Monthly Archives: March 2014

Rosie’s Dresser Redo with a Little Paint & Marbled Paper

A couple of summers ago, there was an estate sale across the street from us where we bought these two great mid-century dining room pieces for $65.  What a steal, right?  The smaller piece we put in our living room for the TV, and the larger one I painted and put it in Rosie’s “big girl” room.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a “before” picture of that one, but the two are pretty much identical so here’s a pic of the other one for ya:


I felt bad for a minute painting over that pretty, antique wood, but the finish wasn’t in great condition anyway, and we already had Rosie’s headboard in a similar color picked out, and y’all know I’m not trying’ to be all matchy-matchy up in here.   At first I thought I would paint it a bright, solid color like turquoise or pink, but decided to go the more neutral route with gray.  The dresser is really great quality and figured it will probably stick around in Rosie’s room for awhile, so I wanted a color that would age well.

I took the drawers out and sanded them and the dresser with an electric palm sander, just enough to scratch up the top coat, and then painted on a coat of STIX Bonding Primer.  This primer is awesome and pretty much sticks to anything, but it’s kinda smelly, so I left everything in the garage for a few days to air out.  I then painted on two coats of a low voc paint, Benjamin Moore’s Aura “Smoke Gray” in a semi-gloss finish.

Okay, now for those doors.  Do you see the woven stuff on there?  Well, I ended up putting tons of paint on them to cover in between the little strips of wood.   When I went back a couple of hours later, the whole piece had totally bubbled up and was about to bust off of there.  Aaah, why did I do that? There was no saving that shiz.

rosie's dresser door before

Fortunately though, since it did bubble up, it was pretty easy to cut them off of the door.  I was able to get most of it off with a box cutter, and then used I used a chisel and hammer and lightly removed the “stuck on” pieces.  I took sandpaper and sanded down the little globs of paint to try and get a smooth finish.  Initially, my plan was to just paint the doors the same color and call it a day, but the surface was still a little rough and I figured it wouldn’t look that great. Then I thought about putting a sheet of metal on there, like copper or something, but the panel part isn’t very deep, so that wasn’t going to work either.

sand rosie dresser door

I “pinned” this really neat DIY marbled wastebasket from Little Green Notebook and this easy wall art project from House of Fifty using marbled paper, and realized the same kind of paper and a little Modge Podge would probably work on these doors.  I love, love this marbled trend. Remember I did an Etsy Roundup not long ago with marbled home accessories?  They had one marbled paper option at Paper Source that happened to work with Rosie’s color scheme, but there are tons of other colors on Etsy, or you could make your own with this tutorial from Martha Stewart.

marbled paper measure and cut

First I measured the panel and cut the paper to the exact dimensions, and then I used a foam brush and applied a thin coat of Modge Podge to the door.  Next, I lined up the top of the paper with the top part of the panel and working my way down, smoothed a little at a time to work out any bubbles or creases.  I let that dry for a few hours and then brushed three coats of the glossy finish Modge Podge (waiting 30 minutes between each coat) on top.

Marbled paper application

The cabinet knobs and pulls were pretty scratched up and discolored, so I spray painted them with Krylon “Metallic Gold” paint.  So far, they seem to be holding up, but I’ll keep you all posted if it doesn’t work out.  I love how the pretty colors of the marbled paper really pop on the gray dresser and add to Rosie’s modern, feminine decor.  Have you all refinished any large pieces of furniture lately?  How do feel about painting over antique wood, yay or no freakin’ way?

rosie's dresser after




Tuesday Etsy Roundup- A Modern Little Girl’s Room

This week’s roundup is inspired by Rosie and her “big girl” room.  I promise I’m almost finished with it and hope to show it to you guys within a week.  If I don’t paint again.  Kidding Jeff.

I asked Rosie what colors she wanted in her new room and her answer was “all the colors in da rainbow.” Eventually, I got her to narrow it down to her top three – pink, hot pink and “golden.”  Umm…not in the rainbow at all, but anyway.  I figured she would choose pink because most of her clothes are some shade of it, and her very first complete sentence was, “Pink is my color.”  She follows just about every “pink room” stereotype there is too.  She truly is a girly girl.  My challenge was to give her a pink, fun, feminine room, all while making it modern, and leaving out the famous mouse and princesses for my own sanity.  Here are some Etsy finds that reflect that style:

etsy modern girl room collage


1.  White Diamond Front Dresser, by Luxe Artifacts  –  $795

2.  Wooden Japanese Kokeshi Doll, by Madame Paisleys – $8.70

3.  Ottoman/Floor Pouf, by Zelda Belle – $150

4.  Pillow Cover, by LaFeliz Celebrations – $38

5.  “Happy Girls” print, by Tara Photographics – $23

6.  Pink sheer curtain panel, by Eleptolis  – $20

Did you let your kid help decorate their room?  Did you follow a certain “theme?”  Did you buy any kids room decorations on Etsy?  What’d you get?



