DIYing Just Got Easier

apps-on-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProYou haven’t just been Punk’d.  I really am writing a post about technology today.  Yes, me who still has a stupid phone (that’s the opposite of a smart phone, har har) so you know this has to be worth sharing.

My husband has his own tablet that I’ve grown accustomed to using.  The thing is, when he deploys he takes it with him.  I’ve become so dependent on it I feel myself fumbling through my day once it’s gone.  Well, the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro handles all the daily tasks I count on a tablet for and then some.  It’s kind of a DIYer’s dream!

I’ll start with some of my favorite features that the other guys don’t seem to have.  If you’re here, you’re probably already the creative type so just imagine all the possibilities with me.Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-kickstandThe Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro has a sturdy kickstand.  You have way more range than you would using a traditional tablet with a case that comes with a built in stand.  Read, you don’t need some fancy stand to bring your tablet into the kitchen with you when you’re referring to a recipe!  It’s so handy.battery-analysis-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProThe battery lasts for 15 hours (!) and you can actually analyze how the battery is being spent and how long it will last with different uses.  Pinterest is using 5% of my battery?  Yeah, that’s my tablet alright!subwoofer-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2 ProThe integrated 8W sound system includes a subwoofer for a richer audio experience when you watch… kickstand-for-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2 Prot-projector…movies from the projector!  Shut the front door.  This has to be my favorite feature of this tablet.  It can project an image or video up to 50″ on any wall or screen.  When the weather warms up (and I finally finish landscaping the backyard) I cannot wait to have an outdoor movie night.

Back to how the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro makes DIYing even easier.  Again, I can think of endless possibilities here but since I’m currently working on our bedroom let’s start there.empty-bedroom-wall-dresser-tv-lampWe have this big empty wall above our dresser.  I’ve been meaning to add a gallery wall of sorts and do you know what’s even easier than cutting out paper the size of frames and taping them up?sketchpad-mock-up-gallery-wall-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProUsing the Lenovo sketchpad to quickly mock up and project your gallery wall directly onto the wall.  Way easier than taking a picture and using a photo editing program.projecting-gallery-wall-onto-blank-wall-using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProAnd you can even take it a step further.beginnings-of-gallery-wallOnce you have your frames or canvases hung up (I know it looks a bit awkward, I’m still working on extending the layout out to the sides) you can project art right into the blank frames to test it out.using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-projector-for-gallery-wall-artI know the approach of hanging the frames first and art second has gotten some flack as the whole point of a gallery wall is to feature a collection but since I will be creating most if not all of my own art with my own two hands I have total control on what goes where.

Another great way to use the projector is when you’re hands are tied up (and covered with wallpaper glue) to quickly glance at directions.  hanging-marimekko-unniko-wallpaperI don’t know about you but when I do a project that’s a bit out of my comfort level, I am constantly checking back on the computer to compare tutorials and glance at step-by-step instructions.using-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-projector-for-wallpaper-instructionsAnd if I’m way up on a ladder and my hands are too dirty to jiggle a mouse to wake up the computer, it’s so much more convenient to have a quick glance at a giant wall of instructions (key word “giant” because my vision is not so great).

Another one of the projects I’ve mentioned that I’m working on behind-the-scenes is our backyard landscaping. planting-blue-chalk-stick-clippingsLike I said, the Internet has sort of become my DIY crutch and I find myself wanting to look things up even when I’m outside.  Like these blue chalk sticks.  How far down am I supposed to plant them again?  I’m always hesitant to bring electronics outside especially with kids around but there’s a solution.Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-Pro-hung-on-nail-on-fenceJust hang it up!  So easy and all I have to do is look up when I’m busy on the ground.

My final verdict?  thumbs-up-to-the-Lenovo-YOGA-Tablet-2-ProI give it a cheesy open mouth smile and a big thumbs up!

And, if you were wondering about my earlier reference to a certain hidden camera-practical joke reality MTV show that had its heyday in the early 2000s, well turns out Ashton Kutcher designed the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro!  He was Lenovo’s product engineer and hands on in the concept and development the device.  Guess he has more in common with Steve Jobs than just his (good) looks!

