Thursday, November 6, 2014

Farewell! (for now)

Soooo....yea.  That post title probably tipped you off that I am saying "good-bye" to my blog, at least for a while.  I never knew how much work went into running a successful blog, let alone an amateur one like DIY Lori.  It always seemed like I never had enough time to create project posts which included taking multiple pictures of countless steps, then writing a full explanation (that I would understand if I was a reader) and sprinkle in some cheerful wit.  Then there was (what I thought to be) the daunting task of getting into the bloglovin roll, linky parties, commenting on other popular blogs and begging to be a contributor on said blogs just to get more traffic.   I really, really wanted this blog to become something special and to help all the diy-ers out there like me who wanted/needed ideas and tutorials that were easy to follow.    Unfortunately, it started to become exhausting just thinking about what I HAD to do and sucking the joy out of the stuff I LOVED to do.   I'm sure y'all can dig it.  I just wasn't proud or happy because it was becoming something that felt forced.  I can't be the popular kid.  I'm not her.  I've never been her.  I just have to be myself in order to live this life happily.  My love for DIY and decorating will always be in my life because it's my passion and a true gut feeling.  But my kids and my husband need more of my focus and I have my eyes set on that prize.  Maybe sometime in the future I'll come back to blogging and maybe, just maybe, I'll see you again.  I am still active on Instagram and Pinterest and will pin/gram recipes, food, and even projects---just condensed in a check-this-out kind of way. ;)

To be honest, I am not even sure anyone but family members read my blog, but I'm glad I had this experience.  It taught me a lot about myself.  Where I need to focus, what parts of my life need attention, and just how RAD I am! :)  I feel so inspired and so creative and that makes my heart soar!

Keep living the dream, but remember to not settle for something someone else has.  Love your life.  Love yourself.  Be true to YOU.

PEACE!
~Lori

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's Fall! It's Halloween! Yippee!

Fall is in full swing!  Except in Texas.  In Texas early October is hot as hell...warm.  BUT the calendar and a few stray, cool wind snaps tell us it's Fall...so be it!

My moods and hormones have also been in "full swing" lately so I'll keep this post short and as bitterly sweet as possible. ha. Trust me when I say, you're welcome.

I ADORE all things Fall!  Football (go COWBOYS!), changing leaves, autumn recipes (cinnamon, pumpkin, squash) those sparse, yet fresh north winds that eventually make their way to Texas and of course Halloween!  Some people (my husband to name one) think Halloween is dumb and for kids.  But for reals...if it has something, ANYthing to do with costumes, over the top makeup and wigs....I'm IN. ( I was probably drag queen-Esq in another life.)  I love the idea of creating a character you wouldn't normally be on any other day of the year.  It's your chance to bust out of your shell and let loose, so why not?  Plus there's candy...lots and LOTS of candy.  'Nuff said.

This year I got "witchy" with my decor without even realizing it.  Once I got started and looked around, I just kept going in that cauldron bubbling direction.  I made witch hats, witch's brew bottles and jars, etc.  Bonus that I so happen to like the idea of black and white and sparkle.

Here is my fireplace mantle that I classed up by keeping pictures, candles and owls in the mix.  I put my Cricut to use and made an "I put a spell on you" sign along with the gold cat picture on the end.


 (The cat graphic-cut from self adhesive vinyl-was placed on the glass of an old frame I got at Goodwill.  The cool effect of the lamp on the side table shining upward was a totally AWESOME surprise! )


I started hating these witch brew ingredient bottles and almost didn't use them until I found the perfect spot (on top of the fridge and away from little hands).  
The right accessories made it a cool "exhibit" of evil. ;) (cackle cackle cackle)


I purchased that centered "autumn greetings" wooden wreath several years ago.  It was once green, orange and white so I sprayed it this cool nickel color to go with the rest of the decor in my house.  Then added this star garland I got on sale at Joann.  (Might even reuse it for Christmas.)


Bringing it back to the kitchen.  I put up brown paper polk-a-dot wrapping paper and accessorized with my white dishes and black and white bowls to go with the rest of the decorations, including the jar of "Eye of Newt"-thanks Cricut.  
(The chevron  pumpkin artwork is a canvas, craft paper, modpodge, and wooden pumpkin. Super simple!)
Love this display the mosty most.  


