Monday, March 18, 2013

deal alert: barn lights!

I just stumbled upon this awesome deal and thought I'd share. If you're like half of blog land you're in love with all the awesomely cool vintagey (is that a word?) lights from Barn Light Electric. The prices, however, are a little less than lovely in my opinion. So take a look at this great knock off version I found:

Barn Light Electric's version can be found here

Northern Tool's version is here

Another awesome thing about Northern Tool's version is it comes with multiple mounting options included in the price, whereas Barn Light Electric charges some big $$ for their hardware.
Multi-Mount Warehouse Barn Light — 16in. Dia. 
hanging chain w/plate that allows installation on slanted ceilings

Multi-Mount Warehouse Barn Light — 16in. Dia. 
fixed rod (in multiple sizes)

then this awesome gooseneck

Multi-Mount Warehouse Barn Light — 16in. Dia.
I have some more great deals to post & hopefully some shots of our new fixer upper.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 4, 2013


I don't know what initially made me do it.

But sometime after Zach was born, I picked up a paint brush. And no, it wasn't the kind used to paint walls. I took a trip to Michaels or Hobby Lobby, not sure which, and spent hours pouring over the art supplies. I had no idea what I was doing.

I still don't.

But one thing's for sure. I am hooked. I think it must have been my inner self trying to awaken after having 3 kiddos in less than 4 years. I suffered from some horrible post partum depression back then (ok, if I'm being honest - I probably still do to some extent) but playing with paints and glorious colors and releasing my pent up creative self was so freeing.

It still is.

I found some time today to just play with some colors and this is what popped out...


The kids asked me what it was, and I replied I didn't know. Chloe called it a waterfall. Sounds appropriate, even a little artsy - no?

It's a goal of mine this year to paint more and stress less. I have another goal to actually sell a painting. There I wrote it out, so it must be official now. I'm even contemplating opening an etsy store. I still have no idea what I'm doing and feel almost silly even thinking someone might want to actually spend their hard earned money buying one of my creations. But stranger things have happened, right? 

Plus, it would be sooo nice to actually earn some money some how. Since becoming a sahm almost 10 years ago (gosh, I still can't believe it's been that long!) it would really feel great to contribute to the finances a little.

The Nester had a great post today on 5 Minute Wall Art. Check it out here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken!

It's no secret that I love Pinterest. Since the inception of Pinterest, I think I now watch only 1 tv show a week (Downton Abbey of course!). All my previous tv time is now given over to Pinterest! I could stare at all those lovely images all day.

I'm officially addicted.

However, I am also easily overwhelmed. I pin and pin and pin and pin to my little heart's content.It's my goal this year to actually do or try some of the things I've pinned. That goes for crafts, diy stuff, and also recipes. So here's one I tried last night:

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken. This was so stinkin' good, I can't even describe it! There's several recipes out there, but I found this one via Life as a Lofthouse . Holly's recipe was simple (if not a little messy) and totally delicious. Be sure to click over to her blog for the recipe.

Surprisingly, we had a small bowl of it leftover. So for lunch today Zach asked if he could have some. After finishing his plate - he looked over and declared, "THIS CHICKEN IS BRILLIANT!"

I never knew this guy had a British Gentleman living inside him!

Discover more yummy recipes on my Pinterest board here.

Monday, February 11, 2013

paint colors & tips

Hello bloggy friends!

Sorry for the short hiatus. I always have good intentions of posting, but then life seems to get in the way. kwim? I have good news though...


woo hoo! The new owners are actually good friends of ours (their daughter is my daughter Chloe's best friend.) So she is quite excited about having her best friend live in our house - for sleepovers she'll be able to sleep in her old room - ha! They need to sell their house first, not to mention we still need to fix up the temporary house we'll be staying in while we build. So we're shooting to move sometime in April if all goes well. But at least this way I won't have a million people coming over for showings which means I won't have to keep everything clean and picked up. Not to mention we won't have to list it with a realtor, which is a HUGE savings! WINNING :)

So...back to our regularly schedule programming:

Paint colors! I promised to share the colors I used on my dresser and here it is:

 Martha Stewart's Bedford Gray

It's such a beautiful warm gray. I love it! We actually decided to paint the bathroom vanity in the rehab house this color too. Hopefully I'll have pics to share soon.

To make the detailed carvings on the top two drawers pop a little more, I painted those in a very light gray color. Took me a few tries to get the color right, but what I basically did was start with a white paint I already had from a previous project and very slowly mixed it with a tiny bit of the Bedford Gray until I got a color I was happy with.

