It’s All In The Details

In an effort to wrap up my post series featuring the dining room, I thought I’d share some of the little bitty details that work together to help make the dining room my favorite room in the house (yep, still). That could change though as I’m currently working on some things in our den and game room/play room, but that’s a whole other story (aka post series) …

It took me quite some time to come up with the perfect tablescape for the dining room table. I can’t even begin to tell you how much buying, returning and rearranging I did. And look what I ended up with – simplicity.

My mom bought the vase (Pottery Barn) and twigs to use as a picture display at our wedding a few years back and of course she wanted me to keep it for the sentimental value. I was okay with that. I happened upon these cute little paper mache owls and birds at the Dollar Tree – I kid you not. I will admit that I frequent the Dollar Tree for gift-wrapping supplies. Why spend $5 on a bag when you can get one for $1? I just don’t get it. Anyway, these owls and birds were calling my name and I found the most perfect spot for them on the twigs. The water carafe came from Target and since it’s hard to see I’ll just tell you that it says WATER on it in yellow print, which for some reason makes it even cuter. Throw in a salt & pepper shaker and a mercury glass candle and call it a day.

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I bought the burlap-ish table runner from Target, but it just looked too plain on the table so I did a little DIY and glued some lace to the edges – perfection (at least in my eyes).

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The mirror may not look like anything exciting, but it’s actually made up of 9 smaller mirrors hung together. My mom and I found oodles of them at some store that doesn’t even exist anymore and she had the bright idea of grouping them together into one large mirror. It’s bugging me to no end that I can’t remember the name of the store. It was one of those stores that had everything from clothing to nail polish and hair accessories to random home decor items at a super cheap price. I sometimes wondered if the stuff was stolen, but I’m sad to say that didn’t stop me from shopping there.

As you can see from the pictures, I love adding decorations to the mirrors – all the way from funky garlands to Christmas ornaments that aren’t really “Christmas-y” to fun initial decor. It might be getting on the verge of tacky at this point. I wanted to do something a little different when it came to the sconces so I found a couple mercury glass vases at Homegoods (which just happened to have rope already conveniently wrapped around them) and I hung them from decorative hooks found at my local Home Depot – so although they don’t add any value in the lighting area, I think they look pretty darn good.

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Decorating the bar was almost as fun as decorating the china cabinet that’s not really a china cabinet (see previous post). My mother-in-law gifted me with the bowl on the stand for Christmas one year. I loved it as soon as I opened it – the colors in the bowl were right up my alley. I had a tough time deciding where to put it but when I realized I needed something to display some candles in, I thought it would work perfectly.

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The wine rack was handmade by my oh-so-talented brother (yes, the same one that has done the majority of the hard work on the house). It’s seriously the most beautiful wine rack I have ever seen. I’m telling you there’s no limit to what he can do.

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I decided to display the remainder of the antique decanters from my mom’s side of the family because they were just too cool to leave in a box. I mean, the Van Gogh? The dog? How awesome are these? What’s even better is you can still smell the alcohol when you open the tops – you can’t taste it though which was kind of a bummer. The little antique bird bell had been my Grandmother’s and I thought it was too cute not to display, besides it has a bird on it and if you don’t know by now I kind of have a thing for birds.

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The chandelier came from a house that my dad and brother flipped way back when. I honestly can’t even remember when it was, but I do know that I was pretty far away from having my own place at the time. That didn’t stop me from asking if I could keep the chandelier though (I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been designing rooms in my head since I was little). I knew someday it would look just right in my dining room. It was originally a not-so-pretty brassy color, so I lightly spray painted it with a layer of black spray paint and then did a layer of metallic bronze spray paint on top. I absolutely love the bubbled glass bulb covers.

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I honestly didn’t have a lot of empty wall space left to fill, so it didn’t take much wall art to make the room complete. I had this fabric tapestry in my craft closet for the longest time because I had never found the right spot for it in our house, that is until the dining room got made over. I bought a cheap curtain rod and curtain rings and worked some magic with the spray paint to make everything match the chandelier.

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The plaster birds were a gift from my mom. I knew instantly they would hang above the door frame between the dining room and kitchen, and what do you know … they happened to fit just right. I remember being paranoid for about a week after I hung them because man were they heavy! But no worries, no birds fell on any heads.

