Just a Girl Blog http://www.justagirlblog.com Interior design ideas on a DIY budget Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:32:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sharpie Mugs http://www.justagirlblog.com/sharpie-mugs/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/sharpie-mugs/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:31:40 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=7833

I’m not decorating for Christmas yet (Hello? Thanksgiving, anyone?), but I sure am thinking about Christmas presents already. I made these mugs last year, and they were a hit.

Let’s talk about easy directions first, shall we? Buy some mugs at the dollar store. Wipe the mugs down with rubbing alcohol (I don’t know why–just do it), and either use a craft cutter or some shaped stickers to place on the mug. Let me clarify–I have no artistic skill whatsoever. I can barely trace better than a second grader. If you have mad skills, congratulations to you. You’re way cooler than me. If you don’t, this is the way to go!

Sharpie Christmas mug

Once the sticker is applied, just stipple (cool word) your marker all around the shape. The first row should be very tight to create the outline of the tree. Then just start spreading out the dots as if they are dissipating until you like the way it looks. Once you’re done, just take the sticker off. Ta da!

Sharpie art on mugs

The reindeer mug is just the exterior of the sticker. I lined it up as best I could and colored it in.

Bronze reindeer mug

And that, folks, is all she wrote! Well, not really. Place the mugs in the oven for about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. I HIGHLY recommend using the oil-based Sharpie markers. I used what I had on hand, so these won’t hold up beautifully in the wash. They’ll be fine for hand washing, but if you want them to stay, use the oil-based.

DIY Christmas mugs

For a little touch of pizzaz, I placed a little sapling into each mug–festive, no?–and considered it done.

Christmas mug

Cost? $2.00. I guess it would be a bit more if you didn’t have the other supplies, but I only needed the mugs.

Sharpie mugs

Easy peasy. Are you Christmas shopping/making yet? Please don’t tell me you’re done. No one needs to hear that just yet. :)


http://www.justagirlblog.com/sharpie-mugs/feed/ 2
Fashion Pin Day http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-3/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-3/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8381

We are buried underneath a bunch of this stuff, so it’s only fitting that I choose some warm-weather-wear this week. 

Snow trees

I’m sitting here with a cup of coffee, a fur blanket on my legs, and the fire roaring, so I included a bunch of outfits that said, “Hey! We’re warm” when I saw them. Hopefully, you’ll feel the cozy inspiration from them too!

Green navy outfit

Source unknown

Screen Shot 2014 11 18 at 8 07 13 PM

Casual winter outfit

Screen Shot 2014 11 18 at 8 20 46 PM

 Neutrals with belted sweater

Screen Shot 2014 11 18 at 8 27 14 PM

Black and teal winter outfit

Warm And Cozy Outfit Combinations For The Winter striped sweater red skinnies and knee length boots

Navy stripes and redScreen Shot 2014 11 18 at 8 10 36 PM

Classic red and black winter

Screen Shot 2014 11 18 at 8 13 17 PM

Black and fur winter wear


http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-3/feed/ 3
Hosting a Homecoming http://www.justagirlblog.com/hosting-a-homecoming/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/hosting-a-homecoming/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2014 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8371

Remember when my husband (and many helpers!) busted tail to get our patio done for my son’s homecoming dance? Well I do. I also remember how it rained and rained on the day of the dance. So while we thought we’d be entertaining fireside that night, we ended up hosting it inside. Not a big deal. {Insert nervous giggle here.}

Patio DIY

We have a beautiful downtown area that served as a backdrop for our pictures, but again…rain. Lots of umbrellas were involved.

Fall Homecoming decor 5

Fall Homecoming decor 6
Dances around here involve lots of couples together, so we decided to host them at our house for a pizza dinner. I thought I’d prettify the house so they wouldn’t realize they were eating pizza for their homecoming dance. We’re talking 9th grade here—no need for steak and caviar. 

