Monday, December 12, 2011


Well, unfortunately it seems I'm getting a little spam on my comments so I'm turning on word verification for comments. I apologize for the inconvenience. Man, it is just too bad that a few people ruin things for everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree…Oh Christmas Tree

Time to share my main tree.  This tree is the one that sits in our living room.  All of the presents for Hot Rod, myself, the girls, their husband, and of course my new grandbaby will reside beneath it’s branches before the big day comes.  This tree has progressed over the last few years to what it is today…BEAUTIFUL!!!!


The color scheme is red, gold, and white.  The tree itself came from Sears a few years back.  It was pre-lit.  I say WAS because those pre-lit lights haven’t worked since it’s second year.  But, I still love the tree so much I just hang lights on it and keep going.  I love this tree and I love so many of the ornaments on it.  Every year I get a new ornament for myself and my girls.  I hang them on the tree and the girls have to figure out which is the new one for the year. This year there are actually 2 of them.  I bought them and then figured out that I only got 3 and I wanted to start a collection for Sidney too.  I went back to get another one and they were all gone so I got something else too.  So, the first one was this adorable owl.  He is so cute!


So, since I couldn’t get a 4th one I went with the matching bird instead, he is cute too, not as cute as the owl but I think he’ll do just fine.


Some of my other favorite ornaments and decorations I wanted to share include this one.  I have one of these for each of the dogs, all of ours and all of the kids.  I just lost my wonderful dog, Charlie, the day before Thanksgiving.  He was so special and will always hold a special place in my heart so his ornament got front and center placing this year as a memento to him.  We will miss you Charlie more than I can ever say!


I got a few new ornaments at Dillards last year after Christmas so this was the first year for them on the tree and I do love them!




Every year my sisters and I go to a local nursery that really does it up for Christmas.  They have tons of decorated trees throughout the store in just about every theme you can imagine.  I usually get a few ornaments each year to add to my collection and this year I found this beautiful mini-chandy.  It was the perfect addition to the tree this year.


The last thing I would like to share is my “topper”.  I saw this type of topper on Pinterest and around the web and started doing it last year.  I have added more things this year after the sales after Christmas last year and I think it has really developed into a beautiful topper.  I also added the gold Merry Christmas.  I got it at Hobby Lobby this year (50% off of course!)



Every night I got home and just watch the lights twinkle and glow and I just smile.  I love Christmas and this tree just epitomizes Christmas for me.  Full of tinsel, joy, and sparkle!


Monday, December 5, 2011

My Christmas Dining Room Table

Well, I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow covering the ground and snow flurries fluttering in the air!  It is now 24 degrees and all I want to do is go home and cuddle by the fire with my man.  One thing the snow does though is really make me get even more into the Christmas spirit!  So, I thought I would share another of my Christmas decorating projects.  This is my dining room table centerpiece setting.


I started with a new floral centerpiece.  I combined some after Christmas sale items from Dillards last year with my crystal and gold vase I got at an Estate Sale this year.  I love the final product too.


The bedazzled poinsettias are my favorite!  I then hung some gold and red bulbs from the chandelier.  I added some greenery along the length of the table and then added the candlesticks and the reindeer.  The reindeer are another after Christmas purchase from the year before last.  I think at least 75% of my Christmas décor comes from the after Christmas sales.  We (meaning my daughters and I) are already making out our list for the sales we want to hit this year and still hoping they have the things we want!




I just realized I haven’t changed out my Blessings shadow box though so please try to pretend that it has the Christmas spirit!  ha ha ha

Next up…my main Christmas tree….stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Christmas “Mantel”

Everywhere you look, it’s beginning to look like Christmas.  I got a kind of late start this year.  Well, a little later than I normally do.  My usual M.O. is we (meaning myself, my sister, and my 2 daughters) get up at the crack of dawn on Black Friday and go shopping to get in on all those wonderful deals.  Once we finish shopping, usually around noon or early afternoon I would go home and start the decorating process.  This year really threw me for a loop with the stores opening at midnight instead of their usual 4:00 or 5:00 am.  We didn’t let that discourage us though, no we were some of those crazy fools out at Target at midnight!  I didn’t go to the earlier sales though.  I decided I was boycotting any store that opened earlier than midnight.  I just think it’s unfair to employees to make them give up their Thanksgiving to go to work.  Thus Toys R Us and Wal-mart…you missed me this year!  Actually, I did go to both of those stores, but not until much later in the shopping experience.  But I digress.  So, we started at midnight and we were done around 8:00 am.  But, instead of going home and sleeping or actually getting started on my decorating I went home and just vegged in front of the TV all day and night.  I didn’t start my decorating until Saturday afternoon.  Thus, I’m still not done with everything and usually I would be done with everything by Sunday night.  Oh well, I wanted to show off a few of the things I’ve done so far though.

