Easy DIY Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Popcorn ceilings are so 1985, yet so many houses have them still. This dated ceiling look can easily be removed without having to hire a professional who will charge you thousands of dollars to remove it.

It is a bit messy to remove, but if you follow the easy steps in the video below you will find it isn’t hard to remove this dated look from your home. You just need some patience and time.

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Bring Inner Peace into Your Bathroom

With hectic and stress-filled days to deal with, many people try to find as much inner peace and balance in their lives as they can. Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of placement that takes a look at how our thoughts, moods and behaviors are affected by our environments. The goal of this ancient art is to bring balance into our lives by arranging our environments in keeping with the Feng Shui principles.

apartment architecture bathroom bathtub
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Gregg Nodelman, founder of Dancing Dragon, a full-service Feng Shui design and consulting firm in Branford, Connecticut says his personal philosophy is that “a lot of what happens in our lives is affected by our environment.”

Nodelman says when it comes to choosing a room that can benefit from Feng Shui, a good choice is the bathroom. Bathrooms “can drain energy,” he say, because for the most part, energy in a bathroom is below eye level. In order to prevent this, Nodelman recommends that the energy in the bathroom be lifted. The simplest way to uplift this energy is to hang artwork above eye level. Nodelman says good types of artwork to use in a bathroom include pictures of trees or skies—anything with an upward motion. Wallpaper borders at the top of the walls are also a good option.

Another item to consider is the mirror in the bathroom. Nodelman says it isn’t good to have a mirror that is too small or cuts off the head. A lot of the newer medicine cabinets are split, which gives people a split image of themselves. The best solution to this is to use a solid mirror. If a medicine cabinet is used, make sure the sections are off to the side. He adds, “It is nice to see our whole image and not be cut off.”

oval mirror near toilet bowl
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According to Nodelman, the colors that are chosen for the bathroom can make a big difference in the way it makes you feel. Someone who has trouble getting motivated in the morning will be uplifted by bright colors in the bathroom. On the other hand, if you cannot fall asleep at night, try using calming colors in the bathroom.

Peggy Therriault of Feng Shui Visions in Southport, Connecticut says the bathroom is just like any other part of the home. “It needs to be neat and free of clutter. It needs to make you feel calm.”

Therriault adds people can also reinforce what they want in their lives through the philosophy of Feng Shui. For example, a single person who is looking to meet someone should put two sets of towels or two toothbrushes in the bathroom, reinforcing the notion that he or she is looking for a potential mate.

Therriault and Nodelman both agree the lid of the toilet seat should be kept down, but do not advise keeping the bathroom door closed when the room is not in use. A closed door makes the air stagnant, so the door should be left open a crack to let fresh air in.

When it comes to Feng Shui, Nodelman adds, “It is possible to move energy without changing a lot. It’s very easy to move energy by making subtle changes.”


Five Minute Furniture Makeover

I love the rustic wood look on furniture. However, I don’t like the price tags on new pieces. I had a couple of old pieces of furniture that could use a makeover. I read online about adhesive paper that can be applied to walls, furniture or old tile floors to give it a new look, so I decided to purchase some. I found a beach wood design paper on Amazon that has my favorite colors in it. It was under $10 for a roll, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out. I was supper happy with the results.

The first piece I decided to update was a coffee table. I had already previously updated this coffee table with chalk paint, however because it is frequently used the top was getting worn. The adhesive paper I applied to it is smooth and the surface allows for you to wipe up any messes (coffee stains in our house) easily. Besides purchasing the adhesive paper, I also bought a craft knife and a smoothing tool. I pressed down the paper on the coffee table top and then used the smoothing tool to get any of the wrinkles out of the paper. Using the craft knife I cut off the edges so they were smooth and so it would look like I actually put planks of wood on top of the table.

I also had a sofa table I had picked up awhile back at Goodwill. I painted the legs of the table first with chalk paint and then used the same process I used for the coffee table to apply the adhesive paper to the top.

The smoothing tool is a must use tool because it gets any mistakes out of the paper. I did mess up a couple of times laying down the paper on both projects, however this adhesive paper is removable and doesn’t tear easily, so I was able to remove and try again.

There are tons of different wood designs available so you can easily switch out your table tops if you get bored with a design. If wood isn’t your style there are also tile and rock-look papers available to get you the same updated look.

