Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – ALL THE THINGS I WANT

I’ll be honest, before blogging I didn’t know much about this sale. I probably noticed it when it was already over. But since I started blogging, I’ve been getting all these emails about it and it really piqued my interest! Of course I don’t own a Nordstrom card – that is just asking for trouble – so I didn’t have access to shop early. So if you don’t own one either, well, solidarity sister! The good news is, we can shop soon!! I suggest having your wish list full so you are ready to roll tomorrow¬†when the sale opens to the public! Prices go up August 7th, so get it while it’s cheap!

To help you dig through all the greatness, I have put together my faves. To make it easy, I split them up into two categories. Godspeed….

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  1. I am OBSESSED with this Chambray dress. PLUS it’s off the shoulder AND only $31?!? Yes please!
  2. Cute, distressed Viggos destroyed jeans and they’re only $44!
  3. Oh Free People, you are my clothes soulmate.
  4. I have been DYING for a jacket like this since last year. You can’t beat the price on this one. Of course, if you are Miss Money Bags, you can splurge for the real thing. And if that’s you, feel free to take me to a steak dinner ūüėČ
  5. I have to admit I am still in love¬†with my Sole Society booties I got last year, but these are a pretty close match. If you’re in the bootie market, these are great!
  6. Ohhh emmm gee I need these!! They also had some like them¬†in cow print, but they are sold out in most sizes and let’s be honest, I probably couldn’t pull it off.
  7. Tory Burch flats. I have a hard time with this because I don’t like spending this much, but I have been wanting them forever and love this neutral color.
  8. Do I really need rain boots? I don’t know but I’ve had my eye on them forever and they’re on sale so…..

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Confession: I love Kendra Scott. Call me bandwagon, call me basic, whatever- I like it. The heart wants what it wants. The thing with Kendra Scott you have to beware of is if you get too much, it can all look the same. I like to switch up the color as well as the shape of my KS jewelry to avoid this. But my top (only) jewelry items are Kendra Scott. You’ve been warned.

  1. I love Elle earrings–¬†I own three pairs!¬†This color is super neutral and could go with so many things, but there are other color options available too.
  2. I have this necklace in pink and wear it way more than I thought I would. I love the option of a neutral color that would be super easy to layer with other necklaces. Like the one above, there are other color options.
  3. I already own this cuff.¬†I got it as a gift and wasn’t sure about it, but have worn it ALL THE TIME! There are several different color options, but I am a gold girl.
  4. Nail Polish!! Deborah Lippmann – such great stuff and love these colors.
  5. Let’s be honest, NARS owns the blush game.
  6. More polish and I love each of these colors. This and/or #4 would make perfect gifts!

I hope this helps you narrow down your choices! Let me know what you end up getting!!

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Splurge vs. Save – Sandal Edition

So as we’ve discussed before, I have champagne taste on a beer budget. So if I ever spot something that looks designer for a fraction of the cost, you know I am all about it!!

I first fell in love with the Joie a la Page brand last year when I saw this photo.

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I loved everything about it!! The Free People dress, the beach, and especially THE SHOES! I had to do a lot of digging to find out what they were and was so excited when I tracked them down, only to be let down by the fact that they were Joie a la Plage and $400. Come on!! But some good came out of it…I found out who this girl is. She has a blog, and the BEST braid tutorials on her YouTube channel. I’ve tried several and LOVE them for days when I don’t want to wash my hair. So yeah….every day. (You can also follower her on Instagram @amberfillerup)

I was able to find a less expensive version of the sandal. Unfortunately it was still about 10x what I would normally pay, but I was obsessed, remember?? And $100 was a heck of a lot cheaper than $400!! I got them last year, but they still have some at Zappos.

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But anyway – back to the sandals on this post. I decided I would never pay that much for sandals again, but still found myself obsessed with Joie a la Plage. And I’m not the only one. Reese Witherspoon and several fashion bloggers have been spotted wearing them. So what’s a girl to do? Find a cheap look alike of course! Enter Target. I mean can we all just say a collective AMEN for Target?? Forever 21 has a pretty good dupe as well.

