Showing posts with label home decor. Show all posts

The Happy Flammily Top 10 Posts of 2020

This blog has become a huge passion project of mine in 2020 as I really worked to increase my knowledge in a lot of different skills to grow my blog beyond what it's been the last nine years. I've learned so much about keyword research, search engine optimization, and so many little details that could make the same posts I was going to write anyways, reach a much wider audience than they would have previously. It's been so fun to learn about all the little pieces that go into writing a well formatted blog post, and seeing them come together in just the right way to make these posts that have out performed anything else I've done previously. 


With all of that being said, here are 10 blog posts that both you, and the mythical Pinterest and Google search engines have liked the most in 2020. 


1) Five Ingredient Everything Bagel Recipe: 

This blog post blew up in a way I never expected. It ranks in second place on google, and the amount of people who have found it on Pinterest, made the bagels, and posted pictures to share with me blows my mind. This post has been read 27,000+ times and has definitely been a top recipe for the year. 


2) Holiday Guest Bathroom Essentials:

This post was recently written with Angel Soft Toilet Paper, and was how we paid to remodel the upstairs guest bathroom in our home. It was a fun project for Derek and I to work on together. I did all the painting and he did all the woodwork by adding shelves and framing in the mirror. This post was one of those SEO moments where all the pieces to the post just worked well for Google, and so far it's amassed over 14,000 views in a little over two months. 



3) Month Supply of Food Storage List Family of Four:

When I was in Ohio at the end of February, everyone was buzzing about the incoming coronavirus and were a little shook about what it was going to look like when it got here. I being the paranoid person I am bought an entire storage shelf and all the food storage we did not have and had it delivered to our home while Derek was with the kids. I shared the post on the blog in case it would be helpful for others and it's been viewed over 10,000 times. It's weird to think it's now December, the world is vastly different, and we've eaten through 95% of the things we bought in that post... I need to restock again. 


4) Social Distant Summer Schedule:

One of my most popular posts on my blog of all time is this weekly summer schedule post I wrote in 2018. I decided to write a 2020 version with socially distant activities that you could do with your children each day during the summer and it was well received! This saved our bacon so much this summer and I hope it helped you too! 


5) Four Ingredient Artisan Bread Recipe:

2020 was the year that everyone learned to make sourdough bread. I don't have the patience to learn that kind of thing, but really appreciated learning how to make these easy loaves of artisan bread to accompany our dinners throughout the week. It's super easy to make, and I've loved seeing pictures of other people making it too on Pinterest!


6) 15 Best Meals to Take A Friend:

Someone asked me what a good meal to take a friend would be, and on a whim I decided to write and publish this post! I had no clue it would make it into the top 10 for the year, but it's been well loved! If you're looking to take a meal to someone after they've had a baby, been sick, etc... these are some of our. tried and true family favorites. 


7) Amish Friendship Bread Without A Starter:

This has probably been the most made recipe in our home in 2020. It comes together with basic pantry ingredients that we always have on hands, and is just the perfect cinnamon sugar treat that everyone loves. I don't think a loaf of this has lasted more than 12 hours in our home. 


8) Our Daily Routine During Coronavirus:

In March I wrote this post about what our routine was looking like in the new world of doing school, work, and everything else from home. It's so wild to think that this was our life at one point, and is till the reality for millions of people around the world. It makes me so grateful are kids were able to return to school this fall and that we've been able to get a little bit of normalcy back into our lives. 


9) No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies:

This year I started going back and updating old posts on my blog that had died long ago. I updated them for SEO, remade the recipes and took new pictures, and republished them onto the site. This cookie recipe was one of the first old recipes to get updated, and it started to soar once I did! These are the perfect cookies to make when you want a quick, easy, and fast dessert after dinner!



10) Super Easy Rocky Road Fudge:

This was a fun and easy fudge recipe that I shared over the summer. Perfect for those months when you want all things s'mores, chocolate, and marshmallow related... or Christmas when you need and easy treat to gift someone. This recipe comes together with four ingredients and is sure to wow whoever you gift it to!


What has been your favorite post over here in 2020? I'd love to know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, The Happy Flammily Top 10 Posts of 2020, You might also like:

Be sure to follow along on Instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latest posts and projects. 

How to Set a Table for Thanksgiving

Setting a table for Thanksgiving doesn't have to be a complicated process, and you can get everything you need right from your local dollar store! 

