Monday, January 30, 2012

Livin’ on the Edge

If I were a smart, SEO savvy blogger I’d call this post, “How to Edge Tile”. But alas, its way more fun to use slightly relevant song lyrics as the post title instead.

Plus, I just watched the series finale of one of my favorite shows. I’m feeling so bummed its over, so dramatically singing random song lyrics just feels more appropriate right now.

What show you ask? Chuck. Its an awesome, nerdy, spy-comedy that’s really just a romance story and I love it. The characters are hilarious, loveable and watching it feels like sitting down with your best friend. Seriously. I’m unnaturally sad that its over. Oh Chuck, why did you have to go so soon?

Anyway, in between having too many microbrews, gossiping with my sister, and watching Chuck, I actually did something productive this weekend.

I edged the tile in our guest bathroom shower! We slowly remodeled the guest bath over the last year and we’re 90% finished. Feels so good to check one more little detail off the list.

In an attempt to be frugal, I bought tile for the shower from the ReStore for 50 cents a square foot. A great deal, really. I love the tile, but there were no edge pieces. I was lucky to find 50 square feet of the stuff!

I priced out buying trim tiles but it was just too much money. Luckily, the tile guru at Home Depot taught me a trick to edge tile when you don’t have any of those trim pieces. It looks great.

Its easy, and much less expensive than purchasing trim tile.

How to Edge Tile (Using Tile Caulk)

You’ll need:
Painters tape (I always prefer Frog Tape. I get much cleaner lines than other brands)
Measuring tape
Grout tile caulk (I got sanded – grab whichever will match the grout you already used)
razor blade


First, use the razor blade to clean up the edge of your tile. I had to get rid of some extra caulk where the tile meets the tub paint on the edge of the tile.


Then, figure out how far out of the wall you’d like the tile caulk edge to go. I wanted a nice 45 degree angle so I measured the depth of the tile (1/8 inch) and went the same distance out on the wall.

Tape off this section, and tape the tile side too (so you don’t get tile caulk everywhere!).


Once the tape is in place, you can apply the tile caulk (it looks just like grout!). I went about a third of the way down and then used my finger to gently smooth out the line and get rid of the excess. I did this process by section until the entire edge was covered.

Once the whole edge is covered, use your finger to smooth the whole thing, getting rid of any excess tile caulk on the tape on the wall. This will make a smooth line without looking like there is a thick build up on the edge. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of this step. Basically, just make sure there isn’t a ton of extra tile caulk on the tape.

Then (carefully) yank the tape off the wall while the tile caulk is still wet.

Extreme close up!

For me, I was done on one side, it looked great. On the other side, it needed a once over with my finger to get everything smooth. Just be careful. Its like a manicure. If you touch the wet nail polish one too many times you’ll ruin everything :)

Here’s one more look at the before and after.


Its a small detail that makes the shower look so much better.

What did you do this weekend? Complete any tasks you’ve been avoiding?

Sharing at Thrifty Decor ChickThe DIY Showoff, Not JUST a Housewife, Handy Man Crafty WomanHome Stories A to Z, and

Tip Junkie handmade projects
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

EasyMoza Giveaway!

*** This giveaway is now closed. ***

On Monday I shared our master bedroom update and rambled on about the wonderful mosaic print my SIL gave me for Christmas.
EasyMoza to make the mosaic. Well, EasyMoza got my oh so subtle hints and contacted me for a giveaway!

Yay! I’m so excited! Even though EasyMoza is really affordable, its still fun to giveaway a mosaic print for free!

Here are some other examples of EasyMoza mosaics.

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The website is really easy to use. First, you choose a main photo and upload it. Then you choose a bunch of other photos that will be used to create the main photo. Finally, EasyMoza works its magic and you have a fun, personal mosaic for your home!

EasyMoza is so affordable because they don’t charge you to print and ship the mosaic. Instead, they’ll provide you with a high resolution file that you can print yourself or take to a local print shop.

Now the fun part! EasyMoza gave me three promo codes to giveaway to Newcomb Home readers! You can use the code to create your own mosaic, for FREE!

Enter to win a mosaic from
Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment below, telling me about the photo you’ll use for a mosaic if you win (don’t forget to include your email address so I can tell you that you won).

2. For a bonus entry, be my
Facebook friend! “Like” Newcomb Home and then leave a separate comment here saying you did.

That’s it! THREE winners will be chosen at 8pm (Pacific) on Sunday, January 29th. The giveaway is open to everyone, because I just email you the promo code!

