craftiness, home, organization, stuff I like

Infusing Happy in the Every Day- Closet Transformation

September 22, 2015

We all have one. A closet full of stuff we use on a regular basis. In my case, it sits under the staircase. I’m in and out of this space about a jillion times each day, and let me tell you, friends, it was nothing to look at. Behold!

IMG_0779 I did clean it out before taking this photo. You’re welcome. It was a hot mess. The trouble was, even after cleaning it out, it was still a hot mess. I mean, look at those poor walls. Y’all know I preach the gospel of paint, but even the magic of paint wasn’t enough to cover over the multitude of sins lurking on those walls.

When your go-to solution isn’t an option, what’s a girl to do? You sit on your side porch with a cup of coffee and mull over your options, that’s what.


I figured since paint was out, I needed something a little more stout to cover over the pits and imperfections of the walls. Wallpaper, of course! But even for a small area, I calculated that I’d be spending a small fortune on enough paper to cover all the slants and angles. And as much as I wanted some happy in there, I wanted happy on a budget. Next I considered rolls of wrapping paper, but never found anything that I loved. And to go to all that trouble, I wanted to love it.

As I stood in the stationery aisle of Tar-jay racking my brains, I saw some tablecloths on clearance. Fabric! Of course! I wandered the domestics area for a bit, looking at tablecloths, sheets, and shower curtains. That’s usually my go-to for wide swaths of fabric, but again, I didn’t find anything I loved.

I headed over to my local fabric store, but figured it would be futile, since my criteria was wide, happy, and cheap. I’d need about 6 or 7 yards to cover the walls. I wasn’t optimistic about the cheap part. As I perused the bargain section, I did find something that caught my eye…


Wide? Check! Happy? Double check! Cheap? The jury was still out on that one, as this seemed to be the only bolt of fabric in the place without a tag. Turns out, it ended being on super-sale for only $3 per yard. Score! I took all they had (6 yards) and peeled out of the parking lot like a criminal before they realized I’d pretty much just stolen all that happy.

Because it was 54″ wide, I didn’t even have to seam anything together. Just me, my happy fabric, and a staple gun. Before I knew it, I had one wall covered. Easy peasy!


My apologies for the sub-par photos, friends. This little spot is a bit tricky to capture. Oh, and if you’re wondering, that’s a giant forced air unit thingy. Right smack dab in the middle of my storage. That has a filter that needs to be changed regularly (so I have to keep the floor pretty clear for ease of changing filters-bummer). It also doubles as my scissor perch during this project. Bonus.

Next I worked on the side walls, cutting around the sprinkler control panels as I went, you know, like you do (weirdest closet contents ever).


I just folded the top edges of the raw fabric under and stapled away. Perfection? No, but I figured no one would be scrutinizing my stapling skills inside of a random closet. And if they do, we all have bigger problems.

Did I mention one of the criteria of this project was cheap? As much as I wanted this space to look like a glossy page out of Real Simple, I challenged myself to only use stuff I had on hand (minus the happy fabric) to put this space together. I mean, I do want a little extra happy, but didn’t want to break the bank doing so. Plus, I love a good challenge.

The hubs installed some wooden shelving we yanked out of the garage, and I started digging through the baskets and containers we already had to get this space ship-shape. Et voila!

IMG_0835 IMG_0841  Crummy photos, yes, but let me tell you, happiness abounds! I can see everthing I have on hand, and the bright green makes me happy! Mission accomplished. It may seem a bit excessive to go to such lengths for something that very few see, but if you are the one that sees it jillions of times each day, I think it’s worth the effort. Do you have a space that could use a little happy, friends? Do tell! Better yet, do photograph!!!

beauty, deliciousness, home, stuff I like

Even More Stuff I Like: Super Random Edition

September 6, 2015

Happy Labor Day, dear readers! I do hope this day finds you relaxing and enjoying the onset of Fall. The cool temperatures haven’t quite made it to our neck of the woods, but I feel sure they are just around the corner. Right? Right!?! In the mean time, here is a random collection of stuff I’ve been loving lately.

