apple Our Fifth House: April 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Do You Know About MyStyleShare?

No?  Well, let me tell you all about the awesomeness that is MyStyleShare.  It's the brain child of Willow House, formerly known as Southern Living At Home.  For those that aren't already in the know, I'm a Willow House Design Consultant.  It has been a fun new venture for me that started last fall.  Willow House started MyStyleShare as a way of allowing people to share their decorating ideas and tips.  It's a place for real people to "share their style".  Anyone can set up a profile and share their decorating/entertaining ideas through photos and video!  Plus it's not even just about Willow House products; you can post any and all decorating photos and videos (using any items you want) that you have to share!  I was just honored by being featured on the front page of the site for my dining room vignette!


Pretty cool huh?!  So, head on over there and check out all the great photos and videos.  You'll be inspired for sure!  Set up a profile and start sharing your style!  Great ideas are even greater when they're shared! 






**If you're interested in viewing the current Willow House catalog click on the "Shop My Willow House Store" tab in the sidebar.  For more info about how to host a party or fundraiser  e-mail me at Carmelraye@yahoo.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Painting With A Smooth Criminal

Ok, so I know I said that I was going to show you the other change I made to the fireplace wall in the family room, but I wasn't able to get any good pictures today due to the rain.  Ugh, the storms we've had here are ca-ray-zay!  Hello, sun .....are you out there?  Please come back soon ok!

Anyhow, instead I thought I'd give you more info on my new diy bff, that I met through the Centsational Girl.  I call him the smooth criminal, but his official name is floetrol.


Don't confuse him with the original smooth criminal though.  The orange bottle is good but not that good!


Floetrol is a latex paint additive (pentetrol is for oil-based paint) that extends the drying time and increases the paint flow which basically enables you to paint without brush marks.  It's not a paint thinner, and it doesn't change the color of your paint.  The directions on how much you need to add to your paint are on the back of the bottle.  A little goes a long way.  I found it at The Home Depot in the paint department (duh) and it was about $8.  Worth every penny!  The bottle says that adding it to your paint can increase the VOC.  I didn't notice any super strong paint fumes while using this product though.  I just noticed how wonderfully smooth the paint went on and what a great finished result I was able to achieve.  So after I painted the header on the fireplace, I decided to paint the picture frame moulding in the dining room and the foyer (which was in desperate need of repainting).  The smooth criminal made a mundane, not-so-fun project super easy!  

I used these supplies and got to work. 

This also gives you a peek at the new floors in the dining room! 

I mixed my trim paint with floetrol in a small paint can I picked up at The Home Depot. 

I love this short angle brush for painting trim.  


I used a foam roller for inside the picture frames then went over it with that same angled brush.  

Here's a picture where you can kind of see why I repainted.  The white moulding (after 20+ years) had started to yellow just a bit.  In the picture below you see the old (on the left) and the freshly painted (on the right). 

It was a much more dramatic change in person-  I promise!  

I'm really glad the smooth criminal inspired me to get a project done that I had been putting off dreading for over a year now (since we moved in last March)!  Here's a closer look at the super smooooooth result!  


I'll never paint trim or furniture without the smooth criminal again.  There's obviously nothing criminal about him, unless being awesome is a crime!  I guess I was just listening to a little too much MJ while painting :) 

Don't laugh!  I'm already laughing hard enough for the both of us!  

Or maybe there were some paint fumes and they got to my head?!  What, you mean you don't randomly bust out your fedora while painting and listening to a little MJ?!  

On another note, doesn't "floetrol" sound like something your doctor would prescribe?  Seriously, that's probably why I never knew this product existed!  Why don't they start naming home improvement products like MAC names their lipsticks?  Smooth criminal it is then :) 

What do you all think of my new bff?  Have you used this product before?  Don't you just love when you find something that inspires you to get a big, boring-but-important project done?  






Linking up to The Stories of A to Z and The Lettered Cottage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Change, Big Impact

Remember this post from last week?


Well, I had to conquer my fear of heights in order to make a small change in the family room.  You see the top of our fireplace has a header.  The header is made of wood and was painted the same color as the walls rather than the trim (by the previous owner).  Ever since I whitewashed the fireplace it has really stuck out like a sore thumb.  Here's a picture so you can see what I mean.

