Friday, October 31, 2014

magnolia fall workshop 2014: top 10 edition

No need to call 911, I'll be here FOREVER.
How much fun did I have at the Magnolia fall workshop? Answer: More fun than a barrel of monkeys. is that fun? Sounds like PETA needs to be involved.

Anyway, I had such a ridiculous time. I will make a list of why because I love lists. Also note, there will be hashtags involved because I love them, and this is my blog, and I can do whatever I want because (as I've said before) you're not the boss of me.

1. Everyone was perfect, but in a good/not intimidating way. The people were so sweet, they made my teeth hurt. Seriously, where do they find these people? Does Magnolia genetically engineer these precious little 20-somethings in a lab? They were kind, genuine, attentive, and over-the-top nice. Cute little girls with their cute bangs and their cute wedges: check. Fun hipster dude serving Arnold Palmers and making small talk: check. Gorgeous little peanut intern with amazing hair and those dorky/cute glasses that makes you feel like YOU ARE ALL THAT MATTERS IN THE WHOLE WORLD: check. #lovemesomeyounghipsters #theywereprecious #isoundsoold 

2. Everything was perfect. Chip was a the door greeting everyone. #endofstory #everyoneisachipfan #ifnotyouarewrong

3. But seriously, everything was perfect. There was a cute little thing grabbing everyone's camera as they walked in to take their picture with Chip (no selfies necessary). There were people that seemed genuinely thrilled you were there. There was a meet and greet line to Joanna where, again, they took your phone to get your picture with her. They were so accomodating, and planned every little detail. The decor...don't even get me started: handmade, natural, easy, doable, totally Joanna. 

4. The food. I mean....the tomato bisque was to die for, the cupcakes were so good I wanted to not only slap my mama, but my entire family, and the sliders with pineapple slaw #SHUT YOUR FACE. 

5. Chip & Joanna are the real deal. Well, my friend and I think she might be a space alien because she is perfect. Seriously perfect. She could not possibly have birthed all those kids (she is tiny). Really. Don't even get me started on her hair. There are Disney princesses that would have a fistfight for her hair. Rapunzel Shmupunzel. Oh, and Chip...I can't even. He is hilarious. Every word out of his mouth had us all rolling. Bless Joanna's heart. #blessit

6. The venue. Dear heavens, can I move in? The floors, the brick, the decorations. GAH. It was all perfect. No, I don't have pictures. I know, shame on me. I think I was too overwhelmed with it all to even process the whole "taking pictures" thing. #facepalm

7. The booty. We came home with some booty y'all. Banners, giant bird nests, swag bags, chalkboard printable. #feltlikeacelebrity #nophotosplease

8. The people. Y'all, there were some cool people there. If you are in Instagram and put the little hashtags (#magnolinagatherings or #fallworkshop2014), then I have probably semi-stalked you (but not in a weird way...don't panic). To me, if you love Chip & Joanna like I do, then we are kindred spirits and I want to know you. Is that weird? Gosh, maybe it is. If it is, forget what I just said. It was the post-workshop excitement talking.

9. The shop. Okay, so this isn't "technically" part of the workshop, but it kind of is. I have to talk about their shop on Bosque though. It is heaven. I could have spend a million dollars in there. It is a perfect blend of old and new, feminine and rustic, farmhouse and farmhouse (hey, why mess with farmhouse when it is the perfect style anyway #amiright?). I loved every.single.thing. I would totally move there to work in that shop. I mean, all I kept thinking was, "Do these cute little employees understand how perfect their lives are, or are they oblivious because they are smack in the middle of it everyday and it pays their bills?" Honestly, I don't know. I would work there for free (and maybe a discount). I seriously need to move to Waco. #iworkfordiscounts #wanttobejojosbff #notastalker

10. Their hearts. I knew that Chip and Joanna were amazing at their craft (Oh wow...designer moment, just used the word craft. I need a second here...), but they also have the most amazing hearts. Everyone we talked to that worked with them said the same thing (maybe it is because they were programmed in the lab...just a theory), "They are so genuine and amazing to work for". I can totally see it. Their work is their ministry. People are drawn to them for their genuineness. God's hand is all over what they are doing, and they are not doing it for their own glory, but His. That is the best thing I took away from the workshop. There are still good people doing God's work that are impacting people in ways that you would never imagine. I mean, really. A cute little couple from Waco, Texas with adorable kids, a picturesque farm, and a design/home renovation business are killing it on a home and garden network, and are doing it for the right reasons. #refreshing #togodbetheglory #amenandamen #handstotheheavens

So, there you have it. My top ten. Oh, and if you are one of those "kindred spirits" I spoke about, please follow me on all social media. We can be friends. We can braid each other's hair and make friendship bracelets, or we can just social media stalk each other. Whatever. 

