Teach Me Tuesday – “Iron” Wall Art


Hi All!

Before I get to Teach Me Tuesday, I wanted to share a video with you that made me laugh so hard.  Check out this hilarious kid at:

This Bowl is Too Heavy

This is video reminds me of when my kids were little. They were so dramatic about everything. Nothing has changed since they became teenagers – it is just a lot louder. I swear all I have to do is ask someone to bring the garbage cans in or feed the dogs and you would have thought I asked them to do hard labor in Siberia. They do it, but there is a whole lotta griping.

Today’s Teach Me Tuesday will be one of the easiest and cheapest projects I will show you. You only need 3 things:  a rubber doormat, a can of spray paint and sandpaper.  You will be able to make an amazing piece of artwork that looks just like an iron piece for your walls.  Iron is expensive.  This knock-off can be made for a fraction of the cost and looks just as expensive.  Plus you can customize it to be exactly what you want!

1.  A Rubber Doormat

You can find these everywhere right now – even the Dollar Store or Big Lots.  They are cheap and come in many different sizes, so use what suites you.  It is even okay to cut it up into pieces if you so desire. Be creative!

You can use your finished product horizontally or vertically.

2.  A Can of Spray Paint.  I like Antique White by Valspar.

3.  Sandpaper.

I like these sandpaper blocks, but you can really use any sandpaper you have laying around.  If you have an electric sander, you can use that also – makes it go a lot faster and saves your arm muscles.  You all know how I feel about sanding – it is a workout!  Note:  do not use 220 grit sandpaper like I have in this picture.  It will rip up your sanding block (I found this out the hard way).  I would use an 80 or 100 grit.

So those are the three products you need to complete this awesome project.  I just love simple supplies.  Here is what you do next:

Spray paint the rubber mat with the Antique White (or whatever color you choose).  Don’t worry about it being perfect, you are going to be sanding a lot of the edges to get that worn, rustic iron look.

I went over it a couple times, just to get into the corner and crevices.  Took me probably less than 10 minutes.  Yay!  Now – just sit back and wait for it to dry.

Okay … honesty time.  I went out to sand my mat and I only had the 220 grit sandpaper on hand.  So the next few pictures are not my finished product, but you will definitely get the idea of how cool this project looks when it is finished.



Source: salvagedior.blogspot.com via DeannaL on Pinterest

Close up of the finished product. Isn’t is amazing how it looks just like iron? Another plus is that it is so much lighter to hang on the wall. Do you ever hang a heavy art piece over your couch or your bed and obsess about when it is going to fall on your head? No? Oh, maybe those are my issues. Hmmmmm….

Source: salvagedior.blogspot.com via Georgeann on Pinterest

See how incredible the different shapes can look together? The half-moon mat really makes a statement on the wall!

Source: lemontreecreations.blogspot.com via CatchtheMoon on Pinterest

This is another way to use a rubber doormat. This is just the mat laid on top of a stained piece of wood. Then spray paint and peel back the mat. Beautiful!

Source: lemontreecreations.blogspot.com via Patricia on Pinterest

Another look … used four boards to make one piece of art. This is called an “image split”. You see it on canvases a lot.

Source: tungandsara.blogspot.com via Amy on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Jenna on Pinterest

That’s all for today! I am leaving tomorrow morning for my annual girlfriends weekend. I meet up with 8 friends that I have known since kindergarten. We get together once a year and laugh until we hurt.  The weekend is called GBB Weekend (Girl’s Behaving Badly) – enough said. I will have a special post on Wednesday with some pictures of the GBB gang. See you then!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


Planted My Pots!


Just once, I would like to wake up, turn on the TV and hear …”Monday has been cancelled”!    ~Unknown

Wouldn’t that be amazing?  It would be the kind of happiness you feel when you would wake up to a “Snow Day” as a kid.  Remember the pure excitement and joy you would feel knowing you had a completely free day.  Aaaahhhh … big sigh!

We had another busy weekend at the Smith house.  One daughter at the State Latin Competition, two lacrosse games, an adult party with lacrosse parents and yard work.  I don’t mind busy … I will have the twins in college before I know it and I will miss the madness!

