unique garage doors | Home Depot guest post

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hope everyone had an amazing and relaxing Christmas!  I managed to eat my weight in food and sweets over the past few days.  But it was soooo good!
With our house getting closer to completion, they have recently installed the garage doors.  You guys, I've never been so excited to see garage doors!  We're going to have hardware attached that will give it that carriage style look I've always wanted.  Right now they are still plain as plain can be, but at least they're up! 
Now that we're on the topic of garage doors, I have Home Depot sales associate, Angelo DiGangi, here to give you some tips on how to spruce up your garage doors!


Unique Garage Doors: Tips for Standing Out in Your Neighborhood

You see your garage door every time you pull up to your house, so why not have something original and inspiring to come home to? No matter how nice the exterior of your house may be, a bland or downright ugly garage door can drastically detract from your home's curb appeal.


Fortunately, there are plenty of unique options that will have you looking forward to pulling into your drive.


There are several different types of wood you can choose from including cedar, redwood, fir and meranti to give your garage door the high-end custom look that your neighbors will envy. You can also get prefinished doors that come in a variety of stains. A particularly unique approach is to get barn-looking doors that open out instead of up. If you have a more traditional house, garage doors with curved or clipped frames can add a level of distinction and classiness. Double arches work especially well for two-door garages.

Steel is a great choice if you want a nice-looking and insulated but low-maintenance garage door. You have the option to choose what color you want and to add windows if desired. You can also get a carriage house steel door that looks like swinging stable doors but still moves up and down like your standard garage door. Steel doors are less expensive than wood doors and are quite durable.

If you have a contemporary-style home, aluminum garage doors can be a great compliment to the sleek look you're going for. They are relatively inexpensive and don't require a lot of maintenance. They are also lightweight which makes them easy to open and close.

Fiberglass garage doors are much more flexible than other options so they aren't as susceptible to warping and cracking as other materials. They are also durable and have great insulation. However, they can begin to deteriorate when exposed to cold temperatures and strong winds can also be a problem since they're so lightweight.

Painting tips

Typically the conventional wisdom is to have your garage door blend in by matching its color to that of the front door of the house. But going with a different color is a great way to make your garage door stand out. Both metal and wooden garage doors can look fresh with just a few coats of paint. Here are the steps you need to take when painting your garage door:

1) Clean and tape the door 
Make sure you thoroughly clean the door with a soap and sponge before you begin. Rinse it off with a garden hose and, once it has dried, use painter's tape to cover any handles, windows and trim that you don't want to be painted.

2) Strip the door 
You'll want to get rid of any existing paint before laying down a fresh coat. You can use a wire brush to do this or a palm or circular sander (don't forget to wear a dust mask and safety goggles while sanding). Use a paint scraper to get rid of any rust.

3) Prime the door 
Primer is a specific type of paint that goes on before the finish coat that prevents the old color from bleeding through. Oil-based primers work best with exterior wood and metal.

4) Paint the door 
Buy a latex exterior paint. A wool roller works best since foam ones can cause more inconsistencies and bubbles. Use an angled brush for the cracks and edges. Once the paint dries, add another coat.

Garage door screen prints

If you want to personalize your garage door beyond choosing the material and color, there are several different companies that make screen prints that cover your entire garage door. You can get anything ranging from your favorite sports team's logo to a print that makes it look like there's a giant alligator in your garage. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination (and most likely your neighborhood's home owners association guidelines).

Do you have any other suggestions for personalizing your garage door?

Angelo DiGangi is a Home Depot on-the-floor sales associate in the Chicago suburbs and a frequent contributor on garage door topics for Home Depot's website. Angelo also provides tips to homeowners on garage door openers for Home Depot.

christmas card | 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas!

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder.  And His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6)

easy paper garland | tutorial

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Not wanting to pull out all of my Christmas decorations this year, I decided to make some paper garland for the tree.  My first attempt was at making a small paper chain.  Thirty minutes into it I had like two feet and had already ran out of staples.  Scrapped it. 

Then I busted out my paper punch and came up with this instead.  Love how it reminds me of little snowballs. 

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It was incredibly simple and didn't cost me a thing!  Free is my favorite flavor.
If you want to whip up some for yourself, here is a little tutorial for you.
  • Plain white computer paper (I used 7 sheets for my 6' Christmas tree)
  • Paper punch (mine was a 1.5" circle)
  • sewing machine and thread
STEP ONE:  Punch out your paper shapes.  To make it go quicker, I punched through all 7 sheets of paper at the same time.
STEP TWO:  Run your paper punches through the sewing machine.  I set my stitch length to the longest setting to make it go even quicker.

