Monday, July 28, 2014

Makeover Monday: A White Chippy Dresser and Cutting Board Gallery Wall

Happy Monday friends! And I want you to take that as a command rather than a wish, because Mondays need all the help they can get.

Today I'm doing a reveal on a dresser I finished a little while ago but only photographed a couple weeks ago. This one still hasn't sold, so if you are interested in buying it, head over to my Etsy site!

I put it in my dining room, on this small little wall between our garage door and the walk-way to our living room. It is just purrrrrfect there. I'm not kitten.


And I can't seem to get enough of Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Pain in Ironstone. It never fails to deliver on striking chippiness. Just the contrast between the dark wood and the bright white is so gorgeous! I found these Jadeite knobs at a furniture restoration store and while they weren't cheap, I knew I had to have them for this dresser. This highboy is a depression era piece and the knobs make it that much more perfect, seems how Jadeite became all the rage around that time in history. 

I like to start thin with milk paint and put on several layers. To me it feels smoother and I have*slightly* more control over the way it chips. If I see some areas loosening in a place I don't want it to, I can go back with a second or 3rd coat that has a little bonding agent added. I also will go over parts that have bleed-through with shellac (after the first coat), and by the time I do a 2nd or 3rd coat, there is some amazing crazing that happens! I LOVE it!

When staging this one, I went simple, but it was also a good excuse to finally put up my cutting boards into a gallery wall. I'd been imagining this for a while, and had been collecting cutting boards of different sizes for several months. I was originally waiting on acquiring one more long skinny cutting board, but sometimes urgency facilitates creativity and I ended up using an old rolling pin to fill that skinny space!

And I honestly couldn't be more in love with this combination of cutting boards and chippy dresser-ness. It is so country, but in the best way possible!


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Friday, July 25, 2014

A Skeptic's Guide to Essential Oils

It's story time! Come gather 'round, criss cross applesauce, spoons in the bowl! hehe (Throwback to my days substitute teaching kindergarten years ago!)

Ok now, disclaimer: this is pretty unrelated to home decor, but very much related to my family's health. And if my family isn't healthy, I'm not really devoting much time to this here blog or really anything else home decor/furniture refinishing related. So I'm going to share it because it has definitely made an impact on my family. 

Once upon a time, last fall, I was completely frustrated with how often my kids were getting sick. I have asthmatic children who are also ear-infection prone, and they seemed to get whatever was floating around. Even in the summer! I was still paying off hospital and doctor bills from the previous winter, and I was looking for something to improve our overall health. After all, I couldn't do the same thing every winter and expect different results... that's the definition of insanity, isn't it?

So I decided to call my friend, Ashley, who had been using and posting on FB her family's 'results' if you will, of using doTERRA Essential Oils. I told her I wanted the basic, most used oils for keeping one's family generally healthy and away from the doctor's office every couple weeks (like our previous winter). She suggested the Family Physician Kit which includes the 10 most commonly used oils for ills and ailments. It wasn't exactly 'cheap' (I think I paid around $160) but I figured if it prevented me from taking the kids to the doctor only 3-4 times, it would pay for itself. I will admit...

I was a skeptic.

I was all, "How can rubbing oil on my child's body possibly make them anything but slippery?!?!"

But I decided to 'fake it' until I 'made it' so to speak. I'd pretend I believed in these naturally derived oils and see if there was a difference. 

Fast forward 9 months. My children have collectively been to the doctor 2 times (besides well-visits)-- once when Alex had an ear infection and we were about to go on an airplane and I didn't want him to suffer through air pressure changes, and the other time when Kaila cut her toe and had to get stitches. That's it. Shocked? ME TOO!

Let me just tell you, I'm still not 100% 'granola' (and those of you who are, I mean that term in the most loving manner... some of my closest friends are totes granola ;)). I still use pain relievers and neosporin, and for Kaila who was diagnosed with asthma, she still uses a nebulizer with breathing treatments when necessary. 

BUT. Here are things that we use oils regularly for:

Ear infections
Sore/scratchy/phlegmy throats
Indigestion
Tummy aches
Constipation
Bug bites
Bruises
Sore muscles or joints
Coughs
Stuffy noses
Headaches
Growing pains
Removing band-aid residue (random I know)
Disinfecting hands or surfaces



I use lavender the most right now because my kids have about 1,752 bug bites on their arms and legs. They are just so delicious to mosquitos and I'm so lame at putting bug dope on them. P.S. Bug dope is also known as bug repellent but it's an Alaskan term. And I grew up in Alaska calling it bug dope. Anyhow, back to Lavender. It stops the itch yo! It's good stuff and it smells-- get this-- like LAVENDER!!

I think the most shocking oil remedy for my kiddos is the combo of Melaleuca and Lavender for the treatment of ear infections. 