Hopefully you guys got some good ideas from my fall favorites.  I sure had fun getting ready for one of my absolute favorite times of year!
Remember to think outside the cauldron and bring your witch out.  If the broom fits...you know the rest.  ;)


OH!  Here is a bonus picture of our kitchen table "turn table" as the girls call it.  They contributed by making the monsters-on-a-stick in the straw jar. :)  (Flameless candles for the skull heads...'cuz it wouldn't be unheard of for me to forget to blow out the real thing.)


Happy Harvest!  Happy Fall!  Happy Halloween, y'all!

PS...Be sure to follow me on Instagram/diylori for all my pics of projects, food, and much more!  I'll entertain you...promise. :)

~Lori

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reflections: How having daughters completely changed my life.



So, lets kick this off with a little bit of back story on my life, shall we?  About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome).  Basically that means that I have a crazy hormonal dysfunction that causes all kinds of annoying stuff  including making it difficult to conceive a child.  Going through what I did to prepare my body to get pregnant was rough.  BUT eventually all the stars aligned and I was lucky enough to get pregnant.  Once the word got out I was often asked if I wanted a girl or a boy.  My stock answer was "I don't care.  Healthy is the kind of baby I want."  I wasn't trying to be aloof or even rude about it, I honestly felt that way.  As things progressed I started thinking about that question and about all the things I assumed came along with being a mom.  Having a boy didn't scare me as much as the idea of having a girl did.  My reasoning behind that was because at the time, women in general freaked me out.  Making friends was never my forte, unless it was a guy.  In essence I always considered myself  "one of the guys."  Not one of those people who was ever all that girly, even though I've always been into hair and makeup--never said I wasn't complicated...ha.   Making friends with girls/women was tricky because I was shy and most likely scared of all that estrogen.   Maybe it's because I had such a crazy hormonal imbalance and "balanced" girls were a group I envied and never felt like I belonged to.  So to say the least, I was terrified of being a mom to a girl.  How in the world would I mother her?  I couldn't even understand MYSELF let alone any other woman on the planet!  Those thoughts would give me nightmares and cold sweats for months.   The day finally came to find out our baby's sex and even though I wasn't really hoping or wishing for any gender in particular, I was definitely nervous to finally know.  While we watched the ultrasound screen the technician typed "g....i....r...l."  I was so happy and wanted to puke all in the same twisted moment.  Ok, it was final.  <breathe> A girl.  <breathe> I CAN do this. ( And well, if  you want the truth, I didn't really believe that. ) After months of fretting, she was born and the very minute she was placed into my arms the switch was flipped---perhaps by the tiny, slimy arm that smacked me in the face!  I was a mom.  A mom of a girl.  I CAN do this.  I WILL do this.  I will be the BEST I can be.  All for this little person who just gave me a new life.  In that moment things started to evolve for me.  I was never a huge fan of pink, but as soon as I put it on her, I was hooked.  Never cared about sparkles or glitter but OMG...she was ADORABLE and dazzling.  My eyes lit up at ruffles and bows and everything and anything girly and I...was....loving it!  I was awakened into this realm I had avoided for so long and I could no longer understand why I had---it was such a beautiful place to be.

All that frilly stuff aside, I started thinking about how my actions would effect my little girl.  As a woman who struggled daily with weight, I was scared to death of inflicting my body issues onto my little one.  All of a sudden being a woman meant something completely different.  I felt my power and my strength like I never had before.  I just made a human and I'm to take care of her EVERY day for the rest of her life.  I needed to commit myself to being a strong role model for her to follow and look up to.  I could no longer let the words "I'm fat" or "I need to go on a diet"  pass my lips.  She needed a positive image to grow with.  She needed to know that I love myself and that I want to and am taking care of myself.  I started on a normal exercise routine that involved her and cared more about what I put into my body.   As she grew, I started to see how bodies start out and what they are predestined for which is sadly something a lot of us are constantly trying to change throughout most of our lives.  We want what we're not and if we can't get past that we won't ever be happy.  Being in a healthy state of mind means accepting what we were born to be.  Treating our bodies with care is the number one priority.  Not starving ourselves to look like "him", or "her", or that photo shopped image on that magazine at the checkout.  I most certainly have bad days and some times bad months, but what is important is that she sees me pick myself up, dust myself off, and give myself a break.  I continue to strive to be the best version of myself as I continue raising my little wonder, and her sister....the little wonder part 2.  Having these little girls in my life has taught me more about compassion, sensitivity, loyalty, princesses, :) and love than I have ever known.  What I teach to my girls on a daily basis is not just a lesson for them but for me as well.  An internal  and eternal love for ourselves.
The rays of light that are my daughters have reflected onto so much of my life.  The way I decorate our home, the way I take care of myself, and the way I take care of our family---I want it all to feel like one ginormous hug!
To you, my little gifts, thank you for opening my eyes to something more than beautiful.  Something I could never imagine in my wildest dreams.  If you hadn't been girls, I may have never known the wonders that lie under the surface of my very own feminine soul.  You were the key to unlocking the treasures I always wished I had.



