Friday, December 23, 2011

A Thrifty Deal - I ♥ Goodwill!

Today is Day #1 of #12 of my holiday vacation and it was a GREAT one! I got up at a decent time, made a good breakfast, relaxed a bit, and then made my task list for the day. I have SO much I want to do, which equals so many things to organize and/or buy. I had to get sorted out where I needed to go and what exactly I needed to buy. I figured scouring the areas' thrift stores was a great place to start, for some things anyway. I had no idea I'd hit the jackpot on something I wasn't even really looking for!

I went to the Goodwill closest to my house as a first stop. I'm on the lookout for a decent size frame that I can turn into a white board {More on that later}. I was minding my own business looking around the back of the store when I heard, "I can't believe no one has bought this really nice Ethan Allen coffee table yet". That got my attention. I hadn't seen it yet as it was slightly ahead of where I was standing. I moseyed my way closer to where I heard the employee to take a look for myself. Wow. There sat a really, really nice solid wood coffee table with a front drawer that was in great, if not perfect, condition. And you want to know the best part? The price tag. It was ONLY $30!! I said, out loud, "S-O-L-D"! The employee made it a point to tell me, as others were hovering, more like stalking, around me waiting to pounce on it when attention was drawn to it, that they couldn't actually mark it sold until it was paid for. I asked the manager to take it up front and I'd follow him up to pay for it, pronto. I didn't even care at this point what else the store may have had to offer me - All I cared about was getting this coffee table in my truck, safe & sound. I got up to the counter to pay for it, meanwhile grinning from ear to ear. What a find, I thought to myself. And then, DAMN... I realized I had NO more checks in my checkbook. (Goodwill doesn't take Visa and I very rarely, if ever, carry cash. I think I actually said, "Shit"!, out loud. Oops. I told the manager, who was waiting near the front door with the table ready to help me load it, "I can have my husband here in less than 5 minutes!". He told me hurry and reminded me - "It's not yours until you pay for it". In somewhat of a panic, I called my husband who was at home, fortunately for me only about 2 miles away, to ask him (more like beg) to please bring me the next set of checks so I can actually BUY this fantastic table. I told him to please not question me and just bring it. I had no time for the "Oh honey, do you really need to buy it?" Yes, I did. He, very understanding of course, said he was on the way. I then proceeded to barricade my fascinating coffee table near the front door like it was some sort of priceless possession. People actually came in the store gawking at it as if they were, too, interested. I gave them the stank-eye as I inched closer to "MY find". Within 4.5 minutes my husband arrived. He walked into the store and gave one look of instant approval to the table and over to the counter I went, check in hand! We had it safe in the bed of our truck about 3 minutes later. Phew!

Take a look at my $30 Ethan Allen coffee table! It's wonderful! Doesn't need refinishing. Doesn't need anything. Only needs me to relax on the couch and stare at it fondly!

I absolutely LOVE thrift stores, especially Goodwill. I am NEVER too proud to shop thrifty, and even if I had a heap of money, I'd STILL shop at thrift stores. The finds are amazing, it's a thrill to sort through them, and most of all, you are putting money back into your community. Not a bad deal I'd say!

Can't wait to see what I find tomorrow! Stay tuned for all my projects coming up!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So Many DIY Projects Coming Up!

First off, I am feeling SOOO much better! Thanks to daily meds, vitamins, and finally antibiotics! I still can't breathe 100%, but I'm getting better & better each day. Phew!!! Just in time for the holidays, which means...

My upcoming 12 days off will be filled with healthy, energetic time to do (hopefully) all the DIY projects I want to do! Thanks to Pinterest, fellow bloggers, and some of my own thoughts & ideas, I have a LOT of things I want to do. I am hosting my husbands parents for Christmas dinner, but besides that, each & every day of my 12 days off will be gleefully filled with shopping, thrifting & scouring the area for items needed for "my list" of projects. I'm excited, yet nervous! My list is HUGE!

