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10 of My Favorite Posts and a Big Thank You!

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If things go as they have been for the last week, by the time I wake up tomorrow I will have had 50,000 page views on my little teeny tiny minnow of a blog. I will also be celebrating two years of blogging. There are blogs out there that get 50,000 page views a day and it has taken me two years.  I never said I was fast.  first and foremost, I want to say thank you, friends, for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for causing me to improve what I produce. I still have no idea what I am doing most of the time. By that I mean my husband and I are making it up as we go on our projects, and sometimes failing miserably. I am about the most technology challenged blogger out there. There have been many times when I did something on the blog but had no idea what I did, how to fix it, or if it was good, how to repeat that good thing. Between the time I started this blog and now both our children have married, my husband and I changed jobs, we sold a home, went a while “between homes”, bought a home and moved to a new city, my son and daughter in law have moved in part-time, I started a new blog called My Burb Home, and I have taken up photography as a hobby. Not bad for two folks in their 50’s.

This next year we plan to travel to two places on our bucket list, work on both our weekend home and our suburban home, build a raised garden, put in a fire pit,and continue to work on found furniture.  Life is good for this weekend loving couple.

I wanted to share with you some projects from the last two years.  As I looked back, there were others that could have or should have made the cut but I plan on rewriting several of them now that I don’t stink like when I started. Not many of you were around when I first logged in, set up an account and started rambling so some of the projects below may be new to you. Just click on the hyperlink and it will take you to the original blog.  I hope you enjoy.

10. French provincial furniture makeover.  I love that we were able to take a couple of homely particle board pieces of furniture and make them beautiful. I am seriously considering selling this set because I want to redo the room like now I recently saw on a home tour but I love the color combination and how much I learned on this project.

French Provincial Dresser

9. Western Dresser.  We found a homely little Goodwill dresser and made it something fun for the lake house guest room we call the bunk room.
western dresser

8. Table and Banquette seating out of reclaimed wood.  Wow! This is one of my oldest posts and my dinky little camera did not do this beauty any justice.  I will be re-photographing this set.  This was a collaboration between Hubby and me to come up with a solution to a tiny space using reclaimed siding from our house.  It is one of the most functional spaces in our home now.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

7.  Farmhouse Table.  I love the look of a rustic table but man, they are expensive. Our $90.00 solution to this problem turned out to be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It moved with us and was where we gathered for our first Thanksgiving meal in the new home.

farmhouse table

6.  Wedding Chalkboard.  I did tell you my kids got married, right?  I was fortunate enough that both my daughter and daughter in law wanted me to make personal items for their wedding.   I loved that they wanted things that I worked on as a part of their special day.  The link above is one of those items, an ornate frame my daughter in law, Sweet Amanda, found at a resale shop that I redid for the wedding and added a chalkboard.  I chose this one because it was the first wedding project. I love all four of my precious kids.

DIY Framed Chalkboard

5.  Map Chair.  Another piece of furniture that needs to be re-photographed.  This little chair would be easy to recreate for a friend moving to a new city or a college student who needs to remember where home is. I seem to have a thing for chairs.

Map Chair Seat

4.  Painted Suitcases.  I have made a total of seven of these painted suitcases now  The link is to four of them I did at one time.  I love finding cheap old hard sided suitcases, priming, painting, distressing, glazing then adding a chalkboard to one side.  It makes a great entry into a home when guests are coming over or to announce an event. If I ever started a business, I would sell these because I enjoy mine so much.

Chalkboard Suitcase

3.  Junk Fairy End Table.  The last three are easy.  They are my favorite, favorite projects.  They speak to my love of color, family and friends.  The junk fairy ( AKA The Social Planner) dropped off this homely table while we were gone one day. I did not need it, so posted a photo of it on Facebook and offered to redo it for a friend. Robin snagged it. I am happy that she chose green as the color for the table. I really like how the stained top turned out. I enjoyed it so much that I painted a table in my own home close to the same colors.
The finished green end table

2.  Beverage Station.  I am now working on number three of these babies. What a great re-purpose project for an old stainless sink and a sewing machine cabinet. I love the look and they make entertaining in a back yard or porch more inviting. My favorite blue color, Behr sailboat blue, got used here. My long-suffering husband gets major credit for the stainless sink idea here.
drink station
1.  Mudroom Bench.  When we moved this year I literally looked for homes that my mudroom bench would fit in. It is by far my most favorite project to date. I look forward to the day that someone sends me a photo of their version of the project.&nbsphttps://theweekendcountrygirl.com/2013/01/28/toilet-paper-roll-art/; A found dresser, waiting for heavy trash pickup, and a resale shop mirror turned into this beauty.
mudroom bench

I hope you enjoyed my little walk down memory lane. Thank you for taking the time to look back on my last two years. Thank you for allowing me to share what we do.