Oh, and I will be putting some great new pieces in the shop this weekend. Oh my goodness, I am just feeling so darn inspired. Gotta go work...

Bless y'all!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

thrifty thursday...because apparently, I only post once per week & I'm meeting Jojo {oh my gosh}

It is crazy how fast a week can go by when you are running from pre-dawn, to post-every-sane-person-is-already-in-bed every single day. I have 2 pieces of furniture that are completely finished, and I haven't even had time to post them in my shop. Anywho, before I move on to Thrifty Thursday, I have to tell you something. I AM GOING TO MEET CHIP AND JOJO FROM FIXER UPPER TODAY!!! Whew, I couldn't hold it in any longer. In case you missed the 14 times I mentioned that I had already met Chip, you can read about it here or here. I actually saw Jojo working, but didn't want to be all fangirl and interrupt her. I can't promise the same for tomorrow, although my BF and I pinky swore we wouldn't embarrass ourselves. I'll do my best (*wink).
Okay, so on to Thrifty Thursday. Since I am still dreaming of a day that actually feels like fall in this state where fall is a season that lasts a total of about 48 hours, I thought I would indulge myself (and my lovely readers) with another fall post. 
When you start decorating for the fall holidays, try to choose things that will work for Halloween (if you decorate for Halloween), that will also work for Thanksgiving, and possibly even winter. The best way to do that is by using natural elements & colors. Instead of decorating for Halloween by using lots of black, and skeletons, and "Halloweenie" (ha ha ha...couldn't resist) elements, try sticking to a color palette that speaks of the entire fall season. Think oranges, browns, and yellows. If you aren't a fan of fall colors {insert hand raise here}, then go with corals (kind of orange), greys (a neutral like brown), and gold (kind of yellow). Also, add in lots of greenery, and white. I love pheasant feathers, wood, and fallen acorns from your own tree (can you say "free") or a neighbor's (I won't tell). The white can be in the form of white pumpkins, fabrics, or dishware.

Bittersweet wreath - beautiful natural element that you could use almost year round. 
You could use this for fall, then switch out the wheat for fir branches, and the grapes and warty pumpkin for apples or pomegranates.  Yes, those are "warty" pumpkins. Not a fan, but carry on...
Natural table decorations that could transition from fall to winter with a few changes...pinecones and flowers.
How Miss Mustard Seed decorates for fall. It's pretty perfect. I love the magnolia leaves as an alternative to evergreens in the winter too. Just replace the pumpkins and BOOM, amazing winter tablescape.
Hey look...feathers and artichokes. Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln! Love it. (Gold star if you can name that quote.)
For many of your arrangements, you can simply remove the fall colors, and replace it with more winter things. Yes, things. I can't even think of words because I am so excited to meet Jojo. I am not a stalker. 
Anyway, you could take out the acorns and replace them with pinecones. You could replace the pumpkins with red flowers, apples, or pomegranates. You could even use natural colors (whites, greens, creams, browns, etc.) for your fall centerpieces and then just pop in some berry twigs, or holly branches to brighten them up.  
The main idea is to keep it neutral and be creative. I love non-traditional elements in design. Pomegranates for winter? You betcha. They are the most beautiful shade of red. Artichokes for fall... yep. Magnolia leaves for both fall and winter... ummm, yeah! The green and brown combination speaks to both seasons. 
Now, faux vs. real. This is a hotly debated topic in the design world. Personally, I love real, but honestly, it gets very pricey. I like to use mostly faux or dried florals, then mix in seasonal items.
For example, this arrangement has mostly real elements: dried greenery, branches, and pheasant feathers. Once winter comes, I will take out the orb, and pop in some elements of red (like faux antique roses or peonies and some berry sprigs) and white (like white feathers or some felted balls).