Today’s post is about planting my pots. It is such an easy, quick way to bring color and happiness to a porch, patio or deck.  Take a look:

Step 1:  Pick up a container you love and some plants.  I got the plants at Walmart, but I special ordered my container because I wanted a particular size and color in stone.  However, you can get amazing pots at Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s – almost anywhere.  Pots have really come down in price.  You can get a large pot that looks like it is ceramic but is really plastic for less than $30.

The plants I picked are:

Dracaena – the spike in the middle

Euphorbia – the small white vine plant

Lobelia – the blue/purple flower

Trailing Petunia – Yellow flower

Verbena – the red cluster flower

I like plants that trail over the pot and add a ton of color.

Step 2:  Fill up some of the space in the pot with recyclables, rocks or bricks so you don’t have to use so much dirt.  This will save you a little bit of money since you won’t have to buy so many bags of dirt.  I also find it helps with the draining to have the recyclables leave some open space at the bottom of the pot.

Step 3:  Fill your pot with dirt. I like a dirt that has a fertilizer in it to give my plants a little “jump start”.

Step 4:  Put something tall in the middle.  In this case I just put a simple spike, but I have seen all kinds of cool tropical plants in the middle and I love that look as well.

Step 5:  Plant your plants around the spike.  Be sure to alternate colors so you will get a more cohesive pot once the plants start to fill in and grow.

Step 6:  Water and Admire.

See … six simple steps to a summer full of color and beauty.

Now I will be the first to admit, I do NOT have a green thumb (my hubby can fully attest to this).  I am bad at remembering to water and forget about “dead-heading” the flowers.  I tried to pick flowers that are pretty maintenance free – can handle the sun and won’t hate me if I forget to water 1 (or maybe 2) days.  I think you could, without hesitation, call me a Serial Plant Killer.  Sad but true.  Just killed an orchid in about 8 days (although I will say I think my hubby over-watered it – he will deny this).

I do find that when I take the time to plant things myself, I seem to be more invested in the outcome.  Let’s see how my pots do this summer.  I will keep you updated with some pictures over the next couple months.

Plant yourself a container and have your own little pot of heaven.

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


Fabulous Friday Favorites 7 – The “B” Words


Happy Happy Friday!  Boy – these Friday’s are coming up so fast.  It’s crazy.  The weather was so nice yesterday.  My doggie girls could not wait to go for a ride in the car.  Talk about pure joy!

Can you imagine having this kind of bliss?  No worries – just the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. *Big Sigh*

This weeks FFF’s all just happen to start with the letter B.  I figured that with Spring showing itself over most of the country right now, it would be appropriate to have some favorites that remind me of Spring.


Source: goo.gl via Alfreda on Pinterest

Source: goo.gl via Roxane on Pinterest

Source: ritzybee.typepad.com via Dennisse on Pinterest

Source: marthastewart.com via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: theidearoom.net via Katie on Pinterest

Source: sweetpaul.typepad.com via Allison on Pinterest

I am pretty picky about my butterflies.  I don’t like all things with butterflies – just certain butterflies have a calming, almost spiritual effect on me.  It’s that metamorphosis thing that really gets me.  Going from the ugly, hairy caterpillar to the regal, beautiful butterfly.   I think Miley Cyrus says it best in her song “Party in the USA”.  “Put your hands up, their playing our song, butterflies fly away.”  I am KIDDING.  (I am sadly laughing at my own joke right now.)

It is really Hawthorne that says it best for me:

“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne


Source: google.com via Marie of Sally Lee by the Sea, LLC on Pinterest

Source: louboosandshoes.blogspot.com via Cathleen on Pinterest

Source: greenlikebathwater.tumblr.com via Caitlyn on Pinterest

Source: coral-r-e-e-f.tumblr.com via Tracey on Pinterest

Source: daydreamer0207.tumblr.com via Stephany on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Teresa on Pinterest

Source: google.com via Katia on Pinterest

Source: greenwellies.tumblr.com via Linda on Pinterest

I love a bike with a basket.  I picture myself riding on Cape Cod with a loaf of french bread, a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine on my way to meet the love of my life for a romantic picnic.  That is the picture in my head. First, I have never been to Cape Cod and second, I don’t drink wine so that fantasy is blown. However, I do love bread and married the love of my life, so I will take that!

