High Five for Friday

1. Last Saturday we spent a lovely evening in the city celebrating my good friend's wedding.
The thought of stealing the moosehead behind the hubby's head only occurred to me on three different occasions.
2. Our woods floors {hope to share pics soon!} are completed and our house is some what back to
normal. Although, we're still sleeping up in the guest room.
Seriously, whose idea was it anyways to give our guest the better mattress?
3. I was pee-my-pants excited when I saw this winter daschund wrapping paper at Paper Source.
If it wasn't $3.95 a sheet I swear EVERYONE on my gift list would be receiving a weiner wrapped gift......wait that doesn't sound right.
4. Had such a great morning on Wednesday that I decided to keep the good vibes going & treat myself to some Red Mango.
5. I could never figure out how girls got soft, loose curls.
Mine always come out "Shirley Templish"
This tutorial set me straight.
Now if I could only find the energy to care to do my hair.
Have a delightful weekend! See you on the flip side.

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November's Crush of the Month: Repurposing Old Maps

I have no idea where this recent infatuation with repurposing ol' maps came from but for the past few weeks I have been crushing hard on them. An odd obsession considering I've never been really good at geography. This point was proven last year when for months I told everyone we were heading to Haiti for our vacation. Honduras....Haiti..... same thing right?
Looking back I now I understand the strange looks I received.
Apparently, Haiti, like Afghanistan doesn't rate very high when it comes to vacation getaways.
None the less, perhaps these map craft & decor ideas will help me brush up on my geography skills.
Mason Jars|French Larkspur
Map Frames|Martha Stewart
Map Drawer Liners|Vintage Junky
Map Star Garland|Cozy.Cottage.Cute.
Decoupaged Headboard|Midwest Living
Map Dresser|Domestic Ease
Map Favor Boxes|Martha Stewart
Map Wall Decor|Google Images
DIY Map Pendant|Paisely Sprouts
DIY Note Card Set|elinee journal
 Aren't they all charming?
So what have you been crushing on this month?

PS. For the month of Decemeber all ad spaces are 50% off!
See advertising details here.
Mention code: BEMERRY

PPS. Incase you need me to strut my math skills {which are no better than my geography skills}
 that means ads start off as low as $3.
You can't even find a cappucino these days for that much!

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Gilded Reindeer: How to Makeover Second Hand Christmas Decor

A couple years ago my parents passed on a bunch of their Christmas decorations to us.  A lot of these knick knacks bring me back to my childhood.  As much as I love the nostalgic feeling they give me some of them are bit out dated {I know what you're thinking a snowman is a snowman!}but I like to add my own little touch to them. Case in point this porcelin reindeer.....
Cute? Yes. Festive? Yes.
But in my mind homey was in need of a makeover.
Something more my style. Something more modern.
Originally, I was going to just spray paint him all white {yawn} but then Mari of Crab + Fish kept sharing all these awesome gilded projects; like this gold pumpkin and this moose makeover and I knew right away this technique was exactly what Mr. Doe a Deer needed.
Have you ever played with Martha Stewart's liquid gilding ?
It's a leafing paint that my husband said reminded him alot of model paint.
It can be easily applied to a variety of surfaces {glass, wood, canvas, etc...}with a small paint brush.
I just love the rich and gorgeous metallic color it leaves behind!
After allowing the liquid gilding to dry I brushed some Mod Podge glue onto the little guy's antlers and sprinkled them with some silver glitter.
Because glitter makes everything better, right?
Now I'm a bit obsessed with this whole gilding technique.
I seriously want to gild everything; pinecones, thrift store mirrors, my dogs........

