When I first started out on this blogging journey, I was working by day as an HR admin, and by night as a crafter. I had no idea that my little corner of the Internet would ultimately become my full-time job! Sure, I don’t have a book or television show to my name, but Dream Green DIY is my greatest professional endeavor yet, and I’m kinda sorta selfishly proud of how far things have come since that first design project and DIY tutorial almost six years ago.
Although DreamGreenDIY.com is still very much based on its original oh-so-humble roots, I’m looking to step things up as we head into 2017. This small town girl has hopes and dreams of transforming her small town digital home into something just a little bit bigger—and to do that I’m going to need some big help.
So, for the first time ever as a working freelancer I’m adding a Marketing Intern to my team—someone who is ultra creative, way savvier than I am, and who can navigate the world of social media with a smile on her (or his!) face.
Dream Green DIY Marketing Intern Breakdown:
Must love coming up with creative SEO-based captions and stories
Needs to have experience using all of the big name social media outlets (think: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Familiarity with WordPress and Photoshop is also required
Being a DGD reader is a major plus as I’d love someone who knows what this blog is all about
Unpaid to start, but could grow into an hourly paid position following a successful 8-week trial run (and by “successful,” I mean that we both need to be having a blast working together—it’s not just up to me!)
Can work from anywhere in the world, but someone on the east coast here in the US is preferred so that we’re on the same time zone
Click to read my DGD Marketing Intern Job Description for more details on what and who I’m looking for, and be sure to shoot an email over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: “DGD Marketing Intern: [YOUR NAME]”) if you like what you see and want to get in on all the fun.
I can’t wait to grow Dream Green DIY in a brand new way this year, and to finally get some outside creative help with the direction of this digital space. Are you intrigued? Apply now!
When I think back to that first week spent in our then-new home, one of the most memorable takeaways was the collection of new sounds. From creaky floor boards and whistling windows (it was October after all), to clunky baseboard heating that sounded like a metal monster was clawing its way from room to room, I spent most evenings investigating strange noises. Happily, now that we’ve been here for over a year, I’ve confirmed that every funny sound is just part of this home’s personality, and when I hear the whoosh of our furnace or a pounding on the roof (care of our neighborhood crows), I’m able to smile knowing that it’s all just part of what makes this house our home.
As we head deeper into this cold weather winter season though, I wanted to share a few ideas for how to make your own clunky, creaky, whistle-y home as energy efficient as possible. If you’re like us and live in a 50-year-old house, chances are good that you’re dealing with less-than-tight windows and ancient baseboard heating systems, too, so I’m offering a few thoughts for weather-proofing our homes this winter, and maybe (just maybe) finding ways to save a few bucks on energy consumption in the process.
Although not sponsored in any way, this post came to be thanks to a chance email from NJP Electrical, an electrical services company based in Jandakot, Western Australia, and a cool infographic they happened to send my way last week. You can view the infographic here for the full list of suggestions, but I’m pulling five of my favorites from the list below.
How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Instead of bumping the thermostat way up on extra cold nights, consider cuddling up with a hot water bottle or pulling on a few extra cozy layers. You’ll save money on your heating bill, and will offer your whole-house heating system a chance to rest.
Use small table lamps for a dose of concentrated light where needed rather than switching on an entire room’s worth of overhead lighting.
And while you’re at it, make the transition to LED bulbs since you could save 80 percent in energy consumption over standard lightbulbs.
Turn your devices (think: TVs, stereos, computers, etc.) off at the wall since they could otherwise still pull energy on standby mode. Same with your hair dryer!
Set aside an hour this weekend to pick up a DIY insulation kit from your home improvement store. Installing weatherstripping around your doors and windows doesn’t take long and can save you a bundle long term. BONUS: This project will keep out that whistling winter wind, too.
What are your tips for making a home more energy efficient this time of year? Sure, I love listening to our home and all of its quirky little sounds but if that chorus means that we’re losing money on lost energy, then it’s time to get serious about making changes. I’m excited to put a few of these tips to good use, and maybe you can use this story and list as inspiration to do the same!
Now, I realize that I’m probably showing my age (and love for mildly depressing music) with this roundup of vinyls to buy, but I just can’t help it. Winter tends to be the time of year when my passion for music comes back alive. Who knows if it’s because of all that extra time spent indoors away from the cold, but picking a favorite from our collection of vinyls and switching that turntable on is just one of my favorite parts of this cold weather season. Well, that and a cashmere blanket and steamy second cup of Joe.
In case you’re looking for new musical inspiration this season, consider my roundup of 20 vinyls to buy your motivation to dust off that old record player of yours. Got a favorite from my list? Did I miss out on an album that you’d recommend? I’m all ears! I asked John to add a few of his go-to vinyls to this list, but I’m sure we’re missing out on some great ones between the two of us, so do tell in the comments below.
