Disney Vacation-Budget Friendly with a large family

Disney Vacation-Budget Friendly with a large family

Hey friends! I always like to have total transparency! This blog post includes an affiliate link and we collaborated with Disney World on two, one-day park hopper passes. My opinions are always my own and I would never share anything with y’all that I don’t truly love. Thank you for your support friends!

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Disney World is a place where dreams come true! I understand it can be a challenge,  if your traveling as a large family. Planning is crucial but you can create the vacation of your family’s dreams! Today, I am going to share with you how our large family of 6 can go to Disney on a budget! Here are our tips.

1) Purchasing Disney World Tickets.

You will need to decide if you will be visiting all four parks, may be just one park and if you will purchase the park hopper option. For this trip, we decided to go with one park per day and not use the park hopper option. We have used the park hopper option in the past.

The best place that I have found to purchase Disney World tickets is Undercover Tourist . Let me show you  breakdown of the two options we chose from for this trip. We are a family of 6, needing four adult tickets, since ages 10 and above are considered adult tickets for Disney and two child tickets, ages 3-9. Don’t forget that kids under 3 can go to Disney for free!

Our first option is a four day base ticket with no park hopper for $406.47 per adult and $388.90 per child. Those prices include tax, no hidden fees and free shipping. Total=$2,569.36, with a savings of $271.00!

Our second option was a 2 day ticket with park hopper option for $323.64 per adult and $313.06 per child. Prices include tax, no hidden fees and free shipping. Total=$1,920.68, with a savings of $234.00!

For this trip, we chose the four day base ticket with no park hopper option. The reason we chose this option is because we did the two day park hopper option, on our last trip and we really wanted to have one day to spend at each park. If you do chose the two day park hopper option, it is doable but remember it is a lot of walking! We did Magic Kingdom on one day then Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, all in one day! If you do decide to park hop, don’t forget to use Disney’s transportation via the bus, monorail or the new Skyliner!

2) Decide on your lodging.

Since we have larger family, it is cheaper for us to stay off site, than in a Disney resort, due to needing two resort rooms. Plus, we travel with our family pet and she stays with us in our rental house. We like to use VRBO and can stay for around $65 per night. For this trip, we decided to stay for 6 nights and 7 days, which included a $30 pet fee and a $65 cleaning fee for the week. Our total lodging cost was $491.00. Another option is to  stay for 4 nights and 5 days with the two-day park hopper option, making your trip $325 lodging and  $1,920.68 tickets!

One option to staying on site with a larger family is
Disney’s Fort Wilderness . Depending on the time of year, you can stay here in your tent or camper for around $100 a night.

Disney resorts are magical!! We had the opportunity to visit the Grand Floridian on this trip, to attend the Disney Princess Perfectly Princess Tea Party.

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The Grand Floridian is a Victorian-style resort, decorated with Victorian Christmas decor, grandiose tree and a life size gingerbread house with a sweet shop inside of the gingerbread house!

3) Food: Cooking meals while on vacation.

One of the reasons we like to stay off site, is so that we can cook in our rental home and bring our own food into the parks. This essentially is huge money saver for us!  I will take our grocery budget for the week and meal plan every meal that we will have while on our vacation. For example, the day before we leave, we will pre-make several food items. For this trip, I made banana nut bread, orange rolls, speghetti sauce, chili and grilled chicken. I decided to freeze the speghetti sauce and chili. I baked the orange rolls for breakfast the morning we left, then had grilled chicken salads for lunch on our drive to Orlando. For dinner we had grilled chicken with rice and creamed spinach.

On our first day at the parks, I got up and made brioche french toast with berries and sausage links. For our lunch, we made sandwiches or spinach wraps and brought a bag of sweet potato chips with fruit. We also bring our Brita filtered water bottles for our drinks. For dinner that night, we heated our homemade chili on the stove! We did choose to have a couple Disney dining options for this trip.

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We went to the Disney Princess Perfectly Princess Tea Party , along with breakfast at The Plaza , where Chef Ken did a fabulous of taking care of all of my food intolerances!

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We also had dinner at The Crystal Palace and were able to catch the Magic Kingdom Fireworks show.

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The reason we chose to have two park meals is because we wanted to stay in Magic Kingdom all day to see the fireworks show that night. These meals are extra and will not be included in my finally total.

