Archives For houseplants

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

Photographs of my Bedroom

October 24, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bedroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser Little House Design: Bedroom with bold blue walls and campaign dresser

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Living Room Photographs

October 22, 2013 — 5 Comments

This is my living room as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room Little House Design: Eclectic, vintage style living room

All photos are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

I’ve been working like a crazy dog at all of my day jobs (that plural isn’t a mistake) so if it looks like I’ve been phoning it in here on the blog that would be correct. But I’m working on it. I really like doing this blog so I am attempting to streamline my life in order to make more time for doing the projects and writing the posts that keep this blog interesting.

But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t occasionally share with you the big fails in my life? Okay, maybe I do that a lot (proof: here and here). Regardless, here is another weird/sort of my fault fail. Beware it’s gross.


No that isn’t a cute little mini-figurine of a yellow mushroom. Because that is definitely what I thought at first. I had this world class spiral moment where I was like, “OMG someone came into my house and left a little yellow mushroom figurine in my plant that is so sweet! Wait no, that is weird, what if it is like a murderer’s calling card? And now he is hiding in my basement and he’s going to murder me and this is the only clue and no one will ever know because it’s adorable and it totally fits the style of my house and so my murder will be unsolved forever.” I think I’ve been living alone for too long. 

So after I calmed myself down (deep breathing and Philip Glass) I googled ‘yellow mushrooms in houseplant’ and low and behold, it’s a thing. Side note: Seriously, what did we do before the internet? I know this is an old thought, but it still blows my mind every time I think about it. I remember getting the internet when I was 12 I just didn’t understand it. But if you had this mushroom problem back in the day what would you do? Look in an encyclopedia or ask an old wise person or something?.


Anyway, yellow mushrooms in houseplants is a thing, but not a good thing. It is important to note that I have had this plant for seven years now. I have somehow managed to keep this plant alive for seven years through six moves (two of those halfway across the country), but apparently these past few weeks I’ve done something to cause major fungus growth. According to this article I read (link: here), yellow houseplant mushrooms can develop overnight due to overwatering, bad soil, old soil, or no drainage. I think, in this case, it is a combination of overwatering and old soil. Lately I’ve been on a watering rampage which is silly since I’ve watered that plant once a week for seven years and it’s stayed alive but now all of a sudden I’m like this plant needs watered once a week and sprayed twice a week!!! What is wrong with me? Ugh, it seems like my life motto is becoming ‘live and learn’ which is so lame.

But the good news is, I wasn’t murdered by The Yellow Mushroom Murderer and my plant is still alive and de-mushroomed. 

New Plants, Part 4 of 4

September 9, 2013 — 2 Comments

Last but not least, my little elephant planter from an antique store got a little succulent love (parts 1, 2, and 3 if you feel so inclined to catch up).

Previously, the elephant planter was filled with aloe, but after using too much of the aloe (sue me! it’s really fun to use your plants for practical things!) the plant all but disappeared.
At this point, I only had one succulent left, so it isn’t a big improvement but it is at least a little less empty.

Love this planter, it makes me smile!

So that is the end of my succulent planting saga, I know, it was riveting. Thanks for sticking it out!

New Plants, Part 3 of 4

September 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

I managed to make 20 succulents stretch into four planters (Part 1 and Part 2) and here is the third one!

I had this little glass dish/jar/bowl (?) from something, maybe a flower arrangement or something? I kept it because it’s hard to just throw away a nice glass thing so it’s been in the back of a cabinet for a long time. Anyway, I thought it would make a cute little mini-terrarium (its about 6″ tall x 5″ in diameter).

Yeah, I’m aware how blurry this pic is, 
but give me a little a credit, I was still be-casted at this point.
Like, the brass planter, I went rock-finding in my backyard to aid in the drainage of this non-planter turned planter.
Remember my little greenhouse? Well, I’m happy to report, that even though my baby greenhouse did not have a home or any occupants for a few days, it does now! Baby terrarium meet baby greenhouse.
Happy, happy plants!

New plants, Part 2 of 4

August 30, 2013 — 3 Comments

If you are anything like me you sometimes often buy things that you don’t need or have a place for because you just really freakin’ want them. Well, that was the case with this brass planter I bought last summer.

It was filled with fake ivy, but I saw it’s potential and for only $2 I needed it. Except, that I actually didn’t need it. It’s floated around my house for the last year. Sometimes it is on the built in shelf in my kitchen cabinets and sometimes it’s in the linen closet holding random crap, but the dream was always to put plants in it. It is the perfect size for planting a lot of small plants since it’s about 18″ long and 5″ wide.
So, I finally did it using most of the 20 succulents I bought online (more about that here).
My first step was to get rocks or stones for the bottom of the planter for drainage. I looked at the store but couldn’t find any so I went rogue and got rocks from my backyard (have I mentioned my backyard is a mess?).
After rocks came soil and then plants.
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I really like it! I’ve seen a lot of planters like this online filled with succulents, actually most of them are just loaded with succulents, but I spread mine out a little because I still had a few other planters I wanted to fill. Now *fingers crossed* that I resist the urge to over water them!

