushes are rejoicing because they are no longer dying a slow death. It is a simple tool so don’t get too excited everybody, but here it is:

04 September 2013

Kitchen Mutiny: Dishwasher Gone Wild

I’m fairly sure that my house launched a protest against school starting this weekend.  My dishwasher had a tantrum.  Typically we run our “fresh out of 1984” dishwasher at night, because it sounds like NASA is setting up shop in our kitchen.

Well at 5a on Saturday morning, our over-achieving student was STILL running.  At some point between 10p and 5a it got stuck on rinse.  So our water ran for about 8 hours straight.  Lovely.

13 August 2013

True Life: My To-Do List Took Steroids

I’m at the point where I think my projects have projects.  When we bought the house, we sat down and created a list, room by room, of things that we wanted to change or add.  Well, I looked over that list last night and added items – just so I could cross them off and feel accomplished. 

This summer has been more about finishing projects that have a greater impact on our house than just décor: like bathroom renovations, replacing windows & blinds, painting trim, adding light fixtures – the kind of not-so-fun-but-completely-necessary items.

09 August 2013

Oasis in Progress: Backyard Project

I love working out in the yard. Unfortunately with so many inside projects monopolizing our time, we haven’t been able to put a lot of energy into outdoor projects (minus cutting grass that grows about 4 inches a day. Okay that might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but you know what I’m talking about!) Most of our yard is a very, very blank slate and is going to take some serious work. I can’t wait until I have the time to really sink my teeth into it. But we were able to focus on a little corner of our backyard in a high-traffic area.

When we bought the house there was an area that you walk through from the driveway to get to the back door that was previously just dirt and a few pavers that they had put out. It was ugly, barren, and un-welcoming. Not ideal. Luckily for us the previous owners left a lot of materials behind including a huge stack of bricks, river rocks, and some very poorly placed plant material.

06 August 2013

Island Time: Playing Catch-up!

The most frustrating part of summer is the fact that it seems time speeds up and one day it’s June 1st and then you wake up and it’s the middle of August. (What?! Wait a second though there’s still so much I want to do in these gloriously warm, lazy days!) This summer has proved to be no different. It’s as if the heat melts the days together and before I even realized it here we are in August. So I guess you could say that Two Broke Wives has been on a sort of summer hiatus with projects and celebrations and one fabulous beach vacay to Fripp Island! But as Fall quickly approaches we are back to our normal posting. So hope all you DIY divas have had a summer filled with family, friends, and fantastic projects!

Before I share with you the microwave project (yes the microwave is off of the kitchen floor), I thought I would just do a quick recap of some summer activities we have been up to – besides golf and work and junk!

11 July 2013

Not Your Mother's Medicine Cabinet

We admit it. We've slacked. I’m sure you all can agree – life happens.  Christie and I both have been spinning in the vortex, but we’re back!

So in line with the recent kitchen makeover, we got rid of our tall accessory freezer (holds all of Nick’s hunting/fishing winnings) and replaced it with a smaller chest freezer (it actually gives me some extra counter space, win!).  The tall one was leaking on the inside, resulting in daily defrosting sessions…not fun.  My mom and I actually took it out of the house AND down the deck stairs ourselves – hope you like the heavy duty dolly you got for Father’s Day, dad!

Once the kitchen was put back together, I was left with a lovely view of an ugly electrical cord.  The taller freezer hid it. Not so much for this little squatty one.  So my tenet brother and I decided to take measures into our own hands. I lost valuable magnet space when we kicked the tall one to the curb.  So we set out to make a magnetic access cabinet – check it out!

03 July 2013

Elevate Your Casa: 5 Easy Home Improvement Tips

5 easy ways to take your house to the next level:

1. De-clutter: This seems obvious, but as day-to-day activities commence things just have a way of piling up. So taking the time to organize and actually getting rid of the things you don’t need will make your house more functional (not to mention comfortable.) Bonus – it will help lower stress too.  

If you aren't sure if you are ready to part ways with something, pack it away for a month…if you miss/need it, then it’s a keep BUT if you haven’t even thought about it since it’s been out of sight then say good bye!

2. Spray paint your kitchen and/or bathroom hardware. New hardware can really add up $3 (and up) per handle $2 (and up) for hinges multiplied by the amount of cabinets…and well there goes a couple hundred bucks that most of us don’t have laying around.

Say hello to your new best friends: primer and paint. All you need to do is remove the hardware, clean the pieces, prime (they have spray primer too), and spray paint (I love stainless, but there are many other choices!)

02 July 2013

Wineaux Table Hack

Pinterest has a tendency to consume my life/annoy my husband.  Why? It might have something to do with the fact that I find projects that are necessary to do before my other necessary projects.   Our upstairs office/catch-all room needed a coffee table to go with the lonely sofa.  I've been eyeing the crate coffee tables that are all over the place.  Two things: 1. They are SUPER cute, 2. I’m not paying $100+ to have someone else make it.

