How TO and NOT TO build a vegetable garden

So this is where we’re gonna play another game of – What Not to Do-
Greg and I decided we have this large concrete pad, lets build a 4′ x 4’x by 3.5′ tall Vegetable Garden. It will cover the concrete remnants and be subjected to lots of sunlight. – Sweet –  {Spoiler Alert.. it wasn’t}

Raised Vegetable Garden Disaster

Since I’ve already spoiled the ending below is a photo collage of the construction:
Fence boards kreg jig-ed together for the sides:

Kreg Jig Raised Vegetable Garden Sides

While Greg did all that I stenciled the sides with an awesome logo by using a razor knife, a permanent marker, and some tape.

Stenciling Vegetable Garden

In Process Stenciling Vegetable Garden


As I stenciled the logo, Greg was hard at work constructing our 4′ x 4′ monster vegetable garden.

vegetable garden in proces

raised vegetable garden in process

Raised Vegetable Garden Tutorial

While we can lets enjoy the few other beauty shots I have of this large vegetable box that is no more..

Our Home Place Vegetable Garden Box

Vegetable Garden Box

Before- DIY Raised Vegetable Garden Box

DIY Raised Vegetable Garden Box

So beautiful.. over memorial day weekend we loaded 279045903 lbs of Top Soil, Vegetable Soil and soon afterwards I over packed it with lots of vegetable seeds and seelings including: Tomatoes, Green Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Banana Peppers, Zucchini, Squash and Green Beans..

And then after 2 weeks of straight rain in the begining of June there was a splat.. Which my brother found so funny he caught pictures of me as I threw my temper tantrum.. mixed with complete laughter at our silly FAIL.

DIY Garden Box Epic Fail

DIY Pinterest Garden Box Fail

And here we are again.. Greg scratching his head as we discuss all the FAIL reasons in our GENIUS idea.

Vegetable Garden Box

If you follow me on instagram.. you may have also seen what else Greg and I also scrambled to get done before we left on vacation for a week. On top of my peeling closet seen here..  <<talk about worlds best husband nominee>>


The story of the three little tables

So its been awhile (okay a very very very long while), but between the holidays (yes last years holidays), diy projects, oh and a small event we’ll call our wedding… time slipped by me.  So to catch up, I thought I’d share the story of our lovely dining room table which I continue to receive comments about. This like the fence was one of my solo pet projects I completed by myself. Yay!

As I said our story is like the story of the three little pigs, only in this case we’re talking about tables. Once upon a time, when we purchased our little home place we tried to use our existing furniture. Our first table was a  $100 Craigslist  find that we had for 2 years, it fit perfectly in our Arizona Townhouse. . {Perfect doesn’t even begin to describe how well it fit in our space out there.}

…however in this place it was just TOO BIG… (notice the lack of walkways around the table from the sun room through to the rest of the house).

So we listed it on Craigslist for $100, and sought out find ourselves our next table. Thinking we needed to go smaller I attempted a 2-person table with drop side fold able leaves. and only 2 chairs. Perfect right?

… but this table was just too small. (Wah.. Wah) Not only did we only have seating for two, but it just wasn’t functional for even just the two of us. So it was back to the drawing board… bum bum bum..  {please don’t mind my spatches of colors all over the wall..}

While perusing for my next adventure of the table I had fallen in love with this one on Pinterest,  however instead of building a frame (which I now know would of been easier!), I wondered if I could just add a new top to an existing table and chair set as seen here at ourvintagehomelove.

And then one day there it was, our perfect table.. okay well it definitely wasn’t perfect and I WISH I took a picture of it at the garage sale. It cost us $40 and I was just absolutely giddy the whole way home. (ask Greg.. he remembers)

Our find: a wood table with two side benches, that had been let loose in a children’s paint classroom. Everything but the tops had been painted in bright bold primary colors. But I sold Greg on the potential and he left me do my thing.

I spent all summer experimenting with different paint strippers, and steel wool to clean up and remove the 3-4 coats of paint underneath the legs and bases. Boy did I wish I had gotten that Dremel wedding gift sooner…

Paint Stripping Table and Bench Leg Spindles

I then spray painted all of the legs and bases with a primer coat, and multiple coats of white satin enamel paint, until they were restored to their former and current glory days.

spray painting garage sale table to rustic table

I then sanded and joined 2×10’s until they were baby soft smooth.

2x10's for table top

Wiped on Java stain and let sit for 20 minutes, wiped it off (giving some areas light and dark), then re-distressed edges and areas with my sander again..

staining a table top

After 823479327 coats of poly, and an extra set of hands to mount it to the table base, we were finally left with our beautiful table! Ta-Da!



pretty diy farmhouse table

Pretty table.