Embrace what's made or makes a difference in your life.  The very things that make you want to be a better person and I'll go hug my girls. :)

By the way, I in no way want to discredit the beautiful boys in the world.  I'm sure they add a light not unlike their opposites. :)  This is simply my story.

~Lori

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY Tiny Laundry Room Makeover!

I have a little problem.  That is, a little, teeny, tiny laundry room problem.  Not sure why it didn't bother me when my husband was having this house built 10 years ago.  It could have something to do with the fact that we had only been dating a couple of months when he decided he wanted to get out of the apartment living and into a house of his own.  I knew I would live there some day, but since things were so new how could I say anything?  Another reason why I kept my mouth shut was that I had absolutely no clue what the laundry room should really be like and what was important.  After all I was a single lady who had lived the apartment lifestyle for quite some time.  I was not the stay-at-home-mom of two and wife of one that I am today where the laundry room is basically my second office.  If only future self could've told past self, "Yo...knock out some side yard and give yourself some space to breathe and fold."  Oh well, live...grow....learn.  I can't fault anyone but maybe the builder, I mean it's the size of a closet!  (sigh) Anyway, I've been trying to figure out the best way to organize and maximize the tiny space for years now.   You all know (if you read my blog frequently) that I change things around a LOT mostly because I have to live with it for a while and that's how I find out if it fits or not.  I've done a few things to the laundry room like hang curtains, put up other shelves, amongst other things.  Most things just get filthy from all the dusty lint or just look too cluttered.  In a tiny room things can get cluttered and overwhelming really fast.  (FYI on this DIY: This project was done with items I already had in my possession, part of my DIY on a budget series this summer. YAY!) 

Here's what I started with.  Don't you feel a tad bit sorry for me? :(

One good thing the laundry room has going for it is that it is tall.  Is that the right way to put it?  With the ceiling being so high it gives a lot of room/options for storage and dramatics.  So in my attempt to give the room some depth and show off it's height I decided to stencil one of the walls.  Of course I chose pink to glam it up and well, because I had a pint of that color in my stash.  SCORE!


Next, I needed to figure out the storage situation.  UGH.  Seriously.  I don't think we have THAT much stuff, but again in a small room, organization is KEY to not pulling your hair out every time you need a rag or dryer sheet.  I went out into the garage for something else and it hit me like a ray of light....my filing cabinet!  I had a small shelving unit in there that had been in my little's room and it was ugly not to mention my dogs are magicians and were able to pull towels off of it to make a nest while we were out.....nice...that thing had to go.  SO...a filing cabinet???  Yea...sounds bizzarro, I know.  But it was the perfect size!  Just tall enough.  Just slim enough to fit in the only available corner without getting slammed by the dryer door.  


It holds old towels for doggy baths, rags, dryer sheets, essential oils, and much more!



I moved my ironing board next to the window and yes, I have a chevron ironing board cover. :)  of COURSE I do! I got it on Etsy about a year ago.  I used that as inspiration for the makeover.  It matched the pink paint perfectly!  


There needed to be a place for my Christmas wreathes that I didn't have space for in my hall closet.  They've always been in my laundry room, hanging on the wall.  I wanted/needed them to be combined to become something fancy.  I shopped my paint supply and found my new favorite color Rustoleum Aqua (Lowe's).  I sprayed an accordion hat rack I got at Goodwill a year ago, and it finally had it's purpose!  A wreathe holder!  Awesome-sauce, huh?


