Home Improvements

If you asked me what my blog was about I would say motherhood, family, crafts, homemaking, faith, natural living, frugality etc.

Keeping that in mind what do you think my all time most popular post is?

A Very Veggie Birthday?

Heart Art?

Oh Be Careful Little Mamas What You Pin?

Nope. Nothing about crafts or motherhood. Those are some of the runner ups, but the Messy Mom Blog post with the most views (by a landslide) is…

How We Put Hardwood Over Carpet

Yes. Hundreds of people come to this site everyday not to see cute pics of my kids or find out tips for natural birth. They have come to read about home improvement. The How to Install Hardwood Over Carpet does not only hold the record for all time hits, but on any given day it is usually the most viewed post even when I have something new that is somewhat of a hit.

I am not bitter about this at all, but I am a little jealous of my husband who I hope starts his own blog someday when he has time. Because even though I wrote that post, it’s really all him.


He is the mastermind behind it and not only do people want to know more about our flooring projects they want to know where or how to make the furniture that he comes up with! Like the coffee table that can slide under the entertainment center.


My Lots of Hope in a Little Home is definitely the most successful series I have ever published and a lot of it also has to do with J’s genius. He has a knack when it comes to taking something that looks kind of hopeless and turning into greatness. It’s okay for me to brag on the hubs for a bit right?

J has renovated a house, a coffee shop, an apartment (which were all temporary upgrades since it’s a rental. More on that later), and now he is working on getting us settled into another rental property. In order to get geared up for this next big undertaking I want to take some time to look back at some of the work he’s done and also reveal some of the outcomes of those home improvement projects. I know I am not a remodel blog, nor do I want to be, but it’s been a big part of our marriage up to this point and I do love to save money by reusing, reinventing, repurposing, and remodeling. So that’s what I plan to write about this week. I’ll be picking J’s brain and diving deeper into some of the messy details of just a few of our greatest Home Improvement projects. Stay tuned.


By | July 27th, 2015|Frugal Living, My Life, Projects, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Gender Reveal Video Announcement

I don’t usually post on Saturday nights, but I can’t wait a second longer to share the news! Watch the video until the end for the big announcement.


By | July 18th, 2015|Creativity, Pregnancy & Birth|10 Comments

Behind the Scenes of the New Messy Mom Video



Baby Face


Baby Hand

Last week I had my 20 week ultrasound. Everything went great. The baby is healthy. I’m right on track with measurements. The kids enjoyed seeing the baby on the monitor and yes, we did find out the gender.

I texted my brother from the doctor’s office to announce the news and tell him I had a gender reveal video that I wanted to try to put together as soon as possible. He was on board and days later he and my sister in law came out to turn my idea into reality.

Some of you may remember last time we did this (back in March).

That video was obviously scripted whereas this next one (which I have not seen any of yet), is totally just documenting the moment.

I can’t share too much because I don’t want to blow the secret, but we used paint to make the announcement.



This was the first drawing on my story board. Don’t critique it! It’s just a really quick sketch to get the idea across and that’s just about all I can show you other than this photo of set up


and the two paint cans


and here we are getting ready for some fun.


I can’t wait to share our news with everyone!!! It is an honor to have my brother help out with this project. He has a busy schedule and he literally travels the world shooting films and commercials. Yet, he and his wife jump in with both feet to make a short film for their new nephew… or niece. Ha! Just kidding. I’m not telling.


That’s my brother in the orange jacket on set in Iceland. Photo Credit: Paper Lantern Productions 



Here he is wearing some kind of gear that I don’t know the name of. Photo Credit: Drive Media House


Subscribe to my youtube channel so that you know exactly when we release the video. The big reveal is just days away!

By | July 17th, 2015|Creativity, Pregnancy & Birth|2 Comments

The Lego Americana Roadshow

The one good thing about my computer malfunctioning was that when I brought it in to the Apple store at the Kenwood Mall I happened upon The Lego® Americana Roadshow- Building Across America.


I brought my kids back to experience it today.

