Friday, July 25, 2014

A Tassel Bracelet and the New Kittens!

Hi everyone! TGIF! I'll get to the kittens in a minute, but first, I wanted to share this tassel bracelet I made the other day...


how to make a tassel bracelet

I love it!!! I've wanted one for a long time and found the best tutorial over on Kris' blog. You can find the tutorial HERE. It only took about 15 minutes and the supplies were about $5. 

Speaking of tassels, I've also wanted a tassel necklace for awhile. I know I shared this on IG, but can't remember if I shared it here. I found this one at Cato for $3.99! I always go straight to the jewelry clearance rack when I go there, and almost always find something great for under $5. 

tassel necklace

Okay, now for the kittens. For those that are new here, a couple of (very hungry) stray cats showed up in our backyard awhile ago. We named them Gladys and Rocky. After a few weeks, Gladys started looking pregnant. Then she disappeared for a couple of days and when she returned, she was skinny again. We never knew what happened to her kittens. We looked all around the backyard, but never found any. We figured she had them somewhere else, but kept coming back here for the food and water. 

Then, a few weeks later, I was looking out the window and saw Gladys sitting in front of our deck, surrounded by kittens!!!

We watched the kittens go under the deck and come back out again. Even Gladys could fit under there. We're not sure if they were under the deck the whole time or if she just recently moved them there. Anyway, our backyard is now home to 5 sweet, adorable little kitties. :)

Just look at those blue eyes!!!


blue eyed kitten


Gladys has proven to be a great mama. 





We named this one "Paris" (as in Hilton) because she LOVES the camera! She's very interested in the clicking sound a camera makes. 



How cute are these three peeking out from under the deck?!



Gladys used to keep a really close eye on the kittens and wouldn't let them venture any farther than a few feet from the deck. Recently though, she brought them up to our patio.



This cutie pie is named Seinfeld (because he's funny and we laugh at his antics) I think he's also the runt because he's a lot smaller than the others.



This was taken through the glass, so it's blurry, but you can see they're learning how to eat real cat food now. (which is probably why Gladys brought them up to the patio) This is Howard and Stacey. I have no idea why my son wanted to name one Stacey. I wonder how my friend at Poofing The Pillows feels about that??? :) The only one I didn't get a pic of is Dale (as in Dale Earnhardt Jr.) 



Again, sorry for the blurriness, but I had to zoom WAY in with my phone to get this pic. This is Gladys and Howard (as in Hughes). We named him that because he's very reclusive. He's always the last one to emerge from under the deck, and the first one to go back into hiding. One thing is for sure though...Howard LOVES his
 mama. :)

So, that's the latest from the House of Cats. :) Hope y'all are having a great day!

~Lisa

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Daily Life

Hello, and happy Wednesday!

I feel like I'm behind in sharing some IG pics with y'all. I post daily on Instagram (@texasdecor) and sometimes forget to share the pics here too. So, this post is a compilation of some recent IG pics. 

Aren't these drawstring burlap bags cute? I got them in the dollar section at Michael's. I thought the "Believe" and "Wish" would be perfect for Christmas.


drawstring burlap bags

The other side is blank, so they could be used anytime. 



I thought they'd be cute to put silverware in for Thanksgiving, so I played around with this little tablescape. It's kind of the same way I use mini stockings to put silverware in at Christmas. You can see my Christmas Tablescape post HERE.


burlap drawstring bags in tablescape

Have y'all seen these "Black Diamond Crape Myrtles?" I saw them at Lowes recently. The leaves and stems are very dark (almost black) and the blooms are a bright white. The contrast is stunning! 


black diamond crepe myrtles

I picked up this almond croissant at Fresh Market the other day. Oh. My. Goodness. SO good! My hubby laughed when I reached WAY into the back of the case to get the one with the most powdered sugar. :) Such a deal for $1.29.


almond croissant

We make frozen hot chocolate all the time in the summer. This time, I added Princess Flavoring to mine. It was really good! If you missed it, you can get my Frozen Hot Chocolate recipe HERE.


princess flavoring

If you're local in Texas, you should try this Texas Pecan coffee from HEB. I usually stick to tea because I don't have a gall bladder anymore, so I can't handle a lot of caffeine...sorry if that's TMI :) Anyway, my son made this the other day and I couldn't resist a small cup. It really has a good pecan flavor to it. Even my hubby (who thinks flavored coffee is too "girly") likes this one. 


flavored coffee

So, the other night around 9:30, after I had cleaned the house, scrubbed the shower, done laundry and worked out, I had just settled into the couch to watch a movie when my son asked if I would please make him a chocolate pancake. This is what I came up with...


