Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Mod Podge Makeover

I used to be a member of a group of crafty ladies who got together once a month to try out simple projects and socialize. The group grew and stretched across the area, and eventually most of the ladies just got too busy to participate. Bummer.

I loved most of the projects we worked on, but one just didn't sit well with me because the colors I chose for this frame just don't work with the colors I have going on in my home.
So it sat in the closet for a good year or two. Um, yeah.

When I heard that my girls over at The CSI Project chose Mod Podge as this week's challenge, I knew it was time to give the little frame a chance to shine.

You can buy simple, plain wood picture frames at the craft store for next to nothing. Target sometimes carries them in The Dollar Spot, also known as my Nirvana.

I decided to do something that would work in my youngest's room. The walls in poor Michaela Byrd's room are like a vast, barren wasteland. There's not much going on, with the exception of some lovely custom roman shades made with Waverly fabric. I decided to do something that would coordinate with the purples in the room.

After ripping off the old paper, I Mod Podged the new girlie paper onto the front of the frame. While that dried, I used my "Home Decor" Cricut cartridge to pump out a bird silhouette and a crown. The bird was Mod Podged to the front of the frame. Then I distressed all the edges.

Not bad...but it needed a little something more.
There. A frame fit for a Princess.

And the best part? This project cost me $0 because I used items I had on hand in my craft stash!

{Are you a fan of Mod Podge?} 
Visit thecsiproject.com

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Where the (Blogging) Magic Happens...

Oh, well, hello there. Fancy meeting you here!

Kate is asking bloggers everywhere to link up at Centsational Girl today to share about the spaces that they blog in. So today, I am coming to you live from the T family kitchen.

I'd love to tell you that I write from one of these fancy spots I swiped from Houzz.com...
Home Office- Pottery Barn traditional home office
Home Office Inspiration traditional home office
white cottage office organization traditional home office

...but it's the kitchen for me. Specifically, our worn, countrifiedish table.

I like to keep it real.

In all honesty, I only wear those glasses for important things like driving at night or watching the small screen TV. And you can totally tell I've got The Frizz going on. I also don't normally decorate my table with small alligator hair clips and hairbows, but Natalie decided it might be fun to try dreadlocks on herself and Michaela Byrd earlier and those clips were the only thing holding her dream together.

The kitchen actually works pretty well for me. I keep the laptop shut as much as possible while the girls are awake, but the kitchen's central location makes it easier for me to hear and break up the daily fights over who is and is not a princess. There's usually a folder or notebook out for whatever I'm currently working on, whether it's for the blog or my MOPS group.

My major issue is the lack of scenery in here. If you have a keen eye, you can see I have some paint chips out. I don't hate the yellow walls, but they've been up for 5+ years now and I'm ready for a change. I'm thinking gray.

Once upon a time, there was a large framed print of Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night on the long wall behind my chair. Love the painting, but didn't love the size or frame in my kitchen. So now I have a big, blank wall just waiting to be accessorized. (I've been collecting white plates and platters for several months.) I think it's a plan!

So there you have it. It's not much, but I've cooked up a few good blog posts in here.

{Where do you blog (or read blogs)?}

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekend Shopping Scores

How's the weekend going, friends? I managed to sneak some extra shopping in yesterday, as well as peruse the list of links for this week's Weekend Bloggy Reading. The party will be open until 10 pm (ET) tonight, so be sure to link up your favorite post of the week after reading my simple (!) guideline for joining in.

Most important things first. The shoes. Check these babies out!
J'adore those ruffles!!! Payless was having their Buy One, Get One Half Off sale, so my friend Nicole and I oohed and aahed over majorly cute boots, flats, and heels.

And I finally found Natalie some brown school shoes that are not covered in glitter, rhinestones, or blinking lights:

I mentioned on Friday that I was going to get to shop the local children's consignment sale without kids in tow, and T made that possible by staying home with the girls. I headed off to the local Expo Center with a laundry shopping basket under my arm and came home with goodies.

The girls shrieked with excitement over the new clothes while T just rolled his eyes over the girlie display of enthusiasm. I don't know where they get it.

Most of what I found was in the $5 range, and almost all of it was for Natalie. Here's a little peak at a few of the cutest things.

Preschool outfits:

Winter wear:

Christmas dresses:

And this precious Land's End winter nightgown with puppy dogs:
Two thumbs up for me...I've already washed, dried, and folded everything! Putting it away is another story....

{Have you found any clothing or accessory bargains lately?}

Hope to see you for Weekend Bloggy Reading this week or maybe next!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

*The winner of the Seven Thirty Three--Custom Blog Design Button Giveaway is #4, Jennifer from All That Glitters.
Email me, Jennifer, so I can get you hooked up!