2013 In Review

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Wow. When I wrote this last December I had no idea what the year would hold for us: Changes in the New Year

A Yiddish proverb says:

Man makes plans, and God laughs.

Here is what we did from our 2013 goals:

We are limiting eating out to one day a week. We did this.
We are taking our lunches to work. We made great progress on this.
We are keeping fruit and cut up veggies in the house. Much improved, but still a work in progress.

We are both committing to move more. We are parking further away from stores, taking the stairs when possible, and finding activities to do that involve physical activities. Hubby is joining a gym and I am getting up thirty minutes sooner so that I can Wii or treadmill in the mornings. Overall we get a B- on this. We did walk in two 5k’s this year, we have started using the treadmill and elliptical, and are more active, but we still have a way to go.

The hardest change I am making is to limit the amount of artificial sweeteners. I do love a diet Mountain Dew… too much. I know that my cutting caffeine and those fake sweeteners at the same time is not a good idea for those that I work with and love so coffee and a teaspoon of agave will keep me fueled up. I am also going to drink more water. Good ole plain water. Yuck. I get an F here. The change in our world set me back. Waaaay back. I have started drinking coffee with monk fruit sweetener and limiting soda to two cans a day. Most days. I am drinking more water.

This past year we sold a home, bought a home, moved into the lake house, moved out of the lake house, moved in to our new suburban home, started new jobs, attended our daughter and son in law’s wedding, and welcomed our son and daughter in law in our new home while they prepare to go overseas for a year of mission work.

It was a memorable year. We are tired. Exhausted. Hubby and I did manage to get some projects done at the lake house and our new home, but hopefully next year we will get a few more projects at both places complete.

We plan to update the master bedroom, finish the covered porch area, refurbish the deck, and get an outdoor shower in at Star Hill.

We are putting in sliding barn door at the burb home, fixing up the guest bath, and working on the back yard.

My personal word of the year is focus. I need to focus on what is important, focus on finishing projects, focus on my personal life, focus on finances, and focus on my relationships.

I am reading Dave Ramsey right now and plan to post one of these 20 things rich people do weekly so that we can get on track for retirement.

Visit his blog here: Dave Ramsey

The following 20 facts will be posted, one by one, weekly. I will have time to post them all twice during the year and re post the problem areas.

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1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.

2. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.

3. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. 23% of poor do this.

4. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% of poor people.

5. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% of poor.

6. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% of poor.

7. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% of poor.

8. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls vs. 11% of poor.

9. 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% of poor.

10. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs. 2% of poor.

11. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of poor.

12. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month vs. 16% of poor.

13. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day vs. 23% of poor.

14. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% of poor.

15. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts vs. 3% of poor.

16. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% of poor.

17. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% of poor.

18. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% of poor.

19. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement vs. 5% of poor.

20. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

I also will be posting a Bible verse weekly in the laundry room.

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Man, do I have my work cut out for me here. In one year, I should be able to post them all two weeks and time to focus on the trouble areas an additional week.

I hope you and yours have a blessed new year.

I would love to hear your goals for the new year,

Blessings,

Karen

Two Nephews and a Wedding

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The Southern Belle is now Mrs. Big Cat! A beautiful wedding in Charlotte, North Carolina with Chamber of Commerce weather was held on June 1. The hydrangea were in full bloom, the birds were singing, we got to spend time outdoors with both sides of the family. It was awesome.

Because Mr. and Mrs. BC have 2 sweet nephews and zero nieces they wanted to include them in the big event. What to do with two boys and one wedding? Give them both a job. The Southern Belle turned to Pinterest for inspiration and discovered this:

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(Source unknown)
A quick trip to the Etsy Shop told her that she was not the only bride who would have a “herald” in the wedding along with a ring bearer.

