Now and Later Fall Style

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ve definitely heard me moan and groan a little bit about how tight our current budget is due to paying 2 mortgages and not having a renter for quite some time. You won’t be surprised, then, to hear that my clothing budget is as tight as my home décor budget, except worse, because there’s no Dollar Tree or spray paint for clothes. Somebody should invent both of those things.

But really, I share these things not to complain, because I’m not discontent. I know God will take care of us as He always does, and I’m very grateful for the things I do have. I share just to explain the situation, and most likely commiserate, because I know so many people are in the same boat. You want to look cute, but just don’t have a whole lot of money to do that.

Fall and winter clothes are my absolute favorite, so I will admit it hurts a little to not have much of a clothing budget this year. However, it gives me a good chance to get creative with the clothes I do have, something I’m not always good at. I needed some pieces that could really work overtime, and I needed transition pieces that I could wear now while it’s still a little warm, and wear later when it gets a little colder.

So I thought I’d share 3 key pieces I’ll be wearing this fall and winter and how I plan to style them to work now and later. Mostly, I just wanted to play dress up, haha..,but hopefully this will inspire you if you’re working with a really strict budget like me.

I really tend toward jewel tones in the fall, and they’re really big right now everywhere. I picked up this swing dress for less than $20 last year, and I’m wearing it as a tunic now tucked into white jeans with some cut out booties.


And yes, you can wear white after Labor Day. That is an ancient, arbitrary, and silly rule left over from the class system.

When the temps drop a little, I’ll throw on a blanket scarf, leggings and some over-the-knee boots, along with a hat. I’m always looking for an excuse to wear a hat.


You can find a similar dress here (which is currently 30% off with the code THANKYOU).

Next, I just recently picked up this warm, topaz colored drapey tee from Old Navy, which again is currently 30% off. The description calls it a sweater, but it feels more like a tee.

I’m wearing it now as just a casual tee shirt with jeans and ankle boots.


And later, I’ll layer it with a plaid shirt and pleather jacket.


Just a little friendly tip, if you find yourself in the market for distressed jeans, it’s almost always cheaper to pick up a pair of regular jeans from Walmart or Old Navy, or even use a pair you already own, and distress them yourself, as I did in the pair above. For some reason, retailers like to charge more for holes in your jeans. Here is a great tutorial for distressing your own jeans.

Lastly, I found this, my most favorite ever drapey blouse, at the Nordstrom anniversary sale last year. I absolutely love the shape and fit, and the draping just feels luxurious. As you may have noticed, I like to wear drapey tops. If you’re a mom, you understand. No explanation necessary. I’m wearing it now tucked a little with jeans and my cut out boots (perfect for early fall)…


…and later, I’ll dress it up with pleather leggings (from Walmart!) and a fur vest. And another excuse to wear a hat.


That’s all for now!  Do you have any tips on how you stretch out your fall and winter wardrobe? I’d love to hear them!



DIY Pumpkin Silhouette Pillow

I’m back again today with another fall-themed DIY project. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m not going all out for fall, but I wanted to figure out a way to add a few, neutral, fallish touches at a very reasonable price.

Well, I made an awesome discovery, one which I may be the last person  to figure out, but that I’m still really excited about. What I discovered is that Hobby Lobby has a really great, very reasonably priced line of pillow covers. Not the pillows inside, which as we all know take up a ton of space and can be very difficult to find a good storage place for…just the covers. So I was like, you mean I can add more patterns and colors of pillows to my collection without adding to the ever-growing pile in the corner of my bedroom (which are not currently in use) that has been a source of contention between my husband and I for the last, oh, entire 10 years of our marriage? Life changing. If you, like me, find yourselves a little space challenged, but love to have a variety of pillows to change out with the seasons, this is the way to go. And when I found them, they were 50% off, so they were right around $4, $5, and $6 a piece. So much better than buying a whole throw pillow for so many reasons in addition to the fact that it just might save your marriage.

Along with my new pillow covers, I picked up some adhesive craft felt sheets ($.99 each) and used the twine that I had on hand (which was $3 from Lowe’s, and which I’ve used in at least 20 other projects).


I marked out the shapes I wanted with a pencil, and cut them out.


I used my hot glue gun to outline each cut piece with twine.


