How Pinterest Helped Me Find My Style

How Pinterest Helped Me Find My Style

For the longest time, I never really knew my style. I like old, new, modern, vintage, and country.  Throw in touches of white paint and I'm a shabby hodge-podge of style.  My decor ends up looking more like a community yard sale than a well-thought collection of things that reflect my personality, but for girls like me, it's hard to nail down just one style and it's even more difficult to put words to that style. With a limited budget and a collection of hand-me-downs, I've managed to create spaces I like, spaces that work for us as a family and fill a need.  The problem is before long, … [Read more...]

Best of DIY – 2013

Best DIY of 2013

Best of DIY - 2013 Top:  Marshmallow Shooter - We made these for my kids 1/2 year birthday parties in the park.  They were definitely the hit of the party, especially with the grownups. Middle Left:  Home Office Transformation - I love, love, love this office/playroom space.  The chalkboard wall is so much fun and the black triangle pattern on the walls adds just the touch of fun I've always wanted.   I'm so glad I did this. Bottom Left: Hallway Gallery Wall - Adding color to my hallways absolutely transformed this space.  I love looking it at now.  We can catch glimpses of the gallery … [Read more...]

Splurging for An Ugly Christmas

Splurging for Ugly This Christmas - A story about my ugly tree.

Friends, this is all absolute truth.  If you ever want to celebrate an ugly Christmas, I am your stylist.  Call me for a Christmas 411 and I shall bring my magic bag filled with all kinds of ugly surprises.  I'm talented that way. After several years of living on a shoestring budget, I decided that I was going to create a fabulous Christmassy mood in my home this year. I mean, even the mice are getting tired of the popcorn strung on my tree and our stockings have wear holes because we use them for extra socks throughout the year. This Christmas would be different. This year I’d buy real … [Read more...]

DIY Home Office Transformation

DIY Home Office Transformation

I am beside myself.  To say I love this space is like saying chocolate is just ok.  What?  Make that stuff liquid and pour it in my veins.  Chocolate is my life-blood. That's how I feel about this space.  I am head-over-heels in love - to the moon and back - beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I love it!!! At least half of you are shaking your heads and lamenting over my bad taste.  I get that.  It's ok.  We can still be friends, even if you hate my taste. I told my husband I was going to unleash the full force of my wacky-tacky style on this room.  I wasn't joking. He came home late … [Read more...]

Chalkboard Paint & Wall Decals

Eclectic Home Office / Playroom - Home

This is the chalkboard wall that changed my life. Ok, not really, but I'm surprised by how much I like it.  I was really afraid to paint an entire wall in chalkboard paint.  I thought it might make the room look like a cave and I definitely didn't want my son and his friends to think this was their boy cave.  No way! This is part playroom, but it's also part my office, mostly my office, and it's staying bright and fun. Here's the thing, I think I love this wall because it's black and has such great contrast.  That's a big part of why I like white on my walls.   I love when I hang … [Read more...]

DIY Shower Cleaner

31 Days of Cheap Tricks - Living for Less: DIY Shower Cleaner

Kiss your expensive shower cleaner goodbye! This is where you're going to find some HUGE savings. I hate scrubbing the shower.  It's not just a chore I dislike, it's one of those chores I put off at all costs until I can't stand taking a shower in my own home.  I know, grodey.  I get it. Clean. The. Shower. Already! Luckily, I have a thirteen year-old son and he hates vacuuming.  So, when we all get down to business and we're negotiating over chores (does anyone else do this in their house?), I can usually swap shower scrubbing for vacuuming.  Yes!  I win. He does a good job … [Read more...]

