Just Some Things

I’m busy prepping for a yard sale over here (leave all the tips for one of those in the comment section because this is my first one!) so allow me to leave a few links for you to chew on whilst I price and sticker.

Amazingly smart and beautiful Jenny at Mama Needs Coffee asked me to fill in for her while she’s relishing that phase you might know as the precious newborn one and so I did.  And it’s all about weeds.  It’s nothing even remotely as good as anything she writes so, if you get through the whole thing, make sure you tread through the rest of her blog.  I can honestly say I’ve saved more of her posts than those of any other blog anywhere. 

Have you seen this video yet?  It made me weep…in the very best way.  God always has a plan and it’s always the very best.

One of my closest friends, Lauren, is an incredible decorator and she seems to do it with ease.  You have to see her boys' room and especially, the huge pirate map/wall hanging that she made for them out of an old, used drop cloth.

I know summer is on it’s way out (even though it’s still sweltering down here in the deep south) but I FINALLY found a swimsuit that I am in love with.  It’s this tankini*.  I bought it in hawaiian blue on sale a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t buy the matching bottoms because they were all sold out of my size.  That’s okay though because it happens to match my favorite bottoms just perfectly.  Anyway, I haven’t gotten a new suit in five years so this year was the year I was determined to grab one.  If you’re in the market or you just want to snag an amazing Anthro suit while it’s on sale, go now! 

Last but never least, we’ve been on the hunt for a stool for the kids to use for all their duties in their bathroom.  We wanted one that was tough but could also be folded up and stored really easily since the bathroom is relatively small.  Well, I finally found and bought this one* from Amazon.  We’ve been using it for a few weeks now and, as much as you can say this of a stool, we love it.  :)

He loves it.

The twins love it.
[They’ve been on a skirts-under-dresses kick…I guess a bigger skirt makes you more of a ‘pincess’ as you have more to ‘spin’.]

And I love that it doesn’t have to exist when not in use.

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I hope you all are having a great Thursday and I’m serious about those yard sale tips!  Here’s hoping we can purge and rake it in all in one swoop!

*affiliate links to products I purchased

DIY Cardstock Mat

My grandparents drove in for a little visit last month and with them, they brought a plastic bag filled with stuff of my dad’s from high school.  (In case you’re new here, my dad passed away when I was in college, so as you can imagine, having his stuff means so much to me.)  Among the random things was a big stack of photos.  They all seemed to be from the same road trip out west and some of them were really cool pictures.  I picked out four of my favorites and hung them in Sebastian’s room last week.
Because they were a tad smaller than the normal 4 x 6s of today and therefore didn’t quite fill the space behind the mats already in the frames I put them in, I whipped up some new mats for them out of cardstock I picked up at Hobby Lobby (only 54 cents each!).

See?  Not quite wide enough.

They now not only fit just perfectly with the new mats, but they add a bright punch of color to Seb’s room too.

diy cardstock frame mat

To make them, I gathered a few supplies – a ruler, an x-acto knife*, a pencil, and the cardstock and frames.  (If you don’t have an x-acto knife laying around, I’d totally recommend getting one!  They’re so handy!)IMG_1370

First, I laid the existing mat onto one corner end of the cardstock and lightly traced around the outside and inside.  (Note:  Since I needed the mat opening to be a little smaller width-wise, I just made it that way by drawing a new line farther in from the existing line on each side.)

Also, by placing the old mat on the corner end of the cardstock, I could make sure it was properly lined up and straight and it eliminated the need to cut those two sides.

So next, I grabbed my x-acto knife, placed the ruler along each pencil line, and cut away.  IMG_1375Of course, if you don’t have an x-acto knife, a scissors would work great too!  :)

Using the ruler as a guide to glide the knife along helped me to get nice straight edges.IMG_1377
Last, I placed the new mats right on top of (or under if you’re looking at the back of the frame) the old in the frames and hung them.  By using the old mats and placing them into the frame upside-down (with the beveled edge touching the actual photo and the flat edge against the new mat), it gave each frame a sort of mini-shadow box look.


IMG_6458[Too hot for shirts in Arizona apparently.]

IMG_6456[That’s my old (young) man on the left…all chill-like in Utah.]


Hopefully someday I’ll find out the sure-to-be great stories from this trip.  Until then, I’ll let Sebastian make up his own.  ;)

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*affiliate link to an x-acto knife very similar to the one I purchased

Feeling Shelfish

Let there be more storage! 

We finally got some long-awaited shelves up in the living room a couple of weeks ago!

We really needed more space to put books as the bookshelf currently in our bedroom is overloaded and these shelves were a great and inexpensive solution.

