What's Up Wednesday: October 2018

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Guys, how is it the end of October?!  The past two months have flown by, and I am not ready for it to be only 2 months until the end of the year!  I want to make this season last as long as possible!

What I'm eating this week...

Monday:  Don't make fun...but I had a Lunchable for dinner.  I had the BIGGEST hankering for one (and I was out of caramel dip for my apples and had to go to the grocery store anyways), so I grabbed a turkey and cheese Lunchable for dinner.  
Tuesday:  Grilled Raspberry-Chipotle Pork Tenderloin from Magnolia Table...with rice and brussels sprouts for the sides
Wednesday:  Homemade pizza...with a pepperoni jack o'lantern face to be festive for Halloween!
Thursday:  Leftover pork tenderoin  
Friday:  Probably leftovers again!  

What I'm reminiscing about...this fall...it's been a good one!

What I'm loving...the weather we have been having lately.  Between the cool days, the trees turning, the leaves falling, gorgeous sunrises (and sunsets), it's been perfect!

What I've been up to...this month has been a full one, that is for sure!  I kicked off the start of the month with a trip home for my mom's birthday.  We hit the flea market with my dad, grandma, and aunt, then ended the day with yummy Chicago style pizza. 

While I was home, my parents loaded me up with a few things for my home.  A desk my dad redid and the perfect rug for my half bathroom that my mom found.   

In keeping with home updates, I also shared a few budget friendly and super easy kitchen decor items!  I finally got the recipes hung not too long ago, and they look great!

I also finally posted about the DIY board and batten wall in my kitchen.  You can find all the details here.  It's been especially handy with the change in the weather for hanging coats!

While I had a pretty low key weekend in the middle of the month, I more than made up for it with these last two.  I volunteered with my church to hand out water at a local pumpkin run, then I made my way to one of my favorite semi-annual markets - Vintage Market Days (post here).

This past weekend, I recapped on Monday, but if you missed it, it was full of church fun (decorating cookies, Consecration Sunday & Truck or Treat), as well as some fall fun (chili, a drive, and pumpkin carving) - post here.  

It was full month, and one I am sad to see go!

What I'm dreading...just how fast time is going!  My four favorite months of the year are half way over!

What I'm working on...being more positive, and grateful for the 'everydays'.  A few things this month have reminded me that it is all about perspective...instead of thinking 'have to', think 'get to'.  And also a reminder that life is too short...gotta make the most of it!

What I'm excited about...even though I have been lamenting about how fast the last few months have been going, I am pretty excited about this upcoming month.  I get to see my family a ton, I am taking some time off, it's Thanksgiving, and then Black Friday...and of course, Christmas decorating.  Just lots of good things to look forward to!

What I'm watching...I feel like all the shows, because my DVR is chalk full and I need to bring it down a bit so it doesn't run out of room, haha!  Especially since all the Hallmark Christmas movies have started!  

What I'm reading...I just finished a book, so now I need to figure out what to start next.  I have stacks of books to choose from, so it's going to be tough!

What I'm listening to...it varies - standards, oldies, country, hip hop...all over the place! Again, it's the same answer as last month, and will probably be again in November, but with the addition of Christmas music thrown in there!  I am excited to break out some of my favorites and get a few new ones.  I plan on getting John Legend's new Christmas CD, and then Vocal Spectrum's Christmas CD.  Vocal Spectrum came to my church's 50th anniversary celebration, and they were awesome.  I can only imagine how great the Christmas songs will be!

What I'm wearing...all the fall clothes!  LOVE this time of year!  I also did a 'work wear for the week' post this month.  I plan on bringing those back on a regular monthly basis!

What I'm looking forward to next month...I already answered this above, but pretty much everything next month has to offer!

What's my favorite Halloween costume...I had some really great Halloween costumes growing up.  And I absolutely loved dressing up for Halloween in college, too.  It's just too hard to pick.  I shared a few of my past costumes here, if you want to take a look!

Linking up with ShayLindsayJenn and Jessi.