Perspective Changes Everything

Perspective Changes Everything: Like a bird set free - vintage bird cage

This afternoon a child came over to play with my daughter.  She's never been to my house before today. After about ten minutes, she and my daughter had explored and conquered the entire space that we call home, all twelve hundred and fifty-odd square feet. "This place is awesome!" She exclaimed. I looked around and saw hundred year old floors with peeling paint and dirt so deep in the grooves no amount of scrubbing could get them clean.  I saw a room with OSB on the walls.  I saw the area rug in my living room.  It was, shall we say, textured due to a vacuum cleaner malfunction.  … [Read more...]

When A Home Office and A Playroom Marry

Mini Painting and Coca Cola Crate

After living in this house for the past four years, we realized some things just weren't working for us as a family. My kids have really small bedrooms, so there's no place to do things when their friends are over, except hog the entire living room.  That's ok, sometimes, but my son has this vintage Nintendo everybody loves playing.  (We're super-modern, only about twenty years behind X-Box.)  This vintage gaming system needs a vintage television to work.  Go figure. Now if you remember anything about old TV's, they weight a hundred pounds and take up more space than a baby dinosaur.  … [Read more...]

Book Review: Minimalist Parenting

Book Review: Minimalist Parenting .... Are you an overwhelmed parent? This book may be for you. Read the full review.

This Minimalist Parenting book review is Part 2. Read Part 1 HERE. Minimalist Parenting In Part 1 of this two part series, I painted a picture of the pressures put on both moms and dads.  I've felt it myself in varying degrees throughout the thirteen years I've been a mom. Often there's the nagging feeling that I'm not doing enough, or maybe I'm just not doing "the right" things, whatever the experts or well meaning friends may think is right at the time. Minimalist parenting operates on the knowledge that right now, you have everything you need to live the family life you want.  … [Read more...]

Minimalist Parenting: Is The Pressure too Much?

Are you an Overwhelmed Parent? Read this two part series on Minimalist Parenting.

This is Part 1 in a two part series on Minimalist Parenting.   Don't you think there's a lot of pressure on parents today?   I mean, for goodness sake... Read to your children. Sing to your unborn children. Prepare healthy, nutritious, range free, sustainable, renewable, organic, local meals. Organize your home. Let the dishes go, because for goodness sake your children are growing up fast and you're missing it, because you're dawdling in your organic, sustainable home garden that's producing enough food to care for the needs in your neighborhood. Play with … [Read more...]

DIY Bathroom Renovation – Before & After

Bathroom Renovation - Owl Bath mat

Since we're all friends here, I'm going to ask you to show me a little grace.  This post needs grace and maybe a teeny bit of imagination. I've not claimed to be a style, DIY, or home blog.  Not at all.  I'm just living my little life in my tiny part of this world and sharing it with you - the good, bad, and ugly. I've showed you a whole lot of ugly in my life, so these photos will be mostly good, but they're lousy photos.  This is where the real grace comes in. There's no natural light in my bathroom and me and my point-and-shoot camera can't seem to get good pictures, so work with … [Read more...]

DIY Home: House Tour with Before & Afters

DIY Kitchen Renovation - Open Shelving

Welcome to My House Tour   This will be part fun house and part house of horrors.  Enter at your own risk. Our house is mostly DIY and all the work has been done by my husband and I with a shoestring budget.  And, our shoestring is thin and short and frayed on the ends. We're not remodeling professionals and we don't even have cable, so HGTV does me no good. I don't think I've ever participated in one of these Home Tour parties before, mainly because my house is a hot mess.   The fact that I'm not particularly talented when it comes to decorating combined with our shoestring … [Read more...]

