Saturday, December 22, 2018

Christmas Tour 2018

Merry Christmas!
There is so much to love about this time of year. 
The celebration of the birth of Jesus is my most favorite part, then spending time with family and loved ones, and then decorating my home and buying presents for those I love.
Oh, and eating lots of Christmas cookies too!

Warm, glowy Christmas lights must be the number one reason decorator's love decorating for this season. Just looking at them gives you that warm glow-ey feeling inside, which I think best represents how we feel reminiscing on Christ's birth.

A favorite ornament of mine: Our "Just Married" old time car.

And the Yule Log on the TV while I still dream of having a real fireplace and mantle to decorate at Christmas. Maybe someday!

This is our fourth year getting a "real" Christmas tree right from the woods. I think I've forgotten what a "normal" real Christmas tree looks like... I'm just so used to them now!

Pom-Poms & crocheted snowflake ornaments for the win... again.
I'm thinking about changing things up next year and maybe adding some color!? 

I've really been loving the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments lately. If I can get my hands on some I'll add them in. Maybe not every year, but it's fun to change it up.

The console table is the home to a Hot Chocolate Bar this year.
My previous post is all about it, if you care for the details:

I hosted a mom's night, which was the reason for the bar, but I've basically left it set up so I could put some toppings out and have hot chocolate ready for a crowd at any given moment. 

Vintage Santa mugs that were a Christmas present from my sister last year took center stage on the table. So cute and festive!

Toppings, toppings, toppings.

A scene from the "mom's night" I hosted. 
I made a gingerbread bundt cake, and my sister made mini cranberry orange cheesecakes.
Because straight up drinking chocolate was just not enough sugar for the night. ;)

My white tree did go up this year! I thought it wouldn't because of having a toddler, but all the ornaments on this tree are not breakable, so it's actually the perfect tree to have around!
The gold poinsettia clips are a new addition this year plus a few more gold baubles. 

This tree is my "view from the office" aka the dining room table now that I work from home.
 So, the lights are the first thing I turn on in the morning. 
Does it distract from the unfinished wall?? That was my hope. ;)

My favorite little nativity scene went in a bird cage this year... to be protected from the small boy.

My small, faux white-pine wreath ended up on the mirror again. 
It just seems right.

New decor additions:
THE WINDOWSILL!! + new, white window. Thanks husband.
And more cute vintage santa mugs found at the thrift store for .25 cents a piece. 
Not as old and cool as my others, but I wasn't gonna say no.

Also, my Christmas cactus that was given to me as a hostess gift 3 years ago finally bloomed. 
Working on bringing it back from the dead...

Some Christmas decor in the master bedroom this year.

It makes me happy right before I get into bed.

I got a "new" Nativity this year!! No more mini $1 nativity. I've upgraded to a bigger $10 one that I found at a Christmas craft sale this year. I saw it last year and was bummed later that I didn't get it, so I was very excited to see it was still there this year.

I finally printed this free printable village that I had pinned years ago. 
It's from my friend:

It's so cute! I love all the details and vintage cars. 
Plus, it's very toddler friendly since it's just printed on card-stock.

I kinda want to live in this little town. 

Here is a link to the free printable if you would like it for yourself:

Thank you for stopping by the the tour! 

I'm not a very consistent blogger, but I can say I've been very consistent with my Christmas tour posts the last few years since becoming a homeowner! 

It's so fun to collect (thrift) Christmas decor and share here.
I've also been sharing more on Instagram lately:
It seems like the cool(er) place to be, but I'll still update the 'ol blog every now and then. 

I hope everyone has a truly lovely Christmas!


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Hot Chocolate Bar

I hosted a "mom's night" a couple weeks ago, and a hot chocolate bar just seemed like a must have! 

Warning: not the best quality pictures, as I kind of rushed to take them before my guests arrived.
Little blurry, but you'll get the idea.