4) Disney Parks parking fees.

It will cost $25 per day to park in the standard parking lot. If you arrive early enough, you will actually be parking right next to the preferred parking area. We usually arrive in the parking lot about 30 minutes to an hour before the park opens, you will grab the best parking spot, right next to the preferred parking.

5) Souvenirs and deciding on spending limits.

How do we handle the souvenir money? We suggest to our kids to save their Christmas and birthday money received throughout the year from family members. My husband and I also do the same.

6) Our “chill day” at Disney Springs.

One other thing that we like to do while in Disney World is to have what we call our “chill day”. We will break up one of our park days to go to Disney Springs .

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You can visit their Trail of Christmas Trees which is 22-themed, Disney related trees.

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You can also visit with Santa at Disney Springs.

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Just check in at the Marketplace, head to the podium, give them your phone number and they will text you when it is your turn for Santa!

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You can also make an appointment for your little princess or prince for a royal transformation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique  .

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Our two youngest little princesses enjoyed the royal treatment, at BBB, while at Disney Springs.

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One of the souvenirs that my husband and I like to purchase is a caricature, each time we visit Disney. The Art Corner has artists that can create beautiful caricature’s that can be hand-drawn or digitally created, along with Christmas ornaments.

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We love our newest caricature drawn by the artist, Keelan Parham . One of my favorite traditions when vacationing is purchasing an ornament to help remember our trip.

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Disney Days of Christmas  literally has hundreds of ornaments to choose from! We also enjoy looking around at the unique retail stores at Disney Springs.

Total Cost of Disney Vacation:

Our total cost for tickets, lodging and parking fees was $3,160.36. Our family loves going to Disney! There is something there for all ages, the parks are always clean, the cast members are always friendly and go out of their way to give you that special Disney magic! We can’t wait for our next Disney family vacation! I hope this information will help you when planning for your Disney vacation!

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“If you can dream it, you can do it.”-Walt Disney

❤️-Melia Shae

 

 

Christmas Home Tour-Deck the Halls

Christmas Home Tour-Deck the Halls

Welcome to our Christmas Home Tour with farmhouse cottage with bits of rustic, boho and shabby chic flairs! Keep reading for a unique home tour to inspire your own Christmas decorating for your home.

Deck the Halls-Shae’s Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to our “Christmas Home Tour-Deck the Halls”. We are thrilled you are here! We’ve got lots of Christmas decorating ideas to get your juices flowing! Our goal is to inspire you to create your own festive Christmas home to share with family and friends. I hope as you tour our home that you gets lots of inspiration and ideas for your home!

Farmhouse Christmas: Let’s Decorate

Christmas is my favorite time of year to decorate! I have always enjoyed decorating for the holiday since my very first Christmas as a newly wed. We didn’t have much, but that didn’t stop me from making our house a home for the holidays! This is where all of my DIY inspiration began and on a dime!

The Importance of Inspiration:

With that being said, whether you have a big budget or a non existent budget, you can create something magical, if you just use your own creativity! After all, isn’t your own creativity part of the magic? That is one reason why I spend time, getting inspired before I purchase anything! Being inspired is like saving money in a sense! I hope this tour gives you inspiration and helps you to step outside your tried and true decorating!
I believe your home, what’s inside your home, your surroundings, should add joy to all of your decor! Let’s get this party started!

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Farmhouse Christmas: Front Porch

As you step onto our coveted front porch, you will see a vintage vignette complete with a vintage sled. Our table is a vintage singer sewing machine base that we found on our local trading site. It was a diamond in the rough, as it was all rusted when we found it. We sanded and painted it with black latex paint and added a wood top. The wood top was made  from a tree that fell on our property, that my husband milled.

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As you open the front door of our open, you will most likely be greeted by our golden retriever mix, named Tinker Belle, inviting you into our home, as long as you give her a good belly rub!

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Farmhouse Christmas: Dining Room
You will see lots of cottage farmhouse with bits of rustic decor in our dining room. My husband and I designed and built our farmhouse table. When we began shopping for a new dining room table, everything we found was not made of real wood and that got me to thinking that we could design and build our own! We headed to a local wood store and picked out the most beautiful ambrosia maple! I was like a kid at Christmas time, waiting on my husband to build the table so I could figure out what stain, paint or epoxy I wanted to use. I was so excited to begin having meals around our table!