Here's my list: 
  • Design & install a king size headboard in Master Bedroom 
  • Paint medicine cabinet in Master Bath 
  • Paint cabinets in both bathrooms 
  • Paint curio cabinet in kitchen
  • Paint cubby organizer next to my desk
  • Design & install custom magnet board (out of cookie sheets!) 
  • Paint wall in Living Room
  • Enlarge photos from past camping trips & mount with canvas or in another cute crafty way
  • Paint wall in Master Bedroom
  • Paint all white trim 
  • Recover fabric on accent chair in Master Bedroom
  • Make a mason jar/pen & pencil cup holder for the wall above my desk
  • Install mason jars under cabinets above sink (with peppercorns, sea salts, Italian seasoning, etc.)
  • Design & install a custom car key holder & mail sorter near mud room
Pretty daunting, right? Not for me! I'm stoked to at least attempt most of it. I can't wait to get started. I will take before & after pictures of each project to share with everyone.

I also hope to get my hands on an oldie but goodie vanity table w/chair for my bedroom. I need a better place to sit down & do my makeup and, maybe even have a better spot to start styling my hair that's growing like a weed! Wish me luck!

I'm also on the look out for a new couch, preferably a cool microfiber sectional. I need a living room face lift!

Let's hope my list doesn't get any bigger, or my wallet will get ALOT smaller! ;-)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still Sick, But The Holidays Beckon...

I'm still sick. I think I've sneezed & coughed over 300 times in the past 15 minutes. Seriously. Nothing is helping! Argh! So not a good time to be sick! I'm drinking LOTS of fluids, trust me. The constant trips to the potty proves that! I'm taking meds to help me sleep and non-drowsy goodies to keep me aware during the day. Oh, what to do...

This too shall pass, let's hope!

Tomorrow is my last big event (work wise anyway) and then I can relax a bit. Next week is a short week (only 3 days) and then I'm OFF for 12 straight days. I. Can't. Wait!

After my office's holiday party tomorrow the hubs and I, and the furry kids, are heading to VA to visit family and attend what's sure to be a fabulous holiday party. Looking forward to it! Let's just hope I don't have to wear a mask to keep my germs to myself. That wouldn't look all that great with what I'm planning to wear. ;-)

I may be a little awol over the next few days as I prepare for my mini-sabbatical, but I'll be back after Christmas for sure. Knowing me, I'll more than likely post some cute pics on Christmas Day, but who knows.

Try not to miss me, or do! That'd be cool too! :-)

Here's a most recent photo of me at my office's department holiday party last week. It was a blast!

Happy Holidays everyone!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Under The Weather

I've been feeling under the weather lately. At the holidays. Major bummer. Add a slew of things to do to prepare for an out of town trip this weekend & the never-ending pile of chores, and you have an awful combination of misery. And I'm majorly OCD.

A couple things:

  1. My crafty Christmas presents failed. Miserably. I had to completely change plans. More on that later.
  2. I saw 'Friends With Benefits'. Justin Timberlake has a fine hiney. Does he use body doubles? Gosh, I hope not. A MUST see! ;-)
  3. I can't shake baby fever. Babies are everywhere. Pregnant women are everywhere. I want one. Bad.
  4. Can you believe we're almost to 2012??!!
  5. I have ALOT of projects I want to do during my 12 days off over the holidays. Let's just hope they don't fail me like my planned Christmas presents. We shall see.
  6. Oh yeah, I have OFF December 22nd - January 2nd. I. Can't. Wait.
I think I'll take my Alka Seltzer Cold Nitetime medicine now so I can S-L-E-E-P.

I'll leave you with Harley & Nugget resting peacefully on the couch. It's nice someone can rest.

Move over!! :-)

 Be back soon...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I've Fallen In ♥ With ETSY!

It's true. I have. I've heard of Etsy for awhile now but it's only been here recently that I've actually browsed the shops. Yes, it's all thanks to my recent fixation on all things artsy & crafty. And homemade! It's somewhat become an obsession actually ... it's all I think about. I go to bed at night thinking about all the things I want to do (or attempt to try)! It's bogging down my already overcrowded brain. I swear it's true - women NEVER turn off their thoughts. Never. Even when trying to sleep. But I digress...