For more information, check out Lenovo‘s Trend Hub (if it isn’t live already it will be very soon).

P.S.  I finally created an Instagram account.  Where would I have been without Lenovo?  Answer: Still pre-2010.  Please be my friend.  Er, follower?  I only have one so far!  Sad face.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

One Room Challenge – Wk 3

It’s week three of Calling it Home‘s One Room Challenge.  Week 3!  That means I’m supposed to be halfway done with this room by now and (eek!) I don’t know that I am.ORC-LP-250x183First off, I really want to say thank you to all of your for your super supportive and super thoughtful comments on how to design around the fridge.  You guys have my wheels spinning!

This week, I think the name of the game is borrowing.  I haven’t really bought too much but just pulled in a bunch of items from different tower bookshelf was initially assembled in the entry way and left haphazardly in the nearest adjoining space, the living room.wall-above-book-towerI think I want to add something hanging above the books.  A plant?  Some sort of mobile maybe?  I just want something hangy.

I really do like this bookshelf.  It’s very sturdy and I feel safe having it around the kids which I wasn’t sure would be the case.  I bought this bookshelf because I wanted to create the optical illusion of a tall stack of books and the ironic thing about it is that I purged so many books during our last move I don’t even have enough books to fill the dividers!  Friends and family are always gifting me books so I’m sure it will be filled in no time.modern-natural-kids-table-setMost excitingly, our kids table came in!  It was super simple to assemble.  One of the biggest features I wanted from a table was something that could easily be wiped down.  A handful of reviews I read online came from teachers who touted how easy this table was to keep clean.  I was sold.  It was affordable and reminiscent of the Artek set (you know the one) I covet.

The seats are supposed to hold up to 60 lbs. but all us adults have been using the seats without any issues (so far).  I knew I wanted stools as opposed to chairs with backs specifically because they’re more versatile and kids and adults seem to use this space alike.birch-kids-table-book-towerEven though the table was exactly the finish I was going for, it looked so uninteresting (even spider-like) sitting on a wood floor of the same finish.natural-wood-kids-table-black-white-cowhide-rugSo I pulled in the cowhide rug that was being used in our living room (and moved the rug from our bedroom into the living room) to visually break the woods apart.modern-kids-table-black-white-cowhide-playroomThere are very few rugs I would be comfortable placing beneath a kid’s arts and crafts table but this is one of them.  You can pretty easily wipe cowhides clean and the spots are good about masking tried hanging up this faux pull down world map I created next to the fridge.  The map was also hanging out in the living room just because that was where I initially photographed it for my blog.  I think the map is okay here but missing the mark a bit.  The map just doesn’t seem to make sense anywhere in our new house.

I also borrowed (there’s that word again!) these cubbies from my son’s room just to play around with furniture.bookshelf-in-bonus-roomThen I borrowed his bookshelf, too.empty-shelves-in-bonus-roomI don’t have intentions of keeping both pieces of shelving but am just trying them out for now.  I am leaning toward the tall bookshelf to balance out the height of the tower bookshelf on the opposite side of the couch.

My husband threw me for a bit of a curve ball and asked if I could fit in a desk for him on the wall with the fridge (where the cubbies are sitting in the above photo).  I really hadn’t planned on incorporating a desk into the design of the room but I think it could work!   And my husband has been mentioning sourcing him a desk for some time now so it’s a good possible solution.

I feel like this room could use a side table of sorts.  Somewhere to put down a cup of coffee or something.  I tried updating this TV tray I had previously worked on and it just looked tacky.painted-tv-stand-failFurniture that screams “I got painted!” really irks me.  It’s totally fine and acceptable to paint furniture but sometimes it’s just offensive.  This was one of those times.  So I scraped off the green and tried again.painted-black-tv-standI had come across a glossy black TV type tray in a Scandinavian interior and thought I would give it a try.  Definitely an improvement!  But it still feels like just a TV tray and I want something with more design.jonathan-adler-happy-chic-side-tableI tried pulling in this Jonathan Adler Happy Chic side table from the living room but with the round shape of the kids table it just felt like too much repetition.  And the table in that spots doesn’t do the best job at enhancing the overall flow (maybe it should be moved to the other side of the couch?).

