Top DIY Project of 2013

Today I'm linking up with the Southern Rhoda on the Southern Hospitality blog to recap my Top DIY Project of 2013.  Wonder what it is?  Drum roll please.....

It's the DIY Wall Stencil of course.


I grew even MORE fond of it during the holidays! 


It was a long tedious process (you can read about it HERE)....

 
...but totally worth it in the end.  I'd grown tired of the floral wallpaper, and I think the trellis stencil totally transformed the space.
 
 
 So fun to look back at all of the DIY projects from 2013.
 
 
Check them out individually below:
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Happy New Year!
 
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Merry Christmas!

 
 
Wishing you the joy of the season. 
Merry Christmas!

New "Featured" Page


Happy Hump Day!  Hope you are having a great week.

After the WBTV News feature, it dawned on me that I probably should be chronicling some of the honors and features I've been so fortunate to experience over the last couple of years.  It's easy to overlook some of the milestones along the way that help inspire you to keep going.
 
One Little Project Blog
I recall the very first time I spotted my work on someone else's blog.  It was so rewarding.  So, with that, I've added an additional page to the site.  Yay! 


You can find it on the main menu listed as "Featured".  Simply click the featured menu item to take a look back at some of my work highlighted on other sites and publications.  Under each banner is a link to the site/publication.  Stop by and check it out.

Hard to believe I'm closing in on the end of my second year as a blogger/business owner.  Wow! What a ride. 

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"ReStore Roadtrip"

 
 
Hi all! I'm over on the Metrolina ReStore's blog giving a rundown of my latest ReStore roadtrip.  Click HERE to stop by and see what I found this time.

"Master Updates and Holiday House Tour Part 2"

Hi there!  Hope you guys had a great weekend.  Mine was pretty productive, so I can't complain.

I'm back to share with you a little more of my holiday décor.  A while back ago, I shared that I was giving my master bedroom an update.  I'd grown tired of the pastels and was ready for something a little different.  I'm not quite ready to paint yet so I wanted the updates to work with the existing wall color. 

 
It began with the Pottery Barn duvet I picked up at an amazing price.  I blogged about it HERE.
A few additional updates like bedside wall lamps, a new desk chair from Habitat ReStore...

 
Brass birds that I thrifted.... (I love that my Grandma had ones just like these.)
 
 
and more neutral drapes, finish things off.
 
 
These are store bought drapes that I had my seamstress cut in half and line with drapery lining.  A great cost effective option for a small window with a short return (return = space between the edge of the window and the adjacent wall).
 
I've kept the Christmas décor fairly straight forward in this space too.  A silver and gold tree and a few small touches including this great Pottery Barn tree pillow. 
 



In the kitchen, I've opted for a simple tablescape of candles, flowers and a ReStore cone tree.


The kitchen tree got an update with the addition of a new, more organic garland.

 
I took a fabric remnant and simply tore it into strips and tied them together. 
 

I love how it turned out.
 
Merry week before Christmas!

"Holiday House Tour: Part 1"

  
 

Is it just me or has the week flown by?  Jeez!  I'm just dropping in to share a little of my holiday decor with you.  This year, with so much going on, I decided to scale things back.  It seems that as time goes by, I'm preferring less and less cluttering up my space and my mind. I literally only took out about half of my Christmas decor this year and I really like how things have shaped up.  I should probably let go of ALL of those holiday items that I'm storing all year long that I'm less than enthusiastic about.  Apparently I'm not the only one.  Check out Emily's blog post on the same subject.



In the living room, besides the tree, I only included my favorite decorations. 

 
One of my favorite new purchases was this 12 Days of Christmas pillow I picked up at a Salvage Center (originally from Target) while I was at home for Thanksgiving.  I was so determined to get it home that I actually destuffed it so that it would fit in my carry-on bag.  I then replaced the stuffing with a down insert.  I really love it.  It's subtle, but festive at the same time. 


I felt that the new black door also needed a little something so I added a thrifted french horn that I picked up last year.  A simple red ribbon strikes just the right chord.  Like my new entry runner?  I scored that baby for less than $20 during a Rugs USA clearance sale.  

I picked up a great linen and felt leaf wreath at the ReStore on the day we filmed the news segment.  It makes the perfect natural holiday addition to my china cabinet.

 
The ReStore also had these yarn balls.  I wasn't sure what they were, but I liked the look of them.
 
 
 
Apparently I have a slight obsession with brass these days.  I couldn't resist these vintage brass candlestick holders. 
 
 
 
A few Christmas trees and only my favorite holiday décor seem to be just enough this year.
 
 
More to come....

The Gifter: Holiday Gift Ideas Under $10!

Hope you guys had a great weekend.  It's amazing that it's already the second week in December and Christmas is literally right around the corner. If you're anything like me, you've still not made a dent in the Christmas shopping yet.  Never fear!  I've rounded up some great budget options for everyone on your list. 

