My First Year in the Blogosphere [Happy 1st Birthday Shabby Grace]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHABBY GRACE!

Thanks for stopping by to celebrate!  I can’t believe it’s been a year since I ever so nervously hit the PUBLISH button for the first time.  It’s been fun, a learning adventure and SO much more.  I’m happy I found a place to share my love of home decor and have YOU as my audience as we slowly transform our builder grade home into a white – farmhouse – cottage oasis.  We spend so much time at home, we want to make it the way we LOVE it.

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Cruise Vacation Tips [Babies & Toddler Edition]

Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links.  If an item is purchased through my link, I will be compensated at NO extra cost to you.  Thank you for supporting Shabby Grace Blog.

A blog post NOT home related?  Yay!  It’s a nice change up from the normal post and I’m always happy to provide information that I feel others will find useful.  Plus, I get asked about our cruising experience ALL the time, so why not?

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Review of the NewAir AW-211ED 21 Bottle Wine Cooler

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in conjunction with NewAir.  My thoughts and opinions on this product are strictly my own.  I received the wine cooler in exchange for this post**

Hey guys!  Christmas is over and I hope you all enjoyed yourselves!  We had a lot of fun and our Christmas decor is already DOWN.  I love taking it all down just as much as I enjoy putting it all up.  It feels good to organize and clean, our home feels refreshed.  Now to sit back and enjoy the New Year.

One thing I adore about the Holiday season is entertaining.  I LOVE wine and to entertain so when NewAir reached out to me I was excited to review their 21 Bottle Wine Cooler.

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Secret Santa 2015 [Blogger Edition]

Who doesn’t love a good game of Secret Santa?!  Now that I’m a stay at home mama, I’ve missed playing with my co-workers.  Well, thankfully my blogger friends were up for the challenge.  I figured it would be fun and it would be a great way to get to know eachother on a more personal level.  If you ask me, it turned out super fun and I was pretty geeked to find my little package on the front steps all the way from TEXAS!

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Your Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Perfect Linens.  All thoughts and opinions of their products are my own.  This post also contains affiliate links.  If you click on these links and purchase an item, I am compensated with a percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Shabby Grace Blog.

It’s almost cruch time!  Those holiday gifts aren’t buying themselves!  I’m here to save the day.  I’m collected a few “For Him,” For Her” & “Couple Gifts” for your all your gift buying needs.  Also, let’s welcome Perfect Linens.  Perfect Linens are the sheet experts with over 30 years of experience!  I receive their product in exchange for this post.  Let’s just say, I’m happy I did.  Their products are a step above the rest!

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Happiness is Homemade Blog Hop [Homemade Peanut Butter Cups]

Welcome to the Happiness is Handmade DIY Gift Ideas Hop!  For this blog hop, I’ve teamed up with seventeen other fabulous bloggers to bring you EIGHTEEN awesome DIY gift ideas that will be perfect for your gift giving needs this holiday season!  You’ll find links to all of the ideas right at the bottom of this post!  Plus, as an added bonus, we’re giving away $180 PayPal cash to a lucky winner to help purchase supplies to make these gifts (or to use on whatever you want).

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5 Toddler DIY Christmas Gift Ideas


Happy Monday!  It’s a new week and more items to check off my to do list!  We have been busy bees over here completing the formal dining room and entryway/hallway.  All the wainscoting and board and batten is painted.  I ordered a rug yesterday for the formal dining room, yah!  It’s so exciting putting a new room together.  Not only have I been busy with the house, I’ve also started tackling my Christmas list.  Yup, early!  That never happens.  So, with time on my side, I decided to get CRAFTY with our gift giving this year.  I’m complied a small, but awesome list of DIY toddler gift ideas that would make any little one’s eye glow!

By the way, HOMEMADE gifts rock, right?  There’s some much time, thought, enery and love wrapped in there.  All gifts are lovely, don’t get me wrong!

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Things I’m Loving Lately!