Z LOVES History and LEGO® so this would be perfect for him! Here is a photo he made me take of his latest creation. IMG_7627

I have hundreds of these photos because he always wants his buildings and designs documented. Like most kids, Z just LOVES building. Unfortunately he is away at camp this week so he didn’t get to go with us, but the younger two still really enjoyed the event. Even J and I loved it. You don’t have to be a kid to like LEGO® right? I know “the box says it’s for ages 8-14” but “That’s just a suggestion. They have to put that one there”. That’s a LEGO Movie quote for those that haven’t seen it and if not, I suggest you do.

As far as a really brief overview of what to expect from the exhibit, there are several different historical USA landmark structures on display throughout the mall made completely out of LEGO® bricks.






There is a huge White House, the Statue of Liberty, the Old North Church was really pretty, and we especially loved the Lincoln Memorial because there was even a LEGO® Abraham Lincoln  statue inside, just like in real life.

Throughout the mall you can easily pick up a map that shows where all of the displays are and there is a question and answer section on the back that can be completed and returned at the LEGO® store for a LEGO® American Roadshow poster.

Pretty cool and very educational.

On top of that there is a hands on activity center by the food court.


Children are encouraged to build with LEGO® toys and even race their own LEGO® car creations on a derby track.


Everyone there was having such a great time and the staff were really friendly and helpful too.


I am not getting paid to say any of this I promise. This is just a little tidbit of info from one LEGO® mom to another because it’s such a great opportunity for some FREE summer fun that also encourages creativity and learning about our nation at the same time.

The LEGO® Americana RoadShow that we visited was at the Kenwood Towne Centre Mall in Cincinnati Ohio. It will only be there through this Sunday, July 19th though. Then they’re off to the next stop which is Hoover Alabama. All of the details for their schedule can be found at LEGO.com

I’m telling you, if you have a chance to go and you are lucky enough for one of the stops to be in your area then you should definitely take advantage of that. From what I understand it’s something new that they are still developing. Let’s show LEGO® how much we love community events like this and maybe they’ll add more locations to future tours!

Check out their Facebook page for more information.

I know Everything is Awesome, but The LEGO Americana Roadshow is really REALLY awesome.

By | July 15th, 2015|Creativity, Family, Frugal Living|2 Comments

Paper Plate Cow Masks



My family LOVES Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation day. I can never remember to dress my children in green on St. Patrick’s Day, but not a summer goes by that we don’t participate in a holiday made up by a fast food chain that allows you to get free food!

Whether you are looking for an easy way to get a free meal on July 14th, or you have a school play to dress up for, or maybe you are just looking for a fun craft, these DIY paper plate masks are so simple. You may have all of the supplies on hand, if not they are cheap and easy to find.



Supply List

Paper Plate

One sheet of pink, black, and tan/brown construction paper


Hole punch (or just use scissors or something sharp)

Black marker

Glue/and or tape

String (preferable elastic)


First cut out a 5 inch triangular shape out of the plate for the mouth. It will be close to a fourth of the plate.

plate cut


Next cut an oval out of the pink paper to be used for the nose. It will be slightly smaller than the widest part of the mouth. About 4 inches. Then draw two ovals for the nostrils.


You will also fold the tan paper in half to cut out two identical horns about 3 inches long. Then some ears made of black paper that is a pointy oval shape, along with the same shape in pink that is about an inch smaller.


Cut holes for the eyes (put the mask on to pencil in the approximate width) and punch holes for the string.


Lastly, glue or tape all the parts into place and tie your string into the holes.

Now you are ready for the fun to begin!
supe cow

Enjoy your new mask!

By | July 7th, 2015|Crafts, Frugal Living|9 Comments

Free Donuts!?

I have been working hard to cut back sugar for our family this year. Each month another sweet treat is eliminated from the menu in our home and will no longer be restocked, but one thing I don’t think I will ever make completely off limits is donuts.

Did you know that National Donut Day is TOMORROW!? I didn’t, but it turns out it’s a thing.



 Be sure to stop by your local Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’ Donuts to get a free donut Friday June 5th!

I know that Dunkin’ Donuts will require a drink purchase, but they have excellent coffee. I will be ordering my favorite, which is the cool and sweet Iced Caramel Latte with Whipped cream.


There is a party in my tummy. So yummy. So yummy…

 Speaking of parties, a lot of the party ideas that we implemented SJ’s 4th birthday would be perfect for donut day or a variety of occasions.