We've had quite a few Thanksgiving's at home by ourselves, and it's looking like we'll be doing that again this year as well. If you're wondering how to set a table for Thanksgiving, you've come to the right place! You can decorate a table for Thanksgiving with inexpensive pieces from your local Dollar Tree, without breaking the bank, and still walk away with a high end look!

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How to Set A Table for Thanksgiving:

Decorating a table for Thanksgiving can be super easy! To start you're going to want to find something to use as a tablecloth. I recommend going to the craft store and getting a big piece of lace that you can use universally for all holidays as a base. Then you're going to want to get a long piece of burlap that you can use as a runner, again likely to be found at a craft store.

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Next you're going to head to your local Dollar Tree where you can pick up some plates! I purchased these small white salad plates, the red plates, and the gold chargers all at Dollar Tree several years ago, and they've not only held up well, but you can still purchase the same designs this year too! 

When you place these on your table you're going to layer them with the gold charger on the bottom, then your red plate, and then your white salad plate on top. It's super easy and comes together for only $3 per person!

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Drink ware is another great find at Dollar Tree. We purchased these tall glasses there years ago and are what we use for any holiday meal in our home. They're beautifully designed and made, and elevate your space for super cheap! I love how they give the look of real crystal without the hefty pricetag!

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I love a good centerpiece, but these can definitely get pricey. The one shown here was originally $50 from Michael's but I only paid $25 after one of their half off coupons! Never go to the craft store without those coupons, it will save you so much money. If you want a fall centerpiece for even less money, check out the DIY I made last year on a budget. 

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Once everything was said and done, I spent about $60 putting this entire table together five years ago, and I've been able to use it every Thanksgiving since. It's been a great small investment up front that has lasted the test of time throughout the years. I especially love that these products are all annual products that most stores carry, so even though this was originally put together five years ago, you can still create the same look on a budget this year too!

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What are you doing to get in the holiday spirit? I love decorating for the holidays and can't wait to share more ideas with you all over the next few months!

If you liked this post, How To Set A Table for Thanksgiving, you might also like:

Be sure to follow along on Instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latest posts and projects!

Holiday Guest Bathroom Essentials

This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser, Angel Soft®. All opinions are mine alone. #AngelSoftScentedTube


Derek and I have been working hard the last few months to slowly transform some of the spaces in our new home. As the holidays approach and we have family coming in from out of town for various occasions, it was important for us to have a guest bathroom setup. There are definitely some guest bathroom essentials that I feel every house needs to ensure family and friends have exactly what they'll need and never run into an uncomfortable situation.


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Guest Bathroom Essentials:

The first guest bathroom essential that you need toilet paper, and plenty of it. No one ever wants to be caught in the bathroom having to make the uncomfortable plea for help. My number one biggest tip is to have a basket of toilet paper well stocked on the back of the toilet so that it's easily accessible for anyone to access as needed.

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We recently started using the Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender Scented Tube and Angel Soft® with Fresh Linen Scented Tube  available at Family Dollar. This is a great option for a guest bathroom because it's a 2 for 1 product. You get the benefits of soft and strong toilet paper while also having a nice pleasant scent added to the tube for you and your family to enjoy. 

The scent is added to the cardboard tube to give off a light, pleasant scent in the bathroom​. The Angel Soft® with Fresh Linen Scented Tube brings just a hint of that clean, classic scent all year ‘round, while the Fresh Lavender Scented Tube features the same soft and strong qualities you love with the added scent of fresh lavender in the tube. Between these two scents you're sure to find the perfect fit for your family!

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Stocking A Guest Bathroom:

Other guest bathroom essentials that you'll need are simple touches that will make the biggest difference. On the shelves above our toilet I added some small jars of cotton balls and cotton swabs in case anyone needs them. Another huge thing I wanted to make sure we were stocked on was feminine products. There is nothing worse than visiting family and being caught off guard without them. We added a small acrylic container inside one of our bathroom drawers and stocked it with pantyliners, tampons, and even hair-ties.

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Other things we made sure to stock up on were travel sized tooth brushes, tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Having all these things on hand will give peace of mind to not only Derek and I, but to our guests in case they find themselves in a situation where they left something they needed at home.