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I just love the way this room turned out, all the way down to the very last detail. I adore the vintage farmhouse feel, especially with all the special antique touches that are thrown in. This is actually one room in the house that I never have the urge to redesign or redecorate, and that’s saying a lot for me. Just ask my husband 🙂

No China, No Problem

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Searching for a china cabinet for our dining room was probably the quickest furniture search I’ve ever taken part in. I found several actual china cabinets that I loved immediately at Nadeau in Marietta GA, but none of them would fit in the small space I was dealing with. As soon as I laid my eyes on this piece at Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors however, I was sold. End of story. If you look closely you’ll see that the cabinet is actually made with an old screen door, minus the screen – you can see the details of the original screen door in the handle, scroll work and trim. Could there be anything more unique? The shabby chic finish didn’t hurt either. I knew it would be the perfect addition to our dining room.

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The search for a china cabinet began when I realized I would need a place to display the antique china I inherited when my dad passed away. Yes, that’s right, I did not own china before that point so I had never run into this issue. Although I don’t know exactly how old the china is, I do remember my grandmother using it pretty regularly and I even remember admiring it when I was a little girl and wanting to play “house” with it but not being allowed to for some odd reason. Although I’ve never considered my husband or myself to be of the very fancy variety who prefers to eat off china for every meal, I did know that I wanted to display some of the beautiful pieces rather than have them all boxed up in the basement.

But I digress because you’ll notice from the pictures that the cabinet is not holding any china. By the time I got around to filling the shelves we had a little one on our hands and I felt that china sitting on open shelving was not the best idea. So I decided to display some china on the very top shelf only and then fill the other shelves with various knick-knacks; however I had so many various knick-knacks that before I knew it the entire cabinet was filled. One day I will find a place for that china though, and I will be sure to share what I find 🙂

I have to admit it was pretty fun filling the cabinet shelves with other goodies. I had a bunch of antique decanters and bottles from my mom’s side of the family, so I decided some of those should definitely make the cut. I never had a good place for my creamer, sugar & butter dishes other than the dining room table which felt cluttered, so those found a nice home on the top shelf. Antique colored mason jars (also from my mom’s side of the family) added another pop of color to the top shelf. There’s not much to say about the owl pitcher other than it was just too cute not to be displayed. Both pieces of wood-art were gifts, and I thought in between a framed picture of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the antique bottles, they were a perfect addition.

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The second shelf was an issue due to its height until I came across this basket at A Classy Flea (also in Marietta), although lately I’ve been kind of wondering if a dough bowl from Painted Fox Treasures might fit in this space. They’re on sale right now too with the code SPINDLEANDRYE, so I may have to give it a shot …

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The bottom two shelves might still be a work in progress. My newly purchased vintage milk bottle tray from Painted Fox Treasures (currently holding dried sunflowers) looks perfect next to my bird decor, but I’m not sure I’m loving the dried sunflowers. I do love the pop of color they add though …

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I found a super cool painting (also at A Classy Flea), and although I planned to hang it in our hallway it found its way to the bottom shelf and hasn’t moved. My husband’s beer steins also found their way. Since my husband pretty much gives me free reign over all the decorating in the house (isn’t he great?), I do make sure to incorporate the few things he wants displayed – the beer steins are some of those few things.

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As much as I love how the cabinet looks in our dining room and as much as I love how everything looks on the shelves, I do still want to display the china. I imagine I’ll just have to buy a whole new piece for that though and unfortunately there’s really no more room in our dining room, so unless I want to display it in the den I’m going to have to wait. But the china will come out of the basement one day – probably the day that we have a larger dining room will be the someday 🙂

If you happen to be in or near the metro Atlanta area, be sure to check out the stores I mentioned – Nadeau, Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors, and A Classy Flea. You’ll be sure to find awesome stuff at each one!

And if you’re near internet access at all, check out Painted Fox treasures at the following link – you will find the most unique variety of vintage farmhouse home decor! Keep in mind the sale going on with the code SPINDLEANDRYE!

https://paintedfoxtreasures.refersion.com/c/a3599

Happy Sunday to you!

Chair Love

I am in love with my dining room chairs. You’ll hear me say this about pretty much everything that is found in our dining room, but as I said in an earlier post – the dining room is my favorite room in our house, so I really do mean it when I say it. When I bought the dining room table way back when, I decided to buy only four chairs from the same set because I wanted a mix of chairs at the table. It only took me about 4 years to finally have a set of 10 that I was proud of, and who knew that the additional 6 chairs would come from a garage sale? Thanks to my mom’s keen eye, she picked up the chairs knowing that they had potential. Thanks Mom. I don’t have a before picture (go figure), but the chairs were a very light-colored wood and the cushions were covered in black vinyl – oh yeah. The chairs themselves were such a cool design though and I was excited to get my hands on them.

