November 21, 2012

Nashville-Inspired iPhone Case

Posted in Christmas, Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:23 am by BetweenWeekdays

So who’s watching Nashville? I’ve got to admit that I wasn’t immediately hooked, but now I’m loving it! On a recent episode, Hayden Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes, had the most beautiful iPhone case I think I’ve ever seen.

A quick online search revealed that it was probably the Case-Mate® Swarovski Crystal iPhone 4 & 4S Case sold at Nordstrom, where it retails at $49.

I’m willing to pay $49 for a lot of things: a good meal, a trip to the groomer’s for my dogs, a tank of gas, etc. However, I’m just not willing to pay that for a phone case. So, I searched Amazon for a comparable option.

And I found a few!

I ended up ordering this one for $4 with free shipping. It’s coming all the way from China, but I don’t mind to wait a bit longer for it. Merry Christmas to me; from me.

Here’s hoping I like it! What are you gifting to yourself this holiday season? I would talk about what I’m gifting everyone else, but I’d hate to give away the surprise.

I sincerely hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. We’ll be spending the day with people we love, which means it will be absolutely wonderful. Happy Thanksgiving!

September 13, 2012

Yard Sale Finds

Posted in Christmas, Decor, Gifts, Yard Sale tagged , , , , , , , at 4:35 pm by BetweenWeekdays

Lately my BFF has introduced me to the word of shopping at yard sales. I’m no stranger to hosting yard sales, so it’s been very interesting to see things from another perspective.

My family and I always have at least one yard sale every year, so I came to the game knowing a few tricks of the trade that I was able to apply to shopping yard sales. My self-imposed rules are pretty straight forward when it comes to shopping at yard sales.

  1. Only shop at yard sales in good areas of town. Duh.
  2.  Don’t buy clothes if they are soiled, full of holes, or something you’ll never wear.
  3. If someone has taken the time to arrange things neatly, show some respect and don’t make a mess.
  4. Don’t buy something that cannot be repaired or cleaned.
  5. Just because it’s only a quarter, doesn’t mean you need it. Only buy things you need.

I returned home from my latest yard sale shopping adventure with a pretty good haul, if I do say so myself.

All of the clothes above were only 25¢. Moving clockwise in the top left corner, is a Duck Head shirt I bought for Travis. He’s really in to short sleeve, button-up shirts right now. Next is a New Directions shirt for me. It’s a little too big, but big, slouchy shirts seem to still be in style at the moment, so I’m ok with it. Plus, it’s super comfortable. The pale pink shirt is by Elle and is one of my current favorite shirts to wear. I actually wore it just this week on a fun date with the husband. The last shirt is a super cute cardigan from American Eagle. It has a really fun glitter stripe that runs through it. I can’t wait for cooler weather to finally arrive so I can break this out of the closet! I also bought my Dad a shirt (not pictured) for $2 to replace an identical one he already owns that was falling apart.

I found the Christmas items above at an estate sale. The baskets were only a quarter each, and I think they’ll be great for Christmas gift baskets full of homemade goodies. The crocheted angel was a special find. It’s obvious that she was carefully hand crafted. I’m toying with the idea of spraying her white, but I’m just not sure I want to take away from her original beauty. Even if I leave her as is, it was still a dollar well spent.

My next great finds came from across town. I love milk glass, but, unfortunately, I only have three pieces including the two above. The seller originally wanted $2 a piece for these, but when I put them down to walk away, she reduced the price to $1. I probably would have paid $2, but I couldn’t walk away from them at only $1 each. I can’t wait to decorate with them. I see so many possibilities for these beauties.

My last big find of the day was a Kate Spade purse! It was a bit of a yard sale splurge at $8, but its like-new condition convinced me to take it home. It had a knock-off wallet with it, but I plan to either donate it or sale it in my next yard sale.

I’m not entirely convinced the purse is an original, but the weight and details lead me to believe it’s the real deal.

Even if it’s not an original, I still love it, which makes it money well spent in my book. Plus, if I later decide I don’t like it anymore, I can always resale it at a yard sale for at least what I paid for it. Win, Win.

All totaled, I only spent $14.75. I daresay it would have cost considerably more to have purchased all of these items brand new. Plus, driving around with my bestie early Saturday morning with Starbucks drink in hand is always a fun way to spend the morning. I’m already looking forward to our next yard sale shopping adventure!

