My First Pottery Barn Hack Is A Huge Success!
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OMGee! You are not going to believe this! I had been drooling over these Pottery Barn Tuscan Planters for days and why not? They are gorgeous! But, my budget just couldn't justify the cost. These 3 range from $199 to $349 each. Incredibly, I was able to make 3 for under $20.
(Picture from PotteryBarn.com)
(Picture from PotteryBarn.com)
(Picture from PotteryBarn.com)
Here's the unbelievable part. We found 3 of these in someone's trash!! Yep! In the street just waiting for pickup! Now I'm not normally a dumpster diver but we definitely could not pass these up!
So, we threw them in the car and my mind immediately started planning. And, its so easy anyone can take an old planter and do this.
- Spray Paint, I used Rust-Oleum French Cream
- Masking tap (wide)
- Paper (In the same isle at Home Depot)
- Top Coat, Rust-Oleum Triple Glaze
I started by placing masking tape in a uneven way to imitate the natural chipping of the painted surface, even along the rim. Tearing the tape vertically to create the rough edges is similar to tearing paper. If you tear in one direction for a short distance and then tear in the other direction (toward you and away from you) it is easier to control. It's also easier to use small pieces and add them together if say the torn piece gets too narrow. The more random the better.
Then, in order to cover the rest of it without having to use a lot of tape, I added the brown paper to the bottom from the tape line down.
Then I sprayed away making sure to use long even strokes.
After letting this dry, I decided that I wanted a bit of a sheen to the paint so I added the topcoat. Now I had to wait until it was completely dry to remove the masking tape for the unveiling. Since I did this in the evening (its hot here in Florida), I waited overnight.
The reveal is so exciting!!
Voila! I love it! They are perfect for the White House! And to think, the planters were FREE!!!
So for now, they are sitting by the pool until I decide on the perfect plant to add to them. Any suggestions? I'm thinking just a green plant but I can't decide. I need your help. Please share your ideas!!
A Healthy Smoothie Recipe To Start The New Year
The New Year is the perfect time to make a change right? So, I don't have a list of resolutions but I do have one goal that has been somewhat forced on me. I have been told that I am now in the "pre-diabetes" zone. Ugh! I've been reading a lot about the evils of sugar and its about time that I pay attention. According to FoodBabe the average person ingests 3 lbs of added sugar every week!!! Besides the obvious reasons, I've also learned from a study done by the Mayo Clinic that high levels of sugar can decrease cognitive function. That's not good!
Eating the right amount of nutrients in a day can be difficult. I've been doing a food diary and it seems I am always low in protein and high in fat or carbohydrates. That led me to this powdered peanut butter PB2 that has 5g of protein and only 1.5g of fat compared to 17g in regular peanut butter. And, it adds great flavor to smoothies! So, I had been on the lookout for a good smoothie recipe when I came across a wonderful food blend from Costco called "LIVfit".
Each serving contains the equivalent of the vitamins found in 1 1/2 Bunches Broccoli, 2 cups Blueberries, 1/2 Tomatoes, 6g Vegan Protein (pea, hemp, quinoa) 100% DV vitamins b6, b12, thiamin and riboflavin. The best part is that there is very little taste.
So with that as my base, here is what I add.
Frozen fruit of your choice. You can actually peel a banana and freeze it for later use and it won't get brown.
This coconut water is 60 calories and does have 15g of carbs but is loaded with potassium. I use 3/4 - 1 carton depending on the thickness.
This can be substituted for a small amount of baby spinach leaves if you prefer. Use what you have.
I have been reading about the anti-inflammatory benefits of Tumeric so I add a couple of small shakes.
Ahhh, here is my sweet! I add Stevia to my coffee, lemon water and now my smoothies. I use about 1/3 of a dropper but again sweeten to your taste.
All of the ingredients can be adjusted to your liking. I also add some ice depending on the thickness.
My Nutri-Bullet makes it so easy. I add a handle and a straw and perfection!
I know that I am no nutritional expert but I hope I have added a viable option to your quest to better health!
How Will You Celebrate International Coffee Day?
I'm thinking of having a glass of homemade iced coffee. Have you ever been on Starbucks' blog page? Holy Cow there are some wonderful recipes on there!! I used to make my own cold brew for iced coffee until I found this amazing bottled cold brew from Trader Joe's. I think this bottle is $8 and is now available organic. At that time I purchased creamer to add to it but I think I would like to try making it instead.
Here is a recipe that sounds simple and tasty.