Recipe Round Up: October 2018

It's time for my monthly recipe round up!  If you have been following awhile, then you know how much I love to cook, and try new recipes.  This post is a way to keep track of all those, and my thoughts on them.  And, in my mind, it's also a little bit of a chat with you on what I have been making lately.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff from Mix and Match Mama.  I was looking for a new slow cooker recipe to try, and this one was recommended to me by Lindsay, over at Lindsay's Sweet World.  It was really good - so easy to pull together, and had great flavor.  I will say that I did not brown the meat prior to putting it in the slow cooker...and I did not garnish it with parsley.  But I don't think it missed anything by not doing those two items, as it was really good itself!  I did add in an extra step for myself, and made the noodles separate.  I sometimes get weird about the texture of noodles, so I didn't want to mess it up for myself, and thought just making them separate would be easiest.  All in all a great slow cooker recipe!

Crescent Roll Casserole from Mix and Match Mama.  Another Mix and Match Mama recipe.  And another good one, at that!  This is the perfect size for 4, or two with some leftovers.  I made it in an 8x8 pan, because I don't have a pie dish, but it worked out really well for that size.  I love the idea behind this, and really want to make an Italian version.  It was delicious!

Joanna Gaines Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies from Magnolia Table.  One of my goals this month was to make recipes from my Magnolia Table cookbook.  I have had that cookbook for months now, without making a single recipe, and I wanted to change that ASAP.  As I was looking online to see if anyone had reviewed the recipes, the one I came across the most was for Joanna's Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I think I had all the ingredients at home, so it was a go for that night!  I would say the recipe was a success!  They were easy to make, and pretty tasty.  I will say that I prefer my Aunt Becky's Chocolate Chip Cookies, because these were a bit sweeter than I personally like, but I brought them to work, and they were all gone by 1:00 that day.  And people just RAVED about them.  I do think the sweetness tempered a bit as they sat, because I did keep some at home, and then ended up taking to my parent's that weekend and didn't think they were quite as sweet.  One thing to note, they did not look anywhere as pretty as all of the pictures I have seen.  They were more spread out, and flatter.  But I don't think that mattered at all!

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas from Magnolia Table.  These were amazing.  Seriously amazing.  There is just no other word than amazing to describe these!  For my chicken, since I had breasts at home, I just cooked them up in the slow cooker, then shredded them for the recipe.  I have made a lot of enchiladas in the past few years, but these just take the cake.  Also, I just used the store bought rice she mentioned, which was a great recommendation.  I plan on making her homemade rice next time, but I thought two new recipes for one dinner might be a little over kill.  A few things I plan to change for next time - I think I will get two smaller disposable pans, so that I can make one, then freeze one.  It makes a lot, and while I don't mind eating enchiladas multiple meals in a row, I think it would be nice to know I have that meal for back up.  This recipe uses sour cream, which you can obviously tell from the name, but I am going to give Greek yogurt a try next time.  Just to lighten things up a little bit.  

Baked Chicken with Bacon Bottom & Wild Rice from Magnolia Table.  This recipe.  Oh my word.  This just solidified that Joanna can do no wrong.  Three good recipes in a row?!  This was delicious.  It's A LOT, but I was a little nervous to cut the recipe down my first go, so I just made the full amount.  I think the key is to get some good peppered bacon.  It adds so much flavor!  And you must have a very deep dish to make this.  I actually ended up using a regular 9x13 pan, and then also a 8x8 pan, because it was way too much for my normal depth 9x13.  Which worked out, because I put that in the freezer, and now have a dish to pull out in the near future!  I also suggest putting on a baking sheet - with all the butter, bacon grease and juices, there was a little spill over in the my stove.  But seriously, make this.  You will not regret it!

Just thinking about all these recipes has my mouth watering.  If you have any recommendations of new recipes to try (especially Magnolia Table recipes), please send them my way!  

Weekend Recap: Fall Fun

How is it Monday already?  This weekend just flew by!

Friday was a really good day at work.  The big stuff I had going on went well, and you can't ask for more than that!  

Saturday was another really good day!  I was up and at 'em in the morning, ready to help decorating some Christmas cookies for church.  The womens group at my church hosts a cookie walk each December, and they are known for their amazing sugar cookies.  These are bakery quality cookies!  They usually decorate during the week, but set up a time to do it a few hours this weekend so that those of us working gals could join in on the fun.  I was a bit intimated going in, but I loved it!  And I don't think I was half bad at it, either, haha!  I filled in the icing, and then also got to try my hand at edging, too.  While my lines weren't perfectly on, they were pretty darn good!  These ladies have over 4,000 cookies to decorate (which means they baked that many already, too!), so I was happy to be able to help out, even just a little bit.  Not only did I love the decorating part, but the company was what really made it fun!  

