Wednesday, July 30, 2014

DIY: Burlap-Covered Corkboard

For awhile, I've loved the look of the nailhead-trimmed, burlap covered corkboard offered by Ballard. I have several Ballard things and love them all, so by no means am I hating on them! The burlap corkboard was just more than I wanted to pay, especially not having a specific place in mind for where I wanted to hang it.  After seeing a few Pinterest DIYs, I figured I could do this myself!

I had a plain corkboard in an upstairs closet that I wasn't using and a lot of burlap fabric just waiting for some project! This meant I needed a staple gun and some upholstery tacks. I also needed some additional cork for the board.

I did a poor job of taking photos as I went along (especially in the beginning), but I'll try to explain my process!

Let me first say, I know this is not an awesome "DIY" post by any means! It's more "read the instructions" than "follow along with pics" which, as we all know, are far more helpful. I'm sharing, though, because I didn't really follow any DIYs to the letter...

I knew covering just the board (as-is) with burlap or the cork would cause the middle to sag (because of the wood frame). So, I found something build up the center making it flush with the wood frame. Using something I already had...I used a flattened Priority Mail box that I trimmed a bit. Whoop, free!

Once I had everything flush, I used a roll of cork to make a new cork surface.
This is from Amazon, but I got mine at Lowe's. Basically the same and the price was similar, if not a bit cheaper. Once I had the new cork applied and trimmed to size, it was time to bring out the burlap.

I laid out the burlap on the floor and laid the corkboard facedown to figure out the appropriate size. After I trimmed the piece I was going to use, I ironed the daylights out of it! Because burlap is so thick, I used the hottest setting on the iron, spraying the wrinkles with water before ironing.

Once I was satisfied, I again laid out the burlap on the floor, put the corkboard facedown, and pulled the edges back. I borrowed an electric staple gun from my coworker and enlisted TJ's help in pulling the burlap tight enough to the back of the board. I used a lot of staples...
Clearly I need to trim the burlap and apply the "no-fray" stuff I have...

Moving on now that the board is covered! Ta-da! (And now I put it away for a few days. I needed a break as this was not going as fast as I expected!)
Time to work on the trim!

I used these furniture nails from Lowes. They were 25 to a pack and only $1.30 each. You'll need more than one pack, but be careful when buying them to ensure they match fairly well. There were two completely different colors at Lowes that both said "brass."
 I thought this part would be easy. Wrong!

The wood frame beneath all the cork and burlap proved to be problematic when trying to add the trim. The upholstery tacks/furniture nails were very soft and kept bending when I tried to hammer them into the wood. So, I got a rubber mallet and used pliers to hold them in place, but the problems continued. I tried drilling tiny holes to get me started. People, I BROKE A DRILLBIT and it barely even worked! TJ suggested a slightly larger drillbit, and drilling a slightly smaller hole. This proved much more successful...

Before I started drilling all the holes I measured the distance and spacing of where I wanted the tacks and placed small sharpie marks, which you can see above. I used the drill holes to get me started, then used the mallet to hammer the tacks flush with the board.

There were a couple times I drilled too deep and the tack ended up just bouncing out of the hole. That's where I recruited a little helper I like to call KRAGLE. That's a Lego movie reference for was Krazy Glue :) It worked wonderfully!

End result...

Let me know if you try it out! Now I just have to decide where to put it :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY: My long list of projects

If you were a reader of my blog before I became pregnant, you know I love me a good DIY! I say "before I became pregnant" because lately, many of my posts are weekly updates or pregnancy related in some way. I am fully aware that I haven't been that great of a blogger these last couple months, so I apologize!

I have a lot on my list for these next few months in terms of completing the nursery, doing things around the house, etc., but there are still some crafty DIY projects I'd like to accomplish before baby arrives and my time is more limited. I thought I'd share some of them...

1. Re-cover my corkboard
I have a plain-jane corkboard that I want to re-do, Ballard-burlap-style. I am confident I can acheive this look for less, I just need to get around to it! This past weekend, I purchased my supplies, and I plan to use these two tutorials to help me finish the job...

2. Chalkboard Charger
I have had all of the materials to create this for months. I really have no good excuse for why I haven't done it!

3. Burlap Bed Skirt
I need a new bed skirt for our guest bedroom. (Do you say bedskirt or dust ruffle?!) The bed is full size and has a pretty quilt on it, but no bed skirt at the present time (you may have noticed here). I finally threw it away after the "skirt" portion had ripped in multiple places from the white part that laid flat on the box spring (if that makes sense?). Anyway, I've seen DIY no-sew, "easy" bed skirt tutorials on Pinterest, so I might give one a shot. We'll see.
via Styleberry Blog

4. Painted Pantry Door
Our pantry door is side-by-side with the door into our garage, so obviously I can't do one without the other. However...I'm not entirely sure that TJ will be down for this! I might have to do this sometime while he's traveling for work and surprise him with my finished project (would that be completely terrible of me?!) 

