It’s A….. ‘nother dog! (And tips on keeping a clean, animal filled house)

Listen friends, I know as a married gal of (gulp) 30 you might expect me to start making some babies. But I’m totally not doing that and we just went ahead and got another dog instead.

So now we have 3 cats and 2 dogs. And maybe we have lost our minds. But we freaking love animals, and how could you possibly resist this face?

Ichabod- Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption

Meet Ichabod, formerly Banjo, the newest addition to Little Green House! We adopted him through Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, the same place our other dog came from four years ago.

two adopted dogs- LLR

Ichabod is a bundle of energy, a huge difference from Dutch The Laziest Dog Ever, and we are having so much fun with him! Everyone is settling in, getting a long, and relearning their place in the pack- including us humans! :)


With 5 animals in the house I am now more cautious then ever to make sure our house is odor and clutter free. I prefer that when people say “You have 5 pets? Really?” it’s because they are genuinely surprised, and not thinking “Obviously. It stinks in here.”

Ichabod and Dutch- rescue dogs

So, here’s a few tips:

  • Store all  pet supplies in a piece of actual furniture, so everything (including leashes) is hidden away at all times but still easy to get to. The cats get a shelf, the dogs get a shelf and a drawer (and the bottom drawer stores vases/accessories I use on the first floor).

striped wall room with painted furniture

  • Hide the litter box, whenever possible. Check out my DIY solution here. We keep the DIY version in the living room, then a litter box in Matt’s office, and one in the guest room (rooms generally not used when we have people over).

secret litter box in an old end table

  • Keep bowls and dishes clean and stylish. I built Dutch’s pet stand (here), we got Ichabod a nice metal one, and PetSafe® sent us this amazing 100oz Drinkwell® Sedona Pet Fountain.

Pet Safe Drinkwell Pet Fountain

Sidenote: This founatin is awesome, especially with the amount of pets we have. It blends in, holds a ton of water, and is even filtered. These pets live better than me!  Read more and buy your own here.

PicMonkey Collage

  • Tuck the pet food away in a closet. I keep the cat food in rolling tupperware in the coat closet, and the dog food in a large tupperware in my closet- so it’s not out in the open (THIS one for the cats, THIS one for the dogs)*
  • Sweep daily, vacuum 2-3 times a week, and steam mop once every 1-2 weeks (THIS steam mop is the bomb dot com)*. I know this is a lot, but there are 7 mammals in our house now and that is a LOT of hair and allergens.

rescue pets- cats and dogs

How many pets do you have? And how do you keep everything clean and organized?


PetSafe provided me with the water dish free of charge, but I opted to include it in this post because it really is amazing and well made. As always, I only endorse products I love and use myself.

*denotes affiliate link

On Turning 30

Today I turn 30. Or, as I prefer to say, I turn 25 for the 5th time. I am struggling with this age. My twenties were awesome, which makes it difficult for me to not stay in my twenties forever.

In the past 10 years I have:

…earned a Master’s degree (age 21)

…bought a house & started this blog (age 25)

…adopted a dog (age 25)

…married my stud muffin of a husband (age 27)

…gotten 2 nephews (and married into having 3 more nephews and a niece!)

…paid off my credit card debt (…twice. whoops)

…switched jobs (3 times! whew!), started a second job as an adjunct professor, and signed a contract to freelance for

A few months ago I was scrolling through  my personal Tumblr page to grab graphics for a class I’m teaching and I stumbled on this post, from 2010, that I totally forgot about:

30 before 30 tumblr screen shot

25 year old me decided a 13 before 13 list was good enough, and I thought I’d check back in on that now:

  1. Well I haven’t made a construction paper craft, but I have done a TON of construction paper crafts with my Silhouette so I think I’m covered (check out this owl themed baby shower with TONS of paper crafts)
  2. Uh yeahh, I’d say I bought a house. ;)
  3. I did not join big brother/big sister but I do donate to them almost monthly, and I work with an underprivileged population through my day job too.
  4. Definitely reduced my dependency on paper towels! Yay environmental awareness!
  5. Stay hamburg free? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
  6. Covered it up on Saturday- although I went with a rose instead of a marigold.
  7. Haven’t toured the finger lakes wineries, but I have toured like 5 other wineries so maybe let’s call this half covered. :)
  8. Thanks to my husband, I have seen all the Rambo movies.
  9. Haven’t visited that darn zoo yet and I’m still dying too!
  10. This summer we vacationed in the Bahamas. IT WAS BALLER. (and we’re planning a trip to London for 2017 too!)
  11. I’m glad I put “create,” because while I didn’t paint, I did turn a shower curtain into a canvas (here).
  12. Dyed my hair black a few summers ago. And I loved it! But my husband hated it, so I’ll stick to reds.
  13. No hot air balloons for me yet :(

Soooo… 9ish out of 13 without me even remembering the list. Not too bad! But it still doesn’t make feel great about officially being in my 30s.  ::insert scared face emoji here::

Composting Made Easy

Last year I came up with an ugly, albeit easy and maintainable, composting plan. You can read all about my super simple and very free compost system here – it consists of two garbage cans and a giant stick.

