Category Archives: Indoors

How to throw a successful garage sale

I survived.

I made my TV debut yesterday on KATU’s AMNW morning show and I’m happy to report I somehow kept it together and didn’t lose my cookies on live television. Whew! I filmed a piece on throwing a successful garage sale and chatted through 10 of my personal yard sale tips. Since I know many of you don’t live in Oregon, here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.

 10 Garage Sale Tips

1.)    Purchase pre-labeled garage sale stickers and price your items to sell.

  • Pre-labeled stickers make pricing items easy and can be picked up at most local stores like Fred Meyer. Also, price your items to sell and be realistic about what an item might actually sell for.

2.)    Stock up on change for your cashbox.

  • Make sure you have plenty of change before the sale starts. It’s a  good idea to have $40 in 5’s and $20 in 1’s as well as some change on-hand.

3.)    Market your sale.

  • Post a free ad on Craigslist under the “garage sale” section and include all of the sale details as well as photos of a few of the main items you’ll be selling.

  • Make 3-4 simple, but bold signs and place them around your neighborhood. Just include the time and address of the sale on the sign – no other details are needed!

4.)    Watch the weather forecast

  • Sunny weather equals more foot traffic and happy shoppers. If you can, watch the weather forecast and pick a day/weekend that won’t be rainy.

5.)    Organize/merchandise your items just like a department store does.

  • If possible, group like items together. For example, all kitchen items should be in the same area. Shoppers are usually looking for specific items, and this way, they can easily find what they are looking for without having to dig around.

6.)    Have a buddy.

  • Team up with another family or friend. It makes the set-up and the actual sale more fun and it’s also nice to have someone helping shoppers and someone else manning the cash box.

7.)    Expect early birds.

  • A handful of people WILL come early to your sale, especially professional pickers. Decide beforehand if you will sell items to them before the posted sale starting time.

8.)    Stow away cash as you make it.

  • It’s a safe bet that you’ll make  a few hundred dollars at your sale, so just to be safe, don’t keep all that money in your cash box. Every hour or so, place a good amount of money inside, in a safe place.

9.)    Be willing to budge on prices, especially after 2 p.m.

  • People come to garage sales for deals and be mindful of that. Be ready to barter with folks.

10.)   After the sale, reorganize your items.

  • Create two piles

                i.      Items to be donated

               ii.      Items to be stored

  • This way, you’ll feel organized immediately after the sale and you won’t be tempted to put the stuff that didn’t sell back in your garage.

Are you guys planning on hosting a garage sale this spring or summer? They are a lot of work, but it certainly feels good to clean out those closets. And the extra cash is nice too!

Chalkboard Contact Paper

Morning, folks!

I am feeling a bit upset about losing an hour yesterday – the entire day seemed to zoom by and I feel cheated outta my allotted weekend hours. Not fair. I did manage to sneak in a morning project on Sunday and I’m quite happy with my new kitchen chalkboard.

A few weeks ago I ordered chalkboard contact paper off, and I’ve been going back and forth on what I should do with it – so many options! I finally settled on lining the inside of our pantry closet with it, in hopes I’d use it to make my grocery list and as a way to keep track of recipes I want to try. And, since I’ve never worked with chalkboard contact paper before, I thought the inside of a closet was a safe place to give a new product a whirl.

Turns out, this stuff is crazy simple to use. I merely measured the door, cut my contact paper (which was super easy as the back of the paper is a large graph which makes measuring and cutting no big deal), and went to work.

The back of the contact paper is sticky, but it’s very forgiving. If the piece wasn’t level, I just unstuck it and tried again. And again. It took me a few tries to get the paper level, but once it was, I just made sure it was free of bubbles, cured the board with chalk (coloring all over it with chalk and then erasing it with a dry eraser) and the project was complete. I think it took me 20 minutes from start to finish – so easy and mess-free!

No drying time was needed (that’s the beauty of his stuff!) and I went right to work and made my lists…now if I could only find time to cook.

