Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Beams (Part Two) {How To Install DIY beams}

I swear I was meant to live in an old cottage in the woods somewhere. But since I love having an amazing internet connection and need to live a ten minute drive from the closest donut shop  grocery store, the next best thing is to cover every square inch of our home in wood, squeeze our eyes shut, put on our imagination hat and pretend we live in a cottage.

Enter beams.

Last time we talked about beams I shared with you how we created a custom stain for ours. Staining and adding beat up character to your boards is Phase One of creating beams. Phase two is installing your beams.

(Here is the prepped and stained boards for our beams inside our home and against our hardwood floors.)

We wanted to match our beams to the darker grained boards in our floor, and in the end we got a pretty close match.

To complete Phase Two for your DIY beams, look no further.  This post is for you!

Once you have your stained 2 by 10 boards you will want to have a handy man cut them length wise so that each board measures 5 1/2 inches. This measurement is perfect for making a three sided "beam" that will attach to your securely fastened 2 by 6's that are attached into  studs on your ceiling.

Speaking of studs...

Attach your three sided "beam" with threads of glue (PL3) and a nail gun.

(If you want to make your wife super happy, do this step outside instead of creating a bigger mess inside.)

You can make it up to her by giving her a turn. Power tools make everyone happy.

 Once your beams are formed you will simply fit the three sides around your 2 by 6. If you plan accordingly and are adding a pine or planked ceiling as well, your 2 by 6 boards can cover the cut seams of your planked ceiling.

Once your three sided beams are completed simply attach to your ceiling board.

Simply attach your beam by adding a strip of glue where possible and nailing it through the sides every couple feet to ensure that it is well connected to your base 2 by 6 board.

Use clamps wherever possible to ensure that your glue has time to adhere.

If you have an unsightly structural beam in your newly renovated space consider wrapping that in material to look like a beam as well.

Simply purchase boards the width of your beam, cover in PL3 glue and connect directly on to it with your nail gun. Secure in place with clamps for 12 hours.

We will deal with these seams later. If you don't mind them, leave as is.

Here is what our space looked like during this process.

Because we stripped our wide boards in half the exposed wood would need to be stained when the beam was in place. You could always do this step before installation, but if you are impatient like me, just put that sucker up there and worry about staining the edged after install.

We wanted our beams evenly spaced throughout our space but had to consider where our windows and doors were, where our pot lights were and where our indoor speakers were. If you plan well before install, than this step of installing your beams will go smoothly.

To ensure that your beams are installed correctly and securely, take your time with this step.

For the easiest install, have someone on hand to help hold your beams in place.

Tell them that they are strong and appreciated and you might even get a date out of it too.

You will love the way the beams add immediate height to a space and draw your eye upwards.

Which in this case, is better than having your eye drawn down, to the unsightly wall there at the end. ;)

Once your beams are installed, sit back, take them in and pat your self on the back. Also, if you have a long to do list still, just fold it up, put it aside and pull out the art supplies to enjoy some time with the kids.


And keep looking up.


Things are always better when you remember how far you have come and not how far you have to go anyway. ;)

What do you think? Would you ever install beams on your ceiling?

Would you bring a touch of cottage style to your home with wooden beams and keep your WIFI? Or, is the serenity of a forest cottage calling your name?

Depending on your answer, you might just want to Pin these
now to do later. :)




Monday, May 16, 2016

What Perfect Means to Me. (#YourPerfect)

Ever since we moved to our fixer-upper-forever-home, I have been thinking a lot about what I want this home to feel like. Currently we have half finished projects in corners of every room and last nights snack dishes lining the bottom of our kitchen sink. Long gone are the days where everything I owned was alphabetized and color coordinated -- though I do long for those days. I have come to quickly realize that when a house is under renovation, it is best to let some things go. Apparently by looking around this place, we have been letting a lot of things go recently. ;)

I want this space to be a place of comfort. A place where the door is always open. A gathering place. A home where my family and friends come and can just be themselves. I want our house to be be a retreat from the world where we can throw our feet up and and throw our worries away. I want this place to be a true representation of what we hold dear, where coffee and conversations flow freely. I want these spaces to be finished and pretty one day but I also want others to know that the only things that are too precious around here are the people and the memories we make within these walls.

I'm realizing that things don't need to be picture perfect to be perfect to me.

I have teamed up with Leon's recently and I love that they believe the same thing. They help create homes that are meant to be lived in, not just looked at. This resonates deeply with my Mama heart. There will always be art supplies scattered on the table and toy planes strewn across the living room floor and though that's not typically picture perfect by social media standards, its pretty perfect to me.

There are moments throughout my day that aren't picture perfect but they are undeniably beautiful to this Mama. Sometimes I put that tool down in the middle of a project or put that stirring spoon down in the middle of making dinner and I snap a picture of that real moment I want to hold close. 

You know the kind of moment I'm talking about, right? The kind where the dog steals your spot on the sofa and stares at you in that adorable way only the family dog can, or when the kids pull out everything from the cupboards and turn the pots and pans into a happy tip-tapping drum set. 

For me, my perfect moments are when our house feels the way I have always wanted it to: love filled.

Around here it definitely feels that way first thing in the morning. Especially on those days where the house is quiet and the bed is still warm, you know the ones. When I wake up to find sleeping little people who have quietly climbed into bed after they were awakened by the early morning light.  It's that moment when the whole day is before us and there is possibility everywhere. When the day is ready and waiting but I find myself lingering a little longer just so we can be together. In that moment I get to really reflect. To see how they have grown up a little more and to see them slowly wiggle awake.

Those for me are my favorite moments that I want to tuck away in my Mama heart forever, while I tuck them in just a little bit longer.