So here's the basic steps I took to paint this piece:

1. Lightly sanded the entire piece to rough up the finish so the paint would adhere well.

2. I did NOT prime because I wanted the wood finish to show through underneath after I distressed the edges a bit.

3. Painted 2 coats of Bedford Gray over entire piece, lightly sanding between coats with extra fine sand paper (220 grit) to get that super smooth finish. Dust with tack cloth after sanding.

4. Painted 2 coats of the light gray on the drawer carvings. Let everything dry over night.

5. Then I sanded the edges and distressed it in places I thought would look natural.

6. Next I took a cotton rag and wiped the whole piece very lightly with Early American stain (you can use any stain you want, this is what I had on hand.) The stain soaks into the wood edges and gives it that nice rustic, time worn appearance so the paint is not so fresh and glaring looking.

7. Then to get the smooth as a baby's butt awesome finish that begs to be touched, I used this:

This is the secret ingredient to painting furniture in my opinion! You wipe it on with a cotton rag in circular motions just like car wax. Then wait 10-15 minutes and come back with a clean rag and buff it to a gorgeous shiny smooth finish! Make sure to let it cure for a day or two. I happen to like using wax MUCH better than a poly finish for my painted furniture pieces.

And there you have it! I really like how it turned out. Hubby has even touted its praises, which is the ultimate compliment! It's the perfect size for a media stand and has tons of storage. Not bad for $100 + 10 bucks for a quart of paint - everything else I already had on hand.

Have you had success painting garage sale cast offs? Be sure to share any tips of your own. I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

dresser before and after

Hello friends!

Today I'm sharing a project I completed about 9 months ago. I'm always on the look out for nice sturdy, solid wood pieces. I found this dresser on craigslist for $100. I loved the fretwork design on the top 2 drawers and immediately envisioned it painted in a contrasting color.

Tomorrow I'll share paint colors and tips. Gotta keep ya in suspense well not really, my kids are just almost home from school and I'm out of blogging time for the day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

this is a test of the emergency blogcast system

geez, it's been so long since I posted anything I've forgotten how to do it!

Lots of new things are on my plate this year, so I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things here and really focus more on my blog. I've been wanting to really do it for years - so I've decided...


So many things have been keeping me from doing it. I am an excuse maker. Oh how I hate to admit that. But it's true. If I'm being completely honest with myself, I'm also a horrible procrastinator. I kept telling myself that my blog design wasn't pretty enough, my pictures weren't good enough, I didn't have the time to make the blog exactly how I wanted it to be. So I gave up. I quit.

Well, basically I never even tried.

I've decided, though, that if I don't change myself - who will do it for me?

NO ONE. That's right. I will keep procrastinating. I will keep making excuses. My life will stay stagnant - in the exact same place it's always been. No growth. No new challenges. No new joys.

I don't want to be that person anymore.

So here I am. I'm setting new goals. I'm trying new things. And I'm inviting you all to join me in the adventure. I know I have one reader out there who hasn't given up on me yet, so thank you!

I've got lots of things I want to blog about...
  • We're finishing up a rehab house that is turning out to be quite charming, if I do say so myself.  Stay tuned this week for some pics.
  • We're in the process of selling our current house, so I hope to offer some great tips and advice on how to spruce up your home to get it ready to put on the market.
  • Newsflash - we finally have a house plan!! woo hoo! Hopefully we'll start building this spring/summer. My handy hubby is the general contractor so we hope to offer detailed info on how to build a custom home on a very tight budget! 
  • And last but not least - we're finally taking the kiddos to Disney! We are super excited and gearing up for a fun spring break in a few months. I'll offer some tips on how to pack and stay sane while taking 3 kiddos on a 16 hour road trip :)
Stay tuned....over and out!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Superman to the Rescue!

Stand back evil doers! Superman is here! Need help opening that new package that the UPS Man just delivered? Never fear Superman will help! All he needs is his trusty tools -  pliers and level, and he'll poom that evil package post haste! (side note: 'poom' is Zach's favorite word. As in 'Lightning McQueen poomed a tire!'  'Stand back ya swab, I'm gonna poom you!' or an unfortunate fall 'Mommy just poomed herself!' as I slipped on the vacuum cleaner hose and fell flat on my back!)

And do you see what was in that evil package?

My new fabric from fabric guru! I'm hoping to be productive this weekend and make some new pillows for our living room. I've just started on the brown and ivory stripe pillow. I got that fabric from Joanns here locally. It's a very nice slubby linen blend. I can't find the brown color online. But the ivory color is here. The best part is it's on sale now for only $3.59/yd! Can't beat that price!

I'm thinking I might add this pillow to the mix for a little more pizazz.

what do you think? It's $25 from Pottery Barn. I always crave a little more color in the cold gray days of January & February. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other side of the room. Maybe I'll pick the dirty clothes up off the floor so I can actually show you what it looks like tomorrow!

Stay tuned...