One other dilemma I had was that I had no place for my small trash can.  Really?  No room for a small trash can??  Yea...you feel my pain now, don't you?  What to do when you don't have room for a trash can on the floor?  You mount it of course!  It is made of mesh wire so I covered it with fabric (like an amateur) and hung it on a hook.   I already had an accordion drying rack installed.  It's a DREAM for small laundry rooms.  There were mistake holes in the wall that I haven't had a chance to repair so I put up my birds on a wire wall stickers to cover them. :)   


Last but not least storage for the top shelf.  I cleared a lot of things off of that shelf because they were in the wrong place or we just didn't need it.  There were a few bottles of cleanser that I don't use that often and wanted to group/contain so that it looked neater.  BUT, I had nothing to put them in.  In my quest to only shop my house and DIY whatever I find, I couldn't very well go out and just buy a basket.  Then I found an Amazon box!  I cut the flaps off and then wrapped it in brown paper wrapping paper with aqua polka dots!  I had some left over from my daughter's birthday.   YES!   Instant cute storage box!



And just for fun how about a "Tips" box?  My husband giggled and that made me happy.  Truth is he has so much loose change on a daily basis, I have jars and boxes all over my house.  This one has always been in the laundry room but it was a dark brown wooden box with a Chinese word on it (from my Asian-style theme back in 2003).   



Here are some pics of the finished room!  I'm really stoked with how it all came together with flowers and other pops of that aqua.  In the future, I might make some roll down panels for the top shelf just to add some more texture and hidden storage, but until now, blank is good. :)  The first time my husband saw it he said, "wow, feels like a spa!  You should just move your office in here!"  Ha.  It's definitely not revolting walking in there every day.  Clean, fresh, pretty...the way nature intended a laundry room to be.  :)  
Do you love or loath your laundry room?  How would you fix up yours?  Please leave me a comment. :)
It's just amazing how you can transform rooms and then moods. :)  


I have a bonus project for you!  Following is the story....FYI on the DIY...of how the filing cabinet got it's look!
ENJOY!  And thanks for coming by!

A little bit of back story on my cabinet:  I got it at Goodwill many moons ago because it was super cheap and in decent condition...just a few dents.  

I picked it up thinking I could do something cute with it for my office AND because I had recently O-D'd on pins about filing cabinet makeovers.  Ooooops. :)  So I brought it home and there it sat for days and days, weeks and weeks because I wanted to do something original and fab and I just hadn't come up with any ideas yet.  FINALLY I got an idea to paint it light pink with a single, thick, gold zig-zag down the sides and back and paint the hardware gold.  Beauty, right?  Well....not quite.  The color pink was blush and delicate and it just didn't cover my BLACK filing cabinet.  FAIL.  Fail because I didn't prime it first and that's all on me.  Well, then I decided to just use that as my primer and spray it gold.  The gold paint I bought, well, sucked.  No other word best describes my horrible experience with that nasty drippy stuff.  I tossed it so I can't even tell you what brand it was, but that's what I get for straying from my old fave Rustoleum.  Word to the wise, just stick with what you know, especially if it's awesome and you have no need to stray!  ugh.  I just threw down my paint mask and went back to the drawing board.  A few days later I got the idea to tape off my zig- zag and paint the rest white, except the drawer fronts, they stayed gold.  So that's the way it looks today.  It wasn't the best result I ever had, but it looks so much better than it did.  Before I put it in my laundry room I used the same stencil I used on the wall, to give it a little something extra and so it would tie into the decor of the room.   


You've seen that stencil before if you follow me on Facebook when I revealed my husband's dresser makeover. 


Again thanks for stopping by!  
Have a great day!
~Lori

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

More Quick and Easy Table Makeovers!

I've been on quite a hiatus as of late.  Summer time keeps me busy and this year was especially nuts-o thanks to my daughter's 6th birthday FROZEN party.  I had a million  thousand ideas for her party and I wanted it to be epic.  Everything turned out nice except for the weather.  SO HOT and flies everywhere.  So much for the Frozen backyard oasis.  That's what I get for living in Central  Texas.  Such is life...and my girl had fun so that's all that matters.  


