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10 Comfy and Cozy Bedding Ideas

By on June 19, 2017

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I don’t know about you but bedding is one decorating item that takes me forever to decide upon.  Maybe it’s because I feel like it’s one decision that will not get changed out as often as others.  I don’t know!  However, I do know that its time for new bedding in our master bedroom.  Actually, it’s been time for almost a year but I am just having a hard time deciding on what I want.  To me it’s a huge decision because once I find the bedding, I then must find curtains, a rug, and throw pillows to coordinate.

Is it okay to admit on my blog that I have been browsing bedding every single week for over a year!  I feel a little embarrassed to admit it.  Each week I spend time looking for the perfect bedding.  My idea of perfect bedding is honestly pretty easy.  I want something that is neutral, will withstand the decor world of change for several years and just look nice and cozy.  It seems pretty simple, right?

You are in luck today!  I compiled all my favorite bedding sets that I have been stalking for several months.  When I say months, you know I mean months.  You don’t have to go browsing the web daily to find comfy and cozy bedding because I have found it for you.

Life is just too short not to share my top ten comfy and cozy bedding ideas.  The catch to sharing them is, I need your help.  I need to know what bedding you like best.  It’s simple, you get easy access to amazing bedding and I get your help. Score!!

10 Comfy & Cozy Bedding Ideas

 

ONE

TWO

THREE

FOUR

FIVE

SIX

SEVEN

EIGHT

NINE

TEN

 

XOXO

Karis

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What’s in my Pool Bag – All the “Must Haves” in 6 Steps

By on May 29, 2017

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It is officially SUMMER VACATION!!  My kids have finished school and the lazy days of summer are here.  I love having my kids home for summer.  We live in Texas, which means our summer days are stifling HOT.  So, we spend a lot of time at the pool.

The pool at our house is still in need of a lot of work so we joined a local neighborhood pool for the summer.  We plan on going regularly.  When we lived in the Dallas area we went to our HOA pool often and we perfected our pool bag.  So, today I am going to share our favorite pool bag Must-Haves in 6 steps.

Pool Bag

First off you must find the perfect pool bag.  This is the bag that will get daily use all summer so it has to be perfect!  It needs to be large enough to carry towels, sunscreen, pool toys, snacks, drink and possibly a small cooler.  Here are few amazing ones you might want to try.  The second bag is a special find, since it includes and awesome ice chest at the bottom!  Double success!

ONE  || TWO || THREE || FOUR

Towels

Next, you need to fill your pool bag with some amazing beach towels.  Our family personally loves fluffy cotton towels but my cousin who lives in Hawaii (I know don’t hate her) loves light weight Turkish towels.  She swears that they dry fast and I am going to claim her as an expert because she hits the beach more than most people I know.  So, this summer we will be trying out both.  Maybe I will do a blog post comparison.  Here are a few different beach towels to consider.  I’m still including both fluffy and Turkish until I make an educated decision for myself.

ONE || TWO || THREE  || FOUR 

Sun Protection

This might be the number one item in your pool bag.  The one item you can not go without at the pool!  I am serious about our sunscreen and the kinds we use.  I personally only use mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide on my family.  My friends often make fun of me, and give me a hard time but I have done my “crazy” research and I feel strongly about what I put on their skin.  If my kids get other sunscreen put on them I don’t freak out but we really prefer mineral over others.  Here are some of my favorites that we have used over the years.  Some are pricey, some are not.  My personal favorite is Coola mineral but it’s not always readily available.

ONE || TWO || THREE  || FOUR || FIVE

 

Also included in sun protection is hats.  My friends will tell you I love hats.  I wear them often, maybe too often.  It’s no surprise that I love hats that protect us from the sun.  I bought my first floppy sun hat in Mexico in 2009 and it’s still my favorite hat to this day.  However, I still add new hats every year and also purchase one for my kids to wear at the pool or while just playing outside.