Deciding on a stain color for the chairs was fun, or not. I found myself standing in the stain aisle at Home Depot just staring, for God knows how long, as if waiting on a can of stain to come flying out at me. I should mention that I am so appreciative of my husband’s patience with me; however, we’ve both learned over the years that if I don’t know the exact item or items that I want at a store when we run errands, it’s just better for both of us if I go to the store alone. It’s pretty sad when he’s gathered the other 12 items on our list and I’m still looking at stain colors. Why are there so many? Somehow I finally settled on Minwax Wood Finish in Golden Oak 210B, and I think it was a pretty good choice.

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Picking a fabric for the cushions was a little more fun … more time-consuming, if you can believe it, but definitely more enjoyable. My mom and I scoured fabric stores and I brought home probably 18 fabric swatches before deciding on a yellow zig zag stripe fabric from Hancock’s. Being that the dining room was giving off a vintage farm-house feel after finally redoing it, I thought a pop of modern would be perfect. The original price of the fabric was $24.99/yard but knowing that Hancock’s puts their fabrics on sale quite often, I waited until it was marked down to $14.99/yard. My mom suggested I bring one of the cushions into the store when purchasing the fabric, so I did as I was told and the lovely lady at Hancock’s was able to estimate how much fabric I would need to recover 6 cushions. Now I’m pretty good at math but I’m also pretty confident that I would not have purchased enough fabric, so thanks for the tip Mom.

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Now that the shopping was done, it was time to work –

First up was removing the rest of the cushions so the chairs could be sanded and stained. Luckily each cushion was held in place only by 4 screws underneath, so a Phillips Head screwdriver was the one tool I needed to accomplish this.

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Fortunately there was no paint to remove so a light sanding was sufficient. I used a pretty fine sandpaper as well because I didn’t want to nick the wood. My wonderful husband offered to stain the chairs for me and I decided to take him up on the offer so I could get started on the cushions. I was loving the final color …

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The first step for the cushions was to remove the lovely black vinyl. This was not an easy task as there were like a million heavy-duty staples and nails to remove, but I got it done. I then used the vinyl I had removed to trace the shape of the cushion cover onto my new and improved fabric. Then came the cutting – I should mention here that I purchased some fabric-grade scissors while at Hancock’s, and let me tell you that they were well worth the $20.

The next step was to lay out each fabric piece upside down on a table and place the remainder of each cushion on top of the fabric. By ‘remainder’ of cushion I’m referring to the wood board that acted as the bottom of each cushion and the foam insert. While at Hancock’s I also purchased some polyester fiber fill because I wanted the cushions to be a little more cushion-y, if you will. I just added a very small layer of this between the foam insert and the wood board.

Once everything was laid out, I tightly pulled the fabric around each foam insert/filling/wood board combo (one side at a time) and used a staple gun to staple the fabric edges onto the wood board. I placed each staple about an inch or two apart. The corners were a bit tricky – I had to fold one side down and then fold the other side on top as best I could, while ensuring it looked decent on the front-side. You’ll see in the picture below that I didn’t make this part very pretty, but it’s the bottom of the cushions so who cares, right? At least the tops were pretty …

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I was, and still am, in love with the final product. I also adore the combination of the chairs around the table, although part of me wants to replace the original four with some recreations now … 🙂

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Triple Berry Trifle

With it being in the 90’s once again in the metro Atlanta area (ugh), I thought it fitting to share another mini pie in a jar recipe – because what is more refreshing than that? Actually I can think of several things that are more refreshing than a mini dessert, but I’m going to share anyway because I thought it turned out to be pretty darn tasty and worth sharing.

A few weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner and although the day leading up to the dinner was extremely busy, I refused to serve a store-bought dessert. I don’t know why. Probably because the rest of the meal was so simple I wanted to prove myself somehow, or more likely it was probably so I would have something to blog about one day. I needed it to be relatively simple though as I didn’t have a lot of free time on my hands. My mind quickly drifted to one of my absolute favorite summer-time desserts – a strawberry cheesecake trifle that is seriously to die for. I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t want to eat approximately 6 servings of it (besides my niece who for some odd reason doesn’t like strawberries). I’ve made that dessert too many times though so I couldn’t do that again. Thinking of that trifle got my creative juices flowing though and I decided to come up with some sort of a berry trifle and serve it up in a fun way – which can only mean serving it up in my favorite piece of serveware ever … the one and only mason jar.

