Sunday, July 31, 2011

Organizing My Pantry

After I had my baby, it became difficult to find the time to do basic cleaning, let alone organizing. Now that he is a little more independent (and takes good naps) :) I am tackling each of the neglected spots in my house. It's amazing how "out of control" the stuff can get!

Today's project: the pantry. Oh Lord. It was BAD. Not so "charming," eh?

First thing I did was completely empty it out and gave it a good scrub down. I was about to paint the inside of it on a whim, but naps aren't THAT long, and you have to draw the line somewhere.

I tossed things that were old and things that were just never going to be used. I broke out my label maker and began sorting.

I separated everything into categories and put a label on the wall behind each "section." I find that labels help our family remember to put things where they belong rather than just toss them somewhere.

I must have opened it about 20 times since then, just to look inside! Now I can check one thing off the list!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Am I crazy?

I mean, really, am I crazy? I went to ReStore this week, and saw these two wingbacks on the end. They looked so sad and like they needed a good home. So, I bought them....and plan to reupholster them. (They were SUCH a good price.) I'm short on time, so they are waiting patiently in the garage for me to give them a facelift. Hopefully I will be posting some lovely "After" pictures long as it goes well!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mac and Cheese

Over the last month, my little guy has become a picky eater. I keep giving him vegetables, and after about 3 bites, he's over it. Today I tried something different. I bought organic macaroni and cheese (of course...he loves mac and cheese) and I mixed in a jar of organic sweet potato baby food. And he ate all of it! I thought I'd share this with you all in case one of you had a picky eater as well!

I got Annie's Homegrown Bunny Pasta-the noodles are adorable shapes of bunnies and carrots and it's easy for him to pick the noodles up!

I mixed in Earth's Best Organic Sweet Potatoes. (I usually make his baby food, but in this case jarred has a better consistency.) I cooked the noodles, added the milk and cheese, but nixed the butter. Then I just mixed the sweet potatoes right in!

And hellooooo...he ate them!!!!

Sure, we had a orange mess to clean up....but totally worth it!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Secret "Treasure" at Michaels

I have a confession: I am addicted to the $1 bin at Michaels. Aside from DIY projects, I would not exactly call myself "good" at finding deals. I am usually the girl who buys something and hears the next week that it's 50% off. (But I am getting better at it!)

There is just something about that dollar bin at Michaels that draws me in...and I ALWAYS find something! I found the following pictures last summer. Each picture is printed on a small canvas and only cost $1. I put this cute collection together on the wall in Briggs' bathroom.

I found the following adorable gift tags there. The green pattern has a very cute, preppy feel to it.

These sweet little note cards by Shabby Chic double as place cards at a dinner party....and yup, only a dollar for a pack.

It is so exciting to find such an unexpected little treasure...and at a great price!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Recipe: Perfect Summer Cocktail

I have my favorite summer cocktail. It's light, fresh, and perfect for company. Here's to staying cool through this HOT summer!

Courtney's Pink Lemonade Cocktail

2 (12-oz.) cans frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed

6 (12-oz.) bottles of light beer, chilled

2 cups vodka, chilled

Frozen cranberries

Mix first 3 ingredients. Garnish with frozen cranberries. Serve over ice. Drink on front porch. :)

Serves 12.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

An Old Screen

This MIGHT be my favorite thing. Ok, I say that about everything. But I LOVE this old framed screen.
I found it in "The Girls on Tenth" in North Wilkesboro. The owner of "The Vintage Home," Michelle, was using it to display jewelry. I spotted it and asked her immediately if it was for sale. She wasn't selling it, but had gotten it from a friend of hers who was replacing all of the screens in her historic home. She called her friend, and sure enough, she put aside a screen for me. I'm using it to hang jewelry, pictures, and miscellaneous things that make me smile.

I love how chippy it is. I covered it in polyacrylic to prevent it from chipping any further.

To hang the necklaces, I clipped pieces of galvanized wire and bent them with pliers to make "S" shapes. I stuck them in the screen and hung the necklaces from them.

I am so excited to find a way to store my jewelry and decorate a bare wall in our bedroom!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Our Headboard

When I first proposed the idea of using doors as a headboard, my husband looked at me like I had two heads. But I knew the look that I was going for, and I knew that he would like it once it was done. We were newlyweds, and had just started to purchase furniture for our home. Once I explained it to him in a little more detail, he agreed to the idea. It was our first home "project."
He went to a local hardware store and purchased three doors (the width of the three doors combined was a bit more then the width of our bed.) We gave them two coats of blue-gray paint.

We bought over-the-door hooks for each door and hung matted pictures of sailboats from each one. (I made these picture frames the same way I did my hanging letters.)

