Pittsburgh South Hills House Flip, Before and After

Pittsburgh House Flip

My boyfriend has been hard at work this winter! He’s just completed another house flip here in Pittsburgh, his fourth!  I’m so very proud of him (tearing up writing this). He’s really getting into the business of flipping small, outdated homes , and revitalizing them for rental. It is so nice to see him meeting the challenge of transforming a neglected space into an actually habitable house for a family to call home!

The latest house is in the Crafton area of the South Hills on a charming little street. It’s surrounded by sweet, well-kept homes, but was the black sheep of the street. It was definitely a terrifying buy. I won’t subject anyone to any of the horrifying details, or pictures – but this home was previously home to a hoarder. It took the expert work of a junk cleansing team many hours, and a full dump trunk to clean out the space to even begin to start construction.

This is Phil’s most intensive renovation to date with: a brand new kitchen, updated bathroom, all new windows throughout, a few new doors, new flooring throughout, new central air, and all new lighting among the other cosmetic updates throughout.

Check out the before and after shots below to see the dramatic transformations for this Pittsburgh house renovation! Make sure to tell Phil how amazing he is 🙂


The Entrance

One thing I love about this home is the curved transitions between rooms and the molding around the window frames.  The before state was just outdated with brown paneling that made the space feel dated and dark.

The paint color alone brightens and modernizes the space. The color is a cool stone hue Natural Gray by Behr. I didn’t think I’d like the flooring Phil picked, I thought I preferred dark flooring, but I truly love this lighter wood. Its a thicker board, with a scrapped wood texture, and a warm caramel color.


The Kitchen

The kitchen was quite the eyesore with both yellow wallpaper and tiles, plus orange counter tops. Definitely needed to be updated from the 70s. On the positive side, the wraparound windows allow so much light to just flood in.

To update the space Phil installed dark cabinets, white quartz countertops (jealous), a deep kitchen sink with a super functional faucet (jealous) and stainless steel appliances. The white bead board adds a bit of character.

The Bathroom

The only thing that was salvageable in the bathroom was the tub base. And even that was re-glazed with a fresh surface. Every bathroom material was PINK or mauve.

Bringing in fresh materials with a more modern and clean color palette was all this bathroom needed to make a HUGE difference. I love the combination of grey stone tiles, grey walls, white subway tiles, and white trim.

I mean, come on! There’s certainly a reason why subway tile is so popular now, its just clean and looks great.

The Bedrooms

The bedrooms needed a simple refresh of paint, new windows and lighting.

I really love the window framing, the vintage door handles, and the built-in storage.

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Handmade Valentine’s Day Decorations

valentines day craft

Happy February🌹! Whether you love or loathe the holiday, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to spread love ❤️ I’m excited to share a few handmade Valentine’s Day decoration pieces I’ve made to help celebrate! I am a true romantic, so I do love this holiday.

I made this LOVE painted bottle decoration set with Rustoleum’s metallic spray paint in gold, stickers, and upcylced kombucha bottles.

L🌹O🌹V🌹E #loveonourminds

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This rose gold roses set is upcycled Four Roses Bourbon bottles. I love the shape, glass color and roses detail on these glass bottles! I decided to spray Rustoleum’s copper metallic spray paint just over the raised roses emblem.

This piece vintage inspired piece is made from a spaghetti sauce jar. I used Rustoleum’s metallic in copper for the base and a Martha Stewart stencil and red pearl paint.

valentines day craft

This piece is a little different, my first use of chalk paint. I used a light pink FolkArt® Home Decor™ Chalk Paint on an Orangina glass bottle. It took about 5 coats to achieve a saturated finish. I used the pearl red Martha Stewart paint to freehand a large heart. I added the Be Mine detail with a Martha Stewart stencil and a Sharpie® Oil-Based Paint Marker, which I also used to freehand the arrow detail.

