Trick or Treat

Hope you all had a fun and spooky Halloween! xoxo!


Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint

Have you tried Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, yet???  Ever since this post, I have been anxiously awaiting it’s release.  Mike and Laurie from Red Posie kindly sent me some to try and I am in love with this stuff.  I know it’s a bit more intimidating to use because of it’s powder form, but what it does on it’s own when it’s applied to wood is worth dealing with the adjustment!  I know Marian has said it before, but it really does have a mind of it’s own.

As soon as I received my sweet little package of Shutter Gray, I knew exactly where it was going.  Oliver’s changing table/dresser had really taking a beating over the past two and half years.

The changing pad buckle had really scratched up the finish on the top, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a little paint.  😉  Plus, all the furniture in his room is stained the same color so I figured it might be fun to have something a little different in there.

I threw caution to the wind and didn’t measure the powder and water.  I just mixed it until I got the right consistency that I wanted.  For all of you Type A personalities, you can mix 1 & 1/2 parts powder to 1 part water.  The package says to mix it with a blender, but I just used a brush to mix it up and it turned out great.  You will get some lumps and clumps and some of it will settle at the bottom, but just continue to stir and mix it up…it doesn’t have to be perfectly thinned out like regular paint.  I, personally, kind of like the clumps because when you brush them on, you get such great color variation.  It really is beautiful and adds so much dimension.

Then I went to town.  I didn’t do ANYTHING to this piece of furniture before painting it, besides wiping off a little dust and removing the hardware.  It really is so easy.  Slap your first coat on there and don’t freak out because it will look a little crazy.  I like to think of the first coat acting almost like a primer.  It doesn’t have to be a solid coat.  It doesn’t have to look good.  The brushstrokes don’t even have to go in the same direction.  Just get it on there and allow it to dry so your second coat has a little something to “grip” onto other then the old finish.  Here is what my piece looked like after the first coat.  Scary, right?  Just remember this is normal.

My first coat was literally dry in 5 minutes…milk paint is awesome like that.  Then, I started my second coat.  My timing was less than stellar because right after I finished the second coat, Oliver was ready for his nap.  Seeing how I was super lazy and didn’t even move the dresser from his room prior to painting it, I was forced to take a break.

And this next part is why I get so excited about this milk paint.  After his 2 hour nap (thank you God for blessing us with good sleepers), I went it and the dresser looked like this!?!  It totally did this on its own…the crackling, chipping, peeling awesomeness.  This was totally the look I was going for and what’s better is I didn’t even have to do anything to make it happen.  Even though, I loved the chippiness, I really wanted to do another coat because some spots were just not dark enough for me.  So, I just took my brush, dipped it into my paint and painted right over it.  Some of the paint flaked off, but I just kept putting on my third coat.  Here is what the top looked like after the 3rd coat.

After that was dry, you can see it still was crackling in a few places.  I took some Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ in Old White and painted around the outside of the drawers.

Then I waxed the whole thing with Clear Soft Wax, really making sure to rub it into the piece with a old cut up t-shirt.  I often hear about people painting and waxing a piece only to say that they ended up with some shiny and dull spots…almost like a discoloration.  I showed an example below on the top of the dresser where I didn’t really rub it in on the back right corner.

See?  Using an old t-shirt or piece of cheesecloth to rub the wax into your piece will prevent all of that.  It helps distribute the wax evenly across the furniture and gives it the best finish.  While doing this some areas of the paint flaked away or crackled further which I loved.

This was taken right after I finished covering it in clear furniture wax.  Perfectly chippy in my opinion.  If you want to distress it more, then all you have to do is use a fine and medium sanding sponge or sandpaper to “sand” off more of the paint.

If you take this route and distress your piece more, you may want to do another thin coat of wax after your finished to “seal” your piece.  For those of you who do not want a “chippy” piece of furniture, you can use a bonding agent to get a solid finish, too, as Marian did here. 


Don’t be intimated with this stuff.  It is fun, quick, easy and best of all INEXPENSIVE.  A  bag of this (will make 1 quart of paint) is only $18.70 from Red Posie.  I didn’t even use a 1/4 of my package to paint this dresser.

And I can easily store the leftover powder in the bag and not have to worry about hammering lids back on paint cans or finding room for all those paint cans.  If you have a piece that needs to be freshened up, what do you have to lose?  $20 will get you a whole new look.  Plus, there are plenty of videos featured in the sidebar of Red Posie’s website that will help you along the way.

To order Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint or to view all 12 colors, visit Red Posie by clicking HERE or on their button below and have fun painting!

