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DIY Articles


All things DIY including decor, crafts, 5 minutes or less, kid stuff and more.

Basement Makeover & the Challenges of Decorating
Jocie | March 19, 2015
Basement Makeover & the Challenges of Decorating

Basements are often a last priority for people when decorating a home. I guess that’s because it’s usually not the main living area, entertaining happens closer to the kitchen and living room, and they are often used for extra storage. I totally get that. But Ethan and I have really enjoyed keeping our TV off of the main floor and out of the bedrooms. During the day, the kids don’t really think about it and don’t ask to watch it most days. That being said, a lot of our toys are downstairs, along... 

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Isabella’s 6th Birthday: Lots of Fabulous Scientist Party Ideas!
Jocie | February 19, 2015
Isabella’s 6th Birthday: Lots of Fabulous Scientist Party Ideas!

Steve Spangler Science provided some materials for the party at my request. As always, opinions are 100% mine! I was beyond excited (and surprised) when this year, Isabella asked for a Science Party, rather than the typical Princess party. After all, she does want to be a scientist when she grows up. Of course I said yes and went crazy in the planning. It all looks very involved but really, it was an easy party and definitely less expensive than hosting outside of the home. And before I get started on telling you about... 

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Printable Valentines: I Only Have Eyes For You!
Jocie | February 3, 2015
Printable Valentines: I Only Have Eyes For You!

Who doesn’t love printable valentines? I know I do! You get all the bonus mom points for being “homemade” without all the work, right? I saw these cute googly eyes when I was at Michael’s yesterday (shopping sans kids, so you know I was taking my time and buying too much), and I decided to use them for Isabella’s school valentines. While she loves these printable Valentines, she was super disappointed to not get candy.  But I figure all the kids will be getting plenty of sugar and... 

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Basement Makeover: Part One!
Jocie |
Basement Makeover: Part One!

Moving this past November has kept us busy, especially with the holidays, but this basement makeover was at the top of my list. Not because it is the most ugly (2 original bathrooms and kitchen are the top of that list), but rather we use the space a lot and a makeover is within our current budget. Our old couch I bought over 10 years ago, before Ethan and I were married. At the time, I got a great deal and I loved the bold red. Actually, I still do. But after ten years, two babies, lots of spit up and toddlers watching... 

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Lucy’s Simple Frozen Birthday Party!
Jocie | January 27, 2015
Lucy’s Simple Frozen Birthday Party!

How did my baby get to be 4?!? It went too quick. Lucy was so excited for her birthday and decided on having a Frozen birthday party after Nana gave her an Anna costume for Christmas. I was kind of surprised because she’s not all that gaga for Frozen, but we went with it. I swore this year not to go overboard, so here’s Lulu’s simple Frozen birthday party! Invitations Of course, it always starts with the invitation. Again, in my efforts to scale it back, I made invitations on the computer and... 

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Children’s Desk Makeover DIY
Jocie | January 12, 2015
Children’s Desk Makeover DIY

As you know we moved into a single family home in the beginning of October 2014 and its been slow decorating each of the rooms, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I’m super excited to show you my desk makeover DIY in Izzie’s big girl room! The back story: Growing up, my favorite Christmas present ever was my own desk! I remember loving sitting at it and listening to music, doing homework, writing, and reading Nancy Drew. And this is THE DESK. We never had room for it before, so when we moved,... 

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Holiday Home Tour 2014 & Giveaway!
Jocie | December 15, 2014
Holiday Home Tour 2014 & Giveaway!

By now, every blogger in the blogosphere has already shared their holiday home tour, some before Thanksgiving. But I was committed to not decorating until after our Thanksgiving company left. Or maybe I’m just a procrastinator. Either way, it worked out, because I’ve joined up with 15 other fabulous (and procrastinating) bloggers to give you our Holiday Home Tour 2014. And if you haven’t decorated yet, then here is the inspiration you might be needing! Be sure to read to the end too, for a fabulous giveaway! Most... 

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Plastic Spoon Christmas Tree!
Jocie | December 10, 2014
Plastic Spoon Christmas Tree!

Welcome to OPC’s The Better Half. My name is Jocie, and I love to craft and DIY my home into something wonderful. I hope you enjoy this tutorial on how to make a plastic spoon Christmas tree. It’s been a popular article with over 38K pins and growing! If you enjoy this article, check out some other recent crafts and consider subscribing to The Better Half (email or RSS). Also, feel free to share this tutorial on Facebook and give it a +1. All the buttons float along the left side of your screen. And, if you love DIY projects... 

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How to Apply Wall Decals with Royal Designs Studio
Jocie | November 13, 2014
How to Apply Wall Decals with Royal Designs Studio

Royal Designs Studio sent me these decals for free in addition to money towards future purchases, as a part of their holiday campaign. However, opinions and tips are 100% mine. Wallternatives by Royal Designs Studio made my Thanksgiving decorating super easy this year with their Fall Phrases Removeable Wall Decal Set! I’ve put up decal before in the past, and WOW was it a headache. They often bubble or go on, only to realize that it’s crooked. But not these decals! They are so thick that I did... 

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How to Kill Bugs in Wood: My FREE Decorative Logs
Jocie | November 5, 2014
How to Kill Bugs in Wood: My FREE Decorative Logs

With our new house and beautiful white brick fireplace, I really wanted to add some decorative logs to the fireplace decor. If you saw my post yesterday on my Thanksgiving Mantel, you saw these beautiful logs in action. I just wasn’t sure where to get these pretty logs I see in magazines and amazing blogger homes. So I put it on my personal FB page, asking my local friends where I could find pretty, round logs. Some people suggested an arborist or tree cutter. But my sweet brother-in-law, Chris offered me wood... 

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