Christmas Gift Guide for Men 2014

I asked my husband to come up with a general list of ideas for a Christmas gift guide for men, in all price ranges – he apparently had a blast, and now wants to be able to shoot fire out of his hands… so, here you go. Most of these are available through Amazon Prime (LIFESAVER) so you can have them before Christmas! *Some links are affiliate links*

Mens Gift Guide 2014 |  Queen of Everything


1. Bose SoundLink On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones  2. Cards Against Humanity  3. Timex Premium Original Men’s Watch  4. PYRO Fireshooter  5. Moleskine Classic Notebook  6. Chisel Dock (iPhone 6)  7. Dollar Shave Club (best $$ spent all year!)  8. Swiss + Tech Key Ring Multi-Function Tools  9. Sipping Stones  10. Ray-Ban New Wayfarer Sunglasses  11. Solid Cologne Collection  12. Stewart Stand RFID Blocking Stainless Steel Wallet  13. La Fenice 

*Some links are affiliate links*

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Christmas Decor AND a Giveaway!

After working in retail for 20 years, I kind of became “immune” to Christmas. It was (obviously) the busiest time of the year, and I would literally come home from work and go to bed from about Thanksgiving through mid-January. Now that I’m no longer working in retail stores, I’ve had to readjust my Christmas thinking and get with the program! Last year was my first year out of retail, so it just didn’t “feel” like Christmas – and I didn’t put up any Christmas decor. ANY. This year, I wanted to change that. Over the past few days, my husband and I have decorated the living room for Christmas and I love it. Front Door Wreath | Queen of Everything As much as I would LOVE to have two trees, our house just isn’t big enough for that. Hopefully our next house will have room, because I have two (technically THREE) different themes for my trees that we alternate between. My personal favorite is the tree we have up this year – I call it the “Fancy” tree. It consists of gold/copper/brown/cream/silver/glitter/mercury glass ornaments, with a couple of dark red/purple ornaments thrown in because they are sentimental. I have a burlap and muslin tree skirt that I (painstakingly) made a few years ago for it. Brown Glass Ornament | Queen of Everything Crystal Ornament | Queen of Everything Crystal Teardrop Ornament | Queen of Everything Purple Beaded Ornament | Queen of Everything Red Diamond Ornament | Queen of Everything Glittered Swirl Ornament | Queen of Everything Burlap and Muslin Tree Skirt | Queen of Everything Star Tree Topper | Queen of Everything The next tree we have is the “Funky” tree. It is fun – we use a white Christmas tree and bright, colorful ornaments (think orange/lime/turquoise/hot pink/purple/silver) and a really sparkly tree topper. We have lots of fun decorating that tree! Last time we used it, I wrapped some bright flannel around the base of it.  Then, my husband’s favorite tree – the “Hallmark” tree. Both of us received ornaments from our grandmothers growing up – they would fill up the whole tree! We also made quite a few ornaments by hand our first Christmas living together – we didn’t have money to buy a bunch of fancy ornaments, so we painted a lot of ornaments that year. Kevin is much more sentimental than I am, and I know that he would love to use all of those ornaments every year.  Fancy Tree 2014 | Queen of Everything Until I have a house big enough for a small forest, we’ll have to settle on one of them!  Peace on Earth Garland | Queen of Everything Since our teeny tiny house doesn’t have a fireplace, I bought a wooden mantel a few years ago in Canton (have you been? You should go, especially if you live in Texas!). In this house, we really only had one place to put it, and I don’t love the location, but it will just have to do. I made a “Peace on Earth” garland using my Silhouette Machine, and my eyes were bigger than my tree – it was WAY too big to fit on my small little wimpy tree. We moved it to the mantel and it works – but we are moving it yet again to above the TV, where it will stay! I also haven’t completely decided what we are going to decorate the mantel with, so it’s still a work in progress. PLUS – and I’m sure some of you can understand my pain – I am missing a box of Christmas decor that I purchased last year. I can’t find it anywhere!  Stockings Were Hung | Queen of Everything Candles and Vase | Queen of Everything I bought these mercury glass votive holders a few days ago and love the way they look. Currently, we have these sitting on my stereo cabinet with a vase full of sparkly round vase fillers (also purchased in Canton!).  I think the reason I love my “fancy” Christmas stuff so much is because it is relaxing. There is nothing better than sitting in the living room at night with the overhead lights off, and just the lights on the tree on and the candles burning. 

Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge buddies and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so peruse the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

Cat-Shaped Ornament Stamped Christmas Towels M&M Milk Bottle Teacher Gift 3D Holly Berry Ornament Deer Silhouette Mirror Silhouette Christmas Craft with Double-Sided Adhesive Winter Village Display Wood Grain Nativity DIY Rustic Pallet Christmas Tree 2014 Christmas Card + Giveaway Gift Tags Chalkboard Vinyl Christmas Signs Personalized Christmas Ornament DIY Wood Slice Christmas Ornaments DIY Nativity Candle Jar Sleeve Chalkboard Charger Inspiration + Giveaway Christmas Countodwn Festive Advent Christmas Decor AND A Giveaway! All Hearts Go Home Luminarias Deer Silhouette Vinyl Wood Slice Ornaments Some People are Worth Melting For Olaf (Frozen Inspired) Ornament Personalized Pajamas with HTV 3D Reindeer Shield Decoration Trendy Christmas Cards with Silhouette + Free Cut Files Let It Snow Mitten Banner DIY Christmas Coasters Elf on the Shelf Wardrobe Simple Ornaments Stenciled Santa Sack Put on your Yamika! Reindeer Photo Ornament Christmas Card DIY Nativity Shadowboxes Monogrammed Drop Cloth Christmas Tree Skirt Canvas Wall Art for the Holidays

1. Pineapples and Pinecones // 2. Simply Kelly Designs // 3. Architecture of a Mom // 4. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 5. Two Purple Couches // 6. Chicken Scratch NY // 7. Creative Ramblings // 8. One Dog Woof // 9. Ginger Snap Crafts // 10. The Thinking Closet // 11. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 12. Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body // 13. weekend craft // 14. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 15. Practically Functional // 16. Living My Given Life // 17. My Paper Craze // 18. The Kim Six Fix // 19. Home At Eight // 20. Queen of Everything // 21. Tried & True // 22. McCall Manor // 23. unOriginal Mom // 24. Create it. Go! // 25. From Wine to Whine // 26. GetSilvered // 27. It’s Always Ruetten // 28. Nearly Handmade // 29. Mama Sonshine // 30. Silhouette School // 31. It Happens in a Blink // 32. Create & Babble // 33. Sowdering About // 34. Where The Smiles Have Been // 35. My Favorite Finds // 36. Lil’ Mrs. Tori // 37. Designed Decor

Silhouette Giveaway!

And I’ve saved the best for last. My Silhouette Challenge buddies in partnership with Silhouette America are hosting a mega-huge giveaway for not one…but two winners! The prizes up for grabs? First prize: The NEW Silhouette Cameo Machine and Designer Edition Super Bundle! $406.93 value.

  • Silhouette CAMEO®
  • Designer Edition Software
  • Dust Cover
  • $25 Download Card
  • Four Essential Silhouette Tools (hook, spatula, scraper, pick-me-up™)

Second prize: Silhouette Portrait Machine and Rhinestone Starter Kit! $219.98 value. Pretty sweet, huh? We want you to have the chance to get that Silhouette machine that might still be on your wish list. To enter: just complete the entries in the Rafflecopter widget below or at this link. Because of my many blog friends who helped make this giveaway possible, you have 42 potential entries, which means a lot of winning power. So, hurry up and enter! {This giveaway runs from today through Monday, December 15th at 11:59p eastern and is open to anyone 18 years of age or older with a U.S. or Canada mailing address. You can read the rest of the terms and conditions in the widget below.} a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Project #2 – Hanging New Curtains

 *This post sponsored by Black+Decker* November To-Do List | Queen of Everything

Okay, so I painted the pot on the front porch AND made a rolling platform for it. I even bought a rosemary tree for it! I have no illusions at this point – I am not going to get all of these projects finished by December 10. It’s just not going to happen. However, I knocked another one out tonight! We finally got around to hanging the new curtains. 

