DIY Projects, Home Decor

Our DIY (Renter-Friendly) Dining Room Chandelier

Hi friends! It’s been a while, I know! I have been busy busy busy, but I missed being here, so I had to hop on! I wanted to share something we did this week to our dining room that was incredibly easy and I am in love with!

As you know, we rent our home, and we recently signed our lease for another year. We’ve been here for almost one full year now and it has been tricky to make this super builder basic home more my style while staying in the confines of our rental agreement. Most of our lighting is the typical low-grade fixtures and haven’t been changed since the house was built fifteen years ago.

Signing that lease for another year made me really think about what I could do to make this house a little bit more me. I came up with this basket chandelier, which is in no way an original idea, but I love it nonetheless.

It was so incredibly easy! We unscrewed the existing hardware which released the old glass dome. Ethan then cut a 2.5in circle in the center of the bottom of the basked using a jigsaw. We then replaced the basket where the glass dome was and re-applied the hardware on the underside of the basket. It took about ten minutes I think!

Seriously, I cannot believe we didn’t do this earlier! It isn’t something I would choose if we owned this home, but it definitely adds a bit of my style within the confines of what we’re allowed to do here. Plus, it was incredibly budget friendly! The only cost was the basket which only cost me a few dollars! It’s a total win-win!

Just because you live in a rental doesn’t mean you can’t make things your own! Sure, there’s a ton you can’t do as a renter, but if you get creative, you can add a bit of your style into your rental home!

So that’s it y’all. I’m in love with this little update and I couldn’t wait to share it with you guys! That’s all for today! Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Home Decor, Tutorials

Chalk Paint All the Things!

Hi there! Hope your day is going well! I’m here with a super easy project today that can’t even really be considered a project. It’s something that is seemingly obvious, but I had never thought to do, so maybe you haven’t either. I don’t know. Anyway, y’all know I love chalk paint. I use it all the time on my projects for both my house and my pop-up shows.

I have used it on a variety of items, but never lamps. I had these lamps that were out of commission from our bedroom. You can see the corner of it here in this photo. They were from our wedding registry, when I didn’t know what I liked or what I was doing. So they didn’t really mesh with my style anymore, now that I feel like I have an established theme in our home.

So while I replaced these lamps, they were still perfectly good lamps, and I wanted to see if there was something I could do to make them fit into my style a bit more. So, I used my trusty old chalk paint and went to work! Like I said, this isn’t really a tutorial or anything, because it’s seriously the world’s easiest DIY. I just slapped some paint on it and called it a day.

I used my own homemade chalk paint, so I don’t have an exact color match to show you, but I used a white, and then added some gray on top to give it a little more dimension.

I think it gives the lamp just the right touch to take away that builder-grade base we were working with.

It makes it a little more subtle and farmhouse-y. I moved one into the living room, and the other went over to my booth at Farmhouse in Downtown Waxahachie, TX. I should have tried this a long time ago; I’ve spent so long wanting to replace them that I missed a perfectly good opportunity to relove them! Waste not, want not, right?

So in case you were wondering, chalk paint works on all kinds of things! Don’t be afraid to slap a coat on to something that needs a little love. It’s not just for furniture!

Anyway. That’s pretty much it. Have you ever chalk painted anything in particular? How did it go? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Well, that’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

Room Tours

Tips on Loving a Rental Kitchen

Hello all! Today I’m going to bare my soul a little bit. And by bare my soul, I mean my kitchen. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve never shown my kitchen before. But I thought that in the name of being honest and forthcoming with y’all, I might as well share with you. So here we go. No judgement here friends.

So, just to recap, we live in a rental. It’s a super basic builder grade house that was built in 2003. The paint colors aren’t what we would choose and the house has zero character, but it is miles above our first home, and keeps us safe and dry. I’m good with it. I honestly am. The kitchen though… is very 2003. What I mean by that is that it’s just an almost 15 year old kitchen (2003 was almost 15 years ago?! I feel more than ever now that I am getting old!) that hasn’t been updated. It’s functional, albeit tiny, it’s just not pretty. So I thought I’d share some tips on living in a kitchen that’s either small, or in my case, an ugly rental.

Decorate, decorate, decorate!

For me, the kitchen never really seemed like a place to decorate due to its functionality. The kitchen is a very utilitarian room, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get some love! When I added décor into my kitchen, it covered up some of the ugly, and made it a bit more bearable. I decorate above my upper cabinets, on the wall, and even a little on the countertops.

Clear the counters!

