A Kitchen Renovation for the Books

7 months in the making and the day is finally here. Our kitchen renovation is D-O-N-E! I am doing a big ol’ happy dance… partially because I’m excited about the renovation, but also because I no longer have to cook in a half-finished kitchen. LOL.

Let’s get started by taking a step back in time…

Kitchen at Move-in

I remember thinking how uuugly this kitchen was when we moved in (I mean, compared to my dream kitchen – LOL). The cabinets had an outdated wood finish and everything was a blah-colored tan. The laminate countertops felt cheap and the black appliances were… dirty. Barf.

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A Quick and Easy Pumpkin Carving Hack

This post was originally published in October 2016 and was updated in October 2018.

To kick off October, Andrew and I had a little fun pumpkin carving! And in not-so traditional fashion… using our new power drill! To make it even more fun, we live streamed it on Facebook. It got a little messy and we ran into a few bumps, but no surprises there!  😆


Tools (this list contains affiliate links, which help me keep this blog up and running – more on that here):

  • Pumpkin(s)
  • Serrated knife
  • Power drill (I LOVE our Ryobi!)
  • Drill bits of your selected size
  • Newspapers
  • Buckets for pumpkin guts

pumpkin carving power tools materials needed

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DIY Fall Tablescape and Decor

The air is crisp… PSL’s are a-plenty… the leaves are getting crunchy… Oh, wait, I live in Arizona where it’s still hot and desert, but that doesn’t keep me from PSL-ing throughout the week! In the spirit of fall, I finally got around to pulling my fall decor out of the garage (but not before inspecting each box with a blacklight to make sure no scorpions were lurking around. Blegh!). I strapped Griffin to my back and got the job done. And boy, I’m glad I did!

fall tablescape on a wood table with a plaid blanket

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Guest Bathroom Makeover – Before & After!

This post was originally published in February 2017 and was updated September 2018.

Well, hello, friends! You’ve caught me on a great day because it’s time for ANOTHER bathroom makeover reveal!!! This time, it’s a guest bathroom makeover. As ou might recall, we’ve already completed our master bathroom makeover as well as our upstairs bathroom renovation. You can say we’re experts by now, ha! They’re all pretty, and so is this one. Let me tell you, you’re in for a treat!

Like our master bath, this guest bathroom was a big blob of tan.

Guest Bathroom Makeover - Before

Thankfully, this tan blob was short-lived. With a lot of love, caulk, and elbow grease, this bathroom tRaNsFoRmEd!!!

 Guest Bathroom Before

Guest Bathroom Before

Guest Bathroom After

Guest Bathroom Makeover - After, Vanity Shot

Scroll to the bottom to shop the room.

Did you hear that? I think those were angels singing all the way from heaven.

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DIY Wall Calendar with Barn Wood + FREE PRINTABLE!

Hiya, friends! You may have seen this fun project on Instagram last week – a DIY wall calendar made with a piece of rustic barn wood! It fits in perfectly with my decluttering + organizing binge, as I’ve been working hard lately to try to get our lives in order by preparing for upcoming events. What better way to do that than with a HUGE wall calendar?! Plus, I had the perfect spot for a little command center. I’m excited to share the full tutorial today along with FREE printables for August – December 2018!

diy wall calendar finished

I found inspiration for this wall calendar from Houseful of Handmade and LOVED the idea to use a piece of wood along the top. I assembled my calendar a bit differently and shared the process on Instagram – you can see it all on a highlight in my profile! Let’s get started!

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“Just in Case” Clothes – Do You Keep ‘Em?

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a hardcore decluttering binge (like here). It’s liberating to live with less stuff, but it’s also forced me to take a closer look at this season of life and stop focusing on a past season!

On Instagram, I’m frequently asked, “What about the clothes I have just in case I need them in the future?”

It’s a great question and one that I’ve struggled with for a while.

