A New Brick Step!

I’ve been crushing on the classic beauty of brick porch steps for awhile now.  So timeless!



Highland Homes Inc. via Houzz

When we first moved into our house there was no step up to our porch and I noticed quickly that the distance was too large especially younger children and older adults.

So, I created a little make shift step out of concrete 8″x12″ slabs stacked on top of each other and called it good for a few years (pictured below).

Steps Before

However as time has passed a slab or two cracked and I was ready for a more permanent solution.  I of course researched making my own brick step and although I was intimidated by the idea it looked do-able so I did it!


Note: The black stuff in the before photo is not mold, it is dirt and debris from the concrete slabs that laid there for years.

DIY Brick Step Before There was a Step


How to Build a Brick Step 3

How to Build a Brick Step 2

Because the concrete around the porch was already stamped into brick shapes I decided to paint the concrete a brick color.

DIY Brick Step Before

I really like how it turned out but since brick has natural variations of color I plan to add more  paint colors for a more natural look.

DIY Brick Step After with Paint

So want to learn how to build a brick step? Great!


-Quikrete Mortar Mix

-Rubber Gloves


DIY Brick Step Mortar

-A Large piece of Plywood


-Tape Measurer


-Brick Jointer


-Bricks (For the first 2 levels of brick I used free bricks that I got from my neighbor…they were sitting in her garage when she moved in and she was happy to get rid of them.  The top level are brick pavers I purchased from Home Depot for .52 cents each).

DIY Brick Step Supplies


  1.  Do the planning.  Measure out how large you want the step to be and arrange them.

DIY Brick Step Arrange Them

This way as you are laying them down with mortar it is easy to grab the one you need and know where to put it.

Here are some brick pattern ideas if you need them.

Brick Patterns

Source: Purestform.tumblr

2.  Get the Mortar Ready.

DIY Brick Step Ready to Mix

DIY Brick Step Mix Mortar

DIY Brick Step How to mix mortar

  3.  With the trowel put the mortar on the bottom and side of the brick and lay the brick firmly in place.

DIY Brick Step Get Started

Tip- HERE is a video showing how to properly “butter” a brick   I didn’t quite master this technique but I got the job done.:-)

Also, as you go consistently use your level to make sure the bricks are being installed level.

DIY Brick Step Keep it Level

4. Complete your first row.

DIY Brick Step First Row of Bricks

5. Complete your second row.

DIY Brick Step Process Picture

DIY Brick Step Second Row of Bricks

6.  Add your last layer of bricks.

How to Build a Brick Step 3

7.  Finishing Touches.  Once the mortar starts  to dry a little bit push the jointer along the grout lines to create a smooth, uniform divot.

Then with the brush thoroughly brush the steps clearing away any mortar debris.  Once the mortar is completely dry (I waited 24 hours) use a hose to spray down the step.

I’m so glad I faced my fears and tackled this project!  I now have an attractive, durable step to my porch and only cost $50 to make   Since this was my first brick project it did take me about 6 hours to complete but I’m still really glad I did it!

I hope this post helps you (if not now then maybe down the line)!  As always thanks for being here!!


How to Build a Brick Step Tutorial

Kitchen Makeover on a Budget Update

A few months ago I shared the plans of my friend’s kitchen makeover on a budget.  I promised I would give you an update on their progress once they had painted the walls, kitchen cabinets, and added trim on the area above the cabinets (the soffit)!

Well, they did it and I’m here today to share their progress so far!

First here is a reminder of what their kitchen looked like before they got started on the makeover.



Kelli's Kitchen Before


Here is the progress!


Kitchen Reno Progress 2


I had suggested a light gray color (specifically Benjamin Moore Classic Gray) for the walls, however, the hubby loves color so color they got!


Kelli's Kitchen Before 3


The black arrow in the picture below indicates that they will be replacing the countertops next (probably to a black countertop) and the gray arrow shows that a backsplash will be installed after that (probably a marble one).


Kitchen Reno Progress


My friend was nice enough to write out all of the steps she took to get from the Before to the Progress.

Step 1. Attached boards of varying widths immediately below soffit so that the crown molding would be flush with soffit.

Attach board Kitchen Reno Step 1


Step 2. Attached crown molding (Ekena Millwork Hillsborogh Crown) from board on cabinet to soffit.

Kitchen Reno Step 2 Crown


Step 3. Attached crown molding (Evertrue Crown Molding) from soffit to ceiling. https://www.lowes.com/pd/EverTrue-8-Pack-3-625-in-x-12-ft-Pine-PFJ-Crown-Moulding/3161245. The material of my crown was PFJ so I had to nail to studs. I marked them all in blue painters tape before I started so that I could easily locate them as I was going.

Kitchen Reno Step 3 Ceiling Crown

Step 4. Attached decorative trim (Ekena Millwork Stockport) at the top of the lower crown molding.

