Home Projects

Pick a Paint Color for Your Home

Hey Embarquers,

I don’t know about you, but I feel like these past few weeks have been a whirlwind! I recently closed on my home, and wanted to make sure the entire interior of home was freshly painted to give a clean and fresh feel.

A decision that can be difficult to make is a paint color. I understand that paint can be one of the least expensive decisions when it comes to making a major design difference in your home; however, painting is time-consuming, and laborious. I want to take the guessing out of paint, and make this a much easier decision to make.

Ready? Let’s get to it!

1.) Look at the Colors in each Color (sounds silly, I know)

When you’re at your local paint store, ask for the recipe to create the paint. On each paint able, there is a receipt how x-parts yellow, y-parts blue, and z-parts red. This shows you what colors are of higher concentration in the paint color of your choice

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2.) Ask the Professionals About Undertone

This is a huge proponent to gray hues. Gray has been an extremely popular color in homes over the past few years, and gray has many different undertones. If you’re looking for a true gray, look for a gray with a black undertone. Whatever the undertone is in the color your looking at, it’ll be highly accentuated.

An example of this is two years ago, I chose a gray that had a slight blue undertone… as soon as I put it up on the walls, my room became baby blue. This has happened time and time again, so I am learning from my past mistakes to help my readers now.

 

3.) Know the Type of Paint/Finish You Like 

Let’s go through these finishes from the most matte-like to shiny

  • Flat (Less reflective of light, Less scrubbable)
  • Eggshell (my personal favorite for any living space (minus the bathroom)
  • Satin
  • Semi-Gloss (highly recommended for bathrooms)
  • Gloss (Very reflective of light, Highly scrubbable)
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Photo Credit: Valsparpaint.com

4.) Look at the Room’s Lighting 

This is based on the natural light of the room.

I know this seems like common sense, but time and time again, there are so many rooms that are painted the wrong colors based on the natural lighting of the room

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Photo Credit: WestElm.com

5.) Look at Your Room’s Furniture and Decor Colors

It may seem like common sense, but make sure your rooms aren’t monochromatic by having white walls, white furniture, white rugs, white pillows, etc…

 

I hope this relieves a little bit of anxiety during the paint picking process and helped you feel more informed before you go to you local paint store.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Projects

Refresh your Deck

Hey Embarquers!

I apologize for the delay in a post. I have been processing some life-changing decisions, and I will have an exciting announcement in the weeks to come (all good things for the blog, I promise 😉 )

In the meantime, I have a project I’ve been working on over the past few weeks in my home that could help you improve your outdoor space.

Ready? Let’s go!

Items Needed:

  • Pressure Washer (I rented mine from Home Depot for $25)
  • Paint Roller Frames and Covers
  • Paint Roller Extension Pole (to save you from painting on your knees)
  • Paint Tray with Liners
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint Stain (I used Olympic Maximum Solid Stain Base 2 in Butternut)
  • Painters Tape (to keep your edges crisp)

 

Directions:

1.) Clear your deck of all furniture, debris and plants

2.) Rent a pressure washer and thoroughly wash all visible surfaces of the deck removing all the visible dirt from your outdoor space

3.) Let the deck dry for 48 hours

4.) Using your paint roller, extension, tray, and liner, fill your tray about 1/3 full with your stain and cover your roller (but remove excess paint with the textured runner) (Note: Take your time on this project- if you rush, it’ll show)

5.) Cover your deck with a base coat of your stain and let dry for at least 24 hours

6.) Apply a second coat

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7.) Based on your results, you can decide whether to apply a third coat or leave “as is”

8.) Relax and enjoy your hard work

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With Love,

Jenna

Home Projects

Upgrade your Landscaping

Hey, Ya’ll!

 

Hope your Tuesday is off to a beautiful start, and you had a lovely Mother’s day with your mom or being celebrated as a mom.

Personally, this weekend was a triple whammy of fun; my mom came into town to go wine tasting, celebrate my birthday and celebrate Mother’s Day. It was lovely, and it didn’t even stop us from being productive. On Saturday afternoon, we did a little tweaking to the landscaping to make it look richer.

I’m going to let ya’ll in on a little secret… I don’t have a green thumb; however, this is something I am striving to change (because my mom has the gift of gardening, and I would like to find joy in it as well).

When I purchased my home, there was quite a bit of landscaping already done, but there’s a lot of upkeep to keep it looking beautiful year after year. I told my mom I wanted something that would require too much maintenance, but still pretty, and she accepted my challenge.

