Potting Station


This is a cute project my sister, Shenoa took on last week. She had an old hutch sitting in her basement just waiting to be refurbished. Shenoa had just built herself a new flower garden in front of the house and decided to use that old hutch as a potting station/storage area.

This is Shenoa. My mom is in the middle (it was her 50th birthday), and I’m on the right. Sorry mom! This was the most recent picture I had of Shenoa. Didn’t mean to tell everyone you’re 50 🙂



Step One- Take apart the hutch, including the glass panels.




Step Two- Sand and prime. Kilz primer.



Step three- Paint and dry. She used Lowe’s Valspar Duramax paint and primer, fiddlehead fern.


Step four- Put it all back together and add your finishing touches. She chose chicken wire in place of the glass and new knobs. She also left the bottom cabinets opened. To attach the chicken wire she used a staple gun.  She picked up the knobs at Lowes. Accessories found at Dollar Tree. Two hooks on the side are from Hobby Lobby.

Total Cost- $40.00



How cute is that! There’s that flower garden I mentioned earlier. Can’t wait to watch it bloom! What spring projects are you taking on? Please share!

TV Wall Decor



After weeks of a blank TV wall we finally got a little something up there. I love the gallery walls that you see all over pinterest on a TV wall, but as I’ve said before, pictures hanging on the wall can sometimes make me crazy. So, I asked P.J. to make me two more of the picture ledge shelves that he made for the other wall in our living room. I love the shelves because everything stays in place and I don’t have to get up off the couch in the middle of a show to straighten a crooked picture.

On the two shelves over the TV you will see McKinley’s first grade artwork of our entire family, including pets. The picture of the flower bouquet was one that P.J. made me for me on our 3 year anniversary in Myrtle Beach. The tiny little sandcastle is a piece from our wedding. We had sandcastle center pieces on each of the tables. The Myrtle Beach picture album holds pictures of each of mine and P.J.’s trips to Myrtle Beach together, including the trip of 2002 when we first met one evening on the beach. Those 3 small pieces on the shelf sort of tell “Our Story.” The second shelf holds a few family pictures, a couple of empty frames that will soon hold pictures of our furry family members, and then a piece of Alivia’s pre-k artwork.

We tried our best to use items that we already had to place on the shelves, in order to save money, but also to represent us. We bought the rhino head at T.J. Maxx, and the snail at Target, on clearance. I pulled out every old frame that I could find in the basement and painted a few to add a little extra color. So, we spent a total of $30.00 to decorate the TV wall.



A Rockin 70’s Touch


Finally! We found a console for the living room. For a few months now we have been looking for a dresser to turn into a TV console. We never imagined we would struggle to find a dresser, but we did. They were either too tall, too wide, too long, not long enough, too much ($), any other problem you can imagine.  So, driving around on another Saturday morning we pulled up to a furniture store. They had a really nice section with fancy furniture and an extremely old section. With out a question we walked straight into the old and outdated section. (More our style) The furniture was piled on top each other, topped off with a pound of dust on each piece.  In the very back we found a piece that was hidden in the dark. We pulled out our phone flashlight and sure enough there it was! Perfect! It was like a diamond in the rough. It was the perfect dresser. Perfect height, width, design, it had it all. So we thought. We went to open the side door to check for storage but it wouldn’t budge. We went to open the top drawers and they were a no go as well. We began to scratch our heads a little confused not really understanding why nothing would open up. Then we removed a piece of furniture from the top of our desired dresser and opened it up. There it was, something that we totally did not expect. A 1970’s record player with a stereo. After a good laugh, we decided to buy the piece and begin our next project.

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Straight from the purchase we went to Home Depot. We picked up some of their Behr paint (Bahli Bliss), a few brushes, and polycrylic (for protection from our sweet little monsters). Oh yeah, and a TV wall mount from Target. Kesha painted the new TV console, three coats of polycrylic and I  hung our TV on the wall. A quick and fast improvement. The bonus was when McKinley plugged our new console up and sure enough the stereo began to rock. Kids are loving the extra large boombox. Kesha and I woke up Sunday morning (bout 7:30) to a bumpin living room.

 So, there it is. Living room is slowly coming together. Who knows what’s next! Hopefully BIG summer projects coming soon.


             Moo Approved

Moo approved

Back in 1972, Pink Tile Was The Thing To Do….


