Sunday, November 29, 2009

Online Holiday Boutique

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know I did. We had family come into town and so I've been crazy busy! We did a little bit of this . . . well, us girls decided to sit this one out.

A lot of eating.

And a little bit of relaxing at the beach. Okay, maybe it wasn't too relaxing due to my cold, numb toes, hands, etc. I know. We're crazy. We went to the beach in November and it was freezing!

I will have some new posts soon. But in the meantime, check out this Online Holiday Boutique from UCreatethat will be starting tomorrow! It will run until Dec. 7th. So go check it out! Oh and I'm actually part of this online boutique. Check out my store on etsy here. Or click on my button below or on the sidebar!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Giveaway results: price my spot

So. I know you have all been in suspense. You want to know what I paid for this cute Pottery Barn-ish spot. But I just want to say how fun it was to see what everyone thought I bought them for. I guess I need to step up my game a little, cause most of you guessed pretty low. I wish I were that good. Anyway. Here goes . . .
Mirror: I found this mirror in my favorite little thrift store in Vegas. I guess I have a thing for mirrors, cause I walked in the front of the store and immediately saw it all the way at the back. I was hoping the price agreed with me. And holy moley. It did! It was . . $15 (background music of heavenly choirs singing)! Yes way. I didn't even have to wheeler-dealer!

I didn't buy it that day. I told my sis-in-law that they had to get it for their daughter's room that they were re-doing. It would be perfect. But I couldn't talk her into it. So. What's a girl to do? I went back the next day thinking that if it was still there. . . it was meant to be mine. I think I have a love affair with mirrors. And whatdaya know? It was there. I was thinking about making it into a chalkboard for little girl A's room, but quickly decided it'd go perfect in the family room. (You should have seen me take this from Vegas to Cali in our Ford Fusion. It was quite a sight.)
And it does. I didn't even spray paint it (imagine that). I love it's weathered, rough edged look.

Desk: I found this at the same little thrift shop that I found the mirror at. I loved it. I imagined it to be in a little nook or in little girl A's room. Or maybe under a beautiful, weathered mirror.

The price tag said $50. No way. I asked the store manager if I could buy it for $15. There was one right next to it that was similar (I think plastic though) and cost $15. She said she'd give it to me for $20 (due to it being real wood). Score! I sanded it down, primed, and then spray painted a few times. I went to Target to look for a knob that looked more elegant than the wooden knob. I chose this one and it looks perfect! It was $4.99.

Decor thingy: I went to a Goodwill store in Vegas and discovered that this paritcular Goodwill had a bunch of Target items. Tags were on them still. I guess items that were on clearance that never sold? Anyway, I loved this decor thingy the moment I saw it. I bought it for $4.99!It was dk. blue though. It didn't fit anywhere, with the color it was, so . . . I got out the spray paint. I primed it first and then spray painted a few times. I love it!

So that brings the grand total to : $44.98

And who is the lucky winner? Well, the winner is Stofam! (could you leave your e-mail address in the comment section? Thanks!) Here's what she said:

"Amy! I am already a blog follower and LOVE all your ideas! I cant wait to be in a house of our own so we can paint and spruce up the place. I think you paid $38 bucks for all 3 pieces! Oh, and just so you know who I am, I grew up with your hubby!!"

Congrats! And thanks for playing everyone!

Craft Obsession: edible cornucopias

If you've ever been to my family's Thanksgiving Dinner, I'm pretty sure you've seen these. Ever since I can remember, we've had these at our Thanksgiving Feast. They're edible cornucopias that we make for each place setting. And . . . the best part is that they're really easy to make.

You first want to go to your nearest grocery store and buy waffle cones and any type of candy you want to put in the cornucopias when finished (we usually do nuts, candy corn, m&ms). Also if you have any gorgeous colored leaves you've picked (my mom, usually collects them during the fall and stores them in the refrigerator until thanksgiving - - just for this little place setting), they look great underneath the cornucopia and makes your table very colorful and festive.

You want to fill up a pan of hot water and place a steamer inside (make sure the water line is below the bottom of the steamer or else you're gonna get soggy cornucopias - - out of experience). Then boil.

Once boiling, place the waffle cone inside, place lid on, and count for 30-40 seconds.

Then take it out using a tong and bend the end of the cone so it looks like a cornucopia. Leave the tong in place for about 10-15 second so it stays like that. And you're done! Well, okay, maybe not completely done. You just have to add the best part which is the candy. (parents beware . . . your children might eat this before their Thanksgiving feast . . . I know I do!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Organization Obsession: no toy clutter

I'm obsessed with organization. I don't like clutter, although I'm not saying I'm perfect and that I'm immune to it. Clutter, at times, does seem to find me.
Before little girl A was born, we were somewhat organized. Then, once she came, you have the carseat in that corner, her diapers over there, that playmobile near the couch, etc., and faster than you can say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, your house is a cluttered mess. So, we've figured a few ways to hide/organize all the cluttered messes that come with children (not saying that kids are bad, but they do have a lot of stuff).