Here are all the details on how they went up…

To start, we had to figure out how many shelves we wanted.  Initially, I was set on four.  So, I stuck four pieces of painter’s tape up on the wall about where I’d want the shelves to be and stared at them upon passing for a few days.
After those few days, they started to look a little too close together but I didn’t really want to raise or lower them so I took them down and re-taped with three lines instead.
After much hemming and hawing and consulting friends, we decided that three it would be.

The Brackets
I’m kinda in love with these curvy metal things.  I got five packs of them (Threshold from Target) at Dirt Cheap last year for under $2.50 a pack (80% off original price).
Four of them were black and the other one was silver so I knew I’d definitely be painting them to match.  After a coat of Clean Metal spray primer* and a few thin coats of my favorite gold spray paint*, they were ready to go up…right after I also spray painted the screws that would hold them up since they would be visible.  Sticking the ends into a diaper box and then spraying them from the top ensured I didn’t gunk up the threaded parts with paint.
The Wood Planks
We bought two large pieces of wood at Home Depot and had them cut-to-size in store to make the shelves.  (I think the wood was called common board.  I don’t remember the actual type of wood.  Sorry!  Next time I’m there I’ll look and update the post.)  The two bottom shelves were cut from one piece of wood and the top shelf plus a matching extra shelf we have were also cut from one larger piece.  Home Depot makes the first two cuts of any piece of wood you buy for free so we paid zip for the cuts and (bonus!) didn’t have to do it ourselves!  We wanted to keep them au naturale but I did brush two coats of Polycrylic over the top of each piece to protect them and so I could clean them without ruining them.
After we got them up, we had major doubts about leaving them void of stain.  They just looked really unfinished and hastily hung.  I reached out to my Insta and Facebook friends the second we got them up, eager for favorite stain colors, and I got lots of ideas in return (thank you!!).  Before we stained them though, we decided to just live with them unstained for a few days to make sure we didn’t like them and whaddya know?  They grew on us and we decided not to stain after all!
We hung the shelves so that they butted right up to the brick of the chimney.  The plan is to eventually move the cable box, modem, and blu-ray player onto the shelves so we wanted them as close to the television as possible.  And we wanted to give them a built-in feel…does that sound like crazy talk?  Probably.  My heart longs for built-ins and this is as close as I’ll probably get in this house.

Their placement will make a little more sense a few paragraphs down.  For those of you who want technical details though, the shelves themselves are 8 inches deep.  Each bracket is screwed into a wall stud and so, since the closest wall stud to the chimney was 14 inches out, there is 14 inches of wood shelf extending out from the end brackets with 16” in between each bracket since that’s the distance between the wall studs.  Also, there is about 15 inches from the top of one shelf to the bottom of the other vertically.  Make sense?

Currently, they’re filled with a bunch of stuff that will probably get moved around.  I just wanted to get them up and running for this post.  There are a lot of browns and golds going on, which isn’t bad, but I’m wanting to incorporate more beachy hues kind of like in the hutch opposite the room.  Of course all the books on this shelf will be actual books that we read vs. thrift store books just bought for the color of their bindings so I won’t be able to “decorate” with books this time around.

Decor Details
IMG_6450Bottom shelf:  the JESUS plaque was made by my grandfather-in-law, the vase/upside-down light fixture was thrifted, the leaves are from the hydrangea plant in the backyard and wilted five minutes after this shot, the Mary statue was thrifted, and those books were thrifted and will be turned into a modem-hiding contraption soon.

IMG_6451Second shelf:  the close pin vase on the left was something made by my dad in his teens, the bramble ball-thing used to be a friend’s old topiary, and the gold vases were yard sale finds.

IMG_6452Top shelf:  the yellow vase was a Kroger clearance find and the bottom is broken off but you’d never know, the mirror was a $3 Dirt Cheap find and the bottom of that is broken as well but you’d never know that either, the blue pot is a hand-me-down, and the clear vase was a Gabe’s find back in the day.

Between the brackets, the spray paint, and the wood, this whole shelving unit/thing cost us a little over $40.  But, that includes the extra shelf and three brackets we have that we’re going to sell to bring the total of this project down another $15-20. 

Way back when the girls were infants, I enlisted photoshopping to visualize what I wanted for this big, blank wall.   collwall_thumb[2]Shelves close to the chimney with a frame collage to the left, balancing the whole thing out.

Then we moved the living room furniture around and our infants grew to toddlers and I realized how foolish it was to think we could get away with having shelves that low with lots of non-toddler stuff on them.