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I also enjoy styling my dough bowl for each season. My husband also made the dough bowl from a salvaged log, that he found on the side of the road.

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Farmhouse Christmas: Living Room

Let’s head into the heart of our home, our family room/living room. Our white stone painted fireplace with our newly, neutral painted walls gave me the idea for using natural elements on our neutral, flocked King of Christmas tree. Most of the ornaments were handmade by my husband and I. From the embroidery hoop wreaths to the wood Christmas blocks to the wooden spindle ornaments. We enjoying creating a space with items that we love and by creating it with our own hands, gives us such JOY!

We also designed and built the wood tree box stand. I thought it would be fitting, giving all of our neutral plus natural elements this year! When it came time for stockings, I knew I wanted something white or light and originally thought I wanted white sweater-y material. It was a no-go real quick, when I found that none of the stores had what I was envisioning in my mind. I remembered I had a left over painter’s drop cloth canvas from when I made my curtains, so why not make them out of that? I basically made 6 stocks for around $11! You can see that blog here  . I also added ship lap wood name tags to all of stockings as well. Those were super easy to make and free because I had all items on hand!

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For my mantel, I added greenery from Hobby Lobby along with some Christmas picks that I bought a couple years ago on clearance from the Hearth and Hand collection for $1.47 each! I also added bits of lambs ear and red berries! I added the berries because one of our daughter’s requested color! Well color you will have my darling!

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Farmhouse Christmas: Kitchen Deck the Halls
For our kitchen, I would use the same cabinet wreaths that I made last year, except I would flock them myself. I added a neutral “Merry Christmas” cotton garland that I found I Hobby Lobby for the ribbon. I added more red berries that you see throughout my home. I added my tiered tray to the corner of my bar area and added all the essentials necessary for making hot cocoa. My girls always love a hot cocoa bar!

Farmhouse Christmas:Eat-in Kitchen

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This year, I decided to dress up the girls kitchen play set for Christmas as well! We had the best time, making it feel like a cozy spot for them to make memories, making gingerbread houses and tea parties, of course!  And what gingerbread making party wouldn’t be complete with our American Girls?! For this tree, I made “ribbon” with ripped pieces of painter’s canvas drop cloths. It seriously has come in handy this year! I also made a bow for the tree topper from the canvas drop cloth! The tree skirt? Canvas drop cloth! What rustic farmhouse tree wouldn’t be complete without our hand-strung, cranberry and popcorn garland!

Farmhouse Christmas: Outdoor Tablescape

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My Christmas isn’t complete without my outdoor Christmas tablescape! My husband and I also designed and built this table as well! For our outdoor tablescape, I used my dough bowl with a few flocked trees, white Christmas houses and the crystal that was given to me by my mother. It is a farmhouse, rustic feel and I enjoy the simplicity!

Keep Everything in Perspective:

If you are anything like me, you really enjoy seeing all the creativity! When I am looking for inspiration in other people’s homes, whether it’s in a blog, magazine or in person, I get inspired to go home and create my own magic!! My hope is that you will take our inspiration but not feel pressured from it. We always do our best to re-use decor and you can always revamp by painting or by just giving it a mini makeover!

Prioritize Joy:

With my blogging and IG responsibilities, I decided to focus my efforts on what was most important to me. When I thought long and hard about it, I decided that every square inch of my home should be filled with Christmas because it gave me such JOY! Decide for you, what’s most important and do what gives you joy without feeling overwhelmed!

Farmhouse Christmas: Setting Limits

I know that there are times when I begin to feel like I need to set limits with myself. When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I let one or two or however many things I’m balancing on my plates, go. Gone. Load lightened. And guess what? I don’t feel guilty about it. That is how I set my own boundaries with myself. Boundaries I make with myself are a great way for me to set limits. Being proactive in managing potential stress is a great way to have more time, joy and energy during the holidays! Pick and choose your priorities because after all, isn’t this time of year for celebrating with the birth of our Savior, traditions with our loved ones.

From our family to yours, we wish you a joyful, blessed and peaceful holiday season!

