Category Archives: Home Remodeling

This summer I have had all kinds of people email me to ask for food and lodging recommendations near me and I’ve also been lucky enough to host multiple families that were passing through my neck of the woods (Hi, Katie!). Living near Zion National Park has it’s perks. I have a dear friend that just remodeled a 100 year old house (the home her husband grew up in, no less), and now it’s a Zion National Park vacation rental. I had the honor of taking pictures of her home, so I wanted to show them all to you just in Continue Reading →

Zion National Park Vacation Rental

In February I shared a little update on finally starting to build our house! When I say “we are building a house”, I don’t mean we are organizing laborers to do it for us. I mean Thomas is out there as often as he can and is putting a house together piece by piece. I have spent hours moving rocks, using a pick ax to level the ground for concrete forms, picking up trash, and a million other little things. Thomas for sure is doing the bulk of the work (I’m just on the support team), but slowly it’s moving Continue Reading →

Bless this Mess Builds: House Update (July 2016)

Things have been moving slowly along on the house front! Here’s what we have done in January and February of 2016. Building your own house and all of it’s glory! I use the term “we” very loosely. I should really say Thomas. I’m support staff right now. He comes home later than he used to and I try to have dinner ready and on the table. I deliver lots of lunches to building site (which we still haven’t named!), and I run him here or there when he needs to pick up a different large vehicle for something. You know, Continue Reading →

House Update: Houston, We Have a Hole and a VIDEO! (February 2016)

This past weekend was a pretty big deal in our little family. We officially started building our house on the beautiful property that housed our garden and chickens last summer. I’ve been struggling with how to relay the impact, meaning, and depth of this small step in my sphere on the internet. Part of me feels like it’s bragging, or that people won’t care, or that people will think I’m making a big deal out of something small. Friends, this is such a huge deal to me. I’m naturally a nester, a settler, a homemaker, and a bloom-where-you-are-planted kind of Continue Reading →

We finally started building our house! (January 2016)

At the end of 2011 my husband and I bought a really beat up old house, moved our three tiny kids into one room, and started gutting the rest of the home right away. I washed dishes in a bucket while we remodeled and what was supposed to take a few weeks ended up taking months. Washing dishes in a bucket for nine months was no easy task. Don’t worry, I didn’t even have a bathtub to wash them in. We bathed our kids in an 18-gallon plastic storage bin. Did I mention that I started this blog in the Continue Reading →

Consider Yourself Invited

Spring is in the air and I thought I’d show you what we are up to in the farm and garden area of life. All of our trees budded so nicely! Our property is exactly next to my in-laws and they share the same lane, so I’ve been driving past this neglected orchard for almost 10 years now. We’ve been wanting to buy it and talking to the owner for at least the last three, so while we were around we would turn on the water and water the trees once in a while but I never really went over Continue Reading →

Farm and Garden Update: Spring 2015

As most of you know, we are getting ready to build our own home. We call it our forever home because it’s the house we plan to live in for the rest of our days. Not many people build their house with their own two hands, literally doing all the work, and not many people build one house they plan on living in always. Moving to the middle of nowhere two years ago was our first step in this journey. We soft opened our hardware store this past fall, and now it’s time to work on something for our family Continue Reading →

Kitchen Stories & the Heart of Our Home (+ a giveaway!)

We bought some property last summer and we have stewed and stewed over a name for it. We had just about given up hope of thinking of something when Thomas suggested we ask all you guys! Hello! I should have thought of that. You all are the smartest people around. Our first little lot that we discovered our love of hobby farming on has a little dilapidated house on it and we call that property The Shanty. It fits perfectly. We’ll say, “I’m just headed over to The Shanty to feed the chickens”, or “Could you swing by The Shanty Continue Reading →

Help Us Name Our Farm Contest!

