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Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh Ship!

I had to put my Guest Bath Update post on hold because I'm so excited!!!

I recently became the owner of one of my grandfather's favorite possessions:

A 5-foot replica of a sailboat! That's right, FIVE FEET TALL! It's exquisitely made, my Poppoo loved it, and I'm trying reeeeeaaaaallllly hard to make it work in my house. Here it is on the armoire:

That armoire weighs a ga-zillion pounds, but somehow it looks like lunch under that ship!

Here it is trying the mantle on for size:

And here's a lovely room with a similar ship placed on a side table:

But really, a 5-foot ship on a side table....with two kids running amok?

You know my {Designer Crush} Erinn Valencich? I love her blog, Erinn V Style. I recently posed a question to her regarding the ship, and asked if she'd consider a post on scale and proportion in a room. So you can only imagine my excitement when I got this response from her intern:
erinnv posted 07.27.2010 at 1:25 am  
send us a picture of that wall…and the rest of the room…and I’ll tell you what I think!
Okay!! I may have sent her a few more pictures than she was expecting...and I'm sure she's already regretting her offer, considering my stalker tendencies when it comes to her...but none-the-less...I wait for her response with massive anticipation! And being a chronic purger, I have no problems letting the ship go if it just doesn't work, or enhance, my house. I've got Poppoo in my heart, I don't need something in my living room to be reminded of him.

Do you have any ideas regarding the ship? Do you hang on to things that don't work simply because they have sentiment or you'll feel guilty for letting them go?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

{Pizz-Azz} Painting Stripes in a Bathroom

I've mentioned that we've lived in our current house for almost five years. But haven't mentioned that we moved here from Nashville....and if you've ever moved cross-country, you know it's intense! Mr. Sugarplum and I looked at 31 houses in two days, narrowed it down to two, then flew back to Nashville and worked the rest by phone. (You need a ridiculously good realtor for this!) So when we showed up on our new doorstep six weeks later, the details of what we'd find inside were a little foggy.

This is actually how it looks now, not then...but I felt this was an appropriate spot to insert a photo!

Fortunately, it was bad enough so far from our taste, that we decided to update the paint and floors before moving in. So with our overflowing U-Haul parked by the curb ("Howdy new neighbors!!"), we spent the next week with painters and floor guys and carpet guys.

Some rooms I really knew what I wanted to do...what color I wanted. But by the time this bath rolled around I just waved it off with an exhausted, "Paint it the same as the living room and hall!" The bath is on the small side, and closest to the front door, so typically I'd like to have fun with it...but there was no creative juice left in me then. It's also the bath between the kid's room, but I certainly did not want to decorate the main guest bath with little yellow duckies!

kid bath original
This is what it looked like with previous owners (nice wallpaper border!)

Inspiration recently hit for that bathroom.....STRIPES! But like all my wild hairs, it came on quickly and I was a bad blogger about taking pictures.

Here's a peek at the bathroom before (All I did upon move-in was paint the walls, switch out the cabinet knobs and add some accessories):

guest bath before

And here is the only shot I got of the striping process!!!??


Unfortunately, adding stripes to a wall involves a lot more math than this girl can do on her own, so I used this tutorial from Young House Love:

Step 1: Divide & Conquer- Measure the full length of your wall and divide that number by twice the number of stripes that you want to have minus one (ex: our ceiling is 98″ tall and we wanted six horizontal stripes so we divided 98 by 11 (6 x 2 = 12 – 1 = 11) to get the thickness of each stripe. Ours came out to about 8.9 inches.

Step 2: Make Your Mark- Use a ruler to mark off every 8.9 inches starting from the floor and working up to the ceiling (we made two small pencil marks on each wall, one on each side).

Step 3: Tape It Off- Grab some blue painter’s tape and connect your pencil markings to create taped off stripes (once the tape is in place rub it a few times so you know that it’s flush with the wall for cleaner lines). The main thing to remember is that the tape should go outside the marks for the stripes you’ll be painting but inside the marks in the negative space that you won’t be painting. This might sound confusing, but just ask yourself if you’re taping off the stripe or the negative space as you go, and make sure the taped stripes are the right distance apart (ours were 8.9 inches) while the tape for the negative spaces is closer (once you remove the tape both areas will be the same width).

