Archive for February 2012

DIY Spring Decorations

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I know we are technically still in winter but I don't care. I'm springafying our house in drips and drabs with some easy DIY spring decorations. We are enjoying gorgeous weather her in Jersey and we are spending tons of time outside watching the daffodils pop up. I'm ready!  So I got out my paints and some other things and made some pretty eggs to fill a homemade nest!

There is a little story associated with these eggs. My mother-in-law passed away somewhat unexpectedly 4 years ago. I had known her for a long time since Jim and I knew each other a long time before getting married. But it wasn't long enough. I feel like we would have become even closer and I feel like she could have taught me so much about being a strong woman.  Aside from raising my sweet husband, she was a nurse, mother of 5, animal lover, and an O.C.  You know, Original Crafter.  She crafted before most of us knew Mod Podge from a glue gun. She loved making ugly things beautiful and creating a pretty home with homemade pretties.  

This summer I was thrilled and touched when my father-in-law invited me to go through her massive boxes of craft supplies and take what I wanted. So I happily inherited a huge amount of acrylic paints with a snazzy rotating rack and some other things, including a set of wooden eggs.  I knew then what I would do with them!  So I feel like my sweet mother-in-law would be happy to know her paint, brushes, and eggs were all used to make something pretty just as she would have!

I used blue, white, ivory, and dark brown acrylic paint. I just used the white to lighten the blue and the ivory.  The eggs are just wood and I didn't need to prime or anything.

I applied several coats of paint and tried to make it as smooth as possible. They aren't perfect, of course.

I used a small, short paint brush to apply the speckles. I just dipped it in the paint and ran my thumb over the bristles so it splattered on the eggs. Um, don't do this in your kitchen on the counter next to your china serving dishes. Just trust me. Do it in a box or the sink.

Remember the bed crown I made out of a planter?  Well, this was the coco liner that I removed to do that.   I just cut it into a circle that would fit inside my container.

I squished it in and tucked in some sticks to make it look more "nesty."

Sweet and springy!

And here are a few other little snips of spring!

A few soft blue and white plates and a bird print in the entry

A new springy excerpt from a poem for our hallway chalkboard

A blue mason jar with some hot pink roses on a pretty silver cake plate with my little Ellie
from two springs ago when she was just a month old.   This is sitting by my sink
so I can see her as I wash the dishes. Really though, all I need to do is look down because
all she seems to do is tug at my pants right now.

Have you started adding bits of spring to your decor? 

Planter Bed Crown

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When I was a little girl I had big dreams. I was going to dress like Madonna, marry Nick Rhodes from Duran Duran, and live in my parent's living room with my 6 children.  None of that happened. However, the nice thing about being a parent is living vicariously through your children and gosh darn it, I'm going to do it as much as I can, hence Molly's ballet lessons (more guilt, Mom).  Another dream of mine was to see in a bed that looked like this

Sadly, I never did realize that dream. In fact, for a long time my room was wallpapered with orange, yellow, and avocado green owls. And this was before owls were cool.   Therefore, Molly gets to sleep in a bed with a bed crown!

I made hers out of a planter which I spray painted and turned upside down. I'll post a tutorial another day. But she loves it. I would have chosen different trims but she wanted a hot pink room which I nixed so the hot pink ribbon on the crown was a concession on my part. The ball fringe matches her curtains which also have ball fringe.

It was so hard to take a picture that truly reflects the color of the hot pink ribbon but still be able to see the pink tulle against the pink wall. Hope you get the idea, though! And that tulle is the same tulle my mother used to swathe around Molly's bassinet when she was born. It makes me happy to see it reused!


Guest Blogger: My Covered Bridge

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I am so excited to be sharing my blog with Kristen at My Covered Bridge! You can find me guest blogging over there today!  We are swapping blogs for the day and I'm so glad!  You'll love Kristen!

Hi!  I'm Kristen from My Covered Bridge!  I'm SO excited to be a guest blogger today at Days of Chalk and Chocolate!  Since I'm still pretty new to this blogging world, let me introduce myself.  I'm a happily married stay-at-home mom with four not so little kids.  My husband, Craig, and I are completely remodeling and decorating a home we bought six years ago.  I love diving into these projects - and now I love sharing them with everyone through my blog!