Way back in August I showed you the birthday room reveal we put together for my daughter. It’s been a few months since then and I wanted to do an update on how things are going, specifically how the new furniture we got is holding up. I picked out a few pieces of furniture from the Sauder’s website (this bookcase and this toy chest) and in the middle of the night we took down a baby crib and put together a whole new room for my daughter. We moved her from her old bedroom into her new one while she Continue Reading →

Birthday Room Reveal Update

I’ve been dying to shares today’s project and it is finally done! I made an instagram photo display out of an old wooden screen door that I found behind the house. FOUND! And the end result is gorgeous. And I’ll show you how to make one of your own too. No old wooden screen doors hanging around? A big frame from the thrift store would work the same. I adore instagram (do you follow me?!). It’s such a fun way to document the every day. And what I love even more is having all of those memories printed and on Continue Reading →

DIY Instagram Photo Display

I’m really excited to tell you all about a crazy, amazing, and totally innovative journey that my cousins and their family are on. Meet Cam and Amy. They are two of my favorite people ever and have 6 of the most well-rounded and kind children you will ever meet. Before we moved to the middle of no where we lived near this crew and loved spending time at their house. They are fellow gardeners, Amy home schools all of her kids (!), and I always felt like I came away from their home learning something new. They are inspiring people Continue Reading →


I’m wanting to share our house remodel around the blogosphere and in order to do that I need the whole project in one gigantic post. And that my friends, is just what this post is. This information can also be found on the page at the top that I have dedicated to the remodeling project, but in order to share it on some websites and blogs, it also needs to be a post.  This might be a repeater for some of you, but I hope you’ll let me indulge in one final and grand post of the entire project, start Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess – Start to Finish

Guys, guys, GUYS! We SOLD our house. My house… that house… THE HOUSE! If you have no idea what I’m talking about that’s fine, but you have to check out the “Our Biggest Mess” tab at the top of the blog. That tab will give you a recap of the crazy life that I’ve been living for the past two years. Living in a house while remodeling is super hard but holy cow did we learn a lot. I haven’t blogged much about the house this summer because it’s been under contract to sell for months and months. I’ve been Continue Reading →


Man oh man! We put the house on the market yesterday and it hardly feels real. We still have finish work to do (doorknobs, trim, windowsills…) but our Realtor didn’t think those things were eye-soars enough to not list it. We’ll keep plugging away at the do-to list and people are welcome to come and see the house in the mean time. She said all we needed to do was make sure people knew we would finish and write all that up in a contract and it wouldn’t be a big deal to start showing it. We really trust her Continue Reading →

House for Sale!

Oh this house of ours… if you need a refresher or are new to the blog take a minute to find the “Our Biggest Mess” tab at the top of the page. A few weeks ago my little brother told me that what I had on that page wasn’t very clear or user friendly. That was just the motivation I needed to get that page whipped into shape. It now has a lot of progress pictures and not just links. So take a minute to see where we are coming from, it’ll make you appreciate this all the more! Guys, Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Getting close!

Remodeling is moving on its merry way and things that we felt like would never be done are slowly getting checked off the to-do list. We hope to be done in March. That is next month! I’m finally starting to feel like there is a light at the end of this remodeling tunnel. Last week we had a little break in the weather and the temperatures rose above freezing during the day which helped the snow to melt. Thomas took advantage of the weather and worked outside on the front porch. Here’s what the porch looked like when we purchased Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Small front porch remodel

cheesecake bars, chocolate and cheesecake, brownie and cheese cake dessert

How is January over?! A lot of fun things happen around these parts in a months’ time, so I thought a recap at the end of the month would be fun for you and for me. I get to look back on a bit of my handy work and you can get a “best-of” post in case you missed anything. Thanks so much for reading and enjoy the best of January. Favorite Mess: Adding a bathroom (and vaulting the ceiling!) to the bonus room which is being turned into a master bedroom. Best idea ever. Favorite Dessert: Really, how could Continue Reading →

