For Real Friday: The State of my Mums

From now on (until I change my mind anyway!) I am going to be sharing the ugly truth on Fridays! 

Earlier this month...or was it last month...I planted beautiful yellow mums in the urns on our front porch.  Here's a reminder of what they looked like:


This is what has become of these colorful flowers:


I have a problem with consistency when it comes to a lot of things...watering plants is just one of them!  Since the leaves were still green, I decided to "deadhead" all the buds & hope that some new ones might form before the end of the season.  If not, it still looks better without all the brown, dead, flowers!

{Looking a little more green!}

My plan is to start watering these again.  We'll see how long the leaves stay green!  Wish me luck!

Canela Tree

I have been wanting an indoor tree for a while, after seeing a gorgeous entryway in a copy of Renovation Style magazine, which had live topiary trees flanking the front door.  After searching at several different shops, I found this one at Lowe's a couple of months ago.

{Canela Tree}

It is called a Canela tree & supposedly it is resilient.  The tag even says, "Grows virtually anywhere with little care".  If that is true, then it's the perfect plant for me!

Obviously, I was in need of a container for my new tree.  I was shocked at how much a nice pot cost.  I found a silver one I really liked at Ikea, but didn't want to shell out $40 for it.  I decided to check out Garden Ridge & found the pot below for around $8.

{Plastic Pot}

I was really hoping Rub & Buff would turn this black pot into a "metallic" one for much less money than the ones I had seen.  I rubbed on the product, waited for it to dry, & then tried to buff it off.  Nothing came off on my rag.  I was really hoping that buffing it would smooth out all the swirls I made while I was rubbing it on.  Since that didn't work, I decided I would just apply another coat, but do it around the pot instead of just swirling it everywhere.  I guess because the surface is so shiny, it just rubbed the original coat off.  Anyway, if you attempt a project like this, in which the surface is shiny, you may want to prime it before coating it with Rub & Buff. 

And here's the final product (swirls & all):


My husband, who always tells me to "never paint anything silver" actually likes it!  He thinks the swirls are what makes it look like it's real metal!  I'm actually really digging it now!  Yahoo!

Am I the only person out there who can't figure out how to use Rub & Buff?  (Although, like I said, I do really like the way this pot turned out, I just think I must have done something wrong!)

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Command Central!

I have been seeing command centers all over blogland lately.  I was finally inspired to create one myself!  Here is the picture from Pottery Barn that I drew my inspiration from:

For my center, I started out with two document frames, an 11x14 frame, & a long rectangular frame.  These all came from Wal-Mart & were $5 or less.  I also purchased a bulletin board from Ikea.

{Frames "Before"}

First, I printed out some chore charts for each of my kids & added them to the document frames.  With the glass in front of them, we will be able to check off the chores they accomplish with a dry erase marker.  I'm crossing my fingers that my kids will start doing their chores now!  (Wishful thinking, I'm sure!)

{Dry Erase Chore Charts}

Next, I cut a piece of cardboard, covered it with some burlap, hot glued some twine to the back & stuck it in the 11x14 frame.  Then, I put my calendar over the twine.  This sits right by the garage door, so I will be able to see our plans for the day as I leave the house in the morning.

{Framed Calendar}

I painted the long rectangular frame black to match the others.  Then I typed the words "This Week" on some cardstock, glued on ribbon (as dividers for the days of the week), and popped it back in the frame.  This will help me organize what needs to get done each day of the week, & will be easier to glance at on a daily basis than the calendar.

{Weekly Planner Dry Erase Board}

The final item for my command center was the bulletin board, totally knocked off from Pottery Barn.  The Pottery Barn version cost $45 and mine probably only cost around $10.  First, I painted the frame black to match the rest of my frames.  Then, I simply cut black ribbon & hot glued it on horizontally.  (I made sure to singe the edges of the ribbon with a candle to ensure that they won't fray.)  Then, I did the same vertically, but I weaved them through the horizontal ribbons.

