2016 | Live Pretty on a Penny

A Walk Down Memory Lane: 2016 Year in Review

Hey good people and happy almost New Year!! So as we wind down to the last day in 2016, I can't help but to reflect on this year. It's definitely been a whirlwind year, both good and bad. This year we've had quite few things happen both on the home front  (intentionally and unintentionally), and personally, but I am excited for all things positive coming my way in 2017. I really just want to thank everyone who has read, commented, shared, and visited my blog! You guys make my day, I swear. Thank you so much!

So let's take a look back over the past year and see what posts you guys made the most popular. It's always fun to see what interested people the most, so let's get started.

10) DIY Subway Tile
The kitchen got some much needed, yet unplanned changes this year. The subway tile project was both hard work, yet rewarding. Such a nice and bright change to the kitchen. To see more about this project, click here.

5 Simple Ways to a Pretty Guest Ready Storage Cabinet

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 
 #QuiltedHoliday #CollectiveBias
Hey folks and happy Monday!  So we are a little over a week out from Christmas, and if you are hosting guests this time of year, then you know how important it is to "appear" to have it all together, right? Meaning making your guests feel at home, and making pretty much anything that they will need within a close arms reach and making sure you stocked on essentials, toilet paper, towels, etc.   On the contrary, if you are anything like me, sometimes storage space can come at a premium. For example, my guest bathroom is pretty small. So having everything needed for my guests inside of that small space just won't work, but finding a solution to fit in the nook outside of the bathroom was just perfect!

Thinking of ways to stock my guest cabinet with necessities, while making it pretty stumped me in the beginning, but then I got to thinking, what is it that guests really need when they need it? Toilet paper!! So my first stop was to Target where I picked up the Quilted Northern® Mega Rolls. Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong® Mega Rolls last and last so you can change the roll less often during the busy holiday season. A+! Not sure about you, but during the holidays, running to store for a toilet paper run is last on my list.

#12DaysofGiftGuides: Gift Ideas for the New Homeowner

Hey good people and happy Wednesday! Thanks for all of the love on my toddler boy gift guide last week. Have you seen the posts from the others participating in the #12daysofgiftguides listed below?

Today, I'm back with a gift guide for the new homeowner! Although, I became a homeowner a little over 5 years ago, I can clearly remember the things that were helpful to me, also things that would have been helpful!

#12DaysofGiftGuides: Gift Ideas for Toddler Boys

*this post contains affiliate links

My 5 Favorite Last Minute Thanksgiving Tablescapes!

Hey everyone and happy almost Turkey day! If you are anything like me, then you may realize that Thanksgiving is less than 48 hours away and its kinda freaking you out. Why? well, if you are hosting then your table may still look a little lackluster and you need a little inspiration to pull it together. Well lucky for you! I have pulled together my 5 favorite last minute Thanksgiving tablescape ideas. Check them out and best of luck to you! I know you can pull it together in time.

10+ Fabulous Non-White Kitchen Makeovers

Hey friends! Thanks so much for your kind words on my kitchen reveal. There are still lots of things that I need to do, but I am happy to see it in its pretty much completed stages. As we know all over the blog and décor scenes, all white kitchens are the rave. Now, don't get me wrong...I LOVE all white kitchens. They are super gorgeous. Some of my close blogging friends have them, and they are stunning.

Since, I am a dark kitchen dweller and love them just as much, I figured that I would show you guys some great cabinet color alternatives to white that you are sure to love too!

Live Pretty on a Penny Semi- DIY Kitchen Reveal!

Hey guys and happy Thursday! We are so close to the end of the week and I am super hype about it. I am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend at home. I am also looking forward to finally revealing my kitchen makeover to you today. I am both excited and nervous. Especially because I feel like I have built to much hype around it on Instagram, then as I was snapping pics, I was like...wait...it's not many pics to snap because the space isn't that big, lol.

Anywho, let's take a look back at where we started. I mean all the way back to the real estate listing.

Creating a Guest Ready Powder Room for the Holidays

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetUnderTheRim #CollectiveBias

Let's face it. We are entering one of the most fun, yet most stressful time of the year! I know personally making sure that my home is "guest ready" over the next couple of months has me a bit nervous. My goal when people come to my home is to make sure they are comfortable and taken care of, even if they aren't staying overnight. A short visit counts for me. So while its easy for me to take care of my guests that  may be crashing for a couple days, I like to make sure that my powder room shows just as much attention to detail, and is spotless!

