Magnolia Market Trip and Hack

Some friends and I made a pilgrimage to Waco to visit the Magnolia Market. It’s about a 2 hour drive from where I live, which is nothing in Texas, so we loaded up on snacks and made it a girl’s trip! 

It’s so fun to see what Chip and Joanna Gaines have created, and I love their style. But I’m weak folks… I get totally star-struck in realizing I’m at the location of one of my favorite TV shows…  I start thinking that maybe I’ll spot Joanna and she’ll come up to me and say, “Thank you for spending hundreds of hours  watching my show, here’s a coupon for 99% off anything in the store, and let’s be best friends!” 

Sigh… that never happens! 

Most of what I fall in love with at Magnolia doesn’t fall into my cheap girl budget. 
But… These little flower pots were on sale and came home with me! 

They looked so amazing amongst all the industrial, farmhouse style of the Silos… and there was even a little voice that told me if I bought them, my house would magically transform into the Market. 

Sadly, that transformation didn’t happen, and they didn’t look as amazing when I stuck them on my traditional-style, granite countertops. Is it so weird that I like how they look on my garage floor the best? 

At the Market this time of year, they have thousands of life-like tulips out in pots and crates, and I was completely gaga over them. Tulips are my favorite flower, and I’ve been searching for life-like artificial stems for a while now… but at $4 a stem I just couldn’t do it! I would need 50 stems to get the bouquet I wanted, and there was no way I could justify $200 on artificial flowers. The twins need new shoes for crying out loud! 

The tags on all of the stems at Magnolia market claimed that they were made in China… so here’s my little hack:

I did a quick search on eBay for  artificial tulips and found the exact same stem!! 

And guess what?! On eBay, they cost about $3.50 (including shipping) for 10 tulips! 

Everything about these pics looks exactly like the tulips at Magnolia. 

So I ordered 50 and paid $18!! Boom! 

The sad catch is that they won’t arrive for two months… and there is a huge risk that they won’t look exactly the same… but for a $182 savings… I’m willing to wait and see! 

I’ll post again when they arrive so we can see if my risk pays off! 

Behind the Scenes of the Four Chairs Project 

I’m starting a new project and want to share some pics as I go!

These 4 chairs were filthy! I wouldn’t let my kids touch them until I cleaned them. They are also a little wobbly and I’ve got to get to the bottom of that.

Each chair is different. I’m guessing that the previous owner refinished them all to make them appear like a set.

The two Carvers Chairs in the center intrigue me the most, so I’m going to research their history.

The first step in refinishing a project, is to give the wood a good wash. I used ammonia and water, and my rag was black from the dirt and paint that came off!

Side note: DO NOT use ammonia on painted furniture for regular cleaning as it can take off the finish. Since these chairs are getting new paint, I’m not worried about the current finish.

Next I began removing the fabric from the chairs.

I took the seats off and tightened all of the supporting screws. That helped with some of the wobbles.

Next I began removing the fabric.  I used a flat-head screwdriver and pliers to get the staples out.

Look how dirty!!

Underneath the first layer of fabric was another layer, and judging by the staples,I’m  assuming the same person (maybe the last owner) recovered the chairs on two separate occasions.

The first chair was simple, but things got messy when I got to the ornate Carvers chair. There were 5 layers of fabric on the seat!

And the fabric and nails got older and older as I uncovered the layers!

The last layer was disgusting, like haunted house disgusting!

This curly black stuff that was used as padding looks like horse hair!

The rusty nails at this layer just broke off and I couldn’t get one out! And the dirt… oh so disgusting! It was caked on, and even thicker than the fabric!! Despite wearing a face mask, my snot was black when I blew my nose afterwards. (That’s when you know you’re really dirty!)

I’ve never seen so much dirt trapped in between layers! To think that through all the years people were just reupholstering over the top, layer by layer, and sitting on all that dirt! Ugh!

This is how the carver chair looks now. It’s by far the oldest of the 4 chairs. And I’m dying to know more about its history.

This basic dining chair is the heaviest and newest of the 4.

Another carver chair. I like the lower back on this one.