(**This post contains affiliate links**)

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Heyyyyy, It’s Friday!!!  Okay, Honestly, Friday when you’re a stay at home mom, feels the same as a Monday.  It’s still fun though when the weekend is here.  Anyways, this post is a little different than my normal DIY-ing & home decor goodies!  Some gal pals and I wanted to show y’all what we have been loving lately.  My post could probably could go on and on about what I’m loving, as I’m an avid shopper and am always out scoping the stores.  So, I rounded up a few of my favorites.  Please note, I’m not being paid to promote these products.  This is ALL me. BABY

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  1.  It’s trendy, it’s hot and I’m IN LOVE with buffalo plaid this fall.  I’m sure I’m NOT the only one.  I did snagged this Steve Madden Infinity Scarf at good ol’ Nordstrom’s Rack the other day.  It’s so easy to toss a scarf on to any outfit in the fall/winter.  (FYI – Eva found my robe belt and wears it around the house as her scarf.  SO.DANG.Cute.)

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2.  These. Candles.  Oh. Em. Gee.  Seriously, every candle that I’ve purchased from this company has been amazing.  My favorite is Patchouli Tabac.  You can purchase them online and I’ve found them at TJ MAXX, Homegoods & Marshalls.


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3.  I really shouldn’t buy or eat these, okay.  I’ve been doing this “Figure Camp” at a local gym. But, If I need SOMETHING to curb my sweet tooth, it’s these.  I actually bought them for Eva, oops!  These Trader Joe Gone Bananas are Ah-mazing.  Chocolate covered bananas.  Oh yah.  Don’t thaw them, just eat.  Trader Joe’s is always a home run in the frozen section.


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4.  Face Products.  I’m a biggie on this.  No chemicals going on THIS face.  BTW, have you ever checked your lotions, make ups and washes etc. and see how they measure up?  Do a search of your products now, HERE.  Eve Organics was introduced to me by a friend and I couldn’t be happier with this product.  I have a LONG history with acne.  That, thankfully, has been resolved.  But, because of this I’m always skeptical about changing my face wash/routine.  This product is a 10.  It works great, no nasty chemicals, organic and MICHIGAN made.  #ProudMichigander.  I use the Eve Organic’s Balance Line.  


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5.  Brene’ Brown’s latest book, Rising Strong.  Have you heard of her?  If not, check her out now.  Watch her TED Talk HERE.  I’ve also read Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfections.  I highly recommend them.  She’s all about vulnerbility.  I haven’t tapped too far into this book.  Hoping soon though.  I’ve NEVER disappointed with her work.


Coleman Bed

6.  This BED.  I’ve been drooling over this bed for about a year.  It’s the Coleman Bed from Pottery Barn.  This bed, should actually be here any day now!  Oh yahhhh.  The hubs and I are ready to redo our master bedroom.  We completed it when we first moved in five years ago, but boy has our taste in decor CHANGED.  I still have a lot of ideas for this room.  I do know, that this bed will be covered in white or ivory bedding.   Maybe a little added buffalo plaid for winter! I’m pretty excited about this purchase.


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7.  Okay, I’ve been on the hunt for new living room furniture for a long time.  I always, always come back to this couch.  Honestly, I really want the pottery barn WHITE slipcovered couches.  The husband is NOT going there.  He thinks I’m crazy with our dog and kiddo.  It’s a battle I’m not going to win (FYI – I usually win) so I’m on with the next thing.  Our current furniture was purchased when we were at our old home so it’s not ideal for our current home.  It works, yes, but not what I’d purchase for this house!  So, we getting ready to paint our living room and move our TV.  Moving the TV will allow us to have more room for furniture (we have the oddest living room, ever).  So, I’m thinking this Theodore Couch and two chairs from Z Gallerie will be perfect in the new room!  What cha think?!   It’s NOT white and it sort of looks slipcovered.  Right?  And, why did Z Gallerie move out of Metro Detroit?  Booooo!


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8.  Last, but certainly not least, Twelve on Main is my current blog crush!  She has such amazing ideas and I stalk her Instagram.  Shhhhh, don’t tell her! I think you all should check her out too!  This DIY Corn Husk Witch Broom she did.  Get out.  Adorbs!


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I hope you enjoyed your little sneak peek into my little world!  Check out what the other bloggers are loving lately through the links below.  Happy browsing!