Then I promptly decided that they looked better on another pillow cover that I picked up. I loved the idea of the pumpkin silhouette against a patterned pillow, but there just wasn’t enough contrast, so it didn’t show up as much as I would have liked. But that’s the nature of DIY projects; it’s always a trial and error process. I figure it out so you don’t have to should you choose to make one. You’re welcome.

Lastly, I peeled off the backs and pressed them in place onto my pillow, and added a few little twine curly-cues with small dots of hot glue to hold them in place.


The beauty of this project is that, when this season is over, I can just peel the pumpkin shapes and few dots of hot glue right off the pillow.

But for now, I’m loving the way it looks with the patterned pillow on my couch. Just a tiny touch of fall for right around $7.




And I think that’s about the extent of my fall decorating. I hope you have enjoyed, and I hope you can maybe use some of these ideas yourself. Happy Fall!






Fall Décor On A Dime

Fall has arrived! I know it’s been official a while ago, specifically when Starbucks started selling the almighty Pumpkin Spice Latte (obviously), but I guess  I’m a little slow to adjust.

I don’t usually get super into seasonal decorating, and especially not fall décor. I just have   SO much REGULAR decorating that needs to be finished in the rest of the house that it’s hard to get into the temporary stuff. But this year, I decided to add just a few fallish details, just to feel a little more festive than normal.

Now, my already tight budget is even tighter right now since we haven’t had a renter in our Delaware house for almost half a year along with working on fixing it up to rent. So my fall décor budget was roughly $5 and some change. Or something close to that. Please tell me I’m not the only one?

As much as I would have loved to stock up on some pretty, fresh multi-colored pumpkins, they can be a little pricey, especially if you’re buying multiples. And if, like me, you prefer the white pumpkins? Forget about it.

So instead, I headed to the dollar section and picked up a few ugly items, determined to make something pretty out of them.

I picked up this $1 pumpkin bucket and a $.96 can of white spray paint from Walmart.


At the dollar tree, I found these faux leaf bunches and little pumpkins and gourds.


I spray painted the pumpkin bucket white, added some cabbage leaves from the produce section as a filler (a trick I learned from the Nester), a $3 bouquet of alstroemeria lilies, and finished it out with some wildflowers from across the street.


As much as I love traditional fall colors, I wanted a more neutral look overall. I cut the leaves off of the bunch, and gave them a few coats of the white spray paint as well. I love the muted, almost frosty look they have now.


I also gave the pumpkins and gourds a coat of copper spray paint.


And then, with a length of twine, I tied each leaf on individually, intermittently spaced to leave room for the gourds, which I then hot glued directly to the twine.



I did a little bit of chalkboard art, hung the finished garland, and set everything up.




Again, they’re small changes, nothing earth shattering, but enough at least to make it feel a little more autumnal here in the house and get my family and I in the fall spirit.


I love the way the afternoon light shines in this little corner.


That’s it for now, but I will be back later this week with a few more simple and affordable ideas. How are you decorating for fall? Do you like to go all out, or add just a few little touches like me?

Until next time!




DIY Ombre Flower Art


Hello! I’m back on this lovely, drizzly Monday morning to hopefully cheer you up with a bright, pretty, simple DIY project.

The very first room I worked on in our trailer was my little girls room.


If you’ve been following for a while and you remember, I went a little crazy with the fake flowers. I made this floral initial art


and this little dress up corner

Dress Up Gallery Wall.jpg

and this floral embellished photo.


Well, I’m back with another uber girly project…apparently, my girly side has been repressed for too long. I have been making a few changes to their room lately…more to come on that in the near future. For now, though, this quick and easy DIY.

The supplies I used were this deep picture frame from Ikea (could also use a shadow box), 4 stems of fake flowers from Dollar Tree, a glue gun, my gold glass marker  (the one listed is from Michaels, mine was from Hobby Lobby), a dry erase marker, and a piece of foam core (could also use cardboard or cardstock), also from the Dollar Tree.


I began by cutting the stems off of my flowers as close as possible to the flower so that they could lay flat.


Next, I arranged my flowers to get an idea of how I wanted them laid out.


Next, using the back of my frame as a guide, I cut out a square of the foam core board with an Xacto knife to use as a backdrop.