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MINI TRIPLE BERRY TRIFLES IN A JAR (serves 4)

INGREDIENTS ~

  • 2 2/3 cups berries (I love the combination of blueberries, raspberries & blackberries)
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 5 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 oz plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 oz Cool Whip (thawed)
  • 1/3 pound cake, cut in small pieces (I personally love the Sara Lee pound cake found in the freezer aisle)

DIRECTIONS ~

  • Toss berries with granulated sugar and set aside.
  • Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in greek yogurt and vanilla extract.
  • Fold Cool Whip into cream cheese/sugar mixture using a rubber spatula.
  • Fold pound cake pieces into mixture using a rubber spatula.
  • Alternately layer mason jars with cake mixture then berry mixture all the way to the top (I ended up with 2 layers of cake mixture and 2 layers of berry mixture in each jar).
  • For picture purposes, I threw some extra blueberries on the very top of each jar to make them even prettier … and who doesn’t need a few extra blueberries in their life?

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Hope you enjoy as much as I did 🙂

Seeing Clearly Through An Old Window

I was feeling a little brain-dead this morning, courtesy of spending the weekend in Nashville for a friend’s wedding. Thanks to my in-laws, my husband and I were able to enjoy a child-free get-away and it was much appreciated. However I don’t quite recover from staying up too late and enjoying one too many adult beverages like I used to. Who knew? I imagine my in-laws might be spending their day recovering as well, considering our 18-month old is a handful (but a perfectly sweet handful at that). I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store to clear my head after staring at the computer screen for God knows how long this morning trying to come up with a title for this blog post. Sad. I think I’m okay now though.

For whatever reason, having old windows in your house as decor is super “in” right now. Actually it’s been in for a while and it doesn’t seem to be going out anytime soon. Being that my brother is a handy-man, he always seems to have a supply of old windows sitting around. Lucky for me. I have a stock in my basement, as well as 25 ancient windows on our house, so I should be good to go. During the dining room remodel I decided I wanted an old window hanging on one of the walls, but it took me a while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the window. So the wall remained blank for some time.

After my dad passed away a couple of years ago, I came across some really old postcards when going through his things. The photographs on the postcards were from National Parks and other attractions around the Southeast. I thought they were so cool. Then I flipped them over and realized that half of them had actual writing on them (mainly from my grandmother, Papa Ernie, and their friends). Even cooler. When’s the last time you sent somebody a postcard and actually wrote a note on the back? It reminded me of the postcard chain letters that were so popular when I was growing up … nostalgia at its finest. I knew I just had to do something with them, so I did.

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I decided to hang the postcards in the window I was redoing – super simple but oh-so-special. The first step was sanding the window. It was in pretty bad shape with multiple coats of paint, so it took a good bit of sanding and I used a pretty coarse piece of sandpaper. Then came the painting – thanks to Pinterest I originally decided to paint the window a lime green (Craft Smart Citron to be exact). Now I love color, but the lime green window hanging against the teal wall was just a little too much, even for my liking. So I painted over the lime green with a couple different colors (Folk Art Dark Brown and Folk Art Dove Gray). I used acrylic paints and a sponge brush with short quick sweeps because I wanted a layering effect with the multiple colors. There are even some spots where the lime green peeks through.

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Next I just arranged the postcards the way they looked best. I had to pick my favorite ones at this point because there wasn’t room for all of them and I wanted to have some sort of pattern. I used the tiniest pieces of clear tape to attach the postcards to the window. You’ll see from the picture below that I didn’t bother repainting the back of the window. Who has time for that?

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I was thrilled with the with the way it turned out and I don’t see myself ever getting tired of it (even if old windows do someday go out of style). It has great meaning to me, it has a vintage feel because it is vintage, and I think it’s the perfect addition to our dining room. And believe it or not, I’ve actually seen similar old postcards in antique stores – so you could actually do this same craft yourself 🙂

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Farmhouse Swag

Happy Monday! I’m excited to announce that I have been chosen as a Painted Fox affiliate.  If you’re not familiar with Painted Fox treasures, you need to be. They’re an on-line retailer with THE BEST collection of vintage farmhouse spoils I have ever seen. As an affiliate, I will be including a link to their website on all future posts. If you click the link and make a purchase through that link, I will receive a small percentage of the sale. Just wanted to make that clear. However, I would promote them even without the compensation because their stuff is just too darn cool.