The 4th is a fiddle back chair that got attacked by some fingernail polish. Lots of junk on this one.

Thanks for joining me behind the scenes today!!

Weekend Design Trip

Last month I got to take a little time off from my full-time mom job, to travel to meet with designers and business owners. The design world has so many facets, and I’m still trying to figure out where I want to take my business. My hubby was amazing and sent me off to learn on a kid-free trip.

First I headed up to Utah to see my mom on her birthday. Can I just say how wonderful my mom is? I’m always trying to capture a little speck of her kindness, and I’m so lucky to be her friend! We celebrated her birthday with a trip to the temple, puzzles, and parties! We played around with some of her decor as well and put together this vignette over her piano:


Since I only had one day in Utah, we packed it full!  We visited with boutique owners, bloggers and interior designers. I asked loads of questions, and my mind is full of information!

We also squeezed in a trip to a thrift store where I located some furniture for my mom and some chairs for my sister! Check out this table I found for their grouping by the fire:


They needed a table to put books, plates and items on while they relax in one of their favorite spots! I found this little $15 gem at the thrift store, and fell in love with it’s clean lines and the castors on the legs.

Don’t you love my mom’s eclectic, shabby, neutral style? By combining industrial, vintage and even mid-century, she’s created comfortable spaces filled with pieces she loves, and it all works to create a soothing, relaxing home!

This is where I get to stay when I visit! So cozy!


The next morning I caught a 6am flight and headed to Phoenix. A good friend picked me up and we went for a hike. It’s been ages since I’ve been anywhere “elevated”, so I was thrilled to get to do a real hike to Squaw Peak in Phoenix. Check out the view! I’m so inspired by this color scheme!


In Phoenix I met with friends, spoke with 3 interior designers and spent hours discussing business strategies with an old college friend who owned a staging business.

By the end of my trip, I was mentally exhausted! There was so much information bouncing around in my head, and with all the late nights, hiking, and running around, I was dead tired!

I was also crazy homesick for my own family! I’m sorry if I was in your town, and didn’t get to visit with you! I’ll be honest… I was a wreck! When I get tired, I cry like a baby! It’s not pretty. The hours before my flight found me sitting in a parking lot bawling my eyes out! So tired! I’m laughing about it now… but at the time, I just wanted to be home.

To make matters worse, my flight kept getting delayed… and then finally got cancelled, and the small airline I was flying wouldn’t do anything to help me out. I had to scramble to find a different flight on a different airline… get a hotel room by the airport… shuttles back and forth… rental car… more crying… spending more money on the flight home than all my previous flights put together… sigh…

But I finally made it home, and by that time, I was so thrilled to see my family! It felt as if I’d been gone for months… not days!

All things considered, this design trip was good. I was able to take a few moments for deep introspection, and difficult growth. I’m still not sure how to put it all together and create a business… but I’m working on it, and feel a few steps closer.



Old Cabinet Door Joy Sign DIY

I found some old cabinet doors for sale for $3 on a FB page.  But when I got there, the seller said she was sold out of the $3 size and only had the $15 sizes left. I felt stuck, because I had already picked out two doors I wanted, thinking they were $3 each. I didn’t want to be rude, so I told her they were just out of my price point, and she ended up giving me both doors for $20. I left so irritated for paying that much… 

A few weeks later, I saw 10 cabinet doors on a curb for the trash and the idea of solid wood doors rotting in a landfill somewhere just killed me! There are so many ways to reuse them! So I decided to “do my part to save the environment!” I pulled over. 

Not wanting to be a total trash picker I knocked on their door and asked if I could take them. (In hindsight I probably won’t do that again, since knocking on stranger’s doors could be problematic… and dangerous.) 

Anyway, they were happy to let me take them! 

The new/old cabinet doors had a curve in them that I didn’t love. I also don’t have a lot of storage space for 10 doors… so I gave 2 doors to a friend and sold the other 8 for $20. Now my first two cabinet door mistake purchases ended up being totally free!

Here is what I did with one of the doors:

First, I filled in the knob holes and sanded it down.

Then I painted it grey. 