Are you thoroughly confused?!? Once you're standing there with a ruler and pencil, it will start to become clearer.

I used Frog Tape because it's the bomb...if you press the edges down good, you will have no bleed through. Peeling it off immediately after you finish your final coat is key too....don't listen to the old adage about leaving it on overnight. Spend the few dollars more to get this instead of the standard blue painters tape:

Here she is now, in all her striped goodness:


The darker stripe is the new color...and I think I'll paint the ceiling that color too.


Pretty big impact for only the cost of a quart of paint, don't you think?! I'll show you the other updates tomorrow....and hopefully the full room reveal soon!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

{Outfit Inspiration} Pink & Purple

Pink and Purple are my daughter's favorite I'm sure they are most little girls. You've probably seen plenty of tween rooms in this scheme.

pink purple - pottery barn kids
Pottery Barn Kids

But to keep it more appropriate to the "mature" demographic, I think it's essential to use them in their most vibrant shades when combining. This one is more on the blue side than purple, but definitely loses the sweet factor.

pink and blue living room

No trace of pastel in these doors:


This room is more subdued, but still saturated with deep purple and pink:

pink purple - elle decor
Elle Decor

So when I created an outfit in these colors, I decided to follow the same advice and pair the punchiest pink and purple items in my closet.


This outfit is so bright, even I had to wear shades! I kept the accessories to a minimum and went with nude shoes since the outfit was visually stimulating enough. What do you think, too much or just right?

Outfit deets: ruffly top - newport news (there is an occasional gem on their site, but beware, you'll get bi-weekly catalogs for the rest of your life if you place an order!); skirt - jcrew; bow belt - old navy; nude peep toes - bcbg girls

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

{Happiness in a Can} Making a Metal Bucket Cute

I don't know about you, but I have some random crap in my my pool shed...shoved in the back of closets. It's usually something I kept because I deemed it useful, but either a) have no use for it (therefore the banishment to the garage), or b) it's just too u-g-l-y to actually put out!

I stumbled across this little metal bucket in the back of the pool shed.


Do you have any idea how funky something gets after being abandoned in a pool shed?! It needed hosing down, to say the least. Then, spray paint to the rescue!! I had some Rustoleum Key Lime left over from this project.

I sprayed the top portion of the bucket with the Key Lime. After it dried, I put two stripes of Frog Tape (love this stuff, nothing bleeds through it!) over the part I wanted to stay lime.


Then I sprayed the whole thing glossy white and peeled the tape off after it dried.


Now this cute and preppy little bucket has graduated from abandonment to totally useful....we keep our sunscreen and bug spray in it by the back door.


A friend of mine told me she's afraid to come over because I might paint her?! Are you like that...paint anything that stays still long enough? I can't help myself when it comes to spray paint...Happiness in a Can!

***Sharing this with Jen's Trash to Treasure Party!***

Monday, July 26, 2010

Some Like it Hot!

It is absolultely hot as blazes here, but we lucked out with a couple of weeks of tolerable weather and a lot of rain this month. So instead of everything looking like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree right now, our backyard is positively flourishing. After many years of watching my flowers shrivel up in the unforgiving Texas sun, I've finally learned what is most heat tolerant in my shadeless backyard.

Hibiscus "Feed me Seymour!" (10 pts for whomever can name that movie)


sweet potato vine
Sweet Potato Vine, trained to 'creep'

Marigolds (disclaimer: I have actually never planted these, they grow wild in this little gravel spot every apparently they like it hot!)

snapdragon and salvia
Snapdragons and Salvia

crepe myrtle
Crepe Myrtle bushes

yellow belle
Yellow Belles

Ferns -- I hang these from the lower tree branches, so they do get shade.

Creeper Vine -- I'm sure there is a more technical term for this one. Mr. Sugarplum put a trellis over the electric meter and this thing has attacked it...completely covered in 2 years. I have to trim it constantly to prevent it from eating the cable dish for lunch.

texas sage
Texas Sage -- the hotter it gets, the more flowers these produce. They line the freeways here and are beautiful.

sweet potato vines
More Sweet Potato Vine -- this one groomed for fullness

Don't get me wrong, these flowers need watering every day. But they aren't heat-sissies and will hang with you if you take moderate care of them.

