DIY Dollar Tree Mirror Makeover

This was such a simple DIY I almost didn’t make a blog post for it.  If I had just shared on social media, it wouldn’t show up on the blog in the DIY section though, so here you go.

I was inspired to think about Dollar Tree mirrors differently because of a project Passionate Penny Pincher shared.  I can’t find her mirror project to link to, but she has a section on her blog of DIY projects using Dollar Tree materials.  She has a section called Friday fluff ups worth checking out too.  Even when Laurie isn’t using Dollar tree materials, all of her projects are “penny pinched” and she has lots of good ideas.

Okay, on to the Dollar Tree mirror.  Because this mirror is small, I might have liked to use 2 or three of them hung together, or as part of a gallery wall, but I bought the last one they had that day.

We have 3 different Dollar Trees not too far from me, so if you have more than one Dollar Tree, you might check multiple locations when looking for specific items.  One year I found stocking holders I liked and had to go to more than one store to find enough of the matching ones I wanted.

This is what it looked like before, and with the rest of the day’s dollar tree haul in the background 😬[[[[[[
I didn’t hate the original finish, it just wasn’t exactly what I wanted.

I covered the mirror with masking tape to protect it from the paint.

I used this Rustoleum spray chalk paint. I think it took 3 coats to get inside all those little cracks. When I went to paint a coat from the back, to more easily access some of the crooks and crannies, I almost messed the whole thing up.

I think the first coat wasn’t dry enough to be turned upside down.  When I sprayed a coat of paint from the back, the front wanted to slide a little (not even a true drip, it was kinda crazy).   It wasn’t dry enough to lay it on the paper, so I put a block of styrofoam underneath the actual mirror part (that wasn’t being painted),  to hold it off the ground when I painted the back soon after I had painted the front.   I was able to smooth it out , but be careful if you paint from the back side after painting the front.

The smarter thing would be to wait until the front side is completely dry to the touch before painting the back, but I never do that.  Yes, I’m a little impatient and sometimes that’s a problem.

I love how it turned out!  The mirror is small, so it doesn’t function much like a mirror (can’t see much in it), but I like that it adds a little something different to a photo grouping.

I didn’t have to use the whole can of paint, so I have some left for another thrift store or Dollar Tree find in the future.

I don’t know if this is where it will stay, but I kind of like it here.

I tried it on our foyer wall and although I decided not to leave it there, I love how the color popped against the terra-cotta colored wall.

Now that the last of Jessie’s camps are over, our summer will be slower paced. I’ve gotten some paint samples and taped them to Jessie’s walls and hope we can make a decision and repaint her room sometime this summer. It’s one of the many things on the list for the summer. But, it’s at the top of the list so hopefully I will follow through.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer! I hope it includes floating in a pool, reading books, spending time with friends and being creative. Well, those are MY favorite things; I hope your summer is full of whatever refreshes and inspires you. We all need a dose of that!

If you’ve been crafting or doing some DIY I would love to see what you’ve been working on!

Till next week friends,

Josette

DIY Thrift Store Lamp Makeover

When I found this lamp at a thrift store, I instantly loved the detail of the metal. I love how it has clean lines, but isn’t plain. I LOVE it. I bought the lamp for $8.

Ummm, that shade though. The shade was atrocious, and had to go asap! I have it in my to-be-donated box. Someone else shopping in the store at the same time said they thought it could be made over in a cute way.

As soon as I saw the lamp, I pictured the metal spray painted a creamy white. I originally thought I would add an antiquing wax, but once it was painted I loved it and decided to leave it the clean and creamy color without the antiquing wax.

The lamp before. Oh my goodness, that shade. On the other side was a little snowman.
With the shade off I just needed to tape the electrical part at the top to protect it from the paint.

I used this Rust-Oleum satin finish paint in Heirloom White.

Since our oldest got married, for the first time in I don’t know how many years, we have a guest room. I painted this room last year but haven’t put the finishing touches on the room.

It is currently, I think, my favorite room in our house. It doubles as a space I can work on my blog without being distracted by seeing dirty dishes or laundry that needs to be done. I close the door and sometimes turn a box fan on low to muffle the sounds outside the room for a little peace and quiet.

This is my desk (a small adjustable table from Sam’s). I enjoy this little spot with a view out the window.

I knew I wanted to use the lamp somewhere in this room. As soon as Buddy hears me open the door he runs in to get in the window.

I wish I had taken a picture of the shade before I painted it! I thought I had. It was the right size and shape but printed with a floral pattern that didn’t match the room. It was just $2 at the same thrift store.

I had seen painted lamp shades online, and the shade was fabric, so I felt it would accept paint well.

Initially, I planned to paint it a solid color. As I kept looking at the colors in the curtain to match it, I decided to try to duplicate one of the flowers in the curtain (which is actually a shower curtain from T J Maxx). If it didn’t turn out in a way I was happy with, I would just paint over it again.

This is the curtain with the flower I was copying. I took a picture of it and looked at it while I was painting/copying the design.

First, I practiced drawing the flower on paper with markers.

Then I practiced the design with paints on card stock.

I first painted the shade a solid light gray then drew on the white flowers then filled them in. I used acrylic craft paints, Apple Barrel brand (50 cents each at Walmart). Some of the colors required a little mixing to get the shade I wanted to match the colors in the curtain.

I’m happy with how it turned out. I may add more flowers with a little yellow later, or some little flourishes.

A friend who enjoys painting advised me to stop while I was happy with it and wait a couple of days to decide whether to add more to the design. I decided to take her advice. If I make any changes later I will share those too.

I hope to finish some some other projects for this room to share soon. I’m enjoying that the summer gives me extra time to work on house projects.

What are you working on? Hope you’re having a great summer!

Josette

We Are All Designed to be Creative~ My Recent Trash to Treasure and Ceramic Projects

I believe we were all meant to be creative in some way.  If you don’t think of yourself as creative, maybe you’re thinking of “creative” with too narrow a definition.  I haven’t always thought of myself as creative either, and there are some ways that I’m definitely not.

I say all the time I’m not the one you want to decorate for a party, because I mostly choose practicality and comfort over beauty and I simply don’t see the point of going to a lot of trouble.  Anybody with me? I’m just not frou-frou in that way.  But I have friends that are so good at that, so I ask for their help in this area.

YOU are designed to be creative, you just have to find your niche.