From where I’m typing this, I can see a mountain of crumpled tissues about the size of Everest, a week’s worth of pills that run the entire spectrum of the rainbow, plus the seam of the pajama pants I’ve been wearing for five days straight. Point being that I’ve got what practically everyone else in the world has caught this first month of 2017: that nasty—yet all too common—cold.
I haven’t stepped outside much this week (aside from taking the dog out for a quick pee, and even then I practically had one foot in the door and one out), but thankfully I have today’s lifestyle post to make me feel like I’ve enjoyed some real life fresh air for a change. This one goes alllllllllll the way back to Christmas weekend at home with my family in Lynchburg, Virginia, and includes lots of quality time spent chatting around the Christmas tree and cuddling with our massive collection of family pets—my parents’ three labs, their kitty, and our own hound dog, Rocky.
As they say, there really is no place like home, and I just can’t get enough of it when I’m there. Our family is pretty darn close, and we tend to spend hours on end catching up around the fireplace, sharing the latest news from our respective corners of the state.
John and I now live about an hour and a half away from home, and my sister’s house in Colonial Williamsburg is about three hours away. Even still, we try to get together at least every few months in our hometown to enjoy time with our parents and those beloved labs. I’m constantly so thankful for my family—each and every one of them—because I know there are so many others out there who don’t (or aren’t able to) enjoy close ties to home.
Can you even handle those mugs?! Vinny, the yellow lab, lost his ear as a tiny puppy, but I don’t think anyone’s ever told him. Just look at that smile a few photos up! And Parker, the eldest black lab (above), is the type of dog that can see right down into your soul. Sweet, thoughtful, loyal—those words just don’t even come close to characterizing her priceless personality.
Josie, the awkward middle lab, is undeniably a beauty but she’s quite a handful, too. Between her (totally for show) bites and ear splitting barks, she wins the award for Most Diva Dog amongst the pack. All together though, these dogs are family, and I can’t imagine a Christmas without them.
As is tradition, we took them on several walks around the back yard in between holiday tunes and fireplace musings, and, even though my cold currently has me chained to the couch, I can practically hear the leaves crunching under my boots and see the winter sun peeking through spindly tree branches overhead. Oh, to be back at home again…
If you’re hoping to relive the moments alongside me, you’re in luck. I shot another quick montage-type video while being lazy over the holiday, so be sure to scroll on down and click that play button to come along on our walk and watch these playful pets enjoy life in real time.
Again, please forgive my novice skills here as I continue to learn how to do anything other than “artsy” refocusing. There are already things I wish I had done differently in the editing of this video, but I’m just going to leave “well enough” alone and try to raise the bar with my next one instead. I hope you enjoy it and that you don’t mind being transported back in time to Christmas just one more time before officially embracing the new year. Cheers!
First, a question: What’s the last vivid dream you can remember? Really pause for a second and think about it! I’ll go ahead and admit that it had to do with some kind of apocalyptic run for our lives from falling meteors, but that’s just par for the course in my anxious brain. Here’s hoping that your recent dreams involved rainbows and bunny rabbits instead.
While I’d like to say that my dreams are typically of the pleasant variety, they tend to focus on the worst case scenario—things like natural disasters, mass murderers, and the like. So, the idea of having a handwoven nightmare repeller by my bed is very, very appealing. Not wanting to wait a single night more, I took matters into my own hands and created a pair of DIY Beaded & Feathered Dream Catchers with the help of Oriental Trading. Click those links for the full tutorial. SPOILER: this little craft turned out to be far easier than even I expected it would be.
Have my DIY dream catchers completely rid me of bad dreams? Actually, I can’t remember the last time I experienced a particularly negative nightmare! The last one I do remember was while visiting my sister in her new house last weekend, but, of course, that was hundreds of miles away from my mini dream catcher collection. Maybe I need to make and send her a couple of catchers to hang in her house, too.
For whatever reason, I’ve noticed that the mid-century aesthetic has been touted as “losing its fire” as of late. I’ve caught headlines online that ask things like, “When Will The Mid-Century Trend Die?” and it honestly breaks my heart a little. How could anyone want to see such a beautiful, artistic style go away?! The good news is that I don’t think we can even consider mid-century design a “trend.” The tell tale ultra sleek, utilitarian look is so much a part of history that it’s more an established era than a passing fad, so I’m going to try a little harder not to give into the idea that mid-century might “die” any time soon.
That said, I have noticed myself feeling drawn to other design eras recently. Maybe it’s because my favorite blogger and interior designer, Emily Henderson, just pulled a 180 on me and is now going in a more traditional direction, but I’ve felt myself opening up to other styles and silhouettes. Namely, classic colonial.