Guest Bathroom Decor Ideas:

When decorating your guest bathroom, I find sticking to a neutral color pallet to be best. For this bathroom we stuck with gray and white linens to give everything a calm and neutral feel. This way when it comes time for the holidays we can add in a few festive touches without having to overhaul the entire space. 

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If you liked this post, Holiday Guest Bathroom Essentials, you might also like:

Be sure to head into your local Family Dollar Store this holiday season to stock up on Angel Soft® with Fresh Lavender Scented Tube and Angel Soft® with Fresh Linen Scented Tube toilet paper, and all your other holiday needs!

How to Paint Bathroom Cabinets

 Painting bathroom cabinets is a pretty simple weekend project that only has three simple steps. If you can tape, sand, and paint, you can paint bathroom cabinets.


Derek and I are no stranger to painting cabinets. We've hired it out and paid someone else to do it, we've done it on our own with a paint sprayer, and we've painted by hand twice. I can honestly say my preferred method so far has been painting them by hand on our own.


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We paid professionals to paint our kitchen cabinets in Georgia, and they started chipping basically the same week they were done. When we bought our last house before this current one, we used a paint sprayer for our cabinets but it left them with a weird texture that can happen if you're not an expert with a paint sprayer and know exactly how to dial it in correctly. 

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We've done this hand painting method twice now and both times we've had consistent even results, no chipping, and it's held up perfectly! 

How to Paint Bathroom Cabinets:

To paint bathroom cabinets you're going to tape off all the walls. Unscrew the doors and drawers, sand everything down, wipe with a tak cloth, and then paint with 2-3 coats of your favorite satin finish paint. After everything is dried you'll reassemble your vanity, and you're finished! It really is such a simple project and the results have turned out perfectly for us the two times we've done this project. 

What Supplies Do You Need To Paint Bathroom Cabinets?

Best Paint for Bathroom Cabinets:

We've used Behr Marquee Satin Enamel (color matched to Benjamin Moore Hale Navy) paint from The Home Depot for both of the bathroom vanities in our current home. It's a paint and primer in one which is why we don't prime the cabinets in this project, so it saves you that step. The finish holds up really well in the bathroom and wipes clean easily without being way too shiny like a semigloss paint. This paint was recommended to me by someone else who has used and loved it, and although we only have three months of wear on the paint at the time of writing this, I can say that we have no chips or issues! I'll be sure to come back and update this over time, but we're super happy with how this is holding up!

Complete Steps for Painting Bathroom Cabinets:

To paint bathroom cabinets, you're first going to need to tape off your vanity from the floor, the walls, and the counter top above it. This will ensure you get nice crisp lines, and that you won't get paint where you don't want it. 

After everything is taped off, remove the doors and drawers and put all their accompanying screws into a zip lock bag. This way you'll have them when you need to reassemble everything later. 


With those things out of the way you're ready to start sanding. You're going to sand down your doors, drawers, and base cabinet with 220 grit sand paper. This is enough to take the old finish off of the cabinet, and will give the new paint something to grab onto. 

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Once you're done sanding everything really well, you'll grab a tak cloth to wipe everything down. The tak cloth is a super sticky piece of fabric that will grab and wipe away all the sanded sawdust so that it doesn't ruin your paint finish. 

Next take your doors and drawers out to the garage and set them onto painter tripods. This keeps them up off the ground while you're painting, but doesn't leave an imprint in the paint of your door or drawer. You'll need four painter tripods per door/drawer so that everything has a stable surface while you're working. 


Now you're ready to paint! I use a two inch angle brush to get into the detailed edging on the cabinet doors, and areas on the vanity that the roller is too large for and cannot reach. Once I've brushed everything in with my angled brush, I use the 4 inch foam paint roller for the rest. Always start on the backside of your cabinet doors and drawers so that the last coat you finish is on the front.

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I find it best to start with the vanity, and then go out to the garage to paint the doors and drawers, and then go back inside to paint the vanity again, and then back to the garage to flip the doors and drawers over and paint their other side. This just helps to keep everything moving and so that I'm not constantly washing brushes in between coats a million times. 

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Always paint with thin coats to ensure a smooth finish and allow for about an hour of dry time between coats before starting your next coat. I have never sanded in between coats, but if you have lines and feel like you need to, then sand between coats. Just know I didn't and I don't regret that decision.


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Once everything has three coats of paint and has had plenty of time to dry and your doors, drawers, and vanity are not sticky to the touch, reassemble your vanity. After we paint a vanity we always put felt furniture pad stickers on the inside of the corner of the doors to ensure the painted door won't stick to the painted vanity. 