The Evolution of a Dining Room

I’d thought I would share one of the rooms I have been working on recently.  This is not finished by any means, but you can see the progression of our old dining room now turned office/den/relaxing corner/call it what you want to area.  This room is one of the first things someone sees as they walk into our house.  It’s technical name, I guess, would be the formal dining room.  And when we moved in, we felt very mature having a formal dining room and immediately made it formal.  Don’t laugh.

(I was getting ready to throw my sister’s baby shower in the pic, but originally there was a tapestry hanging on that back wall)  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It was a beautiful place, but apparently we are not very formal people and this room served more as a place to set things than a place to enjoy a family meal.

If you have followed my blog at all, you know one of my biggest pet peeves is wasted space.  I want to use every square inch of my home and I wanted this area to function for our little family of four.  And this was just not cutting it.  We ultimately choose to nix the formal dining room.  If you caught this post, you know I refinished the “formal” table and moved it into the eating area off the kitchen.  Buh bye formal dining room!

I know what you are thinking….

What do you do when you have a large group over for a nice dinner?

Seeing how we are “go with the flow” kind of people and have a life centered around our crazy kids, we happily arrange the food a la buffet style and then provide a plethora of seating options.  With our open floor plan, whether people situate themselves at the bar or at the table, we can all still talk, hang out and enjoy each other’s company.  We’ve even been known to let people eat on our couch…shocking, I know.  😉

Sidenote:  My down the road dream plan is to build a screened in porch with a HUGE harvest table…big enough to hold a family as big as the Braverman family from Parenthood…isn’t that great?  


A girl can dream right?

Alright, getting back to reality…after I moved the table out of the formal dining room, the room was in limbo and sat like this for a few weeks until I could figure out what our family needed from this space.

As time went on, our list of requirements for the room grew so I just decided to smoosh them all together and see how it came out.  I’m thrilled to say, so far, it’s working for us.

We are in mid transformation here…I still need to reupholster/change up the chair in the corner, sew new cushions for the daybed, install a new light fixture and style a few things, but you get the idea of the direction it’s going.

Do you spy the F. Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon pillows?  I know!?!?!?!?!?!?  I have drooled and drooled over this fabric for over a year and I finally got some!?!?  From the best parents around…thank you, thank you, thank you…you guys rocked my birthday this year.  😀  (as you do every year!)

So, let me formally introduce you to our multi-functioning room.  This is our central hub area.  The black armoire holds all of our important mail/bills/cameras/printers and other electronic devices and serves as a great work area.

One day it might be me sitting here paying bills or blogging and the next day, Henry might be here playing  This area has no television which I loooove so if you want to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a magazine you can actually enjoy some peace and quiet.  Plus, it is also the best place to sit and chat about the latest happenings with a friend who might pop in for a visit.

This area is quickly becoming one of my favorite rooms in the house.  It’s a great collection of thrift store finds (recognize the lamps from this post) and inherited pieces and I love how they all play off each other to create a carefree and fun oasis where I can come in and feel relaxed, yet energized.

I have a few more finishing touches that I hope to have completed by the end of the year and I’ll re-share. Like that goal setting?  I try.  If you have any questions about sources of items, I’d be happy to share…ask away! 😉

The store that will break you

Oh, Target, target, target.  Why do you have to tempt me with all of your fabulous products?  I had a few free minutes the other day and thought

I’ll just take a quick run through Target.  I won’t buy anything.  I’ll just take a peek at some of the new Fall items.

Famous last words.  Duh.  I should know by now that whenever I am “just looking”, that is always the time that I see the most amazing things.  And when I go to the store looking for something specific, I usually end up coming home empty handed.  I guess that’s just the way it goes, but let this be a warning to you all.  If you are trying to refrain from extra purchases, DO.NOT.GO.TO.TARGET.  They are expert tempters and even the most will powered individual will begin to falter.  I snapped a few pics of things that caught my eye and figured I’d share.  Maybe you will feel as though you’ve been there and I can help you keep those precious dollars in your wallet.  It’s worth a shot, right?  Oooooorrrrrr, I suppose that you might see something on here that you cannot live without so you rush up to Target to purchase “the certain something” and then whatdoyouknow, I ended up costing you money.  Argh…plan backfire.  I apologize to you now in advance.

First up is that crazy dollar section that always has something that you would never go out to specifically buy, but always end up needing.  For instance, like these ramekins…in fall colors!?!   

