Ottoman Facelift

Do you see this little fabric covered ottoman sitting in the corner seemingly unloved?



Well I had loved the heck out of it and I didn’t have much love left…I bought it at The Christmas Tree Shops about ten years ago.  It has held up well for a $20 ottoman and it is convenient storage for some toys but it was not exactly pretty anymore.  The fabric was just a little blah for me these days.  So of course I took it all off, what else would I do?

The top was easy to update with some fabric I had.  I just stapled it along the edges on the inside and used some rope to cover the staples.

Ottoman recover

After dismantling an old wine crate I had and gathering some random pieces of wood I had laying around I Gorilla Glued it all to the sides as evenly as I could without being too fussy, stained the whole thing with Minwax ebony stain and was left with this.

wine box ottoman


I had one problem.  I thought it looked a little like Jabba The Hutt sitting on the floor like that.  Do you see the resemblance?

photo credit: starwars.wikia.comwine box ottoman

It needed a little lift to get off the floor and not look so frumpy.  For this job it was as easy as adding a simple set of casters which also made it much easier to move around without scratching the floor.  Pardon the dust…note to self, clean the floor before photographing it.


And here’s the finished product.  Not only was I able to reuse and outdated ottoman but I also used the wine box I have been trying to find a use for.  The whole thing cost about $12 because all I bought was the casters and the fabric which I found in the Hobby Lobby clearance section. Woot Woot!!!


Not a bad transformation for $12 huh? Now instead of hiding in the corner it stands proudly out in the open. Yay for you ottoman!

wine box ottoman before and after

What have you been able to repurpose lately?

Thanks for stopping by.






I hate selfies.  There I said it! While I enjoy looking at other people’s selfies I do not enjoy taking them myself.  I do participate in the occasional “usie” but selfies are a no go.  Not even when I just walked out of the hair salon and my makeup is perfect and my skin is basking in the glow of the summer sun…nope not even then.  But why? Why do I loath them so?  I don’t know actually!  Truth be told, it probably makes me pick out every imperfection and I would rather just take pictures of other things.  But then I think, maybe I should be joining in on the selfie craze.  Maybe I shouldn’t take myself so seriously and maybe I should just be happy with wherever I am in my day.

So prepare yourself because I rarely wear makeup.  My hair hardly ever sees a blow drier and my straightener has broken up with me due to neglect. And I will confess, I live in yoga pants but I do not practice yoga.  That is who I am and doggone it, people like me (am I sharing my age with that SNL reference?) Stuart Smalley? Youtube it, it’s funny.

To encourage us all to be who we are, I hereby declare Tuesdays to be True Self Tuesday or #TST if you’re nasty.  I would love for you to play along on Instagram.  You can find me @iamahomemaker and make sure you hashtag your selfie #trueselftuesday  so we can all see who is playing along.  I would love it if everyone would tag me, along with some of your friends so that they play along as well.

Can’t wait to see all your beautiful faces!!!!


Food Allergy Go Bag

Create an allergy go bag to always be prepared for accidental exposure to a food allergy.

It seems like everyone had a kid with food allergies these days doesn’t it?  Well, I am no stranger to the phenomenon.  Two out of three of my kids have food allergies.  My 6 year old has an allergy to apples and my 4 year old has an allergy to tree nuts.  These past two weeks have been spent dosing Benadryl and coordinating doctors appointments to get my poor little boy better after many flare ups of horrible hives.  It was a hazelnut that started it all and now that we have things under control, and a plan in place for future exposure, it was time to get emergency bags together for both kids to travel with whenever we leave the house.

When we only had my daughter’s allergy to deal with it was as easy as passing off an Epipen to my husband if he was taking her out by himself.  Now, keeping track of two sets of medications requires a little more organization.  These bags are my solution to NEVER forgetting the meds they may need.

I started with these simple bags from Hobby Lobby for $5 each but if you Google Hobby Lobby coupon you can always get a 40% off coupon that you don’t even have to print out.

allergy go bag

I wanted to personalize them so I always know whose is whose.  This is so simple to do!  I printed out an M and a J for their initials.  Make sure you make them big enough for your liking in a bold font, then go into your settings and change the font to an outline so you don’t waste all your ink!!!

initial stencil


Then just make a stencil by cutting out the letters with an Exacto knife, watch your fingers! You can cut out the stencil in poster board or cardboard or you can just use paper like I did.  Next, just lay them on top of your bag with a piece of tin foil inside so the paint doesn’t bleed through, and sponge whatever paint you want to use, into the stencil and let it dry.

apply stencil

Then gather all the medications your kids have for an emergency which, for my kids, is just Benadryl and Epipens.  Don’t forget the syringe to dose the Benadryl if you need to.

It is a good idea to keep an allergy action plan in the bag as well as a printed sheet that includes all emergency contact information and any other medications your child may be on.  Just click this link for your own Allergy Information Sheet printable so you can print out your own.