August 20, 2012

House Tour: Living Room

Posted in Christmas, Decor, Holiday, House Tour tagged , , at 8:12 pm by BetweenWeekdays

First up on the house tour of our first home is the living room. Join me as I walk through the space (and down memory lane a bit).

When we purchased the home in 2009, the carpet and been removed and every surface was filthy. We hired a professional cleaning company to clean the entire house, but we still found ourselves scrubbing every surface after their second cleaning attempt. Imagine me scraping boogers off closet walls and cleaning walls with Swiffer mops. It wasn’t pretty.

The guys from the cleaning company did a great job, but the house had many stubborn layers of grime from the previous owner and his dogs. It also smelled pretty bad.

The living room was covered in a layer of filth when we purchased the house in 2009.

Now our living room is looking much better. It’s amazing what a good cleaning, a coat of paint and new carpet can do for a space.

When you enter the front door you walk into a small entryway that leads either into the living room or downstairs to the basement.

Welcome to our home!
The mirrored coat rack is a super conveient spot to drop jackets, umbrellas, hats, etc. I’ve had it since my college days.
Originally a rickety bannister separated the living room from the stairs. It didn’t make the cut, so Travis and his dad built a pony wall to replace the bannister.

Before the rickety bannister was the only separation from the living room to the stairs. Now, the sturdy half wall looks like it has always been there.

We sold the banister and its spindles at a yard sale a couple of months ago. It’s always nice to know that something that didn’t work for you is finding new life in someone else’s home.

The sofa has always been a favorite spot in our house whether we’re entertaining or just chilling with the pups.

The sofa is a favorite hangout spot in our house. Can you spot Roxy’s tail above?

The large mirror above the sofa was a lucky consignment store find. It bounces around a ton of light and helps make the room feel larger. It measures just shy of five feet wide by four feet tall. Hanging it was a tricky endeavor, but well worth it.

Since putting our house on the market, we’ve removed all of the personal details, so you won’t see the family photos or other personal items that once made this room feel more like people actually live here. One of my favorite personal effects in this room, which has now been removed, was the collage of photo frames on one wall.

The collage of family photos has been removed since placing our house for sale.

The frames coordinated with the mirror nicely without being in-your-face matchy matchy. I blogged about the photo frame collage last year. Click here to read more.

During the Christmas season, our tree replaces a chair in the corner. We’ve hosted Christmas dinner in this house for the past couple of years, so it’s always been a really special place to decorate.

Decorating the living room for the holidays has always been fun.

The half wall sometimes acts as a sofa table. I’ve had a lot of fun decorating it for the different seasons.

Isabel models the 2011 Christmas decor.

The orange pillows stuck around way after the fall season last year. In fact, they stayed on the couch until we depersonalized the room in preparation for selling our house.

There were a couple of changes we weren’t able to make in the few years we lived here. I would have loved to add a mosaic tile in place of the tile on the fireplace surround.

DIYers are never finished.

We also had big plans to build a shelf under the television to house media components. It has a large hole behind where the TV sits, and we had always planned to make it look more custom.

Our living room has been the central hub of our house for nearly four years. We’ve loved it since we moved in, and we’ll continue to love it until we sell our house.

Our living room is comfy, cozy and the place where we most enjoy spending our time.

Source List:

Sofa, Fowler’s Furniture
Coffee Table, Fowler’s Furniture
Chairs, Ashley Furniture, Darcy Collection, Color: Cafe
Decorative Pillows, Kohls
Chenille Throw, Target
Large Mirror: Local Consignment Store
Picture Frames: Hobby Lobby

Paint Color: London Coach, Valspar

Update: A new page has been added that lists the entire house tour. To see the entire house tour, click here.

I’m linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick’s Show Us Your House Party.

Thrifty Decor Chick

September 12, 2011

DIY Personalized Christmas Ornament

Posted in Christmas tagged , , , at 11:04 am by BetweenWeekdays

One of my very best friends got married earlier this year to a great guy we met during the Labor Day holiday.  They live out of state, so we were super excited to visit them. Of course, I couldn’t visit without at least a small gift to commemorate their marriage.

