Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Craigslist Closet Cleanse

A few months ago I decided to get rid of the bedroom suite we picked up at an estate sale over 20 years ago.  And as usual for me, one thing led to another and I decided to get rid of all the stuff in my house that I don't really like or could do without.

 I started out with furniture and a few odds and end from the closets and under beds.  So far I have gotten rid of the following and made close to $500!  Round of Applause, Please!

An old TV cabinet - had to give this one away, but when I posted it for free I had 30 people interested in 30 minutes.

A dresser - $75

A chest of drawers - $150

Two nightstands - $50

 A desk - $45

A bookcase - $30

A luau party photo prop - $20
I actually picked this up on sale for 1/2 price so I got all my money back (except sales tax)


A wall tapestry - $30

A cheval mirror - $50

An antique sewing rocker - $50


Two very old straight back chairs - gave to my daughter

Two buffet lamps - $20

Two digital TV converter boxes - $50

There may be more, but I can't remember at the moment.   I'm not missing any of the old stuff and I'm slowly piece by piece replacing some of it with pieces I really love!  Of course that means right now I have 4 or 5 pending projects. smile

I'm also getting rid of home decor, clothing, shoes, books and more and it feels good. It will feel better if I EVER get done.  But do you ever really get finished cleaning out closets?  I'd be happy if I could just have one pile of stuff to get rid of each year!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, People!


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Friday, July 27, 2012

Pinteresting Gifts I've Received

The world of Pinterest has been good to me in the last few months.  I have received gifts made by family member who found the ideas on Pinterest. This is a win-win situation because I got the benefit of the cool idea and I didn't have to do any work.  So thanks, gals!

Here are a few of the gifts I have received which have "Pinterest" origins.

At Christmas I received this melted crayon artwork from my daughter
At a recent VERY EARLY birthday party I received the items below/.

A ceramic tile with the grandkid's handprints and one of my favorite sayings!

Handmade footscrub, hand cream and Beach in a Bottle spray for my hair
 The items above and below were given to me by my nephew and his wife.
Can you guess which one of them made these items herself?

Pomegranate Gardener's Scrub - this stuff is awesome.

I wish I could give you instruction links - but remember, I didn't make this items, they were gifts!  I feel sure if you search for them on Pinterest you will find instructions.  (just in case you need a weekend project)

Much Love & Laughter,


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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's Just a Small Chair - Should be Easy, Right?

As summer comes along I don't want to cook much or do many projects.  I want to read by the pool, float in the pool, visit with friends by the pool.  You get the idea.

When I bought the dresser I painted blue and the matching desk that will someday be madeover for my sewing "stuff", the lady tossed in a chair for FREE.  That's my favorite price and it is a sturdy little chair. I thought painting it would be easy and I can't say it was hard, exactly, maybe time consuming is a better description.  It has a lot of sides and angles and potential for paint to drip.  I don't like drips.

I can't seem to find a before picture, but I'll keep looking, but picture it boring - solid white with a beige seat.  Recovering the seat was no problem, I've done a lot of those.  Painting the chair with a brush - not so much fun.  The result?  I love it and have placed it by my little french desk.

Makes me smile !

So you can see I haven't been a total bum the last two months (after I get home from work).  I've been working on a thing or three - I'm just working slowly due to the time I am spending on relaxation.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Friday, July 20, 2012

No More Mud

The side yard project that was started in the spring is finally done! 
(Loud Cheering and High Fives!!!)

I was reminded by my dear sweet husband that it would have been finished long ago had I not got sidetracked and started on the bedroom furniture project which was sidetracked by the guest room projects.  Anyway it goes on and on like that. Hopefully all projects will get completed eventually.

The side yard was a problem for a variety of reasons that included lots of shade from the house and the fence, over watering by the neighbor and that it was a narrow awkward space to mow.  So we decided to do away with the grass completely.  So this is how that project went - I took a lot of pictures, because it took almost forever to complete.

This is how it looked with no grass - bleh!

This is how SuperDave got rid the excess dirt out to make room for the decomposed granite.

After buying way too many BAGS of granite, we put the project on hold.  When we resumed, we found someone who would dump 3 cubic YARDS of crushed granite in our driveway and (big round of applause) my husband hauled it around the house ONE wheelbarrow LOAD at a time. In fact he pretty much did ALL the work on this project by himself.  I just came up with the idea and tried to keep him hydrated.  Okay, I did a bit of raking.

The work in progress.  I relocated these elephant ear bulbs up from another location in our backyard where they had never grown very much. They are very happy in their new home and have gone crazy!