I will always give them a children's Motrin to help with the pain, but rubbing these two around the ear (NOT IN) a few times a day for about 3-4 days, their ear infections went away!

I kid you not.

I will sometimes put a couple drops of melaleuca on a cotton ball and put the cotton ball in the infected ear, but I would never (and doTERRA also says the same thing) put actual drops into their ears. 

I thought I'd give a quick pictorial demonstration on how/where to apply the oils around the ear and here is my victim:
Alex, my middle child. He's five. And likes to wear pajamas all day. 



I'm demonstrating with Melaleuca, but you rub both in the same spots around the outer ear. 

First, on the skin in front of the ear, then on the cartilage toward the top of the ear, and lastly behind the ear:

Pictured, you will notice the first 5 oils are larger. That is because I had to re-order them in a larger size, since I used up the smaller 5ml size that comes in the Family Physician Kit. 

We use a drop or two of Lemon mixed with a spoonful of honey to ease a scratchy sore throat. We also use it to take of any adhesive, be it on our bodies or any hard surface. We rub DigestZen (an oil blend) on tummies for any stomach or digestive issue, like indigestion, stomach aches, or constipation. We use Breathe (an oil blend) for coughs or mild wheezing. We use Deep Blue (an oil blend) for sore muscles or joints and growing pains. We use a couple drops of Peppermint in a glass of water for acid reflux. It is also great for nausea. On Guard (an oil blend) is great for disinfecting surfaces or hands. I cannot stand the taste of it (tastes and smells like a clove-stuffed orange), so I don't use it as much internally (although you could put it in capsules).  BUT if you have an air diffuser you can also use it to cleanse the air in your home!  



To purchase doTERRA oils from my friend, Ashley, you can click HERE.

Or you can find a local consultant to buy them from!

So now I want to know... have you heard of essential oils? Which ones do you love? What do you use it for? 

This isn't a sponsored post, I get nothing for any affiliate links... I'm just sharin' the love ya'll!
 



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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Guest Post: Tips for Creating a Backyard Privacy Screen

A little while back I was contacted by Jennifer from Zillow about doing a guest post. I normally don't do these because I want to keep content original, real, true to me. However, Zillow is actually a site we used A LOT during a search for a house so I feel pretty loyal to their brand. Plus the topic we decided on for the guest post was relevant to what I would post on my blog and after reviewing her tips, I felt it would be helpful to my readers: you! I'm not getting compensated for this guest post, but I will be featured on a portion of their website in the coming months. Stay tuned for that!

So without further ado... here is Jennifer Riner!

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 Source: Zillow Digs

Single-family properties with vast yards allow for endless entertaining and fresh-air lounging. Now that the weather is warm and dry, spending time outdoors is a must. However, relaxing can be a bit uncomfortable for homes in close proximity to one another. And homeowners may be hesitant to organize large soirees while their neighbors observe, missing the full potential of their alfresco square footage.

To install do-it-yourself privacy screens that increase backyard concealment and prevent awkward encounters, follow these basic assembly instructions.

1. Plan and measure

Each screen requires multiple materials, including two 4x4 posts, two toppers (for aesthetics), two 2x4 boards to outline the top and bottom, one 4x8 sheet of lattice, 12 nailing strips and a bag of settling concrete. Keep in mind that the aforementioned materials will only build one screen. Homeowners with large backyards may end up purchasing as many as five to 10 sets of materials to fully enclose their lawns.

2. Prep the yard

Dig holes around the edges of lawns to erect privacy screens. First, stand 4x4 posts adjacent to one another, leaving enough distance in between to fit desired lattice width. Then, mark the center where each post hits the ground and dig about eight inches around. As with any lawn installment, make sure to dig far enough below the frost line. Homes in Florida and other warm climates don’t require deep digging – only about five inches below the earth’s surface. To keep frames sturdy, dig at least a few feet down, depending on the desired height of each screen.
Pro tip: Consider renting a powered auger to avoid blisters and back pain from digging multiple, deep holes.

3. Pour the base and construct frame

Stick posts into the ground and pour concrete and water into holes, making sure to follow the appropriate ratios listed on packaging. Consider adding supports, even if the concrete doesn’t require them to settle, as they can best prevent any shifting throughout the assembly process. Next, install two 2x4 boards horizontally – one across the top and one across the bottom – to create square or rectangular shapes on each screen. Creating outer frames keeps the vertical posts sturdy while the concrete hardens, so it’s important to do this immediately after pouring the mixture.

