35 and Life

Today is my last day in the 30-34 category!  You know those little judgmental boxes you check off when you need to disclose your age.  Well, tomorrow and for the next five years I will be lumped in with those who are the big 4-0.  This has me reflecting on what can make a person feel like they’ve grown up.

I usually only pretend to be mature to hide the silly and ridiculous that is my true self but as I say goodbye to my early 30’s there’s some strong feelings, mostly good.  Perhaps its the realization that there’s a whole lot of adult going on.

IMG_2929 copy

Without thinking too seriously, here are a few things that are making my life at 35 seem grown up.

There’s the minivan. I know it’s not young and cool to be excited your car has the option to come with a vacuum cleaner but to me its a dream come true. It has 150 cup holders and yet somehow we could always use one more.

There’s the Costco membership. It goes hand in hand with the minivan.

There’s us.  Danny and I have been married almost 15 years.  Isn’t that a milestone?  Not a relive your wedding reception/party with friends kind of milestone but it’s still big, right?  Earning us some major adulthood street cred.  We got married in our baby 20’s and I have to admit, I felt pretty grown up on my wedding day.  I had no idea.

306673_270085949740537_888048587_n

There’s the kids.  I seemed to have aged in fast forward mode after giving birth to our 8 and 10 pound babies.  I literally have the body of a 35-year-old with two kids.  Being responsible for little people is tough.  Especially when your kindergartener is smarter than you are.  I hear all the time, “Mom, ‘I don’t know’ does not answer my question.”  Then, I draw upon my 35 years of life experience and make something up.

There’s the mortgage and our little home.  “We’re in ESC-uh-ROW!”   Can everyone else relate almost anything back to Gilmore Girls? And Friends?  We just invested in a suite of yard tools.  Nothing says you have indeed arrived like a hedge trimmer.

Believe it or not turning 35 is so totally fine with me, I actually think its a pretty great time of life.

“Thirty-five is a very attractive age.  London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.”

Oscar Wilde

Maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

Be sure and share what and/or when you felt like an official adult.  I’d love to hear your experiences and stories.

Done being gone.

Well hello there blog.

I’ve missed you.

Its been way too long.

Within days of my last post I learned I was pregnant with my second baby.  Very exciting news for us and as you can imagine my attention has thus been diverted.  I’m not quite sure how to pick back up where I left off so there may be a shift in what I find myself writing about.  I just know that I enjoy this little place where I can express my thoughts and share a few pictures.

So, welcome back!

Little Cottage Interiors

Anthropology Inspired Dresser

Hooray! I am finally done with this project! I bought two dressers, I’m not even kidding you, back in October and I have been slowly completing them. That means for a whole six months we’ve been shuffling them around our house. Need I remind you that there’s barely enough room for the stuff that belongs much less anything extra. I would work on them in my kitchen, then push them into the living room and we’d shove them in the office if we had company. I enjoy what I do but, man would it be nice to have an official work space.

This first dresser I’m sharing is a great find. Its very solid and the drawers are nice and big which made them perfect for a little Anthropology inspiration. Of course the original finish had grown very orange. So I stripped the drawers and stained them with a medium walnut. The base got a coat of ASCP in Old White and heavily distressed it.

123 Dresser Front II

I really love how the painted numbers turned out. Its super easy to do so I snapped some pictures as I went along to share in case you would like to try it too! Here’s how I got ‘er done.

Step one: Look on your computer and find a font that you like. I used a basic word processing program. Type each number as large as you can and print it out. Measure all drawers to determine each number’s size. Then, I went to Staples and they were able to enlarge the font to each drawer’s specifications. It was under $1.50 for all three! Easy peasy. Then just cut out each number and you’re ready to trace! I know that’s more like ten steps but they’re all pretty basic.

123 Dresser How To 5

Step two: Tape a piece of string to the top of the dresser where you want the center of each number to be, level it then tape it to the bottom. This gives you a nice guide for each number.

123 Dresser How To

Step three: Center each number behind the string and tape it in place.

123 Dresser How To II

Step four: Trace around the cut out lightly with a pencil.