This product can bring on thoughts such as these…I’ve been wanting to make creme brûlée desserts?!?  Now, I just need the blowtorch thingy.  {I realize those last two sentences sound insane, but that is actually what went through my mind whilst standing in the dollar section eyeing these cute ramekins}  Good on ya, Target…you hooked me.  I kind of imagine the owners of Target coming up with this idea and then watching people like me struggle and eventually giving in all while “another one bites the dust” is blaring in the background.  Seriously.  Close your eyes and run past this section.

However, if you did this you would totally get taken down by the women’s apparel section. Let’s just say that I saw so many cute things.  I somehow ended up with two dressesKirna Zabete for Target® Zip Front Sleeveless Tweed/Faux Leather Dress in Black/White

Xhilaration® Juniors Strappy Peplum Dress - Black with Art Deco Border

and a lovely ultra soft cardigan

Mossimo® Women's Ultra Soft Cocoon Cardigan - Assorted Colors

in my orange cart next to my very fallish ramekins.  But, check out who else has the tweed dress above…not how I imagined wearing it, but ok…SJP and I have the same dress???

Then, I ventured over into the home decor section.  I figured I was getting a big fat “F” on my no shopping trip so I might as well take it on home.  After a few aisles, I think my head spun around 20 times and then exploded.  Everywhere I looked, there was something that was fabulous.  I held my phone tightly and managed to not put anything else in my cart, but it was tough.  These rugs were only $12 and screamed fall and cozy.  I thought they looked so much more expensive, too.

And this bedding.

It makes me want to go out and buy these (click on image for link) to go on it.


I was digging these orange tribal flannel sheet set.  Only $24.99.

And these about broke me because I have been looking for something like these for our master bath.

But, we have not even begun to budget for our master bath makeover.  And for those of you who like to DIY and redo rooms, following a budget is really necessary. One of them was on clearance so I’m secretly hoping that they end up on the Goodwill aisle (doubtful, but I can still hope).

Check out this geometric lampshade.  How fun is that?

This little owl

reminded me of the one I scored from Goodwill for $2.

I spray painted him gold.  For some reason, I don’t have a picture of him with his new color, but you can imagine what he looks like…cute.

And how cute is this journal?

I am a such a pencil and paper girl.  As much as I love all the technology, there is just something I <heart> about writing down my thoughts, making notes, jotting down “to do” lists, or scribbling quotes that inspire me.  And I have far too many journals at the house.  Not kidding.  There are probably no less than 6.  As much as I loved this journal, I did not NEED it.  But, I am thinking about painting one of my pumpkins in this pattern.  Don’t you think that would be fun?  Add it to my things to do… :/

I was on my way to the register when I stopped to get a birthday card and about wet my pants.  

Something about these cards made me laugh so hard.  You know the kind of laugh that you try to hold back and then it comes out with so much pressure that it sound more like a snort.  I would try to stop laughing only to do it again as soon as my eyes caught another one.

Still looking at them here makes me laugh out loud.  I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who has a twisted sense of humor.

I only posted three, but there are tons!  If you are ever having a bad day, go check out these cards.  I guarantee a laugh or two.

So a “just take a look-not going to buy anything” really turned into “I got 2 new dresses, a cardigan and some ramekins” trip.  Not too bad for Target.  It could have been way way worse.


Is there even such a thing???  These past few weeks have been insane and I keep thinking

we’re just getting back into the swing of a routine…

once this project is finished, things will go back to normal

but, I think this is our new normal.  Utter chaos.  Through this chaos, I have realized that  I need help.  I need to let things go, which might involve taking the easy road every once in awhile.  This can be rather difficult for me to do considering I tend to have supermom expectations set for myself.  So, I do what I do best…I resist giving in, resist the urge to give up control, resist asking for help until I find myself in tears feeling like I am being ungrateful and missing the big picture in life.  Finally, I wise up…I throw up my hands and surrender becoming fully aware of my limitations.  Amazingly enough, after this everything gets better.  Only after letting go, am I able to slow down and enjoy those little ‘in between’ moments.  

Even when those in between moments look like this…

I begin to, once again, discover the beauty in things…things that just a day earlier I would have passed without a second thought.

It’s amazing how once our cup is filled, we are able to move forward with a better perspective. So, sorry, I’ve been MIA…I’ve just been trying to get my head around enjoying our new normal.

Henry’s Big Boy Room Reveal

I realize this is a slightly overdue…ok it’s insanely overdue.  I’ve been promising to show you Henry’s room for weeks and I am thrilled that the day is finally here for the big reveal.  I think it was all the small finishing details that took the longest to complete.  But, it has all been so worth it.  This little boy is so happy and this momma is as well because the room is so much more functional now.

