August 27, 2009

Cottage Dreaming Part II

A few days ago I posted about Jennifer Gray’s beautiful cottage she and her husband have been lovingly restoring for the past year.       Jennifer has been kind enough to send me some pictures so you can enjoy her renovation as much as I did.    In the event you have missed this gorgeous re-do, check out the full story and pictures here.       




Jennifer has promised she will give step-by-step instructions on how she did this wonderful treatment to her existing refrigerator.





Thank you Jennifer for allowing me the honor of showing off your beautiful home.     I’ll be following along as you complete the restoration of your cottage.

August 26, 2009

Coastal Bathroom Preview

Shannon has been wanting to re-do the kids jack-and-jill bathroom.     When they moved in their house three years ago, she kept the yellow ducky theme they had previously used in the twins’ bathroom in their old house.    It’s still cute but she wants a more “mature” look for the 5 year old crowd.     She loves anything Pottery Barn, just not the price.      Our inspiration came from this little sign I picked up at Marshall’s recently on the clearance table for $2.00! 


I used one of the leftover plaques from the coat rack project (here), painted it out in a pretty blue color and used the remainder of those coat hooks.    Since there were three holes, I am planning on gluing the glass door knob in the center, unless we come up with another idea.  




The bathroom walls are painted Latte so we will be using cremes, beachy blues and chocolate browns.     Should be yummy!      You know I’ll post pictures after it’s all done….



August 25, 2009

How To Turn A Nightmare (Of A House) Into A Dreamy Cottage

I loved keeping up with Jennifer at the Old Painted  Cottage.     Lately, she’s been keeping a low profile.    I just checked out her blog and found out why…..she’s been transforming the home they purchased about a year ago into a dreamy cottage.     You’ll have to go here to see what I’m talking about!

August 16, 2009

Getting Organized 101

I’d love to say I live by the old saying “A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”   Unfortunately, when they were handing out the “organizing genes” I must have been absent that day!    In the last few years, I have tried to improve and have marginally succeeded.    

My daughter takes after me in this department and I don’t think the word “organization” is even in her vocabulary!    In her defense, she does work full-time (or during school hours), chases after the twins and has a good size home to take care of.     Her husband does help out a lot, but she needed a system that would work for all of them.

Since school started, we needed to come up with some easy and practical ideas to get off “on the right foot” and formulate a system to keep up with all the paperwork kids bring home from school and keep her kitchen countertops uncluttered (to a degree).    We also wanted a central location for their lunchboxes and backpacks and jackets.    Surfing the web and blogland has proven a great way to get some wonderful ideas.   

I found these cute little snap together boxes at Dollar General.   They were only $4.00 each!     I wanted some way to identify each child’s box and these were perfect because they have that metal plate thing on the front.     I typed their names on the computer and cut them to size and slid them right into that slot!    Easy peasy, no?





Here they are in the newly designated “work zone” in Shannon’s kitchen:





Next, I saw this old shabby looking board with coat hooks on it at My Sweet Savannah’s RMS page.    Here’s what hers looks like:RMS savannah

I bought a 6’ pine board at Lowe’s and sprayed it Heirloom White.     I then sanded it back in places to the bare wood but of course it didn’t look old at all.     Took my trusty “tools of the trade” and aged it.

Here it is after I “aged” it.       Now you can see my “secret” tools in the background….dishwashing sponge and old rags, who knew?    I took the sponge, dipped it in my gel medium, wiped off most of it on the rags and just kind of slathered it on, no rhyme or reason, just went for it.    I was pretty pleased at how it turned out.  Does it look old and weathered to you?


I found two little plaques at T.J. Maxx that had some really neat hooks on them so I bought the plaques and used some of the hooks.    Took the hooks off the plaques and sprayed them with el-cheapo flat black paint.


Here’s a close up of one of the hooks on the board.


We took it up Friday evening and hung it in Shannon’s long hallway coming off  the garage.    That way, when they come in every afternoon they will (hopefully) hang their stuff  on the coat rack and off the floor where things tend to land.      The kids were so excited they had their very own hooks!    


