I laminated all of these lists for my bags since paper just won’t cut it on a long term basis, and because I’m a nerd and love using my laminating machine :)


So now that the meds and the lists are in the bag, add a couple of things for comfort to use if you ever do end up in the emergency department for a while.  I put in coloring books and some crayons and a book.  These things are also useful in the car so it’s a win win.  Here are all the things I keep in my go bag for my daughter.

allergy go bag

Now, hang them somewhere you won’t forget them.

finished go bags

These bags are also great if you use babysitters.  Whether they be in the house or out and about, everything they need, including all written information, is all in one place.  I hope this gets everyone thinking about their readiness for a food allergy related emergency, but I genuinely hope you never need to open it.

Thanks for stopping by,


Pellet Stove Mantle

Allllright, allllright, allllright (has that been in your head since the Oscars too)….let me catch you up on a project I just completed a few weeks ago.

This was my pellet stove.  Pardon the awful picture but I used my cell phone on a rainy day.

Pellet Stove


It was a sad little guy that had no real standing in the room.  Couple that with not having anywhere to hang stockings at Christmas (yes I think about Christmas in June) and I knew I had to build a mantle! But just some little old shelf stuck up on the wall wasn’t gonna do and I was not about to start busting out bricks or stone to create some elaborate backdrop because that is when my pellet stove would have broken.  That’s just how things happen, right?

I thought for a long time about this and finally decided that board and batten was the way to go and I did it all for about $30!

The first thing I did was figure out the dimensions.  I used the fireproof base as a guide so that it all looked seamless to the eye.  Knowing where you are starting and where you are stopping is pretty important.  So I used painters tape to tape off the area and then painted the drywall white.

pellet stove board and batten

That was the easy part.  I then had to figure out the separation of the batten.  This was a little tricky because of outlets and the exhaust for the stove.  So while they are not perfectly even, unless you are measuring them you would never know and thats just fine with me!

pellet stove

Once I had it all measured out I used pine furring strips (mainly because they were $2 for 8 feet!) to make the base of the mantle and the shelf.  They aren’t perfect pieces of wood so they took a little extra sanding and some searching at Home Depot to find the straightest pieces but it’s worth it.  One I laid flat against the wall and shot into studs using a nail gun.  This was the support for the shelf part which I then shot into the base.  I added some decorative moulding under the shelf to make it look a little prettier.  You have to make sure you return each piece to the wall so it has a pretty edge and not just a square edge that stops abruptly.  To do that you have to cut the end at a 45 degree angle then cut an additional piece to fill in the spot between that 45 and the wall.  You will have to take the wood and square one edge then cut a 45 in the opposite direction so it fits.  I don’t have any pictures of that part but I will put together a little tutorial on it and post that soon.  Anyway, this is where I was at.

mantle cropped

Once that was done all I had left was the batten pieces.  I used 1/4 inch thick pieces of lattice so they wouldn’t hang over my floor moulding.  I wanted a chunkier look so I went with the 3″ wide pieces. I taped them up first to make sure I was happy with the spacing, made sure they were plumb and shot them in with a brad nailer.  They seriously weigh nothing so it didn’t take much to hold them on the wall.  If you notice, the second board in from the left has an outlet that goes straight through it.  I used two pieces of lattice and blended the outlet into the piece instead of trying to go around it.

board and batton prep

All that was left to do after that was caulk all the gaps (trust me there were plenty), prime all the wood and give everything a couple of coats of semi gloss in white.  Now I have the perfect place to hang my stockings for Christmas and that makes me happy!

Check out this before and after.  It was well worth the $30.

pellet stove before and after

What wood projects have you tackled lately?  I would love to hear about them.


Thanks for stopping by.


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Gasp! Did you just type that? Really?! In 2014? I am a “homemaker???” Has feminism been totally and completely lost on me? Well no, it hasn’t.  The fact is, I AM a homemaker. I do not work outside my home.  My home and the people in it are my work and I am proud of that.  This is what I want to be right now.  Shlepping 3 kids (15, 6 and 4) everywhere is what I want to do.  Being there to kiss every boo boo, organize birthday parties, and make my home as homey as possible is where I want to be in my life.  My husband works very hard and so do I, I just don’t leave the house to do it.  I am certainly not June Cleaver.  I don’t even own pearls.  I am someone who loves antiques and DIY projects.  I am a wanna be seamstress and nutritionist.  I am a typical mom. That’s who I am and this is my soap box.  I’m not here to preach about anything or to tell you how to do things better.  I am here to share my DIY projects, my mommy ideas, recipes or whatever other experiences I may have that could be useful to you.  Sometimes I may even post something in hopes that you have a better idea of how to do something than the way I am doing it.  My name is Jillian and I’m happy to meet you.  I hope you stick around because we just may be able to learn something from each other.  Please feel free to introduce yourself in the comments.  I would love to hear from you.  And thanks for stopping by.