Vanilla Creamer Recipe
½ cup half and half
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon Starbucks® Vanilla Syrup
Pour half and half, whole milk and Starbucks® Vanilla Syrup into a mason jar. Tighten the lid and shake thoroughly. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. To use, fill a glass with cold brew coffee, which is easy to make with Starbucks® Cold Brew Coffee Pitcher Packs. Top with the vanilla creamer. Serve and enjoy.
*courtesy of 1912Pike.com
Hmm, I wonder who created the "National Coffee Day". Starbucks? If so, what a brilliant idea. Just out of curiosity, I decided to check it out and here is what I found. Basically, according to Wikipedia, the exact origin of International Coffee Day is unknown. In the U.S. "National Coffee Day" was mentioned publicly as early as 2005, but in March 2014, a decision was made by the International Coffee Organization to launch the first official International Coffee Day in Milan as part of Expo 2015. International Coffee Day is an occasion that is used to promote and celebrate coffee as a beverage, with events now occurring in places across the world.
So, what does that mean to us? Free coffee? It not freebies, I bet there will be specials! So, I went looking for them so I could share them with you and here you go. ( I'm sure you can find several local ones as well)
Dunkin’ Donuts: Any medium hot coffee for .66 cents. (No coupon needed) Celebrating 66 years of business.
Krispy Kreme: Get a FREE Original Glazed Doughnut and a FREE 12 oz cup of coffee (at participating US locations).
Starbucks: Starbucks will donate a coffee tree on behalf of each customer who purchases a brewed Mexico Chiapas coffee.
*courtesy of wholefoodsmarket.com
Whole Foods: Get $1 off a 16 oz Allegro Pumpkin Spice Latte. To claim your caffeinated discount, download the Whole Foods Market App and scan your personalized bar code at the register. (At participating stores with coffee bars only. Offer available from September 28-November 1.)
Game Day Food, Buzzard Breath Chili Recipe
Are you ready for some football? Or, football food I guess I should say. Since Football is on in my house 4 nights a week, I thought I would share an awesome chili recipe with you that I originally made over 20 years ago. Some friends of mine use to make it in large quantities to take to the IU games for tailgating and it was ALWAYS a hit. It's great for a big bash or a smaller fun family meal since the leftovers are easy to freeze. For a long time, the recipe was top secret but after I moved to Florida, I begged them and they decided it was safe only if I promised not to share. (uh-oh, don't tell)
Picture from www.wertherussos.com
Tip* Due to the heat produced by the cayenne pepper and fresh jalapeno peppers, it is helpful to add shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream to the top of the chili. Dairy contains casein, a fat-loving compound that binds with the spicy capsaicin oil in the peppers and then carries it away.
*If anyone else has a favorite football season recipe, I would love you to share!
Buzzard Breath Chili
- 10 lbs Boneless Chuck Roast (1" cubes)
- 3 Cans, 8 0z each Tomato Sauce
- 3 Cans, 8 z each Water
- 2 Lg Onions-Chopped
- 5 Cloves Garlic-Chopped/Crushed
- 2 Whole Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
- 6 Oz Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- Salt to Taste
- 2 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
- Shredded Cheddar
- Sour Cream
Cut meat into 1" cubes removing most of the fat. (I leave some for flavor). Brown in skillet until it is grey in color. Place in large pot and add tomato sauce and equal parts water. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, pepper and chili powder. Simmer for 20 minutes. Then add cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne pepper. Simmer covered for at least 3 hours until meat is stringy and tender. Stir occasionally during this time to help meat fall apart. Take out jalapeno stems.
When serving, I like to make a bed of Fritos in the bowl, add chili and then top with the sour cream and shredded cheddar. Yum!!!
So You Want To Get Organized, A Beginners Guide
Getting organized can be daunting. But remember, Rome wasn't built in a day. As with any positive change, its good to just get started. I try to make the phrase, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place" a rule for our home. I hope this helps you to get started. Don't be too hard on yourself and expect perfection. This is a process.
So, since it is the beginning of a new school year, let's just start with your desk.
Courtesy of prepavenue.com
Back to school season is a great time to organize your desk. (or designated space) Colorful cardboard boxes and magazine holders work well to keep notebooks and assignments from getting lost. Plus, it is pretty to look at. *wink You can find these at most office supply stores. If space is limited it helps to add shelves to increase storage vertically.
Next, record all assignments in one place.