With that foam core square, I just started hot gluing my flowers on in rows.


Once the flowers were finished, I put my frame together, and marked on the glass where I wanted my script to go with my dry erase marker. This allowed me to practice my font a few times before getting exactly what I wanted.


I took the glass out and turned it over, then traced the back of the glass with my gold glass marker.  I wanted the script to be on the inside of the glass so that it would be protected, and so I could clean the glass without the risk of messing it up. Also, for anyone trying this at home, if you’re not super confident in your handwriting skills, you could easily print off the name in a font that you like, place it behind your glass, and trace it with your dry erase marker.


Before the final assembly, I did have to trim my flowers down a little on the sides to fit inside the frame.


Once that was finished, I put it all together, and this is the final product.


Just a pretty, quick and easy way to display your child’s name, and you could customize it with any color of flowers and script that you like.

Hope you enjoyed, and hope you have a fantastic week!




On Family, Small Changes, and New Art (the BEST kind)


Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio at Sunset

Well, hello there internet world! Remember me? Probably not? That’s ok. It’s only been a few months…make that 5…since I’ve written. But I’m still here, still alive and kicking, and I thought I’d pop in to share a few small changes I’ve been working on.

But first, where I’ve been. Here in Tennessee, our kids summer break is only 2 months long. Just to give you an idea of what our summer was like, we travelled 6 weeks of that 2 months. It was the craziest summer of our lives, but we had a blast. We went to Virginia, Delaware, Ohio, North Carolina and a few places in between. Once August came around, I was actually ready for my kids’ to go back to school just so we could get back to some semblance of a schedule.

I say all that not to apologize, but to explain. I’ve finally decided that I have to be ok with blogging when I can get to it, and not beat myself up when I can’t. This is actually my last year home with my baby girl, and my number one priority is enjoying this time with her because I can’t get it back. I’ve decided that, as much as I love blogging and would love to grow my little blog and make it better, family has to come first. I’ll squeeze time in whenever I can to keep up with blogging, this hobby that I love and brings me to life. So that means sometimes I’ll blog once a week, and sometimes you’ll hear from me once a month…and that’s ok. I hope you’ll stick with me, and follow our little journey, and I’d love to hear from you along the way.

All right, now that I’ve given you an unwarranted mini state of the blog address, back to the house. You may remember last year that I took an old closet door from my parents and gave it a makeover; if not, you can read about it here.


At the time, I used it as an air plant display. I won’t mention what has since happened to those air plants, but I needed to find something else to put on display here. Let’s just say, those air plants are probably in a better place now.

At the end of last year, my then second grader came home with a portrait of our family that he painted in art class, and I flipped over it. I draw and paint portraits myself, but I couldn’t possibly have captured our family as well as he did. It is officially my favorite piece of art ever (and it’s a good thing my other kids don’t read my blog yet!).


I knew right away that it needed a prominent display somewhere in our house. So, along with a few other changes, like these light bulbs that I love from IKEA, I made a few tweaks to our little corner. And here it is:



They’re just small changes, but they spice things up a bit and bring me joy…especially that family portrait. In fact, just taking pictures of my house makes me relove it. In real life, it gets old and familiar and cluttered and dusty, but when I see it through the lens of my camera, it’s like I get a fresh perspective, and I’m reminded why I’ve put these things I love on display in the first place. It’s not about the things themselves, but about the memories they hold, and the joy and excitement of creating.



In the interest of full disclosure, I feel that I should show you the set up for hanging them…it ain’t pretty. They’re hanging from little plastic hooks my husband jerry-rigged to the ceiling. The sockets are also from IKEA, and I’m not crazy about them.


Eventually, I’d like do something creative with the cords; I’ve been really inspired by people using cords themselves in unique ways, instead of trying to hide them away and cover them up, as we are all in the constant struggle to do with our everyday electronics and gadgets. Here are a few great examples:

  • example
  • From Pinterest (can’t find the original)


Apartment Therapy


Apartment Therapy


Apartment Therapy



Until that moment of inspiration hits me, though, the current setup will have to work.

So that’s all for now. You’ll hear from me again sooner than five months again, I promise. Thanks for following along, and I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what you think…share some creative ideas for cords that you find…tell me how your summer went…I want to hear it all!