There are so many different ways that creativity could be expressed and sometimes it takes us a while to find what we like.  When I have time to pursue it, I enjoy being creative in a variety of ways.  If you aren’t sure yet what you like, just get to trying some stuff.

Everything I do is as inexpensively as possible.  If you’ve been reading my blog just a minute, you probably already know that about me.  You already know I love gardening and repurposing home decor in new ways.  Although I’ve been very focused on de-cluttering and paring down, before getting rid of an item I always evaluate if it could be reused in a new way or beautified with a little DIY.

I hope that in showing you the ways I fulfill that inner need for creativity and creating beauty for my home, it will stir up in you some ideas of ways you can do the same in your own life.

I had this ugly candle holder…

Y’all, don’t judge me for having owned this ugly thing in its original state.  It was ugly.   I picked it up years ago at a thrift store and knew it had hidden beauty.  I didn’t like it gold, but I wasn’t sure at the time what it needed.  I used it gold, then I added the little bit of green (sometimes the first time is a fail, keep tryin’) and then stuck it in a closet for a very long time and forgot about it.

See, it was ugly. I don’t know what I was thinking with the green. It’s like I tried the green and didn’t finish my thought? Who knows. But I’m happy with the way it turned out this time.

I saw it in the closet.  I had the idea to paint it in a way that I’ve been loving for a while now and then put some dried flowers in the candle holder instead of a candle.  Well, I ended up changing my mind about that, but I share that with you on purpose, so you can see that sometimes a project keeps evolving.

This is painted white, till all the gold is covered and before the creme wax. I think it took 3 coats. When adding these pics to the blog I realized that all the stuff on my kitchen table was in the background. #reallife at least at my house.

I already had the paint and wax on hand from a previous project and absolutely love this combination. I got these at either Wal-Mart or Michael’s, I think it was Michael’s.  They are just your ordinary acrylic paints.  Until recently, I had never used a wax over acrylic paint, but I love the effect.  The wax is sold right in the same display with the acrylic paints.

After covering the gold with the Warm White I applied the brown wax with a rag.  Instruction on the wax say to use a lint free rag.  I didn’t have a problem with lint, but I just used an old rag I had saved for cleaning that I knew it didn’t have any chemicals on it.  I quickly wiped the brown wax off, leaving just a little color.  You can see that there isn’t the exact same amount of brown all over, that was on purpose.  I then applied a coat of the clear wax.  Even with the 2 coats of wax (one brown, one clear) it doesn’t have a truly shiny appearance, which is just what I wanted.  It’s not perfectly flat/matte but also not shiny = perfection to me.

I love the candle holder as an addition to the mantle. The candle on top of it – it used to be in a jar and our cat, Bad Buddy knocked it off and broke it.  I saved the candle and now it has a new home.

I posted here about the plants growing in the water pitcher and bottles.  The “Family Gathers Here” was a gift from my son this past Christmas. The “be thankful” was a half price find at Hobby Lobby.  Years ago, the mantle itself was a project.  It was originally a natural wood color.  It didn’t contrast enough against the dark brick to suit me.   It looks a little more yellow here, but it is a shade of ivory with a yellow undertone and I used the same type of antiquing to add some dark shading.

Even a little bowl and some dead flowers can add beauty.

Dead flowers, dried flowers, are they kinda the same thing?  Well I decided to use some flowers from a vase that had died/uh dried.

Jordan (my oldest) had given these mini carnations in a vase to Jessie at her pageant recently.  When they died I thought they were too pretty to throw them away.  Initially, I planned to put them atop the candle holder, but it turns out they weren’t quite right there.  I just snipped the blooms off and put them in this little white bowl.

I love the pretty detail on this little white bowl so I had to show it up close.  I found this little pretty at Tuesday Morning on clearance.  Less than $2, maybe $1.  I had seen little bowls of this type used to corral small items on a desk (paper clips etc.) and bought 2 of them.  I knew at least one would be used on my desk.  It could also be used for bobby pins, etc in a bathroom or rings/jewelry in a kitchen.  I bought 2 knowing they could and would be used all over my house at different times.

That first time I painted something at ceramics:

Our Down syndrome group, FRIENDS, had a mom’s night out recently where I got to try painting ceramics for the first time.  We went to You Never Know Ceramics.  If your project will come in contact with food you use glaze paints, and it needs to have 3 coats. If your project won’t be used for food you can paint it just once and they will seal it before you leave and can take it home with you. There is a variety of items to choose from starting as low as $5.

The cost for this good-sized platter was $20, including all needed supplies.  They had books with ideas and patterns you could use.  I traced this daisy pattern onto the platter using carbon paper (they provided everything) and then painted it and left it to be fired for a second time.

It was such a relaxing time just visiting with the other mamas as we all painted our projects.  There are imperfections, you can see where some of the black got smeared a little, but I’m still proud of it and can’t wait to use my platter for the first time.  I love daisies and will probably add some other pieces that can be used together.  I look forward to going back with moms again and also want to take Jessie with me sometime.

Okay, so you’ve seen my creative projects.  What can YOU do that will lower your stress level and add a little beauty to your home?  Got something ugly (like my sad candle holder) that needs a little beautifying?

Whether you know you’re creative or think you aren’t,  I hope you’ll find just the thing.  In every season of life, and parenting, what we have time for and can afford is different, but there is always at least a little something we can do.

If you have a friend that might be inspired by this post, it won’t hurt my feelings if you share <3

Till next week friends,

Josette

What’s Going On In The Garden (And What I’ve Learned)

This year Jessie’s baseball season is starting later than usual.  This has allowed me to have more time working in the garden and the yard. Jessie hasn’t been happy about the delay but I have been gratefully soaking up every minute I can of this beautiful spring weather before it’s crazy south Alabama hot.

Each spring for the last 5 years I’ve done a small vegetable garden. Each year I keep wondering will this be the year I tell the hubby he has to build me a raised bed?

The first year I planted in containers and the containers were on my back deck. The deck gets too hot to walk on with bare feet and I wondered if their location was why it didn’t do as well as I hoped.

For the last few years I’ve planted in the ground.  Since my prenancy with baby #2 (22 years ago!), I’ve had a sciatic nerve issue that flares up pretty regularly, and especially when I do a lot of bending. By the end of the summer garden, I always feel unsure if I can do it again.

I’m trying a couple of things that I hope will make my life easier (and my back less painful) by keeping the weeds down as the season goes on.

