Navy and White Up-Cycled Tray


Before I share my easy tray up-cycle, can I just show off my new coffee table/ottoman?

I know, I know. Bragging about new acquisitions isn’t lady like but how can I not share the gorgeousness of this little beauty?



A hundred years ago, I had a dark wooden coffee table that I loved. After the boys came along, I swapped out that coffee table for a brown “leather” ottoman.



It was a good thing I did, too, because these are the clumsiest kids I have ever met. Seriously. Sometimes they just fall over even when they’re standing still. We’ve been spared numerous trips to the emergency room because of this one little decision. But that brown leather was getting tired looking and didn’t work with my new gray living area.

Enter the gorgeous navy “table”. The lid lifts for storage, kids can fall on it without being injured, and it looks pretty fantastic in this space. I paid a whopping $149 for this baby which is over my comfort level but it was exactly what I wanted. So there.



Of course, any new piece of furniture needs a tray to corral the goodies on the table.

The tray that I up-cycled for the table has already been up-cycled once before at our last house and was used in the rec-room. I found it a thrift store for $4.99 and just slipped in some scrap book paper to make it work with the room.



This time the tray got a coat of white spray paint and some jazzy navy and white striped gift wrap to update it once again.



How fun is that paper?





Much adorable for minimal effort.



Up-cycling an up-cycle is like the thriftiest project ever, right?


Navy Powder Room Reveal

If you’ve been hanging out here for awhile, you’ll know that I have spent more time complaining about our main floor bathroom since we moved in almost two years ago than anything else in this house. Which is why I’m so excited to be able to share this makeover today.

The entire house has finally been repainted and the awful gold is just a bad memory. One of the last rooms to get some painting love was the little half bath on the main floor. Until about a month ago, it was the same poop brown that the master bedroom had been painted in. Except I had the bedroom painted before we even moved in. I don’t do brown bedrooms. Just no.

Here’s the before. In the real world, the brown was much darker with a weird green under tone.



I can’t believe it took me almost a year and a half to finish up in here.  Mostly because I couldn’t decide what I was doing. Because I rock indecision like no one else.

Initially, I started painting the bathroom walls in Dior Gray by Benjamin Moore which is the same color I used in the foyer.



I love this color so much in here. But gray is tricky. The color looked great in the hall but came off as purple when I started painting it in the bathroom. That was a big fat no.

That little mishap left me discouraged and the room stayed that way for awhile (yes, half brown with purple splotches) until I finally decided to put my navy crush to good use. There’s been a lot of navy going on here lately.

Like the desk I painted last year….



And the pantry door….



I don’t know if I was worried about how dark it would be or what my problem was but it took me awhile to commit to doing navy in the powder room. Now that it’s done, I’m absolutely thrilled with how it all turned out.



I used the same Sherwin Williams Naval that I used in my other navy projects and then added pink, gold and white accents.

I swapped the big brown mirror for a $5 thrift store find. It was brown when I bought but some spray paint took care of that. I’m not sure if this will stay here as I’d like to find something bigger but I do love the way the white pops against the navy.



I also put a gallery wall together on the blank wall across from the door using frames I had on hand and some gold or white spray paint to make them flow together. Good heavens, gallery walls are hard. At least for me. I swear it took me hours to line things up and get them hanging the way I wanted them.



The gold dot pics were made with wrapping paper that I framed with some cheap frames.



The pink lips poster is from Artspace.



The pink and gold arrows are an instant download that I bought on Etsy. Love these colors together!



The little dog print is actually a card that I bought years ago and I used the pink envelope as the background. It reminds me of Miss Daisy : ) She always look so pleased with herself when she gets to ride in the car.



The rest of the accessories came from my craft room and shopping the house.



It was Christmas when I took some of these pictures and I added a faux pink tree and some pink ornaments to make things a bit more festive.



I love a good before and after, don’t you?




I think this is my favorite room in the whole house right now. And it’s not at all dark as we have two large windows on the one wall. I am seriously in love with this little space and so glad it’s finally done.