A Stripe of a Monday

It was one of those rough Mondays… the kind where you want to pull the covers back over your head, the cup of coffee doesn’t help get you going and nothing during the day seems to go right. While I couldn’t be more looking forward to Friday.. for me accomplishing a DIY project can turn my whole day/night around.

Last Monday I came home and looked at my living room, it was bright outside, but so grr… well gray on the inside. And while gray is what I wanted, but without artwork it was just kind of blah…

what are those colorful cubes in the corner.. we’ll get to that another day..

I read a few blogs that said putting stripes on a wall took less than 3 hours.. Well I had 3 hours to burn before bed so off I went. I combined two tutorials to get my end result.

First I followed the how-to guide from the unskinnyboppy.

1. Using what your momma gave you…
A free project requires getting creative.. so I used my off white trim paint that we had left over from the trim work. Yes it was satin/semi-gloss paint.. but not having to worry about it meeting at the trims really excited me.. I’d recommend going with a matte in the future.. but again using what your momma gave ya..

2. Lucky number 7
I like Beth wanted 3 wide strips across my wall, I took my total wall height which is only around 85″ (yup old home=short ceilings). So 85/7 = ~12″ apart. to make 3 defined stripes across the wall. And for you math geeks, the extra .45802 can be found at the bottom in about an extra 1″ (don’t notice.. Great! We don’t either!)

3. Tape! Those! Lines! (with as much excitement as “Move That Bus”)-
This is where I followed thehouseofsmiths‘ technique. I used a long level, pencil, a handy dandy measuring tape and a ladder or Greg when the long measuring tape and pencil juggling just didn’t work with 2 hands.

As Beth recommended I always measured down my chosen 12″ from the ceiling and made a pencil mark. I penciled across with the level as a straight edge and then.. Taped! Those! Lines!- I used my insurance card to smooth the tape across as I went to get a crisp edge.

ps. remember to tape on the right side of the line.. and if you mess up the best part is you can rip up and try again. (I only did this once or twice… it got dark quick..)

4. Watching (or in this case not watching) Paint Dry 
I painted one coat on each of my 3 stripes, and then went back and did a second coat after about 30 minutes (while I taped the other side). After the second coat you want to “Get that Tape Off” (okay, not nearly as catchy?) but the key to crisp paint lines is taking the paint off right away.
After comparison testing painters tape and working with the tape manufacturers its their #1 recommendation. Longer the tape is on the surface the more prone it is to drips, blips and bleed through… seriously its 3rd party tested.

5. Admire Your Handy work
After about 3 hours of work, I cleaned up and then was able to admire my handy work.
I admired it right away…

And again after I cleaned up:

And again the next day..

Yay Stripes!!!.. okay so I was a little excited.. after a week its worn off.. but I made Greg and my poor brother look at least every day… haha

I’m one of those stubborn I’d rather finish it and feel the accomplishment right away then have a project drag out.. Any one else feel like that after a project? Or have a week day inspiration to tackle a quick project? Did it make you feel better or was it a disaster?

*Tweak*ing our way to an updated living room

As you’ve noticed I’ve become a HUGE slacker in writing posts.

Anyways I started reading a blog called House*Tweaking , I fell in love with their blog (mainly because I like how she refers to her husband as HH (*Handy Husband*) but also because of the tag line of “because home doesn’t happen overnight”.

Now almost a Year into home ownership (<– Yes it’s really been 1 Year since I’ve been back in Buffalo and we looked and fell in love with our house). Anyways.. after a year now I realize while we both work full-time jobs, our home really is a continual series of small mini projects. We can’t typically dedicate solid days to a project but each of our *tweaks* really does add up.

Here is a great example of a series of *tweaks* we’ve done to the living room. This is a side-by-side *before* and *current*: (oh and don’t worry we have even more added tweaks up our sleeves).


I think it looks drastically different. The old space was small, dark, closed in and seemed very very tiny. The new space is large, big and bright.

However, since do work full-time,  this post documents a series of *tweaks*. Each tweak didn’t necessarily change the room drastically, but it does show how small tackled projects can help make a big difference. So without further ado, a series of living room tweaks up to now.

Upon Moving In:

Living room

Moving our existing furniture in.. - living room old style

A quick change of curtains [i love, love, love, love, love  ikea clearance bins!] ikea curtains

A little re-org, a new coat of paint, and removal of the old trim.

New trim mounted and painted…

Then came the fun part.. taking down the unusable bookcase. [It was seriously 7 inches deep… even the bottom cabinets.] Also Greg had fun doing this as you can see…

Only 1 casualty on the way.. Lesson learned: A crowbar will go right through the original plaster walls..