Check out this vintage milk bottle tray I recently purchased (picture courtesy of PFt website). I can’t wait to incorporate it somewhere in my house.

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If you love shopping without leaving the comfort of your own home, check them out!

https://paintedfoxtreasures.refersion.com/c/a3599

Fine Dining

Buying a house seven years ago provided me with the sense of joy and freedom that I had been craving ever since my early days of being confined to the walls (and rules) of apartment-living. Hallelujah, I could do whatever I wished to the inside and outside of this place and nobody was going to try and stop me. I remember drawing pictures of houses as a kid and meticulously listing out how each room in the house was to be decorated – it was finally time to make those plans come to life. And yes, I do realize by now that I probably majored in the wrong field.

I remember the looks on some of my friend’s faces when I showed them pictures of the inside of the house that I was going to buy. You could tell that some of them had no clue what to even say – it was obvious their parents had taught them that if they didn’t have anything nice to say then they should just keep their mouths shut. Honestly, I didn’t blame them. It was quite a scary sight. I should mention that the house was bought as a foreclosure, the previous owners obviously didn’t give a you-know-what as to what the house looked like, smelled like, etc. … and I’ll just leave it at that. Remember the lovely red carpet I mentioned in an earlier post? You can just let that vision guide your imagination …

I saw right past all the ugly and scary though. I envisioned a charming house and knew that my handy brother could help accomplish just that. Thank God for not only my handy brother, but my amazingly helpful boyfriend at the time (now husband) and amazingly helpful parents – there was more work to do than I could have ever dreamed – in my nightmares. Needless to say every single room in the house needed to be painted (that is after all the adorable wallpaper borders were torn down). Ducks, bows, flowers – you name it and it was plastered across those walls. I vowed to never pick up another paintbrush after all that painting was done. I broke that vow quickly because due to my ridiculous love for color, pretty much every room in the house has already been repainted – I got tired of beige really quickly.

I don’t know why I originally decided on a dark beige for the dining room. I always knew I wanted a blue dining room (not your typical blue, but more of a teal). I have no idea why, I just think teal is one of the most beautiful colors that exists. Period. I think in the haste of all the other decision-making that had to be done, I originally picked ‘safe’ colors for all the walls. How boring. So when it came time to re-do the dining room a few years ago, I found myself debating between Sherwin Williams Gulf Stream and Sherwin Williams Maxi Teal. I was a little scared that I would find myself drowning in a sea of turquoise rather than teal if I went with Gulfstream, but due to the lighting in the dining room (which isn’t great), the Maxi Teal was almost too dark and the Gulfstream appeared to be the perfect shade of teal.

Changing the wall color immediately transformed the room, but I needed a little bit more. It was time to rid the room of all the red and gold tones, add some curtains, find some new dining rooms chairs, search for a shelving unit, find a new rug and hang some new stuff on the walls (boy had my taste changed since my apartment days). I wanted the room to have a vintage, farmhouse, shabby chic feel to it, and it was kind of throwing out some mid-eastern style vibes at the time (largely in part due to my obsession with Cost Plus World Market and their inventory at the time), so I had a long way to go.

I finally got there, and the dining room is by far my favorite room in the house. I just love the way I feel when I’m in there. Of course we don’t use it on a daily basis, because who uses their dining room that often? But when we do use it, I get happy. I love hosting dinner parties, casual get-togethers, you name it – any excuse to use our dining room and I will. It helps that our kitchen table sits exactly two people, so anytime anybody comes over and there’s food involved, the dining room’s getting used. And I’m proud to say that I actually did a good bit myself when it came time to redo the dining room. I still purchased a lot of fun things of course, but my hands did do some of the work and I have some DIY projects to share in future posts, so be on the lookout 🙂

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Disconnected in Mouth of Wilson

So my goal to get one blog post out each Sunday or Monday looks like it has met its match – traveling followed up by being sick. I tried with all my might to stay up Monday night once we got back in town to get a post out, but my mind and body just weren’t having it. After a trip to the local Walgreens clinic on Tuesday, a diagnosis of pink eye and a sinus infection made me realize why. However I’m on the mend now, so although I’m a little late here we go ~

