Decor Posts

31 Days {Day 7} – Homeschool Room Reveal

31 Days {Day 7} – Homeschool Room Reveal

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Welcome back to the 31 Days of Mary, Martha, & Sparta! If you missed it, here is the link to yesterday’s post!


Happy Wednesday!

I’ve been trying to post this all day! Technology is just not my friend, you guys….

Now that I’ve cried a little, yelled a little, and begged my computer to be kind, it’s time to finally reveal my homeschool room!

I haven’t really gone into why we homeschool so much, but have no fear – we have another 24 days!

Today, we’re just talking logistics.

First of all, this room used to be our playroom. We had a full-sized basketball hoop up there, and not much else. The boys really needed room to run around and play basketball. Plus, we don’t do toys, really.

IMG_7873 IMG_7872

It was time for the hoop to go outside – as the boys got bigger, their jumping caused more and more of a raucous. Not to mention… it knocked a few light bulbs and light fixtures out of the fan in the dining room directly below the loft.

DIY Desperation

DIY Desperation

I pretty much always love doing things myself. Well almost. Laundry and dishes I’m totally fine passing off to someone else. Oh, and toilets. And dusting. OKAY!! I like doing HANDY things and CRAFTING things myself.

Anyway…DIY stuff is almost always guaranteed to hit a snag. Or seven.

I took pictures of the proof that all the projects that garner the most compliments from people have really been fought for with blood, sweat, and tears.


This was the result of trying to hang curtains that my mom made at my sister’s house. Do you see that there are approximately 100 holes? I was trying to drill only two.

You can see in one of the holes that there is what is left of a drywall anchor. It shattered into tiny pieces when I was hammering it into the hole. Also, there is apparently a random metal piece under this patch of drywall that prevented a screw from going farther than ¼” into the wall. So the drill would slip off of the screw a few rotations in and it would punch another hole in the wall. Thus the scattered holes around the whole wall.

It was exhausting!

I stripped a screw, I drilled into the back of my hand (Just slightly…but still stupid. Still painful.), and I had my arms above my head forever.

I actually had to just walk away from the project for a while. I can’t even tell you how my sister got it to work because I haven’t looked at them again. I’m a little bitter.

Need more consolation?

Minutes later, after my frustration from the curtain rod, I decided to hang a big canvas in my sister’s room.

In order to hang a canvas, the clever canvas people included this really cool way to measure the holes so that the atrocity above doesn’t happen. They give you these plastic pieces that leave a dent in the wall where the nail is supposed to go. And somehow…I screwed it up.


This is a picture I took to send to my dad to ask him how to get it unstuck from the wall.



I don’t know how it happened, but somehow this piece was literally ONE centimeter away from where it needed to be, but because the canvas is not flexible, it wouldn’t fit in the hole in the back of the canvas.

Once I realized my mistake, after groaning and pouting, I tried to pull it out. And it wouldn’t budge!

Nothing worked.

I tried prying it out with pliers, the back of a hammer, and a screwdriver!

Eventually, my sister came to the rescue again and manipulated the piece enough to squish it into the hole in the canvas.

I write this post today to let you know that not all projects go smoothly. In fact, most of them don’t.

But if you can take those hiccups in stride and just accept them as part of the game, you’ll do so much better. I’ve yet to run into a contractor, handyman, artist….really anyone, who hasn’t run into snags in their projects more often than not.

Just when you think you’ve got it down, the project hits a weird bump — like the piece of metal under the drywall to hang the curtain rod. There was no reason for that to be there, but it was nonetheless, and no one could’ve predicted that.

So I say all of these things to encourage you to keep going and not get discouraged. Understand that most of my “after” pictures have been achieved after quite a few sessions of pulling out my hair, lots of reconfiguration, new scribbling and drawing, maybe a wall bang or two, and sometimes even a little bit of crying.

So keep going!

And when you get to the end, you’ll be so glad that you did!

Are you a DIYer? How many snags would you say you hit on average per project? Do you have a good story to share in the comments? Let me know I’m not alone!! 

Operation Escalones {#15} – Do the Whole List

So normally for an Operation Escalones post I will give you a little project list and then slowly cross off the items on the list as I do them — at a rate of about one per week.

Not so this week.

Two weeks ago I went a little stir-crazy at home. We’ve been home a lot more because it’s summer, and I’ve been in my space in much more concentrated amounts lately. Plus, it’s Arizona hot so we really only venture outside to swim and then quickly retreat back to the air conditioning as soon as we can.

So I started making a list of the things that had been driving me crazy and the things I’d like to get done. It turned out to be a pretty big list. I started making some plans, but then I realized that I had a sort of deadline. It was self-imposed, of course, but a deadline nonetheless – we were hosting a birthday party for one our sweet friends’ little boy!

That meant I had two weeks to get the big stuff done. So here’s the list I started with:

Home Makeover List


And here is what it looks like after 2 weeks:

Crossed off Home Makeover List

Let’s start at the top.

I have been wanting to change one side of my pantry into a mudroom for some time now. There were WAY too many shelves in there, and I wouldn’t even want to fill them up with stuff or food! These shelves are on the other side, too, and that’s where we’ve put our food.


So I decided to take the shelves down and put up a pallet wall. My dad helped me pull down the shelves.


I got some pallets from a friend and my dad helped me saw them apart.


I was going to try to deconstruct them, but it was way way way too much time and effort for us, so my dad agreed to bring his saw over and help me. 2 hours and a LOT of sweat later, we had plenty of pieces!


Sorry they’re in black and white…I had the filter on, but I didn’t notice in the bright light outside…I must’ve hit the filter with my big work glove fingers. Oops!