This one is very simple. It is a faux greenery branch (looks pretty real though...that is the key) and a real pumpkin. I always grab real pumpkins for decorating, although I am slowly building up my collection of faux ones too. 

Here are a couple of my faux ones. They look very realistic. I love them, and I can reuse them every year. Everything in here is fake besides the dried grapevine, preserved greenery, and the antler. I will take out everything but the greenery and grapevine, and replace them with some glass ornaments and twinkle lights for Christmas. Quick, cheap, and an easy switcharoo. You could even use a bunch of pinecones, or red and green apples, or fake snowballs (I will have to post a tutorial for those after Thanksgiving).

These pumpkins are fake, the reindeer moss is real. I'll just take out the pumpkins and replace them with something else (not sure what yet) when winter rolls around...or in November, when it is still 85 degrees outside. #texaswintersareforshortandflipflops

So, there you have it. Another Thrifty Thursday in the books, and oh my gosh...meeting Joanna Gaines today...breathe breathe breathe. Okay, I'll let you know how it goes and if I totally embarrass myself. #pullittogether #notastalker 

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

thrifty thursday

Welcome to my second Thrifty Thursday post! This week, I am talking about wall art. When you think of wall art, you typically think of pictures, right? Mostly family pictures (unless you have ugly relatives...just kidding). I'll start there.
My favorite tip: You do not have to have custom framing for an expensive looking piece of art. Every picture in my house is framed in a store-bought frame. I take my photos to Hobby Lobby (#shoutouttoHL) and have custom mats made to fit my store bought frame. You can even use their 40% off coupon on your mat. Most mats will typically run you under $10 after the coupon. Now, I typically use their in-stock mat selection because IMPATIENT. They do a great job. Also, if you have absolutely no idea what mat will work with your picture/art and frame colors, ask them. They are really great at coming up with something that will not be utterly hideous (...and that is the ultimate goal, amiright? WRONG! Aim higher my friends!"). Below is an example of a custom framing job. It helps to have a gorgeous picture to frame. That's my Memom. Come on me out!
Oh, hello me. Nice squinty/picture taking face in the reflection. I am nothing if not incredibly professional.
My second tip of the day is to not even worry about framing. I stuck these up in my son's room with some cute washi tape. Anyone have a washi tape addiction? Not me. Nope, not me at all. Just don't look in my kitchen drawer above the dishwasher. Anywho, this is a fun, casual, non-commital, and most importantly THRIFTY way to display your art. Note the cute washi tape. Look at it. Gah, I love that stuff.
Yes, the tape is pulling up from the corner. I blame my son. He's a picker, and I won't even tell you what else he picks/picks at. Ew.
Oh, because I am real around here, let me show you the uncropped picture.
Yep, in all it's unmade glory. Oh yeah, and  by all means. watermark that bad boy. Errbody's going to want to take credit for that! Pin in, I dare you!
See the wonder of photo editing? It can make messy beds disappear with a click. To be fair, it is absolute torture to make the bed. It is a top bunk. If you have ever had one, I need not say more. 
Here is one more example. It is a $5 poster from Paper Source. That store makes me giddy. It's sad, really. 
This is from Paper Source. It cost a whopping $5! Note the gold washi tape. Look at it!
My next couple of tips are about using other items as wall art. You don't have to "stick" with pictures for some great wall art (See what I did there?). I love the use of plates. This one is by my friend Nate Berkus (Well, maybe we aren't that close. I have actually never met him, but I have seen his show...from my couch.)
I didn't even realize that the focus is on the plant and not the plate. Oops. It's cute though, right?
You wanna talk about plate wall envy...feast your eyes...
I can't locate the correct link to this. Anyone know?
Hello gorgeous! What an impact! You could find a collection of plates in your own home, at thrift shops, or even from granny's attic. Talk about thrifty!

My last tip is to just have fun! This is in my dining room. Why a basket? It has lots of texture, it takes up a lot of space (and I have a lot of space for it to fill), and it was less than $10! Yep. #targetforthewin!
Basket bigger than my head for wall art. Gooooo team!
You think this is a little funky? Hold on to your britches...

Holy wicker Batman!
So, there is my thrifty Thursday. Go put some stuff on your walls friends!

