Tag Archives: Home improvement

Installing a kitchen backsplash. Is it hard to do?

Have you ever started a project before you realized the timing of it was REALLY bad?

Yup, that was me, when I decided to put in a kitchen back splash the weekend before I was to host Easter dinner! In hindsight, it was great motivation to get it finished before company came the following weekend. But seriously, Yikes!!!


I got Mr Man involved with the lighting. It was divide and conquer time. He worked on disconnecting the lighting while I cleared the counters and assembled what I would need to get started. I usually work on this kind of project by myself but, I would have to say, it was quite fun to work together using our unique talents.


I found glass tiles online quite a while ago and I brought in a sample in with me to buy the grout. I had comments about how pretty and unique it was. I think it was mainly that they hadn’t seen it before as they don’t carry anything close to it. That is why I love it so much. It is not common and the pop of color is just what I need in my kitchen.

The starting point is so important. I had to make sure the black aluminum trim was set exactly level vertically because, if you have that off, everything that follows will be off. Take the extra time at the beginning to make sure that you have it right!!!


Going around ALL the electrical outlets was a colossal pain in the “you know what”!

For the most part it was fairly easy, but when you times it by 152 (ok, not that many, but it sure seemed like it). I took a sheet of paper and outlined the outlet, cut out the square, and then lined it up over the sheet of tile. I used a dry erase marker to mark the tiles that I was going to cut off the sheet because, when I finished, I could wipe them off.


If you find the tile is too close around the outlets after you have everything finished and dried, (*cough* me), you can use a Dremel with a diamond wheel to cut the tile. It is a bit tricky to maneuver if you are using it in a small space, but I found that if you start the line (score it) you can use a hammer and flat head screwdriver to separate the tile in a clean line.

There are extenders that you can buy made by “Ideal” to bring the electrical outlet flush to the tile. We found them at Home Depot. They are made to go in between the box and the plug like a washer but are made out of a hard plastic. I have tried electric box extenders before but I don’t like them nearly as well as these.


Sometimes I had to back butter the sheets of tile but for the most part I was able to apply it directly to the wall.


I waited 48 hours for it to dry and then I grouted. Once the grout was dry …

I don’t have time for all this drying, people! I have company coming for Easter dinner!

… I applied sealer. I read 2 schools of thought … some say you don’t need to seal the kitchen tile and that it could discolor the glass tiles if you did and some said you could do it. In my head (scary place that it is) I cannot imagine not sealing it. I want to be able to wash it down as needed, I don’t want grease splatter or whatever else to stain it , and I want it to stay looking nice for years to come. That means find a sealer that you can use with glass tiles.


I had a lovely new look in my kitchen in time for Easter. Now can someone remind me to check the calendar before I tackle a project just to make sure there are no potential holidays coming up in the next week? Hahahaha

Hope this finds you having a great day.



Minneapolis Home and Garden Show 2014



Nothing makes me happier, than going to a Home and Garden show

(especially in the winter!)

to see, dream, and get ideas.

Now, if I could just get the weather to cooperate! I want spring PLEASE!!!!


While inside this spring time wonder, you can almost forget the 3+ feet of snow outside.



They even had a Geyser

(they were promoting Yellowstone National Park)


While Mr Man where taking our extensive walk through the isles, we were chatting about how throughout the years, our focus has changed depending on what we were working on. We do not need windows, counters, cabinets, painters, and carpet.

But we are very interested in garage floor sealers, garage doors …


and front doors.

I do not like our existing front door at all !!!!!!!!!!


Most of what we are working on at our home this year will be concentrated on the outside.

Speaking of outside … they had Minnesota wildlife!


I still have plans to make a covered area in my back yard so I am always on the lookout for ideas 🙂


I am definitely in the mood to build something!

Hugs and have a great Monday,




Mudroom seating and organization

My mudroom  has been a process!

It has been interrupted by holidays, events, and quite frankly a lack of motivation.

The Mudroom seating and organization in the old new closet was finally finished this weekend …


Let me go back in time …

A time when there was a hall closet.

That opened into the hallway.

That made it impassable if it was open and there were others standing in the hall,

Or if there were shoes kicked off and now laying in the way.

Usually, my shoes.

There has to be a better way to make this space work for my family (Mr Man, Me, and Paxton,our dog) Here was my mudroom closet in all it’s glory.