 

Presteps:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What type of climate do I live in?
  • What type of plants thrive here?
  • What type of maintenance am I looking for?
  • Is this area sunny? shady? both?

These questions will help you decide the flowers/plants to grow in your garden.

 

Ready? Go grab your gardening gloves, rake, gardening shears, and yard debris bags

Items I used:

  • Garden Rake
  • Garden gloves
  • Lawn debris bags
  • Garden Shears
  • Shovel
  • 2 large bags of gardening soil
  • Geraniums (10)
  • 2 bags of mulch

Steps:

1.) Rip out all the weeds, trim back bushes, and rake out the dead leaves and brush

BEFORE:

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1.5) Place newspapers on top of the old soil to prevent new growth of weeds (Optional)

2.) Put down fresh soil (preferably at least 3 inches thick). There are at least a dozen options at your local home improvement store

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3.) Stage your plants, dig the holes, take your plants out of their plastic containers, gently open on the roots  (so they can latch into the ground), place in the hole and cover with soil

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4.) Fill your bed with mulch

AFTER:

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5.) Water you plants accordingly and be sure to tend to them as needed

 

With Love,

Jenna

 

Home Projects

Take your Backyard to the Next Level

Hey Ya’ll,

It’s that time of year where everyone is spending more time outside in their backyards, so why not make this an extension of your indoor living. There are two options on taking your backyard or patio to the next level, a mini makeover or a major makeover.

 

Mini Makeover

Pathway Lights

Available at Costco for $40 (8-pack)

Amazon.com alternative

Bistro Lighting

Available at Costco for $50 (48 ft long)

Amazon.com alternative

firepit

Available at Lowes for $100

Major Makeover

perg

Available at Lowes for $500

Target Pergola

Available at Target for $375

pat

Available at Target for $788 (On Sale)

I hope some of these ideas help inspire you to expand your indoor living space outside, and  take your space up a notch or two.

With Love,

Jenna

 

Home Decor · Home Projects

Easy (and Inexpensive) DIY Wall Art

Hey Ya’ll!

I was briefly chatting with one of my cousins last week and she was talking about the blog and how some of the DIY projects are difficult for those who don’t frequent Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Fear not! This project is (honestly) as easy as pie. You can make your own custom art for $5-7!

Nikki, this one is for you!

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Materials Needed:

  • Mod Podge (I bought the 8oz. bottle in Satin)
  • Paintbrush (any brush will do, but I’d advise 1/2″-2″)
  • Canvas, 8″x 14″ (Buy a pack at your local craft store for ~$3/canvas)
  • Pretty Paper (Paper Source is your best friend- you can also go to World Market in the gift wrapping section)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

 

Directions:

1.) Grab your sheet of paper, flip the good side down and trace your canvas. Be sure to add at least 1/2″-1″ on each side so you can fold the paper over your edges of your canvas.

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2.) Cut your sheet of paper, place on your canvas, and fold the creases on the edges of the canvas

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3.) Take your sheet of paper and set to the side. Paint a layer of your Mod Podge on the main side of the canvas as well as the edges, lay your paper on the canvas, flip over, and smooth your canvas to the paper pushing out any air pockets. Let dry for 15 minutes.

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4.) Paint a top coat of Mod Podge (don’t panic, it dries clear) on your paper and let dry for ~30 minutes (or until dry). Hang up your work and enjoy!

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With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

Spring in Subtle Floral Decor

Happy Tuesday, Ya’ll!

Winter is almost over, and Spring is on its way. It’s time to spruce up your home with a little floral decor. This doesn’t need to be overly done. I’m not a huge faux floral person when it comes to home decor, but a little sprinkle of it never hurt anyone 😉

For the base wreath, I am going to use the one I created for Thanks-mas. Click HERE for the tutorial.

Here’s what you need:

  • Magnolia wreath
  • Small dainty white faux flowers ($2 at Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 faux magnolia flower ($6 at Hobby Lobby)
  • Wreath ties

Directions:

1.) Remove the red berries and excess decor to give the wreath a neutral look

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2.) Cut the stem so that there’s only ~2.5″ of stem connected to the flower, insert the flower at the 10 o’clock position, and secure with the tie

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3.) Add in dainty flowers and secure with the ties

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4.) Hang and admire your work

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With Love,

Jenna

 

Home Projects

Pick Your Outfit in 60 Seconds- Closet Organization

Happy Tuesday, Ya’ll!

 

Something that causes a huge struggle for millions of people everyday is getting out of the house on time for work…Sound like you?