valentines day craft

I found this fun heart topped mason jar at the Target Dollar Spot! I couldn’t resist it and had to have one. I choose not to paint it, but fill it with fun metallic Valentine’s themed pompoms by Recollections at Michaels.

valentines day craft

While shopping at Michaels I of course found a few more treasures like these loose hearts and love arrow sign.

valentines day craft

I updated my open display shelving with all these fun Valentine’s day inspired pieces.

valentines day decoration crafts valentines day decoration crafts valentines day decoration crafts valentines day decoration crafts






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Holiday Terrariums & Snow Globes Made with Glass Hurricanes & Cloches

DIY Holiday Terrarium and Snow Globe Craft Project

The holidays are my favorite time of year simply for the decorations. I’m more excited to decorate my home for the season, than a kid is on actual Christmas morning. To me there’s no such thing as too many lights, or too much sparkle. To prepare to decorate for this upcoming holiday season, I wanted to use the glass cloches and glass hurricanes I had on hand to create my own festive Christmas terrariums or snow globes of sorts. This idea is a super simple and easy way to make your own custom Christmas decorations!

I started off by gathering the elements to my holiday scene. You can use anything festive for the holidays that you love – it just needs to be small enough to fit in your containers!

DIY Holiday Terrarium and Snow Globe Craft Project

christmas ornaments

I selected small ornaments like a Santa, his sleigh, a few reindeer, a church, and tiny bottle brush trees. I love glitter, so for snow I wanted to use the really glittery extra fine snow flurries, Original Buffalo® Iridescent Snowflakes.


Here’s a list of the ornaments I used from Joann’s Craft store:

Decorating your glass pieces is really simple! For a festive Christmas glass hurricane I used started by filling the bottom with snow and then layered in my decorations. My theme here was a reindeer scene.

Here’s another version with a ombre glittered reindeer.I also made the bottle brush trees in the back of these hurricane scenes! I’ll be sharing a DIY on how to craft those yourself soon 🙂

You can also use any glass cloches displays you have to add a bit of festive christmas decor to your kitchen. Here I used my favorite white marble and gold cloche to create a fun scene with Santa picking out his Christmas tree.


I love cloches, so I had to fill them all with festive scenes! Here’s another decoration idea, very reminiscent of a traditional snow globe scene. I used a small christmas church and snow with my rustic rose gold cloche.

I added the Holiday hurricane decorations throughout my home for a beautiful Christmas display.

Hope you are inspired by my festive creations to create your own holiday terrariums and snow globes with your glass hurricanes and cloches! My displays truly make me happy, and sometimes even so overjoyed I become sappy.  Tis the season! I may just keep these out all winter because they are so precious!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Glass hurricane   (Mine is from local garden store Laurel Nursery/Garden Center, Inc. Glass hurricanes are also available at at craft stores, dollar stores, home stores etc.)

  • Glass cloches   (Mine are both from Homegoods)

  • Small christmas ornaments   (Joann’s Craft Store – linked above)

  • Buffalo Snow® Extra-Fine Flurries   (Michael’s Craft Store – or Amazon linked above)

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Holiday Wine Bottle Craft for Festive Decorations

winter wine bottles decorations

As you prepare to dress your home for the holidays, get festive by creating winter wonderland themed decorations, by re-purposing your leftover wine bottles. I love these snowman & snowflake holiday decorations, they’re just creative & fun! For winter wonderland designs, I like to use the blue wine bottles for colorful contrast to create sparkly designs on top of.

Remove the Wine Bottle Label

The first step is the hardest part! If you can get through cleaning the wine bottles, removing the sticky labels and glue residue – then the rest is just fun! Some wine bottle labels can be really tricky to remove.

I start by running the bottle under warm water and scrape using a handled dish-washing brush with a scraper. If that doesn’t work, I try soaking the bottles in hot soapy water until the water turns cold. The labels should separate and lift off easily.