5. Curtains and pillow
I've had this pinned for awhile, and there are actually two things in the image below that I'm loving! She PAINTED these curtains using drop cloth and a stencil. I "need" (okay, want) a set of curtains for my dining room and this sounds like an awesome idea. However, I don't know if I'm suited to get down on the floor and paint them right now! Hmm. Anyway. The pillow on the chair is also one she made. I'd love some new throw pillows for my living room and this fabric is nice...butttt I may be too lazy. Home Goods might have something to fit the bill ;)

Even though I love getting crafty, that's probably enough on the list for now. Two smaller (more realistic) projects, and two larger ones. We'll see what I'm able to accomplish over the next few months! 

I did recently complete a flag pallet for my mom, which I don't think I shared here. Like the terrible blogger that I am, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product before I gave it to her. However, she posted this picture on her facebook page.

It's a good thing I didn't inherit her photography skills.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Before-Baby Checklist

We've had plenty on our list in terms of "house" projects for quite some time, and there's nothing like a baby on the way to give us a kick in the pants to get some things done! Fortunately, we've been checking things off the list a little at a time over the last month or two...but of course, for every item checked, it seems like I add something else!

Here is my list of various things, not necessarily in the order of which they are to be completed...
(I'd love to put them in order but momma ain't got time for that)

1. Order crib & baby furniture 
Munire Furniture

2. Drywall repairs 

3. Interior house painting, including nursery 

4. HVAC work upstairs - humidifier, new duct work, install return vents 
Don't get me started on this. What idiot builder finishes a house with no return vents? Ours, evidently! This project should be finished up soon. They have a little work left to do in the attic,  but the humidifier and return vents are completed. This project was completed yesterday!

5. Remove existing furniture from guest bedroom, which will become nursery, thus moving the guest bedroom to what was previously known as the "junky room" 

We've moved the furniture, thankfully, and these furniture sliders from Lowes have been a Godsend! TJ lifts the furniture, I place the sliders beneath the feet, and then we just push-slide-n-guide the furniture to where we want it. This was the "junky room" on January 1st of this year...
from the post: Why do we make New Year's Resolutions?

...what an improvement!

(A new bedskirt & wall decor are on the list!)

6. Clean out closet in nursery-to-be
It's currently packed full of Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, and gift wrap, with a few random pieces of luggage thrown in for good measure!

7. Clean out closet in the newly relocated guest room
I've started on this task, but still have a LONG way to go!

8. Move items to attic to store (some Christmas items, etc.)

9. Clean carpet in nursery-to-be, following the completion of the HVAC/drywall/painting

10. Find and purchase bedding for nursery 
We selected the Harper bedding from Pottery Barn Kids.

11. Find and purchase a glider or rocking chair
Moms - Do you have one you recommend? It's really important to me that it comes up high enough in the back to support my entire neck and head when I lean back. However, I'd really prefer one that looks more like furniture and less "glider-like" if that makes sense...
The one on the left is from Babies R Us and the one on the right is by Dutalier.
I've sat in the chair from BRU and it does not provide enough neck support for my taste. The Dutalier chairs are super comfortable but I don't particularly love the look. I've sat in one chair that looked "my style" and it was really comfortable. It was from Pottery Barn Kids and costs an arm and leg, and I cannot really swallow the cost. I hope to find something I'm happy with SOON, comfort-wise and cost-wise.

12. Hang curtains in nursery
I have the curtains, but do not have a rod or other hardware. Buying that stuff should probably be another item on this checklist! Eek!

13. Outside - hang numbers on our porch

14. Change dining room light fixture
This is something I'd LIKE to do, but if it doesn't happen I'm not going to lose sleep over it!

15. Outside - install motion-sensing light on the side of the house

16. Clean out/organize kitchen cabinets to make room for baby products

Looking at this list makes me tired. TJ and I did a LOT of work this past weekend following the painting of our upstairs, and by Sunday night my bed had never felt so good! I was exchanging emails with my favorite pretty new-momma blogger Jess, and she told me to just get ready, because I'd be working up till the last day! Ahhh!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

How to update billing information for your Blogger/Google domain

Once upon a time, a blogger named Jill purchased her own domain through Google/Blogger. Jill became nervous when she began receiving these emails, because her credit card had recently been compromised in the nationwide Target debacle.

(Okay, no more third person)
Knowing I needed to update my billing information, I decided to follow the instructions included in the email. (Hint: It includes going to

Signing in with my usual Google login information...I get this message.

