Thursday, September 26, 2013

Built-in Fireplace In Under 2 Hours

I've always loved the look of a fireplace in a room. It gives the space a focal point, adds elegance and sophistication to the design, and provides warmth in the winter. The downside is that they are very costly to have professionally installed.

Photo credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

I wanted to reap all the benefits of a fireplace without the price tag. So, I DIYed one.

I wanted one with a classic, simple design. I searched for months online for one that was classic, yet cheap. I even considered making one from scratch. I finally stumbled upon this one on With the coupon I found online, I only ended up paying around $450 for it.

Photo Credit:

My husband was at a New York Knicks game with my daughter when the fireplace arrived. Who said women can't do everything men can? I put that baby together all by myself in just about an hour then pushed it up against the wall. It didn't look bad, but I wanted something more professional-looking. So, the next day, I got my trusty chisel and a hammer and cut out a section of my base molding the same length as the fireplace.

Then I caulked the gap between the wall/baseboard and the fireplace, all the way around.

I love the way it looks in my living room! It is exactly what I had in mind and it only took around 2 hours to complete and a few hundred dollars.

Here's before (blahhh):

And here's after (ta-daaa):

What do you think??? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fresh Look For Spring

I'm so happy that spring is finally here! The weather's been gorgeous here in Jersey.

Feeling the need to freshen up my look, I decided to give myself some red ombré highlights.

Even though it was a very looong multistep process, I love the results and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

First thing I did was purchase all of my supplies. I bought them from Sally's (S) and Target (T).

You'll need:
•Clairol Born Blonde Maxi Blonding Kit (although the Radical Bleach Kit is pictured below, I did not use it here) - T
•Feria in deep burgundy (or any color you desire) - T
•Latex gloves - S
•Bleach/tint brush - S
•Disposable cup/container (to mix the lightening product in) - T or S
•Vaseline - T
•Protective cape - S
•Magic eraser (optional-used for cleaning up drips and spills on bathroom counters/floors) - T

Next I put on some old clothes that I wasn't worried about messing up. I always have tons of old t-shirts lying around, which worked perfectly.

If you have light bathroom surfaces like I do, you'll want to protect them with old towels and have a magic eraser nearby in case you have any spills or drips.

Don't forget to put your cape on! After all you are...Super DIYer...hehehe, get it? Okay, very corny!

Next I applied some Vaseline around my hairline to protect my skin from any product getting on it.

Now time for the lightening part of the process. I followed the directions on the Born Blonde kit, only applying the product to the lower half of my hair. I used the brush for this part so I could be more precise with the application. Also, the brush helped to "feather" the product so I didn't have such a harsh transition from the black to the red. Since my natural hair color is so dark, I had to leave it on for the maximum amount of time indicated.

After rinsing it out, I fully dried my hair with a hair dryer since the directions on the box of Feria said my hair needed to be clean and dry. At this point my hair was a very light brown color. Not exactly blonde, but that was okay.

Next it was time to tint the lightened part of my hair with the red. Following the Feria directions, I applied the tint to the lightened lower half. I wasn't worried about getting some of the red on the dark part of my hair - it didn't show at all when it was all done. It was important, however, that I fully covered the brown lightened parts with the red tint.

I left the red tint in for the time indicated and voila! I had red ombré highlights! Love the way it looks, especially when I'm standing in the sun because the red looks so brilliant!

What do you think? Not too shabby, right?!