Since the couple didn’t have a traditional wedding, I knew a traditional gift (casserole dishes, bath towels, etc.) wouldn’t do for this new family. My friend is seriously into crafting, so I knew she’d appreciate a homemade gift.

I whipped out my Silhouette SD and got to work. Since I’ve had Christmas on my mind lately (read more about that here, here, here, and here),  I knew just want to make for this sweet couple. A Christmas ornament for their very first Christmas tree as a married couple!

First I gathered my supplies:

  • Flat ceramic ornament
  • Dark green craft paint
  • Glitter craft paint
  • Silhouette SD and red vinyl

First I painted the ornament with the dark green paint. Then, I painted over the green with the glitter craft paint. The glitter paint didn’t have any tint to the actual paint itself, so it could be brushed over any color. I found it at Joann’s.

Next, I cut out their monogram for one side and the year of their marriage for the other.

The last thing I did was seal the entire ornament with Mod Podge so the vinyl won’t peel off over time.

Voila! Instant ornament! This is so easy and so adaptable. I’m thinking I might have to make a few for our tree this year.

I’m linking to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Join me!

August 31, 2011

August in Review

Posted in Blogging, Christmas, Dogs, Entertaining, Getting Organized, Holiday, Month in Review, Showing Off tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:40 pm by BetweenWeekdays

August was my second full month of blogging, and it was jam-packed full of storage solutions and Christmas prep.

This month began when I showed you my unsightly second guest bedroom and shared my lengthy to-do list for the room. This space has been in serious need of an overhaul for nearly three years now.

Last week, I was finally able to mark one thing off my to-do list for the second guest bedroom when I updated a pair of lamps.

Lamps After

What do I hope to tackle in September in this room? I hope to add a small tv to the space and rearrange the furniture to better utilize the space for starters. Also, I would like to refinish a pair of nightstands for the room. I have a projected goal of the end of the year to have this room completed. It’s anyone’s guess whether I’ll actually make that goal or not. To see my full to-do list for this room, click here.

Earlier in August, I also shared with you the second part of The Complexities of Isabel series. If you missed that post, click here to read all about what my complex little Chihuahua loves, doesn’t like and tolerates. I’ll give you a hint: she LOVES pink.

Isabel is Very Complex

We only saw one wreath this month, but it was simply lovely. Originally inspired by Centsational Girl’s gorgeous gemstone wreath, I transformed this beauty from the vertical to the horizontal. Confused? Click here.

Re-Imaging the Vertical

In August, I found a few unique storage options. I was especially excited about the shelves my husband made for my ever-growing dish collection. Why was I so excited? Because we found storage space where there previously was none. This was huge for me since our house doesn’t have a ton of awesome storage.

Then, I found a better storage system for the Christmas gifts I buy early every year. (Read more about why I buy gifts early here.) It may be out of sight, but it’s certainly not out of mind.

Lastly, I found a simple way to store paintbrushes. They’re totally not out of sight anymore, so maybe I’ll stop misplacing them.

Functional and Cute Storage

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I made two gift purchases this month that I was extremely excited about. Thinking outside of the Christmas gift box can sometimes score some serious deals. Click here to read about the Christmas gifts I purchased during the back to school deals.

I also continued to share with you my brunch plans for the ladies-only brunch I’m hosting at my house. Since then, I’ve hit a scheduling wall, so I’m not sure if this is going to pan out this year. I’ll keep you posted.

Do you have a McKay in your town? If you do, you should go there now. Find out why here.

McKay

August was a great month, but I’m totally over this crazy heat we’ve had this year. I’m super excited for fall weather. Bring on September!

August 17, 2011

Christmas Update: Buying Gifts

Posted in Christmas at 9:27 pm by BetweenWeekdays

I’m back with another Christmas update. We’re still talking gifts, but now we’re talking about the advantages of buying gifts early.

Obviously, buying gifts early means not putting such a strain on your wallet in December, but did you also know you can score some pretty sweet deals by thinking outside of the Christmas gift box?

While dorm room shopping with my cousin, I noticed some adorable lunch boxes at Bed Bath and Beyond. At $5 each, I knew they could be perfect Christmas gifts, so I snatched up two of them with a twinkle in my eye.

