Girls' Vanity {Thrift Find}

My youngest daughter and I popped in to check out Goodwill the other day hoping to find a dresser but instead she set her eyes on this cutey-patootie girls vanity.  She fell in love.  So did I.

I had seen it in there the week before and they were asking $40 for it, but when I checked the sticker again it had been marked down to $25, which I thought was reasonable.

It was in near new condition with only a couple of tiny nicks and needed some cleaning, but even then not a whole lot, so I really couldn't pass it up.  I mean I love to spray paint and all, but I love it even more when I don't have to do anything to it at all.  Ya know?

This is what it looked like before we took a warm soapy rag and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to it (best invention).  We gave it a thorough cleaning, tightened the bolts and it was ready for use.   Our thanks to Ashlyn (who wrote her name inside of the drawer in crayon) for taking such good care of it. ;)

One of our favorite features...

The one thing it's missing though is a little chair or stool, but we have plans to try to make one, we'll see how that goes.  My daughter also wants to add a fabric skirt to it, but I'm not sure if that's such a good idea.  I think it would be cute to look at, but might get ripped or be in the way while she's using it.  Any experience on this one?

Today's Fabulous Find...Girls' Vanity

I know this isn't the most exciting post (wish I had more to share), but my kids are going back to school this week, so were taking it easy around here for the last days of summer break.  I'm sure many of you are in the same place right now as well. 

I've been working on a couple of projects recently; a subway art print for Fall that's done, and almost ready to post, and re-finishing a living room table that's not done and hopefully will someday be done (that's all I'm hoping for at this point).  It's been a real bugger.  I'll tell you all about it, hopefully soon! :)

Anyway, if things are slow around here for a bit it's because we're just trying to make the best of the little summer we have left.  I hope you are able to enjoy these last summer days as well and know how much I appreciate your support and kindness, thanks so much for reading!

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Cookie Kit in a Bucket {Gift Idea}

Recently I was invited to a bridal shower with a grocery theme.  Guests were encouraged to bring items to help stock the new couples pantry.  I thought a cookie kit might be fun, so I bought a 5 gallon bucket w/lid for $3 and added a vinyl label with their last name to it just to add a little something special.   Then I filled the bucket with the ingredients needed to make chocolate chip cookies.

Two 5 pound bags of flour and one 5 pound bag of sugar will fit at the bottom, then fill in with all of the other ingredients.  If I'd had time before the shower, I would have taped a recipe to the inside of the lid too, but since I thought of the idea last minute while at the grocery store, there just wasn't time.  I only had 20 minutes when I got home from shopping to put it all together before I needed to leave for the shower, good thing it came together so fast!

About the vinyl lettering:

The font I used for 'COOKIES' (2" tall) is Oh {Photo}! Shoot (one of my favorites) from Kevin and Amanda
The words in black (1 1/2" tall) are in a font called Impact.

* Tip:  A twist on lid would be much easier to use than the lids that come with the buckets.  A friend was telling me that she keeps her flour and sugar in five gallon buckets with twist on lids in her pantry.  She's planning to label them 'flour' and 'sugar' with vinyl.  Love that idea! 

The cost of the kit was very close to $20.  It was quick and easy to put together and I even found out at the shower that cookies are the grooms favorite dessert--lucky pick. :)

There's no reason to stop at a cookie kit, just think of all of the pantry/food storage items you could fit into a 5 gallon bucket!  Add a cute label, and you've got yourself a fun and practical gift idea!  (Think Christmas.)

Today's Fabulous Find...Cookie Kit in a Bucket {Gift Idea}

Linking up to some of these fun parties...

