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Friday, October 29, 2010

Finally the Coffee Table

Remember a few weeks back I teased you with my coffee table re-do and promised to show you the finished product?
Geez- where has the time gone? Let's get to it already!
We got this beautiful piece of furniture from some great friends when we moved to the desert.
Our old living room was so narrow, there was no room for a coffee table even if we wanted one.
Perfect timing- great friends move to a great new house, don't need their beautiful mahogany coffee table anymore- we need a coffee table to help fill our enormous new living room.
Cha-ching!
Well, the coffee table is lovely, no doubt about it...but not quite our style. Except that our style is so sort of hand-me-down-re-do...so I guess it is our style. I digress.
Here is is before I decided to 'Anthropologize' it

Nice, right?

I stripped it, sanded it, stripped it again, sanded it again...I was trying to do this the 'right' way and get down to the original wood.
For-get-it.
Never doing that again. The poly and stain were so thick it would take 10 years to strip down to the original wood. When I finally got to a rough enough point, I spray painted the table using Valspar Summer Leaf.

Now, I knew I planned to do more to it, but after finishing the paint I was soooo glad I wasn't stopping there. Whew- now THAT is a bright table!
**Side note: After this project I COMPLETELY fell in love with Valspar spray paint. It is a billion times better than Krylon. From here on out, I'm a Valspar girl.**

When the paint was sufficiently dry (I love the arid desert- it takes 2 seconds for paint to dry out here. Ah it's great!), I hit the table pretty hard with my hand sander, then wiped off all the dust and pulled out my trusty dark walnut stain. Wipe on, wipe off, wipe on, wipe off....

When I was satisfied with the coverage and stain lines I let the table dry, then applied a billion coats of polyurethane. It's amazing how much he stain changed the color of the paint- for the better, I think.
And here is the table back in the living room, with Little Sister refusing to get off the sofa.

I know, totally random- a green coffee table?

I'm pretty sure I'm in love. So random, but so fun. Stare at it for a while. The longer you look, the more it grows on you.

So Anthropologie-esque. Breadwinner was a little skeptical at first, but now even he is majorly in love. He says he's scared to ask which piece of furniture with change next while he is away at work....ah the possibilities!

Halloween Costumes- Fancy Nancy and Ladybug Girl

2009-The first year of all girlie costumes.
Big Sister wanted to be Fancy Nancy and together we decided Little Sister would be Ladybug Girl...mostly Little Sister just wanted to do/be anything Big Sister suggested.

The Ladybug wings Big Sister wore her first Halloween came in handy and fit Little Sister like a charm. Luckily we purchased the black long sleeved onsies from Children's Place each winter for the first 2 years of Big Sister's life, so we had one on hand in Little Sister's size. Some new red and black striped tights and our favorite red patten leather shoes were great accessories.
Perhaps my favorite part of her costume though, was my first attempt at a tutu. Over 10o yards of red and black tulle, red and black satin ribbon, and red and black organdy ribbon completed Little Sister's girlie look. Well, that and a red boa that certainly didn't last long and a darling red thin headband with black lace, tiny bow, (from Mommy's great friend Julianna) and some Mommy added pipe cleaner antenna completed Little Sister's first homemade costume.

Big Sister was a bit more elaborate with her pink feather boa, turquoise crochet flower headband from Gramm, wild piggie tails with multiple satin ribbon bows, flower and tulle wand from Children's Place clearance, green fairy dress up wings, purple flower tutu from Mommy's FabulousAunt, Mommy embellished pink tee shirt, Mommy made purple polka dot leg warmers, huge fuschia polka dot ribbons on her sparkly white shoes, and pink and purple beaded necklaces and bracelets (the jewelry was Miss Julianna's contribution to the costume-she was in town visiting while Mommy was working on the costumes and wanted to add her own special touch- perfect!).

This year the costumes got double the workout as we joined our friend's at their church Halloween party a few nights before our real Halloween trick or treating.

Big Sister even won an award for Most Original Halloween costume.
Of course, Mommy was beaming after spending time sewing ribbon ruffles and rosettes on the pink plain shirt to complete this year's 'fabulously fancy' costume.

Almost as Fancy as her top, was the bottom half of her costume.
Polka dot leg warmers Mommy made, and hot glued extra wide polka dot ribbon to the already fancy sparkly Target clearance Mary Jane's completed the extraordinary (that's a fancy word for great ;) ) costume!

Definitely my favorite costumes thus far- and perfect for each of their Big personalities.

Halloween Costumes-Cowgirl

2008- Welcome to the Party Little Sister.
Unfortunately her completely borrowed/store bought costume was nothing to brag about this year. Her bright blue eyes and chubby, chubby cheeks did make her an awfully cute little penguin, though.

