Tag Archives: home improvement

2012 Goals

I don’t like to make New Years Resolutions.  I like to make goals.  Resolutions are so definite.  Goals are something to shoot for. Mainly these  goals that are listed are from my bucket list (click the link below the blog banner to see that).

Hopefully this year, the bucket list will have lots more items crossed off!!

I broke mine down into categories because I’m cuckoo.


* Go To Europe

* Ski out west again

Utah Trip 2011


* Create a new visual arts curriculum

* Teach a graphic design unit in my 7/8 portfolio class

* Start my master’s degree

* Sell my FSL Boutique accessories in a local shop


*Create “social zones”  in our living room

*New vanity in master bath and downstairs bath

* Get or make a kitchen island

*Repaint kitchen & bathrooms


*Be able to ski a mountain without stopping at all and not have my legs burn

* Switch primary care physician

*Walk on the beach with little to no jiggle *fingers crossed*

*Take a vitamin supplement every day


* Switch to self hosted site

* Make my home page more visually appealing

A few of these goals are already in the works.  I have an appointment today for a physical wellness visit with my new doctor (it’s  Mr. FSL’s doc too), I’ve been taking vitamins every day since January 1st, and our ski trip is booked for February break.


What are your goals for 2012?

Do you have any suggestions to help me reach any of my goals?

Pinterest Can Inspire You To D-I-Y! (Part 2)

I’m on a full blown Pinterest bender.  Seriously.  This series will have a couple more installments to come…

Pinterest was practically made for disorganized creative types.  There’s actually an entire category for Do-It-Yourself project pins.  I’ve found so many crafty ideas that are on my to-do list…er…DIY pinboard!

Some I’ve already made…

Inspiration pin:

My version & tutorial:

Inspiration Pin:

The one I made for our 1st anniversary gift:

Here are some projects I hope to tackle in the future…

A dresser repurposed into an island

Tall cylinders, rubber bands & spray paint!

Fabric covered drawers for the craft room

What crafty things have you spotted on Pinterest?  Do tell & link up!!!

It’s Finally Time!!

In case you just started following along, we did not build our house.  This meant changing a lot when we moved in.  Changing things about your home = mucho $$$.  So we quickly learned that it will take time to make the changes we’d like to make.

So far, we have replaced all of the flooring with shiny new hard wood (there was only ply wood under the carpeting) and all of the linoleum in the bathrooms with ceramic tile.  Fresh paint on all of the walls, we knocked down a wall, removed our deck’s giant aluminum overhang, got rid of the horrible A.C. unit in the center of our windowless wall, then made that wall much more interesting by adding the  new window.  We definitely made progress in the 10 months we have been living here.  We conquered much of the “big stuff”.  There is always room for improvement, and the “smaller stuff” we’d like to change is still there. I want to replace all of the doorknobs, the vanity in 2 bathrooms, and the lighting fixtures.

This is what our eat in dining area looked like in march:


Compared to now:

Vast improvement, but the light fixtures. Oh the light fixtures.  Numero uno on our replacement list is the quadruple spotlight ceiling fan complete with dangling  grandma flower basket ornament.

I’ve been playing this little game in my head with this light.  I will not replace a single lightbulb in this ugly thing.  When all of the bulbs blow out, we are getting a new light.  Well, my friends, the day has come.  The last bulb is flickering!!  I’ve been researching online and pinning every light I like to my Pinterest board like crazy!  The only one my husband and I agreed on was this one from West Elm:

I was all set to order it and realized that it can’t be installed to a vaulted ceiling.  UGH!!!

Now we are back at square one.  Any suggestions?  Please include a link to a photo of a fantastic light that isn’t a billion dollars.  Pleaseandthankyou 😀

A Stain I Don’t Want To Remove

Ah, women!  Never satisfied 😉  We just got a brand new window put in the side of our (at one point windowless) wall.  I was soooo excited!  I realized that the very light natural wood trim that surrounded the window didn’t match any other wood in our house.

Yesterday we stained the trim to the dark walnut color of all of the other trim.

I’m really happy with the result.  The dark wood against the light paint creates a nice contrast.

Let The Sunlight In!

In our kitchen that is!  I’ve been complaining about our lame wall with no windows and the ugliest off-centered air conditioning unit for the past 8 months.

Last week, the whining came to a screeching halt!  Woo to the hoo!