Womens:

ONE || TWO  || THREE || FOUR || FIVE

Kids:

ONE || TWO || THREE || FOUR || FIVE

 Swim Toys

My kids love their swim toys.  Honestly, it’s what keeps them in the water all afternoon.  We started collecting our pool toys 6 years ago so you can imagine the stash we have in our pool bag.  I personally don’t allow water spraying toys at the pool only because I don’t trust my kids aim enough.  Ha!  They will seriously hit the only grandmother who is reading her book far away from the pool.  So we took those out of the bag early on.

 

 

ONE || TWO || THREE ||FOUR  || FIVE

 

Snacks and Hydration

If your goal in summer is to have a great day at the pool regularly you MUST pack good snacks and water.  My kids seriously jump in the pool once and think that warrants a snack.  Since this isn’t my first rodeo I am prepared when we head to the pool.  In my past experience I have found taking an insulated cup for each person is a must.  I also take bags of dry snacks and pack fruit, veggies, deli meat, dips or hard boiled eggs or anything cold in our favorite rubbermaid lunch containers that have an icepack that connects.  Usually I put cold items in the kids old lunch boxes but sometimes I do pack a separate soft ice chest.

 

ONE  ||  TWO  ||  THREE || FOUR  || FIVE

That’s our pool bag “must have’s”.  The key to keeping a successful pool bag is to make sure to empty it and restock it after every use.  The minute we return home from the pool we remove the food and bottles, take out any trash and wet towels, then go ahead and put clean towels in the bag and hang it by the back door.  It’s ready for the next day.

I want to know what your pool survival tips are.  Mine obvious have changed a lot as my kids have gotten older.  We also can stay a lot longer at the pool than we could 5 years ago.  Every year is a new learning experience for us.  Some days I master it and think “This mom thing is easy!” while other days it’s a disaster and I think “I’m never returning to the pool!”.

Happy Summer!

XOXO 

Karis 

 

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5 Family Road Trip Tips To Save Your Sanity

By on May 17, 2017

Summer is quickly approaching which means VACATION time is coming! Is your family planning a road trip? Whether it is a short road trip or a long road trip, this post will have you covered!

We are a road tripping family!  I actually grew up taking long road trips and we have carried on the tradition with our kids.  As a child I loved the adventure of a good road trip, as a result it was never dreaded.  My favorite road trip was when I was 8 years old.

My parents, brothers and I left Texas for a major adventure. We went north to Michigan, ventured into Canada, over to Niagra Falls, down to New York, Washington DC and then down the East Coast and back to Texas. It was suppose to be a 2 week trip which we turned into 3 weeks. What I loved most, (and still love) about road trips is all the unexpected adventures you find while driving.  I remember my dad seeing a helicopter tour billboard and the next thing we knew we were in a helicopter on our own tour of Niagara Falls.  So fun and completely spur of the moment!

What is super fun and exciting to me, is that we have been able to take our own kids back to some of the places I visited as a child.  A few summers ago we loaded up our kids and headed out on our first LONG road trip.  We went to Hershey, PA and nearby Washington D.C.  Below are  few photos of my trip to Hershey, PA as a nine year old and then our trip with our own kids.

Here I am at Hershey Park in the early 90’s.  Excuse the horrible hair style.  I hated that hair style but my mom thought it was adorable and so easy.

 

Above are my kids at Hershey Park in 2015.  Clearly the character’s have had a facelift as well as the clothing choices of the people.  Ha!

Look at us in the 90’s!  Outside the entrance to the Park.

Here’s my little stud at the entrance.  Wow, has the area grown and changed.

The comparisons of photos could go on for days, but I will save you from my personal trip down memory lane and get right to the point of this post!  I have such vivid memories of our road trips as a child.  They were such special times!  Honestly, I am so thankful my husband loves the experience as much as I do. He loves the randomness and adventure that each turn brings.  Actually, I think he likes being more “spur of the moment” more than I do, and he often reminds me to just be in the moment.  Don’t think about the next meal, the next rest stop, or the next hotel.  Just think about the unexpected adventure that awaits with each passing mile.

 

As much as we LOVE our trips, I am to the first to admit they can get stressful in a hurry.  Extended periods of time in the car with two children causes emotions to run high.  While our road trips are not completely full of glamour, I do feel we have finally found what works best.  The best part is, I am going to let you in on our 5 Road Trip Secrets to make your travels a success!