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If you just have to have the REAL thing and are a huge fan of Joie like me, you can find them here. Or if you’d rather go the Target route, you can find those here. (They have them in both black and gold. I MAY have both colors…)

If you end up getting some, post a pic on Instagram and tag me (@thelilacdoor). I would love to see you lovely ladies wearing them!!

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DIY Painted Pallet Art Tutorial

Even though I love the simplicity and “rustic” look of the plain wood pallet art, I wanted something with more color for my daughters’ rooms.

I started out the exact same way I did the non-painted ones. For a full tutorial on that, please see this post.

After staining the wood, I added Vaseline around the edges to give it a distressed look. Then I painted the entire piece. If you are painting a large area, the most cost effective way I have found is to buy paint is to buy¬†a sample at Sherwin Williams. It’s less than $10 and gives you a LOT of paint!

After painting, I sanded all over to give it a distressed look, and since I had used the Vaseline on the edges, the paint came off very easily.

Next, the lettering. This is a LOT¬†harder than what I did on the plain pallet art. I ended up printing the words out then cutting each letter¬†up and using them as a stencil. Of course, if you aren’t like me and DON’T have the handwriting of a 3rd grade boy, you may just be able to freehand. I am way too OCD¬†for¬†that!

To do the lettering, I used a large Sharpie oil-based paint marker. I traced around the letters then filled them in with the marker.

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Here is the finished project for my youngest daughter’s room.¬†I just love this verse and pray that it is a constant reminder to her to let herself be defined by God and not by the world’s standards. I know as a girl it’s tough to compare yourself and not feel as pretty as someone else, but I just hope that she finds her identity in the One who created her.

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And this is in my oldest daughter’s room from Proverbs 31:25 –

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Let me know if you have any questions and if you attempt one, I’d love to see pictures!

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DIY Pallet Art Tutorial

I have been slightly obsessed lately with all the reclaimed wood art. But wood is a little out of my comfort zone. I mean it’s hard core compared to the stuff I sold in my Etsy shop – it’s heavy and you have to do stuff to it that has the word “power” in front of it like power sanding, power sawing, etc. BUT… I LOVE the signs!!

I saw a few on Etsy that were cute, but they weren’t big enough and also since I’m cheap, I didn’t want to pay for them when I knew I could make one.

I scoured Pinterest and pinned several different things that would help me do what I wanted to do, but they weren’t all in one place, so I thought I would write this post in case someone wants to make one on a budget and without any fancy machines.

The first step was to get some wood. A friend of mine gave me a tip to check local nurseries (you can also check construction areas where they are building new homes or Craigslist). So the next day I was driving by the one by my house and lo and behold, a shipping pallet was just sitting in their trash pile! I walked in and asked if I could have it. They reluctantly said yes, but did not offer to help me load it. (I guess I can’t really complain though since it’s free??) Anyway pallets are deceptively heavy, but I managed to get it loaded into the back of my SUV by myself. Also, if you can’t find any pallets for free, the guy at Lowe’s told me they sell them for $10.

Next, I needed the pallet broken apart WITHOUT breaking any of the wood. I tried a little and it didn’t budge, so that’s where the husband came in. It was pretty tough since pallets aren’t made to come apart (I found out), but he got it done!

I sanded the pieces down (by hand), but not much because I wanted that distressed look. Next, I stained all of the pieces I wanted to use. I ended up using seven boards. For the stain, I used Minwax Dark Walnut. They aren’t kidding when they say dark. But our hardwood floors are REALLY dark, so I wanted it to go with them. After I brushed on the stain, I wiped it off with an old cloth. Then to lighten it up even more, I sanded it lightly when the stain dried.

Now I needed to get them to all the stay together. Rustin rounded up some spare wood for me and I thought I would just nail it to the back. Well I didn’t get small enough nails and they went through the front, so I just decided to do wood glue. (There is a picture of the back when I show how I attached the D-rings to hang it.)

