Category Archives: DIY

Our DIY projects or projects we’d like to to do!

Simple Sugar Scrub

First off, there isn’t a lot of remodeling, renovating, or construction related projects going down on Lynnwood these days. After the big side room redo, we definitely needed a break, as did our piggy bank. But there is lots of LIVING happening on Lynnwood! So the post, at least for a little while, will be more about the living that is going on.

Back to sugar. Who doesn’t love sugar? Uh…….me??? I don’t really have a big sweet tooth (more of a salt kinda girl), but I did finally find a use for the sugar in my pantry and a cheap solution to my annoying dry skin.

Every year for Christmas I buy my Mom a nice sugar scrub and every winter when I’m complaining about my dry, itchy skin she raves about how  she couldn’t live without her scrub and how I should really buy some for myself. Except for I’m not willing to splurge $15.00 dollars on myself (yes, I know I’m cheap. Alex has worn off on me.). Instead, I hopped over  to  Martha’s page and found a simple recipe for sugar scrub . There are literally hundreds of variations on the web for this recipe and I substitute the carrier oil for baby oil that had aloe (extra important for dry skin) mixed in.

Even though, I’m not a cooking expert this was fool-proof. Total cost: maybe $8.00 (give or take a few cents). I’ve been able to make several batches from my initial supplies, which is nice because I can be as liberal as I want with the amount I use. I’ve also given a few canisters ($2.00 at Wally World) away as winter pick-me-ups. A quick tip, if you apply before you get in the shower I find it really increases the softness of your skin  AND be careful in the tub with the oil. Happy Scrubbing!

P.S.  Alex was willing to try on his new daisy dukes for me (insert tiger purr), but the pictures were a little to rated for the blog. ; )



Filed under DIY

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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Filed under Alex and Sara, DIY

Get Your Craft On, Everybody Get Your Craft On, What!

I’m probably one of the last people you would expect to be a big hip-hop fan, but I’m a super fan of tight beats and good lyrics. In, fact the Big Tymer’s classic – “Get Your Roll On” has inspired me in my crafting adventures (NOTE: I was going to insert the video here so you could experience Mannie Fresh and Baby, but clean versions apparently don’t exist.).

Anywho, I thought I’d share some of my projects I’ve been crafting up while jammin’ out.

Sweetgum-Fruit Wreath

I don’t know why, but I have always thought Martha Stewart was annoying. I mean, she is good at everything she does. She could take a fifty year old newspaper and turn it into the most glourious craft project ever. Despite my personal feelings for Martha I knew I wanted to try her Sweetgum-Fruit Wreath for our winter wreath. Almost every house on Lynnwood has a Sweetgum tree, so “gum balls” are in no shortage. It ended up being super simple and her tutorial was very helpful.

Her tutorial suggested using floral wire to insert the sweetgums, but I used toothpicks on my styrofoam base and they worked perfect. I dabbed a little bit of hot glue inside each sweetgum just for reenforcement.

I also attached my ribbion differerntly. I used hot glue and a thumb tack and it has held up great.

The total cost was less than $15.00 (I got a little crazy with the spray paint). Not only was this project simple and cheap, but it looks beautiful on our front door!


Filed under Design, DIY, Home & Garden

This One Goes Out to Mitch

Wow! It has been almost 6 months since we last updated. My apologies.  I started grad school about 6 months ago (shoot me) and combined with teaching and day to day life time was limited for hobbies. We really appreciate all the request for updates from our followers; especially Mitch – Alex’s stepdad, my amazing father-in-law. So this one goes out to you Mitchell T.

Even though I’ve been bogged down with school (teaching) and school (being a student) things have been poppin’ on Lynnwood. The biggest news is we finally finished “the side room”  a.k.a our family room! Really it was all Mitch, Alex, and Diana down the homestretch. I went on away with a few teachers to the beach on my fall break only to return to a completed living space! It was an awesome surprise and all my honey’s idea!

Rather than go into the  details of the finishing touches, I thought I’d post the progress pictures; from the beginning to the end.


Side Room - Before




Mitch putting up the 2x4's

Mitch attaching 2x4's to drop the ceiling.


“Domestic Diva” tool belt.
Progress as of 3/12/10


Mud Time!


Drywall up and one sanding done.


Start of fireplace redesign.


Priming and Painting

Floor going down.
Fireplace progress.
Very nice!

So after a year and half we finally completed Our favorite room in the house. We’ve moved all of our old furniture in the room for now, although we’ll be purchasing a new couch for Christmas. We rarely leave the space. It’s just so cozy and so ours! Of course these pictures can’t tell half of the good memories (and a few nightmares)  that were made during this process. BIG, HUGE, GIGANTIC, HUMONGOUS thanks to Mitch and Diana, who without none of this would be possible. Extended thanks to Uncle Sam and the first time homeowners tax credit,  My Mom (Julie), David, Big Matt, Sarah, and of course Bella Corey Wells (supervisor).