We simply propped them against the wall, and have had them ever since!

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Memory in a Jar

I saw the cutest idea in a Pottery Barn catalog. (Imagine that!) They suggested taking collected items (such as shells, etc.) from family vacations and grouping them together on a bookshelf as a "Memory Shelf." I read this tip as we were en route to Tybee Island and Savannah for a weekend trip.
So, of course, I was sure to fill a giant bag with sand and shells we collected from Tybee, and this time, I WOULD MAKE SURE they became decoration in our home. So, a year passed, and the shells and sand were still in the bag. When I recently got a great deal on some old mason jars, I knew it was time to make something out of it.

I filled the jar with the "treasures" I collected, and cut a piece of burlap to fit the top. I tied it on with a piece of twine and attached a label that read "Tybee Island," and it's now sitting on the old chippy shelf in my kitchen. From now on, every beach we go to, I plan to have a new memory jar on our shelf.

This project reminded me of how much fun we had and was a nice way to relive it. A bit more from Savannah.....

See the little head at the bottom of the picture below? Yeah, that's me. Clearly my husband thought the Pirates House was more interesting than me. :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Hanging Letters

Several people have asked me about the hanging letters that spell "Briggs" in his nursery. It was so easy to do! (Try to ignore the lovely video monitor in the picture.)

I went to Michael's in search of silver frames. I had a very specific type in mind-they had to be thin, silver, 8"x 10" wall frames with white mats. I found thin, silver 8"x 10" tabletop frames without mats...but the price was so good, I could make it work! I bought 6 of them, and bought 6 white mats that were cut for a 5" x 7" picture.

I went home and played with fonts on the computer until I found one I liked, and I printed out different sized letters until I found a size that fit well into my 5" x 7" mats. I printed each of the letters out onto ivory paper I found in the scrapbooking section at Michael's.

I then sat on the floor of his nursery (with my giant belly and all) and yanked the stands off of each frame with needle-nose pliers. I cut equal lengths of white ribbon, and then used a staple gun to attach the ribbon to the frames. (I also doubled up with a little Gorilla glue for a extra staying power.)

That's it! Now, hanging them in a straight line....that's a different story.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our Kitchen Table

For years, I have dreamed of finding a very old wooden kitchen table and refinishing it. Having refinished several pieces of furniture, I felt ready to tackle a kitchen table.

I found this pedestal clawfoot table from the 1800s at a thrift store in North Wilkesboro. From the 1800s! Instantly, I began to picture a whole "life" this table had. Another family must have made memories around this table. Maybe a little girl did homework there every day? Maybe there were long family dinners eaten at this table? I had to have it!

Since I had a significant amount of time off from work for Fourth of July, I decided that would be the best time to tackle this project. I wanted it to be white (a true white) so I decided to sand, prime, and paint with latex paint.

I put one coat of primer on and a large stain worked it's way through the primer. I put on another coat, thinking it just absorbed the stain the previous owner had given it. Again, this stain appeared through the primer....only this time there were ripples in the wood. I poked one of the ripples and a piece of wood flaked off....followed by more and more pieces. I realized this whole spot was just bad wood and had to literally dig it out with a putty knife.

There was a giant hole in the top. I felt sick. How was I going to break it to my husband that he had wasted a whole Saturday driving more than an hour away to get this thing? Do I get rid of it and pretend some thief with French country style stole it out of our garage overnight??

I had to fix it. Then it hit me-wood filler! I got Minwax Wood Filler and filled the HUGE spot in, and thankfully, after a TON of sanding it worked. I applied another coat of paint and sealed it. Once I got it inside, I decided it needed to have a more warm, worn look to it. So, AGAIN, I repainted it in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Paris Grey with Old White on top. I then sanded the edges and put two coats of furniture wax on to seal it.

's done. It's in the kitchen, and even though the table and I got off to a rocky start, it's ready to get new memories in its "life" with our family.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Painted Chandelier

When I found out Briggs was a boy, I knew I had to have a blue chandelier in his nursery. That's how I had always envisioned it. I looked online, but like it so often happens, I had an exact picture of what I wanted in my mind and could not find it anywhere. So I decided to make it! I went hunting for an old brass chandelier. I went so many places and I finally found one that was the perfect size. I found it at (where else) ReStore.

The first thing I did was paint it blue.

I added white lampshades.

I bought a white ceiling medallion and also painted it blue, but exposed some of the white to give it a "worn" look.

My husband mounted the medallion and hung the chandelier (poor was a really hard fixture to hang and required multiple trips to Home Depot.)

It's my favorite part of his room!