Here is the reality of what happened the last time I rode a beach bike:

I was riding down on 30A in the Florida panhandle.  I’m all happy – sun on my face – kids and hubby riding along side me and a basket full of fun goodies from Rosemary Beach.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, I get a cramp in my thigh.  I am not talking a regular charlie horse here.  This is a “I’m paralyzed and will never walk again” kind of cramp.  The “Mack-Daddy” of all cramps – the kind where your leg feels bruised for days afterwards.  I jump off my bike, hopping around like a crazy woman, screaming “owwww  oooooooh aaaawwwww”.  I was so subtle and graceful.  I had to limp my way back to the house.  Seriously PITIFUL!!!  By the way … my family ditched me the minute I started the hopping.


Source: myrecipes.com via Julie on Pinterest

I love banana pudding. “Why don’t you marry it?” Really – I would if I could. I have such passion for a luscious banana pudding with homemade whipped cream on top, surrounded by vanilla wafers. I love it with vanilla wafers, but I will eat it with chocolate chip cookies, Chessman cookies and anything in between. But there is no other banana pudding, that even holds a candle to my Tanny’s Banana Pudding. We called my Grandmother Tanny because none of the kids could say Granny. My Tanny lived in Alabama and I grew up in Minnesota. We used to spend 3 weeks down in Alabama every summer. This was THE SOUTH – a huge difference from Minnesota. There were many differences, but one of the biggest was the food. My Tanny cooked Southern food and we loved it! Tanny’s banana pudding was the first banana pudding I had ever tasted and the love affair started. Today is your lucky day.

Here is my Tanny’s Banana Pudding Recipe:

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
45 NILLA Wafers, divided
5 ripe bananas, sliced (about 3 1/2 cups), divided
Additional NILLA Wafers and banana slices, for garnish

1. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, flour and salt in top of double boiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water, stirring constantly for 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

2. Reserve 10 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1 1/2-quart casserole; cover with a layer of wafers and a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges.

4. Bake at 350°F in top half of oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned. Cool slightly or refrigerate. Garnish with additional wafers and banana slices just before serving.

Do you recognize this recipe? It is from the back of the NILLA Wafer box. Yep … that was my Tanny’s secret recipe. I think the real secret was that Tanny put so much love in the pudding it made it taste like heaven!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


Plan B


I had planned on a super elaborate post with over 100 pictures and two or maybe even three poems that I penned in my spare time, but instead this is what happened:

Source: shoeboxblog.com via Missi on Pinterest

Happy Thursday!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!

Orange is so “A-Peeling”!


I love orange.  If you have ever read my blog, you know I have said that before but I thought it was worth mentioning again since this post is about painting a piece of furniture orange.  Orange seems to be one of those colors that brings out a lot of emotion in people.  You either love it or you hate it.  Orange has to be done right or it can be blinding and give you a headache.  But when it is a soothing orange like a sunset or a fall pumpkin, there is nothing more beautiful.  It is a color that makes me happy.

This post is a long time in the making.  I started this project about two months ago.  I am an “instant gratification” kinda gal (much to the chagrin of my hubby), so I usually try to finish my projects pretty quickly.  But in this case the d**m pollen kept getting in the way.  Every time I tried to put another coat of primer or paint on, it would be covered in yellow in about 2 minutes and I would have to start over.  I got very tired of sanding and wiping pollen so I let the project sit for a while until the pollen lessened.  I finally finished this weekend and am pretty happy with the results.  It is not perfect – but then neither am I.

I have been wanting a little orange statement piece in my foyer for quite a while.  I could not find something I liked or that fit or that I could afford.  I decided to take matters into my own hands when I found this piece at Ballard Outlet for $69.99.  It was the perfect size and the right price, but it was an ugly, fake looking oak and I wanted orange.  (This is where I stomp my foot and pout with a little whine added). Smile.

Anyway … here is what I did.

I realize from this picture that the color looks much deeper than it really was – but trust me … ugly oak.

A before picture from another angle.

Yes, I know that my garage is a mess.  I tried to crop out as much as the crap as I could – but you will just have to look past it.  Thanks!

This picture shows the color much better.  The garage is …. yep – still a mess.

Step 1:  Take out all the drawers and shelves and remove all hardware.

Step 2:  Once again admire the great deal you got on your piece.

Yes, you are reading that right … the original price was $459.00 then marked down to $343.99 … I got it for $69.99.  Are you kidding?  Who in their right mind would have paid $459.00 for this?  No offense to any one who might have made this mistake … but yikes!