Filed under DIY, Home Improvement, Remodel, The House

How much can you get done in a week?

If  this question were posed to me two weeks ago, I would have said “not much”. But, since last Wednesday we have been busting it out in the side room, a.k.a the den, and I would now say we could build an entire room (or at least almost) in a week.

This time last week this is what the room looked like:

As you can see every seam has been covered with drywall mud and it had been sanded twice already.

Now, the way this show works is, Mitch and Diana (in-Laws of the century!) come over at night. Alex helps Mitch do the “man” stuff and Diana and I tell them how to do the “man” stuff. 🙂 Then at the end of the night I get a few projects I can complete the next day while I’m home enjoying summer break. My job on this day? Sand everything on the lower half of the room. Sounded easy enough. I just needed the 220 grit drywall sandpaper and a mask. I’m sure this task would have been easy for a person who can actually breath during normal life, but since my asthma and allergies make my life hell, this was grueling for me. I doubled up on the masks and wore safety glasses. Three hours later   ( it should not have taken that long) I had finally finished.

That night Mitch and Alex finished the upper portion of the room. After a quick cleanup the space was starting to look like an actual room.

My kitchen table on the other hand…….

My Kitchen Table

needed some serious help, as did the rest of our house! Everything was covered in drywall dust, it looked like our house had been abandoned for 30 years and the floors were even worse. Luckily for me Ms. Diana is an expert cleaner ( she doesn’t miss a speck of dirt) which is nice when your house is in the shape our’s was.

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Filed under DIY, Home Improvement, Remodel, The House

Art So Easy Bella Wells Could Do It!

The title is not an exaggeration folks. Bella Corey Wells helped her mommy out by lending her paws for a super easy art project. For Valentines Day this year Bella and I created an original painting for Alex. Not only did it turn out adorable, but it was simple and cheap! I picked up a $5.00 frame of Wally World, a small tube of paint, and used paper from our printer for Bella to create this master piece:

Alex's V-Day Gift

I covered a paper plate with the paint and helped Bella dab her paws, as much as would let me, and then helped her walk all over the white paper. Of course when she got loose my kitchen floor had more paw prints on it than the paper did, so I’d recommend trying this outdoors. The last step was just to cut down part of Bella’s work to fit the frame. Alex loved it and said it was the best Valentines gift he’d ever gotten. Total cost: $7.00 for the frame and paint.

The second DIY art idea I’m sharing is simple, but not so simple Bella Wells could do it. Once again, I took inspiration for Young House and put my own little spin on it. Sherri had framed one of favorite quotes for some inspirational art (a great idea), but I’m kind of quoted out these days. Instead, I took the lyrics from “our song” (Which no one even knows because the DJ played the wrong first dance song at our wedding, lol!), John Legend’s Stay With You.

Again, this was super simple. I copied and pasted the lyrics, chose a pretty font, added a faded blue close to our wall color, and cut it all out to fit in a frame I had stored away.  Total cost: 100% FREE!

Stay With You - John Legend


Filed under DIY, Inspiration, The House, Uncategorized

Café Lynnwood – Chapter 2

If you missed Café Lynnwood – Chapter 1 make sure you check it out  for details on our paint choices and cheap cabinet makeover.

Again, with our budget being limited and knowing that one day we’ll probably do a mass rehaul of the kitchen, we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on the backsplash. The in-laws once again came to the rescue and suggested that we checkout the bead board that looks like tile. I’ll admit I wasn’t  completely sold on the idea, but once I saw what they were talking about I was in. Mitch volunteered to measure and cut each piece to size and install everything. He used a few small tack nails (which I can’t even find now) and liquid nails to secure everything into place. Then he went along and used caulk to finish everything off. In the end we spent about 100 bucks, which may seem like a lot, but not when you consider the cost of tiling the entire area.



But the  awkward space was, well, still awkward. When the addition was added to create a second bathroom and the laundry room, the kitchen lost the window above the sink.  We loved the extra square footage created by the addition, but we did not love the open space left by the forgotten window.all put our heads together and to come up a solution. A cabinet wasn’t really an option, because I didn’t want to lose the light above the sink. Shelves would work, but we wanted something that was functional but also looked good.

Inspired by our sudden interest in wine, we decided to sketch out a custom wine rack that would also incorporate a shelf and additional lighting. Once we had an idea of what we wanted we went to The Man, a.k.a Mitch, and he went to work hand crafting our wine rack. We used gift cards we had gotten for Christmas to help purchase the new light fixtures that would be added to the rack, for both functional and visual appeal. Once Mitch was finished Alex helped him secure everything in place and move electric stuff around (I honestly have no idea what they did to make the lights work, but they work.) In the end we ended up with a great new feature that looks like it has been our house for  50+ years.


After (Our wine supply is a bit low.)


Filed under DIY, Home & Garden, Home Improvement, Remodel, The House, Uncategorized