First, these lovelies…

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.58.06 AM

IMG_0672 I’m, tellin’ ya, it’s almost like wearing by ballet shoes of yore. Like, way yore, y’all. These little slippers by Tieks come in a jillion fun colors and are buttery soft. I wear anywhere from a size 7.5 to an 8, and the 8 was just right. They don’t offer much in the way of support, but they are really well made and feel like a whisper. The pop of turquoise on the soles is a fun bonus. They are a bit pricey, but I chose Ballerina Pink as a somewhat-neutral so that I could wear them with just about anything. And I have. A lot. Santa just may need to bring a pair in patent leather red.


Next, this little miracle…

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Mister Lash Booster by Givenchy. One of the nasty side effects of a drug I take for my cranky joints is minor hair loss. Newsflash, eyelashes are actually hair. I’ve struggled a bit to hang on to mine, so this product has been a life (or lash) saver. There are lots of lash enhancers out there, and some really do work wonders, but they can be pretty pricey, too. This little gem is a gel that does a fantastic job of making my lashes noticably longer and thicker. And it only sets you back $31. It does take a couple of weeks to see results, but it’s certainly worth the wait. Well done on all fronts, Givenchy. My lashes and I thank you.

And for your eating pleasure…

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.51.30 AM

I have to say, I’m not really a yogurt person, but this stuff is fantastic. I’ve not tried the Strawberry Rhubarb flavor (I just liked the color of the label), but the peach, mango, blueberry, and raspberry are stellar. It’s rich, creamy, delicious, and packed with all manner of goodness like calcium, protein, and probiotics. Pop this baby open, throw on a handfull of granola, and you are out the door with a healthy and yummy breakfast on the go. Pure goodness, y’all. Thanks, Noosa!

Now that we are in the kitchen, check out these little nifties…

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You are likely thinking, “That’s just a big silicone pad that looks like a poppy.” And you’d be right. Except that this silicone pad has magic powers. It can, with no effort at all, cover and seal any glass or plastic bowl with ease. And it can go in the fridge. Or the freezer. Or the oven. Y’all, I just may never use plastic wrap again! They come in a variety of sizes and designs (like grape leaves, lily pads, and other botanical treasures) to fit your bowls, cups, and color preferences. I found mine in a local shop, but you can also find them here. My life will never be the same.

On to homekeeping. If you’re going to have to spray junk around to clean up life’s little messes, it may as well smell spectacular. Enter this…

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.58.36 AM

Will it kill salmonella, e. coli, and other various critters? I’m not sure, but for your basic cleaning, this stuff is great. Not only does it cut the grime, the Lime + Sea Salt scent is divine. Win-win. In fact, just after wiping down the appliances, I found a friend of mine sniffing around my kitchen to figure out what smelled so good. Mmmmmmmmm…Method.

And while we’re talking about olfactory delights, meet my all-time favorite non-holiday candle…

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.58.24 AM

That’s right, Capri Blue’s Blue Jean scent. I don’t think it smells in any way like blue jeans, but whatevs. It’s lovely. There are a couple of local shops here that carry it on a limited basis, but look here if you have trouble finding it. You won’t be sorry. And the one-wick pot shown above is powerful enough to scent my entire first floor. Bonus.

Finally, I wanted to share something that’s been on my heart and all over the news. As much as I love little delights that make life a little more fun, beautiful, or sweet-smelling, that is not the end-all-be-all of what I want to be about. Right now I am struggling with the plight of Syrian refugees in other parts of the world. I want to help, but short of gathering supplies and hopping on a plane (not in the budget or schedule right now), what can a girl in the states do? I’ve done some research and it seems donations to tried-and-true organizations are the way to go. And I don’t know why I didn’t start here, but the International Rescue Committee has been relocating and rebuilding lives all over the globe since the 1930s. In fact, there is a chapter right here in my city that helped many of my African students and their families begin anew. I’ve seen their mission lived out. I’ve seen how they help rebuild lives. They are for real, y’all, and I continue to be humbled by all the ways they serve those that find themselves without hope. As tempting as it is to donate and run, I’m working on ways our family can become more mindful of the situation. I don’t have the answer just yet, but I’m working on it.

