My Magnolia Market Experience

Last October, my friends and I took a 90 minute trip from Dallas and drove to Waco, Texas to see Magnolia Market.  I really meant to get this blog done immediately but somehow life got away from me with the holidays, trips to New York, etc. etc.  If you haven’t been there yet, here are some of the highlights in this spectacular place.  My retail therapy really needed a therapist that day!  Fortunately (or unfortunately), I was confined to a carry-on bag on my flight and I had to be good.  We first shopped around the store … OF COURSE!  It is set up so beautifully and you feel like Joanna has touched every inch of it.  After spending some time in the store, all of us did find a few treasures to take home with us and I even bought a soft, comfy Magnolia Farms T-shirt to wear when I got home.  I have come to the conclusion after traveling to various places that the best thing to buy is something you can wear.  Trinkets come and go but hey, a T-shirt will always get worn and it fit in my suitcase.  I did pick up a few other small items as gifts that would fit in my suitcase.  The landscaping is just beautiful and made me wish I had a green thumb.  If you have the chance, go there!  Enjoy my photos of the day.

There are really two sections to the market.  The first section is mainly the home decor section and the second section features Chip and his hats, T-shirts, etc as well as more home decor items.

Late in the afternoon we HAD to go get some cupcakes in the bakery!  Yummy!

Because I’m a red velvet addict, I had to get one of those.  I also bought a lemon-lavender cupcake to take with me.  They were both awesome!

 Probably my one regret was not purchasing one of these fabulous burlap totes.  You can, however, buy them on-line.  Hint, Hint!


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Gold Charger Plates Get A French Country Update

I know I have blogged painting chargers before, but a few months ago I picked up some gold gilded ornate chargers at Homegoods that were exactly a style I wanted.  Although I’m not a fan of the gaudy gold, I loved the detailed edge and knew I could make them fit into my French Country home somehow.  I could just picture them in a distressed white and had to try.  The two gold candlesticks were a yard sale purchase and would get  the same paint job.

These Christmas chargers were really GOLD!  Holy Mar-a-Lago!

I lined them up on my counters on a painting cloth which seems to be the only long surface that I could find.

Not knowing exactly what I would end up doing, I started on the candlesticks to test my chalk paint.  Using a “dry brush” method I just took my brush and started applying the paint allowing some gold to show through.  It gave them the old, distressed look I wanted.

Love how the candlesticks came out!

I liked how the candlesticks looked so I kept going on the chargers.  Did I mention that they are plastic?!!

After I had them looking “barely painted” I put a coat of this matte varnish on that I had picked up at Michaels.

Final look!


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How to Age Terracotta Pots

Last weekend I picked up three small terracotta pots at a yard sale for $1.  Lately I’ve been thinking I need some live plants around but because I do not have a green thumb I tend to not even try.  I guess my desire to have live plants won!  I went to Lowes and picked up some small cute plants that were only about $3.50 each.  I did want them inside but I’m also redecorating my patio so I thought they might be cute out there too.  However, I wanted the pots to look old and worn, not like this!

And I’m pretty obsessed with old mossy urns and pots that look old right now! (Pinterest Photo)

I purchased a can of Sand Stone spray paint at Lowes.  This will add some texture to the exterior of the pots.

After randomly spraying this paint on the pots, they looked like this.  You don’t have to cover the entire pot perfectly. (Watch out for those alligators in the background!!!!!). HA!

Oh, did you notice I’m using a piece of cardboard that I snow flocked some things on at Christmas?

Next I took some white paint and “dry-brushed” some paint on the outside of the pots.  Be careful to not use too much paint. Your brush should be wiped off before you even touch the pots.  I put the white paint on heavier in some places because I liked that look.

Next came a dab of olive green and black craft paints that I bought at Michaels.  This is simply to lightly add the “moss and dirt” spots to a few parts of the pots.  Again, the trick is to dab almost all the paint off the brush before touching the pots.  You don’t need much at all.  I guess I’ll have lots of this paint available for another project down the road.