If you can remember from this post, Henry had a few requests.

  1. Color galore.  I’m not kidding, his list of colors was never ending.
  2. A place for all his toys and books.  Mama liked this bullet point as well. 😉
  3. A spot to color/paint/draw.
  4. Last, but not least, a deer head like Dada’s.  Yes…it’s already started.

With his requests in mind, I got started on the layout of his room.  This room was definitely a challenge in terms of design.  First off, it is a smaller room.  It does have a huge window that practically takes up a whole wall, which, on one hand, is so nice, but it also can be a little difficult when trying to account for furniture arrangement.  The hardest part about his room is all the doors.  There are 4 (two of which are closet doors).  The doorway into the room is set on an angle which leaves only one blank wall.  On the positive side, he does have a decent size closet.  I could go on and on, but enough babbling, right?  You ready to see the befores?  Don’t laugh…these were taken with my phone and I didn’t even bother cleaning up or turn off the blinding light.  Prepare yourself for the onslaught of disastrous pics…promise not to think less of me.  Talk about keeping it real.  This is the real deal Holyfield.  

And how it looks now.

Yep, the toys in the before pictures were getting out of control.  We have a “playroom” downstairs, but the problem I have found is that Henry wants to bring his toys upstairs to play in his room or to play near me.  I, personally, like toys to be accessible, but out of site when not in use.  So, the toys all over the room in the picture above about killed me.  My solution:  Wal-Mart bookshelves.

I know Ikea is cheaper, but sadly the closest one is about a 6 hours away.

Now all his books and toys can be displayed in a organized way yet still are within reach.

The bottom three shelves house all the play items for him while the top two shelves that cannot be reached by little hands is where I displayed frames and more decorative items.

Every toy, block, plastic animal, superhero, and train now have a place.  Small animals  are in the black photo boxes, people/characters are in kitchen bins handed down to me from my parents and the blocks are in the open baskets.

So far, Henry has been great about putting items away where they belong and I even found some under the bed organizers that hold his smurfs, games and puzzles.  Now, you are probably wondering where in the world Henry puts his clothes.  Thankfully, during my nesting phase before we had Henry, I insisted on installing a closet system.  I came up with a plan I liked and then we bought all the pieces at Lowe’s.

Sam Sam the handy man put it together while I sat with my hugely pregnant belly, read the directions and gave him lots of what I thought were “helpful tips”.   I’m not sure Sam thought they were as helpful.  😉  Because of my enormous brain that oozes schmartness, Henry’s closet has more than enough room to store all of his wears, kicks and yes, even more toys with plenty of room to spare.

As for a place for Henry to sit and color/draw/paint, I originally found this unbelievable old wood art easel on Craigslist for $30 that I so badly wanted to work in the room.  It has a fabulous industrial feel to it yet, is still warm and full of character evidenced by the splattered paint from previous projects.

I placed it in the room to try it out for a few days, but it was just a little too big for the space.   (tear…) But, it’s probably for the better because it also had some nasty sharp corners.   I was so nervous, while testing it out, that someone was going to end up in the ER needing stitches.  I am keeping it…it’s just going to be in the unfinished part of our basement my craft room.  After this realization, I went back to Craigslist and found a  $25 console table with measurements that make it a perfect desk for two.

It needed some updating, but you guys know me.  It came to the right place.  I first painted on a coat of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ in Graphite, but it wasn’t quite dark enough.

So for the second coat, I mixed in some black chalkboard paint.  Did I know that you could do that?  No…I just went with it and I’m happy to say it worked.

I have no idea if you can write with chalk on it, but I do not plan to nor will I let the boys even wonder if they can.

That’s all I would need…my kids thinking that they could go around drawing on all our furniture.   I replaced the old brass hardware with some cute owl knobs that I found from Hobby Lobby.  Lastly, I sloppily outlined each drawer with some white chalk paint to give the piece more of a carefree fun vibe as opposed to a serious one.   “Serious furniture”…bet you didn’t know there was such a thing.

See what I mean…this desk is totally not stuffy or uptight. 😉

And speaking of fun and carefree, how about this cardboard deer head?  I got him from Urban Outfitters and my favorite thing about it is the fact that I do not have to worry about it falling off in the middle of the night and hurting my sweet boy.  Are you catching a theme here that I tend to worry?

We also added some plug in sconces to the bookshelves so if Henry wanted to read books in bed, he could.  They came from Lowe’s and were less than $30.  As for the big orb guy, I made it.