Step 1: Limit Technology

Yes, you read that correctly, LIMIT TECHNOLOGY.  What?  Karis, have you lost your mind?!  Maybe just a little.  However, we learned early on that road trips are a great time to limit technology.  Traveling in a car is very different than flying to your destination.  When flying, you have others around and you are in survival mode with your children to make sure they don’t run down the isle to the nearest exit.  In the car, they’re contained and free to grip, complain, yell and scream.  The best part is, we have the ability to crank up the music to drown out those moments.

Each time we start a drive, whether it is 3 hours or 10 hours, we give our kids technology guidelines. For instance, a 3 hour trip might only warrant an hour of iPad games.  A ten hour trip we might allow 2 full movies, plus an hour of games or equivelent.  What has worked for us is having a technology plan and spelling it out for our kids.  When the expectations are laid out plain and clear we find there isn’t a lot of room for complaining.

After years of road trips we have also found it’s best that our kids must as for permission to get on their electronics.  Often times they will ask after we have only been in the car 30 minutes.  We usually respond with a town or other destination at which they can start using their technology.  Sometimes this destination is 30 minutes away, and sometimes it’s 2 hours.  The point is, you’re giving them either a set time, or physical destination they can look forward to.

Yes, I know it sounds crazy to limit technology in a time where technology is king, but I am the first to admit that it actually works and has saved our sanity.

Step 2: Stop Often

As I mentioned before, my dad stopped randomly and often on road trips.  Of course, that was before smartphones where we have continuous information at our hands and we even had to ask for directions.  Today, some of our favorite stops are completely spur of the moment roadside attractions and unplanned detours.  We budget extra money into our vacation fund for these types of stops.  For instance, a few years ago on our way to Hershey PA. we ended up stopping for the night very close to the Natural Bridge in Natural Bridge, VA.  It wasn’t even on our agenda but we decided it was a stop for the next day.  It was absolutely stunning and such a fun surprise to to add on our trip.

A bonus to help pass the time is our kids often enjoy keeping an eye out for billboards to help plan our next unexpected stop.  Sometimes it’s just a fun restaurant, and other times it’s a drive thru safari.

 

Step 3: Interact as a Family

Without a doubt, road trips are a time that you have your kids complete attention for hours at a time.  Why not spend time visiting with each other or playing interactive games.

One road trip, our family went through all our teachers from pre-k to current and said their name and a memory about them.  The activity for my kids took 5-10 minutes but for my husband and I, it took much longer.  It was so much fun remembering all of our teachers and talking about the things we liked most about each.  My kids though it was amazing that my husband actually had his Aunt as his teacher in 4th grade.  They asked tons of questions which led to multiple conversations about the things we learned in each grade, science fair projects, books we read, and sports we played.   Honestly, I think it makes our children realize, we were once kids just like them.

We also will talk about our dreams, (vacations, cars, jobs, etc), what-ifs, would you rather, and the list goes on.  There is always something to talk about and being stuck in a car for hours is a great time to learn more about each other.

Step 4: Play Games

We play lots of interactive games as a family.  Im sure you know the quirky little games each family plays while in the car.

  • Mustangs & Herbies – Mustangs (correct color called) are 1 point while Herbie (correct color called) are 2 points.  First person or team to 15 wins.  We have lots of rules we had added as the kids have gotten older to make it more competitive.
  • The Alphabet Game- Make it through the alphabet using only signs and license plates you see.
  • License Plate Game- Just as it sounds.  Find all different plates.
  • The Game of Concentration – Decide on a category like colors, animals, restaurants etc. Go around naming them but you can’t repeat whats already been said, or you are out.

My kids also make up tons of little crazy games that we play.  Count the red cars, I spy, Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Another favorite is trying to see who can come up with the most clever, and original Knock Knock joke.  Oh, the list goes on.  Sometimes it takes a lot a of patience to play some of these games but the kids do love them.