You could even fold your circles in half and make little scallops which are super cute.
FREE - Everything used in this project was on hand.
Since it was so easy to put together, I'm not going to worry about storing it for next year and having to untangle the whole mess of thread.  If I want to do it again next year I'll just make another one!  And if not, I'm not out any money or large amount of time.
I think next year I'll try using some glitter paper.  Wouldn't that be pretty?! 

12 days of christmas advent calendar | DIY

Friday, December 13, 2013

Every year I plan on doing an advent calendar, and every year I forget to do it in time.
Except this year!!!  And, I totally almost blew it anyways.
I'd like to introduce you to my 12 Days of Christmas Advent Calendar!  12 days because... I was too late to do the full 25, and it's a lot easier to come up with 12 things to do than 25.  Teehee!

And, if you're an advent calendar procrastinator like me, you still have time!  This was super easy to pull together last minute.
The ever brilliant Emily at Jones Design Company has free Christmas countdown tags you can download and print out.  Boom.  Done!  She has some great ideas for decorating them as well.  I took her tips and just grabbed items from around the house to decorate a few of them with.  Boxwood and Magnolia clippings, hair accessories (yes, seriously).  Just anything pretty.
On the back I have written some things to do each day to help us get in the mood and celebrate.

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We never did advent calendars when I was a kid, but Izzy is so stinking excited to count down the days until Christmas.
Was this something you guys did when you were little?  Am I like the only person who didn't do them?? 

cutting edge stencils winner!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thank you guys for your sweet comments on my mirror, and for entering yourself into the Cutting Edge Stencils giveaway!
We have a winner!!!
... or check your email :)

new house progress

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I've not posted much on the progress of our new house because up until now there hasn't been much progress.  We were originally suppose to close Nov. 15th.  Didn't happen.  December 12th.  Ha!  They still haven't finished bricking the exterior.  Then they said end of the year, and now we're looking at January 29th.  You guys, if they don't finish the house for closing in January, I am going to come unglued.  UNGLUUUUUED.
I've always heard people say that building is a nightmare.  We thought it was going to be smooth sailing since we had all of our decisions finalized back in June/July.  There were zero holdups on our end.  Well apparently, they can't get it together on their end.  So freaking, stinking frustrating.  Izzy has even offered up to, "go over and growl at them", ha!
With things finally coming along on the inside, I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Hopefully, in a month and a half we will no longer be digging through moving boxes to find the random items we thought we didn't need to unpack.  Hopefully, in a month and a half we will be on our way to organized bliss.  Hopefully.
Here's the house from a few days ago.  They actually now have the trim in and painted, but I haven't taken more pictures.
Taken from living room toward kitchen.  The kids' playroom will be above.

From the eat-in.
From the kitchen out to the living room.  The dining room is to the left.

Eat-in to the right and living to the left.  And yes, Sam is still wearing his PJ's.  Tell me I'm not the only one who keeps their baby in PJ's when they drop the older ones off at school?  He goes right down for his nap as soon as we get home so I just don't see the need!

The back patio just off the eat-in, behind the living room.  I am the most excited about this area!
From the living room toward the entry.  They were installing all of the interior doors that day.
From the dining room towards the stairs.  Oh how badly I wanted hardwood stairs!  They were practically asking for my first born, so it didn't happen.  Maybe it will be one of those things we do down the road.

Dining towards the kitchen.
From further into the entry towards the living room.
I'll snap some more pics once they get a little further along.  Right now I'm eager to see them get the rest of the exterior done.  I saw some folks out this morning so fingers crossed they'll get some more brick/stone up today!