Well. I have one other Google account that I know of so I try that. Nope. Still the same weird message. I decide to actually look who the "Google Apps Team" emailed...


I tried logging in with that address. I tried every password I could ever remember using in the history of my life, to no avail.

The process for retrieving said password wanted me to "verify" something which, in order to get, needed....guess what....MY PASSWORD!!! This is where I found myself stuck on other tutorials.

I ended up emailing Google and telling them what a cluster this was the problem I was having. I received an email back within not too much time, and it included instructions for how to reset my password. I'm going to share those here with you below, to save you the time and headache and lots of curse words I experienced.
  1. Go to
  2. Login with your appropriate user name - May be, may also be My advice is to check the email sent to you by Google!
  3. If you do not remember your password, you'll need to retreive it.
    1. Visit (obviously change the bolded underlined portion. It does not need www).
    2. Solve the CAPTCHA
    3. Google will send the instructions to your backup account. Hopefully you set this up!
    4. Reset your password!
    5. Email yourself (an address you regularly use) with the log-in information and a really good password hint!
  4. This should solve your login problem. Login with the appropriate username and your new password that you will never ever forget.
  5. Click on Billing

  6. On the next screen, click the little dollar sign to update your billing information.

  7. Setup auto renew, enter valid billing info, and save save save.
You want to hear the best part of the story? I did all of that and it turned out the credit card on file was fine. It wasn't the one that had been changed due to the Target data breach.

I just went through myself this within the last week, and after Jordon posted with the same problem, I thought I'd write this post! I hope this little tutorial-of-sorts helps someone! Please feel free to pin it to your "blogging" board ;)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

Today's post is a scrumptious recipe for Beef Stroganoff! Be advised...this is not very healthy!

If you remember, I mentioned in my "March goals" post just a few days ago that I wanted to make a Beef Stroganoff recipe. Well, I ended up not making the Paula Dean recipe and instead, I made my mother-in-law's recipe! When TJ and I got married, my mom put together a cookbook for us that contained a few recipes each from my mom, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, cousins, etc. It was a wonderful gift and I still refer to it all the time (and try to add things to it rather than always looking up the recipe online).

As I'm sure you've guessed by now, one of the recipes inside this cookbook was my mother-in-law's Beef Stroganoff. TJ and I have been married for 9 years, and I had never made it! Honestly I should be ashamed. There are quite a few things in there I've never made. Perhaps that should be a new goal...

Sorry! Got a little off track there! This beef stroganoff was easy and also tasty. TJ's reaction, though, was better than anything else. He said it is one of his favorites. I didn't take any pictures along the way, but you have the final outcome above!

Here's what you'll need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 white onion
2 8-oz. cans of tomato sauce
6 oz. of sour cream
4 oz. cream cheese, room temp
8 oz. wide noodles
Shredded cheddar cheese

Chop your onion and brown with the ground beef. Add some pepper while cooking. Drain, then add the tomato sauce. Mix thoroughly and allow this to simmer.

In a separate pot, boil your wide noodles.

After the meat mixture has simmered and noodles are almost done, add the cream cheese and sour cream to the meat mixture. Mix thoroughly. Drain noodles once they are complete.

Layer meat mixture and noodles in a 9x13 glass pan. Top with shredded cheddar. Bake at 350* for approximately 25 minutes. 

Serve with vegetables.

Cook's Notes: Next time, I may sub Greek yogurt in place of the sour cream. I would also like to try this with mushrooms but I will likely let Mr. Teej decide. Either way, we'll be having this again!

Definitely let me know if you try this, and what you think!
Happy Hump Day, everyone! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Recipe: Tex-Mex Meatloaf

Today I bring you a recipe for "Tex-Mex Meatloaf," which is just a twist on traditional meatloaf. I will say this - it had been years since I made this, mostly because I'd forgotten about it. I served with black beans, but also wished I'd had some yellow rice or cornbread as another side.

Let's get started! You will need:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can of corn, drained
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup of oats (or a handful, up to you)
1.5 cups of salsa
2 eggs
1/4 tablespoon of salt
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Combine all ingredients together as if you were making regular meatloaf, reserving 1/2 cup of salsa. Put in pan or baking dish and put the remaining salsa on top (as you might w/ketchup on regular meatloaf). Top with a light amount of shredded cheese (optional). Bake for 50-60 minutes.

I wanted to share are a few notes...
This meatloaf, made "as-is" above, has a little less "kick" than TJ and I prefer. We just felt like it was missing something. Here are some ideas I have for next time:
-using "hotter" salsa
-adding a can of chopped green chiles
-adding enchilada sauce to the top
-adding a small amount of chili powder to the meat mixture

If you try it, I hope you love it!
What's in your recipe box? Do you have a recipe for Tex-Mex meatloaf that you can share?