Newspaper/Paper Bags for Weed Control

This year I put down newspaper as a barrier for weeds.  When I ran out of newspaper a friend gave me lots of brown paper bags. This layer of newspaper or brown bags prevent weeds from getting sunshine and helps retain moisture in the soil. Here’s a link to read more.

The layer of paper will break down over time and disintegrate into the soil (and that’s good for the soil) so the process will need to be repeated next year.

When I talked to an experienced gardener, he said either will help with weeds, but he prefers newspaper because of the way it breaks down.

Although you can put paper over existing weeds, I had pulled the weeds and then tilled the garden before I put newspaper down.  I’ve got my fingers crossed this is going to save my back some weed pulling.

After you put the papers down you cover it with a layer of soil.  I didn’t want to have to buy that much soil (I did buy some) so I raked some soil away, put down the papers, wet them really well and raked the soil back over to cover the newspaper/bags.

A Different Way of Fertilizing

The same experienced gardener mentioned above (that I’m convinced knows almost everything about everything in the garden!) told me how he fertilizes.

I had already bought a different fertilizer but after talking with Bob, I bought chicken manure compost and fertilized my vegetables the way he does.

Per his recommendation, I used a cup to distribute (he says a handful) of chicken manure compost around the base of my plants and then watered it in. He said as long as it doesn’t touch the leaves I’m good. This is not straight chicken manure, which is too “hot”, but chicken manure compost.

Chopped Leaves as a Mulch for both Moisture Retention and Help With Weed Control

I’ve been dissatisfied with the mulching options I’ve tried in past years.  Pine straw worked fairly well, but I had to use a lot and I was afraid I wouldn’t see a hidden snake.  I tried cypress mulch (it was on sale and I hadn’t researched it) but its prickly when planting or sitting on the ground for weed pulling and I just didn’t think it worked that well.

I read that chopped leaves was a good mulch and also FREE.  Because we have a pool and purposely don’t want to increase our work load there, we don’t have big trees of our own, just crepe myrtles.  But neighbors on one side have a row of trees beween our two yards.  My daughter also had leaves she had bagged so we got some from her and used the lawn mower to chop them all into smaller pieces.   If they’re too large that can cause a problem.  

What I Planted in the Garden

My humble and beloved garden. You can see the grass needs cutting. Y’all see it all. The good, the bad and the ugly 🙂
In the wheelbarrow are Calendula planted from seeds. I’ve wanted to plant something in this old wheelbarrow and can’t wait to see it full of blooms! I placed the wheelbarrow beside the garden to attract pollinators.

This year I went with less tomato plants overall but more varieties. Although I want the other vegetables too, tomatoes are my very favorite. I LOVE them. I bought 1 plant each: Better Boy, Pink Brandywine Heirloom and Homestead Heirloom. I also bought 2 Heirloom Spoon Tomatoes.  I’ve never seen or tasted them before.  Dothan Nurseries posted about them on facebook calling them the World’s Smallest Tomato. They shared a picture showing about 15 fitting in a tablespoon.  I was intrigued and had to try them.

I  planted several (don’t remember how many, 6 or 12?) squash plants and several bush (rather than vining) cucumber plants.

The last several years I’ve planted the small variety of pickling type cucumbers. They’ve done ok, but I haven’t gotten what I thought was a big harvest so I wanted to try a different variety and bush type were recommended to me.  I haven’t known anyone else in our area who grows the small cucumbers and I’ve wondered if they aren’t well suited to our insane summer heat.

I planted one jalapeño pepper plant, which I’ve never grown before, because I’m dreaming of some yummy salsa from homegrown tomatoes and jalapeños. I’m also planning to add cilantro to the garden soon for salsa making.

I added some flowers to the vegetable garden. Do you know why?

At times, my cucumber plants have had many blossoms that don’t become cucumbers. I read that sometimes this is a pollination problem. So, I added two lantana plants to my garden, one on each side, to attract pollinators. I transplanted them from other places in the yard before they started to bloom so neither are blooming just yet. I fertilized them and hope they will soon.

Having learned that marigolds have a scent some pests don’t like,  I hoped that planting some near my tomatoes would help keep pests off of them. I’ve been trying not to resort to using chemical pesticides (and haven’t so far) but bugs have been a big problem with my tomatoes every year. After I planted the marigolds, I learned I probably didn’t have enough of them planted to be a big help. I still think they are a pretty addition to my garden and I notice them every day.

I don’t think marigolds, in general, are pretty. I  had never seen this cream color before and I really took a liking to them. I found these at Dothan Nurseries. I’ve not ever noticed them before at other places where I shop for plants. Dothan Nurseries does seem to have some pretties that I don’t see everywhere else.

New Flowers I Planted This Spring

Last year I wrote in Just Start, how I started a flower bed in my back yard and how I built my flower garden frugally by adding a plant or two at a time.

This spring I’ve added a “Darling Daisy”. Twice before I’ve bought one of these off a clearance rack and they didn’t make it. This time I bought a regularly priced healthy plant and made sure I added some good soil to the planting hole and it’s doing well.

I love all daisies! I’m loving seeing this new addition each time I water the flower garden and when I enjoy my coffee outside in the mornings.

I went to Lowe’s with the hubby for some other man-purpose and although in a hurry, I found this verbena on the clearance rack for $1.00. I knew it had to go home with me. It’s an annual and I won’t spend a lot on annuals, but $1 fits the I’m-poor-cause-I -owe-the IRS- budget. I just transplanted it last night so it will look fuller and healthier soon.

Flowers For My Shady Spots

I love having something flowering on the front porch but it doesn’t get any direct sunlight. Last year impatiens did well there so I’m going with those again. Begonias have done well on my porch too, but this year I’m feeling impatiens.

I bought a six pack for 1.98. Four of them went in a planter for the front porch. I planted two in individual pots for the table on the pool deck that is shaded by an umbrella. Part of the day this area gets direct sunlight and it may be too much for them. I’m going to try them there and move them to a better location if it’s too much direct sunlight.

These impatiens were just transplanted the day before this photo. They will fill out soon and cover all (or most) the space in each pot.

I want a lot of bang for my buck.

I mostly plant perennials (plants that come back every year) to be frugal and not to have to replant everything each year. Some perennials will also spread, or seed new plants that will give you plants you can move elsewhere in your yard or to share. Most of the flowering perennials seem to need full sun.

I usually plant just a couple of annuals (plants that don’t come back, when they die, they die) each year.

