Monday, June 30, 2014

A Weakness

I have this huge weakness when it comes to my house. I’m terrible at accessorizing. Seeing as how I’m not good at accessorizing myself, it comes as no surprise that I can’t apply the same techniques in my home.

What bothers me worse? Our built-in bookshelves. I cannot style them for the LIFE of me. It’s like it’s nearly impossible for me to do. I pin bookcases on Pinterest and always eye the ones I see on some HGTV show that just seem to pull the entire room together. I study these pictures and shows constantly, but I still have poorly styled bookcases in my home.

It’s like I just threw in everything that doesn’t have a home, which is basically true. Not to mention the fact that there’s not that much stuff around that doesn’t have a home to fill them up with since I can’t pick out accessories! It’s ridiculous really.

I think it’s really just a fear of having too many tchotchkes lying around that makes it look like your Great Aunt Milly moved in and brought her 100 years of possessions with her. I DO NOT like clutter, so I fail in the styling department. 

Remember that fear I told you not have in picking out paint colors and switching furniture around to different rooms? It’s the same fear I’m dealing with that I’m determined to beat. Then, I want have to be unhappy every time I watch television and see those mismatched accessories with no home.

I’m not going to show you my sad little built-ins today. I’m saving that for later this week since we {or I should say Colby} painted them and brightened the whole room up tremendously.

For now, I’m just going to show you some excellently styled bookcases for you to study and get some inspiration from.

Bookcase 1

bookcase 2


bookcase 3

bookcase 4

What do you think is essential in making styled bookcases look amazing?

P.S. If you need more bookshelf inspiration, click on over to my Pinterest board linked here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Workin’ in the Office

So, last week y’all saw my dresser makeover to hold all of my crafty supplies and fabric. Now, I would like to share with you the progress we’ve made so far in the entire office area.

Before, you walked from the garage straight into the dining room, which was a bit awkward. Now, it makes much more sense to walk into an office area. Shoes get kicked off. Bags get dropped….that sort of thing.

When deciding what to do with the room, I remembered a piece of furniture that I had sitting in our old garage waiting for me to finish it. Yes, I stripped it and sanded it and left it. Quite sad really.


Colby joked that it only took me two years to finish it. I’m sad to say that as I was looking back on my blog I found that it took much longer than that.

Anyway, I knew I at least had the basis for the room already and that I could probably work with that and add in here and there. You can’t have much of an office without a desk, you know?

To get me started, I ordered a rug from Overstock {yes, again}. I wanted something that was less traditional, but not totally wild or completely out of my element. I wanted it to still go with the color scheme of the house.

In the end, I chose this one.


From there, I decided to dive in head first, buy some Annie Sloan chalk paint, and get to painting.

It was done in no time flat.

We went to Lowe’s and found some basic handles to give it an updated look. Colby, of course, helped out his poor wife and drilled the holes for me. No project would be possible without him, I swear.


Of course, you know that I also bought the dresser and painted it with the same paint {Annie Sloan in French Linen}.


To finish out the look, I purchased this gorgeous drum shade chandelier. Y’all, I can’t tell you how much I adore this light fixture. It is seriously my favorite in the whole house.


The crystals and beading and sparkliness make my heart sing. Anyone want to guess where I got it???


Overstock, of course! I will tell you this though. I should have read the reviews about all of the technical wiring stuff. It is not set up for an American wiring system, but rather a European wiring system. Take that into consideration when buying because you might need to make a run to Home Depot or Lowe’s before hanging it.

There’s a good bit more that needs to be done in this room, but I will share that on another day. For now, just enjoy the progress! 


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Talk

It’s summer! Actually, we are half way through the first month of summer break. Time must slow down. I’ll have to be back to work before I know it.

In the mean time, I’ve been making myself to-do lists, so I actually accomplish something on my days off. Otherwise, I think I would be permanently camped out on the couch watching cartoons as Landry plays on the floor.