The second part of the day I dubbed Fall Day 'O Fun.  I had two things I wanted to do - go for a drive to check out the leaves, and then carve a pumpkin.  I started out the Fall Day 'O Fun with making chili for the following day's Trunk or Treat.  It'd been awhile since I have made my mom's chili, and just smelling it reminded me of home.  Since I had to run to the store to get some spices, I was behind on making the chili, so the drive had to wait a bit.  We were on our way to check out the trees in no time, though.  I think next weekend is going to be peak, so it wasn't as good as it probably will be, but still lovely.  After a quick dinner, it was time to carve the pumpkin.  I have had this carving book for years, and finally made good use of it.  I chose the simple, 'smiley' pumpkin, and got to work.  I had a bit of trouble sticking with the lines, but I think it turned out super cute anyways!  I was pretty beat, so it was relatively early to bed for me, after a few episodes of Schitt's Creek.  

Sunday was another good, albeit, busy day.  I woke up and got going on laundry.  I always try to do my sheets first thing in the morning on Sundays.  It helps get me out of bed when sometimes I just want to snuggle under the covers.  Before I knew it, it was time for Sunday school and church.  It was a great class, a great service, and great lunch following, too!  We had a guest pastor, and his sermon was really great.  Made me proud to be part of this church!  And it was also consecration Sunday, where we pledge our contributions for the following year.  This helps with budgeting / running of the church.  As a fun little thank you for everyone's contributions for the year, they had lunch from a food truck, and delicious ice cream for dessert.  It was back to church a few hours later, for Trunk or Treat.  This was my first Trunk or Treat, and while in my mind I had planned on doing a trunk, I ended up deciding against it, and just making chili instead.  We offered chili and hot dogs, and I would say it was a great success, because we ran out of hot dogs and got pretty close on the chili!

The whole weekend was really great - one for the books, as they say.  And while it was great, it was also really sad, too.  I found out on Friday that one of my high school classmates passed away.  Just typing that still makes me tear up - it doesn't seem real.  Her death was very sudden, and very unexpected.  Jennifer and I were always together for things in school, because our last names were right next to each other.  Because of that, we were locker buddies, and not only that, but we had a ton of the same classes, and were in band together, too.  She was a great girl - just so smart and so nice.  The fact that she is gone really hits me.  As it always seems to happen with deaths, especially young deaths, I realize how much I take for granted.  And how short life is.  As it always happens, too, after a bit, I know this feeling will fade.  I will get caught up in the day to day, the minute, and I will start taking things for granted again.  But this time, I am going to try my darnedest to avoid that cycle.  Things can change in a split second, and it's important to remember that.  

I hope you'll join me in making the most of this Monday...while it is ughhhh a 'Monnnndaaayyyy', if you are reading this, then you woke up.  And that alone is something to be thankful for!

Linking up with Biana anLindsay.

Friday Favorites: Flowers, Church, Apples & Caramel, Christmas & Good

HAPPY FRIDAY!  Boy, am I glad to see the weekend.  Which is normal, but even more so today!  I was a bit MIA on the blog this week, but I will be back in full swing next week.  Let's get to some favorites!

1.  I have mentioned this before, but for awhile I was kind of anti-flowers.  That's probably a bit too strong of wording, but I guess I didn't always appreciated the impact that fresh flowers can make.  For the last few weeks, I have had fresh flowers in my house, and they just add the brightest touch.  A vase on my kitchen windowsill, a small jar on my TV stand, and then another small jar in my bathroom.  The ones in the kitchen have lasted almost two weeks now, but the small jars are the newest.  It's actually a larger bouquet that I grouped into two smaller ones.  The one in the living room seems more 'fall' to me with the green, orange and yellow, whereas the flowers in the bathroom are brighter, and more 'fun', if you will.  Such a small thing (and relatively inexpensive, especially if you split into smaller groupings), but I have been loving them all week.  My bathroom is in dire need of a reno (or at the least a fresh coat of paint), but adding those flowers really livens up the place, and puts my focus on that, rather than all the things that need to be updated!  All in all, I think the flowers are just a simple touch that bring me instant joy!

