Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Updates on Some Things

That title is going to win me some search engine optimization points.  Boo-yah.

Today I’d like to update you on some items around our house.  I get e-mails on these three topics so I figured it would be good to cover them.

First item: The Tile Setting Mat from Simple Mat


We loved the ease of install but were slightly concerned about how well the backsplash would hold up. We had some lose/wiggly tiles before grouting. It made us nervous. We carried on.

Verdict: 6 months later and all of the tiles are still intact. I have scrubbed pasta sauce, cupcake batter, etc off of the backsplash and no movement. We are now confident that this backsplash is going nowhere.  That backsplash still makes me smile every day.  Good life decision.

Second item:  Under Cabinet Lighting


Look how naked our kitchen looked before that backsplash.  The kitchen is embarrassed. 

Anywho, we installed the under cabinet lights we purchased at Sam’s. Let me start this story by telling you that Nate always reads reviews before buying anything. ANYTHING. Except for these lights. We used the lights twice and then they stopped working.  We thought maybe we left them on on accident.  Nate then decided to read the reviews.  The reviews were all terrible. We decided to replace all of the batteries in the off chance that we did forget to turn them off.  The lights died again after about 3 uses.  We’re done with them and we are looking for an alternative. 

Verdict: FAIL!  Super duper Heidi Montag like fail.

Third item: Burlap Wallpaper


Yes, I did have blond hair.  Yes, we look like babies in that photo. 

This now brunette decided to use burlap to line the back of the book cases in the office. I used a cornstarch mixture to adhere the burlap to the back of the bookcases to add a little texture. 

Verdict:  Still going strong.  The burlap has not moved and it’s been hanging for over a year.  And I’m not sick of it yet.  Even more impressive.

Who has under cabinet lighting suggestions for us?  How do you decorate the back of your shelves? Is my blond hair still weirding you out? 


  1. Love you tile too and still have to do mine :(
    As for under cabinet lighting, I went with Ikea and I'm super happy with them.

  2. Intrigued by the tile mat – we might be redoing some friends' kitchen in the next couple of months and no mortar sounds very, very appealing!

  3. you had blond hair. burlap is awesome. verdict, both are still going strong!

  4. I have always loved the burlap! I love the look of under cabinet lighting but we don't have any at our house. The blond hair looked cute!

  5. Major bummer on the lights. I wanted to buy those lights after you posted about them, but I guess I'm glad I didn't! Go find some awesome ones and let me know what they are, because I need under cabinet lighting. kthanksbye

  6. We used LED rope lights on our kitchen cabinets. They've been great. Got the idea from View Along the Way:

  7. Awesome. I love update posts like this, because, really, you never know how things are monthls later!!! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh man, that's too bad about the lights. Under cabinet lighting is a really nice thing to have. I still love your backsplash too! Your kitchen definitely looks less naked with the tile!

  9. So, great post title. We had halogen puck lights under the cabinets in our first home. We bought them at Lowes or home depot and they run on regular 120 Volts from an outlet. You have to be crafty with how you hide the power cable, but it can be done. LEDs are nice and they don't get hot to the touch, but some people don't like the look of LED light. LEDs require DC and not AC so they usually come with a small transformer that you'll also need to hide. Good luck!

  10. Good to know about the tile mat! I may bring that up when I try to convince Jesse to redo our kitchen back splash...

    Also, the blonde hair is definitely weirding me out.

  11. Love the wallpaper on the back of the shelving :) xo Kristin

  12. So glad you reviewed the burlap thing. I'm considering using that technique for our TV Unit. Glad to hear it works out!!

    Blonde hair is weirding me out...

  13. Love that you said Heidi Montag fail. Bahaha!!

    I wish I had undercabinet lighting suggestions for you, but we still haven't taken the plunge. I think we are waiting for when we get new cabinetry.

    And yup, still weirded out by your blonde hair. ;)

  14. We installed the LED strips under our cabinets and they have worked out pretty well. They just stick to the cabinets and plug into a regular outlet, it comes with a small button on/off switch that also has adhesive on it. Very simple and easy to use - 6 months in and still working good. Oh, we got them at Home Depot.

  15. We have flexible LED under cabinet strip lighting that reminds me of the old rope lighting. It just adheres to the cabinet and then can be plugged in or hard-wired. It does have a transformer, but we hard wired ours so it is down by our panel. My hubby installs it all the time and it looks great!

  16. I like the blond!

    I have a soft spot for burlap too. I'd wallpaper Max in it if I could. My husband hates burlap. These are heated topics in our house. Seriously.

    Backsplashes make a kitchen. I love the bight simplicity of subway tile. And that you can have white in the house that you can just wipe clean.

  17. I'm in love with you.

    And I want burlap wallpaper (or fabric) for my hutch. Can you do that for me?

  18. I didn't really how similar our kitchens are! Right down to the white cabinets, black granite, and subway tiles. It's a great look if I do say so myself.

  19. I had blond hair for a while. Then got tired of running the the hair dresser all the time.

    Love the burlap backing. I have not tried that. Maybe some day I will :)

    Love your back splash!

  20. Heidi Montag fail! HA!!! Your burlap is my favorite and it just so happens that I now own built-ins. yessssss......

  21. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4
    year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

    My site: Cheap Jerseys

  22. Ha! Heidi Montag. Nice. I can't wait to hear about better under cabinet lighting. Mostly because we would like some and are too lazy to read reviews.
    Love the tile and burlap. Good to know those held up!

  23. our under cabinet lighting was installed by our electrician...and honestly he said it doesnt cost much to get it installed--especially if you have outlets already hooked up near cabinets...which i spy you do! i like to DIY too but sometimes it's just as easy lol

  24. I love, love, love your backsplash (still).

  25. The burlap and the backsplash are some of my favorite things. You should post a pic of you blonde! (That one's so tiny.) Was it a brief phase? A several-year-long situation? Totally jealous that you can do blonde and brunette.


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