This may seem counter intuitive to my last statement, but seriously. Toasters are not decoration. Knife blocks, while perfectly functional, are not pretty. Now, to each his own, I totally understand. But in my experience, putting the daily appliances away makes the counter space more refreshing. I keep my toaster in a lower cabinet, and I use it every day. I honestly don’t mind taking it out every day. It keeps my counter from looking cluttered, and leaves room for pretties.

Add some cute textiles.

So the floors aren’t your top choice. Maybe your years away from a kitchen reno, and maybe you can’t touch anything in your rental. I feel ya. A little rug in front of the sink can go a long way. A cute tea towel on the stove (not a ratty old dishrag) can help. These are inexpensive fixes that can distract the eye from what’s really there. Choose something that fits your style, and the good news is that you can change it out whenever you want!

Create vignettes.

Bring in some fresh flowers, or a bowl of fruit and style around it. Do what you have to do. I’d rather have something pretty on my countertops than a jumble of appliances and cords. It just feels thoughtful, even if the bones of the kitchen aren’t.

My kitchen is dark, and while in a perfect world, I would replace the black appliances, paint the cabinets, and concrete the countertops, that’s just not our reality right now. I have learned to love this little kitchen though. It is small, which means it’s easy to clean. It is open, which means light flows in during the day. It is miles above the kitchen from the 1950s we had in our previous rent house. I’m grateful for this little kitchen, even if it’s not a magazine worthy kitchen by any means.

What about you? Do you have a kitchen like mine? Do you love it or hate it? I’d love to hear about it! Well, that’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

Home Decor, Room Tours

Spring Bedroom Refresh

Hey y’all! I am so glad you’re here! Easter has passed, and spring is in the air! Can you feel that itch for summer where you are? I wore shorts for the first time this weekend, and it was wonderful! Today I am finally sharing something that has honestly gotten out of hand. What do I mean by that? Well, let me explain. Do you ever start something and then just stall for a while until you almost forget about it? That’s pretty much what happened to me.

I decided to shuffle things around between our bedroom and guest bedroom right around New Years. I bought new bedding for our room, moved the old bedding into the guestroom, and promptly left it at that. Never mind that I wanted to get new lamps and possibly new nightstands. I just went on for a few months halfway done with what I was doing. #typical

So here’s a photo I shared a while back on my review of some bedsheets, but it gives you an idea of what it looked like beforehand.

The lamps were too small, and the modern look wasn’t really my taste anymore anyway. The pillows, while comfortable, were more colorful than I was hoping for, and I wanted something more soothing. So, I ended up with this: 

All the bedding (throw pillows and comforter) came from TJMaxx. I can’t find the exact link on their site because of the nature of the store. The lamps were purchased at HomeGoods.

The lamps match my personal style much better, and they are sized a little better than the old ones were.

I also added some faux greenery to the top of the window which I think helps to add a bit of dimension. The garland is from Hobby Lobby.

The overall vibe I was looking for was calm and peaceful, with a farmhouse flair. I think I pretty well accomplished that goal.

Now of course, because I am all too cheap, I didn’t want to spend much money on this refresh. So I listed random household items on my local Facebook Swap page and made money to purchase the things I wanted! If nothing else, it was a creative way to spend a small amount of money! I ended up keeping the nightstands the same. I may eventually change them out, but the budget didn’t allow it at the moment.

So there it is! My super simple but super prolonged project! In case you missed it, you can read all about how I made that headboard myself here. That little DIY is still working for us, and I love the simplicity of it. Oh, and it was free. So that’s a win in my book.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! That’s all for today, have a fabulous day!

Personal

Five Things I’ve Learned Running a Vintage Booth

Hey y’all! I am just coming out of a great weekend, and while it’s fresh on my mind, I wanted to share with you everything! This weekend I had a show with Vintage Market Days, which is my favorite event, both as a shopper and as a vendor. This was my second show with VMD, and I have continued to learn so much now that I have two shows under my booth. I still would consider myself a novice by all means, but I’d love to share the top five things I’ve learned, should you ever consider running a booth yourself!

Style the booth like a room. 

The first thing you want to do is think about your booth as a room. You don’t want to just randomly place furniture around a room in your house and call it a day. You think carefully about walkways, flow, and how you decorate. Think carefully about how to piece things together. I added walls to the back of my booth, a portable faux shiplap backdrop that I could hang things on. This created not only the feeling of being in a defined space, but also gave me vertical space to display things on. That is huge! Your house has walls where you hang things, so should your booth! You may be placed up to a wall, but chances are, you’ll be backed up against another booth or an ugly wall. Put something up so you can make your booth look homey! The shiplap walls were a big hit, and I am so impressed with how Ethan made these!