Step 3:  Grab your sanding and priming supplies.

Start stretching out your arms – sanding can be a bit of a work out.  At least that is what I tell myself when I don’t go to the gym.  “No problem – I can eat that ice cream.  I sanded today.”

Step 4:  Sand while humming “I’m sexy and I know it … I WORK OUT!”

Top is sanded … at this point I am a little tired.  Time to take a little lemonade break.  hee!

Step 5:  Wipe down the sanded piece with a clean cloth.

Step 6:  Prime the piece.

This does not have to be perfect.  You will sand it one more time in between priming and painting.  I did not prime the back because I planned on modpodging some funky paper on the back. I have not done this yet, but I do have the paper so any day now …

Step 7:  First coat of paint.

Don’t panic when you see the orange – it is not done.  This is the first coat.  I was lucky enough to find the perfect orange color in a spray paint.  It is from Valspar and it is called “Fonda Copper”.  I knew it would work – especially if I used a dark glaze with it.  Spray painting is very therapeutic for me – but not always great in the wind … FYI.

Again – does not need to be perfect if you are papering the back.

I don’t have pictures of the rest of the procedure – I really don’t know why.  I must have been having one of those “officially lost it” days.  But, to finish it up, here are the steps I took:

Step 8:  Light sanding and another coat of orange.

Step 9:  Distress the edges of the piece with a heavier sandpaper.

Step 10:  Put a dark walnut glaze over the piece, a small section at a time and them immediately wipe it off, while rubbing it in.  Does that make sense?

Step 11:  Glaze entire piece with a Minwax paste.  Makes it smooth, deepens the color and protects it.

Step 12:  Put drawers back in and hardware back on.  I was lucky enough that I liked the hardware.  This can be easily changed, however, if you don’t like your hardware.

Okay … before I show you the finished product, let me show you the empty corner it will call home:

If you see any “dust bunnies”  I don’t want to know.

I am excited to show you how the finished piece looks, but I have not finished the foyer enough to show you it all just yet.  That will have to wait for another post.  I still need to decorate the top of the table, pictures, lamps and rugs.  Coming soon.

I like the way it turned out.  I know you might be wondering about the drip marks on the doors.  I know my hubby was.  It was originally a mistake, but then I kinda liked it so I left it.  I may go back and cover it later if it bugs me – but it reminds me that things don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

Another tiny issue … the magnet on the left drawer is missing so it won’t close all the way.  Easy fix.

Boy – do I need a new camera!  Every picture looks like a different color.  I hope you get the gist.  Isn’t Mother’s Day coming up???

Well … that’s it for today.  What do you think of my Orange foyer piece?  Do you find it “A-peeling”?  Stay tuned for how it fits in the foyer together with the rest of the decor.  Happy Hump Day!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


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“I Have Officially Lost It” – Tuesday!


I know it is Tuesday and I usually do a Teach Me Tuesday post, but today I am calling it “I have officially lost it” Tuesday.  So, yesterday I did a post on my Powder Bath – Before and After.  If you didn’t get a chance to see it, you can see it here.  Anyway … the whole reason I decided to do that post is because I got my new drapes installed in the powder bath on Friday and I was so excited to show you the results.  What the heck?  I completely forgot to show you the window treatments.

Holy Moly … I am worried.  I will just keep repeating my name and address to myself to make sure I don’t forget who I am.  So today will be an extension of yesterdays post.  Here is my new window treatment.

Try to concentrate on the treatment and not my terrible camera skills.  I know how much everyone likes to be blinded by the sun coming through that window.

I really love the treatment.  I found the fabric separate from the wallpaper, but it almost looks like the flowers hook up to the wallpaper.  It was a nice surprise.  I am really happy how it came together.   Thanks to my new friend and seamstress, Susan Stowe at Putting It All Together.

This picture is a little better.  The grass cloth blind was there when we moved in … it is a little cheap looking and might have to go sometime soon.  I would love to frost this window similar to what Sherry and John from Young House Love just finished in their bathroom.  Check out their great post here.  I would love to have the natural light coming through the window without giving the neighbors a show!

Oh – I feel so much better getting these pictures posted.  I just wish they would have been included with the original post about my powder bath.  Sorry all!

I promise that next Tuesday will be another Teach Me.  Unless, of course, I forget what day of the week it is or where I am?  Geesh!

