DIY

Decor

How To: Layer Your Area Rugs

Gorgeous layered rugs in my friend Elise's mountain home (full tour here)

You know the layered-rug trend that's been all over Pinterest these past few years? I always liked the way it looked, but never really thought of doing it myself, because rugs (or at least the ones I usually like) tend to be expensive, and if I'm buying a fancy rug I'd like to see...well, all of it. But lately, my fancy rug is having a rough go of it. Since life has been more than a little exhausting lately, by the time dinner rolls around I am ZONKED, and usually just plonk all three of us down in front of the TV to eat.

I know, I know, TV during dinner = bad, but what-EVER. I grew up with two parents who worked full-time in office jobs, so dinnertime was usually our first chance to actually see each other; had we all zoned out in front of the TV while we ate we would have cut down the time available to actually interact with each other by half. But I interact with my children a lot these days. And I also really, really love watching TV while I eat dinner, and I am the boss, and so TV during dinner it is.

Before & After Renovations

In Which We Reach The Limit Of My Abilities

I've gotten pretty handy over the years, mostly thanks to the presence in my life of a few Superwomen who have taught me how to do things like lay tile, resurface brick, and even demolish concrete (not the best idea for the old neck muscles, but surprisingly fun). And lord, do I wish those women lived near me still, because the house that I'm currently renting has alllllllll the project opportunities (yes, I fix up houses that I rent - you can read my rationale here).

In the course of my efforts to fix up certain elements of this house that I wasn't into, I've had some wins - painting my daughter's room, securing some maybe-going-to-fall-down ceiling panels, retiling my entryway step, suffocating weeds and replacing them with lavender and blueberry bushes, that sort of thing. But I've also had oh my god, some misses - like, for example, the linoleum kitchen floor that I covered (poorly) in stick-on tile that is MUCH better-suited to small spaces and apparently turns grey with any wear whatsoever.

Another fail: I used that same tile to cover a gross wall in the bathroom. I discovered that its stick-on powers did not extend to use on bathroom walls (or at least not somewhat uneven ones) around 2AM later that night, when I was awoken by the huge "bang" made by twenty tiles all falling off the wall and into my bathtub simultaneously. But was I to be deterred?!

Before & After Renovations

Does Peel-And-Stick Tile Really Work?

Those kitchen floors were no bueno. 

When I first moved into this place, I resolved to keep all my MUST! RENOVATE! HOUSE! tendencies in check. It's a rental, and it's one that's going to be torn down whenever I vacate it (which will obviously be...ahhhh...later than expected, as my down payment money has been evaporating by the day, WHEEEEE). But I am still a firm believer in fixing the things you cannot abide, even in a rental - because you live there. And one thing that I knew I'd have to fix here was the truly abominable linoleum floor: It was chipped, and stained, and made the whole kitchen/dining area - otherwise the loveliest part of the house - feel dark.

Random & Weird Experiments

Strongly Suggest You Try Making Peepshi

Such a fun weekend project!

Hahahahahahahaha remember when weekends existed? It's Tuesday; seems like as good of a day as any for a ludicrous, labor-intensive edible project involving enormous quantities of sugar.

Okay. Now that we've established that you're making Peepshi, because of course you are, let me tell you how to do it. This geniusness was originally created by Serious Eats, but now that I've made one batch and am thus clearly an expert, I'm going to tell you the little discoveries that I made over the course of the Peepshi-making process that I thought were extra wonderful.


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