#momoftheyear  Lol!

I bought some pretty fabric the other day for a few projects around the house. I love it, but my son said it was "grandma-ish." I'm using the one on the left to recover my shade on the backdoor. The shade was one of the last dark colored "tuscan" things I needed to replace so it would go with my new lighter, brighter look.


What's funny is that as soon as I held up the new, lighter fabric to the backdoor, my eyes immediately went down to the brightly colored doormat below. It was such a "give a mouse a cookie" moment. :) I realized right then and there that I also needed to replace the doormat with a softer, lighter colored one so it wouldn't clash with the new shade. It's never ending, I tell ya. :)

As luck would have it, I had just gotten an email from Ballard about their rug sale going on. I hopped over to their website and got a pretty (light colored) doormat for only $14!!! That's like Walmart prices, y'all!! It can't be shipped until August 1st, but that's not too far off.

I ordered some things to do a mini makeover in my master bath, and was so excited when they were delivered. Here's a peek at some "happy mail" I got the other day. :)


quatrefoil rug

BTW, the mini makeover in the master bath is going to cost me absolutely NOTHING! I found a neat website that will buy back college textbooks (even ones the college WON'T buy back). I sent in a handful of old textbooks from my son's sophomore year of college, and got a nice fat check in the mail for them. The check more than covered my little mini makeover. :) 

Speaking of that, I'm working on a "college tips" post to share some ways I've found to save a little money. I'll be sharing the website I mentioned above, as well as others. College is expensive, so every little bit of savings helps. 

Y'all have a good day!

~Lisa


Monday, July 21, 2014

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by my good friend Vel of Life and Home at 2102, so here you go...

1. Are you named after someone?


Me at age 2. See...even then I didn't like having my picture taken. :)

I think my parents just liked the name Lisa. And it probably didn't hurt that Elvis just named his daughter Lisa a couple of years earlier. ;)

2. When was the last time you cried?

Just a couple of weeks ago when I watched "P.S. I Love You" with Gerry Butler. Oh. My. Goodness. That was the saddest movie ever!! It came out in 2007 and it's taken me this long to watch it because I just knew it was going to be sad.  It had some funny parts too, but I literally cried (like tears streaming down my face) the whole movie. I can now only watch the first 15 minutes of it (before the sadness sets in) :) Oh, and the next day, I watched "Good Will Hunting" for about the 10th time. I totally cried at the end during the scene where Robin Williams is telling Matt Damon "It's not your fault...it's not your fault." Oh man! Cried my eyes out, I tell ya. I guess my emotions are pretty close to the surface. :)

3. Do you have kiddos?


My youngest, age 2.


My oldest, age 1.


Yes. I have two boys, ages 15 and 20. My oldest will start his junior year of college this fall. We were so happy to find out he received 3 scholarships this year! Every little bit helps. :) My youngest will be a sophomore in high school this fall. He's my go-to guy for computer help. Actually, they both know WAY more than I do when it comes to computers (or math). It's definitely interesting living in a house full of boys. :) They are really good kids though. One of the best compliments I ever received was when each of their teachers told me they wished they could have a whole classroom filled with duplicates of my boys. I was on cloud 9 after hearing that. :) 

4. If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

Yes! Most definitely! :) 

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Yes. Nicolas Cage movies. :) I've seen everything he's done. I can't really explain it, but I've always enjoyed watching him perform. And yes, I think he's totally handsome too. :) I will watch his movies and then watch them again, listening to the commentary. I love when they put all the extras on dvds. :) I'm totally fascinated by the movie industry. I'd love to see how the whole process works...location scouting, scripting, casting, filming, editing, musical score, etc. Most bloggers say they'd love to see their house in a magazine some day (and don't get me wrong...that would be totally awesome) but to me, the most exciting thing would be for a location scout to find my house and want to film a scene or two here. :) Not asking for much, huh? Lol!