Our pumpkins reached 301 lbs for the larger and 127 lbs for the smaller this year...and Mommy got to wear her fabulous cowboy boots from ShopGal. LOVE hand me down, already broken in, fabulous boots!

Big Sister once again took the crown in the homemade costume category.

Together we decided she was going to be a cowgirl and I started creating.
Every cowgirl needs a pair of chaps- so off to Joann's for brown girly fabric and fringe and out came the sewing machine once again.

After days of searching online and in local stores, we finally found a plain white button down shirt in the boys section at The Children's Place.
I added some of the chap fabric to the shoulders and yoke of the shirt along with some extra suede fringe, and used my brown thread to run a zig zag stitch down the button hole front of the shirt for extra detail.

The chaps ran thru a strip of fabric much like you would run a curtain through a rod, and the fabric strip tied in the front. There were strips of wide grossgrain ribbon at the back to tie the chaps into place around each leg.

Our Gymboree clearance soft cowboy hat and Children's Place mega clearance pink applique cowgirl boots completed the costume.

With her tiny piggie tails barely sticking out the sides of her hat all night, she was mistaken for a little boy through most of her first real trick or treating experience, but she didn't seem to mind....

I think all the candy loot made up for being called a boy.

Halloween Costumes- Pumpkin Fairy

2007- Still the mom of one sweet girl.
This year I couldn't say no to the sweet 60% off Pumpkin Fairy costume calling out to me next to the register at Joann's.
To make up for the store bought costume...or to make myself feel less guilty for copping out so early in the game, I embellished a fairy wand accessory with my hot glue gun and tons of orange buttons and added orange grossgrain ribbon with tiny bows to the ends of the long sleeved Carter's onsie we added for warmth.

And, being the only child...we took Big Sister to Picture People in the mall and spent a Pumpkin Fairy sized fortune on some adorable pictures...after I decided to take an iron to the wrinkly, sparkly outer layer of her costume and burned a hole in it. Genius!

She was an awful cute Pumpkin Fairy- even if her costume was mostly store bought.

Side note- the Pumpkin Fairy's giant pumpkin grew to 292 lbs that year!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Costumes- Tiny Ladybug

August 16, 2006 we welcomed our first baby into the world, Big Sister.
Her nursery polka dots and ladybugs, so it seemed fitting her first Halloween costume follow suit.
Being a new mom of a fairly young baby, I felt the need to do something homemade.
My first attempt at making a costume for my own child and I was up for the challenge.

At the time it seemed next to impossible to find the time to work on her little costume. Looking back now I laugh at all the free time I had in those first few months!
I purchased some red duck cloth fabric from Joann's, cut out 4 tiny wings, sewed two together like a pillow, turned them inside out, got out my black craft paint, made a few polka dots and hearts, stitched the two completed wings to a piece of elastic, made two elastic arm holes (which had to be resized 3 times to get them small enough, apparently I'm not a great measurer) and the wings were complete!
We already had a black long sleeved onsie, but no hat...so rit dye and I had a meeting in a large stock pot with a plain white infant hat and a pair of socks. The socks ended up brown so we ditched them, but the hat was perfect. A few pipe cleaners swirled into antenna and sewn to the top of the hat completed Big Sister's very first Halloween costume.

She was too cute, all chubby and wrinkly with little bitty wings.

This was also our first attempt at growing a giant pumpkin in the backyard.
187 lbs-Not too shabby for our first year.

Halloween Costumes Galore

Since Big Sister was born in 2006, each October I've taken on the challenge of making all or part of a costume. I must admit, I've taken the easy way out a couple times...and yes, Little Sister did get the 'second child' shaft her first Halloween as I copped out and borrowed a store bought costume from a friend.
That being said, there were some cute homemade costumes running around our house over the past few years.
It's time for a marathon Halloween re-cap.
Don your pointy shoes and hold tight to your broom- the bumpy ride starts NOW!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What Not to Wear Wednesday-Belts

Thanks for coming back for week 2!
Last week there were several great suggestions for the two shirts I posted. Looks like the 2nd shirt may be destined for Goodwill or my maternity pile (we could have #3 some day).
This week I need your help with belts. I have so many in the closet I never wear because I just don't know how- or what to wear them with.
So many of you fantastic women rock the cutie belts week in and week out, so I'm hoping for some major help this week.
I found a white tunic top in the back of my closet from my working days and I thought it made a great blank canvas to show you some of my belt dilemmas.
Bear in mind- most of these belts still have the tags on them as I purchased them thinking they would be fun and have never worn them!! Some have been in the closet for years!
Ready?
I have two requests this week
Please tell me:
#1- if you like the belt (in other words, should I keep it?) and
#2- what to wear it with/how to wear it....tight around my natural waist, loose and hanging on my hips, high under the boobs, etc....
Help me out, ladies!!
Belt #1

I wore this belt a few weeks ago with a blue dress. My biggest complaint-it doesn't stay on.