So, off to Michaels my brother and I went.  We picked up 4 crates, with coupons that was $37. A quick stop at Lowe’s to pick up the right size screws (1” wood screws) and 2 sets of antiqued casters and we were good to go!  The total cost for the table was $45!

Wooden Crates

27 June 2013

Fireplace Face-lift: From Boring to Blue

I was going to wait to do this blog post until the whole family room was done, but my neighbor inspired me to post about this early. We have an awesome neighbor (who also happened to be our realtor) and she has been toying with the idea of starting some updates in her own house, BUT she is very hesitant because she can’t really envision what the changes are going to look like/if she will like them when they are done. This is how we became her guinea pigs. We do something and she comes over and sees how she likes the outcome. And one of the things she was most excited about seeing was our fireplace.

First off (before I get into the meat of the post) I want to say this about renovations: if you aren’t happy with the status quo, don’t stress about the updating results. Better yet -- you are not going to make it worse (hello, you're a DIY Diva). Now I realize that you are putting time and money into projects so you don’t want them to bomb, but trust me when I say if you make design choices that you are happy with AND you do the process correctly (don’t cut corners), you will more often than not be happy with the outcome. I know it’s stressful making changes and there are so many beautiful options that it can get overwhelming, but trust yourself and your DIY-ing ability. It’s a learning process so get your hands in there and you’ll be surprised what you can do.

24 June 2013

Stiletto Safe Haven

I had a very Sex and the City moment this weekend. My wonderful husband built me my very own shoe closet (okay it’s not nearly as massive as Carrie’s, but I LOVE it!) And maybe the best part is that it was HIS idea. What?! Who is this stepford husband?

When we bought the house its not like we had big plans to put in a shoe closet…it just kind of happened. There were two small bedrooms on the first floor. One of the first things we did was take the wall down between them to make one really awesome master suite. (Note: the master bedroom project will be a post one day, but I want to do all the finishes before I post about it. Neurotic much?)

Well we didn't need two entrances to our new (and very improved) bedroom. So the door we chose to close off had a miniature hallway (it was more of a nook than a hallway, but didn't really know how else to explain it. You know what would have helped explain this? Pictures. You know who didn't take pictures? Me.) Where the door was we dry walled; moved the door and frame into the bedroom, closed off the nook, and made that into the new closet door.

19 June 2013

Burnt Biscuit to Stainless Chic: Journey of Appliances

There are two things that make me feel like a grown up: number one; going to college bars (umm, when did dresses get THAT short??) and second; having to make large purchases for our home.  I had a moment of "omigod" the other day – I was drooling over a fridge. Yeah – not shoes, makeup, or clothing… a fridge.  It’s no secret that we became proud owners of medieval appliances, and that I desperately want to update them.  However; between bills, projects, yard work, cars, life, etc. that has not made it on the short list.

The original color of our appliances was “biscuit.” While the kitchen was still in a cavesque state they weren’t offensive, just noticeably dated – because the dark wood spindles didn’t make it obvious enough.  Once the cabinets were painted, that was a different story.  “Biscuit” became “yellow curdled milk” and looked awful.

Old AppliancesOld Appliances

17 June 2013

What Not to Wear: Kitchen Edition

I’d like to think that I’m a fan of “it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but sometimes correcting ugly trumps functionality.  Christie can vouch for it – my kitchen, with its 1970’s appliances (it was built in 84’) and super dark cabinets, was a cave.  It was functional, but an eyesore. Saying that I hated it is the largest understatement of all time.  It needed to be updated, and a lot of TLC.  I think anyone would agree – when you spend a great deal of time in a particular room, you want it to be comfortable.

Cavewoman Kitchen

12 June 2013

House Arrest: Ball & Chain = Roller & Brush

I am a firm believer in the notion that the personal details, small or otherwise, are what make a house your home. The paint colors I've spent hours debating over in my head (and with my spouse.) The furniture, passed down from generations or bought by us newlyweds (I still like to think of us being filed in that category.) The pictures filled with faces of the people we love, memories we hold dear. Shelves filled with knick-knacks that we adore. These details carefully fretted over, decided upon, cherished are the things that in total make real the reality of  “home.”

I have lived without these now for a little over a month and a half. From vagabonds to a construction zone, my home has been and is still boxed up and stored in our new garage. I hadn't realized how much I missed “home” until this weekend. I looked around at the chaos of our quickly changing house and I wanted to just instantly transform it into the completed stage filled with our things, our memories.

05 June 2013

If Walls Could Talk...They'd Say OUCH!

These past two weekends have been a whirlwind of house renovation. Walls are gone, the house is torn up, our mattress is still on the ground AND I love it! I owe a big (like really BIG) thanks to my parents and grandparents for giving up their beautiful weekends to come help Kevin and I work on the house. Their help has been essential to the progress that we’ve been able to make so far.

