[Old] Backyard Upgrade

Searching through hear archived posts really is kinda fun. A little reminiscing on a random Thursday morning.

This is the time we updated our back “porch”. I use the term lightly because it was just a small slab of concrete when we first started, and grew into a real outdoor hangout space before we left.

For Christmas one year my dad got with Stephen and the guys built a pergola for us. It was something I had talked about off and on and my dad followed through with my words and made it happen!  The ONLY downside to that amazing gift is that we couldn’t take it with us when we moved…  Thinking about it now, our new home really could use a little outdoor oasis upgrade


Digging the post holes was quite the workout because of the rocky soil we had in our yard.

Do you see that muscle in my left arm?! Wowza! I wonder what I was doing back then…

-cutting, building, you get the idea-

The pergola of homestead drive – before I cleaned the gross porch floor and we added a swing and expanded the porch to the left with concrete and added a table and chairs. I really miss that back porch, it was used all the time.

(From just before we moved, when we listed our house in fall of 2014)

We had to cut down the giant oak tree because of a lightening strike that killed the tree and was rotting/dropping branches, and the girls loved playing on the leftover stump!

I love me a good outdoor expansion project. Especially when it involves my hubby and dad making it happen ;)

A Simple Jeans Refashion

It’s been a little over 2 months since I had Elanor and I have reached that size where my pregnancy jeans don’t fit and my pre-pregnancy jeans are… well, let’s just say small.

After dropping Sarah off at Mothers Day Out this morning I made a quick stop at Goodwill to try and find some in-between jeans. After trying on a few racks (and finding out what size I am NOT) I left with 2 pairs of pants. I’m wanting jeans I can wear with my boots or flats, so the skinny jean/tight ankle look was what I was searching for. 1 pair was just that, and the other was a wide straight leg. My mom helped me fix that problem right up. There’s nothing a mom and sewing machine can’t fix ;)

I actually thought to take a before picture so I could share the transformation. Check it out.


the after

Skinny leg (still post-pregnancy weight) American Eagle jeans for only $5.89

They (and 1 other pair I got) fit perfectly with boots. I’m slowly getting used to this skinny jean fashion… just in time for it to probably go out of style ;)

After a successful day of jean re-fashioning the girls and I picked up Stephen and on our way home the car decided to die on the interstate. We were on the I-10 bridge, which if you are local you know it can be a crazy fast and dangerous spot, and the lights started to dim. We JUST made it off the bridge and Stephen pulled off onto the shoulder.

About 40 minutes later my dad picked me and the girls up and took us back to my parents house. Stephen waited for the tow truck and is figuring out a game plan as I type this. Hopefully it’s an easy fix. Our car has really been giving us a run for our money the past year… thankfully it’s always been an easy’ish fix.

I sent him this picture and then he facetimed with Sarah just before she went to bed. Modern technology can be incredible at times!

I guess I will get to try out my new jeans tomorrow since I didn’t plan on staying the night away from home. Pray we have an easy (and cheap) car fix tomorrow!

A Wall Makeover

Surprise, its a house-rated post! I know, I know, its been a while, so you better soak it in because who knows when I’ll be back again ;)

I’ve got a little bedroom update for ya…

Here is the before:



And the after:




I decided to move this piece into our room, since I took it down from the living room a few months back.

I’m quite happy with the results. The wall has been bare since we moved in (that’s over 2 1/2 years people!) and since I’ve been doing a room-by-room cleanup in prep for Elanors arrival I figured what the heck. Now I only have 2 more walls in this room to decorate!

Oh, I guess I never mentioned how the room got painted. Where has the time gone?

While Sarah and I were out of town a few months ago Stephen painted our bedroom. He didn’t tell me, hint to it, or anything. He went to the store, bought some paint and completed his project. The man was on a mission and he definitely shocked the who out of me!