{Ribbon Bulletin Board}
Here's my not-so-great-picture of them all together:

{The Happy Family}

Well, that's it!  Hopefully, this will help us be a little more organized!  Who knows, maybe I'll start returning library books on time now!  (Fingers crossed!)

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Blue Cricket Design

A Thoughtful Place


Furniture Finds

I absolutely love to look around my local Craigslist page to see if I can find great deals.  This weekend I found some inexpensive furniture to fill up space in my living room.

I have been loving the Parker Settee from Ballard Designs, but with a price tag starting at $949, it wasn't quite in the budget.

Parker Settee
{Parker Settee from Ballard Designs}

Home Decorators Collection has a similar version, but it's still more than I wanted to pay at $569.

Then, as I was perusing Craigslist, I stumbled upon this Broyhill loveseat.  Forty minutes and $40 later, I brought it home!

{My Craigslist Version}

This one will need a little work before it truely resembles the one from Ballard.  I plan on re-upholstering it (or paying someone to re-upholster it) in a linen colored fabric & changing the color & possibly the style of the feet.  (They're a little too chunky for me!)

I have also been loving the look of the upholstered chairs that are trimmed with wood.  (Does that description even make sense?)  Here are some pictures of chairs I love:

The Bedford Chair from Ballard Designs is nice, but I don't favor it's starting price of $699.

Bedford Chair
{Bedford Chair from Ballard Designs}

I really like the Lorraine Chair from Restoration Hardware, which is currently on special starting at $675 (still not cheap enough for me!).

{Lorraine Chair from Restoration Hardware}

I was able to find a pair of antique chairs similar to the ones above for just $50 each on Craigslist!  

{My Craigslist Version}

These chairs are also going to need to get re-upholstered.  I'll probably just do them in the same fabric as the settee above...something neutral to match anything, since I am so indecisive lately!  I'm also going to re-stain the wood, as it's a little sad looking right now!

I think I finally have all the furniture componets for my living room!  Now I just need to fix it all up!  Wish me luck, as I've never re-upholstered anything in my life!

Have you found any great deals on Craigslist lately?

Black & White

Lately, I've been noticing a lot of black interior doors in the blogging world.  Never in a million years did I think I would join this trend, but I have grown to love them!  Not to mention the fact that my white front door was constantly covered with little muddy hand prints!

This is what the front door used to look like:

{Front Door Before}

If you plan on painting your front door, take my advice & buy a paint & primer in one.  I originally just bought black paint, thinking the door had already been painted.  Unfortunately, the paint didn't stick & I had to sand it down & start over.  This time I opted to skip a step & just use the paint with primer in it!  Live & learn, right?

Also, if you are going to do this, make sure to leave plenty of drying time before you need to go somewhere!  I painted the top & the inside (where the latch is) of the door & started freaking out when I realized the paint wasn't drying & it was time to pick up my daughter from school!  Luckily, this happened to be one of the rare times my husband calls at just the right moment to tell me he can pick her up!  Mark saved the day yet again!


Someday I'd like to get a beautiful wooden door with a window in it, but for now, this works for me.  At some point, I'm sure my entry way will be finished.  Next, I'm hoping to find a new rug & some fabric to cover my Craigslist stool with.

So, what color is your front door?


A Mirror Made Over

I've had this cheap "back of the door" mirror since high school.


I just noticed some of these at Target the other day for $5.99.  Anyway, I had been wanting a long mirror to hang above the stool in the entry way.  I needed something long, that would minimize the contrast between the 18 foot wall & my 18 inch stool!  I decided this mirror would work perfectly, except it needed to be beefed up a little.

My husband glued the mirror to a piece of peg board that was wasting space in the garage.  I think he used a product called "Lock Tight" for this.

Then, he added some decorative chair rail around the existing frame by gluing & nailing it into the peg board.

{Pay no attention to the shopping bag on the entry table!}

He filled in the gaps with caulk and then I painted it.


I really like the results!  It definitely doesn't look like a $6 mirror anymore!  (I'll show a better picture of it on Wednesday, when I reveal the painted front door.)

Now, if I could just get my 5 year old to stop spending so much time in front of it!  (Sadly, this is the first time we have hung a floor length mirror, so she's not used to seeing her whole body in a mirror!)