If not, I mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part vegetable oil (or whatever cheap cooking oil you are willing to sacrifice from the kitchen) to create a thick paste, about the consistency of Elmer’s glue. This mixture should dissolve any stubborn glue or label. I slather this mixture onto the label or leftover glue residue and leave it over night.

Then, I return to the sink to scrub off the stickiness. A final wash with dish-washing soap is needed to remove the oil & baking soda mixture. You’ll want a clean, residue-free wine bottle before spraying, painting, or gluing anything on it.

Festive Winter Wonderland Designs

One crafty idea is to use Krylon’s Glitter Blast spray paint to create fun and colorful “snow” background on the wine bottles. You can find many colors of this glitter spray at craft stores, big box stores, home improvement stores and their corresponding online sites. I find it’s often cheapest online through Amazon, around $6 a bottle.

 I always spray outside in the lawn with cardboard down on the grass for protection. I wear a mask and safety eye glasses, as this spray is strong and comes out in a solid stream and glitter does get everywhere. This glitter spray is something to adapt to working with – but easier once you get a hang of it.

Definitely shake the can well for at least two minuets and spray from at least 3 feet away for an even consistency. If you spray too close the spray gets wet and runs.

I let this layer dry for overnight before starting on the decorative elements. Make sure to clean out the spray nozzle before the glitter dries and clogs the nozzle .

For a simple, easy to create design, you can create a fun holiday design with gemstone embellishments from the craft store. Below are links to the stickers I’ve used in the past. They already have adhesive on the back, but you can add a bit of clear glue if you’re finding they won’t stick to the bottle. Here are the snowman stickers & stems I used from Michael’s Craft Store:

Winter Stems:

Here’s another winter wonderland design idea using a 1.5L Magnum clear glass wine bottle and a sangria glass jug. Here are the snowflake stickers I used from Michael’s Craft Store & Amazon :

The festive snowman picks are similar to these stems:

Using silver spray paint is another glam option. The most important part is to have fun with your holiday creations 🙂

Materials I used for this project:

  • Krylon Glitter Blast Spray Paint

  • Snowflake & Snowman Gemstone Stickers   (Michael’s Craft Store and JO Ann’s Craft Store, Amazon linked above)

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Christmas Home Decor Markets

Christmas Home Decor Market

The holidays are my favorite time of year simply for the decorations. I’m more excited to decorate my home than a kid is on Christmas morning. To me there’s no such thing as too many lights or too much sparkle. To prepare for this upcoming holiday season, I returned to my favorite home decor shopping areas of Frederick & Buckeystown Maryland and Leesburg Virginia. About a three hours drive from Pittsburgh, these towns are overflowing with home decor shops filled with treasures.

Chartreuse & Co.

We started the day of treasure hunting in Buckeystown, Maryland at Chartreuse & co. This is a co op space of a few charming farm buildings filled with antiques and upcycled treasures. One day I will own a kitchen hutch from here. This visit was filled with beautiful holiday finds.

Sweet Clover Barn

To continue the tour, we visited Sweet Clover Barn, a vintage home decor and handmade marketplace housed in a dairy barn on a horse farm in Frederick, Maryland.

I bought myself a charming vintage Santa mug and festive plaid place mats.

Old Lucketts Store

We then ventured on to the Old Lucketts Store, which was filled to the brim inside and outside with treasures of all kinds. They were having a special holiday design show house this weekend and the line to get inside was an hour’s wait! Again, I really couldn’t believe how much stuff was there. Every time I turned a corner there was another festive room and another decorated stairwell to explore.


I found a Christmas tree shaped sled and a bottle brush tree cloche ornament to take home as my own.


It’s an amazing magical Christmas decor land right!? I can’t wait to work in my new holiday pieces into my Christmas decorations this year. My bank account is lucky we don’t live any closer to this epicenter for home decor, or I’d be there shopping every week. Now onto working towards buying a house I can fill with all my current and future finds.

There are a few more special market weekends at these stores through December, make sure to check their websites to see when they are open!

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