And the part that was stressing me out the most – the lettering. I have the handwriting of a 3rd grader, so free-handing was not an option. I could have went out and bought a Cricut or Silhouette, but spending an extra $200 would have really blown the idea of doing a “thrifty” project. Luckily I found this¬†tutorial¬†and it worked perfectly! So I just figured out the size font I wanted, printed it out, cut the letters out, scribbled chalk on the back and traced over each letter with a pencil. Then it left the chalk line and I could paint it from there. (She goes into more detail in the tutorial.) You can tell my lettering isn’t perfect, but hey, it’s handmade.¬†

About the verse – it is from a favorite hymn of mine – Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. Rustin and I went back and forth on what to write. (It was comparable to what we went through when we were naming our CHILD.) We thought about a Bible verse, but for some reason I really wanted a line from a hymn. It’s funny that it’s musical and I don’t have a musical bone in my body – pretty sure my singing can break glass – but I love music! Every time I see the sign, I start singing that hymn. And did anyone notice the typo?? Oops! For years I thought it was “sing thy praise.” I found out it was “grace” a couple of years ago, but I guess old habits die hard. Luckily I caught it before I painted it!

Then I just hung it using two D-rings and picture wire.

So the cost breakdown was:

Pallet – free

Paint – already had

Stain – about $7

Chalk – 77 cents

D-Rings – about $3

So the total was about $11 for a 26″ x 40″ personalized wood sign.

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My DIY Kitchen Makeover

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When we bought our current¬†house, we liked the layout and the “bones” of it, as well as the location. There were MANY things that needed fixing/updating, but we figured we could do that over time. I mean, just call me Joanna Gaines…I got this! (ha)

One thing I really¬†wanted done was the kitchen cabinets. We thought of paying someone and got a quote, but we hated to pay for it because we could do it ourselves and would rather spend that money somewhere else in the house. I mean I’ve painted a lot of walls, how hard can cabinets be??

Spoiler alert: REALLY stinkin’ hard!! When people ask for my advice on painting cabinets I say, “PAY SOMEONE!” But if you’re reading this blog about DIY painting kitchen cabinets, you’re probably like me and determined that you can do it. So since there’s no talking you out of it, I’ll share how we did ours so maybe it will at least make it a little easier for you. If you have kids, I highly suggest sending them to grandma’s for a weekend and knocking this out (and when I say “knocking this out” I mean plan to spend at least 12 hours a day, both days). Having a construction zone for a kitchen is not easy with little ones.

Let’s start with some “before” photos:

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I pretty much followed this tutorial¬†I found on Pinterest. (Side note: I really think you can figure out how to do anything with Pinterest and/or YouTube.) ¬†The only thing is I did not sand my cabinets very much¬†because they aren’t real wood – they’re plywood. I just did it enough to make it a little “rough” to catch the paint. Then I cleaned them with Clorox wipes. I’ll be honest – I didn’t spend a lot of time on the prep. Here is a “during” shot. See why I said to send the kids to grandma’s?

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I did my set up pretty much like she did in the tutorial. I sat out 2x4s in the garage and the spare (empty) bedroom and did an assembly line.

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I did two coats of primer, two coats of paint, and two coats of clear coat….for every cabinet, front and back. If you’re good at math, you’ve figured out that is 12 coats of paint PER CABINET DOOR. Now do you see why I suggest paying someone??

Just looking at that picture gives me flashbacks. I felt like I was in prison with those cabinets for years of my life. Another tip: download a sweet album or a really good audio book so at least you have something with which to entertain yourself.

I often get asked if you have to prime. The answer is a resounding YES!!

Don’t go cheap on your supplies! Buy good painter’s tape and invest in a really good paintbrush. You will need one to make sure the brush¬†strokes are not super visible.

I used Kilz Primer, Sherwin Williams Antique White paint (satin) mixed with Flood Floetrol to lessen the appearance of brush strokes, and Minwax Polycrylic for the final coat (I would just buy a quart of this. You don’t need much.). Some people use Polyurethane, but I have heard it will yellow over time, and I just get nervous using anything that’s not water based. I bought a glaze to do the “antique” look, but I could not figure out how to do it and it did not look good, so we just decided to leave them as is. I know my limits.

We bought the cabinet hardware from Discount Home Furnishings. It was significantly cheaper and we were very pleased with the quality.

It’s actually been about two years since the time we painted them to when I took the following “after” photos. I would say it has held up pretty well!