The impatiens I bought are beautiful color, inexpensive annuals and give me blooms in the areas where I can’t grow a flowering perennial.

For $1.98, the impatiens are a lot of bang for my buck. Two separate areas have flowers in 3 separate pots. $1.98 folks. That’s as frugal as it gets.

That’s what’s new this year

I’m so hopeful that the paper, leaves, and chicken manure compost will have a favorable outcome for my garden. I get so excited when I see the plants growing and look forward to picking anything that grows there.I’m convinced that watching something you’ve planted live and grow is just plain good for the soul.

Hope you’re having a wonderful spring! I would love for you to share pictures of your vegetable gardens or flower beds in the comments.

Till next week,

Josette

February Progress: Decluttering and Organizing

My hope is that sharing my progress, slow but steady, while using very little money, will encourage you in your own goals for your home.  Sharing my progress helps keep me motivated too!

I wrote that I wanted to declutter and organize my home this year, but Jay and I have some hefty goals for getting the outside of our home in shape too, so I’m including that progress in my updates. Our backyard has something in common with Sanford and Son if you know who that is.

In documenting my progress, each step alone is small, but it all adds up! Don’t be discouraged if your changes seem small at first; it’s progress!

I’ve often been discouraged by the Pinterest worthy organization shared online, in magazines, or on tv, because to achieve beautiful organization they had to spend more than I can afford to.  What I will share is not  like that.

It helps with motivation if you have a friend to share your projects and progress with. I have a couple of friends that we regularly share what we’re working on around our homes.  I find that so helpful.

I would love for you to comment here and share pictures about YOUR projects and progress! We can encourage and help each other!

Ok, February progress:

Reorganized Spice Cabinet

I reorganized my spice cabinet. I recently put all my “regular” (as in one ingredient) spices in alphabetical order. Those are on the left side of the bottom shelf. Before they were alphabetical, I had accumulated some duplicates because I couldn’t easily tell what I had. I kept the freshest and threw away duplicates. On the right side: mixes, like taco seasoning, fajita seasoning etc.

The ones too y’all to fit on the 3 tiered spice shelf (I purposely don’t buy most of them this big!) sit on the shelf above. Salt and pepper refills and baking soda and powder etc on the lazy susan.

Top shelf is for canning jars etc and I didn’t have to change anything there.

Went Through and Reorganized my Dresser

This was quick and easy because there wasn’t much to get rid of. But I did add a few things to the donation box and re-fold everything neatly.

Umm, you can see on top of the dresser there is still decluttering to do. This is in the back of my closet.

You can see the drawers aren’t over stuffed. They aren’t even full. This makes me really happy! A lot of my clothes hang up because we have more hanging space but I’ve also gotten so much better at not keeping things I don’t wear and I don’t buy more than I need.

Started Organizing My Earrings

Y’all, I love earrings. A friend of mine said she had never seen so many. The box with dividers I’ve been storing them in won’t hold them all so I’ve started moving some to another system where I can see them better. I bought the hanging storage bag at Ross or TJ Maxx for $4.99. I noticed afterward though that they have some on Amazon with pockets on both sides.

You can see I’ve still got work to do here 😊. Divided jewelry box on the left still has to be gone through. I will keep most of them and keep the ones with a post in the divided box. In my defense; they’re small and don’t take up much space!

I do love some ear-rangs.

Collected A Box of Donations

I keep a box at all times for donations and over the course of the last month have filled it with one or two items here and there. It’s added up to a full box in a month.

Outside Projects

I’m including in this month’s progress some outdoor projects.  Although some of the work would be considered routine maintenance, much of it isn’t.  Jay and I are taking advantage of our beautiful spring- like perfect yard work weather before it gets blazing hot, which will happen in a flash.

In defense of the before outdoor pictures–as well as some that are excuses, we’ve had legitimate issues that have caused us to get so far behind.  A wedding, plantar fasciitis (me), sciatic pain (me) bad knee (Jay) lack of well-working equipment or not having the things we need (like a chainsaw) and then knee replacement and recovery for Jay, in addition to some hoarder-ish tendencies….things around here got pretty out of shape outside.

On President’s day weekend, Jay and I worked on Saturday and Monday on some outdoor project goals. There is still much to be done, but we accomplished a lot.  We had the sore muscles to prove it.  We were popping Tylenol, Ibuprofen and using Icy Hot for a couple of days after 🙂

The normal stuff:  We trimmed bushes (still more to do there), he chainsawed down some small trees that had appeared in our shrubs and grew tall when we didn’t own a chainsaw.

The blinds are the cheap plastic kind. I had recently bought new ones and Bad Buddy broke them within a couple of weeks. Gotta invest in some better blinds like we have in some other rooms of the house.

I thought I had taken a before picture. This oleander (one that looks like sticks now)  was as tall as the house when we got started.  We didn’t get to the other bushes yet, our gas powered hedge trimmers wouldn’t work.  So discouraging when you have equipment failures that slow progress which always seems to happen.  Jay is working on the hedge trimmers, but for today’s progress he used limb loppers and the chain saw to tame this beast of an oleander.  They’re so pretty when we see them at the beach, but they grow so fast and it’s a lot of work to keep them under control.  Jay wants to pull them up.  I’m holding him off for now.

Got all the shrubs in front trimmed. I love the tea olive on the right, smells so good. It had gotten so out of control, it looks so much better!

The outside the norm stuff:  I didn’t take a before pic, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell really anyway because of the leaves.  Our privacy fence had fallen down.  There were sections of fence on the ground.  Some of them were heavy, and still attached to posts.   Others were rotten so they fell apart and had to be removed in smaller pieces.  A tree from our neighbor’s yard had fallen into ours and the owner (rents the house but it’s currently empty) had not taken care of it.  Jay and Evan had cut up and removed some of the tree and left behind some we might use as fire wood.  It isn’t “good” wood and we don’t have a way to stack/store it well so we hauled it to the street rather than cut grass around it all summer.

After two days of serious work,  we had a huge pile by the street for pick up.

I didn’t crop out the house so you would get an idea of scale. The pile was nearly as tall as me! The fencing and logs are under the bush trimmings and trees.

This was a serious workout and it felt so good to get these things done.

Although I always wish the progress was faster, we’ve made steps in the right direction this month and I’m going to be content with that.

I do hope you’ll share your goals, projects and pictures so that we can celebrate and encourage one another!

Till next week,

Josette.