*On a side note: My heart is about to burst with love and appreciation for all of your kind comments on here, and on FB. Yesterdays post was very personal, and I never expected the response that I was given. I certainly wasn't looking for affirmation, but you really filled my "love tank". Thank you thank you thank you! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

that girl

This is a very personal post. I promise to lighten it up tomorrow with Thrifty Thursday (great tips coming, by the way). 
Today, I am going to be very transparent. That's who I am. 
I am a closet introvert. You might never know it since I appear to never meet a stranger. I haven't always been like this. In school, I was the cheerleader and the athlete. I was in all sorts of clubs and was usually in charge of something. I didn't mind getting attention. I didn't go out of my way to get it, but it didn't bother me to be in front of a bleacher full of people screaming my head off and tumbling across the field until my head spun. Now, I prefer to be at home. I prefer to be alone. I cringe at the thought of going to parties or, basically, anywhere that involves being around lots of people. What changed? I ask myself that all the time. 
Look at the picture above. What do you see? Go ahead...scroll up, then back down.
I see someone who doesn't like to have her picture taken. Like, if I know a camera is coming out, I immediately need to "use the lady's room", or "need to pull something out of the oven". I see someone who cries when trying to find something to wear for church. I see someone who has put on a lot of weight since those cheerleading days. I see a big scar on my arm from a cooking accident. I see huge veins and puffy swollen hands. It is sad that when I see my own picture, I cringe. I delete almost every single one I can find. If something tragic happened to me, my kids would not have many photos or videos to remember me by. Ouch. It stings. 
Instead of seeing myself as overweight, scarred, tired, and grey-haired {oh yes, I said it}, what should I see? I should see strong arms and legs that carry children to bed when they fall asleep on the couch. I should see veins that are popping out because I have been working with my hands all day to make my house a home to my family. Instead of a bulging waistline, I should see a pretty little bow tied around the waist of a woman that carried and delivered 3 beautiful babies. I should see the beautiful apron that my grandmother made me with aging hands. I should see a wedding ring that I have had for 15 years from an amazing man that actually loves ME (grey hair and all). How does God feel when I judge myself against this world of lies, Photoshopped models, celebrities that lose all of their baby weight in 4 days, and every other unreasonable expectation that is thrust upon us every minute of every day. He would say to me, "Child of mine, you are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You with the grey hair, and the muffin top, and the big frown lines. You are the real deal. Yes YOU!"
Friends, how do you see yourself? Do you struggle with seeing your own beauty like I do, or do you bask in God's beautiful creation? Do you struggle with the younger version of yourself and wonder where she went, or do you see that as just a long ago part of the journey? Do you wonder why your husband still looks at you like you are the 22-year-old girl he met with a tiny waist and an audacious personality? Do you wonder where she went, or do you still feel like that girl? 
I want to be that girl again. I want to see myself as The Father sees me. I want to see myself as my husband sees me. I'm no longer that 16-year-old, or that 22-year-old. I am that 38 year old. But, that 38 year old is still pretty cool. At least, that is what my kids say. Well, maybe "cool" isn't the exact word that they use, but whatever. I have 3 healthy kids, a husband who loves me (grey hair and all), a cozy home, and goats. Y'all I have the cutest goats.

Blessings to y'all. You are beautiful. You matter. You are loved. You are appreciated. Oh, and grab some tissues and watch this. 

Wasn't that awesome? Moms rock! Even with our dirty shirts, unwaxed brows, grey hair, and sweatpants, we rock!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

thrifty thursday

I am excited to begin a weekly post on decorating, organizing, and creating beauty in your home on a budget. I think we all love a beautiful home. A beautiful home can either be a minimalist loft downtown, a sprawling estate in the countryside, an attic apartment, or anything in between.
When it comes to making your house and home, think about form and function. I believe that even the most beautiful homes must be functional.
I originally used this soap mold for a floral arrangement. After a while, I decided that the arrangement was dead to me. Kidding. I just wanted a change, and I can do that because you aren't the boss of me.
Anywho, this little gem sat atop my dresser collecting dust until inspiration struck. We always have our school supplies sitting out. I do my best to tuck them away each day, but there is just too much of it. So, I thought to myself, "Self, you can totally make that soap mold into a crayon holder".

Yes I know, these are not crayons..keep scrolling down.

Yet again...nary a crayon in sight...keep scrolling.

