This is Halloween

Like I mentioned on Monday in my glitter pumpkin wreath post, I’m a little bit of a cheesy person. This is especially true when it comes to the holidays. Give me glitter, ribbon, and every cliche in the book and I will use it to decorate my house. The past two years in our house I’ve only decorated the mantle and the front door for Halloween, but this year I had to do more. So I bring you, my Halloween Home Tour! *que Harry Potter theme song* Halloween mantle 2014Per usual I decorated my mantle first. I used a lot of the same pieces from last year, like the pumpkin, Harry Potter books and “Spooky” statue, but I also added some candles, my owl statue and a fun bat and ghost garland. I kept the mirror from my fall mantlescape up because I really love having a mirror up there to bounce the candle light around. And I know I keep saying it but I’m still totally in love with the way we beefed up the mantle and painted it white. It just makes all my decorations “pop” that much more. Spooky Halloween pieceOf course, I had to add more faux spider webs to amp up the spookiness. I’m not really big into things that are actually scary, so faux spider webs are about as far as I go. Halloween window vignetteIn the dining room I reused my BOO wreath from last year, because I love it and had to incorporate it somehow. Our window has a broken seal, hence all the fog, but it doesn’t look too bad as a Halloween backdrop. I kept the window sill simple with a leaf garland and vase full of leaves and hay. Fall Bentwood stylingOver in the corner of the dining room is Poppy’s Chair, my new Bentwood that I’m obsessed with. I wanted the chair out on display until I can get my new desk and set up an office space for myself, and it works perfectly here in the corner. And since I was on a decorating spree, I had to let Poppy in on the action. Bentwood Halloween vignetteHarry Potter is about as scary as I get for Halloween. Jesse and I have been rewatching all the movies this month, and so I really wanted to bring the books out too. I couldn’t resist adding a witch’s hat to the stack of books, too. It looks like Hermione has been doing some light reading in the dining room. ;)  Spooky branch candlesBack in the living room, next to the tv, you’ll find my other find from Sweet Clover. I loved this awesome silver branch candle-holder thing and when I first saw it I thought it would be perfect for Christmas. After I started playing with the faux spider webs I also realized that it would work great for Halloween. Creepy houses always have candelabras covered in spider webs, so it works.

I’ve also been working on getting the porch ready for Halloween, but we need to go out to the pumpkin patch and get some pumpkins and mums before I can call that project done. You’ll just have to wait and see! I’m having a girls’ craft night at my house on Wednesday, so I’ve got motivation to get it done before then! I’m hoping the more I decorate my house, the more trick or treaters will come by.

Do you decorate for Halloween? I never thought that I would be that person, but now I’m so glad I am. Do you like actual spooky stuff, or are you more Harry Potter and Nightmare Before Christmas?

Do the Hometalk Hustle

I know I said I’d have more Halloween decorations up today, but I’m still working on it. Instead, I’m sharing a little bit about the awesome blogger event I went to over the weekend, the Hometalk Hustle. The event was sponsored by Hometalk, Sweet Clover Barn, Silk & Burlap, and a bunch of other shops in Frederick, MD. It was a lot of fun and provided some great bonding time with other bloggers, and of course, shopping! The event started at 10 am on Saturday morning, so I was up bright and early! Frederick is about 3 hours north of Richmond, so the solo road trip called for a lot of coffee. photo 1

I ended up being a little late to the breakfast the had at the Hilton Garden Inn, but it was a great spread! When I got there they were doing a little presentation on Downtown Frederick which is full of locally owned shops and restaurants. It kind of reminded me of some sectors of Richmond, but super condensed. It was fun to meet other bloggers from the VA/MD area, and to put names and faces together. Some of the bloggers that were there included:

After breakfast we loaded up into a few shuttles and headed to Sweet Clover Barn. I was so excited to finally check it out since I’ve been following Cassie’s blog, Primitive and Proper, for years and I got to meet Sarah at Haven back in July. Let me tell you, I was not disappointed! I was so lucky that we were packed out in the shuttle vans, otherwise I may have come home with quite the credit card bill! (These ladies are so smart and take cards!) photo 3

There was such a wide array of things to choose from, furniture, tchotchkes, jewelry, art. You name it! I bought an awesome silver branch candle holder, which you’ll see in my Halloween decor on Friday. Oooo, suspense! ;)  photo 2