Want to Join me in my De-Cluttering/Organizing Goal?

It’s not spring; but I’m obsessively organizing!  I’m determined this is THE year.

Are any of you like me, continuously frustrated with stuff that seems to multiply when we sleep?  Any of you want to join me in this goal I’ve set for myself?  I’m determined that this year, by the end of the year I will have achieved a goal I’ve wished I could for a long time.

The shop outside is a whole nother beast, but by year end (really I hope by summer’s end, but I’m giving myself the whole year, in case):

  • All closets in my house will be orderly and well organized.
  • My stuff (in closets and storage areas) will fit in those designated spaces without any random stuff outside of those areas because there is too much to fit.
  • I no longer want to look around certain rooms with a feeling of annoyance at what feels like clutter to me.

To achieve this goal, we will need to :

  • Remain committed, not allow ourselves to forget how the clutter makes us feel, therefore making this a priority.
  • Although it’s a lot of work, keep in mind this won’t last forever.  Remember, we’re doing this by year end!
  • Be ruthless in getting rid of things that we don’t need, use or love.
  • Establish some guidelines to help our homes stay de-cluttered, not overflowing.

I used to have a hard time parting with things. I am married to someone who still really struggles with parting with things, although he’s definitely gotten much better!

I used to think the only risk was in getting rid of something I might regret.  I came to realize though KEEPING THINGS HAS A COST TOO.  I’m more willing to risk the possibility now that I might wish I had something I got rid of.  I love to look at clean spaces and that is worth a small risk.  Things we keep have to be cleaned or dusted or reorganized.  Again and again and again.  I’m so tired of that cycle.  There are much fewer things that make the cut these days.

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but I’m much quicker to donate something that I have a small pang of worry that I’ll regret, rather than keep it.

If I’m not using it, I don’t want to dust it or wash it again.

I’ve gotten off to a good start, and the progress I’ve made is providing motivation to keep going.  So far I have:

Reorganized My Christmas Decorations

Okay, these items are stored in our outdoor shop, but I wanted to include them in my progress.  I’ve wanted to do this for YEARS  and finally did it.  After I donated a small bag of ornaments, I reorganized all of my Christmas decorations and labeled them.

In years past, Jay and Evan would bring all the green and red boxes from the rafters of the outdoor shop.  You can see this is a lot of boxes.  I would have to lift the lids to see what is in them, and because it takes more than one day to decorate inside and outside, I would have to look in all the boxes TOO many times to find what I was looking for.

The before! All the Christmas decorations spread out for for sorting/reorganizing, plus any other items that had been shoved in here from other places to have room for the spread we had out on Christmas Day. What a mess!

All the boxes, sorted and labeled for easy retrieval of what items I’m looking for.

Ah, and now I have my little table back. It was used for food set-up on Christmas Day. It’s my favorite spot to work on blog related stuff. This is one of my favorite places in my house. I’ve got this little corner just how I want it.

Until this year, when I have a spare bedroom for the first time, these boxes would be cluttering up my kitchen and living room until I was done with them.  This way, they can be put in another room out of my way and I can easily find the box I need at that time and leave the others stacked up till I’m ready for them.

Two Options of How to Label the Boxes

I listed on the front all the categories of items that are in the box.  I’m going to try this method.  If I add much to the Christmas decorations or need them organized differently,  I will try the second method, described below the pictures.

Alternate box labeling method: you label the box itself with 1, 2, 3, 4 etc and then keep a small notebook or card file. The card or page labeled #1 would list all the items in box #1 .

If what is stored in the boxes changes much this might be the easier way.  OR, if you wanted to look at your list and pull out from storage only certain items this is a good way to go.

Done a TON of Work in my Closet 

I’m not 100% satisfied with the state of my closet, but I’ve put in a lot of work and it’s much closer to my end goal.  I will share pictures when it’s finished.  There’s still a couple of things I’m unsure of how to best store, and I didn’t get to the corner that has our Christmas boxes, ribbons and wrapping supplies.

One reason our closet is such a big job is for years it has been a catch all for stuff we didn’t have room for elsewhere.  We have board games, boxes (from purchases, like iPhones, Kindle’s, laptop) extra blankets, gifts purchased in advance, a box for donations, Christmas wrapping supplies, a large box of frames and decorative things not currently used, and memorabilia in addition to the “normal” closet stuff.  No matter how much I clean it, seems like before I know it, we’ve accumulated a bunch of stuff in there again.  I’m working now not only to declutter and organize what is there, but to stop the flow coming in.

With the exception of the small corner I didn’t get to, everything was pulled from the walls and I vacuumed crevices, dusted baseboards and any walls that needed it. Every game box and stored item was wiped with a damp cloth. Y’all, that alone was a pretty big job with lots of ups and downs on the step stool. The sore muscles I experienced the next day were a felt reminder of a job well done.

I worked a couple of hours on one day just getting rid of things, making quick decisions about clothing and items easier to part with.  The 2nd work day I spent the entire day cleaning, reorganizing, washing blankets and the baby clothes I mention in a paragraph below.  AFTER I had gone through the first time, on the 2nd day I had 3 boxes of donations and 2 bags of items I threw away.

This is my back seat loaded up with donations after the 2nd time going through my closet!

I Sorted Through the Linen Closet (except for the shelf with medicine that still needs to be done)

I got rid of a few things and washed almost everything that remained in here.  If it had been used recently, I didn’t, but all others got washed.  No more dusty/musty smell.

This closet houses the bed linens for all beds except mine, I keep those in a closet in our bathroom. We also keep the medicines that aren’t used regularly, and first aid supplies on a shelf here. That shelf still needs reorganizing.

Several years ago I read this tip and it’s right up my label-maker-loving alley! All the sheets on this shelf are full size. Another shelf for twin. If you have fewer you could keep them on the same shelf and just label under each. This is a time saver when you’re looking for a particular item. And, I just love how it makes me feel when I see those labels. It makes me feel a bit more organized whether it’s true or not.

As I Organize and Clean Closets I’m Washing any Dusty/Musty Smelling Items

The blankets stored in my closet and the linen closet smelled dusty/musty so I washed them with a 1 1/3 cup of vinegar in the wash water and then used a good smelling liquid softener in the final rinse.

Those Few Pieces of Sentimental Clothing Items From Each of My Kids

Over the years I had pared down and pared down until I have just a small amount of clothing items from all 3 kids. And the blankets that were special to me (they never cared a lick for blankets or stuffed animals!).

