DIY Fireplace Re-Do

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I have a unique sense of style. I march to the beat of my own drum, and could care less about someone else’s opinion about it lol. I’m a creative person and I love to switch things up according to whatever mood I’m feeling at the moment. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, my need for frequent change gets Terrence to huffing and puffing on the regular.

My latest idea was to re-do our fireplace in the downstairs living room. We’ve owned our home for 5 years and it’s been a constant eye sore for me. One day I woke up with the idea to freshen it up. Surprisingly, Terrence didn’t need much convincing! My down stairs living space doubles as my office and the old fireplace didn’t mesh well with my office decor AT ALL….

I hopped on Pinterest for some inspiration and found some amazing ideas. While the inner eccentric in me wanted to go a little on the wilder side, I had to be reeled in with the home re-sale talk. We compromised on a look that was clean, textured and aesthetically pleasingly to the both of us.

I found some beautiful stone at one of my favorite places in the world, Lowes! I could shop there every day, I love to wood smell that welcomes you into the store. The stone that frames the fireplace it self is limestone. It has a subtle sparkle to it (Duh!) had to throw that in there. And the lower tiles are Carrara Marble. Just like paint color, picking out tile is difficult. Confession…I was watching an episode of Property Brothers not too long ago on HGTV and the female home owner kept raving about how she HAD to have Carrara Marble in her kitchen. She was super stylish might I add. This is what helped me land my decision on the Carrara lol. Easy peasy….

I really love how it turned out! I’ve had a few friends over since we completed it and they think it’s quite a show piece. We are in the process redecorating the mantle as well so I will update this post once we have it complete. We spent less than $200 on the materials and it took us a weekend to complete.

My yearly Do-Over

Every year I grow. I develop in so many ways and because of this I think it’s important to revamp my entire life. My relationships, my finances, my business, me! This year I started a website. I want to share everything that I love from my family, to my skin care business, to my travels, fashion and food. I want to capture those most important moments and things that make me, me.

I’ve been working really hard on my latest project and while I had hoped to launch it at the beginning year, life doesn’t always go as planned. I wanted to take my time with it, make it feel authentic and not rushed. Really pour my time and energy in developing some good content on my blog, and most importantly thinking of ways I can pay it forward to others. Since my project hasn’t launched yet, I won’t give away too much of its content, but my featured image on this post is a clear indicator that it’s going to be something fierce!

Are you a small business owner who would like to be featured. Shoot me as message and I will check your business out! I’m all about paying it forward and helping a fellow entrepreneur. Shoot your deets to: upsideof30@gmail.com

My official launch date is February 28th because that day holds significance to me. I will share on launch day why. Be on the look out and I hope you enjoy what I have in store for you!

 

Xoxo,

 

Ruthie

 

 

The Lyons’ Go Smart

Don’t you just hate to see your electric and gas bill come through the mail? Especially during the winter months. I tend to run cold so the heat is usually cranked, but Terrence on the other hand likes it a little cooler and would rather layer up. We have a pretty nice fireplace downstairs that is gas, but that is a sure-fire way to jack up your bill if you run it regularly during cold season. We have been thinking on ways to bring our electric/gas bills down without breaking the bank or compromising our comfort. We finally agreed on something.

We decided to install a 3rd generation Nest thermostat system for our upstairs unit. We actually grabbed a deal on it because it was refurnished and spent $130.00 on it. It’s actually really neat, and I have to admit I’ve been too hot or too cold since we installed it. It has an app you install to your phone and set your preferences. You tell it what time to switch temperatures and it does it automatically. You can set it to an away temperature as well as adjust it while you’re away from home, all with a touch of a button.

The Nest provides a month read out of how much you’re saving on your electric/gas bill and the total time you’ve run your unit over the course of the month. Right now, we only have the Nest installed for the upstairs unit, but plan to buy one for downstairs soon. What we are doing is we set our downstairs unit to a little cooler than upstairs so we have cut back on that unit as well.

We even took this whole SMART thing a step further and purchased an Amazon Echo Dot. Alexa is linked up to our Nest as well and responds to commands such as, “Alexa, set thermostat to 70 degrees.” She responds with , “Ok” and the temperature is set. She’s such a great addition to the family. She can even play games with you when you’re bored.echo-dot

Besides the Nest and Amazon Echo Dot, we also purchased some Phillips Hues SMART lighting. We have 4 total bulbs but just ordered a few more (they aren’t cheap but we shop around for deals. Check out Groupon.) Alexa also controls the lighting with these bulbs. We also have a light strip being installed for under the cabinet lighting in the kitchen. I think these lights are my favorite! I love saying, “Alexa, turn bedroom lights to 100%.” She responds, “Ok.” and our lights cut on. There are several lighting choices you can pick depending on what mood you’re in. Terrence is terrible about leaving lights on heading out the door for work, and now this is ok. We can cut them off and on from our phones as well. If you’re looking to purchase Phillips HUE you have to purchase a starter kit which can run upwards of $200+. Groupon has a deal running where you can snag it for $94!! Here’s the link: Phillips Hue Starter Kit/Groupon Dealhue

We always look for functionality when we decide to invest in anything and these little gadgets have made life a little easier. We look forward to adding more SMART devices to out home in the future. Now to find one that can fold laundry for you….

Here is where you can purchase these SMART devices:

Amazon Echo Dot

Phillips HUE Lights

NEST (check Best Buy for Refurb devices as well)