Peeking through the magnolia

A baby cardinal

When we got this close to being finished I was so impressed by how small the pile was I took another photo! My poor SuperDave thought I was pointing out that the pile wasn't gone completely - NOPE - I thought the progress was AMAZING!

I found this yard art for cheap while shopping for project supplies (Costco).
Now the sun is always out in our backyard.

Neat and Clean - No more mowing, no more mud!

It even changed the views out a couple of windows for the better.

I love that we can now use this gate for access to our backyard from the front yard and street.

Good job sweetheart!  My hat is off to my husband and I think all the soreness is now gone from his overworked muscles!

I promise this is the last yard project of the summer.  Now it's time to float in the pool!

Happy Friday!


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pictures That Make Me Smile - Hula Honey

Did I share this before?  I hope not, but my memory is getting worse as I get older.  Not that I'm getting OLD, just a day older every day!

I picked this photo prop up a few years ago for my husband's 50th birthday party.  I recently sold it on craigslist because it had been gathering dust under the bed for 3 years (in the plastic package of course.)  Time to move on!  I hope the little gal that bought it has as much fun at her B-Day party as we had at this one.

Hula Honey!
I wish I could make my waist look like this hula gal as easily as stepping behind the photo board, but it just doesn't come that easy.  I found a great little tool on Pinterest yesterday.  Check out the weight loss simulator at the link below.  It seems pretty accurate to me. Be sure to choose your hair color, skin tone, eye shape, etc. to make it look more like you.  Then put in the weight you were at when you were 30 (if you dare).

Apparently I used to look like this  ;)

You don't need to see my current weight simulator picture, but check it out it's pretty cool.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Me? In The Spotlight?

When I posted by first blog in January of this year I had no idea what I was doing. 

 And there is still so much about creating a blog that I don't know. 

I wish I had more time to blog, read other blogs and link up to parties so more people could find my blog.  But even with limited time and skills I'm still having a LOT OF FUN!

I feel like I've made some great friends out there in the Wide World of Blogging.

I LOVE reading the comments and looking at stats to see all the places people are stopping by from literally all over the globe.  I've had less than 10,000 views on my blog but the readers are from everywhere!  I find that so exciting and I am grateful to each and every one of you!

Today I've been featured for the FIRST time (applause) on the Newbie Spotlight of the Week at Refresh Restyle .  Thanks so much for choosing me!  I'm a little blinded by the spotlight, but I'm going to slip on my shades and enjoy the attention for a little while!

The full posts chosen for for the spotlight can be viewed here and here.

Maybe someday I'll be able to focus more time and attention on my blog, but for today....

I'm a full time
Grand Lala
List Maker

I'm a part time
Bargain Hunter
Personal shopper (for my family!)
Laundry Maid

And I'm doing them all with much Love & Laughter,


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Monday, July 16, 2012

I Found a Vintage Drawer Handle!

A few months ago I purchased a small dresser that I repurposed to use as a nightstand.  It was missing one beautiful vintage brass handle.  I didn't think this would be a big problem, but it got rather time consuming so now that the search it over I am SO happpy!  You can read more about that project and see the photos here.

I stalked Ebay and Etsy and searched the internet high and low after I got outbid on the first matching drawer pull I found on Ebay.  I finally won the bid on a handle that had been painted. I hoped to strip the paint and make it match close enough.  I waited two or three weeks and the handle never arrived.  Apparently it was lost in shipping. 

So the search started again.  Finally the new handle arrived and while it's not an exact match in weight and manufacturer it is SO close no one will ever notice.  And it is a shabby chic piece, so it's all good.

The refinished piece before I received the missing pull

I absolutely love this piece of furniture, it's my favorite redo so far. 

And to make it even sweeter I ran across this Ralph Lauren chest at Marshall's about a week ago.  It was $500 - at Marshall's.

The total investment for my piece was about $50.  Yes, I REALLY like mine -  a LOT.

Much Love & Laughter,


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Friday, July 13, 2012

Trying Something New (again) - Can you Believe it? - Chalk Paint Project

I picked up a couple pieces of inexpensive furniture on Craigslist for $45.  I was not thrilled in the beginning because the quality was less than my previous projects.  They were pretty abused and came to me looking like this.

Don't know what Top Secret contents had been stored
in this drawer, they were long gone
 I decided that I could afford to be adventurous with these pieces because the investment was small.  Also, they are going in an upstairs guest bedroom for my sewing machine and supplies so they won't be highly visible.  I don't even go in there very often!  After getting one piece mostly finished I think it turned out pretty cute.