Fall Homecoming decor

I dragged my mother-in-law into the woods, and we cut down a ton of branches. I stuck them in vases. That was it. As for the other decor, it was all dollar store. I spent maybe $10 bucks? Not bad.

Fall Homecoming decor 3

We purchased pizza, and other parents contributed desserts, chips, and drinks. It was successful, inexpensive, and it kept the kids right where I could see them. Sneaky plan, eh?  While it may seem stressful to host 20 teenagers for dinner, it certainly doesn’t have to be—unless you decide to build a huge patio at the last minute.


http://www.justagirlblog.com/hosting-a-homecoming/feed/ 0
Fashion Pin Day http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-2/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-2/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:24:51 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8350

Well, it’s here. Snow. According to Michigan standards, it’s just a dusting right now, but more is on its way. Soooo it’s only fitting that I would introduce some “holy crap it’s getting cold outside” outfits for ya. I have a thing for over-sized sweaters and cute coats. Toggle? Pea? Right up my ally. Hope you enjoy them too!fall outfit

Orange and cream

navy brown outfit

Navy and white fall

winter outfitBlack and cream


gray and teal

Gray and teal outfit

Fall fashionDenim and taupe outfitplaid coatOrange plaid outfitcamel and navy

Navy and camel outfit

Fall Fashion Ideas


http://www.justagirlblog.com/fashion-pin-day-2/feed/ 4
Getting Holiday Ready http://www.justagirlblog.com/getting-holiday-ready/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/getting-holiday-ready/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8340

Well hello, strangers. I hear ya. I’ve been a sporadic blogger, and it’s not my favorite. Believe me. Unfortunately, working full-time and blogging full-time requires a lot more energy than I remember, and it’s proving quite difficult for me. My focus is to get through the work day and hopefully get some dinner on the table for my family. After that…it’s a crap shoot. Sorry about that. I imagine it’ll get better. I think.

For now, my monthly challenge for Lowe’s was to get something “holiday ready” around the house. See this drawer? Not holiday ready.

Battery organization

This drawer? Holiday ready.

Battery organization 5

Allow myself to explain…myself. Holiday preparation around here means fighting off germs, taking pictures, wrapping presents, and opening presents. With those preparations in mind, I imagine the drawer makes a little more sense. 
Battery organization 6

In all honesty, this was about the batteries. One of the most common question around here is, “Anyone know if we have more batteries?” I used to keep them in a container—which was fine—but I never kept track of which ones we were running low on. I’m a visual person. What can I say? This helps me a ton. And considering all the electronics/toys we tend to get at Christmas, these will come in quite handy.

Battery organization 7

This project was completed with the help of Lowe’s gift cards as part of their Creative Ideas Creators and Influencers Network. I love Lowe’s and am happy to be a part of it! If you’d like to see more, feel free to follow them on InstagramPinterest, and their Creative Ideas Magazine

Holiday 14 Blogger Badge Subscribe Banner 392x140


http://www.justagirlblog.com/getting-holiday-ready/feed/ 3
Birthday Answers and a Winner http://www.justagirlblog.com/birthday-answers-and-a-winner/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/birthday-answers-and-a-winner/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8320

Whoa! It’s been a busy week around these parts. Parent teacher conferences have monopolized the week (the kids and mine), so I haven’t had time to check in. However, I had to come and announce the gift card winner! And of course, explain the weirdness behind our birthday answers. Here we go.

Which one of us…

Has never learned to play an instrument? Sarah is surrounded by musical people and doesn’t know how to play one. Ironic, eh? I can play the piano. Well, I could in the 5th grade.

Never wears matching socks? According to Sarah, I’m weird for this one. I never match them. Ever.

Does not have pierced ears? Again, me. I had them pierced twice, and my body just rejected them. In other words, they really hurt.

Suffered whiplash from a mechanical bull? This is Sarah’s story to tell…

Auditioned to be on The Wheel of Fortune? All Sarah. I would look like a deer in headlights on tv, so it wouldn’t be my thing.

Is a grandma? Ol’ Granny Sarah!