I'm so thankful for the realization that it's fine that renovations, parenthood and life demand that we let things go sometimes, because the things that are worth holding on to are right here.

My absolute perfect moments, these ones, are when these babies are still enough for me to count the new freckles growing on their noses.

One, two, three, four...

What does your perfect moment look like?

I would love to see what things make you pause and what moments you want to remember. What instances make you grab that camera, snap away and lock that moment forever in your memory bank.  Use the #YourPerfect hashtag on Instagram to share the moments and the people in your day that you want to hold on to. I can't wait to see what makes you feel content, excited, inspired and happy.

Whats your perfect moment? 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Life is Messy. {A note to all the Mamas}

Happy hump day everyone, I hope you got to enjoy a small break with your families this weekend. To all the Mamas out there, I hope you also got to put your feet up for a while and take in the love of your babies.

Today I planned on sharing with you our second step for getting the beams of your dreams, but after some deliberation, I feel like sharing some pictures and a little pep talk might be what some of us need after a jam packed weekend.

If you have been following along here for long enough then you know I like to keep things real. I share during photos, messy photos and before photos and in my earlier days as a blogger I wore my heart on my sleeve a lot of the time.

These days I have lots of heart to heart things I would love to share, but honestly, there is just not enough time in the day to run a business, a house hold and then complete all the unfinished projects we have happening over here.

But, I still want to be transparent.

So, my sweet friends, after hearing this weekend by a well meaning friend that my life looks "pulled together" I thought I would tear up that false persona and show you this:

THIS is what our home has recently looked like for months and months...

NO wonder we lost my daughters first grade homework more than actually handing it in.

I love pretty pictures as much as the next decor loving person, but I never want someone looking into our lives and thinking that we have it all together. 

Cause, CLEARLY that's not the case.

In case you feel like you're not measuring up to everything you read and saw on social media yesterday, in case your babies wouldn't sit still for a picture with their Mama on the only day you really really wanted a picture together, in case you feel inadequate at times, in case you wonder how you are even surviving until bedtime and in case you doubt your abilities and your strengths. I'm popping in today, here, to say that we have ALL been there.

Life is messy.

Mother hood is messy.

and that's OK.

Perhaps its time that you get a glimpse of other peoples messes so you don't get the false impression that people who share their life on the Internet have it all together.

We don't.


These pictures were snapped by me, a Mama who was losing her mind during the messy portions of this renovation and was done rubbing her feet up against raw saw dust in her bed every night.

Seriously. True story.


This was a time when my eyes itched from all the messy. You know what I mean? Or could it have been from all that insulation distributed in piles all over the house? Whatever the case, these were not the moments I planned on sharing with the world. 

These were the times when the windows were drawn and visitors weren't permitted.


This was during the time when we were in the middle of building our kitchen island, what would be the center of our home -- maybe, one day, perhaps.

These were the times that I wanted to share with you then, but there seemed like no end in sight. How lack luster would it have been to show you these photos and then two months later for you to see the SAME messes, just in different piles. ;)

For some reason that reminds me of life and relationships and motherhood.

We often hold others at an arms length. We draw the curtains and don't share the messes. At times we carry on as if life is as normal and tidy as always when in actuality we may spend two hours a night looking for the misplaced homework papers or perhaps searching for our sanity.

Perhaps if we shared our messy moments more, physically and figuratively, we would find greater connection with each other. Perhaps if we knew that other Mamas struggle with keeping it all together than maybe we would offer ourselves more grace. Perhaps we would realize that brave faces aren't always the bravest things to share. Perhaps we would realize that authenticity is the bravest of them all.

 Life can be messy and crazy, but doesn't it seem less messy and crazy when you get glimpses into other peoples real life and not just their highlight reel?

Yeah, I thought so. ;)

So, today, dear Mamas, while you're coming down from the high that was Mother's days weekend (or perhaps you're feeling underwhelmed by the lack of fuss that was directed at you) please know that you are not alone in your struggles.

Please know though, that giving your best is all that matters.

Please know that you are amazing AS IS. 

Please know that even if you don't have it all together that that's not what matters. The physical messes will pile up, the dishes will not wash themselves and the laundry mountain will always be there, but the little ones in your life wont notice and they wont always be here, at home, with you.

Please know, dear Mama, that your struggles are what unites every Mama everywhere, because they are shared. We all have the same daily arguments, frustrations, disappointments and struggles and no one actually has a perfect life. Despite what we tell our friends on Instagram.

So, today dear Mama, I hope when you look around your life and see the things that you want to tweak and change, I hope you know that you are capable beyond belief and can accomplish all the things you set your mind to.

I hope that you realize that we all have our struggles and issues, and that when we share them with others, just a tiny bit, the blinds get drawn just a wee little bit too. We are no longer alone in our struggles when we let others in. Sharing our real life, shouldn't be that hard. 

Im not saying share your life story with everyone you meet while running errands, but a little vulnerability with trusted friends can go a long way.

I'm realizing as the years go by that real life should be celebrated, and currently THESE pictures depict our real life. Its not perfect, we aren't perfect, IM not perfect but this time in our lives is a perfect time to embrace and enjoy.

Transparency can change the false perception of perfection that we strive for.

So, smile at that girl in the library with the screaming children and tell her you've been there. Feel free to let your guard down with the woman at the hardware store who cant choose a paint color because her children are jumping out of the cart and she's terribly distracted. Offer a kind word, a helping hand, a wink or a joke. Go out of your way today to let someone know that life is messy for all of us. 

Authenticity is encouraging.

We could all use a a reality check while we journey through this weary and extremely blessed road called mother hood.

Because real life is a messy blessing.

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