Friday, September 30, 2011

Destruction Before Reconstruction: Headboard

**Warning, Mrs Hawley is about to bombard you with a ton of pictures; brace yourself & consider yourself warned**

After a lot of hunting in the stores and perusing blogland and pinterest, the Mr and I never found a headboard we liked.  Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great headboards out there, but there was always something about it: it’s too expensive, it doesn’t fit us, it wont match the room. You get the idea.  Perhaps I’m a bit “particular”. 

My top two favorite headboard options were these:

I loved the idea that I could make this one all by myself and for a great price.  I planned on using the same stencil and paint that I used on the nightstand (here).  I thought it would still have that rustic romance feel I was going for and that the stencil would tie everything together but not too match-matchy.  Phil said he really didn't like this one because it looked “unfinished” and I could see where he got that from.  I mean it is just a bunch of 2x8’s.  Maybe it was a bit girly too.heather_after
So my next favorite option that I could make was this one.  I was thinking that I would cover it in burlap like the lamp (here) and then use upholstery nails on the sides.  But then I felt like I was settling, because while this one IS gorgeous, it didn’t feel like it was me.  Ya know?DSC_0707 
  After about 4 weeks of nothingness I was getting a bit discouraged; I felt like I was hitting a brick wall with this room make-over.  Then I went on a drive……I wish it was as amazing as it sounds, but to be honest, most of this drive was spent sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.  That is besides the point though.  I generally do my best thinking in the shower and in the car; on this particular day, I had my brainstorm in the car.
Remember these shutters?DSC05667-2 from this project?DSC05708-2

Oh yeah, I think you know where I’m going with this. 

For my shutter picture holder I only used 1 panel.  Meaning that I had 2 more just waiting to be used for something (Yes I feel like a complete idiot because it took me about a month of tripping over the extra panels for it to finally click in my brain).  All I needed for this project was a few screws, a drill, a saw,  and some muscles! (enter sexy husband)
Phil cut the feet off of the panels.DSC05960
Turned the panels horizontally, and drilled them to the wall.  Yes they were small screws in case I changed my mind so as not to destroy the wall, but big enough so it wouldn't fall down.DSC05962-2


Shutter headboard

Does it get easier or cheaper than that?!DSC06005-2DSC06003-2DSC05999-2DSC06000-2
What do you think? Am I sticking to rustic romance, or am I a cheap-o that needs to stop trying to be a designer and just go to Pottery Barn?
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Surround Sound

This is how it all started:
Phil: “I got you a present”

Darby: “Oh you did?!” (insert HUGE goofy grin)

Phil: “You’re going to love it”

Darby: “oooo I am? What is it? And what for?”

Phil: “Surround Sound, and just because”

<long pause>

Darby: “Is that a gift for me or a gift for you?

Laugh-Out-Loud! Yes, my husband got me surround sound. This is not normally a gift I would choose, or even really consider for myself. Typically I’m a jewelry and shoes kind of gal, and fortunately my hubby has fantastic taste in these areas. So I was a little shocked when this gift was presented to me.   Phil purchased and installed the system himself back in May; he is so handy, I think I’ll keep him ;-) 

One day when I came home, the huge box was sitting by the door.  Who doesn't love big boxes?!DSC04921
See, some guys DO read the instructions ;-)DSC04925
Pulling out some of the speakers.DSC04924
Destroying the house with wires…..everywhere while the system was being installed.  You can't even see the wires now.DSC04928DSC04949

Needless to say, NOW I CAN HEAR!!!

To be honest, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the new sound system, until NFL preseason started back just because that’s pretty much all I watch.  Now, let me tell you, I’m in heaven!  Now I can clearly see hear why I did, in fact, NEED this gift. We have 6 speakers around our living room catching every single sound from the field.  I had no idea how much sound I was actually missing before.

I love it!  Thanks babe for a wonderful gift, even if it might have been a gift for you too ;-)
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cooking for Tomlin….

…is soooo much easier than cooking for my husband.  It’s faster & cheaper too!

Not even kidding!  I found these amazing dog bone trays for $6.95 and have made 3 recipes for Tomlin.  They are soooo easy and she loves them.  The tray comes with a silicone insert and a spout so you can easily pour in the ingredients, freeze it, and then pop the bones right out.  Seriously, does it get easier than that?  I wonder what Phil would think if I started making his meals this way? hmmmmmm ;-)