Receiving a lunch box for Christmas isn’t exactly a dream come true, I know. But, if I personalized each of these lunch boxes, not only would the recipient be more likely to use the lunch box, they would know the time and effort that went into picking out something just for them.

I googled around and found a local place that monograms and practically skipped over with my new lunch boxes. And wouldn’t you know it? They were having a back to school sale on backpacks and lunch boxes, which means I got both monogrammed for the price of one: $10 total.

These custom, lunch box, Christmas gifts rang in at $10 each. Not bad for a personalized gift, right?

I’m working hard to keep up my goal of not letting Christmas sneak up on me this year. (Read more about that here.) Christmas is only 123 days away. Will you be ready?

August 14, 2011

Getting Organized: Christmas Gifts

Posted in Christmas, Getting Organized, Holiday tagged , , , , , at 4:42 pm by BetweenWeekdays

I mentioned last month that I begin buying Christmas presents in July. In years past, I haven’t had a great method for organizing these early-bought gifts, but that’s changing this year!

Previously, I’ve bought gifts and then labeled each gift with a post-it note before leaving it on the bed in the second guest bedroom. (More about the second guest bedroom here.) This method has worked decently well for the past couple of years, but all those shopping bags all over the bed downstairs starts to give me hives after awhile. Plus, when I actually begin to wrap the gifts, I lose track of what’s been wrapped and bought. It’s just not a system that’s working for me.

If you don’t like something, change it, right? Well, that’s exactly what I’m doing this year. Not only am I using my Christmas Binder to help me keep track of what I’ve bought by person, I’m also organizing the early-bought gifts by family group in the gifted dresser that’s in the second guest bedroom.

Concealing the gifts in drawers as significantly improved by clutter-induced hives. Each family group gets its own drawer, and I even have a drawer left over for stocking stuffers/filler gifts.

Why am I storing Christmas gifts in a guest bedroom? Two reasons:

  1. This room is rarely used for guests.
  2. I turn this room into a gift wrapping room for the holidays.

I feel pretty good about knocking out this small organizational feat so early on. However, I know that surviving Christmas sometimes is more of a journey than a race. Too poetic? Basically, I’ve got a long ways to go before I’ll have Christmas managed this year.

Christmas Organization Checklist:

  1. Create a notebook of some sort to keep track of gifts, receipts, craft ideas, etc.
  2. Keep notebook organized. (ongoing)
  3. Organize presents as I buy them by family.
  4. Gather supplies for crafts early. (in process, but probably ongoing)
  5. List what gifts I’ll be making this year and complete them before December if possible
  6. Hold myself accountable by blogging about Christmas progress.

(Checklist was originally seen in this post.)

There are only 132 days until Christmas! Will you be ready?

July 29, 2011

July in Review

Posted in Christmas, Dogs, Entertaining, Holiday, How To, Month in Review, Recipes, Tablescapes, Wreaths tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 9:20 pm by BetweenWeekdays

July marks my first full month of blogging, and was it ever a busy month!

The month started out with a simple Fourth of July tablescape.

Fourth of July Tablescape

Thank you so much for all of your comments on this post! Your kind words mean the world to me. I’m looking forward to sharing more tablescapes with you in the coming months. Including one for a ladies-only brunch.

Last Year's Brunch

I started planning the menu for the brunch here, and I can’t wait to share more details with you as I continue to plan this event.

We celebrated the Fourth of July holiday this month with a relaxing weekend at home.

Cupcakes!

This month, I also told you a story about my complex, little Chihuahua, Isabel. I’m looking forward to sharing even more stories about her and our other dog, Roxy.

"Mom, we have a problem here."

One of this month’s most popular posts was all about canning beans. This is by far the longest post, coming in at around 1,000 words. If you want to learn how to can beans, be sure to check out this post as it gives a step-by-step rundown of the canning process.

Another one of the most popular posts this month was a breakdown of how to can spaghetti sauce. The husband and I eat a lot of spaghetti sauce, so I’m definitely going to have to make more of this soon. I hope to not have to buy a jar of spaghetti sauce until next year.

Turn Jars Upside Down to Seal

I celebrated Christmas in July when I decided not to let Christmas sneak up on me this year. I’ve started working on some of my crafts, and I even made a Christmas binder to help keep me organized. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my progress.