Note: We did not use a top coat to finish these. We didn't on our bathroom in our last house and they held up fine, and these ones so far have held up fine without as well. 


That is everything you need to know about how we painted our bathroom cabinets! Like I've said, we've tried all the methods so far and this has by far been the easiest method with the best results for us. I think we're planning on doing the same method for our kitchen cabinets in the next few months! 

If you liked this post, How to Paint Bathroom Cabinets, you might also like:

Be sure to follow along on Instagram @thehappyflammily to stay up-to-date on all the latest posts and projects!

Industrial Modern Boy Bedroom Tour

When we moved into this house two months ago I don't think we really planned on doing all the projects that we have, but somehow in a short time we've already finished three rooms in our home. In case you've missed it, we've completed Derek's office, our master bathroom, and now Kyle's bedroom.

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When we moved into our home we let Kyle have his pick of three different bedrooms that are in our basement, and he originally picked one room because the walls were blue and he thought they were cool. The downside to that room was that it was oddly shaped and was too big for a lot of his furniture and things looked pretty awkward in there.

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A few weeks ago we realized the bedroom across the hall from him actually fit all of his existing furniture perfectly, so we talked to him about painting the room and moving him over and he was on board! You can see in the before picture that there wasn't anything wrong with this room, it just needed some paint to make it pop. This room actually has a really cool alcove for the bed with recess lighting and an accompanying dimmer switch on the same wall to make it really convenient for Kyle to read from bed. It really is the perfect room for our little bookworm.

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I've been wanting to paint a wall black since our last home that we'd purchased, and knew Kyle's room was the perfect place to make it happen. The very first thing we did in this room was paint the alcove wall black ("Black" by Behr from Home Depot), and then painted the other walls, closet, and bedroom doors white ("Ultra Pure White" by Behr from Home Depot).

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Once the walls and doors were painted, the room felt really plain. Yes we had a black wall, but all the other walls were just so white. It needed something to jazz it up a bit. On a whim and against Derek's consent I painted the trim and window frame black and I have no regrets. I feel like it ties the entire room together and works really well with the hardware on his desk and dresser. This room also came with those two hanging shelves on the wall, and we just spray painted the metal black to tie into everything else.

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I was so glad we were able to use all of Kyle's existing decor which obviously helped us save a ton of money on this space. The only things we had to purchase were the paint, painting supplies, a new door knob, and hinges. We already had new knobs for his closet door that were leftover from the pack we purchased when we finished Derek's office, and we had the black spray paint from when we finished our master bathroom. All together we spent about $125 for this bedroom!

If you're interested in links for the decor details for this bedroom, you can see them all on Kyle's bedroom tour from our last home here.

We're so excited to have Kyle's room done, and I can't wait to get started on Kinsley's room next. I have such an amazing idea for a statement wall in her room and I'm dying to get going. 

Farmhouse Master Bathroom (Cost and Links)

When we moved into this house there were projects that we knew we wanted to get to eventually, but to be totally honest the bathrooms were not high priority on the list. Our master bathroom was totally fine the way it was, but then I got an opportunity for a sponsored post (coming soon), and thought that if I was going to be taking pictures in this space it might as well look nice, and then Derek and I decided to use the money from that sponsorship to pay for this update. 

If you're interested in all of the details for our farmhouse master bathroom update with costs and links for everything, then you're in the right place. 

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Probably too many details on the financial end of things, but I love being able to be transparent about how we do our updates. I realize updating a home costs money, and with this home I want to be able to share how we do these updates in a very transparent way without breaking the bank. 

I will go into detail in future posts with tutorials on how we did some of these things, like framing the bathroom mirror, and painting the bathroom vanity, but for this post I'm simply going to share what we did, where we bought certain things, and how the space came together. 

Rustic Farmhouse Bathroom Vanity:

The first thing I knew I wanted to do was paint the vanity navy. We used the Behr Marquee paint from Home Depot in a satin finish, and had it color matched to Benjamin Moore's "Hale Navy". I then found these hexagon knobs on Amazon, which serisouly might be one of my favorite details in the space. They were very inexpensive and are the perfect modern statement for the space. 