Check out the party post HERE to see how my DIY donut invitations, donut hole fruit kabobs, and donut piñata turned out.


You can also head over to my donut party pinterest board for even Donut fun like:

Donuts for elves (they are actually cheerios). So cute!


Or stamping colorful thumbprints for donut sprinkles.


“If You Give a Dog a Donut”  might be fun reading material for your kids this weekend.


There are so many possibilities! I realize we have a health epidimec in our society so maybe I shouldn’t be promoting a day that celebrates what is possibly the least nutritious snack of all time disguised as a breakfast food. But there are actually a lot of alternative recipes out there for vegan, gluten free, paleo, and keto donuts. Because regardless of your dietary needs I think every one deserves something sweet from time to time, “donut you think? “

Do you have a favorite donut?

By | June 4th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Frugal Living, Parties|5 Comments

Paper Bag Masks

I don’t know about where you live, but it’s been cold and wet here. J brought home some paper bags not that long ago that he thought the kids could make masks out of. It was snowy at the time that we did this activity, but it occurred to me that’s also perfect for rainy indoor fun year round.

You’ve probably seen this craft before, or maybe remember it from your childhood. It’s not the latest thing, but it was new to the kids and they had a blast!

We decorated brown grocery store bags with paint (and some stick on circles that we had on hand) and cut out spaces for the eyes and shoulders. It’s a little bit messy if you decide to use paint, but it really couldn’t be any simpler.

My over achieving seven year old wowed us when he decided to cut the circles I gave him for eyes and turn them into ears for his tiger creation.


The other two kids were a little more uh… eccentric with their techniques.



In fact they were so heavy handed with the paint we ended up blowing drying the bags so that they could wear them that night.


Z eventually finished up (both front and back) using a mixed media approach.

When I posted these on Facebook I had someone ask where we found plain paper bags. Of course you can get paper bags anywhere, but they often have print on both sides. In this case we went to Meijer (a midwestern grocery store). I’m sure you can find them other places too though if you are on the look out.


You can see the snow on the porch!Next time we do this project I will definitely be more strategic with where I put the eye holes. The poor things were peaking out of one side the whole time.

Z’s turned out so great. He did it all on his own too.


The cool thing is it isn’t just one time use. The bags fold up for easy storage and then you can pull them out for endless fun whenever you want!
Hooray for paper bags!
By | April 24th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity|6 Comments

Messy Mom Movie

What an adventurous day Saturday was!
For those that haven’t been bombarded by all of my announcements online, I’ll fill you in. I am working on relaunching my website and over the weekend I did a professional video shoot for what will be the “Messy Mom Welcome Video”.
The Story Board
The set location was in my brother’s basement. He has a recording/video studio which was staged to look like a living room.
There was whole team of people helping out from art director to stylist and more.



Truth be told it was just friends and family, but having titles makes it feel more legit.
We did take after take. I think it was 6 scenes total. All three of my kids were involved too, so it was exhausting.
Well worth it though.
There is one final scene that we decided reshoot later, but it’s just Ezie. So he and I will be going back to my brother’s studio tomorrow for that.
It’s not easy being a celebrity! Just joking of course, but I have always loved acting and have dreamed of being a part of a live studio audience or an extra in a movie, and this felt pretty close.
The big premiere day is scheduled for May 9th which is this MOTHER’S DAY!!!
I have so many exciting things planned for that week. It’s going to be like a big ol’ carnival here on the blog… or maybe a circus… or worst case scenario a poorly planned frat party. Things are happening though, that much I know for sure and YOU get to be in on it all from ground zero.
I did want to give a little heads up that there is A LOT that goes into moving 7 years of content to a new home. So things are going to start to slow down a little bit here for the next month as I get ready for all of this. I’ll still be around, but I just wanted to mention that I might be posting less frequently for now.
That’s the latest update. I hope everyone had a beautiful Easter Sunday. It looks like the spring weather is finally here! God bless.


By | April 6th, 2015|Creativity, My Life|7 Comments

My Little Girl’s Birthday Parties

SJ’s birthday is two weeks away and I am in full blown party mode. When I get going with party planning you have to use the emergency brakes just to get me to stop talking about cake and decorations.

