DIY {Chalkboard Art}

July 22, 2013

Have you ever seen something on online or on Pinterest that you absolutely adore and would do anything to have but it's just not something that's sold or available?? This happens to me all the time, especially with Pinterest. Most of the time it's an item that's out of stock or a piece of art work that was created but not for sale! Well this is how I feel about this chalkboard art I found on one of my favorite design blogs Milk and Honey Home. I love this because it's unique and simple. Unfortunately it was not something that is sold anywhere that I know of so I decided to try and replicate this look myself. The first thing I did was search for a barn wood chalkboard. I found mine here. It wasn't cheap, but it was the exact size and style I needed and I was ok with purchasing it because I knew it would be something that I could change often....
Once my chalkboard arrived the next step was to create the monogram. This part is super easy and I didn't have to purchase anything because I had all the supplies I needed. I used stencils and real chalk. I didn't use a chalk pen here because I liked the faded look of the regular school chalk.

I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I didn't measure anything and just eye balled where I thought the monogram should go. Mistake number one! Measure, measure, measure!! I ended up having to do the stenciling twice because my husband pointed out that the letters were not centered! So please do yourself a favor and MEASURE!
 I then laid out my stencils and then placed them on the chalkboard and used painters tape to keep them from moving and just colored in the stencils with my chalk. I sharpened the chalk just to make it easier and it also helped with getting nice clean lines. I also used a wet Q-tip to take off excess chalk where needed.
And here is how it came out....

It's not exactly perfect, but the great thing about it is I can change it anytime I want! It's hanging in our bathroom right now until I find a better spot.
Do you have any chalkboard art in your home?

Kitchen Stool Update {The Great Chalk Paint Debate}

July 15, 2013

Happy Monday all!! Not too happy that another week of summer has come and gone, but we are getting closer and closer to fall!! My favorite season!
For the past few months now I have been searching for the perfect kitchen counter stools. Not an easy task! For one there are way to many choices and second, most of the ones I love are way to expensive to even think about purchasing. I mean seriously, the stools we have now have been through hell and back! They are used more than any other seating in our home aside from the couch! It's just convenient and easy to just pop a squat at the kitchen counter! So Right now with one child still in day care I can not even think about paying over $100 for a stool!! Let $329 for this one that has been on my wish list for over a year now!!
Marguerite Counter Stool
$329 x 3 for stools that will get beat up, kicked around, jumped on, spilled on.... Just not in the cards right now....
So I just decided to paint the three stools we have. I have never really been a fan of painting, especially the prep work that goes into painting furniture. I wanted to make this process as simple as possible. I thought since I have used the Annie Sloane chalk paint and LOVED how simple and easy it was to use I really wanted to see what kind of results I would get with regular Benjamin Moore chalk paint. At my local Ring's End store you can get any BM paint color in chalk paint. OMG! Right!!? And since you have to mix two different Annie Sloane chalk paint colors to get a certain color you want I just decided to try the BM chalk paint and see how it goes! Hey, if I hate it I have a great excuse to buy new stools!! :)
So here is how it went.....

Remember when I said I don't like to paint? Well now I do!! Using the chalk paint was so simple and I didn't need to sand or use primer!! The chalk paint is thick enough that I only had to use two coats on each chair and I still have enough paint left over for touch up's here and there! I purchased a quart of BM Chalk Paint in Mint Chocolate Chip for about $24. It is pricey but it beats $987!!!
The only thing I would recommend is to not go thick on the coats and letting the paint dry at least 24 hours between each coat. I being the impatient person that I am, only waited about an hour or two and some of the areas are thicker than others, but I wasn't looking for perfection just a quick fix for three stools that are on their last leg!!
Debate is over!!

Dining Room Update {New Bench}

July 12, 2013

Happy Friday all!! And Ohhhhhh what a happy day it is!!! We finally picked up the bench of my dreams and it now has a place in my dining room under the window....
If anyone knows me they know I ADORE benches and baskets. Together, separately any which way I LOVE them.... You can check out my Pinterest board here if you don't believe me!
Ok, back to the bench.... I have always envied the look of a old vintage church pew in the home used for seating in an entry or as additional seating at a dining table. Every single one I found was either way to expensive or wayyyy to long! Until I found this little number.....
Isn't she just gorgeous??? Its the perfect size for my small dining room and now we have somewhere to put all those shoes lying all over my dining room floor or the case of water that has been sitting near the stairs for a few days now!! It is functional and did I mention GORGEOUS??!!
Opps! I did!! But seriously this just makes me happy!!
If you live in the Tri-state area and love this bench as much as I do, you can visit this store and get your very own.... It was not cheap, but I have waited a very long time for this piece and it was well worth the wait! One thing I've learned (the very hard way) is to NOT impulse buy! If something you see doesn't scream in your face "TAKE ME HOME!!" or make your heart pace with anxiety there is something better out there and you will find it!!!
This is by far my favorite furniture purchase ever!!!
What one piece of furniture in your home makes you smile??

Tuesday Tip {Using Painters Tape}

July 9, 2013

Happy Tuesday all!! Not sure about you but I am pretty much DONE with all this hot, sticky weather! Don't get me wrong I love the summer months, but when its almost 100 degrees everyday with 90% humidity it kind of takes all the "fun" out of summer activities.
That being said I've been in doors the past couple of days looking at things around the house that need to get done and I've been staring at this one empty wall in my living room. If there is one thing I can't deal with its empty walls! Ever since we made over our living room there are two walls I have been agonizing over. This one wall in particular is in an awkward place. The door to our sun porch opens into it so shelving or any large storage pieces are out of the question (been there, done it, no goodski!!).
So I found the perfect piece of wall art from one of my favorite Etsy shops with this saying....
 I love the meaning it holds and I want to hang it in a place where my children can read it and learn from it everyday....
I love the look of this framed piece from Rosenberry Rooms but it comes with a VERY high ticket price and really doesn't take up a great deal of space.... So that is out of  the question! I really do adore this quote and think the perfect place is on that empty wall in the living room! Yup, the wall that I have been dwelling on for a good four months now. It's the perfect high traffic area that has a great view from the kitchen, back porch and seating area in the living room!
I wanted the wall art to be large and make a statement but wasn't sure of the exact measurements I needed/wanted so I decided to use painters tape to map out exactly where I wanted it and then just take the measurements from there! Tiffini @ The House of Belonging does custom pieces so I will send measurements to her and see what she can do!
  Such and easy little trick that I have used so many times. It comes in really handy when you are trying to see exactly how something with look on the wall or how large a piece of furniture will be in an area.
What walls are you having issues with?

Happy 4th!!! {Strawberry Shortcake Trifle}

July 5, 2013

Hi all!! Hope you had an amazing 4th of July!! Sorry this post is a bit late, but time flies when you having fun (with two young kids, working full time & sitting in traffic!!)
I came across this recipe and I had plans to make it for Memorial Day, but I never got to it so here it is... You can find the more yummy desserts from Sprinkle Bakes here!!
Enjoy your weekend!!