Friday, March 10, 2017


Okay, so in Michigan this wouldn't have excited me *as* much.  BUT, here in South Carolina, Varathane Gel Stain does not exist... except for one small mom and pop hardware store 3 1/2 hours away from me, and even then, the colors weren't guaranteed to be there.  I searched high and low for *any* gel stain at various home improvement stores.  Lowe's and Home Depot had 4 colors available: Hickory, Mahogany, Cherrywood, and Honey Maple.  None of those colors were close to what I wanted, nor could I mix any of them to create a color that I liked.

I'm SO thankful for online ordering and ship to home possibilities, because this showed up at my door today:

Thank you, Menards for shipping to SC, even though your closest store is over 300 miles away!  I was able to purchase the exact colors that I LOVE and cannot wait to get to phase 2 of our kitchen redo!  Phase 1 is coming along nicely... here is a preview:

I'm excited to finish our kitchen make-over, and add our touches to this house to make it our home :)

Monday, March 6, 2017


I love coffee!  My love grew when I worked in a hospital cafeteria.  I had easy access to free coffee for employees, Starbucks & Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters brewed coffee in the cafeteria for relatively cheap, delicious and amazing specialty coffees made to order at 2 coffee kiosks that supported the hospital foundation, and as a last resort (usually on weekends when the kiosks were closed) I had an actual Starbucks across the street.  It was very easy for me to get my coffee fix!  It also took a chunk out of my paycheck haha.  I did learn to make my own specialty coffees at home for a whole lot cheaper, though I do like my Biggby coffee when I make it back to Michigan!  But that's for another day.  

This post was inspired a long time ago by my sister and by Hobby Lobby.  She had purchased this very cute sign for her kitchen/coffee bar.  I love LOVE the phrase and wanted something similar for myself.

I have 2 issues with buying the premade sign though. 1) I am rebellious, in a good way (I think).  I DO NOT like to go along with everyone else and I want to be different.  I don't like having things that other people have.  Since my sister already had the sign, and it is still available for sale at Hobby Lobby, I didn't want it.  Everyone else is going to have the same one.  2) Our house is made of cinderblocks.  It is VERY hard to hang anything on the walls.

My solution: Use the phrase and paint it on the wall.  I printed a template displaying the fonts that I liked.  I'm not really good a free-handing letters.  I taped the template to the wall.

I used a fine point Sharpie marker to trace the lettering.  This bled through the paper and created a light outline on the wall.  Way easier to me than trying to create a stencil, or using a transfer behind and having to press super hard.  Our walls are a layer of plaster over the block, and you can see where the tape pulled the paint right off the wall when I removed it.

Originally this was how I was going to keep it... however I didn't have the right color to touch up the spots where the tape removed it.  So, I filled in and smoothed out those areas so they were flush with the rest of the wall and painted over it with an off-white/beige color that I had left over from previous projects.

I love how it turned out and actually am thankful that the paint chipped.  The light background makes it stand out so much more and shows the dark blue better.  Before it looked like it was black.

One downside: If I ever want to change it, or when we move, I don't get to keep this.  It stays where it is or will be painted over.  BUT, I always have the option to do it again. :)

Friday, March 3, 2017

New Routine

Ok ya'all, it's about to get real!  When I first created this blog, years ago, I had the intentions of using it to display creative and frugal ways to do home improvements and storage solutions to make our house, our home - hence the title 'Making My House a Home' :)

Over the past few months, I have worked hard on being the perfect wife and homemaker - which I am far from!  My husband will tell you otherwise, on most days, because he's the most gracious man I know and I am so grateful to have him by my side for the rest of our lives!  I am also so grateful that I can stay home while I finish my classes, so that I can focus on school, and the house.  However, over the past few months, I have been very unhappy and stressed out about life.  I criticized myself all the time and would get so upset, and beat myself up over things that didn't get done properly, or at all.  It was in one of my moments of despair that I realized my focus was on all the wrong things of life.  I would wake up in the morning and check my emails and facebook, before I even got out of bed!  I would spend close to an hour looking at my phone.  I would also spend that time comparing myself to others.  Others who seemed to have a perfect life and have everything together - because that's what we do on social media - we display the best of the best of our lives. I'm guilty of it too!  We want to show off our lives to others and be proud of what we've done or who we are.  It's fun to be able to share in momentous occasions and share in joy over finished projects and awesome life happenings.  This is good.  What's not good, is when *I* compare my life to those other lives, instead of just being grateful that I can be apart of their lives from the sidelines.  And it's not good when I can't separate myself and remember that we are all called to live for a different purpose and we all go through different stages of life at different times.  

In that moment of despair, I realized I needed to shift my focus.  Our house *could not* become a home, without God being first in my life.  A house is not simply a home because of what it is made of physically.  But a home is also made up of attitudes and behaviors.  I want my home to be based on Jesus Christ and His love and grace.  I needed to spend more time with God, in His word and in prayer!  I needed to remember that I could talk to Him about anything and that He desires a two way relationship.  I made a choice to check out of social media for a while.  And while I still check it on occasion, my first priority when I wake up is no longer to look at my phone, but to sit down and spend time with Jesus.  I started this around a month ago, and the difference is so amazing to me!  It's not that God left my side, but that I didn't intentionally spend time with Him.  I was relying on myself for strength in every way and I was drained!  Since spending time with God, I (for the most part) have more energy and I have more of a sense of purpose as a Godly wife.  Slowly, new routines are taking over.  My time is being spent better, less time watching TV or movies and more time reading, cleaning, being outside, and homework!

I also realized that physical energy needs to be nourished.  I was chronically dehydrated... I hate drinking water or juice or pop or ... I am just not a drinking person, unless it's chocolate or coffee flavored.  So, I have also taken on a personal challenge to drink a gallon of water a day.  I will tell you that I fail miserably at this!  BUT, I do on average drink around 70 oz, which is 70 oz more than I used to and I still start my day with one cup of coffee :)

Now that I've gotten into the routine of waking up with Jesus and drinking more water, I've added in a 10 minute intentional workout everyday.  Today was actually my first day of it (which is why I am using a sleeping bag and towel instead of a yoga mat :D).  I enjoyed the first workout very much and I'm praying that I will continue with it.  I am also thankful for my accountability buddies to cheer me on and for me to cheer them on!

I write this not with the intention of 'Hey, look at me'... but as encouragement to others who may be struggling with similar issues.  We are all made for a different purpose!  Remember that!  And also, life is so much happier when love, grace, compassion, mercy and forgiveness are involved -- not only towards others, but remember to love yourself and who you are, be gracious to yourself, have compassion for yourself, have mercy on yourself and forgive yourself!

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.