Guys, this is a thing. At least it has been at our house for over a year.

TODAY is shark shirt Friday.

We want you to be a part of it with us.

Every Friday is Shark Shirt Friday, now that you know, you can be ready for next week. For real.

Sometimes it includes shark shorts, shark socks, and shark helmets. Tyler has a co-worker that even has a shark button she made. It's cool. Ty has his eye on a shark hoodie next.


I'm not a big candle person, even though the leaves have started to fall off the trees and people are dawning sweaters and chunky knit scarfs, it's not really my thing. Every once in a while it can be fun. Maybe I just haven't experimented enough (quite possible) but then with an 8-year-old in the house, the candle would be lit and blown out approximately 30 times a day. Fire is fun. Neither of these is very good reasons though, I know. We'll see what this fall weather brings out this time might be candles. 

Even better though, is when your sister loves candles, has cleaned out the jars, and has so many that she's giving them away! Yes, please. I had the perfect place for these simple pretties. 


School has started people. This is exciting. I'm looking forward to getting some projects finished (or started). Right now I'm hanging around the house all day with my 3-year-old we're partying.  

It was an amazing summer, capped by a trip to Mexico with just my husband. It was the first ever trip we've taken without the kids; we'd never even left them for the weekend. Happy 10 years to an amazing man! (and I'm ready to go back)

Really though, let's move on to the current project. 

Toddlers, dvd's, and electronic equipment do not mix. Can I get an AMEN to that!? When we first moved into our house and made the trek to IKEA, we came home with the Hemnes TV Unit. One problem, all the openings on the thing would expose the buttons, gaming systems, etc to sneaky little fingers. The drawers were easy to open and I just knew the dvd's would be spread throughout the house. I was not going to be okay with this. 

Enter these amazing hinges. (Thank you home depot for another good thing - no this is not sponsored, but they should with how much money we spend there!). 

I have no idea what these were called, but they did the job perfectly. 

We cut boards to fit the top three openings of the unit, attached these hinges, removed the knobs from the lower drawers, and we were baby-proofed. 

The hinges "snap" gently closed. When a toddler hand did get smashed, there were never any tears. With the tightness of the hinges, they take a little pulling to open. These are perfect to deter small kids.

You'll notice that the top 3 boards we added did not go to the side edges. It was a perfect mistake. Without any hardware on the fronts, you can slip your fingers in the sides and pull the face down to access.

For the drawers, you can reach under and push out the bottom front edge of the drawer, being able to open it for those dexterous enough to pull off the move.

You'll also notice the small pieces of wood with halved chair pads on them. They look totally cool, I know. When we put the fronts on, the hinges were so awesome that they made the front covers actually tilt inward. We wanted them to stay straight. Adding the wood gave us that and the pads made for a quiet close.

This is the before picture. The all-wood unit came in a white washed color. You could still see the wood grain under it if you were close. Ever since I added the fronts though, it's been two-toned. I've waited 3 years to give it an all-over paint job and new hardware. It was worth the wait because I totally avoided the dvd floor party with a toddler. This was a quick project and I'm glad I was able to rig it to be done right in the living room.


Ooooh boy. I'm excited. 

There has been quite the lack of our upstairs rooms here on Pretty Dubs, but that's about to change. The kid bedrooms have been "in transition" (meaning I really wasn't sure and didn't have a plan) for a while now. But as you see here, we've been moving forward with "project organize" this summer. On the list were both kid bedrooms. 

Stay tuned for the real reveal. In the meantime, enjoy your room...whether it's in transition or not, I hope you find comfort and peace in your space. 


Ok guys, this is a fun one! Have you heard of a garage sale scavenger hunt? This is the perfect activity for kids and adults to do together. It's fun to plan the groups so people get to be with a mix of different people. We've only done this as a family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins) but it would be a ton of fun to do with friends as well. This year marked the 2nd time we'd done this and there were definitely some trip highlight moments this time (ah-umm...a chicken).

There is plenty of summer garage sale-ing left, so hurry and plan this one!

(framed artwork find)

The Date: pick a Saturday morning. You'll meet in one location, receive your team assignments, and depart. We set a 2 hour time: meet at 8am, get back by 10:30am. (Pick someone or a group of people to assign the teams beforehand). We made sure to keep the kid to adult ration as equal as possible. 

The Tools: you can hand out printed newspapers, scour craigslist (ahead of time and write down places), use your phone and gps, or drive neighborhoods looking for garage sale signs


My Mom has talent.

She's a giver, a learner, and always pushes herself to do and know more. I talked about her in my 80/20 home cleaning rules and in my facial hair removal strategy.

