Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saying Goodbye

Tomorrow, our family will say goodbye to my husband’s grandfather.  I am so grateful that my children were able to know him and love him, as they didn’t get that chance with my grandpas, who were gone long before my babies came along. 

When we went to visit him at Christmas, he was having a really good day.  He was alert, he was more himself than ever, and what he wanted more than anything was “some good Dutch food”.  I have a feeling I know what he ate for his first heavenly feast.

We love you Wes, and have joy in knowing we will see you again one day.


Monday, January 28, 2013

{Free Valentine Printable} Owl Always Love You

I’m a sucker for a good play on words, and while I was working on some sweet little owl necklaces for that long-neglected etsy shop of mine, this phrase kept repeating in my head.  Owl always love you… I’ll always love you.  Get it?!  (Mr. home.made. inserts eye-rolling right about now.)  Anyhoo, here ya go!


Friday, January 25, 2013

{Giveaway} L-O-V-E Clay Bunting Necklace

It’s Friday… I’m in love!  And what better way to share the love than a giveaway, right?  Remember this necklace?


This is my Clay Bunting Necklace that I created for the One Month To Win It competition way back when… and today, it’s up for grabs!  That’s right, I’m giving it away!  Wouldn’t this make a great Valentine’s gift for a special friend (or maybe for you)?

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me what you’re loving the most today.  It could be something your kiddos said, it could be your latest thrifting find… whatever it is, I want to know!

Giveaway ends January 31, 2013 at midnight.  Winner will be chosen by random number integer.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Valentine Doily Tea Towel

Do any of you have towels that you know were white when you bought them and then you get them home and all of a sudden your husband does laundry they’re stained?!  Me too (sorry honey…).  Here’s an easy little project to hide the stains and decorate for Valentine’s Day at the same time!

I don’t have a “real” tutorial for you, but it’s really very simple.  I picked up some fabric medium and added it to some acrylic paint in my stash, per the instructions.  I put a little of each color on a small, individual plate, spreading it evenly for a surface area just a bit larger than the paper doily.

Take your heart doily and press it into the paint (right side down), covering the doily fully with paint.  Then, use the doily as a stamp and press onto your towel. I used a paper towel while I pressed on the doily to keep my fingers from getting covered in paint and thus spreading paint on the open areas of the doily.

After allowing to dry, I added some ric rac trim to the bottom edge of the towel, just for fun.

The stains are covered up and I’ve brought some Valentine cheer to my kitchen in all of about five minutes.  The doily “stamp” could also be used to create one of a kind Valentine tees, or perhaps stamped on a burlap pennant banner… what other ideas can you think of?  Talk to me!

LInking up here:
Savvy Southern Style 
Jennifer Rizzo 
Tuesday's Treasures 
Craftberry Bush 
Design, Dining, and Diapers 
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy 
Miss Mustard Seed 
Tatertots and Jello 
Be Different Act Normal 
I Heart Naptime 
Transformation Thursday 
It's Overflowing 
The 36th Avenue
The Sunday Showcase
Love of Family and Home

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You a No Reply Commenter?

Hi sweets~
Today’s post is dedicated to all of you lovely people who are so kind to leave comments, ask questions, etc.  I am so thankful that you take the time to visit my little corner of the blog world and I want to be able to thank each of you and answer your questions.  If you are a “No Reply” Commenter, I’m unable to do so…

  • Edit this addressRemove this address

See that?  This is the email address connected to your comments and your Blogger profile if you're designated as a “No Reply” commenter…  So, how do you know if you’re affected by this?  Go to your blogger profile and click Edit Profile, then check your email address associated with your blog and make sure it’s correct.


Changing this does not change the e-mail address you use to sign-in.
Required: The name used to sign your blog posts.

Then, under privacy, make sure you check ”Show my email address”.


Currently set to
Show my blogs Select blogs to display This list of blogs will only be displayed on your user profile.
If checked, sites you've followed in either Blogger or Google Friend Connect will appear in your profile. Help

Click SAVE, and that’s it!  I can finally respond to each and every one of you lovies!
Go… now.  Can’t wait to chat with ya!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Valentine Ombre Wreath

I have slowly been adding in some touches of pink and red for Valentine’s Day, including this fun little ombre Valentine wreath…

Valentine Wreath home.made.

The ombre effect is not as gradual as I’d hoped, but I had two little girls who were very anxious to help their mama wrap yarn around this and, well, they were just so proud when they were done that I couldn’t bring myself to redo it.  Love those girls.

