I love Befores & Afters. They make life seem so easy to fix, despite all the work that went into each space between pictures. It's one of the reasons HGTV is so addicting. Tell me if you have any befores or afters you want to post. I'd love to see!!!
This story starts at Home Goods last Saturday, when I'm supposed to be on the hunt for a rug for our den (we are getting wood floors), when my eye wanders in the lamps and wall decor section. I happen to find adorable, large-framed chalkboards for sale. I love, but I redirect my attention to the task-at-hand---getting a rug, foolishly thinking I could always come back and buy one of those chalkboards later. As Julia Roberts would say, "Big mistake, BIG!"
Monday morning rolls around, and I get a bee in my bonnet that I just have to have one of those chalkboards to go in my kitchen. I mean I still have some leftover birthday money, even though I'm sure I spent most of it on that rug. Nevertheless, I can't get the decorating idea out of my mind. So instead of getting groceries like I should, I trudge all three kids off to Home Goods, passing HEB on my way. The whole way there my heart is pounding with excitement. I know this sounds like a bit much, but as a person that rarely deviates from my normal schedule, it was kind of thrilling. After a few, "Don't touch anythings." and "Who wants to ride in the carts." We are breezing through the thankfully air-conditioned Home Goods. I make a beeline back to the section where it all started only to find that ALL the chalkboards were GONE! (Ugh) This may sound kind of crazy, but I actually wanted to cry. Silly, isn't it? I kept searching the section and shelves over and over again only to find their bulletin board look-a-likes. After taking everyone to the potty, one-by-one (not an easy thing to do), feeling defeated, we left Home Goods empty-handed. At that point, I probably should have given up and went on to HEB to get my regular Monday groceries, but I didn't. We ended up going to 4 different places after that, searching for a dang chalkboard. You would be surprised how rare they really are, especially ones with a cute frame. Then the idea came to me...what about chalkboard paint? Yes, I could buy one of the bulletin boards and somehow convert it into a chalkboard. Sooo after a stop by Home Depot for paint, and Home Goods for a bulletin board. "The Project" begins...... Yup, I painted directly onto the cork board.
This paint costs $10 at Home Depot. And, a little bit goes a long way.
Not a bad paint job, I didn't even have to tape. I guess it's just my experience with painting my kids bedrooms numerous times.
As you can see, the texture was just not right for writing on with chalk.
My kitchen wall before.
After: I added some antique platters.
Painted bulletin board, looks nice, but not working... So after a phone call to my handy dad, I figured I could always try popping out the bulletin board and somehow attaching a hard board on the aback that can be painted. The next night I went to Home Depot and found a very thin, smooth, but sturdy type of board and had them cut it for free to my exact dimensions. I walked out of there with a board for my kitchen and the leftover scrap (which was larger) for less than $4. Wow! I figured I could use the leftover board to paint a chalkboard for my kids to play with.
Oops! I made the mistake of choosing a screw that was too long. I later covered it up with a marker. You hardly notice it.
I was lucky enough to find several smaller smaller screws in my tool box that didn't make a whole on the other side of the frame. I used my husband's power tool to screw in the new board
Who doesn't hang pictures and paint while cooking?
The lasagna was a little neglected in the oven while I was busy with the new board, but I don't think anyone noticed.
Don't try this at home. Mixing painting, drilling and hanging pictures with cooking. Although, I'm not sure you can count throwing a Stouffer's in the oven cooking?
Ahhhh. Finished product. After, popping out the corkboard, and attaching the painted board from Home Depot, the was actually a little gap where I can store the chalk.
Now I've got a great place to write notes, scriptures or what's for dinner....etc. A special thanks to The Nesting Place for the idea.
And, the kids have a great place to use their sidewalk chalk outside without making a huge mess.
My mom found this gorgeous white soup tureen for only $15!!!
Antique platter from England, half price, $19
And now the best deal yet! Almost highway robbery...
Wicker chair: $20, matching table: $15 WOW! I am deciding about rather I want the chair to stay outside on my back porch or I might want to spray paint it an interesting color and put it in my den with a cute fabric on the cushion. Still debating...
What a deal!!!!
With being in Granbury recently, I've had the opportunity to find some really awesome deals. I really appreciate a good find. My mom also helps me. That woman could find a needle in a haystack if she wanted to use it to decorate her house.
And the New York trip begins at Rockerfeller Center
Touring NBC Studios...Now time to meet the celebrities!!!!
Yes, I just happen to run into Julia Roberts, and she offered me a chair.
Chad's climbing the business ladder of success.
Beyonce asked me to be her back up dancer.
Chad got into a fight with P. Diddy. Who could blame him?
I'm not jealous, she's so fake.
Chad was then pulled over for an interview.
Britney was just hanging out, so I said "Hello"
That is just TALL!!!
Chad fit right in at the original Grimaldi's.
Day Two: Central Park & Met Musuem
Beautiful scenery....Chad's not bad looking either.
No, he's not an American Woman. Just the exhibit name, people!
For the Billy Madison fans: "Stop looking at me swan!"
Some of my favorite pieces.....
And, now off to dinner at Sardi's and Broadway to see Chicago!
Time Square right outside our hotel.
Nice dinner at Sardi's
I don't even look 30 do I? Don't answer that!
Right before the show
Day 3 (My Birthday): St. Patrick's Cathedral, 5th Ave, Lunch reservations at Serendipity 3, See Broadway "Promises, Promises", Midnight at Empire State Building
Inside the Cathedral, breathtaking.
Donald Trump's next Apprentice!!!
Souvenirs for the kiddos back home.
Very romantic, but short and kinda stinky and overly priced carriage ride.
My favorite spot in Central Park, where we sat on the lawn and just enjoyed nature. How often do you get to do that?
Very Very Good Show!!!!
And to wrap up my birthday we went to the Empire State building and snuk a cupcake to eat at the top!
I'm afraid of heights, so the picture is not so clear, sorry!
Hurry and eat before the guard catches ya!
"Good Morning!" The view from our hotel room window!
Day 4: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, and HURRY to the airport
"Goodbye, New York!"
Before we take our taxi to the airport, we make a little stop at Gray's Papaya hot dogs. Delicious!!!
Back home we had a small celebration at Olive Garden for my birthday.
Too cute not to post...
Cousins at breakfast time.
Gabby, Alex & Mackenzie modeling their new NYC shirts!
Cammie and Gabby!!!
Model in the making
Hanging out on the couch!
My grandparents joined us for church and lunch
Kenzie is enjoying her lunch too!
Just the girls! My sisters, Amy, and Jennifer and my mom.
Wow how a summer flies by! I am almost sad thinking of all that I wanted to do this summer, but didn't get done. But, at least I did do some things that I wanted to do and that includes a fabuloso trip to NYC and getting some chill time with my kids at home. I also turned the big 3-0. Not my favorite part about this summer, but Chad and I certainly had a great reason to celebrate in the Big Apple. We also were celebrating 8 solid, happy years of marriage. And I think there was a Father's Day in there too. What a busy month June turned out to be! One of the reasons I have been behind on my blogging is that we also went to Granbury this past weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July with my family. We had a blast there too! I hope the rest of the summer is just as fun, but less busy, if it can be with three kids. I do still have a few more goals in mind to get accomplished, but they are not quite as fabulous as the fun we had at the beginning of the summer. I guess that would include organizing closets, skill-sharpening of my kids' school work, cleaning, more organizing, a few playdates and I bet we can have some fun at the Sienna pool some too!