Bringin' In Some Estrogen

Anthony is good at a lot of things...okay, everything!  Apparently he came out of the womb with a trophy and has collected them in winnings since because we have all shapes and sizes. 

See them?  Yep, they're all lined up on top of our office bookcase.  He parted with a lot of them when we moved last year and just kept the ones he felt were the most meaningful and so now that's what we've got.  The reason I'm telling y'all this is to show why our office is needing some feminine detail.  The walls are a pretty neutral color and the green in the bedding and curtains could go either way.  Since I'm in this room just as much as my 'super-man' husband, I'm pretty-ing it up a little.

Last night I was busy scheming and planning on some kind of high while Anthony was sleeping and showed some of what was taking shape in my head.  Read about my night here.  Well, I'm finished with part of my idea and it involves our new lamp.

We were given the lamp, which I spray-painted white, and I found and bought a lamp shade.  It was 3 bucks at my fave discount store here and this is why:
A two inch tear on one side.  However, 3 bucks for a Target lamp shade is el-cheapo, especially when I know I can someway, somehow fix or hide the tear.

So, after I devised my late night plan, I cut one inch strips of fabric about two feet long from the excess fabric I had leftover from making our curtains and pillows and put a simple stitch through one side, making a sort of long ruffle.  I purposely left the other side unseamed to give my "ruffle" a sort of unfinished-but-pretty look.

Then, I hot glued the "ruffle" in a circular pattern directly over the tear in the shade.

Then, after all of my rounds of gluing and a little maneuvering, this is what I got:
Bye, bye little tear and hello pretty, little, feminine flower!  It looks a little lonely so I might add a couple more smaller ones but at least for now I've hidden the tear!  By the way, I got my inspiration for this project from a dress I have that has flowers constructed like this with toile.  This just affirms that inspiration can be found anywhere!

Pretty feminine, huh?  Well, there's more little fabric flowers to be made to fulfill this little plan in my little brain.  Can you guess where else I have plans to "floralize"?  Watch and see!

Late Night...Snack?

I'm pretty wide awake.  It's past my bedtime.  My husband fell asleep shortly after we came home from swimming at a friend's house tonight (to be precise, around 7:30 p.m.).  So, nothing is stirring, not even a mouse.  When what do my wandering eyes appears...ok, just kidding.  (St. Nicholas was the saint of the day today at Vacation Bible School so he's on the brain.)  Since I am who I am and I do what I do, instead of feasting on a midnight snack I'm just sitting here experimenting.  I have two small, rectangular pieces of fabric leftover from my full-sheet-into-curtains-and-pillows extravaganza and I've got an idea so I thought I'd share it.  I'm not quite positive if what's in my brain is going to look kosher in real life but that's what late nights are figure it out. 

Here's what I've concocted (so far...the night is young):

So, as always in my blogging world, stay tuned to find out what happens.

P.S.  For your late-night treat I'd like to introduce the newest member of our office/bedroom transformation:
A bedside lamp!  Newly spray-painted white and topped off with a Target shade I found for 3 bills.  Also about to be bean-i-fied...come back and find out how!

Farrah's Shower Invitation Project

I recently got back from a little vacay in Florida where I visited my sister, Farrah...a.k.a. "Peach".  I went there mainly to help her get some things off her to-do list before her big day in October and also to throw her a surprise wedding shower! 
Since most of our family lives 1000 miles away or more, it wasn't really possible for everyone to fly down for a weekend shower when they'd be coming in a couple of months.  So, Farrah's fiance's sister had the idea to throw a "mail-in" shower where we could send invitations out that asked people to send her a gift.  Since I wanted to surprise Farrah, I had everyone send the gifts to my house and then I carted them on over to Florida.  More on the shower itself another day.  The invitations are on the menu today.