We had a window installed! Here’s what casa FSL looked like for a couple of days…

When I woke up the next morning, I felt like the Window Fairy had come!  For the very first time, there was sunlight in our kitchen!!!  I literally squealed!

Ooh la la!

Looking Back…What A Rockin’ Year!

Today is my last day of school!!! Actually, it’s a half day 🙂  I am uber psyched!  Every time I reach the end of something, I reflect.  I reflect to see what I’ve learned, what I could do better next time, and how I’ve grown as a person from the experience.

As I look back,  it was a great year for me.  I have so much to be thankful for.

Here’s my last year in review…

June 2010: I had my bridal shower, bachelorette party, and found out our offer was accepted on our first house! Click here & here to see what our house looked like before we bought it.

July 2010: I went from Mindy Mac to Mindy P!  I married my best friend July 30th. See pics of that here. We paid a honeymoon visit to Negril, Jamaica.

August 2010: I turned 28, moved into my in law’s house and gained 8 pounds because my mother-in-law is an amazing cook!!  Click here for her crockpot chicken & potatoes recipe.

September 2010:  We finally closed on our house!!!

October 2011:  We moved in!!! Mr.FSL turned 32.  His vineyard birthday party is where we snapped this picture…

November 2010: November 1st was the inaugural post (about jalapeno infused tequila no less, lol! See my first post here).  I got my wisdom teeth pulled. We hosted our first family holiday at casa FSL!  I made my first Thanksgiving turkey!! (Hear about that mess new experience here)

December 2010: Our first married Christmas in our new home!  Instead of a housewarming party, we had a “Bad Christmas Sweater Party” and made a shot-ski!  Hear all about that crazy time here.

January 2011: The snowiest winter on record for CT! Actually, there was so much snow, our roof that extended over our beck deck (which extends the entire length of the house) collapsed!  Hear about that craziness here. Here’s a shot of my husband and his dad & our borrowed snow blower on the back deck.  That lovely metal piece in the background used to be our roof 😦

February 2011:  We took a much needed vacation to Salt Lake City, Utah!  We went skiing on some of the most beautiful terrain & ate at the oldest saloon in the state! Get the scoop on that trip here, here, and here.

March 2011: We threw our first rager!  About 100 people came to our house for a surprise party.  We had the pizza truck & a comedian, great time.  I got the DIY itch & painted a chalkboard wall in our kitchen & decorated it for the occasion. I drew Yankee Stadium & a pic of the b-day boy on it…

April 2011: My chicken tortilla soup recipe was featured by Oxygen Magazine!!  I was sooo excited, it’s my fitness bible (get the recipe for that here)! My husband & I did a photo shoot in a haunted opera house (see those pics & the insane video here)  My craigslist desk makeover was “Freshly Pressed” and is still the most popular post on Finding Silver Linings to date.  I was stoked and amazed that I was also a  “Pop Pressed” featured blogger!  Crazy!!!

Are you kidding?! I was so excited!

May 2011:  My mom & I had the best Mother’s Day ever!  We hit up Manhattan for a spa day, made it on TV, and ate at one of the best restaurants in the country!! (Hear all about it here).  I started my vegetable garden!

June 2011:  Here we are! Finally feeling settled at our house.  Getting the hang of keeping up after laundry, cooking, cleaning, wife-ing, ya know, that whole thing.  All in all, what a wonderful year!  I can’t wait to see what summer vacation brings!  You all know I have a list of stuff to do!!

Sorry for the uber wordy post.  I guess I am feeling a bit nostalgic. Looking back does that to me.

Thanks for sticking around 🙂  I love you guys!!!



Small Bath Makeover

The little bathroom (as we fondly call it) is the small one attached to our bedroom.  I’ve never dedicated a post to its makeover, and it’s actually one of my favorite rooms in the house. 

This is what it looked like the day we closed on our house.

 Yes.  Those are some yellow walls. 

 Let’s not forget the matching yellow toilet, complete with the lovely robin’s egg blue toilet seat ;P   & the sexy linoleum floor. 

Um, dark, dirty, and outdated.  Not a good combo, and definitely not a place that I want to shower and feel clean!

Here’s our bathroom now:

It took about 3 coats of ivory paint, new slate tiles (actually ceramic but they look like slate to me), a new sink, mirror, light, toilet,  okay, I guess just about everything is new.  It’s not that costly when the room you are trying to re-do is small.  