Easy DIY Fall Centerpiece with Video Tutorial

As we near Thanksgiving, centerpieces and tablescapes are perfect for entertaining. I got lots of questions about the centerpiece that I completed for my Fall Home Tour, which shocked me because it was so easy to do! So I put together a quick tutorial on how you can create a similar look on your own.

Quick and Easy DIY Wood Stained Shelves for the Kitchen

After all teasing on Instagram, I am happy to announce that today is finally the day that I reveal the kitchen shelves! As you know, the kitchen has been a work in progress over the last several months and I am so close to putting all of the final touches in. You saw the reveal of the subway tile and even a full tutorial on how to do it yourself last week,  I am waiting to get my window treatment, and I just installed all of the new hardware. Just a few more little details, and we can call this project DONE!

In the meantime, lets check out the shelves. :)

DIY Subway Backsplash- Video Tutorial

Hey guys and happy Thursday. Which means its almost Friday...which makes me a super happy woman! Thanks so much on all of your kind words regarding the subway tile reveal. Can you believe my husband was initially against it, but as it went up, he loved it just as much. But, we truly love it yall, so thanks for taking the time to check it out.

Ok, enough chat, here is the full video tutorial of how we installed the tile.

DIY Subway Tile Backsplash Reveal!!!

Hey guys and happy reveal day! So if you have followed along for a while, then you know that I have been working on my kitchen for the last few months with some updates to our backsplash, lighting, new countertop, and flooring.

Stained Stair Treads: Before and After

Yall, my stairs have come a long way. I mean seriously. 20 year old carpet and attempting to update  décor around it definitely don't mix, especially in my case, with two dogs on top of it.

But gone are the days of the ugly carpet and I can finally love on my stained treads that I longed for since I pretty much moved in!

So last year, I posted a 6-month wish list on the blog. You gotta be careful of making wishes because you never know HOW they will come true. Basically from a broken supply line in the master, the old dirty carpet got damaged and had to be replaced. So sad:( Instead of replacing with carpet, we went ahead and got our stained treads done.

If you need a reminder, here is what they used to look like...

Family Room Updates Over the Years

Hey guys and happy Monday!! I hope that you had a fantastic weekend. Thanks so much for all of your kind words in regard to my fall home tour. I loved putting it together, and loved sharing it with you all even more. 

 My weekend was spent trying to get my house in order for Fall. Basically I cleaned and prepared for my yard sale next weekend. If you are in Atlanta, stop by!

Any who, as I was cleaning my family room I couldn't help but think about it has evolved over the last five years. It's amazing how one's style can change, and this is a lesson...if you feel like you are decorating and can't quite figure out what you like, give it some time. It will come to you.  

Here is our family room on the day we moved in... September 2011

The fireplace was burned, and the paint color was not my taste.


Hey guys and happy Fall home tour day! If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I have teamed up with a group of seven other FABULOUS bloggers to bring you #FABFALLFEST over the last 4 weeks. Well, as promised, today we are showcasing our homes for the Fall!

To be honest, I am usually a minimalist when it comes to seasonal décor, with the exception of Christmas.  I would attribute it to the fact that I am pretty happy with where my décor stands year 'round, so changing things out seasonally is a bit more work than I like to take on. But, since the Fall season is slowly making its way to Georgia (finally), I felt inspired to add a few pops of Fall décor in my home to change the mood up just a bit.
When it comes to decorating for Fall, my style is fairly simple and neutral. Traditional Fall colors get replaced with my personal rendition of Fall colors, such as blue, white, gold, natural, and wood-tone accents, along with Fall scented candles.

I'd like to think of my Foyer as functional, pretty and welcoming. Adding pops of greenery, a cucumber melon scented candle (which smells like heaven), a cute sign, and a quick pillow switch-out to my gray and white buffalo check pillow, my entryway quickly became Fall ready without a bunch of fuss.

5 Years Later- What I've Learned After 5 Years of Home Ownership

You guys! It's been five years since we bought and closed on our first home, can you believe it?
When we bought our house back in September 2011, it looked like this.
Not too bad, but definitely needed some work. It was a foreclosure and had been vacant for around 8 months before we bought it.  It's so funny because we knew nothing about where this journey would take us. We both came from apartments, with hand me down furniture, really bad art and other accents, and the things we did have were pieced together.
It wasn't until I moved into my home that I got the decorating bug and it hasn't stopped. That's why I'm so thankful for this blog. It's the perfect outlet to share my passion.
It's so weird to me how fast time goes, but I am enjoying the journey along the way.

So in celebration of our 5th year of homeownership, I want to share 5 things we, or specifically I  have learned during this process of home ownership.