Here are the pots completed.  Some people would seal them with a sealer at this point.  I chose not to and will just see how they hold up.

These two pots landed outside on the patio for now but I still plan on using the other one inside somewhere.

This was a super easy project and the result make the pots seem like I’ve had them for years and not killed them!



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First Finished Project of 2018 – Painted Antique Buffet

You may remember from a December post that I created this Christmas coffee bar on my antique buffet.   I purchased the buffet off Craigslist in the Fall and had plans to paint it but with the holidays I knew I couldn’t get it done until a later time.

Although I like antique wood and don’t always paint it, this piece just begged for a fresh coat.

Last week I decided it was finally time to tackle the project.  I lightly sanded a few spots on the top that were a little bubbled.  As we all know, an antique will always have some flaws and not be perfect.  I view that as part of the charm of an old piece.  They don’t have to be perfect!

The buffet originally had a “back board” on it that I didn’t want on there so it had three holes on the top that I needed to fill in before priming it.  I only had spackle so I tried that.  Not a great idea.  I finally went to Lowes and actually bought wood filler and filled it in more.  Then I sanded each hole to a smooth finish.

The next step was to prime it with a primer so the paint will adhere.  I’ve used a lot of chalk paint lately but I decided to use regular latex paint on these piece.  I used a brush to get around all the grooves and corners first and then rolled large areas like the top with a small foam roller.  I use this piece to store all my teacups and since I wasn’t painting the inside I just left them in there.

It took about three coats of paint to cover all that dark wood!

For the final step, I sealed it with Polycrylic in a matte finish when ended up being more like a satin finish.


The hardware was a antique brass color and I wanted it to be more dark bronze so they all got a fresh coat of dark bronze spray paint to give it this look below.  Miraculously, I had saved a bunch of old keys from my yardsaling hunts and one of them actually fit and locks the side doors.

I also lightly distressed the edges with sandpaper to give it a an old worn look.

 I really love the new look and how it brightened up my kitchen area.

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Easy Graham Cracker “Gingerbread” Houses

Gingerbread houses a cute and fun to decorate.  However, here is a quick and easy way to make a “gingerbread” house.  My daughter, her husband and I made these easy graham cracker houses about two years ago.  I loved them so much I actually sprayed each of them with a clear coat of shellac-type spray paint to try to seal them so I could keep them for many years!  We were not planning on eating them so we cheated a little and hot-glued the graham crackers together first and then had fun decorating them with royal icing and many different kinds of candies and marshmallows.  I think they turned out super cute and it only took about two hours total to make them.   It was fun to see how we each put our individual touches on our houses.

Last year I displayed them on my coffee table and this year they are on my kitchen countertop.

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Swedish Christmas Home Tour

Every Christmas season our home becomes full of holiday spirit with tons of decorations even though we live in South Florida.   I am sure a lot of people that live where it snows would not even get in the Christmas spirit in our area.  Well, believe it or not, we actually do!  This year I chose to decorate with a Swedish theme since that is what my Minnesotan “roots” are.   You will see lots of white and red, tomte, Christmas goats (julebok) and other Swedish touches.  Every day I seem to add something new to the decor.  My favorite pieces are the wooden hearts and Dala horse tree ornaments that my dad made out of wood for me many years ago.  Browse and tour our home this holiday season.

I chose to add lots of red to the white room.




Merry Christmas!






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How to Create a Simple Christmas Coffee Bar

Do you entertain guests during the holidays?  What better way to have guests be able to help themselves to a cup of coffee or hot chocolate than with a coffee bar?  This season I decided to create my own Christmas coffee bar for guests (and let’s be real, for ME to enjoy too!).  It has been so fun coming up with ideas and making sure it was cute and functional.  If you are French Press or only brewed coffee person, you may want to close your eyes!  This is for those that like a quick “Cup O’ Joe.”

