The Real Housewives of Bucks County is now East Coast Creative!
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Watch Our Nate Show Episodes

Random Thoughts on Wednesday

I'll admit it. I'm having one of those nights where my thoughts are running in a million different directions and trying to reign them in is no small task. This happens quite often to me, so for today, just humor me, ok? Go ahead and grab a cup of coffee and try to follow along. :)

They say it's all in the details, right? Well, I've got my plan of attack for gift wrapping all set, and have begun planning my annual Christmas party, and I would agree that the details are very important!

Have you heard of this cute little shop? Garnish is a dream-come-true for DIYer's like us. They sell totally customizable products that will make your event or gift memorable and spectacular. Take, for instance, these disposable wooden demi-tasse spoons:

Stamp them, dip them, roll them in yummyness and you've got an instant Christmas gift for your neighbors, teachers etc. Or how about these lidded paper bowls and brown square kraft labels?

I mean, seriously, the possibilities are endless. I just bought the red & white bakers twine as part of my gift wrap plans. Wheeeeee! Can't wait to get it!

Check out the Garnish blog for more inspiration!
Today I went to Lowe's to scout out their faux wood paneling.

Why would anyone want to look at faux wood paneling, you ask? I am scheming up a way to hang them horizontally in our living/dining room. Sort of like Shauna, from Perfectly Imperfect, did on one wall in their dining room (see there in the back? Except hers is hung vertically):

I think I'm pretty much finished my Christmas mantel, but it's sooo not how I typically decorate so I'm trying to decide whether or not to keep it. Don't get me wrong, it looks nice, but I don't know.... It really would be a pain to re-do so most likely I'll be keeping it. Here's a sneak peek:

Ha! That is one wierd angle, but I was too lazy to get up from the chair I was sitting in to take another picture! More to come on my mantel decor soon...
Look at this picture our friend Stacy took:

I have to say, she made us look gooooood. She deserves loads of credit for that.  ( PS. It helps having a gorgeous best friend to help up the quality of a picture.) I just received a CD of all of our family photos and they are priceless. I came across this one and just smiled:

All week my girl has been saying that her best friend is in Disney and she misses her so much. Cam is sending you love, Kira!
 Don't forget to tune in to The Nate Show tomorrow to see us busting our rears to decorate for Christmas in 24 hours using only the stuff in Nate's Crate!

We're still kind of in shock that Nate called us his best DIYer's. Pinch me.
That's it for now. Have a GREAT Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mirror Mirror on the Wall...

The title of this post couldn't be more appropriate because I'm in Disney World with the fam this week.  It has been an amazing three days so far and we did meet the "fairest of them all" while having breakfast the Royal Castle (totally worth the arm and a leg that they charge for it btw.)  But don't worry, I'm not talking about Snow White today, I'm going to give you the low down on my "New" dining room mirror! 
I need to give you a little back story first.  Remember how I "stole" Eric's tool box to make the Anthro Dresser?  Well, no worries, at the Liberty Thrift Store grand opening we bough him a new dresser  for our bedroom and his old one is the new "tool box."   I stinkin' don't have a pic down here in Florida, but it's awesome and I think will be very cool after some serious DIYing of course! 

Well, the new dresser had this super scrolly, ornate mirror that I didn't plan to use in our bedroom.  I was in the garage, near the new dresser and mirror and had a mini "Ah-ha!" moment.  The fancy frame was the perfect contrast with my super-simple frame wallpaper.  Score!! I consider this mirror FREE because it just came with the piece I bought.  

So here she was... a real beauty eh? I told you she was totally all "Mirror Mirror on the Wall"...

Did I mention that this bad boy is huge and weighs like a million lbs?  Ok, not a cool mil, but seriously over 75 pounds! To demonstrate its size, I did the professional thing measured it got my 4yr old to lay down next to it.  (My poor kids have such a weird mom...Okay kids, go lay on the ground next to the thrift store mirror so mommy can take a picture)

So my first step after the official measurement, was to tape/paper off the entire glass surface.  I thought it was going to be a nightmare with all the curves, but amazingly, the paper slid perfectly under the edge.  Eric couldn't understand why I was freaking out with excitement about how easy it would be! 
I did some ripping and angling, but it was still done in about 5 minutes.  I used 8x11 scrap paper on all the edges and then a piece of craft paper down the middle.  Easy Peasy.  
I took it to the garage and used black satin spraypaint.  This is the perfect opportunity to bring up some major beef I have... What in the world is up with Valspar's NEW spraypaint cans?  They're awful! They spray all over the place, and are just plain terrible.  Have you tried them?  Are Jess and I alone in our hatred?  I adore Valspar paint, so I'm bummed and hoping they change this new can A-sap! Anyhow... crazy rant complete...

