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If You Give a Girl a Gift Card

So, I was given a $100 gift card for the work I did on a project and it's been burning a hole in my pocket.

I went to TJ Maxx to see if there was anything interesting.  There was.  First off, I encountered a woman who was berating the poor store manager, demanding an additional markdown and asking to speak with his boss.  I think she was either drunk or crazy.  Or both.  But it was interesting.

Moving on, I browsed the pillow department and scored some pretty pillows for my sectional (finally), and I'm test driving them to see if I like them in my family room.  And if I don't, they're so pretty, I'm sure I can find another home for them.

But who can go home from TJ Maxx with just throw pillows, when you have a gift card in your grubby hands?  Not me.

I also found a pretty hand towel for my powder room and one of those "bags 'o goodies" that has a bunch of fun and funky things like balls wrapped in twine or made of twigs, to put in an apothecary jar or a glass bowl.  You've seen them.  Right next to the bags of shells and glass pebbles.  You've bought them.  I know you have. 

Since I had my pillows and my hand towel, the beachy bag o' goodies just seemed like a good idea.  And since I had these beachy goodies, I might as well restyle my bookcases since I recently repainted the walls and all.

Here is the entire space.  I still haven't decided what color to paint the beige insets here.  I'm thinking white, to match the trim, and then paint out the back of the bookshelves in another color.

I started with one side - this is where it began:

And here it is now: 

And a beach photo of the boys seems appropriate, along with shells from that very beach.  The candlesticks were spraypainted in a glossy aqua.

The books on the top shelf are the same ones I had before, just covered with scrapbooking paper.  Well, almost covered - they're on the top shelf, so you can't see that the two laying on their side aren't completely covered.  Shhh.  No one needs to know.  The clock is another TJ Maxx find from awhile back that I just couldn't resist.

You can see the Beachy Bag 'o Goodies found a home...

So there you have it.  Now you know what happens if you give a girl a gift card...

I'm also participating in Thankful Thursday at Oak Ridge Revival.  If you haven't checked out her blog, you must.  Unless you're not into whole house renovations with amazing kitchens...

Linking up to:


A Table Transformed

Happy Monday!

I have had this table that I picked up at a garage sale for awhile now, knowing that I could do something with it.  I mean, don't you always have a place for a cute little side table, somewhere in your house?  Well, I do anyway.  Or at least I can find a place for one...

Here is a quick before/after:

I debated about the color and whether I should add some sort of embellishment.  A stencil maybe?  Once I decided I was going to put it in my son's room, the decision got a little easier.  And when I came across some fun, navy blue gloss spray paint, it sealed the deal.

My oldest son's room is in the basement, and since he is on the verge of becoming a teen, I have spared you his room (and will continue to do so for the moment).  Pre-teen mess aside, his room is a funky shape, making it a bit of a design challenge. 

To orient you a bit, his room is off the media room area of the basement from the tour I gave awhile back:

There are double-doors to his room, similar to the ones that lead to my office on the other side of the room.  As a result, there isn't a lot of room for a decent bedside table in his room, so this table definitely fit the bill!

It works perfectly in his room when I shoved the mess aside put it lengthwise next to his bed.

See, a little room to spare when you open the bedroom door.
I had the lamp in his room already, sitting on his desk, so it fit in nicely.

As for the design - it was simple, really.  First, I spraypainted the top of the table in a glossy white.  Then I taped off the square with painters tape and sprayed the entire table in the glossy navy.

It just gives it that little bit of added interest, don't you think?

What have you spray painted lately?

Linking up to:


Family Room Update and a Mistint Mishap

So, my family room has been a work in progress to say the least, and the end of this massive painting project is almost within my reach.   Progress has been made though!

Yeah, I really went wild with reaccesorizing the dresser, right?  I added a little pot of fake grass.  Woooo.  And I don't know where my basket is that's normally on that bottom shelf...  I'll find it.  Eventually.

And then there is this space...
This is where things start to get interesting.  I'm literally within inches of finishing this thing.  You can see in the "after" picture above that there is a small space right by the ceiling that isn't quite done.  The same holds true with the large wall space above the stairs.  Necessity is the mother of all invention, right?
I must insert a disclaimer here - I do not recommend jury-rigging a ladder to create a DIY scaffold.  Do so at your own risk, and if you get hurt in the process, it's your own fault.  Besides, my husband did stand under the ladder and was holding it to make sure I had a false sense of security didn't fall. 

And please pay no attention to the marks on the walls going down the stairs.  That was part of an epic fail in trying to bring the board and batten up the stairs.  We need to buy "Carpentry for Dummies" in order to finish that project because the angles in that project made us look even more stupid than the jury rigged ladder. 

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, I noticed that the paint color seemed ... off.  After closer examination, yep, the paint was just. not. right.  You don't notice in the pictures, but trust me when I say you can see it in person.  That's right people.  The most harrowing part of this paint project was done with mistinted paint.  And I have to fix it.

What's most frustrating is that I've been procrastinating tackling this space for a long time.  It's been sitting there, mocking me.

So, in the meantime, let's focus on another space that is done.  In a non-mistinted paint color.  FYI - the paint color is Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore.
Have you had any recent painting disasters?