Amy used a company from the Netherlands called Pin It

Monday, January 23, 2012

Down the Tube (Master Bedroom Update)

(Or rather, Down with the Tube. The old tube TV, that is.)

Our  master bedroom was one of the first places we updated (you can see the before pics
here). I guess since we wake up there every morning I wanted it to feel calm and cozy. We painted, got new carpet and bedding, and installed a new light fixture.

One thing we didn’t touch was the dresser. We got an IKEA Hemnes dresser, plopped our old TV on it and that was that. Problem was, we never watched TV in there (not for lack of TV addiction; we didn’t have a cable box in the bedroom).

The big old tube TV has been bugging me for a while, but I wasn’t really motivated to move it out of the room because I didn’t have any fun decor items for the dresser. Well this Christmas, Amy gave me a great print that got my butt in gear
(Amy is my SIL I’m trying to convince to blog a little… sorry Amy :)

Amy gave us that cool monogram print on the left. Here’s a close up.

Gah! So hard to take pics of things in shiny frames :)

Anyway, I love it. Not only does it have our monogram and remind Matt what day we got married, but its made of tons of little photos from our vacations and wedding. So thoughtful!

Amy made this print using a website called
EasyMoza. Its a website where you can upload a bunch of your own photos and design a mosaic print. How cool! Plus, they say things like “programme” so I think its a European website, which makes me feel very chic.

(Obviously, EasyMoza doesn’t know I’m giving them a shout out. I just love the print and wanted to share the great resource. EasyMoza if you’re out there, email me ;)
The other big print is a photo taken by a local photographer named Squid Vicious (what a cool name!). The photo was auctioned off at a benefit event for Outdoor School and I won the silent auction. The photo is of Mount St. Helens and is so bright and cheerful!

Side note: At the Outdoor School benefit event the MC was a local weather man. I got to meet him. I felt like I was talking to a celebrity! Closest I’ll probably ever get to the Kardashians. Plus, he made a nerdy joke about cloud formations. Could it get any better?
(Yes. Yes, it could. I could have met Leonardo DiCaprio.)

The final photo is a pic of Matt and me from our friends’ wedding. The bride was generous enough to frame the pic as a gift and its a miracle – we both look normal!

All the other items are things I already owned. The jewelry box was a gift from Matt last year, the silver tray is from my grandma, and the candle is a hand-me-down from my mom. I’m telling you, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. I love hand-me-downs! 

I love that each item on the dresser represents something near and dear to my heart and thanks to the generosity of my friends, the update was free! (Well, I’m not counting the silent auction purchase, after all, it was a donation.)

And of course, I can’t get through any blog photos without a Diego photobomb. I didn’t even see him until I uploaded the photos onto the computer.

Overall, I think its a great improvement. Now, instead of having a place to throw sweatshirts an old TV, we have a fun display.

(Definitely progress but I JUST noticed everything is not centered on the desk. Too tired to take more pics. But, you get the idea :)
What’s your favorite, inexpensive way to update tabletop/bookshelf/dresser decor?

PS. I made some progress on my “Impossible” today. I sent in a ‘pre-application’ for permits for the kitchen addition. You have to fill out a pre-app just to get an appointment in the permit office. I first mentioned the “Imagine the Impossibilities” Challenge I joined here. You can read about the Challenge from the host blog, The Space Between, here.

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Linked up at Not JUST a Housewife, Home Stories A to Z, and Coastal Charm. Pin It

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Little R&R (&R) in Puerto Vallarta

That third R is for delicious rum drinks we had all. day. long. Oh, the beauty of an all-inclusive resort! The place served these drinks called Banana Mamas, with rum and other goodness (and real bananas so I pretended they were healthy). Delish!

Anyway, I’m a little behind on house projects, and I’m partly blaming the vaca (yes, I know we got back two weeks ago). While I’m spending the weekend working on some updates to share with you guys, I wanted to show you a few pics of a place we’d probably all rather be this weekend :)

Disclaimer: A lot of the more beautiful photos were taken by my travel buddy/sister-in-law Amy. Amy’s super creative. I’m working on convincing her to blog about some of her crafty projects here. Cross your fingers!

We took a day trip to an area called Las Caletas. Lots to do there including snorkeling, kayaking, and torturing the animals. (Not really, don’t worry – I say that because my child husband stuck his finger in the monkey’s cage and it bit him. Hard. Amy and I haven’t laughed that much in a long time.)


Don’t worry, I do realize I’m exposing my nerdiness in that deflated life vest.

mexicoforblog-1 On the way back to our resort we saw some humpback whales snacking on a tornado of anchovies. Amazing!

mexicoforblog-2 DSCN1962 IMG_3741

We enjoyed seeing a little of the town,  a gorgeous church, and beautiful sunsets.