If you've read about our wedding, you know that we found and made invitations ourselves for a steal.  Well, we had about 50 invitations and reply cards leftover so I saved them knowing that one day they could come in handy.  Well, the one day came along and I went to work on about 25 reply cards, transforming them into shower invitations fit for a Peach. 
Farrah and Patrick's colors are coral and navy blue so I tied in those colors and used some cute fonts I found online to spice them up.  The company that makes the invitations has a website where you can download the format needed to create them in Word so I downloaded it (I had deleted it since I used it for our wedding invitations) and went to work.  Then, just to appease my perfectionist self, I created a document to print out all of the envelopes with addresses in matching colors and fonts.  All I had to do was adjust the "page size" in Word and my printer printed them perfectly.

Lastly, I added a little more flair by punching out one corner with my corner-punch and nipping off the other corners with a plain 'ole scissors.  

  So there you have it!  Cute invitations costing a few cents in ink and an hour of time!  Peachy keen if you ask me!

From Farm Girl to Seamstress

Let me begin with a laugh...I almost named this post "I'm An Official 'Sewer'", meaning a person who sews ('sewer' may or may not really mean that though) when I noticed that, coincidentally I could be telling y'all that I'm a festering puddle of human and/or animal excrement...great!  So, I nixed that title.  

On to more important things though...I made my first pillowcases today!  I also made my curtains with an actual 'sewing machine' rather than iron-on tape!  I am pretty much a professional seamstress...or, I'm really not.  I'm pretty sure I probably broke every sewing rule making these but it worked.  The only thing I've ever "made" by myself with a sewing machine was a tote bag for 4-H in like 4th grade...up until today.  But making that tote bag definitely prepared me for today.  :)  Let me give you the details.

A few days ago I was looking around in my favorite discount store when I found a light green, full size, flat sheet that matched the green of our duvet cover in our office.  It was Target brand and the best part...2 BUCKS!  I happily waltzed out of the store knowing that I could get a pair of curtains and two matching pillowcases out of that baby before I was done with it. 

So, this morning I set up my convenient, sewing workspace.
And yes, I will use the fact that our dining room also doubles as a great craft room as a selling point someday when we decide to sell this house.  :)

When I was out and about the other day dreaming about the new sheet I would soon transform I picked up a hand-held sewing machine (since I won't have a real sewing machine until Santa comes) at Wal-Mart for about $16.  Yes, cheap it is and my job it will do.

To make the curtains I simply cut the sheet in half, cut off the excess, vertical length after measuring my window, grabbed my little machine and wizzed away down the unfinished sides.  Before I started sewing, I ironed a crease down the side I sewed and drew a light line with pencil that I could follow to make things a little easier.

Here's a close-up of my cute, little stitches.  Not bad for a beginner, eh?  :)

I found a curtain rod for $5 at the same store I found my sheet, bought 14 curtains rings for $7, and up went my finished curtains.  I even hung the rod all by myself!  I was so excited!  It's the first time I've ever...or the first time Anthony's let me...hang anything but picture frames on my own! 
(Keep reading to see the finished curtains.)

Now on to the pillowcases.  First of all, I don't do zippers...or, I don't know how to do zippers (yet) so any way that I sewed a pillowcase had to be easy and done without any zippers.  My best friend is pretty much a genius though and (unknowingly) provided me with inspiration on how to make pillowcases that could easily come off and be washed.
First, I took the excess fabric left over from my sheet and decided to fold it in half so that the fold would end up being one side of my pillow...if that makes sense.  So I only had to sew three sides.

Then I measured the width of my pillow with a ribbon measuring tape from side-seam to side-seam to make sure I made my new cover the right size. 

The day my best friend inspired me with this project was when she used a standard sized pillowcase to cover a really small pillow by placing the small pillow inside the pillowcase and then folding the leftover 'case' into the back and inside of the encased pillow.  That is the only way I know how to describe it and I'm so sorry if it leaves your mind spinning.  So, I'd have to make my pillowcases longer than the needed to be and with one side open so that I could just tuck in the extra and untuck it when the case needed to be washed.
Hopefully this picture helps.
When the pillow is displayed from the front, you can't even tell the fabric is tucked in in the back...score for being easy, convenient, AND pretty!