After two coats, she was all ready for my dining room wall! I did wait a while for the paint to dry because I didn't want paint getting on my wallpaper.  
I love the contrast in the fancy lines of the mirror and the simple, almost childlike lines of the wallpaper.  It makes me chuckle a little bit.  
I still have some serious accessorizing to do when I get home, but for now these recycled items will do just fine.  Slowly, but surely this room is going to come together! 
What do you think of my "Free" thrift store mirror?  

PS- Don't forget to check out our upcoming Nate Show Episode This Thursday, December 1st!  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Card Display

Ok, Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season has officially begun in our house. One of my favorite things about the month of December is receiving loads of Christmas cards from our friends and family- some who we see weekly and some who we haven't seen in a year (or years!). There's something so special about getting real mail (vs. email, facebook messages etc.) and it's even better when it includes pictures of beautiful families or gorgeous Christmas cards. But, what do you do with all those cards? I loathe the idea of throwing them out (and no, I am not a hoarder! Not in the least, I just LOVE pictures). In years past, we've put all of our cards in a cheesy little mailbox that my hubs and I made early in our marriage.

Don't judge. We were young, dumb, and had not tapped into our creative sides yet.

This year, I decided to do something different.

I am so happy that I can put these christmas card "books" out in our living room so that people can browse through them when hanging out. I originally saw this idea by Allen Designs here, but all I did was to buy binder clips or rings, and used my hole punch to punch two holes in the cards. Then, just slip the cards on the binder rings and voila! Your cards are ready to display, don't take up a lot of space, and can be kept year after year. Now that I know what I'm doing, I'm going to be sure to write the year on the back of each card so I can keep track. You just can't beat a project that is easy and cheap. I think that's going to be my tagline from now on. Just stop me if you're tired of hearing it. On second thought, there's no stopping me. Simple is my middle name.

Believe it or not, I had a really hard time finding other great Christmas card display ideas, but I was able to scrounge up a few cool ideas that are not cheesy and look elegant!

Leave it to Martha, to come up with something amazing. I couldn't stop drooling over that card tree.

Have an old shutter laying around? If not, you might just want to go find one, because this is a.dor.a.ble.

Ooh, and I might just have found another use for my old ladder.

It's your turn: Share your great Christmas card display ideas!
Feel free to upload a pic to facebook and tag RHBC so we can see what you do!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.  Psalm 107:1

Jess and I want to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.  We have so much that we're thankful for and one of those things is this blog and the amazing experiences that we've had this year.  This blog has also helped bring two best friends even closer together.  I feel so blessed to have a bff that is authentic, supportive, passionate, fun, and someone that I can journey through this crazy life with.  We're both also so thankful for YOU, our readers.  We really do love this little ole blog and thank you for supporting us! 

I recently came across this quote and it had a big impact on me.  I've shared it with my kids and hope that they will not only talk about what they're thankful for, but also use their blessings as a daily expression of thanksgiving.  

Have a wonderful day with your family and friends!

P.S.  Did you think I'd leave you hanging on the dining room?  bahaha... never! Here's just a teeny sneak peek.  I still have lots of accessorizing to do, but for today it's just perfect.  
I can't wait to show you what this mirror looked like before some DIY love! 
Lots of blank wall space, but of course  I have some big plans! 

Modern Typography Meets Reclaimed Barnwood

Back in May, I posted about this frame that I made from reclaimed barnwood:

This piece is one of my absolute favorites. It's the first frame I made from barnwood, and is what began my love affair with all reclaimed materials. I had purchased the phrase from Uppercase Living to to add to the frame and for almost 3 years, this frame has made me very happy. But.... (you knew there was going to be a but, right?) I was ready for a change and a shift in style. I'm so into typography of any kind right now, and am trying to pull together my house so that it has a coastal/cottagey look, so I knew just what I wanted to do to bring this piece in that direction.

Inspired by the House Rules print above, I picked up 2 in letter stencils at Walmart and went to town.

I love the idea of having words around your home that are meaningful to you and your family. I chose the phrases from the print above that I felt like were most appropriate for us, and also ones that could grow with us and began to stencil them onto the frame (after removing the other phrase). I definitely did NOT measure anything out or figure out in advance how many letters could go on each line. I just sort of made adjustments as I went along. I would NOT recommend this if you want perfection. But for me, I love the fact that the phrases are a little wonky because that adds so much charm and character to the piece.

I started out stenciling the frame on the ground, but it ended up being easier to stencil it while on it's usual spot on the wall!

