Man Crates and Man Cave Inspiration Roundup

Hello Everyone!

I have such a fun post up today. Have you ever struggled to figure out what gift to get for the man in your life? I know I have. So when I saw these Man Crates Gifts For Men, I knew it was a great idea! Gift baskets have been around for ages, but how about these cool crates? You can choose from several different packages, from jerky to zombie preparedness!


There’s even sports and personalized gifts. Oh, and the fun part? They arrive in a crate that has to be opened with a crowbar! Much more fun than a plastic wrapped bag, yes? And you can re-use it. I also love that they send crates to men serving overseas, who I know would appreciate the humorous pick-me-up. As a blogger I get a lot of these PR type announcements, but Man Crates really caught my eye. Especially with my husband’s birthday coming up in a few weeks. Which inspired me to dream big, real big, and come up with a total Man Retreat I think he would love. We’ve been talking for months about eventually building a workshop for him that would double as a storm shelter. So I took the liberty of dreaming that we won the lottery and I got to surprise him with what I think would be his dream “Man Cave”. Let’s take a look!


Of course, I wanted everything to be sourced as locally as possible, and everything on my list is made in the USA. Starting with the cabin, which would be a kit from WoodTex. I love all the chicken coops and horse barns I see on their Instagram feed, so it would be great to get our own crew out here to build a log-cabin style shed!
I found this awesome liquor bottle chandelier on Etsy, and love that it’s repurposed and has a cool industrial vibe. The John Wayne poster is a nod to the poster he had in his bedroom growing up, which I know he’s dying to hang up somewhere. And if you’ve been on the hunt for a rug made in America, Capel Rugs has a great selection, including this jute number. I’m drawn to this cushy leather recliner from La-Z-Boy, which I recently found out is entirely manufactured in America. Now I know in real life he would probably want camo fabric, but I have standards! I think the idea of a unique end table like this metal drawer cabinet.
My dad found a great vintage wood stove that’s perfect for winter heating, but here is a great source for American made stoves. And while I’m on a vintage kick, this old cabinet radio would be awesome. And since no room would be complete without something handmade, I’m digging this Emerson Console from Ana White. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there ARE still electronics made in the states! These amazing mirror HDTVs are making me drool.
I’m interested to see what my husband thinks about my Man Cave Inspiration. I have a feeling his would be much more low-brow ;) I am just excited there are still so many categories of products made here in the US.

SnapPower Review and Giveaway

I am so excited to share this amazing new product with you today! If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months, you’ll notice that I have been focusing on ways to “go green” and be a more conscious consumer. I’ve been contacted to do reviews and giveaways for a lot of different products, but have turned them down since they didn’t really mesh well with my lifestyle. That was until the amazing folks at SnapPower sent me an email asking me to take a peek at their website. I am SO glad I did!



You’re probably thinking, “Um…Brooke that’s just an outlet cover. What’s so special about that?” Well, what makes it special is that this simple little cover goes from this…



To this!



That’s right! They’re NIGHTLIGHTS! They are outlet covers with LED lights built right in, so you don’t lose a socket to your night light. And in the example above, they’re great for kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, well, everywhere! I see those battery-sucking under-cabinet lights in stores, and though they seem handy I never really liked the plastic, or the cords, or that you push them on and off. With these, I can just pop in a new outlet cover and have automatic backsplash lighting with NO hard wiring required! Plus there is a tiny little sensor that will turn the lights on when it’s dark, and off when it’s light so that you aren’t wasting any power or life-hours on the LEDs. Isn’t that amazing? They’re also ridiculously simple to install. You just unscrew your old cover, press in your new one, add the screw and bam! Light! Want to know the best part? It only costs TEN CENTS A YEAR to operate! And it lasts twenty five years! I’m so pumped about that. It works on all standard outlets (not GFCI) so you really can put them anywhere.



I kid you not, these are amazing. I put one in my toddler’s room, since her nightlight has already burnt out once, and plug space is at a premium what with sound machines and humidifiers. I also added one in the nursery, and I’m grateful that I did! I’m still feeding my one year old at least two or three times overnight, and it’s nice to have a dim, unobtrusive nightlight that I don’t have to remember to turn on and off. Because let me tell you, it’s never any fun when I forget to turn the nightlight on at bed time and have to fumble around with my phone’s flashlight trying to not shine the baby in the face while I’m getting her out of the crib!


I’m already planning to order several more for my kitchen, to make that long walk from my bedroom to the nursery a bit less, um, painful. It will be so nice to be able to find my way without bumping into things or leaving on a brighter light to waste energy. Because who can beat ten cents a year? I urge you to head on over to SnapPower and take a look. And of course, enter the giveaway to win an LED outlet cover of your very own! Enter by sharing your favorite “going green” tip, and follow SnapPower’s Facebook and Twitter for extra entries!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sliding Door with Hidden Hardware: An Experiment

sliding door hidden hardware


I was lucky enough to go to Round Top for the fall antique shows earlier this month, and WOAH! That place is so intense! It was only an hour and a half drive away, so I think I’ll have to make it a bi-annual trip for sure. I saw so many amazing things, and happened onto this beautiful solid wood old door that just-so-happened to fit perfectly over the opening for our bathroom linen closet. I was thinking of ways I could mount it, with exposed hinges like our vintage pantry door and office closet door…





But there wasn’t really enough room to add a swinging door in the tight bathroom space. I decided it should slide, but what kind of hardware? Should I do the barn door track like the one in our old home?


white barn door


Or the pipe and wheels from our current large office sliding door?




I decided no on both of those, because I didn’t want to have a theme going on, other than my love of old doors of course! I thought I would try out something new. Something crazy. Something like…

sliding-door-hidden-hardware-open Drawer slides! I know, weird right? But so far it totally works! Our door opening was 24.5″ wide, so I purchased heavy-duty full-extension side mount 24″ drawer slides. They’re rated to hold 100 pounds, which is twice the weight of this door. I cut a scrap cedar 2×2 board to fit in the lower part of the door opening and attached it with pocket holes and 3″ screws. Then I mounted the drawer slides to the front of the door opening at the top and bottom, and to the back of the door. It took a lot of fighting and fumbling with it to get it up, but I was able to all by myself!



I love my “magic door”! It’s so nice that the hardware is completely hidden when the door is closed. And it slides so easily to open, it’s lovely.



One thing I (and you, if you look closely at that top left corner) noticed is that it does sag if left open. I’m also concerned about the potential of it falling forward off the rails. I’m thinking about mounting a bracket on the top to keep it in place, and possibly a small castor on that lower left edge. I haven’t fully decided yet. Right now I just encourage everyone to KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED PLEASE AND THANK YOU! Which is a good idea anyway because that closet is always a total mess.



I want to emphasize that this project is still firmly in the experimental testing stage, so I can’t give a recommendation as to whether you should do this in your own home. I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out myself, and see if this crazy idea holds up over time. I will most definitely come back with updates, after a month of use, a year of use, and hopefully beyond! All I can say is right now, it’s working and doesn’t show any sign of falling off. But that could easily change.

On a lighter note, now I want to do something really fun with paint on that other door. Chalkboard? Decorative mural? Patterned paper? I just know that the white next to that pale yellow looks funky, like I tried to match them but couldn’t, or one door just got dingy. I’m looking forward to having some fun!



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