Cover Photo 3

Front Porch Reveal! One Room Challenge: Week 6

It’s done! My porch is done! I’m so excited to finally share my finished porch for the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda from Calling It Home. It was so, so much work; about 50% of it was my husband building new railing, 49% of it was painting, and only 1% was the fun stuff, like pillows and accessories. But that’s how it goes, right?

First, I’ll take you on a little tour and describe some of the changes we made.


Beginning with the front door, I painted the door and screen door to lighten it up a bit, painted the trim white, and changed out the lighting fixture. This one ($29 from Lowe’s) gives the whole porch a warm, homey glow.


In weeks 3 and 4 you saw that Luke took down all the trellis and built a real porch railing. That and painting every surface on this porch clearly made the biggest impact. It’s truly amazing what a difference paint can make. I painted the ceiling in a pretty, aqua blue color, painted the paneling in the front of the house one shade darker than the other half of the house (although I’m reconsidering that color), painted the floors black, and painted all the trim white.

As you can see, I added trellis in front of the window as sort of a focal point, but it also serves as a privacy screen for my boys’ room (right inside the window with no blinds). I added lights (had to have some sparkle, obviously) and tiny potted plants.


In week 2, I painted and stained those $4 nesting tables from a yard sale. I also stained the old IKEA chairs a tiny bit darker, and gave them new cushions from HomeGoods for a pop of color.


This little corner might be my favorite. I added a few plants and hung our hammock (can’t wait to use that!). I also spray painted some little $1.50 house numbers copper to display at the entrance.


I’m really proud of this DIY planter I made from concrete and copper liquid metal, using this super simple tutorial from Happy Looks Good On You. I’ll definitely be using more concrete in the future; at $5 a bag, the possibilities are endless.


Moving right along, I added mulch to emphasize the garden area, and hung branches from my yard, planters, and lanterns to add a little privacy. But clearly, my husband’s porch railing is the star of the show here.




I made hangers for my tiny potted plants with yarn and twine I had on hand using this tutorial, another quick and easy DIY from Free People’s blog (after figuring out how to make the first one, the rest took only about 10 minutes each).

The lanterns are from World Market; they were originally an antique pewter, but I painted them copper.


For this corner, another favorite, I gave the director’s chairs a little makeover by painting the canvas with off-white chalk paint, giving them a coat of Minwax Spar Urethane to make them outdoor friendly, and adding throw pillows.



The pillows are, again, from HomeGoods. The little watering can was $3 from Lowe’s (originally red, but I spray painted it copper). Hopefully it will remind me to water my plants and keep them alive.


And that’s that! I had lots of help from my hubby and even my kids got in on the painting action.


Now, just in case you’ve forgotten, here are a few before and afters to remind you of where we started:


Trimmed BushesAfter:



Front Porch Before 1




Front Porch Before 2




Front Porch Before 3







As for the budget, I originally told you that I would stay within $200. That was before my husband decided to rebuilt the porch. Since the original plan was to just paint everything, I’m not counting what he spent in my budget. I know, that’s totally cheating, but that was his project.

Here’s the breakdown for my budget:

Floor Paint: $35

White Kilz Paint (for railing, trim, etc.): $17

Ceiling/Table Paint (I got 4 $3 paint samples because I didn’t want to buy a whole gallon…I’m a cheapskate!): $12

House Paint: $30

Stain for Furniture: $9

Spar Urethane: $10

Chalk Paint: $6

Copper Liquid Metal: $3.50

Light Fixture: $30

Pillows: $40

Lanterns (Splurge!): $37

Trellis: $7

Concrete: $5

Buckets for Molds: $5

House Numbers: $4.50

Plants (I bought some, borrowed some from the rest of the house, and got some from my Mom): $25

Mulch: $10

Watering Can: $3

Total: $289

So, yeah, I still went over quite a bit, without even counting the work that my husband did. But I still think I did pretty darn good for the amount that I accomplished with that money. I’ve opened my front door just to look out at it just about 50 times since I finished it. It makes me very happy and proud to be finished, and I can’t wait to spend lots of time on it this summer, reading a book in my hammock, listening to my kids playing and laughing. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion that it will sound a little more like kids fighting over the hammock, and me yelling at the kids and the dog to not get mud all over the furniture, but hey, one can dream.

