Friday, June 29, 2012

Carnation Instant Happiness

Carnations are simple.  They aren't fancy.  They're pretty basic.  Yet they stand alone in one very important quality - they're long lasting.  

They bring me instant happiness and enduring beauty.

Hope your weekend is all kinds of fabulous!  I'll be back next week with a recap of my trip adventure to Napa!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

DIY Old Fence Board Patio Sign

diy fence board patio sign

A board fell off the fence in our backyard.  It was warped and had been laying in the dirt for months. Because I hoard random broken things I kept it, figuring it would surely be useful for something.  My dad cut it up into pieces for me (when he was visiting), and I threw them all in a bucket in my garage.

When I was cleaning out the garage a few weeks ago an idea came to me.  This is how it happens right?  This is how I move from one thing to the next never actually getting anything done but instead doing lots of random things in between what I should be doing.  This happen to you too right?

diy fence board patio sign

I used a little outdoor stain and paint on each piece.  Then I nailed them to two extra pieces of wood I also found in the garage.  I screwed a plant hook in the top of each and then hung them from the deck above rather than drilling into the brick.

Simple. Easy. Free.  (if I already had all the supplies I count it as a free project)

diy fence board patio sign

diy fence board patio sign

We have a lot of good times back here.

 patio potting bench

Hmmmm.......maybe I should clean out the garage more often?  It never really gets clean, but it does lead to other random unplanned projects like last summer when I turned our work bench into a potting bench.

Have you used any old, dilapidated pieces of wood for anything?  Anyone else find cleaning to be the breeding ground of nefarious outdoor project plans?

For a closer peek at our summer list you spy on those chalkboard shutters check here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Inspiration Series: Fun Outdoor Projects

I'm living it up in Napa with my hubs and a couple of our best buddies!  Try not to hate me too much!  ;) Today I'm featuring a few of my favorite outdoor projects submitted by readers.  The summer is time for soaking up the sun and enjoying the outdoors, so why not make your outdoor spaces as fun and welcoming as your indoor spaces?

Starting at the front door, how much fun is this diy chevron door mat from Jennifer at Moonpie Dreams?!

I'm a sucker for anything red, white, and blue so this whole front entry rings my liberty bell! 

Have you seen Kelly's patio?

It's screaming,"Come sit, sip, and enjoy the summer!"  You have to check out her post with all the fun details of how she pulled together some store bought items and mixed in lots of thrifted finds to bring this patio to life. 

Last but not least, Jessica at Stay at Home-ista isn't letting the deer and wild turkey in her area keep her from growing a garden.  

diy patio garden

She put together a raised box on her patio where her veggies can grow until they're ready for people to eat. I really love this idea - and it could also work really well for anyone that doesn't have a yard space.  

Are you sprucing up your outdoor areas?  We just recently ordered a new front door before we left for vacation and I can't wait to have it installed!  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pretty New Knobs & Furniture Question

My favorite aisle at the Hob Lob is the hardware aisle.  You know the one that has all the pretty knobs and hooks and things.  I LOVE that aisle!

The best thing about the Hob Lob is that you never have to pay full price for anything.  They run those 50% off sales all. the. time.  When I see that red sign in the hardware aisle, you better watch out.  I will run you over.  Doesn't matter if I need new knobs, if they're 50% off!

So, I got some new knobs - you had to know where this was headed.

hobby lobby knobs

I mean come on - they practically had my name on them.  Red - check.  Blue - check. White - check.  Hint of gold - check.  $2/ each - check - -and you get it.

hobby lobby knob

It's not a major change, but when happiness only costs $6 it's a good day.  I like details.  I'm a simple girl.

distressed wine bar

And now for the not so happy part, the furniture question.  Something icky is happening to this wine bar that I painted over a year ago.  The reddish cherry stain that is under the paint is starting to come through in spots.  

I used a primer too?  I don't understand why this would happen especially after almost a year?  Is it because it gets a lot of sun here in this location since I moved it from across the room?  I'm hoping one of you furniture painting gurus can help me.  I don't bust out the furniture projects as fast as a lot of you do, so this has me kind of stumped.  I'm also unsure how to fix this.  I don't want this to happen again so I'd love your advice before I repaint.

Has this ever happened to you?  Are you as obsessed with the hardware aisle at the Hob Lob as I am?  