Tuesday Etsy Roundup- Paris

Last night I was trying to talk one of my family members into getting married in Paris.  I’ve been to Paris before, but it was late October, cold, rainy and dreary, and I was just out of college so I was totally broke and ate McDonald’s everyday.  I need an excuse to go again.  A Paris do-over.  She’s going to be over that way next summer anyway, and she’s totally in love, so I don’t see why there should be a problem.

Have you been to Paris?  Did you or someone you know get married there?  Help a girl out and tell me her how amazing it was.

Paris Etsy Collage

1.  “Paris Je T’aime” (Paris, I love you) print from Menina Lisboa – $25

2.  Knob from Comfort Zone Central – $3.95

3.  Novelty gift, “Canned Air from Paris” from Cooperativ – $9.99

4. Paris Skyline Print from Art Pause – from $22.35

5. Tea towels from Mulberry and Fig – $10

6.  “Rainy Day Paris” print from Groovy Gravy  – $30

Quick, Easy Asian Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables

asian noodles with shrimp recipe

One night last week Jeff and Rosie went out for pizza and to watch a basketball game, while I stayed home to catch up on some much needed me time.  I wanted to make something quick and easy for dinner because I had approximately 2 1/2 hours, and if you’re a Mom you know that’s barely enough time to get a load of laundry in, shower, and maybe (probably not) pluck your eyebrows.

asian noodle vegetables

  I had some Trader Joe’s rice noodles in the refrigerator, along with some random leftover vegetables, so I decided to make an Asian noodle stir fry.  I love the sauce in this recipe from Real Simple magazine’s, Slow Cooker Asian Pork with Snow Peas.  I simply adapted it to my ingredients, swapped out the swine for shrimp and eliminated the slow cookin’ part.   You could use any vegetables you have on hand: broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, whatever.  The recipe itself is fairly quick and easy, but I’ll be perfectly honest, my kitchen was kinda destroyed with all the ingredients, so add some extra time for clean up.  Orrrr….put it off until the next morning like I did.

asian noodle shrimp recipe

Asian Noodles with Shrimp and Vegetables  (adapted from Real Simple’s Slow Cooker Asian Pork with Snow Peas)

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tsp cornstarch

2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

1- 1inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced  (or you could do a teaspoon or so of minced ginger)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon of your preferred cooking oil (I used coconut oil)

1/2 lb medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 bunch kale, cut from stems and chopped

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

12 oz Asian noodles (I used Trader Joe’s rice noodles, but you can use any kind of soba or flat rice noodles)

Chopped unsalted peanuts for garnish

Combine and whisk first eight ingredients in mixing bowl and set aside.   In a wok, heat a 1/2 tablespoon of oil at medium heat and add shrimp, cooking until they turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from wok and set aside.  Add the rest of the oil and cook onions, red pepper,  cauliflower, and carrot.  Cook, stirring often for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent.   While the vegetables are cooking, cook your noodles according to the package instructions. (Be sure not to overcook. Rice noodles tend to get mushy if they boil for too long).  Add kale to the other vegetables and cook for another minute.  Add sauce to wok and turn heat down to medium low.  Cook for a few more minutes or until kale is cooked down and sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and add noodles* and shrimp stirring to combine with a pasta spoon.  Serve in bowls topped with peanuts.

*If you think you’ll have leftovers, you may not want to add all of the noodles to the sauce.  Pack up the leftover sauce and noodles and refrigerate separately.  Jeff took some for lunch the next day and said the noodles had gotten mushy because I had combined them all.

Early Spring Planting with Rosie

…Aaand it’s cold again.  It was amazing outside at the beginning of the week, a couple of those unusually warm winter days that trick you into thinking spring is here.  I don’t know how it is in your town, but around here it means putting your top down, wearing a hoodie and flip flops, (yeah I’m talking about you, carpool attendant lady), and starting some much needed yard maintenance.  Rosie and I took full advantage of the nice weather by cruising around the neighborhood on our training wheels, cleaning up the raised garden beds, and planting some of those “4-6 weeks before last frost” vegetables.

