Monthly Archives: October 2011

So Clever

Every now and then I happen upon something so smart that it sticks with me.


Mason jars + hose clamps = genius. I especially like the idea of using this for storage and organization in a small bathroom. Or even to stow forks and spoons in the kitchen.


Why have I never thought of this! Stretch a rubber band over a paint can and use it to wipe your brush. So smart. Keeps your can from getting all gunky.


Why didn’t I think of this! Oh wait, I did. Except not nearly so well-planned. And it never got actually, you know, executed. One of these days…


Whoever thought of this is a genius. Pure and simple. I am soooo doing this when I sit down to wrap Christmas presents this year. I like to use simple paper and add pizazz with ribbon. This will keep all my ribbon from turning into a giant tangled cat toy.


OMG. I love silver trays but never would have thought to use them as magnet boards! I wonder if all trays are magnetic or only ones with a certain composition. I think I’m going to start keeping a magnet in my purse to test out rectangular trays I happen upon at the thrift store. I feel like one of these would be a lovely addition to my new office (see my plans for that space here, here, and here). For a more streamlined look, I’ve also seen cookie sheets hung on the wall for this purpose. They look especially cute painted a bold and happy color. Would be totes adorbs in a kitchen.

Happy Halloween!

I think our house is haunted.

It started not that long ago, when Nick was in West Virginia for the LSU game. I was home alone, sitting on the couch, and kept hearing footsteps upstairs. At first I thought maybe it was the cats playing (they really throw each other around sometimes), but then it happened when I knew they were both downstairs with me. I dismissed it and didn’t have a second thought before going to bed upstairs by myself that night.

I didn’t mention it to Nick at first. But over the next several weeks, I kept hearing it! So I told him. He thinks I’m crazy. Our house and our neighbors’ are really close together and both houses are raised off the ground, so his logic is that I’m hearing the neighbors’ footsteps. Who knows. Either way, I ain’t skeered (that’s my Louisiana coming out).

My friend Cassie thinks my downstairs bathroom is haunted. I’m pretty sure she avoids peeing at my house. She says the light and shadows in there are weird and it freaks her out.

The room is really long and narrow, so I can see how it would be a little disconcerting to do your business in the middle of a fifteen foot long room. What do you think? Would you be scared to pee at my house? Or spend the night upstairs? I’m sure our little bungalow has had plenty of residents in its 90 or so years, and maybe even a death or two. Maybe someone decided to stick around. Do you believe in ghosts?

I hope you all have a wonderful Halloween! I was lucky to marry a man who despises dressing in costume as much as I do so we plan to spend the evening handing out candy to trick or treaters.

It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect

Pinterest / Bits of Truth Blog

“Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” I need to remember that. Since starting this blog more than six months ago, this is the very first time I’ve gone an entire week without working on a single project around the house. I’ll admit, it made for a rather boring week of posts, but I’m feeling refreshed in a way that I haven’t in some time. And although the unfinished wing chairs continue to haunt me and I’m still trying to save up money for a new sofa, I’ve got a bunch of ideas for projects to work on this weekend that I’m super excited about.

Unfortunately, this little blog of mine is not my full time job (in fact it doesn’t pay at all), and the pace I’ve been keeping of work + projects + blog posts is just not sustainable without taking some time to slow down every now and then. It makes for an imperfect blog, one that may go (gasp) a whole week without any how-to’s or DIY’s, but made more wonderful by the fact that the girl behind it remains sane enough to keep on truckin’. Friends of mine have suggested posting less. I like posting every weekday. I think, though, that maybe I can have more “filler” posts. It’s kind of hard to knock out three to five projects every weekend and I start to feel like I’m going through the motions just to have something to post about.

So, here’s what you can expect from me (until I change my mind again). I’m always tweaking my life to find the best balance so this is totally subject to change.

A post each weekday morning, including:

  • One to three how-to / DIY posts each week
  • Two to four less thrilling, but still at least mildly interesting posts about my life, what’s inspiring me lately, things I’ve bought, etc.

And if you’ve got ideas for what I should post about, throw ‘em out there! I’m always open to suggestions. Thanks for sticking with me this week. Y’all are the best!

Glitter, Glorious Glitter

For the first time ever, I have purchased an item for Christmas prior to Halloween. Two items, actually.

Tacky? Yes. Delightful? Absolutely.