Old House to New Home

My Life From Home

Domicile 37

Shabby Grace Blog

Karen’s Up on The Hill

Farmhouse40

Around the Watt’s House

Creatively Homespun

The Dean’s List Blog

Tastefully Frugal

Hobnail Salvaged Goods

Michigan’s Ultimate Antique, Vintage, Shabby Chic & Unique Finds Shopping Guide!

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If you know me, you know I LOVE to shop.  I enjoy scoping out all the shops, big and small, whenever I’m in a new town!  When I first began this blog, I interviewed a few of my favorite store and booth owners.  I really enjoyed doing it and I will continue to do this as I love supporting and promoting their shops!  However, just like with anything, things change and life gets busy.  One question I do get asked often is, “where do you shop?”  To solve this, I figured I would make “Michigan’s Ultimate Shopping Guide.”  I will continue to update and adjust the list as needed.  I think it’s a great tool to have for all you shoppers out there!

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25 Shabby Chic Wedding Ideas

Hey Hey!  Remember when I posted about being in Shabby Chic / Photographer HEAVEN?  Well,  today is the day I’m showcasing MORE of the pictures.  This wedding was a perfect mix of shabby chic, rustic, elegant, simple and beautiful.  Oh, how my wedding would be different if we got married now!    I love all the detail and thought she put into her wedding.  Thanks again Chelsea for having me photographer your decor.  She’s ONE talented girl.   And now,  here’s my list of 25 ideas for a PERFECT shabby chic wedding!

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Le Fleur Decor

Welcome to Le Fleur Decor in Hadley, MI.

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This BEAUTIFUL store and garden owned by the wonderful Kelly, it a MUST see.  I can’t wait to go back when all the flowers are in BLOOM.

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Here’s a run down of some fun things to do!

Garden Party:  For the littles!

Luncheon:  Homemade sandwiches and appetizers made with FARM FRESH ingredients.  Includes lemonade, tea or coffee $15 per person

Wine and Cheese Party:  Wine Cheese and other homemade appetizers.  Minimum 3 people $18 per person (Includes 15% off while you’re there!)

Custom Parties:  Inquire Directly

4th of July Festival:  Local Artisans, Antiques, Vintage Goods, Garden Walks, Entertainment, Beer and Wine Tent!  10 A.M. – 5 P.M. (On the 4th)

Harvest Festival:  September

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Before we head in, let’s say hello the Wagner.

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Let’s start outside.  Love up-cycled items? There’s SO much to see.  I could have been there for hours taking pictures!

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There’s plenty of succulents to choose from!

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There’s a large fensed garden in the back.  THIS is what I can’t wait to see when I return, tons of  flowers.  Check out that sink.  HOW. CUTE.

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A garden shed made of vintage windows…. Oh MY!  Look at this beauty!  The table is made from an old door.

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Lunch with friends here? YES please!  Chandelier from the trees?? SWOON!

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This flower garden is FILLED with goodies.  Windows with flowers hanging inside, old shutters and so much more!

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Lots of great flowers in the greenhouse!

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Seriously!  You have to make the trip!

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Inside, there’s furniture, jewelry, soaps and lots of other treasures.

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Pretty cool, eh?  What an awesome place to visit, shop and BE INSPIRED!

Pallet Party!

Over the weekend, some friends and I attended a “Pallet Party” by the wonderful Kai Kreations!  My friend Chris, over at Stayin’ Afloat Blog, found Kai Kreations and I’m SO glad she did.

I contacted Erika and we booked a date.  The class held up to 10 people.  Each individual emailed back and forth with Erika about their design.  Listen peeps, you can design WHATEVER you want.  How cool is that?  Talk about personalization.  AND,  she’s great to work with!

Saturday morning, we all gathered at her home in Ortonville, MI.  We brought some snacks and drinks.  Our boards were all ready with our names in their beautiful craft room.


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[Us with our aprons (up-cycled men’s shirts – seriously?  She’s so creative!]

Step 1 – Paint/Stain

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I chose to stain my board.  Off to garage with about 1/2 of the gals I went!  I started with a medium stain then accented with the lightest one.

While our boards were drying, she gave us a tour of their home.  WOW.  How stinkin’ cute is their home!!?!  Creative overboard.