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The only problem with the signs on Etsy was the price. Customized signs were a little more than TSB wanted to spend. A friend has a machine that cuts vinyl letters and she agreed to make a vinyl sticker to go on a board. It comes as a big ole sticker. Hubby cut the board to fit, I painted it white and applied the sticker then peeled off the covering carefully.

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This was the scary part!  I only had one sticker and it could have gone bad.  I am so glad it worked.

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Sweet Maeby had to help her Gramps.

IMG_1180 Here Comes Your Bride Sign

Hubby put handles on the back so that his nephew could hold it.

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I do not have any photos of the nephew coming down the isle.  I was too busy trying not to blubber.

Here is a picture of the sign with the family.  One day next week I will tell you about the ring bearer box.

TSB's New Family

An Urban Southern Wedding

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My sweet daughter, The Southern Belle, and her fiancée, Big Cat, planned the perfect urban wedding.  Her style is clean, modern with a nod to the past. In all things she is  elegant.  A true southern belle who wears pearls and loves sweet tea.  The couple met in Savannah, Georgia and there were shades of the low country in the wedding.  The groom and his party wore striped bow ties, and  we ate shrimp and grits at the rehearsal.  The colors chosen by the couple for the wedding were navy and silver with lots of white hydrangea.

We live a long way from the southern kids so all the planning fell on their shoulders.  They planned, coordinated, organized, and contracted all the elements of the wedding and the results were spectacular, if I do say so in my biased state of mind.

When we arrived Wednesday evening we were greeted by our sweet grand dog Maeby and the kids.

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Everyone else arrived on Thursday or Friday so we got some quality time with the kids.

Thursday morning while TSB was out for a run the flowers started arriving along with wedding gifts.  At one point we had UPS waiting for Fed Ex to finish.  The fact that flowers started showing up was a problem because they were supposedly canceled.  A few phone calls revealed that an error had been made and the flowers would not be charged to her so they were going to be added to the reception flowers.  This is what the man cave room looked like when we were through sorting the flowers and putting them in vases.

White Hydrangea Delivery

The kids attend Hawthorne Lane United Methodist Church.  A beautiful old Methodist church in Charlotte.  A quick trip to the church confirmed that they were all ready for the invasion.  The wedding coordinator, Karen, had it all under control.

Hawthorne Lane UMC

Hawethorn Lane Methodist

Their bridesmaids and groomsmen were a mix of family, high school friends, college friends, and current friendships.  The ladies were beautiful.  The guys were elusive.

We then set up at the reception venue.  They chose Palmer Fire House.  A decommissioned fire training station built by the WPA.  It is now run by the Charlotte Firemen Union as a fund-raiser for them.  If you live near Charlotte I recommend the facility for anyone.  The cost is low, the staff of volunteers who run the center are amazing and the service cannot be beat. We loved it from the moment we saw the facility.  The outdoor space had a fireplace, a garden, and space for their one desire… a food truck at the wedding.

Palmer House

decorating Palmer House

 

Yep.  They wanted a food truck to drive up and serve food right out of the truck.  I told you in the title this was an urban wedding. Here they are ordering from the truck.

Wedding Food Truck IMG_2500

The kids wanted a trolley to run between the church and the reception.

Charlotte Trolley

It was so cool.   Everyone checked it out.  Dad, brother and grandparents.

vintage car

grandparents

Finally, TSB’s dream was to have a vintage car take her away from the reception all at the end of the night.  A check of local car clubs landed her the perfect car, a 1951 Chrysler. The grand parents loved it!

The wedding was stunning… it went off without a hitch.  We love her new in laws!  TSB now has two sweet nephews to spoil.

TSB's New Family

The reception was fun.  I think everyone had a ball.

The Bride and Groom were beaming, and joking all day.  I love the photo bomb.

Photo Bomb

These two guys have spoiled TSB.  They definitely love her more than air.

grandfather love

 

father daughther dance

The evening ended with sparklers lighting the path for them as they made their way to the car.

sparklers leaving the wedding

Enjoy the random shots.  We had an amazing photographer.  Lauren did a great job along with her assistant, Juliette.  They will be sharing photos on the website as they become available.

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Rachel and Tanis

Ready to dance

monogram at wedding

wedding sweet table

the southern belle

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M-O-B Dress Shopping

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The Southern Belle convinced me to go dress shopping with her. I am thrilled to report that I found both the rehearsal dinner dress and the dress I will wear to the wedding! So excited, I just need to make sure I look good in them so I am now on a serious workout plan and back on my weight watchers. This week I got the chance to attend a shower at her office, meet some of the kids’ friends, do a few projects around TSB’s home and spend time with my sweet husband.

updated post

Here I am dancing like a goofball in my MOB dress with Baby Boy.