I am one of those people that doesn’t have a fire place so I don’t have a mantel, but what I do have is a very old upright piano that has served as my mantle for many many years.  I changed a few things up on it this year so I wanted to show it off.  First of all I have a brand new grand baby so we needed to add a new stocking!  Luckily when I bought the stockings we have now I thought ahead and bought 2 extra ones for the first 2 grandchildren.  I figured after that we would probably need all new ones by then anyway.  What I didn’t think ahead about was getting extra stocking holders though when I bought the ones I had…so new stocking holders were a necessity.  Hot Rod couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just get one new one and keep the same old 6 ones that I had….Uh NO!  So, I went to Hobby Lobby the other day and bought these…


I just love the reindeers!  I really like the swirly antlers too.  Here is a picture of the entire “mantle” put together.


The 2 apothecary jars stay on the mantle year round.  I just replace what goes in them each season.  The pine cone “trees” I got at Stein Mart after Christmas last year.  They are really pretty too.  The red and gold trees on either side are Hobby Lobby items.  The sled I got at a garage sale a few years ago for a dollar!  The reindeer pulling the sleigh are also garage sale finds, they were a dollar for both!  The greenery is just some Christmas greenery from Hobby Lobby.  The stockings are also from Hobby Lobby.  Obviously I’m missing the new letter for my sweet sweet Grandbaby.  I’ll be making that soon and get her stocking done.  The only thing I’m not really happy with is the picture above the mantel.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my kids and I love this picture but I really want a Christmasy picture there.  I’ve been looking online and I just can’t seem to find the perfect one yet.  I think in the meantime I’m going to put a mirror there instead.  So, what do you think of my “mantel”?  Oh, don’t worry, I’m replacing the lights in the apothecary jar on the right today.  That set was burned out when I got them out this year.  Ugh!  Why do lights burn out so bad each year??????  Inquiring minds want to know!

A few close ups…



Stay tuned tomorrow for my dining room table reveal.  It’s super pretty too!

Our Christmas Miracle!!!!!

Our miracle transformation that is.  It is finally done!!!!!  We have been renovating our main hall bathroom for the last few months and it is finally complete.  I’ve been so anxious to share this with you so let’s just get started, shall we?

First of all, once again I screwed up and didn’t get a true before picture.  I remembered to take the first picture AFTER Hot Rod had already demolished the tub and shower surround.  So, you’ll just have to take my word for it, it was AWFUL!  We installed the tub ourselves about 10 years ago and it was a square tub.  The tile surround was a gray (cheap as you can possibly get tile) on 2 sides and then glass bricks on one side.  It sounds pretty, but alas it was not.  The glass bricks were installed by a friend and let’s just be generous and say he didn’t know what he was doing.  They were awful!  We also didn’t know what we were doing when we installed the tile so there was a huge gap between the top of the tub and the bottom of the tile.  It was filled with caulk that got coated in mildew so it was this really ugly black all around the tub.  We did the demo ourselves and this was taken after the demo…


These are the glass bricks that we removed from the end of the tub. 

IMG_3746The next step was to clean up the mess and remove the tub.  This actually went a lot easier than we thought it would.



What was left was a big empty clod of dirt!  After removing the tub we turned it over to the construction crew we hired to do the bulk of the work.  The following pictures were taken as the work progressed.


Our plan was to keep the tile floor and to keep the vanity.  They removed the vanity first to make room for the plumbing work that had to be done.  We went from one sink to dual sinks.



They redid all of the plumbing for the tub and shower.


The new frame for the new tub.


They scraped off the popcorn ceiling and redid the texture on it as well. 


The new tub deck coming together and the new backerboard for the back walls of the tub.