1) There is ALWAYS something...ALWAYS...

Our Trip to the Grand Canyon

Hey guys! Last week, my husband and I took a tour of the Grand Canyon! I had to attend a conference in Phoenix and we figured, what better time to take this trip than now. So we booked a tour through Groupon.com which included a full day trip through Sedona, The Navajo Nation and the Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon is about 3.5 hours from Phoenix, and adding the Sedona and Navajo Nation portion to the trip extended the drive by a couple of hours, but no complaints from me...since we weren't driving:)

Sedona is a gorgeous city! If I make my way back to Arizona, I would definitely stay in Sedona. It has the perfect backdrop of red rock mountains.

Hey Ya'll, Let's Talk Fall: Fabulous Free Printables!

Hey guys! I simply cannot believe that we are officially in September. I know people say this often, but dang, time is just flying way too fast. I mean really...will we already have to deal with falling leaves taking over my yard? Will by baby boy be 3 in a few months? Will I really be pulling out my boots and sweaters soon? Sometimes, I just can't deal with how fast time flies.

Anywho, me and seven of my blogging buddies are hosting an awesome hashtag over on Instagram that you totally need to take part in...if you are on Instagram. It's called the #fabfallfest where each week, we are hosting and showcasing all things Fall!

This week, lets talk...

And my focus is totally on the FREE printables. I've rounded up five of my favorite printables from around the web, so hopefully you will find some to use in you home this Fall! Who doesn't want free art?

1) This print from Jones Design Company. I love its simplicity and think it would be the perfect seasonal addition to a gallery wall!

FREE fall art print / download at jones design company
Free Fall Art Print / download at Jones Design Company

2) Here is a really cute print from Lolly Jane. The perfect message, especially to keep around for Thanksgiving. Also, I love the non-traditional Fall colors used.Printable Fall Art | Download full resolution art at lollyjane.com

3) Or what about this watercolor wreath printable from Place of My Taste. I love how simple it is as well.


4) Since I am loving on watercolors and wreaths, why not feature another which is pretty darn cute too! I am loving this Fall Berry and watercolor printable.

5) Lastly, this one says it all...and can be found here .
10 More Fall Printables |Fall Is In The Air | 10 original free printables ready for instant download. Use them for DIY Wall Art, Cards, Crafts, Screensavers and more!

So what do you guys think? Do you love printables and changing them out seasonally?

What about any other Fall wall décor such as wreaths, signs, etc.

Don't forget to hashtag myself, along with the seven other others during our fun four week hashtag on Instagram. If you aren't following me over there, then head on over and do so! I promise, you will not want to miss out.

Until next time!

New Family Room Sofa

As you can probably guess from this post, my big brown sofa was not one of my favorite items in my home. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad and served my family very well, but it just didn't fit where I was going with my home.

Well, let's fast forward to a water damage situation that occurred to my brown sofa, and it was totaled out! This led me on the hunt for a new sofa, and since I knew that I would be living with this sofa for a while, I knew it had to be a perfect fit for my family.

I searched lots of stores as I had a particular sofa style in mind. I wanted a sectional, that was firm but comfortable. I also wanted a lighter color that was still family friendly and could be cleaned well.

After searching for a couple weeks, I happened to see an ad on the side of maybe Facebook or something for the Amalfi Sectional at Havertys furniture. It comes in 2 pc options and 3 pc options. We went with the 2pc option which was perfect for our space.

I went to see it in the store, and lets just say I fell in love!

DIY Craftsman Trim

Hey good people! Thank you all so much for your kind words regarding my office makeover . I am in love with it and I can assure you that it gets lots of use from my husband and I. But I am super excited about the progress being made in the #liveprettykitchen makeover.

Last time I updated you guys, I had purchased my faucet and gotten my countertops installed. Well, its not installed and I just LOVE it. While I didn't know that faucets could be so expensive, I am glad that we selected the one we did. It's the Moen Kaden Faucet in Brushed Stainless. It has a single handle pull down sprayer which I am in love with and makes cleaning the sink a lot easier..

But the thing I am most excited about is completing our window trim!! Craftsman window trim! I have always love the look of chunkier window molding, and since none of my windows in my home currently have any trim, I figured this window was the perfect starting point.

Office Reveal Day!

I am a firm believer that when I commit to something, I have to get it done! Now when I started this project, I of course did not believe it would have taken me over the 30 day commitment to complete, but I was determined to finish it. I couldn't have imagined that I would be dealing with having repairs done on my main level, along with completing this room, but that's life. And today is the today. The room is finished and I am so happy!