6. Do you like handwriting?

Well, my own handwriting is horrible, but I do like to receive a handwritten letter or note. I love when my boys used to make cards for me when they were little. I kept them all. :)

7. What is your favorite cereal?

I guess Lucky Charms, but I love Puffed Rice too.

8. What's the first thing you notice about people?

Their eyes. Definitely their eyes. I think you can tell a lot about people just by looking at their eyes and facial expressions. 

9. What's the color of your eyes?

Boring ol' brown. :)

10. Scary movie or happy endings?

Hmm...both. :) I love a good scary movie (not bloody scary, but more like intense, thriller scary) I love happy endings too. When I watched "Titanic" for the first time, I made up my own happy ending in my mind where Jack and Rose lived happily ever after. :)

11. Favorite TV shows?

The Big Bang Theory, CSI (gotta love fellow Texan, George Eads), Modern Family, and I will still watch old episodes of Friends and Seinfeld. We usually quote Seinfeld around here on a daily basis. :) Not that there's anything wrong with that. ;)

12. Summer or Winter?

I like the relaxed feeling of summer with the kids out of school, etc. But it's so hot here, that I'm going to have to say winter. Actually, any time it's below 80 degrees is pretty much "winter weather" for us. 




13. Hugs or Kisses?

Both. :)

14. Do you have a special talent?

Well, I don't know how special it is, but I'm ambidextrous. I write with my left hand, but do almost everything else with my right. I'm constantly switching up which hand I use. I can also write my name backwards with my left hand while simultaneously writing it forward with my right hand. Weird, huh? :)

15. Where were you born?

Houston, Tx.

16. What are your hobbies?

Blogging, shopping, decorating, baking, reading, movies, and spending time with friends and family. 

17. Do you have any pets?


Holly's first Christmas. 

Yes. Holly the cat. She's one and a half years old and she's the sweetest, smartest black and grey tabby. She's pretty spoiled too. :)

18. Favorite movie?

Oh, lord. You may as well ask me to pick between my children. :) Anything with Nic Cage, Gerry Butler, Clive Owen, or Bradley Cooper. ;) And anything directed by Wes Anderson. My favorites lately have been "Joe" and "Silver Linings Playbook." I love little independent films too. My Netflix queue is all over the place with different styles of movies. One movie I'm looking forward to now is "Boyhood." The same cast filmed it one week a year for 12 years. The whole cast ages in the movie. The main character was 6 when they started filming, and was 18 when they finished the final scene, so you literally get to see him grow up in this film. Twelve years sure was a long commitment for those actors! 

19. What color is your car?

Grey.

20. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Well, I've told this story before, but when I was in first grade, I decided I wanted to be Jan Brady. I wouldn't answer the teacher unless she called me "Jan." Finally, after a teacher conference with my mom, they decided I had to write the name "Lisa" on my papers, but after that, I could also write "Jan" in parenthesis. :) That was also the year I decided I wanted to be an actress. I still think that would be fun, but staging a home would be fun too. I also think it would be fun to write short stories. Honestly though, since I was about 10 years old, I've wanted to be a wife and stay at home mom. :)

This next question wasn't part of the original ones, but my friends were laughing at my answers the other day, so I thought I'd add it in and maybe it'll put a smile on your face too. :) We were talking about what scares us and here were my answers:

1. Frogs
2. Camping
3. The Dentist
4. The Apes on "Planet of the Apes."
5. Roller coasters

Now let me explain...1. Frogs freak me out. Like, I can't even pet a stuffed animal frog. No way, no how. I almost stepped on one when I was little and just the thought of it stayed with me into adulthood. I could just imagine the sound and what it would feel like on my bare feet if I had stepped on it. Vivid imagination isn't so great sometimes. :)

2. Camping does not sound fun to me. At. All. I mean, why would you want to pretend you're homeless? Lol! Sleeping outside in a tent, in the elements where there might be...frogs. Nope. Outdoor showers...not a chance. I never understood the attraction, I guess. I don't even think I'd try it in a yurt. A lot of my camping fears probably stem from living in such a hot climate. I can't imagine camping in the summer in Texas. 

