Thursday, January 31, 2013

New (for now) Sofa Table & Winter Mantle

Happy Thursday!  It's January 31, which means two things.  First, it's the last day of the first month of the year.  And secondly, Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!!!!  37 years and going strong! :)

Yesterday we had day two of Spring weather, so I spent a couple hours tidying up the garage.  When it's really cold and I work in there, I rush out as soon as I am done, leaving behind my mess.... It was driving me bonkers, but it was too cold for me to want to spend time in there cleaning!  Finally it was warm, though rainy, so I had at it!  Glad it's done, and now it's going to be cold again, so I can start the cycle all over again. ;)  I also spent a couple hours in the morning volunteering in Emmy's class, so all in all it was a productive day around here!

Anyhow I wanted to share with you a new to us sofa table I purchased off craigslist.  I had been looking for one for a while and needed very specific dimensions to fit our narrow space, but we really needed one because we need a place to put lamps.  The living room has no overhead lights, and had only one lamp on the desk.

Now, forgive me because I forgot to take a before picture, but it had the classic traditional hardware and golden oak finish.  I removed the hardware and filled the holes with Wunderfil, which is my absolute favorite wood filler.  I find it to give the smoothest finish.  I filled the holes, let it dry, sanded, and repeated one more time.

Once that was done, I gave it a good sanding all over, and then applied 3 coats of my go-to black paint, General Finishes Lamp Black from Rockler.  Once it was dry, I distressed it by hand on the edges and legs, and applied a coat of Minwax wipe-on poly in satin.  I finally added some new hardware, some antiqued brass ring pulls I had on hand.  Here is how the table looked in my driveway, and I took pictures out there because it's hard to get a shot where it is placed behind our sofa!


And here it is in the living room...

I am working with the 50mm lens because I have not been able to find a replacement for my kit lens and am deciding if it's worth it just to buy a new camera so I can have the kit lens again.  Does anyone know where I can order just the kit lens?  I can't seem to find it!  It's the canon rebel and it's the 18-35mm lens.  Thanks!

Also below, you can see my lamp... it's a vintage white owl lamp and I still need to find a shade, so disregard that. :)  And does anyone have any fabulous tricks for hiding the cord?

As you can see above, I had to set my lamp on a stack of thick books to get it to the right height.  So, after all, this table much lower than I really want.  The depth and width are fabulous though!  So bummed about that, so we will use it just for now, until something better comes along.

While we are in the living room I thought since it is the last day of January I would share the winter mantle I have had for the last month.  It's actually already been changed to Valentine's, but there's always time in February to share that! ;)  Maybe tomorrow?

I went with whites and silvers, and added s splash of color with my awesome new tassel garland from Ooh La La.  Ali custom made it in these colors for me and I love it!  I especially love it paired with the white pom pom one she made me last year!  (Her tassel garlands are only $9 by the way, and super cute!)

Aaaah, I love these guys...

The left side of the mantle features mercury glass candlesticks (a generous gift from my friend, Allison), a silver snowflake, and the deer you see is actually our fireplace matches.  But I thought the matches were so cute, they could stay on the mantle, too.

The right side features another candlestick, my mercury glass owl from Ali, and a white pitcher filled with silver branches.


Across the center, 4 mercury glass votives add shimmer.  These were a gift from my parents.

While we are in here, I want to show you just one more addition.  A while back, my amazingly talented friend, Dana of Make Them Wonder, painted this fawn and sent it to me.  I loved it and hung it in my living room with my vintage Baltimore street sign.  I felt like I needed one more piece to add to that space.  I had this vintage "We give excellent service" sign hiding in my closet.  It had made the move with us and I loved it but hadn't found the right space for it.  It was the perfect colors for the living room and added just the right touch, so I hung it below the other two....
I love the collected look of that little corner now!

Well, that ended up being a much wordier and more picture-filled post than I had planned. Diarrhea of the mouth.  Well, with everything going around right now, I'm glad that's the only kind I have.
Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spring Fever! (A desk, a non-fever, and some randomness)

