Monday, May 24, 2010

Clearance Euphoria

Soooo popped into Hobby Lobby today just to see what was new ... and struck pay dirt! Clearance galore! Like six or seven isles of clearance, plus displays in between the isles. Stuff I'd had my eye on for weeks was finally just a couple bucks each! I've really been trying to save money and only buy things if they're a good deal and truly, truly fit within my design scheme of soft whites and greys. All of this fit the bill : )

I got all this fun stuff for just $19! And I had a ton of fun doing it. The search is half the fun for me. The chippy tray with the cool handles was $5. The larger wire basket was $3, and the small one was $2. The paper machier number 5 was $2.50 (ok, that was full price but I love the fact that they have those there for dirt cheap- great for vignettes).

The cloche is my favorite thing ($5), because I've had my eye on it for literally months, but of course I wasn't going to pay full price ... or even 50% off. Because you see, that cross in front is actually the finial that goes on top, and I'm just not a fan. But fortunately for me, it screws right off. I don't mind it just bare, but I'll keep my eye out for a lamp finial or something of that nature for it.

And now, to take us off the clearance high, some nice, relaxing inspiration. I've had kitchens on the mind a lot lately. Like all the time. Maybe it's because seeing so many of you turn yucky old '60s kitchens into modern farmouse/vintage/shabby/gorgeous wonders is so inspiring. Or maybe it's because I can't do a darn thing to mine since I rent. I think two years with brass knobs, plastic cabinet doors (at least they're white!) and faux butcher block countertops (mmm...fake wood...) has just gotten to me. I'm longing for a place of my own that I can truly make my own. But, until that day comes, here's some gorgeous inspiration for all of us to drool over. Enjoy!

{mmm I wish I could be sitting by this pretty window, sipping my morning coffee and enjoying the beauty}

{now this is some storage. love it!}

{bright, sunny and colorful ... reminds me of my bff! and do I spy a beast there?}

{Scandinavian, of course}

{I want a ladder in my kitchen!!}

{green! my favorite color.}

{LOVE the chalkboards on a few of the cabinet doors. I will most certainly be doing that when I have a kitchen of my own.}

{Farmhouse-y goodness.}

{pretty whites.}

Today I'm linking to the Thrifty Treasures Party over on Southern Hospitality.

That's all for now! Have a lovely Tuesday!

{live beautifully}


all images except the first one are from

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Which would you choose?

So I know this blog is supposed to be about decorating, but I'm going to broaden the scope just a bit and make it about design in general today. As I mentioned in my first post, I do communications, including graphic design, for a living. I worked up five graphic directions for an upcoming women's event for the church where I work. I don't get to pick which one we're using, but I'm just curious, since you're all such ladies of great taste, which one would you pick? Which one makes you want to come to this fun event and enjoy yummy treats while spending time with some spectacular women? Please vote! : )

#1 the Tuscan look

#2 the girly look

#3 the cupcake

#4 the cake

#5 the "personal" look

Monday, May 17, 2010

My First Flea

Well I did it. I went to my very first flea market! And let me tell you, it wasn't as cute as all you fabulous vendors I follow in blogland make your booths look. It was a parade of junk ... but of course I didn't mind. That's the fun of it! The hunt. The search for treasure ... and a bargain. It's just too much fun! And treasure I found. Not so much bargains, but treasure none the less!

My sister and I headed to the only real flea market I could find via Google. (If anyone knows of anything else around Wichita, let me know!) It meets on the third Sunday each month at the Kansas Coliseum.

I have to say I was pretty proud of myself knowing what things were and what the hot collections were right now (many thanks to everyone in blogland for teaching me : ). There were lots of vintage flower frogs ... I don't collect them but fun to look at! There was also a collection of vintage shaving brushes like in Flea Market Style mag. I fell HARD for a vintage clock face, all white with black roman numerals. Only problem was, the guy wanted $35 for it. Sorry buddy, I could buy a new clock and take out the face for that!

Here's what I did get ...