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Tatertots & Jello

Antler Decor: I Should Have Been a Forest Ranger

So a few weeks ago I professed my love for all things "antler".  Faux animal decor like owls and deer heads still seem to be having their moment. I admit I first became infatuated with the antler idea after spotting the West Elm candlestick over at Young House Love {which has now claimed a spot in their lovely hallway}. The problemo was West Elm no longer sells the candlestick and I had no luck scouring for it on Ebay either. 
We live near Chicago not Tennessee. Job hunting, shoe hunting......that's about the closest we come to the sport. Since most of the people I know I wouldn't even want near a rifle I decided it was best to continue my "antler" search on-line. I finally found my dream horn over on Etsy!
It was the perfect size for our hallway console table and I loved the addition of the candlestick holder on it.  Of course I wanted to brighten it up a bit,
 ya know give it a little modern kick.
Cue the spray paint.
After a couple coats of white and blue paint {luckily the candle holder can be easily removed with a screw driver; allowing for an easy paint job} it no longer screamed "CABIN!" and was more West Elm-ish looking.  Ahhh...more my style.
I feel like it adds a little "architecture" to the gallery wall area.
Even better, this antler purchase allowed me to bask in a "told you so" moment with the husband that went a little like this..........
ME {after showing him my new antler purchase}:
I wonder if this hurts the deer when they lose these?
HUSBAND: Are you joking right now? Jennifer, they're dead of course it doesn't hurt them.
ME: What are you talking about? They're not dead! They shed their antlers every year.
HUSBAND: They don't shed their antlers! Hunters shoot them and take their antlers.
You seriously think they shed them???
Ohhhhhh, thank goodness for Google my friends!
And incase any one else needs to brush up on their animal science here's a little reading pleasure for ya next time your on the loo or something.
I tell ya I should have been a forest ranger.
 In other news, here's a little update on how the gallery wall is coming along....
I am more than half way done with the wall and you want to know the funny part?
Only weeks after I started working on it did the hubby decide to mention that we were having the thermostat replaced. Luckily, it wasn't much different in size BUT now I have to touch up the wall around it. Ugh....another one of those easy task that will remain on my to-do list FOREVER.
Now that I think about it that wasn't funny at all.
Before I take off to go taunt the husband again about that time I proved him wrong on deer science I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!!
I'll be taking a break from blogging for the rest of the week to enjoy the holiday and to try to recover from this renovation madness we got going on right now.
And to end on a really cheesy, sappy note....I am really grateful to all of  you who continue to check in all my crazy happenings around here.  Even if you're laughing at me instead of with me I'll take it.
Now go get your stretchy pants on! Gobble, gobble! 

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Home Renovations: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Here we are.....day two of DIY demolition {aka "Sawdust Hell"}.
It's funny how in the midst of joyfully picking out paint swatches and floor samples one can forget how taxing & inconvenient the demo part of a renovation can be.
As in, I can't stand my house being turned upside down right now!
The toilets in the garage.
The office chair is blocking the fridge.
Our bed is in pieces in the basement.
And does anyone know where my dog is at?
Seriously, wake me up when this is done.
We're less than 24 hours away from the contractor & his crew showing up to put in our new wood floors {EEK!}.  After much contemplation, the hubz had decided in order to save some dough on this remodel that him and some of our handy pal neighbors {beer, cigars, free lunch.... you can pay them off to do anything!} would do the demo part themselves.
That way all we had to pay for labor-wise was the laying of the floors.
Let's just say I'm sure there have been many times this weekend in between pulling up tile and ripping up hundreds of staples from the floor
{no joke who ever put in the original fireplace and the floor tile was staple gun happy!}
that Mr. Frugal has second guess this decision.  But like they say "no pain, no gain".

Here it is! That infamous green fireplace that I have despised since the day I laid eyes on it.

And in the words of some 90's boy band.......say "bye, bye, bye".
There may have been tears of joy when this monstrosity came down.
Or maybe that was just sawdust in my eye.

As luck would have it Unfortunately,
my doctor has me on some restrictions right now.........
no lifting and no hard labor.
Hoooowwww convenient*evil laughter, twiddling fingers*.
I promise no bribes were involved just good ol' medical advice and genius timing.
I think my dog may be some where in there........

I hope their tetanus shots are up to date.
{PS. Sorry for the bad pics. You guessed it. My camera is MIA along with that darn dog.}
My office has moved from here........
...................to here.
 Phew.....the dogs are still alive.
 And yes, we have about three other rooms that look worse then this one right now
{example....when I step out of the shower in our master
bathroom I have to leap over a night stand. Fun times.}
and yes, somehow I am trying to find joy in processing
Christmas shop orders down here in this hot mess of a basement.
Dear bedroom, I miss you.
 Believe it or not, I did manage to discover some benefits to this renovation madness
{other than the beautiful end results we're hoping for!}
1. Since we had to clear out rooms and closets it forces us to make a clean sweep of the house and get rid of things we no longer use or want.
A matter fact I already made one trip to Goodwill today!
Then I circled the building, parked, ran in and found more junk to buy for future DIY projects.
I know really counterintuitive, eh?
2. What comes out, must go back in....or something like that.
I'm hoping once we have the green light to put the rooms back together this will force me to organize all those spaces I've been avoiding. Kind of like moving into a house for the first time.
3. Discovering secret messages. After we ripped up the carpet in the
front living room we discovered a large message scrawled on the floor board in pencil.
The guys deciphered it as saying "Pete, I will finish up when you get back".
The Italian in me is convinced the message looks like it says 
"Pete, I will finish u when you get back."
Clearly, a warning from the mob.
If there is one thing we all agreed on it is that Pete should have invested in post-it notes or something.
Ugh....renovations the good, the bad, and the ulgy.
Well, now I'm off to go vaccuum up nails or something.
So have you taken on any home renovations lately? Have any advice to survive the chaos?
Ever find a message written in your house?
Perhaps behind old wallpaper or chipped up bathroom tile?