But we spent most of the time relaxing by the beach and playing in the waves (I didn’t quite have the technique down).

We ended the vacation by ringing in the new year together, at our resort. What a great way to end the holiday season. Counting my lucky stars now :)

Sharing at Serenity Now’s Weekend Bloggy Reading.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Organizing Tips for Every Room in the House {Features}

The beginning of the new year (plus a few days off work to stare at my house) gets me itching to organize. Seriously, sometimes I feel like a mini hoarder. Our house is clean and I only have two cats, but I keep a lot of random stuff. Matt says I turn each area into an “everything drawer” or an “everything closet”. I don’t want our house to turn into an “everything house”, so I’ve gotta organize.  

Turns out I’m not the only one! These three bloggers are hosting series focused on organizing. Each one is full of a whole bunch of great ideas. Check them out!

Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons has a
21 Days to Get Organized Challenge. I love it because she focuses on one room at a time, which is how I have to do things. I’m starting in the laundry room. Doesn’t Toni’s look great?

Kelly at Imperfect Homemaking hosts a series called
31 Days to an Organized Home.  Check out her practical tips to organize a master closet.

Becky at Organizing Made Fun’s series is
31 Days to Cheaply Organize Your Home. Her approach is a little different. She talks about different (often free!) items that can help you organize on a budget. How cute are these paint cans above the desk?

Have you been trying to organize and declutter? Where do you start? What is your best tip?
PS. Last October I also rounded up some great storage tips, check them out

Sharing at Not JUST a Housewife. Pin It

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Can I please have a wine rack? (New Kitchen Part 1)

As I’m mentioned a million times, this year Matt and I are going to remodel our kitchen.


When I picture the new room completely finished, I’m SO EXCITED. But when I think of all the steps to get there, I’m just overwhelmed. Palms sweaty, high blood pressure, eyes bugging out overwhelmed. 

We’ve taken the most important step of saving money. But what is next?

So far, what’s next for us has been arguing over if we should hire a professional to lay the foundation and change the footprint of our house, or DIY.

I’m pretty sure Matt believes that, if he wants to do something, the knowledge is magically placed in his brain. Just this morning he told me, “Katie, I know how to lay a foundation.” He’s living on another planet :) 

But I’m not here to tell you how to win arguments in your marriage (but if you have a secret please tell me!). Today I want to share with you our ‘getting started’ ideas. I’m hoping if I write everything down, it’ll inspire me to take ACTION.

(img source)

We’re trying to start with the most important (and boring) part of the remodel.

The budget.

But really, draining our savings for a new kitchen is a huge deal. We don’t want to spend so much money we’ll never get it back when we sell the house. But we also don’t want to skimp on important things just to save a buck or two.

We’re not entirely done budgeting, but for us there are two steps. Figure out

How much we’re able to spend; and
What can we get for that amount of money.

Not only are we remodeling/upgrading the room, but we’re adding onto the house. We didn’t really even know where to start, so we took this great advice from my Dad:

Figure out how much we paid for the house, per square foot*. Then calculate the amount of square footage we’ll be adding on, and multiple it by the cost per square foot.

We paid $175 per square foot.
We’re adding on about 144 square feet.
$175 x 144 = $25,200**.

* This may not work if you purchased your house in 1968. Try to find a per square foot price for a similar house in your neighborhood.
** This does not of course include the value of improvements such as upgraded appliances but its a great place to start.

So, is $25,200 even possible for an addition/kitchen remodel?

kitchen layout

Who knows?! This is where the second question comes in: what can we get for that amount of money?

We haven’t entirely answered that question. Like I said, I still haven’t convinced Matt that he’s not a licensed contractor, he works full time, and wouldn’t even know where to start with the foundation. In his mind he is Holmes on Homes.

To get a rough estimate, we started with a list of the big ticket items:

- Foundation + New Frame of the House 
- Cabinets
- Counter tops
- Flooring
- Appliances (already purchased a fridge and oven/microwave. Still need dishwasher
  and cook top)
- Building materials / windows
- Possibly extending a new gas line to the cooktop
- What’s missing??

Now do you see why I’m so nervous???

That’s a LOT to think about. Usually this is where I start panicking, Kermit style.
(img source)

Of course there will be other expenses, like knobs, plumbing materials, lighting, etc. And all the wine to fill my new wine rack. But we’re just trying to get a rough estimate to see if we need to go back to the drawing board. What if all this adds up to $50k? Then we’ll have to rethink our whole plan (and cry a little bit). 

