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Summer Salad Recipes

Recipes

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One of my favorite things to make in the summertime is summer salad with homemade dressing! Homemade dressing is surprisingly easy to make and soooooo delicious! One of my favorites is a spinach and strawberry salad with a strawberry dressing. Here’s what you need:

-A bag of spinach and a bag of spring mix lettuce
-Sliced strawberries
-Precooked sliced chicken strips
-Sliced almonds and craisins (optional)
To make the dressing you will need:
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/4 cup vinegar
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/4 tsp paprika
-2 tbsp sesame seeds
-1 tbsp poppy seeds
-1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen 
Take all the ingredients for the dressing and place them in a blender, mix until completely blended. Pour over salad when ready to serve! 
  
          
This summer I have been spending a lot more time than normal cooking in the kitchen and teaching my kids some of my favorite recipes. Something new that has been so fun and helpful is my Samsung Family Hub refrigerator! It has a feature called Smart Recipes and if you tap on it you can view that recipe and all the ingredients needed to make it! This has saved dinnertime at our home more than once, plus it gives us new ideas for recipes we haven’t tried before!

          

One of the new recipes it showed us last week was for S’mores dip! I never would have thought of this and it’s now a family favorite! On the family hub it gives you the option to read the directions, show you the ingredients, and even add the ingredients to your shopping list!

          

I can’t wait to try out some more fun recipes this summer!

-Grey Birch Designs-

Tall “X” DIY Mirror

DIY Projects

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I am frequently asked about my living room mirrors and everyone is always surprised when I tell them they are actually a DIY project I did a few years ago. When we first moved into our new home I realized the living room needed a statement piece. I tried to find tall designer inspired mirrors but just couldn’t bring myself to spend a chunk of money on them, so I set out to try and make what I had envisioned for a fraction of the cost!!

Supply list:
Cut to 57.5″ x 23″ 
This can be customized a bit depending on the size mirror you get
TIP: If you don’t have a large saw to cut the plywood some Home Depots will cut it for FREE or Lowe’s does cuts for a small fee.

I found mine on a local classifieds page but Home Depot sells wood that looks similar
They come in a few different sizes so you can pick the size you like best, I used the 2.5″ size

– Wood trim
1.5″ wide and .25″ thick

– Wood Glue
– Black paint
Tool List:
– Miter saw
– Sander or sand paper
– Clamps
– Nail gun or hammer & nails
STEP 1:
The first thing you want to do is paint your cut pieces of plywood that you will attach your mirror to  as well as your trim pieces, let them dry while you make your other cuts.
STEP 2:
Next cut the barnwood to frame out your piece of plywood. Remember to cut the corners at a 45 degree angle. Frame out all sides of the plywood.
STEP 3:
Then cut the trim pieces to make the X’s on the mirror. Divide the height of the mirror into 3 equal sections. Make three equal size boxes with the trim. Don’t glue anything down yet.
STEP 4: 
Now to make the X’s you will need to measure each box on a diagonal (do each one separately because the boxes can vary in size slightly). Cut the diagonal trim pieces so they fit into the corners of the boxes. The best way to do this is to trace the angles on the wood and cut them on the saw. Repeat this step for all three boxes.
STEP 5:
Now it’s time to put everything together!! Lay out your wood trim pieces on the mirror. Once you get them how you want, take some clear silicone adhesive and glue each piece down to the mirror. Depending on how tight fitting your wood trim pieces meet up you may want to fill the small gaps with wood filler.
STEP 6:
Then attach your mirror to the plywood. Use the same adhesive on the back of the mirror and glue it down to the middle of the plywood.
STEP 7:
Next attach your barnwood frame! Take each piece you have already cut and attach it with some wood glue. Then take your clamps and clamp the wood down while you secure each piece with a few nails.

STEP 8:
When the glue has dried, sand the wood filler (if you used it) touch up the paint and add the flat braces to each corner. The final step is to add the hanging hardware. There are many ways you can do this. I like to drive 2 screws several inches apart into the back of the wood and connect them with picture hanging wire.
          