Let’s go back to the beginning. This is the “Pretty in Pink,” bathroom The Ugly House came with. Yes, that’s sweet McKinley sitting on her potty back in 2007. She was only 2 when we first moved here.


This house had one bathroom and the bathroom did not have a shower. We had to take baths only for our first  4 months here.


Is that not the ugliest floor you have ever seen. The floor was the first change we made in the bathroom.


Notice before we removed all of the pink tile we had already had the upper wall tiled so that we could take a shower!

P.J. removed all of the pink tile in the bathroom. We also had Re-Bath come in and do our tub. It was a little pricey but, it was an old cast iron tub that would have been a real problem to get out. It is also a good size tub and if we had replaced it with one from Lowe’s or Home Depot we would have lost some of the size. We have now had our Re-Bath tub for 6 years and it has been great. It’s easy to clean and has held up like a pro. I would recommend it if it’s something you are considering.



P.J. worked hard this day! Remember this was the only bathroom in the house and leaving the toilet out for longer than one day was not an option. We placed beadboard over where the pink tile had been and painted it white. We added a new vanity, sink, and medicine cabinet. We also built a cabinet in the wall to have storage for towels.


So, this was the bathroom last week. Here it is now:


I painted the back of the built-ins with Thunder (same color that I just painted the living room with). You would not believe how AWESOME this paint has been. One gallon of Benjamin Moore Thunder has covered my living room, bathroom, and the “Hall of Horrors.” Yes, I finally painted it too. Anyway, that’s a lot of area for one gallon of paint! I will be buying more Benjamin Moore! I also cleaned up the shelves and bought only white and gray towels. It was time, the others had bleach spots anyway.


We took the medicine cabinet down and put up a mirror. I was nervous that I would miss the cabinet, but I’m thinking we will be fine without it. It could sometimes become a catch all anyway. I think there will also be less fingerprints now that there is not a need to touch the mirror! Let’s hope, it’s only been up 2 days. Toothbrushes have to stay on the vanity now. Not too crazy about that. We tried it before and we have broken at least 4 toothbrush holders. This time I am using a candle holder that I have had for years. It’s tall and keeps the toothbrushes somewhat protected I guess. It’s working.


This is a little Pinterest trick that I am LOVING! We have many of these shower caddies and they would never stay on my shower spout or whatever you call that thing. It would slide down and make me jump out of my skin thinking it was going to fall on my head, cause me to be knocked out, and found naked in my shower. I was happy to find this little idea on Pinterest. It’s secure, it looks nicer, and no more mildew! BTW That’s olive oil in my little plastic container. I have been washing my face with olive oil for a year now and it’s wonderful, you should try it!


So, there it is. We still need a new blind, but we are waiting until we put our new windows in. Soon I hope!

I will leave you with a big smile from the Dark Knight himself!


Picture Ledge


Like it? I’m loving it. P.J. actually built it back before Christmas, but we were changing so many things in the living room that we were afraid to hang it. I knew if I had him hang it and then ended up wanting it somewhere else he would not be happy with me, so I held out. In the long run it actually ended up where I had first planned. I really like having the pictures on a shelf and not on a nail. I love a picture wall or “wall gallery,” but mine drove me a little crazy. Every so OFTEN I would have to walk by and straighten the frames. Now, they stay straight! The shelf idea came from Ana White. We have not added the crown moulding at the bottom of the shelf yet, and not real sure if we will. Who knows. I do still have a little touch up painting to do. The rest of the walls are still empty. I’m trying to be patient and not hang everything I have just because I have it. This project was super cheap and easy. Making it ourselves ensured that it would be the perfect fit for our space. The front door opens against this wall and we didn’t want it getting hit each time the door was opened.  We’re really happy with this picture ledge. There may be more pop up somewhere soon!



This is How We Roll…

DSCN0600our living room walls. Yes, we have painted the living room once again. I am REALLY happy with this color. We spent much time selecting the color and it paid off. This is Benjamin Moore, Thunder. If you haven’t already used it, Benjamin Moore’s web page has a cool personal color viewer. You very easily upload a picture of your room and choose a color. It was very helpful and fun! Our color Thunder is light, but not too light, and very neutral. It looks fresh and clean. This is the first time we have used Benjamin Moore paint and we were a little skeptical at first. It was a little more pricey than what we usually buy, but it was worth it! We bought one gallon and still have about a quarter left. That means we have no reason not to go ahead and paint the “hall of horror.” It’s just an itty bitty hall, but boy is it a pain in the butt to paint. Too much cutting and edging!