Think big! (But also small.) I would consider myself to run a redesigned furniture booth. However, not everyone who walks into a market is going to be in the market for (or have money for) a large furniture piece. I don’t know how many times people walked by my booth to admire my farmhouse table but walked away saying but I don’t need a table. People won’t usually spontaneously purchase a large furniture piece, but they will buy something small. Have items at all price points! I had pieces ranging from three to five hundred dollars. Make your items mass appeal. This doesn’t mean you have to offer things that aren’t true to your style, but bring things in that can match anyone’s price point. Even though I have furniture in my booth, I made most of my sales on small items.

Constantly rearrange. 

Things will sell. Even if you have your booth perfectly styled before the market starts, things will sell and leave gaping holes in your booth. You have to be quick on your feet and be able to move things around to constantly make the booth presentable. Another vendor gave me some great advice this weekend and told me not to be afraid to rearrange during the show. It will make shoppers less intimidated to come in and check things out, plus it brings different items to the attention of shoppers if they walk by more than once. Someone may think they’ve seen everything, but when you rearrange, they may notice something they haven’t seen the first time around. They’re much more likely to stop and shop!

Make friends with other vendors! 

Other vendors are a wealth of knowledge. Everyone has different experiences and expertise, and they all have something to offer. And the best part is that if you’re warm and friendly, they’ll be warm and friendly in return! As someone just starting out, this is huge! They are so generous with advice and tips, especially those who have been doing things for a while. You never know who you’re going to be set up next to, so make sure you learn everything you can from those around you!

Be mindful of logistics. 

Lastly, don’t forget about the logistics. Bring canvas dropcloths if you’re on a dirt floor. Bring change for cash buyers. Be prepared for shoppers to pay with card. Bring tools, because something will invariably go wrong. Bring chairs for sitting during the show. Have a plan for load in and load out, whether that means a truck, trailer, or strong muscles. Make a list and check it more than once, because you’ll always forget something.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned, but I feel like I’m way more experienced than I was before! Each show is a learning experience, and I am so thankful to have the opportunity to continue to grow this little side business I have. It’s exhausting, exhilarating, and exciting at the same time. Creating the pieces for these shows and seeing my ideas come to life is an indescribable feeling. Have you ever thought about becoming a vendor at a craft fair or antique market? I hope these tips help you out!

Well, that’s all for today friends! Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects

Easy Spring Craft

Hello everyone! It has been a LONG time since I’ve been here, partially due to my own lack of inspiration, but also due to some website hosting transferring issues which prevented me from updating the site at all. I am back and full of inspiration and ready to share with you some fun little things I’ve been working on!

Spring is here, and I am in spring mode! When it comes to most seasonal décor, I tend to shy away from overtly seasonal things. I’m not into bunnies for Easter, or turkeys for Thanksgiving. I prefer a simple and understated look for each season. That being said, I wanted to share a super simple craft for spring time I have! It’s one of those things that makes me feel almost silly for sharing because duh, it’s that easy.

I wanted to make something small enough to be used in a tablescape, but didn’t necessarily have to be used in a place setting. Here’s what I came up with:

Most of the materials can be found at a local craft store. I hot glued the Spanish moss into the bottom of the berry basket, and added a tiny bit of green moss on top. I hot glued that down as well, trying (unsuccessfully) not to burn my fingertips. I then placed the eggs on top of the moss and glued them down. Again, I’m kind of embarrassed to share these because it’s so simple. But this is the only official spring thing I’ve made for the house, so I had to share!

The cool thing about this is that it is totally just a template and you could do whatever you’d like! You could customize this with items you have around the house, or any other small item that suits your fancy. Easy enough, right?

And if you’re not keen on making these yourself, I will have lots of these little cuties available at my booth during Vintage Market Days in Glen Rose, TX. It’s going to be an awesome event that you are not going to want to miss! I have been working really hard to bring some items for this event and I would love to see you there.

Have you gotten your spring craft on yet? I think this season is the perfect one to get crafty! Push away those winter blues with some fun projects! I’d love to see what projects you’re working on! Feel free to tag me on Instagram or Facebook. Happy crafting! That’s all I have for today, have a fabulous day friends!

Personal

We Didn’t Watch TV for a Month!

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re new here, don’t quit reading on me. This blog is typically about my house and how I decorate on a budget, but this post is more personal. Bear with me.