These pictures were taken before leaving for "picture day" at her school.  Hopefully, she didn't make any of these faces in her pictures!

Hope your week is off to a great start!


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  The DIY Show Off  A Marvelous Mess


The Megan Method

Today, Rene, from Cottage & Vine is hosting a giveaway for a great book on decorating called The Megan Method.  I've never won anything from a blog & would love to have this book, so I am trying super hard to win it!  (Can you tell?)  Anyway, feel free to check out the book & enter the giveaway at the link above!

Happy Friday!


Back to Blogging & Features!

I am finally getting back into the swing of blogging, now that summer is over.  Boo! 

I was a little depressed that I didn't manage to finish the last three things on my Revised Project List for summer (paint & decorate entry way, paint & decorate dining room, & make & hang morning room curtains).  Two out of three of those projects have been started, but the results were less than desirable! 

My mom made curtains for the morning room & we hung them, but I didn't like the finished product.  I ordered more fabric, which arrived yesterday, so I'm hoping that if I add another panel that it will look better.  Also, we made our own curtain rods, & I don't like them either, so something will have to be done about those!

We also started painting the entry way.  I spent an entire day painting all of the walls of our entry, upstairs hallway, & downstairs hallway to determine that the paint color I chose looked the color of foundation (the makeup).  {Excuse the interruption, but my daughter just informed me she made a "yogurt sandwich".  Grrr...}  Anyway, I have managed to make a few changes to the entry way, but I still need to paint, find a new rug, and recover a stool.  Oh, and my husband agreed that we should add wainscoting and arch the entryway into our living room!  So, it looks like this project just got bigger!  Hopefully, we can get started soon!

With all these set backs, plus not having my teacher-husband around to help anymore, plus taking on a babysitting job, I haven't been able to get back into the routine of blogging or doing projects to blog about.  All this is just to say, that while I was having my blogging pity-party, I was featured on a few blogs that I never shared with you.  I always appreciate it when my projects are featured on other blogs, & didn't want these ladies to go unnoticed!   

First, Andie at Crayon Freckles featured the nature playscape we created to get our kids out of the house & into nature.  (Doesn't the Dinosaur Train guy say something like that???)  Anyway, Andie has been so kind to me in my blogging adventure & I always appreciate her kind words!  She hosts a link party on Tuesdays & shares a lot of creative ideas to do with your kiddos.  You can see where she featured the playscape here.


Next, Amanda from Serenity Now featured my roundup of homemade laundry supplies.  I am feeling very proud of my clean laundry lately, knowing that I made all the supplies for it!  Amanda's blog is full of posts about everything "moms" need to stay sane!  She posts about food, fashion, blogging, crafts, decorating, and more!  She hosts a weekend link party on Fridays.  You can see the post where she featured my laundry supplies here.

 Featured At Serenity Now

My most recent feature was made by Nan at Playful Decor, who featured my daughter's bedroom.  I am a new follower of Nan's blog, in which she shares the transformation of their home and great inspiration pictures of nurseries and kid bedrooms.  She also hosts a link party on Tuesdays for kids' bedrooms, where you'll find a lot of great inspiration!  Here is a link to her post featuring Eliana's bedroom.

Thanks for the features!  I should be back Monday with another project to share!


Entry Art

We have this blank wall that you can see when you walk in the front door.  I knew I needed some type of art to jazz it up, but didnt' want to do a gallery wall of family pictures, as I don't like to rely on too many of those for home decor.

{Before...the door leads to the basement}

With my desire to be cheap & unique, I decided different photographs of doors would make for good art near my front door.  Using a search for free photos at Microsoft Office, I printed the photos below.

Then, I simply framed them in some old frames I had & hung them on the wall.  (Okay, so I asked my husband to hang them!)

Now, this is what you see when you walk in the front door:


Looking at this picture now, makes them look too small for the wall.  I don't think they look like that in real life least I hope not!

I am really happy with the way they turned out!  I really like the colors & I think they look great in those frames!

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