Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Fall Table for Him...

Even though it's still in the 90s in Southern California, I know fall is right around the corner.  And that means pullin' out those fall dishes and amber colors and making it all warm and cozy.

I used to go crazy and decorate every nook and cranny when the kids were little, but now I just focus on the dining room and a few tables here and there.  But this fall means more to me because this dining room table is actually being used every month for His Flower Girls classes.  I used to have the table set every day as if I were always expecting company.  Now, we are!  I love it!

After I set the table this morning, I looked at it and realized pretty much every thing on this table was less than $10.  Probably less than $5.  Get to those thrift stores, girls!  Let me show you why...

I just found this soup tureen (it also came with a platter underneath) for $8.  And to think I walked by it twice, looked at it, admired it, saw the price tag, and still said, "No, don't need it."  What a fool.  I've actually never had one.  But given that I'm trying to learn (yes, I said learn) how to make soup this year, I know it will come in handy.

Several years ago while up in Mammoth, I found these cute little chrysanthemum urns at Rite Aid for $2 each.  Who needs skiing when you have sales at Rite Aid?  The etched glass vase holding the candle is from Cost Plus from many moons ago.  The brown "stuff" in the vase?  Hot cocoa mix!  I needed something brown to pick up on the brown transferware plates and since I don't drink coffee, I searched my pantry for something that would work.  Don't tell Ina Garten, but I used her hot cocoa mix that's probably been in the cupboard for 10 years.    

I found  a set of these floral napkins at HomeGoods ($14.99 for 8) during the summer.  I loved them even though I had no plans for them.  While setting the table this morning and looking through my drawers for napkins, I spotted these.  I forgot I had them.  Don't you love that?  It's great sometimes having a terrible memory.

And while Rachel and I were at Paper Source last weekend, I bought this spool of thread ($7.99) to wrap up our cancer books with.  I love the brown and cream colors and thought they'd look good tied around the napkins.  

 See here's the deal with all the plates:
The chargers were $2.99 for six!  Yes, you read that right!  
The swiss dot plates were $5.99 at Cost Plus.
The brown transferware salad plates were from Marshalls, $2.99 each.

And these amber salad plates were $1 each that I picked up yesterday at a thrift store.  I bought all 12.  How could I not?

Oh, and the silverware?  Found yesterday at a different thrift store.  The 6 knives were $8 and the forks were $10.  They have a beautiful "D" inscribed on the handles.  Do I have a "D" in our name?  Nope.  Don't care.  I love them!

And notice the runner?  I was going to grab 2 yards of burlap and lay it across our pine table.  But because they're both so similar in color, it wouldn't have worked.  Instead, I ran to Jo-Ann's and bought 2 yards of cream quilting fabric at $9.99 yard.  While standing in line, some nice woman behind me handed me her 50% off coupon.  (By the way - here's an awesome tip I learned from her.  Sign up for the free Jo-Ann's app on your iphone, and ALWAYS get 50% off every day when you show them your coupon on your iphone.  How great is that!?)  Now if only my 10-year-old daughter will show me how to do that...

So the table is set.  And our next class is scheduled for October 11th.  Can't wait.  I love that all of the things I love (pretty dishes, setting tables, girlfriends, etc.) are now being used to share my love for the Lord.  
It doesn't get any better than that.

So what if you love all these things too?  Well, how about inviting some girlfriends over and enjoying your pretty table together.  Why meet at Starbuck's in the morning?  Instead, gather around your table and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and all the warm accessories that say "come on in and stay awhile."  

Try it.  
I bet you they'll never want to leave.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Flowers and Fun...

What a fun day we had today!

My girlfriend Teri is turning 50 tomorrow.  So to celebrate, Donna and I took her to the Topanga Flea Market.  And we loved it!  You gotta go!  Beats driving down to the Rose Bowl at 6 am!

I wish I would have taken pictures of all the great things the three of us had found.  But I didn't.  I'm a bad blogger.
But here's two things I didn't need, but absolutely loved.

$10 wooden cross with a metal heart stapled to it.
I put it on the desk by our front door.

