Guest Bedroom Redesign - Desk to Headboard Transformation

We've been working on our guest bedroom redesign for quite awhile, so I wanted to post an update as to some of the progress we've made.

The room started like this. Oh, how I abhorred that paint color, but we figured it would be a lot of work to cover such a deep color, so I attempted to work with it. As I look at the photos, however, I can tell that there was nothing "working" in this room. Things were kind of put together piece meal (I won that chair by the way, I would've never put an orange chair with those colors by design, but it is a nice 689.00$ steelcase chair, so I'm still trying to figure out a way to re-cover it) Although we originally planned to keep this space an office, we decided it would be more efficient to create a guest bedroom.

Since we had moved the "office" onto the balcony and got a scaled down desk. I wasn't sure what to do with the existing desk. I figured we could store it in the attic, but thought we might be able to utilize it in another way. We already had the white shelving and wanted a modern, clean lined white headboard, like Ikea's malm, or CB2's Alpine bed to go with it, but the malm had been discontinued in white, and the alpine was out of our budget. So I approached Mike with the idea of repurposing the headboard (as he would have to do the carpentry) and we brainstormed how we could make it work.

At 68 inches, the desk top was able to extend the width of a queen bed (60"). So we went to our local Menard's and grabbed one 8 foot 2"x 4" and cut it in half.

We then connected the 4 foot beams onto a standard queen bed frame

Then he attached the desk top to the beams, leaving 3 inches on either side, making sure the screws were short enough that they didn't protrude on the front.

Here is the final product. So for about 10 bucks we had ourselves a nice new headboard.

P.S. You might have noticed that the bedding has changed. Although we loved the Dwell Studio floral bedding, it clashed with the floral wallpaper. I loved this set from West Elm, but it was no longer available, so we went for a something with a similar feel from Target.


Weekly Meal Plan - Summer Detox

Lately, we've been eating a lot more processed foods and meat than usual and we felt that we needed to do a little bit of a detox for our systems. I didn't feel comfortable doing any sort of radical cleanse, so I instead chose to do basically a daily menu of fresh fruits and vegetables with a few whole grains for protein and carbohydrates. Here are some of the wonderful recipes I found for this weeks meal plan. I have to give a shout out to Honest Fare, Smitten Kitchen and So Good and Tasty as these recipes are their own. By clicking on the meal you will be taken directly to each recipe on each respective site.


Summer Vacation

Mike, my brother A.J., his wife Kristin and I spent a week long vacation relaxing and enjoying Michigan's west coast while staying at our family cabin. We got our groceries for the week at a local farm stand and meat market, and we were set. It rained a few days, and we were left without power on the last day, but we had a wonderful time. We went hiking through the Allegan State Forest, where the trail was overgrown and the mosquitoes were ravenous, but we made it to our favorite spot (nice pic A.J.).

We spent part of everyday on the pontoon boat reading, fishing, drinking and laughing.

I was the only one not to catch a fish. Granted, I didn't try very hard.

One night we went to a local winery where, although we weren't able to do the vineyard tour, we tasted 5 wines of our choice, and left with a total of 10. After the tasting we stopped into an amazing Mexican restaurant and headed back into town for ice cream.

We spent our last day at the beach in South Haven. There is one tiny patch of beach along the coast where it is acceptable to bring your pooch. Olive, although a bit intimidated by the waves, was ready to play once her ball was involved. We spent the rest of the afternoon meandering through local shops before ducking home early due to an incoming storm.

The best thing about our trip was that we were able to do a multitude of different things while spending very little money. Although the weather kept us from doing some of the things we wanted to do, we can always go to the cabin for a long weekend and head to any local hotspots we missed.

How about you? Any summer vacation plans in the works? Leave a comment below and let me know about upcoming summer vacations.

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Polenta Pizzas

I've had a tube of Trader Joe's organic polenta for longer than I care to say, sitting patiently in the cheese drawer for me to do something with it, and since I'm working on emptying out the fridge before grocery shopping, I decided I'd stared at it for long enough.

I halfheartedly looked for a recipe, but decided to wing it. I placed the biggest flat bottom skillet I had on the stove and gave it a generous drizzle of olive oil. While that was heating, I sliced the polenta, added salt, pepper and parsley to one side and put it seasoned side down into the hot skillet. While the first side was cooking, I seasoned the exposed side. After about 10 minutes, I flipped em' and browned the other side for another 10 minutes. I took them all out of the pan and put them on a baking sheet. I then took a spoon and dolloped on a bit of leftover marinara.

Look at that crispy little guy.

Then I added 1/2 cup total of equal parts shredded Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese.

I put them under the broiler on low for 3 minutes, then we devoured them in about that same amount of time.

Again, a not so high quality iPhone camera (and our much loved baking pan) make for a not so awesome photo, but you get the idea.


Bento Lunches

I've been thinking about trying trying a bento lunch box. It's smaller scale, eco-friendly and healthier (due to smaller portions). I found this great site that had some handy information about bento.

What is bento?

Bento (written 弁当), or obento (お弁当) to use the honorific term, is the Japanese word for a meal served in a box. Beyond that basic definition though, just about anything goes as to what kind of box or container is used, as well as what is put inside that box.
This classic bento combination is as follows (love the easy to follow diagram)
Info and image via

While looking for a bento box for myself, I came across these amazing photos on flickr, by a woman who makes bento lunches daily for herself, her husband and her toddler.

Here are some styles I'm digging:
Sleek and modern
Pretty and traditional
images via


Good Ass Guacamole

image via

I make a batch of this goodness almost every week. So when me sister in law asked for the recipe I figured I should right it down. It may be similar to other recipes (there's only a handful of ingredients) but this is based on a couple of internet searches and examining restaurant guac. So, without further ado, here is my tried and tested guacamole recipe for your tasting pleasure

 three avocados

 juice of one lime

one diced Serrano pepper (or two-or maybe a jalapeno if you can't find serrano)

 half cup chopped tomatoes

 handful of chopped cilantro

quarter cup chopped  red onion

garlic powder

salt & pepper

Chop it. Mix it. Eat it. Enjoy

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