Ideally, I would love one of those West Elm brightly colored lacquered martini tables but the price tag is a little steep for me right now.  So back to the drawing board for side tables.modern-brushed-nickel-hardware-storage-cabinetsI also made a template and installed some modern hardware to the storage cabinets.  I was originally planning on using the same hardware as I would on the kitchen cabinets (which I haven’t bought yet) but decided the no-frills storage cabinets just needed something simple and sturdy looking.  These fit the bill!

The decor is starting to add up.  Here are the expenses to date:

Curtains and curtain rods – $40

Kids table set – $110

Hardware – $17

I think next week I need to work on some bookshelf styling of some sort (depending on which bookshelves, if any, stay), maybe the couch pillows and maybe some lighting of some sort.  I’m hoping to squeeze in some thrifting (which I probably haven’t done since our daughter was born so like at least 10 months now?) and am crossing my fingers that something special comes my way specifically to include in this room.

P.S. One Room Challenge – Week 1, Week 2

One Room Challenge – Wk 2

I’m back for week two of Calling it Home‘s One Room Challenge.  In six weeks, I will be decorating one whole room from top to bottom.  Hopefully.ORC-LP-250x183Things have already taken a surprising turn for me.  In this house that we moved into about a year and a half ago, I thought I was completely over curtains.  Done.  It was out of my system and there was no going back.  I thought I wanted a more minimalistic stream-lined look but I just couldn’t get over the image I created when I Photoshopped curtains over the bonus room windows when I was sharing some curtain guides.  It was like tattooed on my brain (yeah, someone has been binge watching Ink Master lately).white curtains silver rodsSo I figured I’d pick up some super inexpensive white curtains (you know the ones) and give it a try.  Omg, I’m so glad I did!iron-on-hem-tape-for-curtiansMy curtains were a bit too long so I cut them and hemmed them with iron on hem tape.  I’ve tried using hem tape before but it’s never worked this well!  I think because these curtains are so lightweight.  It was almost too easy!  Unfortunately, I ran out of hem tape and had about a foot of curtain left to hem so I tried fabric glue instead (cause I don’t sew) and it didn’t work nearly as well.adding white curtainsLook at those perfect hems…and not the mess in the foreground.adding longer curtain rodI bought a shorter curtain rod for the second window because Target was out of the longer ones.  I thought I could get away with it but even my friends who aren’t so into home decor (but used to discussions about home decor whenever they stop by) brought up on their own that the curtain rod was too short.  So I found another Target with the longer curtain rod in stock.  Much better.

I also switched out the mini futon couch we used in my son’s toddler loft in our last home for a couch from the living.  I’m kicking myself for waiting that long to make that change.  That mini futon couch is super uncomfortable and the current couch was never even used in the living room anyways.

Initially, I just placed the couch in the same position as the last but since it’s larger and weightier it didn’t seem to work as well there.couch-next-to-fridgeI thought tucking it into the space by the fridge would open up the room but it sort of hides the couch from plain view and just being able to see the couch made the space seem instantly cozier.  Not to mention no one ever sat there when it’s in that spot.  The power of placement!couch in middleI finally tried it in the middle which was the least obvious spot to me.  While I’m not completely sold on its placement, I’m trying to remind myself that I’m likely just not used to having such a big piece of furniture in a once very empty space.  So I’ll leave it for now and see if it grows on me.

I also picked out and ordered a kids table online that will hopefully be delivered by next week!  Luckily, I already did a lot of the legwork by narrowing down my choices when I created my modern kids desks for under $200 guide.

