Tag: Home

2013 Gets Me Every Time


Goodbye 2013. You were good to us. You gave us lots of snow.

You gave us a chance to get together & remember a wonderful man.


You gave me a clearer vision.


You gave us burgers. (And a grill to cook them on.)


You gave us tiny DIY upgrades.


And huge DIY upgrades.


You gave us a bigger world view.

HomeTour_GMET_1And an even bigger reason to hurry home.

Now on to just as great adventures in all sizes. Come at me, 2014.


A Valancing Act Gets Me Every Time

So, this was our bathroom window before. A little sad, don’t you think?


OK. Very sad.


But now. Well, it’s better than it was. Let’s just say that. Note, this was an evening project, so the pictures are less than ideal. This was a no-sew project. So quickly, let’s review with Kelly’s “How-to make a no-sew modern valance in one evening.”


First find a scrap piece of wood and cut it so it’s about 2 inches wider than the window frame. (It’s ok if there’s paint or imperfections, you’re going to cover it.)


Speaking of, grab a scrap piece of some neutral fabric. Now, wrap your board in the fabric, just like a present, and staple it together. Make sure to staple it all on one side, so one side has staples, the other none. (The side with the staples faces the ceiling.)


So, here, it’s worth mentioning that I used the bottom of an IKEA curtain that I had chopped off and hemmed from another project. I used one piece to wrap the board, and another piece for the next step.


I measured how long I wanted the valance to hang and left enough to fold and staple to the top of the board. Then I carefully laid it out, making sure the bottom of the valance and the edge of the board were parallel. Then, staple in place, but not on the ends.


Next, it’s time to carefully fold the corners, again like wrapping a present, to form a corner at the front edge of the board. Here’s where you staple the ends into place.


Now, we’re ready to hang it. I got these fancy brackets at the hardware store and I used some highly scientific methods to mark those purple lines that needed to line up with the edge of the board. (Read: the Mr. held it up while I figured out how it would hang.) So, then, it was just a matter of screwing them into the board.


And here’s a look from the ground, of the finished valance hanging over the window. An hour-long project that needs an extra set of hands for the last couple steps. Let’s take one last look at the window.



We actually completed this project a few weeks back and have since hung some photos, a mirror and some small storage. I’ll give you guys the full tour (of this tiny half bath) soon, promise!

Giving Thanks Gets Me Every Time

We have so much to be thankful for today and everyday. More than can be expressed in words. Here’s hoping your holiday (or just another Thursday) was wonderful. And here’s a few snapshots from ours.

AroundHere_Thanksgiving8 AroundHere_Thanksgiving5 AroundHere_Thanksgiving3 AroundHere_Thanksgiving1 AroundHere_Thanksgiving4 AroundHere_Thanksgiving6 AroundHere_Thanksgiving7

From the top: our dining room starting to feel like a dining room | a beautiful centerpiece | place card holders (in the shop soon!) | gluten-free chocolate chip cookies | our chain of thankfulness | the bird | carving together & some autumnal flowers

A New Headboard Gets Me Every Time


Sweet dreams are made of these. And new headboards.
Because, guys, dreams are real.
OK. If you’re still with me, instead of sucked down that rabbit hole called YouTube, we’re talking about this new headboard. Because why go through your life knowing you can make a headboard, then never doing it again?


So, first up, I gathered my supplies. No gonna lie, it took twice as long to get everything together than it did to make this headboard. I went to Jo-Ann’s for the fabric and some 1.5 inch foam. Then, after many careful measurements, I headed to lowe’s to have some wood cut and pick up some T-plates and corner braces (right). Then I went to another craft store (’cause I had a coupon, y’all) to grab some batting, and some foam core boards. Once home, I grabbed my tape measure, drill, screw box, staple gun and spray adhesive.


So, disclaimer, this should be titled “how to build a headboard with as little construction as possible.” I carefully laid out all my wood. These are the pieces I had cut: two long pieces that will serve as the legs, two cross pieces the width of our bed, and  one middle beam for support and structure. This is where fancy, advanced people would drill fancy holes or make fancy cuts to make this all fit together. Me, I just used those handy corner braces and T brackets. Drill, baby, drill.