We don’t do too much outside of the house…mostly because I’m a homebody. I’d rather be at home than anywhere else usually. I guess it helps that we love where we live and have a quiet neighborhood, so it is easy to relax here.


I’ve been going to the school to work in my new classroom two days a week. It’s looking more and more like a classroom. Yay for that! I’ll share finished product photos later. There is still so much more that I want to do, and I’m afraid time will run out before the school year starts. If you thought teachers didn’t work during the summer, you were wrong….very wrong. Those classrooms don’t put themselves together, and those papers in those folders don’t create and copy themselves.

Anyhow…that’s not why I’ve popped in today. I wanted to share a dresser makeover with you. As you saw last week, we moved the dining room into the old living room.

Some of you asked about the empty room that it left. Well, we decided it would make a much better office. It’s far from complete, but it’s certainly looking well on its way. The reveal will be later this week.

Remember how I mentioned the book “The Nesting Place”? In there, it suggests looking for pieces that suit your needs at a good price. Just because it is a dresser doesn’t mean it has to go in a bedroom. Put it where you need it!


For me, it was in the office.

I scored this dresser and mirror for $150 {if you’re a Brewtonian, I shop Longevity}. I thought it was a steal seeing as how I looked at another antique shop out of town and saw similar pieces for twice as much with no mirror! If you’re an early riser and don’t have a little one in tow, you could also shop yard sales for even better deals. Unfortunately, that’s not me.


Nothing perfect about it all…except for the fact that it was perfect for the room’s purpose.


I’ve been using Annie Sloan chalk paint to refinish my pieces that I can’t stand to look at as is. For this dresser, I used the color French Linen.


Just a suggestion, but I highly recommend the Annie Sloan brush that you can buy to apply the paint. Aside from the paint and brush though, I bought the Annie Sloan Clear Wax and applied it with a rag, but the lady at the shop suggested using those blue shop rags that mechanics like to use. I think you can even get some at the Dollar Tree or Dollar General.

Now, I’m going to be completely honest. The start up cost is a bit pricey, but once you’ve invested in a brush and wax, you’re pretty much set for a while. The paint goes a good ways, too. I have painted three pieces of furniture with one quart of paint. I’d say that was pretty good.


On the dresser, I did two coats of paint and added wax on the top of the dresser only. If you’re going to be touching it a lot, put wax on it. If not, don’t. For example, you don’t touch the sides, so don’t waste perfectly good wax.

If you’re in my area, go see the girls at Antigone’s. They are so helpful in helping you make your choices and gladly provide any tips and tricks that might be useful to you. If you’re still not confident, they offer classes twice a month.

As for me, I’ve got to put the little man down for a nap, so I can grab a quick shower before heading on over to the school.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Father’s Day First

It’s not even been a year. He’s been a dad for exactly ten months and ten days.


Yesterday, Landry melted when his Daddy had to leave for a minute and couldn’t take him along. He watches his every move and loves his Daddy to the moon and back. He knows he’ll scoop him up and put him in the stroller, which to him is the best thing in the world. He loves to watch as Colby works on something and does all the things men love to do…particularly being outside. That’s why he loves stroller rides so much.

I loved him when I married him, but I love him even more now. He’s a wonderful daddy and an amazing husband.

Happy Father’s Day, Colby!

Landry and I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Out with the Gold

Dispersed throughout the house are accents of gold and brass…not exactly my finish of choice. I’m more of a bronze and brushed nickel girl.

photo 1

When preparing the house for the baby shower, I knew we needed to move the chandelier in the old dining room to the new dining room, which would allow for us to move the fan in there to Landry’s room for the time being.

I had already ordered a new light fixture for the old dining room, but I knew I did not want to put up  that ugly gold and white chandelier in our newly converted room. That would just be a slap in the face to all of the hard work that had already been put in there.

I figured if I already hated the light fixture as it was that I had nothing to lose in attempting to change it for the better.