I’m happy to report that a year later we’re still using the same system and it’s working out great. I even got to use some of last year’s compost in this year’s garden (which was very rewarding and satisfying).

Composting is so easy and not at all intimidating, and you don’t need a lot of space to make it happen. I put together a board on Hometalk that’s got all aspects of it covered:

  • kitchen counter composting (for those with no space at all!)
  • what to compost and what not to compost
  • how to build a compost bin out of trash barrels, pallets, hay bales, or lumber (there’s so many options!)
  • how to build a lasagna style composting flower bed (I did this method for my garden bed 2 years ago and it’s still working out awesome- my flowers came in great this year!!)
  • and lots more

Check it out here:

easy composting options for big and small spaces

And for quick reference, I love this printable list of what to compost (download it here) – we kept it on our fridge last year as we were learning and it was a big help:

what to compost - printable list

Kitchen Favorites & Wish Lists

Tis the season for tons of eating, amiright? For us, last week it was Thanksgiving and soon it’ll be Christmas. As a little Italian lady-in-training, I spend a mighty amount of time in the kitchen so I thought I’d pair up with my friends at Wayfair to show you what kitchen stuff I already own and love, and what is on my wish list (and should be on yours too! treat yo’ self!). kitchen appliance must haves First up is the Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Portable Slow Cooker . Guys. I travel at least an hour and a half to all family gatherings. And this thing plugs into my car (my car has an outlet in it). It is amazing. For example, let’s say I’m making meatballs (because I usually am). I can prep them the night before. I can pop them into the slower cooker in the morning. Then I can put the slow cooker on the floor of my car and finish the cooking while I am driving. Ugh. You need this. Next there’s the classic Pizzelle Maker. This is only about $50, but I’ve been holding off buying one because I know my grandmother’s is coming straight to me some day. And while you can’t beat a nice, worn in, thin style pizzelle maker- this is a close second. Mmmmmmm pizzelles. Do yourself a favor and make a few with cocoa powder too. You’re welcome. Finally, if we’re wishing for things, let’s go big or go home. Starting with this KitchenAid Mixer . I don’t know how I don’t have one of these yet, but it’s been on my wish list for like 3 years. I particularly like the glass bowl over the stainless steel one, for no reason other then aesthetics. easy table scape I don’t set up elaborate centerpieces or tablescapes, because that leaves no room for the food. And while I like my cookware new and shiny, I like my table settings old. The gold flatware, wine glasses, ceramic serving plate, and glass spoon rest are all family heirlooms. The amber plate set I got at my city’s online auction for $6 (for a set of 4!). The napkin is a rolled piece of scrap fabric because let’s face it… we’re going to use paper napkins…. and the tablecloth is actually a leopard scarf. I dare you to find an Italian woman who does not have a spare leopard scarf. Oh! And if you’re not in the market for big budget wish list items, here’s a few smaller things I can’t live without: small kitchen must haves

garlic press / cheese grater / wooden utensil set

What’s on your kitchen wish list this year?


This post was written in collaboration with Wayfair, and while I was compensated for my time all stereotypical Italian references and kitchen wish lists are true.

An interview, a book, & a recipe

I’ve got a little hodgepodge of thoughts for you today…

1. I’m over at Terry’s Fabric’s blog talking about creative trends (colors, textiles, fabrics) that are interesting to mix and match. Check it out here.

trendy fabric material colors


2. Have you checked out the Craft Fail book by Heather Mann yet? I got it in the mail and meant to just flip through it and then read it later…. but like an hour later I was on the couch going page by page. Loved it! Makes a great coffee table book and would be a fun little gift for a crafter in your life.


3. Tis the season to cook/bake your butt off. Might I suggest the following dish…

pumpkin pie cake

I made it two years ago and it was a huge hit- so so good. And super easy! Check it out on Sawdust & Embryos.


What’s happening in your world these days? Share in the comments!

Life Lately via Social Media

I was hoping to have a project for you today, but it’s not quite done yet. Someone really needs to create caulk/glue/liquid nails products that are dry and ready for sanding 10 minutes after application. Waiting 24 hours is not something I handle well.

