Sparkle Football Tee for Game Day – Simple Iron-On

So, football really isn’t my thing.

In general, sports really aren’t my thing. Shhh! Don’t tell my husband!

But, for the rest of America, the Super Bowl is a pretty big deal. So, every year, I attend a Super Bowl party and pretend to enjoy myself while mingling, eating too much and huddling around a giant TV screen.

This year, I figured I might as well look cute while I did all of the above.

So, yesterday I picked up this cute top at Target:

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I actually had a really fun graphic designed that said “Today’s forecast: Drinking with a Chance of Football.”

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But, I forgot to see how much iron-on material I had before I left the house. Whoops!

Things got really simplified and I decided to just do a giant gold sparkly football on the front:

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Can’t wait to wear it this afternoon! I’ll post pics later! Happy Game Day everyone!

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UPDATE:

Here I am sporting my tee at my parent’s party:

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Sadly I got more compliments on my teal ombre Bellami hair extensions, haha. But that’s OK. All in all a good day.

Built-In TV Frame Above Fireplace

For a long time the built-in cabinet on the right side of our TV wall overpowered the rest of the wall space. It’s not centered on the wall and it’s smushed right up against the fireplace mantle:

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And as much as an eye sore it is during the daylight hours, I have a thing for dim lighting at night, hence the strung Christmas lights that hung in here year-round.

We finally did something about it. We framed out the TV space above the mantle and added wainscoting under the window:

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Much more balanced!

Here’s some details to our living room wall upgrade:

Framed Out Window

We added a frame to the left and right edges of the window. This required replacing the window ledge to make it wider. (Super, super easy!)

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Wainscot Accent Wall

We added wainscoting under the window to match the wainscot wall on the opposite side of the room.

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Built-In TV Frame

Finally, we created a frame for the television with crown moulding on the top. Sooo much went wrong with this portion of the project. But in the end, it came out great!

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Here’s the before and after one more time:

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Keep in mind, that red window cornice is going. It’s on my long list of projects that will be perfect for the next weekend day we have without rain!

And, I’m still re-styling the clutter that was filling the right section that was already built-in and used by the previous homeowners to store their TV.

Recommendations appreciated! How should I fill the large empty built-in TV nook on the right?!?

Behind the Door Kitchen Command Center for a Small Space

I have to admit, I don’t have children so I’m not exactly juggling a whole lot around here. But, I used to work full time while my husband coached baseball for a living and since he was home most of the time, he took on the role of what we call “House Manager”.

Eventually, he retired from coaching and entered the corporate world. California Bay Area commute and all. (Boo for him!)

So, since I worked closest to home, “House Manager” duties defaulted back to me. *Sigh*

As I’ve shared before, our house is not big. That’s why I was always intrigued by all the kitchen command centers I saw on Pinterest. Often times, it’s just a small wall converted into useful space.

My garage door into the house opens right into my kitchen – it’s the  black door (shown below – you can see more in my kitchen board and batten wall post). That means every time we walk in the house, everything ends up piled on the kitchen table – keys, shopping bags, mail, half-empty fast food cups.

A few years back I hung a mail organizer/key holder behind the door in an effort to stop losing my keys, but let’s face it – it was an eye sore:

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I really wanted to eliminate the kitchen table clutter and improve this sad wall, so I designed a command center to hold keys, mail, sunglasses and magazines. (Side note: the baby gate is what we use to keep our dog from going upstairs when we’re not home – like I admitted above, we’re a child-free home).

We decided to frame it to match the door:

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Then, we added wood inside the frame:

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Next, we added some framing to the bottom third to match the board and batten wall on the other side of the door:

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The ledge was an important part of the design since it can hold sunglasses and other small accessories:

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The bottom section was designed to hold magazines and some file folders to organize coupons. We painted the top black (it’s not chalkboard paint) and the bottom white:

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Amazing what a coat of paint can do, huh?

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Here it is with the framed calendar, mail and key organizer and some magazines/coupon file holders in the rack below:

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The best compliment was the other day when my girlfriend came over to bring me lunch after I had sinus surgery. She was enamored with it so much she hired someone to build one at her house!

Here’s her version – a simple framed out command center that’s magnetic so she can get the clutter off the fridge – she has 3 kids!

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Again – here’s my before and after. We just love it!

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DIY Vegas Party Accessories for 40th Birthday

As I mentioned in my previous post, my whole family spent a weekend in Vegas for my brother’s 50th birthday recently.