Hosting is such a great opportunity to get all you "pretties" out and on display. 
My vintage Santa mugs were the star of this set up.
They were a Christmas present my sister had gotten me last Christmas.
She found them on Etsy, and they are very old - I was happy to have them be both (safely) useful and on display.

There are so many great ideas for Hot Chocolate Bars on Pinterest and Instagram. 
I had a lot of fun "researching" before the party to come up with the perfect toppings and display area.


* Mini Chocolate Chips

* Mini Marshmallows 

*Crushed Peppermint

*Andes Creme De Menthe Baking Chips

*Caramel Sauce

*Reddi Whip


** I also had some mini biscotti cookies, lady fingers, and shortbread cookies. Off to the side my vintage Santa held candy canes and his sleigh held chocolate hazelnut wafers. 

The hot chocolate was not from a recipe. I just threw together some chocolate milk, whipping cream, Swiss Miss, cinnamon, cacao, and a little pink Himalayan salt.  It was yummy!

My entryway console table made the perfect spot. 
I've left this little display set up as part of my Christmas decor for the year.

I like having all of my vintage Santa items in one place. I think it has a bigger impact that way. The mugs, runner, lights, and little figurines have all been gifted or collected over that last couple years. Aside from the mugs being from Etsy, everything else was from either the thrift store or a garage sale.  

The "Hot Chocolate Bar" sign was something I created in Microsoft Word with the help of a free downloadable font for "chocolate".

The stainless steel Coleman warmer worked perfectly for the hot chocolate.

My sweet little mugs. 
They have a lot of "crazing" and the paint is in very good condition for how old they are. 
ALSO, didn't realize til halfway through the party that I had forgotten to put the other two spoons in the mugs! Whoops. 

I love having a few different heights in displays, but it is particularly helping in food related displays because you can squish more food or needed items into one spot.

If I was more tech savvy I'd link this sign below as a printable for anyone not wanting to create their own. But I'm just not. Sorry.
I could email it to you?
But also it's fun to be a little creative and make your own. :)

Overall I love how this little bar turned out! Minus the one santa light that wouldn't cooperate. 
There always has to be something, right?

It was a very fun mom's night "in" just sharing a meal and some hot chocolate together. It is such a great time of year to get together and make the most of it getting dark out at 4:30 p.m. 

Plus, moms always need a little break and drinkable chocolate is just a good idea in general!

Thanks for stopping by!
A mini Christmas Home Tour is to come. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Antique Chair Rescue with Chalk Paint

For years my antique farmhouse table has been surrounded by mismatched old white chairs. All were in some shade of chippy-white. But as my chairs slowly started to die off (ahem: BREAK) I started to search for a matching set to take their place. 

My mom stumbled upon an antique set of 4 chairs at the local Salvation Army for $8 a piece. 
She did some babysitting while I went to snatch them up... love me some thrift store furniture. 

But when I got them home I discovered that they had previously been owned by a smoker/cat lady! P.U. 
It was okay though, because like most of my furniture, I had plans to chalk paint them. And, with the help of my momma, this was my first reupholstering project. 

I used Annie Sloan chalk paint with a first layer of Lem Lem and a second coat in Duck Egg Blue. Then sealed it off with clear wax after distressing.
 I scrubbed them down first, and that really helped get rid of the smell before I even started painting.

Then, we reupholstered the seats in a French toile fabric I had found at Hobby Lobby. 
Upholstering is pretty easy (for something as simple as these chairs). 
And when you have a good mom/teacher.

I'm sure you're all curious about the "Before" so here is a low quality cell phone picture to help you get an idea. Dark, shiny wood with several layers of upholstery. Very scratched up.
Not pretty, but lots of potential to be.
I really loved the front feet.

These were my anniversary flowers from my husband that he bought from a local flower farm. 
*Heart Eyes*
He's a keeper.
Fresh flowers always go well with dining tables and chairs. ;)

Two of the seats had to be replaced, because they were cracked - when pulling them apart we found STRAW STUFFING! That's how you know they are really old. The real deal.