 The theme this year is Tea Party. There maybe a sneak peak coming soon to share a little bit of what I am dreaming up, but until then let’s look back at some of SJ’s other parties.

I never would have thought of myself as “That Mom“. The big pinterest party type. But for the record, half of my children’s theme parties where pinned onto pinterest long before I had an account or even knew it existed. I just enjoy celebrating and creating, so birthday parties allow me to do both.

SJ’s first birthday was a cupcake theme

You have to visit the link to get the full effect with some close up photos, but thanks to my BFF who is a professional baker we had 70 GORGEOUS cupcakes that tasted insanely delicious. I want to recreate this for my birthday! Anyway, when I was pregnant with SJ we had announced to the entire church that we were having a girl by bringing pink cupcakes to a fellowship dinner. So that is what inspired this party.

The following year I was all pinked out, so I went a completely opposite direction with this Green Eggs and Ham party.

 This is my second most popular party on the pinterest circuit.  Again, you have to see the original post, but there are so many fun tiny details like green deviled eggs and green beverages. It was such an awesome party.

Then last year we went with a donut theme. I don’t know why all the themes are food related, but HEY it works. 

Click the link to see the incredible brunch spread with donut hole fruit kabobs, and a SJ’s adorable donut invitations. SJ’s offscreen name is Sedona and when she was just a tiny baby her two year old brother thought her name was donut. Sometimes we still call her our little donut so that is where the inspiration for her 4th birthday party came from.

Besides each party being food related there was also a bit of a book theme.

For the 1st birthday we gave her “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” 

Then her 2nd birthday the book was “Green Eggs and Ham” of course.

 And lastly the 4th party was “If You Give a Dog a Donut” 

So this year I need to find a Tea Party Children’s Book. Let me know if you have any suggestions. I am so excited for the whimsical tea party that is just around the corner. It’s going to be in our teeny tiny apartment this year so that will be a challenge, but I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve. I think SJ and her guests will be delighted!

By | February 22nd, 2015|Parties, Uncategorized|13 Comments

Ice Cube Treasure Hunt

I was right! Yesterday school was cancelled and today too. What is one to do with all that snow and time off? How about a Treasure Hunt?

I just happened to be scrolling through my Facebook early in the morning, before the kids woke up and a friend posted a picture of some ice cube trays full of colorful ice and said she was going to hide them in the snow for a little scavenger hunt.

 I immediately fell in love with the idea and already had the necessary supplies on hand

Ice cube trays
Food coloring
A snowy area

So I filled our Ikea ice cube trays with water and added food coloring to each one.

Then I put them in the freezer for four hours.

I was going to hide them in the snow, but that ended up not being necessary. I just picked out a living room size area in the ground and tossed the ice cubes up in the air, letting them land where they may.

The only problem was, we had 6 inches of snow and each ice cube sank like a rock being swallowed up into the white abyss. This heart shaped one was one of the only one I could take a photo of because the rest were completely invisible. 

It still worked out though. My little excavators immediately went to work looking for the rainbow treasure.

I helped point them in the right direction and showed them how to look by kicking through the snow and stopping when they spotted bright colors.

The challenge level with this amount of snow would probably be great for a youth group or even adults! Even though it was tricky for my group, and we only ended up collecting about half of the ones I made, the kids still really enjoy the whole experience.

They got so excited each time they discovered another fish, star or heart. The great thing about the whole idea of using ice is that the ones we couldn’t find are just going to melt away or maybe be a fun discovery for one of our dog walking neighbors.

If your kids are some of the thousands throughout the country experiencing back-to-back-to-back snow days then you may want to consider this fun little outdoor activity. It’s so easy, I threw it together without any preplanning at all! I will admit that next time I’ll ease up on the food coloring. I just used way too much and it got pretty messy. It washes off though, so it’s no big deal, but next time one drop will do.

All in all this was a perfect outdoor snow day activity that is fun for any age level. We’ll definitely do this one again some time.

Now time to warm up with some toasty hot chocolate and a hot bath! 
By | February 19th, 2015|Crafts, Creativity, Uncategorized|6 Comments