At this point, I was beginning to panic. I wanted a more modern look that still had a weathered feel- you know an updated cottage look, (What? You've never heard of that before? Hmmm....), but this was a little too bold for me. I knew that I had to carry out my plans, though, before I could make any judgement on it. The next step was to take it outside and give it a light sanding using 120 grit (really fine) sandpaper. I wanted to get rid of that just-painted look.

Then I hit it with some Antique Glaze in mocha. This really is so easy and totally adds another layer of interest to my frame (read more about glazing here).

Then, after it had dried, I brought it in to admire my handiwork! It's amazing how one frame can look so different. And don't you love projects that you can do using the stuff you already have? It satisfies my need to create, while staying within my budget. Woohoo!

And the verdict is?  LOVE! I'm so thrilled with the way it turned out, and love the graphic look of the phrases on the frame as well as the distressed finish.

Want to see the side by side before and afters? Yes? Ok then.

So different, but oh so cool. And you just can't beat nearly free.

What do you think of my $2.00 barnwood frame transformation? Do you prefer the old or the new?

Linking up to: Tutes & Tips

Monday, November 21, 2011

20 Hours and Counting...

So... how's it going getting everything done in time for Thanksgiving you ask?  Well, I'll just tell you that it's 12:14AM as I start writing this post and there is a pile of laundry approximately 8 loads high waiting for some folding action (not.gonna.happen.)  Anyhow, all things considered I think we're in good shape with all the madness.  The one awesome and tricky thing is that my family is all arriving a day early from Boston.  I'm SO thrilled!! I just need to finish my dining room (oh and clean the whole house) by about 7pm Tuesday... yikes, technically that's today already!

All that aside, I'm excited to give you a peek into our progress!!
This weekend was a wallpaper party!! (Actually, it was nothing like a party.  My father-in-law and I just wallpapered.  He sort of hates doing it, but he's good at it, and was nice enough not to say no when I asked.  Calling it a party just makes it sound more fun and exciting!)  You probably remember that I had ordered Graham and Brown's Frames wallpaper.
The paper was a dream to work with because the repeat didn't matter (I wanted a random look) and the pattern didn't go off the roll.  Seriously, this saved us hours!
If you haven't wallpapered before, you should totally try it.  It's not as hard as people make it seem.  Seriously, some people make it sound worse than a root canal without Novocaine! 
Here were some of my supplies.  
I'm not going to give a wallpaper tutorial because there are about a million online, but I'll tell you my one must-have item... a folding table.  I use this to do all the pasting (this paper wasn't pre-pasted, but even if it was I usually add extra paste).  

 You just slap the paste on with a brush, then I went over it with a mini roller.  Just to be sure it was nice and pasty (reminds me of a certain vampire I love!)
So wanna see what it looks like??
Here you go...  Drum roll please...
I REALLY, REALLY love it.  Not just a little, a whole lot.  
Once the paper was up it was time for moulding! Remember I mentioned some cool idea using PVC pipe? Well, here are a few ideas we toyed with...
 Single row of PVC between some shoe moulding...
Double row of PVC sort of Olympic-style...
In the end it was time for a hubby to DIYer heart to heart.  Eric was willing to do the PVC if I was in love with it.  He admitted he thought it was a cool concept etc, but he talked me out of fantasy DIY land and back into mom of four kids with less than 72 hours before company arrives land.  We calculated that it would take approximately 7 Billion PVC circles and would probably end up being a detriment to our marriage, so...
Very simple, plain Jane, clean lined moulding it was.  In the end I think we made a very wise choice and I will just plan to use my PVC moulding elsewhere (soon!)  Oh, and BTW... if you didn't know already, I'm a dork sometimes.  I totally didn't think ahead and look where I divided the wallpaper and paint...
Hellooo light switch!
Sweet huh?  Oh well, it is what it is.  A tad quirky, just like us :)
Ok, so this novel of a post is almost over, but I have one more thing to share... We needed to paint over the navy stripe in the crown moulding.  It matched perfectly for The Nate Show, but now looked pretty out of place.  So what color??  Hmm??  Let's try 'em all!
Thought the yellow might be fun... Nope, made the wall seem all choppy.  White to look like monsterous moulding... Nope, made the paper seem too off white.  Grey, because can you ever go wrong with grey... Perfect!
We're almost done! Tomorrow we need to touch up the trim where it was nailed, add the enormous mirror I repainted and repurposed for over the buffet, and then accessorize! I can't wait to see the finished product!!
Here's where it's at right now...
You'd never guess I have tons of family arriving in less than ( 20 hours! It's okay, we're good under pressure.  I'll be revealing the finished product on Turkey day, so be sure to check back between football and food!