Minimal Living Room @themerrythoughtIt’s finally time — I’m sharing my living room! It’s in its most completed state that it will be in for a while so I figured I should just share it now. I’ve got the new furniture moved in and am excited to be using this room for real life and not just as a crafting disaster room/photoshoot space. We had to paint the floors while waiting to buy hardwoods for in there and I ended up kind of loving how bright it makes the room (although I’m sure I’ll love getting some wood floors in there at some point.) Between the brightness and the plants, it’s pretty much the happiest spaceΒ to walk into. You might be able to spy a bunch of DIYs that we’ve shared over the last year mixed into this room already and I have a DIY coffee table that should be going in sometime soon. I’m also on a mission to find a perfect credenza for this space so if anyone happens to see anything let me know! Other than those last couple things I’m waiting on, I’m happy with how it has turned out and am so excited to spend more time in here! More info and sources below!Minimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtSo there it is! Bright & simple!


Sources: Couch c/o All Modern. Papasan Chair c/o All Modern. Bench c/o All Modern. Woven Rug c/o All Modern. Rattan Stool c/o All Modern. Cow Hide Rug c/o The Leather Guy. Hammock Chair. Brass Globe Light. Brass Planter. Marble & Brass Side Table (Similar). Hanging Cement Planter. Salt Lamp. DIY Magazine Rack. DIY Planter Wall. DIY Footstool. DIY Ladder Plant Stand. DIY Tomato Cage Plant Stand. DIY Wire Plant Stand. DIY Knit Pillow.


Wood Wall OrganizerI’ve had this project on my to-do list for the last few years. And now that it’s finally done, I’m so excited – because of what I’m using it for. If you don’t have school age kids, I’ll let you in on a little secret…the kids get a crazy, astronomically high volume of papers sent home with them. Daily. I think it might be the number one complaint I hear from moms when we’re discussing clutter and things they struggle with. All the papers. And when you’ve got more than one kiddo in school, it’s the same papers times 3 or 4 or whatever. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep up on the paper overload over the years…sorting and getting rid of papers quickly, done. Keeping my floors clean, not so much. 😬 Ya win some, ya lose some. And while I can sort and get rid of the massive amounts of papers coming in, there’s still quite a few the boys need to keep. Homework packets, field trip info, etc. So for the last few years I’ve just been sticking the “keep” papers behind a cutting board on our counter, not the best place, but at least we don’t see them. I wanted something so that each of the boys could have their own little shelf or pocket for their papers, but I didn’t want it to look too “office-y”. And maybe be able to use it for something different down the road – like magazines or mail. And if you’re wondering why it looks like that’s what I am using it for now, well school papers just don’t photograph well (shocking, I know). πŸ˜‰ So yes, it’s styled pretty for the photos, but keeping me sane and organized in real life.Wood Wall OrganizerWood Wall OrganizerWood Wall OrganizerMaterials:

– 1’ x 2’ x 1/4” birch plywood
– table saw
– 1” x 2” x 6’ pine board
– power planer
– wood glue
– nail gun and nails
– clamps
– carpenter square
– drill with 1/4” forstner drill bit
– 3’ long 1/4” dowel
– flat ring hangers & screwsWood Wall OrganizerWood Wall Organizer

On the table, saw cut the plywood board at 11-1/2” lengthwise. Cut again at 11-1/2” from the remainder of the board. Cut three 2” pieces from one of these and cut three 1-1/2” pieces and one 1” piece. From the other 11-1/2” piece cut two 1” pieces.

From the pine board, cut a piece 1 3/4” wide, and then cut it into two 28” pieces and one 12-5/8” piece.

Cut the two 28” pieces to 5/8” thick using the table saw. use the power planer to clean up the saw marks taking the boards down to 9/16 inch thick. Leave the 12-5/8” piece 3/4” thick.

Using one each of the 2”, 1-1/2” and 1” pieces, glue and nail them together to form a shelf with a back.