I’ve been eyeing that pink deer for weeks, but the pinecone finial and I just met. Hobby Lobby has all their Christmas decor 40% off this week so I couldn’t resist. Are you as obsessed with sparkles as I am? I think Christmas should be a little bit tacky and it’s the only time of year I really get to go over the top with the cheese factor (I love tacky all the time, but usually try to keep it under control. My mannequin leg, for instance). I love the big C9 lights, brightly colored ornaments, and glitter, glitter, glitter!  I use sequins with reckless abandon. You just cannot have too much sparkle between Thanksgiving and New Years’, in my opinion. Wait til y’all see the stockings that I made last year. They involve felt cutouts, sequins, glitter, and I’m pretty sure rhinestones (if memory serves). Kind of amazing.

I was really annoyed when Hobby Lobby rolled out their Christmas stock in June, but I can’t deny that as the weather cools I’m starting to get more and more excited for the holidays! My rule is no Christmas decor before Thanksgiving has passed so Pink Holiday Bambi will have to wait a few weeks before earning a place of honor.

My Bedroom Situation

Nick and I switched sides of the bed.

These are the things that must be settled in the early years of marriage. We both prefer the left side, but I let him have it for the last few years. Now it’s mine and I love it. Maybe we’ll just take turns with our favorite side for the rest of our lives.

The downside to this is that I was stuck with his nightstand, and it was kinda lame. I’d had my old side of the bed tricked out so that everything I needed for sleeping comfort was within easy reach. Not so over here.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was feeling a little down on my thrifting luck after the whole estate sale chair fiasco. That is, until I snagged this lovely little side table for only $35 from craigslist. Hello, new nightstand.

Isn’t she delightful? Such feminine curves! And even though she’s scratched up a bit I can’t imagine painting over such pretty wood. I’ll just chalk the scratches up to character. Plus it’s always nice to be able to take a chill pill when Pistachio starts giving my furniture her special claw massage.

So what’s all that up top, you might ask?

Mostly pretty and completely not functional things that make me happy. But inside the box it’s a function festival:

My cell charger (you like how I cut a notch in the back and ran an extension cord into it?), chalk for my message board, some linen spray, a thermometer, a random piece of a lamp, and my sleep mask. I know you’re wondering about the sleep mask. There’s a streetlight in the alley behind our house and it was driving me absolutely bonkers, so I ordered this baby from Amazon a few weeks ago. It’s a life changer, I tell you. I’m sleeping like a baby every night. And I look kind of adorable in it. The outside is zebra, but I thought that made it look a little too much like a sex toy so I flipped it over for the picture. Under the bed I’ve got a basket with some books, lip balm, etc., but I forgot to photograph it.

Do you find yourself wishing at this moment that I had stepped back to take a wider shot of my new nightstand in the context of the rest of my bedroom? I haven’t made my bed in two weeks and there are dirty clothes everywhere, so maybe if I had you’d be wishing I hadn’t. I’m all about keeping it real but I’m oddly private about my laundry.

How to Prepare for Houseguests

We have houseguests almost every fall thanks to the fact that our house is super close to LSU, home of the #1 college football team in the nation. How close? From Tiger Stadium to our front door is 2.6 miles. It’s pretty awesome. We usually drive, but if our enjoyment of gameday festivities should make that unwise we can (and have) walk home in a pinch. This past weekend  was one of the biggest home games of the season and we had four extra people sleeping at our house on Saturday night. Here’s what I do to try to make them feel welcome:

  • Plenty of linens. I make sure there are fresh sheets on the guest bed, fresh towels in the closet, and extra blankets clean just in case. It’s not unusual for surprise houseguests to pop up and this time we had two extra guys sleeping on couches. Those extra blankets and towels sure came in handy.
  • Stock the medicine cabinet. Any travel or sample size toiletries we have are stashed in the downstairs bathroom medicine cabinet. Extra toothbrushes, contact lens cases, face wash, hair spray, etc. Plus the usual hangover cures easily accessible for any morning after regrets.

  • Take them to eat. Baton Rouge is full of great food. Our guests this weekend are former BR residents and major food people, so they’re really the ones taking us to all the great spots, but it’s delightful nonetheless. Chimes, Parrain’s, and the original Cane’s are all required stops for the out of town visitor. One of our favorite ways to cap off any weekend is with Sunday brunch at Parrain’s, a fantastic seafood restaurant just up the road from us.
The downside to having such fun people with us all weekend is that I get absolutely nothing done. I have zero projects to share this week. Total bummer for the blog. It was nice to get a weekend off, though, and maybe I’ll be even more energized to get some really great things accomplished next weekend!

The New Family Room/Office: Choosing a Palette

I’ve been continuing to decorate the family room/office in my head while I save up money and energy to actually decorate it. Here are some pics to jog your memory. I’ve since cleared it out a bit more and painted the desk green.

I’m really inspired by the peacock, Claude. He was a gift from my friend Cassie and after we paint the walls he’ll get hung above the mantel. Here’s a close-up. He’s so glamorous, that Claude.

I like the idea of using a peacock as a jumping-off point for the color scheme in here. Don’t tell Claude I said this, but I find his coloring a little too quiet for this purpose. Doing a whole room in greens and golds is just not really my jam. So I tracked down one of his more vibrant brethren via the internet.

image source

Delightful, isn’t he? There’s this awesome website I found out about via Pinterest that will generate a color scheme from any image online (check it out here). Here’s what I got when I plugged in Mr. Peacock:

Color Palette Generator

Ahhhhhh! Love!!! Full disclosure: I generated color palettes from a couple different peacock pictures (including this print that I own) and picked the one that I liked the best. I really liked the range of neutral and saturated tones that this one provided, plus that green on the right is an almost perfect match for the color I already painted the desk (Valspar’s Ball Game).

Also, I think that the muddy greens/golds on the left side of the palette relate well to Claude.

I really like the light gray color on the left for the walls, but how to translate it to a paint color? Well, I googled “match paint to html color” and found a handy little web app that takes the html code (#ccccbb for this color) and generates the best matches from your favorite paint collection. The wall color in our living room is from Benjamin Moore’s Color Preview (BM Overcast, to be precise). I love how it’s neutral without being boring, so I thought searching that collection would be a good start. I wasn’t disappointed.

My favorite is the color on the bottom left, Gray Mirage. I looked around and had a hard time finding pictures of it in action, but from what I understand it’s very greigy and reads in some lights as a pale olive and in others as a more true gray or taupe. The Overcast paint on our living room walls has a similar quality and I love how dynamic it is. It’s hard to grow tired of a paint color when it changes throughout the day. This decision was easy: Gray Mirage on the walls.

Gray Mirage

It’s looking like the big furniture in here is going to be mostly white, so I’ll bring in some more of the peacock-inspired colors through textiles and accessories. I’ve got my eye on that yellow for my half-baked stenciled rug idea, but I think that even the more tame hues on the left side of the palette will be useful in layering neutrals for a space that’s not all fun and games.

Easy Embellished Fabric Box

So I totally loved the fabric-covered boxes that I made last weekend…

But the more I looked at them, I started thinking that the one on the left was sort of blah. It had no face, no personality (anyone catch that quote?). I decided to dig through my stash of smaller fabric scraps in the hopes of finding something to fancy it up a bit.

My first idea was to use some lace left over from having my wedding dress altered, but I just wasn’t wowed by the look of it.

Then, I came across a few scraps of the floral linen I used on my hope chest and mismatched chairs. I LOVED that fabric!

I held the biggest piece up to my box and decided that it might look pretty good, so I set to work carefully cutting out a that big green leaf, plus a few smaller leaves from other piece of the fabric. I really wish there had been a big pink flower intact somewhere in those scraps but, alas, only green leaves.

Once I had a few shapes cut out I experimented with the layout and settled on clustering three leaves in the bottom right corner.

Once I was pleased with the arrangement, I just removed them one at a time and misted the backside with spray adhesive.

Then carefully smoothed the leaf back into place.

I repeated until all three leaves were stuck on there and, voila, my fabric-covered box was suddenly much more exciting.

I like that it just adds a little pop of interest without being too crazy or cluttered.

And the great part is that I’m pretty sure they will just peel right off if I get tired of them and want to go back to a clean, simple look. For now, those little leaves are rockin’ my socks so they’re likely here to stay for a while. I think they remind me of my long lost favorite season…oh warm weather, when will you return to me?

Any big plans for the weekend? We’re hoping to score tickets to see LSU play Auburn tomorrow! One of my closest friends from high school went to Auburn so this particular rivalry has always been a little extra fun for me. (our tigers > their tigers) I’ve got wonderful memories of visiting each other for away games all through college. She’s not here this weekend, but I’d love to relive some of my glory days, if only for a few hours, by being in Tiger Stadium for the game. Oh, how I miss the days of student tickets!

Insulation is Good for the Soul

Remember how I have this awesome, huge room sitting empty in my house?

And the reason it’s empty is that it’s too cold in winter?

Well, I’m taking this space back (see what I’ve got in mind here), and step #1 of our plan to warm it up was to do something about all those windows. Because despite their awesomeness I’m convinced they’re the biggest temperature culprit.

I seriously considered thermal curtains, but ruled them out for two reasons: 1) they can really add up when you need 8-10 panels, and 2) they would block a ton of sunlight (in fact most of the thermal curtains I found were also labeled blackout).

So, with thermal curtains scratched, I turned back to google. A few sites suggested lining the windows with bubble wrap. I kind of loved this idea for the simplicity and the fact that it would still allow plenty of sunlight to shine through (I’m like a reverse vampire. I’m obsessed with natural light). But while the curtains can hide a multitude of sins from the inside, the windows in this room look out onto the front porch, yard, and driveway, and I just couldn’t get behind the idea of seeing bubble wrap in my windows every time I come home. Back to the drawing board.

And then, I discovered this:


It’s basically plastic film that you stick to the window frames with double-sided tape. It seemed easy enough to apply, and at under twenty bucks it wouldn’t be a total fail if it didn’t work out. I ordered it from Amazon and a few days later we were in business.

I think this is kind of a two-person job, especially if you’re short like me. I probably could have done it alone, but it was much easier with Nick helping me.

First, we measured out our first window and cut some film to fit. I was really pleased that it wasn’t too stretchy or clingy like saran wrap. I had no problem cutting it neatly.

Meanwhile, Nick applied the included tape all around the outside of the window. We decided to start on the door since there was a flat surface surrounding the glass (making it less complicated than the trimmed-out windows).

Then we peeled off the paper backing. My long nails were invaluable here, despite the fact that I was unable to reach the top of the windows on my own.

Then we just stuck the plastic wrap to the tape, starting at the top and working our way down, trying to keep it taut and even as we went. We didn’t do such a good job. Even in pictures you can see there were tons of wrinkles.

The instructions said to use a blow dryer to shrink the film and remove the wrinkles. Worked like a charm.

Look how clear it is! The only way you would know it was there is the extra shininess.

The rest of the windows were a little trickier since there was no good way to apply the tape, but we just improvised and used the bottom sill.

Here’s Nick applying the film. See why this would have been hard for me to do alone? His height and long arms were super helpful.

Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles. Looks like crap.

But we just ran my blowdryer back and forth over the whole thing until it was nice and tight.

Voila! If only I’d cleaned the windows first…

We repeated the process on all five windows and were done in under an hour, then promptly realized that it would take our cats about 2.5 seconds to destroy them. How had that not occurred to us? I knew we couldn’t shut them out, since that would defy the whole purpose of making the room more useable. I know from experience that as soon as I start trying to keep the cats out of a specific room it becomes their number one most favorite place to be. At that point it’s such a pain to keep them from dashing in when I open the door that I stop using the room altogether. So we left the door open and hoped for the best. And, of course, we heard a telltale popping noise in no time. The window facing the front of the house had been scratched.

I was standing in the middle of my (dead slash nonexistent) plants to even see this from the outside. Step back into the yard and you wouldn’t know a thing.

I have no idea if the film will be at all effective if air is able to pass through the kitty-induced laceration, but only time will tell. If we’re freezing our butts off come December or so I’ll try something else- like maybe this solution involving clear vinyl and magnetic paint. For now, I’m glad to have at least taken a step to making this room more comfortable! Next up: insulating the unused fireplace.

Side Table Switcheroo

This little side table is one of the first pieces of furniture I ever painted on my own. I’d been reading blogs and everyone was talking about how great spray paint was, so I decided to give it a try on this nightstand and a matching dresser. It was terrible. It took five billion cans of spray paint and looked like crap. Two years later, the wretched uneven paint is finally just flaking off.

It’s time for this thing to go. I took stock of what was hanging out in those drawers before I decided for sure to give up that storage space. Turns out there was nothing that couldn’t be tossed or moved over to my new fabric covered boxes.

I went shopping around the house and decided to steal one of the nightstands from our guest bedroom (purchased for about $10 at Goodwill several months ago). I also pulled the chair out of the corner and a little bit further into the room.

That little basket is also from Goodwill and is perfectly sized to be a little “drawer.”

This whole switch was sort of inspired by a chair I’d seen at an estate sale. It was the cutest little caned armchair and was marked $30, discounted by 25% because it was the second day of the sale. I wasn’t completely sure about it, so I decided to come back the next day when everything would be 50% off and if it was still there I would buy it for $15. Well, I went home and started tinkering with this arrangement, then promptly fell in love with the idea of having that little chair in my living room, right on the other side of this end table.

Look how perfect it would have been! But alas, by the time I made it back on Sunday it was sold. Lesson learned. I wanted it, and I should have bought it instead of being so cheap. Total bummer.

The upside is that I never would have thought to put another small chair in here if I hadn’t seen that one at the estate sale. Now I know to be on the lookout for something similar. Maybe the thrifting gods will smile on me and I’ll find something even better…or maybe I’ll fall victim to the rule that as soon as you start looking for something specific you won’t find it anywhere.

P.S. The house that we went to for the estate sale was AMAZING. And it’s for sale! If only I had half a million dollars. I wish that there were pictures available online, but if you’re a total real estate weirdo like me you can see the location and description here.