That cabinet above the toilet is brand spanking new.  I bought that badboy on clearance for $50 when I went crazy at Bed Bath & Beyond the day I bought the vacuum and floor stuff (scroll back about 2 0r 3 posts to hear about that and the throwdown with the lady in the return line 😀 ).

It’s mostly my bathroom since I’m the only one that gets primped and ready in there, so I stocked the cabinet with my junk toiletries.

Complete with my favorite Marilyn Monroe rocks glass turned fancy cotton swab and makeup brush holders!

I put my favorite potty time photo on display.  LOL!  This was in one of my first posts!  (Check that out here for a stroll down memory lane).

Any recent renovations in your casa?

We Skipped Spring

I am pretty sure this has happened over the past 5 years.  New England begins to thaw out from the icy winter by raining the entire months of April and May. 

Suddenly, it’s 85 and humid.  That’s what we are working with around here.  Does anyone know where spring went?  The T-shirt and jeans weather?  Yoo Hoo?  Anyone? 

Well, I love the summertime.  It’s not technically summer, but this kid’s got the right idea!

We don’t have an awesome pool like that.  We have this eyesore giant air-conditioning unit.

Within the next month, our not-so- lovely air conditioner (that we have had cranked for the past couple of weeks) is getting the boot.

We are finally putting in the window!  Hooray! If you forgot about the window drama, click here to see my Photoshop attempt at superimposing a window into the space.

Hopefully, Operation Central Air will commence ASAP!

How are you staying cool?

DIY Dreaming

I was researching do-able DIY projects for this weekend (the 1st weekend in months that I have at least 1 day to myself).  I fell into the black hole of blogs for 2 hours an undisclosed length of time.  I’m not sure if I could round-up the resources for this weekend, but this project I stumbled upon has got me thinking.

They took this thrift store desk

and turned it into this


See the whole how-to post here.

I’ll definitely be doing this project in the next few weeks.  It’s a pelmet.  Super easy, and looks very neat and tidy. 

Then I found my first project to tackle for the summer.  I literally gasped then squealed out loud when I saw this one.

I was over at Ikeahackers and peeped this.

This lucky girl got her boyfriend to dream up a shoe closet for her.  They used a bookcase with an extension piece for the top, and added a thin bookcase for the side.  Seriously, I die.  Easy, do-able, functional, and GAH!  Look at it!! See the link here.

What are your fave DIY dream projects? What do-it-yourself home imprivements do you plan on tackling soon?  Post up the link in your comment 😀  Inspire me!



Pie Hangover. Somebody Check Me In To The Betty Crocker Clininc!


So, yeah.  Um… that’s embarrassing. 

I woke up yesterday morning and ate a slice before work. I had a nibble (or two) (okay fine, five). I was slicing off these ridiculous slivers of pie like, a quarter of an inch thin in a pathetic attempt to justify having more. “If I just have this super-duper itty bitty teeny tiny taste, it’s not thaaaaat bad”.

I had to get as far away from our refrigerator as possible, so I went outside to the garden-in-training. I dumped a whole bag of Miracle Grow topsoil to give these poor seedlings a shot in hell. I watered the garden bed, and I even made little laminated labels so I knew what was what –if anything should sprout one day 😉

Our flowers around the yard are finally blooming!!

Once there was nothing left for me to do with my wanna-be green thumb, my thoughts strayed to the pie *cue Jaws theme**

So I decided to go for a spin on our new(ish) Blaster ATV with my groom.  I had way too much fun riding that thing, oh our poor neighbors! I felt like a seven-year old again. Not to mention that we totally looked like this scene from Dumb & Dumber:

I was feeling the itch to have another slice when I decided that I should distract myself and give Rocco a bath.  He was not happy about it.

He went totally bonkers when he got out!  He ran around the house for like 5 straight minutes like a mad dog as fast as he could!   He must have been feeling tough after getting sent to the evil bathtub and coming out with more Jerry Curls than Rick James.  He’s so brave, my boy!

I cracked open a Light Mike’s Hard Lemonade while I whipped up dinner, cuz I’m classy like that 😉 What?! Alcohol curbed my craving.

If you decide to make this pie (get the evil recipe here), do yourself the favor, and have lots of people around. You’ll only be able to get one slice, because it will be gone, or you won’t eat the whole damn thing (like, ahem, me) out of sheer humiliation. Bake at your own risk.