Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Vignette Makeover

Before:

After:

Remember these barn star candlesticks from HomeGoods that I wasn't thrilled with in the first spot I put them? I think they are much happier here.

I love my Monogram Art (Thanks, Joy!), want to make one, too? Click here.

Isn't this birdhouse so beautiful? My 4 year old lil guy painted it, I love it!

I love this laundry hamper, too, keeps everything nice and concealed, plus I get to decorate the top of it (bonus!)

I'm sorry I have not been posting & commenting too much, I have had a cold for over a week now, I think I am finally getting over it though (hooray!)

I have a couple of giveaways coming up, so stay tuned for those. Has anyone tried YouData yet? I love it!

ttfn,
Bella

Monday, September 29, 2008

Need A Few Bucks For Your Next Decorating Project?

I just joined YouData yesterday and have already made $2.10! Not bad for viewing a few ads.

You have to have a cell phone that receives text messages to join, although, you do not need a cell phone to view the ads. They just want to verify that you are who you are. They do not accept all cell phones, though, so check their site for more information.

They pay you each Friday, via PayPal, so you will need a PayPal account as well.

They are a new company and so far everything I have heard about them (mainly on Twitter) has been all good. You can follow me on twitter here.

So, if you have been looking for a way to make some easy cash online, this might be the opportunity that works for you.

Good luck and if you join, please let me know what you think!

Have a wonderful week!

Bella

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Garage Sale Before & After

Before:



After:


I used some liquid sandpaper on the fruit plaques and then 2 coats of chalkboard paint...then I watched the presidential debate last night and learned a new word:

FESTOON!!!

Haha, love that word...will surely be festooning my halls with boughs of holly this holiday season ;)

I'm still working on the gossip bench...need some fabric and then a place to put it...I bet my boys will fight over it and want it in their rooms...we'll see...

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

ttfn,

Bella

Friday, September 26, 2008

And The Winner Of The RS Designs Blog Makeover Is...

...Nikki Crumpet from Blah, Blah, Blah Blog!!!


You win a new blog design, from Linda at RS Designs!!! The value of this prize is $60!!!


Congratulations, Nikki!!!
-and-
THANK YOU, LINDA!!!


Thanks to everyone who joined in on this great giveaway! I really appreciate all of your comments here, and at Blissfully Domestic! THANK YOU!!!


I will be having more giveaways in the future, in fact, I have 2 in the works right now, so make sure to subscribe to my blog so you will hear about them.


I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I have a cold and so does my little guy, in fact he has not been to preschool all week :( Hoping for a better week, next week!


ttfn!

Bella


PS: If you did not win, but still need a blog design, NOW is the time to act! All prices on pre-made templates are 25% off through September:



"At RS Designs we specialize in custom web and blog design at affordable prices, we work closely with the client to make sure they are absolutely happy with their designs and we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. During September we also have a 25% discount on pre-made templates."





Thanks, again, LINDA & RS Designs!!!

PPS: There are still a few hours to vote for your favorite @ Color Outside The Lines, whether it be me or someone else's entry, thanks!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Picking The Winner Of Blog Design Tomorrow!!!

Just a quick post to remind you that I am picking the winner of the professional blog design from Linda at RS Designs TOMORROW! If you have not entered yet, make sure to go here and get your entry in!





I have more giveaways in the works, too, I'm so excited! Stay tuned!!!

Bella
PS: I am almost done painting the gossip bench!!! What color??? Hmmmm...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I Need Your Honest Opinions On My Kitchen -- Thanks!

OK, so I have posted about my poor kitchen before here and here.


I have taken down the 'chair rail'/molding and the wallpaper...and now I am just staring at taped up paint chips on the wall, I am sure you all can relate ;)






I was thinking I wanted to do (apple) green walls, leave the brick cream and then do a black, fruit print sort of window treatment. Then I thought, no, how about black/white houndstooth for the window treatment...and now I am even thinking of a pumpkin sort of color on the walls.









I really need help! What colors would you do? At this point, we are not painting the cupboards. We could paint the brick. We are also keeping the counter tops, they are a dark green Formica. The cupboards are a medium wood color, I think they are oak and our hardwood floors are the same color tone.