The closet organization that I have done has helped me pick out an outfit in 60 seconds flat (something that has greatly reduced the morning stressors).

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No, this is not my closet, but a great example of closet organization. This makes getting ready in the morning, that much more efficient.

This closet organization may seem like extreme OCD, but it works.

Let’s get started!

 

1.) Spring cleaning! Although it’s not Spring yet, you can get a head start by getting rid out those garments that you haven’t worn in years. This in mandatory step in the process. You will be surprised to see all of the items that you find in the back of your closet.

When cleaning out your closet, remember these three criteria:

  • Have I worn this item in the past year?
  • Does this fit/Is this still flattering on me?
  • If I were to see this in the store right now, would I buy it again?

 

2.) The key when organizing your closet is separating the garments by:

  1. Occasion (casual, formal, date night, dresses, business attire, etc)
  2. Sleeve length
  3. Color

It’s best to do this section by section.

 

These closet tags are game changers. They help you keep your clothes sectioned off and allow you to pick out your outfits in a quick and efficient fashion.

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Click HERE to buy- $10 for a 12 pack

Let me break this down with an example, let’s use casual tops… I put all of my casual tops in a section together, (you can go from right to left or right to left, whatever works for you) then I put all of my tank tops together, and go from lights to darks. Next I move on to the short sleeves, then the long sleeves.

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This is an example of my business wear section

 

If you want to take your closet to the next level, I would change over your hangers from plastic to velvet. This is something I am in the process of doing, and I already love the difference.

velvet hangers

You can buy them on Amazon HERE– $25 for 50 hangers

I know it may sound like this is a huge project, but it’s worth the time investment. The amount of time you save getting ready in the morning will change your day.

Now put aside the time and get your closet organized 🙂

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

Make Your Bath a Spa

 

Good Morning!

I hope ya’ll are having an awesome Tuesday so far! Can we take a moment to say that bath time is so important? There are few things more relaxing than grabbing your epsom salts, a glass of wine, filling your tub with piping hot water and just… being.

For those of you who relax in the bath frequently, this handy dandy bath shelf- which I am going to teach you how to make- will be a game-changer.

Let’s do it!

What you need:

  • 1 plank of wood [I used pine that was ~9.5″ wide and X” long (the width of your tub)]
  • Minwax wood stain (I used English Chestnut)
  • Paint brush
  • Rag (to wipe away excess stain)
  • Paint blanket
  • Screw gun
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • 2 cabinet pulls
  • Tape measurer

 

Directions:

1.) Measure the width of your bath tub

2.) Go to your local hardware store and purchase a plank of wood and have the store cut the wood to your desired length

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3.) Paint your piece of wood with the stain and wipe away the excess stain. Let dry outside (or in an area of good ventilation).

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4.) Once your wood is dry, grab your gun, drill bit, tape measurer and cabinet pull. Take the width of your piece of wood, subtract the width of the cabinet pull and divide by two. This will tell you how far you measure in the pull. For this project, I put the handles 3″ deep from the length and 3 1/8″ in from the width.

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5.) Flip your board upside down and screw in the screws that come with the cabinets pulls. On the top side, screw on your handles and relax!

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With Love,

Jenna

 

Home Decor · Home Projects

DIY Herb Garden

Happy Tuesday, Embarquers!

It feels like this is the time of the year when people start to get the mid-winter blues. The best way to relief this feeling is by adding some greenery to your home. This not only adds color to your home, but fresh oxygen as well.

Here in Texas, the home improvement stores are starting to get potted herbs. In the northern areas, there are seeds that are available for purchase (if there aren’t potted herbs available).

This is a simple project that only requires 30 minutes of active time. Below are the details:

 

Items needed:

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-Wine crate (available at Total Wine for $10, but note there’s a limited supply- call ahead to see if there’s inventory)

-Minwax wood stain (I used English Chestnut)

-Paint brush

-Rag

-Organic potting soil

-Potted herbs, or herb seeds (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand of: basil, parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano)

 

Directions:

1.) Take your wine crate, and set on a painting blanket or canvas to protect your flooring. Make sure all of the surfaces on the crate are clean (if there are stickers present that you don’t wish to have present, simply take a wet paper towel, and allow for it to sit on the sticker for 15 minutes, and scrape off. (Note: Your crate may also have parts of the lid sticking out of the top…grab a Phillips Screwdriver and hammer and push out the piece of wood stuck in between the staple and the crate. Second, when your screwdriver is still in between the staple and the crate, push your screwdriver toward the bottom of the crate and the staple will release.)