New curtains | Queen of Everything

I had these made, oh, about a year ago? My husband worked at a fabric store at the time (I know, right?!) and of course I always got first dibs on the new stuff that came in. I was dreading making 6 panels WITH blackout lining, so much so that I just held on to the fabric for entirely too long. Luckily, one of the women he worked with took matters into her own hands and made them FOR me! How awesome is that? 

I put off buying new curtain rods (they are expensive!) and I knew I didn’t want to make curtain rods (we’re moving next year) so I finally bought some today, came home, and we put them up before I had the chance to get lazy again. 

I had no idea what a difference they would make in the room. It is so LIGHT in there now (our old curtains were dark red/brown) even though they are blackout drapes. It almost makes me like our living room again! Next purchase: New rug.

Corner Curtains | Queen of Everything

Hopefully I can get one more project finished by December 10 and post it to the Your Big Finish page – did you hear? Black+Decker is featuring my painted pot in Times Square sometime this month! Crazy, huh?! You have a few days left to click below and enter your project and win some pretty awesome prizes, so get to it! 


*This post sponsored by Black+Decker*

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Christmas Ornament Swap

Earlier this year, I joined a Facebook group started by Lauren of The Thinking Closet for Silhouette users/bloggers. The members of that group have been so helpful with so many things! One of the things we do are swaps – this summer I did a tag exchange, and we just had a Christmas ornament swap. 

If you know me at all, you know I am a sucker for Christmas ornaments, as evidenced by the insane amount of Rubbermaid containers in my garage all labeled “CHRISTMAS”. Or maybe it’s the fact that I have two different themes for my Christmas trees – funky and fancy. We alternate years because Kevin prefers the funky tree (bright colors – lime green, orange, turquoise, purple, hot pink, bright blue) and I prefer the fancy tree (browns, creams, pearls, silver, gold, lots of glitter). This year it is funky’s turn to play. Someday I will live in a house big enough to have two trees up so I don’t have to take turns! 

After emailing with my swap partner a couple of times, I learned that she 1) loves music, 2) loves Disney, and 3) her favorite color is blue. I figured I could hit two out of three with the ornament I made for her! 

Glittered Felt Circles | Queen of Everything

I cut varying shades of blue felt into small circles (about the size of a nickel). Once I thought I had enough, I poured a little bit of Mod Podge into a bowl, and got my glitter ready to go. Since I am a glitter freak, I had plenty of colors to choose from, so I chose colors that coordinated with the felt. It’s really kind of sad that I had everything for this project in my craft room, but also kind of convenient! 

I dipped the bottom of the circle in the Mod Podge, and then dipped it in the glitter. Honestly, the most time consuming part of this project was cutting out the circles! Once the glittered circles were dry, I layered them onto the ornament with hot glue. (The ornament was a paper mache ornament like this one – found at craft stores or online)

Blue Felt Glitter Ornament | Queen of Everything

Start to finish, it probably took me an hour – but I was at my best friend’s house, talking and drinking the whole time, so I’m sure it normally would have taken 30 minutes! Obviously, I didn’t use my Silhouette for the project, but it wasn’t a requirement.

I sent off the ornament to my swap partner, and received this in exchange – I love it! We love Elf in my house, so it is perfect. It will definitely have a place on the funky tree this year!

Smiling's My Favorite | Queen of Everything

We will probably deck the halls this weekend – I would prefer to do it after Thanksgiving, but the weather is supposed to be nicer here in a few days, so I plan on taking advantage of that! Have you decked your halls yet? Finished up any projects? If so, share them on Your Big Finish and you will be entered to win prizes OR cash! (Who doesn’t need cash for Christmas?!) Hey, it’s fun to just look at the projects on there too – maybe they will inspire you! 

* This article is sponsored by Black+Decker



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Updating my front porch decor

*This article is sponsored by BLACK+DECKER*

November To-Do List | Queen of Everything

Since Black+Decker gave me the push I needed to finish a few projects around the house, I’ve been excited about all of them! I woke up yesterday morning and headed straight to Home Depot for supplies. I decided to check off the 2nd item on the list – paint pot on front porch and make a rolling platform. My front porch decor is seriously lacking, and I feel like it’s time to step up my game since our house looks like the “Scrooge” house on the block.