Merry Christmas!

❤️-Shae

Please continue the Christmas Tour: Deck the Halls from the other talented bloggers.

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https://www.dabblinganddecorating.com/single-post/2019/12/02/Christmas-Front-Door

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https://lecultivateur.com/2019/12/09/Christmas-Home-Tour-2019/

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https://stilettosandshiplap.com/christmas-home-tour-2019:-deck-the-halls/4091/

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https://hydrangeafarmhouse.com/christmas-home-tour

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Challenge

DIY Dollar Tree Christmas Challenge

I always enjoy a good decor challenge on a budget, so when my friend Terrie, from Decorate and more with Tip  invited me to her DIY Dollar Tree Challenge, I knew I would love it!!

DIY Dollar Tree Challenge:

Rules: Purchase an 18 inch tree from The Dollar Tree and decorate it as budget friendly as possible!! Challenger accepted ✅

96ACC62C-58D0-4E3B-9843-20DD698F67DBI started off with this white Christmas tree  from The Dollar Tree. I decided to use some of my leftover painter’s drop cloth canvas to make a bow topper and ribbon for the tree. All you do is cut a small cut at the top of the canvas then make a second cut, depending on your width you want of your “ribbon”.  I decided my bow ribbon and ribbon cascading down the tree would be 2 inches in width and around 20 inches long. I like my ribbon to sort of bunch into the branches. A drop cloth is only $3 for a small one.

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Next I decided to use my wood star garland from one of my fav shops, 302 Wood Works  .

A7EEF860-DB4A-4CC6-8F6E-7CE658ABF9BALastly, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased these little pink mini ornaments for $1.99 at 50% off!

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 Along  with these mini ornament hooks  for .99 cents at 50% off. For the tree skirt, I used a piece of canvas drop cloth! I only spent $3 and some change on the supplies for decorating the tree. My total cost for decorating my tree was $4.32!!

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I wanted to style the tree in our girls bathroom upstairs, which is decorated in a boho theme. I wanted the tree to reflect that, with a pop of pale pink for color and a fun flair! What do y’all think?

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❤️-Shae

Please don’t forget to head on over to each of my friends, as they show us what magical transformation they made to their Dollar Store Christmas tree!!

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Terrie – Decorate and More with Tip

https://decorateandmorewithtip.com/dollar-tree-table-top-christmas-tree/

Kelli – K’s Olympic Nest
https://olympicnest.com/blog/dollar-tree-christmas-tree-hack-creating-a-farmhouse-buffalo-check-christmas

Shae – Sweet Southern Grace
https://wordpress.com/post/sweetsoutherngrace.blog/1001

Rebecca – Rebecca Anne Home
http://rebeccaannehome.com/?p=315

Dayna – Just Another Farmhouse
https://barnhousemess.wordpress.com/2019/12/02/diy-christmas-tree

Christine – CD’s Country Living
https://cdscountryliving.com/diy-rustic-mini-christmas-tree-centerpiece/

Dani – Welcome to the Taborhood
http://www.thetaborhood.com/blog/mini-tree-diy

Tammy – Patina and Paint
http://patinaandpaint.com/diy-challenge-dollar-tree-mini-tree

Carol – Bluesky at Home
https://blueskyathome.com/3-ways-to-style-a-dollar-tree-christmas-tree

Mary – Shady Oak and Sassafras
https://shadyoakandsassafras.com/dollar-tree-thrift-store-christmas-tree-challenge/

Jessica – Jessica Welling Interiors
https://jessicawellinginteriors.com/decorate-a-dollar-store-mini-christmas-tree/

Teresa – Through a Vintage Door
https://throughavintagedoor.com/03/12/diy-dollar-tree-challenge/

Michelle – Blessings by Me
https://www.blessingsbyme.com/?p=4491

Jessica-Jessica Simmons

Decorating a Mini Dollar Tree Christmas Tree

Creative Thursday’s Christmas Craft

Creative Thursday’s Christmas Craft

This year with my collaboration with King of Christmas, I knew I would be going neutral with my Christmas decor, which meant I would need to do a complete 360 and either make or buy new Christmas stockings. I went and checked a few of my fav decor spots and they were a no go for stockings. You know when you get that picture in your head of what you want and you can’t find it anywhere? I was feeling a little defeated, until, I got the idea to make my own stockings from painters drop cloth canvases. Say what? It sounds funny, I know, but I knew I could probably make 6 stockings for under $10! I actually only spent $2.98 on the Drop cloth because it was on sale!  I mean, my entire main living area of my home, has drop cloth ruffle curtains. I already had some left over drop cloths from when I made the curtains from our eat-in kitchen or i.e. playroom for our youngest daughter.