But today’s post is going to be about something I was maybe most excited to demo: the spindle walls. Dividing our kitchen and family room the half walls with spindles were the first eye sore you would see coming into either our front or back door. The problem is not only are they super dated looking, but our living/kitchen space is not huge so having our sight lines blocked by the spindles made everything feel more claustrophobic and dark.  Who wants to feel incarcerated in their own home? Not this chick!

31 May 2013

Paradise for Rent: Mojito Recipe

Why is it that 4 day work weeks are always the LONGEST work weeks?  In that it’s a Friday and the sun is shining (at least here) we felt the need to share with you a mojito recipe that will last you all weekend long – or depending on your week, maybe just tonight!

The first part of the recipe is the key to making a perfect mojito – it takes just a teeny bit more time, but it’s totally worth it – we promise.


30 May 2013

Shut the Front Door: Paint Colors & Tips

I've always loved front doors that pop.  A fresh coat of paint can really make something come alive, and give your house some serious personality.  I found this article on Houzz that breaks down what your front door says about you.  Just like body language makes a subconscious statement about your feelings/mood – your front door does the same for your house.

We have a colonial style house, and I love the details.  The moulding above the windows, dormers,  and the multidimensional aspects of the chimney – the house has character.  However, our front door was uninspiring.  It was a matte black. Black is without a doubt a strong color; but, it doesn’t really exude warmth.  Really – it’s like we hung a no soliciting sign and booby trapped our stoop.

28 May 2013

Paint, Patchwork & Planning {First Project Weekend}

The house work has begun! After living like extreme minimalists for the past two weeks (seriously you can only change up 9 outfits so many ways), we finally got our hands dirty…which has meant unpacking and a plethora of other projects. Talk about good motivation.

In preparation for the home improvement kickoff, I had to pick out paint colors. That means this past week I have been painting various patches around the house trying to figure out what exactly I want (do you know how many shades of gray there are?! – PS it’s a LOT more than 50.) Our house is looking like a patchwork quilt…which in my opinion is a small step up from the poorly painted blah walls and banged up dark trim.

BUT after much experimentation, I have found the winners.

21 May 2013

LazyBoy Makeover: How to Reupholster a Recliner

The recliner used in this project has been in my family for ages -- it's been dubbed the "sick chair."  It's been through a knee surgery, an ankle surgery, countless colds, bouts of the flu, and even cancer.  Magic comforting ability? Behold the power of a well broken in recliner!

When Nick and I moved into our house, my gram let us retire the chair and give it a healthy home.  My gram & mom recovered it once already -- and did an awesome job, it just didn't really mesh with the colors/decor in my living room.  I'd been telling them for ages that I was going to re-cover it -- telling, or threatening?

This was my first reupholstery project.  The ottoman was due mainly to the efforts of my mother, so to go solo on this was a little intimidating.  Nonetheless -- I did it!  It took me about 3 months to find fabric that I really liked.  Strangely enough, I found it online.  I highly recommend checking out Premier Fabrics. They have great patterns and are more than reasonably priced.  Not going to lie, it was a little scary to order fabric online -- but their pictures are true to form.

So without further ado, here's how to reupholster your own!

17 May 2013

Bathroom Demo(lition)

This project is exactly the reason why I've slacked on chatting with you all lately.  It's consumed our lives!  Nick and I decided (awhile ago) that our first major project was going to be rehabbing the downstairs bathroom.  Small and dated, not really the best combination.  Well due to one reason or another, we've been putting it off -- we've had all the materials for months. Motivation on aisle 3?

My brother is living with us this summer while he completes an internship -- his bedroom is downstairs. Just the fire that we needed to kick this project into high gear.  So this week has consisted of gutting the downstairs bathroom -- it makes me excited and ridiculously anxious all at the same time. Nonetheless -- check out our progress thus far!

14 May 2013

True Story: Starting Rehab [Project Addict]

It’s finally going to happen. We are going to close! Friday is the day! Even though I will be out of town at a golf tournament, I am so happy that we are finally going to own the house. What a long journey this has been.

The current owner has been letting Kevin and I live in the house for the past 2 weeks, which was really nice so we wouldn’t be homeless, BUT there are lots (and lots) of projects that Kevin and I want to start working on and can’t since it isn’t ours yet. Sidenote: we may or may not have put some paint on the wall to get an idea of colors. Shhh don’t tell anyone! The nice thing is that since we have been living in it we have really been able to evaluate which projects are necessities, which projects we may have overlooked, and really understand what is and is not working for us in the house.