Here are a couple of my favorite projects.  I gave new life to an old dresser that I bought for $30.  It was in bad shape when I found it -

After some prep and painting, I turned it into this -

I also updated a pair of old candlesticks that I had -

And turned them into this -

I hope you stop by My Covered Bridge - you can see how I turned an old $10 door into my headboard, how I made a dance floor for my daughter's sweet sixteen party, or what my new kitchen looks like (after we completely gutted the old 1980's version).  And, of course, I'd like to thank Jenny for having me here today! I've had so much fun!

Our New Friend

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We had quite an exciting day today!  We adopted this sweet poodle mix!

She needs a good grooming and lots of love and we are all set to provide both!  She is around 2 years old, housebroken, and is as sweet as can be. She adores the children and they adore her back. She nibbled treats from Ellie's hand so gingerly!  Being that we have girls who are obsessed with fairies it should come as no surprise that she has ended up with the name Pixie!  I'll post some pics of her another day in her fancy new red sweater!

Cheers and Woof,

Latest & Greatest Friday #20

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I'm so excited to see your latest and greatest creations!


Latest and Greatest Features

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So many cute and creative link ups this week.  Here were the top viewed links.

Pineapple Sheet Cake
This sounds like the perfect spring and summer dessert!

Handmade Wedding Memento
This is so lovely and special. I have all my stuff sitting in a box in my closet. This is so much better!

12 St. Patrick's Day Projects
One of the best collections of St. Pat's Day projects I've seen this year. Everything she made is classy. Look at that pretty ruffled sweater!

And now two of my favorites!

Toddler T Shirt Dress

Rainbow Birthday Party
I love the colors and all her pretty details.

Thanks for linking up!  I hope to see you all tomorrow at the party. And if you were featured, could you grab a button?  I would be so appreciative!


Also, I'm looking for some guest bloggers. If you have a great idea (or an older post) that you are proud of and would like to share with my readers let me know!!

Shabby Apple Winner!

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Congratulations to Calli, comment #40! 

I also like the extra credit dress!"

You won the Shabby Apple Tiber dress!  I emailed you so please respond in the next few days so they can get you your dress!

Thanks to all who entered!


Shabby Apple--Last Day!

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Today is the last day to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway! You can win this beautiful Tiber dress!  Enter here!  I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Well, I knew it was bound to happen but I didn't know how bad it would be. My sweet, adorable, roly poly Ellie has morphed into a stubborn, whiny, tantrum-throwing toddler. I know it's the way of the world and how it's supposed to be but I still had to fight the urge to curl up into the fetal position all day. 

I registered Molly for kindergarten today and I'm so excited.  I have never been a huge advocate of full-day kindergarten but this girl needs it so I'm glad she'll have it.   Molly missed the age cut off by 30 days for entering kindergarten  this year so she's been 5 since October. She is always asking me about letter sounds and is so interested in how things work. Her little mind is always going and I know she'll do so well.

Which now means I have another decision to make. Do I go back to work full time?  Some days I want to, I miss it,  I wish for a classroom again. But then other days I love being able to take the girls to the park in the middle of the day or to eat lunch all together.  I'm not a superb stay-at-home mom but I also value this time I get to spend with them.  We'll see, I guess!


Green Decor and Homemade Play Dough

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Everything is popping up green in the decorating world. If you picked up any shelter magazine lately you'll have been hit with green everywhere for spring!  It's fresh, comes in a shade to compliment most decors, and it goes with almost every other color. I am not a huge lover of green and there is almost none in my house but  do like the way it's used as a spring accent.


The green curtains brighten up this palette and brings some lightness
to the heavy, dark sofa. So pretty!


I love this vintagey, avocado green in the velvet pillow
and bench. It's a way to do green with an understated elegance.

House Beautiful

This bold white against the pear green keeps this wallpaper
modern and crisp.