Shannon was thrilled at how it turned out and I must say it looks pretty good!    We got the collage frame at Kirkland’s on sale ($19.00) and as soon as we have time we’re going to put in some black and white pictures of her family.     (Wall color is Latte)

I’m hoping the excitement will keep up and they don’t have any of the last minute hunt for stuff in the mornings!

I’m working on a couple of other projects for Taylor’s room that Shannon wants.     A shelf for trophies, etc. and a bulletin board for her “girly” stuff.        We picked up this old country looking shelf at a local flea market for $12.00.     Sprayed it with Krylon’s Ballet Slipper Pink and we’re loving the color.     Taylor’s bedroom is done in Victoria Secret colors….pinks and blacks….so I think this little shelf will fit right in.     We’re also using a bulletin board that Shannon had years ago in high school.   We are just going to paint out the frame and do something special to the cork.   



I would love to hear about any ideas you’ve found that work for you that keep you organized and I hope you found some of mine helpful as well.

Enjoy your week!

August 14, 2009

Coming Attractions!



Come back Monday to see what I’ve been up to!

August 13, 2009

My “Other” Daughter

Anyone who has a daughter-in-law, son-in-law, mother-or father-in-law has usually got some hair-raising stories.     I  admit that I thought my first husband’s mother was the MIL from you-know-where….of course, I was young then and didn’t understand a lot of things that have become much more clearer to me now that I’m older and wiser (I hope).   

Let me give you a little background:    I married my first husband in 1973.    His mother made it very clear she had already picked out who he should marry….her best friend’s daughter who was also my sister’s college roommate at the time.    Long story short, he married me and for 23 years I never felt loved and/or accepted by his mother.    After our divorce, which she played a big part of, I resented and hated her (hate is a powerful emotion that can eat you alive and it continued to give her power over me).     Years later, she lost two grown children to cancer and I tried reaching out to her but she still shunned me.    Fast forward to this summer when my ex and his mother attended  some  summer functions all the grandkids were involved in.     For the very first time, it seemed all the hatred I had for this woman was gone.    I saw her in a new light…..and apparently she felt the same about me.    We were able to talk and I actually felt a bond with her.    What a relief it was to be able to let go of all that hurt and hate, which was only destructive to me.     I will say that one of the things I learned from this experience early on was what kind of mother-in-law NOT to be with any future daughter-in-law.

It was soon after my ex left our home that my son met his future wife.    I was still reeling from the blow of being “suddenly single” and I resented anyone coming along to upset my already upside down life any further.    In my mind, this was an intruder who was trying to take another man from me and I wanted no part of her.     I’m ashamed to say that I was downright mean and hostile to Jennifer, who never did anything to me to deserve that kind of treatment.     However, she kept coming around and treated me with the respect I didn’t deserve….I don’t think I could have been such a lady if I’d been in her position.

After she and my son married, I did mellow out toward her somewhat, but every night I would call my son and ask him when was he “coming home.”    He would say, “mom, I am home.”     I thought I’d lost him like I’d lost his dad and desperately wanted my old life back.   

One incident stands out in my mind when I was invited to supper at their home.    Jennifer had been brought up in a home that pretty much catered to her every whim and desire and she was not very schooled in homemaking, such as cooking, cleaning, etc.    I took every opportunity to point out these “flaws” to my son.    Anyway, I was invited to eat and I remember how proud she was of her spaghetti supper.    I can still see her bringing my plate to me before anyone else could fix theirs .    Such a small gesture but it stands out in my mind to this day.    Another time around my birthday, we were all at Auburn tailgating but I had no ticket for the game.    Just before kickoff, she came to me and insisted I take her ticket so I could sit with my son at the game….and if you knew what a big Auburn fan she is, that was like giving up her right arm!    She wanted me to have her ticket as a birthday gift.

As the old saying goes, time does heal all wounds.    I eventually was able to get on with my life and it dawned on me that I might want to make amends with this girl who might one day be the mother of my grandchild.    I began to see her with different eyes, eyes that saw her not as an intruder in my life, but as a wonderful addition.     It was not overnight but eventually I found myself hugging her whenever they would come to visit and when they’d leave.    Jennifer was not a hugger but now she sometimes beats me to the first hug!   