So this post is going to be a little different than the usual ones. I am going to give you a preview of projects to come; what we are going to have on our plate in the next few days/weeks/months. If you have any questions about projects that are coming up, go ahead and send them our way! OR just wait and see the progress as it happens J

10 May 2013

Brain Freeze: Foodie Post

I really do love to cook; especially when I have ample time – which nowadays seems to not happen very often. Between work, workouts, housework and just wanting to be outside in the fresh air, there’s just not enough hours in the day!  I’m not a huge fan of boxed meals; it’s just not the same.  I don’t care how much Marie Calendar tries to mimic my grandmother; my gram will always win the battle of frying pans and aprons.

I stumbled across this gem the other day: frozen meals on the cheap, and thought I would share!  This chick has some seriously great ideas in her arsenal -- I highly recommend reading!  On the off chance that I have some free time this weekend, I’m going to try and knock some of these meals out and stock up my freezer.  What beats having dinner figured out before you even head to work? Not much. Trust me, after a long day working, the last thing I want to do is cook a meal – much less, a healthy meal.

As easy as it is to order pizza – it’s even easier to open my freezer and pull one of these out. I can already hear my bikini thanking me!

Hopefully this link can give you some good go to ideas, and I’ll let you know how this adventure turns out!

Xoxo, Kate

08 May 2013

Pack Rat [The Anti- Hoarder Moving Edition]

Today was the day. Kevin and I are officially homeless (well, temporarily at least.) We still don’t know exactly when we are going to be closing on the house we are buying due to some septic issues, but we are hoping sooner rather than later.

For now we are going to be vagabonds; mooching off my parents and any naïve willing friends we can bribe into having us! We are so thankful for all of the support we have had so far. It has definitely been one of those moments where you step back and think “I really do have some amazing people in my life.” I love when you remember to appreciate what you have been blessed with.

BUT it has also been exhausting. Packing is not fun, not even a little bit. And it’s sneaky…you think you are so ahead and you don’t have that much more stuff, but you are sorely mistaken. So I thought I would share some packing tips with you to help ease the pain of cramming your life into a million organized cardboard boxes.

06 May 2013

Ole', Pizza! [Recipe]

I have a soft spot for pizza and Mexican food.  It's a borderline problem.  Both have cheesy goodness -- and who can really turn down tableside, fresh guacamole? Hint: not this girl.

So when I found a recipe that combined the two, the clouds parted and I rejoiced!  Okay, maybe a little dramatic.  It was probably more of a fistpump and a "heck, yes!!"

The good news: it's quick and easy. The better news: it tastes fantastic. The best news: it's a crowd pleaser.  Check out the recipe below -- keep this one in your arsenal!

Sidenote: I would have had pictures but it was eaten before I could even try/remember!

03 May 2013

Giveaway {WINNERS!!!}


The winners of the coaster giveaway are.......

Erica Caldwell, Katie Boyle, Courtney Ward Morrow, Sarah Laine Peterson & Collen Cully!!!!

Please message or email us your addresses so we can ship these babies to you!

As always, have a fantastic weekend!!

Xoxo, Christie & Kate

01 May 2013

I Have a Deadline...I NEED a Donut

Ever notice how when your schedule is slammed, and you have 5 million people pulling you in 10 million different directions all you want to do is eat...preferably something coated in sugar.  Possibly deep fried.

stress eating

I'm going to shed some light on this bikini busting issue.  Women, well people as a whole, are more stressed now than they were 50 years ago.  The economy is in the tank, job security is questionable, a housing crisis, rising health care costs...whew! I can feel my blood pressure rising.

29 April 2013

Weekend Warrior: Karate Kid Dropout Edition

I’m a self-professed OCD-control freak-detail oriented-overachiever.  I tend to be very linear and I like to see things through from start to finish.  Procrastination makes me anxious. My closest friends can attest to this, and in fact – are probably snarkling and rolling their eyes. Whatev.

I set out this weekend to be a WARRIOR.  To finish my “two do” list – to scribble things out so hard that you’d see it 4 sheets later…I owned that task.  Quick background: in my book it is a “two” vs. “to” do list because where there is one list – there’s usually two.

All that I really succeeded in this weekend was STARTING tasks.  I’m not kidding.  My laundry, while folded, is sitting on TOP of my dresser rather than in it.  My normal psycho-retentive self was a scattered-hot-mess. Ever have weekends like those? I don’t think I could have rubbed two thoughts together if I tried.

26 April 2013

Wedding Tip #3: Stifling Stubborn

I am a control freak. <Insert rant here> I want it my way, my way is the best way, and if it’s not my way, well, it’s wrong. Okay, that might be a little extreme. I’ll admit (just this once) I am not always right – but I am quite particular.  When it came to my wedding my issue with control was exaggerated to an insufferable degree. Watch out vendors, bride with a vision coming through! I’m the type of person that when I have a mental picture of something, it needs to at least reach those expectations or I am not a happy person.  Love me or hate me, that’s just the way I’m programmed.

