Yellow Light Makeover

I began my kitchen makeover 9 months ago, and I’m still not done!  Yikes that’s pretty bad, isn’t it.  I’ve painted the cabinets, changed the hardware, made curtains, added corbels and today I finished the light fixture.  I still want to change the counter top, flooring, move some of the cabinetry around and tile the back splash.  But until we can find the money to do so, I think we’ll just call this kitchen makeover complete for now.  So once I can find the time to actually clean the kitchen, I’ll post some pictures.

But for now I’ll show you a sneak peek at my sunny yellow farmhouse light that I made over for just $10.  I couldn’t be more happy with it.

I spent a couple of months searching for an antique porcelain farmhouse light like this one.

I actually found one that wasn’t outrageously prices (only $50) at a small antique shop, but it needed to be completely rewired.  In our last home I replaced all of our lighting with vintage lights, picked up at thrift stores, and had them all rewired.  You can normally do this for $30 a light.  But at $80 total this was still out of the question.

Next I thought I would make a wire basket light like the one above.  I am totally all over these lights right now.  I was originally inspired by Ashley’s (from Under The Sycamore Tree) wire basket light, find tutorial here.  But I could not find a basket that I like/would work.

So on a trip to the ReStore I found this ugly little guy that I knew would be just perfect.  Partly because he was only $10.  Look how brassy and glorious he is.

I wanted to paint him a teal blue, like the one above from Barn Light Electric.  But I already had a can of sunny yellow spray paint leftover from another project. Remember how cheap I am?

So this is how I finally made my light…

First take the wires out from the chain.  Just pull them through each of the chains.  Really easy.  Next put all those wires into a plastic bag and tape it completely shut.  You don’t want to spray paint the wires.

I used Rust-Oleum metal primer first.  I started to spray it and then realized that if I left the metal chain on the ground it would leave a mark of the chain.  So I used a bucket to stick the chain in while I sprayed the light. It just kept the chain from laying on top of the newly painted light.

After 2 coats of primer I sprayed on many light coats (about 10) of Valspar’s “Gloss Gold-85010” spray paint.

I painted the chain with Rust-Oleum Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint.  I used an old cereal box to block any of the spray paint from getting on the newly painted yellow light.

Now the part my husband hates.  I mean hates.  I’ve made him change a lot of lights in the past so I don’t blame him for hating this so much.  But he did it for me like a champ.  Now that’s love isn’t it?

Aren’t home improvement projects with kids so much fun.

So here is the before and after!

I don’t even know why builders bother putting in these ridiculously tiny lights.  I much prefer my $10 sunny yellow farmhouse pendant light.

I know a yellow light isn’t for everyone, but it makes me smile.  And its way better than that teeny tiny light that was there before.



Garden Ridge Shopping Trip

Raleigh finally has a Garden Ridge (now if we can just get a Hobby Lobby)!  Woo hoo.

I’ve heard such mixed reviews of Garden Ridge.  So this weekend I went to check it out for myself.  I went with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

The one here in Raleigh was an old Target store, so it’s HUGE.  Seriously big.  It’s certainly not high quality (especially the furniture) but I don’t think you walk in and expect high quality.  But I think it’s great for other reasons.  It’s now the only place I’ll go for Holiday decor, books, pillows, outdoor stuff, and picture frames.

Here are some of my fun finds…

This rug was $99 for an 8×10!  I kind of love it.  They have hundreds of rugs.  But I’d say 99% are seriously ugly!

Man do they ever have some pillows.  Aisle after aisle of pillows. I absolutely adore the 2 large ikat pillows above.  They were $20 each, and I think I may have to go back to get them for the master bedroom.  The small pillow at the bottom was $12.99 and was an outdoor cushion.  Love the fabric and colours.

I found some seriously cute garden accessories.  The stars ranged in price from $10-$20, the sweet little bird was $3.99, the mushroom $10, and the owl $12.99.

Huge selection of wind chimes, dozens of umbrellas (I think they were $30), and lots of planters.

Found these fridge organization containers (of course after I just bought mine).  They were a bit pricey ($12-$20) but I love that they are low and clear.  They also had loads of cheap  stem ware.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell the difference between a $1 wine glass and a $30 wine glass.

You could tell the furniture wasn’t the best quality.  But it was pretty inexpensive and sometimes that is all you’re looking for.  I think these pieces ranged in price from $80-$120.

I thought these mirrors were gorgeous.  I think they were all roughly $50, and they were huge.

They have a crazy amount of lamps, but once again nearly all of them were pretty hideous.  But these ones caught my eye. They were each $20, including the large drum shade.

And I think this may be the best source for inexpensive kids books ever.  I picked up a bunch for birthday presents, each for $1.99.  Great to pick up for stocking stuffers, prizes for good behaviour, gifts, donations.

Now for the 99% of the store that was not so cute…

Hope you enjoyed my little shopping trip to Garden Ridge?  What are your great finds from Garden Ridge?

