Monday, January 31, 2011

Sweet Tooth

I've done a good job throughout my pregnancy of keeping my weight in check.

But I have a feeling these last seven weeks are going to be harder.

Not because I'm hungrier, but because I decided to put this little Valentine's display on my dining room table.

I can't seem to walk by it without grabbing some candy from one of the jars!

This was really easy to put together.

I found the tray at the Salvation Army last month for $1.99.  It looked like this:

After I removed all of the magazine pictures from it and used some "Goo Gone," Jason hit it with a fresh coat of white spray paint.

The apothecary jars I've found thrifting over the years (and a couple on clearance at AC Moore), so I just filled them with a variety of Valentine's candy.

The rose ball was originally created for Imani's birthday mantel.  I found the "Love" heart at Hobby Lobby for 67 cents and just stuck it in the top.

I got out my stamps and made the XO tags along with the Happy Valentine's Day card.

And there you have it . . . a little Valentine's display that's tempting everyone in the house!

The Girl Creative

The DIY Show Off

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bedroom Changes

Designing a nursery has posed some challenges like

Where will guests sleep if they stay over (since this was a spare bedroom)?


Where will we put all of that STUFF that is currently in the closet? (pictures of that crazy closet coming soon!)

Remember, we live in a little Cape Cod style home with just three bedrooms, which is why we were originally planning to move.

But then, after some structural problems with the home we were about to buy, and a deep love for this house, we decided to stay.

After all, people have raised kids in smaller quarters, right?

We're already thinking about how we could add an addition onto the house for our growing family, but that's a long-term plan.

Anyway . . . one of the challenges was what to do with the bedding we had purchased for the spare room.  Maybe you remember it . . .

I really loved the cozy cottagey look of it.

(For those of you who've asked, it's Nautica and I bought it on clearance last year at Bed Bath and Beyond.)

So I decided I'd incorporate it into our bedroom, which is
about to get a little makeover of its own anyway.

I'm loving all the pillows!

Instead of using the quilt as the entire bed covering, I just folded it and placed it at the end
because I love my white comforter cover.  I like that the matching bedding is broken up a little now.

I'm still debating if we should use the headboard from the spare room in our room too. The problem is, our room is so stinkin' tiny that I am trying to reduce the amount of furniture to make it feel more spacious.

See that nightstand over in the corner?  I HATE the color.

Here's a closer look:

The drawer pulls have to go too.  I'm not feeling the brass.

And of course, all the clutter that's lying on top of the nightstand needs to go too. 

The old school alarm clock will be gone and the fan just might get replaced too.

Getting rid of the fan all together is not an option.  If you missed why, click here.

We have an entire set - two dressers and a nightstand all in dark cherry.  It's just too dark for such a small space.    We used to have a king sized bed to match, but thankfully, we sold that beast on Craig's List last summer to create more room.

Look at how terrible it looked. I cannot even believe I am going to post this picture.

Everything is wrong here . . .

The curtains -- soooo dark (and sloppy for this picture!)

The wall hanging . . .

The way the bed is made  . . . 

The sloppy pillows . . . .

Uggh . . . it's all terrible (except I do like the Pottery Barn bedding . . . just a little too much burgundy going on here).

So with the giant bed gone, there are plans to refinish the nightstand and dressers soon . . . I'm still debating on color.  I was thinking of white, but it might be a little too feminine for Jason so maybe a distressed/antiqued light gray?  We're open to suggestions.

Until then, you'll have to wait and see. 

Right now, the old Coupon Cowboy has come down with a nasty virus
--- fever and all ---  
so he won't be refinishing any furniture this weekend.

He did manage to clip some coupons this week though and he seemed pretty excited about
whatever it was that he found.   I'll keep you posted if it's anything exciting.

Until then, he's not enjoying the comforts of that wonderful bedding and all of those fluffy pillows. 

He's retreated to the couch so baby and I don't get sick :-(

Should I be offended that Maggie has chosen to go and sleep with him on the couch?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Simple (and cheap) Valentine's Mantel

I decided to put together a very simple Valentine's Mantel on the cheap, since we've been working toward our New Year's Resolution.

It wasn't easy because I keep seeing cute Valentine's displays all over the Internet and tons of cool Valentine's decor in stores.