This great old chippy window for just $8.
Plus an assortment of vintage numbers, vintage sign letters that spell "honey" (obviously : ) and a great old wire filing basket. The basket was $10, which I thought was a little pricey. But one of the must-buys on my list was a wire basket, and all of them were even more expensive than this. Plus I liked the shape, depth and patina on it.

Here's what I did with all of it:
The window I hung behind my TV display. Sorry for the ugly black TV ... but I had to spruce up that space somehow! I've had this display for a while and I won't even tell you what was behind there before. (Think half-finished vinyl wall phrases ... yikes.) I think this completes the look nicely. The shelf you've seen before and is a $3 Goodwill find, the apothecary jar is from Home Goods (oh, to have one in Wichita!), the little pot is from TJ Maxx, the tall metal holder is from some fun shop in Mississippi and I bought it when I was probably about 13 (I've always had good taste I guess : ). The dried roses are from my parents the day I was initiated into Delta Gamma. They're looking a little sad now, and I've wanted to replace them with gorgeous lavender stems from Hobby Lobby, but I guess the money tree I planted out back isn't growing too well. The warmer is Scentsy from my BFF. Nest is from Hobby Lobby and eggs are from my fave boutique here in town, Lucinda's. Whew! Was that way too much detail? I always love knowing where everyone got their vignette pieces from, so I thought I'd share!

I also nailed some of the old numbers into the window for a fun touch. Since there seem to be no number pieces available around here, I'll just make my own!

The wire tray went into my little potting shelf in the kitchen and holds tea towels and two of my cake stands. I also tied some of the numbers on with raffia. I think it looks pretty cute! It may eventually migrate to my office, but we'll see.

Here's the whole thing, minus the top. It's a little busy/random right now, but I'm always playing with it.

And last but not least, I stuck the honey sign above the doors to my laundry closet. Definitely not the best space for it (too small up there!) but I haven't found just the right spot yet. I'm sure it will find a home eventually.

I also scored this gorgeous vintage scale off of eBay this weekend! Yay! I had been outbid on several before, and I'm glad now because this green is the exact one I use in my kitchen. I'll show it to you in its new home in my (rapidly filling!) kitchen.

Well, that's it for my flea market finds ... and my budget for this month. I'll just have to show you stuff I've done for free around my house, because I'm all shopped/spent out! : ) More to come soon!
Today I'm linking to the Thrifty Treasures party over on Southern Hospitality. And also the old windows party on Funky Junk Interiors. Enjoy!

{live beautifully}


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Favorite Things Friday...Er...Saturday

Sooo my Friday kind of got away from me! Sorry for the delay on Favorite Things Friday (since I know all seven of my fab followers were holding their breaths in anticipation ; ). But I do have a very good reason for the delay, which you'll discover soon...

First of all, let me say that garage sale-ing did not go as planned ... it was really cold/kinda rainy here on Thursday morning and I think this kept people from opening up shop right at 8 a.m. I only saw a few sales while driving around in the early morning before work, so I have no fun treasures to show you : ( Hopefully there will be some next week!

And now without further ado...

Favorite Things Friday

4. My mom's cute entryway table

Ok, so maybe I picked out everything on the table and I'm a little biased, but I think it's pretty cute! We found these darling little bird finials at TJ Maxx after our garage sale. (I know, who goes shopping right after they've purged by having a garage sale? My mom and me of course, because we are the definition of "shopaholics"!)

I had stolen the little apothecary jar for one of my displays and when I finally remembered to bring it back we knew it'd be perfect next to the birdies. I am NOT a seashell/sea-themed person ... like ever ... at all. But I do love these beautiful sand dollars piled in the jar. They're pretty much my only exception to my no-seashells rule. (I know, it's super in right now, but it's just not my thing.) We collected all of them on our family trip to Florida a few years ago.

My mom just redid her entire living room and dining room (which looks fabulous!) and the entryway is semi-connected to it, so I think this cute display continues the update through. The table and mirror have been there as long as I can remember, but I think these fun pieces are perfect accents!