123 Dresser How To III

Step five: Now its time to paint! I prefer a light coat because I wanted a very distressed look in the end and less paint makes that easier. Try to keep your brushstrokes going in the same direction.

123 Dresser How To IIII

Step six: After each number was painted I very carefully sanded only on the painted areas. I didn’t want to spread too much dust to the stained wood. I found it very helpful to wet distress with a damp paper towel around the edges. This removed the paint without damaging the wood.

123 Dresser 123 Close Up

Then, my mom waxed the whole dresser and it was done! These pictures don’t do the distressing justice. It looks so great in person!

123 Dresser Side

There’s a small section along the edge of the top that naturally crackled, to keep it I avoided sanding those areas. It looks so cool and helps to age the fresh paint.

123 Dresser Top

What do you think? Are you a fan of mixing things up a bit and trying out a new trend? I have to admit that I was hesitant to give it a try but I’m so happy I did! It was fun and I really like how it turned out.

123 Dresser Front

Thanks so much for stopping in!

Kelli

Link up at:

East Coast Creative

Domestic Superhero

Dining In Progress

My Momma is here! Yay! She got here last week and we are enjoying her visit very much. Of course she’s a southern momma so she’s been cookin! Homemade pretzels, bread, and gumbo ya’ll! It was delicious!

MommasGumbo.jpg

Don’t you wish you had some? Today I wanted to share the progress I’ve made in my little dining room. The first time I showed it to you it looked like this.

DiningRoomBefore

There was a dark traditional rug and the dining set was also very dark. That’s when I broke out some paint and lightened things up.

_DSC0006-1

It was refreshing to see it looking more like a cottage but it still needed some style and a personality that was more ‘us’. So I added some.

Here are the little changes.

The most dramatic change is turning my table in a different direction! Something so simple has opened the area around the chairs and makes the whole room so much bigger! Before there was a slim sofa table with a wine rack under it and even though it was small it still felt crowded. You always had trouble getting in and out of the chair against the wall and the over all traffic pattern around the table was very congested. That small change alone makes me love this room even more. I feel like its a brand new space. Can you feel all of the extra room?!

DiningRoomUpdateI

I moved the green sofa table to the living room, shoved the wine rack in the attic and there was pa-lenty of room for my french server. Whoa! It. Looks. Awesome. Not to mention it has functional storage. Which my life needs in a bad way.

DiningRoomUpdateII

The second tweak is the curtains. The original blue ones were okay but they weren’t rockin my world. Yes, curtains can indeed rock my world. I love the chevron fabric I put on my chairs but to have it on my windows too felt like an overload. I have been in love with all things Ikat (who hasn’t?) but it was difficult to find a good bit of fabric at a reasonable price. These gorgeous curtains are…hold on to your socks…$500 for a pair of panels.

So I was in a holding pattern while looking everywhere. On black Friday I went into JCPenney’s and (finally) they had some cute stuff. I found these panels and paid a whopping $16 a piece for them! What?! I know! They have an Ikat feel and while I wish they went all the way to the floor, I really do like them.

DiningRoomCurtainIkatFabric

Don’t be afraid of pattern! This I am slowly learning. Its really fun and adds a lot of character!

DiningTableCenterPiece

If you missed my post on this burlap wreath be sure and check it out. I use it everywhere, not just my front door! Something must be right when chevron, Ikat and burlap are in one room. Its enough for me to implode with giddiness.

The art has also seen a change. Even though Long Island is my home I want to incorporate some things that remind me of Louisiana, this 73 year old map is a perfect little detail that makes me smile. Could the colors be more perfect?!

LouisianaMap

Oh, this map makes me so happy. If you’re good you can find my hometown, its at E6 or is it 6E?

Then, there’s this adorable print I purchased from this Etsy shop. I blurred my address for obvious reasons. It is so fitting for our little cottage. Both the map and this print cost me under $40, so affordable for personalized art!

LittleHomeEtsyPrint

So with the room feeling bigger, adding the french server, new personalized art, and Ikat inspired curtains I have to say we are very close to it being complete! I can’t wait to show you a few changes to the living room as well.

These few simple and affordable changes are saving me thousands of dollars in investing in new furniture that would ‘work’ in my little cottage. And that makes for one very happy hubby. Which is a great side benefit!

