• raspberry margarita on the happy list
    happy list

    Happy List: #299

    Hi! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. I’m delighted you are here. This week on the blog I shared an old house essential with you – my slow cooker for removing paint from door hardware. It’s really amazing what you can accomplish with water, heat, and a little bit of patience. I also wrote about my hunt for a ceiling medallion for our living room and I learned something about the history of ceiling medallions while doing it. Win, win. As always, I love hearing from you. It makes this whole thing more of a dialogue than a monologue. You can always comment on this blog post or send an…

  • wood chandelier with ceiling medallion in a colonial era home in praise of ceiling medallions

    In Praise Of: Ceiling Medallions

    It doesn’t matter how decrepit a home is, whenever I see ceiling medallions in a home I think, “Ooh, fancy!” Is that your impulse too? That impulse is spot on. Ceiling medallions peaked in popularity in the mid to late 1800s. (source) This was the Victorian era and folks living then liked to make a bold statement in their homes with everything from elaborate trim to fussy furnishings. There was nothing subtle about the Victorians. If you had a ceiling medallion in the 1800s this meant you likely had a hanging light fixture of some sort and these items were signs of wealth. There’s nothing like your neighbor’s wealth hanging…

  • sunroom door hardware after removing paint from door hardware with a slow cooker

    Old House Essential: Slower Cooker For Paint Removal

    There are house essentials and then there are old house essentials. The essentials might look the same on each list but their purpose can differ vastly. On my list of old house essentials is a slow cooker – not for cooking but for removing paint from door hardware. If you own an old house or any home where someone became overzealous with a paintbrush then a slow cooker will be the MVP when it comes to restoring your door hardware back to its original shine. To make this very clear, I own two slow cookers and I do not confuse the two. One is for making tasty dinners and the…

  • flower basket centerpiece
    happy list

    Happy List: #298

    Hello, hello! Welcome to today’s Happy List. I’m delighted you are here. This week on the blog I shared when a brown paint wash can be used to mimic the look of stain. Spoiler – it’s usually when things have gone awry and you need to salvage your DIY project. Ha! I also wrote a sweet and sentimental blog post about Handy Husband. He has a birthday soon and if you’d like to send him a birthday wish, I’ll be sure to pass it on. You can always comment on this blog post or send an email here. You can also connect with us on Instagram or Facebook. Now, here’s the Happy List!…

  • handy Husband the sweetest thing he did for me recently

    The Sweetest Thing He Did For Me Recently

    Do you ever look at your spouse or partner and think about how lucky you are? Especially now that I’m older and wiser, I know how young and dumb we were when we got married and how easily things could have turned out differently. I was recently reminded, again, how lucky and grateful I am to be sharing this one beautiful life I have with Handy Husband. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, we are at the age where routine colonoscopies are a thing now. Yay? Yay. I had my first one last week. After living with me for almost 25 years, Handy Husband knows all…

  • when to use a brown paint wash to mimic the look of stain

    When To Use A Paint Wash To Mimic The Look Of Stain

    Let’s talk about when to use a paint wash (aka diluted paint) instead of stain to finish wood. Under the right circumstances, a brown paint wash can mimic the look of stain. There comes a time in every DIY project when things are not going well and you begin to regret the choices that led you to this point. It’s in this moment of profound clarity when you’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time and money on something that does not look good that you realize you could have bought it on Amazon for a tenth of the price and zero of the headaches. Now you have to decide whether…

  • colonial farmhouse exterior with red barn and daffodils in rural new jersey April 2023
    happy list

    Happy List: #297

    Hi! Welcome to this week’s Happy List. I’m glad you are here. This week on the blog I discussed the perk of decanting my liquid laundry detergent. I didn’t intentionally schedule this blog to run when I was catching up on vacation laundry, but it felt apropos! I also shared pictures of the new denim bunting banner I made and hung in my son’s room. I love that he doesn’t care much about his room’s decor yet and I still get to play around in there. As always, I love hearing from you! It makes my day. It makes your day. It’s also part of the magic that keeps this…

  • no sew denim bunting banner flag banner made from old jeans

    No-Sew Denim Bunting Banner

    I’m excited to share a no-sew denim bunting banner with you today. Honestly, it took me longer to decide what to call this creation than it did to make it. According to the internet, which never gives false information, flag banner, flag bunting, pennant bunting, pennant banner, and 4 million other iterations of those words were also acceptable names. Thanks, internet. Super helpful. I made these denim bunting banners to hang over my son’s bed. They replaced the crepe paper streamers that had been hanging there for 11 months. ELEVEN! I hung the streamers up for his birthday and never intended them to be up for more than a day.…

  • the perk of decanting laundry detergent in a modern country laundry room with inset shelves and wainscoting

    The Perk of Decanting Laundry Detergent

    At the risk of romanticizing the chore of laundry, I have discovered there is a perk to decanting laundry detergent. The perk is I dislike doing laundry a little bit less when my laundry detergent is in a pretty bottle or my stain remover is in a glass spray bottle. Or perhaps, since I’m giving optimism a whirl these days, it’s better to say I enjoy doing laundry a little bit more now that I’ve started decanting my laundry detergent. Yes, optimism always sounds better. Two things have contributed to this laundry work perk. First, by decanting laundry detergent from a bigger container into a smaller, prettier container, I’m more…

  • feet on the lake on the happy list

    Spring Break 2023

    Hi Friends! I hope you had a great Easter weekend. Just a heads up that I am taking the week off the blog because it is finally Spring Break! I guarantee you I’m more excited than the kids. We will be spending time with friends this week, so I’m looking forward to catching up with them. If you’d like something to read this week, let me recommend one of the following: The Silly Thing We Do That I Love So Much 7 Funny Truths About Moving Check Out These Old Photos Of Our Home 10 Must See Places In Ireland If You Like Castles and Nature As always, thank you…