So back to the sewing, after I sewed together the sides of my pillow (inside-out when sewing them together) and securing some ends with a quick seam, my cases were finished...well almost.  Next up is spicing them up with some white paint in some sort of design or maybe a monogram on the front.  But that's for another day.  :)

Here's my sewing masterpieces!  Sew cool!

As always, I want to know about your projects!  How do you make cheap cute?!

Please Step Into Our Office

Here's the progress you've all been waiting for...not done yet, but looking better.  Sorry it's taken so long but I've been semi-vacationing with my sister in Florida...and helping her organize details for her wedding in October.  Details of that trip to come soon! 

So here's the office/guest bedroom before: 

The biggest changes are the fresh paint on the walls, trim, and filing cabinet...and that's basically all I've gotten done so far.  It's looking a little 'blah-zay' in there right now but more of my plans will take shape next week. 

Here's another side of the room:
Curtains and homemade pillowcases to match are next on the list, then a 'Do-It-Ourselves' upholstered headboard to turn our bed into a day bed, some art up onto the wall...maybe a collage or something but who knows yet, and then a homemade cushion for the window seat.  We also want to replace the curtains that enclose the closet with real closet doors, so eventually this will all get done.  The way we work is month-by-month.  This month was dedicated to the office and so we'll get as much done with the time (and money) that we have right now and if we can't get it all done, we'll do more another month. 

Next month we're moving back into the master bedroom that was the first room we painted when we moved in.  I'll share our project for that room at the beginning of's going to be so cozy and "Island getaway-ish" so keep in touch!

A Little Entertainment

So I know everyone is so darn excited (just humor me) to see the progress on the office and I'll get that up but first I thought y'all would like some entertainment while you're waiting.  This is a video my Irish twin sister made me for my 25th birthday and I just love, love, love it.  She's uber-talented and someday we are hopeful to start our own design/decorating business making all sorts of goodies and also roping our other uber-talented sister in too...surprise Rock!  You just keep on learning to play that guitar and you can serenade Peach and I as we sew our dreams into reality.  :)  So, without further ado, here's your entertainment and a glimpse into one of the greatest days in the lives of The Bean Team.

To Be Filed

I'm almost finished with the biggest spray painting job I've ever done...the filing cabinet. 

Lucky for me, white spray paint is considered a 'basic' color at Lowe's and a Valspar satin white they sell is only $3.12!  I'm lucky because so far I've gone through four cans (and my pointer is feelin' it).  Here's the run-down so far:

I can't wait to be done!

Here's one of the drawers before I painted it:
I removed all of the hardware before I painted because it's easier than taping them off.  I couldn't figure out how to get the little thumb lever off so it's going to be white too, which might make the hardware look more symmetrical...or that might just be an excuse to not tape it off.

Here they are all done, organized, and labeled!

To make the labels I had to decide on a short word(s) to sum up what was in each drawer.  This is what I came up with:  A to K, L to Z, Random, and Paper.  The top two drawers are filled with lots of paperwork in alphabetically arranged and labeled file folders.  The next drawer has file folders for Anthony's classes, computer software, and some legal-sized paperwork that won't fit anywhere else in it.  The bottom drawer has all sorts of paper in it:  printer and copier paper, resume paper, photo paper, loose-leaf paper, and extra file folders.  I love being organized!

I made labels using a font I found on called "Angelic War".  It was so simple.  I typed my labels up on Word, measured with the little ruler on Word to make sure they'd fit into my label holders, and printed them out.  When cutting them out, I made a stencil with thin paper that I held over the label to make sure I was cutting it out evenly and just cut around the stencil...if that makes sense.  I also cut out a few pieces of thin cardboard (I used an old, white folder) to place behind my cut-out labels to make them a little thicker.  They'd slip out the bottom of my label slot otherwise.

Now we can be organized and stylish!  Who knew a filing cabinet could be both functional and fashion-forward?!