After about an hour perusing Sweet Clover we loaded back into the vans and went to Downtown Frederick. They dropped us off at Silk & Burlap first, which was filled with so many pretty things! photo 5

The ladies at Silk & Burlap were amazing hostesses and they even served wine while we shopped. More stores should considering serving wine to shoppers, it was so relaxing and I felt like I was at a party instead of in a store. photo 4

After Silk & Burlap we split into smaller groups and continued to explore other stores participating in the Hustle, and a few that weren’t. I really fell in love with one shop, so much so I forgot to take a picture, called Whidden Hill. Their catch phrase is East Coast Chic Meets Western Flair, which is apparently my style. They had cute clothes, fun cowboy boots and lots of gorgeous jewelry, plus they served us chocolate.

After that we went to The Muse, another eclectic shop full of locally made pretties. photo 1 (1)

There was even a leather demo going on while we were there, which was very fascinating to watch. photo 2 (1)

We also went to the Velvet Lounge, which was another apparel store and I wanted so many things. I really want to get Jesse up to Frederick sometime soon so I can get him to buy me things.

Our last stop was a fun furniture store, very similar to Restoration Hardware but local. Their furniture was gorgeous, but WAY out of my price range. photo 3 (1)

I did enjoy the interior design inspiration boards they had on display around the store though. It’s always fun to see other people’s visions and creative processes. photo 4 (1)

After that we headed back to the hotel to pick up our cars, it was around 2 pm at this point and we were all getting tired. Since we left Downtown Frederick early there was still about an hour before Sweet Clover closed, so I drove back to buy this gorgeous Bentwood chair I had been eyeing. She needs a little love, but I’m excited to use it in my future office nook. There is a sticker on the seat that says “Poppy’s Chair,” so I really hope I can do Poppy proud. photo 2 (2)

I also got to spend a little more time chatting with Cassie and Sarah, which is always a good time. Now I just need to get them down to my neck of the woods for some shopping! photo 5 (1)

On my way home from Frederick I stopped off south of Leesburg to visit a friend from college. I took a kind of back road to avoid DC traffic and the drive was just gorgeous! I went right through Northern VA wine country, so now I’m hoping I can get Jesse back up that way for a weekend of wine tasting. My friend and I had an early dinner in Warrenton at the Black Bear Bistro, where I had an amazing pizza. It had bacon and an arugula salad on top and it was to die for! I’m hungry just thinking about it! photo 1 (2)

The event was such a blast. It’s always nice to hang out with like-minded people, aka bloggers, and walk around shops listening to their opinions and ideas. I find it super inspiring and revitalizing! Which is probably why I went home and immediately started redecorating for Halloween! :)

Glittery Pumpkin Wreath

As I expressed last week, I cannot believe that it is October all ready! Halloween is just around the corner which means that it’s time for pumpkin patches, way too much candy and CRAFTS! I love that the holidays give me an excuse to craft things for around the house and it doesn’t matter if it’s a little cheesy or covered in glitter. That’s the fun of it! I recently painted our front door, more details on that after I get the rest of our doors painted too, and I couldn’t wait to add a fun wreath to it. DIY glitter pumpkin wreathThe wreath was super easy to make and I put it together in about two hours. I started with a flat cardboard wreath form, which I’ve only ever been able to find at Michael’s. I painted it black on both sides since some of the form shows through the pumpkins and mesh. DIY Halloween wreathAfter the form was dry I gathered my supplies and hot glue gun. The pumpkins and mesh are from JoAnn (of course) and the glittery purple balls are also from Michael’s. I couldn’t resist them! Halloween wreath suppliesPutting the wreath together was super easy. I simply hot glued the pumpkins to the bottom half of the wreath alternating between the larger pumpkins and the smaller ones. The size difference isn’t that big, but enough to be noticeable if I hadn’t alternated and did two smaller ones in a row or something like that. After my pumpkins were in place I hot glued the little purple balls in the spaces between the pumpkins. Glitter pumpkinsInstead of doing pumpkins all the way around, which I thought would be boring, I finished off the top quarter of the wreath using black mesh and orange ribbon. I really fell in love with mesh wreaths this year, especially after I made one this summer, so I wanted to incorporate the look into this wreath. It took me a while to figure out how to make the mesh work, but I finally got the look I wanted. I achieved it by gluing down one end of the mesh and twisting the ribbon while wrapping it around the form. Don’t twist too tightly or it just doesn’t look good, you want loose twists for a full look. After the mesh was wrapped I thought it was too… blah. So I added the orange ribbon, which came tied around the plastic box the pumpkins were in. I’m a recycler like that. The ghost was my extra little touch of Halloween. I think Casper finishes it off nicely.Halloween wreath craftI absolutely love the way this wreath turned out, and even more I love the way the orange pumpkins and black pop against my new purple door. The timing of the purple door is pretty much perfect for Halloween, even though that’s not why I did it. Gotta love happy coincidences like that! Glittery pumpkin wreath

