Thursday, October 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday...Halloween Style

Welcome to Sniffletown...

I mean, Throwback Thursday...
Halloween Style!


This year, my kids are just not that excited about dressing up & decided (meh) they'll just wear costumes recycled from the costume box in the playroom (I keep every costume, it's like the backstage of a Broadway show up there).  I have no idea what they will end up dressed as...

Here are a few ideas though...
costumes of Ha'ween past:



 












Do you guys have big plans for tomorrow night?

Whatever your plans,
do be safe & have lots of fun!

Happy Pre-Halloween!!

Mandy

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday...The Wise Old Wiener

I wish I didn't love this dog so much...


Wishing you a Wonderful (& wise) Wednesday!

Mwah!
Mandy
(& Lil Smokey)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Making a Cheap Shelf Look Custom

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I am making some updates in Miss O's room.

Lots of changes...
lots of LESS!!
That child was one drawer away from an episode of Hoarders!!

I was sad to discover,
she has completely outgrown her little girl desk (she, however was not sad...naturally & was very excited about new furniture). 

We got busy looking for something new, but were both quite frustrated that everything we liked was way more than we wanted to spend.
(and when I say we, I mean P Daddy) 


We both loved this set from Pottery Barn Teen, but alas it was just too expensive
(cough...like $2,000, not including the chair).

No, ma'am...


Instead of giving up, 
we let this picture be our inspiration while we hunted for a wall system in our budget. (& when I say "budget", I mean P Daddy said "it better be a LOT cheaper than that") ;)

We lucked up & found THE PERFECT gently loved, previously painted desk/chair set at my local paint haunt, Then & Again Marketplace in Hendersonville, TN. 


$225 for both pieces...
yes, indeed...
I can like it!
The "drawer" is a place to put your computer keyboard,
but she uses it to store her laptop.
It is perfect for her!

Next we hunted bookcases...
Keep in mind, I really wanted to get her something nice or even do a built in system on that wall...but I know a lot of things will change in her world over the next few years & this cheaper option will be great to take to college if she needs it.
(did I just admit that this child might leave me & go to college?!?)
((smack my mouth))

After hunting until my eyeballs were crossing, I found two perfect sized book shelves at Wayfair...
under $100 each (& free shipping, yippeeeee)!



Of course, this was a classic case of 
"you get what you pay for" 
because I had to put every little nibble of it together myself.
(the quality of this shelf is comparabe to the fake wood pieces I've seen in Target)

The backing for this bookcase just would not do...it looked very cheap 
& made a cheap shelf look even cheaper.
I am all about a bargain, but you will never see me looking cheap!
Tisk...just unacceptable!

I decided that since Annie Sloan Chalk Paint would adhere to ANY surface, it would surely be the solution to my "cheap", ugly shelf backing problem.
(See how it has a crease fold down the middle there...have you ever!!!)


Annie Sloan is divine, but DOES NOT adhere to any surface.
 
Ahem...
I stood corrected.



Enter Plan B...
the good ole,
hoarded, coveted...
beadboard wallpaper!

I found this at Home Depot about four years ago & have used it on a half a dozen different projects.It's simple to apply & very durable. I recommend it if the area you are planning to use it on is not a "high traffic" spot (because it IS paper, it will rip).


Well, of course my cheap shelf backing was wider than the wallpaper...
but with the pattern of the paper it looked like part of the patter (thankfully)  it wasn't that noticeable & I decided it would be fine. (actually, I decided if anyone were looking that close they needed to get on home & worry about their own stuff...)


This paper is pre-pasted, 
so applying water is all you need.
But...
I'm a "forever" kind of girl when I do projects like this...
I added a bit of mod podge to make sure that frisky edge would stay down!
That's how I roll. 

I didn't worry about it being completely dry, I dried it with a towel & maybe let it sit for 15-30 minutes.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is expensive, 
so this go around I used Southern Honey Workshop paint.That little container was around $6, I think.

This color is called Claudie Bell &
is a bit brighter than the Annie Sloan Provence I originally started to use.
If you're local, Hadley & Finn on the square sells this paint.


I let this dry completely,
probably an hour 
(or more, because most likely I got distracted by something & forgot about it).

Then I used my trusty new GLAZE...
oh, how I love!!! I picked this up at Home Depot, $8.99 a can.


You paint it on,
then wipe it off.
Leave as much or as little as you like.


It's pretty awesome!



Of course that paint wouldn't stick to the exposed particle board edges either & 
I had to go back later after it was completley dried and touch up those spots with a q-tip...
ever so gently...nothing worse than cheap furniture acting like a diva!!

Now the little darling is upstairs.


and her twin sister is waitng for her turn.
I'll get to her soon, 
(rainy November is almost here).


I think this is coming along...
& is pretty close to what we were wanting. I have only spent $425 on that whole wall, that's much nicer than a $2,000...no?


Baby steps...

Her room is coming together.
I'm still waiting on some pieces from PBTeen that were backordered.
I'll keep you posted
(& you keep me accountable). ;)

Thanks so much for visiting.
Have a great day!

Mandy

On My Nightstand...The Savannah Quartet

So, back in July...
I started reading Eugenia Price's
Savannah.



I had picked this book up at the Goodwill for $2,
((Goodwill is a GREAT place to buy books))

It is a LONG book, around 800 pages...
so it took me awhile to make a commitment.
I'm very glad I decided to give a chance...
the Savannah Quartet was SO worth the time!

((Here's my original post about the book Savannah.))

Savannah....
I enjoyed it tremendously...
ESPECIALLY when I got to the end

(don't panic, it's not a spoiler)

and found that one of the families in that book was real.

