Prepping for Houseguests

During the holidays I came up with a great idea for visiting guests!  I was super excited because this was my 1st personally-thought up project :)  Yay

I don’t know about you guys, but when I go out of town or on vacation I always seem to forget something. Whether it be a razor, my shampoo, or (the most common) my toothbrush – I always seem to arrive minus 1 or 2 important things.  With that thought process I knew the perfect “feel at home” item for house guests. Introducing to you:  The Welcome Basket

After I had the idea I found this super cute basket at Target and knew it had to join the Ringl family


Isn’t it adorable?!?!  It has the cute liner with Christmas colored snowflakes, which I can switch out for different seasons :)   I love multi-use items!!

On a lovely rainy morning we made a run to the store to pick-up some last-minute items.  Somehow that turned into a car load… at least we weren’t under-stocked! After a day of cleaning we finally had an empty room that was ready for guests (we may or may not have been using the guest room as our storage area, hehe).  But with the Ringl Powers combined we de-cluttered that room like no one has ever done before!  I have to brag because it was a rocking awesome job!   Okay, back to the post-at-hand…

One extra thing I thought of,  if you’re interested,  it really goes a long way to find out some tidbits about your soon-to-be house buddies.  Like: what’s their favorite snacks or drink of choice?!  Do they have an air freshner of choice?!  I mean, I don’t wanna turn our guests off because I like the smell of  Cinnamon and they like Hawaiian Paradise, ya know?!  Plus, It’s always nice to visit somewhere and have items you enjoy close-by so you don’t have to run to the store yourself, especially in an unfamiliar town.


So if you are able to get the inside-dish on your lovely room-dwellers, you can then fill the basket with Awesome Goodies and possible travel needs.


This next step was high priority for us since we just moved into a new house and don’t have a linen closet full of extras, but having new Bed Linens, Pillows, and Super-Soft Towels never go unnoticed!  So much so that we are now wanting to upgrade ourselves!


Now, the whole shebang put together …


Isn’t it a beautiful site?!?!  :)    All thumbs up for new sheets, pillow, towels, bath items AND candy !!!   I think the basket went over well.  We also setup a mirror in the room with some candles, a tissue box and spare hangers in the closet.   Now that the holidays are over it may be some time until we have some visitors, but when we do we are prepared and ready!!

A Den of Idea’s

One of the exciting things about the new house is the great amount of living space we have upgraded to.  When you first walk into the house you have (what I call) the Den:

Den_Before(the furniture in this room is from when it was being “staged” before we bought it)

To the right of the den is the Living Area.  It’s where we have the tv and all that stuff.  I try and describe it like this: Den = Formal Living Area,  Living Room = Hangout Space

I created what is “bloggingly” called a ‘Mood Board’.  A mood board is a poster-type design that shows images and examples of objects that you want to place in a space.  I love this because it allows me to show you what we want to do to the rooms in our house before we get it completed.  It’s a way for me to make sure my idea’s will actually look good!

So, ladies and gentleman, I present to you my Very First Mood Board:

The Ringl’s Den


These are the basic idea’s of what I want to bring into the Entry Room/ Den

Because the house is all tiled, minus the bedrooms, we will be incorporating a lot of rugs. For adding color to the room, controling the echo in the house, and to keep my toes’ies warm :)

-We have white curtains to let in plenty of light
-An entry table to drop the keys or mail on (plus a bottom shelf to stack magazines and such)
-I really like the rug!  The colors are light and go with the seating. Plus the design is really fun!
-We already have the piano in the room, so alot of the design is incorporated to flow with that.
-The bird pillow is a personal favorite of mine! A bit of a personal-style choice :)
-I also really like the sunburst mirror. It adds some design spunk’ness and provides availability for that last-minute makeup check
-Plants are great to bring color into a room &  the tree art-work is also nice for adding some wall decor!

There ya have it folks. You are looking into the mind of Cassie Ringl as you browse over that design!  While I want the couch to be a lighter shade of beige/tan – I just got tired of google’ing furniture,  my eyes could only take so much!!

Hope you are all having a FANtastic 1st day of the New Year :)   I have no doubt that 2010 is going to be an all time favorite.  We have a lot of  great idea’s for this new year,  and you know I can hardly wait to share them all with you!

Mud Room

One space in our  new home that I am VERY excited about is our mud room. For those of you who don’t know what a mud room is, well… google it.  Nah, I’m just kidding with you. A mudroom is kind of like an “entry room” of sorts.  A mudroom gets it’s name for being the room you ‘get the dirt off your feet’ when you first walk into your home!  In our house the room is just off the living room and has the washer-dryer in it – not many people go tracking through your laundry room, ya know?!?!!  A lot of people store their freezers in one, or have their utility room attached (such as ours).  Not only is it a room for piles and piles of dirty clothes, or clean ones getting wrinkled in the dryer, the space also has plenty of room for me to add my personal touch.  Hence, why I love this room. I can do whatever I want to it :)

bird rug



There are quite a few needs I have for the room, and I like the idea of incorporating storage with a touch of style!

