House Update: Bathroom Vanity with Marble Contact Paper

We are completing small projects over here until we do our big overhaul this summer.  A couple of weekends ago, I decided that the biggest impact In our master bedroom (besides the floor, walls, and ceiling) would be to update our very dated vanity.

Don't get me wrong, I do love its funkiness.  The light fixtures are my favorite, and I hope that we can salvage them when we do a complete bathroom overhaul, but the green had to go.  And the white paint and hardware had seen better days.  Here is the before.

Look how green it is!  We opted to use contact paper like Jess did In her kitchen.  We figured that since the vanity is not exposed to water and since it is temporary,  contact paper seemed like the perfect solution.

First, I removed the caulk, so that I could get the contact paper to fold around the edges.  Then I realized that it was an impossible task to fit in the crack with the sticky side exposed, so I just did my best.  I will cover it with caulk later.

I unrolled and tried to keep everything straight while Taylor used a credit card to express any of the bubbles.

We went as slow as possible, but we still struggled to remove all bubbles.  I didn't take any photos of the second piece we needed to cover the side closest to the mirror because it was quite a disaster to do, but it worked anyway.  Not perfect but much better.

It's pretty amazing how much this looks like real marble.  I removed the hardware, filled the holes with wood filler, sanded, and painted the cabinets. Woohoo!  So much better!

Here is our before and after.  Next up: carpet, walls, and ceiling. NBD.

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DIY: Raised Flower Bed

Yesterday Taylor and I tackled our very first landscaping project.  I think gardening projects might be the most satisfying.  The labor is pretty intense and you really do get your hands dirty.  Our front yard looks sooo much better now.  It is hard to believe the difference. Here is our before:

The area around the tree once house flowers (maybe) before we moved in.  There was rotting mulch and the grass had pretty much taken over.  Like I have mentioned earlier, we hosted a baby shower last weekend.  One of our very handy guests mentioned that he created flower beds using fence panels.

Our front yard is on a slope.  I didn't want the flower bed to follow the slope.  I wanted it to parallel the street.  Check out our after.

We didn't do much planning for this project.  Before heading out to Home Depot, we measured around the tree to determine what size we wanted our flower bed to be.  We decided on 5 feet by 5 feet.


+ 7 cedar fence panels (they are 6 feet tall and 5"3/8 wide)

+ 1 1X1

+Desired flowers, garden soil, mulch

+ 1 Roll of Weed Barrier

+ A Triangle

+ Nail gun

+ Level

+ Shovel

+ Gloves

To Make the Box

Step 1: Cut your panels to your desired size.  We cut our panels so that they would be 5 feet.  If you don't have access to a saw, Home Depot will do this for you.  We lightly sanded ours and used pliers to pull out any staples.

Step 2: Due to our slope, the side closest to the street needed to be twice the height as our side pieces/back piece.  Taylor used scrap wood (the pieces that were previously cut off) to attach them using a nail gun. 

Step 3: Attach 3 pieces of your box together. If your yard is not on a slope, you can attach all of them, but make sure you are doing this around the tree (not in the garage or you won't get it around the tree).  We used our nail gun here, but it required more stability, so that is where our 1x1 came in.  Keep in mind where you want your wood seams to be.  We didn't want the seams to be seen from the street.

Step 4:  We moved our project to the yard to figure out how we were going to attach the entire box together. We decided to attach our side pieces to the top of our front piece. 

Step 5: Again, use a 1x1 piece to attach the front piece to the side piece.  Here is what it will look like after.

Step 6: Magically or mathematically, find a way to fill in your gap.  We eyeballed it and were not successful on our first attempt seen below, but we decided to keep it since the gap is so small.  We would fill it in later.  We used scrap wood to attach it.

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Step 8:  Our next attempt was more successful but not really explainable.  I used a piece of white paper and folded it to figure out the angle I needed.  Then I traced that angle on the wood.  Taylor used a jig saw to cut it.

Step 9: We don't have any pictures of this step, but it is not hard to follow.  Taylor used a shovel to break the dirt.  Tanner and I followed using my hands and tore out the grass and begin creating a trench for the box to eventually rest. We pulled out the grass inside the box.

Step 10: We removed the old mulch and began to level the dirt inside the box.  We put fresh soil down and then rolled out our weed barrier.

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Step 11:  Do a happy dance because now you get to place pretty flowers in your bed.  We chose some elephant ears, dusty millers, and some lantana. We chose perennials that could be exposed to full Texas sun.

Step 12: If you have used a weed barrier, you will need to score prior to planting.  Plant your flowers and then add mulch.

This project took around 3.5 to 4 hours to complete.  Most of our time was spent pulling out the grass and removing the mulch, but the box only took about 1 hour to knock out. 

This is the type of project that is so physically strenuous that you feel like you deserve a treat afterwards, so Taylor and I treated ourselves to pizza and movie (after a shower of course).  This morning we drank coffee on our porch, so we could admire our handiwork.  Here is a before and after shot.

We plan on creating one more of these boxes closer to our front door.  Also, I love Spring.  I thought my favorite season was Autumn, but Autumn doesn't boast pretty flowers.  Anyone else doing outdoor projects this season?

DIY: Make Your Own Initial Pinata

Hi!  I threw my first baby shower this week, and of course, did a crap job of capturing it.  Even my husband asked several times if I had taken photos, and I was just too busy chatting, refilling food, and drinking margaritas (!).  I made a pinata for their sweet future daughter, Ruby, and it was a fitting piece of decoration for the Fiesta themed shower.

I will update more on how the the shower went, but I wanted to share the project I knocked out back in January (when life was a little slower).   I found the process easy with the right tools, and by the end, I think I figured out the best way to do it!

Sidenote:  This is a pinata that serves no purpose other than decoration.  No candy was beaten out of this guy, so I do not provide instructions on how to do this; I imagine you could easily leave a hole during construction for the filling of candy if your heart so desired.

Supplies: Tissue Paper, Glue Gun, Exacto Knife, Elmer's Glue, and Cardboard (drying dishes optional)


Draw your letter on a piece of cardboard.  You can see by my picture here that I had lots of revisions before settling on a perfect 'R' but the letter will get covered by tissue, so whatever!


Cut out your letter.  You will need to duplicate this letter exactly, so use your first letter as a stencil.  Trace and cut out the second letter.  At this point, I had two 'R's.' (I don't know what my punctuation should look like, so please forgive.)


You will now need to create the dimensional side pieces that will connect your two letter shapes.  I did this by cutting one really long strip and then following it along the outer edges.  (Easier done than explained.)  For the curved pieces, I scored the strip every quarter inch or so.


Use approximately 9,000 glue gun sticks to attach all of the pieces.


Use Elmer's glue from here on out.  Glue down a layer of tissue paper on top of the cardboard, so that there won't be any brown sneaking its way through.


Fold your tissue paper and cut into 2" strips.  Fold these 2" strips a couple of times (hamburger style), so that you can cut your fringe in a few quick cuts.  Your fringe must stay attached, so don't cut all the way through or you will have confetti.


When you unroll it, you will have several pieces of fringe ready to glue.


Begin gluing your fringe to your letter.  Start from the bottom of your shape.  I learned this the hard way.  In order to saturate the color, make sure to provide an overlap.  Notice where I put the glue in the picture below.  The pieces that are hanging off were later cut off.

I worked in small sections until the whole letter was covered.

Pedro approves!  Here it is at the party just hanging out by Spike Jones, our houseplant.

There it is!  I need to find another reason to decorate with pinatas.  I also need to figure out how to put a tilde on my n.  Feel free to comment with suggestions!