I love all the blue pieces I have seen around the web so I went with a (homemade) blue chalk paint.

The top drawer has nice curvy lines

The tops of the dresser and desk are laminate so I thought I would try applying fabric on top.  My fabric actually shrunk.  Nothing I read suggested this would happen, so next time around I will leave excess on the back and side and trim it after applying the Mod Podge (before it dries.)

Apparently, it smells interesting to Chewie

The fabric on top looks pretty cool and I think I'll do a better job with the second piece. 
Live and Learn!

It was a good piece to experiment on and it looks pretty decent now and will provide good storage for sewing supplies and fabric.  The handles were white and silver and I left them for now, but I think they would be rather striking painted black.

Finishing the mathcing desk is on my (endless) list of projects. 
Maybe tomorrow?  Or the day after?

Much Love & Laughter,

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

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Pictures That Make Me Smile - Key West Sunset

Today I bring to you a nice set of sunset photos taken when our cruise docked in Key West a few TOO MANY years ago.  Both would make wonderful classic paintings, so I've given them masterpiece titles, as usual with my Pictures That Make Me Smile photos.

We were actually sailing ourselves when I took these photos.  I LOVE to sail!

Sunset at Sea

I wish I was sailing right now!


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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Colonel Sanders and Will Rogers

I really enjoyed this post I found when I first started my blog and wanted to share it with you.  I think it's okay to share someone else's post as long I as give them credit, right?


Life Begins At Forty – Harlan Sanders (KFC)

It was mid-life crisis and an observation by cowboy philosopher Will Rogers that turned Harlan Sanders’ life around.

In 1930, Rogers observed on his radio show, “Let me tell you something, life begins at forty.” This line has since become a cliche, but at the time it was new, and it made a big impression on Harlan Sanders. Sanders had coincidentally just turned forty and was in the throes of a deep depression. Looking back at his life, he determined that he had been a failure at everything he had tried and didn’t have much reason to believe things were going to get much better.

Sanders had dropped out of school at age fourteen and hit the road. He tried being a farm hand but didn’t like it. He became a streetcar conductor at age sixteen, but was fired a few weeks later. He tried blacksmithing but could not make a living. Finally, he found a job he liked. He became a locomotive fireman for the Southern Railroad, that is until he was fired. Next, he sold tires, then insurance, followed by working on a ferryboat. Failing at all of these, he became a secretary. He believed he would always be a failure.

Will Rogers’ observation jolted Sanders out of his doldrums. He decided to try something completely new as his forty plus life began. He opened a little gas station in Kentucky on U.S. 25, the main highway to Florida from “up North.” He added a small luncheonette and started making food for travelers. Trying to fix his tasteless fried chicken, he started experimenting with seasonings. After weeks of testing he came up with his personal “Holy Grail” – the Harlan Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken Secret Recipe with Eleven Herbs and Spices.

His fried chicken started getting famous among locals and frequent travelers. The governor of Kentucky even made him a Kentucky Colonel in 1935 in honor of his contribution to roadside cuisine. For the first time in his life, Sanders began feeling like a success. He started making a pretty good living. Then something else happened that jarred Sanders into action once again. He turned sixty-five and got his first social security check.

Feeling anything but socially secure, he decided to use the money from his first check to franchise his fried chicken recipe to other restaurants. Several restaurants took him up on the deal. He didn’t charge anything up front to franchise his recipe. He just provided the mysterious secret spice mix and asked that licensees send him five cents for every chicken they sold. “It was slow for a while,” he later recalled, “but eventually I began to realize how Mr. Woolworth built up such a big business with his five-and-dime stores. Those nickels really add up when they’re rolling in.”

Life began at forty for Harlan Sanders. And once he decided to make a difference, nothing could hold him back. Harlan sold his family business, and today PepsiCo Inc. guards the secret recipe that launched Harlan Sanders into a successful, internationally known entrepreneurial icon.

Never give up! 


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Taste of Summer

I snapped this picture of my breakfast a few mornings ago and it was so beautiful I wanted to share it.  Just perfection and all I did was rinse them off.  I'm thankful for all those trucks bringing fresh fruit to our stores.  The berries this summer seems sweeter than ever!

I been blessed the last few weeks to make personal contact with family a couple of times, which in summer means an abundance of fresh vegetables.  I've been treated to vine ripe tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers and okra.  Oklahoma soil is wonderful for growing vegetables, I've never had any success since moving to Texas and have finally given up.

I hope you are enjoying the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables during your summer also.

Much Love & Laughter,


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