Courtesy of meganmartni.net
Whether you prefer digital or pretty paper planners the important thing is to keep all assignments and dates in one place. There are several planners on the market and some specifically for students so look around before you buy. The picture above is of the Simplified Planner by Emily Ley
. There are several digital options too. One is iCalendar for iPhone. Also, one that is available to anyone is Google Calendar. It seems the list for Apps is endless and can be tailored specifically to your needs.
My favorite part to being organized is making lists. No, actually it is checking things off of my list.
In general, I have found that the more organized I become, the less I can tolerate clutter! Keep it simple. Too much stuff just seems to add to the time needed to be productive. This will be a great start to organize other areas of your life. I prefer to prioritize and plan ahead. That of course will be the next step.
*Tip: Being an organized student will lead to a successful college career or a happy home that runs smoothly. (At least most of the time)
Courtesy of Scotch.uk
You Are Going Off To College - 5 Places To Put Your Monogram And Why
For years a strong feeling has come over me at this time of year. I can't say exactly what it is; sadness, envy, excitement, renewal? What I do know is that I miss my time at college. What at the time carried much stress and worry also gave me some of my best memories. The college years have such an impact. I know my readers are in different points in their life but, can you relate? I have to say, I am getting caught up in all of the back to school planning and shopping.
This is a busy time of year for White House Monogramming. Monograms are big at college!! The preppy style thrives in this environment and monograms fit right in! I just wanted to share with you a few of the most frequently purchased monogrammed items for going off to college.
1. This is the Adult Bath Wrap that comes in 4 colors, Turquoise, Lime, Hot Pink, White. Compact and easy to wear to and from the showers. * We have children's/youth sizes as well.
2. If you aren't the bath wrap kind of girl then the next item is for you. The Waffle Weave Robe. Both of these items can be personalized with your name or monogram. This style has been super popular.
3. Some call this essential! There are going to be those mornings where walking down the hall to the shared bathroom is more than you can do. A monogrammed ball cap is going to be your best friend. Believe it. Order it now.
4. Now, this may not seem necessary right now. You have a backpack right? Well, believe it or not, you will go home for the weekend, at least occasionally. You won't have room in your dorm for a suitcase. You will be surprised how many odds and ends you can throw in this bag. Plus, it can store miscellaneous items in your closet. They come in many different colors and 2 sizes. They are so sturdy you will still have it after you graduate!
5. This little vest could be an answer to your problems. The problem of temperature transitions. Fall temperatures can be both hot and cold. Plus, you may encounter classrooms with too much air conditioning or no open windows and stuffy. So, dress in layers. * It looks great with a scarf and pairs well with our chambray shirt . And it is light enough to look good with shorts!
Well, that is just some of the things you will need for college. I hope it helps.
Weekend ReCap: Field Trip To EcoRelics Antique Showroom
This place is A-mazing!! I have to say, I didn't really know what to expect. EcoRelics launched their business in 2014 and I have been hearing a bit of chatter recently on Social Media. It is a local business here in downtown Jacksonville, Florida but they also sell online.
I actually convinced my husband to go with me to check it out. I am an avid fan of Chip and JoJo, from Fixer Upper on HGTV, so my hopes were high that I would see some wonderful vintage pieces. Can I just say, it. was. awesome! My mind was blown! Not only are there some wonderful antiques to browse through but everything is organized and categorized which make the experience so much more enjoyable. Unbelievable! I am so impressed!
There were several antiques that were so familiar to me it brought back a flood of memories. My parents had many antiques in our home that came from my great-grandparents who immigrated from Germany. These are just a few that I saw and thought I would share with you.
I believe these were iron presses that were heated on the wood burning stove back in the day. Ha! But in my house they were used as a door stop.
We had something very similar to this. The old Victrola. If I remember right, it played the first vinyl albums, the 78's. You actually had to crank it to play. Very cool!
This is a Singer Sewing Cabinet. We had a beautiful one in our guest room. The top of both sides would lift to give you a storage space inside.
What do you think? Pretty cool right? A vintage Kerosene Oil Spout Galvanized Can. Ah, brings back such good memories. Pretty sure my dad actually used it!!
One of the things that I love about EcoRelics is that they are committed creatively repurposing building materials, fixtures, and other valuable supplies. They will even do the re-purposing for you. You dream it...they do it! If you are interested in seeing more about their business, you can find them at www.ecorelics.com. They also have a large store on eBay So take a look. You may just see something you can't live without.
