Thursday, March 29, 2012

7 Console Changes

Were you able to find the seven changes I made to my mudroom's console table?  Some are really easy to spot, and some are a little bit harder...well maybe one is a little harder to spot.

Here is the list of changes I made to the space. 
1. Console Table
2. Mirror
3. Orchids in Silver Punch Bowl
4.  Metal Wire Baskets (2)
5. Removed 1 Suitcase
6. Owl on the chair
7. New Lampshades
 I found a new place for my orchids.  They work better in this space because of the purple in the rug, and on the accent pillow in the chair.  Not shown in these pictures because of the owl.  I found this amazing mirror at TJ Maxx for only $29!  The frame is distressed, with silver leaf and gold paint.  It is beautiful and works perfectly wit my wall color.  I found the lampshades at Tuesday Morning.  They cost $6.99, and I think they completely transform the lamps. 
I traded a suitcase for another basket.  I found these two wire basket at TJ Maxx.  It was a little bit of a spluge at $16, and $30 respectively, but I think worth the money.  The small basket is perfect for the kids shoes, and the larger basket....well I think you know what I am about to write.  The wicker basket that was holding our shoes before was not holding up to the job well.  Little bits of wicker kept breaking off the basket.  These new baskets take a beating, and still look great. 

This little owl has made his way from my home's workroom to Donna's home.  I really hope her son likes him!  These little owls have been so well received, I have decided to sell them locally in town at Urban Merchant. This little guy sells for $35.  If you live near Lynchburg, I hope you get a chance to stop in and see Michelle.  She has an amazing shop, and it a great supporter of local artists.  If you do not live locally, and you want to buy an owl, send me an email at


Have you noticed someone missing from our blog this past week?  Kandi's computer died earlier this week, so she has not been able to work on posts.  Please tell her how much you miss her and her projects.  I know I miss her posts!  I am hoping she can get her computer back soon!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Console Update

Can a girl update her space too many times?  Well if you ask my husband, the answer would be YES!  But sometimes a piece of furniture speaks to me.  I really hope I am not the only one who talks to inanimate objects.   I see that object from a far, usually at a local consignment shop, and I know it needs to come home with me.  I am giving it a chance at another life.  I really hope you all can relate.  Please comment and tell me I am not crazy!  Anyway a couple weeks ago I saw this great table at one of my local shops, and I knew I had to have it for my mudroom.  The other console table belongs to my cousin, and she will be needing it soon; so I needed a new one.

Here she is!  Isn't she beautiful!  At first glance it may not appear that I have changed this space much since my mudroom reveal, but I actually did a mini-makeover on this whole space.  Here is the before...

Can you guess all the items that were changed from the above picture? 


It is amazing how one little table can lead to a whole mini-makeover isn't it? Come back tomorrow, and I will show you all my changes...just a hint, there are 7 changes in the picture.  Can you see them all?


ps Do you see the little owl, well he was on his way out the door to our Owl Giveaway winner Donna.  She shared a couple of great pictures on our Sneak Peak and Owl Giveaway Winner Post go check them out!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chocolate Silk Cheesecake

Oh wow! That is all I can say about this chocolaty goodness.  It was inspired by two amazing desserts, Chocolate Silk Pie, and Oreo Layer Dessert. What can be better than those two desserts....well I think taking the best of each and making one fabulous dessert, that's what. Oh by the way did I mention Kandi and I started a little diet last week? Yep, I am pretty sure Kandi is leading in calories and pounds lost!


1 Package of Regular Oreos
6 T of Butter (3/4 of one stick)
Crush 2/3 of the box of the Oreos with a food processor, or crush in a bag with a rolling pin.  Melt butter, and stir into Oreos. Spread crust in a 9 x 9 pan. 
Cheese Cream Layer:
8 oz. of Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In a bowl whip heavy whipping cream until peaks form.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, whip softened cream cheese in a bowl, add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. Fold in your whipped cream, and mix so cheese has a smooth texture.  Pour into your 9 x 9 cake pan.  Place in frig. while working on the next layer.

