2014…Year in Review.

 I’m a day late for a year in review as 2014 has officially come and gone.
After taking a look back I’m surprised how much we accomplished.
Let’s take a little walk down memory lane…

We made a lot of progress to the basement in 2014.
The best completion was finishing a family room in the basement.


We also finished a basement bathroom to service the family room and guest bedroom (makeover coming in 2015):


The laundry dungeon was turned it in to a bright space that makes me enjoy doing laundry now (well, not really).

before and after laundry

Our basement mother-in-law apartment got some much needed love as well.  This basement apartment kitchen is 100 times better than the Mr. and my first three residences.


The apartment basement bathroom also got a pretty update using some budget-friendly finds.

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Upstairs, we had ALL our cabinets refinished and repainted by the worlds most amazing cabinet maker/refinisher.  They had a terrible paint job to begin with and didn’t last the 2+ years we had been using them so the refinishing was a much needed repair. This bathroom got a new shade of paint, new counter and new faucet.


2014 marks lots of growing men in our household.  They were quickly out-growing their room so instead of going out we went up with some built-in bunk beds.

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But the cherry on top was that we finally finished our master bedroom complete with a DIY wing bed and Herringbone Sharpie wall.

Before and After

Outside, our patio got a little facelift during a fun Style Challenge with Home Depot.


In other projects I helped my dad design a new kitchen space for one of his rental properties.


In addition to all our room makeovers that kept us busy, we always made time for DIY projects.
Here are a few of our favorites:

projects 1
1. Two toned bench.
2. Brass plated stool
3. Hanging door stop


4.  PVC projects
5. Wood slat door mat
6. Tomato cage pot holder

Projects 3

7. Two-toned stool
8. Magazine trolley

January 2015 marks us being in our Utah home for just about 3 years.  You may recall we came to Utah from Tucson, AZ and moved in an apartment while we went through construction on the house.  We pretty much started from scratch ripping everything out and starting completely over.  One of the most popular series we tackled in 2014 was a complete review of all the finishes we picked from marble counters to faucets to flooring.


Reviewing our kitchen cabinets.
Reviewing our kitchen counters.
Reviewing our kitchen appliances.
Reviewing our kitchen sink, faucet, message center.
Reviewing our wood floors.
Reviewing our concrete counters.
Reviewing our master bathroom (part 1).
Reviewing our master bathroom (part 2).

We had the wonderful opportunity of working with great sponsors this year.  Without them we wouldn’t be able to have such creative freedom to dream big.  We thank you all for being a fabulous audience that we get to share our projects with.  We have big plans for 2015 and look forward to sharing them with you.  Bring on 2015!



Time to change the air filters again!

I am proud to be a 3M-sponsored blogger, and as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate 3M products. Additional products used in the project were selected by me.

If you’ve been following along with me, the time has come again to change your air filters.


As you know I’ve had the great opportunity to be a Filtrete Brand blogger this past year. Part of my duties have been to review 4 different Filtrete Air Filters throughout the year. After almost a full year of replacing the cheap filters we normally buy with Filtrete Filters I really do notice difference in the quality of our indoor air. Having said that I have become converted to value of Filtrete Filters and will only use them now.

This past weekend we replaced our Filtrete Micro Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1000) with the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Filtrete Filter (MPR 1900).

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Utah has had a particularly mild winter up until now. In fact, we were playing outside in t-shirts earlier this December.  As a result of our long fall our allergies really suffered. Old man winter didn’t fail to deliver his annual dose of sickness around our house. We were plagued by lots of runny noses, coughing and congestion.

I love that our Filtrete Filters attract and capture airborne particles that can carry bacteria and viruses from the air passing through the filter. That, and I’ve been experimenting with oil pulling (google it) which may have something to do with it to. Look how much gunk my filter captured in just a couple short months:

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Regularly changing your Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1900) is one way to help keep your system run efficiently because a dirty filter restricts airflow and makes the system work harder.

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Yes, our filter looks gross but a dirty filter is a good sign. The Filtrete Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1900) captures 93% of large airborne particles from the air passing through the filter.  Checking your Filtrete Filter every month and changing it at least every three months is just one of the things you can do to help create a cleaner, fresher and healthier home.