Would you do the green/cream/black color scheme...or pumpkin walls to match the cabinets more? Or something totally different? In the adjoining rooms, the dining room is pretty neutral with creams and browns...and then the hallway is a buttery yellow color...so I don't think green or pumpkin would clash with either color.


In other news, there are only a few more days to enter to win my blog makeover contest! The prize is a professional blog makeover from RS Designs!!!


And I would really appreciate your vote in Artie's Calico Corners contest. It's really easy to vote, just tick my box (Bella Casa).


Thanks so much!!!


Bella












Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Exciting Garage Sale Finds!!!

Wow! I stopped at a garage sale on a whim today and I am so glad that I did, take a look!

This is a good sized, beautiful Christmas sled that is also a pillar candle holder:






A Hurricane Pillar Candle Holder...Crusty & Rusty, just the way I like 'em! :








Craft much? All of these goodies have my wheels spinning...





Some sort of display box with glass:



Monogram Art!!! Hope my kids' teachers' last names begin with these letters:




I'm thinking chalkboard paint for these fruit plaques:






But wait, there's more...LOOK AT THIS HUUUUUGE WICKER BASKET!!!


Look at it next to the chair, china cabinet and my (scrawny) cat!


What will I keep in it? Toys, of course...look at the bottom...that is a RIDE-ON car in there, I'm telling you, this basket is B-I-G!!!
How big? 28 inches in diameter...
By 28" tall!!!
Love it!!!
But, I saved the best for last....
Can you just imagine the possibilities with this Gossip Chair? I already know what color I am going to paint it and what fabric to use for the seat and possibly a skirt, too...a Mistreated Skirt, of course, since I do not sew! But I do know how to use a staple gun and a glue gun...I was sooo ecstatic to find this, I have been seeing them all over in blogland and hooray, now I have one, too...pinch me! ;)


Thank goodness for my haphazard ways...I had no idea what I was going to do after I dropped my lil guy off at preschool this afternoon...thank goodness I just happened to drive by THIS garage sale...I gave the sellers the web address for my blog, so if you stop by...please say, "Hi!"


ttfn!


Bella

PS: Have you entered my blog makeover giveaway yet??? And have you voted for your favorite finalist in Artie' Calico Corners contest??? Well, what are you waiting for? ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Autumn Award, Obscurely Tagged & The Winners Are...

I received this CUTE award from Jan at Jan & Tom's Place, thanks Jan!!!



I would like to pass this award on to anyone who has posted a Fall Display on their blog, which is most of you, so enjoy!!! :) PS: If you have a white pumpkin from The Dollar Tree, you can have 2 of these, lol ;)

I have also been tagged by Violet Posy & Mom in High Heels! Aren't those cute names for a blog? Love it!

So, I am supposed to share 7 Obscure things about myself with all of you...hmmm...lol ;)

1. I can only drink milk from my home (or a school cafeteria!). And I don't usually like to eat ice cream at other's people's houses, either, but I can eat it at a restaurant. Weird, I know. A dairy fetish, I guess!

2. I almost died, at the age of 24, after having my wisdom teeth removed. I was in the hospital for 9 days, 2 of them in the ICU. I had a terrible infection and they had to do surgery on me to 'scrape it all out'...strange, I know. I then had a catheter in my arm and had to administer antibiotics to myself for a month after getting out of the hospital.

3. Speaking of wisdom teeth, I was only born with 2. This means my body has 'evolved' (Evolution)...and that my body is 'smart'. Haha. This is what the dentist told me...actually only dentists are impressed with this tidbit of information ;)

4. Well, let's keep the teeth thing going...I got braces at the age of 36 and wore them for 2 1/2 years...was even pregnant during this time...cute, braces & pregnant!

5. Since I had braces when my little guy was born, he never saw my teeth w/o braces until he was 2 years old!

6. I have flat feet. Big, too, lol. Size 10.

7. I just made contact with 2 of my siblings this year. One lives in Switzerland, the other in Atlanta, GA. I hope to meet them someday! There are more, but they are not interested in contacting me...their loss I say, I mean, come on, who would not want to know a decorating dork diva like me? ;)

I am not going to tag anyone for this...but if you would like to do this, please let me know so that I can find out 7 obscure things about you:)

And now on to our giveaway winners! They are:


Research Randomizer Results
1 Set of 2 Unique Numbers Per SetRange: From 1 to 15 -- Unsorted
Job Status:

Set #1:
5, 1

Post # 5 was Elizabeth from Blue Violet

and

Post # 1 was Jan from Jan & Tom's Place

You will both receive a $1.25 coupon off of the new Progress Chicken Broth in a carton, from General Mills...so you can cook just like Rachael Ray ;)

Congratulations!!!