Every coffee bar has to have some cups and since it is the holidays, why not get cute “Christmasy” ones?  I found these cute mugs at Pier 1 Imports.

However, you can also find cute, cheaper mugs if you keep your eyes out at the Dollar Store – – like these!

I found this three-tiered stand at Homegoods ($29) to put all the cups and supplies on.  I added some green pine sprigs for a holiday touch on each tier.  I found the plaid runner at Ross for about $8.  Check out my last blog on how to make the coffee bar sign.

Of course, the quickest and easiest way to get a hot cup of coffee is with a Keurig machine or some similar machine.  My friend bought me this Cuisinart coffee maker as a gift to replace my older Keurig that was black.  It holds 72 ounces of water so you are not always refilling the reservoir.

It is handy to have all the K-Cups available but out of sight so I picked up this storage drawer at Big Lots for $15.  The coffeemaker sits on top of it and stores all the supplies which are easily accessible by pulling out the drawer which holds 36 cups!  I have some ideas for making it lighter (instead of black) down the road but that will have to wait until after the holidays.

For those who don’t drink coffee or tea, I also included a hot cocoa stand with a couple flavors of cocoa packs in a little wooden box.  The sign is from Hobby Lobby.

On the top tier of the stand, I put sugars, spices and other fun toppings.

Next to the coffee machine, I needed to have a place to put the used K-Cups so I got this small, tin bucket at Hobby Lobby.

Here is my final coffee bar for the season. I am thinking of keeping it up even after the holidays and just using my regular cups and a non-holiday runner.

Are you ready to create your own coffee bar?


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How I Snow-Flocked My Artificial Christmas Tree

After seeing how pretty snow-flocked trees were last Christmas, I decided early in the year that I wanted a white flocked tree this year.

I looked on-line for flocked trees and they ranged from about $200-800.  Christmas trees can get real expensive!   I have limited space in my living room where I put the Christmas tree in my front window so I needed a skinny, but tall tree.  I was having a little bit of trouble finding a pretty flocked tree so I came up with another idea.   I’ll flock mine!  It’s the perfect size already and I’ll save a lot of money.  As you know, I am very practical and always looking to save money.

I went on Amazon and found this and ordered it!

I went on Youtube and found a few videos that showed how to flock a Christmas tree at home.  It sounded pretty easy.  All you need is a spray bottle with water and a metal strainer.  I got my strainer at the dollar store.  I read that it can be a bit messy so I set up on a tarp inside the garage.  You do not want to do it where it is windy.  The stuff would blow all over!  I set up the bottom third of the tree and began spraying the limbs saturating each one randomly, not being exact at ALL.  Just spritz!

This is all you need.

Fill the strainer with the “snow” and shake it over the limbs.  It will stick to the wet limbs.  Then lightly spray the snow again to “set it.”

I found that it was going on nicely but I actually wanted it to be even more covered.  To get it to glob on heavier, I just took handfuls of the snow flocking and threw it at the limbs.  It was quite fun!  Don’t forget to spritz it after applying it.

I added each tree layer (I have three) of the tree working my way up to the top section.  Please ignore all the random stuff in my garage!  It’s quite the storage place.

It’s getting there!

I set it up in the living room trying to be as careful as possible not to brush up against too many things.  You can see how “skinny” my tree is and how it actually brushes the ceiling.  I love the size of the tree.

After putting all the lights on, the floor looked like this.  It really wasn’t too bad.  I got the vacuum out and swept it all up.  I needed a new tree skirt so this prompted me to get a plain white one knowing the snow would show on any other color and probably look messy all the time.

Here’s a sneak peak of my Swedish Christmas tree theme this year!  Many years ago my dad made the wooden hearts and Dala horses using a jigsaw.  They are very special to me since he made them for me.

Are you ready to try this simple project?




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How to Make a Wooden Coffee Bar Sign

Like many others, I love coffee!  I grew up dunking cookies in coffee and I guess I acquired a taste for it early.