Please ignore the blue at the bottom of the door. We picked up some fresh black weather stripping but haven’t gotten around to installing it yet. This week I’ll be picking up some mums, pumpkins and maybe some hay to finish decorating the front porch. It will look so nice when I’m done and I’m excited for something fun for the little trick-or-treaters to see on the porch at the end of the month. Halloween pumpkin wreathAnd since I’ve been working on the outside of the house, I had to add a few touches to the inside too. Ok, maybe a few is a bit of understatement… Halloween decor 2014I will have more details on those for you on Wednesday! I’m hosting a girl’s night/craft night tomorrow night, so it’s the perfect motivation to get the house decorated and cleaned. Not to mention to get more crafting done!

Do you decorate for Halloween? I never thought that I would be that lady, but I am. And I kind of love it. If you are crafting for Halloween, be sure to share what you’re making on social media so I can see it. Use the hashtag #DIY4Halloween! 

September Recap

The past few months have been crazy busy for Jesse and I, so I took an unannounced step-back from blogging. Basically, I cut WAY back on posting and sometimes skipped a week or so all together. And it was nice, but I missed the projects and the crafting and the therapy of sitting down with a glass of wine and typing out a post. Now that I’m settling in to a new routine and the holidays are approaching my crafting and project mojo is back. September was a little taste of me getting back into the groove, but I’m really excited for what October has in store. I’ve got some Halloween projects up my sleeve, not to mention getting back to the bathroom, and a few other things around the house. But before I get too ahead of myself, let’s take a look at what I managed to accomplish in September.

The folks at HomeRight were so kind and sent me a paint sprayer to help with projects around the house. I’ve already used it on our kitchen chairs, and I have plans to use it on some cabinet doors and our pantry shelves in the very near future! HomeRight Finish Max

When I’m feeling under the weather Jesse usually cooks for me, ok he usually cooks for me all the time, but I get to request favorites when I’m sick. One of my absolute favorites is his French-style Ragu. It’s full of vegetables and sausage and just hits the spot when I feel gross. Ragu recipe

This month I was also nominated by Kelly of Corner of Main to participate in the Tour Through Blogland. If you’re new to the blog that post would be an excellent place to get a feel for me, my house, my style and the blog itself. View More: http://marvelousthingsphoto.pass.us/ashleyandjesse

September of course means the start of fall, so I pulled out my fall decorations and put together a few vignettes. I usually replace my fall decor with Halloween stuff in October and then pull the fall stuff back out again in November. autumn mantle 2014

It took a few weeks after starting on my dining room chairs, using my HomeRight Finish Max sprayer, before I actually finished them and set them up for pictures. I took a pretty large step out of my comfort zone and color-blocked the legs of the chairs, but I’m so glad I did! I love the fresh look and the way they compliment my spring green walls. Dining room chairs - finished

I also did a little Throwback Thursday (#tbt) and reposted a newer and improved recipe for my Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip cookies. These cookies and so dang good and have a very cakey texture, almost like a muffin top/cookie hybrid. pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies

September was all about getting my groove back, and I’m ready to kick October’s butt! In addition to getting stuff done around the house and on the blog, I’m also going to a fun blogger event hosted by my pal Cassie and her shop, Sweet Clover, this Saturday. Can’t wait!

How was your September? Did you recharge from the summer? I don’t know what it is about fall, but it really does bring a fresh perspective to things!