A vintage candle holder.  I turned it upside down and filled it with violas and moss.  $11.  Love it!

But the cherry on my day was making three floral arrangements for a bridal shower tonight.  We used three vintage milk glass vases, flowers from the farmer's market, some geranium leaves from our garden and these cute little chalkboard sticks.  We wrote the couple's names and "I do!" on them.  

And here they are on the table all ready for a celebration.  The vases are from thrift stores over the years, the old wicker tray is from Bungalow and we sell the little chalkboard sticks at our boutique following our class.  And for about $30, we made all three arrangements!  

So the next time you need a gift or a centerpiece for a party, think thrift stores and garden flowers.  They make a stunning combo!

We kept taking pictures of these from every angle.  They were simply stunning -- the pink hydrangeas mixed with the pastel roses atop the old wicker tray.  

I kept thinking, how could anyone be blue while being surrounded by such beautiful flowers?
Not this girl!

God's glorious flowers made my day...
and so did my friends.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Guest Cottage...

Well, after 14 very long years, we now have a guest cottage.  No, we didn't build a cute little guest house in the backyard.  By the way, is it me, or does every girl want one of those?
Well, because we don't have trees that produce money, we turned our den into a bedroom.  Or as I prefer to call it, a guest cottage.

A few days ago, Gregg the handyman was busy in our garage.  Isn't he always?
I wanted to introduce him to my girlfriend, the professional organizer, who was over having lunch.  Well, before I knew it, their conversation turned into, "So are you going to make that room into a bedroom?"

When my parents were here a few weeks ago, we kicked the idea around of putting up a wall, a door and adding a closet in our den to turn it into a bedroom.  The one great thing about our home is that it has pretty large rooms, and I hated to add a wall and shrink the size of the room.  Plus, I hate spending money.

My girlfriend suggested that the bed "go there", and before we knew it, I was pointing, and they were moving all the furniture around.  God bless them!  Minutes later, I was off to Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy bedding and Gregg was going to meet me at Costco to buy a mattress.  Within two hours, no lie, we had a guest cottage!

On a budget.  
Is there anything better?
Here are the details...

I used our king-sized sheets on the new queen mattress.  Bought the scalloped dust ruffle, ruffled pillow shams, twin size quilt, matching pillows and mattress protector at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $121.  Everything was on sale, and I used the 20% off coupons!  The other quilt beneath the green quilt was a find at Goodwill for $10 (it's a full size).  

Also, the beautiful vintage headboard is a loaner from my girlfriend.  It was her grandmother's she was storing in her garage.  She was kind enough to let us give it a good home until they can use it in theirs.  And she brought it over that night as Gregg and I were getting home from Costco.  And, by the way, it's a double.  But it works!

King-sized sheets, twin and full-sized quilts and a double headboard for a queen mattress.  
Try it!  

The best part of this is being able to keep the two couches. (Actually, it's an L-shaped couch that I separated, so one is a couch and one is a chaise).  I thought we wouldn't have enough room to do both.  

But leaving the couches in front of the fireplace makes it feel like a little cottage, and not just a bedroom.  And about five years ago, I scored a little white refrigerator on someone's curb.  I've held on to it "just because."  Now I think I'm going to fill it with bottled waters, Oreo cookies and Pringles.  Now our guests can have their very own unhealthy mini-bar!  (Don't tell my kids!)

And given that this room is primarily used as my office, it's great that my desk can stay where it is.  I promise to keep it nice and tidy when guests arrive.

And, oh by the way, this is an old photo of how this room used to look.

We basically just removed the table, added the bed, and rearranged the furniture.  Just by removing one piece (the table), a bedroom appeared.

We've lived in our home for 14 years.  It's a four bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, but one of those bedrooms is my husband's office.  So this girl who has always dreamed of having a bed and breakfast, has never even had a guest bedroom.  And given my health these last few years, it's about time my parents (who often stay for months at a time) and sisters now have a cute place to call "home."  Or cottage.

Look, two guests have already checked in...

So what could you do with your home that you've always been dreaming about doing?  Can you simply remove a table and get a ??????

Let me know!

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