I initially wanted to organize our crayons in there (I told you I'd get there), but the holes were too deep. You could remedy that by using one of these

Okay, so I can't find the name for this thing. It is attached to a drill bit. My internet is acting like a toddler, and I don't have 12 lifetimes to wait for it to pull up. So, just take this picture with you to your local home improvement store and tell them to direct you to "this doohickey". They will be amazed at your vast knowledge of tools and will probably hand you a snazzy red (or orange) vest and immediately put you to work. 

to create circles in some cheap wood, stain them, then pop them in the bottom of each mold. I just decided to use our colored pencils instead, since they were longer and didn't disappear into the hole.

You could also use the mold for flowers (preserved hydrangeas would be perfect), or paintbrushes, or even craft supplies (think scissors, glue sticks, and gel pens).

So, what would you use it for? By all means, dazzle me with your brilliance!

Oh, and one last thing...the inventory is my shop is low. I have a few amazing pieces that need to be finished and/or listed. Hang in stuff is coming.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

unintended uses

Do you ever look at people's homes and say, "How did they ever think of that?" I know I do. I am amazed at how people can repurpose things into...well, other things. Wow...sometimes I am astonished by my own vocabulary...

Some people are born with that vision, while others of us need a little inspiration. Sometimes, inspiration is born out of necessity. This is true of this light fixture...
Basket as a pendant...why not?
 I had been searching high & low for a plug-in light fixture to hang in my son and daughter's room. Yes, they are 7 and 8 and share a bedroom (and's as awesome and not messy as it sounds). My daughter is not a girly girl, and my son is all boy. Trying to decorate their room has been a struggle. Let me go ahead and just tell you that this room was JUST painted and needs to be painted again. That's all I'm going to say about that because painting is not my jam. Yes, I paint furniture for a living. Whatever.

Anyway, back to the fixture. I had been searching for one and had come up empty, and by empty I mean I couldn't find anything I liked for less than about $50. So, I snagged this basket from Homegoods. Yes, it is a basket! I had a cord set from Ikea ($8), and I think the basket was under $12. So, for about $20, I had the perfect (and dimmable...boom!) light fixture.

The next idea is an easy one. When it comes to sticking plants and flowers in things, nothing is off limits. I've turned old jelly jars, mason jars, teacups, and anything else that will hold water into a vase. Take this vintage water jug for example. It is probably one of my favorites everrrrrr. (It is for sale, but I secretly hope no one ever buys it...did I say that? Shhhh, don't tell my husband.)
Vintage polar water jug as a vase...yes ma'am!
When looking for shelving for my son and daughter's room, I didn't want a regular shelf. I am picky when it comes to shelving, but when I saw this old orphaned drawer at an antique shop, I knew it could be a unique and fun shelf. I love it all dressed up with a mirror, metal truck, old books, etc.), but I'll tell you a little secret. It usually holds junky trophies and medals. Not so cute, but I can dream it looks like this all the time. Maybe I can convince them that it looks better this way. I'll let you know how that works out.
An old random drawer as a shelf...yes I can! You aren't the boss of me...
Another idea that formed out of necessity is this soap dish that I use as a chalk holder in my kitchen. I picked this up at Magnolia in Waco, Texas (yes, Joanna and Chip Gaines' shop). I think I may or may not have mentioned that I met Chip at their shop. I also may or may not have mentioned that I am going to the Magnolia Fall Workshop this month. I may or may not be so excited that I think I want to breathe into a paper bag when I think about it...but I digress.

My husband actually picked it out for our bathroom, but when I got it home, it didn't look right. My countertops are a cream, and this is bright white. It just looked...
I love this so much...(from SNL)
I knew that I could use it for something else though. It didn't take long for me to realize that it was perfect to hold the chalk in my kitchen. It keeps it close, because I use my chalkboard every single day for school. (Note the chalk nubs. Love those kids and their, um, ways.)
Soap dish as a chalk betcha!
Chalk in a soap brushes in a trophy. That's how I roll. This is a piece from one of my favorite little shops in Canton, Texas (home of First Monday Trades Days). They have an online shop too, so check it out. It will make your heart burst into a million pieces.
"Old" trophies to hold make up brushes...whaaaaat?
So, don't be afraid to use things for a purpose they were never intended....but don't get carried away.
Mason jar specimens
You're welcome.