How to Make a Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser

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My sweet little sister, Caitlin, sent me vintage blue Ball Mason jars for my birthday. I had resisted buying them because I might have a bit of a jar hoarding problem. (If you’re in my home, don’t open the cabinet in the laundry room. You might be horrified or shocked by all the jars I’ve rescued from the recycling.)

When I opened the package of six brand new blue jars, I knew I had to keep them and find some ways to display these beauties. Caitlin suggested I should turn one into a soap pump. I agreed, but decided to make it a foaming soap dispenser. Any one else addicted to bubbly foamy soap like I am? Raise your hand and be proud. We can start a foaming soap addicts group (right after the recycled jar addicts group meeting.)

Here’s my tutorial for turning a blue mason jar into a foaming soap dispenser.

materials_for_diy_soap_pump [Read more...]

What’s Up with that Handy Girl?

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What’s going on with that Handy Girl? She didn’t post anything on Friday or Monday? Has she succumbed to jet lag after her trip abroad? (nope) Did she cut her thumb off on a saw and can’t type? (nope) Was she abducted by aliens?

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(maybe)

Want to know why I’ve been slacking on posting?

This is why:

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I’ve been feverishly working on tiling the backsplash in our kitchen. It’s been a lot of sweat equity (and some child labor) but the results are stunning.

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I chose these beautiful carrara mable subway tiles from TheBuilderDepot.com.

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They arrived on a huge pallet and have been sitting in the garage for months. Once we got back from our trip I was having major DIY withdrawal. What better way to get back into the DIY game than tiling 80 sq. feet of backsplash! Heeheehee.

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I’ve rarely had a free moment, in fact when I actually did take a minute to sit down, Handy Dog took advantage of an open lap. (Ummm, someone needs to tell him he’s too big to be a lap dog.)

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What’s the rush Handy Girl?

The rush is self imposed, but I did want to finish before I left for Haven. I’m happy to say that I have a few more lines of caulk to run and the backsplash will be…stick a fork in it…DONE!

And then tomorrow morning I can hop in this swanky new 2014 GMC Acadia Denali and head to Haven!

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(Totally love the hologram on the dashboard that displays speed, temperature, current song playing and more!)

Whoa, what’s with the new wheels?

Well, GMC is loaning the vehicle to me for the week. I’ll be working with GMC at Haven and theeennnnnn….

…on Sunday I’ll be working with some other bloggers to furnish and makeover another Habitat House in the Atlanta area. (Do you remember the big reveal last year?) It’s sure to be a lot of fun and a totally rewarding experience when the homeowner opens the door to her new home and is surprised to find it furnished for her!

I’ll be bringing a whole box of tissues this time.

Want to keep up with the action? Here’s how!

Follow these bloggers as they shop the World’s Longest Yard Sale this week:

You can follow the hashtag #GMCHTA (GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure) on Twitter and Instagram for live photos from the sale. And I’ll try to keep you in the loop through social media (mostly Instagram and Facebook) from the#HavenConf conference hashtag and beyond.

Want to read more about my adventures along the World’s Longest Yardsale last year?

Start reading here.

One more thing before I rush out. If you are going to Haven, you MUST…I repeat…you MUST hop in on one of the two classes Sandra, Traci and I are teaching. It’s called, “Let’s Case This Joint” and it’s going to be a total interactive hands on experience in molding, casing and trim installation. And there will be power tools! You might just have to put up with me and my “Dirty Handy” impersonation though.  “Go Ahead… Make My Day.”

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 Put a Ryobi cordless finish nailer in my hand and I start acting like a tough guy.

I’ll be back later with some more DIY tutorials. I promise. I haven’t been abducted by aliens, I’ve just been a little up to my elbows in grout.

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Disclosure: GMC is sponsoring my trip to Haven this year. I was provided with a loaner GMC Acadia Denali to drive to the conference and back. I was not told what to write or say. All words, ideas and photos are my own.

Painting Metal Patio Chairs: 5 Easy Steps to an Awesome Makeover

Step 2 Wire Brush

Painting Metal Patio Chairs

What’s worse than a rusted, faded, and drab looking patio chair?

Not being able to enjoy your outdoor space because of them!!

We all want to be proud of our homes and be able to have friends or family over. Don’t let a little paint get in the way of having fun with your loved ones. I’ve made the mistake of thinking that repainting a metal chair will take forever and isn’t worth the time or effort. But I’m here to tell you that if my wife thinks the chairs in this post look good then you will, too.

By the end of this short tutorial you’ll transform your chairs from looking worn out to AWESOME in 5 easy steps. I did make a few blunders though, so please read on so you don’t fall victim to the same mistakes.

Here are the supplies you’ll need: [Read more...]

How to Move a Floor Register in a Window Seat

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Remember last month when I showed you how to build a window seat in a bay window? I had promised to share with you how to move the floor register. I’m true to my word and am back with the tutorial today.