He also stained our dining room table that same weekend!
I sure scored a super awesome man to spend my life with :)

Okay, looks like its snack time. After that, laundry and dishes.
Have a great day!


Small Improvements

About 2 months back I went with my mom to a home liquidators store because she was in search of a bathroom sink. While there I spotted something I’ve been looking for; a floating shelf. Not only was it the same color as our kitchen cabinets, but it was also on clearance for $15! I immediately snatched it up. To top off the experience the shelf rang up for $12. Double score!!

Fast forward 2 months later and the shelf was sitting in the kitchen still waiting for a wall to hang on. I know, it’s a sad visual. Well on Monday my mom came over to see the little lady and we finally got one of my kitchen walls decorated! It’s amazing the work you can get done with an extra pair of hands!

Let me start by showing you what the kitchen looked like when we first moved in.



The much different after


I’m pretty happy with the results. Here it is from the view in the den.




Looking at this picture actually makes me aware that we need to paint some walls up in this house! Sarah’s nursery is the only room that has been painted since we moved in (which is coming up on 2 years soon!)

I figured it was high time I shared a recent project. Hope you like it :)


In-between Nap Times

On Saturday I got together with my friend Nicole to work on a fun house project. Now that I think about it it’s more of an outside-the-house item, but I will probably steal it from our front door and use it inside as well…

Last week my mom, Sarah, Nicole, and I met up at Jo-Anns to search for some needed items. Our list consisted of: yarn, felt, and any decorative items we liked. Let me tell ya this, having my mom with us made the trip go SO quick! I forgot what it was like to shop without having to entertain a baby. Although her desire to eat my yarn and touch everything was really cute to watch :)

I spent just under $4 for all my supplies and here is the breakdown of what we did…


A piece of foam Plumbing Pipe Cover + Masking Tape
(aka: a super cheap wreath)


The nitty gritty wrapping process


1 hour later


Felt colors: White, Plum, & Grey


Here’s one of my buds with a button


Buttons, anyone?


My felt flowers


The final product
Here it is next to the front door


A nice little closeup shot

(the wreath looks caddywampus and thinner on the botton,
but that’s just my great photography skills. It’s the same width all the way around)


I still have to find my wreath hook so I can hopefully hang it on the door. I’m also going to use the [.98 cent] letter “R” I got from Hobby Lobby and hang it in the middle. Gotta appreciate fun DIY projects you find online.

Speaking of, on Monday my friend Whitney and her daughter Bella came over for a little while. One of the first things Whitney asked me was if I’d heard of the website Pinterest. It totally cracked me up because that is where we got this DIY Wreath idea. It was the only reason I was able to show Whitney how to make rosettes for her hair, since I had JUST finished doing some myself. Gotta love the interwebs and all it’s tutorial goodness :)

Anybody else working on some fun projects?! Fall is around the corner and I can hardly wait. Oh cooler weather, please grace us with your presence sooner than later. I’m ready for some bonfires and pumpkin spice doughnuts.




Shading the Kitchen

When we moved into our house one of the things I absolutely loved were the french doors to the back yard. Having the glass panels let it so much wonderful light, and I love looking outside at all the birds and trees. Well, we moved into our house in December. December is generally a nice cool month in Florida. Fast forward 5 months to summer and my opinion quickly changed. Most people in the southern states know that non-covered windows in the summer equals massive heat! Blinds and curtains are almost a necessity in order to keep your electric bill from bankrupting you. I don’t think our french doors would have been a problem if they weren’t facing west, and weren’t in the kitchen. Sun sets in the West, dinner is cooked in the evening… both of those situations make for one HOT kitchen and dining room at night. Seriously, I purposefully don’t use the oven because it gets boiling hot with the sun streaming in the doors and my over-the-sink window.

I love natural light. I love the sun. I love seeing outdoors. However, I don’t love sweating while cooking. I don’t even like it. Not one bit. Which is why I have been searching for a solution.