On his actual birthday, we dined at Ruth’s Chris (his favorite restaurant) right on the strip.

Below, I detail some of the custom creations that made his celebration all the more special.

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Custom Card Suit Themed Party Glass

Everyone needs a light-up glass if they’re celebrating their birthday in Vegas (or even if they just with they were).

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This was super simple to made using my vinyl cutter (I use the Cricut).

See how I made this custom Vegas themed birthday glass here.

Keepsake Card Deck with Birthday Pictures

I printed out pictures from each of his first 10 birthdays and attached them to their coordinating numbers on a deck of cards.

It was a fun way to walk down memory lane over appetizers.

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Custom Photo Coasters

How cool are these coasters from Zazzle?

I added a current picture inside the zero and they printed his age and name on them.

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Confetti Numbered Poker Chips

I also added these little round confetti pieces with the number 40 from Party City to some cheap poker chips and spread them around the table (so much cheaper than custom poker chips!):

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Card Suit Casino Party Hat

The birthday boy also got a giant casino party hat to which I added a vinyl #40 (which didn’t stick all too well, but worked for dinner).

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Casino Themed Centerpiece

I found this awesome hat at party city and hat to get it for the centerpiece.

I propped it up on a candle holder with some scapbook paper and poker chips, then added some floralytes.

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Custom Photo Birthday Card

Funny story, I was at a family dinner earlier in the year at a restaurant that takes keepsake photos. The photographer mistakenly thought I was my brother’s wife and said “Put your arm around your girl!”

We cracked up over the picture that resulted. I used it to create a custom birthday card for him:

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Personalized Las Vegas Luggage Tags

Everyone who went to Vegas got a personalized luggage tag from Shutterfly – so fun!

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All in all, our Vegas party weekend was a success.

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Vegas Themed Birthday Party Glass

Ever wanted to throw a Vegas themed party?

Ever decided to throw it, in Vegas?

Recently, my brother turned 40 and my family started a new tradition of throwing a surprise birthday party trip on milestone birthdays. (Only 4 years to go for me!)

So, after a bunch of secretive emails, 15 airline tickets and 7 hotels rooms at the Planet Hollywood, we all ended up in Vegas for 24 hours of 40th birthday fun.

I was in charge of all the party decor, which I’ll share in another post.

One of my party staples is a personalized birthday glass, which is super easy to create thanks to my Cricut. (I used to create them using stickers from the craft store which works really well too!)

For this Vegas themed party, I added my brother’s name (Brad) and the number 40 to this fun light-up glass from flashingblinkylights.com.

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It was super simple – just 4 diamonds, 1 spade, 4 letters sized to fit the diamonds and the number 40 sized for the spade.

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I create all the graphics in Photoshop, then save & upload to Cricut Design Space. A quit cut later on some red and black vinyl and all done!

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Our party had dinner in a private room at Ruth’s Chris right on the strip. I can’t wait to share pics of the room all decked out, but for now, here’s a shot of his custom birthday glass on the table:

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Pretty fun, huh?

Since making custom birthday glasses is a tradition of mine, I’ll share another post soon with all the ones I’ve created so far. I love finding different styles of glasses and creating graphics that match the color scheme and theme of each party.

7 Mini Master Bathroom Upgrades that Had Huge Impact

My dream is to do a full remodel on my master bathroom. But, for now, the $$$ just isn’t there. Instead, I recently made 7 changes that made a huge impact on my builder-grade master bath.

If you want to feel like you remodeled your bathroom, consider some or all of these 7 updates:

1. Fresh Wall & Ceiling Paint:

I’m a firm believer that a fresh paint color can completely transform a room. So, when I had a spare day recently, I painted over the hideous green paint with a nice warm neutral color and I just love the results.

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blog-tip When painting a room, paint the ceiling too. The trick is to paint the ceiling a shade or two lighter than the walls so it doesn’t make the room feel smaller.

blog-tip Another room changer that most people don’t think of is to touch up the paint on the baseboards and door jambs. I gave those a fresh coat of paint as well.

2. Add a Runner Rug:

For years, I had a mini rug under each sink. Then, a neighbor’s house went on the market and when I went to their Open House as a nosy neighbor (tell me I’m not the only one who does this!), I saw they had 1 larger runner rug that spanned the entire vanity and it looked a-maz-ing. So, I got this rug on Overstock and it’s a million times better than before.