You may remember from my last headboard, I used a solid piece of pegboard as my structure. But, that was for a full size bed. Since we upgraded to the king size, we needed an upgraded, yet lightweight headboard. Using pegboard or plywood as a base would have been heavier than I was looking for. That’s where the foam core came in. I calculated the total area of the headboard and bought enough pieces of foam core to act as the base. Then I just screwed them into the frame.


From here, I cut up my foam to fit the headboard area—it was more than long enough, but not tall enough, so I snipped off the extra and placed it at the bottom to fill in the bottom. After everything was lined up, I picked up each piece and used a little bit of spray adhesive to hold the foam in place.Headboard7

Then, I laid down my batting and flipped the whole thing—frame, attached to foam core, attached to foam—so I could pull the batting taut and staple it to the back of the frame. Then it was another time to flip again. This time to line up the fabric. While the last go around I went with some tufting, this time, I settled on a print. And it was super important that these stripes were straight.


To line up the fabric, I rested the headboard against the wall and played around with the placement until it was just right. Then I put a few staples in around the sides, flipped it back over and stapled all the way around. And, drumroll please…


They look pretty straight to me. Don’t you think? If you’ve been following along on Instagram, stripes are becoming a theme around these parts. Just can’t get enough. I love them. Bring on the stripes and the sweet dreams.

Kitchen Updates Get Me Every Time


It’s ready for primetime—the kitchen! But more importantly, it’s ready for dinnertime. As you can see from the above “split screen” photo, the biggest change is paint. And lots of it. 

We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Athena and the cabinets Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace. We also added new hardware including drawer pulls, cabinet handles and hinges. Let me tell you, those little guys start to add up quickly. Regardless, we love the look.


If full disclosure, we did hire a painter to refinish the cabinets for us. BUT… he got a little sloppy and we were not happy with the results at all. So, we repainted them ourselves. Over many weekends and nights. (He had already gone over his timeline and we were beyond ready to have our house back.) I found a few resources online, but stuck pretty close to the step-by-step over at Young House Love. Especially since their cabinets looked pretty similar to ours.


The other big change that we made was adding some more airiness to this side of the room. We removed that double cabinet to the left of the sink to allow more light to stream into the kitchen. The photos were taken at different times, so it’s not best to judge these two against one another in terms of natural light flooding in.


We picked up the brackets at IKEA and had two pieces of wood cut to fit the space. Then, they all got a coat of Chantilly Lace paint and we mounted them on this little piece of wall.


Here’s a closer look. There enough room for the glasses that we use daily, a big serving bowl and a cookie jar that’s just waiting to be filled with something sweet. We did a lot of holding up random pieces of cardboard and scrap wood to determine the depth, which is just under 8 inches.


Another big change was filling that empty hole right there. The previous owner took the fridge, but that was OK with us.


Because now we have a gorgeous stainless steel one. It’s lower profile than the previous owners. Plus, it’s got water and ice in the door! You guys, this is a first for me and I couldn’t be more excited.


The other appliances are all staying the same for the time being. I mean, let’s talk about a serious expense. But we don’t mind. After living without a dishwasher for three years, I’m just happy there is one at all.


This is the view from our “family room,” which a reveal of is coming soon, don’t you worry. We still need some art over there to the left of the cabinets too. All in time. All in time.


Lastly, the floor. It’s not exactly our taste, but it’s in good shape, is durable and easy to clean. So, we’re sticking with it for now. Who knows what the future will hold. So, one last look. Above: before. And…


After. Coffee brewing. Dishes cleaned. All is right in the world.

A Jewelry Box Gets Me Every Time


A while back, before we knew how’d we furnish every space in our home, I found this apothecary chest at the Cambridge Antique Market, right outside of Boston. It was a steal at just $100–solid wood and all 18 drawers open and close easily. I knew I had to have it. And I quickly turned it into my new jewelry box in a few short steps.


I knew it needed legs, but how could I drill into that beautiful wood. You’re right, I couldn’t. And I didn’t Instead, I measured, had a piece of wood cut to size and stained it a little darker than the chest itself. Then I ordered some 30″ Parsons wood legs and attached them to the bottom.