My first idea was to buy the french door window blinds. They have the kind that lock on top of your window so that you have blinds INSIDE the glass attachment (examples here). I wanted them, badly. We went to a few home improvement stores and found that they are around $120 per window. Yikes, that is more than I was wanting to spend. I have quite a few house projects I’m wanting to complete and I wasn’t on board with draining most of my home improvement budget on one project.

Solution number two was to get wood blinds and put them over the  glass part of the door (for examples click here). Our friends the Cooks and the Coleys have this type and I really like them. They would be cheaper than the in-glass attachment, and still allow me to let light in when I want.

The project was a go. We went to the store and priced them, measured our doors so we could pick them up and then we hit a big snag. Our doors are metal. Have you ever tried drilling into metal? Well I can tell you that we didn’t even try. My affordable, attractive, and ‘simple’ solution was a bust.

I decided it was time to take this challenge into my own DIY hands. I did some blog and google searching and found my own homemade solution, and instead of explaining it I’m just going to show you a before and after picture. Everyone loves pictures, it’s a much better visual (and you won’t have to read anymore boring blinds talk, score!)


Dining Room Before


Dining Room After


I am LOVING the results. It is seriously so much cooler in the house today than it was yesterday. Plus, now I don’t worry about walking around in my undies and someone seeing me. Silly thing to worry about?! Heck no it isn’t, especially when you don’t have a privacy fence up (yet) !!

Also, I saved SO much cash on this project. I got the fabric with a 40% off coupon, and the magnetic curtain rods were only $12 each. Leftover project money means I get to move onto another project, yay!! Plus, we had the added bonus of not having to drill into the doors!

It took me about 2 hours to get the curtains made, and it may seem silly, but I love that the magnetic rods give me the option to do this:

and this

Will I ever move the curtains up or down like that? I have no idea, but if Sarah wants to stare outside, she can, or if I want to see Stephen while he’s outside grilling, I can. Heck, I can even remove them completely from the door and put them back on later.

It’s funny how I can think back and remember how totally bummed I was when my first two idea’s couldn’t work. I’m sure glad they didn’t because I like this solution A LOT more.

I’m looking forward to how much cooler our kitchen and dining room are going to be. Maybe I’ll start using the oven again! I know Stephen will be really excited about that ;)


New From Old

When I posted the Nursery Reveal for you I told you I would show you the process of some of the projects. With the surprise of our little girl arriving a week early it has taken me a while to get some of these “transformations” ready for your viewing.

The first before-after project I’m going to share with you is the wall shelf that I gave a nice update. Here’s a little reminder of what it looks like in the nursery.

Since the picture I have re-arranged some of the things on the shelf, but it looks close to the same as the picture. Instead of the pink birdie handing I switched it out for Sarah’s 1st swimsuit (which is absolutely Adorable)! And the turtle on the shelf got moved to the floor as the door stopper. Moving on…

This is what the shelf looked like for the past 20 years, hanging in my brother’s bedroom.


A nice lovely dose of pine wood

I considered painting it a few different colors to add some POP to the nursery, but decided having all white furniture and then 1 piece with color would probably throw off the balance.

Thankfully I had some white paint that my mom let me have from when they painted their kitchen cabinets. Actually, I don’t even know why I was considering a different color when I had free paint on hand?!?!


the during process

One afternoon when my energy level was at a nice high I grabbed a sheet, the shelf, my sander and some paint. I sanded the shelf down with some 120 grit sandpaper, just to remove some of the glossy veneer. After some sanding I wiped it down and started applying coats of paint. Mid-painting I considered leaving the piece like this:

Giving it a bit of a shabby-chic look. Then I decided to just go the whole way and made it freshly white, with no lines or wood grain showing through.

Thankfully we had some crazy awesome weather in February this year, so the sun dried the paint in record timing. I think it took me 2 hours to do the entire project, dry time included.

There ya have it, a simple DIY project completed in no time at all.

