Fixed Pipes and Repaired Walls

As I’ve mentioned, we have had quite the struggle dealing with some plumbing problems that were FINALLY resolved a month ago. In true Graf fashion, the repairing of walls didn’t go smoothly either. The biggest problem is that during the process of repairing the plumbing and the walls the contents of all our counters, two bottom cabinets and stainless steal shelving full of my cookware, tools and appliances was in our dining room which rendered two rooms practically useless. We lived that way for a month and it was ridiculously frustrating and embarrassing (shout out to our guests who love us anyway!).

In what was supposed to the final day of wall repair and repaint we encountered another problem—this one we embraced. While out with a girlfriend, I received a call from our handyman. He was ready to paint over the drywall and couldn’t find any left over paint in our kitchen color. He laid out my options:

1. Did I remember the name of the color? (I can’t even remember to fill my gas tank before a light tells me to).
2. He could go to the Depot and try to color match. It doesn’t usually work and he’d have to give the entire kitchen a coat of paint.

I did some thinking. I wasn’t happy with how the yellow I chose turned out. It was too washed out and hospital looking. I also made the bad choice of painting the bottom of the soffit the wall color instead of ceiling white. Long story short…..I made bad choices and was too cheap to fix it.

I asked our sweet friend and handyman to fix these new-homeowner mistake. I decided to paint the kitchen the same gray as our dining room. This choice would both emphasize the Fiestaware and save some time and energy if I knock down the wall between our kitchen and dining room—an idea I am seriously considering. He, very kindly, agreed.

When I came home a few hours later, I was greeted by two incredible blessings. The first was we had enough leftover paint from the dining room we didn’t have to pay for more. The second was that the kitchen looked SO MUCH BETTER gray. I would seriously walk in every ten minutes and stare at the walls as our friend continued working.  Thank God he is a family friend, as a stranger may be concerned with my constant watchful eye and drooling over wall color.

And now for the great unveiling:







I have to be honest, I was quite nervous about I would like the gray walls next to the wooden cabinets…but I absolutely LOVE it!

Guest Room —- Refinishing a Bed Frame

As I have mentioned before, our guest room is a work in process. While we had intended to finish by the time my God-daughter and brother stayed with us last month, that didn’t happen. Don’t get me wrong, we got most of it done and was able to provide them with a comfortable place to stay, but the room is not in the ideal state of finished quite yet.

Today I wanted to share with you how we refinished a bed frame to go with our gender neutral gray/yellow theme. When we purchased our house we were gifted a free twin size bed and frame. It has been very useful over the past two years when guests have spent the night at our house. Yet, it wasn’t until this summer when we started designing our guest room, so everything in there was a hodge podge. Once I had settled on the “theme” of the room, I knew I had to refinish the bed frame. It would be silly to get rid of a perfectly good bed frame just because the coloring didn’t fit, so I headed to my local hardware store and spoke to an associate about my spray paint options. I came home with a can of gray paint and primer that was made for metal. The hubs took apart the bed and painted the headboard and footboard. We were left with a perfectly gray bed frame that fit our vision!


More updates coming soon!

My Cats Like to Swim

My cats are weird. They both like water. Both routinely have jumped in the bathtub after we shower just to hang out in the water. Totally normal….not. Back when we brought home our first two kittens we left our toilet lid up. Then one day our Tiger decided to go for a dip. We quickly changed our routine and now always keep our toilet covered.

Here is the thing….we have people over all the time. I have never felt comfortable reminding people that we keep the lid down for the kitty’s sake. However, I am even LESS comfortable with chasing a soaking cat to give it a bath. I spent many months trying to come up with some art that we could keep in the bathroom and avoid awkward conversations, and then I finally found this on Etsy! I LOVE that she sold me the pattern (which allows me to replace as needed), I was able to do colors that work with our bathroom and most importantly I no longer need to verbally remind people to keep the cat swimming pool closed!

My Cats Like to Swim

Decorating Our Guest Room—Planning Addition

Our current decorating project is our guest room. My Goddaughter and her brother are coming to stay with us in a few weeks, and it is just the fire we need to finish it!

A lot of thought had to go into decorating this room, as I want it to be something that anyone can be comfortable it. Specifically this means that it must be general neutral and plain but not boring. It is quite a challenge to design a room that aims to make most people happy. I settled on a yellow and gray theme with the option of blue of accents. I also wanted to avoid florals.

This room will be a guest room for both genders as well as a nursery twice a week when I nanny. It needs to be usable and accessible. It will be outfitted permanently with a twin size bed, a dresser and bookshelf. Once I beginning to nanny in a few months, there will also be a pack in play in there. I hope to at some point add a comfy over stuffed chair.

Last night we finished painting the room. Now to finish the dresser, book shelf, update the bed, make the curtains and add aesthetic touches.

Guest Room Sneak Peek

We have 17 days to finish!!!




Homemade Curtains

I decided to make my own curtains for our home. Like most home projects I endeavor on, I have a vision of the end project before I begin. When I knew what I wanted my curtains to look like I went online window shopping and had no luck finding what I wanted. It was then that my friend told me she made her own and helped me learn the skill.

