Category Archives: Alex and Sara

Transformations on Lynnwood

Recycled Khakis and Pillow Cases

My husband was sweet enough to let me use a family gift-card to buy this:


MY FIRST SEWING MACHINE!!! The gift card was actually from my grandfather which makes this a little extra special since his mom (my great-grandmother), Mrs. Jerene Linville was an expert seamstress.

I actually have a little  experience sewing from when I was a little girl. I was an active participant in 4-H and my first and favorite projects were sewing projects. My neighbor/future teacher/future co-worker/ second mom – Kay, was my sewing instructor and together we created Holstein cow shorts, a navy blue pants suit with a stripped jacket, and a red A-line dress. I even cashed a couple checks on my threads by winning “Grand-Champion” at the county fair and placing once at the state fair. But like most things, sewing was pushed aside for my love of soccer.

Fast forward 13 years and I’ve retired from the pitch and I’m back at the sewing machine. I’ve actually completed a few projects since purchasing my new Brother, but my shoulder bag/purse, made out of Alex’s old Khakis and a pillow case, turned out the best.  I didn’t use a pattern or any specific directions, but if you are interested there are 100’s of blogs who have directions that can help you.

My incredible husband has a very bad habit of putting pens in his pockets. Not that bad of a habit, except they usually bust and ruin his pants. Thank-goodness I’ve unveiled my crafty side, ruined pants make  free material!

I started off by cutting one leg as close to the crotch as I could.

I made the widest portion of the pants the bottom of the bag. Not much sewing on this part, just a straight stitch across the bottom and an angled stitch on the corners to round her off.

Have an old pillow case around? Yes? Me too. Which made a perfect liner for my bag.

I used the bottom half of the right pant leg to cut a small square that I then sewed to the liner to make a pocket for my must haves, like my  Chap( I hate digging in my purse for it, mostly because I wrecked once while doing so – eeekkk!) . I also attached the liner to the bag.

Next, I chopped off the left leg to make a strap (I forgot to take pictures of the strap process, but I ended up sewing two doubled lengths together to get my length – I wanted the bag to be long) and then attached each strap end to the inside side of the bag.

Start to finish I probably spent about an hour on this project, but the best part is it was 100% FREE!!! (I already had the thread too!)

And Alex has a new pair of shorts to wear this summer when he’s mowing the grass. ; )



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Better Before or After?

I love, love, love when I hit up my favorite blogs and they have posted ‘Before and After’ pictures of  projects! I get all giddy! So imagine how excited I was when I found a WHOLE blog devoted to only ‘Before and After’ pictures! Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!

You should check it out because not only are some of the transformations amazing, but there is always something inspiring to see!


Filed under Alex and Sara, Inspiration, Uncategorized

Café Lynnwood- Chapter 3 The Final Reveal

Over the past week we’ve revealed parts of our kitchen renew. We started the basics – paint and cabinets– and the last Café Lynnwood post showed off our AWESOME wine rack that Mitch made us. Now it’s time for Chapter 3- The Final Reveal. Although, final is used very loosely here because I’ll come up with some other project for the kitchen soon (actually, I already have a few small things brewing).  🙂

One thing I really wanted to avoid when I started to accessorize was the “Italian kitchen” look. Don’t get me wrong this looks great in some people’s houses, but it just wouldn’t work for us. The second thing I wanted to avoid was spending a lot of money. Luckily, we got some really amazing wedding gifts that were neutral and would work great in our new kitchen. Like the my beehive canisters (my very favorite gifts!) from a local gift shop.

Cabinets After

I got our mahogany table at an estate sale. It wasn’t cheap (as Alex will tell you) by any means, but I think a space needs one expensive piece to make it pop and if you work your budget right  you can make it happen. The table fit perfectly in the eat in area. I didn’t get the matching chairs at the auction, but I follow the rule of avoiding the catalog look so it worked out fine. The chairs you see at the table I found, once again, in my grandmother’s basement. Not exactly what I wanted, but they work for now. We installed an updated fixture and hung a HUGE clock that I found for about 100 bucks at Garden Ridge. We also added blinds and a set of the perfect Better Homes & Gardens curtains (Wal-Mart. Super cheap).

Eat in area - Before

Eat in area - After

Everything else, I’ve just  picked up along the way. For instance, I was driving down main street one day and saw a wicker cabinet outside of an antique shop. It was love and first sight.  With an oval mirror (again, a wedding gift) it works as the perfect foyer area and offers extra storage.

So far Café Lynnwood has hosted two successful Thanksgiving Dinners, a slew of get togethers with friends and supper at least a few times a week (still working on the cooking bit).We’re pretty happy with how the space turned out. It’s the first room we finished and we think the updates really add a lot to our home. Here are the “Befores and Afters”:



 Eat in Area - Before

Eat in area - Before

Eat in area - After

Cabinets - Before

Cabinets - After

Awkward Space - Before

Awkward Space - After Amazing Wine Rack


Filed under Alex and Sara, Design, Home Improvement, The House, Uncategorized

Café Lynnwood – Chapter 1

For almost everyone kitchens and baths sell a house. Unless you’re us. The kitchen and baths were a mess, but we loved the good bones they all had and new cheap remodel would do each space wonders.