Monday, June 25, 2012

7 Things I Learned From the Haven Conference

Well, I got back home from the Haven Conference on Friday night, spent Saturday washing-cleaning-and packing clothes for our vacation, and on Sunday morning flew out to Southern California.  It was a whirlwind - but oh so worthwhile.  I wanted to share my Haven experience with you all because even if you're not a blogger there's still something to take away from stepping out of your comfort zone which is exactly what attending this conference was for me.  This was my very first blog conference and I can say, without a doubt, it probably won't be my last.

I learned 7 things from this experience:
1.  I need to step out of my comfort zone more often.  
I almost didn't go.  I'm kind of shy and sort of reserved.  I get a little lost in a large group.  Going to something like this is soooo not in my comfort zone. at. all.  Thankfully, I was given a little nudge from Traci from Beneath My Heart.  I'm so glad I took her advice.  I had a great time!  I learned a ton!  I would go again -no doubt.

2.  I'm crazier than I thought. 
So I know that all bloggers are just people - even the big bloggers  - the famous ones - the ones that you feel like you know personally because you've been reading their blog for what feels like a million years - the ones that you talk to your hub about like she's your actual friend - the same way I talk about Kelly Ripa like we're besties, this is the way I talk about some of the "big blogs" that I read.  Reading a blog is different from reading a magazine.  There's a real person behind the words and the pretty pictures.  More often than not as a reader you feel like you kind of know them; even if they have no idea who in the heck you are.

I had months to prepare myself for the fact that I was going to be in the same room with many of these big bloggers.  Months to prepare to act like a normal person.  But Katie Bower kind of smacked me in the head with a giant surprise.  I had no idea she was going to be there - hence the non-preparation to act like a normal person when I saw her.

I ran into her while crossing the street from McDonalds (which was across from the hotel - seriously some people actually eat fruit for breakfast?!), and yelled out, "Oh My Gosh, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!"  - That was my first act of craziness.  Then it was relatively cool from there.  I mean at this point she was carrying her son and Sherry's daughter so I just kind of said Hi and left it at that - not introducing my crazy self at all.

Then later on, we were both at the same session (no I didn't know she was going to be at that session - I'm not that crazy).  The kids weren't with her this time, so I bee-lined it across the room to get a picture with her.  Ummmm.....yeah......she was as nice as she could be, but I still totally forgot to introduce myself.  Who does this?  Me.  Crazy lady me.  I can't even tell you what a dork I feel like, but I did get this picture.

She'll probably remember me as that crazy women who yelled out her name while j-walking and then stalked her down for a picture later.  Awesome.

3.  Apparently, I'm not as loud and funny as you all thought I was.  
This kind of relates to number 1 above.  I'm kind of shy when I first meet people (unless you're Katie Bower -then I'm crazy).  I write the blog kind of like I'm talking to a dear friend because that's honest to goodness how I think of you.  Although, when/if you meet me in real life it takes a little while for me to warm up and get comfortable - then and only then do I unleash the crazy.  ;)  I guess I just like to dip my toes in the water first?

I spent the most time with Andrea from Oak Ridge Revival (we drove together and roomed together with Sarah, The Thriftress and Angie in the Thick of it).   I think they know me pretty well now.  

4.  Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick, is a mega rock star. 
I knew Sarah was going to be there, so I was prepared to act normal if I met her.  I've been reading her blog forever.  On the first night I walked into a crowded room where there was a social gathering going on and my nerves were going crazy.  Sarah looked at me from across the room and recognized me!  Probably because of all the blog stalking I do over there. ;) She was so sweet and kind.  She made me feel so incredibly comfortable and really helped to calm my nerves.  If I wasn't already her number 1 fan - I am now!

5.  There are about 100 million things that I might never understand about how this whole blogging thing works.  SEO?  Key Words?  Layering Ads? 
There's a lot to learn about blogging.  The conference gave me tons of great info that I didn't already know.    Apart from having a lot of fun socializing with my blog friends, the information I picked up will be really helpful too.

6.  My online friends are real.  
Hands down - the very best part of this experience was getting to meet these wonderful online blog buddies of mine in the flesh!  I was this totally professional blogger taking nothing but phone pics. ;)  The one day I did bust out my real deal camera - the flipping battery died!  Bother!  I didn't get a picture of all the wonderful people I met; I was too busy blabbing away.  It's amazing how you meet someone for the first time face to face that you've only known online and it's like you've known them for a million years.  The conversation never stops and you could swear you've been friends forever!  I'm telling you that part alone was worth the travel and the expense.
Me and Vanessa from At the Picket Fence
Both Vanessa and her sister Heather (I couldn't find the pic we took all together) are absolute sweethearts!  Heather's a Kentucky girl. so I'm sure we'll be getting together again sometime soon!  I was really looking forward to meeting them, and I could have literally talked to them all day and night!  