3. The honeysuckle covering my house

I live in a big Victorian-style house on a historic street, and the top floor is my apartment. The homeowner planted tons of these gorgeous bushes all along the front, side and back of the house. I love walking out to get my mail or going up to my apartment and getting to smell the delicious honeysuckle every day. And sometimes I take a little taste! It reminds me of when my grandma and I would suck on honeysuckle in her backyard when I was little.

2. My new wire urn!

I ordered this fabulous urn from this site a little while ago and it arrived today! And get this, it was only $26! Take that, $99 Pottery Barn version.

I have to say I was also very pleased that the urn was packed really nicely with a little thank you note and thank you stickers on everything. It seemed really personable for something ordered online.

Here it is in my kitchen. I think my poor little work table is getting to be more of a decorations table than a work table, but that's just how everything in my house eventually gets to be : )

1. My one year anniversary

I've been dating my best friend and love of my life for one year Friday, May 14! (See why my fave things got delayed?) I try not to be too "publicly sappy" but I thought this one definitely deserved a blog post. Matt is the most amazing, caring, sensitive man I've ever met who understands me through and through. What an incredible blessing!

Here's where we ate: Luciano's in Mulvane. We'd heard great things and had attempted to go there for Valentine's Day (that's a whole different story...) and were excited to try it. We both thought it wasn't quite as good as it could have been. The food itself was absolutely AMAZING, but the service was not stellar and the portions were tiny, especially for the price. It's not like Olive Garden or Carraba's where you could eat the leftovers of one meal for a week. We decided against the offered side salad or half-serving of pasta, and definitely regretted that. All in all, it was a fun experience though. We went to see Robin Hood after that, and we can definitely recommend it! Completely incredible!

Well, I think that about wraps it up for Favorite Things! What have you been loving this week?

Tomorrow and/or Monday should be a great post because I'm headed to my very first flea market tomorrow! Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll find lots of great treasures for super cheap : ) Photos/stories/finds to come!

{live beautifully}


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Following in Oprah's Footsteps

A couple years back, Oprah and her bff Gayle made a cross-country road trip together, stopping at various towns and landmarks along the way. One city the Royal O decided to grace with her presence with was my hometown of Wichita, Kansas. Now, Queen O didn't bother to stop to see our incredible local art scene, hear local music, sample amazing food from one of the hundreds of locally-owned restaurants, or shop at our beautiful shopping centers. Of course not. When she came through good 'ole 'ta town, she did the logical thing and ... went to a garage sale. Apparently she'd never experienced one before and "heard this is what ya'll do around these parts for fun."

(Oprah with her Wichita loot)

Well, Queen O, we certainly do! Now, there are plenty of other incredible things to do in Wichita, so I thought Oprah might want to stop for some other kind of entertainment. But maybe she didn't have such a bad idea, because (all joking aside) I do love a good garage sale. And we do have a lot of them "around these parts."

In fact, I had one of my own just a few weeks ago. Actually, we had the biggest garage sale I've ever seen! It was about five families combining their junk and hoping to make a few bucks. We had it at my friend Gail's house, with a giant yard, large circle drive, long side drive and two-car garage ... all covered/stuffed/layered with junk...errr...treasures...for sale. I wish the pictures did it justice.

(Here we are ... my mom, cousin and I looking lovely at our sale)

I made a whopping $213, but more than anything it was a really fun time. I got to hang out with my mama (aka my favorite person ever!) and the ladies we co-saled with were fabulous! We had so much fun haggling, organizing and trying to speak Spanish/Chinese/who knows what else from dawn til dusk. Yay for great memories!

Now, as anyone in Wichita knows, Thursdays at the crack of dawn during the spring mean garage sales galore. And I have been missing out! I haven't managed to hit too many this season and I'm raring to go! The trouble is I have to roll out super early, which is not ever my strongest suit. But tomorrow is garage sale day so I am bound and determined to go treasure hunting before work. Wish me luck and I'll keep you posted on what I find. Just a disclaimer that it may not be much because I have about $6 to my name currently ... but hey, that can go a long way at a Wichita garage sale!