Step 5. Used wood filler and caulk to fill gaps.

Kitchen Reno Soffit Trim Done Step 4

Step 6. Removed all doors & hardware. Filled holes.

Step 7. Repaired damaged wood and replace warped cabinet facing. The side of the cabinet to my sink was looking very old, worn, and warped. I tried filling it and sanding it smooth, but it still did not look good. So, I used a crowbar to carefully pry the wooden piece away from the cabinet. It easily pulled away in one piece, and for $7 at Home Depot I bought a new board, they cut it to size for me, and with just 6 nails the side was as good as new.

Step 7 Kitchen Reno

Step 8. Cleaned cabinets with TSP substitute. I used one bottle

Kitchen Reno Supplies Step 6 or 8

Step 9. Roughened surfaces and remove some varnish with Liquid Deglosser. I used 1.5 bottles.

Step 10. Primed with Sherwin Williams Extreme Bond Primer. I used 1/2 gallon.

Step 11. Painted 3 coats of Behr Alkyd Semi-Gloss Enamel color matched to Sherwin Williams Alabaster (using THIS tutorial). For the cabinet doors, I would paint the bottom of all doors, wait for the paint to dry, and then paint the top side. I lightly sanded everything before the final coat of paint. The paint does take a very long time to fully cure. I foolishly staked some of the doors after they had been drying for over a week, and the paint stuck to each other in some places.

Step 12. Installed Knobs/Handles. I bought them discounted from Amazon Warehouse, which just means that they are open box items, but still new condition. We used Franklin Brass Heirloom Silver 1-1/8-Inch Webber Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Knobs and Franklin Brass Heirloom Silver 4-Inch Pierce Kitchen or Furniture Cabinet Hardware Drawer Handle Pulls (Affiliate Link).

Step 13. Installed Hinges. Our previous hinges were Self-Closing, Partial Wrap Hinges with 1/2 inch Overlay. Because we couldn’t find hinges that perfectly matched the knobs we chose, we decided to use overlay hinges. This is what we bought http://www.homedepot.com/p/Liberty-35-mm-105-Degree-1-2-in-Overlay-Hinge-10-Pack-850304/203274047. They aren’t visible at all when the door is closed, and as an added bonus, they were cheaper than partial wrap hinges.

Step 13 Kitchen Reno New Hinges


Step 14. Installed under pull-out recycler/garbage can. I have always thought my garbage cans were unsightly, but I didn’t think I had room under my sink for a recycling bin and trash can. And then I found this! https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/simplehuman-reg-35-liter-pull-out-recycler/1014623515?skuId=14623515&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_kitchenaccessories_&product_id=14623515&adpos=1o1&creative=43742642389&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CJCD4JrK99MCFVi4wAodKLwMNw. It was really easy to install and I love it!



Trim  $122.00

Wood Equip (Nail gun equip, fence for ripping wood, chisels, cabinet side replacement, caulk, wood filler)     $95.00

Primer, TSP, Deglosser  $56.00

Paint (2 gal cabinets, 1 gal wall)  $109.00

Painting Supplies (brushes, trays, etc)  $27.52

Knobs/Handles $100.00

Hinges  $123.00

Pull Out Garbage Recycler  $68.00

   Progress Total      $700.52


What is Left to Do?

  • Replace Countertop
  • Install Backspash
  • New Sink and Faucet
  • Paint Kitchen Table
  • Perhaps Build Banquette Seating Around Table
  • Window Treatments (shades)
  • Paint Trim Around Ceiling Light White
  • Accessorize (rug, kitchen towel, etc).

I’m so proud of my friend, Kelli! She has had very limited DIY experience before this kitchen makeover and has simply jumped in and worked so hard on it!

I just know it is going to pay off in the end and I will of course share the final reveal with you when it is all done!!:-)

On a personal note my kids got out of school yesterday for Summer break.  I am also watching a friends child 3 days a week this Summer which means most days I will have 5 kids at home 11 years old and under.

I truly hope to maintain my weekly posts this Summer but wanted to give you a heads up that there may be some weeks where I just can’t.:-(

I hope you have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend!!  So thankful for those who have sacrificed even their lives for the precious gift of freedom!!

Thank you so much for following along!!!:-)





One Room Challenge Week 6- Master Bedroom and Girl’s Bedroom Reveal!

Hello!  It’s the One Room Challenge reveal day and I’m excited be sharing two rooms! Doing one room makeover in 6 weeks is a challenge enough so I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to complete two rooms.

However, both rooms needed to be done and I’m happy to report they both got done (many thanks to my husband for cooking dinner and doing dish duty during this time or I probably wouldn’t have gotten them both done)!!

If you are interested in seeing the Before photos and the Moodboards for these rooms you can HERE.