Now that I am done (hallelujah!) and have a little time on my hands, I’m going to head over to the One Room Challenge and check out all of the other bloggers’ reveals, so I hope you’ll join me! I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.


Cover Photo


I’m also sharing this makeover over at these fantastic link parties:

Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou


Home Stories A to Z

Inspire Me Monday

Dream. Create. Inspire.

Wow Us Wednesdays

Work It Wednesday

Pretty Project Party

Porch Painted 2

One Room Challenge: Week 4- Front Porch Makeover

This week for the One Room Challenge, my husband did a lot of constructing and I did a lot of painting.

We’re making over our double wide trailer’s ugly front porch (just a reminder for any new readers), and this is its original form.


Trimmed Bushes

My plan was just to give everything a fresh coat of paint, but my husband got all industrious and decided to build his own porch. Really, he just built new supports, replaced a few boards, and replaced the trellis with slats, but it has been a ton of work and he’s been amazing…especially for having zero experience with “building” porches.

Porch Construction 2Before Paint

So, armed with a paintbrush, coffee, and Kari Jobe on Pandora, I got to work and gave it all a coat of white Kilz paint.

Coffee and Paint

Porch Painted

Painted Porch

(Don’t mind the big pile of construction stuff in the middle of the porch…it’s just going to be like that until Week 6.)

Now, I actually would have loved to have kept the wood unpainted to go with my sort of boho feel, but most of the existing boards were really old with layers and layers of paint, so the only thing that made sense, really, was to paint it all. But clearly, the white paint makes a huge difference, and I think it’s beginning to brighten up the space.

Well, back to work. Only 2 weeks left, and my to-do list is only about a mile long. Be sure to see what’s going on with all of the other bloggers in the One Room Challenge.




Nesting Table Makeover

One Room Challenge: Week 3-Front Porch Makeover

Week Three means we’re halfway through the One Room Challenge, and I am nowhere near halfway through the amount of work that needs to be done, so this is the point where the panic just starts to kick in. But we did manage to get quite a bit done this week, and I feel a little more confident about the direction we’re heading.

As you may recall, I have a few furniture makeovers that I’m going to attempt, one of which was these bamboo nesting tables that I found at a yard sale for $4.

Nesting Tables

Well, this porch makeover, if all goes as planned, will be a lot of black and white, so I decided I needed a pop of color. I picked up a few paint samples, and settled on this Behr Ultra aqua color, Undine. I also used a stain I had on hand to stain the bamboo a slightly darker shade. Here’s the result:

Nesting Table Makeover 2

Nesting Table Makeover

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out; now they just need a coat of polyacrylic for protection.

As for the porch, we (meaning my husband, of course) did a little demo this week. We decided to take down the lattice (which I’ve always hated), replace a few handrail boards, and replace the ugly, bent, trailer-y looking supports with 4x4s.

Porch Construction 2

We will be putting up wood slats to give it a more traditional porch look, and it will all receive a fresh coat of paint.

As you can see, I still haven’t finished the porch floor. I gave it a second power washing with a more powerful pressure washer, hoping that would get the rest of the paint off, which it didn’t. So now, I have decided that I really, really, really don’t want to tackle stripping the porch, and I’ve settled on painting it instead of staining it.

That’s all for now. I’m so thankful for my husband, who did most of the work this week.

Hope you have a great weekend, and wish me luck! I plan to do a LOT of painting this weekend.







Front Porch Mockup

One Room Challenge: Week Two-Front Porch Makeover

Welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge, where I have decided to makeover my ugly trailer’s front porch in 6 weeks with $200; I’m joining over 200 other bloggers in this challenge.

I’ll be really honest and let you know this week won’t be terribly exciting. I didn’t get a whole lot done.

Just as a reminder, this is the idea I’m going for with my makeover:

Front Porch Mockup


And since I didn’t share last week, here are a few images that I absolutely love and pulled inspiration from:

Inspiration 1

Woodsy Patio Hangout from cuckoo4design


Inspiration 2

Backyard Fire Pit from Blackbird

So this week, I began by trimming a few bushes. Here’s what they looked like before…


…and here they are after I went to town on them.