One trip to Wal-Mart and one spray can later, I was completely satisfied with going out on a limb to change things up.

photo 2

Then, my handyman husband hung it up for me. My poor little projects would never come to fruition without all of his help.

photo 3

Is it perfect? Certainly not. But it’s better than what I started with! I no longer have to give it the evil eye every time I walk into the room. 


Want to get the same look? Go to your hardware store and buy a can of Rustoleum spray paint American Accents in Satin Metallics Oil Rubbed Bronze. You might want to write it down. Quit living with the ugly. Spend $5 and make it something you like.

Is this the light fixture I want in here forever? Hardly. I’d rather have something more sparkly. I want the sparkly to be seen when people drive by and house stalk {like I may or may not do from time to time….don’t lie. You do it, too}. It needs to make a statement, but until my eyes find the perfect piece, I am satisfied with my modified light fixture.

Take a chance for goodness sakes. It’s a small risk. It’s not life changing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Making My House Work for Me

Since we’ve moved into our house almost two years ago, our living room has been empty, been a living room, been empty again, and is now working for me… a dining room.

old living room 2 

This is the room when we looked at the house.

I hated our living room when we first moved in. Nothing about it made me like it. Nothing about it made me want to fill it up with furniture. Then, my handyman husband painted it the week before a baby shower {for us}. I picked out Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue and instantly fell in love with it. Looking back now, I wish I would have had them reduce it with more white, but I do still enjoy going in that room.

If you dread walking in a room, do something about it. Quit walking past it and trying to ignore it. Just changing the paint color encouraged me enough to figure out what I wanted this room to do for me.

In came the couches, end tables, and lamps! Loved the room! But we didn’t use it! We used it one time during the baby shower. The room was not working for me. It was pretty, and I liked it. It needed a rug and some finishing touches, but it was a nice room to go in. What was the purpose of having just a “pretty” room in the house if we never used it?


I started brainstorming again. I thought I might put French doors by the entrance and make it a study/office/comfy hanging out room.

Then I thought some more. Maybe it would be a better fit for a dining room since our dining room was so squished up. I didn’t like where our dining room was. I didn’t like being cramped in a tiny room during holiday celebrations. So, what was stopping me from moving the dining room to a more spacious room that just made more sense? Not a thing in the world.


I tell you this now. Just because the blueprints in your house label the rooms does not mean you must use it for that purpose. It’s your house! Not the previous owners. Yours! Use it the way you want! Make it work for you! That’s one of the main things I got out of that book I told you about yesterday.

So, here it is. I purchased a rug from Overstock {currently out of stock, but usually is restocked} and had the boys move the furniture right on in.


Then, Colby changed out the light fixtures for me {more on that in an upcoming post}. This is how it looks today. Is it finished? Certainly not, but it’s on its way.


Comment and let me know what you think you might change up in your home. It’s summer, which to me is project season!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Taking a Different Perspective

Lately I’ve been more into reading blogs than into writing my own. I think about a million blog posts to write {which I hope to catch up on now}, but in my head I keep thinking that it has to be perfect before I can post it on the web for everyone to see. Although we all know that perfect never happens…there’s always something we want to add or change.

One of my most favorite blog to read is “The Nesting Place”. It’s right up my alley with inspiring words and pictures to go right along with it. I always look at the pictures of The Nester’s home and think how I wish mine looked that finished and complete, and I’m completely inspired by her creativity.

Then, I step back and think that it has taken her years for her to achieve this goal. It didn’t happen overnight. She didn’t just go to the store and by a set of something. Instead, her home tells a story.

Obviously, when I read that her book was finally going to coming out, I couldn’t wait to read it. I even pre-ordered it. I’ve never done that before. I was even a tad bit angry at Amazon for not shipping it right away! I mean…I pre-ordered it. Shouldn’t it be in the mail the day it was released for the rest of the world to read?!?!


I read it in a week’s time, which is slow for me, but is rather fast now that I’m keeping up with a sweet little ten month old. Did the book teach me something I didn’t know? Nope. It was just good advice that sometimes you just need to hear again and again or from someone else.

So, what did I learn?