So now our plans have changed to include this possibility:

These three frames over the couch to balance out the shelves and a “please let’s get rid of that awful mantel and build a big, chunky white one Anthony…pretty please”.  He agreed…on the mantel, not the color.  Details to be worked out later.  I know the photoshopping is real bad but if you squint, it’ll look better.  :)

I can’t promise a diy mantel post any time soon but it’s on the assembly line, complete with a hidden compartment on the left side to house cable wires.

I can’t wait.


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*affiliate links


I’ve woken up the past several mornings not knowing exactly what day it was and maybe it sounds crazy, but I loved it.  I had no clue how many emails I had in my inbox or what was happening on Instagram.  It was all because Anthony’s parents came down from New York for a visit and we kept ourselves busy with an overnight trip to New Orleans, lots of relaxing hours at home, and a morning at the beach.

We stayed at Embassy Suites in downtown Nola and I didn’t want to leave.  The brick wall in our suite had me at hello and it made me want to diy a brick accent wall in every room of our house.  And the complimentary breakfast…capital Y U M.

City Park fun:

This beach on the Gulf is only 35 minutes from our front door and this was the first time we’ve ever been there in the six years we’ve lived down here in Mobile.  Pity, because it was so amazing!
IMG_1263[No filter, just 100% iPhoneography.]

 FullSizeRender (1)

We also started a new project affectionately known as “the secret project”.  It’s something we’ve been saving up for for over a year now that we finally got to start this past week.  I can’t promise a reveal anytime really soon but hopefully you’ll get the full scoop within a month, maybe two.  Until then, here’s a sneak peak:IMG_1278

I will be plugging away at other projects too and so I won’t keep you hanging without focusing your attention elsewhere. 

In the words of Sebastian, “SHHOOOOONN!!” (see you soon) 


I mentioned in Monday’s post on the kitchen that we might be ‘done’ fiddling with that room.  The entry way is another space we might be done fiddling with.  Here’s what it looks like as of this afternoon:
front (4)
You can get all the details about the rug, chandelier, and wall decor if you head over to our Current Nest page and click on the appropriate links to each, but one thing I haven’t written about yet is the painting by the front door.
I couldn’t get a good picture of it, or I should say, a picture doesn’t do it justice, but our good friend and amazing artist, Jesse, painted it for us.
front (6)
I should note that she selflessly painted it for us because I asked her to.  I know, I have incredible friends.  You might remember her because she let me share some of her other talented feats like her faux marble countertops and her captain’s mirror here on the blog.

For the painting, I really wanted something colorful that tied into the bright red door.  I also wanted to somehow get a picture I took on our beach vacay last year up in there.  This one:
I loved the idea of having two very different doors right next to each other.

So, I found a picture of a sunset I liked on pinterest that had bright red and lots of other colors in it and asked her to meld the two.  She did an amazing job, no?  It’s so much more amazing in person too.  The colors are more vibrant and the texture of the oil paint is nothing a 2D picture can show.

And speaking of 2D pictures, let’s take another one of those fun walks I like to do down memory lane with a few.

Here’s our entry shortly after we moved in, painted the walls, and a threw a few things in to make it functional.  
kitchen1 (3)
And then I switched out the rug for an equally boring rug and threw a few things up on the walls to make it less boring.  Too bad it was still very boring…
entry blog
Then we added function with the built-in hook system and color with a roman shade made out of a mini-blind.
Next came a little more glam with the addition of the metal basket chandelier, the thrifted mirror, and the stenciled rug.
Add some word art and red paint…
And then some white paint and a super-duper-cool painting and here we are, once again.
front (4)
But let’s not stop there!  Let’s open Red and step out into the sweltering heat and sky high humidity, shall we?
Here’s what the front door once looked like:
kitchen1 (4)
And now, with the addition of a bold color, a homemade tulip wreath, a woven grass rug, and a thrifted planter with gifted plant, we have achieved happy.
front (8)
Currently sitting in our attic at this very moment, we have a big ‘ole brass and glass chandelier I found at Goodwill that’s waiting to be painted and hung out here too.  Don’t hold your breath though.  It’ll be a few months.  :)

Turn your head to the left and five years back and we have the porch we so desired when house-hunting way back when.
porch b42
We painted the entire exterior of our house a few years ago so, thankfully it’s not looking so scary today.  front (9) You might remember that I thrifted those bamboo chairs last year and I still have yet to refurbish them.  I think I’ll move two out and hunt down a small side table and some more potted plants to live here too.  Or maybe leave two chairs and add a swing or a hanging chair?  This girl can dream…

And that’s all I have time for as I madly type to finish up while all three kids are slowly awaking from their slumbers and gaining steam.  I hope you enjoyed our little time hop as much as I did!  And thanks again to Jesse for the entry way’s finishing touch!