Bella


Pssst!!! A Quickie Giveaway!!!

Somehow I became a member of Pssst... from General Mills. I just received my first product to try, along with some coupons to share with friends.




I received a full size carton of Progresso Chicken Broth...which is funny because we use the broth in the cans and my husband has been wanting to get the cartons because that is what Rachael Ray uses...he has the hugest crush on her!



So, now we have a carton to try and some coupons for $1.25 off! I hope that means free, but if not, hopefully close to it!




I am going to give away 2 of these coupons and will announce the winners tomorrow. All you have to do is leave a comment to this post and you will be entered to win.



Good Luck!!!



Bella

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sandals & Daisies, Color Outside The Lines & Hooked On Houses, Oh My!

I had a really nice day today, spent it with my husband and little guy and then when our older son came home from school we went out to dinner...had a gift card that I had saved for awhile to The Olive Garden...yum! :)




I've also had a wonderful week in blogville!!! Well, what week is not a great week in blogville, I say...but exceptionally great this week.


First, I received my prize from Angie at Sandals & Daisies...look at all of this uber cute loot:


That cute sign is already in my laundry room and I had to burn the candle right away, isn't it pretty?



Thanks, Angie!!! PS: Are those buckeyes that you sent me??? Cool!!! :)

But wait, there's more from Angie...she also has a blog, The Pink Hutch, where she sells things and I bought this whimsical lectern...I just love it! I have a plan for it and will be blogging about it soon, I'm sure. Aren't the cards and rose paper so beautiful, Angie, you are so sweet!!!





Then, Artie from Color Outside The Lines let me know that I was one of the 10 Finalists in his Calico Corners contest! The voting has begun, and I hope you will take the time to visit his site and vote for YOUR favorite, even if it's not me...and make sure to peruse his site...he is a fine home interior designer and he also has a love of gardens and best of all, he does it with wit, I just love, love, love his blog!!! You will, too :) Thanks again, Artie!!!

And last but not least...one of my favorite bloggers, Julia from Hooked on Houses awarded me with her new award...how cool is that!!! Her husband designed it just for her and I am proud to display this on my site...thanks so much, Julia, I'm honored!



Julia asks that this award be passed on to 5 other bloggers...and this is of course a very hard decision...so, I went to her Fantasy Open House...and chose 5 people from that party...since I know that they are Hooked on Houses, too...here they are in alphabetical order:


1. Ramona from A Day In The Life Of Ramona Do you love roosters and pillows? Then you must visit Ramona's lovely blog...but even if you don't have a thing for roosters and pillows, you must still pop over to Ramona's blog...she has the most welcoming home I have ever seen, if I hit the lotto, I would make her multiple offers on her home until she finally caved in and sold it to me;)

2. Diane from A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words . We all love Diane in blogland, don't we? She is one of the most kindest and creative people out here and I always smile whenever I see that she has very kindly left me a comment, which she is so good about doing, thanks, Diane!!! And make sure to see her Fall display in her home, it's so pretty!!!

3. Rhoda from Southern Hospitality . Rhoda is an interior designer with so much talent and style! I wish she could come to my house and re-design any room she'd like, wouldn't that be cool??? She also is the queen of bargains at yard sales! She finds the most beautiful things for such low prices! Remember her little bunny with the aqua bowl or her Damask bedding for her guestroom? I love to read her blog just to see what goodies she has got at her latest yard sale adventure.

4. Brandee at The Berry's Patch. Her home is gorgeous and she is another talented lady...just check out her Pumpkin Project from September 2, GORGEOUS!!!

5. Marie from Watch The Wind Blow By . Marie is another crafty gal in blogland...and right now she is working on her son's bedroom and it already looks stunning so I can't wait to see the finished project. Make sure to also check out her Halloween decor, I am telling you, she another one of those bloggers that everyone loves to copy...so go on, go on, go visit her and copy your little heart out, you'll be glad you did :)

I hope you will pass this award on to 5 of your favorite bloggers, but I am not going to hold you to it, I am just glad to be able to pass it along to you fine ladies!!!