How to Cut Your Kids Hair (& Not Their Ear)

With 2 boys I was having to get their hair cut every 10 weeks or so.  And at $17 a cut, plus tip, it was costing about $40 every 10 weeks.  With drastic budget cuts happening in our house I thought this would be an easy expense to save on.

And I was right.

Now I’ve seen them squirm around for the hair dresser and knew I was entering into dangerous territory.  But what was the worst thing that would happen?  I guess losing an ear.  But I promise that won’t happen.

My advice for a successful haircut

1. Closely watch your stylist next time she cuts your kid’s hair.  Watch how she does it, where she starts, where she finishes.  And try to replicate that yourself.

2. Get a chair that is as high as possible.  I use a toddler high chair.  It raises the kids up just enough.

3. Buy a good pair of hair-cutting scissors.  I bought mine at Target for $5.99.  Totally worth it.

4. Buy a spray bottle.  So you can mist your kid’s hair while cutting it.

5.  Bribe them with a lollipop (or whatever works for them).  The kids are ONLY allowed to have a lollipop when getting their hair cut.  When craving a lollipop they have been known to ask for a haircut.

6.  Do it outside if possible (easy clean-up).  In the winter I put them in front of the tv.  Great distraction.

You will get better every time you do it.  And what’s the worst thing that could happen?  Just give him a buzz cut if the worst does happen.

Good Luck


Bat Wreath

I realized today that my Halloween decorations are seriously lacking.  My boys are all about Halloween, so I need to step my game up.

I found wreath forms in the Target dollar bin section this week and thought  I have to be able to do something with these.  I had pinned this super cute Bat Wreath and thought I could make something similar.

Just a Girl

My version of the Bat Wreath


  • Wreath form ($1)
  • yarn ($1.60)
  • scrapbook paper
  • scissors
  • double-sided tape
  • twine
  • small-clothes pins
  • glue gun
  • burlap

Total cost $2.60

I used double-sided tape on the back of the wreath to attach the yarn. Then just kept wrapping and wrapping it around and around and around and around.  It took a bit of time but I just sat down and watched some Downton Abbey. Oh I love that show.

I cut out various sizes of bats and used a glue gun to attach them.

Glued a piece of twine to the back of the wreath and used the mini clothes pins to attach the “BOO”.

And used a piece of burlap as the hanger.  Super simple.

Linking to…

made in a day

DIY Kids Play Kitchen

Today I want to introduce you to my first guest blogger! And this special guest poster also happens to be the grandmother to the 2 Little Superheroes. Yup it’s my mother!

It’s actually very appropriate to have my mom as my first guest poster. Since she is probably the craftiest person I know. She can sew, knit and use any carpentry tool out there.

A Big Superhero Welcome to Sue!

Hi! I’m Danielle’s mom and I’m very excited to be posting my granddaughters play kitchen tutorial with you today. While building this kitchen I didn’t expect to be asked to post about it so I unfortunately didn’t take many ‘during’ pictures. But don’t worry I still have a great before and after picture and that’s all that anyone really wants to see anyways, right?


  • ugly bedside tables on Kijiji for $10 (Kijiji is the equivalent of Craig’s List in Canada)
  • faucet on Kijiji $10
  • 1 piece of MDF 1/4″ the sheet was $9.00 and I only used half of it
  • leftover paint
  • 4 knobs $4.00 from Wal-Mart
  • scrap metal for oven rack (friend cut for me) so was free
  • Varathane (already owned)
  • fabric for curtain (already owned)
  • bowl from the dollar store $1
  • drawer slider
  • table saw
  • finishing nails
  • wood glue
  • 2 hinges

Total Spent $34

I started with these 2 side tables I found on Kijiji for $10. They were the perfect size and price.
I measured the back of the cabinets and added an extra 2″ at the top (for the  back splash). Used my table saw to cut the two pieces and used wood glue and finishing nails to attach to the back of each cabinet (remember there will be an extra 2″ at the top for the  back splash).
I was going to remove the drawers and put in shelves but decided the drawers would be better for storing toy food and dishes (plus it would be less work).
For the sink curtain I simply cut out a piece of scrap fabric, sewed a piece of Velcro to the top and then used the self adhesive Velcro to stick to the side of the kitchen cabinet.
For the sink I used a jigsaw to cut a hole big enough for the bowl to fit in.  And for the faucet I drilled 2 holes through the top and screwed the faucet in from the bottom.
For the stove burners I just painted 4 circles on the top with some black paint.
For the oven rack I found a scrap piece of metal and had a friend cut it for me.  I built a wooden frame around it, to protect little fingers.  I attached the oven rack to a drawer slider I found at Home Depot.  So the oven rack can easily slide in and out.  I wanted to make it as realistic as possible.
I painted the cabinets with some extra paint I had and then Varathaned it, I knew it would have to stand up to kids.  So the Varathane will just help prevent scratches and chipping paint.
Overall I’m happy with how it turned out.  I was trying to keep this project as inexpensive as possible.  So the one big challenge was sourcing materials for free or as close to free as possible.
Of course my granddaughter loves it so it was all worth it!