Basket Labels and Brooke’s Closet

So I have been in this “nesting” phase where everything must be super clean, organized and DONE!  It is this overwhelming feeling that the baby may come early and you are not prepared and she has nothing to wear and the bedding isn’t washed and…. *deep breaths* and LOTS of crushed ice…it’s the “crazy” talking!  But seriously, I have this weird addiction to crushed ice and it makes everything better…CRAY CRAY!

Anyways, I took a drive down to the Pottery Barn Outlet in SC and picked up some super cute little baskets that I planned to incorporate in cube book shelves I picked up from Ikea…until I got home and the baskets didn’t fit into the cube book shelves!  I should have measured…waaa waaa!  O’well, time to get a little creative.

I see so many fun ideas with mini chalk boards so I decided to incorporate this with my baskets.  Super easy, super fast and super cute!

Materials
(materials are from AC Moore)
  • Mini Chalk Board
  • Chalk
  • Cute Ribbon
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Scissors
  • Basket (Pottery Barn)

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Using a hot glue gun, hang the mini chalk board on the handle of the basket.
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Make a mini bow and hot glue on the chalk board for decoration.
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Write desired word or phrase on the chalk board.
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easiest.project.ever.
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I sat my baskets on a shelf in the closet for easy access to Brooke’s little things.  I ended up using the Ikea book shelves in her closet for extra storage.  Lastly, I ordered little size dividers for all of Brooke’s clothes.  These little gems can be found on Etsy (link HERE).
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Super organized and all set for our sweet little bundle of joy!
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Candles, a Garden and Strawberries

This past weekend was quit busy for us.  The month of May is always pure madness because we have three birthdays (including my own) and Mother’s Day.  Given that my brothers were in town, we decided to cram every May occasion into one weekend!

This is the first year I had the pleasure of celebrating Mother’s Day since I am a Mother to Be!  A girl has got to take advantage of this opportunity…obviously!  But seriously, it was super special and I got to spend a lot of time with special people!

Saturday we celebrated Mother’s Day with my side of the family, my Dad’s Birthday, my Mom’s Birthday and my brother’s surprised me with a little celebration for my Birthday!  The celebration took place at my house!  Super fun!  I love entertaining and I wanted to share a few treasures from the wonderful evening.

Who doesn’t love being greeted at the front door with a fresh pot of mixed and colorful annual flowers?  What is even better than a fresh pot of flowers?  Candles in a mixed pot of flowers.  I found this simple idea on Pinterest (I am sure you could have guessed this).   Inexpensive materials for this simple detail:

  • An old wine or martini glass
  • A cheap candle (you can find at the dollar store)
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Simply break off the base of the old wine or martini glass and stick into your pot of flowers.  Set the candle in the old wine or martini glass.  Light candle.  BOOM…candles in your Garden.  So elegant, simple and inviting on a cool summers day.  Your guests are guaranteed to steal your idea 🙂

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On a totally separate note, I served homemade, made-from-scratch strawberry shortcake for dessert.  What is light and screams summer?  Strawberry shortcake.  Perfect for Mother’s Day, Birthdays or even an afternoon party for no reason.  Here is the recipe I found that is SUPER easy and guaranteed to be a hit wherever and whenever you are looking for a light and summery dessert!  Enjoy!

Bassinet Bedding for Less

Sewing, sewing, sewing…I am officially sick of sewing!  Although, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, I am SO GLAD to be done.  Before tackling the crib bedding, I decided to make my own bassinet bedding.  Just like the crib bedding, I fell in love with the world’s most expensive bassinet bedding which drove me to sewing my own.  Can we say NESTING!!!!  Yup, it may be a bit early for me, but I think I am fully nesting.  It never stops!  Just ask my husband…he is convinced that his wife has gone insane!

Since planning for a little girl is, frankly, an obsession, it was quickly determined that the “Moses Basket” bassinet look was a must!  But ouch, it sure drains your pocket within one “add to cart” click!  I particularly liked Pottery Barn Kids and Restoration Hardware Moses baskets which retail anywhere between $450 – $550.  This seemed a bit out of control and I felt guilty adding to a baby registry, especially since there are so many expensive items that are a bit more important than a fabulously beautiful Moses bassinet.

So what is a girl to do when there is a strong desire for fabulous but to embarrassed to add to a baby registry?  Go used…yup, I love me some consignment or used baby items!  A very generous neighbor was looking to sell their gently used Pottery Barn bassinet for $100, including the bedding!  SCORE and exactly what I was looking for.  I simply washed the bumper set and recovered with the fabric I wanted (same as the crib bedding).  Then, the bassinet skirt.  A bit of “ruffle hell,” however, I got through it and am so excited with the final result!  Ta-da!!!  Enjoy!
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A Princess Baby Bed

As a first time mom, I have spent countless hours on the internet searching baby room inspiration…imagine that!  My poor husband is probably the most patient man alive to endure all the “Hey babes look at this…awww….OMG look at this one….do you like this shade of pink?  Okay if you had to choose between this one and that one, what would you choose?”  Poor guy…you know a man truly loves you when he can endure the emotional and obsessive roller coaster of a pregnant lady trying to decide how to decorate a baby girl nursery!  You rock babe and I love you!