So what do you think? It turned out well? Any turning furniture for a whole new roomy world? Have you spruced something lately to give it new life?

Thanks for stopping in!

Kelli

Linking to:

East Coast Creative

Snowing and Painting

Happy Wednesday! Whew, life is getting back to normal around here finally after getting blasted with a huge snow storm over the weekend dumping more than two feet of the wintery white stuff in our area.

Even though I was born and raised in Louisiana, loving and thriving in the hottest of hots I have learned to appreciate and dare I say enjoy the snow? It only took about seven years for my blood to thicken enough that I wouldn’t freeze solid from December to February. This month is my 12th year in the northeast and I’m officially used to it and fully appreciate ALL four seasons.

This particular storm was something else, like my life, it was a meeting of north and south. Northern arctic air colliding with warm gulf air and for the first time ever (for us) there was thunder and lightning during a blizzard. It was very cool and a winter treat waking up Saturday morning and seeing this.

Lizzy chair snow

My poor husband Danny had the enormous task of shoveling our walkways and digging out our cars. But I fed him good. What does a southern girl do when she’s snowed in? She makes grits of course!

So to keep myself busy, I painted. Finally finishing two dressers I’ve been hoarding since October. The only task left is painting the hardware on one and deciding if I like the ombré effect on the other. Does that mean I’m really not finished?! Ugh!

Guess not, which means instead I’m sharing this sweet little chair that I helped Lizzy with. She has quite the collection of mismatched chairs. It so happens that this one is the first to get a makeover.

Check out the seat, it’s embossed leather and held on with studs. It’s quite perty. Lizzy’s from Virginia and when were together we like to break out our southern belle-ness.

Lizzy chair before I

She really loved it the way it was but her style is changing and she wants to lighten things up a bit. So she picked Duck Egg blue with Antoinette pink peeking through. It’s so feminine and pretty together.

Lizzy chair after I

How gorgeous is this seat now? It has some of the black coming through too and in person it looks amazing. The cool thing about ASCP in duck egg is sometimes it looks blue and other times it looks green.

Lizzy chair after II

 
She has lots of red already and wants to incorporate some light aqua and pink and this fabric she found is really perfect! Now this chair is perfect too!
 

Lizzy chair after IIII

 
Lizzy did a great job painting and distressing it and I think she’s caught the bug along with some confidence. I foresee many more painting projects in her future. Which is good because I think more snow is expected. Ah, winter.
 

Lizzy chair collage

 

My mom is coming on Monday and I can’t wait! You have to check out Southscape Designs and see the beautiful stuff she’s painting, she’s amazing!

Anybody else getting snowed in? What do you enjoy doing? Thanks for stopping in, you’re the best!

Linking up at:

Miss Mustard Seed’s FFF

YHL’s Unofficial Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge

Last Friday the Petersik’s over at Young House Love threw out a little challenge of the thrift shop variety.  Oh and by the way it was based on Macklemore’s new hit song Thrift Shop.  Haven’t heard of him?  Yeah, me either but he’ll be on your playlist soon enough.  You can check out the full story here.

Now, I can’t say that I necessarily share Sherry’s adoration for white rappers.  If you follow the Petersiks even occasionally you know that she down right loves em.  But this video had me rollin (the PG version of course) and how can I say no to this picture?  So I was more than excited to accept this challenge.

So to participate you simply had to follow four easy steps.

Step 1.  Go to a thrift shop with “$20 in your pocket” and take a picture.

Thrift Shop Challenge I

Gangsta eh?

Step 2.  Spend that $20 anyway you’d like and photograph your spoils.

Toys are my favorite thing to buy at thrift stores because so many of them are barely used and once cleaned up they are practically new.  Plus there’s a huge opportunity for savings, I spent less than $15!  No need to “pop tags” here.

Thrift Shop Challenge III

Step 3.  Find one or more items referenced in the song and snap a pic.

Which brings me to the lovely opportunity of introducing you to this very special (and by special I mean smelly and gross) fring-y suede coat the color of…well, you will just have to listen to the song. 