Can I stop for a minute and tell you how much I love Sherwin William’s Peppercorn paint color? I’d love to do a kitchen island this color with white marble countertops, while the rest of the cupboards are white! Sigh… someday! 

Ok… next, I spot waxed over the dry grey paint, then painted the door SW Westhighland White. When it was dry I used the scraper to distress it. The grey really came through for a nice crackle look! 

Next, I printed and cut out some letters for my template. 

After tracing the letters I began painting! 

My 5 year old snapped this pic when I wasn’t aware!
I’m not going to lie, I don’t love lettering! It kind of makes my OCD bells clang… Glad I didn’t listen to the voices in my head telling me to keep the other doors and paint lots of signs! 

Here is the finished cabinet door:

5th Grade “Made By Kids” Bazaar Project 

I always feel blindsided when my oldest tells me about the school project he’s been assigned. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the teachers don’t send me the details, or any kind of explanation about what is required for the project… (oh, I could go on all day…)
So…. one day my son comes home telling me he has to present two options of homemade, non-food things he could sell at a Bazaar.  We began scouring Pinterest.
In the end we presented Christmas signs and dog biscuits. Apparently the teacher got the final call on what he could make. He was really hoping the biscuits would get approved, and was so disappointed when the teacher picked the signs. He just didn’t think Christmas signs were cool, and he was worried that no one would buy them. He even said he felt pressured into choosing the sign option, when he wanted something else! 
I felt terrible. Suddenly the pressure was on to be amazing.

 I found the wood at a local construction job site’s junk wood pile! They were happy to let me take it.

We found the free printables online and had them printed onto 5×7 photo paper at Costco. 

My son got really excited when I said he could use the power tools.
We cut the boards into 9″ lengths, sanded them, and painted them using craft paint. 

Then we used Modge Podge to glue the prints on the painted boards. We made 20 boards, and they looked great! 


But my son was still nervous! We both had visions of him standing around all night at the Bazaar with kids teasing him, and then having him go home with all of the boards.

Finally the day of the Bazaar arrived! His asking price was $5 each, and he sold out within 30 minutes!! I was beyond relieved! 

People loved them! And he was thrilled! Yay! 

The whole project cost only $13 for the prints since I had all the other supplies. 

What do you think? 

Cedar Garland DIY

I wanted to do a fresh cedar garland on a mantle I was decorating for a client. Luckily, my sweet little neighbor had some and it really needed pruning! She just got out of the hospital, so I traded her dinner for the cedar!!

Incidentally, Home Depot and Lowes sell a clump for about $15.99. But I wanted to save my client a little cash.

Using gloves to protect from the thorns, I cut the limbs off at nice angles.

Next I let them all soak in the tub so they would stay fresh longer. The tub was a really messy way to soak them, and I had to be careful not to let anything go down the drain! (Should’ve thought that through better!)

For the garland:

I wrapped an old artificial garland with lights and laid that on the mantle first, to add some height. I didn’t want to wind the lights through the cedar, so using the artificial garland was perfect!

Next I added the cedar boughs and covered the garland. The next layer was a glittery, snowy spray that my client found at Hobby Lobby, she also had some German stars that o intertwined on the front.

Then I added a final layer of garland to cover all of the wires and stems.

Lastly, I stuck glitter stems among the boughs to add a little more texture!

The white trees and snowy spray were found at Paul Michaels Co in Canton. The “peace” letters are actually stocking holders that we propped up on blocks. The jug and wire tree were flea market finds.

I did another cedar garland on her dining table, and created a table runner using sheet music. 

I did a similar cedar garland on my own mantle, but didn’t add the lights.

On my mantle I used some mossy stems under the cedar and tossed some white Pompoms on top. 

Christmas Tree Box DIY

We bought an artificial tree this year, and after 2 agonizing hours trying to decide between 2 different kinds of trees (lots of phone calls to my hubby and sister) I went with a flocked tree! 

I love it so much… but that gap under the tree was making me crazy!! 

I tried my hardest to make the base fit into this crate, but it was 2″ too small. 

So I decided to build me a box. Or a faux one at least! 