While working out the details of this party I needed to sprinkle in some other creativity so that I wouldn't go crazy.  My husband I bought this coffee table about 10 years ago while shopping for furniture to fill our house.  It was dark espresso and had been moved in and out of the family room, the living room, the garage so many times.  When I started my DIY journey (before the blog) this was one of the first pieces of furniture I decided to get creative with.  I discovered the chevron pattern and fell in love and my house is still filled with little bits of that whimsical pattern strewned everywhere.   Well, I tried to create said pattern on the top of the coffee table and it came out more zig-zag than chevron.  Oh well.  It was cute, and I give myself props for the hard work. 
Sometime later I bought a new rug that was a show piece all on it's own so I had to move my creation to the garage.  It waited there for a year (or more) with me going back and forth on whether or not to sell it.  I'm glad I didn't because I got a wild hair and was in the mood for something new, so I shopped my garage and found my little beauty under dust and array of garage-type things.  I used paint from my stair banister project so I didn't have to buy anything to recreate the top in a much more flattering design.  I really love how it came out and that there is still a faint reminder of what once was.  

*FYI about my DIY:  I sanded and painted it white, both times, and then used painter's tape to create my designs and it was obviously freehand. :)

The next thing I found in my disorganized chaos was a table I bought for under $7 at Goodwill.  I'm not even sure why I bought it only that it was interesting and looked like it would be decently easy to give a fun makeover to.  I am not a fan of country style furniture, BUT the table legs are so dreamy and I couldn't resist.  All it needed was contrasting paint (matching the coffee table) and some really cute mirrors I got at Garden Ridge Pottery ($2 a piece in floral/candle section).  It is the perfect size for a sofa side table so I made room and am so pleased with how it came out!   

*FYI on my DIY:  I sanded it all including the legs.  There were some left over imperfections on the legs and table top that I couldn't fix and I'm ok with it.  After all, nothing should be too perfect.  I used Gorilla Glue to attach the mirrors.   Love it.

I'm making it my mission for the rest of the summer to create things out of stuff I already have in my possession.  With my daughter's party expenses and our vacation coming up AND school supplies, I promised myself I would keep things in check and show you guys how to DIY on a budget!  My hubs will be happy. :)

Won't you join me on this budget friendly adventure? 
Let's get creative!
~Lori



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two for One Post---Costume Box and Headband Tower!

Happy Wednesday, y'all!
I have been working out two (aforementioned) ideas in my DIY brain for a while now, trying to figure out the right design for both.  Here is a two for one post on how those ideas came to life!  Enjoy!

Head Band Tower
Those of us with little girls, or short hair, or BOTH...you know that head bands are easy and quick when you have no time for that fancy "do."  I found myself collecting more, and more, and more head bands because my girls love them.....and well, so do I! :) The only problem is that they become a jumbled, tangled mess in the bathroom drawer.  UGH.  So annoying.  I thought what could I make to fix this problem and have it look pretty at the same time??  I know you are DYING to know what I came up with so I'll tell you....PVC pipe!    I took my family over to Lowe's and with both girls wearing headbands and I tried them on a couple of different sized PVC pipe pieces. (FYI:  I frequent both Lowe's AND Home Depot and I will praise them till I can't anymore ---they don't pay me --wish they did--but I have my own opinions about both and love them both pretty equally.  That is my blogger two cents.)  I found one size pipe that fit perfectly without stretching out the head band and proceeded to look for someone to cut if for me.  I wasn't sure if they would (It was about 24-28" long).  When we found someone he said they could NOT cut it for us and I was a little bummed but I was sure we had a hack saw somewhere in our massive collection of tools (that I can NEVER find--and will likely be an organization project and blog post in the near future--sorry babe).  The guy at Lowe's saw my dismay and came over and said, "I'll cut it for you...come this way."  YES!!  I took one "little" to the potty and came back to find that he had in fact cut it, as I saw the two pieces in my hubby's hands.  He said, "so he didn't cut it perfectly, but the guy was definitely struggling and working hard."  I couldn't be mad at that and I knew I could sand it down if I needed to.  I instantly took hold of them and started studying and spinning my wheels.  So now I had two and could make one tower for my girls and one for...ME! :)

I sanded the edges to make it smooth and painted one a fresh coat of white and the other a pretty aqua.  Because they kinda resemble a vase, I used it as such.  Dual purpose???  I am all over that!  All. Day.  I had to make a run to Hobby Lobby for some unrelated items and found that their clearance aisle is FULL of spring items 80% off!!  WHAAAT??  (They already had Fall and half of Christmas up....wow.) So you know spring sale means flowers on sale....and I found some really cute felt flowers that went perfectly with my girls' bathroom decor.  Originally $6.99...now $1.60!  Yes, please!