These items have hung in different closets in our home, moved from room to room over the last several years.  I took them off the hangers, treated the stains that had bled back through and packed them all up together in a clear comforter bag. Did you know that “old” stains that have been cleaned will bleed back through over time? Most of stains came out but there were 3 or 4 items that I didn’t put in the dryer because they need to be treated again.

On hangers, these items were taking up prime real estate space in my closet.  Stored in a comforter bag (and this is for all 3 kids so I think this is pretty good!) I can find a better place to put them.

Some of the Things I’ve Held onto in the past that didn’t make the cut this time:

  • I had saved some pillows and had planned to reuse the insides and make new covers. They had been in my closet long enough to be dusty/musty smelling.  It made me sad, but I threw them away.
  • Pretty bags I like but don’t love. I realized that I never chose those bags anymore. Although I liked them, I have others I like more. Pretty bags (I really do use them!) are a real weakness for me.

Our homes are continual works in progress.  I will never reach the point I think my house is perfect, I know that.  Something will always need doing, cleaning, organizing, freshening up with decor. I will never feel like I’m finished.

But, I am determined that there will be LESS to clean, LESS to reorganize and I know that some empty cleared spaces will feel so good to me.

What do you think?  Is this YOUR year to reduce and declutter?  Let’s do this together!

Hope you’re having a great week!

Josette

Cooking Ahead and Eating Lighter (and Simple)This Week

Without such a full house of hungry people to feed,  just 3 of us during the week, we’ve slid into some bad habits.  We’ve been eating out too much, and finding it so easy to get takeout instead of plan, shop and cook.

This week, right after church my sweet boy said, “Mom, I’ll take us all out to eat at LaBamba if you’ll cook food for me to take this week.”  I hadn’t cooked for him in a couple of weeks.  We had gone out to eat a more expensive meal for my birthday the night before so I had been planning to cook something simple (tacos) for lunch.  He knew if I cooked  lunch I wouldn’t want to turn right around and stand on my feet (plantar fasciitis) for more cooking.  When I send food with him I usually send a lot, so it isn’t quick unless I’ve done something in the slow cooker.

Y’all, at times it’s still hard, these kids growing up.  But, more and more they keep showing me some reasons why sometimes it’s a little sweet.  Like when they take you out for lunch on their dime.  Or give you $ for a weekend at the beach for your birthday.

We’ve all been wanting to eat a little better, my boy included.  It helps when we’re all on the same page that way.  I made a quick trip to the store and this is what I came up with for this week.  I hoped that for those of us at home, having something already cooked, and food that could be mixed and matched we wouldn’t be so tempted to pick something up. The plan has been a success.  For this week 🙂

I cooked several things we could mix and match to have some variety.

  • I pan-fried about 25 chicken breasts
  • Baked 15 sweet potatoes
  • Cooked a pile (a bunch, several cans) of green beans
  • browned 3-4 pounds of ground chuck and made taco meat with it .  I bought burrito sized tortillas, soft taco size, already had regular hard taco shells and I bought salad ingredients for taco salad for plenty of variety.
  • I bought a head of romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, feta cheese and mexican cheese to use for taco salad or salad with the pan-fried chicken or side salad with the sweet potatoes and chicken.

I started the potatoes baking first, got the chicken started, then the green beans, last the taco meat.  I cooked it all, packed Evan’s food, put ours away and cleaned the kitchen.  We’ve eaten this food each day but only made the big cooking mess once and I’ve enjoyed that.

I sent some of each with Evan, and kept some of all of it for us.  Jay and I enjoyed eating the chicken a variety of ways and didn’t get tired of it so we never even ate taco meat.  When I saw we weren’t going to eat it I put most of ours in the freezer.  Jessie enjoyed the burritos and soft tacos.

The Chicken

I pan-fried the chicken in a little peanut oil and seasoned the chicken with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning.  Although I’ve pan-fried chicken this way for years I realized something just this time.  The breast pieces that were the best and most moist (others were dry and not soft) were the ones that I cooked on med-high while they  browned and then covered them and turned them down to medium or medium low where they kind of steamed and kept the moisture in better.

Although it’s creole seasoning and can be spicy, you can control that somewhat by the amount you use.  This is a delicious seasoning that we all like, but I don’t put too much because some don’t like it as spicy as others.

 

I washed the potatoes and rubbed the skins with oil.  I used peanut oil this time and then baked them.  I put foil on the pan to keep it from getting sticky but didn’t individually wrap the potatoes.

I keep some bacon grease in the fridge for such as this.  I put a tablespoon or two and added some Lawry’s seasoned salt to the store brand (Shur Fine) green beans (with some of the juice from the can left in) and they were delicious!  I brought them to a boil and let them cook for just a few minutes to get the seasonings mixed in.  Jessie doesn’t like vegetables but tolerates green beans better than most others.

I made taco meat that could be used for burritos, soft or hard tacos or taco salad.

 

The second time we ate the chicken and sweet potatoes we switched out the green beans for salad.  Oh yeah, and that dark color in the sweet potato, I mixed 1/2 cup brown sugar with 2 tablespoons cinnamon to make a cinnamon sugar to use for the potatoes.  It takes very little to make the already sweet potato like a dessert.  The potatoes were on the small side so it was less than a teaspoon per potato that I used.  Delish!

Another day we had a big salad with chicken. I forgot to take the picture before it was messy looking with dressing.

We’ve eaten too much fried chicken tenders and such in recent weeks.  I think our bodies were craving some green beans and salad.

If Your Family Resists Eating Leftovers

I’ve had some friends say their family just doesn’t like leftovers.  Now that there are fewer of us, the temptation is greater not to cook.  But when our house was full of hungry people and a busy mama that doesn’t really love to cook, it just wouldn’t have worked for our family not to eat leftovers.

If your family doesn’t like to eat the same thing 2 times in a row, try cooking several things at once (only dirty the kitchen in a big way once) that you can rotate so the plate isn’t exactly the same each time.

Hope you’re having a good week!

Josette

Work With What You’ve Got {Freshen up your Christmas decor without spending a ton of cash}

This is one reason why I will never have a tattoo.  I just can’t be satisfied with the same look for very long.

When you have a wee budget  for Christmas decorating, this can be a bit of a problem.

Problem #1 I get tired of what I have.  Like, sometimes after just one year. I know, first world problem for sure.