We did happen to find at our nearest Walmart an ottoman (pleather) that looked perfect in our livingroom, but also doubled as a . . . clutter hider/toy box, whatever you want to call it. Before little girl A was born, it stored blankets. And after . . . well, that's obvious. It's storing all of her toys. And we love it cause all of her toys fit perfectly in it.
And whatdayaknow. She's even learning the "clean-up" song and is actually putting toys AWAY! I love non-clutter!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Spray Paint Obsession: chalkboard tray

Shhhh. It's a secret. I have an obsession with chalkboard spraypaint. And I have quite a few projects that I've been working on that I can't wait to show you.

So . . . you know those breakfast trays that you may . . . or may not be using? Well, we have two of them that were collecting dust in some corner (although I think everyone should have breakfast in bed every single day). I had forgetten about them until we moved. And I had the perfect idea!!! Why not make a little chalkboard tray for little A for Christmas? I mean, today she did draw on the screen of our HDTV (you should have seen my hubby's face when I told him what happend - - no worries though, it came off, although if you look very closely, you can see the beautiful indented picture she drew). And, plus, you could still use it as a breakfast tray.

-I brought out my oh-so-trusty chalkboard spraypaint (there's also chalkboard paint you can buy and you can even make it yourself if you want to - - just check on the internet)

- using painters tape, I taped all the edges (so I wouldn't get spray paint on the wood)

-then I spray painted two coats. easy peasy.

Before you spray paint with the chalkboard paint, you could even prime and spraypaint the wood with some amazing color. I thought of that afterwards. I could still do it though. I do have a ton of pink spray paint that I used on little A's bow holder. Maybe. We'll see.

But I do know that she will love it when she opens it on Christmas morning. And I think my hubby will too - for the sake of his HDTV.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Giveaway - price THIS spot

To launch my new blog, I'm doing a giveaway. Because I love decorating and bargain hunting, I just wanted to show you how you can decorate on the cheap. It's easy! You don't have to shop at Pottery Barn to make your home look Pottery Barn-ish. So . . . price this spot and whoever comes closest (not going over) to the price that I paid together for these three items (small desk, mirror, decor thingy) will win . . .

. . . one of my cupcake stands that I've been making - cupcake not included :) (and they'll be in my new etsy shop soon).

So . . . all you have to do is:

1. sign up to follow my blog (on the side) or . . . add it to your blog roll. (If you have already done so, let me know.)

2. leave a comment with the price you think I payed for these 3 items all together (leave your e-mail address so I can contact you if you're the lucky winner)

This giveaway will end on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 at 1:00pm (Pacific Time Zone).

I will send the winner an e-mail. And the winner must e-mail me their home address by Sunday Nov. 29, 2009 or the second closest to the price I paid, will be chosen. Open only to U.S. residents

The winner will be announced on this blog on Monday, Nov. 23, 2009.
Happy guessing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Going Green Obsession: no more paper napkins/ paper towels

A while ago, I was watching the Oprah show (surprise!). That day it was the "Green 101" show. The part that struck me was when the guest, Elizabeth Rogers, stated “If we all gave up one [paper] napkin a day, we could save a billion pounds of paper waste from going to landfills [each] year." I've always wanted to help in making this earth a better place to live in and it also went along with my obsession with saving money and doing things on the cheap. So, after that episode, I stopped buying paper napkins and paper towels. Cold turkey! Crazy, I know.

I have a favorite outlet store in SLC, Ut where they sell Pottery Barn cloth napkins with monograms on them (they were either returned by the buyer or the person sewing the monograms on made a few mistakes - so they were sent here and only cost $0.25 each!!!) and I bought a ton of them. They're white so if they're stained, I just bleach them. I use them in place of paper towels and napkins. (Pssst. My hubby even likes the idea.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Craft Obsession: bow holders

When I was a youngun, my mother put all of our bows on the two long braids of this stuffed doll head that hung on the wall (now as I read this, it sounds a little disturbing). I wanted to somehow display little girl A's bows but in a really elegant way. And I found it!

A while back, I saw this post here on nannygoat (one of my favs), and knew that I had to create my own little version for little girl A. Not that she has a ton of hair. But we're now starting to finally do it. Which means I definitely now need something to hang all of her lovely bows on.

All you have to do is find a cool, cheap frame, use spray paint primer all over, and then choose your favorite, yummy color and spray paint again. Buy ribbon that coordinates with your awesome frame and then either hot glue it or staple it to the back. Then be sure to hang it in a spot where you'll receive many oohs and ahhs. I love it and I think little girl A does too! Every morning as we leave her room, she asks for "a bow".