Glue the 2” piece to the front of the 1-1/2” piece, and then glue the 1” piece on top at the back of the 1 1/2” piece. (We used a 23 gauge brad nail gun to hold them together while the glue dried. You could also just glue and clamp them together).

Repeat these steps with the other two shelves.

Lay out where your shelves will go on your side boards. Using a square, draw lines to help you position the shelves. (Our measurements are: first one flush with the bottom, second up 9-1/4 to the bottom of the shelf and the third one up 18-1/2 to the bottom of the shelf).

Lay out where the holes for the dowels will go. (We placed ours at 5-1/4” from the bottom 14-1/2” and 23-3/4” and 5/16” back from the front of the sides to the center of the holes).

Using a 1/4” forstner bit, drill the holes 5/16” deep.

Cut the 1/4” dowel into three pieces, 12” long.

Starting with one of the side pieces, glue and nail and then clamp the three shelves in place, allow the glue to dry.

Place that side on a flat surface with the shelves sticking up. Insert the dowels into the three holes, glue the ends of the three shelves and place the other side in position. (It may be helpful to have a helper at this point to get the dowels all into their holes at the same time).

Glue and nail and then clamp or just use glue and then clamp. Allow to dry.

Glue and nail the 12-5/8” piece to the top of the sides.

To hang, install two flat ring hangers to the backside of the top piece and one flat ring hanger to the middle of the bottom shelf so that they stick out, use screws to fasten the unit to the wall.Wood Wall OrganizerWood Wall Organizer


Sources: Chair c/o Versanora | Hanging Planter | Plant Stand | Rug | Plant Basket – Target Dollar Bins

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 2:45 pm

    Terri - I definitely want to make this! It would be perfect next to my desk for things that are too bullky to pin to my bulletin board.


    • Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:42 am

      Manda - Yes, it would be perfect for those bigger items! Hope that you do make it and enjoy it! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 11:01 am

    Christina Gamble - Great DIY projectsReplyCancel

    • Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:41 am

      Manda - Thanks Christina! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel


DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtI am SO excited to be sharing this post today! You may have spotted some of these rootless succulents in some of my posts throughout the year and assumed it was just a fake plant – but they’re REAL! Have any of youΒ seen these rootless/dirtless succulents at any plant shops? Wegmans is actually the only place that I’ve seen them sold so far. My friend bought me a couple last year and I couldn’t find any information about them online and wasn’t really sure how to take care of them. So for the past year I just took a guess at how to care for them and they’re still alive! So I decided to make some of my own and share with you all how to make them and care for them! They’re so much fun to scatter on shelves, to bring to your desk at work, to use for styling, or to top off a gift for a friend!

This process basically stops the growth of the succulent. Mine have barely changed over the course of the year! It’s a great option for those succulents that have a mind of their own and have grown far too tall or long for their pots and have started to break. You can just cut off the top and use it for this!DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Succulent (Smaller succulents will hold up much better.)
-Sharp knife
-Spray bottle
-Paper towel

How to make it:
Decide how many of the succulent leaves that you want to keep and then take the knife and cut through the stem of the succulent right below the bottom leaves that you want to stay on your rootless succulent. Once it is detached, set the succulent on a moist paper towel and leave it for the day. Continue to mist the paper towel and base of the succulent for a couple of days. The base should kind of callous over within a few days.

How to care for it:
After the base has calloused, once each week I take a spray bottle and spritz the base of the succulent. After a couple of months, tiny roots may appear – continue to spritz those. You can always plop it back in dirt if you want it to grow more.

