I found this large frame and canvas at a garage sale several months ago for $10.

I thought it was a steal because the frame alone is worth more than that.

The art that came with it, eh, yuch. Not to mention it was just a paper print that had been glued onto the canvas. And it looks like someone already started painting over it.

So, the frame has just been sitting on my mantle, all by its lonesome for several months.

Recently I placed Luke’s first non-watercolor “painting” up on the mantle. And the more I looked at it, the more I liked it! It was fun, colorful and it was my baby’s :)


I could have Luke paint over the canvas that came with frame! And it would be an original piece of art, and it would mean more to me than any other painting ever could, AND he would have so much fun doing it. (he LOVES to paint!)

After putting it off for a few weeks, I finally decided it was time.
I prepped the canvas by rolling 3 coats of white acrylic paint over the print.

Then it was time for Luke to go!

Here are some important tips:
1. Begin by recruiting a well-rested, well-fed, paint-loving, non-paint-eating, happy and excited 2-year-old (if any of those qualities are missing, ABORT!)

2. Cover a corner of your kitchen with cardboard and plastic.

3. Strip your toddler down to his skivvies or put them in an old shirt (acrylic paint does not come off once it dries).

4. Choose the colors for your toddler since they prob haven’t had a chance to take a class on color theory yet.

5. Have at least 4-5 clean brushes on hand. El-cheapo kids’ brushes from Wal-mart is what I used.

6. Squirt the paint onto a plastic plate or cheap plastic artist’s palette, also from Wal-mart.

7. Recruit a spouse/helper (willing or unwilling) to be nearby – just in case your toddler decides to jet from the designated painting area and decide to go hug a white wall (we were fortunate not to have this happen).

8. Put on your painting clothes and your most patient self.

9. Have a large roll of paper towels/old towels and baby wipes on hand. You will need them!

Although Luke did all of the painting, it was not without a little direction from mama :)
1. Let him choose his first few colors and just go for it!

2. After he uses 4-5 colors, switch his brush out for a clean one. This will keep the colors from becoming muddied. (and the switching of the brushes didn’t appear to stifle his creativity any ;)

3. Suggest to toddler that he should paint on the white areas. This will get your canvas covered much faster and keep the colors from mixing too much and turning into the color of dirt.

4. Keep an eye on the paint palette and top off the paint with fresh paint as needed. If they use the same brush for multiple colors, there will be a lot of cross-contamination.

5. Once the masterpiece is completed (mama makes this call), remove from the area and let dry.

6. Supply your toddler with poster board and let him use up all of the paint from the palette.

7. Paint a purple “Mickey Mouse bear” for your toddler per his request.

8. Throw in a little bit of learning by painting his name on the poster board.

9. Show toddler that if you paint his hand, he can make hand prints. Let toddler dictate which color he would like for you to paint on his hand.

10. Then suggest he paint his feet, sit back and watch the real fun unfold!

11. Once baby is completely covered in paint, take some pictures and then it is time for a bath.

12. Take a minute and enjoy the feeling of being a cool mom or the mom-I-had-always-hoped-to-be. Smile :)

Aaaaaaand, for the piece-de-resistance!

Amazing abstract art or just a pre-school painting?? You Decide :)

After all, art is very subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And what is more beautiful than a cost-effective, memory-inducing, sentimental, colorful work of art?


If you don’t know what Pinterest is, be warned – you may not want to know… explore at your own risk.

I have to admit, I’m on almost daily, usually pinning one or two things a day. Sometimes more.

….especially since I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel, pregnancy and an indeterminately long adventure in stay-at-home-motherhood.

Last week I found this pin:

A gorgeous black door, with gray wall and white trim. I loved the way the black door looked in this room.
There were several more beautiful examples on the nestegg blog.

My walls are gray, trim is white, just needed a black door!
The painters came on Monday of this week to paint the nursery, guest room, and some other unfinished doors. They finished on Wednesday, and I got a beautiful, shiny black door.

Not bad, eh?! The black even makes the brass doorknob bearable! almost likeable! (sorry I don’t have a really good BEFORE picture. It was the same buttery cream that was on all of the trim in the house.)

Only problem: I now want to slather black paint on every door in my home… which was not approved by the hubby. Maybe the front door??

and as much as I LOVE my black door, the real Pinterest success story lies in the following recipe.

We received organic arugula in our last two Urban Acres co-op bins and I needed some new ideas for what can be a very bitter/spicy green.

Arugula, Apples & Manchego in Cider Vinaigrette

I ran across this recipe on Pinterest a couple of weeks ago. We’ve had the salad a few times, but the vinaigrette really is the star!

I make mine with equal parts vinegar and oil because I don’t think it needs the extra oil. I’ve had the dressing everyday for the past 5 days, sometimes twice a day.

My new fave combo: Mixed greens, sliced peaches, fat-free feta, plus the apple-cider vinaigrette. Yum!

I’ve also put it on a mixed green, cherries, manchego cheese and red onion salad – or when the veggies ran short at the end of the week, some bibb lettuce and orange segments. Seriously, you cannot go wrong!

So 2 successful Pinterest attempts in 2 weeks, not bad! makes up for a few of the fails…

Well, it is a year and 3 months after we moved into our new home…..

and I FINALLY completed painting the cabinet doors in the living room! Yay!

What took so long?!

Oh, a little procrastination + aversion to painting + an attention-hungry toddler + a tumultuous first trimester of baby 2.0 + the beginning of other more “important” projects.

But that’s all in the past! I finished!

Here’s the BEFORE:

and the AFTER:

It’s not a very dramatic change in the pictures, but the white paint and “new” hardware make all the difference in the room. Everything is uniform and clean.
Now to finish some of those furniture project I’ve been working on… maybe next year at this rate…

The original plan was to purchase new, more modern hardware for the cabinets.

The existing cabinet handles are a dull brass, but they seem to be good quality and the sticker said they were made in India (not sure if that’s a good/bad thing). The dull brass is better than shiny brass, but it is still a little too 1986-Southern Living for me.

I didn’t mind the shape, so I decided to try my hand at spray painting them. After all, if they turned out gross, my only loss would be a can of spray paint and some of my precious time.

I started by sanding the handles with 200 grit sandpaper. Then I used a damp cloth to wipe off the dust.

In order to be able to spray around the handles, I fashioned a “painting stand” out of a cardboard box and toothpicks.

I used Rustoleum 2x spray in “Metallic Aluminum”.

After the paint had dried, I turned them over and did some touch up work on the bottom.

And they turned out pretty good! The color is a matte silver, it almost looks like a brushed nickel from far away.

What do you think? Have you had any luck or failure in spray painting hardware or metal?

Look what is finally being worked on!

When we first moved into the house, I painted the walls and trim in the dining room and living room, along with fireplace. But after a few INTENSE weeks of painting, I was completely unwilling to paint anything else.

That’s why the doors for the built-ins alongside the fireplace have been neglected.

The original paint of all the trim and cabinet doors was a cream color that developed a pinkish tint in the daylight… yuck. It really just looked like white paint that was dirty :( So I chose to paint all the trim and doors a crisp, clean white. I chose “Snowfall” by Behr. Ahhhh. The white paint immediately brightened up the room.

This is what the unpainted cabinet doors look like in contrast with the painted trim.

So far I have primed both sides of the doors and applied one layer of the paint to the inside of the doors.

I have been using this sprayer that I borrowed from my friend Cassia.

I loved what it did with the primer: it went on smoothly and so fast! It would take me under 3 minutes to paint one side of a door!

Unfortunately, it did not treat the latex paint as well. It would go on smoothly for the most part, and then it would periodically spit out big clumps of paint which left a really bumpy surface, boooo :( Luckily, this was on the inside of the cabinets and who cares about what that looks like, right?!

So I have decided to use a brush and smooth roller to paint the fronts of the doors.
I have also been using a semi-gloss latex paint, but I think I’m going to switch it out for a high-gloss. When I painted the trim in room, I used an oil-based paint which has a higher amount of sheen to it. The semi-gloss latex paint is really too matte next to it. And ever since I painted all that trim, I swore NEVER to use oil-based paint again (so not user-friendly!), oh and I shouldn’t be sniffing that stuff while I’m pregnant anyway.

We’ll see how it goes! I’m just looking forward to having them done by this weekend!

Today, I bring you my freshly painted front door!

It was supposed to be a simple paint job, but I turned it into a slightly more complicated ordeal which then involved the skills of the hubby.
Who will from now on be referred to as: Mr. Stud. When he added himself to my cell phone, this was the name he chose for himself :) and a picture that resembles Michael Jordan. Why? Because what basketball-loving(obsessed) man wouldn’t want to look like Michael Jordan and have people refer to him as Mr. Stud?!

I digress.

Mr. Stud reluctantly became a member of the front door facelift project. And he did an awesome job installing our new door handle set and outdoor wall lighting.

Lest you forget, this was the denim door of darkness:

And here is what I did!

I know! I even shocked myself! I love to wear color, but am always hesitant to use it in my home. I just feel like it’s so permanent.
But the more I stared at it, the more I knew it needed some punch, pizazz, something that says “fun people live here!” not “enter at your own risk!”

The color of the door is Martha Stewart “Lagoon” and the door surrounding is Behr Premium “Stonewashed”.

I also replaced the door handle and wall lights. Since we are planning on staying here for a LONG time, I decided to make the plunge and purchase new hardware. Otherwise, I would’ve removed them, and spray painted the heck out of them!

With the door handle and fixture, I chose more modern styles. I’m trying to slightly modernize the home without trying to make it something it is not: a modern home.
The handle is from Home Depot.

And the lights are from Lowe’s.

And because I LOVE Before/After pictures, here are a couple :)

I know, it’s Tuesday and here I am with no thriftiness to show you!

Not that I don’t have a stockpile to show you, it’s just that I’ve had some setbacks (laziness, procrastination, sleepiness).

So, this week, the thriftiness will have to wait until Thursday… if just to preserve the alliteration :)

And if you’ll bear with me until tomorrow, I will finally reveal my front door facelift!

Want a hint??

Let’s just say it is no longer dungeon denim, but more of a lagoon :)

I know, lame-o hint.

Can I make it up to you with a picture of springtime yumminess?! compliments of pinterest :)

Strawberry Mousse Cake

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