Source: Uploaded by user via Heather on Pinterest</p

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


Powder Bath – Before and After!


Monday is like a math problem. Add the irritation, subtract the sleep, multiply the problems, divide the happiness.  – Unknown

Isn’t this exactly what you feel like on Monday morning?  Back to the “grind”.  On the bright side … I am still here and healthy.  I shouldn’t be complaining about any day of the week, but when that alarm goes off on Monday morning, no amount of optimism can stop the bad words from coming out of my mouth.

I am excited to show you my nearly finished powder bath today.  If you remember from previous posts, we purchased a foreclosure that needed quite a bit of work.  The powder bath on the first floor was nothing but a pedestal sink and a light fixture.  No toilet, no mirror and absolutely NO character.  I only have one before picture … this was pre-blogging days so I wasn’t thinking ahead (unfortunately).

The floor was also in terrible shape.  Looks like there was some water damage – probably when the toilet was ripped out of the wall by the Toilet Thief!  I am not a pedestal sink girl.  I apologize in advance to those that have pedestals, but I just have never liked the way they look, the fact that they have no storage and that you can’t put much on the sink top.  Have you ever stayed at anyone’s house as a guest and been given the bathroom with the pedestal sink?  Where do you set down your toiletries or plugged in curling iron?  It always ends up on the back of the toilet.  Yuk!  Okay … that is my two cents on pedestal sinks.  So, as you might have guessed – the pedestal sink had to go!

Doesn’t this new vanity make such a huge difference over the pedestal?  Storage and a countertop, as well as an awesome Rustic Red by Sherwin Williams.  I had this vanity made for me at European Antique Pine Warehouse in Roswell, GA.  I have used them for many pieces in the past.  They do the most amazing work and are reasonable.  All their wood is shipped over in crates from Europe and the owners are a husband and wife that are lovely.  Check them out at europeanantiquepine.com!

Oh – let me just say that I know the towel is shedding and not so good looking.  That will be changing.

I love the red vanity with the new bird wallpaper. I adore this paper with a perfect mustard/gold background and rustic red branch and bird design.  It makes this entire bath.

The mirror is up and a floral basket behind the toilet was added.  More on these items…

Close up of the floral basket.  I love the colors and the rustic look of the basket.

Another angle … I like the texture it adds on top of the flat wallpaper.

The mirror is an old antique frame that I had sitting in my basement for years.  It had actually been in my mom’s house at one time with an ugly picture of a baby in a papoose (sorry mom – I’m sure it was really “in” at one time).  The linen surround was already part of the frame.  I just picked up a frameless mirror at Walmart for $7.00 and put it behind the frame – hung the mirror up and Ta-Da … custom mirror!  I really like how it turned out.  The mirror has a little distressing and some carving that gives it character and texture.

Do you ever take a picture and notice something that you did not really notice before you took the picture?  For me it is always my double chin.  Oops – I got off track there for a second – back to the bathroom.  In this picture (besides the ugly hand towel) it is the white light switch plates.  Those needed to be wallpapered – yesterday.  I will be on that immediately!

These bird pictures I had used in a previous dining room.  I found the pictures at an Estate Sale for $5.00 each.  They were on a heavy linen paper.  What a deal!  I then had them framed with the rustic red matting.  They were just perfect for this bathroom and I didn’t need to buy anything new.  I love it when you can re-use something in an entirely different room and you like it just as much as when you used it the first time. Yay!

Close up of the wallpaper.  Color is not really coming out accurately – it is more of a mustard color … damn camera!

And the final picture …

A TOILET!!!!  Oh – and check out the newly finished and stained floors.

A pretty big improvement – don’t you think?  I still need a rug for the floor.  It has been quite a challenge.  I am such a symmetrical person and putting a small rug in front of the vanity would not center up because the vanity is against the wall.  I have tried 3 different sizes and each one drove me crazy.  I think my next try will be a small round rug in the center of the bathroom floor.  I have given up on centering something in front of the vanity.

I hope you enjoyed seeing the changes I have made to my powder bath.  If you did enjoy this post, please consider passing it on or subscribing to my little blog!  I look forward to seeing you back tomorrow!  Happy Monday – try to keep those swear words under control!

Hope your life is more heaven than havoc!


Come check me out at :  http://southernhospitalityblog.com