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DIY Rustic Wooden Plank Headboard




When I decided to redo our master bedroom early in the fall I knew exactly what I wanted. Finding it in my price range was the issue. I wanted a headboard that looked like reclaimed wood. Distressed, uneven, rustic….that’s what I wanted. I searched and searched but the only one I found that I really loved was way more than I was willing to pay. I finally decided why not just make my own? 


I picked up all the materials I needed at Lowe’s for less than $25! All I needed was 2 packs of the V-Groove Wainscot plank paneling and the stain. That’s it. I already had a foam brush and the nails. Creating the headboard wall was easy- I finished it (with Matt’s help) in just a few hours. I had the whole room done in one weekend. 


I decided to go with 2 packs of the wainscot plank paneling because of the height of the wall I was using to create the headboard. Each pack has 12 v-groove planks so each side of my headboard is made up of 12 planks stacked one over the other. If your wall is shorter or you don’t want such a large statement headboard then you could probably get away with one pack. 






I chose to use the smooth side of the plank for my headboard but you could also use the other side with the grooves and have the wainscot look in your headboard. If I had been planning on painting the headboard I think I would have used the grooved side. 






I decided on Rust-oleum Ultimate Wood Stain and the color I chose was Kona. I love Rust-oleum wood stain when I’m working with natural, bare wood. It goes on easily, covers well, and dries quickly. Technically it’s supposed to contain a top coat already but I always do my own top coat anyway. 






The actual staining of the planks was super easy. I did a very very light sanding of the boards and wiped them with a tacky cloth. Then I used a foam brush to apply the stain in thin even strokes. I wasn’t concerned with being precise or uniform because I was going for a distressed and rustic appearance. I also didn’t stain down into the grooves on the bottom because I wanted some bare wood showing through. I did 2 coats of stain- make sure to let the first one dry completely before starting the second one. 






When I was sure the stained boards were dry I had Matt help me nail them to the wall. Now I’m lazy and subscribe to the “good enough” theory so I nailed these puppies right to the wall. If you are concerned about nail holes then this might not be the best method for you. Matt found the center of the wall, measured where the top of the bed would hit, and started the headboard a couple of inches below that mark. Because I was going for the rustic and reclaimed wood look we didn’t measure or worry about each board fitting together perfectly. If you’re wanting a uniform look then you’ll want to lay out the boards before you start nailing them to the wall. 






Once all the boards were nailed in place I applied 2 coats of the same poly top coat that I used when I gel-stained the kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanity, and stair case. I probably didn’t have to do that but I had the poly sealer so I figured might as well use it. I did like the look better after I applied the final top coat.  It’s hard to see in the difference in the pictures but the stain seems to have soaked in to the wood planks better after I applied the final top coat and there’s more of a sheen to the headboard. 






I let the top coats dry completely before I assembled the bed. I was super pleased with how my headboard came out. It’s exactly what I wanted and I love it! Not too shabby for a few hours of work and some creativity…and only $25!






A couple of weeks later I added the Mr. & Mrs. letters above the headboard. The wall is huge y’all and even with the tall headboard it still felt massive. It needed something and the letters added a little extra dimension to the wall. It was another $20 well spent- letters were from Hobby Lobby and I used some leftover cream paint from another project. The & is painted with the same Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint that I used on the mirror in my dining room. 






I’m really glad I decided to do this project. I think the headboard is really the focal point of the master bedroom now and it makes a statement. The master bedroom finally feels complete and I love the serene, peaceful feeling I get when I walk in there now.





Join the Headboard Week Party at Remodelaholic



Easy 7-Minute Leftover Spaghetti Boats

My family loves spaghetti. I’d say it’s one of our favorite meals. I always make a ton because it’s an economical dinner to make in bulk and there is always enough to have leftovers the next day. Unfortunately my family is not big on leftovers- for some reason the same dinner the next night does not seem as appealing to them. Freaks. So I have to get creative.