I really don’t like to have everything look the same two years in a row.  What I like changes. Sometimes kinda drastically.

When it comes to home decor, I like to change things up, just make it feel a little different and fresh.   But I have a small budget for these non-necessities, so I have to be creative.  I’m tickled pink when I can move things around and use them in a way that feels fresh without spending a lot of cash.

Problem #2  I love a hodgepodge of things that I have to try to marry together in a way that makes sense.

I have many precious-to-me ornaments that each of the kids made in their younger years. While I might not display every single one of them every year, there will never be a time that there isn’t at least one or two on the tree that each kid has made.  When I’m ruthlessly decluttering, (which clearly hasn’t happened nearly enough!) Jay says I’m not sentimental about anything.  Not true, I’m just not sentimental about everything like he is.  The ornaments the kids made are some of my favorite things and I can’t imagine our tree without them.

Other than the ornaments the kids have made, for as long as I can remember, snowmen have been my favorite thing at Christmas. Then, for many years now, probably 10 or more, I have loved gingerbread house themed Christmas decorations.

I don’t want two trees, and it can be a bit tricky to marry some of the ice cream colored gingerbread house ornaments with the more traditional ones.   I’m satisfied though that I manage to make them get along well enough.

Changes I made this year:

Last year’s tree was topped with a glittery silvery topper and the ribbon round it was sheer and silver (might not be able to tell that in the picture). Although I didn’t use those items this year, I kept them, because in a couple of years I will want to use them again. Maybe in the same way, and maybe somewhere entirely different than on the tree. If I don’t want them on the tree, I can use them elsewhere in the house OR for gift wrapping.  This gorgeously full tree was a real pain to put together. Every single limb had to be placed one by one! I was gifted a new tree this year and will donate this tree.
I was given this tree by a friend who wasn’t going to use it anymore. I love it. It fits the space better and is much easier to put together. I bought the candy cane ribbon that is used like a garland on the tree thinking that I would make a bow for the top. I decided it wasn’t wide enough for that purpose and used it around the tree instead. I love how it turned out. The red and white and candy on the ribbon help marry some of my traditional red and green ornaments with those that are gingerbread house themed candies in more playful colors. I didn’t find anything I loved for the top so I decided to put nothing there.

Cost of changes to the tree:  I left off a lot of ornaments for a cleaner look = FREE.  I bought the ribbon on sale for less than $7  I added blue ball ornaments on the tree instead of the pink I used last year.  I already owned them = FREE.  I love to add just 1 or 2 new ornaments per year.  I added two new ornaments for about $5 for both.

I found this last year after Christmas for less than $2. A sweet addition to my gingerbread themed ornaments.
This new candy tree was $2 or $3. Traditional colors and candy themed. Marriage material.

For a few years, the kids influenced me and I was in love with colored lights on the Christmas tree. Colored lights everywhere, and non-traditional colors of ball ornaments on the tree along with our beloved favorites and homemade ones.  I still have some of the non-traditional colored ornaments on the tree, but this year all lights are white. There are fewer glittery decorations.

Year round this basket is on top of the wardrobe. This year I have had a hankering for white lights everywhere and I loved how this cheers up an otherwise un-decorated corner.
I love the combination of plain white and glittery ornaments on top. I bought two packages at the beginning of the season (at the Dollar Tree!), having no idea how I would use them, but I just loved them. For $2 total, I added some to the top of this wardrobe and still have some left over. The greenery had been used at a party I attended (and helped with the set up) and I was able to bring it home = FREE.
Purchased at the Dollar Tree for a whopping total of $2.

The changes to the kitchen table might seem subtle, but I’m excited about the little changes.

The kitchen table last year.

I blogged last year about how I freshened things up.  I used this same Pampered Chef tray all year in a variety of ways, so this Christmas I was just ready for a fresh look.  Also, the greenery last year was fake and I had a hankering for fresh.

The kitchen table this year. Although the burlap runner is a different one, it’s still one I already had. Since my daughter used them at her wedding reception, we have a few 🙂 This one didn’t have a fringe, so I added one to each end.

I found the Mason jar candle holders, they’re actually lanterns that can be hung, at Michael’s for 1/2 ($2.49 each) price and added the red tealights.  They aren’t very visible in the picture, but there are real cranberries under the tealights.  I still have 3/4 of the bag of cranberries that I will find another use for.  The fresh greenery was used at a party I helped with so I brought it home after the party for free.  Although our tree is artificial, it smells like a fresh, real Christmas tree up in here.  Total spent: about $20 with leftover cranberries and tealights AND the lanterns aren’t specific to Christmas, so they can be used year round.

When choosing the mason jar lanterns, I was tempted to choose red or green, but I decided #1 to keep it more natural/simple/clean looking and #2 to choose lanterns/candleholders that could be used all year long in a variety of ways.   This won’t be the last time you will see them I’m sure!

The last couple of years, Jessie has really enjoyed making some things IF she knows I will display them.

Jessie colored these wooden decorations and was excited for me to display her handiwork. I buy these wood coloring sets at Michael’s on sale every year. And, she loves for us to buy candy canes to have on hand, so we do.  They come in all kinds these days and we think it’s fun to try the different varieties. I recommend the Sweet Tart green apple!

I already blogged about what a great time we had making this gingerbread house.  I’m sure it will become a new annual tradition.

One evening a month, Jessie goes to a local church that has a program for special needs kids to allow the parents a date night.  She made this  “Joy to the World” there.

Last but not least, Jessie painstakingly painted this picture and I love it.  They come in a two pack of two different designs at the Dollar Tree, which includes the paint!  Later in the season I picked up another pack with a different design.  When a friend comes over, they will paint them.

I glued it to a piece of scrapbook paper, punched holes in the top and ran some twine through it.  This is hanging right as you come in the front door, which makes Jessie happy.

I know if I counted all the times in this post that I said I “loved” something, a real editor would say I should change some of those.  Don’t wanna.  I love decorating my home for  Christmas.  It takes me forever, because I keep tweaking it the entire season.  But I enjoy it in between obsessively watching Hallmark movies.

If you don’t have a lot to spend, but like to change things up, it CAN be done.  And it’s fun.

I hope you’re enjoying a very Merry Christmas season!

Josette

Easy DIY: How to Reupholster an Ottoman

This was a super easy and super inexpensive project, it just took a little time.  The matching chair and ottoman were given to us and each had only a small tear in them. This chair wasn’t used a lot at their house but between our heavy use and the dogs….well, the rips got bigger and bigger quickly.