Step 5: Ultimate Box of Road Trip Fun

My kids are 11 and 8, and we have been road tripping since they were little.  For the last 8 years our family has lived over 6 and 9 hours away from family, so even a weekend trip “home” felt long.  Each year our road trip box changes.  I add to it and take things out, but most importantly our road trip supplies stay at the top of a closet, which means they aren’t played with except when we are on a road trip.  Personally I have found this keeps traveling exciting.

The key is excitement!  When we go on long road trip I often have two or three small boxes filled with travel games, books, and activities.  I change the boxes out daily.  It gives the kids new opportunities and the trip isn’t as complacent.

At the bottom of this post I have included a complete road trip store of products that we have enjoyed.  Yes, I also include in our vacation fund, and road trip activities.  Many of them last several road trips so to me it’s worth my time to just purchase items rather than scouring for free printables and printing pages.

Our Favorite Road Trip Finds

I do want to share with you a few of our favorite road trip items. While the bottom list is huge list of items we love, this is a look at our road trip box that we used at Easter.  It contained some of our all time favorites.  Easter weekend we met my in-laws in Branson, Mo.  Branson is about a 9 hour trip from our home.  Yes, most people wouldn’t take 9 hour weekend trip but as you have been reading, we love road trips!

 

  • Number one item always, is HEADPHONES.  I love my kids but I don’t want to hear the background music of their games.  Ha!
  • BOOGIE BOARDS , these things are life savers!  We see who can color the whole page in 2 minutes, we compete on who can draw the best picture, and the kids love to write us notes back and forth from the front seat to the back seat.  I think we have had ours almost 3 years.  They have held up well.  
  • We have a tween girl so she loves this ADVENTURES IN LETTERING book.  She honestly can spend about an hour working on lettering on a scratch pad.
  • On the other hand our son can spend an hour drawing in this BOYS DOODLE BOOK.
  • There are tons of drawing books for kids.  We have this DRAWING BOOK OF ANIMALS which both kids enjoy.
  • HIGHLIGHTS HIDDEN PICTURE BOOKS  are a hit!  Honestly, my husband and I like to still hunt for the items too.  
  • These WHERE’S WALDO books remind me of my own childhood.  The great thing is, my kids love them and not just for 10 minutes.  I’m talking 30 minutes or more.  Score!

 

 

As promised, here is a complete list of items we have grow to love during our family road trips.  I hope this post will help save your sanity during your next family adventure.  Let me know where you are going.  I would love to hear.

 

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Teacher Gifts for Less than $15 – Easy Chalk Globe

By on April 19, 2017

School is starting to wrap up for our kids.  It will not be long before our homes will be full of our kiddos daily.  However, before summer can begin we must get through the remaining weeks of school.  All the last projects, the parties, the awards, the programs but most importantly we must remember the teachers who have loved our kids 5 days a week for 9 months.  Can we all agree that loving and teaching our kids in no easy task.

These teachers deserve the world so why not give them these adorable chalk globes?  They are the perfect gift to any class room.  The globes can easily be used as home decor or class room decor.  It’s a chalkboard so it’s changeable to seasons.  Globes are honestly all the rage right now as well as chalkboards.  These globes are are huge WIN for everyone.

 

You can find how to make these awesome chalk globes HERE.  I actually gave these globe as teachers gifts at Christmas but they will make the perfect end-of-school teacher gifts.  The great thing about these globes is they are changeable.  I used chalk to create Christmas scenes and quotes because it was a Christmas gift.  You can easily find some great summer quotes and scenes to draw/write on them before you gift them at the end of school.

Love on those teachers.  They have the most precious jobs of molding our kids.  They give a lot of themselves to our kids.  For less than $15 you can knock their socks off with these chalk globes.

XOXO

Karis 

 

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From Waste to Want Edition 3 – Large Chalkboard

By on March 31, 2017

I am so excited to share my newest From WASTE to WANT series.  If you have been hanging around the blog for awhile you have seen my two previous post where I took old decor items and changed them to fit my current decorating style.  It’s something that is simple to do, saves money and turns Wasted items into Wanted items.  It’s a huge win if you ask me.  That’s why I decided it needed it’s own name “From Waste To Want”.

Today is actually From WASTE To WANT Edition 3.