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I knew I wanted fairly nice sized stockings. We have had some of our Pottery Barn Kids stockings for 17 years and they are a great size for Santa to fill! I decided to use one of those stockings for a pattern.

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I basically just laid the PBK stocking on top of the canvas, that I double folded, then added about 1/2 an inch for seam allowance and cut out. I took both pieces of canvas and sewed right sides together, then turned inside out and decided on the size that I wanted the ruffles to be.

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For the ruffles, I decided on the size, which was   6.5 inches in width by 20 inches in length with 1/2 inch seam allowance. I sewed down the raw edge then folded over, sewed down again and began the process of ruffling the canvas. If you have never ruffled before, its not hard, you just need set your machine to the loosest stitch and the widest stitch. Once you’ve run your stitch the whole length of your fabric, gently begin pulling the bottom (bobbin) thread.

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Next, begin slowly pushing your bunched fabric towards the end of your fabric until you have the whole fabric ruffled.

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Next, I made the stocking holder loop. I used a  piece of 4×6 size of canvas.

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First I folded down the fabric on one side to the middle and then did the same for the other side.

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Next, fold over the entire piece in half.

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Like this…

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Then sew down the edges.

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Next, I turned down the stocking and decided on the width of the cuff, then sewed the edge with a 1/2 allowance.

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I decided to go ahead and attach the stocking holder, then sew on the ruffles.

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Next on the agenda is sewing on the ruffle!

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I also decided that I wanted to make stocking name tags! I knew we had some pine underlayment left from our faux shiplap wall we had just completed. I asked my husband to cut out 6 that were 5.75×2.75 plus drill a small hole at the top.

A8F573EB-F462-44E5-AEEB-DBE6575140D2I decided to stain with one of my favorite colors of stain, Minwax Dark Walnut.

077D3CB0-112C-42C2-B383-69FC77047225After lightly staining the front, back and sides of the name tags, I decided to use my Silhouette to add all of our names to each tag. I chose the font bromello then welded, printed on white vinyl then weeded (removed the negative space). 

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After finishing with the stocking name tags, I added twine for tying around the stockings. These cost me zero to make because I already had all of the supplies!
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We are done! What do y’all think? I absolutely am loving my neutral, very budget friendly Christmas decor this year! It definitely took some time to grow on me since I’ve had traditional for the past 20 plus years but our entire family is enjoying it.

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Please check out my friends to see what Christmas Crafts they have come up with for  our monthly Creative Thursday’s! We have some pretty amazingly talented ladies, if I do say so myself!

Love, Shae

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https://barnhousemess.wordpress.com/2019/11/19/christmas-creative-challenge

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Creative Thursday ~ easy to make candy cane garland

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Creative Thursday – Christmas Craft

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Creative Thursday: Classic White & Gold Framed Ornaments

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

If you have noticed the cost of all new kitchen cabinets, renovating your kitchen can be one of the most expensive projects when renovating your home. When deciding to turn our kitchen into our dream, we knew we would be on a budget. I did not have a set budget in mind, but let’s just say my budget goes a little something like this…as cheap as possible. You can see the full kitchen renovation blog Here . I knew I wanted to keep the cabinets because they were made of real wood. I chose white kitchen cabinets with light distressing. I also wanted to paint the inside of my cabinets as well. When we moved into our home, 5 years ago, the cabinets were painted a latex white on the outside but not painted on the inside. Below is the before photo of our kitchen, the day we purchased our home!

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If you have followed along with me for awhile, you can see throughout my blog, my love for chalk paint. As durable and hardy that chalk paint is, I knew it would be a great choice for kitchen cabinets.

First things first, we removed all of our items from the inside of the cabinets.

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Next, we began removing all hardware, doors and drawers.