January Wrap-up

how to remodel, remodeling on a budget, mudroom ideas

Remodeling, remodeling, remodeling… do you think I’ll miss it when it is over?! Sometimes I can’t even remember life without a huge remodeling project to fill in all of our free time and to consume all of our energy (and money!). I dare say the project is coming do an end and after almost 18 months of working on it all of the time, I’m not sure what we’ll do with ourselves when it’s over. Wait, that’s a lie, I know plenty of things we’ll do when it’s over, starting with a nice long nap! Thomas really thinks we could Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Nasty Bathroom turned Laundry Room

adding a bathroom, how to install a toilet and sink, remodeling before and after pictures, bonus room makeover

The first week of January last year the blog was brand new and I devoted a whole week to getting the world caught up on your remodeling project. It looks like the beginning of this year is no different because I have another house post today. I really do have gobs of recipes to post, but the progress on the house is happening quicker than normal, so if I don’t record it now I’ll be behind. Remodeling a bathroom is nice because it’s generally a small space, and our hall bathroom is  just about done! I’ve been using this nasty old bathroom Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Remodeling a Bathroom and Downstairs Update

vaulted ceiling, new windows, adding a vaulted ceiling

Mornin’! I have so many picture of food and crafties in my “to be edited” folder, but by the looks of things you’d think I’d stopped cooking all together. This switch to WordPress is still keeping me so busy behind the scenes. I woke up at 4:30am last week, twice, just to work on the blog. Things are slowly coming together and I hope you aren’t too frustrated with any glitches; I really am trying to get it all worked out. Thanks for sticking it out with me, and I hope all the work will make the blog a better place for Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Adding a Master Bathroom

new paint bathroom, bathroom makeover, how to add a light fixture

There’s a magical room in the back of the house that we call “the big room”. For years I think it was used as a bonus room of sorts. It has wonderfully large windows and a fireplace, but no closets (which means you can’t call it a bedroom). It also includes the most wonderfully ugly mural of a lake. Now, I’m sure that mural meant something to someone, but for me, with no sentimental value attached, that mural was an eyesore. An eyesore that I looked at every morning when I woke up for over a year. You see, this Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Bonus Room Turned Master Bedroom Progress

remodeling a house while living in it, how to remodel on a budget, renovations DIY

Hello! It’s feels like it has been ages since I posted. While you might not be seeing much on your end, things have been super busy behind the scenes! I moved to a self-hosted WordPress site, got some help with basic design, crashed the whole site, and managed to enjoy Christmas all in one week. I’m getting ready to make lots of changes to my pages and I’ve even added a page at the top just to showcase what is going on with the chickens.  So if see anything that is weird or not working please let me know! (blessthismessplease Continue Reading →

My 10 Favorite Posts from 2012

We’ve been working on the house a ton lately. Thomas has a big engineering project that should come through at the beginning of the new year, so we feel the pressure to get as much done as we can before then. The weather here in Utah was uncharacteristically mild until yesterday (we just got around 10 inches of snow in one day!). The days were warm and the nights didn’t even drop below freezing for much of December. Thomas took advantage of the nice weather to get some big projects done outside. There are two small bedrooms downstairs in a partial basement. Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: A little curb appeal

Hello and good morning! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve shown you some of the random, fun, and downright weird things that we’ve found in the walls of our house. As we tear things out we find treasures stashed in the walls, and it is super fun for me to show you all our finds. (Check out the “Our Biggest Mess” tab at the top for more of the posts on things we’ve found in our walls.) Let’s get to it! First up. A knife. This isn’t the first knife we found here. But it is the only Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We’ve Found in the Walls

It has been a crazy year for us. Remodeling while living in the mess is hard, physically and emotionally. The work was not the hardest part for me; living in it was. Today isn’t a day to lament the past though. It’s a day to be grateful for today. Today I want to celebrate all of the changes I’ve seen in a kitchen since last Thanksgiving. Last Thanksgiving my “kitchen” was a stove and fridge in a hall. No sink, no cabinets, nothing more than what you see here. Our lives took place in one small room in the back Continue Reading →