4. Add lattice and shrubbery
Source: Herbert Design Build

After frames are fully assembled and concrete has dried completely, install nailing strips on the inside of frames. Make sure the nailing strips are equidistant between the back and front of the frame, so the lattice doesn’t look like it’s popping out from either side. After placing the lattice in the frame, use another set of nailing strips on the front side, so that the two strips hold the lattice in place. For a more finished look, cut the ends of vertical stakes and add stylish toppers to each.
Incorporate natural elements around the frames for added privacy. Lattice screens feature gaps, so backyards won’t be fully secluded unless homeowners plant large trees and shrubs to block holes. For complete obstruction, consider installing privacy fencing covered with flowers and bushes for a more polished look.
Source: Corcoran Group

Don’t be dissuaded from entertaining outdoors due to the close proximity of homes nearby. Create comfortable and functional backyards by incorporating easy-to-build privacy screens and ample greenery around property lines.

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Such beautiful outdoor spaces inspiration! Although we don't have the problem of having a small patio space and the need for a privacy screen, I know I will be referring back to these images and tips if we ever find ourselves with limited outdoor entertaining areas! 


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Haven Conference: The Fastest Way to Make Friends and Embarrass Yourself

When I signed up for Haven Conference several months ago I was thinking it would be like a Powerbar for my blog: energy-packed with information-- both some sugary motivation to make immediate changes and some actual substance that would stay with me to help me learn and grow- long term. 
And it was that! But it was so much more! I've never made best friends so fast with people I'd never met, face-to-face. 

Being a people person, I thrive in social situations. BUT I'm not one of those "hey look at me!" stars of the show. I feel most comfortable being weird in front of just a few people. That way when I mutter 'that's what she said' while you are describing your DIY project (so.many.opportunities.), it won't get lost in the masses. You want to hear my immature jokes, trust me. ;) Sometimes it backfires and I spill someone's champagne down their blouse as I underestimate the circumference of my 'stir the pot' dance moves. Not that that happened. Hypothetical, ya know.... smh

I will also, likely, be the first person to slap or pinch your butt that you have known less than an hour. I'm professional like that. 

This lady can attest to this fact! Lucy from Craftberry Bush and I shared a car together from the airport to the hotel and we were pretty much inseparable the rest of the weekend. She's as endearing as she looks, which is a rare quality.

Me, channeling my inner Alison Show...


Then my roomie, Danielle from Finding Silver Pennies, showed up and then the party really started! Danielle is the only person on earth that could stay up till 2:30am talking about furniture painting and staining. And we did. Danielle's creativity and beauty far exceed her petite size. 

The next morning was the first day of classes. I went to Blogging Trade Secrets: What We Wish We Knew Then taught by several talented women bloggers, including Dusty of All Things G&D, who I got to know a little better later on. It left me feeling a little overwhelmed with how much change I felt I needed/wanted to make. But then I gained a little perspective after talking with Danielle and felt much better. I came to the realization that: My journey is my journey. Do I need to make blogging changes? Absolutely. Do I need to maintain my family priorities? Absolutely. Can I balance them both? I think being around so many amazing  and powerful women this weekend who do both, proves to me that I can... I just need to organize my time better. Doing more of what is good and less of what is ... not as good. 

Then I did a couple workshops on building a bench and laying tile, and then it was on to my new bestie's class, Photography Styling: Creating Beautiful Shots-- taught by Lucy from Craftberry Bush and Kristin from The Hunted Interior


If I had to come up with one sentence for each of their presentations, Kristen's would be: "Anything for the shot!" and Lucy's would be "Tell a story!"

Then it was on to another night of partying! And another outfit change! You guys! When I was 4 or 5, before I was even in school, I remember inviting my best friend over and we would change outfits probably 8-10 times a day. No joke. Anyone in my family can attest to the fact that I've loved clothes since I could walk. So pretty much this weekend fulfilled some childhood dreams of having legitimate (or not) excuses to change outfits! And accessories! And shoes! wheeeeeeee! 

#calmdown

(KariAnne, that hashtag will be trending before you know it!)
Above pictured on the left is Karen of The Graphics Fairy (!!!), moi, Lucy, Daune (not be be confused with Duane haha ;)) of The Cottage in the Oaks, and Johnnie of Saved by Love Creations

Then I met the lovely and hilarous Ashley of The Handmade Home. She is kind of a big deal and I was pretty excited to meet her since she was one of the few bloggers I regularly read and follow. 


At some point this weekend we had to pose in this little shower to get a free shower head from Waterpik. I was actually trying to look like I was washing my hair, not stretching or airing out my pits... 

Saturday morning I had every intention of going to another building workshop, but was swayed into going to Anthropologie in the mall across the street with Lucy and Danielle. I love going to different Anthropologies because even though the clothing may be the same or similar, the furniture and displays are always different and incredibly creative. This cabinet had my dying. I am going to use this as inspiration on a future piece. I promise. 

