How to Remove Old Vinyl Lettering

The morning that my kids went back to school, I started working on my list of all the things I wanted to get done over the summer.  Y’all, I had such high hopes of all of the stuff we would get done around the house when it was too hot to play outside.  Ha ha.  Post-summer Lindsay is having a good chuckle at pre-summer Lindsay.

One of the things that I’ve been meaning to do for a long time is to remove the vinyl lettering on Zack’s bedroom door.  When I applied it 5 years ago, it said Zack’s Room and had cute little cars on either side.  Over the years, he peeled off the car detail and started picking at the letters.  It ended up looking like this.

how to easily remove old, brittle vinyl lettering

Pretty, right?

I tried to remove the rest of the letters with just my fingernails, but the vinyl had aged and become brittle.  Instead of it peeling up easily as new vinyl does, the old vinyl was coming off in tiny, chippy pieces.




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How to Refresh Your Dining Room Decor on a Budget {and a Tuesday Morning Giveaway}

As I’ve gone through the process of transforming my home from my previous, more neutral style to my current bright and fun style, my dining room has always been sort of a problem.  I have other rooms that need more attention, so I’ve just sort of left it alone, piecing together things here or there to give it some personality. It’s become more or less an after thought.   Since I’ve not dedicated my time to fully redoing this room, I’ve never wanted to spend much money in there.  Like most people, I’m on a budget.

Since I am on a budget, one of my go-to stores for discount decor has always been Tuesday Morning (remember when I talked about my bedroom?).  I think they have really great products for the home at lower prices than I find elsewhere.  Today, I’m partnering with them to give you some strategies for refreshing your dining room decor on a budget.  And guess what?  There is no DIY involved.

Before we get started with the strategies, I thought I’d share before and after shots with you.  I think that will make it easier to understand my thought processes.  Here is the before:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

It looks nice, but it doesn’t coordinate very well.  The rug, which was previously in my living room, is too large for the space.  The books in the china cabinet was a fun idea that I’ve grown tired of.  I also think that the centerpiece on the table is overwhelming.

Now, here are the after shots with all of my budget-wise changes:

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

How to Refresh Your Dining Room on a Budget with #TuesdayMorning

I’m so much happier with this look!  I think it coordinates better with the rest of my home.

So, how can you do an easy, budget-friendly dining room refresh like this in your own home?  Follow along for some simple strategies.




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Techorate your Space

When Tom and I got married, we entered our union with some decorating baggage.  I came into the relationship with a 1990s-style overstuffed beige sofa and love seat (Yes!  Beige.  Me!) that my cat had loved a little too much.  Tom came in with black leather and chrome recliners and a stereo system that had no less than 10 components.  Hello, Bachelor Pad!

I knew that it would be easy to get rid of his chairs and my sofas once we had enough money to replace them.  But, the stereo system was another story.  Until we met, it was his baby, so I knew it was going nowhere.  He set it up in his light wood and chrome media stand (another pre-Lindsay purchase), and I just lived with looking at it for several years.

Then, Baby Zack came along.

Within days of Zack learning to walk, he moseyed over to the speakers and ripped the covers off of them.  Tom realized that having his big stereo system out where our dear baby could destroy it was a bad idea.  So, we went out and bought a nice wooden media cabinet with a glass door.  I think it may have been the first piece of furniture that we bought together.

That media cabinet ended up being my first foray into a type of decorating now referred to as #Techoration.  Basically, #Techoration is the idea that we can design and decorate around our items like televisions, speakers, and gaming systems instead of just living with looking at them all the time.

Since we bought that media cabinet, my thoughts on techorating have evolved past adding furniture pieces directly intended to house media components.  You may have seen shots of my kids’ playroom, which was the first spot that I started actively decorating around our technology.  I wanted to make this space a place that served more function than just a playroom, so a TV was a necessary evil.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology

I really don’t mind the look of a black, flat screen TV.  I know a lot of people like to frame them or hide them behind cabinet doors, and those are definitely valid things to do in a room.  Instead, I prefer to have a good looking piece of technology that blends into my furnishings.

#Techoration - the idea of designing or decorating around technology




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Coffee Talk with David Bromstad

As a blogger, I do a lot of work while I’m bleary eyed and guzzling coffee – trying to get some things finished before my kids wake up for the day.  Most of those early morning hours are spent going through the previous day’s email.  Many of those emails are questions and comments from you guys (Love those!), spam comments (Hate those!), and numerous product pitches from brands all over the world.  Probably 90% of those pitches feel the wrath of my delete button.  But, some of them have presented me with some really fun opportunities that I would never have received if I wasn’t a blogger.

Like the one I got a while back that said, “Would you like to interview HGTV star David Bromstad?” Since David has been my long time favorite on HGTV, I jumped at the chance.  I have followed his HGTV career since he won the original Design Star competition back in 2006 and then went on to have his own show, Color Splash.  David has a fabulous sense of color and he is a former Disney illustrator…and we know how I dig Disney illustrators for their unique take on shape, color and whimsy.

