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Modern and affordable clothing, accessories and furnishings…


Burlap Covered Bench & Chair


I’m on a burlap trend this week!

I’ve had this bench and chairs for a few years and they were in desperate need of recovering….

IMG_3070 IMG_3188 2

I was so excited to find these two pieces of burlap when I went on my shopping trip last week for my Burlap Potato Planters and set them aside – they were too nice to use as outdoor potato planters!

The bench is in my entryway and at this point it’s the only thing completed in this space.  This area is next on my list to finish. It’s a really small space but it has a lot of character and I’m looking forward to making this area more functional and inviting.




And here are a few of the afters of the chair.


I loved the stripes going down this burlap sack and this chair was perfect to use it on since the seat area was more wide than my other chairs so it could showcase the stripe a little bit more. This sack was the only one I could find in the 45 minutes I spent digging through the burlap bin this week with a stripe and I’m happy with the piece I used it on.



Thanks for looking! ~Jess

Linked to:

Give me the Goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof
The Scoop Link Party @ Lolly Jane
Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Inspire Me Please Blog Party @ Blissfully Ever After


Flea Market Side Table


I picked up this piece at a Flea Market a few weeks ago and I can’t believe I almost passed on it. Thankfully I was shopping with my sister Danielle who is my shopping enabler and she encouraged me to buy it. (;

I was most drawn to the hardware on this piece – it is what ultimately sold me on buying it. I love the antique metal side handle accentsand the rollers on the feet.


My biggest challenge was the top. There was a design inserted into the middle and I wasn’t sure how that would look painted but I thought it would be a great chance to give a try at stenciling or painting graphics on it.


To get the design, I used graphite paper and traced the French Transfer Printable from Graphic Fairy’s website. I then painted it with Annie Sloan’s Graphite Chalk Paint. This was my first shot at freehand painting like this and I’ll be honest – it took me FOREVER!  I got quite antsy to see the results but the wait was worth it for me.


To paint the table, I made my own chalkboard paint with plaster of paris. This is my second attempt at making it and I had much more success. I think my mistake the first time around is that it was way too thick so this time I put in plaster of paris until I got the same consistency as the other chalk paints I’ve used. It was just slightly thicker than normal paint.

It took a lot longer to dry than the Annie Sloan Paints did but once it finally did (I left it for a day) I sanded it and used a little Annie Sloan Dark Wax as a top coat.



Overall I’m really happy with how this one came out. I’m not usually drawn to long side tables but I absolutely love this one and may need to pick up a few more to work with!


Thanks for looking!



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Linking up to:

Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed

Inspired Me Please @ Love of Family & Home

Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage

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Good Luck Mic!

I’m not a runner. Let’s just put that out there. I’ve tried – I joined a gym a little over a month ago but on my second time there I had a very embarrassing incident with the treadmill and I haven’t been back (those things can really speed up pretty fast!!).

I didn’t get the athletic genes of the family but both of my sisters did. And I’m so very, very proud to say that my middle sister, Michelle, is going to be running the “Grandma’s Marathon” in Duluth tomorrow.

This is something that she’s always wanted to do and it has been on her “bucket list”. This year she decided to go for it and run in memory of my brother. I’m sooo very sad I can’t be there in person (on the sidelines) to cheer her on because of an obligation I have for my daughter, but I just want her to know I’m going to be there every step of the way in spirit and want to wish her the best of luck!!

Good luck Mic – I know you’ll do great!!  In honor of your success I’m going to get back on the treadmill next week – maybe I’ll be able to keep up with you the marathon in September.  LOL.

Love you! ~Jess









And because this one was too funny not to include…..




My Urban Garden Planters

If you are a Pinterest follower of mine you probably can tell what we’ve been up to the past week! LOTS of gardening!

We weren’t going to do a vegetable garden this year since the backyard is a work in progress, but then my sister offered us some established strawberry plants and it quickly went from adding a strawberry planter to adding a small side garden on the side of our yard to then adding another “Urban Style Garden” onto the  side of our house. I’m so excited about all the changes we’ve made and probably most proud of the Urban Garden.