In the mean time, hug your people, love those around you, and look for the beauty of this world. And pray for the darkness that lurks. May we be light, salt, and a helping hand.


craftiness, design ideas, home

Long Live Spray Paint: Groovy Chair Transformation

August 6, 2015

Not long ago I was styling some furniture and accessories in one of my favorite local shops, and something caught me eye. These lovelies…

IMG_0534 I know, pretty groovy. But I just knew they would be perfect in our living room. With a little work, that is.

And just after I brought them home, I came across these…

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At more that $1600 each, I knew I’d struck gold. Like, literally. Gold velour. It was time to get to work. First, a coat of satin black.

IMG_0552 Lots of nooks and crannies, y’all. For a job like this, I needed some help.


For big spray paint jobs, these are worth their weight in gold. Gitcha one. For reals. You (and your index finger) will thank me later. You can find them at the Walmarts and home improvement stores. I also had a little help from…

IMG_0550 …the kitties. They were really into it.

Once they were painted, it was time to decide what to do with the gold velour. Someone seemed to think they were just fine as they were.

IMG_0558 I, however, am not into gold velour, so I went with gray linen in a simple, clean design.

IMG_0622 For the seat cushion I decided not to put a seam across the front. I plan on these being used a lot, and didn’t want to have to readjust a wonky seam as time went by. I would have loved to eliminate the back cushion entirely so the pretty lines could be seen.


But, again, I plan on these being used and enjoyed, as this room is where our family gathers most. So, I went with a smaller, euro-sized pillow to expose more of the back but still afford a soft landing.

IMG_0632 IMG_0628 The back cushions reverse to solid gray so I have options. It’s always good to have options.

IMG_0590 Rufus agrees.

craftiness, design ideas, home

New Roman Shades At Last!

July 20, 2015

Hello, dear readers. I know, it’s been a while, but we have been soaking up summer days here, and I have loved every last unscheduled minute. You feelin’ me? No early morning school deliveries. No sports or band practice deliveries. No deliveries of any sort. Nothin’. Nada. Zilch. Except for the eight zillion “Could you take me to so-and-so’s house today?” deliveries. But those are generally later in the day, once I’ve had my morning coffee and have changed into actual clothing rather than climbing into my car in pajammies. Don’t judge.

Anyway, we did take a fantastic trip to Washington DC and Philadelphia, so we have been out and about, but we have also spent lots and lots of glorious time just chilling at home. Because we’ve been so chill around here, I’ve not had a whole lot to tell you about…until now. In fact, lovelies, I may need a high five, because after having the fabric for about 5 months, I actually made roman shades for my kitchen. That’s right, it only took me five months to get my fanny in gear and crank them out. Here I am in action, y’all.



That’s right. A glue gun. The fact is, these shades don’t have a single stitch in them. How you ask? Check out my tutorial here.


Here they are in situ. (That’s just fancy talk for “actually installed above the windows in my kitchen)



It didn’t take long, and it is not a difficult project, but I found myself putting it off time and time again. You know, five months is a long time, so maybe I don’t deserve a high five after all. However, if you have a spare, I’d sure take it.

What have you accomplished this summer, dear readers?

stuff I like, style, travel

Vacation Style: the Dress

June 18, 2015

Our crew just got back from an all-out nerd-fest vacation in and around our nation’s capital, and y’all, it was hot. As Eugene Morris Jerome says in Biloxi Blues, it was, like, Africa hot. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been more grateful for a slew of museums to pop in and out of. Air conditioned museums, people. And for clothing that allowed cool breezes all up in there.

Is fashion the end-all, be-all of my life? No, but I do appreciate cute duds that are weather appropriate. And folks, in this case, it is hands down the dress. That’s right. The only garment with a built in ventilation system. And if you choose wisely, there is very little fabric actually touching you. Optimal for those times that you are sweating like a proverbial hog and don’t want things to get too clingy. As a bonus, dresses are easy. Like, you just slide it on. Nothing to match. Nothing to tuck in. Just slide into your slides, slip on your sunnies, and go! Need a little inspiration? Here are a few I found to get you started…



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Now go forth and conquor the heat, friends, in well-ventilated style!