Replace Porch Steps – Front Porch Fixer-Upper

January 7, 2014 in Building and Repurposing, Outside

Disclaimer – This post on how to replace porch steps is not riveting… nor is it awe inspiring… but I hope it IS confidence boosting. If I can do it, YOU can do it!

If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I sold my house this past fall.  Before I could put it on the market, there were some improvements that needed to be made. My Mom and sister, Christy, came to visit one weekend to help crank out some projects. While they were in town, my Mom made it her personal mission to get the ball rolling on my front porch. On top of tiling my bathroom and installing a new vanity with Christy, my mom scraped the chipping paint and applied the first coat of primer to the porch. It was just the motivation I needed!

After they left, I ran to the store to purchase some grey outdoor paint. I managed to get two coats on the porch within 48 hours of their leaving. It felt SO good to be making progress!


…but there was one problem…


The Steps!

They were a hot mess. Not even worthy of a fresh coat of paint. Let’s face it.. .for 2+ years I’d kept kicking the bottom riser to make sure it was still supporting the first step. It was just waiting to fall apart.

IMG_0287…I’m not proud.  Just being honest.

Why didn’t I fix it sooner?  Well – I didn’t think I could! In fact, I was convinced I couldn’t. Joke’s on my – it was MUCH easier than I thought!


Step one – Rip them out.  Not surprisingly, the rotten boards didn’t put up much fight. I used a crowbar and heavy hammer to knock the boards loose. It took all of 2 minutes… maybe.


Snag a broom and sweep up all those leaves!  I took note of how the last stringers and risers were attached. This shouldn’t be too bad!

After a quick trip to Lowe’s, I had two ready-to-go stringers, screws and the boards I’d need for my treads.  Let’s do this!


I used the old stringer to determine where I’d need to make my cuts. A couple quick chops with my miter saw and this bad boy was ready to go on.


At this point, I was smiling ear to ear. This was really going to work!  My confidence was starting to shift! My neighbors were probably wondering what was up with the crazy girl smiling as she screwed boards onto her porch.  Nothin’ to see here people – just go on aboutcho bidness.


I was on a motivation roll… why not go ahead and prime them, right?! I raced the sunset to get my first coat on. Woop!

IMG_0359b…and I’m proud to say -

I did this project ALL. BY. MYSELF.  - and it turned out AWESOME!


I knew when people came to look at my house, the porch would make a great first impression.  - and don’t worry, I spruced up those flower beds too! I just had to wait until the last minute to plant things. I have a way of killing plants and didn’t want them to all die before my house was actually on the market.

What’s the moral of this long-winded DIY tale?  Don’t sell yourself short!  We’re all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. So get up, get out there and just do it!





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Striped Table Makeover

January 5, 2014 in Furniture Makeovers

Table Makeover 2

Big Guy needed a side table in his old apartment. The nightstand with custom sunglass organizer was a hit, so I thought I’d press my luck and try redoing another piece for him. Behold – my Striped Table Makeover <cue suspenseful music>.

This won’t be my most dramatic before and after… because well… I can’t find the before. <Sigh>  I swear I had one, but the photo seems to have disappeared.

Picture this -

I’m casually trolling scrolling Craigslist one afternoon and come across a very southwestern/rustic side table.  It has a rusted-finish wire drawer pull and gold accents on the legs. Yup. Gold. I sweet talk Big Guy into swinging by and picking it up… and to our surprise – it’s pretty dang big for a side table!

I removed the wire drawer pull and went shopping for something simple that would match the black/bronze legs. Then I used painters tape to create lines of varying widths across the top, wrapping them down the sides. I gave it a couple coats of stain, allowed to dry a bit and then carefully removed the tape. Voila! Love it! Two coats of water-based Minwax Polycrylic and a new handle. Bam!  Oh… and I used a black paint pen to color over the gold bands on the legs. Sorry… just wasn’t feelin’ it.

Welp – here ya go!

Table Before and After

Striped Stain Table Makeover

I love the idea of creating patterns on wood with stain. What do you think – did this striped table makeover turn out well?  I’m cooking up another project and can’t wait to show you! I think you’ll LURV it just as much as I do!



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Buffalo Chicken Ring Recipe

November 17, 2013 in Cooking and Recipes

I first learned of the culinary amazingness of Buffalo Chicken Rings from a coworker. I took her original recipe and adapted it to match another buffalo chicken fave of mine. The result – simply delicious!

Buffalo Chicken Ring Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Ring Recipe


  • Cooked Shredded Chicken (2-3 breasts or 1-2 cans)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese,  softened
  • ¾-1 cup ranch dressing
  • Diced celery to taste
  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • Buffalo Wing Sauce – to taste

Optional –-

  • Shredded cheese (inside and/or on top)
  • Ranch dressing, for dipping


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix chicken, buffalo sauce and celery to taste. (I used appx ½-3/4 of bottle)
  3. In separate bowl, mix cream cheese and ranch together. Add to chicken mixture and mix all together.
  4. On a cooking sheet or baking stone, spread the unrolled crescent rolls out leaving a small circle in the middle.
  5. Place spoonfuls of mixture on the crescent rolls and fold rolls over to form a ring/wreath shape. Press edges to help seal (and reduce running out).
  6. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until crescent rolls are  browned.  (I used a baking stone and had to cook for closer to 20 minutes so the crescent rolls weren’t doughy.)

Try not to freak out. It’s pretty darn good!



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