My goal for the master bedroom was to create a serene space that my husband and I could both relax and work in.  The addition of a sitting area was an important part to accomplishing this goal.



ORC 6 Master Bedroom Makeover


ORC 6 Master Bedroom Looking in

I loved the unique design the of this dresser and although it had awful knobs when I purchased it switching out the knobs for more simple ones did the trick.

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Dresser

More DIY artwork!

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Painting

Master Bedroom Makeover ORC Week 6

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Nightstand

I really love how the DIY ceiling beam helps to visually separate the sleeping area of the bedroom from the office space!

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Bed to Office

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Office

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Computer Hutch

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Lamp

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Looking in Blur

ORC 6 Master Bedroom Reveal

ORC Week 6 Master Bedroom Bed

Master Bedroom Decor ORC Week 6


Below are the sources for the room (some affiliate links are included for your convenience)!


Master Bedroom Sources:

Wall Color- Valspar Del Coronado Tequila

Headboard-  DIY (Tutorial HERE)

Duvet Cover- Amazon

Purple Polka Dot Pillow- DIY Pillow, Fabric HERE

Blue Long Pillow- DIY Pillow, Fabric HERE

Bedskirt- Target

Purple Rug-Wayfair

Nightstands- Homegoods

Lamps- Homegoods (I painted them though, tutorial HERE)

Painting Above Bench- DIY (Tutorial HERE)

Bench- Homegoods

Pillow on Bench- Target

Upholstered Chairs- Amazon

Dresser- Homegoods but I changed out the knobs for THESE

White Frame Above Dresser- IKEA

Art in Frame- DIY

Task Lamp on Dresser- Target

Artificial Fiddle Leaf Tree- Homegoods

Throw on Chair- Target

Woven Shades- Lowes

Drapes- DIY, Walmart Full Size Flat Sheet with 1.5″ Wide Navy Ribbon Fabric Glued on

3 White Frames- Target

Desk- Free from Friend painted it HERE

Desk Hutch- Ballard Designs Outlet

Pinboard- Homegoods

Gray and White Stripe Vase- Homegoods

Striped Rugs- Homegoods

Ceiling  Beam- DIY (Tutorial HERE)


Now for my daughter’s room which is also our guest room when we have company (which only happens about twice a year).!  The goal for my daughter’s room was to increase storage and function through adding a large dresser and to create a pretty room that both my six year old daughter and guests who come would feel comfortable in.

She loves it!:-)  Hopefully our guests will too!



ORC Reveal Girl's Bedroom Makeover


Girl's Bedroom Decoarating ORC Reveal

Girl's Bedroom Bedding ORC Reveal

Girl's Room Heart

ORC Reveal Girl's Bedroom Bunny Vignette

Girl's Bedroom ORC Week 6

Girl's Bedroom Dresser ORC Reveal

Girl's Bedroom ORC Reveal

Girl's Bedroom Deocr ORC Reveal

Girls Bedroom Makeover ORC Reveal


Below are the sources for the room (some affiliate links are included for your convenience)!


Girl’s Room Sources:

Wall Color- Benjamin Moore Melted Ice Cream

Headboard- DiY made with THIS tutorial and THIS fabric

Floral Pillows- DIY Pillow, Fabric HERE

Large Pillow Inserts- IKEA

Pink Pillow Covers- IKEA

White with Navy Floral- DIY Pillow, Fabric HERE

White Quilt- Homegoods

Bedskirt- Walmart

Mattress- Amazon

Nightstands- Homegoods with pink knobs from JoAnn Fabrics

Lamps- Homegoods

Window Shades- DIY JCPenney White Roman Shade with Ribbon Fabric Glued on

Bench- Homegoods

Pink Rabbit- Made by Grandma

Navy Pillow with White Flowers- TJMaxx

Basket- Homegoods

Throw- TJMaxx

Dresser- IKEA

Mirror- Homegoods

Decor on Dresser- Homegoods

Chandelier- DIY, $7 Craigslist Chandelier that I Painted White & Added THESE Beads

Rug- TJMaxx


I hope you enjoyed the reveal of these rooms!  They were a lot of time and creative energy to put together but I am so pleased with the results!

A big thank you to those who have cheered me on the past 6 weeks and for all those who take the time to read my blog.  It means a lot!!:-)

Let me know if you have any questions!!

And don’t forget you can check out the other ORC guest participants’ big reveals, HERE!

Have a great rest of the week!


One Room Challenge Week 5- One Week Left!

Time is flying and we are already down to 1 week left in the One Room Challenge.  I am feeling the stretch to get two rooms completed so I am going to keep it short today to ensure I can get them both done!

This past week I’ve been at the sewing machine quite a bit sewing up decorative pillow covers for the master bedroom and for my daughter’s room.