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To learn more about the Filtrete Healthy Living Ultimate Allergen Reduction Filter (MPR 1900) and Filtrete Brand’s other air filters click here.



Staining then cleaning my rug with Bissell.

Thanks to BISSELL for sponsoring today’s discussion.

This is what happens when you’re trying to rush three kids and yourself out the door for a morning school singing performance.


An entire blender full of raspberries, spinach, pineapple and orange on my vintage Persian rug.

I panicked, grabbed a towel and started to try and rub it out which really just rubbed it in more. (I don’t think clearly in pressure filled situations).
This was the kind of emergency that needed attending to NOW.
Then I had visions of my kids in therapy as adults retelling about the time their mom decided her rug was more important than supporting her kids in their school performance.
So I threw in the towel (literally), locked the door and left a berry fruit smoothie to marinate in that beautiful rug for the next two hours.

This is no lie…when I got home a new BISSELL ProHeat 2X® Premier 47A23 Upright Deep Cleaner that I agreed to review was sitting on the doorstep.
What can I say? God works in mysterious ways.
Talk about timing.
I tore in to that thing faster than you can blink and put it to work.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of the machine doing it’s thang on the rug…kind of hard to take a selfie while cleaning your carpets but here’s the result:


I had to go over it a couple of times and honestly I didn’t think it would work but there is absolutely no evidence of the smoothie having ever spilled there.
This is what the water looked like after the second go-over.


Yeah, that’s gross.

I was a little alarmed when I pulled this out of the catcher:


The instruction booklet did warn that this may occur on fuzzy carpets or rugs and they were right.


At first I thought the neighbors cat might have snuck in and I sucked him up by accident.
The Bissell has a spinning brush that acts like a comb brushing all the excess stuff that often sheds. It also has some serious suction. My dry vacuum comes no where close to pulling out the amount of gunk that the Bissel pulled out.
Now that I tackled that rug it was time to move on to my next little rug that I recently found at a consignment store.


I’m always a little leary about bringing home pre-owned rugs.
I’ve heard horror stories about people bringing home pre-owned rugs which was home to a colony of bugs. (Insert body shiver).
I was glad to bring it in and clean it immediately with the Bissell.



My new/old rug is a perfect welcome for my front door.

Last but not least our super-sized living room area rug. Gray is a tricky color. You’d think it would hide more dirt than it does but nope…every stain shows.


I first hit the heavy traffic areas with Bissell’s Deep Clean Pro solution and let it soak in for about 5-10 minutes.

Next I put the machine to work. I did a once-over on the entire rug, making sure to give a little more attention to the high traffic areas.




Bring on Christmas!

My honest opinion? I would highly recommend the BISSELL ProHeat 2X® Premier 47A23 Upright Deep Cleaner for the following reasons:

-It works. (If it didn’t I would have informed Bissell I couldn’t write a positive review and ask them if they still wanted me to publish my post).
-Use it the instant a spill occurs. You never know when you’re going to spill an entire smoothie on your rug and need a carpet cleaner in a pinch. With this machine you can do it yourself the moment you need to (or 2 hrs later).
-Flexibility and freedom. When you hire a professional carpet cleaning company you feel like you’ve got to have them clean every room in your home whether the carpets need to be cleaned or not. Having this machine gives you the flexibility to clean only those places you need to clean, when you need to clean them.
-Professionals only do a once-over. You know that old saying, “If you want a job done right you’ve got to do it yourself”? That applies here. This machine is a DIY’ers dream. After seeing how much nasty, dirty water I pulled out of my rugs after two go-overs I’m convinced that most professional carpet cleaning companies aren’t getting your carpets as clean as they could be. I’ve hired several companies over the years to clean my carpets. They normally put really harsh chemicals on your carpet, do a once-over and leave. This machine is a force to be reckoned with but you can go over your carpets and rugs as many times as you need to. No once-over and out.
-Money Saving.  I’ve paid as much on two visits for professional services that this machine costs alone.

Intrigued? Hop on over to their site to download a coupon and learn more about the BISSELL ProHeat 2X® Premier 47A23 Upright Deep Cleaner and BISSELL carpet cleaning formula with Scotchgard™ Protector .


I was given a Bissell ProHeat Upright Clearner and Cleaning Solution to review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.