Delegation is not a word that I’m comfortable with –I want to have my hands in every detail. Micromanage much? Absolutely and I am not afraid to admit it. But here’s the thing, when doing something that you haven’t done before (and I most certainly had not planned a wedding before), it’s probably worthwhile to consider the advice of professionals. Hardheaded [completes the Type A trifecta]; but they've done this once or twice before.  So this next little nugget of goodness that I’m about to share with you was a big pill for me to swallow. If I could go back and chat with my wedding-planning self, I would definitely smack myself give myself this advice:

24 April 2013

Mirror, Mirror {On the Mantle}

We moved into our house about 5 months ago.  Some areas of our house look lived in – others look like we are still unpacking…probably because we are.  I’m the type of person that wants everything to come together immediately.  Prime example: our living room.  I want it to look like mine and not the person’s we bought the house from.  So I've been slowly choosing pieces/colors/what-have-you to create a cohesive look that reflects my tastes.

We have a great fireplace.  It really is the focal point of the room – floor to ceiling brick.  Originally I had two pictures in black frames just resting on the mantle.  That looked fine for a while (of course I don’t have photos of it – what’s a camera?) but we have dark trim…everywhere. Everything being dark was starting to get to me.  I needed something to jazz it up and help it look less claustrophobic.  What’s better than a mirror?

23 April 2013

So Close {Giveaway Reminder}

We are THISclose to reaching 50 "Likes" on our Facebook page!! Good job everyone!

At the moment, we are two likes away from being able to send off 5 sets of coasters to 5 happy people!

If you haven't already found us on Facebook, we'd love for you to visit!

Wishing you all a fabulous Tuesday <3

Xoxo, Christie & Kate

22 April 2013

Under the Sea [From Oven to Table]

When it comes to being brilliant in the kitchen, I am far from the first person you would ever think of. I am about as comfortable in the kitchen as a wool sweater on a hot summer day. Thank God my husband accepts me for both my gifts and my shortcomings because he is unbelievably patient when it comes to the dinner menu – the other night we had chicken breast and a cup of yogurt.  My guess is that he was just thankful we didn't have another smoothie night… poor guy.

I am always on the hunt for easy, but delicious recipes. When I stumbled upon this gem (thank you Pinterest!), I didn't realize the gold I had found. It is simple and comes out perfectly tasty every time – seriously, every time. In fact, it has become a weekly staple in our otherwise sad menu. So I thought I would share it with all of you and maybe it will become a go-to for you as well!

19 April 2013

Wedding Tip #2: Harness Flower Power

Let’s face it – pretty much everything about weddings is expensive.  The good thing though, is that with creativity and patience – DIY can save you a lot of money.  It’s probably a good thing that I didn't discover pinterest until AFTER my wedding; everything might have been different otherwise!

One way that I cut cost without sacrificing presentation was through the use of silk flowers.  Yep, fake.  I have to hand it to florists, it’s an art form.  Working with wired stems was no easy task – but to do that with live flowers? My outcome would not have been so pretty.  The benefit of using silk flowers is that you can choose whatever flowers you want, everything is always in season!  My mom and I made my bouquet with the help of a neighbor and then got brave enough to make the bridesmaids bouquets, and all the boutonnières & corsages on our own.  In all – we only spent $350 on flowers (including the vases and peacock feathers!)

17 April 2013

Paint {Makeup for Furniture}

While in moving limbo, my DIY projects have been pushed to the side. I am itching to get back to finding, fixing, and enjoying projects that I have scribbled on my lengthy to-do list. But during my hiatus of sorts, I thought I would give you a how-to on painting furniture…so you can continue to enjoy making over tired pieces, bringing them new life!

Bear with me – this is going to be a very basic guide to re-painting your furniture.  I don’t recommend jumping headlong into the painting pool without a clue, especially if you want a professional looking finish.  That being said I am going to focus on just wood furniture for now.   Laminates and other surfaces will be explored later!

paint swatch

15 April 2013

GIVEAWAY [Summer Swag]

Happy Monday Everyone!  Okay, true story – happy and Monday aren't two words that are frequently paired together.  However, we at TBW have something that should (hopefully) brighten your day!

How do we plan to make that happen? A GIVEAWAY!!!! Because everyone loves freebies!

We’ll be giving away 5 sets of these super fun coasters (designs do vary) once the TBW facebook page hits 50 “Likes.”

DIY Coasters

Help give us the opportunity to make you smile – visit our facebook page, and “Like” us for a chance to win a set of coasters – just in time for summer!

Xoxo, Christie & Kate

12 April 2013

My Life the Circus [5 Friday Faves]

It’s Friday already? What?! Well this week has flown by and what a good week it has been. I thought I would share the top 5 most awesome things that happened this week [in no particular order]:

1. It’s Masters week. For those of you who don’t know what the Masters is, it is my all-time favorite golf tournament. Augusta National (where it is played) is on my bucket list of places to visit. Check it out this weekend, even if you don’t like golf it is spectacular scenery! My butt will be planted in front of the TV like the obsessed fan I am.