Drake Design Associates
This green headboard and bed spread are so elegant
and luxurious. I adore them against the blue walls.

A Designer Spot

I love this room with the green walls although I don't think I could
commit to that much kelly. However, the splash
of kelly in the chair and lamp in the second picture
proves that a little bit still makes a huge impact.
Today Molly and I experimented with green in our own way. We made homemade glitter play dough and Molly chose to make it green. She declared it her new favorite color. Her old favorite color was "Pink purple sparkle hearts & flowers" said all in one breath. Now it's green.

2 C. water colored with food coloring or kool-aid if you want it to smell good
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 C. flour
1/2 C. table salt
1 TBS cream of tarter

Heat the water and oil in a pan until it's hot (I didn't let it come to a boil)

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the dry ingredients including the glitter. I used about a quarter cup of glitter for this recipe but you use what you think looks about right. We used silver.

Stir the dry ingredients into the hot water/oil and keep it on a low heat while it comes together. Stir, stir, stir and use a heavy wooden spoon because it gets stiff fast!

Turn it out onto a sheet pan and let it cool a bit. When it's cool enough to handle kneed it until it's soft and pliable. Store in an air tight container.

Molly played with it for a good long while and it was fun to do on a sort of boring day.

Tomorrow I announce the Shabby Apple winner!  Is it you?


DIY Ruffled Lamp Shade and my rambling thoughts

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Let's talk ruffled lampshades! Don't you love them?  They are so easy to make too! Yee Haw! Ellie's lamp shade is a basic white shade. Nothing wrong with it but it was getting me annoyed with it's plain Jane-ness. You probably think I made a fabric flower for it, right? Or you think I continued my obsession with ruffles and glued one on, right? Well HA! I did both!

The flower is a pin so I can
take it off if I want. The ruffle is hot glued.

Let me take you through it.

The plain shade

Measure the distance of your shade circumference. Cut a length
of ribbon double that length. Run a long, tight stitch down
the middle to create a ruffle.

Pull the bobbin thread to achieve the look you want.

Hot glue the ruffle onto the bottom of the shade.

Finish the end by hot gluing the end under.
I tried to make it look like part of the ruffle

Pin on a pretty flower if you desire. And add
as  many rows of ruffles as you like. I used 2.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend!  Oh and I have been checking out this week's link party. It's awesome!  Thanks to everyone who linked up!
My Shabby Apple giveaway ends this week too!

I've been a little MIA lately. I have been super tired and spending a lot of time laying around and getting the basic chores of life done. Therefore, I'm halfway through the bag of Dove dark chocolate Jim gave me for Vday and I'm all caught up on my DVRed episodes of Dear Genevieve. Whew. It's been a tough week. But we had a great weekend and Jim is off tomorrow for President's Day and life is hopping once again!

One of the nicest things about our new neighborhood is our neighbors. We have met the nicest, warmest, most friendly people on this street. People wave to each other, kids come over and play on our lawn, and we have dinner with another family every other week or so. Molly will know so many kids when she starts kindergarten in September and I'm so grateful that we bought in this neighborhood. Looking for houses is hard because you basically have to guess on your neighbors if you aren't familiar with that street. What if you live next door to the garage band (almost bought that house) or in a place where people keep to themselves? I love the feeling of having a community and I feel like we have that here.

Ok, enough kum bah ya stuff.


Latest & Greatest Friday #19

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Enter the Shabby Apple dress giveaway here!

Latest & Greatest Friday Link Party Features!

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Did you enter the Shabby Apple giveaway going on?  If not, go ahead. We'll wait. Thanks!

These were the top viewed links!

Ideas to Make Life Easier

Did you know you can clean paint brushes
with hot white vinegar?  I'm trying it!

Valentine's Gift for her Husband

This thoughtful gift can be adapted to all sorts
of recipients!  Love it!


Jenny decorates every space with chic
simplicity. I just adore her style!

And one of my personal favorites...

A Fresh New Look

The colors are so vibrant!  Makes me feel like winter is lifting.
Thanks to everyone who linked up with week. If you were featured, I would love if you could grab my button on the side.  Thanks!