In case you didn’t know, my little sister works for the development department at nearby Colonial Williamsburg here in Virginia, and over the weekend my dad and I moved her into a new home right in the heart of this restored 1700s campus. As an employee of CW, she has the ability to apply for residence within the historic area, and so far she’s lived in two temporary under-200-square-foot cottages. This weekend though marked her third (and likely final) move into a more permanent rental. I’ll be sharing lots more about her new space—and about Colonial Williamsburg in general—next Friday, but for now I wanted to chat about the design plans I helped her put into place ahead of her move.
I should mention right off the bat that my sister is a devout minimalist and only purchases pieces for her home that she knows she’ll love for the long haul. With such a particular aesthetic in mind, we spent hours and hours coming up with a design plan for her new living room and upstairs bedroom, and these mood boards above show the ultimate direction. We pulled all sorts of images off the web to illustrate her love for traditional design with a few modern elements thrown in for balance, and the results perfectly suit her needs. I love that we were able to include a few photos of real-life secondhand pieces that she’s collected over the years, too—that portrait, leather chair, and oriental rug being favorites—to really help establish the design plan.
That small photo of the stairwell is a peek inside her home during repainting, and it’s just such a quaint, charming space. I really can’t wait to share more next week, but you’ll just have to stay tuned. So, what do you think of my sister’s design plan? I may be biased but think that it feels fresh while still being respectful of the home’s 1700s roots. I love every square inch, and can’t wait to make new memories with her in her new space.
P.S. I know this is a little off brand, but my friend Liz Cook Photography and her business partner Emily Gerald Photography have been working for months on a huge project, and they finally launched it yesterday! Every Birth Photographer is a website full of business resources and templates designed specifically with birth photographers in mind. I’m so excited for them and I’d love for you to check them out and cheer them on here!
As someone who loves a range of hues at home, I’m always so drawn to edgy accents that sport high contrast color. But it’s not very often that I’ll find ready-made pieces that suit my specific go-to scheme. So, I’m teaming up with ScotchBlue™ again this season to share a simple two-toned painting project that adds tons of personality to plain white frames that you probably have on hand. Finished with your favorite muted or monotone art and photos, this project is the perfect way to add personalized style to your space. Grab your tape, plastic, and spray paint—this is gonna be a fun one!
Before getting started, remember that proper prep ahead of time makes for the best finish, so make sure to wipe your frames down with a microfiber cloth to remove all dust and fingerprints before applying your ScotchBlue™ Products. Make sure the frames are completely dry and dust-free, only then should you start the masking process.
To keep the white finish on the inside and outside edges of my frames, I used a roll of ScotchBlue™ ORIGINAL Painter’s Tape to mask off the profile. I’ve used this type of painter’s tape over and over on all sorts of DIY projects, and it consistently delivers professional results—I never use anything else (seriously!). To use on your own frames, simply unroll about 8-12 inches worth of tape at a time, rip or cut with scissors to detach, and press the tape into place on the inner and outer edges of your frame.
Now for the frame fronts. In order to give them the half-and-half, two-toned look I was going for, I unrolled and cut (there’s a built-in cut-off blade!) a few feet of ScotchBlue™ Pre-Taped Painter’s Plastic and, without stretching the tape, laid it carefully along one diagonal half of each of my frame faces. Make sure to press the tape firmly into place on your own frames, and then reach up behind the plastic to unfold it so that it hangs over the edges.
Because this particular style of applicator offers painter’s tape and painter’s plastic, I didn’t have to worry about paint over-spraying onto any surface other than the scrap cardboard I used under the frame. I’m also a big fan of that built-in Edge-Lock™ Paint Line protector, which delivers super sharp paint lines.
After taping off all of my frames by repeating steps 1 and 2 on each, it was time to paint! I laid the frames one by one on different sheets of scrap cardboard in our carport since it offered a well-ventilated area from which to work. Next, I made doubly sure that all of the painter’s plastic was still covering all areas of the frame that I didn’t wanted painted. Then, I sprayed a few thin and even coats of paint in three different colors on my three frames.
Once the paint is dry to the touch, gently peel both the Painter’s Tape and the Pre-Taped Painter’s Plastic off of the frames, making sure to pull the tape back on itself slowly at a 45-degree angle. Discard the used tape and plastic.
Let the painted frames cure in a cool place indoors for at least 24 hours before handing. After the paint is fully dry, you can enjoy them in your home by displaying them with favorite photos, postcards, or prints.
Because of the bold colors of the painted frames themselves, I used photos and cards that were a little more muted in tone. I framed a favorite black and white portrait from our engagement photoshoot, a cheeky postcard, and a pretty photo I cut carefully out of a back issue of a magazine. What do you think? Would you give this two-toned painting project a try? Do tell in the comments!
The biggest party season of the year may be behind us, but there’s no time like the present to stock up on pretty cocktail glasses for your next special occasion! We just recently swapped out our open-shelf bar cart for an antique enclosed cabinet (I can’t wait to show you!), and I’m thinking it might offer the perfect excuse to upgrade our mid-century glasses, too. My favorite resource for anything authentically vintage on the web is Etsy, so I’ve rounded up 20 separate collections of glasses fit for your own bar cart below.