7 Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

1. Update Front Door. You don’t have to put in a new front door to update your door look. A simple coat of paint can completely transform a home and add to your home’s curb appeal. I recently did this to our home and I was amazed how the change in color brought life to the front of our house. The original paint color my husband painted about four years ago. I came home from work one day and he had painted it without asking me about the color. I hated the color. It didn’t match the house at all. I really wanted our home to have more of a coastal look – especially because our back yard is a coastal marsh preserve. I used a quart can of Behr summer porch paint and I love the results.

2. Paint front entrance. If you have steps going up to your front door, a stoop or overhang, give it a paint refresh.

3.  Change or add Walkway to front door. Updating an old walkway or adding one can also add curb appeal to your home. If you don’t have a walkway it can help prevent dirt and mud from entering your house too.

pops of color

4. Plant pops of color in front. Many people have bushes in front of their home. Add some plants with color. Have a variety so throughout the season you will always have color. In my garden in the spring tulips and daffodils bloom, in the late spring/early summer Iris and roses bloom, mid-to-late summer I have hostas, hydrangea, cone flowers and daises that bloom. In the fall I add mums.


5. Add fresh mulch to gardens in front. A fresh layer of mulch will make your front look clean and fresh. Home Depot and Lowes are both running sales right now for mulch. I was able to get a 5 bags for $10 deal. Before you lay down the mulch throw a layer of preen down to prevent weeds from popping up.

6. Trim back bushes, trees and plants. Large, overgrown plants and bushes take away from your house. Trim everything back so everything looks neat and tidy.

7. Add Accessories. – Anything from a new light fixture, door knocker or wreath can really make your front entrance pop.

What other tips do you have for adding curb appeal to your home?

7 Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Summer is here and so are the mosquitoes. Last week I was outside during the afternoon working in the yard every day. I used a DEET bug repellent, but still got eaten alive by mosquitoes. I thought it would be a good time to start investigating other methods for repelling these annoying bugs. There are several all-natural ways to prevent mosquito bites. I plan on trying these out this summer.

Lemon eucalyptus oil

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using oil of lemon eucalyptus to naturally keep the mosquitoes away. You can buy it as a spray or you can purchase the oil and make your own spray.

bat house kit

2. Install a bat house in your yard. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, bats will eat up mosquitoes, wasps, files, gnats, midges, moths and beetles.  We added a bat house to our yard last summer. As of today we do not have any bats living in it yet, but hopefully we can get some this summer.

basil essential oil

3. The American College of Healthcare Sciences recommends using basil essential oil as a natural spray mosquito repellent. Besides keeping mosquitoes away basil oil is known to be a mood booster too.

close up photo of water drop
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4. Make sure to get rid of any standing water in your yard. This is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Places where you may find standing water include your gutters, bird baths, kiddie pools and trash cans. Clean out the water in the bird bath and kiddie pools weekly to avoid making your yard a place where mosquitoes want to breed.


catnip oil

5. According to the EPA, catnip oil can offer up to seven hours of protection from mosquitoes. 
The only issue with this all-natural remedy is you may attract the neighborhood cats.

gray round floor fan
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6. When sitting outside use fans. Consumer Reports conducted a test with a fan, citronella candles and a diffuser and found the fan reduced mosquitoes in the area by 45-65 percent.


7. Planters – There are so many plants that claim to keep mosquitoes away. Check out our article on 9 plants to plant in your garden to keep mosquitoes away – everything from lavender to sage claim to keep these pesky bugs away.

What other all-natural tips do you have for keeping mosquitoes from biting you and your family?

Joanna Gaines & Kids’ Book We Are The Gardeners is Inspirational for All Ages

Joanna Gaines and her kids released their latest book this week—We Are The Gardeners and I’m in love with it. I decided to purchase the book even though I do not have kids and I am definitely not disappointed. The illustrations in the book by Julianna Swaney are beautiful. The story and lessons about life discussed in the book are great for kids and adults alike.

We are the gardeners

The book lessons were a great reminder to me that at any age you shouldn’t give up after one failure. The story also got me excited about the upcoming Spring season and I can’t wait to get back into my own garden to start growing again. Although I can’t have a large garden like the Gaines Family does, it is still very rewarding and fun to have a smaller garden.

we are the gardeners

We Are the Gardeners is a great edition to your Easter Baskets—for boys and girls. It will get your kids excited about having a family project and doing something that doesn’t include phones, computers and video games. Make sure to grab a copy to add to their Easter gift this year. You can purchase it on Amazon for a discounted price (it’s actually listed for less than I paid for now).