Chocolate Silk Layer
1 Jar (7oz) Marshmallow Creme
1 Cup Giradelli Semi-Sweet Chips
1/4 Cup Butter (1/2 stick)
2 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream + 2 Tablespoons
In a heavy sauce pan, combine marshmallow creme, chocolate chips, butter unsweetened chocolate and 2 T Heavy Whipping Cream.  Cook, stirring constantly until chocolate melts, and mixture becomes smooth.  Pour into a bowl, and set in the frig. to cool for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, whip your heavy cream in a bowl until peaks form.  Fold into the chocolate mixture, then pour over the cheese cake layer.  Return to the refrigerator.


1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
2 T Powdered Sugar
Chocolate Curls (from the Unsweetened Chocolate Bar)
1 row of Oreos, (the remaining row from your box) crunched up

Mix heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar together and beat until the cream forms peaks.  Spread over the chocolate layer.  Spread crunched up Oreos on the top of the whipped cream. And sprinkle chocolate curls across the top of the dessert.  (Use the remaining chocolate from the Unsweetened Chocolate Bar).  Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until the dessert sets up! 

I hope you Enjoy!


I linked up here...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Garden Chores

Look at these blooms!
Here in the South, we are experiencing a warmer than normal spring; in fact it feels like summer here!  I know we are not the only part of the country experiencing warmer than normal temps.  My big sis called today from Eau Claire Wisconsin (near Minneapolis) and told me it was 78 degrees there today; the ice was off the lake, and her tulips were making their way out of the ground.  At my most recent garden club meeting our speaker said here in zone 7a we are a week to two weeks ahead of our normal plant season which honestly it feels like we are more like a month ahead.  So projects I tend to have a few more weeks to get to needed to have been done yesterday.

At the top of our list of projects to accomplish this weekend was composting and mulching our garden beds.  Although I can't say this is one of my favorite projects, it is an awful lot like painting, instant gratification. 

Look at all that beautiful compost and mulch surrounding my daffodils.
I make a point of mending my soil every spring with a combination of compost and pine bark mulch.  I use pine bark because it is small, and breaks down easily.  Here in Lynchburg we have a predominately red clay soil, not exactly the best soil for plants because it holds water, and then in the hot dry summer it tends to become hard and does not encourage root growth.  I find that the more compost and mulch I can mix into my soil, the happier my plants are through the hot summer months.   Here are a few pictures of the plants that are happily blooming in my garden. 



Another Camellia

More Daffodils.

I am hating the neighborhood deer these days!  We went away for vacation and came back to this!  Do you see my azalea in the lower right corner of the picture above?  Normally the deer leave my azaleas alone, but not this year.   They came and striped all of the leaves, and flower buds off of my bushes!  Right before they bloom!  Oh how I hate the neighborhood deer.  It has been raining a lot here, so I have been spraying liquid fence on my plants weekly.

Oh how I love spring!  It is just so beautiful around here these days.  Now if I will only stop sneezing!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stenciled Wall Tutorial

As you  know I am working on a bedroom makeover for my little guy .  If you missed my post Sneak Peak at My Little Man's Room go check it out.   It will give you a little preview of where this room is headed.  Let's just say I love midcentury lines mixed with traditional elements in a child's room, so this room is going to have a good mixture of both.  

This room has to double not only as my littlest man's room, but when company comes for a visit I will be kicking him out to stay in his big brother's lower bunk bed.  Can you relate?   I don't want to the room to scream kid, I want it to be a place where my mom, or my hubby's parents feel comfortable when they come for a visit.    Most of the choices I have made for this room are age neutral, in fact, maybe a little too age neutral; so I decided to jazz his space up a little by stenciling a wall.  I wanted the look of wall paper, but it was not in my budget, so a stencil was the prefect option.

I chose this owl stencil from Hobby Lobby.  It was going to  cost me a whole $2.99, but Hobby Lobby has a 40% off coupon on line, so it was less than $2.00 with taxes!  Talk about a lot of bang for the buck! 