The little accent of the bird rug is great because it’ll be the first thing  I see when I come in the door (yay).  The second 2 pictures have a bit of the same idea with the bench for sitting/storage.  I’m sure everyone knows that there is no such thing as too much storage!  Am I right??!!   Plus, it’ll be fun running all my different idea’s past Stephen – he usually just looks at me and after a few minutes goes with ‘whatever you want babe’.  I, of course, am totally okay with that answer :)

Alright, so this is Post1 of Mud Room Ideas. I know it is a HUGE surprise to learn that I have a feeeew more idea’s for the space.  Since it is doubling as the utility room Stephen gave the great idea of having a laundry ‘folding’ table.  I am adding in some additional thoughts that include storage bins with baskets so I can hide all those fun items that go along with laundry (aka: Detergent, Stain Stick, Dryer Sheets, Tools, Tools, and more tools… you get the idea).  So stay tuned, I plan on making your brains explode with inspiration!

Twirls, Swirls and Knobs ?!

When you are looking at buying a home there are a few things you don’t see in your “virgin home buying excited eyes”.   For us there weren’t too many things, but one unnoticed item was Bathroom Hardware.

See here. This is what happens when I ask Stephen “which one looks the classiest?”  His eyes get large and almost pop out of his head!  It’s actually pretty funny to see, which is why I snapped a picture of that exact expression.


We narrowed it down to Option Left and Option Right. Also known as “nickel  or brass”


We have handles similar to the left option in our kitchen, but the guest bath has more of a dark color to the vanity, so we decided to go with the one of the right.

As an end note: We got these things last week and they are still sitting in the bag waiting to be installed. Stephen is waiting to get the correct sized drill bit (which may or may not be wrapped and under the Christmas tree…)

House of Blinds

So it’s been 1 week since we closed on the house and we have been busy!  Yesterday I shared with you about our bathroom shade experience, and now I’m gonna take you on a tour of how the rest of the house got some much-needed security.  We had a total of 8 windows to cover in the living room, den, and bedrooms.  After researching what type we wanted we decided to go with some simple white vinyls. My first choice were some great looking white compressed wood blinds, but with Christmas being 2 weeks away and just closing on the house we decided we could “upgrade” down the road and go with something more thrifty, some simple light filtering vinyls. Now if we had a pet or  kids I wouldn’t go the vinyl route, but since it’s just the two of us we don’t have to worry about anyone snapping or damaging them.  Plenty of time to upgrade later :)

After taking multiple measurements we made our first ‘Home Update’ purchase and got ourselves some much needed window-hugging blinds.

So with that said I’m gonna show you how it all went down.

Step 1:  Buy yourself some blinds!


Next:  Mark your spot – nothings worst than an unexpected Re-Do !


Then:  Take TONS of pictures…

This is what happens when I get too camera snappy.  hehe


Don’t Forget to catch those moments they aren’t expecting


Then:  Use those suckers!  When it’s dark outside you’re offering a free show


Most Importantly:  Don’t forget to let the wife install the last one so she can get a super savy picture of her hard work ;)


Well there ya have it.  A personalized blind installation, straight from the Ringl House!   Now, it’s time to get back to watching ‘Christmas Vacation’.  Stephen told me to watch something other than ‘Elf’, which I don’t understand one bit… but I’ll comply like a good wife anyway  ;)

So Fresh and so… Shaded?!

On one of our recent Home Depot runs I was left with an important decision. A decision that would alter our very lives. Stephen asked me to decide, you ready for this … our bathroom window blinds.  Crazy right?!  Such a big decision to make for such a small’ish person. These blinds will grace my eyes every single day in our home!  When I brush my teeth in the morning and then again when I brush my teeth before bed.  When you think about it, the bathroom is a pretty regular-visited spot.  I mean we all have to  shower, check the scale, tweeze our eyebrows – you know, that sorta stuff.

So on yet another rainy-night visit… Oh, by the way,  it has seriously rained EVERYDAY since we moved.  I haven’t been able to walk around our new huge yard yet!   How are we supposed to have an awesomely-fun bonfire if it won’t quit drizzling drops from the sky?!?!  Okay, back to the story… it was yet another rainy night and we were in need of our last set of blinds, or BB as I call them (you know, bathroom blinds). After all,  no one wants a peeping tom through that window,  Yikes!  We are looking around and decide that we want to go with a ‘shade’ instead of the normal horizontal blind. Then comes the next question: What  type or color?!   Well, we are keeping with our bathrooms brown theme and are stuck between two.  We tested them for the usual blind needs: light transparency, durability, speed of closure – you know, the usual.  So after what seemed like 2 minutes to me and 20 years to Stephen we made a decision.

Which do you think we chose:  Option A (the top)  or Option B  (the bottom) ?!?!


Well if you said Option A you are absolutely WRONG!  Haha, got ya didn’t I?!?!  We actually decided to go with Option B, the bottom shade you see in the picture there.  It’s a great color and we are loving the look it adds to our #1, or is it #2, room?!?!   Hey-O   Just kidding people – I couldn’t resist myself  :)

So there ya have it, you now know that we spent more time on our bathroom window covering than ALL the other windows in our house.