What I’m Thankful For:

My father-in-law is here and working with Thomas on some serious renovating on the second half of the house. They are currently cutting holes in the concrete foundation to accommodate new windows and window wells in the basement. Seriously, they are cutting holes in the house as we speak. I knew that we would have to repeat this remodeling process in order to finish the house, but I’ve forgotten how painful the whole thing is. Moving things into rooms they don’t belong in, dirty, loud, stinky messes, and so much time and money. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t love this project Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: New Roof

I had an awesome weekend entertaining our first non-family house guests. We’ve lived in this house for just over a year and only a handful of people have come to see us (cue the guilt). I don’t really blame people for not coming though; living in a remodel isn’t very glamorous. I don’t want to use my bathroom, so why would you? Long lost friends from our BYU days made the trek down and promised not to be scared off when they saw the bathroom. Blaine and Becca are the best. Becca is a fellow blogger and we actually reconnected via Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Progress – October 2012

So the remodeling posts have been few and far between this summer, but no worries dear reader, they are about to come hot and heavy. We have had some crazy happenings in our life and remodeling will go forward with full force come October. I can’t wait to tell you all of the things that are changing and happening, but that has to wait until the end of the month. Big things are going down and I’ll let you in on the secrets as soon as I can. Here is one fun little remodeling post though to prime the pump. Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff we Found in the Walls

Thomas got a hankerin’ to tear something out the other day and he did just that. The mudroom/our current bathroom had a 6 foot 6 inch tall dropped ceiling of horribly ugly white cardboard tiles.  The dropped ceiling went to the top of this door and above it was empty space and then another ceiling (the dark wood you can see). Isn’t that older ceiling beautiful? It’s too damaged to save, but we sure did think about it.The ceiling follows the curve of the roof and is 9 feet on the left of the picture and drops down to 6 Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We’ve Found in the Walls

I was visiting a friend on the 4th and she harassed me about not updating about the house. I told her I hadn’t hung pictures, put things on the bookshelf, and the trim isn’t done. Her reply?  So?!So dear reader, and Heather, here is a look at the house. Don’t judge my lack of pictures in the frames (it’s hard to get things like that done when there is so much else to do). And I’m thoroughly enjoying my lack of things on the bookshelf. After living for almost nine months in one tiny room, everything crammed in, I am enjoying my lack of Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess:House Tour July

Unless we find more hidden treasure when we remodel the second half of the house, this is the last of the “Stuff We Found in the Walls” posts; sad, huh? I’m hoping for a find on the other side of the house, too. These were also found in a forgotten box in the attic of the garage. The box had a pile of the most charming little workbooks you’ve ever seen. I loved the front cover of one of them. Patsy had written “Kelvin Lay” on the front. I assume this is a boy she had a crush on. Isn’t Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

I spy with my little eye…A ghostly new-to-me couch that needs to be cleaned.Carpet. Beautiful soft wonderful carpet.Hopefully I’ll be able to pull my life out of the barn and move in today.

Not a moment too soon

More hidden house treasures! Unlike most of the other treasures, that were found inside of the walls of our house, these little beauties were found in a forgotten box in the attic of the garage. It’s so nice that they weren’t ruined; you can see the sky through the roof! Our other finds can be found under the “Out Biggest Mess” tab at the top of the page. This is a beautifully embossed wedding card. Full on vintage – it’s folded into fourths from a single sheet of paper, just like the cards I learned how to make on the Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

What a beautiful day! I am trying to get things whipped into shape around here because carpet is supposed to be installed tomorrow. You heard me right: carpet. This is the fun part of remodeling; getting all the finishing touches that make it feel like home. The carpet has been drama, like the cabinets, so hopefully it will really go in – not a moment too soon, either. Our besties from Chicago are coming to stay with us for the weekend, and I’d love for things to be really nice and comfortable for them. Now onto what I’m sharing today. Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff we found in the walls