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¬†Other updates we did in the “after” photos include a new range and a new backsplash my husband installed:

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And although this wasn’t in the “before” pictures, we also replaced the cheap, bronze light fixture above our breakfast table with this chandelier I found at Magnolia Market since I am OBSESSED with Fixer Upper!

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Have any lingering questions? Leave a comment and I will do my best to answer! And if you paint your cabinets, please share your pictures РI would love to see!

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Outfit Details – Family Photos

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Does planning outfits for family photos stress anyone else out?? That is the main reason we don’t do pictures every year. I just can’t deal. But I have figured out a few “coping strategies.”

First, I pick the one thing that HAS the be in the pictures. Maybe it’s a prop, or a certain dress for me or the girls. Whatever it is, I build all the other pieces around it.

This year it was this chair. (Ignore the super cute baby for now.)

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I fell in love with it right when I saw it. If you live in Wichita Falls and have not been to Alley Cat Vintage Mercantile, you are MISSING OUT!! I could spend hours in that place. And the best part is, they have cats roaming the store, so my kiddos are entertained while I shop.

So I started out with mustard yellow, and figured burgundy and navy were good colors to add, so¬†now I have a “theme,” which somehow makes me way less stressed.

The next piece I picked out was Arden’s outfit (above). I am a huge sucker for Matilda Jane (although admittedly usually buy it on sale or from goodlucktrunk.com), so I got her¬†this adorable Jorie Knot Top. I LOVE the knot tops because with the straps being adjustable, they can wear them for so long!

I also made Arden’s headband. In fact, I’ve made a lot of hers myself. I bought the supplies from Hobby Lobby and Etsy and followed this tutorial. Easy peasy.

Now *I* needed something to wear. One of my favorite brands is Free People, because at heart, I am a college girl at Coachella. Of course in real life I am not that cool and drive a minivan and wear sweats 90% of the time. Whatever. But I’m¬†not a fan of the price. I absolutely LOVED¬†this dress but was not about to spend $200.

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Lucky for me, I found a VERY similar dress at one of my favorite boutiques for a fraction of the price…

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My boots? They are SUPER old (seriously circa 2010) Steve Madden. This is why I could never be a dedicated fashion blogger. Not only do I re-wear things all the time, but I also keep things I like for YEARS. But, y’all will be proud of me, I did buy a new pair of boots this season (with which I am OBSESSED!!). I didn’t get them until after these pictures though. And I always size 1/2 to full size up in Sole Society shoes.

Let’s talk about LIPSTICK! I’ve always worn nude, but since I no longer have to wear foundation I have felt like I could get away with more “made up” lips. I always go to the MAC counter because I love their stuff, and honestly it’s just easier to limit my choices. I told the lady to push me out of my comfort zone…but not too far. She recommended Twig lipstick, Whirl liner, and Dreamy lipglass. I LOVE all of them!! When I want a little¬†lighter¬†color, I use Brave lipstick¬†with the same liner and lipglass.

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Something weird happened this time. Usually I can’t find anything to wear, but this time I was so torn between the above dress and another one. I bought the other¬†at Nordstrom, and although it’s no longer available, I think this is pretty similar. I decided to wear that dress for a few family, but mostly pictures of just me and the huz.

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Now I needed an outfit for Avery, my oldest. I thought of putting her in a Matilda Jane piece too, but unless they were going to match, I felt like it would be too busy. I found her this burgundy dress at Old Navy. And her boots…Can you believe I got them at Walmart?? I think they are just the CUTEST, and they are on sale right now! You’re welcome.

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I guess I should say something about Rustin’s outfit. Y’all, I don’t even know. After styling three humans, I was at my max. I told him what we were wearing and said he could wear blue or mustard and Godspeed…

I would love to hear how you plan your family photos! It is still a daunting task to me. I’ll close with a few more of my faves…

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{Special thanks to my friend, Tressa, at Tressavent Photography for the lovely photos!}

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Christmas Lights in a Wine Bottle

So this idea was definitely not original with me. I saw this at a friend’s house and LOVED it and had to copy! (That’s right – I took a picture of it…along with a ton of other things in her house because it was SO cute!) So I thought I would share in case anyone else wants to do this.