My Mom engrained in my siblings and me the importance of education and as of the end of this year, all of us and spouses will have at least our Bachelor's degree. And currently, my mom has gone back to school and is working towards that herself!

One of the things my Mom loves to do is pottery and painting. She's really talented and when she has time between school and work, she does some beautiful work.

Today I'm showcasing her stuff.

When I visited Montana on our summer vacation a week ago I took the opportunity to photograph some of her pottery and a picture she's painted. I think it's so cool that I have bowls that my mom made - food and dishwasher safe too! You'll have to watch on Carrot Bowl for their appearance.

I'm going to let her pieces speak for themselves.


In between cooking and cleaning, taking care of the house, and spending quality time with the family, I sometimes squeeze in some reading.

When I'm in the grocery line, I can't help but grab the latest Women's Health magazine. Thanks to my sister, she got me hooked with a subscription last year. I like reading the workout ideas, interesting stats, and articles that both inspire and make me think.

"The Windup Girl" is one that I'm still in the beginning of, but being a Hugo and Nebula award novel, I'm probably not going wrong. It's been really interesting so far.

"Without" is a collection of poems by the author Donald Hall. Recently Tyler and I went to a show in Portland hosted by Ira Glass from OPB's This American Life. It was awesome. It was a totally different type of show where he told stories and had two women dancers who helped portray the meaning and drama of the stories. I loved it. I came away feeling like I learned something. During the show he talked about this poet and some of the poems in this book.

The book is the chronological story of him and his wife as his wife is dying of cancer. It's intense, personal, and made me love my husband more. I 100% recommend it. As soon as it came in the mail I read it. I didn't expect that I wouldn't be able to put it down. The poems' structure add as much to the story as the words.

With this smash up of books, I'm just reminded that we have a pretty awesome opportunity to be alive and share our lives with the other people around us.

Have you read something that made you feel smarter recently?


I'm going to share a secret with you. It's a cleaning secret and talking about cleaning might not sound exciting. However, this has saved me lots of stress and given me balance in my home. When things are a mess, I find it hard to relax and accomplish some real brain tasks. This is the solution to attack a frumpy home.

First, I do love clean. I like the way it smells, looks, and invites. I like the way my kids are more creative when a space is clean for them to dirty up. I like the way it entices me to make another creative mess in the kitchen. I like the way clean feels good and breathes peace to my soul and gives me comfort in welcoming others into our space.

I didn't always know how to clean well. Really my mom and sister are the master cleaners. They are going to polish and clean every nitty-gritty detail of  e v e r y t h i n g  and it's going to shine after. I attempt to be like them. My childhood bedroom was a disaster: clothes everywhere, desk piled high, knickknacks tucked into corners, and books stacked precariously. I'd like to take some credit for my sister's cleanliness because she had to share a room with me. Maybe, just maybe, my anti-clean is what has inspired her own skills. Love you, sis.

Here's what I do:

I keep my house 80% clean all the time.


My master closet makeover is something I've been dreaming about for almost a year. A year people! I've gone through so many planning options and organizational ideas but landed on some simple solutions that were cost effective as well as transitional. And although I could dream of budget-breaking closets, this is really just what I want. It's my own kind of pretty and effective.

You'll notice from the "before" pictures that one of the biggest factors in this makeover was the paint color. The interior of the closet was still Sherwin Williams Camelback. The whole house was that color and I've slowly eliminated it, I still have the kids' closets, but the day will come.

The new paint color is the same as our trim Sherwin Williams Dover White. If you're looking for a warm white, this is a great option. It has a hint of yellow it in that is calming and doesn't turn bluish in bright light. It's a great pairing with our overall house color of Accessible Beige.


Seriously, this closet needed some organization.


In line with my necklace organizing, this is my solution for storing, using, and enjoying my earrings. 

If there's an accessory I always have on, it's earrings. They are simple, fast, and really fun. They are also out of the way, you don't have to worry about them like you do a necklace or bracelet. I know that gold is the in color, but man, I really do like gold and have my fair share of earrings sporting it. 

In my master bedroom I've mixed gold and silver finishes. I really like it. I also like giving a little pop of crystal-like glass for a complete combo. When I saw this tiered stand at Home Goods I knew it was the perfect thing. 


Yea for organized accessories!

Jewelry organizing can be a headache if you don't have a good system. I was excited that my master closet reorganizing called for a better solution for my necklaces. 

You might have your necklaces in a pile, hung on thumb tacks, 3M hooks, in individual compartments, in a jewelry box, or even laying all over the top of a dresser or table. Here is a simple solution that's less than $5!