I read that smooth surfaces work best with this paper, so if you have a textured wall, contact chalkboard paper might not be for you, or just not for that specific wall. And, finally, I do believe this paper will peel off whatever you place it on without leaving a mess. I obviously have not tried to peel away the paper yet, but from reading the instructions and other reviews, I *think* this paper can be temporary if needed. In short, I’d absolutely recommend using chalkboard contact paper. I already have a few more projects up my sleeve using this handy new product and I can’t wait to share them with you! 

Lots more good stuff to come this week on the blog, and word on the street is that our full house tour will be up on Young House Love tomorrow afternoon – yipppeee!

A Winter Tradition: Paperwhites

My sweet mom-in-law introduced me to paperwhites a few years ago, and now I am hooked. They are a great way to add some life to your home in the winter months, and they are super easy to grow too. My kind of plant.

These miniature daffodils don’t even need soil to grow. Just grab a clear glass or plastic vessel and settle the bulbs in rocks, marbles, colored glass, or anything nonmetal. I always use a clear vase, as it’s fun to see the roots grow long and hardy. Carefully place each bulb so that half to three-quarters of it shows above the surface of the pot. Fill the pot with water, adding just enough to cover the bottom portion of the bulb, but do not submerse them. Then, place the bulbs in a light-filled room and water regularly. In one month, you will have tall and fragrant flowers in your home.

Growing paperwhites has become a winter tradition in our home. They add an elegant simplicity to any room, a welcomed look after all the holiday decorations have been packed away.


I’ll be sure to snap  a few photos of my paperwhites once they are all grown up and pretty.

Don’t forget, this Friday is TGIDIYFriday and I have a quick and easy DIY up my sleeve for you.

Reader DIY – cute lil' onesies

We’re finishing off the week with a little reader DIY – you all are SO inspiring! I adore seeing all of your projects and crafts, so fun.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you the proper back story on how I met Han-Mei. More than a year ago, my little kitchen was featured on Brooklyn Limestone, and Han-Mei saw my post and that I lived in NE Portland. After putting the pieces together, she emailed me and as it turns out, we both just don’t live in the same area, but we live just blocks away from each other! Soon after we met over email, Han-Mei was transferred to Arizona for work (they kept their house in Portland), and we never had an opportunity to meet and tour each other’s homes. Well, just last month, HM was visiting Portland and we finally had the opportunity to met. I gave her a tour of our little bungalow, and then she gave me a tour of her over-the-top historic home. HM’s house is my dream home, and her and her husband are renovating it with such care. I will show it to you one day, I promise. It’s spectacular.

With all that said, who knew I’d meet a neighbor and a new friend via this little blog? Small world! In short, HM made these little onesies, and I specifically requested she share them with us because they are so darn cute. And easy too! Take it away, HM…


1.) Onsies
2.) A white cotton t-shirt (if you buy a mens XL, it’s the most bang for your buck!)
3.) Thread/Needle
4.) Beads/buttons. If you are like me, you have all these supplies from beading and friendship bracelets from earlier years just waiting for a project. This is one way I’ve started using up the misc beads I’ve collected over the last 15 years!

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1.) Wash the onesies and t-shirt. Next, cut the t-shirt into strips. The wider the strip, the larger the flower. For small flowers, cut strips 1″ wide x 12″ long. If you want more layers, then make it longer. Less layers (petals), then cut shorter. For large flowers, cut strips 2″ wide x 15″ long.

2.) Next step is to go “over, under” along the long edge of the cut strip with your needle, and cinch fabric (don’t forget to tie the end of your thread). This will give you your ruffle.

3.) Then, encircle the fabric to form the flower.

4.) From here, sew straight to the onesie, forming a round shape/flower.

6.) After securing flowers in desired pattern, embellish with various beads/ buttons. Secure them down tight with numerous loops and knots.

7.) Viola! Cute party shirts for little baby girls.

So, so cute HM! Almost makes me want a baby. Almost.

Have a happy weekend, friends!