I won't take up this post with too many words. Here is what the office looked like before.

# LivePrettyKitchen: Kitchen Progress

Hey there! Super excited that I have a kitchen update for you guys this week! Last week, I got my flooring installed and my old backsplash torn out. Earlier this week, I got the drywall patched and smoothed to prepare for the new backsplash and I also got my new granite countertop!
But first, let't take a look at where we started...

#LivePrettyKitchen: Over the Sink Lighting and a Faucet

Hey there. I am super excited to have not one, but two of my kitchen wish list items crossed off of my "gotta get" list!

Here is a breakdown of my changes.

SOME Progress -Project 1 Room 30 Days (Week Four)

As promised, I am back with a couple #1room30days updates. I have to be honest yall...I am sooo behind. Like I told you last week, life got in the way last week, and this weekend I will be traveling to visit a recovering friend, so I am just behind. But the finish line is close!

Plus, what great project doesn't have hiccups. So I'm not beating myself up too bad.

So here we go...

Kitchen Inspiration

Hey guys and happy Tuesday!

Last week I mentioned that my kitchen is going to undergo some upcoming changes and I am super excited about it. You can read all about the changes here.

This image pretty much sums up the changes:

In my last post, I also mentioned that I had decided on my granite for the new countertop.

Live Pretty Kitchen: Changes Coming to the Kitchen!

Hey there and happy end of April. I know that I owe you a #1room30days challenge post, but to be honest, I am behind. I thought that I would get some work done this past weekend making over my desk and file cabinet but it just didn't happen. So I think my office will be more like 1 room 40 days or something like that, lol. But I am almost at the finish line I promise and I will definitely be back next week with an update.

But in the midst of working on my office, where you can see the progress here, here, and here, my contractor has been making some serious lead way on the repairs in my home which I will update you guys on soon. The new floors are in and I am in love with them. I will share those next week.  I am also happy to let you guys in on something that I had been wishing and hoping about since the whole situation regarding the leak in my home. You may remember that I mentioned in this post that I  was hoping to make some additional changes since I would have a contractor working on repairs from the leak damage anyway. So me and my husband this was a better time than any to tackle a few things in relation to the kitchen.

Here is my kitchen as it stands today...

Office Seating Area- Project: 1 Room 30 Days (Week Three)

Hey guys and happy Tuesday! I cannot believe I am writing this but we are in week three of Project: 1room 30 days and it seems like time if flying!!!

In case you missed it, here are my week one and week two updates. Click on over and check them out.

I'm back today to share my seating area with you all.

Floor Shopping

Rug Selection- Project: 1 Room 30 Days (Week 2)

Welcome back to week two of Project: 1 Room 30 Days. I'm telling you all, the pressure to get this room done is both fun, and challenging. I want to make sure my selection's align with my overall goals and vision of the room, so I keep questioning myself on some of my decisions to make sure that I am truly happy with my choices. But one thing for sure is that I LOVE my rug selection.

Ikea Vittsjo Shelving-Project: 1 Room 30 Days (Week One)

Hey there and welcome to week two of Project: #1room30days. I am excited to have this project underway and even more excited to show you my progress for week one. This past weekend, I spent time de-cluttering this room and getting rid of the things that no longer fit in the new look that I am going for. A lot of things I sold online through my local Facebook group and some items I donated.

I also got a chance to install and decorate my Ikea Vittsjo Shelving unit. The unit comes with two rows and retails for $79.99. In this space, I wanted an area to hide all of my little items that would normally be in drawers, a place to store my abundance of makeup, and I wanted it all to look pretty and less cluttered. Since I have always loved the look of the Ikea Vittsjo shelving that I had seen on Pinterest and it is now offered in white, this unit was definitely up my alley.

You may remember in my office plans, I mentioned wanting to purchase the Ikea white Expedit unit. Well, once I saw it in the store, I changed my mind. It wasn't as tall as I had hoped it would be. I am much happier with the Vittsjo for sure!

I placed my shelving unit against the wall where the futon used to be. It actually came with anchors to secure it into the wall to avoid tipping.

 I purchased two units and pulled different pieces that I already owned, some from Goodwill, and other little store bought trinkets and decked out my units a bit.

Here she is on that same wall now:

Project: 1 Room 30 Days Kick Off

Hi guys and happy Saturday! As you know, I have plans to work on updating my office this year and I found the perfect way to get my behind in gear and get this room finished! I am participating in Project: 1 Room 30 Days, hosted by Alaya who blogs over at Behind the Big Green Door. This project serves at the motivation to get your butt in gear and finally get a project finished.