2.  I had two evenings of church meetings back to back this week.  For someone who is a bit of a homebody during the week, especially when work is busy, I wasn't necessarily SUPER excited about it.  And honestly, with how one of the days was working out, I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it due to working late (luckily things worked out so it was a non-issue).  Of course, as it always seems to work when it's something church related, I am so glad I attended.  I was able to get some good insight into the workings of the church, and then had some really good takeaways from my circle meeting.  One being that pumpkin cobbler is divine, haha.  I don't normally like cobbler, but we always have some type of dessert / snack at our meetings, and this time was pumpkin cobbler.  I gave some a try, because it smelled SO good, and I was not disappointed.  I got the recipe, so I definitely plan on sharing it!  Another was a great quote - it's one I heard before, and have always liked.  I am only one, but still I am one.  I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.  How true is that?  Truly such a great reminder.

3.  I can't get enough of honeycrisp apples and caramel dipping sauce.  That has been my go to treat each night for a few weeks now.  Even though I load on the caramel dip, I still feel like it's a 'healthier' snack since it's an apple.  And honeycrisp are just simply the best!  Honey, I feel like the old adage is true - an apple a day keeps the doctor away, because when I eat them consistently throughout the week, I feel so much better!  I didn't have one this week until last night, and boy did I miss it.  So good!  Just as a note, I get the 'lite' version of the caramel dip...I realize it's still not good for me, but it does make me feel a little bit better!

4.  I know we haven't even gotten to Halloween, but I am itching to get started decorating for Christmas.  I just got Pottery Barn's Christmas catalog in the mail, and it just makes me so happy.  Not to mention, Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas starts today!  Cannot wait!

5.  With all the bad stuff going on in the world, it's so refreshing to find a really good story.  A kindergarten class learns to sign Happy Birthday for a custodian who is hard of hearing.  It really doesn't get much sweeter than that!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Linking up with AndreaErikaThe Blended Blogand Katie.   


I had this whole week of posts planned, but as you can tell by my silence the last few days, my execution was lacking.  Between work and church consuming me the past few days, there just hasn't been a lot of time.  Since I didn't get it together, instead of an awesome cabinet knob transformation I was planning on sharing today, I am doing a good old confessions post.  A post that always seems to fly out my fingers - perfect for a time crunch.

1.  I have this terrible habit of not thinking where I am when I spray my dust rag with cleaner.  For example, when I was in my apartment, I accidently sprayed it while standing by where the carpet turns to tile, and it got allll over the tile (let's be real, it was linoleum - not sure why I said tile).  I didn't think twice about it, until I started slipping every which way when I stepped into the kitchen.  Well, that bad habit followed me to my condo.  I was getting ready to dust the frames hanging in my downstairs hallway, so I sprayed the rag...while standing on the hardwood floor.  Again, don't think anything about it, until I was walking from the kitchen, lost my footing and fell right on my butt.  Goodness gracious, it hurt!  What makes it even worse, is that I KNEW that area was bad, and still almost fell again.  I cleaned the floor, so it seems to be better now, but let me tell you, that ache in my bottom was reminding me of my mistake for a few days after, haha!  Hopefully this will be a lesson learned going forward!

2.  I have 20 books (maybe more) from the library checked out, and have zero desire to read them.  I don't know what is going on, but I am, for whatever reason, not in a 'reading' mood.  Maybe because the last book I read took me forever to get through?  I am not sure.  But I need to get it together...or else at least take all the books back to the library and start fresh!

3.  For the life of me, I cannot remember my passwords.  Each website has certain requirements, or you have to change them so often, or since I never remember I have to reset and then I don't remember what I reset it to...the struggle is real for me!  It's almost like a game every time I go to log into something - will I remember my password today, or not?!

4.  I have started to have a love/hate relationship with This is Us.  I feel like everything on that show is so darn emotional - even the things that aren't really that sad, make me sad.  I just feel emotionally drained after it.  Lately, it has been one of the last shows I want to watch on the DVR...it's like do I really want to feel everything tonight, or enjoy some mindless comedies?  And yes, I realize it is only a TV show, haha.  A Million Little Things is one of those 'emotional' shows for me, too, so I try to watch them both in the same night.  Get all the tears and sadness out in one swoop!