If you have been following me, you know that it was made out of garden baskets and cost me $21.

DIY Light fixture

If you want to make one for yourself, you can view exactly how I did it by clicking here or on the picture above.   If you are wondering about the wallpaper, you can see more about that here

All of these big items make such a difference in his room, but it truly wouldn’t be the room it is without all the small little ‘Henry’ details…those little details that hold so much meaning and bring back fun memories.  Whether it’s the tiger that shows his love of Mizzou,

the solar system that Henry painted hanging up

a picture that has been passed to me from my grandmother

art that was created by Henry,

or just a picture of him looking so happy…those details are what is so dear.  They make this room such a fun place to be.

I absolutely loved creating this room for you, Henry.  Here’s hoping you love it enough to live with it, oh, say until you go to college.  😉  

Source list:

Orb light fixture:   Made it.

Wallpaper:  LAVINIA from Antonina Vella’s Contempo line.  I bought mine from Johnston Paint here in Columbia

Paint color:  Natural Wicker by Benjamin Moore from Johnston Paint

Animal art:  Land of Nod

Bedding: Marshalls

Explore America pillow: Joss & Main

Orange and cream wave pillow: Target

Two multi colored chevron pillows:  Made by me with this fabric

Headboard/Footboard:  Craigslist find.  Painted with Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ in Barcelona Orange

Kitchen containers:  Hand me downs from my parents

Black photo boxes that serve as storage for all Henry’s animals:  Michael’s

Baskets:  Hobby Lobby & Target

Splatter artwork:  Made by Henry at Art in the Park here in Columbia

Rug:  found this rug at Rugs USA and bought it when they were having a 75% off sale.

Drapes:  I did not change the drapes.  I believe we had bought them from Linen’s and Things, but they were a little short.

I knew when I found this bedskirt

from one of my many Goodwill shopping trips that I could easily extend them to the floor.

Hanging wire file:  Marshalls

Bookshelves:  Wal-Mart

Desk:  Craigslist find

Industrial stools:  I bought at a flea market/thrift store

Globe:  Michael’s dollar section

Deerhead:  Urban Outfitters

Wall sconces (mounted to bookshelves):  Lowe’s

Solar System:  Henry painted this DIY kit from Hobby Lobby

Letters:  I had the “H” and picked up the other ones from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and Target

Desk pharmacy lamp:  Wal-Mart

Metal grated boxes:  Hobby Lobby

Horse picture:  Passed to me from my grandmother

Linked up to:

Thrifty Decor Chick

It really is that easy


Just to prove how easy it is to update a piece of furniture with some paint, I am posting this  make over (if I can even call it that) that I finished in about 30 minutes while the boys were in the front yard playing. To all of you who are scared to pick up a paintbrush, it really is this easy.  I started with a barstool that has been sitting at our workbench in our garage for a few weeks.

I painted on two coats of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ in Florence and then took my 100 grit sanding sponge to it so the black would show through.  I finished it off with a coat of Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft wax and she was good to go.  Nothing fancy, just a bright little stool to add some color to our workspace in the garage.

If you are thinking about trying this stuff out, go see the beautiful Shaunna West over at Perfectly Imperfect.  Her and her sweet husband are fabulous…I mean did you see the table that he built!?!  Not only are they amazing, but they love giving back as well, which makes them even more special in my book.  Be sure to use the coupon code SPECIAL10 to receive 10% off your Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ and tell them I said hello!  😉

I hope it’s pretty obvious that I adore Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™, but, I, along with the rest of the blogging world, have been anxiously awaiting Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint ever since Marian first started blogging about it.


Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Mustard Seed Yellow via Miss Mustard Seed Interiors  I have used milk paint in the past and love how unpredictable it can be. It is so different from chalk paint.  **On a side note, I personally think there is more than enough furniture in the world to use both Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint™ and Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint when painting furniture.**  So you can imagine my excitement when Laurie and Mike from Red Posie contacted me and offered to send me a sample to try.  Say WHAT?!?!?!?  Ummm…yes, please.  So, guess what?

It’s sitting on my kitchen counter right now.

I know!?!  Shutter Gray to be exact.  I keep walking by and just staring at it.  I even whistled at it today…not kidding.  I will be testing it out tomorrow and don’t you worry, I will be sure to let you know all about it.  This paint is not even out in the stores yet, but Mike and Laurie are offering 15% off for anyone who would like to pre-order.  Just go to their online shop and check it out.  So many fun colors…I cannot wait to get my hands on all of them!

via Miss Mustard Seed Interiors