About 5 years ago I was out at our neighborhood garage sale and found a huge frame and bought it for $5.  At the time I decided to turn it into a white board.  As you can see from this photo, the white board is ruined (yes, I must have left marker on it when we packed it up) and the frame color was less than stellar.

 

Some people might look at that and say “toss it”.  No way, with a can of black chalkboard paint and some white milk paint.  That old frame is now a stunning, large, chalkboard that fits my current decor and looks amazing in my kitchen.

 

It was so simple to make some minor changes to my current white board.  I painted the chalkboard paint directly onto the white board.  No need to spend time cutting a new piece of wood to fit when I had the white board that already worked.  Easy peasy!  Next, I used the same milk paint from the previous From Waste To Want Edition 1 and From Waste To Want Edition 2.  I have gotten great use out of that little bottle of milk paint.  Who knew?  I just painted the frame with several layers of milk paint.  Personally, I prefer some of the dark paint peeking out so I didn’t worry about the paint looking perfect.

For me, this project didn’t cost a penny.  I already had the chalkboard paint because it’s like a staple around here.  As for the white milk paint, this was actually my third project to use it on.  I already had it on hand.  Even if you had to purchase both paints the project cost would still be less than buying something new.  Score!!

I hope you enjoyed this From Waste To Want Edition 3.  Are you turning Wasted items into Wanted items?  If so, I want to see them.

Have a super weekend.

XOXO 

Karis 

 

 

 

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DIY Reusable Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Eggs

By on March 27, 2017

Do your kids love to hunt Easter eggs? Mine love it! The funny thing is mine will continue to hind and hunt Easter eggs for several weeks. Their favorite “anything” right now is glow in the dark. We are constantly having glow in the dark family parties. The problem with sticking glow sticks in the kids eggs is they only last for one day and it becomes expensive when they want to hide eggs for several weeks.

This Easter, I am one foot ahead of the kids. I completely understand that seeking glowing eggs is way more fun than seeking regular eggs. Let’s face it, I wish we had glow in the dark eggs to seek when I was growing up. In order to save some money I decided to take all our plastic Easter eggs, along with a can of Rust-Oleum Glow in the Dark spray paint and get to work. I laid them all out and sprayed the eggs several times with thin coats of glow in the dark paint. My kids were running around while I was painting the eggs and they were so excited.

Once the eggs were completely dry I wanted to make sure they would glow like I anticipated. The key is to make sure they get ample amounts of direct sun light before using them. I put all the eggs into a basket and sat them outside in the sunlight for the afternoon. That evening they glowed brightly. The best part about these awesome glow in the dark eggs is they are reusable. I don’t have to take the time to stuff glow sticking into each egg. Just stick the eggs in the sun. If my kids want to hunt glow in the dark eggs several nights they can!

Creating these reusable glow in the dark Easter eggs is so inexpensive and simple. Kids can enjoy glow in the dark egg hunts for years to come by simply spray painting your plastic eggs with glow in the dark paint.

 

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Stunning Girlie Home Office

By on March 22, 2017

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Do you work at home?  Are you in need of a home office facelift that screams girlie?  If so, grab a cup of coffee and settle in.  Today we are pulling together a stunning office that will tempt you to spend hours in your office even when you aren’t working.

Not a day goes by that I do not meet or read about a women who works from home.  It honestly is becoming more and more common.  In our family both my husband and I need a home office.  We do not have the space for two home office areas so we share an office space.  While I would love nothing more then to have a complete girlie office, my husband might not appreciate it.  All of you amazing women who don’t have to share an office space, this post is all for you all.

Everyone has their perfect way of designing a room from scratch.  I’ll share my few steps to creating a girlie office with you below.

Step ONE: 

Decide on a floor rug with lots of color.  It’s your office live a little!

Step TWO:

Next, find a desk you LOVE!  You will be spending a lot of time at this desk so you need to love it.  I prefer a computer desk without a lot of storage drawers.

Step THREE:

Office chairs will make or break your rear-end.  I prefer one that works my glutes out while I sit but I can’t seem to find one so instead I go with pretty and not practical with it comes to a chair.