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Behind Closed Doors: A Confession

Confession time. Remember last week when I shared my living room inspiration board and you were all like "Yay, way to go Jennifer! No blue!" ? Okay, maybe only a few of you noted that but for the rest of you it was a moment of accomplishment.  I had finally found the courage to step out of my comfort zone aka the blue zone.
As you can see from the board I put together I am aiming for sunny yellows and charcoal greys for the living room makeover BUT now time for the confession.......... sooooooooo I managed to sneak in a little blue into our living room. Actually, if you want to be technical it's a blue-green so really I think that means I haven't converted back to my ol' ways. Yes! One point for me!
We're still in the middle of this room makeover so don't mind the missing switch plates or the hodge podge entry decor I threw together to make this room look livable in the mean time.
The paint color is Stratton Blue by Benjamin Moore.
I have to admit Benji you made me fall in love.
I've always been smitten with bold painted front doors (we actually only did the inside of the door) but I have to admit I was a little nervous at first.
What if I picked the wrong color? What if it looked horrible?
Then finally I put on my big girl panties and was like "It's just paint!"
I mean what's the worst that can happen? You hate and repaint it, right?
I thought it would take weeks to get use to but it took minutes folks, just minutes.
The hubby really likes it too!
Here's a a view of the hue at night.
I just love how that pop of color dresses up the entry way and make it more welcoming.
So there you have it.....I managed to sneak in a little blue into this room.
Like they say "old habits die hard".
I think it will still bold well with my yellow/grey color combo (let's hope!).
And at this moment I solemnly swear to restrain myself from adding blue to the rest of the room.
For now.....I mean promises are made to be broken sometimes, right? *Wink, wink*.
So how do you feel about painted front doors?
Take a paint brush to anything recently that you were hesitant about but ended up loving?

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Thanksgiving Bouquet: Fabric Flowers

A few weeks ago while wandering the aisles of Target I saw these fabric bouquets.
Plaid is the epitome of fall if you ask me.
It just gives you that warm cozy feeling doesn't it?
Kind of like when you get a little too close to the fire.
Now I have to admit the DIY dork inside me was a little taken aback by the thirteen dollar price tag.
AND that was their clearance price.
I mean after all they were simply cans wrapped in flannel along with flowers that could easily be made out of fabric scraps. Pity the poor fool who paid full price for these things! Oh, the tragedy!

Anyways, you guessed it. I decided to come home and make my very own version of the plaid bouquet.

Supplies Needed
Empty food or soup can {I used a tea can}
Plaid material to wrap the can
Styrofoam floral ball or square cube
A mix of fabric and felt scraps for the flowers
Bead, pearls for the flower buds {optional}
Glue gun

First, I measured out the amount of plaid material I would need in order to wrap and cover my can.
You can pretty much just eyeball it but make sure to cut a little extra for overlap on the top and bottom of the material.
Then I wrapped and glued the flannel material around my tin can.
Make sure to have your two side ends meet in the back of your tin so your seam will be hidden.
As for the extra material on top I just simply folded it and
 glued it down into the inside of the can.
Now it's time make the flowers.
There are a trillion {yes, I counted} ways to make fabric flowers.
Simply Google it and you will find ways to create roses, tulips, cherry blossoms, and any other
flower that floats your boat.

For my bouquet I just followed the different tutorials from this project
 over at the Creative Jewish Mom blog. Once my buds were created I placed my styrofoam floral ball inside my can and then started adhering my flower heads to it with some more hot glue.
Then I cut two pieces of coordinating ribbon and glued it around the top of the can.
I think it helps dress up the plaid material a little bit.
Adding a bow could be cute too.
As a final touch I had some beads laying around so I glued one in the center of my blue flower.
I've seen some faux fabric bouquets with pearls in the center of each flower and it looks gorgeous but I decided to stick with just one measly ol' bead.
I think these plaid bouquets would make for some lovely table
decor for Thanksgiving, don't ya think?