That’s it, your done, and now you have a beautiful custom mirror without the designer price tag!!
-Grey Birch Designs-

7 of my Favorite Home Decor Bloggers

Uncategorized

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Today I have a round up of some of my favorite up and coming home decor bloggers. I find so much inspiration from these talented ladies! Whether it’s a DIY project, tablescape, or design and decor tips, they have some amazing! Each one has a different style and I’m excited to share them all with you. I know you will draw so much inspiration from them just like I do!

Shiplap Addict Bethany has such a beautiful home and she speaks my language with here love for shiplap!! She has two homes, one in the traditions farmhouse style and the other in a boho style. Both are stunning and full of inspiration. She also had some fun craft and DIY projects that she shares, her fun wreaths are some of my favorites!!
                    
City Girl Meets Farmboy Kelly is the DIY queen, she will tackle any project and teach you everything you need to know to give it a try yourself! She has some great how-to project videos and for someone who’s a visual learner like me, it’s awesome! This summer she has been doing some fun backyard projects like building garden boxes and growing a beautiful garden. These are projects I need to take on and I’ll be scrolling her blog when I do!
                    
Cali Girl in a Southern World Meeghan is a California girl just like me, but now she’s living and loving life on a farm in the south! From home decor, to delicious recipes, and even some fun farm life she’s got it all. I love her beautiful lifestyle blog and and cozy farmhouse style! If you want to see the most beautiful porch ever definitely check her out!
          
Down Shiloh Road If you like vintage, chippy, rustic farmhouse Jenn is your girl! Not only does she have some fun DIY projects, beautiful farmhouse home decor, and tasty recipes, but she has an online shop!! It’s full of so many cute vintage finds plus so much more. One of her latest posts that I loved was on the best places to go antiquing and it totally made me want to head to the Midwest and hit up some of these amazing spots!!
                    
Hip and Humble style Deborah does it all and has some of my favorite before and after photos of her beautiful home she has renovated. I love seeing all her table setting and entertaining ideas – so much inspiration!! She also has some super cute easy DIY projects that I know you will want to try!
                    
A Little Dose of Jen Jen is amazing and one of the funniest women I know! Her home is what dreams are made of and I’m pretty sure I could sit out on her porch swing all day long. She’s a twin mommy just like me, and and will always give it to you straight. She does DIYs and home decor, but also has some super informative and helpful posts about parenting and living with anxiety. She’s a wealth of knowledge and will most certainly make you laugh!
                    
Sugar Maple Farmhouse Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live on a real farm in the country? I know it’s always been a little fantasy of mine and Rachel shares it all!! She has DIY projects, like making a planter out of an old chicken feeder – seriously how cute is that! She also has gardening tips, and so many amazing recipes. I’m currently drooling over her sourdough bread recipe and can’t wait to give it a try!
                    
I hope you check out all these talented bloggers and enjoy their beautiful blogs with all the inspiration they all have to offer!!
-Grey Birch Designs-

Creating a Backyard Dining Space

DIY Projects

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One of the biggest projects we tackled this summer was creating an outdoor dining area on our back deck. We built this deck about 3 years ago out of redwood and it just didn’t hold up well against the elements. We knew it needed some repairs, but we decided to make it bigger and better than it previously was.

My goal was to create a cozy outdoor dinning area that fit in with the flow of our backyard design. I had a vision for a sleek looking deck with a simple, modern style pergola on top.

First we removed all the old warped and scratched redwood deck boards. We replaced them with Trex, a composite deck material that is able to stand the test of time and weather. This was the best choice for the deck because it’s requires no maintenance. We went with the pebble grey color and I absolutely love it!
             
After we finished the decking it was time to design the pergola! I knew we would have to make a custom size pergola because the deck is an odd size to fit the back section of our house. 
I came across the Toja Grid system and it was the perfect solution to the design I had in my head. Toja Grid makes heavy duty metal brackets that fit wood posts to create a modern looking pergola. The brackets can be purchased in many different kits. For our project we used the 4×4 double pergola with 2×4 roof rafters. This kit made the daunting task of building a pergola from scratch a lot more achievable!
It’s a super easy system and basically fits together like a puzzle. We used 4×4’s for the posts and 2×4’s for the slats on top. We cut our vertical 4×4 posts to fit just under the eves of our house, giving it a true custom look. Each piece of wood fits nicely into a bracket and then they all attach together with the provided screws.
                     