What have you all found at sales? Any luck?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Hive-Making Part 1

Happy Monday to you all! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend and a wonderful Mother's Day!

Today I'm linking to the Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party over at Coastal Charm. Check out the fantastic and chic thrift store finds other ladies have come across recently. So much great stuff (and to think I never even knew til a couple weeks ago!).

I've decided to do a little series on Happy Hive-Making ... aka how to create a welcoming and (my fave thing) ultra-relaxing home. I was inspired by Beth over on her blog, where she gives some great tips on hospitality and creating a welcoming home. My Part 1 is all about setting the tone and creating the ambiance. And this calls for what else? Music!

Now, I know music is not exactly decorating, but there's something about having just the right playlist going in the background that makes those new curtains a little cuter, the wall colors a little more gorgeous and the mood even more relaxed. It's the place to start for happy hive-making! Here are some of my very faves:

1. Peter Bradley Adams
This crooner melts my heart every time with his incredibly original songs and haunting voice.

2. Joshua Radin
He might be my current favorite. So soothing.

3. Ray LaMontagne
He has such a unique voice with a raspy, calm quality.

4. Iron and Wine
Can you tell, I'm a sucker for indie folk!

5. Nickel Creek
My all-time favorite, hands down. They broke up a few years ago, but their stuff is still the best out there.

That's it for Part 1! Be sure to check out these fabulous musicians and tell me what you think! What do you put on when you want to create just the right ambiance?

{live beautifully}


PS- Ballard Designs is giving away a $10,000 shopping spree! I know I'll be entering every day til July 31 : )

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day has been so fun so far! I went to lunch with my family and my grandmother, then went to see my Nana, followed by a trip to the BF's parents' to see my fabulous "almost-mom." So fun!

For presents, I pulled out my crafty side and made chalkboard canisters for my mom and BF's mom. Here's the before:

And here's how they turned out:

Pretty cute don't you think? I spray painted the top copper, as well as a little scooper to go inside, and spray painted the fronts with chalkboard spray paint so they can change out the label with whatever they have in them. I put my favorite flavor of coffee in for them to enjoy. Yum!

Well, off to church! I hope everyone has wonderful Mother's Day! Love you, Mom!


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thrifty Finds

Hello again! I promised I would show you my best-yet thrift store find, so here it goes! First, let's start with the background story ... I had been dying to have these lovely ceramic alphabet and number balls for months. Only problem was, they're super pricey. Like $2 a pop. And when you need at least 20 or 30 to display, that's a lot. I had waited and waited to get them, trying to find a cheaper alternative, but there were none (sorry, blogging dyi-ers, ping pong balls just weren't cutting it). So I caved, finally spent $40 on the beautiful little balls from Pier 1, and of course needed something fabulous to display them in. Enter, the DAV.

Now, mind you I've never been much of a thrifter, and I strongly dislike the DAV near my house because it honestly smells like throw up. But I sucked it up, held my breath, and went in. I scoured the homewares for something non-disgusting and super cheap. There wasn't much but as I was debating between a sad vase and an over-priced mason jar, the heavens parted and I noticed a glorious wire cake stand sort of thing sitting on top of a pile of junk. My heart skipped a beat and I knew it would be perfect! As I snatched up the treasure, I noticed it didn't have a price tag on it. Plastered everywhere were sings that read "no tag, no sale" so I knew I had to find a way to get the stand priced. I finally found the stock man and asked him what the price was. "Would 95 cents work?" were his melodic words to me. "Of course!" I squealed back. And the wire pedestal was mine!

Here it is in its new home in my kitchen, complete with spanish moss and my (waaaay too expensive) alphabet and number balls. TRIUMPH!!

Do you do any thrifting? What's your best find so far?

PS- Stay tuned for my crafty Mother's Day present project coming tomorrow!

- Courtney

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