3. The dentist...I've had some horrible experiences at the dentist, as a child and also as an adult. I literally have to force myself to go every 6 months for a cleaning. I do go every 6 months, but it's very hard to make that phone call to schedule the appointment. :) One time when I called for an appointment, they said they had a cancellation and could take me that same day (the horror!) I had to tell them I couldn't come because I needed more time to psych myself up for it. Lol!

4. Those apes!!! They're SO real looking! It freaks me out how they have facial expressions and when they furrow their brows...yikes! It's a little too realistic. :)

5. Roller coasters...I just don't understand why someone would want to get that much adrenaline going. Why would you purposely want to scare yourself and get your heart rate up that high? Not my idea of fun. 

My friends thought my fears were pretty funny, so maybe you'll get a laugh out of them too. :) 

Whew! That was fun! I'm tagging anyone who wants to play! Let me know if you do it so I can come see your answers! :)

~Lisa


Friday, July 18, 2014

Painted and Stained Kitchen Table: A Tutorial


So, my painting habit is in full swing. :) As you know, we recently Painted Our Kitchen Cabinets White. Then I painted our Barstools White. I even Spray Painted Some Lamps White and now, I've painted our kitchen table and chairs white and re-stained the top. :)

Busy, busy, busy. :)

Here's what the finished table looks like:

sanding down and staining kitchen table top

Here's what it looked like before. It really bothered me that it just blended right into the wood floor. 


I figured painting the bench and chairs white would make it stand out a little more. And thank you again Kelly for convincing me to paint the whole bench white. I thought about painting just the legs white and staining the top, but I like it so much better this way. It really helps it stand out with the entire bench painted white. :)


Here's another reason I wanted to re-stain the table top. It had some pretty good scratches on it. 


So, we started by cleaning everything really well with mineral spirits (there's a pic a little farther down) Then we started sanding the table top down to the bare wood. We used four kinds of sand paper. First we used 60 grit, then 100, then 150, then 220 (in that order). We just wiped it down between each sanding. I believe all four pieces of sand paper came in one pack at Home Depot. 


Below is the sander we used. It uses a 1/4 sheet of sand paper at a time (so we cut the sheets into four pieces) We only used a 1/4 sheet of each kind of sand paper. My hubby said he was really impressed with this sand paper too. 


Let me go ahead and show you the rest of the products we used. Here's the spray paint we used for the table legs, bench, and chairs. It's Rustoleum Heirloom White. I think we used about 8 or 9 cans.


We bought this kind of mineral spirits to clean everything with before we started. We wiped down the table, chairs, and bench with this stuff using a soft cloth. 


Here's the brush and stain we used. (We used a rag to apply the stain. The brush was only used to apply the Polycrylic top coat.) The color of the stain is "Jacobean." 

tutorial for staining and painting kitchen table

Here's a close up of the Purdy brush we used to apply the Polycrylic.

using purdy brush to apply polycrylic

And here's the Polycrylic we used for a top coat. It is water based and we were able to use it inside the house, which was nice. We just put the table on a tarp in the entry way while we worked on it. It does mention that it can't be used on red mahogany stains, so if you're using that, you'll have to choose a different top coat. 

using Polycrylic as top coat

Okay, so like I said, first we cleaned everything with mineral spirits, then we started sanding down the table top. Here's a pic when we first started sanding it.



And here's a pic when it was sanded down to bare wood. 



After we finished sanding the table top, we began to spray paint the table legs, chairs, and bench. Don't forget to use a mask when spray painting. We turned the table upside down and taped off the edges to avoid getting spray paint on the newly sanded top.



This was after we painted the table legs. 



After everything was painted white, we began staining the table top. 



This was right after we stained the top. 



After we stained the top, we let it dry for about 24 hours. Then we put a total of four coats of Polycrylic on top of the stain (sanding lightly with 220 grit between each coat and waiting 3 hours between coats) Does that make sense? Basically, we put one coat of Polycrylic on the table top, then waited 3 hours, then lightly sanded it with 220 grit, then wiped it down and applied another coat of Polycrylic. We did that a total of four times. I think the can recommends only 3 coats, but we use this table every day and decided to go ahead and put four coats. 