Other materials I needed for this project included paint, painters tape, canvas drop cloth, foam roller, and spray adhesive.   Many of these items I already had from other projects.  But I did need to buy paint.  I bought a quart of paint, but I could have gotten away with one of those small paint samples.  My total costs for this project was less than $20, which was great because as you know I set a low budget of $1000 for this whole room.
Here are the steps I took to stencil my son's wall.

1.  Start with a freshly painted wall.  I taped off the edges of my wall.  I tend to get a little sloppy at times, and this painter's tape helped cut down on my whoops moments.  Spay the back of the stencil with spray adhesive.  I found mine at Lowes.  Make sure to buy the least tacky option, you want to be able to reposition the stencil.  You do not want it to stick permanently!  Yikes, that would be a mess!  Only spray your stencil once, it will stay sticky enough to get you through your whole project.  If you spray it twice (like I did) then you will leave glue residue all over your wall.  It is a mess.  I started my pattern in the top left corner.  I wanted to make sure that if I got off course, it would be hidden by the curtain panels on the other side of the room. 

2.  Stencil, Repeat, Repeat, Repeat....
I do want to share a few tips with you.  All of the directions I have read about stenciling say to make sure you to rid your paint brush/roller of excess paint.  I can't emphasis this step enough.  Above is a picture of what the correct amount of paint rolled on should look like, can you see that the paint is not saturated on the wall, in fact, in some areas i thought that I had not gotten enough paint on the wall, and that somehow these owls would look gray and not black when I pulled the stencil off.  These owls turned out to have the best lines.  Here is a tip, if you are painting in black paint then you will have black owls, never gray, black is black, just like any other color you paint will be that color.   When I started the project this is how much paint I put on the roller....and then the wall.

Can you see the difference?

  When you put this much paint on the wall, it will bleed through, under the stencil.  When I finally got the process down, I found myself only reloading my roller every 20 moves, so that is 80 owls before I dipped my roller back in the paint.  When reloading, I only dipped the roller in the paint on one side, then I rolled off the excess paint. (Do not roll the roller around in the paint like you would when painting a wall.  You will have way too much paint on your roller.)

I was able to eyeball my line of owls.  I laid out my row following the ceiling line and then I lined my stencil underneath and continued to paint.  I did find my owls to be a little off, but the curtains at the other end of the room hide this imperfection.  If you don't have curtains to hide your mistake, I would recommend using a level and a piece of chalk to draw lines on your wall.  Once you are finished stenciling, just wipe the chalk off.  (A lot easier than using a pencil and going back and erasing all your lines).


I finished the body of the wall, and then I did my edges.  If you want this to look like wallpaper, then you need to stencil up into the corners.  This will mean that some of the design will not be complete.  That is okay, and gives it the wall paper look.  Simply tape off the corner, and the wall you do not want to stencil so there is no over painting.  Then stick your stencil on the wall with it folding onto the other wall.  Paint carefully. 

At the bottom of this picture is the baseboard.  Do you see how the last row of owls are missing their feet?  It is all part of making the wall look like wallpaper. 

3. Touch up...My final step is touching up all of my mistakes.  No matter how hard I tried, at times I over-painted the stencil.  For this step, just take a small hard bristled brush ( I used a small stencil brush, hmmm, little ironic don't you think) dab a small amount of your base wall color on the brush and paint over your mistake.  It is kind of like putting concealer on over a blemish.  I repeated this process a couple times!  :)

This stenciling project may seem overwhelming, but it was really quite simple, and is not as time consuming as you may think.  I had about 4 hours into this entire project, and less than $20.  Not bad for such a large statement wall.  I can't wait to show you his finshed room.  I have a few more projects, and then, the reveal.  Next week I am going to show you how to sew a bolster pillow for the bed. (You know the kind that run the width of the bed)  I am seeing them everywhere these days, and it costs a fortune to have one custom made.  I  made mine for less than $25!  Including the down pillow form.  Here is a little preview.

Do you see a hint of owls in the background?  I really can't wait to show you this finished room!