Anyway, The living room is slowly transforming. Paycheck by paycheck. We did re-arrange the furniture. I was happy with the room before, but when we had guest we just didn’t have enough seats. After 6 years of living here, for the first time we have a couch in front of the window. We resisted the move because we loved the view out the picture window. We had a great view of the neighbors horses across the street. Now, we have to turn our necks, but it was worth the move. The change allowed us to have more seats for when we do have guests. The three extra seats we have are all Salvation Army finds, but they are really comfortable and kid friendly. We are hoping to have the two green ones reupholstered soon. The yellow one is pretty cute and so we are leaving it yellow. So, we tried out our new arrangement on Super Bowl Sunday and it worked! We had a total of 9 adults in the living room. Two had to sit in kitchen chairs, but the other 7 were comfortable. 🙂



We are looking for a better console for this space, but once again trying to be patient. These are the two green/yellow chairs we are going to reupholster. Any ideas for what to do with this wall space? We are thinking something similar to this, but for the console.


The cute little yellow chair is looking really little in this space. She may not get to stay. We’ll see.


Notice the one red table and one brown. Yeah, I will paint the red one brown soon enough. We bought these years ago. We used them in the living room and then they became tables for the kids to play with, one was actually being used in my classroom just last week. They have found their way home, but with a new coat of brown. At least one anyway.




Still a work in progress, just like the rest of the house, but coming along.

The To Do List

  • paint living room
  • crown moulding
  • new trim
  • reupholster green chairs
  • refinish hardwood
  • new console
  • hang tv on the wall above console
  • wall art
  • gas fuel stove
  • close off the entry to Brook’s room
  • mantle around the stove of some sort

The Land Down Under Update


Looking better? The playhouse is slowly coming along. This is how it looked at Christmas, and how it looks today. We haven’t had much time to work downstairs recently, but it does look better than when you saw it last.  Looking at the playhouse you see the kitchen window and to the bottom right is the doggie door. P.J. is still working on the front door, but for now The Dark Knight aka Batman is on guard. Let’s take a look inside.


The living room/dining room. The girls actually painted the little bench themselves and it looks so cute! In the back there is Brooks’ retired crib mattress. They are using it as their bed.



Here’s the kitchen.





Don’t know if you noticed in the first picture, but we did paint the basement steps as well. They look so much better! They need another coat, we still need to hang the paneling on the other side, and paint the top drywall and one day we will 🙂


Remember this is still a work in progress!!!! This picture is at the bottom of the steps looking forward. This is the area that we hope dream of putting a pool table. Of course we will have to get light fixtures first and probably have to wait until the kiddos clear out the Sisterly Love Sweet Shop, the Animal Care Center, and the Beauty Shop in the back corner. 🙂



This is the other half. Here we plan to put a sectional on the back wall there and nice big cozy rug on the floor. Once again we have to cover the duct work and get a few light fixtures first.



P.J. hopes to hang a nice BIG flat screen here. Yes, we dream big!



So, there it is. Our land down under. No, it’s not much, but it’s great for the kids to play. We often have at least 5 kiddos at our house simultaneously a couple of days a week. Now they have their own space. They can ride bikes, skate, bounce balls, spill drinks, talk really loud/scream, and all the other things they do that makes me stress, while in a kid friendly area. We hope to get back down there soon and will keep you posted on our updates.

Have you finished your unfinished basement on a tight budget? If so please share any photos or tips!!!

More DIY Christmas Gifts


We shared our diy Christmas gifts for the ladies, but not the others due to spoiling the surprise. As you know the ladies in our family received our homemade sugar scrub, body butter, and lip balm. The girls and I made around 200 scrubs and butters. No, we don’t have that  many people to buy for! We actually sold a few for others to use as Christmas gifts for their friends and family as well. This was never the plan, but people started asking to buy it and so we made a Christmas profit of $350.00 and that’s after paying for all our supplies!!!! We were very excited about this extra money at Christmas. 🙂 So, while we were busy making our “girly” gifts, P.J. had a project of his own for the guys. They received a wooden 6 pack tote. This was a cool gift for P.J. to give due to the fact that he has started to brew his own beer and planned to fill the tote with his homebrew. He also made a couple of wine totes. I personally received one of those along with his mom.