Last year they were going to be at the beach on my birthday but she made sure she sent my birthday card before they left so I’d get it on my birthday!   Little things, see?

I’ll never forget when they told us they were expecting their little baby.    It was December 26, 2005.    What a Christmas present!    Their first gift to us that year were tickets to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans when Auburn was playing Va. Tech. but the baby announcement was the best gift I got that year.    McKinley arrived on August 29, 2006 (the day Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast).     When Jennifer came home from the hospital, she asked me to stay with her, and I was honored to do so.    She always  makes sure I get the little drawings from McKinley and tells her stories about Mimi and Pop (they live out of town).   

A year ago my son lost his job during some downsizing with his company.    He was at the top of his field and was doing extremely well.  It took him 2 months to find another job and through it all, Jennifer supported him in every way, something I will forever be grateful for.

Jennifer worked full time while she attended college and got her degree.     While she was on maternity leave, her employers thought so much of her abilities, that she was actually recommended for a promotion to head up a department after her return, which she got!   

Of course, she does some things different from myself and my daughter which might not “set well with me” at times and I’m sure I’ve more than irritated her in the past!    But I know I can count on her to be in my corner if needed.  

I wish I had a magic formula for any MIL’s or DIL’s out there who do not get along or see eye to eye.    All I can say is what worked for me was to sincerely love that person and try not to see them as your enemy.    I read somewhere once something to the effect that your son usually marries someone that has characteristics of his mother, and I hope that would be a compliment as to how your son feels about you.    It is not fair to a son to make him feel he has to choose between his mother and his wife.

I’m sure that Jennifer and I will agree to disagree on some things over the years.     But I can proudly say that she is not only my “other daughter” but my friend as well!

August 10, 2009

School Daze!

We survived our first day at “big school”!    By “we” I mean my daughter and myself (I think the twins did a little bit better than we did).       I spent Sunday night at Shannon’s house so I could “help” her…..really, we needed each other for support!     When I arrived about 6:00 yesterday evening, she was packing their school supplies and putting their backpacks together.

Taylor had to give her nap mat a test run




Soon it was time for baths and supper then bedtime.   The twins were so excited about going to “big school” they had a hard time going to sleep.  


Before bed they called Pop to remind him they were going to school on Monday (like he could forget!)

IMG_7151  IMG_7147

And here’s Shannon making her world-famous BP&J with crusts carefully cut off!


Neither Shannon nor I got very much sleep.    She had already told her hubby he COULD NOT go to the first day of school because he gives in to their demands to “hold me” or  “I want to go with you daddy” too much so he was barred from going to the first day….we would never have been able to leave them in their classroom.    Plus, he had to go out of town.

I forget how early 5:30 a.m. is!!!    After we had our showers and got the twins breakfast, it was time to roll them out of bed.      Before we knew it, it was time to leave….


Jackson is used to waiting on his sister


I’m in love with this angel!


A girl and her curls….


…and a pink backpack. 


All ready!


Let’s go!!!

When they bought their house about 3 years ago, they knew a new elementary school would be opening less than 2 miles from home at the time the twins started kindergarten.    Not only was today their first day of school, it was the first day of a brand new school!    They will go through school with many of these same kids, and a lot of the kids that are in their school go to their church so it wasn’t like they didn’t see any smiling, friendly faces.

Even leaving at 7:00 we found ourselves in a long line of anxious parents and eager kids….


It’s a beautiful drive going to the school grounds




Jackson is checking out some of his new classmates


The teacher had put out a picture and crayons so the kids could color….



Jackson telling his teacher “good morning”


And finally it was time to leave….here’s Shannon giving her little man some “love” (sorry it’s so fuzzy)


And of course Taylor got hers too


I was really proud of myself, I didn’t cry at the school but I think I heard some sniffling from a certain daughter as we left the building.   

I called this afternoon to see how their day went.     Taylor announced that her mommy had cried all day at work!    I guess Shannon must have told her that….

Here’s hoping every little boy and girl (and moms and dads) have a wonderful and exciting school year.    

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