Had horrible experiences on horses and will never ride them again? Uh, me. Twice. I have decided that horses have somehow spread the word about me and refuse to let me have a nice, casual ride. The world of horses has shunned me, and I have accepted that.

Didn’t visit Disney until she was nearly 40? Sarah. I’ve been a few times, and I’m done.

Favorite author is Jane Austen? ME! Can’t get enough of her. Still hoping they’ll find some huge vault of never-before-seen books of hers. 

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for? Here’s the winner of the $100 gift card to Target–

Niki from JandEdoodles

TargetLogo thumb

Congratulations!! Have a great weekend!


http://www.justagirlblog.com/birthday-answers-and-a-winner/feed/ 1
It’s Our Birthday! {Target Gift Card} http://www.justagirlblog.com/its-our-birthday-target-gift-card/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/its-our-birthday-target-gift-card/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8313

Well, Happy Birthday to US! Welcome back to another installment of we’re getting older, and it makes us feel better when we announce it to thousands of people. Sarah aka Thrifty Decor Chick has become one of my dearest and closest friends, so it’s no surprise that we share the same birthday. We also tend to share the same thoughts and feelings, but that might be for another blog post.

Birthday picture

Speaking of sharing, if she were truly my best friend, she would come paint my bedroom this same color…

Gray bedroom

and she would build this fireplace for me (drool).

DIY fireplace

Truth be told, she would probably do both. She’s just that wonderful. So while we contemplate getting another year old, and my husband rushes out to find me a birthday present (why shop early?), we’ve got our annual quiz for you! Social media has probably hinted some of these to you, so I’ll bet you’ll do better on these than you think. If it makes you feel better, my mom missed three of mine last year. My mom. :)

TargetLogo thumb

So here’s the deal. Take the quiz here, then head to Sarah’s to take the other half of the quiz. Once you find out your score, leave it in the comments on her blog. That will count as your entry. One lucky winner will receive $100 gift card to Target! Yahoo! It’s our birthday, and you’re receiving the gift! We’re good people. Good luck!



http://www.justagirlblog.com/its-our-birthday-target-gift-card/feed/ 49
Fall Table http://www.justagirlblog.com/fall-table/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/fall-table/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 00:46:12 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8306

Well the fall decorating just doesn’t stop around these parts! My monthly challenge for Lowes was to decorate a fall tablescape. Don’t mind if I do! 

Fall tablescape

We host Thanksgiving every year, and it’s time for a kid table. By kids, I mean tweens and teens, so it doesn’t need to be juvenile. However, I thought some brown paint paper (from Lowes!) would be an easy cleanup for it. Fall tablescape 2
They had some dusty orange pumpkins in the garden section, and I thought they offered a soft touch of orange to the space. Want in on a secret? The front pumpkin is actually fake. Not bad, eh?The bread, however, is real, and my 4-legged fur man was sitting under the table just waiting for me to finish taking pictures.

Fall tablescape 9
I’m tellin’ ya…Lowes pulls through once again! A pretty tablescape, some perfectly toned pumpkins, and an easy cleanup? Well, I be. Or is it I’ll be? Either way, it’s a win/win.

Fall tablescape 11

My love for Lowes runs deep, so check out their digital Creative Ideas Magazine! You may just spot some creative bloggers you know.

Fall14 Blogger Subscribe Banner 392x140

Disclosure: Lowes provided me with a gift card to showcase this project as part of their Lowes Creative Ideas Bloggers’ team. All the thoughts and opinions are certainly my own. I don’t get gift cards for those. :)


http://www.justagirlblog.com/fall-table/feed/ 1
DIY Patio and Fire Pit http://www.justagirlblog.com/diy-patio-and-fire-pit/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/diy-patio-and-fire-pit/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:58:01 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8297

Well, it’s far from a finished reveal, but the progress is pretty incredible. The good news is that my husband and I are still happily married, and the patio is done enough that it can at least function. As a reminder, here’s the before.

