Living Room Refresh

I think I definitely lean towards coastal decor, wouldn’t you agree? But I love a little modern element to the room too. Not rustic, not too vintage, but modern, maybe a little traditional too. It’s also becoming clear that I really love IKEA… and Costco… I think because they’re cheap and easy. In an ideal world I’d build some of our furniture. Maybe on the the next move. I have plans for a new media center and to wrap the KALLAX shelves or maybe give it tapered legs.


When we first moved in we thought we’d make the living room the bar/ library room. But after a while I decided the bar stuff made more sense in the family room closer to the kitchen. We also spend more time in the family room. I usually sit in the living room in the afternoons reading while Gizmo looks out the window.



Bookcase | baskets | floor lamp | pendant lamp shade and cord | chairs – similar | shoe bench | whale tale hooks – similar | dog leash holder | painting is by my Gramma | rug costco – similar | floor pouf | trunk – similar | trunk cushion | Paint color – BHER Toasty Gray |


Master bedroom Refresh

Back at it after 3 months off! It’s been a busy 3 months, we made it through the holidays at least! Hopefully you’ve been following along on Facebook and Instagram for other little projects I’ve tackled that I didn’t do tutorials for. But, if there was something you saw and want the instructions for it let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

Today I want to share our master bedroom refresh! I painted it over a year ago and I’m finally getting around to sharing it.


So, lets take a trip down memory lane and see what it looked like shortly after we moved in.

That brown… wow… not for us is all I can say.

After – Master Bedroom Refresh

Its a lot brighter! I’m still not 100% sold on the color, its a bit too blue. I may repaint it this fall, We’ll see. It was Benjamin Moore paint, and to be honest I wasn’t thrilled with the coverage. I’ve had better success with BHER paint. I had to do 3 coats of paint with this stuff and even then I’m still not satisfied. It’s better than that brown color so at least that’s a win. If I were to get around to repainting it I would probably do the same color I did in the living room/ kitchen/ family room and bedroom hallway. More on those spaces in another post coming soon.

I still want to frost the mirrored closet doors. I may just do that one weekend, but I’ll need J’s help getting them outside because I don’t want to spray paint them in our room. Anyone every used that frosted glass spray paint??

I know, todays interior designers and a lot of people in general hate ceiling fans, but let me tell you its essential in this room. This room faces west, so it gets ALL the afternoon sun. If we don’t keep the curtains closed it gets to be 100 degrees in there easily in the summer. The fan helps move air around. Last spring we installed new AC and part of that project was having a vent installed in our room which has helped significantly. Now we get heat in the winter and AC in the summer.

When we move again we’d like to get a new dresser, maybe. If we have a closet thats large enough we may not need it. We share that dresser and the closet space. Its a bit tight but we manage.


Paint | Bed – similar | right night stand, left one is vintage family piece | Quilt – my mom MADE | custom canvas prints from COSTCO | ceiling fan | lamp bases – similar | lamp shades | rug | dresser | Curtains | blinds |

Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies + Oktoberfest 2017

In the beginning of September there is all this hype for pumpkin spice everything. I’m someone who likes to spread out my pumpkin spice love so I’m not burnt out by Thanksgiving. Because I’m basic, just not thaaaaattt basic. I wanted to make Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies for my birthday back in September, but then went with mermaid funnfetti cupcakes instead. So, then I thought, why not make them for Oktoberfest! Not super German, I know, but perfect for a fall party.

BTW, the mermaid cupcakes were boxed Funfetti mix and swirled blue and green frosting topped with sprinkles.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies

These are so quick and easy! And it uses a boxed brownie mix too!!

P.S. to make your own Pumpkin Spice click here

Pumpkin Spice Latte Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin
  • ¼ cup pumpkin spice flavored coffee
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees F and spray 9x13 pan with coconut oil
  2. Combine pumpkin, coffee, brownie mix and eggs, mix well.
  3. Pour mixture into pan and bake 28-31 minutes.
  4. note: if you don't have pumpkin spice flavored coffee, use an extra tsp of pumpkin spice with regular coffee.
  5. note 2: basically follow the box directions, just substitute pumpkin for oil and coffee for water.


Oktoberfest 2017

This years Oktoberfest featured our Pumpkin Beer and Red Ale, along with brats, sauerkraut, caramelized onion, red cabbage and apple salad, Kase-spatzle, an array of mustards, pretzel cheese bites, apple cider punch, pumpkin wine keg, pumpkin spice latte brownies, stout chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, fruit tray, veggie tray, cheese plate, and a make your own pretzel necklace station. We had about 18 people show up this year, slightly less than last year. We did pretty good with the food this year, but still have quite a bit of beer left.