Happy Wednesday!  I hope your week has been wonderful so far!  Ours has been interesting.... Monday we had freezing rain, leaving our cars and driveway covered in a layer of ice and causing the kids to have a 2 hour delay.  Chris worked from home and I brought a new table (for behind our sofa) into the kitchen to paint since it was too cold outside.  I waited for the ice to melt a bit and then headed to the gym like a good girl, even though I just wanted to curl up with a warm cozy blanket and a cookie. :)  Monday evening Emmy started to complain of an ear ache, so we gave her some motrin and put her to bed early- she looked pale but had no fever.  Yesterday was glorious weather wise!  I went for an early morning walk with a couple girlfriends and when I returned home the kids were awake.  I started their breakfast and lunch-packing, and asked how Emmy was feeling.  She replied "all better!" enthusiastically.  So off to school they went.  I had plans to head to West Virginia to buy two dressers from a gentleman I bought one from last week (for my own bedroom, and I will share it soon, I promise!).  I hopped in the shower once the kids were on the bus, hopped out of the shower, and the school nurse called.  She told me Emerson was complaining that her tummy didn't feel good, but her ear was fine, but she looked pale and fatigued.  I cancelled my dresser appointment and headed to school.  When I arrived, I was greeted by a very alert and chipper Emmy who was all talk and giggles.  I took her home anyhow, just in case.  But she was fine.  So for her, the day ended up looking much like this:


Yep, rocking in her new headphones.  She ended up spending the day crafting, listening to music (and moving to it as you can see!), and watching Punky Brewster.  My little hooky.

Meanwhile, since it was a beautiful 65 degree January day, I busted my tail to get some furniture painted.  I thought I would share with you a desk I completed, since it was affected my the weather and my Spring fever mood!

Last week I saw an ad on craigslist for a curb alert of a free dresser right down the street from me.  That never happens!  I live in rural America, people!!!  The kids were off that day, so I loaded them into the car and headed out.  it turned out to be a sweet desk/once vanity (no mirror).  I heaved it into the trunk by myself, strapped the hatch down as best I could, and off we went.  Since it was a very short drive, I figured we would be OK.  Luckily, we and the desk made it safely back to the house!  I forgot a true before, but here is what it looked like after a good sanding.  Picture it with those classic chippendale style handles.... You know the ones.

I decided to paint it with French Linen chalk paint.  I love this color because it is similar to Paris Gray (my favorite) but slightly warmer.  It's a great neutral, and I knew I wanted to add some fun knobs that would pop against the neutral base.  I gave it two coats of paint, allowed it to dry, and then distressed it and then waxed it with a clear wax.  I tried several different knob choices, but in the end, my Spring fever won out, and I went with pansy knobs I bought on clearance from Anthropologie, oh, something like 4 years ago.  I haven't been hoarding them or anything.  I mean, I knew one day I would use them, and today was that day!

Here is the sweet desk now!  I can picture it in a teen girl's bedroom.  Or my bedroom. :)  The knobs make it fun and whimsical and allow it to not be taken so seriously.  After all, my furniture doesn't like to take itself seriously.




I kind of love it.  I was really unsure about the knobs at first, but they have grown on me.  He he.  Flowers grow.  Grow on me.  

Now for some randomness just because this is my blog and I can do what I want.  These are a couple things that have made me smile lately.

Emmy received an adorable hat and scarf from a friend for her birthday.... needless to say she adores it and I am on the hunt for the adult version!

Here is a sweet picture I came so close to buying at Goodwill for Valentine's day....

Ha ha, ok not really!  But it made me giggle.  It's a good thing Emmy wasn't with me that day because she would have wanted to buy it!  You know what they say...

Always be yourself.  Unless you can be a unicorn.  Then always be a unicorn.

Peace out, unicorn peeps.  Have an awesome day!

Oh, and also, you can find me over at one of my all time favorite blogs today, Decor and the Dog.  Michelle so kindly asked me to share my favorite paint color I have used in my house.  I have used this color so far in 3 rooms, and most likely will use it in the kitchen as well.  Click on over to check out the post!
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Unlock Your Greatness Event

I am not going to tell you how to unlock your greatness today- frankly, I am still working on unlocking mine! ;)  But I wanted to share with you an awesome program my friend, Sarah Finks, a life management specialist for women, has put together to help you feel like you are getting the most out of your day to day juggling act, and by getting the most, I mean finding true happiness amidst it all, too.

Please know that I am not being paid or compensated in any way for this post, but helping Sarah spread the word because I believe in her and her free event.  I don't normally post promotional events, but this one is free, and I felt that it was worth sharing if it could potentially help any of you.  (Click on the image to get to her website).


Sarah has gathered 14 amazing and inspirational women who have made their way, set their own paths, and found success, happiness, and health.  She has put together a free webcast with each speaker, which is available for 24 hours after its original playtime.  (This is important to know because the event started last night, but you still have access to yesterday's webcast as of now!).  This event runs January 28th- February first and is designed to help you find your own way successfully.  You will learn what works for each of these speakers.... it may not be exactly what works for you, but it may help you find your own way.

In Sarah's own words....