ORC Week 5 my pillows


ORC Week 5 N's Pillows



I also received the chairs I ordered from Amazon this week (you can get them HERE, affiliate link).  I bought two for my bedroom for only $180 each (which includes shipping)!  It is always a little nerve-wracking buying something like a chair online when you can’t sit in it and try it out.

Chair on Amazon

via Amazon

Thankfully I’m really happy with them.  They look so much more expensive and although I would only rate them a 3.5 out of 5 for comfort (5 out of 5 for looks) I think that they will get more comfortable with time (sorry for the bad phone picture below).

ORC Week 5 Chairs

Also  in my room I was able to install trim around all three window and buy woven shades for them.

ORC Week 5 my windows

I went with the Levolor woven shades at Lowes that you can get cut to the exact width of your window.  Although my windows are suppose to be 35 inches wide they are more like 34.5.  These custom cut shades are more than I’d like to spend but really are a fair price at $62 per shade.

In my daughter’s room this week I painted her chandelier white and added these natural-toned, large wood beads  (affiliate link) around the chain to give it a more custom coastal vibe.

ORC Week 5 Beads


The chandelier was originally brass.  I bought it off of Craigslist for $7 years ago.  I had spray painted it silver but this time since it was already installed I decided to paint it with a brush.  I simply used a sample size of wall paint in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.


ORC Week 5 Painting Light Fixture


It was very easy to do!  So if you ever dislike the color of a light fixture in your home consider painting it!


Lastly I wanted to share a sneak peek of the bench I found at Homegoods for my daughter’s room.  It will be right under her window and really can’t be any more perfect for the space!

ORC Week 5 Bench


Well, that’s it for this weeks progress report!:-)  I have a few things to do in each room to tie things up and then need to take pictures and write up next week’s post.  Wish me luck and as always thank you so much for following!!!

You can check out the progress of the other ORC guest participants, HERE!


The One Room Challenge Week 4

Hello!  I hope you’ve had a great week so far!  I dropping in today to share some of the progress I’ve made on the two rooms I’m making over for the One Room Challenge!

First I wanted to share a lamp makeover I did.  I have had these matching lamps for years that I bought from Homegoods for my family room sofa table.


Sofa Table Christmas Decor

Although I’ve loved the shape of them they have always been a bit short for space.  After finding some better scaled ones (at Homegoods again) I decided to use these in my master bedroom makeover.

However, they were not the right color for my bedroom.  So this week I painted them.


Lamps Before

At first I thought I wanted the lamps to be gold so I took off the shades and taped the electrical parts and spray painted them gold with THIS spray paint (affiliate link).

Spray Paint Lamps Gold

I didn’t end up liking the gold color with the room so I decided to paint over them in gray.  I used some gray sample wall paint I had on hand.

This is what it look like right after I painted on the first coat of gray paint.

Paint Lamps Gray

When I came back a few minutes later some of the gray paint had crackled which I hadn’t expected to happen BUT…

Another Closeup of Lamps Painted

I liked it ALOT!  It think it gives a cool artistic look to the lamps!

Upclose of Lamps After Painted

Another project I worked on this week  was window treatments for my daughter’s bedroom makeover!  I bought these white roman shades on sale at jcp.com for $23 a piece (in real life they look white not the color below).

Roman Shades Plain White

I bought the white shades with the intentions of embellishing them in a similar fashion as the Pottery Barn Kids ones below (that sell for $200 a shade).

Pottery Barn Kids Roman Shades

via Pottery Barn Kids

To accomplish this I purchased  THIS 1.5 inch grosgrain ribbon from The Ribbon Retreat and adhered in the shade with fabric glue.

Putting Ribbon on Roman Shade

I decided to just do a single ribbon that comes down on each side and I love how it turned out!!  As you can see in the picture I also added wood trim around the windows which is a little detail that always makes a big impact and just costs about $15 a window to do (tutorial to come)!

Adding Ribbon to Roman Shade

On Monday a delivery truck brought the 2 Ikea Hemnes 8 drawer dressers I had ordered online.  I bought one for my daughter’s bedroom makeover and one for my son’s shared bedroom.

I was nervous about ordering two without really seeing them in person but I am happy to say they have even exceeded my exceptions!  I love this dresser!!  It is sturdy, super large and roomy, and beautiful!  If you are looking for a large dresser you won’t find a better one for the price ($250).

Ikea Hemnes Dresser

via IKEA

That being said they definitely take some time to put together (it took me 5+ hours to do the first one)!  I used THIS youtube video to guide me in putting them together which helped a lot!

I’m really excited about how things are coming along but I can’t believe I only have 2 weeks left!   I best be getting back at it!  Thanks for following along and as always let me know if you have any questions!!!:-)

You can check out the progress of the other ORC participants HERE!