I don’t have a true before picture but below is where we started last night…

urban garden before

The raised bed planters we had put in already and believe it or now we had already started to clean off the inches of dirt covering the paved walkway (what a MESS).  There was also a bamboo fence staked in next to the existing fence here (that’s what you see in the corner there) that Peter took down and by doing that we gained about 6” of space!

And here is where we are at now…

urban garden after

There is still a lot of work I want to do yet but it’s looking much better.

My favorite part about it is my Burlap Potato Planters! I LOVE burlap so for me this was the perfect solution to cover the buckets we planted the potatoes in.

Burlap Planters 1

This is all pretty experimental for us so I’m hoping it works out!

Burlap Planters 2

And if the burlap buckets don’t produce the potatoes they should I have a backup plan in another area of the yard at the end of our planted ground garden…..

potato planter

This is a really cool metal tub that Peter found in the barn at his parents so we are using it for planting more potatoes. My hopeful, optimistic approach is that these potatoes will make us all the way through the winter!

And next to the metal potato planter we have the strawberry planter that Peter built. We were able to get most of the plants that my sister gave us in here. We left some room for more plants to fill in and will probably make another planter next year.

strawberry planter

And we also have some flower container plants throughout our yard. It’s been such a late year that not many of them have filled out yet but here is a metal coffee pot with alyssum planted.

tin pitcher

And lastly we have Peter’s genius idea…



He found this barrel at his parent’s farm and he actually came up with the idea to use it as a planter. How great is that??!!

Hopefully I’ll have some more to share as the garden takes place. I’ve got a few things left to plant, a few trellises I want to build and then I plan to “pretty it all up” and make some tags and such. It’s been a lot of work putting these gardens in but also so fun and rewarding to see it all start to grow!! It’s only been a week since we put the ground garden in and all of our seeds are growing fast!!


Linked to:

Summer Spruce Up Series {Planters} @ Rain on a Tin Roof
Link Party @ Lil Luna
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Party Junk 195 – Burlap @ Funky Junk Interiors
Inspire Me Linky Party @ Liz Marie Blog
The Scoop Link Party @ Lolly Jane


DIY Curtain Rods


Another project that we recently finished for the sunroom is adding some curtains. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on curtain rods and there are three walls of windows (four rods needed) so I did a search on pinterest for DIY Curtain Rods and found this post “$7 Curtain Rods” at Kelly Hicks Design’s Blog. It was PERFECT!

Our local Menards had everything we needed so it was a quick and easy project and the cost was very minimal. We used 1/2″ Metal  Conduit for the Rods, Hooks for the Rod Holder, and Conduit Fittings for the ends. We needed a little help finding the conduit fittings and when we told the salesman what we were using it for he laughed and said that’s one he’s never heard before. LOL.

We pretty much followed the directions from Kelly Hicks Design’s post except we substituted hooks for the eyebolts. I was originally going to spray paint the rods white so I didn’t want to scratch the paint when I put the rod through the eyebolt but once I put them up I liked the silver in the room so I decided to leave them for now.


In the end the cost was very minimal – the two long side windows ended up being $5.25 each and the two smaller front windows were $4.61 each because we were able to cut the pipe for both. Not too bad!! I’m so glad I found Kelly’s post – this saved me a lot of money and I really like how they look too!



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Linked to:

Give me the Goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof
The Scoop Party @ Lolly Jane
Link Party @ Lil Luna
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Inspire Me Linky Party @ Liz Marie Blog
Empty Your Archive @ Mums Make Lists

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Distressed Side Table

 I’ve had this table stained and painted with Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue for a few weeks now but I wanted to distress and antique it to get the look I wanted to go with the stained top.


I’ve been putting it off because distressing furniture makes me nervous. I haven’t done a lot of distressing by sanding because I’m always a little worried that I’m going to ruin the piece and then I’d have to start all over again.

Last night I decided this can’t sit in the middle of the kids’ TV Room anymore. I needed to get it done and out of the house so I grabbed my sanding sponge and gave it a shot.

I reminded myself often to only sand those areas that would naturally get worn away and after a few minutes of anxiety as the paint started coming off I started having fun with it. Once I was done sanding the bottom I used the “Antique Glaze Technique” to give it that extra dimension.