The new wall and ceiling color with the new crown molding.  I LOVE it!!!!  The walls are a slightly darker shade of gray than the ceiling and the trim is all bright white.  The vanity was painted bright white as well.


The new closet doors…and they actually fit and close!  The last ones we had didn’t really fit the space so they wouldn’t close completely. 


Our new granite!  It is a beautiful sparkly black granite.  You can also see the vessel sink we chose and the faucet.  We bought the sinks, the faucets, and even the tub all online for about half the price we could have gotten them all in town.  The tub we got for half price of everywhere else we looked!




Both sinks installed as well as the mirrors and the lights.  I got the mirrors at Hobby Lobby at half price.  The lights came from Lowes. 


The new tile almost done.  We went with the white subway tiles with a black and white checked accent row about eye level.


A close up picture of the new lights above the sinks.


We did the same checked row as a backsplash on the sink counters.


Finally finished!  The tub is installed along with the shower and tub faucet.  I went with the same red accents that I had before.  They still looked good and gave the room the splash of color I wanted and I didn’t have to buy new rugs!  I did buy a new curtain as well as some new towels. 

Behold our new bathroom!!!!!


Just in time for Christmas and my Texas Tech décor looks great in here. 





So, what do you think?  I’ll be honest, we’ve already tried the jacuzzi tub out and it is AMAZING!  Both of us fit perfectly in it and a hot bubbly jacuzzi is just what the doctor ordered after a long day at work or play. 

So, there is our Christmas miracle transformation.  Total cost of the renovation was about $12K.  Needless to say this is our Christmas present to each other this year.  But, I am very happy with this gift.  One more room done, now on to the next room, the guest room!  I think that will have to wait until after the first of the year before we can begin.  We need to recoup a little from this one first!  At least on the guest room we are doing all of the work ourselves so the costs should be minimal!  (famous last words right?)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Life is Messy!

If you have never seen the movie “Parenthood” I urge you to rent it today and watch it.  It is probably one of the best movies ever on parenting and just life in general.  At one point in the movie Steve Martin is complaining about the kids and just life in general and his wife played by Mary Steenburgeon says one of the best things ever “What do you want Gill, guarantees?  Well, you can’t have guarantees.  These are kids.  This is life and LIFE IS MESSY!” 

Lately I’ve been going through an identity crisis of sorts and I’ve found myself flailing.  I haven’t posted here in so long now and the simple truth is I really haven’t done anything worth posting about.  I go to work, I go home, I sit on the couch until I move to the bed and I go to bed.  Not much else is getting done…and boy howdy does it show!  The house is in complete disarray!  All of my wonderful projects and grandiose ideas are just sitting in piles gathering dust and wishing for an industrious go-getter to grab them and finish them.  Unfortunately that has not been me lately.  And, to make matters worse, I am beating myself up over it too.  I KNOW I need to get off the couch.  I KNOW I need to get that plate wall hung.  I KNOW I need to finish up the presents for co-workers and friends for Christmas.  I KNOW I need to figure out what in the heck I’m going to do for Christmas cards.  I KNOW I need to get that damn buffet out of my entry room and refinished and put to use.  But knowing and actually DOING are two entirely different things. 

So, why do we as humans do this?  Why do we let life get in the way of…well…life?  If I had the answer then my plate wall would be done, my TV would be sitting on my beautiful new buffet turned media center, my gifts for co-workers would be done, and my Christmas cards would at least be planned.  Alas, I don’t have the answers.  What I do have though is this blog and today I’m taking the time to write this all out in hopes that if maybe I just put it all in writing it will help me move on and give me the freedom to forgive myself for being the lazy cow I have been and to tell myself, it’s ok.  Life is Messy!

Now get busy lady!  OK, OK…just one more show and I’ll get busy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Falling for Fall

To say that Autumn is my favorite season is a HUGE understatement!  I have been really busy decorating the house and porch to go with the season.  I apologize for the lack of posting, I kept thinking “oh I’ll post it when I finish it all.”  Well, that just never seems to be happening so I decided to go ahead and show what I have so far. 