Shop Our Look- Powder Room Makeover

Gold Dot Wall Decals // White mirror // Gold frame //

Pink Flowers //Gold candle holders // /Gold Dot Gift Wrap

White Frames // White Flush Mount // Round frame

Hand Painted Lamp Shade


I’m plugging away on Liam’s pirate themed big boy room and the room is finally coming together. The comforter and bedding are a soft blue and there’s going to be a lot of blue in this room so I’ve been looking for some accents to brighten up the room. When I saw this little red fleece blanket at Walmart for $5, I knew this was the accent color I was looking for. It’s so strange for me to even write this because I don’t much like red but it really was the perfect accent color in here.

Just as an aside, Liam’s room has two windows but neither let in much light. Despite this, Liam will still get up at the first sign of light so I’ve added black out shades to his windows which make it dark in there all day long. This also makes it next to impossible to get good pictures. Consider yourself warned.

I’ve been keeping my eye out for a red and white striped lamp but haven’t found a thing (that I could afford). Then in the middle of painting some Christmas ornaments, I noticed that the Martha Stewart craft paint I was using was a perfect match of that little blanket. Hmmmm.


I’ve never painted a lampshade before but I figured I could always replace it inexpensively if I messed it up too badly. This was so quick and easy, I can’t believe I haven’t tried this before.

I taped off stripes on the lamp using some frog tape and pressing down the edges to keep the red from bleeding through.


I didn’t even prime the shade….Just got to work painting on the red stripes. To keep the bleed through to a minimum, I started in the middle when the brush was full and painted toward the outside edges.



Unbelievably, this was a fifteen minute project and only needed one coat. I pulled the tape off before the paint was completely dry and plopped the shade back on the lamp. In true Liam form, he went on and on about how nice it was that I made this for him. He is so darn sweet.



Once again, excuse the dark pictures…no light in there and all that jazz.







I love me some inexpensive and easy DIY.


How I Accidentally Painted My Bathroom and Other Painting Stories

A few weeks ago I painted Liam’s room. After much debate (in my head….he’s 3 and he doesn’t really care) I found a color that I thought would brighten up his room. Now Liam’s room and the bathroom were the only two rooms left in this house that had the original awful gold beige color that I hated so much.

Good bye monkeys!


Now before you get all judgy, the color is actually really gold/yellowish. It looks fine in the pictures and if it looked this neutral in real life I might have left it alone. But it was really more like this….



Exactly. For a gray loving gal, this was a real first world crisis. Every single day.

The color I chose for Liam’s room is called Mountain Air from Sherwin Williams. Bought on sale, it cost around $35 for the gallon. You’ll see why I’m telling you this in a minute.



It actually looked white when I applied the first coat and then darkened to a very light blue gray. I loved it. His room is so dark and this made a huge difference.

Just a sneak peak at how gorgeous this turned out…. (Excuse the blurry photos in this post but I was using my iphone.)



I finished up Liam’s room and took my supplies to the bathroom to clean up. I had some paint left, maybe a third of a can, and without even thinking about I started slapping paint on the walls. Yup, I accidentally painted the bathroom.

But in less than an hour I had a wall color that didn’t turn my stomach. And that’s why I heart paint. That’s why it’s worth it. Huge difference. So much brighter which makes me so much happier.





That, my friends, is why a can of paint can’t be beat. For $35 and some grunt work, I completely transformed two entire rooms.

When I moved into this house the entire place, top to bottom, had been freshly and professionally painted in that awful beige gold. Going against my own advice, I tried to live with it for months, telling myself I don’t hate it (Yes. I. Did) and that it was too much work and too expensive to repaint something that didn’t need painting. But every time I looked around or sat down I groaned inside. I don’t like beige and I don’t like warm colors.

One day I snapped and headed to the paint store. After many trials and samples, (9 to be exact!) I found a gray that I love and it makes me happy every single day. You can read about that craziness here.



(Remind me to talk about that lamp one of these days, too. Digression over.)