Before | Queen of Everything

I had to work quickly, because, well, it’s COLD here in Texas. We’re not used to this! I wiped off the pot and got all of the grass and dirt off of the bottom of it, and then waited for it to dry. 

One coat | Queen of Everything

2 coats of Rustoleum 2x Key Lime spray paint later, and it looks like a totally different pot! It brightened everything up, which was just what my front porch needed. (Above picture is after the first coat)

Finished pot and wheeled platform | Queen of Everything

I also made a wheeled platform for the pot, since it is so heavy and difficult to move. I used one of the leftover pieces of wood from my lamp, painted with with Rustoleum 2x Dark Gray spray paint, and added 4 wheels onto the bottom. Simple, and took about 15 minutes after the paint dried! 

Closeup of large pot and cart | Queen of Everything

My original plan was to get a huge pot of mums to set in the pot, but they were all gone – I waited too long to buy them. Instead, I picked up a rosemary tree and it looks Christmasy AND smells great. Bonus: I can use it on chicken! If I can manage to keep the rosemary alive, I’ll just keep adding seasonal flowers around it as the seasons change. For now, I’m just going to add some greenery around the rosemary pot. 

Key Lime Pot with Rosemary | Queen of Everything

So, 2 things checked off of my list! I’ll be adding them to the “Your Big Finish” page, and if you have completed any of YOUR projects, you should add yours too. There are many prizes to be had, and I would love for one of my readers to win!


*This article is sponsored by BLACK+DECKER*

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November Heather-Do List (Black+Decker)

Thanks to Black + Decker and their “Your Big Finish” giveaway for sponsoring this post! 

November To-Do List | Queen of Everything

As you can see, I have written out a to-do list consisting of half-finished projects and projects I have put off doing – all in hopes of completing it before Christmas! A couple of these are a little lofty (framing and hanging pegboard? Painting a giant clay pot… when it’s 32 degrees outside?) but dang it, I’m going to try!

Why am I doing this? Black + Decker is sponsoring a contest called “Your Big Finish” to encourage people like me (and you!) to finish up one of their projects – or in my case, FIVE. I’ll talk more about that in a bit. 

So, tonight I went on a fact-finding mission. I’m a planner. I don’t do too many spontaneous things. Of course, my first thought was Target. Duh. 

1. Hang new curtains/buy new rods: About a year ago, a friend made some drapes for me. Six beautiful, gray and white Ikat patterned, blackout lined drapes. Where are they? On hangers in a closet. Why? Because the rods I have in the living room are too lightweight to hold these heavy curtains. Also, it hasn’t been at the top of my list to get finished – until now. I was going to wait until we moved next year (yes, we’re planning to move to Austin at some point next year, depending on employment and a place to live!) but I figured – why not enjoy them now? So yeah, I got to Target, ready to buy some new rods, and realized – whoops – I forgot to measure the window. Since I didn’t want to buy the wrong thing, I settled for taking some pictures! 

Clip Rings | Queen of Everything Mirrored Ball Finial Rod | Queen of Everything

Flat curtain rods | Queen of Everything

Square Finial Rod | Queen of Everything

(I really liked the “Room Darkening” rod because it sits flat against the wall, but I fail to see how a curtain rod can darken a room. I studied that for a while and decided to just like them for their looks!)

2. Paint pot on front porch/make rolling platform: I already know what paint color I’m going to use, and I have all of the materials to make the platform. If the weather cooperates in the next week or so, I can whip that out quickly! PS: The pot is HUGE. It held a somewhat large fiddle leaf fig before.

3. Hang gallery wall (finally!): I keep going back and forth on how big I want to go and what exactly I want to include. Right now I’m leaning towards quotes and drawings rather than photographs of my friends and family, so I need to think about that for a little bit before committing to it. Again, I have all of the things I need for it – I just need to make the final decision on WHAT to put in the frames. Tonight I found a couple of cute items that I would like to add to the collection!

