The new bookshelf

Everyone, I have an announcement  My husband is the man. He created that eye-candy piece of a gem up there in our home the other day, and can I just tell you that I absolutely love it? I do. I absolutely love it. I mean, just look at it! It's beautiful! And it honestly makes out little space feel so much more finished and refined. I couldn't be more pleased with it's arrival.

The idea started when Ty saw a similar shelf in a Restoration Hardware catalog, and I remembered seeing an episode on HGTV where one of the designers built one. A little bit of google research, measuring and calculations later, we had ourselves some plans. The project sat on the back burner for a few months, always mulling in our minds. And then one day a couple weeks ago Ty announced he was going to build the shelf. To the store he went; the supplies he bought. And the rest is history. Sweet sweet, great-shelf-in-my-house history. Here's a little breakdown of how we did it if you wanna bring this bad boy to your house too.


We used 1/2-inch galvanized pipe from Lowes. It also comes in 3/4-inch and 1-inch options, but I thought the thinner pipe looked more sleek and classy. Also important to note, we used all pre-fab sized pipe. You can, however, have pipe cut and threaded to your specific dimensions if you wanna wanna. But we opted for the pre-sized stuff cause it seemed to fit our wants nicely and it saved us a few pennies in the process. Here are the rundown of pieces you need for a shelf unit just like ours:

3 x 30" pipe sections
9 x 18" pipe sections
12 x 10" pipe sections
15 x wall mounts (the priciest pieces at $7 a piece)
9 x T-coupling pieces
3 x elbow pieces
3 cans of Rustoleum spray paint in matte black

NOTE: It's important to consider what shelf depth and wood you would like to use on your shelf before you begin buying materials. Less expensive woods (like pine) can be purchased in pre-fab depths of 8", 10" and 12" (our shelf is 10" deep). But other, harder woods like walnut or oak come standard in 5" and 8" depths and can also be found in 12" depths if you are up to do a bit of looking. You can always have boards cut down, but if you don't have a saw already it will be an added cost to have them cut at the hardware store.

Construction method:

1. Wash the dickens out of those pipes (they have this gross film on the outside that definitely needs to take a hike before you start painting). Clean off all the stickers; we used goo gone to be sure all the sticky goop was gone. Then allow the pipes to dry thoroughly.

2. Paint the pipes. I set up a large-newspapered area in my garage, including a newspapered section on the wall so I could lean the pipes upright and turn them as needed between coats to get full coverage. I did three light, even coats, and did a few touch ups as necessary. When painting, it's best to keep the layers thin to avoid dripping and pooling. Plus, that way, everything will dry faster. After painting, we let the pipes sit for about 48 hours to be sure they were good and curated before assembling.

3. Assemble the pieces as shown in the first photo of the post. From the ground up, the three front sections go like this:

wall mount>30">T coupler>18">T coupler>18">T coupler>18">elbow>10">wall mount

Once those are assembled, screw the remaining 10" pipe pieces into the open T coupler holes on the front sections (these 10" pipe pieces are what the shelves rest on). Then attach the remaining wall mounts to open ends of the 10" pipe sections you just attached to the front sections.

4. You will now have three completed upright pipe units that you will screw into the studs in your wall, making your completed, sturdy shelf base. Then just slide those boards into place and voila! The amazing book shelf has materialized! Our top shelf is currently just floating there, so feel free to add bottom shelf securing devices if that worries you.

The bin dreams are made of

You guys. This may just look like a a typical white trash bin to you, but this is the bin of my dreams. The bin I have been searching for. LONGING FOR. Scouring the interwebs for. I have been desiring in my heart of hearts for quite a while now to have a container to keep Hank's food in that isn't the large, plastic-y bag that it comes in. But there have been no great-looking containers to be had! Even after lot and lots of scouring! But, lo and behold, there I was minding my own business while shopping yesterday, and you know who delivered one out of the blue? Ikea! That's right! The store that we love, Ikea!

I had gone there to grab us a down comforter, but there it was...the perfect container...sitting in the container section just for me with the low price tag of $24.99. It took me all of .5 seconds to decide to take it home, and I couldn't be happier. It holds the entire 30-pound bag of food, guys. Heaven. Oh the little things in life, how they make me so happy. La la la, pretty Hank-food storage container in our house, la la la.

On buying a tree

Ty and I headed out Monday night to get ourselves the perfect Christmas tree for our little condo. I don't know if you understand the implications of what I just said up there, but let me just clarify that in this family Christmas tree selection is no small matter. Ty, being from tree-populated Oregon, accepts no substitutes for perfection in this category.

Ty measured our tree-to-be spot before we headed out and we took the truck for easy transport. And we visited 3 (only 3!) lots before we really did find the ideal tree for our space this year -- a six and a half foot noble fir (they really are the prettiest, don't you think?). For any of you in the Provo-Orem area, McGreens just west the Target in Orem (on the same side of the street) has THE PRETTIEST trees and their prices are not so bad, not so bad at all. "I'm really glad we got this tree" has come out of Ty's mouth at least once since we got it home and decorated. We followed the same protocol for decorating this year as we did last, only no stools were needed. And after decorating was finished, Ty and I had a little celebratory festive dance in front of our tree.


I know I am running a bit behind holiday schedule, but here is my Thanksgiving recap for all those who don't mind my tardiness. I didn't take a whole lotta pics during our trip back to Colorado for the holiday (I think I  pulled out my camera for a total of 30 seconds), but that little gem up there was taken by my sister, Tracey. Oh my adorable, you guys. That is my husband up there. With my sweet little niece, Alice. Makes my heart melt.

But, back to the recap. Thanksgiving was a rip roarin' good time if I do say so myself. The five of us (Ty, Hank and me + my niece Megan and her man Daniel) piled into the car and made the pleasant 7-hour drive to the homeland of Colorado. The 3.5-day trip was full of delicious food, lots of shopping, puzzles, card playing and my sweet momma taught me how to make her family-famous orange rolls (hello delicious!). Hank thoroughly enjoyed having my parents backyard to run around in (note to self -- we REALLY need a yard for Hank someday soon), and I again realized how much I love taking road trips with my husband; we listen to great podcasts, I do an excellent job on snack-supplying duty, I have oodles of time to do things like knit and chat with my fellow passengers, and I don't have to drive even one-minute of the trip (which is great because Ty is a supremely great driver and me? not so much). THE BEST. It really was such a fun time with my family. I really do love me those Schmidts and the time we get to spend with them. It's just a time of lots and lots of smiling and laughing -- how can you not love that? Excellent holiday achieved!