Throughout high school and college, I was involved in a lot of different activities and clubs that required something specific: khaki pants, a long-sleeved black shirt, black shoes… the list goes on! Even over the past few years I’ve bought a special dress for swing dancing or a themed annual event. It was a hassle when I didn’t have the exact thing I thought I needed, so I started holding on to a bunch of clothing just in case I needed it again in the future.

This has resulted in an accumulation of clothes I’m keeping “just in case” I need them in the future. One of my favorite Instagram accounts, @thelaminmalist, says that we keep these items of clothing out of fear, not necessity. It might be fear that we won’t “fit in” with the crowd, fear of being unprepared, or simply the fear of letting go.

just in case clothes

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8 Tips to Declutter a Closet & Keep it Organized

Let’s get real: If you walked into your bathroom and opened your cabinets or closet, would it bring you peace? Like, can you easily find what you need without knocking over 8 things? Or does it stress you out? You guys… the average American spends 2.5 DAYS PER YEAR looking for misplaced items (source). Why do we do this to ourselves?! It makes me sad because it only takes an afternoon and a few Dollar Store bins to declutter a closet.

When we moved into our house 2 years ago, I scrambled to hide things away so we could get settled. Well, now that everything is “put away,” I’m spending time organizing and decluttering the stuff I haphazardly stashed away (like my master closet!). My first project was to declutter a closet in our bathroom, ‘cuz guys, it was a hot. mess. I hated looking for things in there. It stressed me out hard. It was basically a Where’s Waldo? puzzle.

declutter a closet - before and after

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DIY + 2 Weekends = Guest Bedroom Makeover

I love me a little reveal day, don’t you?! Home improvement projects have gotten a bit more difficult since becoming parents, but we’re learning the ropes! Griffin naps for longer stretches now so we’re able to work together more during naps. But ALAS! I’m excited to share some before + afters today! We completed this guest bedroom makeover over just TWO WEEKENDS and while it’s not all dressed up yet, this room has come a long way with a little paint and new trim.

guest room makeover-before

This room was not-so-affectionately called the “junk room” and the “hot air balloon room.” It’s a spare bedroom at the top of the stairs that was used for throwing our home improvement tools and supplies in, among other junk. It was in desperate need of some TLC!

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A Life Update & A New Direction for R&R

Hi there, friends! It’s been a minute since I’ve popped on here and I apologize for that. My life has been rocked since becoming a parent which has been both joyful and exhausting, so I want to take a few minutes to get you up to speed and talk about what’s ahead for Rise & Renovate.

Mom Life

If you read about my birth story and postpartum experience, you’ll remember that the first few months of motherhood were pretty hard on me. I’m happy to report that at 7 months postpartum, we are doing worlds better. Though he has his fussy times, Griffin is an incredibly happy baby who is just so darn excited about life. He loves getting into things, eating solid foods, and smiling at as many strangers as possible. He is my little social butterfly and I love getting to see his smile first thing every morning.

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The Easiest Way to Clean Out Your Closet

So, I have a new itch: downsizing + lightening up my stuff. If you follow me on Instagram, I shared the process of cleaning out my closet the other week. It was in dire need. Like, Mayday! SOS! I hated going in there because it was a hot mess. I had SO many clothes, many of which I hadn’t worn in over a year (or longer…). It was overwhelming and disorganized, so I decided to make a change!

how to clean your closet - before

I came to the conclusion that my time and brainpower are too valuable to be spent weeding through this huge wardrobe. I don’t want to wear that… or that… or that. My day should not start by walking into a chaotic closet. Am I right? Or am I right??

A few of my top problems…

  1. I had too many “sentimental” t-shirts and sweatshirts from high school, college (and TBH, middle school, too – embarrassing!), and other misc. events.
  2. What if I need pants (or shirts) in a certain color for some event in the future??
  3. “But this article of clothing is cute!” …even though I hadn’t worn it in over a year.

Before you start…

I strongly believe that you need to be in the right frame-of-mind before cleaning out a closet. Less is more. You have to want fewer clothes in your closet and feel motivated to downsize. It should feel liberating for you afterward – clean, nicely organized, and easy to digest. Figuratively. LOL.

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