It took us a few hours to get the Toja Grid put together and boy was it worth it!! From the moment we stood it up and attached to the deck I was in love. It completely transformed the whole deck and gave it the cozy feel I was hoping for. 
Finally, we moved on to the finish work. We used a semi-transparent black stain that doubles as a wood water sealer. We then added some beautiful outdoor furniture, outdoor decor, plants, and some string lights across the top.
            
This was a big project but the the result was better than I could have ever imagined. We will enjoying this space for years to come!

  
If your backyard is screaming for a Toja Grid like mine was I have a great limited time discount offer to pass along to you all. Use code: GREYBIRCH to save 10% off your entire purchase from July 7th- July 21st!!
Before
After

-Grey Birch Designs-



Porch Remodel

Collaborations

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Your front porch is such an important part of your home but it is often overlooked. It’s the first impression people get when they come to your home and it sets the tone for what to expect inside. When I recently designed my porch I wanted it to represent my interior style but also give off a warm and welcoming feeling when people approach our front door. I chose furniture from Grandin Road because I wanted something comfortable and stylish. They have some of the most beautiful, on trend furniture and decor around! 
For years and years I had a small wood bench on my porch that wasn’t very comfortable. I knew I wanted to change that and when I saw these big oversized chairs (Vaca Chair) I knew they would be perfect! They are super comfortable and I find myself hanging out on the porch just so I can relax in these gorgeous chairs! I paired them with some adorable black and white pillows and a cute black metal side table. Since my porch isn’t that big I picked an end table instead of a coffee table to keep the space open.

For the entire four years I have lived in my home I have struggled with keeping real plants alive on the porch. The morning sun is intense and then shady the rest of the day, making it difficult for plants and flowers to flourish. Thankfully Grandin Road has the perfect solution: their outdoor faux greenery!! I added these faux hydranjia pot fillers to these amazing wood look tall planters for the exact look I was unable to achieve with real plants. These pot filler florals are my favorite. They look so realistic without all the maintenance and expense of replacing real plants!!
 
To finish up the cozy porch I added an outdoor rug to compliment the pillows and chairs, along with a wreath on my door and a couple oversized candle holders. I’m so happy with how my porch came together and love the cozy feel of this space.

-Grey Birch Designs-

Master Bathroon Vanity Remodel

DIY Projects

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I wanted to create a more updated modern farmhouse feel to our bathroom vanity and with just a few changes I was able to completely transform this space. It seriously doesn’t even look like the same bathroom vanity!

The first step was to do a little demo. We had the standard builder grade mirror that had to go! These can be a little tricky to remove but the best and safest way is to tape the mirror, a lot!! This will help keep the mirror from shattering and flying all over the place in the event it breaks. You can’t use too much tape on this step so go crazy! After that take a pry bar or something that you can slip in-between the wall and the mirror to carefully pry it off the wall. Typically these are glued in a few different spots with a strong adhesive. This can damage drywall, but in our case we were putting up shiplap so we weren’t too concerned about any drywall damage.
After we removed the mirror we started the fun part, shiplap! For a more modern spin on the traditional shiplap I decide to do vertical seemless shiplap. We used true MDF shiplap boards These are easy to work with because the spacing is already done for you and will line up perfect every time. By using MDF instead of real wood you get a more smooth uniform finish without all the wood grain. We attached the boards to the wall with instant grab construction adhesive and a couple nails in the top and the bottom. To accommodate the vanity light wires coming out of the wall we drilled a one inch hole in the shiplap and pulled the wires through.

Once we finished putting up the shiplap we trimmed it out with PVC trim. This gives it a more clean finished look and hides all the raw edges and nail holes. Then came my favorite part, the finishes and decor!!