kidecals review + promo code!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It has been a few weeks since I got my paws on my Kidecals.  I first mentioned them here.  They offer personalized name labels and decals that are dishwasher, washer, and dryer proof. 
Well... I ran them through our everyday and can honestly say I love them!
I went with the Golden Name Label because I liked the simplicity.
The first item to get labeled was Izzy's lunch bags.  So, not only are the labels super cute, but they actually have stayed put!  In the past I used a p-touch label maker to adhere her name to the outside, but would end up replacing it every 1-2 weeks when it would peel up.  So far, these guys haven't budged!
Next up were her cups.  I was really eager to see how they held up to the dishwasher.  If you look closely at the cup on the left you can see how the label maker label is still completely stuck to the cup, but the ink ends up fading out after a few trips through the dishwasher.  The Kidecal label still looks brand spankin' new after being washed and is still completely stuck to the cup.  No peeling or fading.
Another item that always needs a label are kids' jackets.  Those things are always one of the firsts to go missing.
So far so good!  I really like how the labels are flexible.  You're not going to have to worry about a stiff label up against your skin or it not laying smoothly.  And it doesn't crack when the fabric is folded or crushed.  Kidecals does say that their labels are machine washable as well, but I have yet to test that out.   
All in all I'm thrilled with these labels!  Looks like Sam is next up for labels! 
Want to try some out for yourself or do you know of someone who would like to see these in their stocking?  Kidecals is going to hook you guys up with a discount!
Use promo code awesomelabels and get 15% off your Kidecals order!  And extra bonus, all orders ship free!
Be sure to visit Kidecals on Facebook to find even more ideas on how to use their labels.
Disclaimer:  I did receive free product for this review; however, all opinions are 100% my own.  If I love something, I want you to know about it.  If I don't, I want you to know about that as well!

rustic christmas mantle

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I feel so behind the Christmas decorating game this year.  Initially, we were suppose to have been in our new house by now, so I didn't pay any attention to having the decorations in an easy to locate spot in our rental.  You guys, our storage room is a DUMP.  Like I'd show you a picture of it so we could all laugh together, but really you'd be more concerned and upset than anything else.  I dug around in there like a crazy person looking for our stockings.  Good news is I found them!
So if I can dive back in there and die while trying to locate the ornaments for the tree, we will at least have a Christmas mantle and stockings!

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I picked up the little potted trees at my local grocery store (snagged the last two) and wrapped the base with some burlap and ribbon.  You may have seen the photo on Instagram, the one on the right is oh so delicately balanced to hide its major tilt.  No wonder it was one of the leftovers.
My bread bowl that I picked up from Round Top is perfect for filling with ornaments. 

You guys can see our Elf, Mr. Jangles, hanging out on the curtain rod here.  Which reminds me, I totally need to relocate him before Izzy gets up.  I don't know about you guys, but I don't do scenes with our elf.  I'm lucky to remember to move him from one spot to another.  Ain't no time for fancy elf stuff over here!
QUICK TIP: Here's a quick little spiffy that I totally should have been doing to my stockings all along.  You know how they can look all sad and depressed before you put the goodies inside?  Until you're ready to fill them with treats, stuff em with plastic grocery bags, paper towels, newspaper, whatever you have on hand!  Then go out to your yard (or your neighbors, but be sneaky) and snip some greenery to place inside a few of them.  Livens those puppies right up!
Sad stockings...
Happy stockings!
Ok, I'm off to go move that elf.
And if you haven't already, don't forget to enter yourself in the giveaway to win a stencil from Cutting Edge!!!

DIY inlay mirror + cutting edge stencils giveaway

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I have been so eager to show you guys my new DIY mirror.

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The folks at Cutting Edge Stencils offered up one of their stencils for me to try out, and I knew exactly which one I wanted and what I wanted to do with it.

I've been eyeing those beautiful bone inlay mirrors.  They are gorgeous but mighty expensive.  I used their Indian Inlay Furniture Stencil Kit to make my DIY version.  I had a piece of mirror left over from another project and just built a simple wood frame for it.

The stencil was a breeze to use as it came in several separate pieces.  This allows you to get really creative in how you want your final design to look.  And, if you plan your stencil placement you can get the places where the corners meet up to look a little more purposeful.  I also recommend using their stencil brush as opposed to a roller for this type of stencil.  It may take a little longer using a brush, but all of the little details come out much crisper. 

I have a second scrap piece of mirror and I'm planning on making this mirror a twin sister.  Maybe I'll use the pair in our master bedroom over the nightstands.  I even sat this one over the pedestal sink in the powder room to see how it looked.  It was sa-mokin hot in there, but there wasn't enough room to get a photo.

So, want to win a stencil of your own?!

Cutting Edge Stencils is offering one lucky reader their choice of any stencil up to $50!!!
If you're new to stenciling, be sure to check out Cutting Edge Stencils new How-To video with helpful tips to get you started.
Here are some other stencils I'm thinking are pretty darn awesome.

| Peacock Feather |

I could see this next one used on some fabric.

| Otomi |

Giveaway open to US residents only.  One random winner will be announced Wednesday, December 10th!


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