The material is slick so it loosens and falls off. This is my solution...does it work? Or does it look ridiculous with the tab stuck back under?

PS- Bonus- it's reversible! Matte finish on one side, glossy on the other. Macy's clearance
Belt #2

Shiny black on one side (yep, that's Little Sister- she's not feeling great this week)

Animal print on the other- this is the only animal print in my wardrobe. I think I may just like it...another Macy's clearance.
Belt #3

It's elastic in the back- Tell me the truth- does it look too tight? What do I wear this with?

Macy's clearance again. I hit a great sale last Spring. Between $3 and $6 for each of the first 3 belts!
Belt #4

I've had this forever- American Eagle I think.
It's chocolate brown and rosey pink and ties with long strips of leather.

I can't decide if it's too '80's fringy' or fun/hippy.
Here's a close up of the detail in the brown.

Belt #5

Soft leather black belt. It doesn't stay very well either.
Belt #6

A brown skinny belt I totally forgot I had from my days at the office before kiddos.
Chocolate brown with a silver clip in front.
***
OK, Ladies. Work your magic!
How do I wear these belts? What do I wear them with?
I love all the cute belted styles I'm seeing but don't know how to make them work for me. I have a closet full of belts- help me learn how to use them!!!
Thanks fashionistas!
PS- Is it just me, or do I look super boxy in this top? Hmmm....any suggestions on how to fix that?

WIWW Week 7

Week 7 already?
You know the drill- inspired by Pleated Poppy, I'm making more of an effort each day in my attire.
Just because I stay home with my girls doesn't mean I have to look like I just rolled out of bed all day long.
Wednesday- Preschool then cleaning the house in preparation for my mom, Gramm- rainy, rainy, stormy day

Charcoal cowl neck sweater-NY and CO
Jeans- American Eagle
Red shoes- Khol's- you remember- from the last few weeks
Changed tops before I went to the airport- wanted to be a little cuter- thankfully the rain finally stopped for a little while

Black long sleeve top-Target hand me down from a friend
Cape sweater- Old Navy- one of my great deals last week
Chocolate colored pearl necklace and matching earrings- local craft fair
Thursday-Overnight trip with Breadwinner to see Jimmy Buffett concert (the reason Gramm flew in-to take care of the girls)

Green dress-Aeropostale- Gramm brought it. I love Happies!
Black sweater- Macy's
Necklace- one of the fabulous gifts from ShopGal

Little Sister wanted to see what was so exciting in the mirror

Apparently she didn't see what she was looking for so she looked around the other side.
When we got down to the concert and checked in to our hotel, I changed clothes for the concert

Canary yellow cardigan-NY and Co
Blue tank-Old Navy
Jeans-American Eagle
Same red shoes
Same fun necklace
Cute black dangly earrings- Belk in FL

Love the detail on this cardigan and the fun antiquey buttons
It got pretty chilly so I added a gray, wool, button down sweater on the way into the concert-I'm sure there will be lots more of it as the temperature continues to drop!
Friday-Drive home from concert and an Ikea stop among other kid-free errands
Did you like Wednesday's sweater? Wore the same one, different jeans.
Saturday-Trick or Treating in our local 'neighborhood' - crazy windy day

White tuxedo top-American Eagle
Green tank-Old Navy
Jeans- American Eagle
Sunglasses-Ann Taylor Loft- gift from GeorgiaCollege Gal
Fabulously huge new mirror- Ikea!
Sunday-Shopping with Gramm, chilly day...is Fall really here to stay?

Green Sweater- Old Navy
Floral dress- American Eagle-Amazing clearance from $44.40 to $8!
Jeans- American Eagle
Gray necklace- American Eagle
Charcoal flower thin headband-Aerie

Green wedge shoes-Cutie shop in Athens, GA
Monday-Drove Gramm back to the airport and played around town with the girls. Changed to a different top for Monday Night Football and forgot to take pics. It may make it to What Not to Wear as I'm not convinced it works for me.
(Forgive the linens and pillows on the floor- I was washing sheets all day)

Gray flowy sweater-NY and Co- shopping trip with Gramm
Coral tank- Ann Taylor Loft
Jeans- AE
Short black boots-hand me down from a friend

Necklace-NY and Co
Tuesday-Harvest Festival at Big Sister's school

Rust tunic- Old Navy- Incredible $4 clearance!
Copper belt-NY and Co
Black flats- Target-oh so old
**
It seems Fall may really be here to stay. I'm looking forward to continuing to mix some of the old with the cutie new pieces in my closet. Thanks for all your warm comments in my first What Not to Wear Wednesday last week! Keep the suggestions coming, I'm so inspired by all the gorgeous outfits so many women continue to post each week!!