Do you know KariAnne from Thistlewood Farm?  
She. is. FUNNY!  
Oh my gosh - she's my new BFF - LOVE her!  
Oh yeah - and she lives in Kentucky too!  Kentucky was representin'! 
I already knew her home was gorgeous - and her writing is amazing, but meeting her was a such a treat!  She's the real deal people - I'm tellin' ya!  

7.  I know what I want my blog to be when it grows up!  
I learned a lot, and I had a lot of fun.  Although, the very best thing about this conference for me was figuring out what in the heck I really want out of blogging.  I figured out that what I want is what I already have.  I want this little blog of mine to continue to be a platform for me to unleash my inner crazy - a place where I can write in run-on sentences and ramble 'til the horses come home (I know it's cows but I like horses better) - a place where I can fuel my creativity and connect with other creatives- a place where I can talk about pillows, paint and ask for prayers for my plants (which have been working btw- the desk plant is a flourishing baby) - a place where I can be me, horse-loving, red-walls-loving, do-what-you-love-in-your -own-house-loving me.  If it continues to grow - great.  If it brings some cool opportunities - great.  I'm not going to work any harder than I already am.  It will always be a part time gig for me.  I'm a wife and momma first and then I'm a blogger.

If there was a number 8 it would be - I learned that two nights away makes for some really good quality snuggling time!
I missed my babies!

So, have you learned anything new about yourself lately?  Have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently?  Am I the only crazy person that talks about other bloggers they've never met like they're your best friend?  I really hope not.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Red Spray Paint & Chalkboard Labels...........

are two little things that are making me really happy right now.

red spray painted stool

I used Krylon's primer plus paint brand of spray paint in banner red on this stool.  If you're new here you may not already know that my favorite color is red.  Here's a before picture or really more like an in progress picture.

I've had this stool for a little while and I just felt like it needed a new outfit.  We all need a new outfit sometimes and what's better than spray paint?

chalkboard labels

Chalkboard labels might be a close second.  I'm obsessed with the Martha Stewart line of office supplies at Staples.  Labels make me happy; chalkboard labels make me giddy!

Crazy town - but true.  We're all different; that's what makes the world go 'round.

So, what's making you happy right now?

Today is the last day of the Haven Conference!  I'm so excited to tell you all about what a great time I've had meeting some of my favorite people in all of blogland!    Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Inspiration Series: Simple Updates

Well, today Andrea and I are on our way down to Atlanta for the Haven Conference!  I'm so excited and also a little nervous.  You can follow me on instagram for behind the scenes shots; I'm carmel_ourfifthhouse.

Today I'm kicking off the Summer Inspiration Series by featuring some wonderful ideas for simple updates in your home.  Summer is the perfect time of year for a quick project. I'm a big fan of details, and I believe the smallest changes can make this biggest impact.

Pam from Simple Details made this monogram pillow using none other than a sharpie!  I'm always a sucker for a monogram, and this is no exception.

Beth from Design Post found some cloth baskets at Ikea and gave them a little ombre makeover.  I love the pop of color!

We've seen a number of DIY drum shades all over blogland, but this one from Jennifer at Dimples and Tangles  had me at gold.......not to mention sheer over a vintage chandy!

And last but not least, Peggy from Pig Logs and 'Tater Berries  made an outdoor chandy using a tomato cage!  Pure genius I tell ya! 

I've so enjoyed checking out the projects you've submitted for this series!  I'm looking forward to featuring more of your inspiring summer projects!  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Peace, Love & Eat More Veggies

Hello Tuesday!  I unexpectedly took Monday off because my Internet connection blew up - not literally, but you know what I mean right?  Anyhow, it's fixed so I'm back.  I know you were worried.  ;)

I was featured over at Eclectically Vintage over the weekend which was such an honor.

Kelly has a beautiful home and the coolest design style!  I was beyond thrilled when she asked to feature my home.  She made me look way cooler than I actually am - you can click here to check it out. 

Today I'm guest posting over at Bird and Branch Redesign
bird and branch redesign

Jessamie is one of my newest blog buddies.  She runs a series called "friendly spaces" over on her blog, and I was super excited to share my favorite space today.  Any guesses what my favorite space is?  Click here to find out. 