Patio before

And here’s the “during semi-after not quite finished but enough to show you” status. 

DIY patio
That spot has been an eye-sore for years, so we’re pretty thrilled that—if nothing else—the brush is cleared. In true JaG luck, it rained incessantly this week. Not only did it slow our progress, but it also kept us from being able to use it for the Homecoming party. Nope. Not joking.

DIY patio 8

Regardless, we’re thrilled we have an official spot to enjoy our cool fall nights until we finish it in the spring. 

DIY patio 6

Ya see all that unfinished-ness? We haven’t cut the pieces to fill in the edges, we still have another layer of bonding sand to apply, and we still need to build the curved stone bench that’s ready to go (see materials up above). Oh, and we kind of mutilated portions of our yard. 

DIY patio 5

Next spring, we will dive into phase two of the project. That involves building a wall behind the patio. It’ll serve as a retainer for a slope in the back and provide some extra seating. Don’t mind my horrific mock-up skills, but you can see the direction we plan on going. There’s a lot of space back there, so we’ll do some dwarf spruces, flowering trees to blend into the existing forest, and some substantial shrubs to fill in the gaps. Backyard plan

So that’s where we are. It functions, and it’s 375% better than it was before. It’s kinda like painting and getting new flooring, but no furniture or accessories to make it pretty. I’ll let ya know when Phase 2 begins!


http://www.justagirlblog.com/diy-patio-and-fire-pit/feed/ 10
Backyard Renovation http://www.justagirlblog.com/backyard-renovation/ http://www.justagirlblog.com/backyard-renovation/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:00:00 +0000 http://www.justagirlblog.com/?p=8286

It alllll started with a Homecoming dance. My son came home and said, “Hey, I told a bunch of my friends they could come over after the Homecoming dance for a bonfire!” Unbeknownst to me, a bunch means 15. And a bonfire means coming over for dinner and pictures before. Here is said fire pit.

Patio before

We have a lot of yard, so we use it to burn brush, Christmas trees, etc. We’ll have neighbor kids over for some s’mores, but the entertainment value of this space is pretty much nil. So then my husband says, “I think it’s time we built a patio and fire pit back there.” We’ve been wanting to do this project for years, but there was always something else on the list. Gluttons for punishment, we started on it two weeks before the dance. Keep in mind we are the same two people who have had an unfinished bathroom for nearly a year now. And an unfinished laundry room for even longer.

Pulling up sod

From here on out, when I say we, please know that I mean my husband and my father-in-law. I’m the brains and the supervisor, but the hard labor is all them. The plan was a round patio with a bunch of landscaping around it. Easy enough, eh? Not in our timeframe, it isn’t. Every single round patio stone involved special ordering, so we had to scratch that plan.

Patio process

Soooo we went square. After renting a sod remover machine (not official title), we rented a Bobcat to go to town on the leveling. Seem like overkill, perhaps? Well, we decided on an  324-foot square patio. With built-in seating. And a retainer wall behind it. Quit shaking your head at us. We know we’re nuts.

Patio progress

I have decided that if the world is overtaken by zombies or if aliens are chasing after us and we jump on the bobcat to escape, we will die. As skilled as my husband is, he and the Bobcat just didn’t get along. The fight was inches away from getting physical, so I had to step in. Scary stuff.

DIY patio steps

Ready for the reveal? Well, you won’t get one today. This is where we are. Stones, gravel, and sand have all been delivered and manually brought down to the pit. Boulders that we had in the back woods were brought out, and we’ve placed them throughout for when the landscaping starts to take shape.

Patio during

They’ve been working on it feverishly for days. The DIY Channel we are not. Yard Crashers wouldn’t hire us. However, I can see things starting to take shape. Maybe. One thing I do know is that this is the most expensive Homecoming dance we’ve ever experienced. Stay tuned…

If you’d like to see the updated patio, click here.


http://www.justagirlblog.com/backyard-renovation/feed/ 7