Pursuit of Happiness | Queen of Everything

Burlap Home Sign | Queen of Everything

I love both of these!

4. Hang pegboard in craft room/frame it in: This is the one I’m most scared of and hesitant to do. I have the pegboard, but it is a very large sheet of it and I will need to cut it down. I know that once I get it hung, I will love it and regret not doing it sooner, so I will get this one done for sure! 

5. Paint and refurbish Goodwill lamp/buy new lampshade: A few years ago (I told you I procrastinate), my sister and I were at Goodwill and we both saw this lamp. I won and got to take it home. In my defense, I have TRIED to find a shade that works with it in its current state (white) but the shape of the lamp makes it difficult to find one that looks good. The closest thing I have seen like it is the lamp that Sonya from At Home with the Barkers refurbished – but mine is larger. Looking at her post gives me hope that I, too, can find the perfect shade for my lamp! I know what I want to do with the base of the lamp and have the supplies. 

Thrift Store Lamp Makeover-Gold Spray Paint-Mod Podge | At Home with The Barkers

 (Sonya’s lamp – link)

So, there you have it. I’m going to keep you updated on my progress throughout the next few weeks, and I really am excited about getting these things checked off my list! 

Now, I said I was going to tell you more about the Black + Decker “Your Big Finish” contest! 

BLACK+DECKER has launched a movement to get all the unfinished home projects moving again. Join them for the opportunity to win $10,000 cash and products. Plus, they might put you and your finished project on a billboard right in the middle of Times Square. So while your family may never notice that you finished hanging the crown molding, millions of others will!

For this campaign, there are Weekly Prizes, at approximately $439.91 per prize, and one Grand Prize of $10,000. The Weekly Prizes include one of each of the following:

BLACK+DECKER prize package comprised of one (1) of each of the following:
• BDCDE120C 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver with AutoSense™
• BDEMS600 Mouse Sander
• BDCS40BI 4V MAX* Lithium Pivot Screwdriver
• BDCDCMT120 Matrix 20V MAX* Lithium Drill/Driver
• LCS1020 20V MAX* Chainsaw
• BDCMTRS Matrix Reciprocating Saw Attachment
• BDCMTI Matrix Impact Driver Attachment

To enter, visit the campaign landing page, and enter your First Name, Last Initial, Email, City, State, Phone and upload a photo of yourself and your completed project!

Please note, the contest ends December 28th, 2014.

Also, visit the Finished Project Gallery to browse the other entries and get inspiration for your own projects! 

Go ahead, enter the contest – what could it hurt? You don’t have to have a fancy photo or difficult project – heck, it could be that you finally replaced that loose doorknob or you finally hung up that picture you’ve been meaning to hang up for years! 

Many thanks to BLACK+DECKER for sponsoring today’s story and inspiring me to finish these projects!


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Favorite Projects from #swapitlikeitshot

Now that it’s been a week since we first posted our #swapitlikeitshot projects, and I’m (almost) fully recovered, and divorce proceedings have been halted (my husband and I do NOT do DIY well together) – I thought I’d share some of my favorite projects from the other participants and the link party participants!

(These are in no particular order, yada yada yada…)

Makely Home Glitter Bookends

Well, obviously these HAVE to be in my top picks, because GLITTER. And also, I love Lindsay to pieces. And, GLITTER.

Windgate Lane MCM Table

Since I have such excellent taste (or maybe I’m just cruel), I had to throw this one in as well. I mean, I *did* buy this for Bee at Windgate Lane. I got lucky and was able to meet her for lunch and deliver the goods, since she’s local to me. Bee probably hates me, but I just love the way this turned out!

Carrie at Making Lemonade got me with this one. Yeah, pretty sure I’m gonna be copying this little project, if I can find a wire basket like this! My house is so tiny, there just isn’t much room for knick knacks – but guess what? I can sure hang stuff from the ceiling! 

Now for my favorite link party participant projects (say that 5 times fast): Pam at Simple Details found a classic cane chair at an estate sale (LUCKY!) and took it from boring to awesome just by giving it a little bit of love. I would be so thrilled to find a chair or two like this to play with!