All Thingz Related   Be Different Act Normal    Beyond The Picket Fence   Blue Cricket Design   Chic on a Shoestring Creation Corner   Creations By Kara
Designer Gardens   Dittle Dattle   Domestically Speaking   Embellishing Life Everyday   Finding Fabulous   Fingerprints On The Fridge
Funky Junk Interiors   House of Hepworths   I Heart Naptime   Just A Girl    Keeping It Simple
Serenity Now   Seven Thirty-Three   Sew Can Do    Sew Much Ado    Shanty 2 Chic    Sister's Stuff    Skip To My Lou
Someday Crafts   Somewhat Simple    Sugar Bee Crafts    Tator Tots and Jello   The Creative Crate    The DIY Showoff
The Girl Creative    The Shabby Creek Cottage    The Shabby Nest    Tip Junkie    Today's Creative Blog
Under The Table and Dreaming    Home is Where My Story Begins    The 36th Avenue
Tip Junkie handmade projects

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"Free Ten Dollars" at JCPenney

Do you get the coupons in the mail from JCPenney that are good for $10 off of a purchase totaling $10 or more?  I get one about every 2 months and I really look forward to them!  I call them my "free ten dollars." :)  I like to see how far I can stretch them, you know, just for fun.

Anyway, I've found some pretty good deals over the years using the coupons, but this deal I think has got to be my best yet!
What I bought:  One metal (1" round) curtain rod that fits a 28"-48" wide window and two sets of clip rings.

Total retail cost:  $82.00  Ouch!

They were marked down on clearance, and then reduced again.
I used my "free ten dollars" coupon and ended up saving $80.09!!!
So if you did some quick math in your head then you already know that I only paid $1.91 total
 for the rod and two sets of rings,  $2.03 with tax.  
You better believe I felt giddy as I walked out the door. :) 

I'm not sure why some get the coupons and others don't.  It may have to do with if you have a JCPenney card or not, but I really don't know.  I have a card but never use it.  I haven't cancelled it for fear that the coupons will stop coming.  I do a lot of shopping there and every bit helps.

Ask about the $10 off a $10 purchase coupons at your local JCPenney store, it's worth the effort for sure! 

If you've happened on a great deal that made you feel all giddy, please share!

Today's Fabulous Find...JCPenney's $10 Coupon

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Featuring: Count Your Blessings Board

I  really LOVE this Count Your Blessings board!
I have one word for it...

Don't you think this would make a wonderful gift for a friends' birthday or for Christmas?  I know I would absolutely love one! :)

It can be made in any color to fit your home, your friends' home, your sister's home... 

Kristyn has written a tutorial on how to make the blessings board and also sells a kit for it in her etsy shop for a very good price if you don't have access to vinyl lettering or a way to cut the wood.  Visit Lil' Luna for all of the details.

(Thanks for sharing this great idea Kristyn!)

Today's Fabulous Find...Count Your Blessings Board

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Bird Nest Necklace--Check!

Last month I made the bird nest necklace that I featured in June and thought I'd show you how it turned out.  I love it!  A lot.

It was simple and quick to make, Laura's  bird nest charm tutorial is excellent!   I followed the tutorial and was able to make my first charm with some thin wire I had on hand in only 10 minutes, the time it took my kids to get ready for bed.   (Updated:  Laura has made her blog private, Sarah Ortega's tutorial is just like the one that I followed.)

The second charm I made (pictured) took more like 20 minutes to make because I was using the correct guage of wire and was more particular about how it looked. 

Don't you just love projects that look like you spent hours on them, when really you made them in a matter of minutes?  I know I do!

Thanks Laura!

Today's Fabulous Find...Bird Nest Necklace

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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

I was searching for a new and simple dinner recipe when I came across this recipe for Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta at Food.com.  We've eaten it a couple of times now and I must say, it's pretty good!  It's a stove top recipe so there's no need to turn on your oven on a hot summer day--another huge plus!

This seems to be one of those recipes that is easy to adapt to your own tastes and preferences.
I made some changes to the recipe to make it large enough for my family and used a 16 oz box of penne rigate pasta (could use less) instead of 4 oz. of linguine, added about 5 small sliced green onions, instead of 1, and substituted 1 tsp. of finely chopped garlic (from a jar) instead of the garlic powder.   I times'd the rest of the ingredients by one-and-a-half except for the cream, I kept it at 2 cups.  (I was planning to add a little milk if it wasn't 'saucy' enough but didn't need to.) 
The original recipe says it's only enough for 2 servings, but with the changes I made it was enough to feed my family of six (minus a picky eater) plus there was some leftover. 
Tip:  If the sauce is runny, don't worry, it will thicken as it cools.