Step FOUR:

Add a special sofa or chair to your office for additional seating.  It never fails that our whole family enjoys sitting in the home office and an extra chair or sofa really comes in handy.

Step FIVE:

Spruce the office up!  Add all the extras, ottomans, lamps, wall decor, organization, throw pillow, baskets, blankets, side tables, anything!  Step five is my favorite part and its what defines your decor.

Here is the fantastic girlie office I spent some time day dreaming about.  Oh, it’s lovely!!  Do you think my sweet husband would mind working in this office.  I could add a decorative white animal head.  Ha!

RUG  ||  CHAIR ||  DESK  ||  SOFA  ||  SOLID PILLOW  ||  BIKE PILLOW  ||  

OTTOMAN  ||  WALL SIGN

If you are working at home, I hope you love your office area.  If not, just follow the 5 simple steps above to create a stunning office that you love spending time in.  As you can see it’s simple and relatively inexpensive.  Live a little, go all out, add lots of color and above all, enjoy your office!  It is where you spend a lot of time.

XOXO

Karis

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10 Curtains to Compliment Gray Walls

By on February 9, 2017

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Curtains, they aren’t my strong point.  I’ll just admit that our last house which we lived in 5 years still lacked curations in several rooms.  Embarrassing to admit, I know.

When I picked out the color scheme for our house it had a lot of grays.  If you haven’t seen that post click here.

 

I have decided on and bought the curtains for the Great Room which is painted Repose Gray by Sherwin Williams.  I will say I LOVE them.  They look great with the Repose Gray walls.

However, I have several other areas in my home that are in need of curtains so I have put together a list of the top 10 curtains that compliments a gray color scheme.

 

1. DrifyAway Geo Trellis 2. Alillum Blue Gray 3. Gray Buffalo Check 4. Pom Tassel Curtain 5. Shabby Chic Ruffle 6. Henna Black  7. Circle Dream 8. Illusions Silver Grey  9. Gray Striped  10.  Lush Decor Avon

 

 

 

 

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Farmhouse Trough Center Piece

By on February 7, 2017

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It’s no surprise that I LOVE my trough that sits on my table.  I could write a list of all the reasons I love it but I will spare you.  The number one reason I love it is because it goes with all seasons!

Every time I post photos of my trough I always get several comments asking where to get one.

Today is the lucky day and I have found one.  HERE!!!!  Go grab it an enjoy how versatile it is!

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Current Decor to Farmhouse Decor

By on February 6, 2017

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Today is all about reclaiming the decor you have and making it fit into your farmhouse decorating.  The struggle in our house is real!

When we bought our house and decided to go with the farmhouse look, I knew I honestly had very little decorations that were going to work.  For over a decade our house had mostly warm decorations which included tan, brown, rust, mustard and greens.

My original though was “I’ll just buy new stuff.”  Everyone laugh at me, it’s okay!  Reality is, when you buy a 1940’s home, there is lots of other things that take your money first.

So, my mission is to use the items I have and make them work in our space.

Here is a set of boxes which I loved and was so fitting with our old decor.

Let me be honest, I even tried to sell them on a local Facebook site for $5 and got no takers.  Most people I think are going a different direction with their decor much like me.

So, I decided to give the boxes a little farmhouse lift.

I took my favorite paint brush.  Seriously, if you are painting frames, furniture, home decor, you need a good round brush.  I went a few years thinking it wasn’t worth it and then I bought one.  Oh so worth it! 

 

Then I grabbed a bottle of this milk paint.  In the color petticoat.  They have some great colors but I decided on this one for this project.

I honestly had never used Milk Paint.  My thought process on it was honestly, a small bottle and an inexpensive price tag.

I am happy to report, it worked great and did the job.  The boxes were metal and it covered well.  It need take 3 coats but it dried fast.

Here is the finished product.  I did cover the lids in burlap at the end.  I wasn’t planning on it but the lids still looked too dark up against the white box.  Covering it in burlap gave it the perfect farmhouse look.

It really was so simple.  The whole transformation took about an hour and cost 5-10 bucks.  I have several projects I will be working on and sharing.  It’s time to start getting my house decorated.

 

 

 

 

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