I hung this bar at eye level in my closet. Done right, it looks pretty enough to hang in a lot of different places.

This is yet another ikea-to-the-rescue solution. Seriously, we've got to use ikea for all it's amazing organization solutions.

My favorite part about this, besides its beauty, is that these particular s-hooks don't wiggle. They snap onto the bar and have to be pushed to move side-to-side or back and forth. It's so much easier to organize if the things you do actually stay in place. With kids running all around the house, it's nice to have something that kinda stays put.

This bar is the bygel rail costing $2.99 (you can order online or find in-store in the kitchen organizing section).

The hooks are bygel s-hooks that are plastic, 6 for $0.99. Unfortunately they aren't sold online. But they come in white, orange, green, red, and black.

So if you're out of reach of an ikea store, you can opt for the wiggling bygel s-hooks that are sold online costing $0.99 for 10.

Having my necklaces hung so nicely definitely makes me want to wear them more! Make sure to level your bar when you're attaching it to the wall. I hung mine on two small nails and it's plenty strong for my necklaces. Have a beautiful day!


I love the way my friends inspire me. 

I love when we're close enough to ask about our children's moodiness without fear of judgement, go swim suit shopping together, share ideas for our marriages, get to the nitty gritty of our anxieties and beliefs, and even ask how to make a bed look "catalogue" rather than feeling blah. (Shout out to my friend Courtney for this post inspiration. Check out her amazing photography skills that I try to imitate.)

I don't know anything magical or have years of experience, but I do have pillows and like to make my bed. So I'm going to tackle the last question. 


All this can get pricey. Start with what you have and tweak it (paint, swap furniture from another room, recover light shades, scour craigslist). If you want to make a headboard, you can see how I made mine. I also made a bench to match. If you're interested in our whole bedroom transformation, you can check that out too.


I love the crispness of white. I found my quilt and sham set at target. I love that it has some texture with the sewn lines across it. It also helps that I don't have to worry about wrinkles after I launder it. I can't see it online anymore, but you could try in-store for something close to the same.


In addition to having pillows make your bed stellar, a coverlet (like my gray one with light brown stripes) can add some dimension laid across the end of your bed. 

You can make it compliment your bedding and pillows, pulling your room and colors together. 

Occasionally you might unfold it and put it on top of your other quilt.


1. Layered sizes, textures, and colors.

2. Recognizing the power of and using prints.

3. Having a theme. 

4. Being willing to experiment, fail, and try again to get the look you like.

It was fun taking my pillows out and arranging my bed lots of ways for your enjoyment. You can make your bed with lots or little, with color, with neutral, fluff, or simple. I've given you 2 weeks of making your bed a different way every day!

Go into the design with confidence and own whatever style fits you best! 

Make sure to enjoy your freshly made bed while you can. If your house is anything like mine, soon enough it will be ruffled, wrinkled, played on, and disassembled. Even with all that happening, it's still totally worth the effort.

This post was also inspired an awesome diagram that I've personally referred to several times on my bedroom pinterest board


I'm so excited to show you guys my gallery wall! 

With the thousands of pictures we all have, it's hard to narrow down to just a few. 

My whole goal in the pictures I chose: to show living, not just posing

I love it and I love that the entry to our house jumps with life as soon as you enter the front door. (I took these pictures standing in front of the door.)

How to make your own gallery:

1 - Measure your space.

2 - Knowing the type of frames you want to use ahead of time is helpful. I choose the ikea virserum brand of frames.

3 - List out the possible frame sizes. (there are lots for this brand)

4 - Draw your wall space on paper with dimensions in mind.

5 - Draw possible frames in your dimensions.

6 - Cut out your frame sizes in paper.

7 - Tape up the papers on the walls to see the layout.

8 - Make changes as needed, list the frames you need, order the pictures to fit the frames, and go shopping for your frames.

9 - Leave the papers on the wall.  

10 - When you have purchased your frames, they should match up exactly to the size of the papers you cut.

11 - Measure to the center of each paper and mark.

12 - Measure the back of the frame to see how far down the hanger will need to be hung, then measure the paper from the middle down that far and mark.

13 - In the crosshairs, hammer the nail right through the paper. 

14 - Check each frame, the hanger lengths will be different for each size of frame. 

15 - Remove the paper, hang the frames. 

16 - Put your pictures in the frames

HOW TO STABILIZE YOUR DRESSER // stuff i learn from ikea

I'm pretty simple.

I love simple solutions. I love ikea because they teach simple ways to construct.

I love things that are practical, useful, clean, and not fussy. These things together make beauty for me.

I love how beauty can be different for everyone.