We are the gardeners

Congrats Jo and kids on a great book. I hope you all come out with another children’s book soon! This one is truly inspirational!

8 Tips to Prepare Your Garden For Spring

Spring is finally here! Although it might not feel quite like spring yet where you live, it is still time to start thinking about preparing your yard and garden for the spring season. Yesterday I saw my tulips and daffodils starting to pop up and I realized it was time to start prepping the garden. Here are some tips and ideas you should use when preparing your yard and garden for spring and summer this year.

1. Clear out leaves and debris in the garden. My garden is filled with leaves that fell and blew into the garden in the late fall/early winter last year. There are also some plants that did not die until the end of the fall season that need to be cleaned up. Make sure to clean up your garden beds so your plants can get plenty of water from the spring rains. You want to make sure nothing is preventing your soil from draining well.

2. Weed Spring Weeds. I already have weeds popping up in my garden – they have been coming up for the past few weeks. Now is the time to weed these before they start to take over your garden beds.


agriculture backyard blur close up
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3. Give your garden soil some love. Turn over the soil and rake it out. Add some fresh compost. If you don’t have compost you can purchase some at the store or you may want to even try getting some aged manure to add to your garden—this will provide your plants with a nutrient-rich soil for the upcoming growing season.

4. Divide and transplant your perennials. Spring is the time to do this because the weather is mild and not too hot and we get plenty of rain. The plants will bounce back quickly. You also want to divide your plants so they do not choke each other. If you don’t have a need for the plants you have removed share them with friends/family. I usually do this because I would feel too guilty throwing perfectly good plants out.


hydrandra bush

5. Cut back shrubs, bushes and trees. This is the time to get rid of any dead wood. If the wood is still alive it will be green in the center. By cutting back shrubs, bushes and trees you are allowing for new growth in the upcoming season.

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6. Spring is the time to reseed your lawn’s bare patches. April is a good month to do this because of the rain. You want to make sure you keep the seed moist so they will sprout.

7. Cut back your ornamental grasses. A lot of people (myself included) leave their ornament grasses up in the winter so the garden doesn’t look completely bare. The spring is the time to cut them back. You should cut these grasses down to a few inches from the ground. They come back quick and you won’t have to worry about having dead blades show throughout the spring, summer and fall.

8. Hold off on mulching until the rainy season stops. A lot of experts say to mulch right away in the spring, however this is wasteful and will make a mess if you get a lot of rain in your area. I hold off until after Mother’s Day before I mulch my garden so I can get the mulch to last the entire season.

Make sure to also check out our article on 10 Flowers to Plant for Spring Blooms.

What other tips would you add to this list of must-dos in the spring season to make sure your garden has a great spring/summer?

Chip and Joanna Gaines Add to Their Real Estate Collection with Museum Purchase

Chip and Joanna Gaines continue to add to their collection of properties this month with the purchase of a historic museum in Waco, Texas. Last month the power couple purchased a castle in Waco.

Fort House Waco Texas
Photo Source

According to the Waco-Tribune Herald, the Gaineses purchased the 151-year-old Fort House from the Historic Waco Foundation on Friday, March 8 for an undisclosed amount. The house museum is located at 503 S. Fourth Street, which is only two blocks away from Magnolia Market at the Silos.

Wacohistory.org tells the story of the Fort House. It was built by William A. Fort, who settled in Waco from Alabama in 1854 with a caravan of 500 people. He built the Fort House in 1868. He was very prominent in Waco society as he served as president of Waco National Bank and he owned the city’s first transit system.

The Fort Home was designed in a Greek Revival style and it was constructed out of local pink brick made in East Waco. It originally was placed on a six-acre lot, however over time the land was broken up as the city of Waco grew and it now the home sits on a corner lot. The home has also undergone several renovations over the years.

A Magnolia spokesman John Marsicano told the Waco-Tribune Herald that the Gaineses will “maintain the home in a way that carefully honors the thoughtfully celebrates its heritage.”

Jill Barrow the director of the Historic Waco Foundation said the proceeds from the sale will help the organization repair and maintain its other four historic homes. She told the Waco-Tribune Herald, “It’s a part of Waco’s history. But we have worked extremely closely with Magnolia, and we have put a ton of deed restrictions on it. It’s going to to look very much like it is now. Magnolia has bought into maintaining the historical integrity of the house.”

What do you think Chip and Joanna have planned for these new properties they have purchased?