                 

I love the look of mixed metals so I picked these brushed bronze sleek vanity lights. They are truly a show piece and the focal point of the vanity. To compliment the vanity lights I added some brushed bronze faucets with a modern look and feel. To finish the look I added the round mirrors in matte black and two different size cabinet pulls. I put the larger size pulls on the doors and slightly smaller size pulls on the drawers in the matte black finish to compliment the black in the mirrors! I kept the decor simple with a wood vase and some greenery

This was a fun and easy update that made a huge difference in our bathroom! I couldn’t be happier with how this project turned out!!
-Grey Birch Designs-

Kitchen Remodel

DIY Projects

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The beginning of the year for us, like so many others, started out looking very different. We had decided to sell our home and move to the next city over and build a cute farmhouse in a fun community. That all quickly changed largly due to the pandemic that hit us hard in March. Although at the time it was hard for me to see, I soon realized this was a HUGE blessing in disguise!! 
I was always a little sad about the thought of leaving our current home because we put our blood, sweat, and tears into making it what is is today. The one area of our home I always wanted to make changes to was our kitchen. I originally picked out off-white cabinets but they always looked a little yellow to me. 

Fast forward to late March – I’m not going to lie, I cried like a baby after we found out we weren’t going able to get the new house. But I have the world’s best husband and he knew my heart was broken. So he said to me “how about we do a kitchen remodel and turn our current house into everything you wanted” Seriously this made me cry happy tears way more than sad ones!

This project was mostly cosmetic. I love the layout of our kitchen – it was one of the big reasons we choose to build this model home back in 2015. What I wanted to change was the cabinets, countertops, and of course a farmhouse sink!!!

I had all my cabinets painted bright white (this is just the white base color without any additional color added in). I find this to be the truest bright white. We had the island painted Nevermore Grey by Sherwin Williams. We then had new white quartz countertops installed and modified the sink cabinet to accommodate the most beautiful farmhouse sink I found from BLANCO.

  

I chose the IKON® 33″ sink for a couple reasons. It’s a granite composite material that is stain and scratch resistant, which is super important with 5 kiddos in the house! It’s also a matte finish which gives it a more modern feel. This fits in perfectly with the new modern farmhouse design I’m going for in this kitchen remodel. I also picked out this gorgeous MERIDIAN™ faucet from BLANCO. It’s design makes me feel like a professional cook even when I’m not!! In all seriousness it’s not only beautiful but one of the best faucets I have ever had!

      

We took our sink cabinet doors to a custom cabinet maker to have the doors cut down to size. My farmhouse sink has a 10″ apron but our older sink was just a basic drop in. That meant our doors were too tall and didn’t fit under the sink anymore. We also had to change the support braces to hold the sink properly. We built small brackets inside the cabinet for the sink to sit on and lowered part of the horizontal cabinet face. Now my dream of having a farmhouse sink is a reality!!

This kitchen remodel is the largest project to date that we have done on our home and easily the most rewarding!!

BLANCO is a fantastic company and we have been extremely happy with their products. Our BLANCO farmhouse sink and faucet can be found here:

IKON® 33″ FARMHOUSE SINK
MERIDIAN™ FAUCET

-Grey Birch Designs-

Bedroom Makeover with RC Willey

Design Tips

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At the beginning of the year I had one project in mind that was at the top of my list: refreshing my bedroom!! The bedroom furniture had definitely seen better days – it was the same set we had when we got married 15 years ago!! 
I started this bedroom project by painting the shiplap wall this beautiful navy blue color (blue endeavour by Sherwin-Williams) that I quickly became obsessed with, and the rest of the room bright white. I knew I wanted a more modern but still comfortable bedroom design so I headed to one of my favorite local furniture stores,

I ended up picking out these nightstands The big selling point for me was the power strip in the top drawer so I can charge my phone and keep the top of the nightstand clear of clutter – total game changer! I also fell in love with the matching highboy dresser I love the color and texture of the wood in these pieces. To soften the look I wanted to bring in an ulpostered bed and this grey tufted bed couldn’t be more perfect!! The soft color, nail head trim detail, and clean lines are exactly what I was looking for!

To bring the whole design together I added new clean crisp white bed linens, some pillows, and a blanket with pops of navy to complement my newly painted shiplap wall. I also added two cute stools at the foot of my bed and some fun pieces of decor! I’m beyond excited with how it turned out and I know these pieces will stand the test of time!
 
-Grey Birch Designs-

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