I love the details that are found on this frame. Makes it look so elegant. Love it!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Upcycling Obsession: shirt to dress

My mom taught me how to sew when I was younger. When I was in 8th grade, I made a dress for my baby sister - one of those school projects (gotta love those class projects). Then when I was in 11th or 12th grade I took a sewing class in high school. I wasn't amazing, but had sewn a little more than anyone else in the class, and my teacher was impressed. She told me that I should enter some sewing projects into a competition at an FHA conference at BYU. And . . . I didn't (the story of my life).

After high school, I don't think I even touched my mom's sewing machine. It wasn't until about 10 years later, when my sis was prego with her first, that I wanted to make my niece-to-be a baby blanket (so she'd remember her favorite aunt who lived miles away).

A few years have gone by and now I have a little one of my own. I've been inspired by many other sewing bloggers and have loved the idea of upcycling.

A few months ago I went to a thrift store and found this cute shirt (for a very petite woman - wasn't gonna fit me) for 3 buckaroos. I thought it'd make the cutest dress for little girl A.

So what I first did was:

-I brought out a dress that currently fits my little girl A.

-Then I folded the shirt (shoulder to shoulder), put the folded dress on top and cut around her dress. (get the idea or is this just too confusing?)

-I sewed the sides together.

-Made the binding out of the sleeve scrapes and placedit on the collar area (sorry my terms aren't very technical).

And I had tried doing flutter sleeves, but they just weren't turning out . . . so I took them off.

The bottom was the original bottom of the shirt so I didn't need to sew that up.

(the "I'm sick of the picture taking"look)

And voila! You have a cute little dress for your little munchkin to wear. I love the ruffles and lace that I didn't even had to add on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Thrift Store Obsession: mirror love affair

So, I'm obviously into saving some dinero. Who isn't these days. Well, I had discovered some amazing thrift stores in Vegas (where I lived previously) and am currently trying to find equally amazing thrift stores in my new hometown. But here is one of my finds and the story that goes along with it:

Date: August 2009
Where: Goodwill in Las Vegas

As I am walking to the store . . . I see the most amazing back of a mirror. Yes. I said the back of a mirror. I knew at that moment that it was mine. My eyes were huge and my mouth agape. Nobody else could have it. It had to be mine. I knew right where I would place it in our new home. And I was hoping, hoping, hoping that it was in my price range. So I walk into the store non-chalantly and casually walk over to the mirror. I loved it. The front was even better to look at. I could feel my pulse throughout my entire body as I turned the tag over to see what the price was . . . $30. Argghhh. For most people, this is a pretty good deal. But I didn't want to buy it for $30. Wonder if I could talk the salesclerk down. Now . . . you gotta understand that I had just finished reading a book by Richard Paul Evans (the Christmas box guy) titled "The Five Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me" (no laughing allowed). One of the keys was that you've gotta learn the 7 most important words. No. It's not . . . "can I have cheese with that, please". The 7 most important words that a financially, successful person must learn are . . . "is that the best you can do". (now I know you're counting on your hand if that's 7 words. it is. trust me.) So . . . little ole me decided to do some bargaining. Now. For anyone who knows me, you know that me would never walk into a store and start bargaining. That's just not me . . . until now that is. So one of the sales clerks (who appeared to be the store manager) asks me if I need any help. Well, why yes. Yes I do.

me: "I really love that mirror, but don't want to pay that much for it "(okay, so I didn't use the 7 actual words, but this worked just as well.)

sales clerk: " oh. okay. let me see what I can do. " (looks at the price. appears to be thinking. looks at the price again.)

me: (hands fumbling and feeling very nervous and a little stupid . . . I never do this)

sales clerk: "well, we did just bring this out here. and we usually mark down after 3 days of being on the floor. . . . so . . . what about $19.99?"

me: "that sounds perfect. thanks!" (trying to act very casual, but really I wanted to jump up and down and scream hallelujah and maybe give him a little hug or at least a pat on the back! It worked!)

So I took that baby home. And my hubby T was very impressed. Who knew that he had married a wheeler-dealer (for those who don't know that term . . . I just looked up the official definition and it is . . . One who advances one's own interests by canny, aggressive, or unscrupulous behavior.) Yep. That's me. Canny. Aggressive. And unscrupulous.

I know you're all in suspense. And so, without further ado, here is the mirror I found. (I do understand that not everyone has my taste, but I love it!)

I love the details!

(when I came home, I looked on the back . . . it's an Ethan Allen. lucky me.)

I already had a plan for this baby.

First I wiped it down.

Then taped the insides with paper and made sure it was under each crevice so that I wouldn't get spray paint on the mirror.

I then spray painted with a primer.

And then spray painted a few hours later with white spray painted.

Waited 4 hours for it to set and dry.

And then spray painted again. I think my neighbors think I'm weird.

And the finished product . . .

The inspiration for our living room is coming from this picture in this blog.