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I gave all of the cabinets a good wipe down with soap and water. Next, I mixed up my homemade chalk paint recipe. I always use Sherwin Williams brand paint. You can find that recipe here .  I painted the inside of all the cabinets with one coat then lightly sanded and wiped with a damp cloth.

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I repeated these steps until I had three coats of paint on the inside of all the cabinets.

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The next item of agenda was to paint the outside of all of the cabinets with two coats of paint, with light sanding in between and a wipe down with a dampened cloth.

I only needed two coats of paint on the outside of the cabinets because my cabinets were already painted white before I began painting.

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Next we painted the cabinet doors and drawers. We set up an assembly line in our garage. We used 2×4’s to lay the doors on to help make sure we didn’t get drips.

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If you do come back and found that you’ve gotten a few drips, you can sand it down and paint over that spot. It’s not a big deal but does make a little more work for you. After the first side of the cabinet doors were painted with two coats of paint, light sanding in between and wiped down, I waited 24 hours before flipping over the the second side of the cabinet doors. The second side received the same treatment as the first side.

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After finishing the cabinet doors, we moved on to the cabinet drawers. The inside of the drawers had never been painted, so they received three coats with light sanding in between and a good wipe down, after each coat. Next, we moved on to the outside of the cabinet drawers.

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They received two coats of paint with light sanding and a wipe down in between coats.

At this point, I felt like I could finally begin to see the light 🙌🏼 It took us about two weeks for myself, the hubs and our two adult daughters,  to all work on the cabinets! Much longer than I anticipated!

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Here came the fun part! I wanted to go ahead and place all of the cabinet doors and drawers back on, so I could precisely decide where I wanted to distress. I used my orbital sander to lightly sand on the inside of the cabinets. Then I used 120 grit to sand all the edges of the cabinet doors and drawers, where it would naturally wear. I don’t like super heavy distressing but I would say this is light to medium distressing.

Before (The day we purchased our home.)

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After (Current view with Christmas decor.)

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We are absolutely loving how our cabinets and entire kitchen has turned out!! We absolutely get so much JOY from our home DIY renovations. I hope you have enjoyed reading and we hope to inspire you!

❤️-Shae

 

How To Style A Basket Wall

How To Style A Basket Wall

Today, I am teaming up with several bloggers for a Thrift Store Blog Hop! Y’all know how much I love a good budget friendly DIY! This basket wall cost me under $15 and took me about an hour to create! Baskets are a great way to add decor to your wall for cheap!

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First things first! I found all of the baskets at my local thrift shops or rummage sales. All of  the baskets were .10 cents to $1 each except for the large round placemats. The trick to finding these baskets is finding different colors, textures and patterns.

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The colors do not need to be the exact same but similar in tone, to create a cohesive basket wall. One other thing to consider is to using an odd number of baskets on the wall. It will help balance with an odd number.

Next is to decide how you want to place your baskets on the wall. You can draw out a pattern on paper or lay them out in the floor first.

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I chose to go at a diagonal pattern with the three large placemats as my focal point.

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You can also lightly draw with pencil to mark where to hang each basket. I like to use very thin nails, called finishing nails, to hang the baskets with. They are small enough that the basket can hang on plus they won’t be an eye sore because they will be hidden by the baskets.

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I also enjoy adding touches of greenery throughout my basket wall. Now, be honest, what do y’all think? Do you have a basket wall?

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I hope you hop on over and visit my friends to see what they have found on their thrift store finds this month!

❤️-Shae

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Thrift Store Challenge: Autumn On My Mind

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https://lecultivateur.com/2019/10/28/thrifted-treasure-October/

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https://hydrangeafarmhouse.com/thrift-store-challenge

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https://www.thehousehouse.com/thrift-store-finds/thrift-store-challenge-tray-makeover

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https://barnhousemess.wordpress.com/2019/10/21/thrift-store-challenge-wood-shutters

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https://wordpress.com/post/clochesandlavender.com/12036

Budget Friendly Kitchen Renovation

Budget Friendly Kitchen Renovation

Hey y’all! Have you ever wanted to update your kitchen on a budget with products that don’t break the bank? The hubs and I have recently updated out kitchen with Ardex concrete countertops, a white subway back splash, a white farmhouse sink and chalk painted cabinets. It took about three weeks for all of the renovations.

