Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2 Bills 2 Blow - Our Joy...His Glory

I am so excited to have Leslie, from Our Joy...His Glory today. Leslie is super sweet, and has 3 of the most precious little girls.

Hey y’all, I’m
Leslie from OUR JOY...HIS GLORY.  I’m
thrilled to contribute to 2 Bills 2 Blow. What a fun challenge! Thanks for having me, Nikki!!!

The Challenge:

If given two hundred bucks to spend on my home, what would I do?  It's not a lot of money, but it's just enough to do some
damage.  I came up with a few options to help me make a decision...


  1. Purchase a
    few eye catching items that can make a small statement here and there. 
  2. Purchase one/two items that really pack a punch.
  3. Change the look of a room with some paint.
What to do?  What to
do? Decisions. Decisions.

For me, it's option #3.

We have lived in our home for a little over three years.  So far, we've painted every room, added new
blinds, changed out the hardware on the doors/cabinets, completed some minor yard work, installed a couple of new appliances, and
changed out a few light fixtures.  It doesn't sound like much, but it quickly adds up.  In all the rush to
slap some paint on the walls, I think I jumped the gun in my kitchen.  It was the first room I painted and now it's time for a change.

The challenge is to explain how I'd spend 200 bucks, but I can do you one better!  My kids are on Spring Break with the grandparents so not only did I think about how I'd spend my money; I actually followed through and made my ideas a reality!!!

Here's a recent view of my kitchen.

Wall color: Valspar Prairie Days

Painting the kitchen walls explains how I'd spend a portion of my money, but I still have some to spare. Continuing with the kitchen makeover, I'm going to use the remainder of my cash to paint the lower cabinets.

My inspiration

Here are my paint swatches:

Woodlawn Snow for the walls and Oregon Dunes for the lower cabinets
(These virtual swatches appear slightly darker than the actual colors.)

Are you ready for a sneak peek into my kitchen now that the walls and cabinets are all painted?

I love the lighter walls!  It really brightens the place up.

Freshly painted walls and cabinets have really improved the overall look of my kitchen!  


2 Gallons Valspar Ultra: Woodlawn Snow, Supplies (brushes, painter's tape, rollers, etc.), 1 Gallon Kilz Primer, and 1 Gallon Valspar Signature: Oregon Dunes.  Grand Total: 166.51

I love the changes and have a little money to spare.  Hmmm....

How about some fabric for new window valances??  That sounds like a plan to me!!!

I've had my eye on this ikat fabric for some time.  A couple of yards, plus some cheap curtain hardware and my money will be all gone! Boohoo!  But I sure had fun spending it and changing the look of my kitchen.

There you have it!!  2 Bills 2 Blow and a before and after!  Now that was fun.  Don't ya think?


New paint for the win! Paint really does make such a difference, and this room looks totally different.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pineapple Cobber

Ok. I have never even heard of pineapple cobbler, so this is how this went down.

It rained all day on Sunday.
I wanted a pineapple dessert.
I looked on pinterest and couldn't find anything that sounded good that I actually had all of the ingredients for.
I didn't want to go to the store in the rain. (I'm such a baby.)
I had the thought to substitute a can of pineapple for the can of peaches in my normal cobbler recipe.

1 hour later.....I was a happy camper with a bowl of pineapple cobbler. It was really good!


1 stick butter
1 cup milk
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 (20oz.) can of pineapple chunks (in syrup not juice - do NOT drain)


Put the stick of butter in a baking dish and let it melt while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix milk, self rising flour, and sugar until combined. Pour the mixture over the stick of melted butter, and then pour in the can of pineapple. Do not stir.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

(Note - I only had pineapple in juice on hand, so I used that. It was good, but just a little tart. I always use peaches in syrup for peach cobbler, so I think that the pineapple in syrup would be better. If you only have, or prefer pineapple in juice, go for it.)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Color Dilemma - Help!

I really should have taken an updated picture of the front of our house, but I was lazy, so I dug this one up. It was taken right after we moved in 3 years ago. The shutters are all the the same light gray, the front doors are currently a really dark brown, and the landscaping, may or may not be any better than in these pictures.

We are putting in a new door handle that will require some repair work to our front doors. I will have to paint  the  doors when we are done, so it made me start to think about the exterior colors of our house  again. I have never been excited or really liked the colors, so I decided it was time to give it a little bit more thought. I'm still not even sure that we are ready to tackle this, but since I have to repaint the front door anyway, it would be a good time to change the color.

The brick is a pinkish color, and the siding is a creamy yellow. Those can not be changed. The shutters are currently a light gray, and we are talking about possibly tackling those as well. All of the colors are really light, so I feel like the house could use some darker colors. Black is not an option for the shutters or the doors, it just didn't look right at all.