My family and I spent an extended 4th of July holiday weekend in Mouth of Wilson, VA (aka the middle of nowhere) … and oh how pretty the middle of nowhere was. If anyone is curious, the town is named so because it’s where the Big Wilson Creek dumps its waters into the New River. And if anyone else is curious as to why we would stay in such a place, well that’s simple – my family likes to make holiday plans last-minute and considering we were searching for a cabin that was 1/2 way between Atlanta and Baltimore exactly 2 weeks before the 4th of July holiday, there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from.

The cabin we ended up renting was amazing though – plenty big enough for 10 people with beautiful views and a trout stream running through the property. I would highly recommend staying there, if you don’t mind being in the middle of nowhere, needing 4WD to get up the incredibly steep (but scenic) driveway, and having absolutely no cell phone service. It was heaven for me, but to be honest I wasn’t sure how my niece and two nephews would take to being “disconnected” from reality – I mean they are teenagers so how would they survive, right? They managed. I think they may have had the most fun out of all of us. Hiking the property, chasing after lizards and turtles, playing in the stream, falling in the stream, catching fish, playing football, etc … a lot of outdoor time was crammed into a few days and I think it did everyone good.

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On Saturday we made our way into the town on Independence, VA (about 10 miles from where we were staying) – supposedly they were having fireworks and we were going to celebrate the 4th. We stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant, and although I was a bit disappointed when my “frozen mango margarita” turned out to be a Bud Light Mang-O-Rita blended with ice, they did have some pretty darn good Mexican food. Unfortunately my 18-month old wasn’t about to stay up until 9:30pm for fireworks so I missed the show, but according to the rest of my family it was phenomenal. I mean the town is called Independence – it’d be a real let down to have a show that wasn’t great – but the town of Independence is like 2 square miles, so we really weren’t sure what to expect. Apparently they did not let down.

Sunday led to even more disconnecting, which meant more outdoor time, more campfires with s’mores, more eating and drinking, more magazine reading, more appreciating and taking in the beauty around us. I felt myself becoming a little sad at the thought of having to leave this heavenly place the next day. I truly felt relaxed on this vacation and I think it had a lot to do with being disconnected.

About an hour into our trip home on Monday, when we finally had cell phone service, my phone started beeping and ringing and buzzing with the voice mails, text messages and FB notifications I had missed over the weekend, and I honestly thought about turning my phone off, for good. How wonderful would it be to not have all the “stuff” that overfills our lives? How wonderful would it be to continue having no clue what was going on in the world? Ahhh … then I snapped back into reality and realized that as wonderful as it was to do without it for 4 days, I did feel a little lost. I came to grips with the fact that my reality includes cell phone service, a Facebook account, an Instagram account, bills, work, stuff, and more stuff – much like most of you out there. I would recommend disconnecting once in a while though. It does a body (and mind) good 🙂

Pink Goggles & Homemade Air Fresheners

My husband and I hosted a backyard BBQ yesterday and all that was left at the end of the party after everyone had gone home and after all the clean up was done was a pair of pink goggles. Have we really reached that age when none of our friends leave their wallets or sunglasses behind, or better yet their left-over wine and beer? Are we really that responsible now that only our kids are the ones leaving various items behind? I guess so. I took a picture of said goggles because I found it amusing that our get-togethers have changed so much. I think there were more kids than adults at this one and everyone had made their way home by 7pm. That used to be considered an early start time. Granted it was a Sunday …

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I made absolutely nothing from scratch for this shin-dig, which is not normal for me. Usually I try to home-make everything and end up wishing I hadn’t. I decided to grant that wish this time. My husband smoked 2 pork butts overnight on the Big Green Egg, which turned out fabulous as always. He credits the Big Green Egg. I credit him. The pulled chicken and mac & cheese came from Sam’s BBQ-1 in Marietta, GA – who I highly recommend. All of the other items came from gracious guests and the grocery store.

I spent the first part of my Sunday attempting to clean the house before our guests arrived. I say ‘attempting’ because my 18-month old finds it amusing to follow right behind me as I’m cleaning and ‘unclean’ whatever I’ve just finished. He also likes to try and stand on the vacuum cleaner – while I’m vacuuming. For the record, I have officially given in and accepted the small greasy hand prints on the stainless steel appliances as new additions to our home decor.