Ever since I made my lamp for the swap, I’ve become obsessed with lighting in general. I love how simple this is, and how much better it looks than it originally did! I would love to make some more light fixtures, so I’ll be keeping this pendant light from SafAffect for future reference!

Gold is finally growing on me. I hated it until maaaaaaaaybe 6 months ago, and I have no idea why. Now? I can’t get enough. Ursula at Homemade by Carmona transformed these $1 Goodwill bowls into something I would probably buy from a store, just by using gold spray paint. I’ll be picking up every bowl in sight from now on. 

So, did you find any projects that you just fell in love with? Do you have one to add? The link party is up for another week, so keep on adding! 

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Swap It Like It’s Hot – LAMP EDITION!


Swap It Like It's Hot 2 | Queen of Everything | #swapitlikeitshot

When I was asked to participate in Swap It Like It’s Hot Part 2, I jumped at the chance. First, I was so excited to go pick something out for someone else (I got my buddy Bee from Windgate Lane), then I was excited to see what someone else picked for me, and THEN panic set in. What in the world was I going to make?

Swap It Like Its Hot 2 | Pulleys | Queen of Everything #swapitlikeitshot

Well, Rachel from Shades of Blue Interiors got my name for the swap. She sent me … two pulleys! What was I going to make with pulleys?!

Any smart person would logically decide, “I’m going to make a lamp!”. Really? A LAMP was the first thing that came to my mind? Why, I’ve made hundreds of lamps before (I’m lying). How difficult could it really be (pretty difficult)? I had a picture in my mind and I was determined to make it a lamp reality.

Base of Pulley Lamp | Queen of Everything | #swapitlikeitshot

Pulley Lamp Off | Queen of Everything | #swapitlikeitshot

Close up of pulley | Queen of Everything | #swapitlikeitshot

Close up of pulley OFF | Queen of Everything | #swapitlikeitshot

So, here it is! Thanks, Rachel – I love what I made from the pulleys (yes, I only used one), and I would be willing to bet you never dreamed I would see a pulley and automatically jump to “lamp”. Go figure. It was not easy to make, it was pretty tedious, and I am so proud of myself for actually making it happen. Big ups to Tom, Makely Home’s resident husband, for helping me come up with a design for it and not making me feel like an idiot when I was trying to explain to him what I had in mind. That house is full of smart people, they come in handy! Big ups to Brittaney, my BFF, for staining wooden blocks with me into the wee hours of the morning while watching “Bad Words” (by the way, completely inappropriate movie!). Big ups to my husband, Kevin, for helping me when I was freaking out about how to make this happen and telling me that he liked the choices I was making. Big ups to Color Cord for just being awesome. I emailed them to ask a question, and got a response within 15 minutes. WHO DOES THAT? Color Cord. They make me want to make a million lamps. Also, they didn’t pay me a thing to say this. This was BY FAR the most DIY project I have ever taken on. Who knew?!

Now that you’ve seen what I made, go see what everyone else made with their thrift shop swaps! I am pretty excited to see what these crazy girls made with their stuff – and I’m also pretty excited to see what YOU have made with thrift shop goodies. Link it up, y’all! Here are all of my partners in crime… I know what I’ll be doing when I have a break at work! Charlotte at Ciburbanity also set up a Pinterest board that features the past #swapitlikeitshot projects, as well as the ones from this go round, if you are a Pinterest person.

2 Little Superheroes
AKA Design
A Chic Little House
The Chronicles of Home
Decor Adventures
Desert Domicile
Finding Silver Pennies
Gourley Girl & Guy
The Happier Homemaker
Hearts and Sharts
A Home Full of Color
Makely Home
Making Lemonade
My Passion For Decor
Primitive and Proper
Queen of Everything
Rooms For Rent
Shades of Blue
Stone Gable
Thoughts From Alice
Town and Country Living
Two Purple Couches
While They Snooze
White Buffalo Styling Co.
Windgate Lane

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Thrift Store Wall Hanging

Thrift Store Wall Hanging Before & After | Queen of Everything

A couple of months ago, my sister started texting pictures to me from a local thrift store (we do a lot of real time shopping via text message, especially since I work during the day and she stays home with my nephew). She definitely found some random items AND some really good ones. 