Both the lighter color and fun texture really brighten up the room and make it feel fresher.

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3. Hang a Framed Mirror:

I’ve been reading blogs about how to frame an existing wall mirror. But, then I discovered Kirkland’s and realized I could get a giant new mirror for ch-ch-cheap. (Bonus: they have an app with coupons).

I had to drive an hour to get to a Kirklands, but it was worth it to get this elegant new vanity mirror.

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4. Replace an Old Light Fixture:

One thing I’ve always hated was the light fixture, but I wasn’t sure how to swap it out since it required wiring.

But seriously – look at that old one! It was so overpowering I only kept 4 bulbs in at a time. Talk about an eye sore!

I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this, so I selected this inexpensive fixture from Home Depot. Turns out, it comes with wiring instructions and updating the fixture wasn’t that difficult after all.

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5. Add/Update Window Treatments:

These curtains were here when we moved in. They look so dated!

I made new window treatment from foam board wrapped in fabric. The foam board was only $8 and the fabric was curtain panels I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby.

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6. Build Wall-to-Wall Floating Shelves:

One of the best updates by far was throwing out this old over-the-toilet space saver and adding built-in floating shelves. I’m still working on styling them do don’t judge that part 🙂

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7. Add Crown Molding:

Finally, we put up crown moulding. This was the 3rd area of our home DIY’d some crown moulding. It’s hands-down one of the most dramatic changes you can make to a room.

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Someday, I’ll refinish the cabinets and put in new tile and flooring. But, until then, these 7 simple updates have transformed the feeling of my master bathroom.

Have any other simple upgrade tips to share? I’d love to hear them and see what you’ve done to quickly and easily transform your space!

I Left My Android Phone in a Cab, Now What?

How to Located & Lock an Android Phone Once It’s Lost

Halloween was one of those epic nights where I ended up in a cab with a new couple making out next to me and a (friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend) chick in the front seat telling me about how she’s her husband’s “beard”.

I’m sorry, what? What’s a “beard”?

Apparently, that’s the chick who a gay guy marries so he comes off to the world as straight. They’ve been married 10 years. Craziness!

Needless to say, my night was getting weird and by the time we arrived at our destination a half hour away , I just wanted to pay the cabbie and be on my way.

Hence, phone deserted in cab. (Total panic – had I just lost all my Halloween pictures before posting to social media???)

This isn’t the first time I’ve left something valuable in a cab. And I was hoping it wouldn’t be the first time I didn’t get my cherished property back.

I’m not all that technologically connected – I don’t back up my phone’s pics on a cloud or even have a password to unlock my phone.

Even so, turns out, there are a couple things you can do to lock up your phone until it’s found.

This was especially important to me considering all the private pics I keep stored on my phone!

First, call your phone to try to locate it can get the contact info of the person who has it in hand (hopefully before the battery dies!)

Then, log into your online account with your provider and look for a way to suspend service to your phone – this will allow anyone who accesses your phone to “Call the owner” but do nothing else. Yay!

Side note: not sure where “call the owner” calls go since they’re holding the owner’s phone – possibly to a landline or another number on the same contract?

I have AT&T, so for me, the process was to log into AT&T.com.

Under the MY AT&T tab, hover over WIRELESS and you’ll see a link for SUSPEND OR REACTIVATE A DEVICE. Click that.

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Locate your phone number (if there are multiple ones on your account) then choose a reason, such as “I can’t find it” or “It was stolen”. Then click the large SUSPEND button.

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Next, I decided to take extra precaution and see what features Google could offer. I followed the instructions here.

Turns out at this link you can Remote Lock Your Phone, as well as see where it is.

Once you log into your gmail account (the one that’s associated with your Android phone) you can lock your device, and even set off the ringtone at full volume for 5 minutes! All at this link: Android Device Manager

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I called my number repetitively until someone answered, got the phone number of my cab driver who answered my phone, then, locked the phone using the above 2 methods.

The next day, I was able to meet up with the driver and retrieve me phone – which I was happy to see was completely locked up (without my password). The only thing you could do was “Call the owner” if you didn’t have the correct pin to unlock the phone.

So cool!

P.S. I tipped the cabbie $20 for not only getting my precious phone back to me but also for going out of his way to meet me the following day. Great guy!

If you’ve lost your phone, try these easy steps to locate & lock your device until you can be reunited.

Or, if you have useful tips, add them below!