Step 2 – Stencil Layout

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Again, Erika prepared each person’s stencils and they fit our boards perfectly.


 Step 3 – Paint

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Some had a little more free handing to do than others, depending on their design.


Step 4 – Sand

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We sanded our edges and the tops based on how much of the “distressed” look we were going for!  It really makes a difference.

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[My final piece before and after sanding]

Step 5 – Hooks

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And, finally, Erika’s husband assisted us with putting hooks on the back so we could hang our lovely pieces!

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[Our finished pieces!]

I can’t stay enough GOOD things about this day!  So much fun and laughter.  We all LOVE our pieces and they each turned out so differently.  What a FUN way to spend a Saturday!

To book a party – LIKE Kai Kreations and message her!  You won’t regret it!


THIS is Why Mother’s Day is Special to Me!

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I wasn’t going to write a post about Mother’s Day, but then after some thought I felt it might be a great time to share how much our little Eva means to us. Eva’s journey to “life” wasn’t the easiest.  When she finally arrived, she had a couple more hurdles to jump.  Because of ALL this, I couldn’t be more PROUD to be her mom.  I also wanted to create awareness to my followers about some medical conditions, pretty uncommon.  And, if  you found me by searching one of these conditions and need support, PLEASE feel free to contact me.

When I was six week’s pregnant, New Years Eve 2012, I was positive I lost her.  My mother convinced me to head to the E.R. because our doctor was closed for New Year’s Day.   The Ultrasound tech turned the heartbeat on for me and I LOST it.

Bed rest began, I had a Subchoronic Hemorrhage.  A blood clot between the chorionic membrane and my uterine wall.

A couple months later, I received a new diagnosis, Placenta Previa.  These generally move before the baby comes.  We had our fingers crossed.   At our next ultrasound (we had MANY) the high risk doctor was sent in to our room.  It was pretty scary.  It was confirmed, I had Vasa Previa.

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Here’s the Run Down:

–  Eva’s umbilical cord was not fully attached to the placenta.  It was basically “hanging off.”

–  The fetal vessels in her cord were exposed.  If  one ruptured, she could bleed to death in under a minute.

– The fetal vessels were RIGHT across my cervix.

–  Thank GOD it was caught.  I could NOT go into labor.

Hosptial Day

[The Hubs and I the day I checked into the hospital]

At 30 weeks I was admitted into hospital bed rest.  I couldn’t leave my room for the first week.  Then I was allowed to walk the hallway twice a day.  It was June and beautiful.  I’ve never wanted to go outside so bad! I had to have an IV at all times in case of an emergency.

At 35 weeks, July 1st, I was scheduled for a c-section.

She came out and had some fluid.  They stuck a tube down her throat and it came back up.  Something wasn’t right.  It was so scary laying there helpless!

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[This is our first picture of Eva Grace]

Numerous doctors came into my recovery room.  I still hadn’t seen her.  They wanted to move her to another hospital.  They took an X-Ray and didn’t believe she had an esophagus.  I signed to have have her transferred to another hospital/NICU.

First time seeing

[I was doing well in recovery so they let me see her.]

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[My family checking her out through the NICU window.]

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[Finally in a room, they brought her in before they took her to Royal Oak, Beaumont.  About 30 minutes from where I had her.]

The hubs went with Eva and my mom stayed with me.  Thank goodness for her.  I knew I had to heal. The hubs and I communicated a lot and he sent lots of videos and pictures.  She was diagnosed with EA/TEF (Esophageal Atresia/Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula) [More Information HERE]

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[Here’s the picture the Doctor had drawn for Aaron when he arrived at the other hospital.]

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[Here’s Eva resting after her transport.]

Goal #1 – Get her lungs ready for surgery.  Eva also had a fistula (abnormal passageway) from her trachea to her stomach.  Her stomach was filled with air and very large.  This didn’t help her premature lung situation (Being born early at 35 weeks).

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[Daddy reading to her]

Day 2 – I was discharged from my hospital.  Eva was NOT doing well and we almost lost her a couple times.

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[Eva before surgery.  Already smiling]

Day 7 – Surgery.

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[Here’s Eva being pushed to the operating room.  Worst.Walk.Ever…….]