My front porch has definitely been a work in progress.  I wanted to put a bunch of pumpkins and flowers out in the oranges, yellows, reds, and greens of the seasons.  So, I’ve been arranging and re-arranging things.  At the same time we’ve been having quite a bit of work being done in the house.  They are steadily working on the hall bathroom and I’m totally thrilled with how it’s coming.  I am so pumped about the wall color I chose.  The walls are a medium gray and the ceiling is a lighter gray.  All of the trim is bright white with large crown molding and baseboards.  The sink cabinet is white, as is the floor tile.  The new jacuzzi tub is also white.  They came today to measure for the granite for the top of the sink cabinet and the tub deck.  The granite we chose is black.  I think we’ve FINALLY decided on the tile for the tub surround.  We are going to go with white subway tiles with a black and white checkered accent strip about half way up.  It will be a week before the granite is put in and then they should be able to finish all the plumbing, electrical, and tile work.  I’m guessing it will all be totally done in about 3 more weeks.  Once it’s done I will be sharing the total transformation.  I’ve been taking a picture every day to track progress but I don’t want to show any of it until it’s done. 

In addition to the bathroom, we had a little mishap in the house.  A friend of mine came over to run cable in the attic so we can connect our TV and DirecTV to the internet.  He was running the cable through the attic and slipped and fell through the ceiling in the hallway from the garage into the house.  Luckily he didn’t fall all the way through and he didn’t get hurt too bad, but I can’t say the same for my poor ceiling.  I ended up with the internet at the TV but I also ended up with a rather large hole in my ceiling.  Needless to say we had to get someone out to fix the ceiling.  They did that this week and then we repainted the hallway afterwards.  Now I’m in the progress of redecorating it.  Pictures will be coming soon of it too. 

Well, that’s a lot of text and nothing to ooh and ahh over so without further adieu here are a few pictures of some of my fall inspired decor.  Enjoy!


I put a bunch of fall garlands in the wire baskets.  Then I loaded up the top basket with some miniature gourds and pumpkins purchased from Hobby Lobby.  I centered the ceramic pumpkin with our initial in the top of the top basket.  Since this picture was taken I removed everything from the bottom basket and filled it with real pumpkins.  They weigh it all down to help keep things steady in our West Texas wind and they are really pretty too!


I put the old wooden cart/table in the corner and put flowers on the top.  In front of it I stacked some fake hay stacks (purchased from Hobby Lobby) and then perched a lighted jack-o-lantern on top.  The wooden pumpkin greeting sign I set behind it all.  It says Autumn Greetings.  I also changed up my front door wreath since this picture too.  I will share that soon!


A closer picture of the corner table.


Well, that was sooner than I thought!  ha ha ha.  Here is my front door wreath just revamped for Fall.  I just removed the red flowers, added the fall foliage from the garlands from Hobby Lobby and some fabric flowers I made. 


A close-up of the fabric flowers on the wreath.  I made these out of Stampin Up fabric using a flower die and the Big Shot also from Stampin Up.  No, I’m not a Stampin Up dealer but I do happen to love love mine and I really do love their products!


Almost done now.  Just imagine that bottom basket filled with pumpkins and you can see how it looks now!  I’m seriously loving it.  Isn’t Fall just wonderful?

Now on the inside…


My new dining room table décor.  I just added some fall style flowers in the vases, set out the white ceramic pumpkin on a candle stick, set out the “Give Thanks” wooden set and the fabric pumpkin behind it.  Simple but lovely. 


I found the “Give Thanks” set up in my attic.  I’ve had them for years.  I think they are an old purchase from LTD back in the day when I was buying stuff from them.  The fabric pumpkin was given to me by my mother-in-law years and years ago.  I also found it in the attic when I was up there looking for stuff.

I couldn’t just stop there though, oh no!  I wanted to bring a little cheer and décor to work too, so I made this…


I just stamped the image in versa-mark and then embossed it with shiny black embossing powder.  The backing is just one of those cheap thin canvases from Hobby Lobby (the kind that comes 3 in a package.)  I covered it with scrapbook paper, sanded the edges and inked up the edges a little.  Then I put the stamped image on the colored paper with dimensionals to pop it up a little.  After it as all done, I just set it on a mini-easel and set it on my desk.  Voila…instant Halloween décor at work!

I hope I inspired you to do a little Fall/Halloween decorating for yourself.  Have a great weekend!