October 2013 archive

Meant to Be

I had a little idea (and these always lead to trouble) that it would be so nice to have a fireplace in our bedroom.  Our room is the coldest and warmest in the house and I love the idea of being snuggled in all warm in my blankies with a fire going.

While out shopping this summer, I ran across a mantel at Little Prairie Girl, home of all things rustic and chic.  It was in one of her vendor’s booths- Fig & Frolic.  And it caught my eye.  First, it was my favorite color…white.  Second, it was tall and skinny, just the size I needed to fit in my bedroom.  Third, it was, well, done.  It was something I wouldn’t have to make myself.


Mantel at Little Prairie Girl

But the price tag wasn’t something I was willing to consider and I left it at that.  Maybe I’d make something like that myself someday…when I finished my other 350+ projects.  Ya right.

I just couldn’t get the mantel out of my mind.  And so, it was time for the big barn sale.  And guess what?  The sticker on the mantel was priced HALF OFF.  Those words are music to this bargain hunter’s ears.  Not only that!  But I also “negotiated” an even lower price from the owner.  Oh happy day!

We hauled the mantel home and I went to work making it a part of my bedroom complete with twinkle lights until we can find some sort of electric insert to add a little heat in the winter months.


Fireplace mantel in bedroom


Here it is with the twinkle lights going.2013-10-31_21-47-52_567

For now, I’m just enjoying how much ambiance it adds to my bedroom and how patience and persistence paid off.  Clearly it was meant to be.

A Year and a Half Later

This is a post I’ve been so excited to write and have been dreaming about publishing since we moved into our home a year and a half ago.  I FINALLY FINISHED PAINTING ALL OF MY SPINDLES!  On my staircase that is.  Yes.  Over 100 spindles have been sanded, primed and painted.  Ahh, let me just enjoy this moment.

If you can remember, the staircase was a sea of oak when we moved in.  It was just a little too much for me.


Staircase Before

Here’s what it looks like now.  I painted the spindles Sherwin William’s Dover White, as is the rest of the trim and doors since we changed them.  Someday I might get the energy to tackle the handrail. But that will have to wait for another day.


Staircase After


Our reading nook at the top of the stairsDSCN1042

A view from the top of the steps of the landingDSCN1032 DSCN1036

Please excuse the darkness of these photos.  It was a very dark day!

What do you think?  Like the before or after?


Bait and the White Switch

My parents brought me over this desk, originally because “they couldn’t find a place for it.” I had a sneaking suspicion it was to have me paint it.  They were giving me the bait and switch.  I knew as soon as I painted it, they would find it a home.  Lucky for them, I was on to the hoax from the beginning.  So I kindly attacked the piece that they have had all of my life with a bucket of white paint.


Desk Before

Here’s the after!


Desk After


Now all she needs is some new hardware and she has another life left in her!

We’ll Start Out with Small Potatoes

Here’s a little “problem” I have…when I see free vintage furniture on the side of the road, I can’t help myself.  Such is the case with this stereo cabinet.


Stereo Cabinet Before

In working condition, all except for the turntable, I saw this little gem on the side of the road and had to have it.  For some reason, it found itself in the back of my Suburban, happy that it had a new home where someone would love it.  Or in my case, paint the snot out of it.

I gave the cabinet a fresh coat of spray paint.  Why did I use spray paint?  Because my plans for this little guy is to have him sit outside and the Iowa winter can be unkind to veneer.  Hopefully the spray paint will give it enough of a seal that it can sit on my front porch without issue for all four seasons.

I chose to paint it Krylon’s Catalina Mist (a color I’m currently obsessed with) from Hobby Lobby.  I have plans to change the old fabric into chicken wire.  But that’ll have to wait for another day.  Here is the result!


Stereo Cabinet After

So next time you see furniture that is “put out to pasture” remember that all upcycling is a good thing.  And anything with a fresh coat of paint can be made new.

Painting Queen

I’ve been BUSY!  And this week I’ll show you a few of my paint projects and a few other house changes I’m excited to share!

Break out your paintbrushes, this week is gonna make you wanna paint!

ID-100112641Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net via Jeanne Claire Maarbes 


30 Days of Fall Fashion


30 Days of Fall Fashion

I’m a little sad to see my fall fashion challenge end.  It was a ton of fun!  I hope it inspired you to think outside the box for your daily ware.  What’s up next?  How about another round of house updates!?!

Fall Fashion Challenge- Day Thirty- Dress for Success

Ta-da!  We made it to day thirty!  Today’s look is about dressing for success and I thought it was an appropriate theme to wear to my children’s parent/teacher conferences.

So I stepped it up a notch from what I would even typically wear and created a “suit” with a few pieces I had in my closet.  My only real suit is black and is on reserve since I stay at home.  It occasionally sees the light of day but it seemed a little too much for school.


Shirt- Banana Republic

Jacket- Worthington (JCPenney)

Pants- Gap

Heels- Banana Republic

Earrings- thrifted

Fall Fashion Challenge- Day Twentynine- Blazing Trails

Casual dressers, this is for you!  Blazers may seem stuffy, corporate and something to be avoided at all costs.  This is completely false!  Blazers can be as easy as a scarf, as comfortable as a sweater and as sneaky as a corset.  The trick is to not over think them.

Case in point, here I am in a blazer and a t-shirt and jeans.  The hardest part about putting this outfit together was the coloring.

Bonus material, blazers will almost always make you appear slimmer than you really are! Don’t shy away!  Embrace the blazer and be a trail blazer!


Blazing Trails

Shirt- Target

Jeans- Old Navy

Blazer- George (Wal-Mart)

Necklace & Earrings- Charming Charlie’s

Shoes- Michael Kors

Fall Fashion Challenge- Day Twentyeight- Scarf Happy

We officially had our first snowfall of the season and while it was beautiful, if winter starts this early, I am in big trouble.  Last year it lasted until May!  No can do.

The family took advantage of the weather by cozying up to the fire, under blankets and napping.  Okay, maybe it was only a few members of the family but it was still so peaceful.

Here I am all rested up and headed out to pick up kids from school-


Scarf Happy

Shirt- Gant

Cords- Loft

Shoes- Jellypop

Hat & Scarf- Wal-Mart


Fall Fashion Challenge-Day Twentyseven- Classic Chic

What’s more classic than navy and white.  Oh, and a trench coat?  What makes the trenchcoat a classic?

The trenchcoat is the glamour of Hollywood wrapped up in a accessibility of everyday life.

This coat has seen Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca go their tortured ways, Holly and Paul protect “Cat” from the rain in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Joanna Kramer waving goodbye to her son in Kramer vs. Kramer and Lloyd Dobler playing the boombox to his only love Diane Court in Say Anything.  That’s decades of tortured and twisted humanity right there.  And you can bet if it was popular when your grandma fell in love with those movies, it’s a classic.


Classy Chic

Trenchcoat- George (Wal-Mart)

Cords- Banana Republic

Booties- Payless

Headband (brooch, my grandmothers) & Earrings- Target

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