Apparently I have extremely expensive taste in baby decor.  Of course I would fall in love with the $1,500 bedding set…not.even.kidding.  Obviously, spending $1,500 on a bed set for a child that won’t sleep in the crib for more than two years, is well, insane.  Not to mention, the crib bumpers will more than likely stay off for the majority of the time that baby is an infant.  Yeah, I googled baby bumper safety…big mistake.  Now I am terrified of suffocation and strangulation caused by baby bumpers.  Google can be your worst enemy!  Having a baby 1.0.

Here is the bedding set that I fell head over heels in love with…and can’t afford.

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Here is a cheaper version, however, still way more than I wanted to pay.  looked at my husband and totally was like, “Babes I can so make this myself.”  Disclaimer:  I had NO CLUE what I was getting myself into!
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Homemade Princess Baby Bedding by yours truly!  Total spent: No more than $150!  Enjoy!

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I have not blogged in about a month and this project is totally why.  Oh, and I also made my own bassinet bedding…that is a post for another day.

The bedding is made with Shantung fabric in Ivory.  The bows are made from Taffeta fabric in Pink.  I ordered extra taffeta fabric from Hong Kong to match my custom curtains.  This saved me a lot of money and if you are interested in my contact’s information, please let me know.

For those interested, my homemade baby bedding can be accomplished with a simple understanding of sewing…half the battle is learning how to thread the darn thing.  Basically, you need an engineering degree for this.  Big thanks to my Pama (Grandma on my Dad’s side) for the basic sewing lessons as child.  A tip for making ruffles…make sure you purchase three times the amount of fabric to make a nice and full ruffle!  Easy ruffle tutorial here.

From Old Desk to Distressed Hall Table

I love the look of distressed furniture but have always shied away because of the massive amount of time and work that goes into this.  I have never been that  patient of a person and was not sure I had the patience for striping, then sanding, then painting, then sanding again and then painting…blah blah blah…  Plus I was not all that comfortable using stripping chemicals while preggers so an alternative was desperately needed.  So, I googled “distressing furniture” and found a SIMPLE and FAST tutorial that involves Vaseline and a little bit of interior paint.  Hmmmm…seems easy enough!

So I was given this old desk that worked great in my guest room back in our old house.  Only problem was, my guest room didn’t have enough room for another piece of furniture so this desk sat in our spare room (aka future baby room) for 6 months collecting dust.  I thought about giving it away or donating it but never got around to it.  One day I was sitting in this spare room with my mom discussing inspiration for a little boy or girl nursery and BAM…it hit me!  I swear I am like a cat…can’t pay attention to anything for more than 5 minutes before my mind wanders into a totally different direction.  “MOM I know what I can do with that desk!”  My mom has dealt with Brittany ADD for 27 years now so I am sure she is just used to it.

Here is a terrible picture of the desk before…sorry for the blurriness!  I can’t believe I found this picture from an old iPhone back-up…some things are just meant to be!
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This desk is essentially two pieces; the top part and the bottom part.  Both parts will be transformed into something totally different, but for today, we will discuss the Distressed Hall Table.  I thought it would be really cool to incorporate an old shutter as the top part of the table…so off to Habitat I went.  Believe it or not, wooden shutters can be difficult to find as many are actually plastic.  Obviously wooden shutters makes more sense for a table if you consider the stability of the piece.  Two wooden shutters for $12…SCORE!  This project only requires one shutter.

How to Distress Using Vaseline:
  1.  Choose the piece of furniture/wood/project that you would like to distress.  Lightly sand the piece by hand.  Seriously, don’t spend more than a few minutes on this step because it is a waste of time.  Your piece more than likely already has existing paint or stain or whatever that you can use to your advantage…be creative!
  2. Blow off your piece with compressed air or a lawn blower (Red Neck but works great).  Paint a super thin coat on the corners and edges of your piece a dark color (or whatever color scheme you would like).  Remember this step will eventually be the color that will show through to give a distressed look.  Let the paint dry (1 hour at the most).  Since my desk was black, I didn’t need to do step 1 or 2.
  3. Now for the fun and moisturizing part of this project!  Smear a thin amount of Vaseline along the edges and corners of your piece, covering the dark paint you just finished in step 2.  You don’t need to let the Vaseline dry because it won’t…LOL!
    1. NOTE:  The thicker the Vasleine coat you use, the more that the paint will come off in later steps…totally your call.  Thicker Vaseline layer is more difficult to work with in the end and will be much messier.
  4. Using FLAT paint in a light color (I used cream color) and a paint brush, apply a light coat all over the peice.  Remember, the goal here is to make the piece look distressed so don’t get all OCD on this step.  The less perfect you paint this layer, the better it will look in the end.  Be creative and try not to cover the whole piece with tons of paint.  Let paint dry (not more than an hour).
  5. Using sandpaper or those sand pads you can get at any hardware store, lightly sand the edges and corners of the piece (remember in step 2?).  BOOM – distressing made easy!
    1. NOTE:  You can incorporate several colors if you wish!  I did this with the shutter.  I used teal, dark brown and cream.  Just be sure to add an additional step of painting before you apply the Vaseline.  Be creative…you can’t go wrong with to many colors.