Linking to:
Remodelaholic - Remodelaholic's Anonymous 
Just a Girl - Show and Share Day
Between Naps on the Porch - Metamorphosis Monday
Dittle Dattle - Amaze Me Monday


Updated Urns - Summer Paint Party

Hey all!

I'm kicking off this Monday by joining in at Debbiedoos Summer Painting Party and Centsational Girl's Garden Link Party.   I recently posted about container gardening for dummies and how much I love the way flowers brighten up the exterior of a home.  So, you can imagine how happy I was that the previous owner of our home left us some goodies to work with on the front porch.

See those worn down urns at the bottom of the steps?  Great bones right?  They would be a nice complement to the black urns I have already if I just spruced them up a bit...

So, I lugged them over to the side of the house to assess the possibilities.

Nothing a little spray paint can't fix.

Martin the Wonder Dog wasn't impressed.

But look at them now!

What have you been sprucing up this summer?

Linking up to:
Just a Girl - Show and Share Day


A Cute Father's Day Gift Idea

This is one of those "Do as I say, not as I do" kind of posts.  Have I figured out a Father's Day gift for this year?  No.  Can I help you avoid the same fate?  Yes!

This is an idea I did with the kids a few years ago, but is still one of my favorites.  I'm a big fan of gifts made by the kids, and while I had a hand in this one, it still makes the grade.  And yes, since I am a Master Procrastinator, I pulled this together last-minute.

This one worked great for us since I have three kids.  (Aside from the fact that my blondie on the left apparently cut his bangs because they were getting in his eyes).

It's about as simple as you can get while providing Maximum Cuteness Factor. 

  • Print off the letters on regular 8.5"x11" paper in a nice large font. 
  • Then, glue them in the center of three 12x12 pieces of scrapbooking paper. 
  • Finally, take a gazillion pictures of your kids (individually and collectively) until you give up and work with what you have.
That means a lot of this...

That's why I like the individual pictures.  It's a lot easier to get three decent pictures of one kid at a time than it is one decent pictures of all three kids at once.  So, I ended up taking the individual pictures and framing them in a 3-photo frame for Father's Day. 

Does it get any better than that?  Cute, easy, thoughtful and CHEAP! 

Linking to:
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia - Tuesday's Treasures
Savvy Southern Style - Wow Us Wednesday


Cupcake MAG - A Feature!

I was flattered to be contacted for an interview from the lovely ladies at Cupcake MAG.  You can read the article here.  (I was also thrilled to see that Centsational Girl Kate was featured the day after me - she was one of the bloggers that had me at 'Hello' when I discovered the Blog Underworld).  It's like I'm sitting next to her in cyberspace or something...

Anyway - enough of my gushing.  I'm honored to be interviewed and featured.  Head on over and share the love.


What Does Summer Mean to You?

Although summer hasn't "officially" started according to the calendar, with the kids out of school (and me wishing I was a teacher), I think we can all agree - it's summer!  Bring. it. on.  I love summer, and after the miserable winter we've had, I was beginning to think it would never arrive.  What does summer mean to you?

For me, it brings a lot of different things to mind. 

Easy breezy decorating...

Outdoor entertaining...

Martha Stewart

Midwest Living
Deliciously fresh summer fruits...

One of my summer dessert faves is a trifle made with all of these beautiful berries.
I love this recipe because it's not only delicious, it's pretty!  Definitely looks impressive if you're taking it to a summer party.  There is something about layered desserts that look fancy.

Berry Trifle
1 pound cake (I usually buy a yummy one at the grocery store)
2 containers fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
2 pints fresh blueberries rinsed
2 boxes vanilla Jell-o instant pudding
1 container Cool Whip
  • Mix vanilla pudding according to package directions and fold in Cool Whip.
  • Slice the pound cake and then cut into cubes.  Layer pound cake in the bottom of your trifle dish.
  • Cover the bottom layer of pound cake with pudding/Cool Whip mixture
  • Sprinkle a layer of mixed berries on top of the pudding/Cool Whip
  • Repeat this process, (2-3 layers total, depending upon the size of your dish), ending with a layer of berries.
  • Cover and chill for an hour or overnight.


An Old School Desk Makeover

I have been on the hunt for a cute desk for my daughter for awhile now.  I figured it would be a nice to have a place for her in my Mom Cave, (and more importantly, keep her out of my dance space, if you know what I mean). 

I found this cute little desk at a garage sale for $10.  Perfect.  Compact.  Even has storage space.  Score!

But it definitely had a case of the blahs.  Nothing a little bit of spray paint can't fix.

I still think it needs a little somethin' somethin', but this is a start.  I'll know it when I see it.  Maybe a monogram or a stencil on the seat or the desktop?  But for now, at least it has lost its old school look (literally), and fits in with the Mom Cave.

Never underestimate the power of spray paint!  A little high gloss celery green on the chair and some glossy white for the desktop, and we're in business.

Add some markers and set the stage for creativity...

Throw in a basket of goodies to keep her busy (and get her ready for kindergarten in the fall)!  Sniff.

A nice little nook for my girl to get her creative groove on while Mama does the same.

Linking up to:
Miss Mustard Seed - Furniture Feature Friday
Fingerprints on the Fridge - Feature Yourself Friday
The Shabby Nest - Frugal Friday
Chic on a Shoestring - Flaunt it Friday
Remodelaholic - Remodelaholic's Anonymous
Nesting Place - Best Yard Sale Finds Ever