Monday, October 5, 2015


So I am a little late at getting my fall decorating done this year.  With putting the house up for sale and completing all the projects that needed to be done beforehand, I have just not had the time until now to worry about any fall decor and if truth be told, this years decor is very simple and unfussy...just the way I like it.

I have to admit that up until the past few years I had pretty much always used those cheap faux pumpkins and brightly colored leaf bouquets from the dollar store for my fall decor.  It's bright, cheerful, festive, inexpensive and there's nothing wrong with that, if you are guilty of using those things too!  However, over the past few years I have decided that I was going to save money and start taking advantage of the plethora of the FREE natural, fresh resources that the good Lord provides.

A few years ago I conned the neighbor into letting me clip a few sunshiny orange leafed branches off the tree in his front yard and last year I picked a nice bouquet of wheat like weeds from the side of the road but I have never used any clippings from my own yard for my fall decor. Why? Well, because I don't have any wheat like weeds growing anywhere and none of the trees in my yard turn a bright sunshiny orange, crimson red or golden yellow in the fall. Our trees simply go from green to brown.  That's it!  So completely disappointing!!...or so I thought.

A few days ago I spied some fallen branches in the front yard blown down and leftover from some strong winds that came up over night, and even in all their bland, boring variegated brown and green blahness, I saw them for the first time as the perfect and most beautiful soft, muted all natural, fresh fall decor. Nothing fancy but truly elegant in their own right. So, I decided to embrace them as the resources that the Lord provided to me. I picked them up, paired them with my everyday candle lantern and a few small tiger striped pumpkins from the grocery for a gorgeous fall vignette on the mantel. So perfect and so simple.  No fuss decorating!!!

I tucked some of the leafy branches in a few other places around the house too which I hope to show you later when there's a little better sunshine for picture taking.  It's been very overcast and dreary here.

Now I don't want you to think that I am too good for or totally against using the fake stuff so I threw together a little vignette in the entry way using some of my favorite faux fall decor...the metal pumpkins and tree.


You know it's funny, I have to admit that out of all the fall mantels and vignettes I have put together using real decor (or fake for that matter), I like this years the's not bright or colorful, in fact, it's very toned down and muted.  It's not fancy, it didn't take lots of time to get just right and didn't cost loads of money, yet it's gorgeous and sings all the praises of the fall season. Doesn't it?

Do you use natural elements in your fall decorating?  Would you ever dare use old greenish brown, crunchy leaves?

My mindset on these things anymore is why spend all that money on the fake when you can have the real stuff for free or nearly free.  Besides, when the season is over, there is no storage necessary.  You simply roast the pumpkins with some yummy butter, brown sugar and nutmeg, throw the leaves in the burn pile and your done with it.  Now that's the kind of simple living and simple decorating that I love!

What do you prefer real or fake?

Monday, September 21, 2015


Hey, hey, how are you?  I hope your weekend was good.  Mine was fantastic and yet a little unnerving at the same time.  Here's why.


You may have wondered why the sudden push to get the floors refinished, get all the painting and tweaking done around here and that's it.  We really are not finished with everything....there are a million little odd and end things to do but we felt we were done enough to go ahead and get it on the market.

Now you may be wondering why we want to sell it after all the work we've put in this place for the past five years to get it the way we want it.  Well, we decided that we want a little place out in the country. We are getting to the age where town living is just too busy an environment for us.  We want to slow down, relax and enjoy some fresh country air.  We want a place where there's less traffic, less people and more space. We want a big dog and maybe even a couple small farm animals...I was thinking a miniature horse would be soooooo sweet.

Anyway, we have our eye on a few places that would be perfect for us.  Now we just have to wait for ours to sell.  I pray for my impatient sake that it sells fast!

We've listed with Kelly Johnston at Century 21 Prestige in Steelville, Missouri and couldn't be happier with the superb service we've gotten so far.  Kelly and Nancy, Kelly's assistant, are so easy to work with, very professional and super sweet. I know they will do everything in their power to sell our home quickly and make the transition effortless for us.

The only thing I was kind of disappointed in was their listing photos.  They are kind of dark because it was such a cloudy day out. Not their fault one bit! I was going to have them swap them out with some photos I took over the weekend but it would have messed up the Youtube listing so I changed my mind.

I thought the video was pretty good so I didn't want to mess with it.  Click on the play button below to view...

However, since I took the time to take some photos of my own, I figured I would share them with you here. They're not great either, not even up to my usual standards, which is pretty low, but I want to share them anyway so you can get a good over all look at the entire house.