Stay tuned to see the finished project in it's place!

Red + Blue = Purple...

And brown + brown = brown!  Which also, in my case, equals free paint! 

So, we have a couple of cans of paint leftover from previous projects plus a couple of leftovers left from the previous owner of the house and they are all either light, light brown or medium brown.  Since I know we might be painting the office again within the next couple of years to convert it to a nursery, I didn't feel like buying paint that would just be painted over.  Plus, it feels good to use leftovers instead of letting them go to waste.

I originally was only going to use three leftover cans, but when the three didn't add up to enough paint, I added another brown.  I almost added a little light green too in which case I would've tested a couple of drops in a little bowl to make sure the colors jived but then decided against it.

This is after two cans.  It looks scrumptious, huh?

This is the final color, which looks darker on the walls then it does in the can and I love it!  It actually is pretty darn close to the color in our living room and hallway, maybe a smidge darker.  Also, the four paint colors I used weren't the same sheen - two were satin, one was eggshell, and one was semi-gloss but in our old house I combined two different colors and sheens to get the green color in our second bathroom and I found that the sheens mixed and just made one sheen...if that makes any sense at all.  Point is, you can't tell.  :)

.          .          .


So far, I've painted the trim and started painting the corners and edges of the walls.

Here's what the trim looked like before...mind you, we had a whole house filled with grungy and dirty-looking trim before.

I kind-of make a mess when I paint trim so please excuse it.  If I'm painting an entire room, walls and all, I always paint the trim first so that I can get every angle of it.  I use a edger, paint thingy (ceiling guard maybe...not sure what it's called but we got it at Lowe's) and stuff it's edge under the bottom of the trim so that I don't get paint on the carpet.

See how much cleaner?!  The reason I said I make a mess painting trim is that I am bound and determined to get every level of it so that means that I get trim paint on the wall just above the trim to make sure I've gotten the top part of the trim.  I could probably paint it without painting the wall too but that's too tedious to me when it'll get painted over anyway.  :)

Next I paint the wall color in corners and around door edges and such, anywhere that a roller can't paint.  Usually Anthony helps me and he paints the edges while I roll but I'm doing this one alone while he's at work and studying so it works better for me this way.  If I were to do both at once, paint part of an edge and then roll that part, move to the next part and do the same thing, I'd either ruin my brush or roller because they'd dry out.

Stay tuned to see the finished paint project!

.          .          .

A little random note:
I'd like to welcome everyone to Big Bug Country...a.k.a. The South.  Let me explain.  I went outside this afternoon to start spray-painting the filing cabinet.  So I walked over to our little shed alongside which is the big piece of plywood I spray-paint everything on when this is what I saw...(beware)...

THIS!!!  Being the bug-o-phobic I am, I found something else to spray paint on and used 14x zoom (so I could stand far, far, far away) on my camera to take a picture.  Anybody (uhhhh...Dan the butterfly man?) know what it is?!  It looks like an overweight butterfly tarantula that came out of my mixed brown paint! 

Well, thanks for reading my extremely long post about paint and a big bug!  Have a grand 'ole day ya'll! 



You won't believe what I found!  I don't even know how I found them except I think God led me to them.  First of all, let me explain.  In our house, half of the rooms have a ceiling fan and they're not the most modern looking things.  Two are white so they're not so bad but the others are brass and I'm not a huge 'fan' of brass.  Well, I've wondered long and hard whether I could spray paint these darned things or not.  I've researched and found that there's just so many vents and places you really shouldn't get paint on that saving up and buying might be the easiest option.  So, since buying new ceiling fans is probably the last thing on our wish list, I haven't paid much attention to them (and since 'easy' really doesn't appease me, spray-painting them might just be a blog post someday).  
So, the other day I was working in the office and day-dreaming about what a cute nursery it would someday be when my eyes looked up to the fan...ugh.  I've always dreamed of having a cute little light fixture in a nursery...a little chandelier for a girl or some cool something for a boy.  Well down here in the southern heat, I really can't put any future bean into a room without a fan so my chandelier dreams flew out the window quicker than fan blades on high.  Then another idea popped into my noggin'.  What if I could just replace the 'crystal ball' hanging from the fan?  They have ceiling fan light kits at Lowe's, right?  Yeah, well then I found some 'bean-approved' ceiling fan light kits online at  I didn't even know anyone made these!  Take a look at what I found!