One thing I did manage to accomplish was refilling my homemade air fresheners, which I soon realized had been long overdue. With a dog who always seems to smell (even an hour after he gets groomed), two cats, a toddler who happens to be a boy, and a husband, our house needs some help in the scent department. Sometimes the Febreeze just doesn’t cut it. I used to buy the plug-ins back in the day, but then I read some article about the health effects (I’m not claiming them to be true but I didn’t like what I read) … not to mention the expense of replacing them monthly got to be a little much. I had a Pinterest fail trying to fill the plug-ins with my own mixture of water and oils – after breaking a total of 7 I decided to remove that DIY project from my Pinterest board, because I could not, indeed, do it myself.

I finally came across an article that gave instructions for making air fresheners out of … you guessed it … mason jars! I won’t claim them to be the best air fresheners ever, because they’re not. I find myself needing to add more oil on a pretty regular basis, but they’re cute and all-natural so I’ll put up with it.

materials

  • baking soda
  • essential oil (any fragrance)
  • scrapbook paper
  • mason jar (I chose the short & squat 1/2 pint jars)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • something worthy of poking small holes in scrapbook paper (I used a mini phillips head screwdriver)

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step 1

trace lid of mason jar (without the ring) onto scrapbook paper (look at the awesome patterns!)

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step 2

cut out paper circle and fit into ring of mason jar lid

step 3

add baking soda to mason jar (I added enough to fill the jars about 1/3)

step 4 

add several drops of essential oil. the amount you add will depend on your preference – I typically add about 8 drops. lavender is my favorite every-day scent and peppermint is my go-to for Christmas time.

when I first started making these, I had to order the oils online or go to a specialty natural food store, but now my local Kroger carries a few scents.

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step 5

put lid onto jar and shake well. poke holes in the scrapbook paper top to release the scent …

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Couple things – the article I came across (which I can not currently find) used fabric instead of scrapbook paper, and a needle to make the holes instead of the mini screwdriver. I was not able to get the fabric to stay tight enough – over time it would sag, so I opted for scrapbook paper. I also didn’t think the needle holes let out enough of the scent so I opted for larger holes via the mini screwdriver.

Cheers to a fresh-smelling home 🙂

The Baby’s Room – A Close-Up

I still cringe a little when I realize that I really can’t take credit for making most of the super cute things I see when I look around Austin’s room. Things I can take credit for: knowing awesome people who made or gifted us with some of these super cute things, and memorizing my debit card number so that it was a breeze to buy stuff online without even having to get up and get my wallet. As for the creative side of it though, shame on me. All I could take credit for was making some of the hoop art creations (see earlier post), painting some furniture, framing some pictures, buying random foxes and other fun things at every store I entered as well as from every website I could think of, and finally putting it all together.

Deciding on colors for the nursery was a somewhat painstaking process in itself, and once I finally made that decision I had yet another decision ahead of me – what color was I going to paint all the random furniture I had accumulated? I should mention here that I’m personally not a big fan of matchy-matchy – you won’t find any matching bedroom “sets” in our house. I think a good mix of this and that when it comes to furniture really makes a room shine. Austin’s room was no different.

I knew what crib I wanted because it was the only vintage-looking crib I could find, probably because the style (Jenny Lind) has been around since forever. Finding the perfect crib sheet was proving to be the ultimate headache until I stumbled upon PeasnCarrotsBaby on Etsy. Cutest. Sheets. Ever. https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeasnCarrotsBaby

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My mom found the changing table at the local Goodwill (that’s right). It was in perfect condition and just needed a light sanding and a couple coats of paint. I love it because it’s not the typical changing table that I was seeing in all the stores – the design is so unique. My son 100% agrees. I finally settled on Sherwin Williams Gulfstream for this piece.

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The rocking chair had been in my husband’s family for a while. I loved the idea of an actual rocker versus one of the newer plush chairs you see in every baby store these days. Not quite as comfy, but who doesn’t put aside comfort for coolness every now and then? I decided to keep it simple for this piece and use Rustoleum Dark Brown (yes people, that’s a spray paint – another obsession of mine). A good sanding job and a couple coats later … so long flowers (it was actually a nice-looking chair but I didn’t think Austin would appreciate the flowers).