Valentine Wreath XO

I went to my go-to chipboard letters and some Martha Stewart coarse white glitter to add a little hug and kiss…

Valentine Wreath close up

Caterpillar pipe cleaners make the most perfect heart shape… and I thought a cascade of hearts was the perfect finishing touch.

V Day wreath

No pun intended, I’m a little bit in love with this wreath already.

Are you putting up Valentine’s d├ęcor yet?

LInking up here:
Savvy Southern Style
Jennifer Rizzo
Tuesday's Treasures
Craftberry Bush
Design, Dining, and Diapers
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Miss Mustard Seed
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Transformation Thursday
It's Overflowing
The 36th Avenue
The Sunday Showcase
Love of Family and Home

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Furniture Transformation Roundup

When I look back at all of my projects for the past year, it seems that there was a recurring theme… furniture makeovers!  Let’s take a look back, shall we?
Furniture Collage
I started out the year with this French Grain Sack Dresser.
036 copy
Then my husband showed his mad wood-restoring skills with the Imperial Desk Restoration.
Next up, I brought my own touch to a family heirloom with this Curio Transformation.
This sweet vintage Vanity and Dresser set turned out exactly as I had envisioned.
My back patio is now so cheerful after the Aqua and White Tea Tray makeover.
004 copy
A little blue, white, and a strategic stripe were just the ticket for this Nautical Aubusson Blue Desk.
aubosson blue desk
I took a break from furniture during the summer, and then picked back up with a little Chevron Side Table.
duck egg chevron table
Last, but not least, a Green Desk Makeover for my nature girl’s safari bedroom.
Green Desk Animal Print Chair
It was a pretty good year for furniture, don’t you think?
Linking up here:
Savvy Southern Style
Jennifer Rizzo
Tuesday's Treasures
Craftberry Bush
Design, Dining, and Diapers
Crafty, Scrappy, Happy
Miss Mustard Seed
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Transformation Thursday
It's Overflowing
The 36th Avenue

Monday, January 14, 2013

Zebra Nightstand Makeover

I showed you the Green Desk Makeover for my daughter’s room redo, and now it’s time to show you another piece of the safari room adventure… zebra stripes, anyone?
zebra nightstand
This nightstand (and the matching dresser) were my first grown-up furniture purchases after getting my own place, when I thought that anything from Pottery Barn was wonderful.  I paid a pretty penny for these pieces, even over ten years ago.  You can’t see it in this picture, but the corner of this nightstand was lovingly chewed on by my beloved pug when he was a puppy.  I wasn’t happy with it at the time (Pottery Barn, remember?) but now that he’s gone, that little chewed area will never see a piece of sandpaper. 
I originally repainted these a light pink for my daughter’s big girl room when I was pregnant with my youngest.  I didn’t feel up to stripping through the pink paint and primer so I painted this with ASCP in pure white.  The stencil was traced with pencil and painted with the same color as the wall (Glidden’s Water Chestnut).  If you’re wondering why I traced with a pencil rather than painted with the stencil… it’s because I couldn’t get the knobs off (I ashamedly admit that I painted these on way back when!).  Cest la vie, right?
zebra nightstand home.made.
There’s a bit of dark wax rubbed on there, just to tone down the brightness of the Pure White paint.  See that green lamp?  I bought that well over ten years ago as well – and treated it to a couple coats of the same paint as the desk and a new burlap lampshade from Target. 
safari room
Tucked in the corner, it’s a fun little addition to this slowly-evolving room makeover.  It’s exciting as the little pieces fall into place – the desk, the nightstand, the whimsical DIY mosquito netting over the bed.  There’s a terrific thrifting find behind that netting too… just you wait!
I still have a dresser to repaint (still pink!) and want to change out her bedding, plus add some more wall art, but all in due time.  Small budgets equal slow progress – luckily I’m not in any hurry.

Linking up here:

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Chevron Trend... Still Strong!

I have been seeing quite a few design experts projecting that the chevron trend will soon be coming to an end, that's it's overused, tired even.  I, for one, disagree.  I am more enamored now with chevron than ever - here are some inspiring chevron pieces that tell me that chevron is very much alive and well!

I die over these floors!

See what I mean?  How can a pattern that looks so fantastic in every medium be on the way out?!