  • It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. That’s her tagline for the book, and it is so true.
  • Be happy in the home you’re in now, at this point in your life. Rent a home? So what. Make it home. Work with what you have. Live in an old house? Embrace its uniqueness and make it work for you…not you work for it.
  • What you usually see on the internet isn’t real life living….there’s usually a mess behind the camera. At least there is in ours!
  • Don’t try to please everyone. Please yourself. Everyone has an opinion. Just don’t let someone else’s opinion keep you from doing what you want to do in YOUR house. After all, it is yours. Read chapter 7 if you want to know more about this.
  • Yard sale and antique shop for some good deals and finds.
  • Don’t let “buts” get in your way. Do it anyway.

Seriously…if you want to learn to love your home or wherever you’re at, buy this book. Highly recommend it. I told a friend about it, and I think she’s redoing her entire house! She loved it!

Good reading material. Gorgeous pictures. Inspiring quotes.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

It’s a BaBy-Q!

Does this scene look familiar?


This was my shower at my house last year hosted by my wonderful friends. Same weekend. Same time. The same thing happened. Rain. Just like last year, the rain held off for just long enough for me to set up everything for some decent pictures. Had I not had to set up an hour before the party, pictures would have been a bit more detailed, but we’ll just have to go with what we have.

Once again, it was a BaBy-Q! The invitations were the first things  I picked out after scouring Pinterest and Etsy. I always choose invitations that are printable to save $$$, which is especially easy since we invested in a color laser printer back when I got married.


The front door welcomed guests with grapevine wreaths topped with a raffia bow and hydrangeas from NDI. I must thank my BIL and SIL for the ferns as well! It certainly completed the entrance! If you noticed something different about the front of the house, I’ll give the details in a later post.



The tables were adorned with galvanized pails with fresh hydrangeas in them. For the bows, I used some fabric I purchased, cut it into strips with pinking sheers, tied them on the pails, and then secured them with hot glue.


The runners were simply a bolt of burlap cut in half. Perfectly imperfect. And of course, half pint mason jars tied with twine made the perfect candle holders.

At each place setting, a brown paper bag was cut off at the top with pinking sheers and stuffed with folded napkins and eating utensils. To personalize it, I used a changeable monogram stamp my SIL gave me at Christmas to add in the new baby’s monogram.


On the table for the parents and grandparents-to-be, I changed up the table and used lanterns and smaller galvanized pails with hydrangeas.


Since we were using long tables, I thought grouping them into rows and making a box shape would make it easier to see the gift opening. Unfortunately, that never happened due to the storm that rolled in.


Now to the food…

Mason jars with pink chevron straws were used as the glasses to hold tea or pink lemonade.


The menu included:

  • Marinated & seasoned grilled chicken
  • Loaded baked potato salad
  • Coleslaw
  • Baked beans
  • Fruit salad
  • Deviled eggs
  • Buttercream frosting cupcakes

It was a delicious spread for all to enjoy!


A Longerberger basket lined with pink gingham fabric {same as the bows} held the cornbread muffins.


Due to the incoming rain, I didn’t get a photo of it, but we used a giant galvanized tub to hold all of the chicken quarters and legs. It was a last minute idea that worked beautifully.IMG_6759

Not the best picture of me, but I loved Landry’s outfit {Cecil and Lou} so much and that cute smile that I had to share our one photo from the evening.

And proof that everyone did get to eat outside {albeit quickly}.


Overall, the shower was a success and once again made for a good story. Despite lack of seating, everyone stayed to chat, finish eating, and watch the opening of presents.


Thanks to all who came and were incredibly generous to Judd and Abby! I know the appreciated each and every gift that will be a blessing to their new baby girl.


Congratulations, Judd and Abby! We can’t wait to meet Landry’s new baby cousin!



Invitation: Etsy by Sweet Bees Design Shopp

Big thanks to Kate, Erin, and Mrs. Linda for letting me borrow all of your party decorating goods! We seriously need a party closet for a one stop shop!