Ok back to reality.  The first set of bones I made for Tomlin were chicken flavored.  I mixed a cup of water with a cup of fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth.  I poured the mixture into the little spout and froze it over night.DSC05867-2DSC05870DSC05871
The second recipe I made was with creamy (salt-free) peanut butter, greek yogurt, and about a teaspoon of honey.  I mixed all three together and spread a dollop into the silicon tray.  These are Tomlin’s favorite; she can finish an entire bone in less than 5 seconds (we’ve timed her).DSC05940DSC05942DSC05945DSC05948
The third type of bone that I made for Tomlin required a trip to the store.  So far with the other recipes I already had the ingredients on hand.  For this recipe I needed baby food and this was a first time shopping experience for me.  I was blown away with the variety of flavors but glad that there were so many options so that I could make sure to get something soft for Tomlin’s stomach (she’s a little sensitive in that department).  Not knowing what brands are the best, maybe y’all can give me some suggestions on that one for the future, I purchased several flavors of Beech Nut.  Thank you Jesus that the guy at the register didn’t ask me anything about my “baby”; otherwise I would have had to admit I’m one of those pet-crazy ladies who makes dog bones for her 4-legged child.  I mean I will admit it openly, but I don’t want my weekly cashier judging me for it lol.  Anyways, this time I mixed the baby food with the greek yogurt and peanut butter.  This was another cheap and easy hit! 
My sous chef :-)
When she hears the freezer open she’s at my side in an instant!DSC05944
You’ve got to order one for your pup; I promise they will love the taste, and you will love the ease of making them.

On a different note, remember when I shared some collars with you?  Well I finally decided on one and it arrived a couple weeks ago.  Look how precious Tomlin looks in her new jewelry :-) If you want to spoil you pup, check out Bow Wow Couture on Etsy!DSC06011-2DSC06013-2
Hope you’re having a great day!!!
xoxo Darby

Monday, September 26, 2011

Destruction Before Reconstruction: Shutters

Is it just me, or are DIYers obsessed with shutters lately?!  I mean, I can’t blame them; shutters are so cute and I’ve seen them used in so many different projects.  However, as much as I have seen them used, I have had a terrible time finding them at a decent price in Houston.

Well do I have a story for you today!  In April, I saw some shutter dividers at HL for $300.  I thought they were pretty, but I wasn’t going to shovel out that kind of money, and besides I really didn’t have a use for them.  Months later though, I was still thinking about them.  Every time I went to the store I went and admired them.  Yep, still there & I still love ‘em.  One time when I was looking at them in June, I noticed that one of them was scratch.  Some of the paint was chipping and the wood had been damaged.


I tracked the store manager down and ask him if I could have the divider at a reduced price.  He quickly said sure, and asked me for how much. 

Thinking that my offer was ludicrous, I squinted & whispered up at him, “$50?”. 


Man do I wish I had said $25! lol  But still, $50 is waaaaay less than $300.  And since I planned on demolishing the dividers on my own anyways, I didn’t care that it came with a few dents.

So I purchased it and brought my new divider home.  Boy, was this thing heavy!  I wish I had been one of my neighbors watching me try to maneuver up the stairs with this thing.  I bet I looked hilarious.DSC05667-2
  I used a screw driver to separate the panels into the three partitions.  Using gray primer, I spray painted both sides twice.  I used a gray primer because I am lazy & cheap didn’t want to be painting my life away.  I wanted the shutter to be gray so I just used gray primer and then I wouldn’t need any extra coats of paint.  Easy enough, right?!DSC05679-2
Once it was dry, I went back with my trusty sandpaper and distressed the panel.  There was no method to my madness here.  I just wanted the shutter to look old.DSC05709-2DSC05691-2
Then I painted some clothes pins white and had pictures of Phil and I printed in sepia tones.  I attached the pictures to the shutter with the clothespins.  I figured with the shutters being distressed and the sepia photographs, I could get the romantic antiqued look I was after.DSC05684-2DSC05708-2
The former room divider is now a shutter holding pictures of me and the Mr behind our reading chair.  DSC05713-4
What do you think?
xoxo Darby

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I’ve been dreaming of this day

Last Friday was the first day of fall, and I kid you not, I’ve been dreaming of this day since February.  I am thrilled that it’s finally here!

This is fall back home in Virginia.  Can you believe that this is just a picture of our driveway?!  Check out all of those colors!  ahhhhhh Yes I have definitely been dreaming of this!DSCN2509-2

What else have I been dreaming of?     

boots, lots of glorious boots232937412_dMJY4qzp_c


pumpkin spice lattes232934876_ZVbMZEjS_c

cardigans and sweaters232939188_q7etGNjw_c


and of course….turning OFF the air conditioning :-)

Hope you & yours are enjoying this first beautiful weekend of fall :-)

images: 2,3,4,5,6,7

xoxo Darby

Friday, September 23, 2011

Destruction Before Reconstruction: Reading Chair

I have always wanted a reading chair in our room for time to study the bible, or just some quiet time.  I knew when I was going to redo our bedroom that this was a priority for me (yes, another priority)

I got this wicker chair from a moving sale for $20, 2 years ago.  Since then it has been sitting on the back porch.  I loved it on the back porch, but I ended up redoing that over the summer and needed a place to put the chair…..perfect timing, wouldn’t you say?DSC05632-3
Here is the chair after the first coat of primer.  Ultimately, I ended up using two coats of primer, and 2 coats of white paint.
I was going to redo the seat cushion cover, but it magically matched the accent colors in the bedding, so I skipped making a new cover and just washed it instead to get all of the outside-ness off of it.  For when I’m snuggled up with a delicious book, I added an afghan to the back of the chair, and the lovely purple pillow that I mentioned to y’all a couple months ago.