Total cost of this project:  $0.00
We already had the dirty sheet to paint on, the brush and roller I used, the shelf was a hand-me-down, and the paint was from a used bucket.

You gotta love a free makeover :)


Finally a Foyer

With this recent change in my energy level I have been getting a lot done around the house. My mom says it’s “nesting”, and if that’s true I wish I could buy it in a bottle for the other 360 days of the year! With the nursery completed I have been getting the house swept, scrubbed, vacuumed, and de-cluttered as much as possible. I’m pretty sure I’ve done more in this past week than the past 9 months!

One project I have been wanting to complete since we moved in is the foyer. We don’t have a ‘formal foyer’ or anything like that, our 1970’s ranch home has more of a “walk straight into the living room” layout to it. But because the man who flipped our house closed in the garage and moved the living room there, we have what I call an “entry room”. I have no idea what to do with it. We have the piano in there, and a rug. It’s actually pretty bare and sad when I stop and think about it. But I now feel that it’s “openness” will come in handy these next few months as we have a baby moving in and taking up any empty space. So ignoring the overall entry-room not being decorated, I did finally setup and designate our official entry way.

Here are some shots of our latest and greatest home improvement.

Here is the Entry Before:


The white dresser is a recent addition. My friend Amanda let me use it for the nursery, but it didn’t fit because of the small space we had available. We moved it out to the foyer and I really liked it’s placement. Next step was to make it look like an actual setup, and not just a temporary furniture spot (I usually have my Goodwill pile stashed there, so it was a good change!)

Here is the AFTER:


The space provides a nice landing zone for keys, and the drawers will be awesome for baby-storage (baby items of course, not our actual child). I know I would really like a pop of color on the walls, it would really liven up the house, but that is much further down on the to-do list.

What do you think? The space has been used for far too many temporary things to make for a nice feel when you enter the house. Imagine walking in and there are 2 bikes right in front of your walkway. Or most commonly a pile of boxes that were needing to be taken to the recycle bins. I think this is a definite upgrade!

Anyone else working on some home projects? I love a good before & after!!


An Easy Nursery DIY

Yesterday was a successful day in the Ringl house. Since I am now in the ‘waiting’ stage of our new family member, I am trying to keep myself busy and active. One of the projects I have been wanting to accomplish for the nursery was a DIY bedding set. Well, I am flip-floppy on the need for a crib bumper, but with the strorage capabilities under the crib, I was still hoping to get a crib skirt made. Primarily to hide the giant box we’ve got stashed under there.

I was pretty sure this was going to be a time consuming and detailed task, but it turned out to be super easy. Seriously, even if you think you are the worst craft or project person, you could complete this with hardly any effort!

This is what the crib looked like yesterday morning. You can definitely see the box stashed under there.



Remember this fabric from a post I did about 2 months ago…


A simple online search resulted in a 40% off JoAnns coupon, so the fun fabric quickly joined our humble abode.

Next, with the help of my mom, some awesome sticky back velcro attachments, and no-sew heat-n-bond, we went to work.



We laid the fabric out and cut the 4 pieces we needed. With the simple help of an iron we went to town.


We did one side at a time, just to make sure we had the measurements correct.  The sticky adhesive also makes it crazy easy to change out the skirt, if I ever desire too (which I won’t, because I LOVE the fabric)!!


See how awesome it looks!!  It’s so light and soft. Follows right in line with my whimsical woodlands theme I was going for.


Now, for a “dramatic” before and after.





While we were originally going to sew the skirt from some online tutorials I found, we went the ‘quick and easy’ route. We finished our first-ever crib skirt project in about half-an-hour! It was amazingly easy, and ridiculously satisfying.

It may seem silly, but I feel like it really gives the room a completed feel. Plus, we did it all for under $15, which is one-thousand times better than the $160 price tag for the bedding set I was originally looking at.

Just another successful DIY project that shows how much $$ you can save with a simple online tutorial, and a little elbow work.