Since there are too many resources and tutorials about how to make a pallet wall, I feel like I don’t need to do a whole post on it. Unless I hear otherwise, I’ll just give you a quick rundown here.

I stained the pieces with a mahogany stain, and since all the wood was different, it all ended up different shades – which looked beautiful!


I drilled holes in the corners of the boards and then nailed them to the wall, alternating which side of the wall I started on to keep the lines from matching up. Aidan even helped out!


You’ll see that the whole item isn’t crossed out. That’s because the edge pieces have mostly been cut (again, by my wonderful dad), but not hung yet. Maybe sometime this week when I get motivated again. Then I can post a picture of the completed project!

Next was making some shelves for our master bathroom. I’ve been wanting something to hang over the bathtub to hold towels and maybe some candles, or whatever. I just really really don’t like towel racks. I’m not sure why, but they’re just not my favorite look.

I also needed shelves for the movie room to hold the DVD player and the cable box, and one outside under the TV to hold the cable box. Without shelves, the cable boxes were dangling under the TV (classy), and the DVD player was sitting on the floor.


So I found this pin on Pinterest and fell in love.


via Pinterest

I went to Home Depot and got all the supplies for all the projects I was working on. I had to choose the right screws to hang the shelves, the paint color for my room, the right size pipes for the shelves, the right piece of wood for the shelves, etc. My mother-in-law kept the kids so that my mom and I could focus. Good thing she did, because it ended up being over 2 hours at Home Depot.

I stained the shelves with the stain from the pallet wall, and spray painted the metal pieces black, just like the post I found. Again, I’m not doing a tutorial…the blog where I got the idea did an awesome job, and I don’t want to steal her thunder. Go check it out!



I have yet to hang the shelf under the outside TV because I have to drill into stucco, and I feel like I should do some research about drilling into stucco before I just go out and do it.

Another item on the list was to put hooks in the guest bathroom instead of the towel rack. After this project, all of the towel racks in my home have been officially removed. I have yet to find the right solution for our extra bathroom upstairs, but for now the towels are folded prettily, and it’s not used very often, so it’ll work while I keep looking.

These hooks were on clearance at Target, and I fell in love with them because the picture in our guest room is of a bird in a bird house, and it just seemed perfect to hang these in the guest bathroom! Plus, they were on clearance – BONUS!



The next project was ALL MY MOM. She has a sewing business and she does custom drapes, pillows, bedspreads, etc. A fabric store was going out of business in our area, and you guys…we bought half the store. We went multiple times. I think it’s safe to say that I bought over 100 yards of fabric for various projects, so stay tuned for a post about all the things my mom is making with all of this fabric. She probably bought double what I bought, if not more.


That was only one trip for me.

The fabric on our outdoor cushions was dying with the heat of 5 Arizona summers, so it was time to recover them. Of course, I got the fabric on super steep clearance, so the whole project ended up costing about what it would’ve cost to buy one set of cushions on the chairs.

I had 4 chairs and a loveseat that needed to be recovered.

And she delivered big time!



Aren’t they beautiful?!?!

I just swooned a little bit. Again.

My mom is seriously amazing with this stuff. She’s made every curtain in our house, most bedspreads, every throw pillow, and now all the patio furniture!

Next was painting the master bedroom.

When we moved in, we were lucky enough to have a painter come in and paint every. single. wall. I loved every color — with one exception.

The color I picked for our master bedroom was seriously disgusting. I don’t know where the breakdown happened, whether it was the lighting in the picture I took it from was wrong, if I pointed out the wrong color on the paint chip, or if he got the wrong color. Whatever happened, our room looked like an Easter egg.

It was supposed to be a smoky grey-purple.


I lived with it for about a year because I was being too lazy to do anything about it, but enough was enough and it was time to fix it!

I picked a very dark eggplant color, and you guys…I don’t know what took me so long to do it. I absolutely adore the color that it is now, and I can’t believe I lived in that Easter egg for so long!

It did take 3 coats of the paint with the primer (which, in my opinion, did nothing, so I will be questioning using that again next time…). It was definitely a whole day and a half of painting, but well worth it.


I feel like we went from a little girl’s room (gone wrong) to a romantic, lovely grownup room! It’s just beautiful!



The last project was another one that fell to my mom. She made me some great throw pillows to add to the reading room. The couch looked a little sparse, and the pillows I had on the chevron chairs were just not working. I think I’ll be moving those to the guest room.



So there you have it!

I feel so refreshed and proud of all that got accomplished these last two weeks! I definitely couldn’t have done it without some help!

Be looking for a guest post from my dad in the next few weeks…he kept muttering under his breath about how he was writing a “Men against Pinterest” post as he was cutting all the pallets in the 100 degree heat. But I’m so so grateful that he did it — it was so helpful and it looks so good!

And of course, there was my mom who sewed her little fingers off! She’s amazing and does the best work. If you ever have any custom work you’d like done, she’s for sure your girl! (Like that plug? But for reals…call her.)

And my mother-in-law had a sleepover at her house so that I could spend forever painting my room…she’s a rock star!

What are some things that you would like to get done around your house? Any fun decorating projects? Organizing projects? I want to hear about them — leave me a comment! 

My Scrabble Wall

My Scrabble Wall

Today’s post is a tutorial, but it has a back-story first. So bear with me until we get to the pictures!

I read a blog about a year ago about creating a mission statement for your family, and I knew immediately that I wanted one for our family. We had some big decisions to be made at the time, and we needed something concrete against which we could hold our decisions to determine whether or not it fit for our family. Read the post here.

So Ty and I decided to create a mission statement. It involved a long process that started by asking our family and friends to define us (which was risky, but necessary). We wanted to know how other people saw us and then from there we could decide which of those things were good and bad and change or embrace them accordingly.