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And with the beautiful, stunning, gorgeous bride!

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Finding Frames for the Charlotte Wedding

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The Southern Belle asked me to look for small ornate frames for her June wedding.  She wants to turn them into chalkboards to write menu items and information to guests.  Because the chalk boards are black, I am painting the frames white until I get instructions from the Southern Belle.

Here is how the beauties started:

 Bought for $1.00 each

Bought for 25 cents each

The top two are Home Interiors specials from the 70’s.  The bottom two are plastic faux wicker.  They will all make great chalkboards.

I am determined to become a better spray painter, and I believe I am on the right track finally.  I have discovered the spray paint handle. 

This is the best thing since sliced bread.  I love it.

It is amazing how they turned out.  I did not take a picture of the larger one when bought.  It was southwest style teal and salmon.  I bought it for a dollar.  Hubby already cut the chalkboard for the large one.
I am going to spray the mirrors for the narrow ones with chalkboard Sprint.  I can see them as direction signs at the reception.  On my way to collecting some frames for the girl.  It is nice to be able to help with her wedding- even from a distance.

The Weekend Country Wedding

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Well the big day has come and gone for Baby Boy and Sweet Amanda.  I now officially have a daughter-in-law and I couldn’t be prouder.  My daughter the southern bell and her fiancee were also able to be at Star Hill for the weekend.  The wedding was beautiful.  Sweet Amanda was stunning in her gown.  I do believe that I had no idea how much work holding a vintage wedding at a state park would be for both families ( mostly Sweet Amanda’s mom and dad), the kids’ friends and family friends but I think we would would gladly do it again (just not tomorrow please) to see how happy that it made the kids.  The ceremony was held at Huntsville State Park in the Raven Lodge.

The lodge is located overlooking a small lake.  It is really a site suited to Sweet Amanda’s vintage-rustic-elegant style.

The site was transformed from a blank slate into a beautiful site.

Raven Lodge was transformed in one morning into a beautiful site by a group of Baby Boy’s friends who unloaded and arranged 200 chairs and 20 tables, rigged the lighting, and even carried out stuff for centerpieces.  The brides’ buddies brought in boxes of treasures to decorate every square inch and her parents started working at 8:00 in the morning without stopping until after midnight with the cleanup.  The groom had the best deal going because of the no seeing the bride on the wedding day rule.  Sweet Amanda was at the site until 2:00 for her 5:30pm wedding.  You will see her a lot in the pictures below because she really did oversee the whole process.

 The bride hard at it.  She was cutting ribbons to hang from the sconces in the chapel.

Tara completing the chalkboard for the entrance to the chapel.
The results were amazing.  The pictures I have are certainly not going to show you how beautiful everything looked, but I hope you get an idea of what a beautiful wedding they had.

 The center of each table was a funky mix of books, bottles and vintage items.

 This is MUCH better than the Texas Parks and Wildlife poster that is mounted to the fireplace.  Some of Amanda’s friends literally went home and got curtains to cover the poster.  Other friends added the window frame, the flowers a chalkboard with Sweet Amanda’s favorite verse and some of the vintage luggage that dotted the entire wedding.

 Sweet Amanda asked people to bring sweets for a sweets table.  This is the set up before the food arrived.  It was beautiful and delicious. I loved the painted frame chalkboard on the table.

 This was the start of the sign in table.  My friend Tanis brought an antique table up and decorated the table with vintage items.  One of the coolest things that she did is to set up three Mason jars for the guests to write wishes for the couple to open on their 1st, 5th, and 10th anniversary.  The frame was used to display pictures of the kids growing up.  The sign in book was on this table.  I wish I thought to take pictures of the finished product.  It was beautiful

The view from the chapel windows.  It looks out over the lake.
I only have a few pictures from the beautiful wedding.  I was a little busy and forgot all about taking pictures but I have collected these to show you a few to show you that it was all worth the effort.  Their smiles the entire evening warmed my heart. 

Thank you to those of you who shared in our joy.  We truly feel blessed to have a family and friends who ventured up to the country in July heat to share in this special moment.