Whether you’re single, married, divorced, have kids, or a career, here’s what you’ll learn at the Event:


  • How the life we live creates our food cravings and sets us up for sabotaging our weight loss goals and health.
  • How the small act of deciding can feel amazing, and help you to finally feel comfortable in your own skin.
  • How to get a handle on your relationships, career, and money. So that they fuel you and propel you forward instead of dragging you down.
  • The secret to attracting a confident, supportive, passionate man that is willing to commit and create a life with you.
  • How you can finally let go of being the prisoner of your job and start taking charge of your life so you will have no regrets
  • Why you have to get really honest about what is NOT working in your life in order to move forward.
  • How to move forward from divorce and create a magnificent life


  • The single biggest thing each woman did in their lives that got the ball rolling, allowed them to unlock their greatness, and step into a life of their own design.


The ladies you will hear have overcome things such as eating disorders, gloomy singledom, choosing both career AND motherhood, creating their own business, finding a happy career path, finding true health and much more!  There is truly something that will help everyone out there!

Sarah, thank you so much for sharing these amazing women with us!  Head on over to Unlock Your Greatness to sign up for this event!


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Emmy's Snow Fairy Party



Over the past few years, I have always shared Emmy's birthday party with you all. Sawyer's birthday is in the Summer, so it's generally somewhere outside. Emmy's is in January, so we have always had it at out house and chosen a different theme. There has been a Pinkaliscious party, a candy shoppe party, a winter woodland party, and then this year it was a snow fairy party.  We called all snow fairies to the snow fairy castle, where they would be presented with a sparkly aqua crown.  We asked them to wear wings and tutus if they wished!  he girls were invited over for some crafting, necklace making, and cake eating!

I kept it fairly simple this year, and also chose to keep it smaller, too- girls only, and just friends from school because there is only so much fairy girliness this house can handle!  Emmy and I worked together to create decorations for the party- snowflakes were made from coffee filters and hung in the windows of the dining room and strung from the light fixture.  We also used some of the snowflake Christmas decorations we had on hand and decorated some silver branches and laid some on the table.  The centerpiece of the table was the cake.  Let's take a peek at what it all looked like before the party started....

The table was all set for their first activity, which was to decorate their own snow fairies (which were really foam shaped angels I bought on clearance after Christmas.  But they had skirts and wings, so I decided they could be fairies, too!)


 The sideboard had all of our necklace supplies, drinks, forks and plates, as well as the crowns which Emmy handed out to each of her friends as they arrived.

Some coffee filter snowflakes dangled above the table.
 And the chalkboard was adorned with  Snow Fairy greetings...

The cake remained as the centerpiece of the table.  I am NO cake decorator, so we embraced the very homemade look on this one.  The cake was a mix, I admit- Devil's food cake, but the frosting and the clothespin fairy on top were homemade.  I also made some white chocolate snowflakes for it, and added some crystal sugar for fairy shimmer.
 Before I show you the rest of the cake pictures I have to tell you this funny story from the party.   Emmy's friend asked me a question and the conversation went like this....

Friend: Why does the cake have a hole in the middle?
Me: It's a Bundt cake.
Friend:  It's a butt cake, eeew.... (and tons of little girls giggle).
Me: No, no no, it's a type of cake- it's the shape Emmy chose... but then I start giggling, too!

And now more pics of the cake.  As I said, I made the fairy out of a clothespin.  I colored it with markers, added silver pipe cleaner wings, and a blue tulle tutu made out of tulle ribbon, and then we added a pink sash made with ribbon.


We had necklace making ready for the girls.  Each girl got a silver chain, a cup filled with blue and clear beads, and a silver pinecone.

 And of course we had the fairy decorating all set up for them to do when they arrived...

Before the party, I snapped some pictures of my own snow fairy...

And then had Chris take a picture of me and Emmy, and of course, Jake wanted to be in the picture.


When the girls arrived, they all piled in with their wings, tutus, and crowns, and got to work on their fairies.



I lined up their finished products so they could all see them.

After that the girls all made their necklaces.  I was too busy helping them to take any pictures, but you will notice in the next pictures that the girls are wearing them.
After that we headed to the playroom for a few rounds of musical chairs, which was a HIT!  I always loved the game but I had no idea how crazy these girls would all go for it!  They were hysterical!

Once that was through we headed upstairs to the dining room again for cake and presents!  These are some of my favorite shots from the party.

I absolutely LOVE this!  I had her head in my frame, and then she took such a big inhale, that all I got was her mouth, and I love it!  Such vigor!


After cake and presents the girls all wanted to play musical chairs again, so back down for about 10 more rounds!  Then we finished with hide and go seek until the parents arrived to pick up their sparkly sugared up fairies!
Emmy and I had so much fun planning this party, and I can honestly say I think this was the thriftiest party I have ever thrown her!  Now, it's time to recover this week and try to rid my ears of the ringing sound from all the high pitched squeals they were bombarded with! :)
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