It's picture OVERLOAD for sure...something like 24 pictures of the inside of the house but I think you can handle it.

Lucky for you I didn't take any outdoor photos or you would be here all day.  Hehe. Their outdoor photos were good enough so I didn't bother...

Anyway, HERE GOES...

I gave the main floor bath a little makeover last weekend with new wallpaper and light fixture...

It looks nice, fresh and clean now.

As you can tell I didn't get very many good shots either as this house is just really hard to photograph but I believe they are all good enough to sell this house.

So with that, if you are interested in moving to Cuba, Missouri and want to buy an historic home, contact Kelly, she will be glad to hook you up.  Hehehe.

I will keep you in the know, I promise!!

Have a fabulous week.

Monday, September 14, 2015



The floors are finished and we finally have all the furniture back into the house, clothes have been put back in their closets and the decor has been put back in place.  Oh what a relief to finally have that HUGE project behind us...and oh how I love my new floors!!

Since we had to move all the furniture out of the house and we had to take the china cabinet apart to move it, I decided that now would be as good a time as any to give the cabinet the makeover I had been planning for it since I started the dining room redo over a year remember, right?

Anyway, I officially decided that I wanted to paint it black.

Easy enough, right?


Now I don't like to be negative on this blog but you really need to know what you don't make the same mistakes I did.

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across some Classic Home rich black chalk paint by Plaid in the paint isle at Wal-mart and it was only $7.97.

I picked it up because we had a couple small spots on the hardwoods to touch up before sealing. Mainly small spots where old wood filler had been used.  They did not stain over so I decided to camouflage them with the paint. It worked like a charm for that.  Since I had a ton left over I decided to go ahead and use it to paint the china cabinet.

THAT WAS A BAD IDEA!!!  This was the WORST chalk paint ever...and I do mean WORST!!!  I guess the old adage that you get what you pay for is true after all!!! Oh sure I got pretty good coverage but the finish was horribly blotchy and textured.  I guess it dried way too quickly. It left behind HORRIBLE brush and roller marks everywhere that WOULD NOT sand out. What's even worse than that is every time I would wipe the dust off, my rag would be completely black like if I was wiping the paint back off...The more I wiped the more black came off...Apparently it never really cured good either and it still would not smooth out.  What's up with that?!!  Anyway, I figured things would get better once I waxed it, so I went back to Wal-mart and bought the Classic Home brand clear wax that was there beside the chalk paint in the paint isle.

This shows white wax, I bought the CLEAR.

That was an even bigger mistake.  I applied the wax according to the directions.  It was a thick and gloppy (read messy) sort of liquid wax that took over 2 days to dry and left streaks and uneven marks all over the place that would NOT buff out.  I buffed and buffed and buffed but it NEVER got smooth and it was totally streaky too.  LOOKED HORRIBLE!

So, I went to Lowes and bought a can of Minwax paste finishing wax for $9.95 thinking that it would help me to achieve a smoother, less streaky finish.

I rubbed it on, let it dry and buffed it out and while I liked it a little better...because it was super easy to apply and only took 10 minutes to dry still looked streaky. I guess I wasted my money on that idea too.


My china cabinet, which WAS a really nice piece of furniture, is nearly ruined.  Whaaaaa.  It's still good enough to use so it's not a total loss, but it just doesn't look quite as good or refined as I was hoping.

Needless to say the whole ordeal was the biggest fiasco I have ever been through when painting a piece of furniture. I actually broke down and cried because I ruined a nice (expensive) piece of furniture and didn't know what in the world I was going to do to fix it. As you know, once you wax you can't just simply start over by repainting. It would have to be stripped down to bare wood first and I'm just not going to go through that hassle.  It's going to have to stay the way it is.

With that, I learned a very valuable lesson and that is this...I will stick to painting ALL my furniture with satin latex paint as I always have.  You paint one to two coats of the satin paint and you are finished.  There's no painting, then waxing, then waiting, then buffing and taking three to four days to finish a piece of furniture..and there's no spending nearly $30 for all the supplies. A quart size can of satin latex paint is only around $12.  The best part about satin is that if you don't like it you can always repaint, no stripping involved.

I can say without a doubt I will NEVER use chalk paint again...unless it's my homemade kind using satin latex paint as the base...and I most certainly will NEVER use furniture wax again! It's just not worth the time, effort and frustration!!

On a more joyous note, we found an antique wrought iron bed frame for bubs room almost exactly like the one on my design board that I showed you HERE.

I will show you how it looks in his room later on when I get a few more things done in there.  I can't wait to see how everything works out.  Of course you can be sure I will share it all with you.  Until then,



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