After studying the construction of the current crate, I went to Lowes and chose 3 cedar picket fence boards that were 8’x5″, some galvanized nails, and a 1.5″X11.5″ smaller piece of wood for the shim. (Not sure “shim” is the right word here because the store helper looked at me funny when I said it… you know, the piece you nail stuff too!) 

I cut 2 of the planks into 6 20″ pieces for the sides. And the last plank I cut into 3, 22″ pieces. 

I nailed the pieces into two shims which was trickier than I thought since I had to use a step stool to balance it out while I was hammering. 

I only made three sides to the box so I could just slide it under the tree. It’s tall enough that you don’t see the back at all! 

Then I sanded off all the rough edges which took a while since cedar is such a hard wood.

It slid right under my tree and I’m so thrilled with how it looks!! 

I generally paint everything white, but the natural is really pretty too… So I need advice. Should I paint it white, or leave it? 

Old Doors Redo

I did a little happy dance when I saw these two old doors at a yard sale the other day! I only wanted one, but the owner said he wanted to sell them as a set. His price: $10.

Uh, yeah!

My kids were trying to talk me out of it and my hubby thought I was crazy… but the seller got excited when I told him my vision of painting them. He even suggested using them to display pictures in the windowpanes. He was so cute!

These doors were a mess. A dog had scratched the side and there were lots of dings. I wasn’t worried about any of it because I wanted to make it look old and banged up.

First I removed the hardware. The hinges were easy, but I couldn’t figure out a nice way to take off the handles. I had to destroy them to get them off.
Next I taped around the windows… 15 windows x 4 sides of the door… that’s right 60 windows! I was taping for days! My exacto knife really helped out here.

Next I ran a dry cloth over the wood to clean it up.

Then it was time to paint. I used Sherwin Williams Functional Gray Paint for the first color.

I loved this color so much that I was tempted to just leave it! But with white dreams, I moved on.

One easy way to get a chippy distressed wood is by using wax. Before I painted the second coat, I rubbed an old candle over the edges and windowpanes. Paint won’t stick to the wax, so with some scrubbing and time, it will flake right off.

Next I painted the top coat using Sherwin Williams’ Pure White in Satin finish. I had to do two coats of this to achieve good coverage.

As soon as it was dry, I used a scraper and went over the entire door. Any spot that had wax just flaked right off. This was my favorite part of the entire project!

Finally, I removed the tape. There were so many coats of paint that the tape was impossible to remove cleanly without the exacto knife.

And here are the finished doors!

I’m so in love with them!

My hubby even surprised me and moved them up to the guest bedroom so I could see what they would look like as a headboard.

My only regret is that I didn’t get the number of the cute little man who I bought them from so I could show him how they turned out!

This was such a fun project!

Comment below and let me know if this tutorial helped you!

Little Blue Chair Redo


This was a fun little project! Found this old chair for $10 at a thrift store!



I removed the cushion and fabric, and using a staple gun, added new fabric.

Then I lightly sanded down the chair.

I used Krylon’s paint plus primer and did the first coat in black.


Once that was dry, I used Krylon’s Pewter Gray spray paint for the top coat. I sanded the edges down to reveal the black and distress it a bit.


Love how it came out!

What do you think?


Farmhouse Clock Redo

The other day, my sweet friend K asked if I thought we could change her clock. 

This is the clock before. I think you can still get it for $50 at Hobby Lobby. 


When I got there Kelly had removed all the numbers. Turns out that it was just paper glued onto the wood, which was already painted black. 

We saved the papers, and cut out the numbers. I used them as my template for the new black numbers. 

I used my own Chalk paint mixture of Sherwin Williams White paint to cover the wood. Once is was dry, I did some light distressing with sandpaper. 

Next I traced the numbers onto the painted wood and hand painted them in with Sherwin Williams’ “Peppercorn” paint. You could easily make vinyl numbers with a cricut or Silhouette Machine to make this project go a little faster. I sat and painted away during the Cubs/Dodgers game! 

I used an eraser to remove the pencil marks left from tracing, and then painted the clock hands using the same paint as the numbers.


I’m so in love with how it turned out!! The clock components work, and it looks amazing on her wall. 

Now I’m on the hunt for another clock so I can have one for myself!