Oh, and for the record, this is a very sad color mock up. I  just used PicMonkey to kind of get an idea about color. I just knew that I needed to try to picture the colors on the house. I also figured out very quickly that the color options I thought might work, are my least favorite.

 What would you pick? Do you have a favorite combo? I would really like for you to help me. If you have an idea for a totally different color combo that might work, PLEASE tell me in the comments. I am very open to suggestions. I have 2 favorites from this batch, but I'm still not totally sure.

I can tell you for sure, that I don't like black, yellow, or orange with this color brick.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2 Bills 2 Blow - Cultivate Create

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to have Amanda, from Cultivate Create here today. After you check out today's post, be sure to head over to her blog and take a look at her home. She has a great eye for all things decor.


Hi, all! I'm Amanda from Cultivate Create. I was absolutely tickled (Southernism for excited) when Nikki asked me to be a part of the 2 Bills 2 Blow series. I mean, who doesn't love to shop, even if it is just pretend money?

I am really glad that I got to be a part of this series because it has helped me start a design plan for a room in our home we haven't touched since we moved in a year and a half ago: our Powder Room. We have remodeled our kitchen, put down new floors in the main living spaces, and practically painted everything. But poor little Powder Room has been so terribly neglected.  

I am a bargain shopper and I am always on the lookout for good deals.  In my experience as a do-it-yourselfer, paint is often the best bang for your buck when wanting to update a space. And that is no different for this design plan with my 2 bills 2 blow. 

Here is how it breaks down:

Perfectly Pretty Powder Room

1. I would start by painting the walls with Benjamin Moore's Decorator White. That would give me a soft neutral base to work with, allowing my other design features to pop. One gallon, $25

2. Then, the cabinet and sink base would be painted Benjamin Moore's Anchor Gray.  I really love gray right now. This particular gray is a blue-gray and would do well to "anchor" the room. One gallon, $25

3. Next, my daring self would paint the ceiling Valspar's Mint Gala. An unexpected pop of color on the ceiling would keep the space from being boring. (See number 6 for the ceiling wow factor!) Once quart, $15

4. A new mirror above the vanity is the next item I'd put in the space. The one above is larger than the current one we have, and would reflect more light in the small space. Target Threshold Silver Beaded Wall Mirror, $24.99

5. Now, we're ready to add a nice vessel sink to the newly painted vanity. Round Vitreous China Vessel Sink, $89.99

6. Lastly, to add a little "oomph" to the space, I would use the bird stencil from Royal Design Studio onto the ceiling (pictured below). I would use the same Decorator White paint leftover from the walls to paint the adorable birds onto the Mint Gala ceiling. Stencil, $19.95

Stencil from Royal Design Studio
I can just see it now!  A powder room that is pretty close to perfect!  And it all came in at $199.93.  Not bad!  

Thanks, Nikki, for having me today.  Now, I can't wait to get started on my powder room!


Can you believe she is going to be able to do all of that for just $200! Oh, and I am now obsessed with that bird stencil.

I am currently accepting posts for this series. If you would like to participate, please send me an email and I'll get you put on the calendar.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Breakfast Room Updates

I feel like we have a brand new breakfast room. Before I dive into the what, when, and hows -  let's take a look back at where this room started.

1. Shortly after we moved in. The only thing that had been done was that the new tile floors had been installed.

2. First Set of Updates
 - copper blinds were removed and replaced with curtains made from clearance table cloths from Target
- chandelier was swapped for the one in the dining room and spray painted oil rubbed bronze
- wallpaper was painted (We chose not to remove because the walls were paneling. The grooves had been filled and then wallpapered over. We weren't sure what kind of condition it would be in if we removed it. )
- new table

3. Second Set of Updates
-new bar stools
-new curtains (This time the curtains were made from $2 Ralph Lauren fabric scored at a yard sale.) 

I wasn't really looking to change this room, but then a series of events happened, and one thing led to another.

It all started back in December, when Asher started building our new dining room table. I had initially planned to sell our old dining room table, but then I decided to see how it worked in the breakfast room without the leaf. The bar height table was nice, but it was really small, and not very comfortable to sit at for very long. I thought we would live with it for a few days and then make a decision. Ha, it didn't take that long. We move it in, sat down, decided it was perfect, and sold the bar height table and bar stools on Craigslist the next day.

The old table was gone, so the next step was to purchase new chairs. I used the money that we made selling the other table and bar stools to put towards ordering these, and have been been really happy with them. I had planned to paint the table white, but the longer I have left the table black, the more I like it in this room. My kitchen cabinets are more off white, than white, and our tile floor it really light. I feel like the table would just kind of get lost if it were white. 

We swapped the breakfast room and dining room chandeliers with each other. I was over the red, and decided to paint the chandelier Ivy Leaf green before putting it back in the breakfast room. The pop of fun color was just what this really neutral kitchen needed.