**Below on the left you can see a week old cut succulent that is calloused over the bottom. On the right you can see a different succulent that was cut about a year ago with small roots on the bottom.
DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythought-Caitlin

  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 10:06 pm

    Erica - So with the spritzing, how do you keep it from getting mold, fungus, or other nasty stuff at the root?ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:05 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - I haven’t had any problems with that. I spritz the base with two quicks sprays each week and then they are usually displayed on a dry shelf and the ridges of the leaves around the base allow for good ventilation at the base of the succulent. This might be different depending on the size/shape of the succulent that you use or your climate but from my personal experience with these over the past year – I haven’t had any problems with that. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Friday, March 9, 2018 - 1:13 am

    Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling - Absolutely brilliant. I’m going to try this.ReplyCancel

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 - 12:20 am

    shweta - How to provide nourishment to these? Love the idea but am little surprised about its growth. Will it be fine with damp towel base only?
    Please guide.ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:00 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - After the first week, I removed mine from the damp paper towel and just spray the base of the plant with water once each week. I’ve had some of these for almost a year – so it has worked for me so far! They will pretty much just stay the same size after being cut unless you put them back in dirt and let their roots grow out.ReplyCancel


Beer CheeseThis recipe is a favorite – both with us and readers! We shared it in our first year of blogging – 5 years ago! So crazy that we’ve been blogging for that long. Over the years, our love for the beer cheese never wavered, however our love of the photos in that post sure did – ha! And our cravings happened to collide with a chance to shoot some photos the last time we made this, so we thought it’d be fun to update the pictures from that post…just in time for you to whip some up for St. Patrick’s Day! πŸ˜‰ This was our take on an appetizer from Applebee’s – the Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese. We love it with homemade soft pretzels, but it’d also be great with veggies, potatoes or bread!Beer CheeseBeer CheeseBeer Cheese

Beer Cheese

Inspired by Applebee's Brew Pub Pretzels with Beer Cheese, this creamy beer cheese is perfect for dipping soft pretzels, veggies or bread! 

Course: Appetizer
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup beer, Blue Moon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups colby jack cheese, shredded*
  • 1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded*
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat.

  2. Add flour and whisk to combine, cooking about one minute until smooth. 

  3. Gradually add in beer and milk, whisking constantly.

  4. Add garlic, dry mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

  5. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir frequently until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. The sauce should begin to coat the back of the spoon.

  6. Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

  7. Add cayenne pepper and salt & pepper to taste.

  8. Serve immediately, while warm. 

Recipe Notes

You can find the recipe for the soft pretzels here.

Please note that this recipe is inspired by Applebee's beer cheese and is not a copycat recipe - just something similar we love!

*Be sure to shred your own cheese and not buy the pre-shredded kind! The cheese sauce won't have the same consistency if you don't shred your own.
Beer Cheese


  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 11:30 am

    Ivory - This looks amazing. Will be making this. Yum!ReplyCancel


DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtAs the rest of the country is enjoying the beginning of spring, we’ve got some solid 30Β° weather headed our way! One of the only good parts is that it gives me an excuse for more hot baths and getting all wrapped up on the couch. And today’s project is perfect for making your couch a bit more cozy – no matter what the season! My cousin Kailey is back to share this quick tutorial for all of the knitters out there!DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
12″ x 20″ pillow
Tapestry needle
US size 19 circular knitting needles
-3 skeins of yarn, weight #7
* We used Bernat Mega Bulky (Dark Grey Heather)
* Using two strands of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick-Charcoal(yarn weight #6) gave a similar look if you can’t find the Bernat Mega Bulky

How to make it:

-Cast on 28
-Row 1: Knit all the way across
-Rows 2-60: Knit all the way across
-Cast off (leave a long end to sew with)

-Using tapestry needle, sew up the center and tie off. Weave in ends. Slide pillow cover over pillow, placing the seam in the middle of the backside of the pillow.

-Now sew up both ends of the pillow cover, be sure to weave in ends.
DIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtDIY Knit Pillow @themerrythoughtDIY Knit Pillow @themerrythought-Caitlin & Kailey

Sources: Bench. Couch. Cowhide Rug. Ladder.

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  • Friday, March 2, 2018 - 10:25 pm

    Jackie - I’ve always loved the looks of knitted pillows, and I never realized just how easy they are to make! I’ll have to try this out!ReplyCancel

  • Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 3:42 pm

    Eme - Thanks for sharing this knit pattern, I can’t wait to try it out and make a new cushion for my sofa.

    Eme | http://www.peoniesandpassionfruit.comReplyCancel