2. I caught Molly in attack mode. She may be an indoor diva kitty, but she is a sneaky indoor diva kitty.

10 April 2013

Chalk it up to [Awesome]

I have a phobia of bare walls and empty shelves.  That being said – I hate clutter.  Most decorations in my house are what I like to call “functional” pieces.  They serve to do more than just look pretty.  At the moment I love that chalkboards are becoming more readily accepted as prized décor pieces (I had chalkboards before chalkboards were cool – country song, maybe?).  If you get tired of the saying or whatever that you have on the board, refresh it.  With some of those snazzy wall stickers, you can’t do that.

If you’re into character pieces (like I am) then these chalkboards can get a little pricey.  I wanted one for my wedding, and after perusing Etsy I was determined to not spend $150+ on a chalkboard.  That was not in my budget (if you need budget help on your wedding, click here!).  What’s a girl to do?!  Bring out your inner girl scout and make your own!

08 April 2013

Wedding Season {Survival} Tip #1

I love weddings. I love going to weddings. I love being in weddings. But mostly I loved planning my own wedding. I think I may have gone through a short depression post-honeymoon because I missed the planning so much (I wish I was kidding! Depressed might be a little strong, but I did miss it.) It is such a fun, exciting, overwhelming time that hopefully you will never experience again.

I found joy in creating a vision, figuring out the details, and then remembering why I was putting so much effort into one day – because at the end of all the obsessing planning I was marrying the man God intended for me to spend my life with. It is such a beautiful thing it still gives me butterflies just thinking about it! [Hopeless romantic…guilty.]

However, I realize not every bride is going to be head-over-heels with the process of wedding planning… there is a lot to be done, a lot to think about and a lot of people to please. There were many days when the thought of elopement filled my mind and I was ready to grab Kevin and run off to some exotic location. But those were just short-lived bursts of frustration. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with elopement, it’s just not for me! No matter what style of wedding you decide to have, I implore you to enjoy it. Step outside the details, the “To-do List” and really remember to focus on the overall picture. Because if love isn't worth celebrating and rejoicing in, I don’t know what is.

Because I have been in the wedding trenches and survived, I thought I could share a few tips that helped preserve my sanity through a very insane time. Let’s be real – imparting all of my wedding genius (maybe a little over the top) on you at one time might be a little overwhelming.  So look for a wedding tip to be periodically mingled in with the normal DIY posts. These posts will touch on one “topic” so as to not overwhelm you and make you even more panicked than you might already be. If you have any specific questions/concerns, let me know! I will either answer you right away OR write my next tip on that topic. Hopefully these tips will be helpful or at least give you a different perspective, but if nothing else I’ll settle for a laugh at my expense over the many things that did not go according to plan for me and my wedding! You know, relieve some stress and all. So without further ado (because I can sense your ever increasing suspense!), here is my first tip.

05 April 2013

How to Make the {Perfect} Margarita

To kick off the weekend in style, here's a "DIY" recipe for the perfect margarita.  To those of you that are scared of your concoctions in the kitchen -- have no fear! To those of you who have a disdain for following directions -- feel free to improvise!

Perfect Margarita

03 April 2013

These Boots Were Made for...Slouching?

My shoe obsession is well vetted. With a finite amount of closet space, sometimes that obsession can get a little taxing (no pun intended!) on my husband…especially when my shoes start to encroach on the 2’ x 2’ area that I've allotted him – I think that’s being generous!

That being said, I am always looking for ways to maximize closet space.  We have a shelf that runs around the top of our closet, and that’s where I house all of my bulkier shoes; ankle boots, riding boots, Uggs [of the knock-off variety], rain boots, etc.  My problem is that my taller boots don’t always like to cooperate with my master plan.  They get lazy and slouch all over the place.  This makes my closet look messy & cluttered.  Two things I’m not really a fan of.

Riding Boots

Didn’t their mother ever tell them not to slouch?

02 April 2013

Sasquatch Hunting [Gift Edition]

My husband is a wonderful, thoughtful gift giver. While I realize that gifts are material and do not make a relationship, a thoughtful gift can go a long way in saying “I really do appreciate you.” So I always try to put the same measure of thought into the gifts that I give him. With Easter right around the corner I was trying to figure out the perfect token of appreciation that he couldn't live without.

Trust me, this is more challenging than you could ever possibly know – mainly, because my husband is: 1. into hobbies that I know very little absolutely nothing about (so he has to spell out every detail for me to buy him something in that genre.) 2. An excellent guesser.  Seriously, I could buy him the most obscure gift, wrap it, and he could pick it up and know exactly what it is -- Size, color, price, everything. I am married to the present whisperer.