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When I built our kitchen window seat, I had two obstacles in my path. The first was moving the wiring for the outlet, the electrician and I simply pulled the wiring down from the outlet on the wall and re-routed it into the new outlet box in the front of the window seat. A relatively easy task. Moving the HVAC vent wasn’t very difficult, it just involved a little more cutting and measuring. But, this is a task you can handle!

I have seen some other methods for re-routing the floor vent. One such method involved building a wooden box to channel the air out the front. I caution you from doing this if you live in a humid climate. Mold can grow inside the wooden box. You could build a channel with HVAC rigid ductwork, but you’d be adding an extra turn which can cut down on the airflow. Another alternative would be to move the register to another location in the floor. I chose to move it to the front of the window seat.

Materials:

  • Carpenter’s Square
  • Pencil
  • 90 degree Ductwork (if you can’t use the existing)
  • Wall register
  • Small level
  • Roofing nails
  • Zip tie
  • Foil duct tape
  • Dremel Multi-Max
  • Drill with bits

Instructions: [Read more...]

Ilkley, UK – A Home Tour of an 1880 Row House

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I’ve known Karen and her sister Anne since fourth grade. Karen was my best friend growing up and ultimately, my maid-of-honor. Anne is her older sister. During play dates, Karen and I were silly girls who avoided (the more mature) Anne, as we played top secret spy games under the stairs. After high school, Karen and I only saw each other every few years. I rarely saw Anne, especially after she met the love of her life in Japan and followed him to his childhood home in England. Anne and Chris settled into a beautiful old row house in Ilkley, UK, where they are raising their daughter and two twin boys. It has been years since I’ve seen Anne, but when we were contemplating our trip to the UK this summer, I thought it would be fun to look her up and visit with her and her family. We had such a wonderful visit with them and I fell head over heels in love with their home.

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I begged them to let me share their home on the blog, so be sure to thank them!

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Come right this way, I have one of those antique keys to unlock the front door. Can you imagine how many generations of families have used this same key hole?

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The first thing you notice as you walk in the door is the amount of beautiful wood, molding and character in their home. [Read more...]

How to install landscape bed black edging

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Jaime here from That’s My Letter to share an easy project that will make your landscaping look clean and neat.

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We just moved into a new home with tons of landscaping, it’s full and lush and mature AND lacks definition from the grassy yard.

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With help from the folks at True Temper® I installed landscape edging using the round point shovel and black plastic edging to create that defining line between grass and plantings: [Read more...]

How to Protect Your Home from Costly Refrigerator Leaks

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Two of the main causes of leaks in a kitchen are dishwasher and ice maker water line leaks. They can be slow drips that accumulate over time and leave costly damage and potentially hazardous mold spores. Our leak wasn’t caused by either of these (we had a polybutylene pipe burst), but after having our kitchen gutted as a consequence of a water leak we are a little sensitive to the issue. As we built back our kitchen, we decided to take precautions to prevent future water leaks.

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Pinterest Tested – DIY Translucent Powder and Greek Yogurt Pancakes

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You know when you see something on Pinterest and you think, “That has to be too good to be true!” Well, these were two such pins that I recently tried and they lived up to their claims!

The first is a DIY Translucent powder from Great Oak Circle.

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I made the recipe per instructions, only I ended up using 2 parts corn starch:1 part green clay and a small amount of cocoa. Be forewarned it will have a slight Kermit-de-Frog color, but it doesn’t change my hue. I’ve been wearing the powder for a month now and it cuts shine! At the end of the day my face has no shiny oily nose or forehead! (Granted with this heat and humidity I have been sweating a little.)

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The second pin I tried was a recipe for Greek Yogurt pancakes by Everyday Belle.

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I have to tell you I will never make regular pancakes again! These were so yummy and very filling in a good way (not the usual airy full that wears off and leaves you hungry after an hour.) I did have to add some milk to the recipe to thin the mix. But, it was still a thick pancake batter.

Please pin these projects from their original sources: Homemade Translucent Powder from Great Oak Circle and Greek Yogurt Pancake Recipe by Everyday Belle

Have a Pinterest pin you want me to test? Leave a link in the comments below.

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Portobello Market in Notting Hill, UK

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Hey y’all! I’m baaaccckkkk! Did you miss me? Probably not, because I pre-scheduled a month’s worth of posts for you while we hopped across the pond for a European vacation! It was the chance of a lifetime, the boys and I toured London, Keswick and Scotland while P. Handsome Guy worked in his company’s London office. I’ll be sharing some of my journeys with you in the coming weeks. In the meantime you can check out some of my sneak peek photos on Instagram or Facebook.