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

The people have spoken! After I posted a picture of the pumpkin spice cookies I made over the weekend a lot of you started asking for a recipe. I thought I had posted one, but it was back in my early blogger days and I just gave a link to another site. Well, I don’t quite follow that recipe any more, so I do owe you a new and improved recipe! With new and improved pictures!pumpkin spice cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. milk (I used Almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground gingerpumpkin cookies

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and sugar until it’s all blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until blended. Then bake for about 15 minutes, use the toothpick trick to tell you when they are done. They will be a little thinner than cookies, but not as thin as cake mix. pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies

These cookies have a very cake-like texture, almost like a combo of cookies and muffin tops. I know I shouldn’t have cookies for breakfast, but since they are kind of like muffin tops then they count right? pumpkin spice cookie recipe

I hope you guys give these a try! They are super easy to whip up in about 30 minutes and taste just like fall! Happy baking!

Color Blocked Dining Room Chairs

If there was a prize for being the slowest project finisher in the Universe, I would win it. Hands down. I get 80% done and then things just hold me up from putting the finishing touches on things. This chair project has been no exception, but it’s finally done! And I’m in love. Dining room chairs - finishedI was actually pretty nervous about color blocking the legs because I’m not one to really take risks with color, but after I painted the chairs all white I knew that I had to do something or it would look bland whenever we got around to painting the kitchen cabinets. And man, stepping out of my comfort zone feels pretty good! refinished kitchen chairsThe legs are like the perfect Robin’s Egg blue, I wish I could remember the name of the paint but I threw the can away last weekend. *bad blogger* All I remember is that the color is by Olympic, but we had it color-matched with Behr paint. I usually use Olympic paint, but on that particular day the paint guy at Lowe’s was being extremely rude and treating me like I was a dumb @$$, so I went to Home Depot instead. I’ve had issues with that guy at Lowe’s before, so now I just go to Home Depot to avoid him. I’m really mature like that.

Anyway, back to drooling over the chairs…color blocked kitchen chairsI used my HomeRight Finish Max sprayer to paint the bottoms of the chairs too. I slipped trash bags over the tops and seats to keep those white and taped everything up with some Frog Tape. I got the Frog Tape in my swag bag at Haven and now I’m hooked! I’ve never used a painter’s tape that good! No lie. And the best part is, no blue paint got on the white parts of the chairs! pop of color - chairsI also found these cool chair pads for the bottoms so they don’t scratch up the floors any more. We tried using the little round felt pads, but they never worked since the legs are angled. These are rounded so they are all smooth on the floor, and they slide super easily.new chair padsThe best part of having these chairs done is we can sit at the table again! Nothing demotivates me more in the morning than eating my breakfast and drinking my coffee on the couch before work. I would just sit there and not want to get up. Now I can get a few quick blog things done on the computer while I eat my cereal and then head out the door because no one wants to sit on a wooden chair all day. Or maybe that’s just my weird logic…kitchen chairs refinishedAnd in case you couldn’t tell, I’ve been experimenting with my new 50mm lens that Jesse bought me a few weeks ago. It’s super fun, but I’m still getting the hang of it. dried hydrangeasNow it’s back to work in the bathroom! We started busting up the tile yesterday and as soon as that’s done we’ll be ripping out the chair rail, painting the cabinets, laying the new tile and replacing the toilet. Woohoo!

Fall Decorating in 2014

Guys. Autumn has finally come to Virginia! It was in the mid-60′s over the weekend and I actually needed a jacket at night! I used to be so sad when summer ended, but I find myself loving it more and more each year. Maybe it has to do with getting older, who knows. To celebrate the cooler weather Jesse and I went to a college football game on Saturday night (a perk from my new job!) and I made a big batch of my famous (at least in this house) Chorizo chili on Sunday. First chili of the season

Of course I also started decorating the house for fall. I hit up JoAnn for a few extra pieces, but I mostly worked with what I had this year. (Which has become quite the collection over the years.) My favorite spot to decorate for each season is our mantle and I love decorating it even more after I painted it white. Something about the white and molding just makes it look so much nicer. autumn mantle 2014

I’ve been on the hunt for a mirror to hang over the mantle for awhile but still haven’t found the “one.” But I really wanted a mirror up there for my fall mantle-scape, so I stole this one from the downstairs hall (which led to a game of musical art to fill in the blank spot on the wall). I really love the silver finish mixed with the rich fall colors in the other decor. I think it really classes it up. I also shopped the house, and my fall decor storage bin, for the books and other accessories. The only new thing on the mantle are the hay stalks in the vase, which were $10 at JoAnn. fall mantle 2014

Next to the TV is my favorite fall decoration, the owl that I bought at Home Goods a few years ago. He’s just so cute! The little pumpkin is from the Dollar Tree and the vase is full of faux leaves and hay stalks that I bought for my fall tablescapes last year. Fall decorations 2014

I went very simple with the accessories on the sofa table and just added my other owl statue and another little Dollar Tree pumpkin. fall vignette

I have a few other ideas for around the house up my sleeves, but I’m having a hard time finding all the supplies I need. Does any one else ever have that problem? You have an awesome idea and then can’t find the supplies to make it happen?