Leftover spaghetti (noodles & meat sauce already combined)

1 box garlic cheese texas toast

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese




1. Place texas toast on foil lined baking sheet and cook for 3 minutes at 425.

2. Heat spaghetti in microwave for a couple of minutes- don’t overheat it.

3. Top each texas toast slice with a scoop of spaghetti and sprinkle with cheese.

4. Continue baking for additional 5 minutes until cheese melts.






The whole family raved about these! The kids had no idea they were eating leftovers and everyone complained because there were no seconds. Next time I make these I will be making double the texas toast for sure! Can’t beat this for a 7 minute dinner recipe- not to mention a great way to stretch your spaghetti dinner into two nights.


Leftover Spaghetti Boats
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  1. Leftover spaghetti (noodles & meat sauce already combined)
  2. 1 box garlic cheese texas toast
  3. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Place texas toast on foil lined baking sheet and cook for 3 minutes at 425.
  2. Heat spaghetti in microwave for a couple of minutes- don't overheat it.
  3. Top each texas toast slice with a scoop of spaghetti and sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Continue baking for additional 5 minutes until cheese melts.
Confessions of a Semi-Domesticated Mama http://semidomesticatedmama.com/


Back To Reality & Playing Catch Up

Reality. Such a dirty word. 


Christmas break is over. Yesterday the kids went back to school. We went back to regular schedule. It sucked. The end.


That about sums up the week for me. But I figured I could at least catch up on some things that have happened around these parts in the last week or so while I try to recover from Christmas Break Brain. 


*My DVR died. It just died….and a piece of me died with it. When it sputtered out for good it took along 200 recorded shows that we hadn’t yet watched including a whole season of Sons of Anarchy. All those great shows- poof! Gone to the DVR graveyard. I guess when you make a resolution to watch less crappy reality television, fate steps in and makes sure you do it. Lesson learned. 


*Our Christmas decorations are still sitting in a heap on my dining room table. I went to get the buckets out of the attic but then 2 spiders fell on me and I ran screaming. Matt was supposed to get them down this past weekend. I reminded him and was accused of nagging. So I didn’t ask again and guess what? No buckets made an appearance and the Christmas decorations are still on the table. Uh-huh. That’s why I nag, buddy. 





*Maia had her very first sleepover this past weekend. Her best friend lives just down the street from us and they play together all the time but this was the first real sleepover. Maia was so excited and had such a great time. I didn’t sleep a wink with her not in the house. I like all my little chicks under my roof at night. The girls have already planned their next sleepover leading Matt and I to the inevitable conclusion that it’s time to look into a cellphone for Maia to take with her- a free one, not talking about an iPhone here folks. How did she get old enough for this?





*I discovered over the weekend that Matt is the bad influence on the kids. Basically he is one of them. That’s why they love him so much. I’m the one yelling “no wrestling in the house” and “no riding the scooter in the house” but it’s hard to enforce those rules when dad is the one wrestling with the kid and dad comes sailing around the corner riding Maia’s pink scooter. I’m raising 6 kids. Clearly. But then he spent an hour playing dolls with Zoey so I could finish a book. I guess I’ll keep him. 





*I may have shed a tear or two when I set my alarm for 6am on Monday morning. It’s a well established fact that I am not a morning person. During Christmas break I didn’t get out of bed until well after 8:30am….and neither did my kids. So to have to go back to 6am wake up calls was just cruel and horrible. I can’t wait for summer vacation.





*It was immediately apparent upon arriving in the school drop off lane that during Christmas break some people lost the ability to do morning drop off. I watched in disbelief as parents stopped in the middle of the parking lot to have their kids run across the drop off lane instead of getting in line with every other parent. I saw parents who were too busy texting on their phones to pay attention and that caused the whole drop off lane to be congested and backed up. Then I had to sit behind idiots who were trying to turn left out of the school instead of turning right LIKE THE BIG SIGN SAYS. Clearly all the eggnog went straight to their brain. 