We started off by replacing our kitchen sink with a white farmhouse sink from Sinkology called the Josephine .

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I have had visions of white farmhouse sinks dancing in my head since we purchased our home, 5 years! Isn’t she a stunning sight!!

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Next, my husband cut off the backsplash of the existing countertops because we were adding tile.

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For the countertops, I used Ardex Feather Finish . Ardex is a self drying cement based finish that you mix with water and has a cake icing-like consistency.

First things first, it is best to remove everything from your cabinets, then apply a clear plastic cover and tape all the edges. Trust me, you will appreciate this later! All of the countertops will need a light sanding to help the Ardex adhere. I used a orbital sander and I also hand sanded in corners where the orbital sanded would not fit. Wipe down with a dampened cloth all your countertops.

To mix the Ardex, I used a plastic 1 gallon bucket and a paddle mixer. The directions for the Ardex is a 2:1 ratio with water. I found that was a little to thick for me and added just a bit more water. I liked it to be about the consistency of icing. I used a 12 in joint knife and a puffy knife for the smaller areas. In some areas like behind the kitchen sink, it was easiest to use my fingers with gloves on to smooth the Ardex out.

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After the first coat of Ardex is applied, it will need to dry for about 24 hours before sanding. Once dry, let the sanding commence! I’m not going to lie, it’s super messy but I promise it is well worth it!! Check out the layer of dust on my arm!

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I used an orbital sander because I felt like the finish it gave was smoother than a palm sander.

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I can not stress enough to use plastic coverings on everything because if not, you will have a huge mess to clean up like I did! Learn from my mistake!

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I sanded all the edges, corners and tight spots with a 60 grit sand paper. Next is to use a shop vac to vacuum all the dust form sanding. I also used a dampened cloth to remove any remaining dust from the countertop. I repeated these steps until I had three layers of Ardex on my countertop. After the countertop has dried for 24 hours, I applied 3 coats of Behr Low Luster Sealer with a paint brush.

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I didn’t want a super shiny finish, so I made sure to purchase one that had very little shine.

Next up was the subway tile. We purchase our tile from a local tile company called Floor & Decor  . They had the absolute best prices on tile! The tile was 15 cents each!!

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The tile went pretty quickly in comparison to the countertops! Next up was the grout! We decided to Pearl Gray for the grout color.

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The grout and mortar were also purchased from Floor & Decor.

Last but certainly not least was the painting of the kitchen cabinets. This is the 3rd time our cabinets have been painted. I used Ibis White from Sherwin Williams, previously. The interior of our cabinets had never been painted and I had dreams of painting the inside of the cabinets white. I decided to go ahead and tackle the painting of the inside and outside of the cabinets! I decided to use my DIY chalk paint recipe and use the same color Ibis White. I chose chalk paint because of its hardiness and durability!

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I am am not going to lie, it was a ton of work and I could not have done it without my two oldest daughters helping me! It took us about 10 days to do it all but I still think it was so worth it! The painted 3 coats on the inside of all the oak cabinets and drawers, since they had never been painted before! In between each coat, I did a light sanding, by hand, so that it would cut down on brush strokes. After each sanding, you will needed to wipe out all the soot with a dampened cloth. Everything that we sanded was by hand only.

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I also lightly distressed all of my cabinets on the inside and outside. When I distress, I like to distress where the item would naturally receive wear.

I also decided to replace the drawer pulls with brushed nickel pulls that I found on Amazon for cheap!

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Ok, so I know y’all are wondering what the total cost was on our budget friendly renovation?

Here is a break down of costs:

-Drawer Pulls-$18

-Ardex-$60 (I used 2.5 bags @ $30 each. One bag was leftover from our upstairs bathroom.)

-Tile, Mortar & Grout-$90 (15 cents per tile)

-Paint, Baking Soda-$162 (Sherwin Williams paint plus 12 boxes of baking soda to make chalk paint.)

-White Farmhouse Sink-$399

Total Cost-$730

We are enjoying our kitchen and all of our hard work! You can find many of our projects saved under “highlights” on my IG page or our You Tube account. Follow along with me on IG in stories everyday, as I usually always have some sort of diy going on!

❤️-Shae