For the month of January we decided not to watch TV at the house at all. It wasn’t really a new year’s fast thing, it was just something I thought would be fun to try. Sometimes I (and most Americans probably) can get sucked into sitting on the couch for hours on end. Which is totally fine. I work really hard during the week and sometimes I just need to do nothing.

The problem is that when I sit around doing nothing for multiple hours, I just feel unproductive and gross. So when I brought up the possibility of not watching anything for a whole month, Ethan was on board. He may have been a little bit reluctant, but if he was, he didn’t let on. I wanted to see what it would be like without it in the house. And let me tell you: it was awesome. Here’s what happened.

First, I just did more. More of everything. I worked on projects more frequently. I actually got off my butt and got into the garage to get stuff done. I painted more, finished a lot of things that had been in my garage for months, and got ahead on pieces for my upcoming spring shows. That alone would have been enough to call it a success, but there was so many other benefits.

I read more books. On a normal weeknight, when I would normally be watching my shows, I was reading books. I frequented the library much more often, and read four books this month. Which is a lot for me. I have always enjoyed reading, but I’m not what you might consider an avid reader. I have always used the excuse that I didn’t have time. Which wasn’t really true. I had the same amount of time, I just didn’t prioritize well.

I also felt more rested. Somehow even though I was getting more accomplished, I just felt better. I had more energy, and I wasn’t a total zombie when it came to the end of the day. Teaching can sometimes drain your energy, and so when you’re teaching all day you tend to be exhausted. And there were those days. But overall, I wasn’t super drained. I felt all around good. I cooked at home more and even baked some too! At first I thought that we would spend more money because we would be bored at home, but honestly I think we spent less money than we normally do because I was so much more productive and energetic.

There were things I thought I’d miss, and I’ll be honest, it was hard not tuning in to the newest episode of Fixer Upper each week when everyone else was posting and sharing photos of the great episodes, but there were other things I didn’t even miss (cough* The Bachelor *cough). As the month went on, it seemed like the feeling of missing out on things kind of passed.

Overall, it was a month of rest and rejuvenation. It was the perfect way to start the year off right, and it set the tone for what’s to come this year. I think it might be a good tradition to continue into the years to come, but we’ll see. Ethan may not quite agree. 🙂 Either way, I’d recommend it! I enjoyed this month, and I think if you gave it a try, you’d be surprised at how it turns out! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

DIY Antique Farmhouse Dresser

Hello friends! Happy Monday! Today is good day for a good day, am I right? I’ve been super busy lately with projects and it is a wonderful feeling! Last weekend Ethan and I cleared out our garage, which gave me plenty of room to work. We organized all my materials, and made a place for everything.

It used to be super full and I barely had room to work on anything, but now that it’s all clean, I’ve been super inspired to work on projects in there. It feels like I can finally breathe!

One of the projects that I finished up this week was this little antique dresser. I snagged this dresser up from a friend who was selling it at her garage sale. I saw it and knew I had to have it! And because I am the worst at taking before pictures, you’ll just have to use your imagination. It was just plain brown and missing a few handles.

Well, I painted her up, and here she is in all her antique farmhouse style glory:

Okay, so with this project, I tried something new. I knew I wanted it to be super distressed, and rather than use my sander, I wanted to try the Vaseline trick that furniture painters everywhere have been talking about. So I applied Vaseline all on the edges of the dresser. (Basically where you see distressing is where I applied.) I found that it was easiest just to use my finger rather than messing with a paint brush.

After I applied my Vaseline, it was time for paint. I used Palais White by Behr in a flat finish. I painted everything evenly, including the areas that where I had used Vaseline. Now here’s where it gets tricky. My dresser needed two coats. Being the impatient person that I am, I could not wait to see the effects of the Vaseline after the first coat of paint. So, I began rubbing the areas with a rag. This was a dumb idea because I still had to paint a second coat.

The paint will not adhere to the Vaseline, and it basically makes a crackly looking paste in the areas where the Vaseline was applied. If you have to paint two coats, do not remove the Vaseline until finished with both coats. That was my biggest mistake. The technique worked well enough, but I had to reapply Vaseline so I could do my second coat.

Personally, I think I would rather just take my sander to the project afterward, but it’s good to try new things. Plus that’s mostly because of my own impatience.

After I finished the painting, I topped it with Annie Sloan clear wax to give it a protective finish. The wax is technically used for chalk paint, and I previously had only ever used it on chalk paint, but because flat paint is pretty porous, I figured I’d give it a try, and it worked pretty well!