Blog Planting Seeds

I checked a few websites to find out when our “last average frost” is here in Kentucky, and the consensus seemed to be somewhere between April 10th and the 20th.  I bought some seeds last year from a local company’s Etsy site, Nimble NiteCap, and with each package of seeds came a nifty, little instruction card with details on when to plant and harvest, and how far apart to space your seeds.  I got out my big binder of craft and gardening notes and inspiration, and flipped through the description cards to see what should be planted now.  I also keep a map in there of our raised beds and where I planted each seed, so I know where to “rotate” my plants the next year.

blog sping planting

  Ok, so I want to go back to Nimble Nite Cap and brag about how great their shop is.  It was so nice to be able to click through the pictures of fruits and vegetables, add the seeds to my “cart” and have them delivered to my door in a few days.  Not to mention their seeds are “heirloom, organic, and non-gmo,” and I’m buying from and supporting a local business.  Plus, we’ve had a garden every summer for the last 5 or 6 years and this past year was by far the most successful.  The arugula was to die for and a single plant produced 30-something yellow squash!  I truly believe their seeds combined with the “Square Foot Gardening” method that we also tried for the 1st time, were the biggest contributors to our success.  Ok, I swear to you that neither of these companies have paid me to say this.  I’m really just THAT HAPPY.

blog squash bounty

So, about the “Square Foot” method.  Last winter, we built a ginormous garage and driveway right through where our garden used to sit and the area of the yard that got the most sun.  Naturally I was bummed because I thought our gardening days were over, but then Jeff heard a story on NPR about a book called “Square Foot Gardening,” and how you could grow tons of stuff in these raised beds custom fitted for small spaces.  Basically, the book says you only need a square foot to grow most plants (or more plants within the square foot depending on row spacing), so you can build the boxes 1′ x 10′ or 4′ x 2′, whatever will fit in your space.  Other benefits are that you really only have to buy the recommended soil mixture once, since it’s “contained” in the box, and you’re saving yourself from some of the back breaking labor of tilling and row planting.  We planted one 1′ x 10′ box right along the driveway, a 2′ x 3′ in the backyard and a 2′ x 4′ box in the front yard.  I was a little worried about how the one in the front yard would look, but it actually blends right in with the surrounding flower bed.  We get some major sun there too, so I’m thinking of expanding it this year.

square foot book

Okay, time to brag about another awesome company, Fresh Start Grower’s Supply.  “Square Foot’s” author recommends a soil mixture of equal parts garden compost, peat moss, and vermiculite.  I had never heard of vermiculite and apparently neither had any of those guys that wear the orange aprons (don’t act surprised), so I got on the Square Foot forum and several people recommended I check out a locally owned supply store.  I actually had a Groupon for Fresh Start, so I hit them up, and I’m so glad I did.  They had vermiculite, and I gave them the dimensions of all three of our boxes and they helped me get just the right amount of stuff I needed.  Blog Spring Planting Box

 I covered the boxes with weed fabric last fall, so Rosie and I only had to spend a few minutes picking out leaves and twigs to prep for planting.  We planted peas, broccoli, arugula, buttercrunch lettuce, spring mix, and spinach in just those three boxes.  At one point I looked over and caught Rosie smooching the air over one of the boxes.  I asked her what she was doing and she smiled and said, “planting a kiss.”  Oh. my. cuteness.

Blog Spring Planting KissesI can’t wait to share some recipes with you all when our bounty comes.  Do you have a vegetable garden? What kinds of things are you planting?

Tuesday Etsy Roundup- Arrows

My mind has been on arrows this week because #1- I’m dying to see The Hunger Games sequel and that Katniss Everdeen is a badass with the bow and arrow.  And #2 – Jeff has been fundraising for a local YMCA camp and it got me thinking about how I never had the chance to go to summer camp or try out archery, and therefore I’m never going to be a badass with a bow and arrow like Katniss Everdeen.  

“Rustic modern” decorating using arrows, faux animal heads, and tree stumps seems to be hangin’ on around here for a minute.  Check out this adorable nursery and this bedroom, both with vintage arrows as decoration.  I had a really hard time narrowing down on this theme, because there are a ton of really cool arrow items on Etsy.  I’m thinking seven or eight vintage arrows in a clear vase on our dresser.  It’s like a colorful bouquet that never dies, and it will be a constant reminder to get out there and try something that I never got to experience.  