Back to Etsy! You may have already read about the fantastic magnets that I bought from my co-worker who has an Etsy shop, 'Stuck Together Magnets'. This is what brought me to the wonderful world of Etsy. Let's just say I haven't looked back! Thanks also in part to other fellow bloggers who have Etsy shops, and of course, looking at their favorite Etsy shops, means I'm in serious trouble!

I made my second purchase today!

I bought this fabulous beaded (handmade) bracelet & earring set from The Pink Martini shop! Isn't it beautiful? And get this, only $16!!!

And, I was so pleasantly surprised to not only get an instant receipt, but also a personal "Thank You" from the seller herself - Within 10 minutes of my purchase! How's that for service? (the same applies from my initial purchase from 'Stuck Together Magnets'!) You don't get that at national chain stores, not even at brick & mortar mom & pop shops. I thought this was the coolest thing ever! Plus, most of what I've been browsing lately on Etsy is homemade, custom items - meaning, it's a one-of-a-kind item that someone actually took the time & energy to create. They put their thought, heart & soul into it. It wasn't mass created so everyone has the same thing everyone else has. I adore this!!!! Check out her shop! If you, like me, love funky jewelry, this is the shop!

I am certainly sold on shopping Etsy. Now & forever. Let's support these crafty, original artists & creators by shopping Etsy!

Now, I need some extra mooola ($$$) so I can shop, shop & shop some more! :-D

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My First REAL Christmas Tree!

I've never had a real tree. Or at least I don't remember ever having a real tree. The hubs and I wanted to do something a little different this year, and being we would have had to go out and buy a $100+ fake tree since ours was kaput, we decided to go another route. Boy I'm glad we did! We made plans to go to the state Farmers Market and pick out our first tree.

It was alot more fun than I'd thought it'd be! It was kinda like shopping! We went to the very first tree lot we saw; didn't see any reason to look at the bazillion others. I'm glad we chose to stop here as the people who operated the lot were super friendly. I asked someone for help, since hubs and I were both tree virgins. I knew I wanted a tall, fat, full tree, but didn't know much else. Our ceiling is about 9 feet tall so I knew we could get a 7 or 7.5' tall tree easily. I grazed the lot and it was evident I was being picky. The hubs was laughing at me. The guy who was helping us walked away so I kept looking. I walked over towards the front of the lot and saw out of the corner of my eye a tree that the guy who was helping us appeared to be "fluffing up". I said to Rich, "That's it!" It was sort of ironic because the guy who had been helping us had walked over to get this tree for us because he said he thought I'd like it. Sweet, right? That's North Carolina service for ya! :-)

This lot was based in Western North Carolina outside of Boone, NC. A beautiful area surrounded by and in the gorgeous Carolina mountains. I remember seeing a TON a tree farms when we went camping last year. Check out those posts HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE! It's a funny, awesome, and embarrassing read!

Who knows, our tree could have come from one of these farms!

Here I am with our new tree - don't I look a little too happy?

7.5 Fraser Fir - Only $45!!!

Time to get it home and start decorating!

I ♥ butterflies and dragonflies!

We've had this ornament since 1997!
From Walmart believe it or not! Pretty butterfly "sprays"

Circa '04 - From one of my favorite places, Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC
And the finished product...

With LR Light on

With LR Light off
Our homemade stockings, made by the other!
I must say, I miss the good 'ole fashioned multi-color lights. You know the ones that actually had RED instead of pink! But, oh well. The smell of a live fraser fir is intoxicating! It fills the whole house! LOVE it! I can't believe it's taken us this long to get a real tree! Now, I just need to keep my kitty from drinking the water from the basin! Don't want to have the scene from 'Christmas Vacation' play out in real life! LOL!