The first thing on the list for the kitchen remodel/renew was to get all of the flowered wallpaper down. If you have ever removed wallpaper you know what a nightmare this was since it was put up with paste and covered THE ENTIRE kitchen. Luckily, we had the help of Alex’s super amazing parents and our good friend Andrew a.k.a  Sosbizzle. So we managed to knock it out pretty quickly. But that didn’t stop me from declaring to NEVER EVER PUT WALLPAPER UP in a house.

Eat in area - after wallpaper removal

Although, most of you may make think I have a serious thing for blues and cool colors, I’ve actually had a long time love affair with red. Of course it had to make an appearance somewhere in our house and I couldn’t think of anything better than a red kitchen. Alex on the other hand wasn’t feeling my idea.  But we compromised and I let him pick out the shade of red, Burning Bush (by Olympic ), and we both ended up happy. We also added the Khaki color (also from Olympic)  that would be in our temporary living room/future dining room for two reasons: 1.) A bold rich color can takeover and be too much and 2.) the kitchen and living room are an open concept, so by brining the same colored used in the living room into the kitchen we were able to open up the two spaces even more.  We put the Khaki on the top portion of the eat- in area of the kitchen and the Burning Bush on the bottom.

We went ahead and moved in without making any other changes, but within a week of getting settled  we started on the cabinets. The budget for this project (like all of our projects) was limited and while we would have loved to put in brand new cabinets and countertops, our dolla bills just wouldn’t stretch that far.

Adding a simple coat or two of white paint (which we already had from painting the trim) gave the cabinets and immediate face lift and Diana (Alex’s madre) I painted everything in one  night. My mom and I made a trip to Lowe’s where we were able to find more modern, yet, still traditional, hardware for the cabinets. I was almost knocked out by how expensive handles for cabinetry are, but we were able to save some money by skipping the hinges and using a metal spray paint (in nickel) on each hinge to match the other  our new handles.

Cabinets Before

Cabinets After

So there you have Café Lynnwood – Chapter 1( our paint projects). There are still a few projects the helped transform “their kitchen” into “our kitchen”.

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The Power of Jute Rope

Texture, or lack thereof, can make or break a room. I used to have a really hard time finding textures that I thought would work well in rooms. That is until I discovered the power of JUTE ROPE (echoing voice)! Forever ago I was watching an episode of HGTV’s Design on a Dime and the room they were working on had zero texture. Very bland and boring. Kristan Cunningham, the designer, worked on a project where she took jute rope and covered the boring seat of a wooden chair. My mind immediately went to all the rough twine I played with growing up on the farm. Who would want to sit on that? But I had to give it to Kristan, the chair did look amazing and it looked like a super easy project. So on my next trip to the holy land, a.k.a Hobby Lobby, I found myself with a roll of  jute in my buggy. I was surprised at how soft the rope was, nothing like ole’ hay twine.

We had a plain  chair in our office that could use some life and the room was in desperate need of texture. I knew putting jute on the seat was out but, I could weave it in-between the slats on the back of the chair.

It turned out great! Every once and a while I’ll add more rope as it slides down the slats, but overall this was easy-peezy!

Then I realized our curtains would look better tied back so I crafted some jute tie backs.

Tie back. HOLLA!

And while we are at it,  that orange and yellow pencil holder was clashing bad with the rest of the room. Good shape, bad color.  You guessed it, JUTE ROPE to the rescue (superhero voice)!




And don’t  forget about our “travel art”

Oh, Jute you have so much potential, it’s only a matter of time before you appear again!


Filed under Alex and Sara, Design, DIY, Uncategorized

Side Room



I love to read and I love how a good bookshelf filled with beautiful books makes rooms look. But come on, floor to ceiling shelves? This room is far too narrow to have this much floor space gobbled up. And that carpet…YUCK!  IT HAD TO GO!

I used my hatred for some guy named Billy Gillespie and sadness over Kentucky only making the NIT to rip it all out!!


Yes, that nightmare of a basketball season was a year ago. And yes, that means that this project has gone on for more than year. But as Alex says “Rome wasn’t built in day.”

Here are some of the progress pictures:

The goal is to have everything completed by Derby Day (for all you non-Kentuckicans that means by the first Saturday in May). EEkkkkkkkk! We better start gettin’ after it PRONTO!

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Filed under Alex and Sara, The House

Backyard- Chapter 1

How amazing was the weather this weekend? I always think it’s so weird how mid 50’s can feel great during March but freezing during September.

Anyhoo, Alex and I took full advantage of the glorious weather and started work on the backyard. Last year we focused most of our efforts, and cash, on the front yard.  This year we are moving to the backyard and sprucing things up a bit. We love our house, but we were disappointed that there wasn’t a usuable outdoor space in the backyard. Although, we aren’t anywhere near being ready to build a deck or a patio, we went ahead and cleared out the space that we plan on using. While I moved the field rocks that were used to outline the flower bed, Alex went to work on digging up the grass and bush roots.

Rocks that either lined the bed or were buried in the center. I told ya the back is a mess.

Some of the roots did not want to budge, so we’re still trying to decide what route to go with those. Now the debate begins on what type of design will work best for us.  Suggestions are welcomed!! 🙂

Dream Patio

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