My mom found a tag underneath the chairs, and they date back to the late 1800's! 

Made by: Phoenix Chair Co. from Sheboygan, WI a.k.a. The Furniture Capital of the World

The tags are hard to read, but one of the clearer ones said they are genuine walnut... maybe someday if I get sick of the color, they will get stripped back down and re stained or waxed. 

My mother-in-law also pointed out that you can tell a chair is old when the back piece is all one with the back legs. I had never noticed that before, but now I'll be on the look out for that! 
They are definitely a very quality made chair. They've been around for so long and are still extremely sturdy. They hardly creek or squeak. 

Yet another reason to not be scared of old thrift store furniture! 
You just have to know what to hunt for.

Here you can see a bit of how the distressing turned out. 

Painting Tip: to save money and time I only painted the Lem Lem (green) in the areas I knew I would be distressing and wanting it to show through.

I am super happy with the fabric I found, and have noticed it in several other blogger/instagramers homes that I follow and love. And I've spotted it a couple times on Pinterest too. I didn't know it was so popular, but I can see why. I love the soft greens and deep jewel tone blues. 

The fabric colors certainly aren't an exact match with the paint colors, and that's okay with me. 
I've been trying to get away from being so matchy-matchy with decorating, because that's no fun. And really, that's not what the true professionals do anyways. 
The colors more just complement each other. They all work in my serene color scheme, and that's good enough for me. No need to overdue the matching.

They are also the perfect chairs for the small toddler boy to climb...
He can step right up on the bottom rung and be up to get into whatever is on top of the table in 2.7 seconds flat. 

Send help.

I'm so glad I was the one to take these chairs home for my table. After paint and new upholstery they are basically good as new... heck, they are better than new, because you can't find this kind of quality nowadays. I figure if they can make it from the late 1800's til now, then they can survive in my house with my two destructive boys. ;) 

Someone else may not have appreciated (or even discovered) the fact that they were so old and special and could have just brought them back or thrown them out once they got a whiff! 

The smokey cat smell is gone, and they are here to stay!

Thanks for stopping by the blog.
I hope you all have a blessed week.


Sharing at: Feathered Nest Friday

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Vintage Camper Update & A "Before Tour" of a 1963 Friendship Vacationaire

Remember long ago when I posted about our vintage Shasta compact travel trailer? 
Well, I figured I should give you an update...
Actually, a few followers reminded me I just kind of left y'all hangin'... Sorry!

If you need a refresher on what the "Before Shasta" looked like, click HERE.

So... the Shasta was in such bad shape that it ended up having to be rebuilt completely.
My husband got pretty far on it, and then was having a difficult time "wrapping" it. 
Getting the wood to curve around in that nifty canned ham shape isn't easy. So, we actually hired some vintage camper restorers to do the frame and wrap it in the wood. (It is an extremely weird feeling as a DIYer to pay someone else to do the work, but my goodness it was nice!!) So, it is beautifully wrapped in new wood now and... sitting in a friends pole building just waiting for love! 

There are two reasons for that.

1.) You see, we began to realize that it would need new siding. Even though I spend hours and hours striping 9,000 layers of paint off of the original siding, it was splitting and had random holes and horrible patch jobs all over. We realized with everything else being completely new, it would be silly to put that rough looking stuff back on. Unfortunately, the price of new siding for vintage camper is thousands of dollars. We own a fixer upper home and were getting ready to have a baby, and the poor little Shasta just wasn't a priority for our money. So in the pole building it sits. We have thought about selling it, but I was so dang excited about getting it in the first place, so that seems crazy.
 I'm still trying to convince my mom that it needs to be turned into a cute little food stand she can run. It already needs a new window on the side, so it would be perfect for that. Gourmet strawberry shortcake out of a vintage camper? I think yes. What do you think? It's wings are already painted red!