But it is possible to decorate inexpensively.

Here's what I came up with.

Most of the items were found throughout my house, like the white pitcher and creamer (which were thrifted last year).  It wouldn't be a Decorating Addiction Mantel without some white pitchers!  I just tied a little ribbon left over from Christmas around the pitcher and left the little creamer alone.

The chippy window has been in our basement since we bought this house five years ago.  I put it in the background to add some dimension.

Imani came home from school and said,

"Oh I love the mantel mom . . . but I'm just not sure why that junky window is behind everything!"

I think I need to take her to Anthropologie some time.

The large apothecary jar was a TJ Maxx purchase last year for $7.  We've had it sitting around in a corner collecting dust not sure what to do with it and we had the cherries that we purchased at Target last year.

The red plate is actually one of those cheapy plastic chargers that are sold around Christmas time.  I have a ton of them in red and gold so I pulled one out and put some vinyl on it.

The plate stand was purchased at a thrift store for 79 cents a while back, but I think they also sell them at the dollar store.

The two little plaques (I don't know what they are called) were a purchase at Hobby Lobby, specifically for this display.   They were on clearance for $2.49 each and I bought some scrapbooking stickers with quotes about love to put on them.

Did I mention that I won a Silhouette machine from Beneath My Heart last week?!  I cannot wait to get it so I can use it for projects like this instead of buying stickers!

And finally, the milk glass plate was a purchase from Hub's Place over the summer (it was less than $5).  I put a ribbon through it and placed it on another one of my 79 cent plate holders. 

I found the candlestick at the Salvation Army about a month ago for 99 cents and I just put a candle I had from my house on it.  I might have to give that candlestick a coat of a darker red spray paint eventually, because I'm not really feeling that color but for now, it'll have to do.

And there you have it . . . a simple (and cheap!!) Valentine's mantel.

Can you believe I've already got a plan for next year's Valentine's Mantel?  But it's not going to be cheap so I have to start planning now!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Birthday Wrap Up

It was a busy weekend celebrating Imani's 10th Birthday.

I kicked off celebrations with the birthday mantel.  If you missed it, click here.

Imani wanted to have a Justin Bieber themed birthday sleep over this year.  I don't know what possessed me to say yes to a sleep over when I'm seven and a half month's pregnant, but I did.

There wasn't much sleep in this house over the weekend and it took me a couple of days to recover.

I didn't go crazy with decorations this year, like I have in year's past.

Like the time we turned our entire basement into Hogwarts from Harry Potter to host Imani's seventh birthday.

Or the time we drew out all of the Spongebob characters for Imani's eighth birthday.

Instead, I let Imani decorate by hanging up a bunch of Justin Bieber posters in the dining room.

I was so proud of myself for not going through and straightening them behind her.

We played some JB games (trivia, hot potato, word search), and there was a whole lot of singing "Baby"


and over

and over. 

I wasn't sure Jason was going to last, but he ended up retreating to the office nook and searching for coupons.   I think it's become somewhat therapeutic. 

No, I'm not joking.

We ended up having two parties -- one for family and one for friends, so naturally we had two cakes.

Imani wanted a Justin Bieber cake, and I was at a loss for how to make one.

She had written Justin Bieber a letter about a month ago inviting him to her party and told all of her friends that he just might show up, even though I prepared her that it was unlikely.

So Jason and I thought it would be fun to use a little photoshop to make it look like Imani and Justin did, in fact, meet.  We had the image scanned onto a cake at our local grocery store and surprised Imani with the cake for her sleepover.

Some of the girls thought he actually did come over before they got there because apparently, they hadn't heard of photoshop. 
Of course there was a lot of debate over who would get the slice that had JB's head on it. 
The birthday girl won.
For her family party, I decided I'd attempt to make a guitar cake, since Imani loves music so much.

I used the book "Cakes for Kids" that my sister in law bought for Imani last year. It's written by Matthew Mead and is filled with a ton of wonderful, creative cakes. 

I found this guitar cake that didn't look too complicated.

Imani said she wanted her guitar cake to be blue and purple (JB's favorite colors, of course). 

I'm no master at cake decorating by any means, but the cake looked like a guitar, so I was pleased.

Here are a few of the cakes I've made for her in the past.


