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Because Sometimes a King Mattress is Too Small

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We love…

60 Favorite Wallpaper Ideas and Designs

I fell down the rabbit hole this morning, clicking a wallpaper link in my digital copy of House Beautiful and scrolling through dozens, maybe hundreds (thousands?) of pages. It was around 9 am when I started and was close to 4 pm when I finished. This was a problem for two reasons.
  1. I actually had things to do today. Lots of things.
  2. Our new house won't be ready until at least July. I'm not in the market for wallpaper.
A few hours into my neverending search, it occurred to me that it wasn't really wasting time if I shared my favorites here on my blog. Yes, I was totally being productive! Don't let the pajamas fool you.

dining room with tulip wallpaper mural
I love wallpaper. Here's a photo of the wallpaper mural in our current dining room. It completely transformed the room.

Here are the wallpapers that caught my eye, all from Wallpaper Direct. This is not a sponsored post. No affiliate links or sales commissions; just justification for an otherwise wasted Tuesday. Most of these are perfect for a rustic, mountain home, with plenty of nods to nature. Some are silly and weird - my wallpaper soulmates. If you see something you like but it's not quite what you're looking for, visit the site to see if the pattern is available in another color. I've listed my choices here, which tend to lean more bold than pastel, but most of these are available in a variety of colors and shades. There's something for every price range and there are many budget-friendly picks for $35 or less for a double roll. Quite the bargain! That said, my absolute favorites are more than triple that price. It figures, doesn't it?

blue bedroom with a matching wallpaper headboard
This is the guest bedroom in our current house. We created a headboard for the bed out of wallpaper and painted the walls to match.

Wallpaper Tip

Oh, I almost forgot my handy tip for choosing wallpaper. It's a good one - 7 hours of wallpaper shopping will do that. You're going to want to show off your fancy new wall to everyone who visits your house, so take a risk and don't choose something boring. If you go with a plain wallpaper that doesn't even make you smile, what's the point?

Ceiling Wallpaper Ideas

A little wallpaper on the ceiling = high impact. Our new home features tray ceilings in the bedrooms (a double tray in the master bedroom - we're so fancy) and it's the perfect place to showcase a fun pattern. Just imagine waking up to gaze at leaves illuminated against a sunlit sky. Rose petals on the ceiling are a romantic touch that won't leave you with flowers mashed into the carpet.

wallpaper that mimics a skylight

Monserrat wallpaper - $79/double roll

end cut logs on the ceiling
Timber wallpaper - $36/double roll

We've actually designed our new foyer with end-cut logs hanging from the ceiling. It's going to look amazing! Sexy Nerd is installing the logs himself though and we don't actually know where we're going to get them yet and he has about a million other things to do first, so this wallpaper may have to suffice for our first year in the new home.

children will love a butterfly ceiling
Bahia wallpaper - $41/double roll

use wallpaper to create architectural interest on a budget
Wall Panels wallpaper - $36/double roll

Ironwork Trellis wallpaper - $41/double roll

Petals wallpaper - $33/double roll

cheerful and bright yellow
Nimikko wallpaper - $87/double roll

Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas

A small powder room is a perfect place for a bold pattern. Our new hallway bathroom features champagne bronze fixtures, which is Delta's fancy name for gold. I think a wallpaper with gold accents is exactly what I need to pull everything together.

As for the brick wallpaper below, I would have been strongly opposed to that a few weeks ago. I'll use real bricks instead, I would have said. That was before I priced real bricks. We're paying approximately $5/sq ft for materials plus another $11 (!!!) for installation. Suddenly, that brick wallpaper looks really nice.

feather decor is in right now

Metallic Brick wallpaper - $41/double roll


Ruutukaava wallpaper - $123/double roll

Side note: Sexy Nerd and I both thought this was a Native American pattern with arrows and feathers, perfect for our location in the mountains outside Albuquerque, NM. According to the wallpaper site though, the arrows and feathers are actually skyscrapers. Hmmm.

Glitter wallpaper - $88/roll

Sparkle wallpaper - $44/double roll

Jacobean wallpaper - $95/double roll

Her Office Wallpaper Ideas

Note there are several choices here that feature buildings. You might say that when I'm in my office, I'm in my own little world.
(Hee, hee.)

Painted House wallpaper - $39/double roll

Zelda Citrine wallpaper - $111/double roll

Biography wallpaper - $131/double roll

Bergen wallpaper - $70/double roll

His Office Wallpaper Ideas

Sexy Nerd is a good sport. My office is as large as our master bedroom and features a walk-in closet, built-in bookshelves, and its own bathroom. His is a teensie nook off the hallway with no door. He at least deserves a special wallpaper, something that says This is my office...not just another part of the hallway.

Common Room wallpaper - $92/double roll

Stitched Leather wallpaper - $46/double roll

This is available in several colors and, during my virtual wallpaper shopping spree, this orange was calling my name. Now though, I think it looks like a basketball!

Geometrie Gridlock wallpaper - $44/double roll

Pantry Wallpaper Ideas

We're going to have the craziest pantry ever. I'm in love with all three of these wallpaper options. A pig pantry! LEMURS! And, for some reason, cactus + cheetahs. The two wallpapers that don't make it into our pantry will surely find a home inside our coat closets.

Lemur wallpaper - $30/double roll

OH MY GOODNESS! I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH!

Hoppmosse wallpaper - $101/double roll

LITTLE PIGGY! ACK, I LOVE THIS ONE TOO!

 Cheetahs wallpaper - $109/double roll

OH NO! I LOVE THIS ONE JUST AS MUCH AS THE OTHERS!

This is going to be a tricky decision. This must be why most people don't wallpaper their pantry.

Master Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas

One of my favorite features in HGTV Magazine is their High/Low list, which shows you an expensive home decor item, followed by an affordable alternative. Like the green wallpaper below? For almost $70 less, I think you'll like the one below it even more.

Hexagonal Trellis wallpaper - $157/double roll

Circuit wallpaper - $89/double roll

Spotted Deer Hide wallpaper - $56/double roll

Guest Bedroom Wallpaper Ideas

I like the idea of decorating the guest bedroom differently from the rest of the house. This lets guests know it's their own private space. I'm especially eying the hot air balloon wallpaper below, as our Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a top reason for friends and family to visit us here in New Mexico.

Kismet wallpaper - $32/roll

Signature wallpaper - $233/double roll

Balloons wallpaper - $64/double roll

Hallway Wallpaper Ideas

Trees, trees, and more trees! It's going to be like a stroll through nature everytime I leave a room.

Twig wallpaper - $57/double roll

San Marino Texture wallpaper - $56/double roll

Branches wallpaper - $31/double roll

Leaf Texture wallpaper - $56/double roll

Cow Parsley wallpaper - $129/double roll

Berry Tree wallpaper - $97/double roll

Birchwood wallpaper - $35/double roll

Hadrian wallpaper - $61/double roll


Woods and Pears wallpaper - $123/double roll

Her Closet Ideas

It's my closet and I can decorate it any way I want. Here come the pink bunnies! Or judgemental peacocks. They'll only judge other people, not me.

Heathland wallpaper - $84/double roll

Catarina wallpaper - $41/double roll

Liatris wallpaper - $41/double roll

Green Flora wallpaper - $39/double roll

Kyasha wallpaper - $72/double roll

Crystal wallpaper - $27/double roll

Hibiscus wallpaper - $49/double roll

Glitter Spots wallpaper - $136/double roll

His Closet Ideas

There's a theme here. Much like his inferior office, Sexy Nerd's closet is meager compared to mine. Before you feel too badly for him though, have you seen his garage? Yeah, there's no sympathy here for him.

Common Room wallpaper - $92/double roll

A room with the pattern above is no common room.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

Palm Forest wallpaper - $52/double roll

Fiddle leaf figs and other houseplants with large leaves are having a decorating moment right now.

Puntos wallpaper - $80/double roll

French Postcards wallpaper - $36/double roll

Dining Nook/Dining Room Ideas

Similar to decorating a powder room, a cozy dining nook is a great opportunity to show off a bold wallpaper pattern. I love to introduce textures whenever possible...even if it's only a faux texture through wallpaper. Many of today's designs feature 3-dimensional printing and metallic ink, so they count.

Brasilia wallpaper - $41/double roll

Wood Logs wallpaper - $35/double roll

Leather Effect wallpaper - $36/double roll

Shoot wallpaper - $177/double roll

Leather wallpaper - $50/double roll

Dog Room Wallpaper Ideas

Yes, Pica and Biscuit are getting their very own bedroom. Hooray for life without kids!

Mr Fox wallpaper - $76.23/double roll

Our new house is going to need more walls.

5/1/18 Update: We are happily moved into our new home and I have narrowed down the choices on this list to only 19. Most of our walls right now are just plain white and it's so boring! We recently (okay, SN recently) installed our home's very first wallpaper, which turned out AMAZINGLY and completely changed the look of our hallway.

Also, I just checked the Wallpaper Direct website and, of course, they have zillions of new choices that I've never seen before. Guess what I'm going to be doing the rest of today.

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A Blogger's Before & After Guide to Chemical Peels

A Handy "Before & After" Guide to Chemical Peels - 7/6/18 Update
Since writing my chemical peel blog review back in 2013, I've had quite a few Jessner peels (my favorite) and TCA peels. However, I've saved a ton of money over the past 6 months by doing my own chemical peels at home. At my last professional peel, I made a note of the product being used and did some research when I got home. I was able to buy the exact same one, Dermalure Jessner Solution Acid Peel 14%, from Amazon for less than the cost of a single peel. I also use Dermalure's AHA/BHA Acne Cleanser, which I apply before the Jessner. (Side note: There's currently a 1-star review for the at-home peel that complains "I had to deal with days upon days of gross peeling and flakey chunks of skin falling off my face (and I have super oily skin). If I happened to laugh really hard on a particular day or take a big bite out of my food, well guess what? The skin around my mouth and cheeks would …

Amerisleep Mattress Reviews

Best Amerisleep Promo Code as of : $200 Off and Free Shipping

My Amerisleep mattress reviews are NOT sponsored. Unlike other "impartial" reviewers out there, we did NOT receive our AS3 bed for free. All of the opinions here are 100% honest and unbiased. My husband, the overly analytical mechanical engineer, was skeptical of a mail order mattress, but he was quickly won over, as you'll see below.


Mattress in a box - the future is here!

6/12/18 Update: We recently moved into a new home and needed a new mattress for our guest bedroom. Of course, we went with Amerisleep again. We put out 6-year-old king AS3 in the guest room and ordered a brand-new Twin XL AS2 and Twin XL AS4 for our master bedroom, thinking we would push them together. Terrible choice! The AS4 was too soft and unsupportive for either of us. We exchanged the two twins for a King AS2, thinking it and the AS3 were so similar that it wasn't worth the extra cost for the AS3. Ack, another poor choice! The AS2 is…

Dream Home Dreaming

*Update*
We've finally broken ground on our mountain dream home! Can you believe it? Even more surprising, we actually managed to work a good chunk of this list into our actual design. See below for details.

*Another Update*
We've finished construction and are finally living in our mountain dream home and it's even better than I'd hoped! Here is a sneak-peak of our new kitchen and living room. Click the "Decorating" button above for more photos.

Believe it or not, our budget was meager. Really! My husband built the coffee table from an olive trunk and did the thin brick backsplash himself. Eventually, he's going to take the brick all the way to the top of the ceiling. He also created the three-tier chandeliers (three chandeliers total - yeah, he's pretty great!). 
I was responsible for all of the shopping and decorating decisions and design details and layout. We had the tongue-and-groove installed upside down (rough-side down) with Sherwin Williams H…

Instant Pot Explosion

While you're here, please be sure to check out my Instant Pot recipes: Creamy Enchilada Rice and Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa
We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion...

Ack! We just moved in and look what I've already done to my brand new, all-white kitchen!
I tried to re-seal the vent but the pressure was too high to cooperate. I'm honestly not sure what went wrong with this batch of oatmeal. I've made it a million times. The Instant Pot was only about halfway full.

Here is the link to my extra-healthy Super Oatmeal Instant Pot recipe, in case you are curious or a fan of the delicious. It probably won't explode when you make it.
Oatmeal? More like a batch of tasty homemade glue.
 I was bummed that my quic…

Flooring Ideas

Ever since we purchased our 13.1 acre (gotta get credit for that extra 0.1 acre!) lot outside of Albuquerque last year, Sexy Nerd and I have devoted most of our free time to planning our mountain dream home.

We cannot make a decision about anything. At this point, it seems our best option would be to build a row of townhomes, each in a completely different style. On Monday, we would live in our colorful Victorian home, and later in the week we could switch things up in our ultra-contemporary, all concrete house.

Since I can't imagine our neighborhood HOA (or our budget) ever allowing such a thing, we really do need to narrow down our list of ideas.

Flooring is a tough choice. In our current home, we have premium laminate flooring. It stands up well against our rambunctious dogs, but is easily damaged if you unknowingly drip water onto it and let it sit, like by the dog's water bowl and the dishwasher. We also have real wood flooring on our stairs and our bedroom sitting area,…

Cranberry Oatmeal with Quinoa - Instant Pot Recipe

In response to my popular Instant Pot Explosion blog post, I've had a few blog readers ask for my oatmeal recipe. This seems a bit odd...you guys aren't trying to recreate that gooey mess in your own kitchens, right? My recipe does make delicious, foolproof Instant Pot oatmeal. It's only for patient people though. Whatever you do, do not manually release the pressure valve at the end of the cooking cycle!

Super oatmeal. See the little specks? That's part of what makes it so super.
The best thing about my recipe is that it's much healthier than regular oatmeal recipes. Start your day with this and you can feel better about all those cookies and fried donuts and ice cream (I have a bit of a sweet tooth) you munch on throughout the rest of the day. This can also be made in a slow cooker or Crock Pot. I've been cooking up batches of my Super Oatmeal for years, long before I'd heard of the Instant Pot, and have even gifted the dry ingredients to health-conscious…

Because Sometimes a King Mattress is Too Small

Look! Up In The Sky! It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's...

(cue suspenseful music)

DUN NAH NUH
What's bigger than a king-size Amerisleep mattress? An Amerisleep Superbed!

As you know, my nerdy engineer husband, SN, and I recently ordered two new twin XL mattresses from Amerisleep. The AS4 bed didn't work out for us (too soft and mushy for our taste) but we loved the extra-firm AS2 bed. It's perfect for people who sleep on their back (SN) and on their stomach (me). SN liked it even better than the AS3 bed we'd slept on since 2012 and I thought it was at least equal to that mattress, which is now making our relatives happy in the guest bedroom. The AS2 costs a little less than the AS3 and a lot less than the AS4. Who would have thought the less expensive option would be the better choice, right? Money really doesn't buy happiness.
(Okay, in all honesty, I think I prefer the AS3 just a hair over the AS2. Your first choice is usually the right choice.)

We love…

A Nightmare Jessner Peel Side Effect

Almost as popular as my Amerisleep mattress reviews, the Jessner chemical peel post here on my blog has been a reader favorite for years. I'm still doing my own peels at home and still recommend this to anyone concerned about acne scars or wrinkles. However, last night I did have a Jessner peel scare.

As written before, timing is everything with a chemical peel. You don't want pieces of dead skin (yuck, right?) flaking off at work or at important social events. I've wanted to do one for months but things kept getting in the way, like extra days spent at work and our recent trip to California. Finally, last night I was able to treat myself to an at-home Jessner peel. (Using this product from Amazon, in case you want to try it for yourself.) I've done this so many times that the steps are automatic. I applied three layers of Jessner solution, brushed my teeth, and went to bed. Snuggled into our new mattress and a mountain of blankets, I fell into a deep sleep. I dreamed …

We're Now the Owners of Amerisleep AS2, AS3, and AS4 Mattresses

$250 Amerisleep promo code at the bottom of this post :)
SN and I recently (finally!) moved into our mountain dream home. We decided to put our Amerisleep Liberty (Amerisleep AS3) mattress in the guest bedroom and treat ourselves to a fancy new bed. The big question was whether we should go with the exact same mattress again or test out another Amerisleep bed. We were still happy with our Liberty and it was like-new, even though we'd purchased it almost 6 years ago. Below is the advice and mattress recommendation we received directly from Amerisleep:

(I guess you're going to know SN's real name now. Oh, and my weight! Darn it.)

Amerisleep Chat Transcript Name: Derek Heather MinierThu, 08/31/17 11:08:45 am America/DenverHello. How may I help you?Derek11:09:09 amOther than firmness, are there any differences between the Liberty and the Colonial? Thanks!Heather Minier11:10:09 amHey Derek, there is. The AS3(Liberty) is going to be designed for all kinds of sleepers where the AS4(…

The World's Easiest Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We have no furniture, no bathroom mirrors, and no common sense - we're hosting Thanksgiving this year! Despite a To Do list ten miles long, I'm pretty certain this is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever.

Okay, I briefly wavered on this earlier, when my Martha Stewart-ish mom lectured me about all the things that could (will) go wrong and how I'll surely ruin the holiday for everyone and "you are going to regret it for the rest of your life" (her exact words!), but time has passed and I'm back to feeling confident. Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

Plus, I'm now determined to knock her judgemental socks off.


We're going to have the cutest table decor in the history of Thanksgiving. Even better? It's so easy and you surely have everything you need to make it right this very second.

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Fall Decor

Step 1:

Gather a glass or two or a dozen. Matching is fine. Mixed is fine.

The Martha Stewart gene skips a generation.

We received a…