2.) In the mean time of our beloved little Shasta waiting patiently for attention, we ended up getting a NEW vintage camper! This one is also a fixer upper camper, but is in quite a bit better shape than the Shasta. Like... actually usable. So we ended up putting a bit of time into it so that we could actually go. out. camping. We have gotten a good amount of use out of it in the last year (I think 4 trips now, which isn't bad for camping with a new baby), and we LOVE it! It is just the right size, toasty warm, hauls like a champ, well made, and will be cute-as-can-be when we are finished. 

So, let me introduce you to the...

1963 Friendship Vacationaire

Maybe not a big name "Shasta" or anything, but still so cute and so vintage.

My husband just giving a good scrub to the exterior and making it that much more beautiful.
Look at the difference even soap and water can make!

The front window had a crack from a rock hitting. 
That was one of the first things we replaced, and we just used Plexiglas, which saved money and was easier to work with.

From what I have seen in other's pictures the original color of the Vacationaires was white.

 This one just has a bit of chalky white paint barely hanging on. My husband scrubbed the front side so well that he was able to get it back to the silver. The silver is nice, but since he couldn't get all the original paint off (no matter what we do or use) it will most likely get a paint job. I think white again, but with some sort of pop of color. 

My Pinterest board:

will give me some inspiration I'm sure! Lot's of cute colors and styles.

Now, what you're all truly waiting for: the inside!

It's amazing what just a good cleaning job can do to really snazz a place up! ;)

One thing we had already bought for the Shasta, which ended up in this camper, was a very comfortable memory foam mattress. It took the place of this foam bed, which made me so happy. 
It has always been my dream to have a tiny vintage camper (a hard sided tent as I like to say) with the bed all ready to go. We just pull in, level the camper, and wah-lah! Good to go. I don't like to spend a lot of time setting up, because I like to be out swimming and exploring, so not even having to set up a bed is fantastic. 

A few things have already been done to brighten up the inside, and I will try not to make you wait years to see it! ;) We still have a lot left to do, but I'm thinking I could manage doing a "Middle Tour" type of post. 
This tiny "kitchen" is one of my favorite parts!

This picture looks confusing because there is a tall cabinet on the left that has a long mirror on it. It is right in between the bed and the entry door.

This is inside that cabinet. It came with a brand new Coleman port-a-potty, which was probably worth about half of what we paid for this camper! 
We got a good deal on this camper because it belonged to my Mother-in-law's boyfriend's parents. 
The good price helped justify the fact that we would own TWO fixer upper vintage campers! :) 
We weren't sure if we should actually get it at the time, but I have no regrets now. I'm so glad it came our way.

The other side of the camper has a table and benches that converts to a bed. When the bed is down we put the pack-and-play right on top of it, and that is where my son sleeps! He has become a champion camper for only be a year old. 

This camper has tons of storage, which I love! I am a bit of a minimalist, so there are just dishes and things I know we will actually use in here, and it has been perfectly enough. I add a few little things here and there, but we still have some storage space left unused, which is a great feeling!

I paint and come up with the decor game plan... this is the man behind all the actual hard work (like flooring and shelving and new paneling, etc.) He makes me a happy camper!

It just occurred to me that some people may have looked through these pictures and been a little repulsed! Well, that doesn't offend me, because people with the mentality that something old and dirty is no good are usually people that are just scared of a little hard work! 

Work doesn't scare me, and trust me, this tiny little camper already looks a million times better than these pictures. With just a little bit of love, we are making sure that a piece of history stays out and about adventuring. This camper was built to last, and I would much rather have something old and well built that can be used for years to come rather than a new, light weight camper that looks the same as everybody else's in the campground. Also, it is really fun to "make something your own". This gives us the opportunity to get just what we want. 

I'm so thankful we found this little GEM! I'm excited to slowly keep putting little shabby-chic, glamping touches on it, and I promise I'll keep you updated as we get more things done. 

Thank you for following along and taking the tour!

Have a blessed week and lovely rest of the camping season,