Well, I am keeping it short and sweet today.  Hope you all have a great Friday Eve!    

Weekend Recap: Pumpkin Run & Vintage Market Days

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Hey all!  Happy Monday.  I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Mine was really nice - the weather was fantastic, I got to do some fun volunteering and shopping...can't ask for much more than that!

Friday was pretty dreary and chilly here...which you won't find me complaining about at all.  I love those types of days.  It made me want to hibernate, so all that was on the agenda for Friday night was catching up on my DVR under a cozy blanket.

Saturday I was up early to get some cleaning done to start the day.  It was much needed...things were looking a bit rough!  After I got some things done, I headed over to the Gumbo Flats Pumpkin Run.  My church was handing out water to all the racers, so as soon as I got there, I threw on a shirt over my jacket, and made my way to to the finish line.  It was a really neat race - there was a 5K, 10K, and a kids fun run.  The runners started trickling in and it was amazing to see - there was a 64 year old AND a 7 year old who all finished in the top 10-15 people.  Watching everyone almost made me want to try and run a 5K...almost, haha!  The last runner came through shortly before 10:00, which was perfect timing for me.  My next stop was Vintage Market Days, and they were opening the market at 10:00.

I thought heading there close to opening would be a way to avoid some of the crowds, but it seemed like everyone was anxious to check out all the goodies - it was packed!  I scored lots of finds, though - rolling pins, ornaments, creamers for my grandma and a 3 hole cheese mold.  I had been eyeing one of those at the Kane County Flea Market, so I thought it was meant to be when I saw them there.  The local antique mall has their warehouse sale the same weekend as the market, so that was my next stop.  I found some more ornaments (I am having a real obsession with Shiny Brite ornaments here of late), and some old Christmas lights for making ornaments.  Since I had a bit more time to kill, I walked across the street to Fleur de Chic, where I saw this adorable commode.  I think this piece is so cute, but unfortunately I just do not have a place for it at home.  I took the measurements, and while it would be the perfect nightstand, with how I will need to set up the guest room, it just won't work in that space.

I took a break from all my shopping for lunch - Peel Pizza.  The place is beyond delicious.  It's not quite as convenient as other pizza places for me, but it's well worth the little bit of extra effort to get it.  I was in the mood to do a bit more shopping, so after lunch I checked out some bedding at Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I saw this bedding quite awhile ago with my mom, and since I am getting closer to getting ready to make some bedroom purchases, I wanted to check out how the set actually felt.  That was something I didn't think to do before.  The outside isn't quite as soft as I would hope, but the under side is and isn't that what really matters?  The weather was gorgeous, so we extended the trip to BB&B for a little drive.  I wanted to check out Pottery Barn, too, since I saw their glass pumpkin cloches were for sale.  I absolutely love the one I got this year, and was hoping to pick up a few more.  They didn't have any in store, but I came home and ordered a few more.  

Sunday I was up early again - this time not by my actual alarm, but more my internal one.  I figured I might as well make use of the time and finished up some cleaning.  I absolutely hate cleaning the bathroom - it's not even necessarily the cleaning part, it's more of the build up to it.  I am not sure why I do that to myself, haha, because I know it really isn't that bad, but it's definitely my least favorite room to clean.  It always look SO good afterwards, though!  I got ready for church, made it just in time for Sunday School, and then service.  I had a return to make, then FaceTimed with my brother and his family once I got home.  They are coming to visit in a few weekends and I am SO EXCITED!  The rest of the day was spent prepping for the week ahead.  It's going to be a very busy one, and I am counting down until Friday at 11:00-11:30, when I can breathe of a sigh of relief.

Typing that out has me thinking of a quote I saw on instagram somewhere earlier this week where instead of thinking that you 'have to' do something, that you 'get to'.  It's something I have been trying to keep in mind to help put things in perspective.  For example, yea, this week is going to be tough at work, but thinking of it more as I get to go to work, instead of I have to, instantly puts it in a different light.  Just a little food for thought to start off the week!        

Linking up with Biana anLindsay.

Friday Favorites: Tea, A Cardigan, Board & Batten, Wrenches & Mascara Primer

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that any clicks/purchases may result in a few cents of commission at no additional cost to you.

Happy Friday!  I have been a day ahead all week, so it's nice to finally get to the weekend.