*Zoey moped around the house like she lost her best friend for the entire day. On a related note- being the sole form of entertainment for a bored 3 year old sucks. I can only play so many hours of snap n’ style dolls before I lose my mind. Also- 3 year old girls talk a lot. 


*This week I have got to wade through the mess in the little kid’s bedroom and organize their toys. It’s scary in there, y’all. I almost killed myself trying to walk through there in the dark last night. Seriously- my life was in peril thanks to a collection of little people guarding a lego castle. It’s time to purge out all the old toys they no longer play with. If you don’t hear from me by next week, send help. I may have been caught in a toy avalanche and am slowly starving to death underneath a pile of stuffed animals and transformers. 


I think we’re all caught up now. 2 weeks condensed into one post. Bam! 


**Sometimes a career change is necessary. Find out how to start HERE





7 Things I Want My Daughters To Know

It’s hard having daughters. Not because they are difficult to raise or hard to understand, but because I know how hard it can be to grow up as a girl. The hormones, the boy troubles, the mean girls….it’s hard to raise girls who will become strong, independent, self-confident women. Years ago I started writing down small thoughts and tidbits to share with my daughters over the years. I’ve already found myself having to sit down and have some heavy talks with Maia, and she’s only 9. I narrowed down my list to the top 7 things I want my daughters to know.






1. Set your standards high and don’t lower them for anyone. You are smart, you are courageous, you are special. You deserve the very best life has to offer but you have to set your standards high to achieve those things. This applies to grades, friends, boys, jobs, and yourself. Always expect the best from yourself.





2. Beauty comes from within. The woman with most the most beautiful face can be the ugliest person you’ve ever met if her heart is filled with hate or anger. Be a kind person. Always offer a smile or a cheerful greeting to others. Keep joy in your heart and beauty will shine on your face.





3. A real man will let you be you. He won’t ask you to change. He won’t put you down or make you feel insignificant. He will celebrate your successes and accept your flaws. He will support your dreams and help you achieve them. Wait for this man, don’t settle.





4. Always take the high road. It’s often tempting to allow yourself to sink to the depths of others but show grace. Hold your head up high and make the choice to rise above. You’ll feel better about yourself in the long run. And karma will take care of the others.





5. Choose your friends wisely. You are judged by the company you keep. It’s easy to succumb to peer pressure so make sure you surround yourself with friends who share your same values. The choices you make when you are young can have consequences that will follow you forever.





6. You are only young once. Don’t be in a hurry to grow up, you can never get your youth back. Take time to try new things, find your passion, learn lessons now instead of later. Don’t follow the crowd, find your own way. Don’t worry about what other people say, embrace your differences and celebrate them. 




7. I will always love you. I will always support you. I may not always agree with the decisions you make but I will never stop loving you. I will always be here for you- for a hug, for a soft place to land, for a listening ear. I will always be here. 




I have so many more but I think these are the most important ones I want to share with my daughters. And then I do my best to lead by example and show them how to be a strong, confident, compassionate woman. 


**Find out how a career change can create satisfaction in your life by reading Matt’s story HERE



Being Intentional In 2014 {Resolutions & Goals}


Last year I made a list of 20 things I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I did pretty good at checking things off my list as I completed them. But I wanted to plan my 2014 a little differently. Honestly making a list of 20 things to do during the year is a lot of pressure in an already full and busy life. You know how I feel about checking things off my lists. Well my goal of creating more peace and harmony in my life is not really supported by a list of 20 things to get done during the year. 

I wanted to focus on the most important things in my life and focus my energy where it matters the most to me- my family, my home, and myself. Gasp, I said myself. I know, totally selfish right? But not really and I’m finally figuring that out. I took a long look at where most of my stress comes from and I can see that I’m the one causing my own stress. I’m over-scheduled, over-committed, and just plain over-tired. It’s my own fault that I feel so stressed out. Which also means that I’m the only one who can fix it. So I will. 