Do you have a favorite from the roundup? I’ve personally got my eye on those green-stemmed sherry glasses. I’ve been rewatching Frasier on Netflix lately, and I love that he and Niles are always sitting down to glasses of this type of fortified wine in Frasier’s apartment. I’ve never tried sherry before, but have a feeling that those cool mid-century glasses could be all the motivation I need! Leave your top pick below in the comments.
In honor of my decision to switch things up here on the blog in 2017, I wanted to start by refreshing my Friday feature. Although I certainly can’t guarantee that it will happen every Friday, my plan is to dedicate at least part of our early week to spending (and documenting) a bit of quality time with John and/or my family doing something special in and around our town. I want to refocus my life on the things that really matter, and right now that’s spending quality time with my better halves in this beautiful state of ours. But, of course, since you guys are such big parts of my life, too, my goal with these lifestyle features is to inspire you to get creative with how you enjoy your own cities and towns.
To kick things off, I’m taking you along with us to the duck pond at Gypsy Hill Park. This big outdoor rec area is in nearby Staunton, Virginia, and is just a 20-minute drive from our home here in Waynesboro. Since moving to this part of Virginia in October of 2015, we’ve come to really savor our proximity to Staunton. There’s a gorgeous downtown area that we are constantly stealing away to, and lots of beautiful outdoor areas to explore, too. Case in point, Gypsy Hill. Scroll on for a peek at our afternoon wandering the walking paths and chatting with ducks, and don’t miss the video at the end of the post.
This particular day was actually right before Christmas. It was mid-week and I had been suffering from a pretty terrible migraine—we’re talking days and days of light-sensative, nausea-enducing pain. Nothing seemed to kick the headache, and, really, the last thing I wanted to do was head out into the cold to see some ducks. I remember John gingerly asking me if I wanted to go out to do a little walking and I was thiiiiiiiiiiis close to saying, “I’m just gonna go lie down.” But, in the end, I knew the fresh air would do me good, so I peeled myself off the couch with a semi-gruff, “Let’s just go,” and we hit the road.
I didn’t speak much on the drive over to the park, which is really unusual for me. John and I are big, big chatters on a normal day, but I was just so over feeling sick and didn’t have much energy left in me. Happily, as soon as we parked and made our way over to the pond, I perked up.
I’m absolutely, positively obsessed with pretty much any kind of animal, so having the chance to watch the hundreds of Gypsy Hill resident ducks splish and splash their way across the water was like the very best kind of medicine. I couldn’t stop snapping photos (and video, too), and I was excited to find that we had this area of the park mostly to ourselves that day—well, aside from the ducks.
By the time we finished our mini tour of the park and climbed back into the car, I was feeling much better. Not cured, per se, but the fresh air did wonders for my mood and ability to stand that terrible migraine pain. A couple of days later, I WAS feeling cured and took some time to reminisce through my photos and video clips from the day.
Although this post is admittedly a pretty big departure from what you’re used to here on Dream Green DIY, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little look into our real life and everyday experiences. But before you start to panic that the site will become unrecognizable, I assure you that there’s no need to worry. DIY crafting is here to stay, but I’d love to welcome you into our lives in between the tutorials. Are you game?
Click that play button above to see a few little clips from our day with the ducks! My apologies for the film quality—I’m clearly very new to the idea of video creation, but it was fun to step outside my comfort zone in honor of the new year, and here’s hoping I can figure out how to auto focus and pop myself in front of the camera more often after I get a few more of these under my belt…Thanks for reading and watching, and I hope you have a great weekend!
Are you ready to tackle a bedroom makeover this new year? The start of 2017 offers the perfect excuse to put those big plans for a brand new bedroom into play. If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration and motivation to help you tackle this project, I wrote a quick how-to piece for Wayfair all about How To Plan And Design Your “Big Girl” Bedroom, which just feels so timely as we head into this season of redecorating, reorganizing, and recycling. I’m personally feeling the need to spring clean an entire season too soon, but it feels so good to knock it out now while I still have the energy for it post-holiday break.
What do I mean by “big girl” bedroom? Well, if you’re still holding on to hand-me-down furniture from your days living at mom and dad’s, or if you’ve been sleeping in a space brimming with old, broken, and dated accessories, then now is the time to graduate and embrace your grown up style. We’re talking sophisticated color palette, an upsized bed frame and mattress (if space allows), plus all sorts of calming, luxurious textiles to sink down into at the end of the day.
If any of this hits home, then hop over to Wayfair now to learn how to create the “Big Girl” Bedroom of your dreams, including all of the product links to the pieces in our own upgraded adulthood bedroom!