...because home doesn't happen overnight.


Congrats to Devon! Her hubby is a computer engineer so she is free to know nothing about computers. Jealous!

Every year for Father’s Day I clean something of HH’s that he normally doesn’t clean and thus is quite disgusting. Usually, it’s the inside of his why-won’t-you-die 15-year-old truck. This year it was his grill. You see, HH appreciates clean things but he’s not really into the actual cleaning part. That’s okay. I kind of like cleaning and HH likes my cleaning. So, there you go. And they lived happily ever after.


At our house, the grill is man territory. When the grill is on, men flock to it like moths to a flame. With beer in hand. When you ask “how much longer?” the response is “one more beer.” I’m ashamed to say this but I don’t even know how to use our grill. I’m pretty sure it’s easy. I mean, I can hold a spatula in one hand and a beer in another. But, yeah, I’ve never used the grill myself.


The poor grill. The before pictures make it look better than it was. The grill itself isn’t that old but we haven’t taken very good care of it. It’s lived in the dirty garage and, most recently, outdoors – uncovered. The grease catcher thingy {I told you I don’t know grills} had never been emptied. Yuck. To tell you the truth, I’m slightly appalled knowing we ate food off of this grimy apparatus. Solidified grease was everywhere. Ashes were everywhere. Dirt and leaves, too. It was time to do something.


I removed everything I could – the grates, the burner protectors, the grease catcher thingy.


I threw the loose parts in the yard and filled a plastic storage bin with hot, soapy water. Then I soaked the grease ridden pieces and scrubbed them with a wire brush. The bin worked great because it was large enough to submerse the grates in. Oh, and I unintentionally found a short cut for degreasing…the hot, hot sun helped liquify the grease. I was able to pour grease out of the grease catcher thingy before soaking it. Bonus.

I rinsed everything with the hose then let it dry in the sun while I turned my attention to the grill. It was at this point in time, that I suffered three bee stings. THREE!

Hear me out, bees. So there’s this rumor going around that we humans could get rid of you permanently if we wanted. I consider myself a bee lover. I’m not afraid of bees. I like honey. I appreciate all the work you do for flowers and crops. I don’t spray insecticides or whatever it is that kills you. I don’t swat at your kind just because you have the potential to sting me. I leave you alone. So, why sting me? Is your judgment of character that bad? Or is every human your enemy now? Maybe stinging humans at random isn’t a wise choice with possible extinction looming on your horizon. Just sayin.’


I hosed the grill off but, as you can see, it didn’t do much. I grabbed some Mr. Clean Outdoor Pro and several microfiber cloths and got to work. I tell ya, the bald guy really knows how to cut through grease and grime.


Within minutes, the grill was looking like something men should be flocking to.


And I was starting to think I could eat food off of it again.


I couldn’t rightfully put such a shiny specimen on a dirty patio. Nooooo. I just had to go one step further and unload the grilling patio of deck scraps {we’re getting so close to having a deck!} and hose it down too. Then I was done.

Next year, I’m thinking grill cover for Father’s Day.

But, wait!, I know. This is the longest giveaway post EVER. You are right. For following along this far, you get a chance to win a Summer Done Bright prize package, courtesy of Proctor & Gamble. See entry details below.

PRIZE: one Summer Done Bright prize package {$100 Lowe’s gift card + a slew of Proctor & Gamble products}

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a U.S. shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} to enter. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “P&G ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before 9:00 p.m. EST Sunday, June 23rd. One random winner will be announced Monday, June 24th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: Since we’re dishing dirty secrets…name something you don’t know how to use. A tool? Sewing machine? DSLR camera? Stick shift? Toothbrush? I hope it’s not a toothbrush. I already told you I don’t know how to use the grill. I also have issues with Apple TV. The TV is in cahoots with our computer? I don’t get it.

This post brought to you by Proctor & Gamble. Don’t forget to grab your favorite P&G products at Lowe’s and get your summer done bright.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking


Bedroom progress is still under way but let’s talk about my bed, shall we? Seeing as how there were a bunch of questions about it on the recent update post.


The bed itself is West Elm’s chunky wood bed frame {no longer available} in queen. When HH and I first got married we bought a cheap metal four poster bed from JCPenney. It was white and had intricate swirly designs that we soon realized weren’t our style. at. all. As you do when you’re 24 and making mistakes in your first house. We lived with the bed for 7+ years. A few years back, it was time to upgrade our mattress and we decided to shop for a bed frame that better suited our taste. We fell in love with this chunky platform frame and never looked back. We use a low profile 5″ box spring to give it a little more height and support but it isn’t necessary. We love this bed frame. It has been with us in two houses and one apartment now and has held up really well. I don’t know that we’ll ever buy another bed.


