Silhouette Portrait Giveaway and Discount Offers

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Lately I’ve been dealing with two boys who are in elementary school, but I’d swear they are in high school by their scowls and attitudes. The grumpy scowl seems to be contagious around here, so I decided to put out a gentle reminder: [Read more...]

How to Install Recessed Lights

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Kitchen progress is definitely moving along (hooray!!!) We now have recessed lighting in our ceiling and it really helps even out the lighting in the kitchen. Plus getting rid of the semi-flush light fixtures makes the ceiling feel taller.

We debated about installing new construction recessed lighting:

or remodel type recessed lights:

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We could have installed either because our ceiling was already full of holes. Ultimately, we decided to install the old work (or remodeling type) lights because they clamp tightly to the sheet rock for less vibration. They also have a built in junction box with easy to wire connectors. (Did I mention that my son’s bedroom is right over the kitchen and there is a lot of jumping and bouncing that goes on up there!)

 

My electrician let me pal around and help him install the recessed cans after he ran the wiring. You know I took careful notes so I could share with you how to install your own recessed lighting fixtures. [Read more...]

How to Survive without a Kitchen during Renovation

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I’ve been asked many times how we’re surviving without a kitchen. I have to admit, there were a few weeks of adjustment for us, but now things are humming along relatively easily. We have a makeshift kitchen and a dishwashing set up that works for us. But, living without a kitchen is a bit like being on SURVIVOR. Come on in and I’ll show you the behind the scenes peek into our lives and share some tips to help make your kitchen remodel a little easier should you choose to take on the challenge! [Read more...]

Kitchen Progress Update + Filtrete Healthy Home Remodel Contest

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I can honestly say that this is the first week that I’ve felt the progress on our kitchen (besides just feeling it in my sore muscles.) And, it FEELS GOOD! No more road bumps like termites or asbestos.  I’m sure from this picture you are thinking, “What progress? When the heck is she going to put her kitchen back together?” Well, come on in and I’ll show you some of the forward movement that’s been made! [Read more...]

How to Replace a Car Battery {Pretty Handsome Guy Style}

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Hey Pretty Handy Girl readers, I’m stepping up to the podium today to prove to you that I can do more than just wrap presents around here.

I also have a handy side (don’t let Brittany fool you) that occasionally comes out.

Pretty_handsome_mechanic [Read more...]

All About Termites and Clean Up with The Bagster Bag

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There we were, Harvey the electrician and I were happily making progress on the kitchen renovation. Harvey was just finishing up on the last row of outlets when his hand disappeared into the wall. “Ummm, Ms. Bailey, I think there’s something wrong with this stud.” I looked over to see him pulling wood shavings out of the hole he had cut for the outlet. “What the…..?” (I repressed my urge to curse.) Within five minutes of his discovery, we had pulled down the sheetrock around the suspicious stud and were glaring at a poor excuse for two framing members and the wall’s bottom plate.

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The two studs were so brittle and destroyed that I was able to poke my entire finger through them. (Let’s see you do that to a solid 2×4, Mr. Houdini!)

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Not good…not good at all. I had to make the unfortunate call to Pretty Handsome Guy to tell him the bad news. But, I broke it to him lightly, “Honey, what is the one home disaster we HAVEN’T had to deal with yet?” He guessed tornado (Shoot, forgot about that one.) “No, Termites! But, the good news is that there is no live infestation.” See, it always helps to temper the bad with some good news. ;-)

The next few days were fraught with nail biting, lightly walking around that wall (for fear it might topple over), and multiple phone calls to the termite company, our building inspector and a structural engineer. To make this long story short, the structural engineer was the most helpful and advised us to fur out our walls to carry the wall load over the remaining perfectly good rim joist. If that sounds Greek to you — no worries — I really want to share with you what I’ve learned about TERMITES instead! [Read more...]

When and Why You Should Get a Permit – Interview with a Chief Code Official for Wake County

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Have you heard the horror stories about filing for a permit and the subsequent inspections? Did you hear the tale about the inspector that made the electrician pull everything out and start over? Have you been warned not to file a permit because you might “open a can of worms”? What exactly is a rough-in? And why do people say “pull a permit” instead of file for a permit? Don’t let misinformation put you and your family at risk. I have the answers to these questions and why you would want to file for a permit before starting your next home improvement project.

Last week I drove downtown to file for a building and electrical permit with Wake County, NC, but found out we are in the Raleigh City Jurisdiction for building permits (but that’s another story for another day.) Before I went to the permit office, I asked Barry Mooneyham, Chief Code Official of Wake County if I could have a little of his time to ask him some questions. It was a very informative 3o minutes, which completely changed my perspective on permits. I left his office with a new found appreciation and understanding of permits and inspectors.

Before I get to Mr. Mooneyham’s answers, I want to answer a recent question that some of my readers posted on Facebook:

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Laura, Alyssa & Holly, thanks for asking. I was unsure of the origin on the term “pulling a permit” myself, so I did a little research.

Why do people call it “pulling a permit” instead of filing for a permit?

  • The joke answer: Ever try getting a building permit? It is like trying to pull a tooth!
  • The possible real answer:  It’s called “pulling” a permit because the people in the office have to “pull” the paper work out of a filing cabinet.

Having “pulled a permit” last week I can tell you that it really wasn’t hard. I did print out the paperwork online before heading downtown. This was invaluable because I was able to answer all the questions ahead of time. Some of the information that was required for the permit is: [Read more...]

Winner of the Home Sweet Home Giveaways!

Happy Valentine’s Days to two lucky readers! Yes, we have our winners! Before the announcement, we wanted to thank all of our AMAZING sponsors for their donations and generosity! This giveaway could not have happened without them. And since love is in the air today, let’s show them all some facebook love by liking their pages:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The winner of grand prize # 1 is [Read more...]

Easy Potted Clover for St. Patrick’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is in one day, right? So, what am I up to? I’m getting ready to celebrate the return of spring and St. Patrick’s Day of course.

In North Carolina, the trees are starting to bud and a few have flowers. I’m super excited for the arrival of spring. In addition to the flowers, the weeds have also started to pop up. But, there is one weed that I don’t mind sticking around for a little while.

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Although clover is technically a weed, it is also is a beneficial plant for your yard. It encourages bees to visit and help pollinate your flowers. Clover also produces nitrogen which is good for your lawn. And finally, it is a low growing evergreen plant, which means more green in your lawn. [Read more...]

Recovering This End Up Style Kindergarten Chairs

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As a parent of two elementary school students, I always ask my kids’ teachers if they need anything for their room. Usually the answer is markers, wipes, or snacks. But, my kindergartner’s teacher knows about my secret identity after having taught my older son for a year. So, she didn’t hesitate to ask me if I could possibly recover a few really sad looking chairs that had seen their fair share of kindergarten butts. ;-)

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These poor chairs were still very study, but the fabric was nubby, pilled and stained. I love a good challenge, so I took all three of the chairs home over the Christmas break.

The first task involved removing the seats. Before I touched the seats, I flipped over the chairs and marked the front side of the chair so they would fit together perfectly when I put them back together. [Read more...]

The Inspiration Board

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Are you loving that cool little kitchen inspiration board I made? If you haven’t seen already, there’s a new app called the Inspiration Board. Jamielyn from iHeart Naptime is the creative genius behind it.

[Read more...]

Home Sweet Home Giveaway

Happy early Valentine’s Day to everyone! A group of us have teamed up with some amazing sponsors and put together an exciting “Home Sweet Home Giveaway” for our readers. (If you didn’t win the other mega giveaway I hosted back in October, I wanted to give you another shot at winning some awesomeness!)

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Myself and these rockstar bloggers have collaborated to bring you TWO of the best giveaways on the web.

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Some of you may know these bloggers but for those who don’t — starting from top left is Jessica Four Generations One Roof, Chris Just a Girl, Kim Sand and Sisal, Brooke All Things Thrifty, Amy The Idea Room, Rhoda Southern Hospitality, Me ;-) Pretty Handy Girl, “The six sisters” Six Sisters’ Stuff, Kari Anne Thistle Wood Farms and Traci Beneath My Heart.

ARE YOU READY FOR THE GOODS? [Read more...]

Seriously? Kitchen Update and News Flash

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That’s what I was thinking today. Ever have one of those days, where you feel like life sucker punched you in the gut. And then when you started to stand up it pulled the rug right out from underneath you? Well, sometimes that’s how my past few months have felt. But, in the grand scheme of things, it could be MUCH worse (as my plumber said after telling me a horrendous story about a couple that hired a house sitter who proceeded to burn the house to burn to the ground.)

But, let’s back up a bit to recap some happenings with our kitchen saga. And we’ll focus on some positive kitchen progress (so I can ignore the negative for a brief moment.)

First, can I get a little applause for my success in getting a building permit for our renovation? I was so nervous, but it was really no big deal and it only took about 20 minutes of palm wringing and nervous leg shaking (as I wondered if they’d kick me out of the office because I’m not a “professional” contractor.)  Plus, I was also able to interview the director of Building and Planning of Wake County and asked him a ton of questions about permits. I’ll be sharing his answers to my inquiries soon. [Read more...]

Installing Semi-Rigid Dryer Hose to Prevent Fire Hazard

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Last year when I showed you how to clean out your dryer hose to prevent dryer fires, I didn’t realize that I still had a fire hazard living in our laundry room. Since then, I stumbled across a video that scared the bejeezus out of me. Matt from Great Lakes Home Performance created this video showing what happens to foil dryer hoses.

I knew that white plastic dryer hoses were bad and had previously replaced ours with the flexible foil hose. But, I felt duped when Matt showed what happens to those “foil” hoses. First, what I didn’t realize is that those shiny metal hoses aren’t foil! They are made of flammable plastic. Go ahead, run to your dryer right now and see what type of duct work you have — I’ll wait. If it is white or shiny foil, I’ll show you how to replace it with semi-rigid duct to keep you and your home safe from a dryer fire. This is an easy tutorial, you can definitely do this (if your exterior dryer vent is on the 2nd floor, you can keep the same vent and just replace the hose.) [Read more...]

Trashed to Treasured Coffee Table – Guest Post by Sawdust and Embryos

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Upcycled Wood Grain Coffee Table ~ using Vinyl as a Stencil {Sawdust and Embryos}

Hello! How is your week?! I’m sorry I missed y’all on Wednesday. I spent the day at the permit office interviewing the director and filing for a building and mechanical permit for our kitchen. I learned oodles and will have a post for you as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I have a very special guest for you today! Beth from Sawdust & Embryos is here to share a tutorial for making that beautiful decorative coffee table you see above!

[Read more...]