*Thanks to today's Sponsor, One9designs!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

::Weekend Bloggy Reading:: Link Up!

It's Friday, lovelies! Please take the time to read my simple guidelines for joining the party here before you link up this week. Thanks!
{What do you have planned for the weekend?}

I get to go (by myself!!) to a big children's consignment sale this morning. I'm looking for Christmas gifts, preschool clothes for Natalie, and a couple more winter outfits for Michaela Byrd. If I find matching Christmas dresses in a 5 and 2T, I will fall on my knees and thank God in the middle of the Expo Center, and don't even think I'm kidding. We have a "pizza party" at Mimi's planned for tonight, and the girls are freaking out excited because they've been invited to a birthday party on Saturday morning. Sunday is a big MOPS "recruitment" day between Sunday School classes and down time at home.

Here are a few of my favorite links from around Blogland this week:

~If you've gotten sucked into the linky page vs. non-linky page debate, you may want to visit Madigan Made. She came up with a neat solution that leaves blog posts uncluttered while allowing party hostesses to get the shout-out they deserve.

~Lemonade Makin' Mama shared a recipe for Salted Caramel Cupcakes that looks out of this world!

~Shelley featured a simply gorgeous Couch Makeover that I found via Tatertots and Jello. (Jen has some fabulous links this week!)

~Beckie created a fabulous Interchangeable Ribbon Necklace that is right up my alley.

~Melissa Faked Built-ins in her cozy new basement.

~Megan shared some genius Jewelry Storage Solutions that I'll be trying out.

~So excited about Aimee's Free Alphabet Printables. When my girls move into the "big room" together, I think a set of these on the wall would be perfection!

~As for me, on Monday I shared a mouth-watering recipe for Key Lime Cake, and I followed that on Tuesday by showing you guys some of my Pottery Barn Translations. I talked a little bit about a Thrifty Little Blessing I received this week, but my favorite post of the week was "Reminds Me of Chippendales." And I wasn't talkin' about the chairs!

Now it's your turn to link up!

Disclaimer: I would love to have you join me for a little linky party this week, but I ask you include a link OR my party button in your post. One or the other. Or both. Whatever you prefer. The button code is below if you want it. But please adhere to basic blogging etiquette and link back to me within your post. I've been blogging for awhile now, and I've learned that blog party hostesses always appreciate it when a participant joins in the fun in a gracious way. Blog parties are fun and great for making new friends and Followers, but they should be beneficial on both ends. My blog is small. My parties are small. So I really do rely on those link-backs to help spread the word. Thanks for understanding! Stepping off my soapbox now....Happy to have you here!
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Be sure to check and see if your link posts to the list! Let me know if you have trouble adding your post here. Email me and I can add it for you! Open for new links until Sunday at 10 pm (ET). Happy partying!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to Be Cheap

I had to share a story of a Thrifty Little Blessing that I experienced this week!

When I knew that I'd have two girls whose birthday months were December and January, I assumed I'd be set for life as far as clothes go. Whatever Natalie wore, I'd just save for Michaela Byrd.

Fast forward two and a half years, and I realized a few weeks ago that most of the Fall/Winter clothes I've saved for Michaela Byrd to wear this year probably won't fit until next year because she's so much smaller than her older sister was at that age. I grumbled to myself about it, but planned to hit the area's largest kids' consignment sale this weekend to find some stuff for the bebe.

When I picked Natalie up from Sunday School on Sunday morning, her teacher (a really sweet retired lady who is involved in ladies' Bible study) said her daughter recently gave her a bag of girlie clothes to gift to someone. She knew I had another little one and wondered if I might need any 2T clothes.

Um, yes, please!

Mrs. S met us in the church parking lot on Tuesday and gave me a bag with some absolutely adorable outfits for Michaela Byrd. My mini-fashionista wanted to tear through the bag immediately, but we waited until we got home.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Michaela Byrd loves dresses. We have "disagreements" every morning over whether or not she's going to wear a dress. We were both excited to see some new dresses!

And how cute are the little jacket and the puffy vest? I die!

It might not seem like a big deal, but the gift from Mrs. S touched my heart because out of the several thousand members in our church, God placed her in Natalie's class last Sunday and led her to approach me about the clothes.

It was a Thrifty Little (Big) Blessing.

{Have you ever been surprised by a blessing?}

See you tomorrow for Weekend Bloggy Reading! I made a quick announcement about the party earlier today, so be sure to check that out before you link up tomorrow. The code for the button is there as well.
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A Quick Note About This Week's Par-tay

Don't forget to swing by and link up to Weekend Bloggy Reading tomorrow with your best/favorite post of the week!

