DIY: Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser

This Mason Jar Foaming Soap Dispenser is quick, easy, and is one more maintenance item made simple.

Anything that makes life more simple is attractive to me right now. As I continue to prepare for Baby Girl No. 2 to make her arrival, I’m tossing more clutter and finding ways to be intentional with my space.

Which brings me to these…


Normally, I would change out the soap with each season. But really, I don’t have time nor the want to keep this up. Above that, the smell of these soaps was unbearable during first trimester and I still get chills up my spine every once in a while. Which brings us to the evergreen, never have to swap, easy mason jar foaming soap dispenser.

soap jar BA

After emptying the old bottles, cut the top off. Be sure to leave a little bit of the bottle sleeve – this will help hold the dispenser in place.

 mason jar plastic rim

Mark the rim of the dispenser on the mason jar metal top insert.


Use a sharp object and hammer to tap out perforated edges.


After complete, use a knife to remove the center. TIP: Wear gloves. The metal is sharp. Once complete, simply slip the foam dispenser insert through and attach the top.

Mason Jar Metal Rim

Fill with your favorite foaming soap and screw on the lid for the finished product. These will be a sweet touch to my kitchen and bathrooms.


DIY: Distressed Painted Furniture

I’m not a fan of making something sound easier than it is, so let’s address this issue first. The skill level required to do this DIY Distressed Dresser is minimal, but the amount of time it’s going to take you is a different story. Can full-time working folks do this in an evening? Nope. You could break it up into sections or save it for the weekend.

I love how the dresser turned out and it was super affordable, but as I mentioned, it did take time.

After reading review after review of people saying they weren’t fans of chalk paint, I decided to stick with the tried and true method of sanding, priming, painting, and more sanding.


Simple Steps:

After removing all the hardware, I used 100 grit sandpaper to rough up this piece. I did not sand it all the way down to the natural wood because I wanted to use the stain color to show through my paint job in the end. I used block sanders for the details and an orbital sander for the sides and top. Once finished, I rubbed it down thoroughly with a tack cloth.


A coat of primer and a coat of Behr’s Ultra White satin left my dresser in good shape. When it was completely dry, I used the 100 grit sandpaper to choose the areas I wanted distressed. I kept my distressing pretty minimal – just edges and corners that would naturally come through. Then I used the 220 grit sandpaper block to smooth things out. At this point, could I have put a clear coat of polyurethane to “protect” it? Sure. But it seemed silly to me that I just painted a piece, intentionally distressed it, and then would take time to protect it so it isn’t further distressed? No thanks. I’ll take it as is!


Definitely a needed facelift and it will fit perfectly in Coberly Nicole’s new room!

Chandelier Makeover DIY

This Chandelier Makeover DIY is for lighting in the Janis Ann project.

Each project we renovate, I try to leave behind some character of the original home. For the Janis Ann project, I knew the dining room chandelier could be something special with a little elbow grease. It’s a quality fixture from Germany that’s outdated due to the brass color and crystals.


IMG_4388 IMG_4392

For this DIY chandelier makeover, I decided to remove all the crystals and change the finish to oil-rubbed bronze. The crystals fell off with a simple snip, snip!



I sprayed a base coat of flat, dark brown – then covered the entire fixture with Rustoleum Metallic Finish Oil Rubbed Bronze.

The design plans for Janis Ann include very muted walls (color as seen in photo below), white kitchen cabinets, and a dark wood floor (not yet installed). The oil rubbed bronze fixture will help balance out all the colors.

The entire project took a total of 1:30 (that’s dry time included). It’ll be a beautiful focal point for the Janis Ann home when all the pieces finally come together!


Pine Cone Christmas Decorations

When I got into some mild form of trouble as a teen that didn’t constitute a full “grounded” sentence, my parents would love to send me out in the yard to go pick up the pine cones. On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, pine trees are plentiful. Add that tidbit, plus the fact that my parents “yard” consisted of an acre of land…this was quite the task.

Our little family traveled from St. Peters, Missouri, back to my parents home on the Mississippi Coast last week for Thanksgiving and one of my “to-do’s” was to pick up pine cones. It’s funny, this time I was pretty excited about my little treasures. Coberly even helped!


Now, what to do with these beauties? My home is in the midst of it’s Christmas decor transition and I’ve got my sights set on a few pine cone craft options to warm up my spaces.

Pine Cone Ornaments from Shanty2 Chic


Pine Cone Candle Jars from Crafts by Amanda


Coke Crate Pine Cones by Organized Clutter

coke crate pine cones

Wooden Box Centerpiece from Fern Creek Cottage

table centerpiece box

Antler and Pine Cone Basket from Savvy Southern Style (thankfully, my hunter can provide the antlers)

antlers and pine cones

I’ll be sure to share the results!

DIY Indoor Planter Pots

“Are you feeling ok?” is the first thing Ryan said to me when he came home and saw that I purchased indoor plants. In my quest to be more intentional in my home, one of my self-imposed tasks was to bring green inside. This would be the first time I tried to keep a plant alive in ten years – because I’ve always said, “It’s not my thing.”

So I’m starting small. Did a quick google search for indoor plants that were hard to kill and found “The 15 easiest indoor house plants that won’t die on you.” Went to Ann’s Garden and Greenhouse and found a $3.00 Jade Plant…seemed like a budget appropriate risk. On my way out, I picked up this little fern guy too.

jade and fern

I turned an old candle into a pot for the jade.

jade planter

jade planter 2

And come to find out, Ryan collected a number of planter pots at the new project house. A little bit of paint and tape spruced up an old planter pot into something that will breathe some life into my office.

chalkboard planter


I also wanted an herb in my kitchen. I love cooking with Rosemary and Walmart had them right there in the produce section. Again, a $3.00 risk worth taking. Found this tin at an antique store – and it fits perfect in my kitchen window.


A few little projects that make a huge difference. Now just to keep them alive.

Picking Paint Color, Tile, & Countertops

Walking into a new project that we’ve gutted always allows me to see the space with fresh eyes. My favorite place to start rebuilding is the kitchen. At the Sturm house, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we all touch base after we’ve finished a long day. The concoctions can warm cold skin, fill hungry bellies and fix a lot of life’s problems. I want homebuyers to be able to see themselves doing similar things in this space.

It’s always tricky with rehabs because I do not know my buyer. We walk a fine line of remaining neutral while still incorporating special touches that conjure up warm feelings of home.

For the Janis Ann Gem, we knocked out the wall separating living/dining area to the kitchen. It immediately opened the space and allows the rooms to breathe.


During my design process I scour magazines, Pinterest, and take countless trips to Home Depot. I need to make the most of this space on a budget and that always takes work. The first decision was easy – hardwood floors throughout. We haven’t found the product yet, but we know this is a must.

For paint color, I fell in love with this one:

silver strandSherwin Williams Silver Strand SW 7057

The front windows bring in light changes that keep the color versatile. In the morning it’s a cool gray, but by the afternoon, it’s warmed up to show it’s brown undertones.

I love these cabinets, but not the color. We’re going to lighten the whole room up with a simple paint job. This color isn’t stark white, but nice and clean:

IMG_4129white dove
Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17

After going back and forth on backsplash, I’ve decided to go with the white subway tile. The space needs to remain as open and airy as possible.

I’m still on the hunt for the countertops. I love these options:

countertop3 countertop2 countertop1

Plus, we’re installing a beautiful island with a wooden top that will balance the whole kitchen out More updates to come as we make improvements.