Painting 101: Topcoats and when to use them

Lists lots of different topcoats, what to use each one on and how to do it. Painting 101: Topcoats and when to use them

**Be sure to enter the ClosetMaid Closet Kit Giveaway HERE before you leave!** The first few pieces of painted furniture I did, I had no idea what a topcoat was or that I was supposed to use them to seal and protect furniture. I quickly learned that if you paint a piece with a flat sheen of paint, you will eventually wind up with a bruised and scratched up piece of furniture - that ain't pretty. You live. You learn. And then get Luvs. Not really, those diapers were never great for us. It took a few more tries, but I finally realized the … [Read more...]

Best of the Nest {Link Party}

Best of the Nest Link Party

Happy Happy Friday! Y'all, it has been crazy here this week - we have had snow all week and preschool only happened one day for just two hours.  I'll let you imagine just how crazy I am by this point - never has cheap beer been needed more. Needless to say, I'm glad its FriYAY! I was asked to be the guest host for the Best of the Nest monthly link party this month with Kris, Lisa, Jennifer, and Pam. I adore all of their blogs and styles, so I simply couldn't say no. Link up your favorite project from February or just browse through the … [Read more...]

A Closet Intervention + A Giveaway

Closet Makeover: ClosetMaid Walnut Impressions

Disclosure: ClosetMaid provided me a closet kit to review. All opinions are 100% mine. **Don't miss the giveaway at the end.** In my mind, I have a closet that looks like this: source Its a walk-in, its bright, it has plenty of storage and room to grow. In reality, I had this:  All that can be called is one hot mess. And not even all of my clothes were in there. Needless to say, we needed a closet intervention.  And ClosetMaid volunteered. Now, we have this: Just so you get the full effect of the before and after, here's a side … [Read more...]

Top 10 Lamps Under $50…because I’m a lamp hoarder…

Great mix of styles! Top 10 Lamps Under $50

*Affiliate links may be contained in this post. That just means that if you click on one of those links, I will receive a small commission, but you won’t pay a dime more. Thanks for supporting my cheap beer habit. It seems I am more of a hoarder than I thought. Not only do I like to hoard accent chairs and fabric, but I'm quickly discovering I'm a lamp hoarder as well.... Its such a hard problem to have. I know I can't have all of these lamps, but here are my top 10 lamps under $50...and only a couple reside in my house...and a couple more … [Read more...]

French Country Chair Modern Makeover

OMG. I'm in love. French Country Chair Modern Makeover

I've begun a new love affair. Grunt Labor doesn't mind a bit. Its more beautiful than I ever dreamed. Its with green. And black and white stripes. Really, its just with the green, black and white combination in general. I never considered the combination until my Enchanting green paint swatch accidentally fell on top of some black and white fabric and I was like... Oh My Gosh. Of course, I totally said that in the style of Usher's song. At that point, I did a walk-through of my house to determine which piece of furniture would be my … [Read more...]

10+ Kitchen Ideas for Decorating, Organizing, and Storage

Full of easy to do ideas that are pretty, but also functional. 10+ Kitchen Ideas: Decorating, Organizing, Storage

I am all about a pretty space. I'm also all about a real life space. The problem is that pretty + real life don't always work together. And real life tends to trump pretty everyday of the week. I always struggle with finding that happy balance between pretty and real life in the kitchen. Prime example: the chips will always live on top of the fridge. No, its not pretty, but that's where we expect them to be, so that's where they will always be come hell or high water unless we magically get more pantry or cabinet space...which I won't hold … [Read more...]

Easy Confetti Accent Wall

Super easy to make and fun! Easy Confetti Accent Wall

Have you been introduced to my new favorite wall? Its shiny, its gold, its fun, and it was so easy to make. My favorite thing about it? There's no way you can screw it up. Meet my Confetti Accent Wall. This baby made its debut in my recent entryway makeover - ya know - the makeover that was totally unplanned and random? I have done quite a few accent walls in my time and I have to say that this one was by far the easiest I've ever done. There's no measuring needed and bonus - it only cost me about $25 to do this wall. Easy Confetti … [Read more...]