I recently decided to create a coffee bar for the holiday season.  As I was putting it together, I wanted to have a coffee sign but didn’t want to spend a lot of money or time getting one.  Plus, I didn’t want a store-bought sign with no personal touch.

One night when I was having trouble sleeping, I started brainstorming on whether or not I had something in my garage that I could use to create the sign.  I remembered that I had picked up a couple of wooden wine boxes at a yard sale a while back and immediately sprung out to the garage to take a look.  (I pick up unique items at yard sales just for times like these!)


Yes!  I can work with this!  I grabbed a plyers and pulled the hinges and latch off and decided that the top of the box would be perfect for my sign.

I dug out some antiquing wax that I had in the garage and started painting it on and rubbing it off like a stain to darken the wood.



I left the project to dry and decided I needed to come up with a plan of what I wanted it to say.  These were some of my ideas below.  For those who don’t know what “Fika” is, it’s a Swedish term for a break in the day for coffee, something sweet and friends!  I LOVE Fika Time!  I also liked personalizing it with our last name.  I did that one in Powerpoint.

I also decided that I wanted to lighten my sign and also it would be easier to rub a transfer on if it were a lighter color.  I grabbed some sample paint that I had in the garage and just painted the inside part, leaving the wooden frame.

I found this “but first, coffee” transfer on-line and tried that as a test by following a Pinterest instruction on-line.

This method was done by wetting the paint brush and then rubbing off the ink with the blunt edge of a sharpie.

The “wet paintbrush” idea was a Pinterest FAIL.  The letters were simply just not dark enough with this method.  I repainted the inside again and let it dry.

Since this first method failed, I thought I’d try again with another look I had created on Powerpoint.  In order to “flip” the words so that they can be applied ink down, you have to select the horizontal flip in the print menu.  I printed it on some photo paper I already had in a drawer and figured I would just try that before running out for transfer paper.  What’s the worst that would happen?!!  I would have to repaint it again and try again?


I placed the paper face down on the wood and was careful to hold it still with my left hand while I rubbed the back of it applying pressure with the sharpie edge.  I rubbed back and forth as long as I could and then removed the paper and it worked!  I could have rubbed even more on the outside letters to darken the ink a little, but I’ll try again with another project.  I like the slightly distressed, faded look.  I may eventually seal it to protect it but since it won’t get touched very much, I am just going to leave it alone for now.

I want to “hang” or attach is to the mirror but here it is at the moment.









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Best Time to Visit New York City

Since I live in Florida and a fall season is pretty much a bust, I love visiting New York City in October when the leaves are changing colors.  Walking down an old sidewalk with leaves crunching under my boots gives a good feel of fall.   I grew up in Minnesota where I experienced fall for the first 30 years of my life, but New York City in October/November is just the best.

Since I was just in the NY/NJ area , I wanted to share a few photos that I took around the area to showcase “Fall.”  The first night I was there, we walked through Hamilton Park in Jersey City.  Here are some pictures from that area.  These were just taken with my phone so excuse the lack of photography skills.

There were some beautiful colors in the park.

The next morning, we went into the city and strolled through Central Park after having brunch at Jacob’s Pickles.  Many people were enjoying the rowboats on the lake on such a beautiful day.

Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain is always one of my favorite places to visit.  It is probably the busiest, but most memorable part of the park.  There are always live musicians to listen to.

Under the bridge by the fountain, you can always find singers and tourists enjoying the beautiful tunnel.

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the autumn leaves on the stairs.

Central Park Colors

Below – My daughter and her hubby walking down the old streets of Jersey City.

One thing that I always love on the old city streets is all the century-old ironwork and gates along the sidewalks.

It was Halloween time so many of the brownstones were decorated so cute!

If you want to experience a great time in the city, try this time of the year.  Get out of the tourist areas like Times Square and walk down the quaint areas of the city that make you feel like you’ve gone back to another time.

Until the next visit in December for the new baby, thanks for showing me a bit of Fall!

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