The Polycrylic directions say after the final coat, to wait 3 hours before "light handling" and 24 hours before "normal use" but being the paranoid person that I am, I made everyone wait 4 days before using the table again. :)

Here's a few more pics of the finished product... 


I never could decide what to put in my dough bowl, so I temporarily retired it and filled one of my $2 Baskets From Kohl's with some hydrangeas (which I obviously need to fiddle around with...flower arranging is not my strong suit) 






I love how it stands out from the floor now. It really brightened things up. You can see how well it goes with my painted barstools in this pic too. 


Here's a good close up of the stain. It's a lot darker than the original color. 

minwax jacobean stain tutorial

Here's a quick run down of everything we did: (and keep in mind, this is just what worked for us with our particular table, it may not work with all types of wood, etc.)


1. Clean everything with mineral spirits

2. Sand table top down to bare wood using 60, 100, 150, and 220 grit, in that order.

3. Paint table legs, chairs, and bench with Heirloom White spray paint.

4. Wipe the table top clean and stain with Minwax Jacobean. We used a soft rag to apply the stain. Let the table top dry for about 24 hours to let the stain soak in. 

5. Apply Polycrylic with the Purdy brush, then let it dry for 3 hours, then sand lightly with 220 grit and apply second coat of Polycrylic. Let that dry for 3 hours before sanding and applying 3rd coat, etc. Do this for a total of 4 coats.

6. Wait at least 24 hours before resuming normal use. 

I hope this tutorial made sense for y'all. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comments or email me. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. :)

So, that's it! I'm pleased as punch with our "new" table and chairs. I think the total cost was around $75. Not bad for a totally new look. :)

~Lisa

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gladys and Rocky, Sitting In a Tree...

Do y'all remember the stray cats we've been feeding??? 

Well...




Please join me in congratulating Gladys and Rocky on their FIVE bundles of joy!

More details (and pics) coming soon...

~Lisa

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A New Chair


Hi everyone! Happy Tuesday! I sure hope you're not experiencing the extreme heat we're having here. Fall certainly can't come soon enough. :)

I wanted to share my new chair with you today. When we got our new living room furniture, we decided to keep our old wing chair for awhile. It didn't match our new stuff, but I was okay with that. I planned on replacing it with some of my Christmas money at the end of this year. Well...I mentioned my plan to my hubby and he said it was ridiculous for me to spend my Christmas money on something that the whole family will use. He didn't have to tell me twice. ;) I was online looking at new chairs in about 30 seconds. :)

Here's the chair we ended up buying...


Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me give you a little refresher of what the old wing chair looked like...



It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb against the new furniture. 



Now, before we ended up with the linen one with the tufted back,  we also tried out a different one. I picked out two I liked (one with a neutral zebra print and one with a tan print) Then I put up a little poll on Instagram, asking people to choose which one they liked best. They overwhelmingly chose the tan print one vs. the neutral zebra print. 

Here's the pic from IG...




So, I took their advice and ordered the tan print one on the right. Actually, the one I ordered was a tad different than the one in the pic. They were basically the same, but the one I ordered was a bit more grey than tan. Anyway, here's the print one everyone chose on IG...


grey modern chair from target

We immediately noticed how low the back was, but it didn't seem like a big deal and we still liked it. 

Anyway, I was completely fine with the grey print chair my IG friends picked until I saw this one below. It totally had me with the tufted back and pretty legs. :) So, I exchanged the grey one for the cream linen one. I'll probably buy a throw for it or a small pillow (or both) :)

linen tufted chair from target

I think it matches my new sofa and loveseat a little better than the grey one. The grey one was pretty, but it looked a little too modern for my living room. Just look at these pretty legs! I love the legs on this chair. :)





tufted chair from target

Here's a close up of the little tucks on the sides of the chair. 


And of course, my favorite part...the tufted back. :)


So, that's my musical chairs story. I almost didn't go to the trouble of exchanging the grey one for the tufted one, but I just knew I would be much happier with this one. I think it will stand the test of time and have a little more longevity in the long run.  It seems to have more of the classic, traditional look I was going for.

I'll be back soon with the kitchen table makeover. I'm working on the tutorial for painting and staining it and should have the post up this week. :)

~Lisa


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