I’m starting with the ottoman, the much easier project, but planning to soon give slip-covering a try for the first time with the chair.  Both are very comfortable and fit well in our living room.  Structurally, both chair and ottoman are in great shape so I think it will all be worth the effort.

I had been planning all summer to tackle this project.  Finally, one Saturday afternoon when the house was quiet and calm I put a show on Netflix and got to work.

You can see that our ottoman REALLY needed to be re-upholstered.

Honestly, it took longer to take all the staples out to get the old material off than it did to recover with the new fabric. I used a really small flat head screwdriver to lift the staples out.  Some lifted out easily that way and some would straighten out and make it hard to pull them out.  For those, I used pliers to grab hold of them and pull the staple out.  

In some sections I was able to pull the fabric off without removing every staple.

I didn’t remember to document this in photos, but on top of the cushion I first stapled a cotton/muslin type fabric over before adding the final drop cloth fabric that would show.  I already the cotton fabric on hand. I may not have done this step if I had to buy something extra.  You don’t have to do this, but since it had a thin layer done similarly under the decorator fabric when I took it off,  I decided to do the same.

I originally bought two canvas paint drop cloths at Walmart for 9.99 each, planning to use them as curtains in our spare bedroom I was redecorating at the time. I only used a part of one of them for this ottoman project.   I no longer have the packaging, but I think this is what I bought.  I knew when I bought them, that if I didn’t use them in that bedroom I would use them on this ottoman and the chair.

I washed both the drop cloths together on the longest possible cycle in hot water and added a good amount of Downy to the final rinse as this fabric has kind of a rough texture.  I LOVE textured fabrics, so I wanted that but also wanted it not to feel rough when we sit in the chair.  I may end up needing a third drop cloth when I slipcover the chair.  Even so, that will still be a really inexpensive way to get a new look!

After all the staples (the ones that needed to come out) were removed I laid the drop cloth over the top of the ottoman and cut the fabric, leaving enough hanging over the edge to staple underneath.  My cuts  were not perfectly straight and I didn’t measure. I knew I was planning to tuck the edges under and that they wouldn’t show.  Once my fabric was cut, I turned the ottoman upside down on top of my coffee table for the stapling.  That made it much easier to get to while sitting comfortably in my recliner.

When you make the folds around the legs it makes for a bunch of fabric to staple through, that’s why you see so many staples in those areas.

I turned the fabric under like a hem so the edge doesn’t show and stapled it to the wood.  I looked at a couple of other blog posts ( I searched on Pinterest) to get an idea how to do the corners.  I read somewhere to do it like wrapping a gift.  With that in mind I kinda winged it.  Wish I could show you precisely but I wasn’t very precise 🙂

This mesh looking fabric was under the ottoman to begin with and I put it back there, covering the fabric and staples.  If it hadn’t already been on the ottoman I wouldn’t have bothered with it.  It took a lot of effort to get all the staples out without tearing it, as it is fairly delicate, so if you don’t want to bother with it, it won’t really show anyway unless you turn the ottoman upside down.

This pic is a little blurry but you get the idea.
Finished product from the side.


Voile’.  I’m very pleased with how it turned out.  My corners are not all perfectly the same but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable.  I’m happy with it.  I have sat in the chair and put my feet on the ottoman every day since I finished it.

Cost Breakdown:

  • I didn’t own a heavy duty stapler and had to buy one.   My husband got ours at Harbor Freight for around $15. They sell them at Walmart too.
  • With buying the stapler this entire project cost only about $25! If you have a stapler, the fabric was just $10, which makes for a crazy cheap and great project.  I still have some of the drop cloth left and may be able to use it in slip-covering the chair, not sure yet.

So, if you have an eye sore of an ottoman, you can fix it right up with some drop cloth and Netflix!  I first saw drop cloth used as a bed-skirt and curtains on Instagram which gave me the idea.  I like that it is textured, durable and some folks bleach (to make them more white than beige) or dye them too.  If you google paint drop cloth and upholstery or curtains, you can find a lot of projects on Pinterest using them. I’m sure this won’t be my last drop cloth project.

Hope you’re having a great week,

Josette.

DIY: Sparkle Up Your Plain Ole OtterBox

This was so super easy and fun!  When Jessie inherited my old phone, it needed a new case, and we were afraid to get anything but the very protective OtterBox Defender.  In fact, I use that kind of case myself as I am prone to drop my phone.

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Jessie saw sparkly and pretty ones when we looked on Amazon but we went with the pink OtterBox.  She was sweet about it but she was a little disappointed.

I had originally seen this idea when I got my own OtterBox.  I too had wanted a case I thought was prettier and I had googled how to fancy up my case but decided this was a little bit of a young look for me.

We watched this YouTube video together first. We followed her instructions.  We wiped the case first with a cotton ball with polish remover, to clean it and make the polish adhere well.

We used three different sparkly nail polishes.  We painted each coat and let it dry.  It dried quickly, then we added the next layer.  We had gotten out all 3 colors but I didn’t think we would actually use them all.  After each coat though, we weren’t quite satisfied with the look until we had used all three.

Jessie adding the second layer, the larger gold glitter.  It was still looking kind of plain at this point.  Yes, she is wearing pajamas and has wet from the shower hair. We always seem to get started on something when it is time to go to bed :). My sweet girl was so self conscious when she saw her bald spot in this picture. She decided it was ok for me to use it, but the “bald spot” makes her sad and self conscious.
Each of the polishes we used is a clear polish with floating sparkles in it. After the first polish, clear with pink and purple sparkles it was still pretty plain.   The gold was larger glitter and we liked what that added.  But it didn’t feel perfect quite yet.

Jessie was able to to do the back of the phone case and I did the sides.  It is important on the back of the case to keep the strokes going the same direction and I just needed to remind her a couple of times.

After a couple of coats she wanted me to finish it but she sat with me and we still enjoyed the project together and talking while we worked.


The third and last polish had silver and blue sparkles.  Blue is Jessie’s favorite color.  It finally looked “filled in”  and not plain.   Then we added a clear top coat . It is best to let it dry really well before handling.  We have one slightly smudged place because she was antsy to set her alarm clock before going to bed.

Jessie absolutely loved it!   She no longer feels there are prettier cases out there. She loves her case now AND mama feels good about the phone being protected.

It’s a win, win.   Mama’s happy and Jessie is happy.