Thrift Shop Challenge II

So there you have it!  Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge completed!  I’ll be linking up over at YHL here to share my spoils and see what kinda craziness everyone else came up with!  Have you been thrifting lately?  Definitely share the link in your comment, I would love to see it!

Kelli

Saying Thanks!

I want to say THANK YOU!  Thank you for subscribing to Little Cottage of Mine and maybe taking a peek or two at my ramblings.  I really appreciate everybody’s encouraging comments and support! KEEP IT COMING PLEASE!bird thankyou

Ok, enough of me screaming my happiness…well maybe just a little more?

I WAS FEATURED ON MISS MUSTARD SEED AND COZY LITTLE HOUSE!  That’s CRAZYTOWN!

Ok ok, I’m done now.

I want to also give a huge thank you to those ladies because it just made my day to be featured.  I jumped up and down and called my Momma and then we jumped up and down together and just couldn’t believe it.

Marion (MMS) chose my little French Server (I know its because of Lizzy’s pretty things!) on her Furniture Feature Friday and Brenda (CLH) welcomed me in her very sweet Welcome Wagon Friday.  Check out her motivation:

“I love doing this. It can be a lonely and scary place for a new blogger. Putting themselves out there into the virtual world. Not knowing if anyone is reading their words, or if anyone cares. I do this because I want them to know someone cares. And they are not alone anymore.”-Brenda

HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  THANK YOU!

I know I’ve taken a little bit of a break.  The end of the year is always a crazy time for everybody and my poor baby and I have been sharing the same cold for weeks and weeks.  However, we are feeling better and even though its currently 12 degrees outside and its barely one in the afternoon I do feel Spring around the corner and that makes me smile!

I will be back very soon to share my new rug, curtains and artwork in my living room and dining room.  I feel the common spaces in my little cottage are starting to come together!  If you follow me on Facebook then you saw this little sneak peak of the rug and the mess that is my constant companion.

lr fb

I can’t wait to get some feedback and ideas from you all!  My Mom from Southscape Designs is coming to visit us for a whole month and I’m hoping to put her to work helping me with some projects around the house.

Thank you so much for checking in today, I sure appreciate it!

xo,

Kelli

Caving under the Clutter

Cozy Cottage or Clutter Capital?

Does one have to equal the other?  I love my little wee of a house but sometimes I find myself wading through clutter up to my eyeballs.

via

A scene I’m sure most would definitely understand (cue the dreadful music and panic stricken faces)…the little things start to take over.  Toys, mail, stuff brought in from the car, clothes, laundry OH the endless laundry…you get the idea.

If not nipped day in and day out in the proverbial  bud these little things become the most insurmountable, hugest, highly annoying chore EVER.   Maybe a little clutter here and there is no big deal if you live in a standard size house.  Ah, the good ol’ junk drawer with random paper clips and old keys or a guest closet full of winter coats and extra picture frames.  But when you share 850 square feet with three people even a teeny amount of clutter wanted or unwanted can drive a normal person cray cray.  Junk drawers and the luxurious “extra” closet do not exist in my world!  So where does everything random end up?

The answer is ALL OVER.

Someone please tell me that its possible to live a clutter free existence in a small house!  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t want to win any awards for having an inspection worthy home.  Apparently I couldn’t even if I wanted to…haha

via

But a proper place for things isn’t too much to ask is it?

When we first moved in we had a lot of stuff.  Some went into the attic, some into the basement, some sold in a yard sale and some hit the curb.  We did good.  But hey, I’m a woman who just got a new house…

I seriously have to resist the urge.  Every.  Day.

Now that we’ve been in our little cottage for a year and a half its high time we figure this whole thing out and that my friends means its time for A LIST!

A clutter busting get in control kind of list.

  • Paper Piles: If its important it has a home…in a folder…in a cabinet.  Designate mail, coupon, menu spot.
  • Product Piles: Organize medicine, seasonal products, cleaning products.
  • Closets:  Reevaluate current wardrobes and designate a coat rack for winter coats.
  • Office: Organize laundry, book shelf, closet, office stuff.

To make sure that I stay committed to completing this list I will share my projects with you as I go, that’s right I feel a series coming on.  I will tackle closets, nooks and crannies and actually create a solution to this problem not just de-clutter.

