Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Update: Fresh White Trim

A while back, I wrote about the sage green trim in my home, leftover from the prior owners.  I’ve been living with this color for nearly three years now, and even after re-painting almost all of the interior walls, I’m ready for it to go.

Painted Green Trim

This is my entryway, just to show you what the trim currently looks like.  The entire entry, living room, hallways, and kitchen have this color trim. 

This past week, I got a wild hair to repaint the trim in one of the hallways and was amazed at the difference.

Painted White Trim

Isn’t it incredible how much lighter and brighter it looks just with the white trim?

I originally started painting with Behr Ultra Pure White, straight off the shelf.  I have since come to the realization that ultra pure white does not go well with an older home where white doors have yellowed a bit over time.  I then switched to the color I used for the trim in our den and in our master bedroom: Muslin White from Glidden.  It’s still white, but warmer in comparison to the pure white.

One more peek at the before…

Green Door Trim

And the after…

White door Trim

Big difference right?  (Pardon the lighting… it’s a hallway, thus not a lot of natural light.)

Now, only two rooms, a hallway, and an entry to go!

Have any of you had colored trim that you’ve since changed?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

And then you were six…

Six years ago today we were loading up the car and heading to the hospital to welcome this little bundle of joy:

She completed our family and has filled our home with love, laughter, and happiness.

                grasyn pre-k

Josh iPhone download 599

Happy birthday to my sweet GG… we love you to the moon and back.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mother’s Day Wreath

Mother's Day Wreath

One of my most popular posts is my Father’s Day Wreath tutorial.  With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I thought it was high time I made a wreath for me moms too!


I headed out this weekend to gather my supplies: a wreath form, some grosgrain ribbon, and this snazzy shirt from Goodwill.  I’ll be honest – I felt very guilty cutting up this shirt.  It’s from Loft and looked fresh from the dry cleaners!  But… seeing as it was an XS petite and there was no chance in heck that I’d ever fit it, out came the scissors.  I simply cut around the ruffled collar and down the button placket as in my original tutorial.  Rather than twine, I wrapped the wreath form with grosgrain ribbon secured by pins.

Mother's Day Wreath Close

I took one of my old necklaces and dressed up the neckline and then added one of my own flower brooches…

Mother's Day Wreath 1

I used chipboard letters that I had on had and painted them a cheery yellow to coordinate with the brooch – Moms everywhere are cheering, right?!

Mother's Day Spring Entry

The wreath is a fun addition to my front entry and my Spray Painted Mat and it’s a great way to say, “Moms Rock!”

Do you decorate for Mom’s Day, or am I the only one?

Linking up with these fun parties:

Finding Home

Somewhat Simple

Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Savvy Southern Style

Shabby Creek Cottage

The 36th Avenue

Tatertots and Jello

Craftberry Bush

Inspire Me Please Weekend

Friday Flair

Funky Junk Interiors

Be Different Act Normal

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Dream Deferred

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun? 
Or fester like a sore—
And then run? 
Does it stink like rotten meat? 
Or crust and sugar over— 
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags 
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
—Langston Hughes (1902-1967)

I have always loved this poem by Langston Hughes.  In so few words, he eloquently describes the dynamic process that our dreams, hopes, desires can go through before they either die away or are brought to fruition.  This poem echoes both despair and hope; it's painfully beautiful.

We can all relate to this because, at some point in our lives, there is a dream that we have to place on the back burner, either temporarily or permanently for one reason or another.  Some of these dreams disappear into the timeline of our lives, but others remain a constant presence, just waiting to be brought back to life.

I have gone through different phases of basically the same dream for several years now - the dream to have a creative business that I enjoy and that blesses others in addition to my family.  Since I work full-time and have a busy family life with a husband who works long hours, weekends, and holidays... this dream goes on and off the proverbial back burner all the time.  Lately though, it's been tugging more and more at my heartstrings, especially since I long to be able to have a business that allows me to work more from home and less behind a desk, that gives me the freedom to pick up my girls from school and volunteer at my church and be able to make the field trips and special lunches.  I have nothing against those of you moms that stay at home, but unless you've had to work outside the home after having your children, you simply can't understand how difficult it is to miss out on events and to spend evenings rushing through dinner and homework and baths.

So, here goes nothing.  I listed some custom signs in my Etsy shop tonight as I am daring to dream right now, in the present, rather than deferring it yet again.  I'm ready for this dream to explode, not dry up like a raisin in the sun...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Creating a Gallery of Initials

Wall d├ęcor is one of the best ways to personalize your living spaces, and there are so many options: photos, frames, mirrors, art, tapestries… the possibilities are really only as endless as your imagination.  One of the ways I’ve been trying to infuse our home with a sense of “us” is to create a wall gallery dedicated to the first initial of our last name.  Problem is, our last name starts with a U and let me tell you, it’s not always the easiest letter to find.  Here is the beginning of our little gallery of Us (pardon the pics – it was a gloomy day outside!):

Initial Decor in the Home

The big industrial U is a recent thrifting find – and it very well may be a lower case N, but for all things sacred, we’re calling it a U, mmmkay?  The rest I found at good ole Hobby Lobby over the past couple of years.  I’m enamored now with the idea of repurposed, vintage letters so my hunt will go beyond the racks of my favorite store!