Fashion, Interior Design, Entertaining, ....It's All Here
Full disclosure. I have re-invented myself in business multiple times. You may not know it but I previously worked as an Interior Decorator. I had a few opportunities in the business really. Initially, I had my own business helping clients decorate their homes or businesses. This led me to working for another Design firm where I assisted a builder's clients in choosing finishes for their new homes. And, It doesn't end there. I have learned that networking and getting to know others in your field is essential to your growth. I had the good fortune to meet a wonderful lady, Lisa, while looking for a fabric for a customer. She owns Designers' Workshop, a showroom to the trade. We forged a friendship that has lasted through the years and led to us working together as well. But, that could be another post.
I tell you all of this to let you know that I have started helping her at her shop again. This explains in part my absence in blogging, and social media posts,... but not all. (lets just say, summer got in there as well).
Long story short, I am planning to add some blog content with my Interior Decorating activity along with my White House Monogramming business to create more of an elegant lifestyle blog, mixing classic preppy fashion and gifts with current interior design trends... and maybe a bit of entertaining ideas and recipes too. I hope you enjoy it!
What Does Mother's Day Mean To You?
Well, since I have been a mom for 28 years now (and still parenting my teenager) I think I may have a little insight. I remember one year, way back when, I was a single parent of my then 3 year old daughter. I anticipated that Sunday with a feeling of dread. My family had been shattered and it was not going to be fun seeing all of the other family's honoring their mom. Then something unexpected happened. I received a dozen roses anonymously! I was so surprised that someone (who certainly didn't have to by the way) had thought enough of me to want to make my day better. Wow, what an impact that had, even to this day as I still do not know who sent them.
Some people may gather together if part of their family has moved away. We as of yet have not done this. I know when I moved out I would always call my mom and send her a greeting card each year but there was usually not an organized event. Now that she has passed, I look back at that and think of the missed opportunities. Its easy to think, oh I will see her soon, but nope, thats not always the case.
I remarried when my oldest daughter was almost 6 and had another daughter 6 years later. New love and new traditions of our own have replaced the past with out really planning it. It seems to have just been created. It's my day, to do with what I want. Some years I want to head out to the beach and play with the family. Other times I like to do nothing....curl up with a good book. My husband usually cooks and brings me drinks if I want. I have also been lucky enough to attend the Players Championship Golf Tournament very near our home. Whatever I decide, the main intent is that I feel special. And that I do!
What Does Mother's Day Mean to You? I hope that you or your mom feel special. (ok, so get ready for a little shameless marketing) If you need a little something to show your mom just how you feel about her, we would like to help. We have several wonderful personalized gifts that I think she'll like! So, share and let us know your plans for Mother's Day.
Southern Style, A Guide From Southern Living Magazine
Quotes and images from Southern Living Mag and AmbreBlends.
Did you see the February Southern Livings 50 Anniversary Double Issue yet? This issue has a must-read article, "Elements of Southern Style" with 50 things we as southerners just can't live without. I was pleased to see the number 1 item..... 1. Our Monograms. "In the South, your name is important-and often something that has been handed down to you" explains Lucy Collins, a Georgia native professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. "A monogram underscores that importance and takes something from mundane (a sweater or tote bag) to unique. I couldn't have said it better!
From the extensive list of 50 items, here are a few of my favorites.
3. A Signature Scent. Even at age 55, I always get a little excited when I learn something new. Did you know that the earliest American perfume was known as Florida Water? Good to know. Back in the day, I wore Oscar De La Renta all. the. time. but now I wear an organic scent called Ambre Essence. I love, love, love it's clean scent. Plus, it is not uncommon for me to be stopped and asked, "What are you wearing? It smells sooo good!" (That is particularly good for a girl's confidence *wink)
13. A Gingham Button Down. Still one of my favorite, it doesn't matter to me if it is a large or small gingham pattern, both are a classic!
31-35. A Charleston Outfit, A Nashville Outfit, A St. Simons Island Outfit and A Charlottesville Outfit. Each of these are so distinctive.
St. Simons Island
50. Prints With Personality.
Yet another little tidbit I learned from this article in Southern Living Magazine.... did you know that Lilly Pulitzer and Jackie Kennedy were high school classmates? Whaaat? Apparently, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, was spotted on the cover of LIFE magazine wearing one of Lilly's designs.
I have always loved to dress with style and class. To me hit is a way of life, more that just the clothing on the outside. It embodies an air of confidence and respect and a reason to be proud and show it.