Here are some of the ways I've used chevron this past year:

And here's a little bit of chevron that I'm working right now:

I love it already, and so does my little chick!  It's the first of a few updates I'm making to her room, which I'll hopefully show you soon.  I feel like every room in my home is in some state of redecorating - I need to start finishing them!

Hope you have a happy, fun, zig-zaggy Friday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

{Recipe} Easiest Chicken Tacos Ever!

Easiest Chicken Tacos
If you’re in need of a recipe that is not only easy but one that leaves your family wanting more… this is it!  It takes only three ingredients and it cooks in a crockpot while you’re away – it’s cooking perfection, if you ask me!


3-5 Chicken Breasts (frozen or fresh)
1 packet Taco seasoning
1 jar of salsa


Place chicken in your crock pot.  Pour taco seasoning and salsa on top.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Once ready, shred chicken meat with two forks, mixing in juices.  Serve with fixings on a warm tortilla.
And that’s it!
And you’re welcome.

Linking here:
It's Overflowing

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beginning 2013… Debt Free–My Story

Yep.  We did it.

Except for our mortgage, we are officially debt free!!!

I wrote about the beginning of this journey in this post about living like no one else.  17 months, one home improvement loan, two car notes, and some credit cards later… I can announce that we are no longer slaves to multiple monthly payments with interest!

I know the number one question is going to be… how did you do it?  I’ll get to that in a bit, but let me start by saying that when my husband decided he wanted to get serious about paying down our debt, I was pretty excited.  When he started talking about how quickly he wanted to do this by paying down pretty substantial amounts, I was not so excited.  You see, I wanted to be debt free, but I was going for the slower, less painful route.

We were on two completely different pages here. 

Unfortunately, we would be following his route whether I liked it or not.  Not surprising, this led to some discontent in the beginning on my part.  I had already written out an entire list of projects for our home and was ready to get started and his debt epiphany put a huge dent in my plans.  Every time a little bit of money would be “freed up” and I thought I’d finally get to have a little extra for “the project list”, he’d have already transferred it to savings to put down on something else. 

I was not a happy girl.

Crazy, right?  My husband was trying to do something great for our family and I was ticked off that I couldn’t buy new sheets.  Seriously.  It was hard for me too because I looked around and saw other women who had bigger homes that were fully furnished, nice new clothes, the latest in accessories, and most of them were stay at home moms.  No offense to you SAHM, but here I was, a full-time working mom, and I couldn’t buy sheets because they weren’t in the budget.

I was pretty bitter about it all.

So what changed?  Ironically enough, I decided to tune in to a podcast of the very man that started this whole mess, Dave Ramsey.  My interest was piqued.  I listened to another podcast, and another, and another.  Most of the time, I was impressed by stories of people who were giving their debt free scream (and had waaaaay more debt than we did).  Other times, I heard callers who had so much savings that they needed guidance in how to invest it.  Then, one day, I heard a caller who wanted to start the Total Money Makeover and had an entire plan and wanted to know how to get his wife on board.  Dave quickly told the man that it wouldn’t work unless the two of them decided on a plan together.


There was my hangup.  I didn’t like that my husband decided to do the debt paydown and dictate how things would go without considering my input.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to pay off debt… I didn’t like that I wasn’t asked how I would like to go about it.  Once I acknowledged the root of my bitterness, I was ready to grow up and just do it already.

Here are some of the things that helped me on the way to debt free:

Know where your money is going each month

I’m sure most of you think this is a no-brainer, but so many people don’t truly have a grasp on where there money goes.  (How much did I spend on coffee?!!!)  We used Mint to help us keep track of where our dollars were going.  Having the app on our phones made it even easier.

Plan your spending with a budget

There it it, the dreaded B word.  But seriously y’all, it is a necessity.  Not only does it help keep you on track (use that Mint app, folks) but it helps you prepare for those expenses you forget about (the annual daycare enrollment fee, HOA dues, etc.)  I’d love to say we totally lived on just what we budgeted each month, but that would totally be a lie…

It’s not my money or your money, it’s our money

This is a personal opinion so don’t crucify me here, but I think it is so important for married couples to combine finances.  Keeping separate accounts and splitting the bills is what roommates do, not married adults.  Separate accounts also leave more room for financial infidelity – you know the stories of couples trying to get financing and finding out that one (or both) have built a massive amount of credit card debt.  Ouch.  It’s much more of a team effort when you’re all dipping in the same pot.