Metal Wall Hanging Before | Queen of Everything

This particular wall hanging looked like it may have been from Kirkland’s in a past life. I’m sure it was lovely back then, but it did not fit in with her new decor at all. I convinced her to buy it instead of leaving it there for someone else! At $12, it was a good deal, and she had a place for it in her front hallway. Boom.

I’m really proud of my sister for bringing in some color to her new house. Not everyone is a huge fan of bright colors, and that’s fine, but her new house was screaming for something colorful and happy. She is going with neutral gray walls and using colorful accessories, and it looks great so far! Her latest project has been her front hallway – the things she used in her old house literally do not fit there, so she had to start from scratch. Whitney needed one BIG item for the wall, and found it that fateful day at the thrift store.

Paint Colors | Queen of Everything


I went on a very last minute trip out of town to see my friend Lindsay this past weekend, and wouldn’t you know it? Whitney decided to start knocking out projects without me. The colors were chosen via text message, with approval from myself and Lindsay – and of course, Whitney. She went with a dark charcoal gray, a pretty green color, turquoise, white, and navy blue. (PS: The green is Rustoleum Fern – we have been in love with this particular green color for years and years. Hands down, best spray paint color ever. No lie.)

Primed | Queen of Everything

The first thing she did was prime the lovely piece of artwork. It may not have been a necessary step, but we are big fans of primer just in case. 

Wet Paint | Queen of Everything

Next, she decided which squares were getting which color (and it had to be symmetrical, because it is my sister after all) – not that there’s anything wrong with that, she just has a touch of OCD sometimes. We all do. Lindsay asked how Whitney managed to not get every paint color on every square. Lindsay and I think a lot alike (eerily so), and we both would have done things the difficult way, with painters tape, paper, etc. Nope, Whitney just covered up the other squares with cardboard and moved them as she went. Easy peasy. Oops. Anyway, she painted all of the squares and let it dry for a little while. I’m sure it took all of 2 minutes to dry because we live in Texas and it was ~100 degrees that day. 

Drying on the table | Queen of Everything

She moved it inside and let it finish drying. I think it looks so much better painted in solid colors – it really brings out the details!

Metal Wall Art, Redone | Queen of Everything Here it is on her wall! She has a green/white striped rug underneath it, so it looks really nice and put together now. On the other wall, she spray painted a couple of frames in our favorite Fern color as well. Total project cost was right around $25 and maybe 30 minutes of work – not too bad! 

Do you have “the eye” for thrift store purchases? What is your favorite thing you’ve rescued from a thrift store? I’d love to see it!


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Road Trip to Waco, Texas

If you watch HGTV, you have probably heard about the show Fixer Upper. The two stars (Chip and Joanna Gaines) live near Waco, Texas and basically work magic on old, dilapidated houses in their area. They own a real estate company, a renovation company, and a retail shop – and Joanna blogs too! They seem very laid back and down to earth on their show, and that makes them very likeable and popular.

I got my sister hooked on the show. I love the way they do the houses – it’s not always my style, but it is always perfect for that specific house and/or family. So, Whitney (my sister) suggested that we take a little road trip to Waco, Texas for my birthday this past weekend. We live in Fort Worth, so it’s about 1.5 hours south of us. Just about perfect for a day trip! I decided that we were going to “stalk” Chip and Jo Jo and they were going to just love me. (Didn’t happen. I mean, we didn’t find them. I’m sure they would love me if they met me.)

Magnolia Market | Waco, TX | Queen of Everything

The first place we went was (obviously) Magnolia Market. I’m pretty sure the rest of Texas had the same idea. Apparently the show is bringing tons and tons of visitors to Waco – which is good for Waco, but bad for me because the antique stores have raised their prices quite a bit since I was there last summer! Magnolia Market is Joanna’s shop. She sells a lot of the things they use on the show to decorate the houses with. The store was beautiful, just like I figured it would be. Crowded and beautiful! I took lots and lots of pictures for you. 