I linked this project up to a few parties.  Check out our where we party page.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Garden Inspiration

Rebekah and I have decided to write a few "gardening blogs" in the coming future.  Why you ask, because we both love to garden.  Rebekah is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to gardening;  I usually Google  any plant before I plant it to make sure I'm doing it right!  But, I learn a little something every time I Google (and maybe if my child will start sleeping I might begin to retain at least a tiny amount of knowledge).
This is not my house.  But like my Pinterest pin says, "a girl can dream, right!!"
I will be putting in a vegetable garden this year!  Yay!  I've have had two veggie gardens of my own in the past.  The first one my mom planted and I LOVED her for it.  The second one I planted, did a wonderful, beautiful job... and just as all my yummy veggies were getting ready to harvest... we moved!!!  BUMMER!  I really hope those folks who bought our house at least ate a few of my cucumbers and tomatoes. 
Photo from Better Home and Gardens

I am looking forward to this project.  I plan on getting the kids involved (I hear you laughing!).  I grew up on a farm and it is a big part of who I am.  Now I know that a little veggie garden is not the same"growing up on a farm" but hopefully they will at least take something away.  And anyway, there is nothing better on this planet than a tomato sandwich with a juicy homegrown tomato, on soft white bread, smothered in Dukes mayonnaise with tons of salt and pepper.  If your not from the South you are probably gagging but TRY IT!  When tomato juice drips down your wrist you will know you have arrived at perfection

I am entertaining the idea of a wall mounted succulent garden.  They are just so beautiful.  I am not sure if it will happen this summer but I have the perfect spot right outside my kitchen window!
Picture courtesy of Country Living
I am a huge fan of container gardening.  Its like jewelry for your house.  Here are a couple pictures from my house last summer.  This summer I plan to add a little more color I think. 
A couple of containers on the back porch

Front Porch

From my mom's garden last summer.
We also created a backyard last fall!  Before and after pics to come.  Picture an over grown forest with weeds and vines to your neck going to a beautiful, lush shaded yard.  It happened!  More on that to come.  These projects along with a cut flower garden are what I have on the agenda for Spring/Summer 2012 (along with a laundry room redo, dining room makeover, and 20 zillion other projects sitting in my head).

If you love flowers its easier than you think to get started.  BHG and Country Living are great sources for garden plans and other plant knowledge.  Get a plan and head to your garden store.  The people are always so helpful and will get you on your way.  I guarantee if you start with just one container you'll be addicted in no time (speaking from experience)!

Go get your hands dirty!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

$20 Chandelier Update

It is always a struggle to know when to reveal a room to our readers.  Often times we find ourselves getting impatient with a room, and want to show you the 95% finished product.  I think it is because our rooms are never fully finished, which is a good thing. Right.  After all, we live in homes, not museums.  I just revealed my foyer to you less than a week ago, and I have already updated a major player in the room.  If you have read any of my posts about this foyer, than you know I hate my chandelier.  I do, and I said it!  It is just not my style.  It looks like a spider on steroids!  Sixteen arms of platinum gray coming to get you....

I have hated this chandelier since we bought the home, I just did not realize to what degree.  As I wrote this post, I found myself writing curse words to describe this beast.  I hope you can relate.  Maybe it is not a chandelier, maybe it is an ugly wall paper, a disfunctional appliance, or a squeeky stair.  You hate it so much you find yourself not wanting to go into that room...I really hope a few of you comment that you can relate, otherwise I might need to call my therapist tomorrow! 

In your kindness, many of you have written in, and told me it is just not that bad, and that I should paint it.  I agree, painting it a gold/bronze would completely change the feel.  But here is the problem, I am a DIY girl, and my chandelier weighs about 100 lbs.  It is approx. 5 feet tall, and is hanging 18 feet off the floor.  I would have to hire an electrician to bring in a scaffold to take the chandy down just so I could paint it.  I might as well find a new chandelier by the time I finish paying an electrician.  So painting it is just not a good option.   Here is a picture of my painter painting my foyer.  I think you can get a great feel for the volume of space from this pic.

The irony in all of my hatred of this chandelier is that a couple of years ago I came across a home in Cottage Living, and I cut out a picture of a dining room I loved (Prepinterest);  I especially love the chandy.   Look familiar?!.