Featured here the beverage table, with the apple cider punch, beverage tub that later had growlers of of our wheat beer and the pumpkin wine keg. The pumpkin wine keg was made with a craft pumpkin from Michaels and BOTA boxed wine (red and white). Cut the top like a traditional pumpkin, and cut two holes for the dispensers. Just trace the dispensers and carefully use a sharp knife or drill out.

Recipe for stout chocolate cake here. I also made them for the Mustache & Beer Bash back in May.

Notice those amazing tire seats! DIY here.

Last year I made a rustic Biergarten sign that now sits in the new bar area of the family room. I found this other sign at a local party store for our outdoor decorating.

DIY sun sail project here.

I found this awesome Chafing Buffet set on amazon that worked really well for keeping the food warm outside and we can use it for many other events in the future.

Goodbye Shed, Hello Garden

Back in the spring, we had our AC unit serviced and it turned out the unit was 35 years old! Not only did it rely on the an older cooling agent thats no longer used in the state of CA, but it needed about $2000+ work just to get it to maybe limp through the summer. We opted to invest in a new AC unit and had the ducts redone as well as add a vent in the master bedroom. However, during the attempt to get the AC project permitted we found out that the shed attached to the back of our garage was un-permitted and we were faced with the choice of getting permitted ($$$) or take it down. We chose to take it down. Which was a shame because we (my dad and brother) had worked fairly hard fixing it up to actually use it.


It’s been very nice having new AC, the the nest thermostat is really fun to play with. BTW, they just came out with the new nest E thermostat!


For a few months we were left with a lovely mess in the back as we tried to figure out what exactly we wanted to do with the space.

The last couple of weekends we’ve been working really hard at breaking the rest of the debris down and getting it out of there. There’s still some debris back there, but we didn’t want to rent a truck and take it all to the dump. We’ve been trying to do this project without spending a lot of money. However we did buy two saws and a crowbar…

Plans for the space

At first we thought we would do a big raised bed in the middle with narrow beds around the parameter and somehow extend the four foot brick wall to add privacy. But that was sounding like a much larger project. So instead we found some picture inspiration for “movable privacy planters” which we wouldn’t need a permit for and can block out our crazy neighbor!


One of the challenges with the space is its all concrete so we’ll have to focus on mostly container gardening so the plants can drain. Another challenge is that the back of the garage and yard get a lot of afternoon sun with the SSW exposure. We’ll have to focus on drought tolerant and/or native plants that can climb the planters.

The concrete behind the garage is also this patchy green paint. So I’m hoping we can rent a power washer and clean it up and paint it. Maybe with a design, make it look like a cool rug or something.

Hopefully in November or January we can start cracking away at building the “movable privacy planters” and I’ll be able to tell you how to make them yourselves!

DIY Tire Ottoman

Shortly after we moved into the house, J got some much needed new tires for his car. He had the wheels and tires mounted and balanced by the company so all we had to do was pop off the old ones and put on the new ones. This left us with 4 tires that sat in the garage and old shed for quite a few months. Then the shed had to come down so the tires got relocated to the driveway for a few more months. Until last week we had just thought about putting them out at the curb with a free sign, but who would want 4 very worn and mismatched tires with wheels? Luckily, I had a stroke of genius, DIY tire ottoman! We’re prepping for our big Oktoberfest party here next weekend and can always use more seating for the event so why not!! For less than $40 I was able to create 4 tire ottomans for the patio. Plus, its an up-cycle, repurposed, greenish project!!


old tires

Spray paint primer

spray paint colors are vintage turquoise and green apple

plywood (had from shed demo)

Jig Saw

cushion material 

outdoor fabric ~ 1.5 yards for 4 tires (watch for sale or use a coupon)

staple gun with staples


Start by cleaning the tires really good. I used car wash soap with a sturdy brush, followed by a degreaser to really get the dirt off.


Measure the wheel well of the tire and cut rounds with jig saw out of plywood to cover it. You can math it and use a pencil with string or do like I did and find an object that was the same size and trace it, in this case an empty planter. I would recommend sanding the wood a bit if its rough, I however failed to do this step until it was too late.


Pick up a priming spray paint and give it a quick coat to help the spray paint adhere to the tire. Also, if you don’t want spray paint all over your patio, cover it with a plastic tarp or cardboard.

It took about a can and a half to cover two tires with spray paint. I did two coats, flipping the tires between the coast to get all directions of the tread.


I knew for my tires that they were 19′ inches across so I would need fabric that was slightly bigger to fold over the ends. The foam cushion doesn’t fit 100% but it was the best/ cheapest option.

Make a sandwich with the fabric, cushion and wood. Notice I painted the wood, that part was optional.

Wrap the fabric around the wood like a present and staple away!



Place the tires where you would like them and top with the cushions you just made! I plan on bringing in my cushions most days when the tires are not in use. This will help to preserve the fabric from the CA sun and dust.