New plants, Part 1 of 4

August 28, 2013 — 5 Comments

I love houseplants. I like how they look and the health benefits I’m told they provide. But my love for houseplants is in no way related to how well I can care for them. I suppose I am better than some since several of my plants have been alive for many years (the oldest is seven years old) but some aren’t so lucky. I planted a terrarium (my ‘how to’ here) about two years ago and since then all but one of the succulents have died. What can you do? Plant new ones, I guess.

I purchased a set of 20 succulents on Amazon. It was weird to buy plants online and even weirder to open a package full of styrofoam peanuts and plants, but it actually worked out great. At big box stores succulents can be $3-4 a piece, but my set of 20 succulents was (including very expensive shipping) $39 which makes each plant $1.90… a pretty good savings! BUT since I have an Amazon rewards card, I had points to put toward the purchase and my total price was only $17! Which makes each succulent only $.85! I got really excited about that, especially since plants are fickle, living things that sometimes die.
First up for a makeover is my terrarium, which has seen better days.
BEFORE: It was a baby deer massacre in there.
 AFTER: Ah, everyone is alive and well.
Much better! This is part one of four of “What I did with 20 succulents” so stay tuned. Also, if you are wondering, yes, I did do this project while still in a cast. I know, dirt/plants/water + a cast sounds like a really bad idea, unless you are a genius like me and you invented this:
Recycling and resourcefulness at their best!

A Baby Greenhouse

August 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Okay, it’s not a greenhouse for babies (although that could either be adorable or horrifying depending how you interpret the meaning) but it is a tiny greenhouse and it’s freaking adorable. Let me start at the beginning. I’ve been obsessed with this greenhouse from IKEA since I first saw it online a while back (I gushed about it here) but I haven’t been to IKEA in about two years so I was satisfied with admiring it from afar. That is until my parents made a trip to IKEA and asked me if they could pick anything up for me. A day later, this baby was in my house (and it was only $19.99!).

Of course, the hitch in the plan was that I was attempting to assemble something from IKEA with my dominant hand in a cast, but dang it if I am not obsessively determined/this thing was actually easy to assemble.
I like that it has three settings:
1) Propped open

2) Open

3) Closed

Alright you got me, I am guilty of buying something that I don’t have a place for or anything to fill it with, but I kind of don’t care because I like it so much.

I envision it filled with little baby plants and other little objects, but one step at a time. For now, I am just enjoying having a tiny greenhouse on my dining room table.

How to Make a Terrarium

September 21, 2012 — 2 Comments

How to make a terrarium:

1) Go shopping and buy:
a) A glass or plastic open container. I got mine at HomeGoods for $15.
b) Rocks (I wish I could have just gotten these from my yard but it’s amazing how few rocks are in my yard).
c) Activated charcoal… this one is a little hard to find but they should have it at any nursery.
d) Soil. I buy Miracle Grow: Moisture Control, but pretty much any kind works
e) Succulents. It may help to have your container with you so that you can see how your plants will all fit inside. My particular container is about 15″ in diameter and I fit three succulents in it.
d) Miniature animals because it’s a terrarium and it should be awesome.

2) Put a layer of rocks on the bottom of your container (I saved a few to put on the top layer). This is for drainage.

3) And then a layer of activated charcoal (about an inch of the charcoal). This charcoal, as far as I understand it, is for smell. I guess these terrariums can get moldy so this charcoal is supposed to keep the mold and moldy smell away.

4) Add soil (I filled my container about half full)

5) Plant your succulents!

6) Add a little more life to it. I added rocks and teeny tiny baby deer that I bought on Etsy.

7) Take care. Terrariums are very low maintenance but that only applies if you set them up right to begin with. Also, I can’t stress enough how much terrariums need sunlight. If you forget to open your blinds even a few days in a row these little babies will start to die. On the other hand they can go weeks without water. I sprinkle, emphasis on sprinkle, them with water every 10-14 days.

I made this terrarium about a year ago and it has kept well. One of the plants died which was my fault because I left it too long when I was on a trip without sun or water, but like I said earlier if you do a few things they should keep for a long time. I don’t remember the exact amount I spent to make this but here is my best guess on how much this project cost me:

Container: $15
Deer: $5
Soil: had on hand
3 Succulents: $16
Rocks: $5
Activated Charcoal: $8
= $49 … yes, that is expensive but have you ever tried to buy a pre-made terrarium? They are over $100! Like this one and these.

Here are few ways you can save on terrarium expenses:

– Use dirt and rocks from your yard… why not??
– Use coupons!
– Use a container you have on hand. The only real criteria involved is that they are usually clear (but don’t have to be) and they should have an open top (closed top terrariums require different care). I have a couple of shallow vases right now that would work.
– Share actived charcoal with a friend. I only used a small amount so there is no need to buy a whole bag… go in with a friend and have a terrarium making party!
– Buy plants on clearance. They may look a little sad but nothing a little repotting and love can’t fix.
– Use little miniatures you have lying around or make your own.

Happy terrarium making!