Shutters

Putting the table together was pretty easy!  All I needed was an electric drill, drill bits, screws and a husband!  Since the desk already has legs and a base, the only step left to do was assemble the shutter to the top.  The desk was already set up for a top so literally all we did was screw the shutter onto the base of the desk…very carefully!  Actually, I shouldn’t take credit for this as my husband did most of the work…okay all of the work!  Thanks Hun!  OH…and I added vintage crystal knobs to the functional drawer.

Crystal Knobs

Table After Distressing with Shutter Attached!  Enjoy!  I am super proud of this project!

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Table in Hallway

Remember that awkward wall I talked about in the “Big H” hallway upstairs?  This desk and picture works perfectly in this space!  To read about the “Big H” in our upstairs hallway and envision where this desk is placed in my house, click HERE.

DIY: Beautifying an Old and Ugly Sconce

Most of the time when browsing through the isles of a thrift store you think “seriously, not sure who would ever want that…” and then, out of the corner of your eye, you see something kinda ugly and you have that hmmmmm moment.  In this moment, you stop and stare for a few minutes, thinking, “I think this is ugly but there is something about this I kinda like.”  Hmmmmmm…

Yup, happens to me all the time.  The next thought is usually, “okay I can make this look really cool with a few minor tweaks but where on earth will I put it?”  My husband’s subconscious thanks me for this thought that he has NO CLUE that I always have because his worst fear is that the item will become the long lost project and end up in…dun dun dun…wait for it…his garage!  The “Garage” – the Husband’s room/space where his wife can not tell him “let’s paint the walls this color.  It will go great with…” or “No, that doesn’t look good there” or “Very cool but this doesn’t match….”  (waaa waaa waaa slow motion Charlie Brown)!  Yup, this is his space and wifey’s projects are forbidden to live here for long periods of time.  Fair enough!

Anyways, back to the old and ugly and outdated sconce that I found at the local “Guardian Angel” Thrift shop!  Time to beautify this diamond in the rough.  This project was super easy and inexpensive!

Sconcce
Only 3 things to modernize a sconce:
  • An old inexpensive sconce
  • Wire
  • Vintage crystals
Materials needed to transform sconce:
  • Spray paint (I used oil rubbed bronze…black also works)
  • Small piece of sand paper
  • Compressed canned air
  • Protective mask
Disclaimer:  Yes, I am preggers so spray painting must be done very carefully as to not harm little fetus growing inside of me.  ALWAYS spray paint outside in the open air where there is plenty of ventilation.  Wear a mask and spray with the wind.  Spray for 10-20 seconds and walk away.  By doing this, you will not smell the toxic fumes making it totally fine to spray paint while preggers.  Or, there is always the option to ask the hubby to spray paint for you…in his garage!  JUST KIDDING!
spray painting safelyTo prep the sconce, use that handy-dandy compressed air to get all the dust off.  Lightly sand (like seriously this should take less than 3 minutes).  Spray paint the sconce lightly keeping in mind that heavy will cause drippage.  Drippage = fail…sand and start over.  When lightly spraying the sconce, you may need a few coats.  Allow to dry for a few hours.
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Once scone is dry, it’s time to add those fabulous crystals to add drama.  Try and use wire that is similar to the color of the sconce (after painted).  Secure the crystals to desired place(s) on sconce.  BOOM – you are done!
Tip – I purchased my crystals from a local Pittsboro antique store.  These crystals are remnants from an old crystal chandelier.  These needed a good cleaning before hanging on the sconce.  Simple recipe for cleaning crystal: warm water, white vinegar and dishwasher soap.  Let soak for 20-30 minutes then rinse and dry…super easy! 
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The scone is ready to hang on the wall.
Here is my sconce after these simple modernizing steps.  Enjoy!
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After Sconce

A Palette Project And A Mudroom

I have been dying for the finishing touches of a couple more rooms in our home before I could post pictures!  I am finally at the point where I can share.