In our previous home, we crafted a reclaimed wood headboard from old fence boards. Within weeks, that headboard was plastered all over the internet and it’s weird to see it pop up on pinterest from time to time when I’m browsing. Some say it even sparked the reclaimed wood headboard trend. The headboard held a lot of meaning for us but it wasn’t quite wide enough for our queen bed and it wasn’t all that comfortable to lean back on for nighttime reading. Last summer it was auctioned off {along with a slew of other decor-related items} to help raise money for cancer treatment for a friend from high school.

Before we moved into our current home, I snatched up a curvy leather headboard for cheap from Ballard Designs outlet in West Chester, Ohio. It was a lovely headboard but once it was in place under the bedroom window, it was clear that it didn’t belong in the space. We needed something with cleaner lines. I was happy to discover that West Elm still offered headboards compatible with our chunky bed frame. I chose the nailhead upholstered headboard in brushed heather cotton, grey haze. It wasn’t cheap but if I’ve learned anything over the last 10+ years it’s that having a cozy, cushy spot to rest your head at night really does make you happier. {If you’re up for it – clearly, I wasn’t – upholstered headboards are totally DIYable as a less expensive option.} The headboard attaches directly to our bed frame so there’s no wobbling. It’s very sturdy and the brushed cotton has a luxe, soft feel. The nailhead trim is a classic touch. I don’t know that we’ll ever buy another headboard.


With our forever bed in place, it was time to consider bedding. For the past 5 years, we’ve had an inexpensive white IKEA duvet on our bed. It wasn’t bad; it wasn’t great. I’ve always been a fan of Dwell Studio bedding. When I came across the ash draper stripe duvet, I thought the horizontal stripes would help our narrow bedroom look wider. And if not, well, I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like.

HH and I are smitten with the duvet set. It’s a high quality brushed cotton that looks and feels better and better with each washing – sort of like good linen. The duvet holds our down comforter snugly which is something the IKEA duvet didn’t do. With our old duvet, the comforter was constantly shifting and bunching. The buttoned opening is concealed under the saffron border so there aren’t any gaping holes in plain sight. Speaking of the saffron border, the product pics online portray it as more citron than saffron but it’s definitely saffron / gold in person. I didn’t edit any of the images in this post so you can see the true colors. The stripes are heathered brown / taupe and ivory.


We use our same white sheets we’ve always had but I sandwiched an organic blanket between the top sheet and duvet. On mild nights, I fold the duvet up at the foot of the bed and we just use the blanket and sheet to sleep. This knit blanket is awesome. {Yes, it’s Threshold and, no, this isn’t a plug for Threshold. I really do buy their stuff!} Like the duvet, it gets softer every time I wash it. For the quality, I expected a higher price but it was only $40.


Do you recognize the throw pillow from last week’s etsy crush? It’s hemp with vintage embroidery. It has a great nubby texture but isn’t scratchy or coarse.


Apparently, the embroidered detail was part of a tribal skirt from North Vietnam. I love that it adds subtle pattern, color and texture to the bedding but doesn’t “match.”  The black lines pick up on the slate windowsills and ribbon detail of the ceiling light.


I have to say that after 10+ years of not giving our bedroom the same attention as the rest of the house {until recently, our bedroom was mostly made up of displaced furniture & cheap decor}, it literally feels good to have a respectable place to retreat to at the end of the day. After the kids are in bed, we find ourselves running to our bedroom to read and talk and HH and I have both noticed improved sleep since sprucing up our room. It doesn’t seem to matter that there are minor details left to tackle. It’s becoming one of our favorite rooms in the house.

I think in the past we neglected or took the cheap way out on our bedroom because it wasn’t a space that others saw as prominently as, say, our living room or kitchen. What we’re learning is that a room’s worth shouldn’t be based on how many visitors see it. {Um, we don’t have a lot of bedroom visitors.} Instead, a room that we spend a third of our day in – even if the majority of that time is spent sleeping – is totally worthy of decorating. We are worthy of a nice bedroom. How have we missed this over the last decade?! Oh, right, “the kids” excuse. No more excuses!

Thanks to Wayfair for supporting my habit.

Click to see who won last week’s MADHOUSE giveaway.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking