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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

{Valentine's Day} Paper Heart Runner

Thanks so much for the love on my new chairs yesterday! Hopefully I didn't enable your online shopping habit too much. I'll make up for it today with a cheapie-cheap project! How's $2 sound?

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I found these packages of paper heart doilies in the Target Danger Dollar Zone. I'm not big on Valentine Decor (despite me having an entire tab of Valentine projects!), but I do like a few sweet touches here and there.

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So I whipped up an easy table runner, perfect for the Breakfast Room. I measured how long I wanted it to be, then just arranged the hearts in a pattern I liked. Once that was done, I went back and added a dot of glue to the underside where each heart overlapped (that dries clear).

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Allow the glue to dry and you have a cute runner that adds a bright pop of color to a Valentine tablescape.

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Not too shabby for 5 minutes and $2, right?! The spotted plates are currently on clearance at Target, since they consider them Christmasy. I'll use them for Christmas, Valentine's Day and all the patriotic holidays!

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The Breakfast Room is my favorite spot to add some Valentine fun, since it's where we tend to gather as a family. Last year's Paper Heart Garland hangs from the window.

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Are you working on any sweet things for your Valentines? I've got a few more easy-breezy ones coming up!

** Also linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Just a Girl, Remodelaholic, The Shabby Nest, The DIY Showoff, TaterTots & Jello, Serenity Now and Thrifty Decor Chick**

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mama's Got a Brand New Chair

Or six new chairs, rather! Happy Monday, lovebugs! How was your weekend? Other than the permanent indention in my right hand from tightening FIFTY-FOUR 3-inch screws with a 4-inch Allen wrench...mine was divine! I wasn't actually in the market for new Dining Room chairs yet, but when Overstock sends you a 15% off + free shipping code, you're going to check out your options!

Seeing as how my Dining Room looks like a giant brown Buick took up residence, I knew I'd eventually make some changes for the lighter.

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Don't get me started on my list of projects for this room! (Rug, chairs, paint, curtains)

Turns out, my option was the Crown Fabric Off-White Dining Chairs! I've purchased all kinds of things online, but never something as big as six chairs. Sure shipping was free, but if Rita Return had to get involved, sending them back would not have been. So needless to say, I was just as nervous as I was excited when the boxes showed up (less than a week later!)

Since the price was so great and they're from Overstock, I wasn't expecting much in the white-glove department. I was shocked to find them perfectly packed, with the upholstered pieces wrapped in individual drawstring bags!


But then I spent the next 15 minutes shrieking destroying searching the box to find the other chair legs and parts! "Son of a biscuit, no wonder my chairs were on sale, they don't have legs!!!" Before my fit reached wall-eyed status, I realized the seat cushion flaps peel back....to reveal chair legs and assembly parts. Really, nothing gets past me. Thank goodness no one else was home, or they'd surely have had me committed.


It was easy, but tedious, to attach the seat bottom to the back, and then the front two legs TWSS. The chairs are incredibly solid, with no wobbling, and the tufting and trim are flawless. The material is a natural linen, and the cushion is thick with a nice spring. I'd definitely give them 5-stars!


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My table could seat eight, but it'd be a chair army in here. So I'll keep it at six, and bring in smaller, extra chairs from the Breakfast Room when necessary.

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It's amazing how much lighter and brighter the room already is!

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Okay, so I've made other changes since the 'Before' picture above, but we'll address that if I ever once I complete the Living Room makeover! (Remember, one room at a time! Ha!)

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You may recognize the Metallic Lamps. I did a little switcheroo, which means we have another Lamp-A-Looza post coming up!

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And for the big comparison, here's the Before & Afters.

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Don't the chairs just change the room completely? The lamps help, too. Aaaaaand, I've already sold the old chairs on Craigslist, which puts my total expense at $200!!! Crazy, right?

before after chairs

I can't speak for other chairs, but I can vouch for these and Overstock. And you can't beat the prices! (They aren't paying me to say this, I promise!) So next time a coupon code pops up in your inbox, maybe you should just have a peek!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's the Little Things

Thanks for the sweet words on my outfit yesterday! And the key to my bun staying put? Dirty hair. For reals. Also, several of you asked how I created my Project Gallery. I use InLinkz , but instead of using the 'Link Tool' (like for link parties), use the 'Link Manager.' Once you've uploaded each of your blog links, you create Collections and drag the project to them. After installing the HTML on your blog, it will automatically update each time you add a new link. It sounds confusing, but you'll get the hang of it quickly. I suggest watching the video they have posted, it's very helpful and much better at explaining than I!

Big purchases like this one are exciting, and nauseating all at the same time. There is a lot of pressure when an item carries a big price tag. However, sometimes small purchases can make us just as happy.

On my recent trip to West Elm, I was wooed by their new collection of linens. I mean monogram + stripes?! That's pure bliss.


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This little hand towel makes me strangely happy, and I think it completes this corner of the Kitchen. That's a big accomplishment for a $10 rag towel! It really is the little things that bring the biggest joy, isn't it?

I'm becoming one with the Allen wrench and should have these chairs ready to show you next week, and hopefully a Valentine project or two! What are you up to this weekend? Enjoy it, friends!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

{Outfit Inspiration} Magenta & Black

It's been awhile since we've had an {Outfit Inspiration} post. No fear, I haven't been running around nekkid, I've just been having a fashion dry spell. Instead of being inspired by my closet and creating fun outfits, I've been grabbing comfortable stand-bys. My apathy has also spilled over to my hair, so there's been a lot of buns and ponytails. I think it's about time to pull myself up by my sweat pants!

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Magenta and leopard is a good way to bring some style and spunk back in to my daily life!

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I'd usually be more inclined to grab a pale pink cardi for this skirt and top combo, but instead made it more season appropriate with a black cardigan and tights.

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True it's easier to throw on pants and a sweater. But it's not like I'm terribly inconvenienced by the weather here, so I need to get back to embracing my more feminine style.

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If you've been reading these {Outfit Inspiration} posts for awhile, then you've probably noticed I favor a bell skirt. I'm pear-shaped and short-legged, so a fitted top with flared bottom looks best on me. And I almost always belt my natural waist, which is a flattering look for everyone. If you're interested in a slimmer waist with longer legs, that is.

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Has the Winter season put you in a fashion slump?

{Outfit deets: Top: Banana Republic; Cardi: JCrew; Skirt: Old Navy; Tights: Target Assets; Shoes: Giani Bini Maryjanes; Belt: had so long I can't remember}

And a very Happy Birthday to my sweet Lindy Bird! My 'baby cousin' is 30?!? Lawdy, I'm getting old!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Blog Housekeeping for Better Browsing

Some of you may have noticed, but I've been doing some organizing around Hi Sugarplum! I was having a hard time finding my own projects, so I figured you guys didn't stand a chance. It's a bit tedious, but I have most everything rounded up in this handy Project Gallery spot.

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I'm still playing with the groupings and categories, but the pictures will definitely make it easier to spot projects.

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I didn't realize the severity of my sweet-tooth until I saw all my Git in Mah Belly posts in one spot.

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I'll also add a separate tab for projects related to any upcoming holidays.

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My Blogroll is constantly growing, especially since I actually use it as my reader. I update it frequently, and recommend all of them as great reads.

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My sidebar is starting to look like Sanford & Son, so I'm hoping to clean that up some, too. Feel free to play around, snoop in my drawers and cabinets, and look under the bed. And if you'd like to see more categories in the Project Gallery, or have other ideas, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This Stool is Stepping Up

I'm sure to spend this post fluctuating between snickering and gagging. You don't really think too much about a word until you write it. Repeatedly. For an audience. Such is the word 'stool.' Many of you grown-ups would have never thought twice about me discussing my stool makeover. But if you've been reading this blog for awhile, then chances are you're snorting along with me. So let's talk stools, shall we?!

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Every home with young kids has a little step stool like this in a bathroom. I mean, how else are they going to glop toothpaste in the sink and spray water all over the mirror, if they can't reach? I guess I'd gone too long without holding a paintbrush, because I spontaneously decided this stool needed softening.

I raided my fabric swatches for something that coordinated with the Kids/Guest Bathroom, and found this sample. I had checked it out from JoAnn Fabrics ages ago for $5, and apparently never taken it back. I'm assuming that means I paid for it, and it's mine? Hope so, because my stool is wrapped in it.

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These samples are the perfect size for a throw pillow or other small project, and $5 is a fraction of the cost per yard for these high-end fabrics. Jackpot! Does anyone know the proper protocol for "purchased" samples? (JoAnns refunds your $5 if you bring the sample back.)

Moving on. For the base, I simply took my fabric to the craft store and chose a coordinating color from the row of $1 acrylic paints. After brushing on a few coats, I sprayed it with a high-gloss finish. Then I cut the fabric to size and stapled it to the underneath, folding the corners like a package. (No foam or batting needed since this is a foot stool.)

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Remembering this stool's intended mess-maker user, I covered the top in a second layer of clear plastic shower curtain liner, to protect the fabric from water and stains. Using oil cloth would be perfect for this kind of project, but I didn't think of that until after. You could also use clear contact paper, or laminated fabric.

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Now instead of junking up the bathroom with kid gear, this little stool adds to the decor! (Just because kids use it, doesn't mean it has to be hosed down with yellow duckies.)

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Of course it looks like this everyday. Don't your kids keep their bathrooms this tidy?!
I chose green to pull from the Anthropologie knobs and plants, and foresee this color ending up on the "5th wall" at some point. The wall stripes and shower curtain have a slight purple undertone that also work well with the fabric.

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Someone needs to touch-up that vanity paint. 'Someone' usually means me.
I'd say $6 for paint and fabric is a steal for a custom step stool that looks intentional for this space!


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Kid tested and approved!

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Have you turned an everyday household object into something special? Don't flog me, but if you're in the know regarding the fabric samples, please share with the class.


** Also linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Just a Girl, Remodelaholic, The Shabby Nest, The DIY Showoff, TaterTots & Jello, Serenity Now and Thrifty Decor Chick**

Monday, January 23, 2012

{Pinterest Project} Chalkboard Mugs (as Teacher Gifts!)

Hello and Happy Monday! I hope you had a grand weekend. We had a fun night out with friends, I struggled through Babygirl's first slumber party away from home (with non-family), and we whipped out some Valentine crafts...so it was a good weekend for us. Oh, and I primed the doors in the Pool Bathroom!

The {Pinterest Project} Series is where I step away from the computer, and actually tackle a project I've pinned...but adding my own twist. I kicked off the series a few weeks ago with Scrabble Coasters, and today it continues with Chalkboard Mugs! My pinsperation is this pin from Wit & Whistle. Amanda's mugs are so fun, but she special-ordered porcelain paint that required patience baking. I wanted to do neither, so I made mine with Martha Stewart's Multi-Surface Chalkboard paint found at my local Michaels for $4 (with coupon).

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I found these over sized, flat-bottom girls mugs in the Dollar Spot at Target (aka Danger Zone). I played it safe and painted the bottom half of the mug, so it wouldn't come in contact with food or lips.

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Using a small bristle brush, I applied 3 light coats of paint, letting it dry completely between each one. And unlike wall stripes, I found this paint did better if you let it dry completely before pulling the tape off veeeeeerrry slowly. After curing overnight, I rubbed them down with chalk, wiped clean, and personalized with pink chalk.

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Yes, I have horrible penmanship. They'll just think the kids wrote it.

I took advantage of the flat-bottom and wrote messages I thought suitable for teachers. Babygirl told me 'Zip It!' wasn't appropriate, so I switched to 'Bottoms Up!' Knowing my kids and their friends though, I'm sure the messages their teachers would choose are even more inappropriate.

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And since the mugs are gifts, we wanted to fill them with goodies. I can't get enough of My Owl Barn's free customizable calendar, so I printed extras, backed with thick cardstock, and bound by a heart-shaped brad.

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I added shredded paper (I buy mine at the dollar store) and chocolates with the calendar, and tied a piece of chalk to the mug's handle so they could write their own profanities messages. The paint gives no washing instructions, but after this whoopsie, I think it's probably safer to just hand wash.

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Each mug is packaged in a clear gift sack and tied with a piece of satin ribbon.

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 It's the perfect inexpensive Valentine treat, that's sure to show our sweet gratitude. Thanks Wit & Whistle for the great inspiration!

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Are you whipping up goodies for your Valentines? What message would you write on the bottom of your mug?


** Also linking up to Home Stories A to Z, Tip Junkie, Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Just a Girl, Remodelaholic, The Shabby Nest, The DIY Showoff, TaterTots & Jello, Serenity Now and Thrifty Decor Chick**

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