I could have called it done at this point, but I really wanted to update the curtains in this room. The first 2 sets of curtains were really cheap, better than what was there, but not what I wanted forever. The curtains were also not functioning exactly like I wanted. The ones over the  kitchen window would get splattered on while washing dishes, and when I washed them the colors kind of bled together in a few places making them look splotchy. I replaced the curtains over the kitchen with a bamboo shade, and then moved the brown chevron curtains into this room to see if I liked them in here, or if I needed to find something else.

The chevron curtains were perfect in here. Ok, so they weren't perfect. They were about 4" too short.  When I purchased the fabric I did not pre-wash, I just left them really long and never actually hemmed them. I thought I left plenty of extra fabric to allow for shrinkage, but I was wrong. Really wrong. My plan was to just cut them and have short curtains in here, but then then  I decided that I really did like the long length in here. I did the next best thing. I went to Hobby Lobby and found a green fabric to extend the curtains. It was simple, and I really like the added color. Shrinking the curtains turned into a happy accident.

I still want to add bamboo shades to the window, but it is just a matter of having the extra funds to do so. It will come with time. Homes take time.

What do you think about the changes?

The room is so much prettier, but my favorite change is that we actually enjoying eating in this room now.

I am linking this post to these blog parties. Please go check them out.
It's Overflowing
The Pearl Blog - All Things Pretty Part-ay
Liz Marie Blog
House of Rose
Blissfully Ever After
Love of Home and Family
Tatertots and Jello
I Heart Nap Time
Lil' Luna
Somewhat Simple
Today's Creative Blog
Suburbs Mama
Making Home Base
Design, Dining + Diapers
Frugal Friday - The Shabby Nest 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

2 Bills 2 Blow - Grace Lee Cottage

Do you remember the fun little series, "2 Bills 2 Blow", where different bloggers pretend they have just $200, and they share how they would spend the money in there home to make the most impact? Yes. No. Maybe?

It has been a while, but I have rounded up some really great bloggers to participate.  This week Leah, from Grace Lee Cottage is here to share how she would spend the money in her home. She has a beautiful home; be sure to go check it out after you read this. 

I hope you enjoy!


Hi everyone! I'm Leah from Grace Lee Cottage.  I am so excited and honored that Nikki asked me to guest post on her fabulous blog today! I have to say it didn't take me long to decide how I would blow 200 bucks! 

Since Christmas I have had organizing on the brain! Since New Years  I have been re-evaluating each space in our home, sorting, donating unwanted items, and re-organizing one space at a time.

I am finally to the point where I know what items I would like to purchase to finish up my whole house organizing project.  Today I thought I would focus on the main living spaces in our home.  I decided the best way to break it all down would be room by room, so let's get started!

Our Kitchen  

After evaluating my storage needs, and after lots of cleaning and purging, I decided the following two items would be very helpful in here!
Expand-a-Drawer Cutlery Tray from The Container Store. 17.99

In-Drawer Spice Rack Set

In-Drawer Spice Rack with 12 glass spice bottles from The Container Store.  27.99

Right now I have a drawer in my kitchen where we just throw in all of our larger utensils. No organization whatsoever! This tray would be perfect for whipping that drawer of mine into shape. 

 I absolutely love the idea of organized spice storage that will fit neatly in a drawer!  It's the perfect solution for those of us with limited counter space!

Our Laundry Room 

 I've mentioned several times how I desperately need a hamper with compartments to allow for sorting.  This one from Target is great because it doesn't take up much space, yet it still has 3 separate compartments.  I love the look of the drawers and the extra surface space on top!

Hamper 3-Drawer Storage Unit - Natural
3-Drawer Hamper from Target. 32.99

Our Living Room

I am constantly picking up books, magazines, and toys from our living room floor. I think a cool magazine holder like this one from Target would be a great fit to our space.
 Household Essentials Banana Leaf Magazine Rack - Natural
Magazine Holder from Target. 25.99

As for the toys that are always scattered around, maybe something like this would work.
Threshold™ Round Tufted Storage Ottoman - Gray Textured Weave
Threshold Storage Ottoman from Target. 47.99

I'm always a fan of anything that provides more than one function.  This ottoman would allow for toy storage as well as extra seating.

And since we are always looking for the remote controls, maybe one of these would be nice?

Bentwood Remote Control Rack from The Container Store.  17.99

Our Back Entrance/Mini Mudroom

Something we are in need of in this space is an umbrella holder. Right now we just toss them in the laundry room. I think this holder would be a much better solution.

Smart Umbrella Stand from The Container Store. 24.99

I love how the little trays are removable so you can dump out any water. I also love how it holds various sized umbrellas.