Dining Room Curtains

We used this pattern. I love how it so versatile. We were able to use the same pattern for our standard windows and for our large bay window. I have also had so many compliments on it that my friends have been asking me to make them for them as well. Check out the blog in the link, she has a LOT of great home ideas!

Once I caught on it was really easy! I also love that I can choose everything from my fabric and backing to the exact measurements of the panels. I have a world of options, and can make custom pieces for our home.

Making Curtains 1Making Curtains 2

Year Round Burlap Wreath

I fell in love with a burlap wreath on Pinterest, but of course when I went to find it to show you it was gone.

This post is pretty close to the method I used.

Year Round Burlap Wreath

I used a metal floral wreath, a spool of burlap ribbon that was lined with wire on the edges.

Like the post above, you form a loop with the burlap between two of the wires. You then make a loop between the next set of wires and so on and so on. I would move from one end to the other and back again in a zigzag pattern, pushing the loops back to make sure the wreath was nice and full.

I wanted to make this a wreath that I could use year round (rather than storing several wreaths). For the summer, I chose to decorate it with sunflowers. I cut the flowers off the top of artificial plants and secured them on floral wire. I then used the floral wire to attach the sunflowers to the wreath.

I haven’t figured out all the decorations I will use, but for winter I plan on using floral wire and a big red ribbon to decorate the wreath. This will save so much of my storage space!

Tea Towel Art

Let’s take a moment to talk about my kitchen art. I NEVER thought I’d have kitchen art. Very rarely do I decorate my house with something not functional or sentimental. I know this could make me boring, but it also encourages creativity.

One of the exceptions to the this rule is my kitchen art. It was most likely Food in Jars that held a contest for Mason jar themed tea towels. With utter lack of self control I ordered one, not sure what I’d do with it. Weeks later I came upon a second one and came up with how I would use them (up until I came up with it’s purpose it was catching dust and wasting space).

Tea Towel Art

For this project you will need to buy:
-a decorative kitchen towel
-a large picture frame (I bought a poster frame at 50% off at Hobby Lobby)

Then grab your tools:
-iron and board
-double sides tape


1. Iron your towel.

2. Gently stretch over the cardboard backing of the frame. Use the double sided to tape to adhere to the back side of the board. (I decided to do it this way as opposed to cutting and gluing so as not to permanently damage the towel.)

3. Replace the backing in the frame, hang and enjoy!

Dining Room Furniture Project—Bar/Buffet Edition

I miss blogging! I try to normally do three a week, but with my trip and non stop running around since I got home I haven’t had a moment to myself. In fact, I am DESPERATE for some a full night’s sleep. Thank you for your patience.

Our BIG home project this year is outdoor landscaping. However, as finances (and good deals on things we have our eye on come up) allow I am slowly working on other indoor projects. One of the fun design projects in progress is the dining room. We have already accomplished painting the room, making the curtains and hanging the pictures and art work. For the remaining projects we want a bar/extra storage space and new chairs. We are also slowly collecting antique mason jars to place on top of our china cabinet.

For the storage problem, I had done a lot of research and was having a difficult time finding something I liked at a price I was willing to pay. I had thought that maybe our best bet would be for Joe to build something, which isn’t something neither one of us really wanted. I was mulling on it and weighing my options, while focusing on our more immediate landscape overhaul.

And then while in Oklahoma I had to make a Target run to buy aloe (my skin burns like that’s it’s job). While roaming around the store I came across this cabinet in white. I knew instantly it fulfilled our size, look and price requirements. Now I will be the first to say that I never expected to buy furniture from Target, but it does meet our needs, so I thought we should give it a shot.

I decided to do something a little outside my comfort zone and order the cabinet in yellow. It just had so much character and really added to the room.

Dining Bar and Buffet

It is also home to my first piece of vintage Pyrex! There is a fabulous seven building antique mall in Missouri, which has been added to my list of stops on my way to Oklahoma.

Fiesta Trivets

I have been collecting Fiestaware since our wedding. I honestly don’t know what attracted it to me in the first place as I am not a colorful/rainbow type of person. But I do know what has kept me interested. The quality is unbelievable. While we have broken some glassware, non of the ceramic pieces have broken. They dishwasher (a must!), microwave, freezer and oven safe. A godsend for someone who doesn’t have the time or energy to remember what to wash where. They are made in the US—Joe and I visited the factory last summer. Finally, one of the things I love the most is that they have been around forever and are constantly adding pieces and colors to the collection. This means that on the day we finally do break a ceramic piece, we will have no problem replacing it. We don’t have to worry about a pattern being discontinued or loosing a place setting We are set.

Fiesta Trivets

When I started the collection, I started saving a trivet in each color with the goal to hang in them in our kitchen when we finally got a house. I know the style is a bit dated, but it honestly is the perfect decoration in a Fiesta kitchen. Maybe upon a kitchen remodel I will find a better way to display them, but until then they are happily hanging on our soffit.


I bought these plate hangers. The directions are simple. Spread water on the back, wait 5-10 minutes for it to become sticky and apply to the back of the plate. They then need to dry over night before being tested and hung.


A few weeks ago my five year process of collecting paid off as they were hung. I was so excited to cross this project off the Home To Do List.