When we moved to this house five years ago, the backyard was a bare, hot desert with 6-foot prickery bushes:

backyard before

Here it is today...much more lush I think:

backyard now

And the other end of the pool is a favorite spot now with the new addition of these inherited butterfly chairs:

butterfly chairs
thanks poppoo!

How's your backyard looking now...with August just around the corner?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy, happy birthday to this beautiful lady!

My grandmother is one funny, stylish and fashionable woman. Thanks for passing on the love of the sun, beach, drip castles, cards, puzzles, reading, black olives, shopping, and decorating...not to mention some pretty great genes and a gorgeous wedding gown! I love you, Nance!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I {Heart} Friday!

Woot! Woot!! It's Friday! It's also the last weekend before my sweet boy flies off to Michigan to stay with his grandparents for 17 days!!! He goes every summer, and while Mr. Sugarplum and I love the time alone with our babygirl, our family isn't complete with him gone. (But man, is it cake with only one kid!!!)

So this weekend will be a lot of this:

And maybe a little of this:

Definitely this:

And it wouldn't be the weekend in my house without this:

Because I'm taking advantage of the big guy's time away to give him a surprise room makeover! He has an idea it's going to happen, as I wanted him to have some input on the room I hope to never makeover again until he moves out.

Here's an inspiration pic for what I'm planning:


Happy Friday sweet readers -- and have a marvelous weekend!

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I sit in a window-less, fluorescent box every Monday-Friday. Lunch breaks out of the office are a necessity for what's left of my sanity. Usually I bee-line to a craft or fabric store for some hair-brained project idea I'm having. But sometimes I wander the aisles of TJ Maxx, Home Goods, and Marshalls. Those stores are fun because the inventory changes every few days, and you just never know what you're going to stumble across. The problem for me when I find some great treasure is determining if I actually love the item, or just love the price!

But I recently snagged some good deals because I loved the item and the price!

Sun mirrors are really big right now, and all the big name, high-dollar retailers offer their own versions. I love these from Horchow:

horchow sun mirror 1750
$1,750 (yes, that's a comma in that price!!)

horchow sun mirror 395

I don't know about you, but I don't spend a mortgage or car payment on mirrors. So when I walked into Marshalls (now owned by TJ Maxx, so their stuff has improved), this mirror was like a beacon of light, shining down on my wallet and begging me to take him home.

marshalls sunburst

The tag indicated it was $59.99, but for some reason there was a pretty red clearance tag on the back for $24.99!!?? I'm embarrassed to say how high my blood pressure went up after I scaled the wall (I'm vertically challenged) and knew it was safe in my grubby paws. There is no question there would have been some hair pulling if someone else tried to nab it at the same time.

And how about this gorgeous sea urchin lamp from Williams Sonoma Home:

ws urchin lamp
But excuse me, $350??

I guess you could get this one from Neiman Marcus for the bargain price of $215:
horchow urchin lamp 215

Or you can do a happy dance when you discover this one at Home Goods on clearance for $23.00:


The shade was missing, hence the clearance price. I've got a basic drum shade on it for now, but I'm sure I'll soup it up once he finds his permanent home. (You can see more things I 'pizz-azzed' by clicking the new links to 'Read More' on the right column.) is also a great source for nuggets of goodness (and you can shop in the comfort of your a/c!) I'd been watching this lovely sunburst mirror from Ballard Designs.

ballard mirror
But at $279, some kind of computer glitch crazy sale would have to occur for me to bring him home.

Last weekend I was on Amazon ordering a new water filter for our fridge (they really do sell everything), and they were so helpful to inform me that if I spent $4 more, I'd qualify for free shipping! Well, that's like throwing money away, right?! So a quick search for sunburst mirrors brought up tons of options.

Cyrus Sunburst Mirror, $199

But since I was technically only trying to get free shipping on a water filter, I thought it best to keep my spending in check. I clicked 'Add to Cart' pretty quickly when I saw this one:

Really?! $13?! And it's 17" in diameter, so it's not exactly pocket-sized. It was delivered within days (in the biggest, most intimidating box ever!) and here's how she temporarily looks on my mantel:


There are literally zillions of places for this little jewel in my house.
So while I ride this shopper's high...I'd love to hear about some of your recent Scores!!!

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