How precious is this one?!  It's so feminine and beautiful!  Perfect for a precious baby girl!

Another one for a little girl that would grow with her and change with any redecorating!  It could also 'romaticize' any master bedroom.

This one is my favorite, I think.  It's so modern yet soft and beautiful and they have matching floor and tabletop lamps!

This one I thought would look really great in a gathering area such as a living room or den (or any room for that matter)...but it's one of the many on the website that would.

This one I'd love for our master bedroom.  The fan is brass so I'd have to figure something out to change it to silver but how amazing would it be?!  I think you can buy fan's without light kits attached but I'm not sure so, if I'm right, that could work too.

These fan kits run around $100 or so apiece so they're not exactly the cheapest things in the world, but if we could save up for them (or in the case of having one in a nursery, registering for it), they'd be so worth it and we could keep the old light kits stored away so that we could take the new ones with us to a new house and put the old ones back up.

A few other ways I've thought of spiffying up our fans are:
- by buying a large, plain, or patterned drum shade made for a lamp and somehow attaching it over the existing light fixture or light bulbs. 
- stenciling or stamping the blades with one or a few cute patterns (I almost photo-shopped this idea but my office is waiting to get painted at the moment.  Maybe sometime in the future.)
- with some wire rings strung together like a bulls-eye, some beads, shells, or other such things, and necklace wire you could probably make your own little chandelier (if you're interested in this idea, email me for a better explanation). 
-by replacing the existing light covers with small shades or just more modern glass covers.

However I decide to recreate our fans someday, you'll hear about it!  Plus, I'd love to hear more ideas and get some more inspiration!  Have you or anyone you know spray-painted a fan?  Let me know!   

The Bean Team Budgeter

Well, as you know, we're all about budgeting and being on a budget and buying on a budget and decorating on a budget and eating on a budget and i could go on and on and I thought about writing about how to budget on a budget.
About a year ago, Anthony created a little handy-dandy Excel document that we now can't live without.  It's a month-by-month budgeting tool that we use to help us see how much we've spent based on what we bring in every month and how much we have left to either spend or stash away in savings or towards a student loan.  It always helps to see the numbers, I think.  For those of you budgeters out there, here's a link to our "Bean Team Budgeter". 

It's simple really.  All we do is fill in the constant payments, those that stay the same every month, like health insurance, student loan payments, and our cell phone bill in the left column.  (Tweak it to fit your bills.)  Once you fill in numbers, a total will automatically be calculated for you thanks to Anthony's mad formula skillz.  Then, you fill in variable payments made in the right column.  Variable payments are those that change every month like the gas bill and groceries.  Below the variables in the empty space we fill in random things like Target - $10 or Lowes - $20.  Again, the total is automatically filled in.  Put your monthly income in the 'income' spot and any extra money from babysitting, birthday money, or other such things in the 'extra income' spot.  Expendiary income is what you have left after all of your debt is subtracted from your income.  Then, for the next month, all you have to do is open another tab at the bottom of the document, label it with the current month, copy your constants over, and start all over again.  This way you can have one document for each year with each month tabbed.  Pretty dandy, huh?  Easy, simple, and straight-forward, just like we like it.  Budgeting has never been so fun!  Plus, your bank account will thank you and remain in black.  One reminder though - make sure to save your receipts so that you can enter them into your budgeter!  I'm a bit of a maniac when it comes to saving my receipts anyway...I save every receipt for six months and file them in a little envelope in our filing cabinet where they are paperclipped together by month (maybe a little obsessive, I know) just in case I need them for something or some crazy company calls me and tells me I didn't pay for something when I did.  You just never know.  