David has designed two new limited edition bottles of Coffee-mate creamer that are only available at Target, and he is promoting a Get Inspired With Coffee-mate Sweepstakes that’s going on now (more about that below).  I was so looking forward to talking him about how the differences in product packaging design versus room design.  Just pretend that it’s me on the other end of his phone.

David Bromstad Coffee-Mate Sweepstakes

See?  He loves me!  I knew we would be BFFs if we ever had the chance to chat.




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A Paint Sprayer That Even a Non-DIYer Can Use {and a Giveaway}

Back in March, my world was totally changed when my only favorite sister moved here from Orlando. It had been been 19 years since I had lived within a two day driving distance from anyone in my family, and now my sister is about 30 minutes away from me door-to-door.  To say that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me would be an understatement.  My kids are thrilled that “Aunt Leigh Leigh” can just stop by for dinner any time, and I am thrilled that we are able to spend so much time together after 19 years of trying to catch up over quick weekend visits.

Like many people, Leigh Ann has gone gaga for Pinterest and has found some adorable projects that she wants to recreate.  The thing is, though, that Leigh and I couldn’t be more opposite in our personalities.  She’s the numbers girl and I’m the creative one, so she was nervous to even attempt these projects.  So, we’ve had a Sister Craft Day where I’ve helped her put together the projects that she had in mind, and I have tried to teach her some things about crafting.  She’s now making cute little canvas signs for herself and her friends.

But, Leigh has never painted anything before.  So when she found a $40 headboard on Craigslist that she wanted me to paint, I said, “How about I teach you how to do it?”  She wasn’t thrilled (to be totally honest), but she agreed.  I had just gotten a HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP paint sprayer in the mail, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use it.  This isn’t the type of sprayer that you’d use for huge areas, like walls, but it’s perfect for things like furniture and cabinets.

I set up plastic sheeting in my garage and got her headboard prepped for painting (using a deglosser to remove the shiny factory finish instead of sanding it).  Don’t you wish you had a big sister to do all of your prep work?   Ha!  Then, to try out the sprayer myself, I used it to apply a primer coat (Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3).

HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer - so easy even someone who has never painted anything was able to use it

I have a few other paint sprayers myself, and the Fine Finish Max felt different to me than the other ones.  It was much lighter weight to hold in my hand so my hands didn’t get fatigued.  I did have a hard time using it the first time because you are supposed to hold it 6″-12″ away from the item you are painting – much closer than my other paint sprayers.  But, once I got the hang of that, it was really easy.

After the primer dried, it was Leigh Ann’s turn.  I gave her a quick set of instructions (basically just overlap the strokes by about 1/3 and use your legs to move up and down instead of your bending your wrists), and I turned her loose.  Since she is not a DIYer, I had no idea how it was going to go.

HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer - so easy even someone who has never painted anything was able to use it

As it turns out, Leigh Ann was a beast with that paint sprayer!




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Turn Your Child’s Artwork Into a Custom Stuffed Animal with Budsies

When my son, Zack (now 8 years old), was in preschool, he hated to draw, color and paint.  I tried different methods to get him to embrace his artistic side – Finger paints! Glitter!  A box of 120 Crayola crayons! – but nothing mattered.  He’d draw/color/paint for all of 2 minutes, and then go right back to crashing his Hot Wheels through Lego towers.  As a person who thrives in anything creative, I felt like a failure as a mother.  I may or may not have cried about it in front of his teacher and pediatrician.

Moms, you know how it goes.  It doesn’t take much for us to feel like we are failures, does it?

But as it turns out, I shouldn’t have been worried.  About a year ago, Zack developed a concept that he calls a Zack Bot.  It’s a little flying robot with long arms and a big Z on his body.  He’s drawn Zack Bot books, puts Zack Bots on every scrap of paper that he can find, and creates “special edition” bots for his friends – there’s a Josh Bot and a Kat Bot, which each have different super powers.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgifteverHis artistic vision was delayed, but it did eventually show up.  You have no idea how excited I am that Zack has finally embraced his artistic side!

So when I heard that there was a company – Budsies – that turned children’s artwork into plush, stuffed animals, I knew that I had to get one made for Zack.  After looking at their website, I was really impressed with the way they had turned other kids’ drawings into stuffed animals, down to the last polka dot and crazy detail.  Kids have some super imaginative visions, and all of the animals were really well executed.

Of course, I couldn’t order a Budsie for Zack and leave out Emma.  She drew her ideal stuffed animal, which was kind of crazy.  I was worried that it would be too much (or too abstract) for Budsies to replicate, but they assured me that it was just fine.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever

The process is that you order your Budsies through their website and then send in the artwork.  If your child needs help coming up with an idea, Budsies offers templates that they can use as a jumping off point.  To submit the artwork, you can take a picture of it and email or text it to the company or just upload it through their website.  They let me know that they had received the artwork and that it looked great.  In about a month, I got a shipping notification that our Budsies were on their way to us via USPS Priority Mail.

I didn’t tell the kids that their Budsies were on their way, since I know opening that box would be an amazing surprise for them.  And it was!

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever




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