Christmas Binder

I also shared some photos from our June vacation to Vegas, L.A. and the Grand Canyon. We had such a blast!

Grand Canyon

Another popular post this month was the rag wreath I made in honor of my Alma Mater and our favorite college football team. Go Vols!

There’s a full tutorial included for making this wreath, so be sure to check it out if you missed it.

Lastly, I told you about an exciting, belated birthday gift that came in the mail. I’ve got a lot of craft ideas involving this little machine.

Silhouette SD

I’m so happy I was able to share this month with all of you. Stick with me, because I’ve got even more planned for August. If you want to be notified of new posts, sign up to receive email notifications on the right side of the page.

See you in August!

July 24, 2011

Getting Organized with a Christmas Binder

Posted in Christmas, Holiday tagged at 9:06 pm by BetweenWeekdays

Since I promised myself I wouldn’t let Christmas creep up on me this year (read more about that promise here), I’ve been busy.

Christmas Binder

I’ve stared working on a few crafts and gifts, but my first priority was creating a binder to help keep me organized this Christmas season. The binder will have:

  • Pocket for receipts
  • Complete list of family members to buy for
  • Separate page for each person on list with ideas and already bought columns
  • Menu planners
  • Page for each event we attend
  • Blog ideas
  • Section for craft ideas/inspiration
  • Shopping Lists

So far, I have all of my family members in the binder with gift ideas, or things we’ve already purchased for them. We try to start buying Christmas gifts in July every year. This year, we’re off to a pretty good start.

I am so going to be ready for Christmas this year, and I’m even going to be able to enjoy myself along the way. Bonus!

p.s. There’s only 153 days until Christmas. Will you be ready?

July 14, 2011

Christmas in July

Posted in Christmas, House Tour tagged , , at 7:02 pm by BetweenWeekdays

Each July marks the beginning of my Christmas shopping/crafting. Why do I start so early? There are several reasons:

  1. I big fat LOVE the Christmas season. I wish we celebrated Christmas year round. No joke.
  2. I have to buy a lot of presents, and this gets expensive. If I can spread the buying out over a few months, the budget doesn’t suffer so much in December/January.
  3. I like to spend the entire month of December enjoying the season, not frantically decorating and shopping for gifts.
  4. Our wedding anniversary is in December. We like to celebrate, which sometimes means a trip away or simply a weekend doing nothing but spending time together ie not frantically decorating or shopping for gifts.
  5. I’m not a good last-minute holiday crafter. I like to craft because I want to, not because I have to.
  6. People are sometimes difficult to buy for, and I like to take the time to find just the right gift. Especially if I’m making the gift or spending a lot of money on one gift.
  7. After May, we’re pretty much done buying gifts for the year other than Christmas. This makes July the perfect time in the yearly budget to start buying Christmas gifts.
  8. Hobby Lobby begins putting out their Christmas items in July, and I can’t help but be mesmerized by the aisles of ornaments and décor. I always leave really inspired to create for Christmas.
  9. I really, really, really like thinking about Christmas.

Last year, I didn’t do so well with the whole Christmas in July idea. It was the only time I’ve ever fallen off the bandwagon, and it really set the tone for my Christmas season. I spent a lot of time shopping when I would have rather been with family. Our wedding anniversary was merely a blip on the radar. Our budget suffered from trying to fit everything in last minute. Wrapping presents ended up becoming a very unhappy marathon event. Presents weren’t properly organized and ended up at the wrong places. I didn’t get to all of the Christmas crafts I had envisioned. I didn’t send Christmas cards.

This year is going to be different. I put it out there in blogland, so now I have to follow through. I’m going to do things I’ve never done before to ensure last year doesn’t happen all over again.

Here are a few ideas I have:

  1. Create a notebook of some sort to keep track of gifts, receipts, craft ideas, etc.
  2. Keep notebook organized.
  3. Organize presents as I buy them by family.
  4. Gather supplies for crafts early.
  5. List what gifts I’ll be making this year and complete them before December if possible
  6. Hold myself accountable by blogging about Christmas progress.

I’ve already got a few projects in the works for some Christmas gifts, and I can’t wait to blog about them and everything else as the Christmas season approaches. Only 163 more days until Christmas! Trust me, it will be here before you know it. Will you be ready?