It’s done! It’s finally done! I now own the kitchen hutch of my dreams. I’ve been wanting, craving, a hutch for years, and now I own it. I’m beyond pleased with how it turned out. I bought this beauty at a garage sale last Saturday for $50. It’s large. Very, very large. It’s just shy of five feet wide and almost seven feet tall. The whole thing is wood except for the back panel which is a laminate panel. Before: After:   I did some serious research in preparation to paint this hutch. The most useful site that I found was Centsational Continue Reading →

How to Paint Furniture without sanding

I got a make-over! Well, not me, this here blog got a face-lift and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. I contacted Jessie from Love Jess Design a few months ago to get on her waiting list and the last few weeks we’ve been emailing and working on the design. I loved working with Jessie; she was prompt, kind, took the time to get to know the blog before designing, and her prices are great. Thanks for all your hard work, Jessie.If you are reading in a reader, jump over to the actual blog and take a look! I Continue Reading →

A Fancy New Look!

This post has been a long time in the making. It has evolved and changed a lot since I first typed it up. Living in our remodel has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done emotionally. Now that we are over the hump (read: I don’t have to do dishes in a bucket) I want to share some thoughts on the process. I’ve had lots of help and discussions on this post and I finally feel like it’s ready for you.  Thanks for reading; I’m so excited to share this with you. I had a little meltdown a Continue Reading →

I’ve Paid My Dues vs. Feeling Entitled

I’ve been so excited to share this with you, and the day has finally come! This is my favorite thing that we’ve found in the walls of our house while remodeling. At first glance it didn’t look like much. The box didn’t hold pastels, though (an art supply). I opened the box and gasped. Two nearly perfect royal icing roses that have been stored in my walls for the last 60 years stared back at me. What are the odds that they would be in such great condition after all these years? I fell in love with these right away. Why Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

This isn’t the big “tada” post that I planned on, but life sure is happening around here. My mom won’t stand to wait another day either, so here are a few pictures! Before we get started, did you check out that eclipse yesterday? The tree diffused the light just right and we could see the shadow of the moon all over the house. It was pretty spectacular. Thomas loves things like this and it’s so fun to see him excited about it. One more interruption. I decided to take the doors off the top and remove two vertical pieces of wood that the doors Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Kitchen Cabinets

I feel like we’ve been living like this in our one room: (Picture from a move in 2007) And now it’s time to  unpack! I promise to post pictures tomorrow. Today a bunch of grandkids of the people who used to live here stopped by to see what we’ve been up to. I was super embarrassed because the house wasn’t in company-order, but I’m glad that they came by. It was so much fun to have people who actually know where we started look at the progress. They spent lots of time in this house and couldn’t believe the changes. I Continue Reading →

Moving into Our Own House

Oh Saturday, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.1. Tomatoes and peppers were planted.2. Garage sale treasures were scored (for only $50!).3. Dishwasher was picked up.4. A whole lotta sumthin-sumthin went on in the kitchen!I can’t wait to post more. Be excited, very very excited.

Sneak Peak

Did you know that I love Mother’s Day? I love it for selfish reasons. You see, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, and my birthday are all just a few weeks apart. By the time my birthday rolls around it seems that everyone (including me) has a bit of celebration burn-out. Mother’s Day has really become a second birthday of sorts for me and I love it. Thomas and the babies spoil me and really let me know that they appreciate me. What’s not to love? Sunday started off like any other wonderful Mother’s Day and ended with a bang. Thomas whipped Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Kitchen Floor (and a trip to the ER)

When I swore I’d paint myself into a coma early in the week if need be, I wasn’t kidding. I have been hitting it hard while trying to keep the ship afloat. I did something crazy at the grocery store yesterday; I bought convenience foods! I know, I know…I don’t even go there when I have a new baby. I am so motivated to work on the house though that cooking (while trying to paint in the same room) was such a burden this week. Eating out isn’t really an option, so I bought frozen lasagna, cheese tortellini, breaded fish, and french fries. Continue Reading →

Progress and New Paint!