This past week I came across this image again via Pinterest!  Thank you Pinterest, yet again you have inspired another makeover!  A few days later I ran out to Lowes to buy a few (yes 16) chandelier shades.  The first Lowes I tried only had 13 shades, no problem, I'll just drive across town to the other Lowes to picked up 3 more, right.  Only, this is where my story takes a turn for awesome.  The shades I originally bought were $5.95, and the second Lowes had slightly different shades on clearance for $0.71!  Yeah Baby!!!!  So this whole project ended up costing me less than $20!  (& I had planned to spend over $100!) 

Here is my newly updated chandelier, and I love it.  It is amazing what a few (yes 16) chandelier shades can do....

The only problem with this quick little makeover is getting those shades to be straight!  Oh not museums right! My favorite part of this makeover has been turning on my light.  Before the light was so harsh, but now this light gives off a soft glow! 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Hydrangea Wreath Tutorial

This happens to be the worlds cheapest and easiest wreath tutorial.  I was inspired by what else... Pinterest.  I randomly searched "wreaths" on afternoon and you wouldn't believe how many awesome ideas popped up!  Seriously... go search it!  I ended up making this one because I not only loved it, but I had plenty of dried hydrangeas so I knew I could make it quickly and easily and for zero dollars. 

- piece of cardboard
- dried hydrangeas
- hot glue gun and glue
- scissors
- length of string
For me it made more sense to make a wreath for out of cardboard because the flat back worked well for hanging it on a wall and the dried hydrangeas are so light weight that the cardboard will be plenty sturdy. I used the old elementary school method of making a perfect circle.  Tie a length of string to your pencil at the desired circumference of your circle.  Draw around while holding tight in the center.  Shorten the length for your inner circle.  Cut out.  If you are like me you will not care if your circle isn't 100% perfect because its going to be covered up.   If you are like my husband you will start over and do it until it's perfect therefore wasting precious time...

I only have one picture of the glue it on step because it's kind of a no brainer.  Add a length of ribbon to the back for hanging if needed first.  Next, cut the stems from your hydrangeas  and cover a surface area of the form with hot glue.  Stick your hydrangeas  down putting even pressure so it will stick but taking care not to crush it.  Continue until you're finished!

You will have to go back at the end taking small cuttings to fill in the gaps.  I think this wreath took me a total of 15 minutes from start to finish!  I have had it a few different places and I like it everywhere.  I have a love affair with hydrangeas though and my house is surrounded by them.  Their leaves are just now beginning to come out for the year and I'm already excited! 

I have since moved it to the dining room.  Quick  note... if you are going to be hanging it from a window or in front of a mirror take into account what the back looks like.  I ended up covering the back of mine with strips of burlap so it would look a little better from the other side. 
Check out my new dining room chairs!!!  More on those later this week along with the beginning of the dining room makeover.  (See the old ones here)

A note on drying hydrangeas.
I had the dried hydrangeas for this wreath already from my yard last year but drying them is super easy even if you buy them from the grocery store.  Basically display them in a vase with water and they will slowly dry as the water evaporates.  They usually retain their color but it may be a little more muted.  It doesn't always work as well with flower shop hydrangeas but I have had plenty of luck.  If you are planning on drying them from your own bush wait until the second half of summer when the start to feel slightly papery.  They seem to do perfectly from here.  If there are a couple brown petals they are easily removed once dried.  The funny part about this is this is the way I have always dried my hydrangeas but before typing it here I thought I better Google to see the "real" way.  Love it when I just happen to do things right the first time... that's not usually the way things go for me! 

This is an easy peasy and potentially free beautiful wreath.  I am thinking it is worth it for you to go ahead and plant yourself a hydrangea or two if you don't have one already!  Now is the time! 
I hope you are having this amazing spring weather like I am!  I am headed outside to enjoy it and start working on weeding my flower beds, doing a little pruning, and getting the ground ready to add annuals in a few weeks!  YAY!!  Spring is the best time of year!  Stay tuned for some gardening posts and tutorials coming up.


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