Surgery went awesome.  They corrected the fistula, her esophagus was “almost” connected which meant an “easy repair.”  She did not have to get a feeding tube.  (This was based on the repair and what they found once they got inside)  She had a chest tube because they had to collapse her lung to get to her esophagus and trachea.  (She has type C EA/TEF)

Day 10 –  Esophagram

They ran a dye down her throat and took an X-Ray to see if there was any leaks.  NO LEAKS!!!!

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[Our first time holding her.  FINALLY!]

First Bottle

[First bottle attempt.  (I had been pumping breast milk since day one every three hours!)  This baby needs it!]

It was difficult feeding her.  I had to put her on her side and let her take a couple sips and pull the bottle out.  We got the hand of it though.  Whatever she didn’t take in her bottle we would push through her feeding tube (going down her nose).

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[Me giving her the rest of her bottle through the tube]

Once she could eat her whole bottle, increased her breast milk in take and was gaining weight, we were able to come home.

Day 25 – HOME sweet HOME

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[The good news came]

How is she doing now?  Eva has not had ONE problem.  Thank.You.Jesus.

With this condition, you never know what you’re going to get.  Some kid’s esophagus will close where the repair site is and food can get stuck.  In this case the doctors would go back in and “re-open” or “widen” the esophagus to what it’s suppose to be based on their age.  Also, with her fistula repair on her trachea, sometimes if Eva laughs or coughs hard, she kind of sounds like a seal.  This is because the cartilage didn’t grow properly where the fistual was on her trachea.  It’s “floppy.”  She should totally grow out of this by age 4.  My saving grace was a support group I found on Facebook.  This condition is NOT genetic.

She no longer has to go see her pediatric surgeon.  At her one year appointment she was named “Baby of the Year.”

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Newborn Photos: Elizabeth Anne Photography

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[First Birthday]

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Family Photos:  Sarah Beth Photography

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[Her last Friday, playing in the rain.  She’s quite the adventurer!]

Through ALL this, I met a really awesome new friend.  My life wouldn’t be the same without her.

Here’s our babes.  We call them “Vasa Sisters”

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So THIS is why Mother’s Day is so special to me.  I have this special little babe, who has one of a kind anatomy.  I hope all you mother’s out there have a fabulous day! XOXO

Fragments

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Meet Gary!  He’s the owner of the wonderfully unique booth, Fragments.  He has three locations, The Shops at 101 in Holly, MI, Memories and More in Linden,MI and Memories Antique Mall in Rankin, MI.

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Gary’s booths are like going on mini treasure hunts.  How fun is that?  He’s very passionate and loves sharing the history of  each treasure.  In search of architectural pieces?  Look NO further!  He’s always my first stop.  He started his first booth about 6 years ago.  He recently retired and now fills his days with family, building, decorating his home and filling his booths!

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Check out these architectural beauties.  Corbel HEAVEN!

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This piece is from an alter in an old church.

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These are “Frozen Charlotte Dolls.”  The boys are called “Charlies.”  Learn more about them here!  In his home, Gary displays many of these is an apothecary jar.  How cool, eh?

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I now have these lovely paper whites sitting in our kitchen.  So simple and lovely.

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His items are easy to locate.  His handmade tags are very distinctive and COOL.

Here’s more of Gary’s current inventory (Holly Location).  It’s always changing.  Enjoy!

The Cottage

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Meet Val!  She’s the owner of The Cottage in Holly, MI.

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The Cottage is a perfect mix of old and new!  It’s shabby chic, cottage, rusty and WHITE.  It’s been open for 18 years.  Isn’t that awesome?  Also, it’s been WHITE for 16 of those 18 years.  Val sure knows how to catch my eye!  I’m SO happy I found this little GEM.

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The Cottage carries a paint line called, Vintage Market.

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Check out this selection of lights!  Industrial meets Shabby!  Beautiful!

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Want to create a fairy garden this spring?  Check out THESE adorable and rusty pieces.

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Let’s not forget about The Cottage Cat! (CC)   She calls The Cottage home and loves “working the floor” for some lovin’s!

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Here’s some items that I really adore.  You can never go wrong with old chippy architectural pieces.  The rusty mental end table with glass top is very unique!  There’s a three tier plant holder, PERFECTLY rusty!  Last, but not least, olive buckets.  Love love!