With the book-case out, we moved onto mounting Greg’s baby… *no not Guinness* his 55″ HD Fancy Schmancy TV. He hard-wired a mounting box behind the TV above the fireplace, with all the wires exiting down to the side next to fireplace for the to be new appliance cabinet.

After the TV went up we arrive where we were  just a few days ago. *Voila*

oh and of course: this is all guinness approved:

Next Up for the Living Room:

-Mount TV
-Remove Bookcase
-Paint Walls
-Update Trim & Molding
-Patch Water Damage in ceiling (Guess we could add replace roof onto this.. boo)

-Update closet door ( I want to replace all the doors in the house eventually.. and I have my eye on something like this or this but in white)
-Update window coverings (I love the no curtain look, but I would like the lady next door to not see me enjoying it)
-Wall accent pieces for both the walls
-Hall Entry Furniture, Table/Desk/Dresser?
-Accent Furniture chairs for additional seating
-Get light into the room! Ceiling light? New side lamps?
-Built in cabinets/storage for the side of the fireplace
-Fireplace Re-Fresh (To Paint the Brick or Not to Paint the Brick? and Re-Tile the front of the fireplace)
-To Accent Rug? Or to go bare beautiful floors?
-Coffee Tables/Ottoman (Without the L on the couch its hard to get comfy, and there’s  no place to put your drink or feet)

*side note.. yes we have taken down our Christmas tree.. although it did take awhile..*

Also I apologize in advance if the blog gets taken over by *how to* DIY wedding items.

Adirondack Chair Repair

Did you notice the Adirondack chair that was in the summer wrap up? When we purchased the house there was this sad little piece of furniture left behind by the previous owners. While we didn’t have any outdoor furniture it looked like it was on its way to the curb.  It was weathered, tired, and unstable… (poor chair)

However, Greg tightened up the loose nuts and bolts and it became sturdy again. Ta-Da! Okay we wish, but it was still pretty grungy, dirty and yucky looking.

So once it was structurally okay, I worked on the restoration (my apologies for the lack of pictures). I used a Behr wood cleaner, and with some a scrub brush and within 2 applications it really brought the wood to a natural shine.
Note use gloves when using that toxic stuff, it worked awesome but I did learn my lesson.

After a few weeks of going back and forth I picked up a blue outdoor spray paint which I had hoped would match the cushions for the other patio set we were building. I found the perfect bright blue satin color at my local Valu Hardware store and went to town. It took about 3 cans (and while it still needs another good coat),  I was too anxious and after it dried I fell in love with it. ::happy chair::

❤ What do you think? Are brightly colored furniture going to be out of style? Anyone else have a piece of furniture they helped bring to life?

Brightening My Work Home

As many of you know I transitioned back from Flagstaff to Buffalo, NY this past spring. When transitioning back, I was unimpressed with the gray skies and I missed the sunshine from where I worked in Flagstaff. As we spend 40+ hours a week at work, I thought I should enjoy being there. While I’m on the road occasionally, or out on the testing floor, I still spend a majority of my time in my cube.

I did a quick search in google and was able to find the following inspiration ideas!

Jungle themed – I liked how the bright bold colors popped
and how professional the space still is. Read the rest of this entry »

My Very First Pinterest Project

True to the inner crafter in me, I fell hard for Pinterest. You know the kind of falling head over heels in love with it that it borders on obsession. Yes that kind.  Anyways this brings me to the story of the completion of my very first Pinterest project.

Being newly engaged I was heartbroken when my fiance had to relocate 3000 miles back to NY from the beautiful Flagstaff, Arizona where we had learned to call home. And as a true engineer anticipating the move, we had to downgrade from our 1800 sq ft town home, to an 800 sq ft apartment. (me=sad face).

Not that we Greg let me fill an 1800 sq ft apartment but moving 2 people into an 800 sq ft apartment, plus a room-mate was going to be a challenge.  It was an especially tight space, for our big furniture, big tv, big table, big bed,  and Guinness. All these things fit well in our first place, but not so great here. Anyways, we quickly found out how awkward and unusable the space became once all of our stuff was CRAMMED into the tiny apartment. There was no place to put our shoes, hang our coats, and keep all the necessities for winter and flagstaff (hat, gloves, camelback, dog leashes.. etc.)

My Tada Moment – Insert PINTEREST. I found the below Pin, and was in heaven! This was cool, decorative way to keep things off of the floor and I could build that by myself out of an old pallet.

Elle Sweden Interior Design Read the rest of this entry »