Do you get a real tree? I'd love to see pics!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY - How I Made Homemade Pin Boards

I have taken a liking to all things crafty & DIY lately, of course, thanks to Pinterest! The first thing I wanted to tackle was homemade french pin boards. With my newfound crafty interests, I figured this would be an easy project to start off with, and it was!

So, here's what I did...

First I had to find the cork boards. I knew I wanted them small to allow room for my homemade magnet boards (that I will be making soon using pizza pans and cookie sheets). I found a package of (4) 12" squares at Target for under $7!! They were the perfect size!

I used two of them together to give me the thickness that I wanted. I used a staple gun to keep them together. Next, fabric!!

Would you believe I've never been inside a Joann Fabrics? My first trip there was overwhelming! I can't believe it's taken me 32 years to see what this store has to offer! I knew I wanted two different coordinating fabrics that would blend with the colors I've already planned on using on my magnet boards, and a separate piece to my desk that I plan on refurbishing.

I found these adorable "fabric quarters" that were just the right size, 18" x 21". I knew this would more than cover my 12" cork squares with room to spare. I didn't care that they wouldn't cover the back. Who would see? AND, they were only $1.29 a piece! Score!

Next, break out the staple gun!

I basically just centered the cork squares in the fabric quarter and neatly pulled the excess over the backside and then, STAPLE! What fun it was to use a staple gun! *snicker*

Once I had the fabric neatly centered and stapled onto the cork square it was time to dress it up with pretty ribbon! I bought a few different designs for my two boards.

I placed the ribbon where I wanted it and then flipped it over to staple it in place. Pull taut so there isn't any slack. There's really no wrong way to do this part!

Here's the boards with their "french pin board" look...

Cute, right?

Now onto the "hooks". I want to eventually hang them from an ornate looking knob or drawer pull, so I thought I would simply use some of my extra ribbon to make a twisty hook. I stapled it to the backside of the cork board.

And the finished product...

Not bad for my first craft project, right?

Here's how they look above my desk. Note - my new magnet boards, once I make them, will be in the middle where the photo of my husband and I is now.

Notice the really cute magnets? They'll be used on my magnet board. I got them from a co-worker who has an Etsy Shop named "Stuck Together Magnets". She makes all her magnets by hand  - they are fantastic!

Well, there you have it! It was super fun to make and really, really easy! It definitely gave me the urge to want to continue my recent fascination with all things crafty.

You like? Leave me a comment! Do you make things homemade? I'd love to hear from you! I could use more ideas.

My inspiration for crafty awesomeness has certainly come from Julie Ann Art, Young House Love, and A Sweet Release! Check these ladies out! They are fabulous!

p.s. I've recently become a fan of spray paint. Watch out! ;-)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night' Music Video

Lady Gaga's latest music video 'Marry The Night' premiered tonight and I must say, WOW. It's nearly 14 minutes. It's manic. It's kinda creepy. It's dark and full of nudity. And, you know what? I kinda liked loved it. A lot. But then again I like everything, well mostly everything, that Lady Gaga delivers. She's 100% original, and she herself states in the "autobiograhical" style video, she's a bonefide artist. Very true. In every sense of the word.

You may not agree or like everything she does, but you can NOT deny she's one-of-a-kind. Not in the least.

I think I'll watch it again.

What do you think?

It's Officially The Holiday Season!

It's December 1st!! You know what that means? It's officially the Christmas season! Yippeeee! I don't start getting excited about Christmas until we are at least in the same month as Christmas, unlike some I know that start decorating even before Thanksgiving! Gotta love their spirit though! ;-)

So, since it's the holiday season, my blog has to reflect that, right? Right! I moseyed on over to the consistently reliable 'Cutest Blog On The Block' Blog, and of course they had a holiday inspired background to suit me! It wasn't even a question! LOVE this site!

You probably already noticed my new background, right? Here's the image linked over to CBOTB:

"All That Glitters"
They have a TON of awesome holiday backgrounds! Check them out! 

Now that my blog has been transformed for the holidays, I am now completely in the Christmas spirit!