Remember on Monday, I showed you my closet?  (Praise the Lord that is still clean!)  Well, when it was all clean-up, and I could finally see the floor again, I moved my large jewelry box into the closet, and placed my reading chair where my jewelry box  had been. 

Here is our new reading chairDSC05713-3

This chair has been great for reading, but I think Tomlin gets the most use out of the chair.  She likes to sit here and watch me get ready in the morning :-)DSC05736-2
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday: Professional Shears

Since purchasing these a-mazing shears a couple months ago, I have been cutting things up like crazy :-)  I love them soooooo much, I just had to share them with you.  What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t share an awesome find with you?!

My sister recommended these bad boys to me, and she was right: they ARE fantastic!
I use them for everything, from cutting flower stems, to craft projects, to cooking.  Seriously, everything!  They’re super sharp, and strong enough for the toughest of projects.  I really like the clasp on the handle to keep them from cutting things that aren’t supposed to be cut (i.e. fingers).

These scissors are awesome and I definitely recommend checking them out- here is my sister’s page for your shopping pleasure ;-)  She is even more awesome than these scissors; you’ll love her, I promise!
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Take that Hobby Lobby!

Since September 1st, I have been itching to pull my autumn decor out of their boxes and transform our house into a festive fall wonderland.  On Saturday, I could resist no longer!

After my Pumpkin Spice Latte, College Game Day, and morning walk with T, I treated myself to some shopping since Phil was working.  I really only went out for candles…….but if you know me at all, you know that I didn’t come home with just candles (oopsies! I just might have a shopping problem lol).

When I was at Hobby Lobby, I noticed how absolutely gorgeous the fall wreaths were.  Knowing that I am not one with a lot of time this fall, I thought I would purchase one since I normally make my own. 


That is what the price tag said!  I kid you not!  Granted it was 50% off, but still, $40 for a wreath from HL?! I DON’T THINK SO! 

When I saw that price tag, the challenge was on!  I was going to show up HL!  No, I was going to blow them out of the water (maybe this was the extra caffeine I had consumed earlier talking now?)

Here are the tools for my wreath:
Letter- $1.99
Folkart paint (Metallic Inca Gold)- $0.99
Leaves- $3.99
2 Pumpkins- $1.47
Satin ribbon- $1.99
Swag- $1.99
Total: $12.47  <-- already I’ve beat HL if you ask me ;-)DSC05950
The first thing I did was paint the ‘H’; I only did 2 coats.  I really liked the shade & shine with the metallic paint.   While the paint was drying, I glued the leaves and the pumpkins to the swag.  DSC05953DSC05955I only glued on 7 of the leaves, but I’m sure you could do way more if you wanted to.  Then, using the ribbon, I tied the ‘H’ to the bottom of the swag.

That’s it!

Even though I hadn’t planned on making a wreath of any sort this year because of time, this wreath took me less than 10 minutes and only ran me $12.42!  In your face HL! 

I have the swag hanging at the center of the mantle.  I was going to put it on the front door, but Phil said he liked it here, so here it is :-)DSC05980
     What do you think?
xoxo Darby

Monday, September 19, 2011

Destruction Before Reconstruction: Closet

This part of our master bedroom clean-up is the namesake of this series.  We have two walk-in closets in our master, and are so blessed that they are breaking at the seams.  It was way past time to clean them both out.  Phil took care of his fairly quickly; he’s a great purger.  I, on the other hand, not so much.

I have to admit, I let my closet go.  It became a place where I threw stuff in and shut the door quickly.

Clothes were all over the floor. 

It was beyond cluttered. 

I wasn’t even sure what I had in there anymore. 

I was embarrassed when I started cleaning, and I'm shocked (and mortified) that I’m even sharing these pictures with you.  But hey, I’m being real with you here so this is just another part of me.  Well let me correct myself, this is a FORMER part of me. 

But, I still felt the need to write “before” on every picture so I don’t have to claim this as my reality anymore.  I could offer a million excuses for my closet, but I’m not going to bother; it would be a waste of time.  Bottom line: I hate putting clothes on a hanger. Does anyone else feel this way?  I can't be the only one!

So here goes, my most embarrassing pictures I've ever posted:
This phrase could never be more true: I had to mess up to clean up!

While I was cleaning up I found clothes that were still in the packages and still had the tags on.  If I was completely unaware of the clothes I owned (and had never even worn!), it was waaaaaay past time to donate them.  I filled 10, 13 gallon trash bags with clothes, and donated over 30 pairs of shoes.
It was great to have a closet back and have things in order (i.e. so that I could find things).  This is where my purses, belts, & hats are now:

I'm one of those crazy OCD people that have my clothes color coordinated.  Here is where my shirts are, color and season coordinated.  
The ultimate goal of the closet cleaning was to move my jewelry box from my room into my closet, so that all of my getting ready stuff would be in one room.  So with all my purging, I now have my jewelry box in my closet :-)
Ok so I was completely real with you.  You've now seen the good, the bad, and the nasty, horrible, & ugly.  Sometimes cleaning and renovating is a process; I would be lying if I didn't include this part of the process.  I am committed to not letting my closet get that bed, ever again!  I promise!!!
xoxo Darby
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