This was taken at night. Sorry, it's so dark. 
I didn't even own a ladder tall enough to reach up there (for obvious scaredy cat reasons) until recently.  With the new ladder staring me down (taunting me really) I no longer had any excuses.  I finally painted it white to match our trim and it's just so amazing to me how something so little could make such a big impact!

In order to achieve a really smooth finish I used this amazing product that I learned about over at Centsational Girl.  It's called Floetrol, and it's rock your world amazing!


It's a latex paint additive that practically eliminates brush strokes.  I am so glad I learned about this product.  I will probably never paint trim or furniture without it again!

Ok, so here's the little change that's currently making a big impact in my family room (at least it is to me).



Ahhhhh, it's so much better painted white to match the trim.  It makes the fireplace look taller and grander and well, just better (in my opinion)!  To get all dramatic on you and to really show you how far this fireplace has come here's the initial before. 


And the after. 


I'm so glad I conquered my fear of heights, climbed that ladder, learned about floetrol, and got this little project done!  So, are you getting any little-projects-that-make-a-big-change done around your house?  Any diy projects forcing you to face your fears?

I'll be back to show you the other change I made to the fireplace wall tomorrow!



Linking up to Centsational Girl's Paint Party, Savvy Southern Style, and Domestically Speaking!

****Check this post here for more info on the awesomeness that is floetrol.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's nice to have a weekend that's filled with nothing but family time.  I didn't get any projects done, but I did enjoy lots of Easter fun with my family.  And those times are priceless!  It stormed all weekend and the sun never came out to play, but we got our Easter weekend partay on anyway!  The hubs and I even got out on Saturday night for a date night in the pouring rain.  I highly recommend Water for Elephants.  The book was great, and the movie did it justice which is rarely the case.

This is such a fuzzy photo - sorry!  And don't even ask me what that smile is on the hubs face?!   We have the hardest time getting a good photo together!  I'm also bummed that my sitter didn't get my cute shoes in the photo :)  All black with nude wedges - yep I was working it :)  with my Burberry umbrella in tow!   Haha!

Sunday morning we celebrated the resurrection at our church, and then came home to bunnycakes for breakfast.  

I used bunny cookie cutters on the pancakes with chocolate chips and sprinkles for their cute little faces.  My daughter's favorite part was the egg bird best with robin's egg blue jellybeans.

Then later we colored eggs the traditional way.




Hope you had a wonderful weekend and a very Happy Easter!  He is Risen - Amen!  Was your Easter bright and sunny?  Wait, don't tell me because if it was I'll have to hate you just a little and I really don't want to do that :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

And Visions Of Jelly Beans Danced In Their Heads

We're going over to the in-law's house for Easter dinner, but first comes breakfast.  For breakfast after church we're coming home to have a nice intimate just-us-four family feast which will probably consist of pancakes (with boysenberry syrup), cheese eggs, tomato slices, and sausage.  We'll be skipping the biscuits because one carb per meal is enough what with all the Easter candy that will surely be consumed.  Did you hear that babe - there will be no biscuits!!!  We're usually more of a breakfast for dinner kind of family except for holidays.  On holidays we have a big breakfast, usually graze (snack on junk) through lunch, and then eat 'til we drop for dinner :)  Just keepin' it real!  Anyhow, with the kids in mind I wanted to put a little something special together for our breakfast table.  Nobody loves a nicely dressed table more than my daughter!



 I used glass plates over dinner plates and added a fun green striped paper underneath with an initial sticker in lieu of place cards.  I think glass plates are a staple just like white plates.  They can be dressed up in so many different ways.


I also used a scrap piece of orange gingham fabric and rolled the flatware into little carrots with green napkins stuffed in the top.  


My favorite part are the orange mercury glass votives (found in the Michaels dollar section) that I stuffed with floral foam and stuck in a white chocolate bunny pop and some faux greenery. 


Here's a closer look at the centerpiece using all items that I already had except for the candy and Easter grass.  



 An orange jelly bean carrot bouquet.  My daughter loves this!


Those Lindt chocolate hazelnut carrots are sooooo delicious!  It's like nutella on a stick - yum!