Once I double checked that the wood fit snuggly under the chest, I took the “table” apart to stain the legs black. Our main chest of drawers of black, so it all coordinates. After a little drying time, the chest went back up on the legs and into the bedroom.Jewels5

And that’s it. It’s the perfect way to separate all my jewelry and a nice addition to our bedroom. I’m sharing more updates on our room this week. Stay tuned!


Two Tiny Tables Get Me Every Time


If moving and unpacking and getting settled isn’t enough for a summer, I decided we would throw a few projects into the mix. The first of which, was relatively simple and inspired by this IKEA hack. And by inspired, I mean, it was such a great idea I pretty much replicated it. Only twice. (Thanks, Katy!) We had two of these old IKEA laundry bags/stands. And since we’re not schlepping our clothes to communal laundry any longer, we no longer need these eye sores in our bedroom.


So, how exactly do we get from seen-better-days laundry bag to modern, sleek end table? Well, I’m so glad you asked. First, you measure your metal stand. Then you measure it again. Just to be sure. And write down the measurements while you’re at it. Then, if you’re like me, you go to your favorite hardware megastore and find a nice piece of wood that’ll show wood grain on all sides. Finally, show your measurements to the guy (or gal) near the big fancy saw and have them cut to your exact specs.


Before heading home, pick up some stain in a color you like and some spray paint too. Efficiency, people. We chose an almost natural color stain and we picked this brand because it was ready for a top coat of poly (which we already had) in only an hour. Love that.


For spray paint, we went with an oil rubbed bronze because it added a little something more than just your plain old black. Yeah, it’s getting fancy up in here. After a couple light coats of spray paint, I let these bad boys dry in the shed overnight, just to make sure they were cured and the spray paint smell was completely gone.


The next day, we all came back inside and got to gluing. I just used Elmer’s wood glue to attach the stained and sealed boards to the painted laundry stands. I grabbed a couple of heavy wood planks we had around to add some pressure—you could use clamps, if you’re really advanced and fancy, or books or a sleepy old cat, whichever you have.



And that’s it! A simple project that reuses an almost forgotten laundry bag. That is how you IKEA hack, my friends.

‘And We’re Back’ Gets Me Every Time

Toyidermy's New Shop

We packed, we moved, we unpacked are still unpacking. But, one of my first order of business was digging out my “Toyidermy” supplies and getting my Etsy shop relaunched. Now that I have a space—that’s not the kitchen table—to work on, I’m so excited to start sending out orders again. For those of you that saw my previous work space, you know what a huge improvement this is.

I’ve been drafting up some new product ideas and some holiday fun too. (there’s a sneak peek of one in the photo above!) Plus, I was just accepted to my first ever craft fair, here in the Boston area right around Thanksgiving. I’m excited, nervous and anxious all at the same time. Fellow crafters—let me know if you have any pointers!



Living the American Dream Gets Me Every Time


So, as you guys know, we have a new home. So, in the spirit of independence, freedom and all things American, I wanted to give you guys a little digital tour of the new homestead. Before we begin, keep in mind this is an empty house. An empty house that needs paint and some window treatments and just the right lighting. OK, ready?


The open space in the house was a huge selling point for us. Along with the wood floors. And the new windows. And that gas “wood” stove.


The kitchen isn’t the most grand, but it’s perfect for us. We’ve already got a new refrigerator (not to worry) and we’ve got some updates planned in there as well.HomeTour_GMET_4

The master suite is currently our favorite place in the house. It’s been painted. It gets great morning light. And we both have our own sink. Oh, and something about a great closet.


And look, you can come visit. There are two rooms to choose from—unless you want to stay in the basement that is.


More photos to come as we paint, update and decorate. Can’t wait to fill you in!

Parting Gets Me Every Time


For just shy of three years, I called this tiny one bedroom apartment home. Two with Mr. GMET, all three with our #LouiseTheCat. Before this, I had lived in two other Brookline apartments, and I’m sad to no longer call it home. As a family, we had so many special moments in Brookline:

• went on our first date while I lived there.
• brought Louise home.
• were married at our church.
• first lived together.

Those are the big memories but there are countless others like walking home from Red Sox games (okay, we only did this once), watching the marathon fly down Beacon Street (thanks, Cate!), going to “our” breakfast spot every Sunday and begin regulars at some of our favorite restaurants.

Thanks for the memories, Brookline! You’re only a short drive away, so I’m sure we’ll be back soon.