I just love this cute little dresser, and it matches my light and bright farmhouse style perfectly! But alas, I won’t be keeping this one. She will be heading with me to my spring shows (which I will be keeping you posted about more soon, but the first one will be the Vintage Market Days in Glen Rose Texas in March. So that’s good news for you, because this cutie could be yours!

So, have you ever tried using Vaseline to distress painted furniture? I’d love to hear about your experience! Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook for more behind the scenes fun of my day to day life! Well friends, that’s all for today. Have a fabulous day!

Home Decor

Clean and Wintry Tablescape

How is it January already?! This is crazy! I am heading into two years of blogging, and that is crazy to me as well! Every year when Christmas is over, and all my decor comes down, I crave simplicity. And, let’s be honest, I am pretty much ready for spring. I know that we will have winter weather yet, but so far the temperatures have been around sixty each day, which just feels wonderfully spring-like.

Anyway, I took down all my Christmas decor and I made my table simple and clean for the wintry months ahead. I know it might seem silly, but I really do always have my table made up. It brings me joy to have a pretty looking table, and no one should be able to steal your joy, so I say do what you want! I like to use a lot of blues in our house, and so I have one set of blue napkins that are my absolute favorite. I tend to mix these in with each season.

winter-table-1

I’ve been meaning to buy some napkin rings for a while now, but my cheap self never could pull the trigger. I found these the day after Christmas at Hobby Lobby. They were a metallic gold, which was a little too “holiday glitzy” for me, so I painted over them with a quick gray paint. The paint naturally wore off in a few areas (probably because of the slick texture), and it turned out to be perfectly chippy. I love it!

winter-table-4

The white pillar candle was also an after Christmas clearance special (my favorite time to shop). A simple jar with cinnamon and my DIY Boxwood Topiary  make my little cakestand look finished yet clean.

 winter-table-6

And can we talk about this afternoon sunlight pouring in? For some reason late afternoon sun perfectly equates to winter for me. I’m not sure why, but this season really can be beautiful (even if it gets dark incredibly early and we don’t even have snow).

winter-table-5

For me, setting the table really can be a theraputic and meaningful time. I love the finished product of course, but the act of designing and putting together a table is incredibly rewarding to me. What about you? Do you have a table that’s typically set, or do you prefer a blank canvas?

A few sources for this design if you’re interested:

Napkins: Tuesday Morning

Napkin Rings: Hobby Lobby

Cake Stand: Magnolia

Plates: Target

Chargers: IKEA

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

Personal

2017: My Word for the Year

Hello all! Can you believe that Christmas has already passed? It seems like the season moves more quickly with each passing year. I saw someone post on social media the other day about the time between Christmas and New Years being “a week of not knowing what day it is or what you’re doing with your life.” It’s funny, but it’s so true! Especially for me because I’m a teacher, I don’t have to work on the in between week, and so I’m at a total loss. Every day is leisurely and wonderful.

It is always a time for reflection though, and I love to use this time to reset before the new year. Last year I wrote a quick reflection on the year, and you can read that here . I was reading over it, and it is so awesome to see what this year has held for us, even when I didn’t know it. God is funny that way, isn’t He? Always knowing what’s ahead even when we’re doubting the plan.

This year rather than making any official resolutions, I am choosing one single word to represent my outlook for this upcoming year.

wordoftheyear1-1

I’ve never done this before, but it’s an alternative approach to resolutions. One with lower stakes. I’m not one for making make or break resolutions, but I can get on board with one single word. So for this next year, my word is:

wordoftheyear1-2

grow. 

It seems simple, but for me, it has so much meaning. This past year, we moved into a new rental house, I continued blogging, and we had our first successful show as a vendor at a vintage market.

This upcoming year, all I want is to grow. I want to continue to grow this blog, and grow more relationships with the people who read this blog or are in my so called “community.”

I want to grow my little business (it’s literally a family joke that I am technically a small business owner, because I had to get a tax license to be a vendor at a certain event). I want to grow my little side business into an actual side business. Something that is continually bringing in a side income while allowing me to be creatively fulfilled. I was able to get my feet wet a little bit this year, but I really want to dive in this next year.

I want to grow professionally as well. Teaching is no easy career, and there’s always areas of improvement. I want to continue to grow in that area.

And of course, there’s always room for spiritual growth. That’s something that almost seems silly to include, because it’s a no brainer for me, and it’s nothing new this year, but still an important facet to my word this year.

And that’s it! Do you make resolutions? Do you choose a word for yourself each year? I’d love to hear what you’ve chosen!