Phew! What a long post for me, lol, and so few pics...not my style at all....I'm so visual ;)

I will be back to my short and to the point self next time!


Bella

PS: Do you need a blog makeover ? Enter my contest here!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Made A Phone Charging Station Table, Come See, Come See!

Well, I have been wanting to do this for awhile now and even wrote about it in my article at Blissfully Domestic...but I had to use someone else's photo for my article because I had not gotten around to doing it yet...

I guess that was the kick in the pants I needed, because hooray, finally did this yesterday, I'm so excited, it came out so pretty (even prettier than the pics...ugh, this camera!):







What's in the drawer, let's take a peek:

My cheapo Tracfone, lol and hubby's cord for his phone. I love this! Now I will not forget to take my phone with me since it is right by the door we use all the time. Hubby was not so happy with me when I did not take it the other day when I was OUTSIDE of HomeGoods and he was INSIDE with our little guy, haha. Just drilled a hole in the back of the drawer and plugged it in, cool!


And since I have an aversion to exposed cords...I stuck this decorative box on top of an upside-down planter to help conceal those pesky things...do you realize our great-grandchildren probably won't even know what a cord is, maybe everything will be cordless by then? Well, one can dream...
I am so glad I finally did this...not so glad with the amount of money I spent doing this...darn that new HomeGoods store! Must-Stay-Out-Of-That-Store...




But it's done and it's pretty, even hubby and the boys were impressed, so I will take that as a job well done and stick to garage sales and dollar stores for next several weeks! (months?) ;)

Bella

Table: HomeGoods, $39.99; Lamp: HomeGoods $34.99; Hurricane : HomeGoods, $9.99; Candle: HomeGoods, about $6; Decorative Box: HomeGoods: $2.99; Planter: Target, Smith & Hawken, clearance from $20 for $4; Fancy, oh so good smelling potpourri: another Smith & Hawken clearance find from Target, about $4.



Monday, September 15, 2008

HomeGoods Grand Opening And Other Shopping Adventures

OK, so HomeGoods finally opened a store by me and Sunday was theeeee Grand Opening...the grand opening for normal people, but us decorating types are not those people...so, yes, THEEEEE Grand Opening!!!

I was armed and ready to go...see a few weeks back I ordered this baby with my points at MyPoints.com:







Yep, that's right $50 all for me, me, me! Normally I would have ordered something more practical, like a gc to JCP or Kohl's, so I could get the kids some clothes or something motherly like that...but nuh-uh, not this time...this time I got something for me, I felt naughty ;)

So, the store opened in our Michigan monsoon rain that we have been having, bright and early at 8:00 am...oh, how I wanted to be there then...but I waited until about 10 or so. I told Mr. Casa that I wanted to go there and what did he want to do, stay home with the kids or come with me....(stay home, stay home, I was thinking, hoping...) but nope, he wanted to come...which means our 4 year old would be with us, too...fudge!


So, we compromise, I say drop me off...go get gas at Costco and come back for me...so, it's a plan.

Well, I step into the brightly lit store with all of the smiling faces greeting me and I swear I heard angels singing...until, I saw what a flippin' mad house it was! Egad, where did all of these decorating types of people come from and why were they at my favorite store buying all of the good stuff before I could get to it! Hmph!

So, I grabbed the last hand basket they had...shopping carts were poof, all gone...and I knew I had to hurry, because no way did I want my fidgety hubby in here and my little guy who likes to touch everything in this store on this day.

So, here is what I grabbed and how in the world I managed to carry it all and do all of this in about 7 minutes is some kind of miracle, as I am the slowest, pokiest, putziest shopper that I know!


Two Tall Glass 'things'...not sure how practical a purchase these were...but they were pretty & pretty cheap, too, I stuck a couple of pumpkins in them:



Next, I got these star candle holders and the pillars, too. Not sure I am loving them, either. And I definitely am hating the pic, had to use the flash.