Our Bathroom

We have only one bathroom in our entire house for our family of four, so proper storage and function in here is so important.  One thing that our bathroom is lacking is something to hold all of our shampoo bottles, razors, soap, etc. Right now things are just sitting on the edge of the tub, and they are constantly getting knocked off.  This collection of Power Lock baskets and accessories from The Container Store would be the perfect solution!

Power Lock Basket. 9.99 (I would probably need 2  of these!)

That wraps up how I would spend an extra $200, with a few bucks to spare!  Now if only those $200 would magically appear so I could go shopping! Thanks so much Nikki for having me today. This has been so much fun!

Have a BLESSED day,


If you are interested in participating in this series, please send me an email. I'd love to add you to the schedule.

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Goals and a New Adventure

EEK! It's already March the 3rd and I am just not getting around to doing this. I did not crush my Feb. goals, but I did get several things crossed off of the list.

February Recap

 Home Projects

- Finish painting the interior side of our front doors. (This has been on the list since January and still hasn't been done. I am taking it off of the list for now. We just got a new door knob and peep hole for the doors, so I am glad I haven't finished this. The new knobs are going to require a good bit of repair work, so I'm not really sure what this will turn into.)

Finish Master Bedroom
-sew new pillow covers
-recover chair cushion
-paint new piece of art


-playroom toys


- photograph and write post about our new dining room table
- photograph my living room and dining room so that I can update my house tour page


Home Projects

Finish up Breakfast Room - Photograph and Blog

Finish Master Bedroom
-recover chair cushion
-paint new piece of art


-A new garage door is being installed today, so the Garage is getting bumped up the list. I will not blog about this, because it will never be pretty. I'm okay with that, I just want super functional.


- Bring back the 2 Bills 2 Blow Series

The New Adventure - I had planned to do Chalean Extreme at the beginning of this year, but had to put it off do to a hand injury. Yesterday morning I woke up and decided that it was finally time to start, and finish the program this time. It is only 90 days. Surely, I can do this. I plan to set some goals for myself as far as weight loss, and my eating habits, but right now my main goal is to do this exercise program. The other thing that I am working on is kicking my sugar habit. My first goal is to go 2 weeks with no dessert or candy. Yikes! This will be major for me. I do make homemade iced coffees at home and sweeten them with sugar, but I'm not ready to give that up just yet. It will come, though.

I'm not sure how often I will talk about this here just yet, but I am putting hit here because I do want to add a Health/Fitness section to my monthly goals post each month.

*I am not a beach body coach. I am just looking forward to starting this program.

What kind of things are you working on this month?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dining Room Updates - New Buffet

A few weeks ago when I revealed the changes to the dining room, I had no idea that we would be adding a buffet to this room.

This buffet has been one of my favorite pieces of furniture since we purchased it about seven years ago. When we moved to this house 3 years ago, I was looking forward to using it in the dining room, but it was needed elsewhere. It was used as a tv/media stand for a little while in our living room, and then it was used in our den by the back door. It held my camera, all of the boys' jackets, hats, and everything else we needed quick access to when heading out the door.

Two weeks ago I got a text from my husband with a picture of an armoire asking if I wanted it.  It looked really nice, so I told him to bring it home. I had no idea where, or how I would use it, but I was sure I could come up with something.

It didn't take me too long to figure out that the armoire would be perfect in the den by the back door to acting as a closet, and the buffet could go in the dining room. I was so excited to get my buffet back!

It was so nice to pull my glassware, crystal, and extra dishes out of the kitchen cabinets and put them in the dining room.

I like to keep it real, so just know that this basket full of fresh lemons and cloth napkins doesn't normally sit here. The basket goes in another room, the napkins go in a drawer, and the lemons stay in the fridge. This buffet is usually covered in schools papers and hot wheels.

Adding the buffet made it really easy to figure out the art on the wall situation. When I did the reveal a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to change the gold mirror and replace it with something, but wasn't exactly sure what. When we moved the buffet in, having the metal art on either side of the mirror above the buffet was too much, so I took the gold mirror down and hung the white metal art on the opposite wall. I am really happy with how it turned out!

I think the room is finally done. The only thing still on my radar in this room are the knobs on the buffet. They were originally an antique brass color, and I spray painted them silver about 4-5 years ago. I will either replace them or repaint them gold. I'm sure you will hear about it when I decided.

I am linking this post to these blog parties. Please go check them out.
It's Overflowing
The Pearl Blog - All Things Pretty Part-ay
Liz Marie Blog
House of Rose
Blissfully Ever After
Love of Home and Family
Tatertots and Jello
I Heart Nap Time
Lil' Luna
Somewhat Simple
Today's Creative Blog
Suburbs Mama
Making Home Base
Design, Dining + Diapers
Frugal Friday - The Shabby Nest 


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