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Now, for my favorite homemade gifts! McKinley had asked Santa to bring her a cash register this year. Alivia asked for a doctor kit. So, with hopes that Santa would fulfill their wishes, P.J. and I decided to make a little something to go with each of their gifts. We decided to build a “store” and “care center.” We did both with ONLY scrap wood and paint. The only cost was the fabric and the Little Tykes plastic piece that I saw at a yard sale driving home from work and snatched up for $12.00. The girls have played with this more than any other gift. They were so excited and so were we!







Alivia saw many patients at the Care Center, but Jack was her favorite!


My parents always come over Christmas morning for breakfast and Gi Gi (my mom) just loved shopping at Sisterly Love Sweet Shop!

That’s it! The last of our DIY Christmas gifts. We really enjoyed making our gifts this year and saved a lot of money. Family and friends seemed to really enjoy the homemade gifts as well. Did you diy your Christmas gifts? Please share if so! We need ideas for next this year 😉

I’m Dreaming of a Blue Door


I had a crazy idea this weekend that did not work out, but led to this blue door! It all started with this pin on Pinterest . Remember this wall in my living room. Well, this pin from Jenna Halvorson got me all excited about this wall in our small, longer than it is wider, living room. While we don’t have the money for the beautiful crown molding right now, we thought we could possibly make it a more cozy entryway.


My first idea was to use this bench from our old kitchen table and create something similar to this. P.J. was happy. The benches and table have been sitting in our basement for years now. They totally didn’t fit in this so-called eat-in kitchen we have, but we had a hard time parting with it because P.J. and my dad spent a lot of time refinishing the 1 bench and table. Last week the entire set was actually loaded up in P.J.’s truck ready to go to a local antique shop. We were headed there and the roads were blocked due to the Christmas parade. So, all 3 pieces were sitting on the carport. Anyway, we sanded, primed, and  painted the one bench that had not been finished. I brought it up and quickly realized that I was no longer going to be happy with the green wall. That then led to me painting the green wall to match the others.DSCN0512

I put the bench back in front of the sesame colored wall. Just wasn’t working for me. Sorry no pic of that. It wasn’t there long enough to get a picture. We carried it back out to the carport  and what do ya know! It looked really nice against the stone wall. So, it has found it’s new home. The now empty wall has the green window table due to the Christmas tree going up this weekend. We are in the process of making a shelf like this pin to go above the table to display family pics. Back to that blue door. I loved having that splash of blue and so I then thought of painting our front (interior side) door blue, but then I found this pin. Now, I’m torn on what to do with the front living room door. So, I got off task as usual and ended up painting the side door blue! We love it P.J.’s happy with it, and I won’t miss the dirty little fingerprints all over the white door.


I’m not loving the shade of blue on the door. I think we need something brighter. We have also discovered that the blue it disappearing when the dogs scratch at the door. Guess I have to use a different type of paint???? Back to the drawing board on this one!!! I forgot to post a picture of the bench that started all of this madness now that it has found it’s new home on the carport. I will do that!

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas


 Unfortunately, our Thanksgiving trip to New Jersey was cancelled due to the weather. We were all packed up (cool idea for packing here) and ready to go, but by Monday evening they were calling for some pretty bad weather. We decided it may not be safe to travel with the crazy holiday traffic and bad weather combined. So, we stayed home this past week and made the best of it. The picture of the girls in the snow was taken at 7:30a.m. Obviously they were pretty excited to wake up to the snow. Wednesday was a beautiful day. It snowed all day, but not so much that anyone lost power or was unable to get out and about. The girls put up and decorated their own tree, we all put up the “family” tree, we baked cookies, made more diy Christmas gifts, made 10 gallons of laundry detergent, painted a wall, painted a door, built some shelves, and a partridge in a pear tree! There will be more post to come on some of the things I listed. So, we stayed busy this week, but loved it! Here’s a glimpse into the past week at The Ugly House We Love!






 We got an Elf on the Shelf. His name is Frost. We read the book, a Christmas tradition. We read it as a family and then we went to sleep. We woke up the next morning and guess where Frost was! In Brook’s bat mobile! Isn’t that cool? 🙂

FYI-McKinley wrote the above info herself!!!!!


My kids became Home Depot employees and set up shop in the basement.


We have had a fun and busy week. There’ll be more on our projects for the week later. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving week as well!