1.  I started to really enjoy drinking hot tea about a year ago.  For awhile, I was trying to get myself to like green tea, because I knew it was supposed to be good for you, and while I did get used to the flavor, it was never my favorite.  That all changed when I discovered Hot Cinnamon Sunset tea, via Shay's blog.  It's SO good.  I drink this all the time at work, and it instantly makes me feel all warm and cozy...which if you have ever worked in an office, you know that is a hard feeling to come by.  Always so cold!  But really, the taste is super good, and it really warms you through.  That's been my go to for the colder months, but I have another one to add to the mix - Peppermint tea.  My mom initially mentioned this to me because it is supposed to help with stomach issues - bloating, stomach aches, etc.  I grabbed some to have on hand the next time I was at the store, figuring I would only pull it out on days I didn't feel 100%.  Well, I forgot to grab a new container of the Hot Cinnamon Sunset, so I decided to give the Peppermint a go.  It was so good!  I think in my head I thought it was would a super, watered down peppermint flavor, but the flavor was really vibrant (in a good way).  I always get nervous trying new teas because I haven't always had the best luck, but this was a definite win!

2.  Wednesday I brought back my 'Work Wear for the Week' posts.  I did them almost every month last year, but got away from it this year...until this week, that is!  You can see all of the outfits here, but one of the items I wanted to highlight because it's just so good.  When I originally ordered this cardigan from LOFT, there was a hole in it, so I had them reorder it when I made my returns.  I am so glad I did that, because I love it.  The material is super soft and warm.  It's SO comfortable - I honestly feel like I am in comfy clothes at work when I wear this.  It's super versatile - the two times I have worn it (two weeks in a row), I wore it to work (business / business casual attire), but it would be super cute with jeans, or even leggings.  I really, really like it.

3.  Another favorite from the blog this week was the Girl Chat link up.  I finally got it together and posted about the board and batten wall my dad and I did.  It's been really handy now, with it being cooler and actually needing a coat.  I am hoping to find a bench for there eventually.  I just can't seem to decide what exactly I want there and nothing I have seen has stuck out.  I am headed to the market this weekend, so I am hoping I can find something there! 

4.  For pretty much the last week I have been trying to unhook my garden hose from the spigot.  My dad put it on after I moved, and he did such a great job, I could not get it off.  The temps are getting lower in the evenings, and I did not want to deal with it freezing and something bad happening (even though it probably is a bit too early to be worrying about that, but still it makes me nervous!).  I tried everything I could think of at home, even going out and getting another wrench, but it would not budge.  I was asking one of the guys about it at work, and he offered to bring in a different wrench for me to try.  I am so glad I mentioned it to him and so glad he offered up the wrench, because as soon as I tried it, viola, off the hose went!  So happy that I finally got it off (literally was beginning to think nothing would work), and so thankful for kind coworkers.

5.  I feel like over the past few years, mascara primer has become really popular.  I can totally understand why, because I think it makes a huge difference.  I have used both drugstore and department store brands, and while both are good, I think my favorite is the drugstore option - L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Primer.  Mascara is one of those things that I always like to have on, even if I am not wearing much other make up, and I always make sure to swipe on a layer of primer first to really help accentuate my lashes.

Linking up with AndreaErikaThe Blended Blogand Katie.          

DIY Board & Batten Wall

Hey all!  I am super excited for today's Girl Chat - the topic is DIY / Craft and I am finally getting it together to share about the board and batten wall my dad and I did!

First up, the inspiration.  I saw this post on DIY Playbook, and just loved it.  It adds a ton of character, looks super clean and fresh, while adding function.  When I brought up the idea to my dad about doing this to a wall in my kitchen, he said no problem, we could do this pretty easily.  And so we did!

I will say, that it was definitely a whole lot easier since my dad is really handy, and had all the tools we needed already, but I do think it's a doable project for any level, as long as you are willing to take the time and procure the necessary tools.

So, first up, we looked at this tutorial multiple times.  We measured the wall, loosely laid out the measurements, which then gave us the number of boards / lattice we needed.  The tutorial suggests getting that material a week or so prior to completing the actual project so that it can get acclimated to the air in your space.  This should keep it from warping once on the wall.