Now we just need to work on making Home Depot ‘lists’.  Stephen would be so happy if we would cut it down to a weekly trip.  Heck, what can I say, we are LOVING every second of  homeownership.  Plus, let’s be honest,  I would go to Home Depot every night if  he would let me :)

Sewing Project 1

A few months back I found a website that has GREAT before-and-after pictures. The projects are all done by regular, everyday people like me (Yea!)  It’s called DesignSponge

Well I found a project that looks pretty easy. I’d rate it a 3 on the 1-10 scale. It’s a strap cover for our camera.  Right now the strap is black and boring, and I thought this was a great idea to cute’ify, I mean “spice” it up”!  (I know Stephen would like nothing more than a “cute” camera strap to carry around, hehe)

So now I will walk you through the process, step-by-step, the way I found it on the website.

Step 1:  Get Inspired


Step 2:  Choose your fabric


Step 3:  Iron that sucker down for a clean straight line!


Step 4:  Time to bust out the sewing machine (Yea!!)


Step 5:  Fitting the new strap over your old one…


Step 6:  Voila!!!  A great looking and personalized camera strap


I don’t know about you but I’m inspired!  Now if only we could finally move into our house and I could find my sewing machine …

Table Overhaul

A few months back Stephen bought me a table and it has been sitting under a blanket begging to be completed. I took the first step of sanding it down, but after getting side-tracked a few times she has been horribly ignored.  While it’s not a good excuse,  living in a townhouse didn’t give me a workable space outdoors to do any serious painting.  Heck, to be honest I was so anxious to work on a project that I sanded the table inside… yes that was a bad idea (lesson learned, as well as some extreme dusting skills)!   The table, let’s call her by her color: sandy, was just begging for completion.  At night I would wake up and hear her beckoning me, “Cassssssie, Casssssssie, please come complete me. Please come make me a useful piece of furniture again.”  It was a very interesting experience, I suppose it helped me learn how to sleep through awkward noises … wait no, being married has done that ;)  hehe
I know that the table is in need of a nice coat of paint (or stain, depending on my finds at Home Depot), but I’m not sure what to do with it.   Sometimes I think that a classic brown will look sleek, modern, and clean. Then my mind will sidetrack to this super cool website and contemplate all the cool and funky designs/colors I could implement into the piece.  Now I just don’t know what to do.  I’m in decorating limbo.

Here are some photo’s for you to view so you can see the what I’m working with:


As you can see, she is an old table that needed some major lovin’


The finish took forever to sand off!



So there ya have it, you have now informally met Sandy, in all her bare glory.  Now I am requesting some help from you guys.  How about it, any idea’s spring to mind?!  If this table were yours, what would you want it to look like?!  What colors would you accent her with?!  Brown with some tan trim?  Or maybe white and grey for a classic clean look?!  I’m sure your minds are bubbling with idea’s to share so go ahead. Drop a comment or few, share the inner-workings of your creative (or boring but still appreciated) minds!!  ;)    Who knows, maybe I’ll snag up one of those idea’s and finally get this table completed!!

As an ending side note (or “husband tip”) I think we could really use a sander. Sure my arms get a huge workout with all that sandpaper, but I promise I’ll workout some other way If I can have the luxury of an electric sander.  hint hint ;)

Group Projects

This week 2 of my oldest friends came into town (oldest in length of time I’ve known them of course, not age  ). My friends Melissa and Kelly, who I went to high school with, have both moved away and it’s always like a mini-vacation when they come home to visit! 

While at dinner one night we had one of those moments where we were all thinking the same thing. Melissa and I had previously been talking about a project we were wanting to try to decorate our walls with. While sitting at Applebees for dinner (our old high school hot spot) Kelly pulled a magazine article out and asked us what we thought of this project she wanted to try. The article was of the exact same project Melissa and I had both seen!  It was totally bizarre and awesome. 3 friends, living in 3 different states wanting to do the same DIY Project!  Melissa and I saw the idea on a blog we frequent and Kelly found the same design in a magazine. This is the project …

click here for step-by-step instructions

The difference in this design and what we are doing makes it Easy, Affordable, and Fun for anyone.
Here are a the differences:
-We are using decorative scrapbook paper instead of painting (which is a must unless you want to see stick figures and clouds decorating my panels)  (less than $3 at Hobby Lobby)
-We got Lowe’s to cut 9, 1′ x 1′, MDB (MediumDensityBoard) pieces for us (free of charge)
-Instead of wood trim, we painted the edges a wood brown color (free if you have craft paint)
-Use Spray Adhesive to attach the scrapbook paper (less than $3.00)
-We are making them ourselves instead of paying over $89.00 PER PIECE! Yes, you read that correctly, that design costs per piece, not as a set.

Kelly, Lissa, and I started the project yesterday and they are looking so great! It was such a blast standing in the aisles of Hobby Lobby and lying the scrapbook paper out on the floor to make sure the colors/designs meshed, and then going to paint the boards in Melissa’s parents driveway. This has been the most fun I’ve had with a DIY yet (thanks girls!)  :)
Be sure to check back this weekend for our own personalized versions of this DIY project!