Saturday, December 31, 2011

These are a few of my favorite things...

Before we sent 2011 off, here are a few of my favorite projects from the past year...

Smurfettes Lemonade Stand...this was by far my favorite!! I learned it is a pain in the a$$ to take apart pallets, but we had such a fun time as a family making this!

Budget Breakfast Nook...It is so incredibly awesome to NOT have the washer and dryer in the kitchen anymore! And we were able to create this on a super slim budget after finding a great piece at our Habitat ReStore!

Kids Outdoor Chalkboard...I learned that making outdoor chalkboard paint is harder than it looks, but the kids LOVE this! Neighbours comment on it when they drive by and after 6 months it is still in perfect condition...yay!

Jules Back Deck...My very first total design project where I got to spend someone else's money and do what I wanted. This was a fun, stressful, learning experience. They love the end result, as do I, and I hope to be able to do this again!

via The Lettered Cottage
Spackle Can Change Your Life...In September I went to Atlanta to help Layla and Kevin and the people from HGTV shoot a TV pilot. Seriously. I learned so much...about Spackle and about myself. Hopefully January will bring great things for this sweet couple...I'll keep you posted.

Of course there are other projects I loved like making homemade vanillaour wonderful new laundry closet, and the kids homework area.

The past year I fell in love with old windows, wood pallets, and chalkboards.

We grew as a family and the Smurfs proved that they are old enough to help with projects and make design decisions. :) I grew as a person by taking my first big solo trip to Boston and realizing they would survive without me.

Marlene decided she didn't want to blog anymore because she didn't have anything to say, but I'm still trying to convince her to come back because she is by far the funniest person I know. And she's my best friend. And I love her.

Overall, it was a great eye opening, learning, wonderful year and I am so looking forward to 2012...

Happy, Happy New Year!

Rachel :)
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Industrial Shelving

It's a random blog post after being away for two weeks...but it gives a little glimpse into one of the projects I've been working on for an unnamed Brainy Smurf. I've fallen head over heals for industrial shelving. And it seems to be everywhere like...

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Restoration Hardware

Aspen Shelf
Ballard Designs

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 There's nothing like a great paring of metal and some reclaimed wood (yes...another hint...)

Rachel :)
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Thursday, December 29, 2011


I know I've somewhat been MIA this month...blame it on Thanksgiving, the Nutcracker, Brainy's 10th Birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, and now New Years and a family vacation we have planned for next week. What can I say, it's a crazy time of year for everyone.

But, don't think for a minute I haven't slipped in a few projects here and there. I've been taking some pictures along the way so that when things settle down I'll have some good stuff to share.

Happy, Happy Holidays to all...

Rachel :)
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Chirstmas Card Pictures...

How many people stress about the picture that they put on their Holiday/Hanukkah/Christmas/New Years card? A few days ago I pulled out some decent clothes, moved the Chesterfield sofa from the bedroom to the backyard, and set up the tripod. Seriously...why is this such a difficult process...

I even tried to get a family photo, but apparently my neck was broken and the Smurfs were...

100 pictures and 20 minutes later I had a few good pictures of the kids...

another of the family..

but ended up using this...

happy holidays...

rachel :)
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Eat a Pomegranate

via Little Bit Funky

This is the BEST thing I saw on the web this week. Seriously. Crystal, over at a Little Bit Funky, breaks down how to eat a pomegranate...into some awesome easy steps. I LOVE poms. I love to eat them. I hate to break, cut, bend, or do what you have to do to get the seeds outs. I get juice all over me, my clothes, the kitchen counter, floor, shutters, everything...Crystal makes it easy peasy...yay!!!

Rachel :)
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thankful for Family

I need to backtrack a few weeks and share a few pictures from Thanksgiving. We love Thanksgiving at our house. And not just love it...but LOVE it. My mom has two sisters and one brother and everyone gathers at her house for a day of fun, food, and family...

did I mention my mom is a middle sister...

Gram with a few of her greats :)

my cousins beautiful daughter

how can one not love this BIG family

be thankful...
rachel :)
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DIY Monogrammed Coasters

In my quest to make holiday gifts this year, I came across this idea from The Domestic Notebook. Since it is a few years old, and she doesn't blog anymore, I figured I'd share it with you from here...because its fabulous...and cheap...and easy...Perfect!

You will need:

travertine or other natural stone 4x4 tiles
a large stamp
small letter stamps
permanent stamp ink
felt pads

Before I started stamping the tiles, I wiped them off with a damp rag and let them dry. This gets any dust off :) ...

Step 1:
using double stick tape, cover a part of the tile to put an initial

Step 2:
Ink the large stamp and apply to tile

Step 3:
Remove paper square

Step 4:
Apply initial stamp

Step 5:
Let dry

Step 6:
Wrap :)

These are wonderful! Because I used a permanent ink, there is no need to apply any protective coat. And the natural stone absorbs the "sweat" from the glasses. I added felt pads under all 4 corners to protect any surfaces from getting scratched.

I think these will be great with my Homemade Vanilla...Happy stamping and coaster making!!!

Rachel :)


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Monday, December 5, 2011

Let it Snow Vignette

In 2007 my favorite aunt started a Santa collection for us. It really is a great idea...she does this for her sisters and my sister and me every year. She labels them with the date, so I know if I'm ever missing one (I can't find 2008 this year...) I've started putting them in one spot which is currently over the china cabinet. While I have a few so far, I am looking forward to this collection growing every year...

ho ho ho!!!
Rachel :) Pin It

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Burlap and Green Holiday Table

Here's my super cheap, super easy holiday table...

I used a scrap piece of burlap for a makeshift runner...

The 18" wreaths were on sale at Michaels last week for $2.49...

The candles came from Pier 1 and if I tell you how much they cost Mr. T will make me take them back...

The water goblets are from Tuesday Morning...

The plates are from the Dollar Tree...

And the monogrammed napkins I found on clearance at Steinmart...

I have a super-allergic to anything green Smurf. A few years ago we made the switch to artificial, which has kept him healthier, but has me decorating with fake greenery (not my favorite). This year, I snipped a few pieces of boxwood and tucked them into the wreaths to break them up a just a little...let the sneezing begin...

Rachel :)

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