Barney and Friends

Camping Cake (one of my personal favorites):

And Spongebob Squarepants

With another birthday successfully behind us, I can now start to focus on the millions of other projects I have in my brain like

decorating for Valentine's day

refinishing our bedroom furniture

decorating the nursery


finding creative storage solutions in this tiny Cape to prepare for all of the baby stuff.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Made Me a Mom

Although it is you who will unwrap gifts tonight after dinner,
it is I who received the best gift I could have ever dreamed of 10 years ago today.

You made me a mom.

Although it is you who is only ten and is discovering the world through innocent eyes,
you open my eyes to the  beauty around me that  I would otherwise overlook
because of the "busyness" of adulthood.

You made me a mom.

Although it is you who thanks me when I take care of you when you're sick or
when I ease your worrying little mind,
it is I who should thank you for teaching me
selflessness and self-sacrifice.

You made me a mom.

Although it is you who earns each and every "A" in school
high points in basketball
or praise for your musical abilities,
it is I who equally feels joy and pride.

You made me a mom.

Although it is you who sheds tears from time to time because of the cruelties of the world,
It is mine whose heart aches and wants to shelter you from pain.

You made me a mom.

Although it is you who thinks I am so smart and I have so much to teach you,
it is you who have taught me

unconditional love








You made me a mom.

Happy 10th birthday Imani.

I love you to the moon and back.
More than the stars in the sky
More than the sand at the beach
More than the grass on the ground
More than all the snow in Fulton. :-)

Thank you for making me a mom.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Happy 10th Mantel

As you know, I've been working on a little surprise for Imani.

I finally finished it yesterday, so when Imani came home from school, she was welcomed with this.

I got the idea from Kami at No Biggie, who created a birthday mantel for her daughter Avery.  I loved the idea of honoring your child by decorating the mantel.  After all, we decorate the mantel for Valentine's Day, Spring, Winter, Fall, and other special occasions, so why not dedicate this space to your most precious loved ones?

First, I started by creating these flower balls last weekend after seeing them over at House of Smith's.

Then, I inserted dowels and placed them in a white pitcher.  I wanted to create a feeling of celebration, like balloons, but aren't these so much prettier?  They're kind of a cross between balloons and flowers so I'm calling them ballowers! 

I also purchased these little wedding favor boxes from the dollar store (12 for $1).  I stenciled numbers 1-10 on them and Jason helped me color them all in.  The best part is that each little box is filled with a small gift for Imani (her favorite candy, money, little treasures).  I then stuffed each box with pink or green tissue paper to add some color to the mantel and tie in the ballowers.

I put a paper clip on each box and found photos for each year of Imani's birthday parties.  I took the photos to Wal-Mart and scanned them in on one of those nifty little photo machines and turned them into black and white photos with black and white borders.  Each photo was 28 cents to reproduce.  I don't have a photo printer or I would have just done this at home.  Any giveaways for photo printers out there?

In retrospect, I should have picked pictures that were all horizontal, because I'm not liking that three pictures are vertical, but it'll have to do for now.

I left the last photo in color to make it stand out more, since we are celebrating the 10th birthday this year.

Notice Imani's wearing a Justin Bieber t-shirt in the photo?  That's the theme of this year's party that is taking place tonight!  Oh, and did I mention it's a sleepover?  What an oxymoron, because I'm sure there will be NO sleeping taking place.  Someone tell me what I was thinking when I agreed to this party?!

I also added a Happy Birthday banner that I made.  I bought the banner at the dollar store and separated the pieces (another idea snagged from Kami at No Biggie -- she's got some great ideas so definitely check out her blog).   Jason spray painted the letters white and then I applied glitter glue.  Once they dried, I added polka dots in the colors of the ballowers.   I strung some ribbon across the mantel and attached the letters with good ole fashioned clothespins.

Finally, I added one of the only professional photos I have of Imani above the mantel and her little lamb that she slept with since she was a baby.  I included a glittery "10" with the lamb, but as you can see, I didn't glitter the sides of the numbers, which I should have :-(

Here's the whole mantel again.

Imani was psyched to have a mantel entirely designed and decorated just for her.   She still doesn't know there are little surprises in each of the boxes. 

Her actual birthday is Monday, and we'll probably leave it up for a few days after that before I put together the Valentine's mantel. 

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