Painting 101: How to Paint Walls In Less Time With Less Mess

Step by step breakdown of painting walls. Painting 101: How to Paint Walls

No one ever taught me how to paint walls. I learned how to paint completely by trial and error after my Pap died and I had to paint every wall and ceiling in his house with two coats of primer and two coats of paint. My uncle handed me a five gallon bucket of primer, a five gallon bucket of paint, some rollers and left. I called in reinforcements. My friends and I painted Pap's entire house over the course of a couple months all while wearing his XXL overalls that we duck taped in the back to hold them up on us. That's one of my favorite … [Read more...]

$25 DIY Light Fixture That Anyone Can Make

Yep, even I can make this one! $25 Easy DIY Light Fixture

The problem with random ideas is that one random idea always leads to another random idea. Case in point: the random entryway makeover. The new bench led to new art. The new art led to a confetti wall. The confetti wall led to a new light fixture. See, I didn't plan on any of that. #storyofmylife Its all good though, I am totally digging my unplanned entryway makeover including the super easy DIY light fixture. After the wall was done, the bench was placed, and the art hung, I realized that the old light fixture stuck out like a sore … [Read more...]

Be amazing, but humble.


Kareem was the first kid to really worm his way into our hearts...and our home...and our wallets. One week ago, he signed with Arizona State to play college football. We couldn't be prouder. But while I looked at this young man and all he has become, I couldn't help but think about that kid dragging his suitcase behind him on the sidewalk to come and stay with us for fall break almost five years ago. Or him sunning himself in an adirondack chair while I painted the porch. Or when he would borrow my earrings because he lost … [Read more...]

Mohawk Lollipop Holder: A Jonathan Adler Knock-Off

The Jonathan Adler version will cost you $98. This version will cost you $10. Mohawk Lollipop Holder - A Jonathan Adler Knock-Off

This project will fall into the category with the snake bowl and the snake vase for many of you. That's the category classified as: Things Jenna Loves & Most People Hate That's perfectly fine. Me, my snake bowl, snake vase, and the newest addition to the category, the mohawk lollipop holder will be perfectly happy together. That's right. A punk rocker lollipop holder. How much more fun could it get? I was perusing Jonathan Adler's newest items a while back, plotting out which items I would buy when I hit the lottery (all of them) … [Read more...]

Valentine Cards and Decor in an hour and a giveaway!

Short on time? Make your own valentine day cards (perfect for kids!) and a cute Valentine's Day garland in an hour with little effort!

With the exception of Halloween and Christmas, I'm usually not a big holiday decorator. I have a few little things I set out for Valentine's Day and Easter, but that's about it. But.....the circus is now old enough to really enjoy these holidays a little bit more...and since I am mom of the year and all, I felt I should up my Valentine's game a little. So, I whipped up an adorable little heart garland and the kid and I even made her very own valentines in an hour. Because I'm mom of the year like that. Ok, in all fairness, … [Read more...]

The funnest entryway you ever did see, even if it is mine

The Fun and Easy Entryway Makeover

I'm not sure that funnest is actually a word. I googled it after saying it over and over in my head a hundred times and still couldn't get a clear answer as to whether or not it is a word. I finally just went with my redneck instincts and left it in the title. Keep in mind, I used to teach middle school Language Arts. Those poor children. So I know I didn't tell you I was doing an entryway makeover. Here's the thing. I hadn't really planned on doing an entryway makeover. And then it all just kind of happened. Story of my … [Read more...]

The answer is yes. Now what is the question?

The answer is yes. Now what's the question?

Last week, I was invited to attend the Nashville Antique and Garden Show with StyleBlueprint, followed by a champagne reception. I pretty much felt like a rockstar.  And then I was like, oh lawd, they have no clue that they have invited the redneck country girl. They must have gotten the invitations mixed up. I was on my best behavior. I swear it.  Well, I tried anyway. Me, Lesley from Chaotically Creative, and Cindy from Discovering Franklin Myself, along with other bloggers in the Nashville area were able to interview panelists of … [Read more...]

How to make Laminate Countertops look like Faux Stone for only $15

NO WAY! So easy and you may even have the supplies laying around your house! How to make Laminate Countertops look like Faux Stone for only $15

Remember when I answered all your burning questions and you asked if I ever messed up on anything. And I was like, All. The. Time.  Ok, this project was one of those trial by error projects. Luckily, its result was stellar - stellarly good looking and stellarly cheap as well. And I'm aware stellarly may not actually be a word. It is now though. Dear friends, let me show you the cheapest and easiest way you can turn those ugly laminate countertops from yesteryear into beautiful faux stone counters. How to Make Laminate … [Read more...]