The author used letters and stories from the family archives and created fictional characters around them.
That was a huge lure for me,
I could not wait to find out what happened to these people
& quickly uploaded the remaining three books to my NOOK!

This series began just at the end of The War of 1812 and spanned through the Civil War.
I found myself very attached to the Savannah characters...
they married,
had children,
then their children had children...
it was quite a treat to follow them through the entire course of their lives.

I gained so much historical knowledge from these,
I did not know that much about the south prior to the Civil War...
especially the treatment of Indians who had been driven off their land.
One of the children marries a man who is in politics,
so there is a lot of detail about the United States as a union & the direction our "united" country is going in during that enormous period of growth for our nation.

I would easily call this christian literature,
because this sweet family relied on prayer and God to help them through challenging times.
This series was a wonderful read that took awhile,
but I enjoyed so very much.

This is an article about Mary Cowper Stiles Low, the grand daughter of one of the main Savannah characters.



and their beautiful home in Savannah, the Andrew Low Home.

Now, if you've read my blog for any amount of time...
you know I'm obsessive about old southern homes!

I'm just dying to get to Savannah now!

I could go on & on,
but I don't want to spoil this story for you.
((give me a holler when you finish it & we'll get together for coffee))

If you're looking for something enjoyable,
I do highly recommend this series.

The are, in order:

Savannah
To See Your Face Again
Before Darkness Falls
Stranger in Savannah

******************************************************


I'm in the middle of this one right now...
Ruth's Journey, 
the authorized story of Mammy



it is so good,
so, so good...

I'm taking it slllllloooowwww,
savoring each & every page. :)

It's unhealthy how I become attached to book characters...
baha...
I don't care,
I love it! 

What's on your nightstand right now?

I need to add some new reads to my list.

Hope you have a cozy Tuesday!

Mwah!

Mandy





Monday, October 27, 2014

Motivation on Monday...

In the past,
I have jumped up on Monday to share some motivation on my blog.
I miss doing that & have decided to start that theme back up.
Everyone needs a little love & motivation,
especially on Monday!

Monday is my "domestic day" at home.
I drop my kids off at school,
I go run,
then I scoot home & get after it!

Cleaning,
changing beds,
food prepping,
ironing,

you know, the fun stuff. ;)

I do love productive Mondays!

Here's a little motivation for us this week:

Take a deep breath and
read this one to yourself...


I love that one so much,
I think I'll put it on our family chalkboard.
Seeing those words: compassion, kindness, gentleness...
patience...they make me feel calm & happy. :)


I'm sure I've shared this one in the past,
but it is one that I really love.



I was reading it to Evan this morning &
he made a face, saying "wear perfume, nasty!"

When you're a rat,
you are a rat...;)



Wishing y'all the most LOVELY, smiling, charming, perfume wearing Monday!
I've got to get back to work!

Mwah,

Mandy

Friday, October 24, 2014

Simple Caramel Apples...Halloween Kid Fun

I love caramel apples!!
My kids love caramel apples too!!

Almost every Halloween we make a batch of these.
They are so messy & yummy &
just really fun to make together.



Since Halloween goodness is in full swing, 
I decided it would be fun to share this with my blogging friends again.

The ((lazy)) mom that I am thought I would just share the
original post that I composed awhile back showing how we made them...

but when I went back & looked at it...

I was SHOCKED to see that the original post
was SIX YEARS AGO!!!
In these pictures my children are so little...
so, so little!!

It really made me sad.
How on earth did six years go by so fast!??
They are so, so big now!!
Oh, so weepy!!!
How dare they do that to me!!!

Well, let's just pretend they're still that little
because these pictures are so cute they deserve another go.
  
Here's the cast member list for this fun kid activity:

a dozen apples 
Caramel (I used the bits, not the pre-wrapped squares)
((I have used the pre-wrapped squares, but the unwrapping...
ain't nobody got time for that...))
cake pop sticks 
nuts
candy (I used some left over m&m's
which appear to be Valentine colored,
I'm seriously good at hiding candy )
wax paper (wax paper is YOUR FRIEND today)


Before you begin your assembly,
you need to go ahead and chop your nuts, candy or
whatever else you want to dip those caramel dipped darlings into,
some people like them just plain caramel...
I'm not picky,
I would never turn my nose up to a plain one. ;)


You will want to give your apples a good bath
and let them completely dry.
This project works the VERY best when your apples are at room temperature.

This project ALSO works very best if you get yourself a
cute little helper to put the sticks in your apples.
(oh, my heart!!)
(weepy!!!!!)



While your little helper is working,
begin melting your caramel bits in a double boiler on your stove top.



Once your apple sticks are in place and your caramel is melted, you are ready to go!

This is the part where you add MORE helpers...
the wilder they look,
they better these will turn out! ;)


You might also consider asking Grandma to come over
to help keep your wildest child away from the boiling caramel while you take pictures...



Now, time to dip!
This part is serious...
mad skills!


There may or may not be licking involved...






 Dripping...
And lots of grinning! :)



 These are really very easy to make
& the kids love it!!



After we ate a few,
we wrapped the rest up to send to school for little teacher treats.
(don't tell them about the licking, that'll be our little secret) ha!


The very best part about this project...
spending some quality time with your little darlings
(who are going to grow up on you,
so please don't blink)!

(you're getting weepy too, aren't you)
(bless, why do they have to grow up!?!)



I'm walking out the door for that oldest baby's VARSITY FOOTBALL game 
(how dare he be that old).

Go get some apples & 
get your babies busy in the kitchen!

Wishing y'all the spookiest Pre-Halloween weekend!

Mwah!

Mandy

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