I pulled the small side table and footstool from other rooms in the house and sprayed them with the Rustoleum Dark Brown as well. I’m failing to mention here that I went through 2 other colors on the side table before settling on the simple brown. Paint’s not permanent, thank God. I’d be in big trouble if it was. I lightly sanded the top of the table (which happens to be wicker) and just sprayed a couple coats. The footstool had to be sanded a good bit due to wear and tear, largely in part due to a beloved dog I had in college.

My mom (once again to the rescue) made the adorably short curtains. She also made a chair pad for the antique rocker and a cushion for the footstool using curtains from Target! We scoured places for fabric, but finding a pattern with the right shade of orange was not an easy task.

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The dresser and the bookcase were from my husband’s younger days. I went with Sherwin Williams Gulf Stream for the bookcase. I should add that this is not the first color I tried for the bookcase. See a pattern here? I actually decided to leave the dresser as it was. I liked the contrast of the lighter brown dresser with the darker brown crib.

The shelves of the bookcase were filled with books, foxes (can you believe it?), and vintage toys that had been my dad’s when he was a child. The metal bicycle came from an antique shop – whether or not it’s actually an antique remains a question. For the top of the bookshelf, I framed some cute quotes in a variety of wooden frames, along with a picture of my sweet child. A polar bear my husband made out of clay when he was a child also sits on the very top. It’s not a fox, but I told him it would do 🙂

His toys are contained in the adorable fox canvas tote that my friend, Emily, bought, and his little reading corner consists of one of those old school bedrest pillows adorned with some stuffed animals. It’s definitely a space I can see him spending lots of time in (as well as my husband, who I’ve caught looking quite comfy while he’s supposedly playing with Austin). Can you blame him?

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As you can probably gather, I don’t like getting rid of a decent piece of furniture because you never know when you might need it … and it really doesn’t matter what color it’s painted or if it’s got a water stain on top of it – you can change all that. You can even change the knobs if changing the color’s just not enough to make you happy.

There are a couple other small “crafts” I did get around to doing for Austin’s room. Soon before my dad passed away in 2013, he had given me a lamp he had as a child when he was cleaning out his house. I’m pretty sure he intended for it to go in his grandchild’s room that I had not yet blessed him with. I decided to do just that; however, because the lamp was painted in all the colors that did not make an appearance in Austin’s room, I painted over it with acrylic paints and sponge brushes. I’m not partial to any brand of acrylic paint – you’ll find Craft Smart, Apple Barrel & Folk Art in my craft closet. I decided to go with acrylics for one main reason – if I ever regret covering over the original paint job, I can easily remove the acrylic paint from the lamp. I found a small burlap shade at Target and put my husband to work fixing the plug parts.

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My mom found an adorable owl container at Pottery Barn right after Halloween. She picked it up since Austin’s nursery was adorned with forest creatures and told me I could probably paint over it so it didn’t look so Halloween-y. It was black and orange so it was pretty Halloween-y. I whipped out my acrylics once again and sponged my way to an owl that matched the rest of the room.

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And now for some more credits …

Props go out to my friend, Emily, for making this awesome piñata. Yes, this is the same Emily who bought the adorable fox canvas tote (isn’t she great?). I mean, seriously, what’s a nursery without one of these? I will never be able to bring myself to actually use this for its intended purpose. It is way too perfect.

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My mother-in-law made the cutest board to hang pictures on – I could not have found a cuter one if I tried. I absolutely love changing out the pictures from time to time to see how much Austin’s grown. Of course I’m usually about 6 months behind on that, but who’s counting?

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The mobile and canvas were both Etsy purchases (thank you OllieandPenny and Houseof3 for your wonderful creations). I originally thought I would get a mobile that played music, but as soon as I saw this one on Etsy, shopping was done. It was the perfect fit.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OllieandPenny

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I thought a night-time prayer on canvas would be a sweet addition above the crib as well. Luckily I stumbled upon Houseof3 on Etsy and was able to get custom wording and colors on canvas.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Houseof3

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As for the foxes … all the way from the stuffed animals, figurines and ornaments, to the music players and light machines, many people blessed us with those. Moms, aunts, friends, mom’s friends, sister-in-laws, my bank account … Did I really say I didn’t want a fox-themed nursery?

I’m proud of the way Austin’s room turned out, even if he was 3 months old when it was finally complete, and even if I didn’t do as much as I one day dreamed I would, a long, long, long time ago, when I had a tad bit more free time 🙂