I have always dreamed of having a mudroom, especially when your husband and brother-in-law like to work on four-wheelers and hunt.  In this house, the mudroom hangs off the garage and is an entry way to the kitchen.  This is PERFECT because it forces the boys to wash up before they can enter into the house.

Before:
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The mudroom originally had concrete floors which makes total sense but is not the prettiest!  We added tile to the concrete to make the space look less like a garage and more like an updated mudroom.  We found our tile on the Lowe’s clearance rack…SCORE!  The previous owners added lots of cabinets that were really nice, especially since the house didn’t come with a pantry!  Plus, let’s be honest, we need lots of cabinet space for storing things like canned goods in case the zombie apocalypse happens…TOTALLY kidding!  Only problem…the cabinet doors looked like an Elementary School.  Simple fix, we worked with a custom cabinet guy and had him replace the cabinet doors to match the kitchen.  A MUCH more budget friendly option!  And there’s those Miami Vice counters again…yes, those had to go and we replaced with granite that matches the kitchen!  That door off the end of the mudroom?  That is a mini bathroom which I will share in another blog post (it is not done yet).

After:
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So, according to Pinterest, you can make just about anything out of a palettes.  I thought it would be so cool to make a large sign to place above the washer and dryer…out of a palette, obviously.  So the million dollar question, where on earth do you get palates?  A friend and I drove around Pittsboro looking for free palettes.  Food Lion? Nope…  Lowe’s?  Nope…  Then, thanks to my friend’s eagle eye, THERE…on the side of the road…PALETTES!  We screeched off the road into a sketchy parking lot where this really nice man was selling fruits and veggies!  “Excuse me Sir, are you throwing those palettes away?”  “These old things, yes Mam, would you like them?”  HECK YES!!!  Score!  You should have seen my husband’s face when I drove up with 5 palettes in the back of his truck.  Yes, I know, I am palette obsessed and nuts…and I am okay with that!

This was an easy project.  All I did was clean the palette with a power washer, crackle it (see instructions on how to crackle here) and then printed letters onto wax paper to transfer to the palette (see instructions to create words on wood here – brought you by Unexpected Elegance).   Also, I found a little sign that I loved at the local Carolina Pottery and nailed it to my palette.
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Holiday Banners Homemade

The holidays are super crazy and even crazier when you are sick!  I am finally starting to feel more like myself so back to blogging I go…

Last weekend, a friend and I threw a Baby Shower for a very dear friend of ours.  Due to the proximity to Christmas, we decided to make the shower a Christmas shower!  I spent countless hours on etsy.com looking for Holiday banners to decorate for the shower and then it dawned on me…why wouldn’t I make my own, customized to the theme of the shower?  Duh…so off to the craft section in Walmart I go…

All you need to accomplish this project is:

  • Construction Paper
  • Letter Stencils
  • Hole Puncher
  • Scissors OR Paper Cutter
  • A Black Marker
  • A Glue Stick
  • Ribbon

…and TIME!

This project is self explanatory and super easy!

Step 1:  Cut white construction paper to 5 x 3 pieces for the letters that you will trace from the stencils.  The number of pieces is entirely up to you…whatever phrase you choose!

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Step 2:  Trace letters from stencils onto construction paper.  Color in letters with a black marker.

TIP: A sharpe marker will give a darker black result!

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Step 3:  Use a glue stick to glue paper with letters onto another sheet of construction paper (choose a color that is contrasting).  Using your paper cutter or scissors, cut around the paper, creating a border.  See below…

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Step 3:  Repeat Step 2 but with another piece of construction paper (choose a color that is contrasting).  Use a hole puncher to put holes in the top two corners of each letter.  String together letters with ribbon.

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Here is a banner that I made for the Baby Shower!

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Here is a banner that I made for my house!  Enjoy!!!

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Fall Year Round

Hi there!  I am excited to reveal another before and after project that I have been working on, the Guest Room.  In our last house, we did a similar concept in the Guest Room not long before we moved so I didn’t get the chance to really enjoy it.  So, I used the same concept just put a different twist on it.

Here is the before picture…I am not sure where you would find such a shade of forest green and why you would paint a single wall in this color!  Maybe because it compliments that amazing blue carpet so well 🙂

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…and here is the after!  Enjoy!

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This room is very “recycled!”  The bed is my childhood bed that was previously white, however, we painted it black.  The armoire was originally wood grained colored that we painted black.  We found this for a steal at the Salvation Army.  The old window with the orchid painted on it came from the dumpster at my old apartment complex (ewwwww, I know but it was totally sitting next to the dumpster, not in it).  All I did was paint the orchid!  And that beautiful old grandma chest at the foot of the bed – my favorite piece of all and the inspiration to this entire room.  This was my great grandmas piece and I love it.

Here is another Pinterest inspired project, a wreath made from felt circles.  You can find instructions to make this wreath here (brought to you by Design Sponge).

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