These were the only plastic eggs I decorated.  I just used a little puffy paint (circa 1980); do you remember that stuff?  I had quite a few of those foil wrapped Reeses eggs in there, and some critter ate them up before I got a chance to snap these photos!  

So what are your plans for Easter?  Are you a big breakfast peep or are you more of a brunch kind of peep?  And speaking of peeps, am I the only person on Earth that doesn't actually like Peeps?  I also don't like Cadbury eggs.  Am I weird?

** The glass domes, hurricane, beaded dinner plates, and table runner (which is actually two dish towels layered over each other) are all Willow House items.  To see more Willow House products click on the "Shop My Willow House Store" button on the sidebar.  






Linking up to Table Top TuesdayBetween Naps on the Porch, Just a Girl, and Serenity Now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Do You Think Of This?

My father-in-law dropped this off at my house over the weekend.


He works at a place that takes in scrap metal and someone brought this in.  He didn't need/want it, so he brought it over to us.  He said, "Use it or sell it - it's up to you all honey."  Exact words.  This fixture is massive.  We have a vaulted foyer, so if we use it that's where it will hang.  But first, I have to ask what do you all think of this free brassy chandy?  What would you do with it if it was given to you?  Keep it (as is), update it, or would you just sell the thing and go for something entirely different?  Let 'er rip guys!  I can't wait to hear what you think!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Conquering Fears

If you've been around here for awhile then you already know I'm afraid of heights.  If you're new here let me explain.  I'm. totally. scared. of. heights!  Well, I'm conquering that fear to get something done in my family room that I've always wanted to do but have been too chicken to climb the ladder and get 'er done.  Enough is enough.  I'm just doing this thing!  After all, it's the climb right :)



Wish me luck!  Hope you had a great weekend.  I was a teensy bit lazy and didn't get much done.  Unless you think watching Harry Potter and Country Strong is getting things done :)  Have you all seen either of these movies?  What did you think?  I'm kind of loving the Country Strong soundtrack!!  Gwyneth has some pipes y'all!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Such A Tech-No

Happy Saturday!  No soccer games this morning due to rain so I spent a little time figuring out some blog stuff.  I'm such a tech-no as in a no-nothing when it comes to technology.  I've received lots of e-mails from people asking me how they can subscribe to my blog.  I haven't exactly known how to make that happen until now!

SO all that wordy-wordy talk just to let you know that while I'm such a tech-no and am embarrassed that it took me so long to figure this out, I did finally get it done!

If you want to read this hot mess and want to be notified when I have more hot mess to deliver go on over to the sidebar and take a look here

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You Can Also Subscribe Here

You can either subscribe via e-mail or any reader of your choice!  Hope that makes things nice and easy for you.  My apologies for not getting this figured out sooner.  Thanks so very much for reading and following!  You make this blogging thing really fun!  Have a great weekend!  I'm hoping the sun comes out for little while at least!



Anyone have anything planned for the weekend?  Am I alone in the "tech-no" club?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter of 2008

Back in 2008 I didn't blog.  I don't even think I knew what a blog was.  I did however take lots of pictures. They aren't very good pictures mind you, but there are plenty of them.

So, I was looking for some pictures of a fun little craft project that I did a couple years ago with my son, and I quickly realized that I didn't have any great pictures of that particular project (just one and it's not real good - more on that later).  However, I did find some oldies but goodies (not project related, just family related Easter fun) that I thought you might enjoy.

I bring you the Easter of 2008 - Phillips style :)



That year we spent Easter vacationing in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.  It is literally a small heaven on Earth (in my opinion).  It's a beautiful island about 45 minutes to an hour from Charleston.  The hubs parents have a place there, so for us it's a lovely free vacation!

The kids loved almost every minute!  It was a little bit cold (I think Easter was early that year?) hence the sweatshirts.


Look there's a baby granny on the beach :)



This is still my favorite picture of the kids.



It was all fun and games......



until someone mentioned the Easter Bunny........



then.... well a picture is a worth a thousand words!


Oh, the ways we torture our kids!  This was the last day of our vacation :)  Just so you know I've never EVER made either of them take pictures with the Easter Bunny since that day.  This holiday isn't really about the bunny anyway.

So, I'll be working on my Easter breakfast table this weekend amongst a few other projects.  Anyone planning to visit the Easter Bunny?  ;)

 
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