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Farmhouse Bathroom Faucet:

I've been loving matte black everything lately and this faucet was a pretty inexpensive swap that made a huge impact on the overall look of the space. Ironically when Derek was changing it, he found a massive hole in the old pipe that just happened to not leak yet. I'm glad we fixed it now on our own terms instead of the universe's terms later down the road. 

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Farmhouse Bathroom Mirror:

I wrote a blog post two years ago in our last house about how to frame your bathroom mirror, and we followed those same instructions for this space. We ran into some issues with the wood being bowed when we first purchased it, so make sure if you follow that tutorial to make sure your boards are pin straight. If you get that detail right the first time, the process is super easy! We stained the boards with "slate" from Varathane which was supposed to be a gray color, but they pulled really blue. Luckily we don't hate it and are pleased with the overall result. 

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Farmhouse Bathroom Accessories:

This bathroom didn't have a towel bar for our bath towels so we knew we were going to be adding one at some point. We spent $40 and bought a matching set and replaced the old toilet paper holder, hand towel ring, and then added in the bath towel bar. It feels nice to not hang the towels over the shower door anymore! 

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I wanted to get some bath towels that were more modern/bohemian than a traditional bath towel. We found these on Amazon, and while the fabric isn't the same as a typical bath towel, they're really absorbent and feel great when you're drying off. Nothing like those microfiber bath towels that are just the absolute worst! 

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We were originally going to hang shelves above the tub, but then I figured as a self proclaimed minimalist adding shelves would also mean adding a ton of knick knacks that were just going to sit on a shelf forever. I decided to add these four picture frames with water color prints that I bought from jane.com. I love the look of them and think they fit the space perfectly. The glass in one of the frames came broken so Amazon let us keep the frames and gave us a full refund. It turned out to be a nice $44 win. (Also does anyone else hate how expensive frames are?)

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The picture above the toilet was painted by a sister missionary we knew from Georgia. It's a picture of peaches and I just love her, peaches, and Georgia so much that I needed to buy it. We've had it sitting around for months now and then when we put the space together it just worked perfectly. 

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We're slowly updating all the hinges and door knobs in our house to matte black so we switched those out in this bathroom just like we did in the office downstairs. We also painted the door white and it looks so fresh and new! 

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The wire basket on the toilet, and the tooth brush and make up brush holders were all actually silver previously. I bought a can of matte black spray paint for $3 and all of a sudden these mismatched pieces fit the space perfectly. We bought the wire basket from Walmart, but the brush holders we'd had from past bathrooms and just made them all work here. 

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Farmhouse Bathroom Lighting:

Lastly, we updated the light fixture. We went for this super modern one which I love, but in full transparency Derek kind of hates it. His entire family has pretty sensitive eyes, and he prefers a light fixture that you can't see the bulb because when the bulbs aren't covered the light is too much for him. That being said we both love the look of it, it could just be better in practicality. We did use 60w Edison bulbs in it, which are much dimmer than the fluorescent lights we usually use, and that's helped quite a bit for Derek's sensitivity (although he says it's still not perfect!)

We did look into switching the light, but anything that had the bulbs covered more, while still matching our style was almost triple what we paid for this. So in the name of frugality, we're keeping the light for now. 

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That's all the major details of the new bathroom space! I can't wait to share more of this home with you as everything unfolds! Linked below are all the links to the things we bought for this project, and noted with price differences if there is a difference from the link to what we paid. 

Caulk (for tub and sink)
Wood Filler (to patch hole in vanity from previous toilet paper holder)
Painter's Tape (to tape off edges)
Painter's Tripods (to hold cabinet doors while painting)
220 Grit Sand Paper (to sand cabinet doors before painting)
Tack Cloth (to wip dust and debris off cabinets after sanding)
Liquid Nails (to glue mirror frame to mirror)
Stain (for the frame)
Faucet (no longer available in black, we paid $49.99)
Black Spray Paint (for brush holders and basket)
Toilet Paper Basket (I paid $12.97)
Pictures: jane.com, no longer available $14.97
Plumbers Tape (for faucet install)
Picture Frames (glass came broken and got full refund)
Four Inch Foam Roller (for painting cabinets)
Paint Tray Liner (to pour paint in)
9in Roller Cover (to paint walls and ceiling)

Total Cost: $413.36

Items I already had:
Paint Tray
Roller Handles
Paint Edger
Screw Driver
Hammer
Scrapper
Level
Angled Brush

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