a weekend of home improvements

Lucas and my dad came up to Champaign a little after new years for a weekend of home improvements.  We converted a number of 2-pronged outlets to 3-pronged grounded ones, schemed on how best to fix the dark downstairs bathroom, installed a new shower head downstairs, sealed an opening to the attic that was causing our heat to escape, and discovered that if we shut the door to the downstairs both levels of the house stay a more comfortable temperature 🙂  Gotta love home ownership!blog_aroundthehouse_1


Inca and I spent a bit of the outlet converting time just keeping my dad and Brett company 🙂


The pups all had a pretty good time too.  Caya worked hard the whole weekend!


Inca and Patches (they are litter mates!) played almost the whole time!




And all of the dogs spent a lot of time going inside and outside, inside and outside, inside and outside…. 🙂  This is three of them all waiting to go outside

blog_aroundthehouse_5All in all a pretty productive couple of days 🙂


Girly Wednesday ~ xxxix ~ motivational desktops

Brit.co is a website with great projects, designs, and recipes that I go to every so often.  Recently they had an article about 20 motivational desktop wallpapers that were also free!  I LOVE motivational stuff so I had to check it out.  I looked through the post and loved what I saw.  I ended up downloading quite a few of the wallpapers and have them as my computer’s desktop background in a slideshow format so that the poster switches every minute to another one!  🙂

These are some of my favorites:

via – by Breanna Rose

2560x1440 (1)

via – by Design Love Fest


via – by Design Fest Love


via – by Gloria Chen of Little White Whale


via – by Tony Howell


via – by Design Love Fest


via – by Julia Kostreva


DIY dog bed cover

Our pups love to chew on dog beds if they haven’t received enough exercise over a couple of days 🙂  We haven’t had to replace one in a while but let’s just say that Brett and I have bought our fair share of puppy beds 🙂  The current favorite bed was a simple egg crate covered in a cozy top and durable side fabric.  I think we got the bed on sale at Petsmart.  Over time the zipper was a little wonky and the sides were starting to spew tiny bits of foam from the occasional nibbling.


Eventually, I took off the outside covering and just wrapped the egg crate foam in a blanket for the pups but I knew that this wasn’t a permanent solution.  Well, now the bed is fixed and covered in a brand new dog bed pillowcase of sorts!  I found a video tutorial here on making an envelope pillow case.  Brett and I picked out a really cozy fleece fabric.  I cut the pieces and started sewing up the back flaps.


Then the two back pieces were placed good side down, on top of the large top piece to pin it all together.  As soon as the fabric hit the floor though, the dogs kept coming and laying on it!  I literally could not pin the pieces together without Brett distracting the pups for me.  I guess the fabric choice was a hit?  🙂




Once all of the pieces were sewn together it made a kind of wrapped up pillowcase where the place to insert the pillow was in the back, through overlapping flaps.  This way I didn’t have to worry about incorporating a zipper but the pups also wouldn’t have easy access to the insides of the dog bed.


With the egg crate foam inserted into the new dog bed cover, the puppy bed was done!  From now on we are not buying dog beds….you can get an egg crate foam mattress pad for pretty cheap…I am cutting those apart and making the covers myself!





The pups love it 🙂  I texted pictures to my dad and he said that he wanted two 🙂

TJ’s 1969 Schwinn Varsity version 2.0

Last spring, Brett decided that it was time to revamp his dad’s 1969 Schwinn Varsity.  The bike was in moderately good repair but desperately needed a new paint job and some rust removal.  🙂


Brett started by taking all components off of the frame of the bike.  The metallic components were then soaked in oxalic acid to remove the rust that had built up over 30 years of use.  In order to make upkeep easier, Brett put new 700c wheels on the bike (new wheels = easier to find new tires).  The wheels were a slightly different size than the originals though so he had to bend the frame of the bike a little to install them.  🙂  Before installing everything else, Brett painted the schwinn white and added some great orange details.  After the components were all reinstalled, Brett wrapped new orange handlebar tape on the bike and put on a new orange seat (only detail not shown below).  Voila!  The 1969 Schwinn Varisty version 2.0 🙂


I wish I had step by step pictures but maybe just the before and after shots are enough 🙂