The first step, was to take everything out of the closet and take off the door.

Taking things apart always goes quickly and is part of the fun for me.


I removed all the wood trim but wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to proceed with the framing.

I had to “ponder”.

I tend to “ponder” a lot!


I measured the width of my closet and found a bench that fit EXACTLY.

It fit so well that I had to assemble it in the closet!

(Notice that the closet has been painted and tiled)


This bench came with canvas baskets to store winter gear.

Perfect for us here in Minnesota!


I love packages delivered to my door.

I look for great deals and free shipping and then wait for them to arrive, and Mr Man does not tell me when they come to the door as I love the surprise!!!

Think Christmas 🙂

This is my wall mounted cubbie with hooks. Some assembly required … again.


We needed to find a mail solution that could organize where we kept our mail and yet be out of sight.

“Mail = Privacy” in my mind.

I found this at the Container Store that works perfectly for us!


I decided to get my “Craft” on and make tags to help organize where items would be stored.

Michael’s had a 20% off entire purchase coupon and I found some fun sale items so this was an inexpensive part of the project.


For the mail slots, I stamped our names on the upper two and “ETC” on the bottom one, and then used blue cord to tie them to the wire.

(Blue is my accent color)


I chose plain tags, number stamped safety pins, and number stickers that I had on hand.

The upper baskets are numbered 1, 2, and 3.


I used the same plain tags for the lower baskets, but I chose to stamp the names of the items that would be stored in them, and tied them with the blue cord I used on the mail labels.


I love to hang my clothes when they are just damp to eliminate wrinkles.

I do NOT like to iron and neither does Mr Man.

Hiding the clothes rod above the opening was the perfect place and the hangers can be tucked back and out of sight.


Sitting on the Mudroom bench and looking up … this is what I see 🙂


On laundry day, this is what you will see.

(Mr Man’s shirts)

I love this system!

And oh, look! I finished off the opening of the Mudroom seating area …


Home Goods is an amazing store that I love! Love, Love, Love it!!!!

I went shopping this past weekend and found these great pillows that fit as if I had made them for the space.

Thank goodness I didn’t have too.

And …. they were the perfect shade of blue to match!

(Sadly, no coupon but worth every penny I paid!)


1. I love how this turned out because it fits what Mr Man and I need.

2. Mr Man loves how this turned out because he sees the finish line is in sight. (Hee Hee)


The inside is done except for the baseboards.

Next weekend!


Beginning to end


More work on the mudroom but almost done!

Will be sharing more soon.

Hope this finds you having a great day,


P.S. You can read more about the Mudroom/Laundry Room here:

Laying a tile floor in the Mudroom/Laundry Room

Laying cement board before tiling Mudroom/Laundry Room Floor

Demolition of our Mudroom/Laundry Room floor


New Lighting at Christmas!

Everyone is running around shopping for Christmas presents, wrapping, baking, sending out cards … me?

Putting in new lighting in the Kitchen and Dining room.

Let me take you back …

Mr Man came upstairs with a sheepish look on his face and said, “I broke something of yours when I was getting down the Christmas decorations.”

With my raised eyebrow silently asking what was broken, he said, “You know your Thanksgiving pumpkin? If you tell me where you bought it I will replace it.”

(Let me explain that there are pumpkins and then there is THE Thanksgiving Pumpkin)

“Do you know what I would like MORE than replacing that pumpkin? New kitchen lights!”

My kitchen has been too dark for me, as all we have is a pendant light right over the counter/breakfast bar. Not enough to light the kitchen! Off in the truck we went, to find track lighting for the kitchen. I had it at our other home and loved that it lights up everything!

Let me show you what we replaced …


The “Salad Bowl” (nickname of the dining room light) drove me crazy too. I was just going to replace the kitchen lights but as you know … as soon as you do something, something else gets done too!


Mr Man did the honors (while I was working on the Reading Nook).

I ran in when assistance was needed but for the most part, it was Mr Man who changed out the lights.


Soooo much nicer than the “Salad Bowl” Light!!!


We noticed right away two wonderful benefits of our track lighting …


Second, removing the pennant light really opened up the area. Where once your eyes stopped at the light it now opened up the view into the kitchen.

Christmas  was interrupted but not stopped and I love my kitchen and dining room lights!