Well, if you have any questions about our budgeter or budgeting, feel free to shoot us an email at  We have our budget saved as an Excel document and I uploaded the one above onto Google Documents.  Not being the technological geek I could be, I'm not quite sure it'll download to your computer if you want to use it so if not, let me know and I'll just email it to you!  Happy Budgeting Ya'll! 

Independence Day Fun

Here's a peek into our sun-soaked Independence Day this year!  We loved spending time with great friends and celebrating our freedom as "One Nation, Under God".

Spray Paint? Oh Yes, Please!

I might possibly be able to write a whole book on all of the things you could spray paint.  It works absolute wonders and I'm convinced that whoever invented it was inspired by God to do so.  Here are a few things I've spray painted:

Landscape Lights  (Hammered brown Rustoleum from Lowe's)
They were speckled hunter green and black...not to my fancy.  I had to completely take each one apart but it didn't take much time and they got a much-needed bath.

Exterior House Lights  (same hammered brown as above)
They were worn silver and rust was movin' in.

Our Mailbox (yes, I love the hammered brown)
You can see it's 'before' picture on this page.  It was just a little too drab for us and since our house got a fresh coat of paint, it did too.  I also have in the works to paint our monogram "T" on it and spray paint little metal numbers that will be attached to the post.

Frames (Valspar spray paint from Lowe's...super cheap at $3.50 a can!)
Read about how these came about here.

Thrift Store Bowl (Base painted with satin silver Rustoleum and bowl with Valspar's white)
This pretty little bowl used to be stained and icky, now it looks like new!  After painting it, I put a coat of polyurethane on the inside so that fruit can be placed in it without tasting like spray paint...not sure if that would happen but just wanted to make sure.  :)

Planting Pots (Valspar's Mediterranean Blue)
I got thrifty one day with these. Read about this fun project here.

Getting spray-painted white soon:  Our blinds.
I've been going back and forth about painting these.  Since we've moved from having cream trim in our house to clean white, our blinds no longer match and they just look dirty.  We thought at first that we'd just save up the $150 or so to replace them but we have so many other things that we'd rather spend that money on that they'd probably never get replaced.  So, I've decided that I'm going to try one and see how it turns out.  I mean they come in all sorts of colors from the factory so they're obviously 'paintable', right?  Well, you can be sure I'll post about that day! 

These are just some of the things I've revamped (or am about to revamp) with a can of spray paint and my little pointer finger. I've also painted ceiling vents, the hinges and pegs on all of our doors, outlet covers, vanity lights over the mirror in our bathroom, baskets, and a wrought iron bench. I've had a friend spray paint an old brass chandelier to make it look stunning and another friend fix a scratch on her bumper with some of this magnificent stuff. It seriously covers almost anything and most things without needing a coat of primer (and my pointer finger is toned to the nines)! I've found that the best way to go about spray painting something is to cover with a few thin coats, with drying time between each coat, instead of one thick coat that can start bubbling and/or dripping. Spray using smooth back-and-forth motions instead of quick, shaking movements. Also, make sure you protect yourself from fumes while you're using spray paint! Spray in a well-ventilated area and if you're outside, make sure you're spraying so that the wind is carrying the fumes and paint away from you.

Have fun and watch the transformations begin! I'd love to hear stories and see your spray-painted creations so share, share, share!

Erb Update

Thought you might like to know how my little herbs are doing so I took a snapshot of the cute little things.

We had basil a few nights ago in our tomato sauce and it was good!  I haven't gotten to make anything that I've needed the other herbs yet (I'm not the biggest fan of cooking) but I like to eat the chives raw...they're yummy!  The oregano is so soft and smells so good I'd just love to just stick my nose in it for an afternoon.  Most especially though, I love how the green pairs so well and looks so good with my spray-painted pots.  I'm not saying I'm a pro-gardener, but for my first time growing edible things, I'd say green is a good color for my thumb.  :)