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2.) Paint on a coat for stain, and wipe off the excess stain with your rag. Stain all exterior surfaces of the crate. Stain the top quarter of the crate (to insure you’re not painting the area the soil will be touching and leaching into your herbs). Let the crate sit in the sun until fully dry.

Note: For those of you that have never stained before, the stain will not adhere to the wood the same in all areas… some areas will have a darker tint than others, but that adds the character to your piece, so it’s okay  😉

 

 

3.) Once your crate is dry, line the crate with newspaper. (The reason I do this is because I don’t want soil coming through the bottom cracks where the planks of wood meet, and it also keeps the wood from getting stained if you decide to use the crate for a later use.) Fill your crate 2/3 full of soil. Dig 6 deep holes (deep enough to fit your potted herbs). Place your herbs in the hole, and sprinkle on additional soil to hide all remains of the potted herbs soil. (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand because the planters the herbs come in are compostable. There’s no need to take your plants out of the container- simply place your plant in the ground and cover with soil.)

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Note: If you’re using seeds, I recommend taking a wet paper towel, fold your seeds in the towel, place in an unsealed Ziploc bag overnight and allow the seeds to germinate. In the morning, you will see each set of seeds will be covered in mold (this is good). Plant your seeds in a quarter inch deep hole, cover and water.

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4.) Mark all of your herbs with the proper labels (feel free to get crafty with your labels), and attend with the recommended care.

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Get out there and find your inner green thumb.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Home Decor · Home Projects

Make a Statement Collage Wall

Happy Thursday!

I’m sure you’ve seen collage walls on Pinterest and how to create one of your own. I think all of the tutorials have great valid pointers, but quite frankly, most people don’t have the time for the long tutorials given. An example would be to trace every frame on butcher paper, lay out a variety of designs, pick one you like, tape it to the wall, then find where the nail hook is on the paper, mark it, hammer the nails, put up the pictures and if you don’t like it, START ALL OVER 😦 … Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea if you have an entire afternoon to play around and like to see the spacing before putting up the pictures (Click here for an awesome tutorial on a tutorial that uses butcher paper).

Personally, I like to wing my projects. It always ends up in a different direction I didn’t anticipate, but enjoy the outcome much more than the original plan (you’ll see that I end up playing around with the collage a little bit).

Let’s get to it!

 

What you need:

-Level with a measuring stick

-Nails (as many as it takes)

-Toothpaste (yes, I’m serious)

-Hammer

-Pictures and accessories to hang (don’t be afraid to add quirky items- this is about you and your story)

 

Directions:

1.) Lay out your collage on the floor. Remember to have fun with it and play around- this isn’t a something on The Amazing Race where you need to complete a task as quickly as possible and solve a puzzle. Relax, pour yourself a glass of wine if it helps the creative juices flow 😉 (and you’re 21+).

Keep in mind:

  • When you’re laying out your photos, try to keep them within a certain range of inches from one another. Almost every image is within 1 to 2 inches or another item.
  • Another way to keep cohesion is the have one or two colors in each piece, I went with the black frames and gold as an accent color.
  • Every item (with an exception or two) is in line with at least two items. This is easier to see in the finished product, but at least two edges will line up with two other items. Scroll to the bottom if you’re a little confused.

 

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2.) I started with the piece that made the largest statement (which is the skull of course), and put the pictures up around from there. Now is the time for the toothpaste! Take a frame, and put an itty bitty dot on the back of the frame where you’re going to be hooking the nail. Once you arrange where you want the picture, press your picture against he wall, set your frame to the side, and your toothpaste will mark where you’ll hammer your nail.

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3.) Start to build around your statement piece. Notice, your statement piece doesn’t have to be in the middle of your wall. I put mine to the lefthand side because I wanted to make it a little less predictable. Do whatever works for your style.

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Yes, I do notice some of the pictures were crooked during the hanging process 😛 the vibration from the hammer hitting the wall will do that, but simple correct your pictures once you’re done.

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I got to this point, and didn’t like where the wall was going, so I added in some art my sister and brother-in-law gave me.

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Know that it’s okay to change your mind during this process. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time you go through. I suggest altering small sections until it meets the look your aspiring to create.

This project is really much less daunting than it can appear.

Note: When looking for frames, I like to go to stock up on dollar frames at Walmart or the Dollar Store. Pick different frames and paint them to match one another.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself and the time you spend creating this work of art.

 

With Love,

Jenna