Of course I went to Pinterest and there were tons of pins on how to do this, but almost all of them required drilling a hole in the bottom of the wine bottle, and a glass drill bit is just not something I have on hand. Plus with the way my plugs are located, it would be better for the cord to come out of the top to be even with the plug-in and therefore less cord would show. So I like to call this the lazy man’s way to do it…

I got some Christmas lights (after Christmas) at Garden Ridge for 50% off. Then I bought a bottle of wine – not for the type of wine – but based SOLELY on a cute bottle….of course.

There may be an easier way to do this, but this is just how I did it. Since I didn’t know how many lights to cut off, I shoved as many in there that would fit (I used one of my husband’s shish kabob skewers to push them down as I went, but a screwdriver would also work), then I counted how many excess I had.

Then I had to pull it all out and cut them off from the other end (the end without the plug). After I cut it, I wrapped up the end in electrical tape. Stinks because I had to pull them out and do it all over but, again, not sure of a faster way. And all in all this project did not take more than 20 minutes.

And this is the finished product. I feel like it adds that extra touch of warmth to the kitchen!

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Is a Blanket Scarf Really a Blanket?

Ah! My first “fashion” post. I’ve always been a little scared of doing these because what if someone doesn’t like my style?? I finally figured- if they don’t, they probably aren’t following my blog. So here goes…

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This is a classic outfit for this season and each of the pieces can be paired with so many other things! Let’s look at each one…

The Blanket Scarf – I figured I should start with this one since it’s in the title. Am I the only one who didn’t really know what a blanket scarf was? I thought maybe it was named that because it felt like a blanket? No. It is literally as big as a FULL SIZED ADULT BLANKET! I had wanted one for a while and just couldn’t find one I liked. Well I happened to find this one while out to dinner with friends in the Bishop Arts District. If you don’t know about Bishop Arts, let me fill you in. It’s an area in South Dallas that is being revitalized and is also the main hangout for hipsters. I really didn’t feel cool enough to even be there. First of all, they don’t even make parking spaces big enough for minivans. It’s like they’re saying – look if you’re not driving a smart car or Prius, then get out of here. Well I didn’t heed the warning, double parked the minivan, walked through several crowds full of man buns, and soldiered on. Ok I may sound like I’m making fun of it, but it really is a cool area. I mean – how awesome is this sign?? (And yes, there’s a baby with us. Is it¬†really that surprising?)

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After dinner (at Eno’s Pizza) we walked to a few shops and I got this scarf at a place called the Laughing Willow. I was sort of obsessed with that boutique and imagine it is what mine would be like if I owned one. The owner refinishes furniture and used cool things like old doors as the displays. So of course that was a sign that I had finally found my soul mate blanket scarf. When¬†my husband saw it the¬†next morning he¬†asked (in all seriousness), “why did you buy a blanket?” I don’t blame him. The thing is huge. Thanks to the good ol’ Internet I was able to figure out how to wear it¬†without it accidentally suffocating me.

The Tunic – I am obsessed with long things. The longer the better. After two kids my stomach, butt and thighs like to¬†keep things under wraps. And this one is LONG. It is from one of my favorite Instagram boutiques – Belles and Whistles (@shopbellesandwhistles).¬†They also have free shipping all the time, which somehow makes me feel like I am getting a smokin’ deal. Amazon Prime has ruined me. And yeah it’s sort of wrinkled in the picture. I ironed it for church, it got wrinkled while I wore it, and I didn’t have it in me to iron a second time in less than 24 hours.

The Tights – I am so easily peer pressured. A friend told me these tights were the most comfortable things in the world so I immediately jumped in my car, headed to Bed, Bath & Beyond and made them mine. Ok, I made three pairs mine. I think they’re like $12, fleece lined, and yes, oh so comfy!

The Booties – Please do not ask my husband how many booties were ordered online, sent to our house, and sent back. It may trigger his PTSD he suffered when dealing with the “bootie saga.” I am SO picky and could NOT find a pair that was perfect…until this one. I saw it online at Nordstrom but they were sold out of my size. No fear, I simply googled the brand and bought it from their website – Sole Society. Warning: these fit SUPER small. You need to order a half to full size up. I wear a 7 or 7.5 and these are an 8.

Hope you like the outfit! How do you wear your blanket scarf?

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