I’m really itching to update the pillows for the new-to-this-space couch but I’m trying to tell myself to calm down and wait until I get more pieces into place.  Pillows are more like the icing of the cake but man, the icing is like the best part!  moving-fridgeI also moved the fridge further into the corner and trimmed the carpet padding (something my husband insists on keeping to protect the floors).  I’m still scratching my head on what to do with that fridge.

And I ordered a modern kids table that should be here in time for next week’s post.  Luckily, I already did a lot of the legwork in researching affordable options when I created this modern kids table set guide so I didn’t have get too sucked into the vortex that is online shopping.

P.S. One Room Challenge – Week 1

DIY Wooden Modern Cuckoo Clock

modern-cuckoo-clock-tutorial-by-Brave-New-HomeWhen I was approached by some blogging friends to participate in a craft challenge, it was an obvious heck yeah!  First, I totally had bought all the supplies I needed for this exact project weeks (probably months ago) and have just been sitting on them.  And second, did you see the line up of other bloggers participating?  Seriously, some of my favs.craft wood challenge

Annabode: DIY Bud Vase | Nalle’s House: Mid-Century Modern Ball Clock | Brave New Home: DIY Wooden Modern Cuckoo Clock | Lemon Thistle: Birch Plywood Wall Hanging | Petite Modern Life: DIY Craft Wood Shelves | Persia Lou: Inkodye Wood Wall Art | Squirrelly Minds: DIY Animal Head Mounts


There were just two simple rules to follow:


1.  Create something to adorn your walls.

2.  Use craft wood.

That’s it!  You may remember I made a similarly shaped clock a while ago though that one was a chalkboard clock made of foam board.  Well, we had a heatwave and the foam board warped overnight.  I was able to salvage the clock movement and re-use it for this project.materials-for-modern-cuckoo-clockI picked up a small sheet of craft wood from Michael’s for around $5 (I’m sure a coupon was involved) and a round piece of craft wood for 30 cents.  Those pre-cut pieces are so great.  As I mentioned, the movement I already had and for the arm of the cuckoo clock I used a chopstick.craft-wood-modern-house-cutoutI marked the shape of a house in pencil and had my husband use a jigsaw to make the cutout.  Then I decided on the placement of my movement.drilling-hole-in-craft-wood-for-clockTo avoid splintering, I started with a small bit and moved my way up to a 3/8″ bit.sanding-craft-wood-modern-cuckoo-clockI gave the whole thing, especially the edges, a good sanding.assembling-modern-cuckoo-clockI used wood glue to attach my pieces together and covered it with duct tape for extra support.finishing-paste-wax-on-craft-wood-projectI really wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint the whole clock, create a dipped effect, add numbers, etc. so I waited to see the clock pieced together before making any decisions.  Ultimately, I decided to just give it a coat of finishing wax for a more finished look.  I love how it brings out the grain of the wood.modern-DIY-cuckoo-wood-clockOverall, a very easy project.  My four-year-old was super bummed that the pendulum didn’t actually work.  My mom is German and of course has a cuckoo clock in her house so my little guy is very familiar with the concept.DIY-cuckoo-clock-pendulumI had a lot of chopsticks and wood dowels but chose this particular chopstick that I previously used to stir white paint.  The white circle cutout is a lighter wood than the house shape so the white in the chopstick helps transition the two wood tones without it being such a hard contrast.modern-clock-handsAll you need is one AA battery for the clock to work.  See, at least some parts of the clock actually work!DIY-house-shaped-wood-clockSeeing pictures of projects I’ve done always gets my wheels turning.  Just looking at this one I’m envisioning how the clock would look if I painted the edge of the house a bright color like yellow.clock-hands-DIY-wood-wall-clockAnd this picture makes me think I should have dropped the pendulum down a bit lower.  I don’t have a home for this clock yet but am thinking of adding it to our bonus room that I’m working on for the One Room Challenge (more details tomorrow!).DIY-modern-cuckoo-wood-wall-clockThank you Lemon Thistle, Petite Modern Life, Squirrelly Minds, Persia Lou, Annabode and Nalle’s House for participating in this fun challenge with me!  I can’t wait to see what kind of smart projects you came up with.

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