My Fall Mantel & Family Room

My family room has been decorated for Fall for awhile, but I just kept not getting around to photographing it.
 So I got the room all cleaned up today and got out my camera.
When my little guy got home from Kindergarten he exclaimed "wow, the room is so clean!" 
Funny, because I do tidy up, but guess who dirties it up as quickly as he can?!


I do love having a big ol' fireplace to decorate for the holidays!

 I live in a house of males and not one of them has said a single word about how the fireplace looks all decked out for Fall....and they wonder why I blog!


I know my long time readers are used to seeing my living room with the white couch on my blog, but I just haven't been able to put the room together properly since moving into this house.
So you're stuck with the family room for now. :)


The mirror and finials are always on the mantle, but I added some pots filled with wheat and grasses for Fall.


This banner is so much cuter in person, but didn't photograph as well as I would have liked.


I used burlap scrap book paper and some invitations from the dollar section at Michael's.
 I'm not that fond of animal prints so I'm pretending that it is wood grain.
 Play along m'kay.


I love these pumpkins I found at Kirkland's last year.
 I wish they would have carried them again this year, I would have picked up a couple more.


Now onto the other side of the room...


I love the texture of demi johns and more wheat!


Lots of pillows in earth tones.




Tweed pumpkin found at the grocery store.


Little green pumpkins from Walmart last year.






There really is nothing "Fall" in this picture, but just humor me.  :)


Subtle Fall touches before going all out for Christmas!

Linking up to:
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch To Yours
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

Painted Books

I love to use vintage books in my decorating, but some times it is difficult to find them in the colors I want
 for a reasonable price.

 I am always keeping my eyes peeled for pretty, old covers for a bargain price.

 While looking I am going to show you an alternative.

I bought these Reader's Digest books at the thrift store for 99 cents a piece.

I'm sure you can find them at garage sales or estate sales for even less!

They are nice looking books, but the colors on the covers were very dark and bright which 
doesn't go with my decor.

First I painted the books with French linen chalk paint.

It took several coats to completely cover them.

Next I outlined the indents on the spine with white paint using a tiny paint brush.

You don't have to worry about painting really straight lines because we want these to look like old books.

Finally I mixed some white acrylic paint with some clear furniture wax and rubbed it all over the covers.

 I especially focused on the spines trying the get the white to go into the lettering on the books.

This really helped the books look old!

You could then add some dark wax to age them more, but I found I liked this cleaner look

After the wax dried I polished up the books with a cloth.

I am thrilled with the way they turned out!


A quick, easy, cheap project that really adds a lot to a vignette.

Gotta love that!

p.s. love these pretty purple hydrangea I got from the grocery store!

I know I kinda disappeared from the blog this summer between moving, playing with the kids, etc.

 I had to let something go.

But I am excited to start posting again!

I also am on Instagram a lot and have tons of stuff on there that is not on the blog.

Have a great week!

Linking up to:
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Treasure hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch To Yours




A Purple & White Garden

I love to garden and even though I have tons of things I need to be doing inside the new house I can't resist going outside to play!
 Lots of trees have been trimmed and my teenage son has been digging up ugly bushes.
 But the most fun is planting new plants!
I am planning a purple and white Mediterranean garden. Here are a few things I've put in so far.



Salvia* Lavender*Salvia*Catmint


Catmint*Purslane*Butterfly Bush*Variegated Thyme

Linking up to:
Fishtail Cottage Garden Party

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you have a fun filled 4th!

Click the link for more of my 4th of July decorating.


My July 4th Living Room

I don't think I've ever decorated for the Fourth of July before.
 It is a holiday that I LOVE, but I think summer days are so lazy and full of other fun activities that I just never get around to decorating.
This year I decided that was going to change.

It all started when I fell in love with a photo on Lemonade Makin' Mama's blog last summer.
 She placed a bunch of flags in a vintage bucket.
Simple, cheap and super cute!
 I thought it would be fun to use this old minnow bucket I had since the writing on it was red.
A bowl full of juicy red cherries finishes up this simple end table vignette. 

Once I started decorating I knew I wanted to use the little cushions Robin from Happy At Home was so sweet to send me.
They are the perfect colors for the 4th!
 I tried and tried to find some red flowers, but strangely enough had no luck, so I resorted to faux flowers. 