Then right as we were about to leave the mall, I checked my Twitter feed to discover that I had won an ANNIE SLOAN GIVEAWAY!! I was SO excited that I literally did a 'superstar' pose in the mall while yelling, "I WON!" I looked ridiculous and I didn't even care. I posed with a can of Chalk Paint but I actually won Annie Sloan's new tapered wax brush, which I'm SO excited to use!

That afternoon I took Beth from Unskinny Boppy's class on using Adobe Lightroom to edit photos... let me tell you... that class was life changing. So affordable and I can't believe how much it can improve my photos and save me time! Downloading it is on my to-do list THIS WEEK!

Once classes were over for the day, and before the RYOBI party started, I went to dinner with this amazing group! Left to right: Susan from Between Naps of the Front Porch, Lucy from Craftberry Bush, Beth from Unskinny Boppy, Katie from BowerPower, and Dusty from All Things G&D

After waiting at Cheesecake factory for nearly an hour, I ended up stealing our table (which worked out haha) and we chatted about life, blogging, and I was informed that there is an entire world of blog haters! Like for real! My mind was blown. Some people spend hours a day devoting entire websites on being negative and hating on big-name blogs. Can you imagine how much good could be done in the world if we spent more time building each other up and seeing the positive instead of self-righteously tearing each other down?!? 

The golden rule, people. When in doubt, the golden rule.

So then we went to the Ryobi party, took some photobooth pics (including this one below) and ended the evening/early morning with Beth, Lucy, Danielle, and a bottle of Champagne. We really didn't want everything to end, and to say goodbye. So we didn't. We said see ya later ;)

By now you recognize the gals in this pic, except the babe on the far left... that is Stephanie with Ryobi. We became fast friends with her because she is pretty awesome and holy smokes does she know her way around power tools!

Lucy gave an original watercolor painting of a feather attached to her business card and on the back was this:
Isn't that beautiful? Of course there are bloggers/colleagues/people in general who go about building their business or career caring primarily for building themselves up. Who care more about what can give them a leg up in the game, than about being kind and generous. But at the end of this life, we won't take prestige, money or even power with us. The number of followers or sponsors we have won't matter. I believe relationships, friendships, how we treat others are far more enriching and have a greater reward in this life and in the next.

When I see this feather I think about the time and care Lucy spent into creating each one, unique, beautiful-- a piece of her. And the fact she was willing to give it away to me-- someone she didn't even really know a week ago... it is just symbolic of the spirit of generosity and camaraderie that I think the Haven Conference represents. 

Can't wait until next year, but until then I'm going to focus on using my gift to help, build, and bless others. 

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Makeover Monday: Mint and Gold

Ya'll, I'm having one of those days that I think I suck at everything. haha.... It took me waaaay toooo long to stage furniture and photograph, and in the end I wasn't really happy with anything (except a cutting board gallery wall I did for another shoot). Ah well. 

Here is what I came up with for this amazing mint and gold dresser I finished before Vintage Market Days in NWA, but never really photographed. I wasn't too disappointed it didn't sell because I looooooove it.

It is actually my version of a little mint cabinet with gold leaf knobs that Ashley over at The Handmade Home has. I kept swooning over it when it would pop up occasionally in her Instagram feed, and I had been waiting months to find the right piece so I could try a similar look.

After I found this one, I then had the task of mixing the right color. Because no paint line that I use has the perfect shade of mint, currently, I grabbed some Chalk Paint and mixed a little Provence with Antibes with Aubusson with lots of Old White. I have no idea the ratios. I just added a little until it got about right. 

A close up of my staging, that I have mixed feelings about... I felt compelled to use my little air plants that I got in Florida. :)

I decided, with this one, since it was sooooo old (like mid-1800s), I wanted to create a finish that looked a little authentic to it's age. So I painted it on, extra thick in some areas (like around knobs and keyholes) and then pulled out my hairdryer to create a little crackle. 

I know using dark wax would have made the crackle stand out more, but that would also have changed the color of the mint, completely. So I just used clear wax. 

I will say this: it is easy to go overboard with the hairdryer. I was careful to only use it until the crackle I wanted, developed, then stopped immediately. It only takes seconds to go from pretty crackle to hot mess (way too much crackle). Thankfully I figured it out pretty quickly and every part of this piece that got some crazing, turned out beautiful (in my opinion). 

The original knobs on this were similar to what I used, but they were larger and coming loose and one was sheered right off. This wasn't a dresser that had removable knobs, like most dressers. This was a hand-built dresser by a skilled carpenter and the knobs were built into the drawer. So I had to cut most of them off and re-drill holes to retro-fit them for these other wooden knobs that I used gold leaf on. Gold leaf makes everything fabulous. 

Am I right or am I right?! ;)



I'm headed to Haven this week! There are some of you fellow bloggers who are going, so please, if you see me, come say hi! I'm terrible with names, so I'm asking for forgiveness in advance if I don't remember your name or face right away! I still want to connect blogs with faces! 

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