So I need some help!  Do you know of any great storage solutions for tight spaces?  Any ideas for keeping office supplies in order and actually having some style too?  Please share if you’ve gone through this process before, I’m a girl who loves inspiration!

Also, what should I call this series?  Any clever titles?  Danny suggested Cookie Clutter.  I thought it would be fun to tackle a project and then reward ourselves when its completed.  Which in our house a reward means cookies. #EATALLTHECOOKIES!

Of course I’ll have to share a recipe in each Cookie Clutter post.  Cheesy?  Yes, but that’s never stopped me!

Little Cottage Interiors

French Server in Old White

With hurricane Sandy passing Long Island this week we are very fortunate that our little cottage held up like a champ.  Because high winds, coastal flooding and torrential downpours were anticipated we braced ourselves for every worst case scenario.  However, our part of the island did not get much rain so our basement was safe from flooding.  High winds did take some trees down in our neighborhood but thankfully no one was hurt.  We even managed to keep our electricity!  Our town is always awesomely quick on the clean up.  Debris and trees have already been safely removed.   As happy as we are to have no lasting scars from Sandy a lot in our area especially those closer to the city and the north and south shores have lost everything so we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.

A very sweet friend of my friend Lizzy, ya’ll should know her by now:), recently moved and couldn’t take some of her cherished antique furniture to her new house.  She was sad to leave them behind but after learning I enjoy painting and refinishing furniture she graciously said I could have them.  So I hope she enjoys reading about this little piece because it probably looks really familiar, hi Bree!

Isn’t it pretty?  I think its such a great size.  Not too big but still big enough.  The condition was really great except for a small area of damage on the top.  As with any piece that has a long relationship with the past, it can’t be perfect.  The mark was difficult to remove and after I sanded and sanded its mostly gone.  I don’t think you even notice it now because it turned out so gorgeous!

A dark walnut stained top, the rest beautifully painted in Old White and distressed, then finished with several coats of clear wax.

Lizzy cleaned the hardware with water, salt and baking soda to remove just a hint of the oil build up from years of use which was a little too black.  Now,  through the aged patina you can see the lovely detail of the original brass pulls.

Lizzy’s got some really beautiful things in her collections and she lets me borrow them!  Thanks Lizzy!

Check out the legs.

Bree used it as an entryway table which I think is a great idea.  I also picture it in a bathroom or a guest bedroom.  I really wish I could keep it for my kitchen!  Its the perfect size for my little nook, sigh, but I think its a little too gorgeous for my humble kitchen.

Has anybody seen a piece similar to this and would you have an idea of the age?  I did show it to a local antique guy and he thinks its from the 1940’s but it looks a tad older than that in my opinion.

Thanks for stopping in today!

 

Linked to:

Primitive & Proper POWW

Little Cottage Interiors

 French Sofa Table in Duckegg

Here is a nice little French-y sofa table painted in Duck Egg.  Its got sweet lines and is unusually large for this sort of piece if you ask me which makes it unique.

I purchased it from a garage sale.  It was in ‘ok’ condition but the finish was very dark.  My first thought was to strip the top and refinish it but that was a big giant AIN’T GONNA.  After two thick layers of Citristrip (one that I left on overnight) the stain was so deeply red and dark that it wasn’t budging.

Dark and stripper resistant!

It needed a fresh start in a much lighter color.  So with a little primer first to prevent the former life from bleeding through, two very thin coats of chalk paint in Duck Egg, a little distressing, some wax and its finished.

Its going on Craig’s List today, hopefully someone will love it!

I’m very excited about two dressers that I’m picking up this week.  They are both mid-century inspired and I can’t wait to get started on them!

Also, I’ve been working on some more burlap wreaths.  Remember the $50 Amazon gift card I won from Restore Interiors?  Well, I purchased ten 14 inch wire wreath forms and it was very nice getting them for FREE!  I got adorable winter embellishments to go on them.  They remind me of a ski lodge, cozy winter sweaters and hot chocolate.  Selling all ten would be awesome!

Thanks for visiting!

Linked to:

Primitive & Proper POWW