Here’s some more of  The Cottage’s current inventory!

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Workshop

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Want to hear something neat?  A shabby follower who read my post, My Shabby Cabs, was inspired to paint her OWN kitchen cabs!  She then gathered some friends and signed up for a painting class at Pigeon in the Parlour.  No, wait.  It doesn’t end there! This wonderful gal and I have a mutual friend and they invited ME to take class with them.  Pretty sweet, eh?  Here’s a snippet of our class.

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The table and supplies are waiting for us!  We’re eager to LEARN!

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(Emily, our teacher and owner of Pigeon in the Parlour)

We spoke about Annie Sloan and her wonderful products.  There’s a beautiful visual display in Pigeon in the Parlour’s classroom.

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We picked up some great tips on creating color tints and shades.

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Our sample board we each completed included several techniques.  We learned whitewashing, laying paint colors, aging and distressing, stippling with a brush and sponge, crackling and alligator skin.




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My FINAL piece!

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Isn’t that lovely?  The options and results are ENDLESS! Each one of our boards were different which shows how everyone has their own style.  It’s a wonderful class and again, I highly recommend it.

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 Interested in a class? Check out their Workshops!

Don’t Stress, Distress Shabby Chic Furniture

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Meet Ashley!  She’s the owner of Don’t Stress, Distress Shabby Chic Furniture in Holly, MI.

Guess what? Her store opens TODAY!  I have the inside scoop for you.   Ashley’s boutique is in her home and has some really great items.  Less than a year ago, she started painting.  Little did she know, she would be doing this FULL time and opening her own store!  Her work is quality and she has a great “distressing” style.  Ashley also does custom pieces, kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

The store hours today, 3/14/2015, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

March, 15th, 2015 to April 1st: By appointment.

There will be an “Open House” on March 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Other Vendors will be joining Ashley!

Effective April 1st:

Tuesday – Friday: By Appointment

Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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The candles, wax melts and string art work are by Motor City Creations.  The candles smell fabulous!

Here’s Ashley’s current items:

Livingston Antique Outlet

Welcome!

image  Come on in, grab a hot coffee and enjoy!  There’s so much to look at and dig through at Livingston Antique Outlet.  Let’s just say, I don’t mind driving an hour to enjoy this little piece of heaven!

Livingston Antique Outlet is located in Howell, MI and is loaded with booths, over 200.  It’s been open for almost 13 years!  It has always stayed true it’s antique roots, but also has kept up with the changing fads!  There’s a variety of antiques, upcycled, shabby chic, French country and industrial items.   The staff is just as wonderful.  There’s always someone around to take things off your hands while you continue to stop!

Check out these booths!

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I, of course, picked up a few things ….

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I’m excited about this vintage fan!  I didn’t purchase the picture BUT I did get that lovely mental basket!

Here’s some of their current inventory!  SO much to see, enjoy!

Johnnie’s Daughter

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Meet Michelle!  She’s the owner of Johnnie’s Daughter in Goodrich, MI.

Johnnie’s Daughter is a colorful store filled wall to wall!  Looking for quality painted furniture?  Look NO further!  They always have a large variety of big items, hutches, dining room tables with chairs, desk etc.  Need a cute top and necklace?  They have that too!  Some other items include vintage kitchen items, wall hooks, mirrors, wall art, shelves, chairs, vintage hardware and candles!  Ohhhh I love their candles!  When you’re there, check out that bathroom for goodies too!

You can also grab some Vintage Farmhouse Chalk Paint while you’re there!

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Michelle and three other lovely ladies keep the store stocked for us!  Things move quickly!  Michelle opened the store just over a year ago.  She has an extensive background in interior design.

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Here’s the candle I picked up.  Smells heavenlyyyyy ……

Here’s a couple items that really caught my eye ….

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Those cute little chicks for Easter??  That’s a fabulous dresser!  Oh my gosh, that stool with the bike print???  I could get some major blogging done on that desk.  Those lights?  If I had a place for that yellow one!  And, that shelf …. It’s big and the color is a 10!

And the rest?  Here ya go!  Lots to look at here folks ….