But, now I want to take you with me to Portobello Market in Notting Hill, England. OH MY GOODNESS! When Pretty Handsome Guy said I’d love the Portobello Market, he knew my tastes to a “T” or should I say “Tea”. ;-) In fact, once we arrived, it was evident that I wanted to absorb and photograph as much as I possibly could!

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We took the London Underground (the tube) to the Notting Hill station on a Saturday morning (the only day the street vendors are set up.) Upon our ascent above ground, it was evident that we had entered the ritzier suburb of London made famous by the movie, Notting Hill.

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Doors are painted cheerful colors, the front stoops were adorned with patterns of tile, and container gardens are abundant.

 

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The architecture of these grande estates is beautiful and dripping with detail.

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Unfortunately we had two tired, jet-lagged boys tagging along. So, Handsome Guy did what he does best, he gave me the afternoon to peruse at my own speed and took the boys to Hyde Park to play some soccer (or should I say Football for the British crowd.) Each vendor had their specialty: Antique lamps, silverware, leather sporting goods, books, old printing blocks and much much more. Instead of jabbering away, I’ll just let you browse for yourself.

silver_goblets [Read more...]

DIY Washer Toss Game

How to Build a DIY Washer Toss Game

DIY Washer Toss Plans

Earlier this month, I ran across a roundup of super creative DIY outdoor games that Sara from MomEndeavors had put together!  After seeing how this crazy talented group of bloggers were able to build their own DIY outdoor games, I decided to try my hand at one that I’ve played for years at the firehouse when we’re not busy running calls.  So, here’s my quick tutorial on how to build your very own DIY Washer Toss Game! [Read more...]

Shur-Line Touch Up Painter Product Review

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I’m picky about my painting products. In fact I rarely stray from the same brushes, edgers and paints that I’ve used for over 10 years. As a DIY blogger, I will receive “new” painting gadgets to try from time-to-time. It is rare that I end up liking or using them after initially trying it (consequently I won’t blog about them.) The Shur-Line Touch Up painter, although “new”, actually proved to be a product that I do like! I was skeptical when I first received it two months ago. The concept is that you can store a small amount of your leftover room paint and have it available for touch ups. (Anyone who has kids and pets knows that keeping your walls fresh is a challenge. I’ve used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser with good results, but sometimes it scrubs away too much paint.)

After filling the Touch Up Painter over a month ago, I set it aside in our garage until this week.

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I had 10 minutes before my girlfriends were coming over for coffee. In one of those last minute scrutinies of my home, I noticed the scrapes on the wall! Eeek.

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It was the perfect time to try out this new gadget and quickly touch up the scuffs from the crown molding installation.

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When I first opened the Touch Up Painter, I was dismayed to find a big blob of dried paint on the roller. [Read more...]

Make Your Own Metal Tags for Your Herb Garden

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Metal tags for herb garden

Do you remember seeing those adorable metal tags that were part of my last post on  how to build a window box to be used as a herb garden.  The final decorative touches to the box included metal tags labeling the herbs in the planter. They were so easy to make, I figured you’d like the tutorial.

herb kitchen garden final [Read more...]

A Lazy Girl’s Patriotic Summer Mantel

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My name is Pretty Handy Girl and I am addicted to my Christmas mantel. Yes, I have used it since December 2012. I needed to enroll myself in a program that would help me get unhooked from holiday mantel décor. Truth be told, I needed a little help from my friends to change my habitual ways.

Thanks to my good friends on Facebook and Instagram, they intervened and guided me in the right direction. With some suggestions they helped me turn around and get my life back in the correct season.

Using my kitchen upheaval as an excuse is really only acceptable for one or two months. I used that lame explanation as a crutch for seven months! But, the issue became glaringly apparent when our good friend and house sitter remarked that she thought that was our Christmas mantel still up in June. {busted} Before she settled into our home (while we left for an extended vacation), I knew I had to change it up.

Everyone had some great ideas, but the easiest and quickest were to add buntings and some blue. Within 45 minutes (because I always have to play around with things for at least half an hour.) I had a fresh seasonally-appropriate Patriotic mantel.

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Inexpensive buntings from Michael’s were the undeniable champion in this makeover.

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A few American flags in a cobalt blue bottle brought some more patriotism onto the scene. Red, white and blue books were an easy way to add the right colors.

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The stars remained unchanged, except I ripped off the crispy dead sprigs of rosemary.

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Antique tins and a cigar box bring out the Americana feel.

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Yup, give me 45 minutes and I can change a Christmas mantel…

…into a Fourth of July mantel!

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Thank you to my social media friends for your help and for not turning me in to the decorating police. xxxooo

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Ewwww, What’s that Smell – Replace Your Car’s Cabin Filter in Minutes

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Driving two boys and a dog in the Handymobile several times a day can lead to some truly funky odors. The other day I found myself wondering what the latest funk could be attributed to. Was it the stinky socks and shoes left behind from water day at school?

[Read more...]