That’s why painting is so worth it. I love my house like a million times more and when I come home, I’m happy to be here. The fact that I don’t leave for days on end is a story for another day called “I Can’t People”. (Introverts unite. Separately. In our own homes.)

I’ve recently opened my design and consulting business and I’m loving it. But the biggest frustration is working with people who want to avoid painting even when they don’t like what they’re living with. I have a lovely woman I’m working with, who would rather buy new furniture than paint her walls. “What? Just…what??” (Yes, Mary, I’m talking about you!). The walls are green. She doesn’t like green. (She also kindly gave permission to share this story…I wouldn’t blab otherwise. Your design secrets are safe with me….. wink, wink.) But who wants to buy new furniture, particularly expensive big pieces when changing the wall color is so much cheaper and easier?

I get it! I get it. I really, really do.

 I have a love/hate relationship with paint.  I hate painting. I seriously loathe it. It makes my hands and wrists hurt. (I’m old.) I drop the paint brush EVERY SINGLE TIME. (Did I mention that I’m old?) I spill everywhere and I only seem to tackle a paint job when I have a fresh manicure. I used to have steady hands and could free hand paint, now it looks like Hellen Keller took a stab at it (no offense to the blind)….that equals more time taping etc. But so, so worth it.


Image source


But I love when things look the way I want them to. Usually, this means a coat or two of paint. Not my favorite way to spend an afternoon but always, ALWAYS worth it.

That goes for renters, too. You can always slap up some white paint when you move out if your landlord is that rigid picky micro-managing strict.  I’ve worked with landlords who are initially reluctant but have always recognized the huge improvement a good paint job made. Your place is your home whether you rent or own and you should love where you live. Paint is easy and so worth it. And not that expensive, either, when you get right down to it. So I get it when folks are reluctant to paint. But for the love of all things that aren’t worth fighting about….just paint already.


Upcycled Target Find- The Happy Hippopotamuses


I heart Target so much. No, I don’t get compensated…I just heart them.  And it’s because of guys like this. The happy hippopotamus couple.



Here’s how this story goes….

A month or so ago I’m shopping with the boys and my oldest kiddo who snatched up these Threshold Salt and Pepper shakers. How cute are these? I snatched them back and told her I’d give them to her for Christmas. (I was still low on gift ideas at this point.)



I stuck them in the basement and went on about my business. But then I couldn’t stop visiting them in their little basement hiding place. Sometimes more than once a day. I luuuurved them so much, I decided to get my own pair.

Here’s where the trauma part begins….don’t worry….there’s a happy ending. Obviously. Or I wouldn’t be writing this.

Back I go to Target on my lunch (half) hour. I searched high and low but no top-hatted hippos in sight. To console myself, I bought all of these things. It’s hard to stay sad long when you have a dachshund tape dispenser. And candy cane sprinkles, a wallet, and these glam cups, and some push pins.



Now, do you remember what the cashiers always ask at the checkout? These guys are so awesome. Wait for it….

Target cashier: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?”

Me: “Oh, why no. I did not. And now I feel sad.” (Explains the dilemma and subsequent sadness.)

Cashier: “Let me go take a look”.

Aaaaannnnd, she came back with the last pair of happy hippos in the entire city.  Insert dance of happiness at check out counter. And here again as I write this. I still bought all of the other things because I didn’t want to get her in trouble for selling less. I’m a giver that way.

Now here’s where things got a little strange(r). In my head, the hippos were wearing gold hats. In real life they were not. My delusions had gotten delusional.



But that’s ok because I have mod podge and gold glitter and I can rock a paintbrush.



And that’s exactly what happened to my little hippopotamus pals one sunny afternoon right after Christmas when the boys were being quiet. For three minutes because that’s literally how long it took. Maybe less.



I didn’t even wait for the happy pair to dry before I started snapping pictures of them just hanging out and making me smile.


hippos new 1


They’re so stinkin’ cute that I named them Harry and Heloise.



And now that they’ve found a home on the media center, we’re going to hang out and watch some Netflix for like ever. No salt and pepper day job for this glam couple. They’re way too cool for that.