A really fun & easy project was making the colorful banner.
 I found a two pack (one red, one blue) of bandanna's at the dollar store.
 I cut each bandanna in fourths and simply used twine to tie it to another piece of twine.
 Easy and cheap, but so festive!
In fact the flags and flowers came from the dollar store too, so this here is some cheap and
 cheerful decorating!

I pulled a white bench of mine into the living room to use as a coffee table.
On the couch are two colorful pillows perfect for the 4th!
The large pillow is actually just wrapped in a tablecloth.
 I wanted to make some pillows but haven't had the time.
 I got the flag pillow from World Market.
They are marked way down now so you may want to grab one.

When I decided last summer that I wanted to start decorating for the July 4th I started a Pinterest board and it has so many cute ideas that I already can't wait for next year!

Our family now lives in a master planned community and it sounds like they have a lot of fun activities planned for the fourth of July, so I'm pretty excited.
My husband is like a little boy on the 4th. He loves fireworks!
He always takes our two boys to the fireworks store and I'm not allowed to come along because it is
"man business" lol!
I just tell them to make sure they bring me back some snakes.
 In case you don't know what I'm talking about, they are a little black pellet and once you light them they grow longer and longer until you have a long ash "snake".
Everyone else thinks they are lame, but I have loved them since I was a little girl and
 I still do! 

Happy 4th of July!

p.s. I can't remember if I told y'all that I'm on Instagram now.

Linking up to:
Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style
The Scoop @ Stone Gable
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life


Rustic Dresser Turned TV Stand

When we moved into our new house my husband ran out and bought a 50" TV.
I was less than thrilled.
 We had no piece of furniture big enough to place it on and so it sat  on the floor for a week.




I decided to check out a rustic furniture store near our house.
All the furniture comes from Mexico and I really liked the style of this dresser, but wasn't in love 
with the handles.



I  asked the store to remove the handles for me because instead of being screwed on, they have strips of metal that are just banged into the wood in the back of the drawer.



I replaced the handles with these bin pulls from Lowe's.
I think they give the dresser a bit of a Restoration Hardware look.



I could tell the guy at the store thought I was crazy to use a dresser as a TV stand and even crazier to change out the hardware.  But I love the way it looks!



I've been trying out paint samples all over the house and have been narrowing down the colors.
Fixing up this house is going at a snails pace, but progress is being made!


RedEnvelope

Long time no talk! This move has been so overwhelming, but I'll talk more about that in my next blog post.
I am excited to show you a Mother's Day gift sent to me by RedEnvelope.


I hate going out on Mother's day because everything's so crowded, so we decided to celebrate on Saturday instead and it was so cool when a package from RedEnvelope actually arrived on my doorstep
on Saturday as well.
I opened the package and gasped when I found this gorgeous red box inside tied with
 a big ribbon.
Right off the bat it made me feel special!


Opening up the box...so pretty!


I chose this lovely gather porcelain catchall that was personalized with our last name.
I like that it looks like a blackboard (but w/o the mess chalkboards make).
It comes in a couple of other colors as well.


I thought I would use it in the entryway to hold my keys, but I don't think I can handle covering it up!
It's too pretty to dump my keys on!


                                        (BTW: These photos were taken in our old house.)
                     I think this would make such a lovely housewarming, birthday or wedding gift!


Isn't it just so pretty?!
Maybe I will hang it on the wall as part of a gallery wall.
Ooh, I like that idea!

A few other things I'm digging from RedEnvelope:

I'm a total Star Wars geek and these Star Wars cuff links crack me up! 
I know my hubby would think the baseball bottle opener was cool.
They have really pretty jewelry too!

Cute stuff for the kitchen and garden! The blackboard can be customized with your name!


Darling baby gifts and lovely art work!

RedEnvelope was nice enough to send me the tray and didn't even require me to blog about it (although I'm sure they were hoping I would.) :)
So everything I'm saying is truly what I believe.
 Trust me, you will make someone feel so special when they get that pretty red box in the mail. 
Or how about treating YOURSELF! You deserve it!


p.s. I'm on Istagram now. I finally own a phone w/ a camara so bear with me as I'm learning as I go.
ferncreekcottage