I always feel so inspired and creative when the cooler weather kicks in. First I decorate for fall, then Halloween, then back to fall, then CHRISTMAS!! And we also have a ton of real house/DIY projects happening in that time frame too. Again, so inspired and so excited!

Do you guys have any fun projects or crafts in the works? Has fall hit where you are yet? Do you like chilly weather or hot weather better?

Tour Through Blogland

Hey there! I hope you all had an awesome weekend! Jesse and I had a date night, got some stuff done around the house, and celebrated a friend’s birthday, so I’d say it was a success. But now, it’s Monday and I’m so excited to kick this week off by participating in the Tour Through Blogland! The Tour Through Blogland is basically a chance for you to get a glimpse into our home and learn a little bit more about how I blog. My buddy Kelly from Corner of Main passed the fun along to me after she shared some details about her gorgeous Colonial-style home. 4julyhouseRoundedOne of my favorite rooms in her house is her gorgeous dining room. I especially love the pops of yellow! diningroom1And of course she has an adorable toddler, so that’s a plus!KevoIf you’re visiting from Kelly’s blog, welcome! I hope that you like what you see and stick around! Now, let’s get this party started! My husband, Jesse, and I bought our home on Valentine’s Day 2012. View More: http://marvelousthingsphoto.pass.us/ashleyandjesse

The house was in great shape, and adorable on the outside, but the interior was a little outdated. houseOne thing that really dated the house were all of the beige and red colors paired with thick wood trim in every room. We decided to keep the natural wood trim, so the best way to update the interior was to add a mix of contemporary colors and design elements, mixed with traditional options, to the space. The best example of that is our recently redesigned living room. I painted the room gray, with a dark gray accent wall, a modern sectional sofa and a classic armchair. Living room cornerMy favorite room in the house is our dining room. I painted it a green color and have accessorized with colorful plates, fun curtains and a classic farmhouse table and chairs. I slowly add more plates to the walls on either side of the window as I find them at thrift stores, HomeGoods, etc.IKEA-dining-room-curtainsOur bedroom is on my hit list to be repainted something darker and more cozy, if I can convince Jesse. For now I’m still loving the light, soothing color on the walls and the bright bedding. Master bedroom January 2014

For more photos of our house, check out my home tour page because we have to get to the question part of the blog tour!

What am I working on right now?

Right now, I’m finishing up the dining room chairs. But the real project on the horizon is our guest bathroom. We found some issues with the flooring and are going to have to redo the floors and replace the toilet. While we’re at it I’m also hoping to paint the cabinets, repaint the walls and finish off the space. We were supposed to start on this a few days ago but hit a few speed bumps. We should be starting soon though! We’ve even picked out new tile! broken tiles in guest bathroom

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Hmmm… I feel like the biggest difference is that we work at a really slow pace. Jesse and I both have full time 8:30-5 jobs, so after a long day at work it’s hard to get the energy to go out to the garage and work. Weekends are our most productive times, but sometimes you need a date day, or just a day off. I don’t mind crafting on the couch after work, but sometimes craft supplies can be expensive. I’m not one to dump a lot of money on a project for the blog, this is my hobby and I’ve got bills to pay. And bills trump ribbon and plastic pumpkins.

How does my creative process work?

My process is kind of all over the place. I get inspired by things all around me and of course, there’s Pinterest and when inspiration strikes I’m all in. I will spend nights and days working on something, but if the inspiration leaves then I can let something sit half done for weeks. I also run most of my ideas, especially if they are for the house, by Jesse and sometimes he kills my creativity a bit with his analytic brain. Sometimes he has awesome ideas and is fantastic at helping me execute things, like our farmhouse dining table. dining-room-updates-table

How do I write/create what I do?