With over 1100 ratings and reviews, this recipe has a five star rating--not bad!   If you're looking for a new recipe, I'd recommend giving this one a try.

Today's Fabulous Find...Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

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L*O*V*E Letter Photo Art: Free Prints!

I've seen letter photo art around for awhile now, but for some reason I suddenly became very interested in it this week and just had to try making one, like right away, so I chose the word 'LOVE' and got right to work.

My four year old helped me search our yard for 'letter shapes'.  We found the 'L' on the wheel barrow, the 'O' in a daisy, the 'V' on a log in the wood pile, and the 'E' on the fence gate.  We had fun, made a craft, and practiced the alphabet all at the same time.   Can't beat that!

I started with just a plain 5 1/2" x 11 1/2" wood frame from the dollar store that had a chicken picture in it. 

The wood was rough so it needed a little sanding before being painted.  I stained the frame in dark walnut (to show through when it was distressed), spray painted it with Rustoleum's Heirloom White, and then distressed it.  I did end up needing to add a touch of stain in the distressed areas with a small rag to darken it a bit more, probably because the stain wasn't completely dry when I painted it.  I know, should have waited, but it was getting dark and I wasn't feeling very patient at the time.  I was too excited to see how it would look when it was done! :)

I used a point and shoot camera on the macro setting to take the pictures then edited and cropped them to make the 'letters' in the photos stand out as much as possible.

After searching and searching online for free printable letter art, I wasn't able to find any, so if you'd like to use the one I made, you're more than welcome to.  Just click on the image to bring it to full resolution and then save it to your computer

*Please don't post these prints on your blog, thanks!


Black and White

There are two side by side images here because this is how I printed mine.  I figured I might as well print two at a time and not waste the extra photo paper.  Just crop it to one image in a photo editing program before you print if you only need one.

Printing in Microsoft Photo Gallery
Open the image in photo gallery, select print, then select the paper size you want.  (I selected letter.)  Unselect 'fit picture to frame', then choose a template (I selected full page.).  After printing it onto 8 1/2 by 11 photo paper (check your dollar store), I cut the image down to fit the size of the opening in my frame.  I didn't get this right the first time, so if you're not sure if the size is right, print a rough draft onto regular paper first to check.

More Ideas
You could also print the image and then decoupage it onto a board, I have a few ideas in mind that I want to try that involve letter art and Mod Podge, I'll share them with you when I get a chance to try them.

One more look at the before and after...

This frame will hang as part of a grouping of family photos.  I love that the pictures for the letters came from our own backyard, so they have meaning as well.  If you have never tried this before, I highly recommend it, like I said, it's so fun!  It might even change the way that you look at the world, you might start seeing it in letters. :)

Today's Fabulous Find...Letter Photo Art

I'm linking up to these fun parties. Click here to browse by the buttons.
All Thingz Related   Be Different Act Normal   Beyond The Picket Fence   Blue Cricket Design  Chic on a Shoestring Creation Corner  Creations By Kara
Designer Gardens   Dittle Dattle   Domestically Speaking   Embellishing Life Everyday   Finding Fabulous   Fingerprints On The Fridge
Funky Junk Interiors   House of Hepworths  I Heart Naptime   Just A Girl  Keeping It Simple
Serenity Now   Seven Thirty-Three   Sew Can Do   Sew Much Ado   Shanty 2 Chic  Sister's Stuff   Skip To My Lou
Someday Crafts   Somewhat Simple  Sugar Bee Crafts   Tator Tots and Jello   The Creative Crate  The DIY Showoff
The Girl Creative   The Shabby Creek Cottage   The Shabby Nest   Tip Junkie   Today's Creative Blog
Under The Table and Dreaming   Home is Where My Story Begins   The 36th Avenue  


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