Arrow easy collage

1.  Vintage Arrows from Flat Tire Vintage – $7.95 each

2.  Pillow Cover from Deco Mod Walls – $25

3.  Cloth Napkins (set of four)  from Rangemark – $32

4.  Machine Embroidered Hoop Art from Cabo Pickles

5.  “Be Brave” Nursery Printable from Rose and Julep Paper – $5 for pdf file

6.  Coasters (set of four) from Hello Nutcase  – $25

How would you display vintage arrows?  Do you like the “rustic modern” style or do you want it to go away?


Pom-Pom-palooza: A DIY Pom-Pom Garland

pom pom garland

I’ve just been finishing up a few small projects in Rosie’s room before I reveal her “big girl room” makeover.  One of the things I’ve been working on is a garland to hang above her bed.  I wanted something that would add a bright burst of color against her neutral walls, and give her something to gaze at during nap time.  I’ve seen some super cute garlands in kids’ rooms on Apartment Therapy, and I love this one from Land of Nod:

land of nod garland

and this cute, yarn pom-pom number from Etsy store House 129
Etsy Pom Pom garland

 I did a Pinterest search for some DIY inspiration, and fell in love with a garland from the blog, Dottie Angel.  I like how it looks messy and Bohemian with the fabric scraps, flowers, and the yarns hanging, but still goes with Rosie’s girly-girl theme.

First I needed to figure how to even make a pom-pom, so I hit up Google and found this great video tutorial from Creature Comforts.  I then headed out to buy some yarn from Joann Fabrics, (it was my first time buying yarn believe it or not).  Do you know that there are two and a half aisles of this stuff?  There’s some serious knitting going on in these parts you all.  While Rosie waited semi-patiently,  I picked out 5 or 6 different colors in varying weights and textures.  I busted out my iphone at checkout, and they let me use both the 40 and 50 percent off  “one regular priced item” coupons from their app, bringing the price to around $12.  Boo-yeah!  I actually had to go back and exchange the grey ones you see pictured though, because the yarn was too thin and my pom poms were super wispy.  Make sure you buy the thicker yarns for a nice, fuller pom-pom.

pom pom garland yarn

 I measured the width of the wall where the garland would hang, and then added 4′ or so to allow for the draping.  I figured I would need about 25 pom-poms to cover my space.  I didn’t come up with this number by actually doing the math, (Yeah, right.  I am sooo right brained), but by laying out the rope on the floor, placing a few pom-poms on it and guess-timating.  Every free minute I had last week was spent making pom-poms you guys.  While everyone else was staring at their phones at the car mechanic, I was that girl with the giant bag of yarn making pom-poms.


For the larger pom-poms, I cut out a 6″ x 2 1/2″ piece of cardboard and cut out notches on both ends to make this fancy-schmancy tool.  You could make a few of these in different sizes if you’re freaked out about wrapping your hand in yarn.  What? I could see it being a real phobia.  Wrap the yarn around the tool several times.  I lost count, but I would say it was at least a million hundred.  Then take a 12″ long piece of yarn and wrap it under the yarn on one side and tie a knot.

pom pom garland tool


Carefully remove your yarn bundle from the tool. Turn the bundle over and tie another knot with that same 12″ piece.  Cut through the loops on both sides.  Try not to cut through the strings that tie your bundle together or it will be ruined.  RUINED I SAY.  Give your cute little pom-pom a trim, but don’t cut the 12″ piece because you can use that to tie the pom-pom to the garland later.  I had Jeff pick up some rope from Home Depot for the garland, and got out some fabric scraps and Modge Podge to wrap it in a “quilted” pattern like Dottie Angel’s.

pom pom garland supplies

I cut the fabric in strips of 3/4″ x 10″, brushed on the Mod Podge , and wrapped the rope by holding it up and wrapping at a diagonal.  pom pom garland rope

I let it dry and then put it back on the floor for assembly.  I tied the pom-poms to the garland, added some silk flowers and sparkly ribbon with hot glue, and just hung it up there with thumb tacks. I then had to take it down because the boss said it needed more “sarkle bows.”  That’s not a typo.  She’s having a little trouble with the “s plus another letter” combo.  She’ll get it though.  It’s been 4 days and it hasn’t moved, so I think the thumbtacks are working out.  I left a little slack in the rope, in case we need to install hooks later.

 So here’s Rosie’s garland.  I’m obsessed with it.  We were sitting on her floor doing a puzzle and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the thing.  Watch out Jeff.  We’re about to have pom-poms on everything dude.

pom pom garland

pom pom 3pom pom garland close uppom pom garland 2