But I’m determined to get past the panic, finish making our budget, and muster up the courage to call some contractors for quotes.

Since I’m not done pricing everything out,

I’m going to leave you in suspense :)

In the next couple weeks, Ill share our specific costs for materials and if how I mustered up enough courage to call contractors to get quotes for the foundation.

Oh! I almost forgot! I’m joining the fun over at The Space Between for the “Imagine the Impossibilities” Challenge. Some great bloggers are hosting the challenge, where we can all tackle our most daunting project and support each other along the way.

Obviously, by the end of January, we’ll have barely started. But that’s my most daunting project: to start the kitchen. When I was training for a marathon I just kept repeating my favorite quote:

”The miracle is not that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start” (John Bingham). That’s how I feel about this project, too!

the space between
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Goals for Newcomb Home (and the people who live in it)

Well, really, just me.

Matt got a new job. I signed him up for a kitchen remodel and he’s playing basketball, soccer, and dodgeball. So I think that’s probably enough for him :)

Me however, I need to declare some goals. I need to shout them from the rooftops and have you lovely readers
hold me accountable.
I’ve been thinking about a post from Layla at the
The Lettered Cottage about choosing one word for the year. Almost instantly, I knew my word.


Usually when I try things (working out, going to bed early, staying organized), I’m so excited about it at first, I do it All. The. Time. But then, my excitement fades and I give up. Not entirely, but I feel like I end up half-assing things.

Like this blog.

When I first started it was so fun! (By the way, it still is. Just time consuming.) I love ‘meeting’ readers and sharing parts of our life with all of you. Problem was, I tried to post every day, stayed up too late, got out of shape and annoyed my husband. It definitely conflicted with my ‘go to bed early’ mantra :)

So, my 2012 goal for the blog (and my life) is to be consistent. And the key to that is to also be realistic.

So I am not going to try and blog everyday. Or work out everyday. Just like I won’t run a full marathon, lose 35 pounds, or save all of our money.

But I can lose some weight, get in shape, increase our savings, and blog.  Consistently.

Here are my 2012 Goals.

  (Coley from What Your Make It said its important to be specific with resolutions.)

Of course, there will be some unplanned crafts and recipes to share with all of you. And if I’m spending my time running, learning the camera, or relaxing with Matt, I’ll probably bore you with that too. Yes, this is a blog about our home. However, my attention span is too short to be all kitchen, all the time.

But the kitchen. MAN am I excited! More on those plans soon :) 

What are YOUR goals for 2012?

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Best DIY Projects of 2011


I’m jumping on the trend I’ve seen on many blogs and sharing my top 10 projects (of my own. The list of fave projects from other bloggers is too long!).

Here is look back on 2011 for Newcomb Home. Not to be upstaged by my look forward toward 2012, which I’ll share on later this week.

Top 10 Projects (based on page views)

Turn Old Wine Bottles Into Water Pitchers (Its Easy!)


Say Goodbye to the Naked Wall 

How to Make Your Own Napkin Rings 

make napkin rings

Slithery Snake Wreath (Halloween decor)


Useful Art for the Kitchen

How 8 Cans of Spray Paint Updated an Entire Room



How to Make an Ice Bucket (Bring on the mimosas!)



How to Make a Snowflake Wreath


A Trick to Make Spray Painting Hardware a Cinch 

spraypaint hardware

Bathroom Vanity (almost) Complete


I saw Allison at House of Hepworths thanked her top referrer. What a great idea! So of course I’m ‘borrowing’ it. Thanks Allison!

The following blogs/websites were my top referrers of 2011 (since I signed up for Google Analytics which was mid-March). This doesn’t include Google or Pinterest, of course. Some of these referrals are from link parties and some are features. Either way, ‘meeting’ new readers is exciting so THANK YOU to:

Thrifty Decor Chick
Oh Dee Doh
The DIY Showoff
The Inspired Room
House of Hepworths 
Home Stories A to Z 
Someday Crafts
Centsational Girl
Tip Junkie 

And last but certainly not least, thank you to all the Newcomb Home readers out there. While I started this blog to document the process of our home renovation, the fact that some people out in the interwebs actually read it makes me so happy! I very much appreciate your comments, tips, and support (and your patience for my grammar!). Thank you Thank you Thank you! Please pour yourselves a glass of wine or a shot of tequila, on me ;)

On Wednesday I’ll be back talking about my goals for 2012. House goals of course, blogging goals, money goals, and the yearly “I swear this is the year I lose 20 pounds” goals :)

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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