This red star with gold designs on it, looked so pretty in the store...can't find anywhere that I like it in my house though...sigh...shopping fast is not working out so well for me...
And lastly, I got this shabby chic rooster lamp for my kitchen, this one is a keeper! Finally, something I know I am keeping!
So.....then, I hurry up and get outside and wait for hubby and lil guy. So proud of myself because I shopped so fast!


20 minutes later....yes, 20 minutes, ugh! Hubby and lil guy come OUT of HomeGoods! lol Hubby looks very frazzled. Yes, I would be, too, if I were in that mad house with my lil guy and no shopping cart! (I am secretly loving that he had this experience with him though, now he knows how it is to shop with little ones, haha)...cannot believe he was in that store longer than 5 minutes! My hubby is very, very hyper in such situations, he is a typical male, he hates to shop....and especially for 'girlie' things, lol. I would have never guessed he was in there! Too funny! I was stuck outside anyhow, I had 4 huge bags and no cart...but really, I would have never guessed he was in there that long...I'm still laughing about it ;) Our little guy would not leave the store until he found Mommy, so that's what took them so long...so sweet!

So....today, when I drop lil guy off at preschool, I will return to my beloved HomeGoods and will be returning the red star for sure and possibly those star candle holders...and then off to shop, alone and not rushed! Ahhh! It's probably what I should have done in the first place...but that is what normal people would have done...

Can anyone relate?

Bella

PS: Make sure to enter my blog makeover giveaway, it was posted on Friday!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In This Economy...Share Your Tips!


Hi all,

With the cost of gas spiking yet again, it makes me try to think about ways I can cut down on our family's budget (not an easy thing to accomplish, as I am sure you all know!).









So, I thought maybe if we could share the little things we are doing with each other, we may learn something new from each other that might help.




Here are some of the things I am doing differently:






  • You have all heard of cutting your dryer sheets in half, well, I now cut mine into quarters! They still work just fine, haven't seen any of my kids walking around with a sock stuck to their shirt yet ;)






  • Cat Food: I used to feed my cat a can of Fancy Feast everyday...life was good. But with the cost of that brand up 10-15 cents per can, it was one of the first things to be cut out of the budget. Poor Goldie. He now gets a can once or twice a week and I always give him chicken whenever we have it for dinner, so he is not totally deprived, but yes, I still have guilt...






  • Dishwasher Soap: I used to use Electrosol Gels, now I use the powder one from The Dollar Tree. Have not noticed any difference at all.






  • Give yourself a raise. My dh has not had a raise in 4 or 5 years. Seriously. So, with the cost of everything going up, it is hard to keep up with the rising costs...then add in some added expenses, such as preschool and a higher car payment when my dh totaled his car this past winter...well...ouch! So...one way to increase our income was to reduce the amount he is contributing to his 401K. Double ouch. Not really what we wanted to do, but sometimes drastic measures are called for. We hope to up it back up to where we had it next year when preschool is over and my minivan is paid off...whoo-hoo!






  • We don't do this...but if you are claiming 'zero' on your income taxes, you could increase it to give yourself a boost in take-home pay. We will never do this, because we like our little tax refund we get every year, so claiming zero it will stay.



  • Gas: I buy it at Costco, it is usually at least 10 cents cheaper per gallon than our surrounding gas stations.






  • Check out generic brands. I mentioned The Dollar Tree dish washing soap...but there are so many GREAT generics out there. Off the top of my head: butter, hot dog & hamburger buns, canned tomato products (especially if using in a sauce with lots of spices), pull-ups, dryer sheets, cereal and really...just try new things and see what you like and what you don't like.

  • And since this is a decorating blog, I should add in a few decorating on a budget tips: Big Lots has lots of nice things at great prices, including cheapo spray paint that works just fine (Thanks, Joy at Joys of Home!), and who can forget our beloved Dollar Tree, with their ceramic pumpkins, fall garland and craft paint and anything else your creative mind can come up with! We should really have a little logo thingee that says, "Bloggers Love The Dollar Tree" on it, lol!


So, now that you have heard a few of my tips, I would LOVE to hear yours! If this topic is of interest to you, you might want to subscribe to the comments thread, too, just check the box when you submit your comment. If any of you post a blog on this topic, please let me know, too, thanks!!!




Bella

PS: All in Hurricane Ike's path are in my thoughts, stay safe, take care, and check in when you can!!!

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