DEB Table



This is probably the most distressed piece I’ve ever done. Now that I’m getting over my anxiety about trying it, I’m looking at all the other furniture pieces around my house to see if I need to distress them too!

This is the first of many projects I have planned to complete this weekend. Here are a few before pictures of two of the pieces I’m going to be working on. I’m also sharing a peek at my sunroom. It’s almost completely done so hopefully by Sunday I’ll be able to do a feature on it here. It’s the most “completed” room in the whole house at this point so I’m kinda excited about it. Now I need to remember to take a break from some of these projects once in awhile and enjoy it! (:





Linking up to:

Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Give me the Goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof
The Scoop Party @ Lolly Jane
Link Party @ Lil Luna
Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking

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For the past few years my sister Danielle has been obsessed with succulents. After seeing her cute decorations with them I was inspired to start growing some of my own and they are becoming some of my favorite plants to decorate with around the house! I love how unique each plant is and it’s fun to find small pots and containers to grow them in.




I also love that you can propagate them! I had some leaves that had come off when I potted my succulents so on Sunday I gathered all the information I could from my sister Danielle and spent hours on pinterest pinning and reading articles on propagating them. I followed my directions and had all my leaves set out on the kitchen windowsill on top of sandy soil to let them scap. Some are just starting to scab over and others aren’t doing well and seem to be rotting.

Last night I found this one little lone succulent cutting that I had put on top of a cabinet in my upstairs hallway on Sunday when I was working on the others and completely forgot it was there. Ironically, this little guy is already growing leaves! And it’s only been there three days!! I couldn’t believe it that the one leaf that I completely forgot about and didn’t check on constantly was the only one that was flourishing! (:


So this morning before I left for work guess where I put all my other succulent leaves?



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Tips for Growing & Using Sage


My mom is a great gardener and has been such a huge help to me. I love it when she stops by occasionally and walks through the flower beds to help me sort out the weeds from the flowers. I apparently have a really hard time with this – some of my “favorites” turned out to be weeds! LOL.

I was so happy when she told me that this plant that I suspected to be a weed was actually a Sage plant! I’ve heard (via Pinterest) that Sage is supposed to repel mosquitoes when you put it in a bonfire so for that reason alone I have been wanting to plant some. We get our fair share of mosquitos here in MN so I’m willing to try anything!!


Other than that, however, I had little knowledge of how to care for Sage and what else I could use it for so that ended up being the first plant/herb I researched for the Garden Reference Book I’m creating for myself.

Here are a few things I learned. Feel free to share any tips or information you may have in the comments as well!!

Growing Sage Plants Outside:

  • Sage Plants need full sunshine at least 2-3 times a day;
  • They don’t need a lot of water – too much moisture will kill it; Sage does best in dry conditions and requires very little care (sounds like the perfect plant for me already!)
  • Good companion herbs to sage are Rosemary and Thyme because they have similar water and sun requirements;

Harvesting Fresh Sage for Use

  • Cut off the leaves with a scissors or pinch it off;
  • Sage is best used fresh but you can also freeze the leaves in a plastic bag or dry them;

How to Dry Sage

  • It is best to pick sage leaves for drying just before they flower;
  • Make sure the branches are dry and not wet;
  • Tie the branches loosely in a bunch and hang them upside down in a cool, dry place out of sunlight;
  • Store dried sage in an airtight bottle or container out of sunlight; Dried sage lasts indefinitely;

Harvesting Sage Plants in the Fall

  • Prune off the old branches to about half their size and allow them to go dormant; they will revive in the Spring;
  • Some sites also suggested mulching around the base of the plants with leaves or straw; Our garden has hasn’t been tended for several years so I’m thinking this isn’t always needed;

Here are some great Uses for Sage that I found on Pinterest and plan to try:




Fire Starter / Mosquito Repellant

sage fire starter


Pear and Sage Stuffed Chicken Breast with a Hazelnut Crust



Shredded Beef



Slow Cooker Chicken with Sage and Stuffing



This Post Featured at:


House of Rose Blog

Linking to:

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage
Linky Party @ Liz Marie Blog
Give me the Goods Monday @ Rain on a Tin Roof