So it’s now a game for me. I wasn't kidding when I told you I am the most competitive person on this planet (maybe I should seek help?!) “What can I give Kevin that he will not only not know what it is, but also love, oh yeah -- and not spend a fortune on?” The elusive Sasquatch might be easier to find.

01 April 2013

An {Exciting} Anouncement

Sorry -- we don't have any good spoofs on tap for April Fool's Day, maybe next year!

However, we do have good news!  We now have three new ways that all you [wonderful] people can interact with and follow our adventures -- check us out on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.  To reach us on any of those mediums, just click on the social media icons on the right side of our page.

We love hearing from you all -- really, it makes our day week.  So "Like" us or "Follow" us so you can stay up-to-date with all of our crazy shenanigans!

We hope that you all had a great Easter weekend filled with lots of family, love, chocolate, and Grace!

Xoxo, Christie & Kate

29 March 2013

Oh Deer {We Have a Problem}

I really enjoy the house decorating process. There’s just something about taking a blank room and making it your own; finding all the little pieces that create the bigger picture. It’s like a game – the bonus being that you get to enjoy the end result every day! And some of those “games” prove to be more challenging than others. The challenge can come from an odd room layout, lack of inspiration or having a husband with his own vision (I didn't think they actually cared what the house looked like as long as we wives were happy...Lies!)

But now that we are looking for a bigger house, my husband has started listing some demands of his own towards the design plan. I’m not sure I like where this is headed. Well, I have to say, I am partly to blame. I knew we would cross this bridge one day and right now is that day. Background: my husband is an avid sportsman. He has a strong love for anything related to hunting & fishing.  Unfortunately, along with that love comes “trophies.”

The trophy that he is currently petitioning to be added to the décor would be a deer head mount… I don’t mean antlers that I can lay out on a coffee table or even an antler mount that I can tuck on some hidden, not-frequently-seen wall -- I mean a deer head. Here’s your mental picture:  a rabid deer ran straight into a wall.  Displayed on my living room wall would be the head [the eyes follow you] and somewhere on my deck, the rest of bambi would be hanging out.

28 March 2013

How to Avoid Ugly [on the Inside]

The spring heralds several necessary evils – spring cleaning, landscaping, allergies and PANTRY MAKEOVERS! Be prepared, I’m adding a little bit of a twist.  With bikini season creeping around the corner it’s time to banish the 190,298,678,971,938 layers of clothing and feel comfortable in your own teeny weeny yellow polkadot bikini skin.

The first step in improving your health is to make a conscious decision to improve your nutrition.  Notice I'm not saying, "cut out carbs or eat only grapefruit,” but rather to build a better food foundation.

Here's the problem: you may already be undermining your efforts.  Bummer, right? The dangers are lurking in your freezer, pantry or cabinets. Uber processed foods.  Let's be real here....any food that can exist for 4 years without refrigeration can’t be doing wonderful things for your body. Think of your body as a car (a super sexy sports car!). Your car only operates at its most efficient level if you use unleaded gas (and change the oil)...so you wouldn't put something else in the tank right? I hope not at $3.50+/gallon! So why would you put processed foods in your body as fuel if all it does is make you sluggish, overweight and at risk for serious health problems? Yep, it's an issue.

27 March 2013

Owl in Good Time

Pinterest and Pottery Barn have made me into a home décor monster addict lover.  Beautiful chic rooms filled with beautiful chic things… I catch myself drooling over couches and chandeliers and cute knick-knacks on beautiful shelving units.  But have you ever gone to purchase those knick-knacks? In case you haven’t let me show you an example: Behold one galvanized iron marble track (because every home needs a marble track).

Marble Track

Awesome right? Perfect for that empty spot on the mantel or bookcase! Well, baby, get your credit card ready because you are about to shell over $119 for that adorable little decorating nugget. Makes you a little nauseous doesn't it?

At this point, you might be getting a little irritated. Why mock me the way you do Pinterest? Why show me stylish rooms that I can’t afford without working 4 jobs?! Unfortunately, threatening to boycott the ever-teasing site is futile at best (let’s be honest it is way too addicting to ever really follow through on that breakup threat.)

26 March 2013

Caution: Wet Paint

In furnishing a new [to us] house, I've learned the necessity importance of working with what you already have.  Furniture is expensive.  So hand-me-downs and second hand (awesome) pieces are always welcomed guests in my home. I've become friends with the paint counter guys at Lowe’s and so far it’s a relationship that’s helped my house look like a home.

While I haven’t branched out to paint the walls yet – our windows still have to be replaced and ALL the trim needs to be painted as well – I have worked on jazzing up some accent pieces.  Luckily my workshop kitchen has a large enough space to allow me to plop down and paint these pieces where it is warm (and I can see the TV – Housewives, helloooo).