Painting update tomorrow, which is a mere 34 minutes away. Can’t wait to show you the progress!


Here’s a recap of all the amazing things that happened this week!I finally finished the chicken coop. It took me days, but it’s done. The ladies spent their first night in there last night and I think they love it; I know I do. Expect a detailed post on this later in the week.They love having access to the ground and they like to take dirt baths. It’s seriously one of the cutest/funniest things ever. I could watch the chickens for a long, long time. My kids agree: they will go outside and just watch the birds. I’m so pleased with Continue Reading →

Doing a Happy Dance!

Hello all! I am still struggling to get my chicken coop built. It has been a labor of love with a ridiculously large learning curve. I think that I’ve worked on it for a little over sixteen hours now. I finally asked Thomas for some help last night on the roof. We didn’t get too far before dark, but it is coming along. I hope to have some pictures of the finished project no later than Thursday. While my house, yard, and blog wait for my massive project to wrap up, I thought I’d share some more treasures we’ve found in Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

Welcome to the second installment of “Stuff We Found in the Walls”. You can view the first episode here and check out all of the detail of our insane home remodel under the “Our Biggest Mess” tab at the top. Things on the remodeling front are slow; no shocker there. One day I’ll have a real-person house, but until then it’s a squatter’s life for me. On with the in-wall finds. No whining about the house today. Here are two old board games – Monopoly and Sorry. I couldn’t find any dates on them, so I’m a bit clueless on how old Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

While we are taking a little remodeling break, as Thomas preps to take a massive licensing exam, I thought I’d share some of the crazy things we have found in the walls of the house. It’s no secret that this house has quirks; some of the things going on are just plain crazy. We have found a treasure trove of oddities inside the walls which were discovered as we tore the walls out. I have a bunch of things, so there will be more posts like this. But for today I’m sharing 2 magazines.  One is March 1958 Turkegram and the other Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Stuff We Found in the Walls

Whoever said “slow and steady wins the race” wasn’t talking about home remodeling while living in it. My dad came out the second week of January and we started hanging drywall and mudding and taping then. Here it is, nearing the end of March and we are still mudding and taping. I tease Thomas all of that time that he won’t ever be able to convince me to live in a remodel again; I’ve learned my lesson. This is one of those times that we’ll talk about the rest of our lives, but boy am I ready to be on the talkin’ Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: And we’re still mudding and taping…

We took an impromptu trip on Tuesday to visit the in-laws. Thomas needed to go to his hometown to do some engineering work, so I decided that we should go, too. We haven’t see my mother-in-law since Christmas, and my oldest has been begging me to go. One lovely thing about no school-aged kids is packing up and leaving whenever I like. Did you know that our current remodel isn’t our first? It will be the first to be completed, but our love of old (and falling apart) houses started the summer of 2009 when we bought our first house. We fondly Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Our First Love, The Shanty

Well, we had some significant changes this weekend on the home remodeling front! We moved the stove and fridge into the real kitchen (instead of just in the mudroom!). They look so weird in the space but it makes me all excited at the same time. It’s not an improvement really, just a change in location. Still no sink, but at least I can open my door all the way when I come in! I feel like we are really close to being able to move in, but we just do not have time to work on the house outside Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Almost done with drywall!

Our remodel has been so overwhelming to me this week. I didn’t even post pictures from last Saturday’s progress. I just was not feeling it. Poor husband has put up with lots of tears. I was just feeling so hopeless. It is hard living like you are camping. It is hard living somewhere I feel is “icky”. It is hard not knowing when this phase will end. However. Husband and I sat and talked a lot this week, and I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is amazing how a little hope in Continue Reading →

Our Biggest Mess: Keep Calm and Remodel On