Happy Easter!

Despite Easter being pretty late this year, we've been so busy that it sort of snuck up on me!  Last week I realized we hadn't partaken in any of our Easter traditions, so I quickly made a list & started getting things crossed off.


The list reads:

I decided to simplify the Easter baskets this year & got each of the kids one $15 item, one $5 item, two $1 items, & some candy.  I decided I prefer this over filling their baskets with cheap junk toys that will easily get broken or never played with.  Here’s what’s in the baskets this year:

Zeke- 10 Year Old Boy
  • $15 Google Play Gift Card
  • Bird Feeder
  • Jump Rope
  • Frog Webkinz (from Dollar Tree)
  • Reese Cups
  • Jelly Beans
Elie- 7 Year Old Girl
  • Frozen DVD
  • My Little Pony
  • Chalk
  • Fish Webkinz (from Dollar Tree)
  • Reese Cups
  • Jelly Beans
Evie- 2 Year Old Girl
  • Percy Battery Operated Train
  • Battery Operated Bubble Toy
  • Bubbles
  • Bunny Webkinz (from Dollar Tree)
  • Reese Cups
  • Jelly Beans

If you want more Easter or Spring ideas, be sure to check out my Pinterest page!

Have a wonderful Easter!

A New Look for the Nook

When I last left you, I had just finished trying my hand at painting a floral picture.  After I filled in about a million nail holes, I patched the paint with a different brand of chalkboard paint, since Lowe's didn't carry the Rustoleum paint I originally used.  Please people, learn your lesson from me, & don’t do that!  The paint touch ups were totally obvious & I ended up needing to re-paint the entire area.  Live & learn.

After the paint dried, I hung my artwork in the nook using some sticky tack & command hooks & added a piece of plexi-glass on top of it, using anchors & some gold screws.





I will now declare myself the world’s worst blogging picture taker!  So sorry for my lack of photography skills!  I really do like the way it turned out, & it definitely looks much better in person than in my pictures!

DIY Floral Painting

I fell in love with the Lulie Wallace calendar at Anthropologie, which is unfortunately no longer available.  I love how bright & cheerful her paintings are & I thought they looked simple enough to try & re-create.  I was inspired mainly by “Flowers for Avery” & decided to try my hand at painting.
First, I picked up a watercolor poster board from Hobby Lobby.


Next, I lightly sketched my design.  (It’s really on there, but you can barely see it!)


Please keep in mind that I only took Art 1 in high school & I really know nothing about depth/perception/mixing colors/shading (the list goes on…) & this painting really doesn’t make much sense as far as how the flowers are situated!  Let’s just pretend they are randomly sitting on a table & this painting is a view from above & there is a random yellow ribbon on the table!

Anyway, I painted the flowers first, next the leaves, & finally, the background. 


Despite not really knowing what I was doing, I’m pretty happy with the results.


So happy that I removed the picture gallery from the nook.


I’m hoping to have it hanging soon, but first I need to fill in about 50 nail holes!

Family Room Progress

So, not much has happened in the family room since I blogged about the plans for it here

It looks like we will be keeping the set up as-is, but changing out the entertainment center for something smaller.  While looking at the February issue of Better Homes & Gardens, I really liked how Evette Rios set up the TV area in her parents living room.  The TV was mounted above a small wooden cabinet & flanked by two gorgeous étagères.  The only digital picture I could find was on her website.  You can see it here.  I think a similar look could be achieved by placing the TV on a wooden cabinet or dresser & flanking it with two Ikea Vittsjo shelving units painted gold.  Did you know the larger Vittsjo units are on sale for $59 right now?  Looks like I need to be making a trip to Ikea pretty soon!

I finally found a round table on Craigslist (similar to the one above) & have it situated between the two sofas.



It desperately needs to be accessorized, but I’ll probably wait until I do more work on the room (which may be a while, since I still need to finish a few details in the living room before I start the family room).

$5 Decorating: Accessorizing with Thrift Store Finds

Sometimes a few thrift store accessories can help spruce up a space for very little moolah!  Here are a few pieces I have bought at the local thrift store for no more than $3 each!

One of my most beloved accessories is this brass swan I grabbed from the thrift store for $2.50.  It was a bit of a splurge, but she has already moved around the house a few times & looks good just about anywhere!

I grabbed the white vase above for just a few dollars too.  Thrift stores seem to be full of glass & ceramic vases that once held live floral arrangements.

This little urn was less than two dollars.  All it needed was a quick wash & it was ready for it’s new home.  (By the way, that flamingo picture was a free printable in a document frame from Dollar Tree!  You've got to love $1 art!)

I also love this pretty bowl that was only fifty cents!  I really wish I would have bought the other ones, since the colors would look good in pretty much every room in our house!

What are some of your favorite items to buy from thrift stores?

$5 Decorating: Adding Art

Since most of us don’t get paid to decorate, it’s always great to have some inexpensive ideas we can use to update our homes & fill our creative outlets!  For the past week, I have been sharing small updates I have made to our home, using only $5 or less.  I decided to look back over my archives & share a few cheap & easy ways we can add art to our homes.

Believe it or not, I printed these pretty botanical prints (above) for free from Vintage Printable.  The 11x14 frames were only about $10 for a set of two, but a lot of times you can find them on sale or use a 40% off coupon!  I grabbed some mats while I was there.  Of course, to stay under $5 for a picture like this, you could use an existing frame or buy a cheap frame from a thrift store & make your own mats out of poster board.  You can find the original post about these prints here.

I used Vintage Printable again, to print this bird picture for the mantel.  I stuck it in a frame I already had on hand & it helped brighten up the look of our mantel.

I used more of those inexpensive frames & mats from Michaels to frame pictures from a children’s book for the kids’ shared bathroom.  I just checked out the book from the library, made some colored copies, & stuck them in the frames, for free art!

A cheap Ikea frame + a free printable from Paper Coterie = a happy reminder to be happy & an adorable little spot on my desk!

There are a vast amount of resources for free & affordable “art” for your homes!  Not only can you frame free images from the Internet (please, make sure they are really meant to be free…) & pages from books & magazines, but you can also frame postcards, greeting cards, notes, kiddy artwork, calendar pages, shopping bags, scrapbook or wrapping paper, fabric…  (I could go on & on!)  I do have some other sources of affordable art on my pinterest board if you’d like to take a look!

So, do you have any sources for affordable art?  I’d love to hear them!

$5 Decorating: House Warming Gift

If you haven’t heard of the new Waterlogue app, you must be living under a rock!  I’m pretty sure every home décor blog has been singing it’s praises for the last couple of weeks!  It is an app only available for Apple products that converts photos into watercolors.  We usually don’t spend money on apps, but for $2.99, I figured this app could help create endless amounts of cheap artwork for our home, so we splurged! 

A couple of months ago Evie pulled our Canela Tree out of the pot, ending in a plant fatality. 

I decided not to replace the plant, since the area gets very little sunlight, & instead wanted to add artwork to the space.  I found a couple of pictures of our first home & our current home & decided to play around with the app.  Here are the “before” & “afters”.

le conte

2014-02-05 22.23.20


2014-02-05 22.21.12

After picking up a couple of $5 11x14 frames (with mats) from Wal-Mart, here they are in the entry:



I think this idea not only makes for great, cheap “art,” but it would also make a great housewarming gift or going away present!  (Not to mention, it would be great for making easy cards as well!)

So, are you obsessed with this app yet?
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