When was the last time you went HERE:

(Or have you EVER been to one??)

I went there to buy a gift yesterday, but it's not where I intended to go---it's a long story. I was looking for an Old Navy that apparently isn't completed yet, even though the website lists it as a current location. GRR. I was mad after spending most of my time driving around, so up the block I saw a Burlington. I thought, "what the heck, I'll give it a try". I hadn't been there in years and I remember the previous comforter we bought there was pretty nice. SO I pulled in.

I walked in the door and was greeted by racks and racks of cool, inexpensive jewelry! I was immediately impressed. I wandered back to the kids section (where I needed to get the gift) and I found lots and lots of viable options! You know how when you are looking for something specific or have money to spend, you can NEVER find anything you like or want??? This was the first time where I was finding LOTS of things, within my budget, that were actually cute!!

After I found what I came for, I decided to wander through the rest of the store, just out of curiosity. What I found shocked me!! There were rows and rows of pillows. Not ugly pillows. Cute pillows. Unique pillows. And they were selling for two for $12! TWO FOR $12?!?! I can't make them for that cheap! (trust me, I know. I just bought several yards of fabric to make my own! grr.) Then after that, rows of curtain panels, and rows of comforters and sheets and etc. etc. THEN in the back section there is the art and mirrors and vases and other decorative accessories. It's divided by color and style so it's easy to find something you like. I found probably $1000 worth of things I would buy in an instant! But I was strong and withstood the temptation. There was a Moroccan inspired section (the style I am basing my family room on) and found a similar table to this one I love that sells for $130:

Burlington's version: (notice the cool moroccan star, colored glass lantern and brass stool!!)

For less than $50! It's a little less intricate, but it gives the same feel. Most of the lanterns and apothecary jars and vases were under $20. It was so fun to look around! I will definitely be coming back! Burlington really surprized me---and I'm excited about that!
Go visit one near you and see what treasures you will find!


Project 2: Christmas Gifts

Here are some of the "JOY" plates I made for gifts this year.
For someone with a wintery blue and silver snowman theme:
For my mom who has a red and green ginger bread theme (notice the tiny gingerbread man charm at the bottom) :

For someone with a red and white scheme:
General red and green old fashioned Christmas scheme:

Then I made some yummy home-made treats for neighbors and friends.
Peppermint Swirl Marshmallows:
("You've NEVER made your own marshmallows?????" inside joke.)
Heating the sugar
Beating the egg whites:
After slowly adding the hot sugar to egg whites---so beautiful and fluffy!
Spread in a pan and swirl on food coloring:
Cut into shapes, dip in powdered sugar and voila!
My girls absolutely loved them! Then I made several batches (cuz someone kept eating it all....not me, though....*winks*) of fudge, soda cracker candy, ginger chews and that's it, I think.
I love Christmas and all the baking and present making, but I'm glad to have a 300 and some odd days' break! Aren't you??
Until next year, friends!!


::Catching Up - 2009's Projects::

There are a few projects I've meant to post about, but haven't gotten around to it. So in the interest of time, I will do one post after another. The projects really aren't all THAT great but just in case they spark some idea in your own heads, I will share them with you!


We knew we needed new lighting fixtures on top of everything else we've done, but have you looked at the prices of chandeliers these days? Even the ugly ones are expensive!! I lucked out for the new nook fixture that was on clearance for $30 and the bathroom fixtures were $9 each. STEALS! Well, I wasn't able to locate anything I loved for the dining room. I found several I liked that were decent prices, (around $200) but they were still way over my budget. So I decided to try and make my own!!

I took the ones I liked as my inspiration:

Then I used materials I had on hand and recycled the old nook fixture:
(sorry I am lazy and didn't appropriately crop the photo and sorry it's a crappy photo, too. I know there is a better one somewhere....)
I removed the glass shade and sprayed the brass fixture with chrome spraypaint:

Used this old 60's drumshade that someone gave me that I was saving for something:
Removed the hard shade and wrapped some sheer black fabric around the metal frame that was left behind, attaching with hot glue. It was trickier than I had anticipated. The bottom ring and the top ring were independent from one another so once you attached the top, you had to make sure that the spacing was even and perfect all the way around while attaching the bottom ring to the fabric or it puckered and was uneven. Good thing I bought double the fabric, just in case because I had to do it twice to get it close to even!
This is the metallic velvet burnout zebra stripes fabric. Sounds crazy (and maybe it is) but I liked the pattern with the wallpaper. I bought 1.5 yards for $12, including shipping. Not too shabby!
Then I attached some ornaments I bought on clearance a couple years ago at WalMart for the "crystal" drops around the bottom frame and from the arms of the fixture itself. I am contemplating wrapping the top frame and the bottom frame with a 1" black satin or grosgrain ribbon to finish it off a bit but it looks OK as is...for now. That's a project for when I have nothing else to do..... ;)
$12 for fabric+$5 for spraypaint+$5 for ornaments (or less)=A pretty snazzy chandelier for well under $25!!

Yay! I know it's not for everyone, but I LOVE it. And that's all that counts, right???