Redneck Heat

Havest Meat: My baby eats squirrel - 31 Days of Cheap Tricks

I'm not entirely sure why you choose to stick around here, because if I were honest, I would tell you to run far and fast. We're a bunch of kooky, quirky, oddballs, and apparently we're more than a little Redneck. I don't like it, and if I could, I would take myself out of the equation and say, I am the only non-redneck one in the family, but alas my son, the budding photographer, caught images of me aiding and abetting the king Redneck himself. I feel like I should explain, so give me a minute please. We is Po' Folks and we use Redneck Heat. We mainly heat our house with … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Fire Safety – Are you prepared?

fire truck and firemen fighting a fire

Before the age of six, I watched as building after building burned to the ground.  I lived in the middle of what many New York City firefighters call the Arson Wars. My mother packed a bag of essentials for my brother and I and kept it right outside our bedroom door.  I remember her waking me up in the middle of the night and grabbing the bag. "There's another fire.  We have to go." I stood and watched as the men in my family sprayed the roof and sides of our home with a water hose while flames licked up nearby buildings. Multifamily apartment houses were built close to each … [Read more...]

The Cold War: Man v. Mouse

I'm deep in the throws of a cold war and my enemy is a mouse. His name is not Micky. This morning I woke up to a frozen house, only to discover a mouse or possibly mice came in for some warmth. They have a habit of nestling into the kitchen towel drawer. I can't really blame them. It is the perfect place to settle down for a long winter's night; however, my sympathy only runs so deep. I freaked out, yelling about mice and not even drinking my cup of decaf coffee yet, and then I opened the next drawer. Mr. Mouse chewed through the plastic top on the my can of cocoa. I understand the … [Read more...]

My New Blog Home

chocolate candy heart for Valentine's Day

Hello friends.  If I don't write a post about my new blog home, it will be like not mentioning the ginormous pink elephant sitting in the middle of my living room.  You don't want to mention it, but you can't look away, so you know something must be said. I finally took the plunge and moved The Domestic Fringe over to a self-hosted site. I was fully prepared for wailing and gnashing of teeth, accompanied by several bags of m&m's and a sedative, but all went smoothly.  I paid the happiness engineers at Wordpress a one-time fee to move my blog and I don't regret it a bit.  It was the … [Read more...]

Satan Cupcakes & A Kitchen Fail

Kitchen Fail & Satan Cupcakes

Yesterday several people searched the web for "Satan Cupcakes" and landed on my blog. I had to let that sink in for a second.  I mean, I know my cooking isn't the greatest.  I've screwed up Pillsbury slice & bake cookies, but Satan cupcakes, really? The kids love my cupcakes, but I know that's not saying much.  Give a kid enough sugar and he'll like anything. Then I had to ponder the idea that someone knew just what their friend wanted for their birthday - a Satan Cupcake. It's not quite my idea of celebrating, but I can kind of understand how they landed on my blog.  After all, I've … [Read more...]

Mommy Super Power

Mommy Super Powers

  I'm a mother with a mommy super power, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone in all this super power goodness. We're all gifted in different areas, but I suspect someone else may have the same super-power as me, or not.  The range of mommy super powers is far and wide. Wanna know what my power is? I have super vision. Yes, I wear glasses, but they don't even interfere with with this super vision.  I can look through all the scratches and smudges on my lens and I can still spot things with my super vision. Wanna know what I can see? Piles of clean clothes, folded … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

If you are anything like me, holidays zip by without so much as a nod in my direction.  I mean, I am lucky to catch big days, like Christmas, Easter, and my kid's birthdays. The little holidays get caught up in the mix of everyday.  They are here and gone before I can wrap my head around the word celebrate. I jump into full panic mode if my son comes home from school and tells me he wants to wear a green t-shirt the next day for St. Patty's day.  I'm not Irish, but I have nothing against Leprechauns and my husband happens to love corned beef and cabbage.  If I miss St. Patty's day, I … [Read more...]

A Knock On The Door

messy living room

There was a knock on the door. I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but they say confession is good for the soul.  Now I don't generally freak out over knocks.  I like people reasonably well, so company is a good thing.  In fact, we are usually happiest when our house is full of people. I only wish someone would knock when my house is clean, but nobody ever seems to make it in the two minute window of a neat and orderly home. My guest walks into my living room and says "Oh.  Have you guys been sick?" "No.  Nope.  Thank the Lord, we've all been well." It's just that … [Read more...]