Have you guys been to TJ Maxx, Marshall's or Home Goods lately?  Have you seen the new "The Gifter" commercials?  Well, they've stepped it up and their stores are PACKED with awesome gifts.  I've been watching some of my blogger friends round up some great options and I thought I'd do the same for you.  However, being the budget-focused blogger that I am, I've decided to only include items that are less than $10.  Yep, $10! Let's face it, $20 gifts can add up, quick.  Before you know it you've well exceeded your holiday budget. You'd be surprised what great things you can find for less than $10 at the three stores I affectionately refer to as the shopping trinity.


Here goes...

1. Know anyone who just decked out a bar (hint, hint)?  These gold monogrammed coasters are spot on.  The perfect $4.99 hostess gift.

2. I'm obsessed with these beautiful ceramic microwavable bowls.  The plastic lid is even vented.  The smallest one is priced at only $2.99 and I almost walked away with the largest one in a beautiful blue, black and white print for $7.99.  Beautiful and functional.  Love these!!

3. Who doesn't love Philosophy?  They produce such great quality bath products and I love the seasonal options they make each year.  These small bottles were only $4.99.  At that price, you could pick up a duo.

4.  I have no words for how much I love these sweet cream and sugar servers.  Brace yourself, these were just $2.99 each. 

5.  Know anyone traveling this holiday? These neck pillows were great and they look way better than the one's sold in the airport for much more. 

6.  These little ice bags were just precious.  Couple one with a pack of fun adhesive bandages and you'll have a kid dying for a boo-boo.  : )

7.  The Sunday School teacher in me loved this box of Bible Origami.  A $10 gift that would be great for the kids in the family and they may just provide a few teachable moments for the whole family. 

8.  I've had my eye on these mice and cheese bookends for months.  They are now on clearance and such a conversation piece.

9.  I believe in the power of a handwritten note and these boxed note card sets are just the write "little something" gift for neighbors or coworkers. 

10.  Magnifying glasses have been making a big splash in design lately.  They had tons of options at my local store and several were priced at $7.99.  Design is in the details and one of these would be gorgeous atop a stack of beautiful coffee table books. 

11.  Most of us have at least one ornament exchange.  This boxed set included two beautiful ornaments.  I like the fact that these were special but not so specific.  They'd look great on just about any tree. 

12.  I'm all about a DIY project, but at $7.99, I don't know if I could make this chalkboard any cheaper.  Such a cute option for any room. 

I told you they'd stepped it up.  Can you believe all of those options are less than $10.  We've got no excuse now not to finish up that holiday shopping.

P.S.  No one paid me to publish this post, although I wish they had.  ; )  Have a great one!

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"Breaking in the Bar Cart"

While working with Jennifer on our little edible gifts collaboration, I took the opportunity to break in my bar cart. 
 
For starters, I needed to make things a little more festive for the season. Several months ago, I picked up this awesome frame at Goodwill for $4.  I had no idea what I would end up doing with it, but I was drawn to the natural wood frame. 
 

After sitting in my garage for a while, upon closer inspection I realized that the wood backing would be perfect for a chalkboard.  I simply removed the glass and sprayed the back panel with my chalkboard spray paint. 

via Pinterest

A little "Pinspiration" and I had a great holiday message.  Jennifer was a great helper when it came to bar tending. 



I really like the idea of having a serving area in the living space.  I think it has application beyond beverages. 

 
Have you noticed, bar carts have been popping up everywhere?  The most popular seems to be the Target version. 
 

Target

While it's not a horrible price ($129.00), I've recently seen some great options on Craigslist that offer the same functionality.  And let's face it, once you have it all decked out, you can barely even see the cart.  Check out what a search for "Metal Cart" and "Bar Cart" yield on Craigslist in my area...
 

via Craigslist ($45)

via Craigslist ($50)


via Craigslist ($75)
No matter what option you choose, the addition of a bar cart in your living space is a great idea.
Glad I finally had the chance to break mine in.  Have a great weekend!!!

Holiday Edible Gift Giving

Today, to kick of the holiday season, I've teamed up with my friend and fellow blogger Jennifer Burnham of Pure and Simple Organizing.  We thought we'd share a few quick and easy edible gifts to get you in the holiday gift giving season.  Needless to say, she handled the recipes and I was in charge of packaging.  I wanted to go super economical and use things that were readily available, so I made a quick trip to Dollar Tree.
 
via
Although I was packaging holiday gifts, I actually steered clear of the holiday merchandise.  Sometimes those items can read, well.... cheap.  I find it much better to rely on non-themed merchandise.  For example, these trays were in the wedding section. 
 
I love their versatility.   

I had this idea to turn them into small menu boards with chalkboard spray paint. I simply taped off the edges...

And gave them a quick spray.


It doesn't get much easier than that.  Add a plate stand and they make the perfect tabletop menu board.
 
For use in wrapping up Jennifer's sweet treats, they serve as great trays for Mint Chocolate "Grinch" Fudge Squares. Link for RECIPE.
 

A simple "mason" jar makes a great container for an Egg Nog Brownie Trifle. Link for RECIPE.




 
I gave the lid a spray and added the recipient's name. 

 
Edible gifts don't have to be complex, fancy or expensive.  It's the sentiment of a handmade gesture that makes it so super special. 
 
Remember to head over to the Pure and Simple Organizing blog for the recipes. 

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