When I visit my friends' homes, they are all very different in looks and feeling. But they are theirs and that's what matters.

I believe in creating a home for yourself and your family that provides room for growing. How that is done, is personal, experimental, and takes patience.

My house is never done and never will be. Sometimes I say, "oh, if I just do x, y, and z, then I'll totally be done with the upstairs or the garage or the backyard." No, that's not true. A house is a continual project zone. It's good that it's that way, it makes us work and makes us really hone what we want and love.

This said, I finally redid my master bedroom closet. We removed a dresser that we've had for the past 6 years. It was a hand-me-down from a hand-me-down and it was time to do something different.

Some shelves took it's place, the very shelves that taught me something from ikea.

They are simple and solid, but the real trick are the metal crossbars on the back of the shelving system.

Ikea is seriously genius.

How do they engineer so much stuff so simply that anyone can assemble it?!

These crossbars are the key to making the shelves be stable. I had the entire shelving unit together and it was rocking dangerously back and forth. I used 4 simple screws and the crossbars and it was super solid.

This is exactly what I needed to learn.

I want to re-use our dresser in the boys' room, but it need to be sturdy to do so. I needed to learn the crossbar trick on the shelves so I could do the same on our dresser.

It worked perfectly.

I went to home depot this morning and picked up some metal with holes in it (I already had screws at home) and simply screwed in the metal strips. I'm impressed and love that we can reuse this instead of listing it on craigslist in the free section.

It took me 2 minutes and the dresser is as good as new.

Tips for making crossbars successful:

1. If you want to go cheaper, pick up the crossbars at ikea. It was less than $2 for the ones used on the shelves, the home depot bars are $4.47 each. Either should work.

2. Mount them at an angle, not parallel to the floor.

3. Make sure the crossbars you get are long enough to stretch across your desired space. Measure before you buy.

4. Mount at two different angles for maximum stability.

5. Beware that by using home depot bars, there is a triangle of metal that will stick over the edge of your dresser on the bottom edge. I didn't mind because our dresser is going up against a wall. If this is an issue, I would go with the ikea bars instead.

Good luck and have a fantastic ikea/dresser/closet/simple day!


In honor of Mother's Day, let's get vulnerable. I have facial hair.

It's just a fact of life and I wish I had known how to get rid of it earlier than I did. Maybe this is just what you're looking for, maybe you share my lot in life, or maybe you want to send this recommendation on to someone else.

I can remember being self conscious of my lady mustache for a long time before I had the courage to ask for help. I think I finally asked my mom and if felt like a bold move in that first conversation (I was well over 20). The curse of dark hair means you can really see those hairs! I was embarrassed about my mustache, but knew there had to be an easy way to solve the problem. It's funny though, my mom has always done something about her upper-lip hair, I just never saw it.


Birthdays are a big deal around here. I'm sure they are at your house too. With kids running through every room in the house and through almost every thought, I decided to make things simpler for decorations this year. Introducing the reusable circle garland!

I usually decorate with twisted crate paper. It's what my mom did every birthday. Actually there is a whole method of birthday decorating that happened every year when I was growing up: twisted crate paper, hanging ballon bouquet from the ceiling fan above the table, and presents on the table surrounding our baby book. 

I've tweaked it just a little.

In creating this circle garland I can reuse it every birthday, wrapping it around some cardboard for easy storage when I need to take it down. 

The birthday presents still get put on the table, but they surround a picture of that child while they were in the hospital. I can't believe how quickly time has already passed for my littles...

We often blow up balloons that float around the floor, but sometimes we don't. 

And probably the most important thing is that I crate paper back-and-forth across their bedroom door. In the morning when they wake up they have to break through the crate paper to come out of their room. I get reminded several times by the littles before bed to NOT FORGET to put the paper on the door. 

I tell them they can't turn another year older until they break through the paper (ie. 2 on one side and 3 on the other). 


I wanted to create this space so I don't have to pay gym fees, have more flexibility in my workout schedule, and show my kids the importance of physical exercise.

I know you might not be here for love of fitness. You might be here because you're trying to escape gym fees too, maybe you're just getting into working out more, maybe you want to supplement your gym time, or maybe you know you should work out and having it close to home in a more private atmosphere will give you the kick in the pants you want. 

Whatever the reason, I'm glad you're here and I'm excited to see your future spaces! (or even current spaces)

I broke down the Home Gym Setup in 8 Steps:

- Did a quote get to you, put it up.
- Do you love your yoga mat? How about your foam roller? Maybe a slam ball? Your 8 lb weights? Your 30 lb weights? Your treadmill?
- It doesn't have to be big to mean something. It's usually the opposite.
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