I found a pair of nightstands (actually I’m not sure what they are supposed to be, but I deemed them to be nightstands) at a small consignment shop a few towns over.  Luckily, the shop owner was willing to negotiate the price; A. because I’m cheap and B. because they needed some serious TLC.  There was something about them that I loved.  Sometimes things just speak to you – I’m sure there are some DIY divas who know exactly what I’m talking about.


25 March 2013

Packing [Attempt]

As the house hunting continues, we are going to have to be out of our current abode, and soon. Initiate crisis lock-down mode. Okay, I mean we do have a month, BUT we have a significant amount of stuff…important stuff that who knows one day down the road I might possibly need, so obviously I can’t get rid of anything. Can we say “denial”? Let the packing begin!

With the commencement of getting all of our much-needed things into boxes (Lord, help us), I have to be honest with myself. I have many, many flaws -- and I am not one to pretend I don’t-- but one of my biggest faults is procrastination (honestly, why do it now when you can do it later?! Riddle me that.)  The first step in knowing you have a problem is admitting you have a problem, and I have a problem. But not this time. I am staring the deadline in the face and refusing to resort to wine and pulling out my hair at the 9th hour to get all of our stuff packed. I am going to be the most organized-relaxed-put-together-future-homeless-person you've ever met!

23 March 2013

Ottoman [From Pantry Shelves]

I’m all about reusing materials/objects for different purposes. Giving something a second life is always rewarding.  So when my brothers reinvented my pantry (I’ll post pictures of that later) I had a fleeting moment of genius.

Rewind to two weeks earlier – I saw an ottoman at Target that I loved.  It was tufted, and the perfect size.  However, I had some qualms about spending $100 on furniture from Target, especially when the fabric was ivory.  Ivory fabric + my husband = no go.  I don’t even think stock in Scotchguard could have sold me on that idea.
Target Ottoman

Now back to the“ta-dah” moment.  I asked my brothers to make a box from the leftover shelves from the pantry.  They were able to cut down 4 of the shelves to make all 4 sides and the bottom (crazy talented).   The top they dug up from my grandpa’s wood-shop. Something I definitely would not have been able to build by myself.  Not even on a good day.

22 March 2013

I'm Addicted {To Shoes}

I have a bit of a (self – admitted) hoarding problem when it comes to shoes.  I don’t discriminate; I love all kinds, heights & colors.  Actually, that’s a lie.  I don’t care for this latest shoe trend:

Wedge Sneakers
How the heck are you supposed to run from the fashion police in those things?!?

My closet clearly illustrates the depth of my obsession (minus sneaker wedges).  It’s probably best that I wasn't blessed with a sister…had she stolen borrowed a pair of my shoes, it wouldn't have been pretty! “Buy a pair – get rid of a pair” does not apply to shoes, sorry.

Admission:  I fell in love with a pair of Butter wedges, peep-toed glittery perfection. 

Glitter Wedges, Butter

21 March 2013

Venting [House Hunting Edition]

Everyone has those things in life that make you snowball from smiling to crying. You know the hallmarks of attraction-loathing, happiness-frustration, disappointment-reward…and usually all in the same breath. Love-hate relationships... and for me they would be golf, my adorable white ball of fur and fuzziness, Molly, and house hunting.

My husband and I moved into our house October 2011 after we got married. I had so much fun planning and searching and discovering just the perfect nest for our little family of two to grow.

Cottage Bedroom

After we got into our house (isn't it adorable!?! Yes, I do realize it is just a pic of our bedroom, but I don’t have one of the outside and I am too lazy to go take one. At least I’m honest?) I began the process of decorating, finding just the right touch for each room. I knew that we wouldn't be there forever. Shoot, I knew we wouldn't be there for more than 3 years, but I didn't realize we would outgrow our home so quickly.

20 March 2013

{Re}Purpose - From Console to Counter

I think your kitchen is one of this most important rooms in your home.  Yes, aesthetics are important, but above all is functionality.

My husband and I bought our first house two weeks after we got married. Craziness.  It's an awesome two-story colonial, I love it.  The only problem? Hello, 1980's.  It makes me want to break out in song, Ferris Bueller style, often.

Our kitchen lacked counter-space.  This was a huge problem because we both love to entertain.  You can't have everyone hanging out in the kitchen fighting over the cheese, crackers, and chips that occupy the same 6 inches of prime real estate.  We needed a kitchen island to break up the space in our kitchen and provide some much needed sanity counter-space.

After a couple weeks of searching and not finding anything in our price range that we liked -- everything was basically $1000.00+ for a 2'x6' island with the features we wanted.  This called for an imagination intervention.  Why not find a base that I loved and then move forward from there?

I scoured thrift stores and Craig's list for weeks.  Literally.  I finally found THE piece.  It was hanging out in a storage unit a couple of miles down the road -- just waiting for me!  It had everything; character, glass doors, storage, and size...

Entertainment Console