I do all of my blog writing from the comfort of our couch. I usually turn on the television, pour a glass of wine or grab a snack, and sit for a few hours to edit photos and write a post. And… I write all of my posts the night before I publish them. I’ve tried scheduling posts in advance, but it’s hard to keep up with. I’ve always worked better under the pressure of a last minute deadline, even in college I wrote my best papers the night before.

And now it’s time to pass on the love! I’ve nominated two of my closest blog friends to participate next: Jess of Little House. Big Heart. and Samantha of Designer in Teal.

Jess and I were roommates at Haven and she is just awesome. Her and her husband ripped their ONLY bathroom down to the studs and have been totally renovating it. They are DIY beasts. beals-126

Samantha is a local Richmond blogger that I met at a blogging event last year and she’s a very talented interior designer. It’s so nice to have a local blog friend that I can talk shop with and she doesn’t think I’m a weirdo. designer in teal

These ladies will be sharing their posts next week, so make sure you check them out! Happy Monday!

French Ragu and a $100 gift card giveaway!

Something I’m sure you’re tired of hearing if you’ve been around here long, but I’ve got the best husband ever. He’s so kind and caring, and always puts my needs before his own. One of my favorite ways he does that is when he cooks for me, especially when he cooks French food. Nothing beats his pain au chocolat, or macarons, but for dinner I prefer his French ragu, especially if I’m not feeling well or have a bad day! Ragu recipeThe dish is a really simple, light meal consisting of broccoli, cannelloni beans, red peppers, onion, garlic and sausage. And way better for me than the usual pizza or burgers I crave when I’ve had a rough day. Jesse found a similar recipe in a Jacques Pepin cookbook and just tweaked it until he got it right.Ingredients  – 1 head of broccoli – 1 red (or orange) pepper – 1/2 cup white onion – 2 cloves of garlic – 1/4 tsp. of salt – 1/8 tsp. red pepper – 1/2 cup white wine – 2 links of mild Italian sausage – 1 can of cannelloni beans (Keep the juice!!) – Pepper, to taste – Top with Parmesan cheese Prepping Ragu ingredients Let’s Get Cookin’ – Start by removing the sausage from the casing and cooking it in a small stock pot. – Once the sausage is browned add the juice from the can of beans and the wine and bring to a boil. – Then add the broccoli, the veggies and spices, turn down to a simmer and cover for 4-5 minutes. – Bring back up to a boil, add the beans and cook uncovered for 2-3 minutes. – And done! – Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and serve! Cooking Ragu I usually request this dish when I’m in need of a comforting meal after a stressful work day, bad news, or during “that” time of the month. And for dessert there’s usually chocolate, pain au chocolat if I’m lucky, but I would accept a chocolate bar, orange soda and a bag of dill pickle potato chips! And maybe that burger or pizza the next day. ;)  Pain au chocolatSo what do you like to do after a bad day, or when Mother Nature is visiting? Are you a junk food junkie? Or do you prefer healthy food?

 

Inspired by high-performance fabrics, Stayfree® Ultra Thin® pads have flexible layers that move with your body and ThermoControl® technology to wick away moisture. So you’ll stay dry and comfortable. Stayfree.® Keep Moving.™ To get $0.50 off any Stayfree® product, including Stayfree® Ultra Thin® pads, visit www.stayfree.com/special.


Enter for a chance to win a $100 Drugstore.com gift card!

Leave a comment below letting me how you pamper yourself for a chance to win a $100 Drugstore.com gift card!

 

Sweepstakes Condensed Rules:

No duplicate comments. Your household may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

 2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique

term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

No Purchase Necessary. This Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 U.S./D.C. age 18 or older (19+ in AL & NE). Void elsewhere & where prohibited. Winners will be selected via random drawing, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules, by which entrants are bound, are available here. This Sweepstakes runs from 9/4-9/30.

Be sure to visit the Stayfree® brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Sweepstakes is sponsored solely by BlogHer. Energizer Personal Care LLC is not a sponsor. Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter.

© 2014 Energizer.     Stayfree and all other trademarks are owned by Energizer.

Bloggers were compensated for creating blog posts in this Stayfree® campaign.