And now on to Peace, Love &

When my dad was in town visiting he helped me build he built me a raised garden box using 2 x 12's and a couple pieces of 2 x 4's in the corners for support.

Then I got to have some fun playing in the dirt.  This is my first ever vegetable garden, so I wanted to start small.  I planted some herbs and veggies.  It's basically a salad garden.  Once everything was planted it was time to decorate.  I mean - you know me - right?  How could I not spruce up this little wooden box?

I painted only the outside with a watered-down outdoor craft paint.  From all that I read painting the outside with a water based paint is perfectly safe.  It also helps to protect the wood since this is untreated lumber.  I attached a little garden sign that I made using an old fence board.

My girl helped me make some garden markers.

I finished them off with a little piece of twine at the top.

We've had so much fun watching things grow.

Although, something is eating my lettuce, and I don't think it's a bunny.  Our very first little garden has been so fun to take care of, and the kids have taken a lot of pride in growing their own food - even if they still won't eat tomatoes.  

These pictures would have probably come out better if I had shot them in the middle of the day instead of the early evening.  There wouldn't be so many shadows; but then I wouldn't have been able to capture this one.......

.......and I wouldn't have a snazzy post title.  ;)  Sometimes laying by the pool with the kids all day and then doing a blog photo shoot just works out better.

We're checking things off the summer list left and right over here.

Are you growing any veggies or herbs?  How are you growing them - raised box, planter, or in the ground?  Anyone have any advice for a newbie veggie gardener?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Catching Lightning

For this California girl, the best thing about a Kentucky summer would have to be the lightning bugs.  Some people call them fireflies, but all of the good Southerners I know call them lightning bugs.  I remember the first time I saw them light up a night sky.  Like magic, I forgot all about the flipping hot humidity and them dang mosquitoes.

It's like some kind of Disney magic...........except it's real.

I'm not savvy enough with my big girl camera to fully capture the essence of their magic, but my back yard has been lit up every night with God's own tiny energy efficient light bulbs.  Disney World may have the electric parade; but I've got a lightning bug parade.

We're just checking things off the summer list left and right over here.

I hope your weekend is a magical one.  There really is magic all around us if we just take the time to stop and look.

P.S.  If you sent me an e-mail I promise I got it even if I haven't responded yet.  I've been on my own all week while the hubs was on a business trip, so I've been a little busy - to say the least.  We had important things to do  - like catching lightning bugs.

Remember this Owl City song?

May the Earth turn slowly for you this weekend,

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Same Furniture, New Room

My master bedroom looked like this when we moved in over 2 and 1/2 years ago.

I know it looks like it was hit by the 1990's stick.  Apart from the fact that there are no shades on the sconces in this picture, it looks kind of like a furniture showroom doesn't it?  Although I'd venture to bet if this was a furniture showroom many people would walk right by without giving this set a second look.  The wall color and the decor really don't do anything for the furniture.  One of the biggest mistakes we ever made was purchasing a "bedroom set".  You live and learn I guess.  The thing is, it's really good furniture, but a matching set is just so boring.

While this room is far from finished, you saw a sneak peek of the work in progress earlier this week.

I think it's incredible what a difference changing the wall color, bedding, and accessories have made in this room.  It's the same bed, but it looks so much more appealing now.  I know a traditional four poster bed isn't everyones ice cream sundae, but I've always loved them.

I recently made another little change that has made a huge impact.  I changed the hardware on the chest of drawers.  While brass is back and I've always loved gold; the style of the previous hardware just dated this piece.  I really want a less formal more causal look in here, so the brass pulls had to go.  I went with these Martha Stewart drawer pulls/cuffs, and I'm so pleased with them.

I'm amazed at the difference a little hardware change can make.

It's the same furniture we've had for over 8 years but it looks like a whole new room, and I haven't even changed the ceiling fan or hung curtain panels yet !   ;)

I've always loved this furniture, and now with new surroundings I love it even more.  I'll show you soon what I'm doing with the night stands that I pulled out of here.

Is it not crazy what a difference the wall color made?   Have you made any hardware changes on your furniture lately?  Sometimes you don't need paint; you just need a screwdriver and some new drawer pulls.

 P.S.  Thanks so much for all of your e-mails yesterday!  I appreciate them so much.  I've been so inspired by your projects, and I can't wait to share them here on the blog!

Linking up at Savvy Southern Style, At the Picket Fence, Miss Mustard Seed, Thrifty Decor Chick 

design + development by kelly christine studio