Power Tools 101: How to Use a Heat Gun

Who knew it was so easy to use and what all it can do! How to use a Heat Gun and 15 things to do with it...

This is probably the easiest tool to use - but that many people don't have. A Heat Gun. I didn't have a heat gun until last year - and I didn't get it out of the box for a month or so after I got it because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it. Let me tell you - it can do so many things. And it is so easy to use. How to use a Heat Gun My heat gun is the HomeRight Digital Temperature Heat Gun. I have only used it and the Heat Pro Deluxe II Heat Gun. I can't attest to other heat guns, but these have always worked well for me and are … [Read more...]

Glamorous Dresser Makeover

Gorgeous rich color! And no priming required with this paint! Glamorous Dresser Makeover

Have I told you that my dad claims the title of "Rain on a Tin Roof Middle Tennessee Marketing Manager?" I'm not kidding.  He even signs his emails to me that way. And he hangs my business cards at the post office. And tells all his friends about me. And the people he works with. I'm sure they loathe me by now. One of his co-workers, Shannon, (who is forced to work right beside him - poor girl), offered me a dresser she had in her garage. Thanks, Shannon! Seeing as I never turn down free furniture, I went and picked it up. In my … [Read more...]

The Radio and Ghosts

The Radio and Ghosts

I believe in ghosts. If Grunt Labor is reading this, he just rolled his eyes. He hates it when I talk about ghosts. And the radio. When I moved into my great grandfather's house, his antique radio eventually followed me. It sat just outside the bedroom and late at night as I was trying to fall asleep, I would hear it. Music. Old music. Music I'd never heard before. And even though the radio hadn't worked in years, I knew Hey Bud was making it play. It didn't scare me. It didn't make me think I was crazy.  In my life that was … [Read more...]

The Man Cave: Built-Ins Makeover

Wow! Big change - love the black on black. Man Cave Makeover: The Built-Ins

He's waited almost four years. He thought it was going to happen in the winter of 2011 after I got knocked up. We tore down paneling, had drywall and carpet put in, and added moldings. We successfully made it less scary - and then moved onto the kid's nursery. And the man cave became a dumping ground. It was a waste of space. And I hate wasted spaces. That's one reason I don't like vaulted ceilings because I think they waste too much space, but that's another blog post, now isn't it? Finally, Grunt Labor is getting his man cave. One … [Read more...]

DIY Snake Bud Vase (Snake Haters, Avert Your Eyes)

Made from a $1 rubber snake! DIY Snake Bud Vase

I knew there would be many of you that would hate it. The Golden Snake Bowl. That was fine with me. Because I love it.  And even if you did hate it, you totally have to give me an A+ for creativity. I mean, I took a rubber snake and made it into a bowl.  That has to count for something. While I was melting snakes into bowls, I also melted one into a bud vase. You read right - a Snake Bud Vase. Its totally fine - I get it if you don't like this one either, but I still get an A+ for creativity. Possibly an A+ for playing with toy … [Read more...]

How To Get Pet Stains and Odors Out of Your Carpet without Chemicals

Super easy way to get rid of that nasty smell! How To Get Pet Stains and Odors Out of Your Carpet without Chemicals

I am not a dog person. I'm not really a pet person at all. Some of you may have just decided to unsubscribe from my blog. I fully understand that not being very fond of pets, especially dogs, is considered to most very un-American. You see, I was always skiddish around them when I was a kid - like even a small kid when you are supposed to love all cute and cuddly things. I'm past the skiddish part, but I cannot stand to be licked by a dog or have it up in my face. And they smell. They totally have the smelliest farts in the history of … [Read more...]

Painting 101: Why is my paint peeling? Tips and tricks to keep paint from peeling and scratching off your furniture.

The basics and tips and tricks to keep your painted furniture from peeling and scratching. Why is my paint peeling?

If you read the longest blog post in history (a.k.a. the reader survey results), you know that there were some questions about furniture painting - what finish to use, why is the paint peeling, etc. Since I am a woman for the people and cannot let my people down, I decided to start a little Painting 101 series with basic tips and tricks for painting furniture. The first thing we are going to chat about is: Why is my paint peeling? Tips and tricks to keep paint from peeling and scratching off your furniture.  Usually the reason paint … [Read more...]