Realize that stuff is just that… stuff

This one is tough for me, especially with the neverending appeal of new and shiny things.  As they say, in the end, the one with the most stuff still dies.  Sometimes you just have to say put down the great deal and walk away.  I’ve gotten much better at this since being more aware of what I’m spending (see the first tip) and knowing my budget (there I go again).

Grow Up Already

One thing Dave Ramsey always says is that debt is a sign of immaturity:

It is human nature to want it and want it now; it is also a sign of immaturity. Being willing to delay pleasure for a greater result is a sign of maturity. However, our culture teaches us to live for the now. “I want it!” we scream, and we can get it, if we are willing to go into debt. Debt is a means to obtain the “I want its” before we can afford them.

If that doesn’t give you a big wake up, I don’t know what will.  That is truth, people.  It takes a lot of growing up to let go of the “want, want, want” mentality to make better financial decisions.  Case in point, I traded in a beautiful Eddie Bauer Ford Expedition that I loved and still owed $15,000 on to get an older Honda Pilot with a smaller payment – it was a decision that saved us $5000.  We paid off the Honda Pilot in four months, the last payment being our final debt.  And you know what, the vehicle does what it’s supposed to do – gets me from point A to point B.  Funny thing, right?

I realize that you may not be on the same page as us and aren’t quite ready to tackle the debt monster, but if you are thinking about it in the slightest… do it!!  It is possible, you will survive, and you’ll be so much better for it.  The Dave Ramsey website is a great place to start.  Listen to the podcasts.  Believe in debt free.  Check out the book for free from your local library. 

You won’t regret it. 

And you’ll never miss all the stuff.

If you want to be part of a community trying to become debt free, how about joining the Debt Movement?  You may even win some money to help you with your debt free goal! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Green Desk Makeover

Do you remember this desk that I showed you way back when?
Here’s how she looks now:
Green Desk Animal Print Chair
This little desk was quite the chore!  The laminate top was pretty resistant to holding paint, even after a good bonding primer, so my patience was tested.  Many drops of sweat, tears, and coats of paint later, I think she turned out pretty great.
The green paint color was a request from my oldest for her “jungle room” (I’ll share my decorating dilemma with her room at the bottom of the post so you can understand…) – she wanted to cover her room in vines so to reach a compromise, green paint it was.  I did tone down the bright green with a dark glaze finish – much easier on the eyes than the original color.
Green Desk Makeover home.made
One of the knobs was missing, so I replaced them with new knobs from Hobby Lobby.  The drawer handles are original and just received a good scrubbing.  The chair came with the set – I painted it in ASCP in Pure White and recovered the seat with a plush, faux fur fabric (won huge Mom of the Year points with that move!)
Green Desk Makeover home.made.
As you can see, my daughter has accessorized to her liking… the bulletin board was a Hobby Lobby 50% off find that I also painted in ASCP Pure White.  I added a crackle medium to it and that has been, um, interesting.  I’ll post about that experience on another day.   
My daughter is quite excited about her new desk and chair, and loves using this spot to doodle, complete her homework assignments, and research her favorite little critters.
How many seven year olds do you know that have this book?!
Which brings me to the decorating dilemma in this room… try designing a room around these bad boys:
Animal Cages Decorating Dilemma
*sigh* I love my little nature girl, but it’s really hard to work around a tortoise, a hedgehog, and a few hermit crabs!  Animal cages aside, the rest of her safari/jungle theme room is slowly coming together.  I may just finish it sometime in the next few months and then I can share the full reveal.  I have a fun little bedside table makeover and a DIY safari canopy to share with you!

Linking up here:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013

Hello 2013.

I know that many today are writing their "Word of the Year" posts, choosing the one word that they hope to emulate in the coming year.  I've been one to jump on this trend in the past, but this year, I'm just not feeling it.  I'm leaning more toward the good ole' resolution list.  Why?  Well, because writing down a list of the things I want to work on, achieve, let go of, etc. is, to me, the first step in making those things happen.  I'm a list girl, what can I say?

I've been reflecting today over the past year as I prepare for the new one ahead of me.  There were things I've done right... there were things I've done wrong... there were things that I never got around to despite the best intentions... there were lots of good times, lots of great times... and each of these experiences not only shaped the person I am but they influence the person I want to be, not just in 2013, but always.

That resolution list is still in draft mode... but I think this is a nice start:

How about you?  Are you a word of the year person or all about resolutions?


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