Sweet Stuffed Goat | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Hanging shelf | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Magnolias | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Metal Stool and Chandelier | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Shelves Vases Mugs | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Window Displays | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Window Light Fixtures | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Window Vignette | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Wire Basket and Sconces | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Wire Light Fixture | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

If you have ever watched the show, you know that Joanna likes to use wooden and metal letters to decorate most of the houses. She’s always talking about her secret stash of letters – well, her secret stash must not be at her shop because the letter “yard” was pretty empty. I would be willing to bet that it used to stay pretty full before the show took off! It is out behind the store. 

Doors to Letter Yard | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Letter Yard | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Letter Yard 2 | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

Arched Windows | Magnolia Market | Queen of Everything

After browsing Magnolia Market (I’m kicking myself for not buying that sweet little stuffed goat head and a couple of those chartreuse bud vases), we drove around and saw a few of the houses that were featured on Fixer Upper, including their furniture guy’s (Harp Design Co) house that is right next to his shop!

Cabinet Doors | ReStore | Queen of Everything

After that, we headed towards the next shop, but were sidetracked by a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Of course, we had to turn around and see what they had! We left with some cabinet doors with cute little handles. I think we have big plans for those, but that is for another post! 

After sweating our way through ReStore (it was hot, y’all. H.O.T.) we continued on to Spice Village, which I knew had air conditioning! Spice Village is made up of individual booths, and we probably spent a good 2 hours in there. 

Your Castle | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Your Castle

Gin Tonic | Queen of Everything

Gipsy Bridge | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Gipsy Bridge

Hollyhock Boutique Monograms | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Hollyhock Boutique

Tags | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

The Round Top Collection | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Thirty Five Designs | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Thirty Five Designs

Sisters | Spice Village | Queen of Everything

Funny story about this picture. I handed this sign to Whitney and just told her to “hold this up so I can take a picture of it” – she didn’t read it before I took the picture. I just love it. 

Health Camp | Waco | Queen of Slacking

From Spice Village, we decided to eat some lunch – so we went to Health Camp. Apparently, it is THE place to go in Waco. The shake lived up to the hype, but I could only eat about half of it!

After lunch, we rolled out of Health Camp and drove to the La Salle Shoppes, an antique shop. I bought a couple of things there (upcoming post!) and we had a lively discussion about chalk paint with the employees. 

  Dark Teal Dresser | Junque in the Trunk Waco | Queen of Everything

Then we went down the street to Junque in the Trunk – lots of painted furniture and knick knacks. I fell in love with this teal and gold dresser, but it was already sold. Not to mention that I don’t NEED another dresser…

After that, we may or may not have gotten a little bit lost trying to find a Sonic (it was HAPPY HOUR, give me a break!) but we ended up finding the best little shop in Waco because of it. Junque Queens. Seriously. The owner let us in even though she was closed for the day – how sweet was that? She had excellent prices and tons of stuff to look at. I’m so glad that she let us sneak in for a few minutes – Whitney found several things to buy and we will definitely be going back. Such a cute little shop AND we had a blast talking to Lacy about painting furniture/price difference in DFW vs Waco. If you are ever passing through Waco, you must check out her store. Take a trailer with you, because she has good stuff. She keeps the Junque Queens Facebook page updated – I’m watching it! She’s worth the drive. 

Once we left Junque Queens, we drove through Cameron Park. I was so impressed with it! It is a HUGE park and you definitely don’t feel like you’re in Waco (I say that with love). There is a river, a zoo, hiking and biking trails, multiple playgrounds, multiple overlooks, beautiful houses, lots of trees – you could easily spend a full day there. We are planning on taking the kids back in the fall once it gets cooler. If you’ve ever been to Zilker Park in Austin, it reminded me a lot of that.

We had a great time in Waco! Texans always kind of joke that Waco is a “great place to stop and pee” because I-35 runs right through it – but I was really happy with our day there. We will definitely be going back… and next time I’m gonna find Chip and Jo Jo. 

Muleshoe Bend - Spicewood, TX

Want to read more about Texas day trips? Check out my Texas bluebonnets post


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