Initial Decor

You’re with me on the vintage letter, yes?  The others are great, but the vintage letter comes with a little story… and I think that makes it more special, sort of like my little family of Us.

I found some other folks who share my love of the Initial Gallery:


How to make a frame gallery wall



Monogram gallery wall using initials from your first names and a family pic #gallerywall #monogram


Well… are you inspired yet to start your own homage to your last name?

Hopefully your initial is a bit easier to find than mine… happy hunting!  And if you find any Us… I’m your girl!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Wreath Roundup

Now that Easter’s over, we have a full month before the next holiday (Mother’s Day!) – around here, the Easter wreath will probably remain on my door until that very next holiday but just in case you’re more on top of it than I am, here are some great ideas to dress your front door for Spring!

Spring Wreath Roundup

There are so many fun options for all of your crafters out there – enjoy!

Spring Wreath, Tillie's Tulips Wreath Easter

Etsy thechickadeeshop

Beyond the Picket Fence

My Blessed Life

Pink Bird Teal Yarn Wreath 12"

Etsy polkadotafternoon


Charming Zebra

Positively Splendid

The Charm of Home

Spring Watering Can with Flowers

Better Homes and Gardens

Is that enough inspiration to get your creative juices flowing?!

I’ve been working on a lot of different things but none are finished yet – ha!  Do any of you have trouble with this too?  I start one project while I wait for another to dry – and thus the cycle begins!

Hope you’re having a nice start to your spring…

xx smooches xx

Friday, April 5, 2013

{Friday Faves} Self Tanners

It’s springtime… and as the temperatures rise, so do the hemlines ‘round these parts.  After months of wearing pants and leggings, you know these ole tree trunks are a nice shade of pale so it’s time to add some warmth with a little self-tanner.  I’m sharing my favorite self tanners with you today!

Self Tanner Collage

When you’re fair-skinned like I am, you learn your way around self-tanners after you finally come to terms with the fact that, no matter how hard you try or will it to happen, your skin will never resemble that of a bronze Brazilian goddess.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also learned that baking in the sun not only increases my risk for skin cancer but it also means I’ll look older faster (something I’m trying to avoid…).

The good news is that self tanners have improved drastically over the years.  Gone are the days of day-glo orange skin and that awful self-tanner smell.  Ick.

So, without further ado, here are my top picks:

Jergens Natural Glow: my go-to for everyday.  Nice, even, natural color and a pleasant smell.

Avon skin so soft Satin Glow Daily moisturizer: very similar to the Jergens product, great smell.  Gotta order from an Avon rep, though.


Tan Towel: these are great when you need a tan in a short period of time.  The towelettes are easy to use, there’s less mess, and the results are nice.

More Self-Tanner Tips:

As with painting a surface, the key to a good self-tan is skin prep.  Exfoliate with a scrubbing agent, paying attention to dry areas (knees, elbows).  Dry skin will pick up the tanning pigment so the more you remove, the more even color you will achieve.

Allow adequate time to dry.  If you apply self-tanner and immediately get dressed, you’ll lose some of your hard work on your clothing and possibly stain it as well.  Lock your door so you can be sure to dry uninterrupted.  Ha!

Lastly, use the color formulation correct for your skin tone.  If you’re fair like me, suck it up and use the light to medium shade.  Using a darker shade will just make you look dirty and like an Oompa Loompa, and no one wants that, right?!


Hope these tips help you get well on your way to a nice, safe tan this springtime!!  Are you ready for shorts/skirts?!

Linking up here:

I Heart Naptime

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Handmade Sign for Little Girl’s Room

photo (32)

Both of my daughters’ rooms are still works in progress, but I wanted to share a little sign I made for my youngest daughter’s room.

The quote is Shakespeare – and so fitting my for my little girl.  She is my little, my baby… but she is something else.  She is a ham, a stubborn bull at times, and she is most certainly fierce.

photo (33)

This sign was a happy accident.  The dark glaze wasn’t supposed to be so dark, but I love how it turned out anyway.  It sorta reminds me of when I was a kid and we’d color different colors on a paper, then color black on top, then scratch away little rainbow messages.  And I love how it pops against the pink chevron wall.

I’m still searching for a dresser and desk for this room – stalking Craigslist weekly until I find the perfect match!

I’m thinking of offering this sign (as well as others) in ye old Etsy shop – let me know if you’d be interested.  Here’s another sign I’ve been working on as well…

Bless Our Home sign

I love little personal touches on my walls… don’t you?  Stick around – can’t wait to share some amazing wall art that I just hung.  I can’t stop looking at them… you’ll soon see why!

xx smooches xx

Linking up with these fabulous folks:

House of Rose

Jennifer Rizzo

Inspiration Gallery

Shabby Creek Cottage

I Heart Naptime

Tatertots & Jello

Funky Junk Interiors

Three Mango Seeds

Your Home Based Mom

Monday Funday

Under the Table and Dreaming

Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

twelve o eight

Savvy Southern Style


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