So instead of beautifully styled shelves you get this:

sandpaperglue instagram

I bought a bunch of 1×2’s and 1×8’s and I’m building some shelves in our (rarely blogged about) movie room because our hoard of box sets and autographed paraphernalia has gotten a little out of hand. The wood is up on the wall, and I added some liquid nails to the seams just to make it extra strong. Hopefully tonight I can sand and paint, then share the room with you by the end of the week.

Also, we bought new dining room chairs like a month ago. They are AWESOME and I am OBSESSED with them. Here’s an Instagram pic of them for those of you who don’t follow me there:

eames knockoff white dining chairs

One day I’ll pack up the Halloween decor, do the dishes, and take a few nice pictures to show you the whole space. For for now all you need to know is that these chairs make me so very happy and I haven’t decided if I love the table with them or not. What do you think?

ALSO, one more update for you from my Twitter account:

sandpaperglue tweet

I guess I’m going to be a real estate agent now? I don’t know what happened. One of my college friends texted me that there was a Groupon and let’s do this, and so now we’re doing it. We are going to 40 hours worth of classes, 8am-6pm Saturday and Sunday for two weekends in a row in February. The classes will get us the certificate we need to sit for the exam… I haven’t even looked into the exam yet. I haven’t even told my family I’m doing this yet (so yeah, mom and Nonna, uhh this is happening? I’ll call you! haha.)

My friend convinced me very easily by saying the worst case scenario is that we learn a ton more about real estate (and I reallllly like real estate so that’s cool). The best case scenario is that we build a thriving real estate empire and take over the world. It’s a win/win really.


Soooooo… those are some things.  It feels like BAM November is here and we are so BUSY and it WON’T STOP for months and WHY is it so dark because now I’ll really get nothing done. What’s happening in your life? :)

DIY Etched Leaf Coasters (and 24 other great fall projects!)

My aunt’s birthday was this month and I wanted to give her something inexpensive but thoughtful, more of an “I’m thinking of you” gift then a “big fancy happy birthday present,” you know?

Here’s what I came up with:

etched leaf coasters

I picked up 6 brown tiles at the Habitat Restore for 10 cents each, then put together a design for them in my Silhouette Cameo. Here’s a screen shot of what I ended up with:

etched tile outline


I went with 4 monogrammed tiles and two fall themed tiles (though I only ended up giving her 2 monogrammed ones and then the 2 with the leaves… I really need to work on centering my vinyl better).

I printed up the design on my Silhouette, placed the vinyl on my coasters, and used glass etching cream to etch them. I have this glass etching starter kit, which is super helpful because it comes with a hook and a scraper tool.

Because the ceramic tile is a bit more durable then glass, I let the cream sit for about 3 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Then I was left with this:

etched coasters


It’s really subtle, but they came out very cute. With a little felt hot glued to the bottom they were good to go!

To gift them, I just added a little fall themed ribbon and a tag and called it a day. Easy peasy!

easy handmade gift - personalized coasters


At 10 cents a pop I feel like these could be easily adapted to any holiday… or just buy whatever color tile matches the decor of the home and stick with a monogram.



Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Paper Rosette Fall Wreath Hello Fall Sign Halloween Paper Bag Luminaries Spooky Mantle Ghost Town Dollar Store Placemat Jack O' Lantern Copper and Paper Embellished Pumpkins Ugly Sweater Wineglass Charms DIY Fall Leave Paper Wreath Starry Pumpkin Burlap & BOO Halloween Wreath Fall Paper Petals Fall Leaves Favor Tags 15 Minute Customized Halloween Buckets Gravestone Treat Bags with Free Cut File Beware of Zombies Halloween Shadow Box Welcome Sign Vampire Bat Specimen Boo-tiful Halloween Treats Little Turkey No Sew Thanksgiving Onesie Frozen Halloween Treats & Free Printable Fall Leaf Keychain Fall Lovin October Silhouette Challenge Punny #Hashtag Halloween Costume Still Falling For You Card DIY Etched Leaf Coasters

1. Create & Babble // 2. Lil Mrs. Tori // 3. unOriginal Mom // 4. Zanaree // 5. The Kim Six Fix // 6. One Dog Woof // 7. Cupcakes & Crowbars // 8. Living My Given Life // 9. Architecture of a Mom // 10. Put A Bird On It // 11. Just Add Paper // 12. Weekend Craft // 13. Silhouette School // 14. Minted Strawberry // 15. My Paper Craze // 16. McCall Manor // 17. Chicken Scratch NY // 18. Mama Sonshine // 19. Creative Ramblings // 20. From Wine to Whine // 21. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 22. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 23. The Thinking Closet // 24. Simply Kelly Designs // 25. Sandpaper & Glue //