My wall is about 10 feet long, so we ended up with 3 primed MDF boards, measuring 1 in x 3.5 in x 8 ft, and 9 lattice boards, measuring 0.25 in x 1.75 in x 8 ft.  One thing I wouldn't have really thought of if I had been by myself, was to check to make sure the boards / lattice were straight.  Some of the ones we saw in store were curved a bit, so we made sure the get the best of the bunch.  Once we had the goods, they made their way throughout my place until my dad could come again to put it up.  They were in my bedroom, the living room, the laundry closet, and then the dining room, until my dad made it.  So they were very well acclimated at this point in time.

The hardest part for us, was measuring.  The tutorial didn't give specific measurements, which I know will vary due to preference and of course, the wall size, but I still wish I had known exactly what they did for a starting point.  And, the big thing in my kitchen, was the intercom and phone jack.  Both those things were throwing us for a bit of a loop.  Initially, we thought we would let the intercom box dictate the measures, but my mom made a really good point, that if I were to remove the box, then the spacing might look off.  So we ended up just leaving that out of the equation and going for it.  We ended up just finding the midpoint of the wall, and deciding a lattice strip would go there.  Then we worked out from there, measurement-wise.  It was super simple just to divide the length, then divide again until we had all the placements set and probably would have saved us a whole lot of time, had we just done that from the get go.  My dad was even able to take off and patch the phone jack hole, which was one less thing to worry about!

Here is what we ended up doing:
Measurement from the top of the door frame to the top of the top board: about 7 inches
Measurement from the bottom of the board to the top of the bottom board: 10 inches
Measurement between each lattice piece: 13.5 inches

After we got the measurements down, my dad cut the end of one board, at an angle, so that we could lock the second piece in with it, and have less of a noticeable seam, since one board was not long enough for the whole wall.  Prior to securing the board to the wall, we used a level to hold it up, making marks on top every so often for when we were actually attaching it.  Then, we put liquid nails on the board and used a nail gun to attach it to the wall.  We got the second piece of the top cut, then attached it the same way.  

We somehow got off our measurements a but, but made it work, with the bottom board.  We used the same process as before, and before we knew it, the second board was up.

Next up, the lattice.  It is important to measure and cut each of these individually.  Because they will not all be the same!  It seemed like pretty smooth sailing at this point.  More liquid nails, the nail gun and of course, a level to make sure it was set.

We called it a night after this point, and then got back to it the next morning.

It was time to patch and caulk.  The caulking was probably the most tedious part, aside from measuring, but it was so worth it.  Caulk above and below each board, then along each side of the lattice.  My dad would run a caulk line, then I would take my finger (wet) and go along it, smoothing it, and getting rid of the excess.  To help with this, I had a glass full of water I could just dip my fingers in, as well as a rag or paper towel to get the excess off my hand.  We then patch each of the little nail holes, as well as the seams between the horizontal boards.

At this point, we ran out and grabbed paint supplies.  I went with the same color / finish as my trim, and went with the paint store person's recommendation for the type of paint.  They suggested we do a primer on the lattice boards, then paint, so that's what we did.  Before painting, we sanded the patched areas down until they were smooth and ready to go.  For the painting, my dad did the boards / lattice first, along with the edges of the wall parts that showed, then I went in with a small roller and rolled the wall part.  I would occasionally hit the board or lattice, and my dad would just come and brush the little drip off.  It was a pretty good system!

It took awhile for the primer to dry, so we ended up extending this into the next day.  We primed, then painted the first coat, then the following morning, we painted the second coat.  Before we put on the second coat, though, we made holes for the hooks.  That way, after the second coat was finished, I could screw the hooks in myself.  I saw these hooks at Target, and really liked them.  They are super sturdy, and have a classic style.  I went with blank to go with my black kitchen hardware, and because I loved the contrast against the white.

The wall really turned out so great...and if you are thinking of doing it yourself, I highly recommend it.  As I mentioned before, we used this specific tutorial as the starting point, which was really helpful in knowing what kind of materials to get.  Because my dad is already very handy and helpful, we just referenced it at the beginning, and he was able to handle things from there.  

If you aren't a big DIY person, and are looking for a simpler project, below two other projects I have shared on the blog.

DIY Kitchen Art

DIY Keepsake Card Ring

Now, for the link up.  Just grab our graphic, link up and let's get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others linked up for an extra bit of girl chat! 

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