 

My New Favorite Toy – HomeRight Finish Max

I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! Jesse and I were hard at work on some projects around the house, including refinishing our dining room chairs. I got these chairs for a great deal two years ago when we finished building our farmhouse table and they are a perfect match for the table and the dining room.Dining room chairs - before

I just wasn’t digging the color of the wood on the seat, or the paint and nail polish stains all over them. So after two years, we finally got around to painting them.Paint stains on chairsBefore I could start painting the chairs I had to sand off all the shine and the stains to even things out and get the chairs ready for primer and paint. I even got Jesse to help with the sanding. He’s way faster at things like that than I am. Handy HubbyNow, what makes refinishing these chairs even more exciting, because I get excited about things like painting chairs, is that I got to paint these chairs with an awesome paint sprayer. I met some folks from HomeRight at Haven Conference back in July and we talked about how Jesse and I are going to be painting our kitchen cabinets sometime this fall and we exchanged business cards. A few weeks ago I got an email from them asking if I’d be interested in testing out their HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer. I said something along the lines of “heck yes!” HomeRight Finish MaxI was so excited to test out the sprayer and was giddy at the thought of cutting the time it would take to refinish furniture in half. Now imagine my disappointment when that wasn’t the case the first time around. It was mostly user error on my part. I used Kilz oil-based primer for the first coat and it was a HUGE mistake. Not only did I have to clean the machine with mineral spirits, but the primer still didn’t come out of the nooks and crannies and it took over an hour to clean. STRIKE ONE. I went off to the store and got some water-based primer and then tried again. The second annoying thing that took forever was determining how much to thin out the paint. The directions on the can call for way less water than the instructions for the sprayer, so I was scared to add too much. But after I sucked it up and just followed the directions for the sprayer for the proper “viscosity” of the paint, all was right with the world. Viscosity testingThen came the true test, spraying the chairs. The coats went on smooth and with a great spray pattern, after I took the time to thin everything out according to the sprayer instructions. It took me about 30 minutes to spray all of 6 of the dining room chairs and a table that we’ve been working on. No lie, 30 minutes. HomeRight Finish Max in actionAfter cleaning the sprayer for the 3rd time, NOT using anything oil-based, I now have cleaning down to about 30 minutes. So all in all, 1 hour for 6 chairs and a table is pretty good timing. I couldn’t have done it that fast by hand, that’s for sure. And the chairs came out perfectly. It seriously looks like I bought them white, which is definitely not something I could have accomplished with a brush on all the details of these chairs. If only I could speed up the fact that it takes paint 2-3 hrs. to dry between coats, then maybe it wouldn’t have taken me most of the weekend to do them. HomeRight sprayed chairsAfter I finished painting the chairs white I brought them in, before sealing them, to see how they looked in the dining room. I’d been wanting to do something fun with color on them but couldn’t decide what color or where to put the color. I snapped a few pictures and sat on the floor waiting for inspiration to strike. Chairs painted with HomeRight Finish Max sprayerWith the white legs and apron of the table, the white chairs, and the fact that the cabinets will be white in a few months, there was just too much white. I loved walking into the room and seeing the white tops of the chairs so I decided to leave those and paint the legs. I managed to bag and tape the chairs and get in one coat of paint before we went off to have some fun for the holiday weekend. Are you as excited as I am about this color?! (Obviously, I’m going to need to paint the fronts of the legs and do a second coat.)Going blue with HomeRight Finish MaxSo the verdict for me on the HomeRight Finish Max is: I love it, but we had a bad first date. Here’s my advice for buying this paint sprayer, or any sprayer for that matter:

  • Do NOT use an oil-based primer or paint in it, it’s just not worth it and there are tons of great water-based options out there.
  • Take the time to follow ALL of the instructions the first time, it will save you lots of time cursing and wanting to throw the sprayer across the garage. 
  • Thin the paint to the sprayer’s instructions. This will give you a more even spray and looks way better.
  • Don’t give up after the first 2 or 3 uses. It could take a few times to get your groove.
  • Start buying random furniture to spray and drive your husband crazy.

Ok, maybe you should do that last one, but I’ll admit furniture refinishing projects seem a whole lot less intimidating now that I’ve got this thing!

Have you used a paint sprayer before? What kind of sprayer do you have? Are you as excited for me to finish the chairs as I am?!

*I was not paid for this post. HomeRight sent me the Finish Max to try out without compensation, aside from the free sprayer. All opinions expressed above are my own.*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...