Soapbox time: I'm almost scared to post this, which is ridiculous, because it is my blog after all....This week, for this party, I'm asking that only bloggers who are willing to link back to me in their posts join in. I truly don't care if you use my button or include a text link back to Serenity Now (not hard, see?), but a link back in your post would be so appreciated. If I only end up with 10 links this week, so be it. If doing link backs within posts isn't your thing, I respect your choice. But please respect my decision to go in this direction this week.

While I enjoy hosting blog parties, any of you who have been around Blogland for awhile know that parties need to be beneficial for the hostess and the participant. I love hosting your links, visiting your blogs, and leaving comments! But it is a bit tiresome to put in the effort of organizing these parties and end up with only a handful of comments on my own post and a majority of entries that haven't linked back to me. I don't have a big huge blog with lots of Followers, so I really rely on those link-backs. It's just plain common courtesy. I'm hearing this more and more from other blog hostesses. Today's Creative Blog (See? I just linked to her. That wasn't hard) had a great, if not frank, post about the issue recently.

So I'm hopping down off the soapbox now. I hope you'll come join me tomorrow. We can party with class and style, right? Here's the button, in case you'd like to include it:
Weekend Bloggy Reading


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reminds Me of Chippendales...

...and I'm not talking about the chairs.

I took the girls into Wal-Mart a few weekends ago because there was rumor that a Dora birthday party would be happening, and the site made it look like there would be a costumed Dora and photo opp and everything. It ended up being a surly Wal-Mart employee passing out coupons for the WM photo center and some frozen cupcakes.

I'm not sure what I was expecting. It was Wal-Mart on a Saturday, after all.

So, anyways, the party lady was a good half an hour behind schedule, and to keep the girls occupied while we waited with 40 other party-crazed toddlers, I walked them up and down the toy aisle.

My mistake.

We ended up coming home with two new Ken outfits, because they were the cheapest thing on the Barbie aisle that I could find, which is a shame because if you've seen Toy Story 3, you know Ken is something of a clotheshorse himself and I'm sure he feels like his wardrobe ought to qualify for the same priceline as Barbie's.

Natalie chose a dazzling wedding tuxedo, which she promptly begged me to stuff my old 1980s Ken into.

I think he looks like some sort of Vegas wedding chapel singer, and I'm not sure why he's posing with twins. At any rate, this is a G-rated sort of Vegas in Natalie's room, and you all know that Ken's rubbery legs make it awfully hard to get those clothes off again, so we really don't need to worry about him and the twins.

As I watched Natalie, Ken, and a half-clothed Barbie romp around the room, I thought that there was something vaguely familiar about Ken's new get-up. It took me a moment to realize that he reminded me very much of the old Patrick Swayze/Chris Farley "Chippendales" skit on SNL. This was the only video online I could find to embed, and it cuts off some of the end, but it's still pretty funny.

Patrick Swayze - Chippendale
Uploaded by tressage. - Click for more funny videos.

I hope that poor Ken is never forced into a dance-off with Sponge Bob. I don't know how that would turn out.
But it would be fun to watch.
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pottery Barn Translations

There's not much I enjoy seeing more in my mailbox than a brand new Pottery Barn catalog. I love to ignore the prices and pretend that I can actually afford to spend $999.00 on a media cabinet. Then reality comes crashing down, and I remember that I live in a 1977 Colonial with scattered Polly Pockets and My Little Ponies as designer accessories.

I really admire the Pottery Barn look, and I'd like to express some of that style without making my house look as if I busted out the Visa and ordered everything off of page 14.

That's where "translations" come in. I might not be able to afford much from Pottery Barn these days, but I can tweak thrift store and yard sales finds to reflect that neat, cozy, casual style I love. I've shared several of my Pottery Barn-esque makeovers here before, but several were featured when I had a decidedly smaller blog.

I love the idea of trays, like these two featured on PB's site:

I found a beat-up, yellowy tray at a yard sale last summer for $2.00 at Goodwill.

Some white spray paint transformed my tray into something non-hideous:

Another translation...I looove to drool over PB drapes, but couldn't bring myself to spend $70, even if they are as pretty as these:

Drop cloths to the rescue! I used a $20 drop cloth to Dress My Window Up with my new "drapes".

My favorite PB "translation"? My PB Inspired Kids' Table Makeover.

I was lovin' this look:

So when I found a table set for $10 at Salvation Army, I knew it was meant to be!



So what do you think? Was I "Lost in Translation"?

{Have you been able to replicate your favorite store's style on the cheap?}

Linking to The CSI Project.
Visit thecsiproject.com
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