So here you go ...a collage of this mini, easy project for a beautiful quick fix !



Costume Box/Chest
I have been working on my master closet makeover for a couple of months now.  It's taking FOREVER because it's so small and I want it to show as much organization, maximization of small space, and style that I can incorporate, then I will make the "big" reveal right here!  Hang in there...it's literally in the home stretch!  One of the things I have wanted is a really cool box I can store my Halloween costumes in.  I'm REALLY kinda into Halloween and this box is ONLY for my stuff.  The girls' have a few boxes of dress up and Halloween costumes, and they still can't wrap their heads around the fact that this box is Mommy's.  It's so funny to them.   :)  First step was asking my dad to make a chest/trunk like he did for my youngest daughter's room.  She needed a toy box and he came to the rescue so I didn't have to pay a million dollars for what I wanted.  (Toy boxes/chests are ridiculously expensive!)  So my dad made this one!   Cute, huh?



I asked my dad to make it not because I'm afraid but because I don't own an awesome table saw like he does, however, it is on my list to Santa this year!  My dad was more than happy to make a slightly smaller version of this toy box so that it would fit my closet needs.  It was really important that I have storage that could double as a seat, so this design is perfect.  Here is the chest/box he created with my stylish spin!  I used stencilling and hot glued small craft mirrors to give it some dimension.  I can't wait to incorporate it into my closet design scheme and give my Halloween costumes a new home.  SO rad.


And there you have it, my two for one DIY project post!
I hope you get inspired by something today.  Whether it's chaos that needs to be organized, or something plain that needs to be jazzed up....take a leap in the creative direction!

Have a great day!
~Lori

Thursday, June 12, 2014

DIY Mud Rooms: Part Duex

This is a bit of "throw back Thursday" as I remember and re-do:  Mudrooms

Since having children I've discovered that you don't always know what you need until you've lived with it for a while (like say at least 8 months).  Things change often and kids grow and have new needs even more often.  When I created a mud room in my entry hall back in September '13, it worked great.  I really only needed it for a few pairs of teeny shoes and some storage for odds and ends like napkins and place mats.





Let me start with saying my home/style is ever changing.  I love new ideas and a fresh take on most anything.  It keeps my brain sharp and life interesting (I say that ALL the time...you'll get used to me repeating myself....constantly).     :)

While working on my girls' playroom upstairs, I thought of this cute dresser and how awesome it would be to have a place to store their puzzles, games, paints and art supplies...so up it went! (Enter my china cabinet project .   Everything that was in that dresser went into the cabinet nicely organized-for once.) I needed to keep that shoe bench because I was trying to spend as little money as possible.  I really loved this original idea and it was hard to tear it down and start over, but to make room for school and dance bags and jackets and a place for guests to set their stuff, mail, last minute hair accessories, etc.  It needed to be more of a "command center."

If you follow me on Facebook (if not....whatcha waiting for?? :)  you will remember when I posted the tip about adding faux wood contact paper to furniture.  That cube storage I posted is what I use in the mud room.  (Better Homes and Gardens @Walmart.com)


So inexpensive and easy to put together.  PERFECT for what we use them for.



So, after I made some new art work; assembled the cube storage; added a coat hook I got on Amazon; and got some new baskets from Target (amongst other things)....a new mudroom was born!









I love this.  It's fresh and bright and cheery!  I don't even miss the older version.  This definitely fits our needs better and everything is in ONE spot!  

One of my many mottoes when it comes to DIY/home decor is live with it for a little while and if you become frustrated by life's changes, adjust and keep on truckin'!

Enjoy your day!
~Lori



 
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