So I will be working on my office over the next 30 days and giving weekly updates along the way. As a refresher, here is what my office currently looks like.

I have already sold most of the items in the room, and am looking for a fresh start.You can check out my office plans here.  Stay tuned next week for my first update!

Until next time. Have a great weekend!

Must Have DIY Tools for Beginners from Blinq.com

I get it, calling yourself a DIY'er can be both intimidating and scary because you often think, what the heck do I know about this whole DIY thing, and am I really cut to do what it takes to give myself that "title."

 Believe me, I ask myself the same thing EVERYTIME I start a project...EVERY SINGLE TIME.
But don't worry. The one thing I will say that earned what I call "a yellow belt" in DIY had to be my selection of tools that helped me when I first got started. While there are more advanced tools that are great to have as you get more experience, I got a list of tools that even if you are just a beginning DIY'er or somewhat seasoned, these are a must for your arsenal!
Plus, I am going to let you in on my little secret:) One of my favorite places to check out is the awesome power tools inventory at BLINQ.com. They offer excess and open-box inventory at huge discounts and pass on these savings to people like you and me. Their inventory comes from the best brands from the top retailers...and did I mention that they offer free shipping on every order? Love that! If you want to learn more about the company’s reputability, check out their unfiltered BLINQ reviews.

The Ugly Side of Owning a Home: When There is a "Leak" Part Two

If you checked out my post last week, or even caught some shots on Instagram, then you know that we discovered a leak in our home a couple of weeks ago.

Well today, I am here to continue giving you a play by play of the damage. As I mentioned last week, my dining room walls were torn out so that the plumbers could pinpoint exactly where the leak was coming from. Since I have a bathroom just on the other side of my dining room wall, and that bathroom sits just above the basement where I also received significant damage, they knew it had something to do with the pipes from that bathroom.

You can read the full recap of the discovery and damage to my living room here.

The Ugly Side of Owning a Home: When There is a "Leak" Part One

Owning a home can certainly come with its challenges as I discovered last week. To give you a bit of background first, a couple of weeks ago my husband mentioned that he found a small leak in the basement coming through the ceiling.  When he said small I thought to myself "aww man, but it can't be too major if its not flooded." When I checked it out, it didn't look too bad. It was drops of water leaking from the ceiling and I just knew we would need to get it checked out.

Little did I know it would get worse. 

We called a local contractor that we had worked with on several projects before and asked him to come take a look. He thought maybe the toilet above that area in my powder room was leaking and that it would be an easy fix. He came out the next day and when we walked down to check the basement, it looked like this!

Thrifted Cart Turned Bar Chic

A Simple Valentines Day Gift Guide

Hello my good people and happy February. We all know that Valentines day is quickly approaching, and I have to be quite honest... I am lazy when it comes to this holiday, although I love it! Because frankly, who doesn't like to show the people in their lives how much they love them.

So I have been scouring the net and have come up with some of my most favorite and easy DIY gift ideas to share with the ones you love most! Plus, if you are anything like me, they are super easy to do.

How about this cute teachers gift mailbox idea that my girl Alaya with Behind the Big Green Door created with items from the Target $1/$3 bin. She filled it using a Starbucks gift card and some other neat useful essentials. I think its adorable and perfect as a teachers gift. You can click over and see how she completed this special gift.


Giveaway Time!!! Help Me Plan My Content For 2016

Hi all and happy Monday! So if you are subscribed to my mailing list, then you may have already received something similar in your mail box last week, and to all of you who have responded already, I cannot thank you enough! I want you all to help me plan the content that I deliver to you all for this year!

To my loyal readers, or if you are subscribed to my blog and may not have answered the survey just yet, how about if I sweetened the deal just a little? (enter grin and hands rubbing together).
How about a free Target Gift Card!

Office Plans So Far...

Hello and happy 2016! I have been trying to start my year off productive my ridding myself of unnecessary paperwork and just stuff in general. It always feels great to have this burst of energy in the New Year. Now I just hope to keep it going. I have been off of work for 2 weeks and the break was so needed. I did a bunch of nothing, but now I am back and in my routine. I hope that your Holiday season was great!

I have been working on my plans for my home office, which has a way to go, but it's getting there. If  you follow me on Instagram, then you have seen peeks of my gallery wall, and the picture and frames that I scored from Goodwill for cheap. I started with the gallery wall because I that was the easiest place to start.

Navy blue has always been a favorite of mine because it so rich and classic. I always incorporate green in my home, so I felt that this room should be no exception.

Here is the breakdown of my plans: