Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Turkey Day, I mean Birthday, I mean Turkey Day.

I know. Thanksgiving was 6 days ago and I'm just getting around to this post.  Family came in, family left, stomach bug came in, and stomach bug left.  Hubby has been home all week and I have been choosing spending rare time with him rather than writing posts.  Sometimes that's just how the cookie crumbles.  Can't beat myself up about it :) So onto business.

This year, I was a turkey baby.  Every now and then it works out that way.  It stinks having to cook all day on your birthday, but what is better than getting to share your birthday with a bunch of family you only get to see once (maybe twice) a year.

I jumped the gun a little this year and ended up with some new birthday goodies a little early.  I mean, when you see them in a thrift store and you have to have them... it just can't wait until thanksgiving.  Here are a few big scores birthday presents that have come from some wonderful family and friends.

This mirror came from a yard sale.  I fell in love with the shape and detail of it.  I'm still not sure about the color.  I'm thinking charcoal gray with some black glaze over it, but then again a pop of color may be fun.

The dresser came from the thrift store for $10.  I have the bottom drawer front, but after reading this post from Nester... I think I may keep it just as it is!

This mirror came from the same thrift store as that dresser.  There is some paper backing peeling from the sides and it looks perfectly fine without the paper anyway.... does that really make it worth only $6?  Seriously This HUGE mirror for only $6.  Happy Birthday to me! 

The last goodie came from an estate sale.  It was my gift from Hubby the Great.  I popped at $25, but I had to have it for my mini guest bathroom makeover which I'll be sharing soon!

And finally, the big guns are out and christmas is getting unloaded.  We went and picked it up from storage and it took 2 truckloads.  We don't joke around.  Christmas is serious business around here.  I can't WAIT to show you everything that I am working on!

Hope you all had a fantastic thanksgiving!


7 Free and Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Thanksgiving Guests - Days Five and Six

Bring the Outdoors In and Set the Table!

God gave us so much beauty outdoors that it almost seems silly not to use it inside!

What was once a boring corner that housed a basket overflowing with shoes, now holds an old stock pot stuffed with newspaper and a few big branches.  It is so easy to add dimension to a room, you just have to be willing to take a risk.   

I do not have a green thumb (man, I wish I did) so I couldn't go outside and clip a few fresh flowers. But I spotted these branches on the ground at Nana's house and begged Hubby the Great to make them fit in the van.  Being the great Hubby that he is, he got them home for me!

Also a new addition is the cabinet door sign over the french doors :)

One thing that I have learned about making something look dramatic is to add height.  If it's taller than me, it probably looks dramatic no matter how much it cost!

I used 4 old vases from my local thrift store (shout out to the FISH!) and glued them together with liquid nails.  Filled them up with 2 bags of styrofoam fillers from the Dollar Store and tied a few layers of drop cloth, burlap, ribbon, and string around the base.  And, of course, added some of those tall branches that Hubby the Great rescued from the burn pile.

I kept most of my fall/halloween decor out and added a few extra touches here and there.

Anybody can go outside and bring in a few branches and stick them in a vase.  And while it doesn't sound like decorating, it is!  Take some risks and bring the outdoors in!


Monday, November 21, 2011

7 Free and Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home Thanksgiving Guests - Day Four

Slap on a Coat of Paint!

Please pardon the skipping of days in this series... I have learned an important lesson.  Never try to do a 7-day series when you are getting your house ready to host a big Thanksgiving dinner.  It isn't wise.

Now that the confession is over with...

This day goes hand in hand with day 3 because it is just as easy to whip out my paint brush as it is for me to pull out the spray paint :)

I love when our home looks a little different every time people come over.  The truth is, most of the time people don't notice the little things, but I do and it makes me feel good!

There were 2 pieces of furniture that took maybe 2 hours total to change up. I only had the patience to take a before picture of one of them.  I think I have a problem... I LOVE TO PAINT FURNITURE!!

This was one of the first pieces of furniture that I inherited when I moved out of my college dorm room.  I'm not sure where it came from, but clearly no one wanted it anymore.  In an attempt to make it better (in my just out of college style) I stapled some fabric across the front and turned it around backwards.  It worked until I moved out of that house and my sister inherited it.  Well last week I inherited it back... fabric still in tact!

Not exactly the look I was going for in my living room though :)  So I took the fabric off, turned it around, and painted the stuffin's out of it.  If you are interested in how to paint the stuffin's out of your own furniture, go here.

Love Love Love

The other piece of furniture was a coffee table that I got awhile back for $10 at a yard sale.  I have this knack for putting things on hold and having 3 people ask about it before I buy it.  I spotted it in a garage sale that was about 10 minutes from being over on it's final day. I went to get the cash and there were 3 people there when I got back trying to deal with the lady so they could take it home - not happenin' folks.  This is my beauty!

I have seen a lot of beautiful pieces of furniture lately with painted bases and their original wood tops and I wanted one!

Overall the painting process is really easy.  Most people think it is a really arduous task to paint a piece of furniture, but I think most of the time it is just fear that you are going to mess up a perfectly good piece of furniture.  

All I can say is..... you never know until you try.  And, like Nester says, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.


P.S. I'm not sure what's going on with the timing of my posts.  I titled them awhile back and apparently blogger thinks that I both wrote them and posted them when I named them.  Weird.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

First Ever Engagement Shoot!

Head over and check out my FIRST engagement shoot over at Daniels Den Photography!
I'm super excited about it :)


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Buh-Bye Orange MiniBar!

Remember back when I showed you my Gallery Wall?  I absolutely adore that gallery wall, but the back of this hallway was really bumming me out.  I hated it.  In fact, I gagged every time I walked in my door (okay that's a little bit of stretch, but I probably could have!)

Here is what the bar looked like when we first moved in.  Please be sure to notice the wine bottle border, chipping orange laminate countertop, and weird smell of mildew and old alcohol. Oh wait, you can't smell that... guess you'll have to take my word for it!

And after some pretty extensive (yet still completely FREE) work, I was able to turn it into something I am actually proud of!!

I started by painting the rest of the hallway the same color as my gallery wall. 

Then I got to work on the countertops.  While I had all the pictures to walk you through how I did it, Boog fed my SD card (with 1200+ pictures on it) to the dog.  So you can follow this tutorial... it's probably better than mine anyway if I am being honest with myself :o)

The counter turned out AWESOME.  I used lots of coats of Poly so it's really durable, but I was never brave enough to try it in my kitchen when we had laminate.  Creative Kristi said hers has held up perfectly though!

I knew I wanted a lamp on the bar, but I hated the stretch of cord that had to run across the countertop.  I made a no sew cord cover and I am currently working on about 4 more to cover some other ugly cords in the house :o)  It also covered up the ugly alarm system plug that is hanging out of the wall :o)

You can find a good tutorial for that here.



No, I still haven't gotten around to painting my record cabinet.  I can't figure what to do about the fabric in front of the blasted speakers.  So here it sits in it's oak-y goodness.



What was once a thorn in my side is now such a calm and peaceful space to walk into.   Too bad all it holds is all of my cleaning supplies :o) 

 I also want to note that this is still a temporary fix. When we begin homeschooling we are converting this area to a built-in desk.  HOPEFULLY similar to this one!

I know, I know... now all you care about is that picture.  Gorgeous huh?!  Maybe one day....


Linky Parties


7 Free and Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Thanksgiving Guests - Day 3

Bring on the Spray Paint!

I call this free because I have lots of cans of spray paint leftover from other projects.  I had a real serious collection before I started free-to-me month... now I'm starting to run out of some of my favorites :o(

Spray paint can change the look of almost anything. No Joke.  They make spray paint for clean metal, plastic, wood, rusty metal, metal that is going to be exposed to high heat, appliances, etc. etc. etc.

Here are some spray paint transformations that have really changed the look of the house and didn't cost me hardly anything.

Candlesticks - Never posted about these but they are a FAVORITE!!

Lamp (which has been 3 different colors now) and .50 piece from the thrift store.

And here are a few projects that are about to get a spray paint treatment :)

What do you have laying around that needs a new life!?

7 Free and Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for Thanksgiving Guests - Day Two

Change Out Those Pictures!

I tend to be really bad about changing out my pictures.  I don't know why it seems like so much trouble to pull out the backs of the frames, it takes all of 2 minutes to do!

I'm not just talking about updating your family pictures (although that's good to do every now and then too :) Add in some fun holiday pictures for a change of pace!

Here are a few FREE Thanksgiving printables that I have found!

Keep Calm and Gobble On is Available Here

Fall Subway Art is Available Here

Gather Here is Available Here

Thanksgiving is a word of Action can be found Here

Don't forget to thank these amazing, talented bloggers for making these free printables available!

Here is just one that I have used!  I plan on doing more as I work my way around my house (and get a new ink cartridge :)

I put this one right in the middle of where all the action will be!  Hopefully it will get a few chuckles :)  I know that I will need the reminder!

P.S.  I have had a lot of questions lately, but I am unable to respond because you are listed as a No Reply blogger when I try to respond.  I'm not ignoring you... Promise.

7 Free and Easy Ways to Spruce Up your Home for Thanksgiving Guests - Day One

Preparing for house guests is always a challenge for me.  I want everything to be perfect and I scramble until it looks that way.  The fact is... no one knows what the picture in your head looks like but you.  So if things aren't perfect, the only one who knows it is you! 

 To prepare for the 25+ guests I am having at my FIRST thanksgiving, I decided to let go of the picture in my head and just add some small touches that I hope will make a BIG difference in how my home feels.

For those of you who are just stopping by, I have committed to only spend $10 on my decorating for at least 30 days... so this is all budget friendly :o)

Day One - Add Some Pillows!

Pillows take absolutely no time to make!  I have been putting off making some throw pillows for my couch for a long time.  Once I started, I couldn't (and haven't) stopped!  

I couldn't believe how much more inviting my living room was when I added some color and texture to my couch.  I had 1 throw pillow 3 days ago (well I had 4 ugly ones that came with the sofa... but they were tucked away in a closet so they don't count!)

Now I have lots!

The ruffly ones I did using leftover drop cloth and this no sew ruffle technique.  And for those who are wondering... my shower curtain is holding up great!

The white one below and the dark gray pillow were purchased at goodwill and sanitized... there goes the first $1 of my budget :o)

Here is what my couch looked like before.  The dent is from my dog.  I swear it's one of the most masculine couches out there.

Here it is after adding a few pillows and moving the lamp from one end table to the other.  I LOVE looking down into my living room... it just feels more like home to me.  So I know it will feel more homey to my Thanksgiving company.

In case you need some more pillow inspiration....

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Lots more pillows on my to do list now!!

I have had a lot of people ask me how I have time to do all of this stuff and still take care of my munchkins, so I thought I would take a shot of what they do.  

They are usually with me doing exactly what I do in their own way.  I let them help me brush the wall, sew, "paint" furniture (with chalk), and they even help me take pictures :o)

Please join me tomorrow for another free and easy tip to sprucing your home for Thanksgiving Guests!
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