This year I’m not making resolutions or a checklist of things to get done so I can call the year successful when I’m writing my 2015 list of goals. I want to be intentional. In fact, that is going to be my word for the year.


I know it seems to be a big buzz word that gets thrown around by every person in the universe. I tried to think of a different word. I really tried. But I kept coming back to Intentional.

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it” – Henry David Thoreau

That’s the quote that sticks with me. I have it on a post it note sticking to my mirror in the bathroom. I see it every morning and every night. It reminds me to slow down, to think before I commit to something, to decide what is important in my life. It inspires me to be intentional in all things I do. It inspires me to carve out some much needed peace and harmony in my life. Much needed, y’all. The only way to do that is to focus my energy on what matters most. 

Focus on what matters the most.

Family: We plan to take at least 2 real family vacations in 2014 as well as a few smaller weekend trips. We also want to plan more family outings and do more fun things with the kids- like the aquarium that is set to open near us in the Spring, and the safari zoo park, and the big state zoo. We need to make those memories with the kids. I want to take more pictures of our life. I’ve been really bad this year with the camera- most of my pictures are on my iPhone which isn’t necessarily bad but I didn’t take enough of them. I am going to stop pushing the kids to try new activities and let them decide when and if they want to do something new. If they want a semester off from sports and activities I will encourage them take the break. We’re going to work on more quality family time- movie nights, weekly breakfasts on Sunday mornings, weeknight dinners around the table. We’ve been so busy over the last year that we haven’t had enough time to connect as a family. We’re also going to carve out time to do one-on-one dates with each of our kids this year.  

Home: I enjoy being organized. I can’t function at full speed when the house is disorganized and in disarray. It almost feels like my mind is as cluttered as my house sometimes. I want to continue my plan to keep the house uncluttered by donating a bag of items every month and being mindful of what things we bring into the house. I want to keep doing my monthly meal planning and also add some new recipes to the rotation. I would like to finish my redo of the master bathroom so the whole house will be done. The biggest thing we want to accomplish in 2014 is to get out of debt and stay out of debt. We’ve been on the debt roller coaster for years, it’s hard not to be with 5 kids, and we are tired of it. I hate worrying about how much money we owe. We want to focus on teaching our kids good habits for financial responsibility, establishing good credit, and living within your means. Those are super important life lessons that we need to focus more on now that are kids are getting older. Matt has a plan and we should be able to do it which will give us more of a cushion and less stress about paying the bills every month. 

Myself: I mentioned in my 2013 resolutions post that I spent the year learning to accept who I am. So this year is going to focus on being intentional with my time in order to create peace within myself. I’m an introvert. I’m going to stop forcing myself to participate in social things that give me anxiety. I’m going to stop spreading my time thin with activities that I don’t really enjoy. I’m going to start saying no to things that don’t fit in my schedule or my goals. I like being at home and I’m going to stop comparing myself to others who don’t feel the same way. I’m not a social butterfly and it’s time to stop trying to force myself to be one. I want to read more books- even if they are the smutty romance kind. I want to take better care of myself- both the inside and the outside. I’d like to continue doing the elliptical for 20 minutes at least 3-4 times a week. I want to get more sleep and I want to keep working on making my diet healthier. I want to find that perfect hairstyle and actually make time to maintain it. I really want to update my wardrobe- with something other than jeans, yoga pants, and comfy tops. I want to keep blogging but not let it take over my life, even if that means I don’t get 5 new posts up every week. I’ve already cut way back on social media- I’m rarely on twitter anymore because it just became too much of a time suck for me and I deleted my personal Facebook page awhile ago. 

So the word for 2014 is intentional. I will be intentional with my time, with my commitments, and with my family. At the end of the year I want to look back and know that we had the best year possible. 

 What are your goals for the new year?