Trimmed Bushes

Don’t judge my pruning abilities…I am no gardener. They look really sparse, but in order to open up the porch, I had to trim down to the level of the handrail, and all of the greenery was at the top. It made me a little sad, because they are really pretty bushes, but they were so overgrown that it had to be done, and I’m hoping they grow back in next year. I’m contemplating clearing out a flower bed around the bushes and adding mulch and a few flowers…if I have time, that is.

The next thing on the list was some power washing on the porch, which did wonders. You can see the finished and unfinished sides here.

Before After Washing

Porch After

I also got my stain for the porch, Behr Solid Color Weather Proofing Stain in Slate. And yes, it passed the puppy’s approval, just in case you were wondering.

Product Testing

I tried it out in a little patch to make sure it was what I wanted.


I love the way it looks. Unfortunately, there were 2 layers of paint, and while the pressure washing got rid of most of both layers, there are still traces of paint, which are not going to take the stain (as you can see where the shiny spots are). So, I’m going to have to use a paint stripper and scrape the rest off before I can finish the stain.

So, we’ll get there…slowly but surely. That’s all for this week. Be sure to check out all of the other bloggers over at the One Room Challenge…there is a ton of work being done, and so much inspiration to be found over there!

Until next week!


Front Porch Mockup

One Room Challenge- Week One: Front Porch Makeover

Hey Y’all!

I know, I know…it’s been a while. I’ve seriously neglected this blog for a few months now, and thanks for being patient with me. I’ve been working on some things, and most importantly, working on establishing some good habits that were really important to me, and it’s been tough getting back into the groove.

So, I figured the One Room Challenge, hosted by Linda at would be the perfect time to jump back in with both feet. Although, after the first round I completed back in November, and now that I’m fully aware of just how crazy it can be to makeover a space in 6 weeks, I have to be a little crazy to do it again. But at least I’m not the only crazy one; there are over 100 other people joining the challenge along with me. Be sure to follow their One Week Challenge along with me.

For this challenge, I will be making over my front porch. No small task. If you’re new here to the blog…welcome! If you’ve been following along, you know that my husband and I, our 4 kids, and 2 pets, all live in a less than 1000 square ft., old, dated trailer that we have been working on renovating, trying to make the most of what we have, and bringing our own style into this small space on a very limited budget. So far, we have finished our girls’ bedroom, our boys’ Star Wars Bedroom (from last fall’s One Room Challenge), our front room, and are in the middle of working on our kitchen (see here and here).

For the front porch, here’s what I have to work with:

One very ugly front porch:

Front Porch Before 3

Front Porch Before 2Front Porch Before 1(And here’s another shot with our pretty dogwood tree to distract you from the ugliness that is our front porch.



Two IKEA wicker chairs (so old that IKEA doesn’t sell this particular model anymore and desperately in need of a makeover):

Ikea Wicker Chairs

Two awesome directors chairs my sister and I found at Goodwill for $15 each (which also need a makeover and to be made outdoor friendly):

Director's Chairs

This set of nesting tables that I got for $4 at a yard sale (add that to the ‘needs a makeover’ list):

Nesting Tables


So, yeah…the front porch is bad…really bad. I pretty much haven’t touched it in the almost 2 years since we’ve been here…totally NOT because I’m lazy…but because I wanted the before and after comparison to be THAT much more dramatic. Yeah, that’s what I’m sticking with.

Here’s a mood board of sorts to give you an idea of the look I’m going for, black and white like the rest of the inside with sort of a Moroccan, bohemian vibe with lots of greenery and copper accents:

Front Porch Mockup

What needs to be done:

-A good pressure washing

-Sanding/staining/painting the walls and floors (I’m thinking white for the walls and black for the floors)

-Possibly painting the ceiling for a pop of color

-Build new posts

-The aforementioned furniture makeovers

-Paint or stain the woodwork and trellis

-Make some throw pillows

-Come up with some creative, DIY planters and plant displays

-Find and install a new light

Oh yeah, and the kicker…my husband and I have agreed on a budget of no more than $200. No big deal. I can already see lots and lots of coffee in my future. Y’all wish me luck, and be sure to follow along!